Just how cynical and oppressive is the administration of President Barack Obama? Just ask the CEOs of some of the nation’s health insurance companies. According to one CNN reporter, they will tell you that the current regime is so adamant about controlling the narrative surrounding the Obamacare disaster that they have even taken to issuing threats. During a recent segment on network star Anderson Cooper’s “360″ program, reporter Drew Griffin said that insurance companies have been told by regime operatives to “keep quiet” about the fact that millions of Americans are being informed that, contrary to Obama’s promise, they won’t be able to keep their current plans at current prices and deductible levels. ”Basically, if you speak out, if you are quoted, you’re going to get a call from the White House, pressure to be quiet. Several sources tell me and my colleague Chris Frates that insurance executives are being told to keep quiet,” said Griffin. He added: “Sources (are) telling us they fear White House retribution. More
HONOLULU — The Hawaii Senate is expected to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage on Tuesday, the final step for the state Legislature before sending the special session measure to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The bill allowing same-sex couples to wed on the islands starting Dec. 2 is expected to pass easily barring any unexpected surprises. Senators are taking up the bill a second time because of changes made in the House, where the bill was amended and passed after a five-day public hearing and two lengthy floor sessions. An earlier version of the bill passed the Senate 20-4 with one lawmaker excused. Senate lawmakers are expected to make two decisions Tuesday. First, senators will decide whether to accept the amended bill from the House. If they do, they’ll take a final vote on whether the bill should pass. Sen. Clayton Hee, head of the Senate’s judiciary committee and the key lawmaker ushering the bill through the chamber, has said he expects the session to take about an hour and the voting results to mirror their last result. More
The pediatricians’ general textbook says that reference value of neutrophil [the most abundant type of white blood cells, essential part of immune system] for healthy children (6-12 years old) is 4000, but it has shifted to 2500. It is lower than the threshold value of 3000. I think this points at a serious problem. In the summer of 2011, there were many children with bloodshot eyes; and what we saw most were children with dark circles under the eyes. […] we are seeing more cases of sinusitis accompanied with mild case of asthma continuing for longer periods. And when these children spend some time in the West, they get better. If at all possible, I would like them to move away from East Japan. radioactive substances coming from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have reached Tokyo, and huge amounts of contaminated waste is being burned here as well, I cannot deny the possibility that we are inhaling radioactive substances contained in the air. Again, let me repeat that after the nuclear accident, enormous amounts of nuclear substances were released in the environment. Therefore, if we see an increase in symptoms that are different from the ones we’ve seen before, we physicians should “first consider the effects of radioactivity.” More
Strange new off-white boxes popping up in downtown Seattle use wi-fi networks that can record the last 1,000 locations of a person using their cellphone’s MAC address, but the Department of Homeland Security – which funded the network to the tune of $2.7 million dollars – has refused to address the nightmare privacy implications of a system that could lead to the permanent tracking of an entire city’s population. A report by The Stranger, a weekly Seattle newspaper, exposes how the boxes, which are attached to utility poles and include vertical antennae, can track cellphones even if they are not connected to the system’s wi-fi network. Aruba – the company that provided the boxes to the Seattle Police Department – brags in its technical literature about how the boxes can keep track of “rogue” or “unassociated” devices, in other words your cellphone even if you have refused to let the system access your device’s wi-fi component. More
Local church leaders in Detroit, Mich., last week held an emergency meeting to draft a plan for dealing with the violent murders that continue to occur in the cash-strapped city. To stop the widespread chaos, these pastors and faith leaders are hoping to “saturate” the city with positive and uplifting themes. The main plan is to post “Thou Shalt Not Kill” banners and signs around Detroit in the hope that the sixth commandment will reach locals’ hearts and minds. “We all have to do what we can do, and right now we don’t have a respect in our communities for life — we don’t have a respect for many things,” Minister Ovella Andreas, the founder of the crime-fighting group United Communities of America, told WWJ-TV. She added, “But we still have to create a standard to hopefully have a consciousness about God … because even our people have become apathetic.” More
A 4.8 magnitude earthquake has hit the Philippines island of Bohol just days after a powerful typhoon left thousands dead in the Pacific nation. The quake’s epicenter was in the San Isidro municipality of the island province, according to a USGS report. It is located some 45km from Tagbilaran, the provincial capital that has almost 100,000 residents. The tremor hit at the depth of about 70km, according to early USGS estimates. The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology put the depth of the quake much less deep, at just 9km. It said it was an aftershock of the 7.2 magnitude quake that hit the island on October 15. No immediate casualty or damage report is available. The authorities did not issue a tsunami alert following the quake. Last month’s quake killed 22 people and displaced tens of thousands. It also caused damage to more than 73,000 structures. Bohol Island is located just south of the path of devastation left behind by the powerful Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda.More
Sometimes, you just have to stick with what works. Following the massive success of The Walking Dead— his long-running series about the zombie apocalypse, which currently topping the comic books and television chart — Robert Kirkman’s latest project once again combines his seemingly magic ingredients of comic books, television and dead people. It was announced today that Outcast, Kirkman’s Image Comics series launching in 2014 about a man coming to terms with the demonic possessions that have followed him around since he was a child, will be simultaneously developed as a television project for Cinemax, following an intense bidding war between cable networks. News of the project initially surfaced in March, with its title and details being revealed by Image Comics last month. Described by Kirkman as “a big, epic story,” Outcast centers around Kyle Barnes, a man whose mother was possessed when he was a child, and his struggles with the subject of possession in later life. “Despite the success of The Walking Dead, Outcast is only my second foray into the horror genre,” Kirkman told the Hollywood Reporter. “I think Kyle Barnes is every bit as compelling as Rick Grimes and demonic possession is way scarier than zombies — so this is going to be fun.” More
The potentially dazzling Comet ISON has brightened enough on its highly anticipated approach toward the sun that it’s now visible through a decent pair of binoculars. Skywatchers around the world have recently used binoculars to spot Comet ISON, which is streaking toward a close encounter with the sun on Nov. 28 that will bring the icy wanderer within just 730,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) of the solar surface. “I have made my first confirmed binocular sighting of C/2012 S1 ISON as well,” Pete Lawrence, of the town of Selsey in the United Kingdown, told the website Spaceweather.com on Saturday (Nov. 9). “ISON’s head appears small and stellar through a pair of 15x70s optics.” Comet ISON is cruising through the constellation Virgo at the moment and is visible in binoculars low in the predawn eastern sky, Spaceweather.com reports. The comet is currently as bright as an 8th magnitude star — too dim to be seen with the naked eye but easy to spot with binoculars or a small telescope. More
A viral outbreak that’s killing bottlenose dolphins is moving down the U.S. East Coast as the animals migrate south for the winter. Between July 1 and November 3, at least 753 animals have died. The outbreak began along the coast between New York and Virginia this summer. Now, carcasses are washing ashore in the Carolinas and Florida. Researchers have identified the cause as dolphin morbillivirus, a pathogen that’s related to human measles and canine distemper. Morbillivirus infects dolphins’ lungs and brains, causing weird behaviors and skin lesions and pneumonia (but the marine mammals can’t pass it on to humans). In a normal year, during this same timeframe and in the same geographic area, the average number of dolphins recovered from the beaches would be 74. So far, Virginia has been the hardest hit by the outbreak, with more than 330 dolphins retrieved from its mid-Atlantic shores. New Jersey takes the dubious honor of second place, with 131 dolphins. In the last month, the Carolinas saw their total spike to more than 120. And last week, Florida had its first confirmed fatality. That makes marine biologist Megan Stolen nervous. She and her team at the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute respond to marine mammal strandings along miles of northern Florida coastline – and from her lab in Melbourne Beach, she’s been tracking the outbreak and its slow march south. More
Army officials from China and the United States are meeting in Hawaii for an annual disaster relief exercise that will include field training for the first time this year. Specifics of the exercise scenario starting Tuesday have not been publicly released. U.S. Army Pacific officials have only described it as a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation requiring U.S. and China military cooperation in a fictional third country. On Thursday, U.S. and Chinese soldiers will train in a field exercise at Bellows Air Force Base, on a Marine Corps training area on the east side of Oahu. Col. Bill Florig, chief of civil military operations for U.S. Army Pacific, said in announcing the exercises last month that the event is the largest between the United States and China armies. “What we are trying to emphasize in this exchange is our inherent flexibility,” Florig said. “They (China) are looking to see that flexibility that we have demonstrated so often in the past in disaster response.” More
The largest storm surge in modern history in the Philippines sent walls of water over half a mile inland along a crowded coastline when Typhoon Haiyan came ashore here last Friday, erasing villages and towns and leaving thousands of people dead or missing. Shattered buildings line every road of this once-thriving city of 220,000, and many of the streets are still so clogged with debris from nearby buildings that they are barely discernible. The civilian airport terminal here has shattered walls and gaping holes in the roof where steel beams protrude, twisted and torn by winds far more powerful than those of Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall near New Orleans in 2005. Decomposing bodies still lie along the roads, like the corpse in a pink, short-sleeved shirt and blue shorts facedown in a puddle 100 yards from the airport. Just down the road lies a church that was supposed to be an evacuation center but is littered with the bodies of those who drowned inside. The top civil defense official of the Philippines said in an interview after inspecting the damage that the storm surge had been the highest in the country’s modern history. The sea level rose 10 to 13 feet and filled streets and homes deep in the city, propelled by sustained winds of at least 140 mph and gusts that were far stronger. More
Iran agreed Monday to allow the United Nations to conduct additional inspections of its nuclear sites after failing over the weekend to reach a deal with six world powers on more extensive concessions. Secretary of State John Kerry said the confidence-building deal under discussion in Geneva over the weekend broke down because Iran rebuffed an offer that diplomats on the other side were united behind. It called for Tehran to curb some nuclear activities in exchange for easing punishing international economic sanctions. Under the new accord, Iran will give inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, more regular access to several significant parts of the country’s nuclear infrastructure. However, it falls well short of Western demands that Iran open all sensitive sites as part of efforts to prevent the country from eventually attaining a nuclear weapon. More
People frustrated over price hikes and losing their health plans are being given the opportunity to join a chorus. A developer has built a (working) website that allows people from across the country who have been burned by the Affordable Care Act to email scanned copies of cancellation and price increase letters sent from their insurance providers. “ObamaCare Cancelled Your Health Insurance.Now, Send Us Your Letter,” the site MyCancellation.com proclaims. The website got up and running at the end of last month, but it’s already having tremendous success serving its purpose, which is more than can be said about the government’s disastrous effort. People are encouraged to “Take a picture (or scan),” or “Even better: Take a picture with your letter, or hold a sign in your photo” that later gets posted to the site. One employer posted a letter from insurance provider UnitedHealthcare that says, “We are writing to inform you that your current policy will be discontinued or not renewed at your next renewal at least ninety (90) days from now, on (March 1, 2014) because UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company will no longer offer your current health plan in the State of Colorado.” More
The company behind a new ‘smart’ street lighting system which is being rolled out in major cities like Las Vegas admits that the technology has the capability of analyzing voices and tracking people, features that will aid the Department of Homeland Security in “protecting its citizens.” We first reported on Intellistreets bragging of its product’s “homeland security” applications back in 2011, with the backlash from privacy advocates causing the company to remove a promotional video from YouTube. The video was later restored (see above), although comments were disabled. However, Illuminating Concepts, the company behind Intellistreets, seems to be more comfortable in acknowledging the “security” aspects of its devices now that it has secured numerous lucrative government contracts to supply street lighting in several major cities. More
A new “broadband” invisibility cloak which hides objects over a wide range of frequencies has been devised. Despite the hype about Harry Potter-style cloaks, our best current designs can only conceal objects at specific wavelengths of light or microwaves. At other frequencies, invisibility cloaks actually make things more visible, not less, US physicists found. Their solution is a new ultrathin, electronic system, which they describe in Physical Review Letters. ”Our active cloak is a completely new concept and design, aimed at beating the limits of [current cloaks] and we show that it indeed does,” said Prof Andrea Alu, from the University of Texas at Austin. ”If you want to make an object transparent at all angles and over broad bandwidths, this is a good solution. ”We are looking into realising this technology at the moment, but we are still at the early stages.” More
The revelations of Edward Snowden shone fresh light on NSA spying targeting the American people, but what has gone largely unnoticed is the fact that a network of different spy systems which can record real time conversations are already in place throughout many urban areas of the United States, as well as in the technology products we buy and use on a regular basis. These systems are no secret – they are hiding in plain view – and yet concerns about the monolithic potential for their abuse have been muted. That lack of discussion represents a massive lost opportunity for the privacy community because whereas polls have shown apathy, indifference, or even support for NSA spying, anecdotal evidence suggests that people would be up in arms if they knew the content of their daily conversations were under surveillance. The dystopian movie V for Vendetta features a scene in which goons working for the totalitarian government drive down residential streets with spy technology listening to people’s conversations to detect the vehemence of criticism against the state. More
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Iran backed out of a deal on its nuclear program during talks with world powers in Geneva on Saturday. Amid reports that France’s reservations scuppered an agreement, Mr. Kerry told reporters in Abu Dhabi: “The French signed off on it; we signed off on it.” Iran had been unable to accept the deal “at that particular moment,” he added. Mr. Kerry said he hoped in the next few months they could “find an agreement that meets everyone’s standards.” Representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany – will meet again on 20 November. Iran stresses that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, but world powers suspect it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. In a separate development on Monday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, said the agency had agreed a “roadmap for co-operation’ with Iran to help resolve remaining issues. Six specific access or information issues will be addressed over the next three months, offering a clear test of Iran’s willingness to provide greater clarity about its activities, says the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus. Progress between Iran and the IAEA is seen by experts as a vital parallel track to the talks between Iran and the major powers, he says. Mr. Amano said the deal was “an important step.”
It opens the way for inspectors to visit a heavy-water plant being built in Arak and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, and for measures requested by the UN watchdog to be implemented. Tehran says the reactor in Arak is intended for the production of radioisotopes for medical purposes, but its spent fuel will contain plutonium suitable for use in nuclear weapons. Some reports said the latest talks failed because France had wanted to place tight restrictions on the facility in Arak. However, US diplomats said the Iranian government’s insistence on formal recognition of its ‘right’ to enrich uranium had been the major obstacle. The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior US official as saying the P5+1 had approved a working document, but that it had been “too tough” for the Iranians. Speaking at a news conference with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday, Mr. Kerry said: “The P5+1 was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians. The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal. Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment; they weren’t able to accept.”
VIETNAM – Typhoon Haiyan continued on its destructive path into Vietnam and China Monday, although it had weakened slightly and was later downgraded to a tropical storm. At least 13 people were killed and 81 injured in Vietnam according to the Voice of Vietnam, the country’s national radio broadcaster. Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said at least nine people had died and seven were missing in Hainan and Guangxi provinces. Gusts of up to 74 mph also left thousands without power, uprooted trees and ripped billboards from their stands after the storm slammed into Vietnam at around 3 a.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) the station reported. The storm may be the most violent to ever make landfall. Power is out and both water and food are in short supply. NBC’s Angus Walker reports. The storm made landfall near the city of Cam Pha in Vietnam, a small city about 100 miles east of Hanoi according to Kevin Noth, a lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel, who called Haiyan the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year.
“When it hit Vietnam it was still a typhoon,” he said. “But then it weakened sufficiently to be downgraded to a tropical storm. It is certainly the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year. After researching this, we believe that when it hit the Philippines this may have been the strongest ever recorded storm to make landfall,” Noth added. “There have been more powerful storms over the sea, but this could be the strongest ever to hit land.” The storm had earlier felled trees on the Chinese island of Hainan, The Weather Channel reported. The storm then turned north and northeast across far northeastern Vietnam and into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China, where it made landfall at 9 a.m. local time (7.30 p.m. ET Sunday), Xinhua reported. Two bodies thought to be crew members of a cargo ship registered in Guangxi were found by rescuers in the island province of Hainan, after the storm broke the vessel’s mooring and cast it out to sea. Five sailors were still missing. – Extinction Protocol
A National Grid will be among the participants in North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s second Grid Security Exercise, which is being referred to as Grid Ex II by those participating. National Grid also participated in GridEx 2011, NERC’s first drill. NERC is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to “ensure the reliability” of large interconnected electrical systems, such as National Grid, in the United States, Canada and parts of Mexico. Many of the specifics of the drill have not been made known to utilities and agencies involved, according to a National Grid spokesman. “At this time, we do not know exactly who from National Grid will be participating in the drill, or what work sites those employees will be from,” National Grid’s Patrick Stella said in an emailed response to a Post-Star inquiry. “We are unaware of the exact circumstances of the drill.” In addition to National Grid and other utilities, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be involved. During the Wednesday-Thursday drill, participants will operate from their usual places of business to simulate the response to a “disruptive, coordinated physical and cyber event,” according to Stella. Most of the company’s involvement will likely be focused on National Grid’s main office in Waltham, Mass. If the scenario involves upstate New York, then locations in New York state will be “engaged as needed,” he said. The aim, Stella said, is to test the readiness of the electricity industry to respond to a “security incident,” incorporating lessons from the 2011 drill. Stella, along with a NERC receptionist in Washington, said there will be no disruption in electrical service to the public. “There will be no shutdown or wipeout of power or electricity of any sort,” said the receptionist, who said NERC officials, who were at a conference in Atlanta this week, asked her to emphasize that to any callers to the office. A 30-page “after action report” on the 2011 NERC security exercise is available on the NERC website,http://www.nerc.com, under the Program Areas & Departments page. Click on Critical Infrastructure and then GridEx under the CIP Outreach heading. PostStar.com
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12-15,000 Feared Dead From Super Typhoon Haiyan That Hit Philippines!