Sunday, November 2, 2014

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Cargo Plane Crash Off Dutch St. Maarten - Pilot And Co-Pilot Perish In The Caribbean Sea!

The pilot's body shortly after it was off-loaded from boat (Daily Herald St Maarten photo)

November 2, 2014 - CARIBBEAN SEA
- The pilot and co-pilot of a cargo plane, contracted by Fedex, died when the aircraft plunged into the Caribbean Sea off  Dutch St. Maarten.

Acting Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, Wendell Thode told Caribbean News Desk that the body of the 59-year old German pilot was recovered Wednesday night about four hours after the twin-engine SH-36 plane went down.

He said that the Search and Rescue teams on Thursday called off the search because they believed that the American co-pilot died and his body might still be in the submerged aircraft.

Thode said that about 6:55 PM Wednesday, the Coast Guard was informed by Air Traffic Controllers at the Princess Julianna International Airport that the plane went down one minute after take-off to return to Puerto Rico.

He said that immediately private boat owners, the Coast Guard, a cruise-ship and a LIAT plane assisted in providing the coordinates of the crash-site.

Immediately rescuers rushed to the area, Thode said, where debris was seen afloat. The pilot’s body was located about four hours later and taken to a mortuary.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The government said local aviation authorities would conduct an investigation with assistance from experts from the U.S., where the plane was registered, and Britain, where it was manufactured.

The names of the pilots were withheld until their families could be notified.

St. Maarten is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and shares an island with French St. Martin.

The Skyway Enterprises twin-engine SH36 aircraft was en route to Puerto Rico at the time of the crash. Skyway Enterprises, based in Kissimmee, Florida, was operating under contract with FedEx. - Carib News Desk.





EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Thunderstorms Rock New South Wales - 14-Year-Old Boy Struck By Lightning; 35,000 Homes Without Power!

© iStock

November 2, 2014 - AUSTRALIA
- The fires coincide with storms that have rocked much of Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra regions, leaving more than 35,000 homes without power.

A 14-year-old boy has died after being struck by lightning at One Mile Beach, north of Newcastle.

It is understood he was standing in shallow water when he was struck, suffering a cardiac arrest.

NSW Fire and Rescue's Tom Coopers said rescue crews received a call for help from a house that was struck by lightning in Lansvale in Sydney's west.

"The fire has severely damaged the roof but it's also gotten into the walls of the structure," Mr Coopers said.

"We understand that there's a woman there aged around her 40s, we believe. She's been affected by the lightning strike in someway.

"She's felt tingling sensations in her body and so [the] NSW Ambulance service will take a look at her."

The heavy storm has caused many fallen trees and traffic lights to be blacked out across Sydney.

Dave Bushman from New South Wales SES said Western Sydney had been the worst hit by storm damage.

"Penrith would probably be the hardest hit at this point of time," Mr Bushman said.

"Since 2:00pm we've had 125 jobs come through for the Penrith area but we've also seen some significant damage around the Sutherland and southern parts of Sydney area as well - Liverpool, Bankstown, Campbelltown areas.

Source: Australian Associated Press

- Fiji Times.




SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Suicide Attack Kills 45 People On India- Pakistan Border Including Women And Children - Pakistani Taliban Claim Responsibility For The Attack!

File photo.

November 2, 2014 - INDIA/PAKISTAN
- A suicide bombing near the India-Pakistan border has killed at least 45 people, Pakistani police say. Women and children are amongst the dead following the blast, which took place near the Pakistani city of Lahore. The injury count is currently around 70.

"The death toll increased to 45,
" the provincial police chief in Lahore told Reuters.

A senior police official verified the claims that the blast at the Wagah crossing was a suicide attack.

"According to initial information it was a suicide attack," Inspector General of Punjab Police, Mushtaq Sukhera, told local television channels. "When ... security was a bit relaxed, the suicide attacker blew himself up near a restaurant," he added.

Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We claim the Lahore suicide attack," senior commander Gilamn Mehsud said.

"I was sitting in my office near the border when I heard the blast. I rushed to the scene and saw scattered bodies, injured men, women and children and smashed cars,"
a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters.

File photo: Pakistani side of the Wagah border crossing with India (Reuters)

An Indian security official said that the Indian side of the border was “safe” after the blast, Reuters reported.


Speaking earlier, the Deputy Medical Superintendent of Ghurki Hospital, Dr Khurram, said, "We received 35 bodies including those of women and children and 60 to 70 were wounded,” as reported by local TV stations.

Local media had earlier reported that a gas cylinder caused the explosion. The blast took place in the village of Wagah, where the boundary demarcation line dividing India and Pakistan was drawn in 1947. It is the only road border crossing between the two countries.

Large crowds are attracted to the crossing on both sides of the border at around sunset, as soldiers from Pakistan and India gather to simultaneously lower the respective flags of their countries. - RT.



NEW WORLD DISORDER: Societal Collapse, Civilizations Unraveling Or Global Awakening - The Latest Reports Of Protests, Demonstrations, Riots, Coups And Revolutions!

Protesters pose with a police shield outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside.
(AFP Photo/Issouf Sango)

November 2, 2014 - EARTH
- Social inequalities and political discontent have spurred peoples across the globe to gather and protest against their respective governments. Even places traditionally more muted such as Hong Kong have seen citizens erupted into wild riots in the streets. Is this more evidence of societal collapse as civilizations unravel or are we witnessing a true global awakening?


Widespread demonstrations and riots in Burkina Faso forces out president for 27 years

Burkina Faso’s president of 27 years, Blaise Compaoré, has resigned after nearly five days of unrest on the streets of the capital. So what is going on? Is it the African Spring? RT collects basic facts on the crisis in the West African country. Burkina Faso is a country in West Africa of some 17.3 million people that was a French colony from the 1890s until the 1960s. Its name roughly translates as the “land of honest people.” The capital is Ouagadougou.

Blaise Compaoré ruled the country from the coup of 1987 – when Marxist revolutionary Thomas Sankara was ousted and killed – until Friday, October 31. “I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should end with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days,” he said on Friday.

While some notable protests against Compaoré took place in 2011, the defining wave of violence – which was to put an end to his premiership – began on Monday, prior to a vote to change the constitution.

The intended change of Article 37 would have put an end to term limits, allowing Compaoré to extend his reign beyond 2015.

However, some regard the amendment as merely a catalyst in a country that has a generation of youngsters which has never known another ruler.

Protests reached an unprecedented level of violence, with demonstrators setting fire to Parliament and other government buildings throughout the day. The state television channel was also stormed and overrun with protesters. Reuters reported hundreds of thousands on the streets of Ouagadougou. At least three people were shot dead and several others were wounded.


Prostestors enter the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sango)

Burkina Faso troops stand on October 30, 2014 as hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament before setting it on fire in protest
at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sango)

France called for a “return to calm” and asked “all parties to show restraint.”

Compaore attempted to demand an end to the unrest and impose a state of emergency and a curfew. However, in the evening, the head of Burkina Faso's armed forces announced the dissolution of the National Assembly.

“A transitional body will be put in place in consultation with all parties. A return to the constitutional order is expected in no more than 12 months,”
General Honore Traore told a news conference.

Hundreds marched in the capital. “We don't want him. We want him out of power. He is not our president,” demonstrator Ouedrago Yakubo told Reuters.

Blaise Compaoré stepped down, making his resignation statement.

Later in the day, an armed convoy was observed traveling towards the Ghanaian border. Compaoré was thought to be inside.

Burkina Faso's armed forces chief, General Honore Traore, announced he had taken charge.

It’s difficult to say with any certainty what happens next. While the elections are tentatively scheduled to take place in 90 days, the former president has headed south and the army is now the head of state. Only this month, Tunisia managed to hold parliamentary elections after nearly three years of political upheaval.


Violent clashes in France after protester killed ‘by police grenade’


Protesters stand as flaming objects hit the ground during clashes with police on November 1, 2014 in Nantes, western France (AFP Photo / Georges Gobet)

Riot police have clashed with protesters as crowds rallied against police brutality in several French cities after the death of an ecology protester, apparently caused by a police stun grenade.

Following the death of 21-year-old ecology protester Rémi Fraisse, rallies took place in Nantes, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux and Avignon on Saturday.

The Nantes and Toulouse demos turned violent, with masked and hooded protesters throwing projectiles and tearing down street signs. Security forces retaliated by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds.

At least nine people - including four police officers - were injured in the confrontations, and 34 arrested, according to the interior ministry. Demonstrators hurled acid-filled bottles and stones at security forces, wounding an officer, Henri-Michel Comet, the regional governor, told Reuters.

"These are groups who have come in search of violent altercations with the police,"
Comet said on BFM Television.

WATCH: Riots in France after activist killed by police grenade.




Rémi Fraisse was killed while he was taking part in a protest over a dam project in the Testet wetlands, near the southwestern town of Lisle-sur-Tarn on October 26. After a tense standoff between security forces and protesters, he was discovered dead with a wound in his back. Fraisse's death was the first during a protest in mainland France since 1986, AFP reported.

French President Francois Hollande has urged an investigation. The initial results announced on Tuesday by a state prosecutor showed that Fraisse had been killed by a so-called "stun grenade." This type of device is used by police to crack down on serious riots, and was previously considered non-lethal.

Protesters across France have demanded the resignation of the country’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, but he dismissed the calls.

French Premier Manuel Valls described the latest riots as “an insult to the memory of Remi Fraisse” and condemned any deliberate acts of violence.


‘Water not for sale’: Ireland stands up against water tax, tens of thousands march in protest

Thousands on the streets of Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Ireland is facing a massive flow of protests against the new water tax, with tens of thousands of people joining in rallies across the country on Saturday. Outraged protesters say they’ve had enough of EU austerity measures since the economic crisis.

Dozens of towns
participated in the protests, with around 120,000 people coming from all over the country, state broadcaster RTE reported.

In Dublin, a crowd of 20,000 protesters carried signs as they marched through the city center, calling for a reversal to water charges. Some of the signs read: “Our water supply is not for sale” and “Water is a human right and not for profit.”

 While many people chanted or displayed the common slogan “No Way – We Won’t Pay!,” some protesters constructed installations to remind the public that the new measures will hit every household in Ireland. One Kildare man installed a toilet on a trolley complete with signs reading “Don’t tax the jacks!” while a woman in Dublin dressed herself as a washing machine.


Demonstrators challenged the policies of Prime Minister Enda Kenny, and lashed out at Irish Water – the national authority. Some even carried a coffin with a skeleton and signs reading “Death to Irish Water.”

The unprecedented hike in charges for the use of water would now cost the Irish consumer up to 400 euros (US$500) a year. The Irish government signed onto the water charges under the EU-IMF bailout, and while the country emerged from the loan and saw its economy grow by about five percent this year, austerity measures continue to bite the people.

WATCH: Soggy protesters brave the rain to demonstrate.



Until now, Irish citizens have paid for their water services through general taxation. However, starting in 2015, households will be charged the new water tax.

The debate over the charges has been dominating public discussion.

The demonstrators stressed that their discontent is not just about the water tax, but has to do with the EU’s austerity measures in general, which are criticized for hitting the lower class the most.

“This isn’t just about the water, it’s about the last five years,”
Reuters quoted a protester named Paul as saying.

Paul had to cancel his health insurance, along with his car- and life insurance, in order to make ends meet. “I was thinking about buying a new pair of shoes this year. It’s come to that. Enough is enough,” he said.


Thousands protest against austerity in Athens

Thousands of people demonstrated against the Greek government’s austerity policies in the center of Athens on Saturday. They also called for political and economic reforms, pay rises, and other social benefits.

The protesters gathered at the landmark Syntagma Square, located just outside Greek parliament, and marched through the center of the city carrying anti-EU and anti-austerity banners.

The march was organized by the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), a coordination center for the Greek trade union movement, which is closely connected to the Communist party. Aside from rejecting austerity measures, the group calls for a 751 euro (US$940) minimum monthly salary, 600 euro ($751) unemployment benefit, free healthcare, the return of Christmas, Easter and summer bonuses, and the abolition of the single property tax (ENFIA), as well as other extra taxes that eat up family income.

One group of protesters commented on the ‘sickness’ of the Greek economy by dressing as doctors and attaching a makeshift ‘euro’ intravenous drip to a mannequin covered in a white sheet.

WATCH: Thousands swarm Athens in anti-EU protests.


“Resistance, struggle and popular alliance is the solution for stable and permanent jobs for all, as well as the elimination of tax-robbery and recovery of the recent years’ losses,” Greek Communist Party (KKE) leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas told Greek Reporter news portal. He also said they will meet again on November 27 at the nationwide strike and called for “struggle in order to open the way for the people’s interest and the country’s future.”

There have already been several rallies in Athens against austerity and welfare policies imposed by the Greek government, the European Union (EU), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in previous months. Greece has been at the center of the European debt crisis and has been forced to implement numerous austerity measures in order to receive international credits.


Global day for Kobani: Thousands march to support Kurds’ fight against ISIS

Protesters carry pictures of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), during a demonstration in support of Kurdish fighters and
the besieged citizens of the Syrian town of Kobani and against the Islamic State, in Aleppo's Kurdish neighbourhood of Sheikh Maksoud
November 1, 2014 (Reuters / Hosam Katan)

Thousands of protesters from across the globe – including Turkey, France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Australia – marched to show solidarity with Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in the strategic city of Kobani, located on Syria's border with Turkey.

Hundreds gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Saturday to support the Kurds, who are fighting against Islamic State militants in Kobani for the second month.

The protesters chanted “Down with ISIS” and “Hands off Kobani” while Kurdish flags fluttered in the air. The central London rally was the largest to take place in the UK. It was organized by the Kurdish People’s Assembly and Kurdish community organizations throughout the country.

“The purpose of the event in London will be to let the world know, and more importantly let Kobani know, that we are with them!”
said a statement from the organizers.

Hundreds gathered in Turin, Italy, holding signs that read “Free Kobani” and “Stop ISIS.”

The international campaign was joined by Germany’s largest cities, Berlin and Hamburg. Thousands of Kurds took to the streets waving flags. They held signs calling to stop the jihadists, as well as photos of iconic Kurdish fighters such as the woman warrior known as ‘Rehana.'

The streets of Paris were also filled with protesters on Saturday. The demonstrators held signs reading “Support the resistance” and “Save Kobani.”

Australian cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, were also gripped by protests. Demonstrators held banners which read, "ISIS Attacks, Turkey supports, Kobani resists.”

Kurds demonstrated in central Athens on Saturday as part of the World Day of Solidarity with Kobani.

Some carried banners reading “IS = Turkey.” Ankara has been accused of not making enough effort in trying to stop ISIS and turning a blind eye to foreign radicals passing through the country en route to Syria to join the extremists.

Nevertheless, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Istanbul and in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir to support Kurdish fighters. Some were holding flags supporting imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK is banned in Turkey as a terrorist organization for leading a 30-year struggle against Ankara in order to create a Kurdish autonomous region in the country’s southeast.


More protests expected as Ferguson cop who shot Michael Brown ‘unlikely to face civil rights charges’

The white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is unlikely to face federal civil rights charges for his role in the incident, according to a Friday report by the Washington Post.

Officials familiar with the ongoing civil rights investigation conducted by the Justice Department stated that detectives feel there is not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Darren Wilson willfully violated Brown’s rights,the report claimed.

If true, the news would underscore the difficulty of proving if and when an officer intends to violate an individual’s civil rights.

Rachel Harmon, a University of Virginia law professor, told the Post that Wilson’s case could be bolstered if he “genuinely believed” that his actions were in self-defense.

“There is an extra burden in federal civil rights cases because the statute requires that the defendant acted ‘willfully,'”
Harmon added. “It is not enough to prove that he used too much force. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did so willfully.”
Additionally, recent leaks from the county’s autopsy report indicate the officer may have a case when he claims the teenager attempted to go for his gun. They suggested that Brown’s hand was close to Wilson’s weapon when it was fired.

Protestors at the St. Louis County Justice Center call for the arrest of Police Officer Darren Wilson in Clayton, Missouri August 20, 2014.
(Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich)
If true, these revelations would contradict witness testimony that depicts Brown surrendering.

“The autopsy report is devastating because it raises doubts about him standing still with his hands in the air in surrender,”
said David Klinger, a criminology professor who was also involved in the shooting death of a suspect as an officer in Los Angeles. “If you have a halfway competent lawyer, the defense could raise reasonable doubt with this.”

The county autopsy also reportedly stated that Brown was shot nine times – three times in his head.
While unnamed officials have told the Post that the chances of civil rights charges moving forward appear slim, Justice Department spokesperson Brian Fallon called the report “irresponsible” and “based on idle speculation.”

Brown’s death galvanized residents in Ferguson as well as many across the United States who saw the incident as another example of excessive police force. Several weeks of protests unfolded following his death, over the fact that police delayed identifying Brown and declined to charge him with a crime.

Currently, a grand jury is considering whether or not to bring criminal charges. It is unclear when the grand jury will announce its decision, though it is possible one could be reached before the end of the year.


Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong: But what is democracy for them?

Hong Kong protesters - mainly students who lack ideology and political awareness - are playing to the hands of the West, which has lately been demonizing all governments resisting its quest for global dominance.

At the North Point in Hong Kong, near Kowloon Ferry, a middle-aged man is waving a banner that reads “Support Our Police.” On the photo, the tents and umbrellas of the “pro-democracy” “Occupy Central” protest movement (also known as the “Umbrella Movement”) are depicted in a depressing sepia color.

Are you against the protesters?” I ask the man.

I am not for or against them,” he replies. “But it is known that they have some 1 million supporters here. While Hong Kong has over 7 million inhabitants. We think that it is time to clear the roads and allow this city to resume its normal life.

On the 28 September,” I continue, “police fired 87 canisters of tear gas at the protest site, and now this fact is being used in the West and here as some proof of police brutality and of Beijing’s undemocratic rule. Protesters even commemorated this event a few days ago, as if that would turn them to martyrs...”

They are spoiled,” a man smiled. “They mostly come from very rich families in one of the richest cities on earth. They don’t know much about the world. I can tell you that the students in Beijing know actually much more about the world... 87 canisters of tear gas are nothing, compared to what happened in Cairo or in Bangkok. And in New York, police was dragging and beating protesters, even female protesters, during the endgame of the Occupy Wall Street drama.”

Earlier I spoke to my friend, a top Western academic who is now teaching in Hong Kong. As always, he readily supplied me with his analyses, but this time, he asked me not to use his name. Not because of fear of what Beijing could do, but simply because it could complicate his position in Hong Kong. I asked him whether the “opposition movement” is actually homegrown, or supported from abroad, and he replied:

To answer the question as to foreign interference in Occupy Central, we would have to answer yes. As a global city per excellence Hong Kong is more than exposed to international currents and ideas and, historically, that has also been the case. Doubtless as well certain of the pan-Democrat camp have shaken hands with international ‘do-gooders’, a reference to various US or western-based ‘democracy endowments’ or foundations active across the globe. Taiwan may have a leg in. The British Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee seeks to wade in. But ‘foreign interference’ is seen here as Beijing’s call echoed by C.Y. Leung and with the letter holding back from naming the culprits.”

Protesters may have some legitimate grievances. They want direct elections for the chief executive, and there is, in theory, nothing wrong with such a demand. They want to tackle corruption, and to curb the role of local tycoons. That is fine, too.

Photo by Andre Vltchek
The problem is, that the movement is degenerating into a Beijing bashing mission, happily supported by both Western and local (pro-business and pro-Western) mass media.

Several students that I spoke to, at the Admiralty and Mong Kok sites, did not even bother to hide their hatred towards the Communist system, and towards the government in Beijing. All of them were denying crimes that are being committed by Western nations, all over the world, or they were simply not aware of them. “Democracy” to them means clearly one and only thing – the system or call it regime, that is being defined, promoted and exported by the West.

China is surely on the right side of the history,” I tried, at Admiralty, when I met protesters on the 31th October. “Together with Russia and Latin America it is standing against the brutal Western interventions worldwide and against the Western propaganda.”

I was given looks of bewilderment, outrage and wrath.

I asked students what they think about Venezuela, Bolivia, or Ecuador.

Dictatorships,” they replied, readily and with spite.

I asked them about Bangkok and those “pro-democracy movements and demonstrations” conducted against the democratically elected government; demonstrations that led to the coup performed by the elites and the army on behalf of the West.

I asked about “pro-democracy” demonstrations against democratically elected President Morsi in Egypt, and about yet another military and pro-Western coup that brought the army back to power. In Egypt, several thousand people died in the process. The West and Israel rejoiced, discreetly.

But the Hong Kong students “fighting” for democracy knew absolutely nothing about Thailand or the derailment of the Arab Spring.

They also could not make any coherent statements about Syria or Iraq.

I asked about Russia and Ukraine. With those topics they were familiar, perfectly. I immediately received quotes as if they were picked directly from the Western mass media: “Russia is antagonizing the world... It occupied Crimea and is sending troops to Ukraine, after shooting down the Malaysian airliner...”

Back to Hong Kong and China, two girls, protesters, at Admiralty, clarified their point:

We want true democracy; we want rights to nominate and to elect our leaders. The local leader now is a puppet. We hate communism. We don't want dictatorship like in China.”

I asked what they really want. They kept repeating “democracy.”

What about those hundreds of millions that China raised from misery? What about China’s determined stand against Western imperialism? What about its anti-corruption drive? What about BRICS? What about its attempt to rejuvenate socialism through free medical care, education, subsidized culture, transportation and mixed/planned economy?

Is there anything good, anything at all that China, the biggest and the most successful socialist country on earth, is doing?

Brian, a student at Mong Kok, explained:

We want to express our views and elect our own leader. It is now dictatorship in China. They chose the committee to elect our leader. We want to have our own true democracy. Our model is Western democracy.”

I asked at both protest sites about brutality of British colonialism. I received no reply. Then I noticed quotes by Winston Churchill, self-proclaimed racist and a man who never bothered to hide his spite for non-white, non-Western people. But here, Churchill was considered to be one of the champions of democracy; his quotes glued to countless walls.

Then I noticed the John Lennon Wall, with the cliché-quotes like’: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Exactly what were they dreaming about? I was not told. All I saw were only those omnipresent banalities about “democracy” and “freedom.”

There were Union Jacks all over the place, too, and I even spotted two English bulldogs; extremely cute creatures, I have to admit, but explaining nothing about the aspirations of the protesters.

While hardly anyone speaks English here anymore, all cultural, ideological and propaganda symbols at the demonstrations and the “occupy” sites, were somehow related to the West.

And then, on the 29 September, in the evening, near Admiralty, I spotted a group of Westerners, shouting and getting ready for “something big.”

I approached one of them; his name was John and he came from Australia:

I have lived in Hong Kong for quite some time. Tonight we organized a run from here to Aberdeen, Pok Fu Lam, and back here, to support the Umbrella Movement. Several foreigners that are participating in this have lived in HK for some time, too.”

I wondered whether this could illustrate the lack of freedom and Beijing heavy-handedness.

I tried to imagine what would happen under the same circumstances, in the client states of Washington, London and Paris, in the countries that are promoted by the West as “vibrant democracies.”

What would happen to me, if I decided to organize or join a marathon in Nairobi, Kenya, protesting again Kenyan occupation of Somalia or against bullying of the Swahili/Muslim coast? What would they do to me, if, as a foreigner, I would trigger a run in the center of Jakarta, demanding more freedom for Papua!

Thinking that I am losing my marbles and with it, objectivity, I texted a diplomat who is based in Nairobi. “Wouldn’t they deport me?” I was asking. “Wouldn’t they see it as interference in the internal affairs of the country?

They would deport you” the answer arrived almost instantly. “But before that, you would rot for quite some time in a very unsavory detention.”

I thought so...

- RT News.




CONTAGION ALERT: CDC Shuts Down Bioterror And Flu Labs - After Discovering 327 Vials Of Deadly Pathogens Misplaced!


November 2, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is conducting a nationwide search of its cold storage units after discovering vials of smallpox in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cold storage room at the National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland. Along with the vials of smallpox were 327 other pathogens including vials labeled for dengue, influenza, and rickettsia. This news comes as the CDC is under multiple investigations for unsafe practices. In response to the news Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University remarked “It is ironic that the institution that sets U.S. standards for safety and security of work with human pathogens fails to meet its own standards.”

Also this week, the AP reported what is being described as an ‘accident’ saying “A government scientist kept silent about a potentially dangerous lab blunder and revealed it only after workers in another lab noticed something fishy, according to an internal investigation. The accident happened in January at the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A lab scientist accidentally mixed a deadly strain of bird flu with a tamer strain, and sent the mix to another CDC lab and to an outside lab in Athens, Georgia.” This strain of avian flu, known as H5N1, has killed 60% of the roughly 650 people who have been infected with it since 2003 according the CDC and World Health Organization.

The New York Times reported that CDC head, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden has closed the CDC’s flu and bioterror labs, and has banned all shipments from the agency’s highest-security labs while safety protocols are being reviewed.

While the Times notes that these lab closures will hamper the work done by other public health labs one could argue that the shutdown is the lesser of two evils in light of government documents obtained by USA Today revealing that more than 1100 similar cases were reported between 2008 – 2012 including a snafu at Fort Detrick involving over 9,200 unaccounted for vials, some of which contained Ebola and Anthrax. It’s impossible to know how many cases may have gone unreported.

In 2011-2012, the world community attempted to prevent a CDC approved and US funded mutation of H5N1 by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. Previously, H5N1 was not considered a danger because the natural strains of the virus were specifically adapted to infect birds. However the mutation that Fouchier later developed, ostensibly to discover ways to prevent it from threatening humans, is 'highly contagious,' easily transmissible to mammals, airborne and deadly.

In other words, the CDC approved the creation of a virus that would pose a grave threat to humanity under the guise of preventing that same virus from threatening humanity. Extrapolating from the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic scholars have estimated that, should H5N1 become a pandemic, one billion people would become ill and 62 million would die. Despite the Dutch government's attempts at blocking the publication of Fouchier's processes and findings, the entire 'manual for creating a global pandemic' was later made public by Science Magazine. Scientific American listed the necessary materials as "Ten ferrets, some bird flu and swabs. That is all."

Earlier this summer, a nearly identical experiment was announced, alarming scientists worldwide. Yoshihiro Kawaoka and a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison used fragments of naturally occurring bird flu to reverse engineer the 1918 Spanish Flu which killed an estimated 50 million people. They then mutated the virus to make it airborne and to spread more easily from one animal to another.

"The work they are doing is absolutely crazy. The whole thing is exceedingly dangerous," said Lord May, the former president of the Royal Society and one-time chief science advisor to the British government. "Yes, there is a danger, but it's not arising from the viruses out there in the animals, it's arising from the labs of grossly ambitious people." Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, "…worried that this signals a growing trend to make transmissible novel viruses willy-nilly, without strong public health rationale. This is a risky activity, even in the safest labs." (emphasis mine) "Scientists should not take such risks without strong evidence that the work could save lives, which (Fouchier's) paper does not provide." In an article published in May 2014, Lipsitch argued that experiments like Kawaoka's could unleash a catastrophic pandemic if the virus escaped or was intentionally released from a high-security laboratory.

Current investigations into CDC practices mirror a similar probe that was launched by the Department of Health and Human Services after it was discovered that United States government labs were somehow involved in the anthrax bioterror attacks that began eight days after 9/11.

In 2010, when the Department of Justice and FBI announced a formal conclusion of the Amerithrax case, they declared that microbiologist Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator. Dr. Ivins was one of the lead scientists on the FBI's Amerithrax Task Force. In July of 2008, police were summoned to Ivins' home only to find him dead, purportedly from suicide, having never been charged in the bioterror investigation. Many were incredulous when local police told reporters that the state medical examiner "determined that an autopsy wouldn't be necessary."

Citing a complete lack of physical evidence, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman (and recipient of one of the anthrax-tainted letters) Patrick Leahy stated that "…he simply does not believe that Ivins was the prime culprit if he was a participant at all, and said he is absolutely convinced that there were others involved…"

Francis Boyle
, an international law expert and bioweapons advisor to the first Bush administration, also advised the FBI's investigation. Boyle later revealed evidence indicating that the attacks constituted a false flag designed to ensure that the PATRIOT Act would be signed into law.

In addition to his credentials as a government advisor, Boyle also holds a Doctorate of Law Magna cum Laude and a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. He teaches International Law at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and also served on the Board or Directors of Amnesty International (1988-92) and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court.

Regardless of what these new investigations may or may not reveal concerning the CDC's standards and practices, we know one thing is certain: to rely upon the Federal Government for one's safety would be a stupid and potentially fatal mistake, and one that is entirely contrary to the values and principles upon which our country was founded. - Freedom Outpost.



Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak



EXTREME WEATHER: Spring Wildfires Rage Across New South Wales, Australia Wildfires - Kill Firefighter, Raze Two Homes!

Man killed as Australia wildfires rage. © www.itv.com

November 2, 2014 - AUSTRALIA
- A firefighter has been killed and at least two homes have been destroyed by Australian spring wildfires, officials said Saturday.

The 38-year-old volunteer firefighter was severely burned Friday while battling a blaze on a farm near the town of Nantawarra in South Australia state, state Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton said. The fire was later contained.

At least two homes were razed by wildfires Saturday on the outskirts of the town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, in New South Wales state, state Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd said.

The service's deputy commissioner, Bob Rogers, said firefighters had battled to protect homes in Katoomba from flames fanned by winds of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour.

"There'll be a lot of work to clean up this fire in days to come," Rogers told Nine Network television news.

By late Saturday, the winds had dropped off and the danger posed by the fire had decreased, although the blaze remained out of control, Shepherd said, adding that the damage was being assessed.

WATCH: Australia wildfires.



Around 70 wildfires were blazing across New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, on Saturday, Shepherd said.

Destructive wildfires are common in much of Australia during the spring and summer months.

More than 200 homes were destroyed by wildfires in the Blue Mountains last spring during a particularly devastating start to the wildfire season. - AP.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: California Storms Cause Massive Mudslides In Ventura County - Nearly A Dozen Homes Evacuated!

This image provided by the Ventura County Fire Department shows a home on San Como Lane in Camarillo Calif., inundated by mud and debris from
a hillside early Saturday Nov. 1, 2014. Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery of the Ventura County Fire Department says residents from about 11 homes
were evacuated early Saturday in the neighborhood of Camarillo. © Ventura County Fire Department

November 2, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Nearly a dozen homes north of Los Angeles were evacuated over mudslide concerns, a fire captain said early Saturday, after storms that rained on the San Francisco Giants' World Series championship parade moved south.

Authorities said 11 residences in Ventura County were evacuated late Friday and early Saturday after mud and debris from a hillside struck at least two of them, partially burying one man.

Capt. Mike Lindbery of the Ventura County Fire Department said the evacuations were going on in a neighborhood in the city of Camarillo.

He said heavy rains Friday night played a role in the mud flow, but he didn't know to what extent.

A fire crew rescued the man uninjured after he became mired waist-deep in mud at his home.

Lindbery said the other homes were evacuated as a precaution because it was too dark to determine if there was the potential for mudslides from the hill.

A geologist was assessing the situation but officials are waiting for daylight to make a determination, Lindbery said.

Meanwhile, some of the evacuees took refuge at a nearby Red Cross shelter.

Elsewhere, an evacuation advisory was issued and a shelter opened in Orange County's Silverado Canyon, where about a half-inch of rain was expected early Saturday morning, county sheriff's and fire officials said.

Only residents would be allowed in the area and residents were told the evacuation advisory could be turned into an order if the situation grows more serious.

Some 200 homes were evacuated from the wildfire in September.

By late Friday night the storm had reached the Santa Barbara area, where hard rains were falling and filling streets.

In San Francisco a steady drizzle fell on the parade Friday to celebrate the Giants' third World Series win in five years

Matt Parker and Drew Kennett took a ferry from Marin County to San Francisco to attend the parade.

"Rain? What rain?" Parker joked.

"This isn't rain," Kennett said of the drizzly conditions. "This is San Francisco."

Area resident Mike Mezz, in shorts and a Giant's shirt, had his umbrella ready under the gray skies.

"I'm a San Franciscan, that's how we do it," he said. "I don't mind the rain. If it was snowing I'd still be out here. That's how much I love the Giants."

National Weather Service forecaster Matt Mehly said that while the first big storm this fall is welcome and necessary, it won't be nearly enough to affect statewide water shortages stemming from years with little rainfall.

"It's going to take several years to put a dent in the drought," he said.

The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for much of the Sierra Nevada starting at 5 p.m. Friday, with snow expected at higher elevations overnight, he said.

Ranger Cari Cobb, spokeswoman for Yosemite National Park, said in an emailed statement that Tioga and Glacier Point roads would preemptively close at 6:00 p.m. Friday.

She said they are anticipating snow at 6,000 feet, with 6 to 15 inches accumulating above 8,000 feet by late Saturday morning.

Road crews will reassess the roads after the storm to decide if and when they can reopen. They typically close in November and open in May or June.

Snows were also expected in Southern California mountains.  - AP.




GLOBAL COASTAL EVENT: Monstrous Lake Michigan Waves Top 21 Feet - SECOND TALLEST HEIGHT EVER RECORDED For The Southern Buoy!

A wave crashes over the pier at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

November 2, 2014 - CHICAGO, UNITED STATES
- Lake Michigan waves neared record territory Friday as gale-force winds churned the waters into massive breakers on shorelines across the state.

The southern buoy
, located in the middle of the lake due west of Holland, recorded a 21.7-foot wave height earlier this afternoon.

That mark ties for the second tallest height ever recorded for that buoy, according to the National Weather Service in Chicago.

A wave crashes over the north pier head in Muskegon Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

Waves crash over the breakwall at Clinch Park Marina in downtown Traverse City, Mich. on Friday, Oct. 31. The waves flooded the marina parking lot,
causing headaches for city and utility workers. (Garrett Ellison | MLive.com/The Grand Rapids Press)

View of West Grand Traverse Bay on Friday, Oct. 31 from the Great Lakes Campus at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Mich. High winds,
30 to 50 mph, kicked up large waves. Picture shows the State of Michigan training ship at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.
(Garrett Ellison | MLive.com/The Grand Rapids Press)

View of West Grand Traverse Bay on Friday, Oct. 31 from the Great Lakes Campus at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Mich. High winds,
30 to 50 mph, kicked up large waves. Picture shows the State of Michigan training ship at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.
(Garrett Ellison | MLive.com/The Grand Rapids Press)

Waves batter the pier along Lake Michigan at Holland State Park, Mich., Friday, October 31, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Matt Mcinerney of Holland takes a selfie on the pier as he is hit by a wave along Lake Michigan at Holland State Park, Mich., Friday, October 31, 2014.
(Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

People view large waves along Lake Michigan at Holland State Park, Mich., Friday, October 31, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

A couple walks along the beach as large waves come along Lake Michigan shoreline at Holland State Park, Mich., Friday, October 31, 2014.
(Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

Marc Hoeksema prepares to surf in Lake Michigan waves at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.
(AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Cory Morse)

It, too, measured a wind speed of 59 mph, just below its all-time highest speed at 62 mph set on Nov. 10, 1998.

And for another interesting fact, the buoy reports the water temperature is about 7 degrees warmer than the actual air temperature.

Although Michigan's Upper Peninsula saw accumulating snowfall
during much of the day, and a few flakes piled up elsewhere, winds have been the greatest nuisance across the Great Lakes region.

WATCH: Surfers brave large waves and snow in Muskegon.

 


A wind advisory remains in effect for the southern half of the state through 7 p.m. Friday at the earliest.

Grand Rapids and Ionia reported a peak wind gust by 4 p.m., with Saginaw just a tick higher. Gusts are expected to lessen through the prime trick-or-treating hours.

The highest wave recorded by the south buoy: 23 feet. It came in September 2011.

The buoy has been measuring waves since 1981. - MLIVE.


INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Total Darkness - Country-Wide Blackout In Bangladesh As Power Grid Collapses; One Of The Worst In The World's Recent History! [PHOTOS]

A general view shows Dhaka during a power blackout on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo / Munir uz Zaman)

November 2, 2014 - BANGLADESH
- Imagine what happens when electricity is cut off nationwide in a country of 160 million people. In Bangladesh, everyday life was brought to a standstill on Saturday as factories, hospitals, and homes plunged into darkness or had to rely on generators.

Even the prime minister’s official residence was left with no electricity, as the small but extremely densely populated South Asian country experienced one of the worst blackouts in world’s recent history.

“The national grid collapsed so the whole country lost power,” Reuters quoted Mohammad Saiful Islam, a director of the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board, as saying. “Our repeated efforts to restore electricity across Bangladesh failed repeatedly.”

Local media reported that the blackout was caused by the failure of a transmission line transporting electricity from India. India’s Power Grid Corp, however, said there were no problems on their side of the border.

“I can’t run my shop without power and no one seems to care,” Mohammad Ripon, owner of a grocery store in the capital of Dhaka, told the agency. “It has been about eight hours now and still there is no word on when the power will come back.”

The airport and main hospital in Dhaka are running on emergency generators.


A general view shows Dhaka during a power blackout on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo / Munir uz Zaman)

Bangladesh fishmongers light their fish stalls with candles during a power blackout in Dhaka on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo / Munir uz Zaman)

A Bangladesh woman fans a sick child during a power blackout at a hospital in Dhaka on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo)

A Bangladesh patient lies on her bed during a power blackout at a hospital in Dhaka on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo)

A Bangladesh fishmonger lights his fish stall with candles during a power blackout in Dhaka on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo / Munir uz Zaman)

A general view shows Dhaka during a power blackout on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo / Munir uz Zaman)

Garment factory owner Anwarul Alam Chowdhury said he was able to get 2-3 hours’ worth of power out of his generator, but then had to halt the factory’s output.

“This is a big slap for my business,”
he said, explaining that many other factories were forced to shut down production as well.


Bangladesh’s plunge into darkness provides a glimpse into a recently debunked hoax about NASA confirming six days of ‘total darkness’ in December.

The hoax went viral on Twitter, leaving many people shocked and bewildered as to how the experience would feel. - RT.



CONTAGION: Scientists Predict Up To 130 Ebola Cases In The United States By The End Of The Year - "Every Major City Will See At Least A Handful Of Cases"!


November 2, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- Top medical experts studying the spread of Ebola say the public should expect more cases to emerge in the United States by year's end as infected people arrive here from West Africa, including American doctors and nurses returning from the hot zone and people fleeing from the deadly disease.

But how many cases?

No one knows for sure how many infections will emerge in the U.S. or anywhere else, but scientists have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities.

This week, several top infectious disease experts ran simulations for The Associated Press that predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130.

"I don't think there's going to be a huge outbreak here, no," said Dr. David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University's medical school. "However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases."

Relman is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advisory board for biosecurity and chairs the National Academy of Sciences forum on microbial threats.

Until now, projections published in top medical journals by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have focused on worst-case scenarios for West Africa, concluding that cases in the U.S. will be episodic, but minimal. But they have declined to specify actual numbers.

The projections are complicated, but Ebola has been a fairly predictable virus - extremely infectious, contagious only through contact with body fluids, requiring no more than 21 days for symptoms to emerge. Human behavior is far less predictable - people get on airplanes, shake hands, misdiagnose, even lie.

Pandemic risk expert Dominic Smith, a senior manager for life risks at Newark, California-based RMS, a leading catastrophe-modeling firm, ran a U.S. simulation this week that projected 15 to 130 cases between now and the end of December. That's less than one case per 2 million people.

Smith's method assumes that most cases imported to the U.S. will be American medical professionals who worked in West Africa and returned home.

Smith said the high end may be a bit of an overestimate as it does not include the automatic quarantining measures that some areas in the U.S. are implementing.

Those quarantines "could both reduce the number of contacts for imported cases, as well as increase the travel burden on - and perhaps reduce the number of - U.S. volunteers planning to support the effort in West Africa," he said.

In a second simulation, Northeastern University professor Alessandro Vespignani projected between one case - the most likely scenario - and a slim chance of as many as eight cases though the end of November.
"I'm always trying to tell people to keep calm and keep thinking rationally," said Vespignani, who projects the spread of infectious diseases at the university's Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems.

In an article in the journal PLOS ONE, Vespignani and a team of colleagues said the probability of international spread outside the African region is small, but not negligible. Longer term, they say international dissemination will depend on what happens in West Africa in the next few months.

Their first analysis, published Sept. 2, proved to be accurate when it included the U.S. among 30 countries likely to see some Ebola cases. They projected one or two infections in the U.S., but there could be as many as 10.

So far, nine Ebola patients have been treated in the U.S., and one has died. Seven became infected in West Africa, including Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to arrive undiagnosed and the first to die. He was cared for at a Dallas hospital, where two of his nurses were also infected.

Duncan, who was initially misdiagnosed and sent home from the emergency room, is Vespignani's worst-case scenario for the U.S.

A similar situation, if left unchecked, could lead to a local cluster that could infect, on the outside, as many as 20, he said.

The foreseeable future extends only for the next few months. After that, projections depend entirely on what happens in West Africa. One scenario is that the surge in assistance to the region brings the epidemic under control and cases peter out in the U.S. A second scenario involves Ebola spreading unchecked across international borders.

"My worry is that the epidemic might spill into other countries in Africa or the Middle East, and then India or China. That could be a totally different story for everybody," Vespignani said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he's not worried about a handful of new cases in the U.S. His greatest worry is if the disease goes from West Africa to India.

"If the infection starts spreading in Delhi or Mumbai, what are we going to do?"

Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, pegs the range of cases in the U.S. between five and 100.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prefers not to focus on a particular number. But spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said Ebola will not be a widespread threat as some outside the agency have warned.

"We're talking about clusters in some places but not outbreaks," she said.

The CDC is using modeling tools to work on projections in West Africa, but "there isn't enough data available in the U.S. to make it worthwhile to go through the exercise."

University of Texas integrative biology professor Lauren Ancel Meyers said there are inherent inconsistencies in forecasting "because the course of action we're taking today will impact what happens in the future."

Her laboratory is running projections of Ebola's spread in West Africa.

The U.S. simulations run for the AP had fairly consistent results with each other, she said. And they are "consistent with what we know about the disease." - AP.



Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak


ICE AGE NOW: Winter Is Coming - The Earliest Snowfall In RECORDED HISTORY Falls In Columbia, South Carolina!

© WISTV.com

November 2, 2014 - SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES
- The snow that fell in the Midlands on Saturday morning is the earliest in recorded history.


Some areas reported 2-3 inches of the white stuff. The snow stayed mostly to the north and to the west of Columbia.

At this point, most roadways are not cold enough to cause any icing or accumulations, however, you are urged to be cautious in areas where frozen precipitation has fallen. Be especially aware when driving over bridges as those will freeze first.

© WISTV.com

The snow isn't expected to last very long, though." A cold upper low continues to pull in cold air and rain/snow/sleet into the Midlands this morning," Meteorologist Von Gaskin says.

"The air temperatures are in the 30's at the surface and much colder as you go higher in the atmosphere. That has allowed for a wintry mix in parts of the state. There will be some light accumulations on roads and grassy areas, but all areas will see less than one inch. This system is expected to pass through by late morning. As temperatures warm everything will turn to rain, so, look for periods of rain by midday through afternoon."

The First Alert weather team has the latest on the snow and the forecast for the rest of Saturday on the News at 9am. - WISTV.


Columbia, SC has just experienced their earliest snow in 125 years of weather records, beating the Nov. 9, 1913 earliest snow record by 8 days. Current South Carolina weather shows it’s still snowing in Greenville, SC.
The Christian Science Monitor is reporting Greenville was especially hard hit with downed trees and power outages. The Smokey Mtns received up to 16 inches overnight. The current U.S. snow cover map shows 18 states with some amount of snow this morning.

Graphic courtesy of Weatherbell.com

Early indications are that next Sunday the “polar express” will arrive in the northern plains and Great Lakes with bitterly cold air currently sitting over northern Siberia.  - Dr. Roy Spencer.