Debt Up $6.666 Trillion Under Obama/Pope Coming To Israel to push for a Palestinian State/US condemns new Israeli settlement planA third of Ecuador’s provinces covered with ash from Tungurahua/Slovenian homes in the dark after ice, blizzards cut power and more signs of JESUS’ soon return


Surveillance Tech Can Track Every Person, Vehicle in Area For Hours.

Shooter and victim were just a pair of pixels, dark specks on a gray streetscape. Hair color, bullet wounds, even the weapon were not visible in the series of pictures taken from an airplane flying two miles above. But what the images revealed — to a degree impossible just a few years ago — was location, mapped over time. Second by second, they showed a gang assembling, blocking off access points, sending the shooter to meet his target and taking flight after the body hit the pavement. When the report reached police, it included a picture of the blue stucco building into which the killer ultimately retreated, at last beyond the view of the powerful camera overhead. “I’ve witnessed 34 of these,” said Ross McNutt, the genial president of Persistent Surveillance Systems, which collected the images of the killing in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, from a specially outfitted Cessna. “It’s like opening up a murder mystery in the middle, and you need to figure out what happened before and after.” As Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed that can track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time. Although these cameras can’t read license plates or see faces, they provide such a wealth of data that police, businesses and even private individuals can use them to help identify people and track their movements. Already, the cameras have been flown above major public events such as the Ohio political rally where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) named Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, McNutt said. They’ve been flown above Baltimore; Philadelphia; Compton, Calif.; and Dayton in demonstrations for police. They’ve also been used for traffic impact studies, for security at NASCAR races and at the request of a Mexican politician, who commissioned the flights over Ciudad Juárez. More
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to U.S. and some foreign airlines traveling to Russia for the Olympic Games to be on the lookout for toothpaste containers, which some intelligence indicates may actually hold ingredients that could be used to construct a bomb aboard a plane, a senior U.S. official told ABC News. The official did not provide further details about the warning or the intelligence that prompted it, but an official with the Department of Homeland Security, while declining to discuss the specific warning, said the department “regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics.”
“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” the official said. “As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.” A federal law enforcement source said the information is largely intended for foreign carriers and the generic threat is not directed at the U.S. homeland. The Russian government has been informed, the source said. Still, Rep. Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said he has been briefed on the threat and said it should be taken seriously by American travelers, the airlines and officials at the Olympic Games. ”Any type of explosive, concealed explosive, can be extremely damaging,” King, R-N.Y., told CNN. “It could be enough to bring down a plane… This is the type of threat that we’re very concerned about.”More


SLOVENIA – A quarter of households in Slovenia were left without electricity on Monday after a weekend of blizzards and very low temperatures wreaked havoc on power lines and roads, the national STA news agency reported. Leading daily newspaper Delo described it as the worst devastation in living memory. More than 40 percent of schools were closed and only about a third of those were due to reopen on Tuesday, STA said. It said the power cuts had affected more than 250,000 people, or one in four families, in the country. This prompted the government to ask for help from the European Union’s civil defense team in the form of power generators for the affected areas, the government said on its website. STA said generators were being urgently dispatched from Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. Farming Minister Dejan Zidan said ice and snow had damaged 500,000 hectares of forest, or roughly a half of Slovenia’s total forest area. Extinction Protocol
ECUADOR – A cloud of ash that climbed more than 4 km from the Tungurahua volcano Monday has affected a third of Ecuador’s provinces and forced the suspension of classes at some schools after temporarily closing a regional airport. A series of 10 powerful cannonlike blasts shook the 5,023-meter volcano Sunday night and could be heard for kilometers. Tungurahua is roughly 150 km south of Quito. Fernanda Naranjo of Ecuador’s geophysics institute said there have been no pyroclastic flows — fast-moving, super hot fluidized masses of rock fragments and gases — since Saturday. Extinction Protocol

Chinese warships ‘deterrent’ against US military buildup

A Chinese plan for building several aircraft carriers is “a prudent course of action” which would serve as a deterrent against US military adventurism in the Asia-Pacific region, an analyst says. “It’s [the question of] what the aircraft carriers mean. Are they meant offensively or are they meant in a deterrence role? This something is preventing the outbreak of war and it’s a good thing and in China’s situation it finds itself encircled by US bases and in a territorial dispute with some neighbors so it seems a prudent course of action,” co-editor of Dissident Voice Kim Petersen told Press TV on Wednesday. “China right now is looking at doubling its aircraft carrier fleet to two which would be exactly the same as Japan and it would be many less than the amount that the US has. Given that the US has 10 aircraft carriers it should have nothing to complain about,” he added. Last month, Beijing announced plans for building several more warships after it launched its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning in Dalian, two years ago. Military experts say the United States Navy is concerned that China is accelerating the construction of its second aircraft carrier, according to Stars and Stripes. “For decades, the US Navy has controlled the world’s waterways, in both size and strength. But China appears to be preparing to challenge US supremacy by accelerating the construction of a second aircraft carrier,” the report said. According to US naval commanders, China is building a “blue-water navy” capable of sustained operations across oceans and projecting power far from home. Press TV

Ubinas Volcano emits ash, smoke: shaken by violent spasm of tremors

PERU – The Ubinas Volcano near the southern city of Arequipa in Peru has become active again after several months of minimal activity. According to El Comercio, the volcano is emitting columns made of ash, smoke, and steam, as well as registering seismic movements. Since Jan. 31, the volcano has reportedly experienced as many as 100 seismic events every day, including a Feb. 1 movement which lasted for seven hours. El Comercio reports that the various ash columns released by the volcano have reached heights from 700 to 2,000 meters. The volcano’s recent activity has been attributed to water seeping into the crater. When the water comes into contact with magma, the it turns into steam, which then creates pressure inside the crater. This pressure is what causes the volcano to expel ash. No damages have been reported as a result of the volcano’s most recent activity. A series of similar explosions in September created health problems for many local residents, some of whom suffered from headaches and gastrointestinal problems after breathing the silicon ash released by Ubinas. The Ubinas Volcano, located in the Moquegua region 70 kilometers outside of Arequipa, has displayed a sudden burst of activity. Prior to the September eruptions, the volcano had been dormant since 2009. Extinction Protocol

BREAKING NEWS: Syrian Electronic Army claims contol over Facebook’s domain

Screenshot from
BREAKING NEWS: The Syrian Electronic Army, a hacker group supportive of Syrian President Bashar Assad, claimed Tuesday it managed to hack, just in time for the social network’s tenth anniversary. The hackers first claimed to subvert in a tweet published at approximately 6:30 EST. A cursory search of the WHOIS domain registrar indicated that the email address tied to Facebook had indeed been changed to a Syrian gmail account. The SEA claimed it was able to change Facebook’s servers but the process had to be abandoned because it was “taking too much time.” Half an hour after the SEA tweet, Facebook and MarkMonitor, a domain management firm, said they had rectified the error, preventing any serious impact. In August 2013, amid US consideration that it would join the ongoing Syrian civil war and attempt to remove Assad from power, the SEA hacked The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and other news entities the hackers believed to be hostile towards Assad. RT

China scientists cite second case of H10N8 to warn about bird flu’s pandemic potential

CHINA – Chinese scientists sounded the alarm on Wednesday after a new bird flu virus, H10N8, killed anelderly woman in December and infected another individual last month. The fifth novel influenza strain to emerge in 17 years, the virus has a worrying genetic profile and should be closely monitored, they reported in The Lancet medical journal. It appears to be able to infect tissue deep in the lung and may have features allowing it to spread fficiently among humans, they said. “The pandemic potential of this novel virus should not be underestimated,” said the  team headed by Shu Yuelong from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Beijing. The warning stems from analysis of a virus sample taken from a 73-year-old woman who died in Nanchang, in southeastern Jiangxi province, on December 6 after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure. Although the cases are few, the fact it has jumped from birds to humans is an important warning, the researchers said. “We should always be worried when viruses cross the species barrier from birds or animals to humans, as it is very unlikely that we will have prior immunity to protect us,” said Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome Trust and an expert on flu. “We should be especially worried when those viruses show characteristics that suggest they have the capacity to replicate easily or to be virulent or resistant to drugs. This virus ticks several of these boxes and therefore is a cause for concern.” The Chinese authorities announced her death from H10N8 on December 18. More


BREAKING NEWS: US condemns new Israeli settlement plan

BREAKING NEWS:  The US State Department responded to the decision made by the Jerusalem Municipality’s Committee for Planning and Building on Wednesday permitting 558 new homes to be built in east Jerusalem. ”Our position on Jerusalem is clear. We oppose any unilateral actions by either party that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem,” said State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki at the daily press briefing in Washington on Wednesday. “We’ve called on both sides to take steps to create a positive atmosphere for the negotiations.”  The decision to build new housing units amid contentious ongoing peace negotiations prompted a negative response from the Palestinians. Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called the moves a “deliberate provocation of the Palestinians to drive them to leave the negotiations.” ”Israel is not only capable of sabotaging the talks, but it is flagrantly destroying the chances of peace and stability throughout the region,” Ashrawi said in a statement. Psaki also responded to a group of far-right Orthodox rabbis contention that “Kerry has declared war on God” during Wednesday’s press briefing.
“He’s not going to spend a lot of time worrying about words people are using against him,” she said. “His greatest concern about this is the impact they have or they could have on the process, that the words aren’t an attack on him, they’re actually an attack on the peace process itself.” The rabbis from the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel wrote an open letter to Kerry stating that he had declared war against God through his current mediation efforts between Israel and Palestinian negotiators, and said he must cease such activities to avoid divine punishment. In response to a question about a spoof video released by Israeli settlers criticizing Kerry’s efforts in the Middle East, Psaki said, “I think it goes in with what I’ve already stated about attempts to mis-characterize his record, his position, his positions on issues, his statements, how that is not an attack on him; that’s an attack on the process. And of course that kind of rhetoric we find unacceptable.”Jerusalem Post

China’s navy holds Indian Ocean drills

A three-ship Chinese navy squadron has concluded exercises in the Indian Ocean and sailed on to the western Pacific, showing off the growing reach of the country’s seagoing forces at a time of sharpening territorial disputes in regional waters. State broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday that the squadron includes China’s largest amphibious landing ship, the Changbaishan, along with a pair of destroyers. It said they reached the Indian Ocean on Jan. 29 and carried out a series of drills on the themes of counter-piracy, search and rescue, and damage control. Although not directly targeted at India, the exercises underscore China’s competition with the other Asian giant. India and China have clashed over their disputed Himalayan border and Beijing is a close ally of New Delhi’s arch-rival Pakistan. CCTV said the squadron passed through the Lombok Strait near the Indonesian island of Bali before heading north toward the Philippines. It is expected to return home through the South China Sea where Beijing is in a heated dispute with the Philippines and others over tiny islands, rich fishing grounds and a potential wealth of oil and other resources. China is also in a separate dispute with Japan over tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Tokyo controls but Beijing claims. In order to back up those claims and extend its influence, China has been systematically developing a blue-water navy that has global reach, including launching its first aircraft carrier. China has also sent ships to join anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia and taken part in joint exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere. More

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has warned China’s efforts to claim disputed territories are like Nazi Germany’s before World War II, drawing a fierce Chinese response on Wednesday branding him ignorant and amateurish. In an interview with the New York Times, Aquino called for world leaders not to make the mistake of appeasing China as it seeks to cement control over contested waters and islands in the strategically vital South China Sea. ”At what point do you say: ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it -— remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II,” Aquino told the New York Times in Manila on Tuesday. Aquino was referring to the failure by Western nations to back Czechoslovakia when Adolf Hitler-led Nazi Germany occupied western parts of the European nation in 1938 ahead of World War II. Aquino’s comments come less than two weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised the temperature in a parallel territorial dispute with China by appearing to compare Sino-Japanese relations with the run-up to World War I. Japan and China are at loggerheads over the sovereignty of disputed islands in the East China Sea, raising fears about a military confrontation between Asia’s two biggest economies.  China also claims nearly all of the South China Sea, one of the world’s most important waterways as it is home to vital shipping lanes and is believed to sit atop lucrative deposits of natural resources. But the Philippines, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Taiwan, have overlapping claims to some of the waters, and those disputes have for decades made the South China Sea another potential trigger for military conflict. More

To hell in a handbasket: More Americans check Facebook daily than Bible

Facebook‘s numbers are epic. More Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people. Facebook, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Tuesday, says worldwide it has 757 million daily active users. Of those 19 percent are in the U.S. and Canada, so that’s more than 143 million people checking Facebook daily. The Bible used to be the go-to for statistics about reading, pre-digital age. A 2006 CBS News poll found 15 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible or other religious texts daily. There are about 267 million adults in the U.S. and Canada. That means about 40 million people reading the Bible daily. And then there are monthly users — Facebook claims 1.23 billion of them. That’s more people than live in any country but China. In fact, Facebook is beyond comparing to nations and is more continental in magnitude.Facebook‘s monthly user population is larger than six of the seven continents, only behind Asia. Facebook‘s monthly user total is about the population of all of North America and Europe combined. But all those numbers pale behind this one factoid from Facebook: About 400 billion photos have been shared on Facebook. More
A group of rabbis, including the founder of the far-right Our Land of Israel party, wrote in an open to letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry that he had declared war against God through his current mediation efforts between Israel and Palestinian negotiators, and said he must cease such activities to avoid divine punishment. The letter was sent by the Committee to Save the Land andPeople of Israel, founded by Rabbi Sholom Dov Wolpo, who also founded the Our Land of Israel party, as an activist group to oppose political accords with the Palestinians involving territorial concessions. “Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the letter reads. The rabbis argue that Kerry’s plans endangers Israeli Jews by bringing them within close range of potential rocket and missile fire from the West Bank should it be ceded by Israel to the Palestinians. “If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people,” continued the rabbis “By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” they threatened. The letter was signed by Rabbi Wolpo, along with four other rabbis including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder and Chairman of the Temple Institute; Rabbi Yigal Pizam, the Dean of a Yeshiva and a leader of the Chabad community in the Haifa neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel; Rabbi Gedalya Axelrod, the emeritus head of the Haifa Rabbinic Court; and Rabbi Ben Tziyon Grossman from the town of Migdal Haemek. Jerusalem Post

Rep. Jackson Lee: ‘We’ll Give President Obama a Number of Executive Orders’

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) says that the newly launched Congressional Full Employment Caucus will “give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign.” Jackson Lee made the statement while gathered with Democrats on January 29th to announce the establishment of the Full Employment Caucus. “We will be answering the call of all of America because people need work and we’re not doing right by them by creating work,” Jackson Lee said. “I believe this caucus will put us on the right path and we’ll give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength.”  “In fact, I think that should be our number one agenda. Let’s write up these executive orders, draft them of course – and ask the president to stand with us on full employment.” The Congressional Full Employment Caucus was launched last week by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).  Conyers website says: “The Congressional Full Employment Caucus will serve as a platform and working group for Members dedicated to identifying solutions to our current unemployment crisis and advocating for legislative action.” Executive orders issued by a president have the full force of law and do not have to receive approval by the legislative branch of government. During his State of The Union address last week, President Obama made clear he was willing to use executive actions to sidestep Congress.

Chinese media claims that Japan has plans to force down Chinese jets

Chinese media says that, according to Sankei Shimbun’s report on January 29, the Japanese Air Self-defence Force announced on January 28 plans to deal with the frequent intrusion into Japan’s Air Defence Identification Zone and coming close to the air space above the Senkakus (known as Diaoyus in China) by Chinese military aircraft. It says Japan will begin to prepare an operation manual focusing on such urgent issues as making it more pragmatic to force down Chinese aircraft and amending the authorisation to use weapons. The report says on December 13, 2012, a Chinese marine surveillance aircraft successfully entered the air space above the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands to claim sovereignty but was not discovered by Japanese radar. Later Japan began its plan to draft a related operation manual. It is said that pilots of Japanese Air Self-defence Force only have the authorisation to fire warning shots or give forced landing order to incoming aircraft. However, it has only ever fired warning shots at an aircraft of the former Soviet Union in 1987, but has never carried out any measure to force down a foreign aircraft. According to the report, the manual will provide the methods and steps to force another country’s military aircraft to land in Japan, especially the way to intercept China’s J-10 or Y-8, force it down and arrest its pilot. The manual also provides the way to arrest the pilot on the sea if he leaves his aircraft with a parachute. According to the report, the Japanese Defence Ministry holds that firing laser shot at intruding aircraft cannot put an end to Chinese fighter jets’ frequent intrusion into Japanese air space; therefore, it is necessary to draw up a more severe and pragmatic plan to force them down. More

PROPHECY ALERT: Pope Coming To Israel to push for a “Palestinian State”

Pope Francis with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Pope Francis apparently plans to heed Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s calls, and use his upcoming visit to Israel in May as a propaganda move for the Palestine Authority (PA) against Israel, according to reports in Makor Rishon. The revelation comes from Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis, who claimed the pope intends to define himself as the “Che Guevera of the Palestinians” and support their “struggle and rights.” In late December it was similarly noted that the pope will not host “mass” prayer services in Jerusalem during his trip, but instead in PA-controlled Bethlehem as a show of support. The move is slightly ironic, as most Christians have reportedly been driven out of the city by Muslims, while Abbas has claimed “Jesus was Palestinian.” Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) spoke with Arutz Sheva about the subject, noting that the foreign ministry is preparing for the visit and keeping an eye on developments between representatives from the Vatican and the PA.  Elkin claims Rabbi Bergman’s description is exaggerated, and that he doesn’t anticipate the pope to reference communist revolutionary Che Guevera as a model, even as he stresses that all official visitors are asked to stay balanced and “not dance at two weddings.” ”Our role is to ensure that there won’t be an unusual gesture, and we have the tools to do so,” remarked Elkin, noting that talks are ongoing with the Vatican, which understands Israel would oppose such statements. More

Debt Up $6.666 Trillion Under Obama

The debt of the U.S. government has increased $6.666 trillion since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, according to the latest numbers released by the Treasury Department. When President Obama was first inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, the debt of the U.S. government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. As of Jan. 31, 2014, the latest day reported, the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61—an increase of $6,666,142,606,070.53 since Obama’s first inauguration. The total debt of the United States did not exceed $6.666 trillion until July 2003. In the little more than five years of the Obama presidency, the U.S. has accumulated as much new debt as it did in it’s first 227 years.

Cheating Scandal Spreads to the Navy’s Nuclear Fleet In Charleston, SC

A number of United States Navy sailors have been suspended and are under investigation for allegations that they cheated on qualifying exams to teach and train nuclear propulsion team members.  Chief Naval Officer Adm. Jonathan Greenert and one of his top admirals filed into the Pentagon briefing room on Tuesday — just the way his counterpart in the Air Force did last week — to tell the public about the cheating scandal among the ranks at Naval Weapons Station Charleston in South Carolina. About 30 engineering watch supervisors have had the access to the site removed, a Navy official said. There are about 150 qualified engineering watch supervisors at Charleston. The nuclear propulsion program is responsible for running and maintaining the nuclear reactors that power the Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers. The tests are not related to nuclear weapons. Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, said so far there is only evidence of cheating among the staff, not the students.  “I’m hesitant to give you a number right now,” he said, adding that the Navy was alerted to the alleged cheating on Monday from a sailor who was troubled by it. Investigators will also be looking at whether the cheating was contained to Charleston or other Navy bases as well. There are about 16,000 sailors in the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program. Last week, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced that 92 Air Force officers in charge of nuclear missiles had their access revoked for cheating on proficiency exams, or knowing about it and not reporting it. That cheating scandal has led many to question the morale of the nuclear force. More
Following a stormy weekend and Monday across much of the United Kingdom and Ireland, several additional storms will impact the region this week. The next storm will arrive on Tuesday afternoon in southern Ireland and southwest England before spreading across the remainder or Ireland and the United Kingdom on Tuesday night with another round of strong to locally damaging winds and downpours. Rainfall will average 12-25 mm (0.50-1.00 inch) across the entire region with local amounts up to 50 mm (2 inches). Wind gusts of 65-80 kph (40-50 mph) will be common with locally higher gusts, especially near south- and west-facing coastal areas. As the stormy pattern continues for northern Europe, flooding will again be a concern for much of the week. Rainfall for London in January was nearly 300 percent of normal, or 5.97 inches (15.2 cm). The continued threats for rainfall will lead to potential flooding problems over the entire region.  A quick-hitting storm will take a more southerly track on Thursday, leading to a chilly rain on Thursday afternoon into Thursday night across Wales and England. Rainfall will average 10-20 mm (0.40-0.80 inch) from this event. Yet another storm will approach from the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, delivering a shot of rainfall and strong winds across the entire region on Friday night into Saturday. Once again Ireland and all of the United Kingdom will be at risk for localized flooding problems as rainfall up to 30 mm (1.18 inches). Strong winds will batter the region with sustained winds over 65 kph (40 mph) at times along with gusts upwards of 95 kph (60 mph). More

Goldman to Fidelity Call for Calm After Global Stock Wipeout

Panic is making an enemy of telephones for Catherine Yeung, the director for equities at Fidelity Investment Management Ltd. in Hong Kong. “My children hate that BlackBerry,” said Yeung, whose clients have been calling amid two weeks of declines that erased $3 trillion from global stocks. She’s advising calm, noting that profits are rising and shares just got a lot less expensive. “Being a contrarian and getting in when things seem bad is often a good thing,” she said in an interview today. “The companies we are looking into can still deliver attractive margins. Things are getting cheap.” Strategists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to AMP Capital Investors and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are also telling clients to hang on after losses that began with currencies in Turkey and Argentina spread to developed markets. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 2.3 percent yesterday, capping its first 5 percent retreat in eight months, while Japan’s Topix index plunged 4.8 percent for its biggest decrease since June. “We didn’t expect the U.S. would be this weak,” Kathy Matsui, chief Japan strategist for Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, said by e-mail. “Since we do not see sufficient reason to change our fundamental earnings outlook and stock prices have fallen, the market still appears attractive to us.” More

Kansas to Maine: Snowstorm to Impact More Than 100 Million

A major winter storm with heavy snow, ice and a wintry mix will reach from the central Plains to the Midwest and Northeast spanning Tuesday night and Wednesday. It will hit barely after some people had time to dig out from two prior storms in the Midwest and the Monday storm in the Northeast. By the time the storm has ended it will have directly affected more than two dozen states and at least 100 million people with snow and/or ice. Travel delays and disruptions to daily activities are likely. The storm will hit especially swiftly and hard over part of the central Appalachians to New England. More than 1,700 flights were canceled and another 4,100 flights were delayed as a result of the winter storm.  The storm has the potential to drop 13 inches or more of snow on portions of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In part of the Northeast, the bulk of the snow will fall in six hours or less. Some areas are expected to see more than a foot of snow from northeastern Pennsylvania to southern New Hampshire.  The storm was hitting Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois Tuesday. There is a long list of major cities that can receive enough snow to shovel and plow. These include Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; Chicago; Indianapolis; Cleveland; Detroit; Boston; Scranton, Pa.; Hartford, Conn.; and Buffalo, N.Y. Accumulating snow will also fall on the Canada cities of Toronto, Montreal and St. John, New Brunswick. A long stretch of the I-70, I-80 and I-81 corridors will be hit by the storm as it rolls northeastward.

ObamaCare could lead to loss of nearly 2.3 million US jobs

The long-term effect of ObamaCare on the U.S. economy was rewritten Tuesday with the Congressional Budget Office issuing a revised projection that nearly 2.5 million workers could opt out of full-time jobs over the next 10 years — allowing employers to wipe 2.3 million full-time jobs off the books. Budget experts say that because ObamaCare offers an insurance alternative to employer provided coverage, many Americans who hold full-time jobs may decide to work part-time — or not at all — and get their coverage from the exchanges. Following the release of the report, House Speaker John Boehner said the report showed how “the middle class is getting squeezed in this economy.” The report drew immediate reaction from GOP lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner who said the report indicates ObamaCare is only making it harder for middle-class Americans to survive in the bad economy. Others, like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., weighed in. “ObamaCare is only making things worse,” Ryan said in a written statement. “This costly law is not only pushing government spending to new heights, it is disrupting coverage and leaving millions of Americans worse off.” The budget office says jobs will also be lost because employers may choose to hire less full-time workers or reduce the hours of their staff. In 2010, the CBO projected ObamaCare would lead to about 650,000 fewer jobs. Tuesday’s new 2.3 million estimate is significantly higher. The report states ObamaCare will also lead to a reduction of the net number of total hours worked by as much as 2 percent in the period from 2017 to 2024. It states that “lower-wage workers” will see the biggest reduction in the number of hours worked.
The Hamas government in Gaza has redeployed security forces along its borders with Israel to prevent rocket fire, the Ma’an news agency reported Tuesday. Islam Shahwan, an official from the Gaza Interior Ministry, said that the ministry’s role is to “secure and fortify the home front and the agreements approved by resistance factions to realize our people’s interests, security and stability.” The “resistance in Gaza will not allow the occupation to violate the ceasefire which had been reached after the occupation was defeated in the 2012 battle,” he told Ma’an. On Sunday it was reported that Hamas has ordered its forces preventing against rocket fire into Israel to retreat. Palestinian Arab insiders said that Hamas’s military wing ordered the preventative forces to withdraw in retaliation to the Israeli Air Force’s air strike on the Islamist-controlled territory last Thursday. That strike was Israel’s retaliation measure after rockets from Gaza landed near Netivot. Rocket attacks have been on the increase in recent weeks, leading some Israeli officials to conclude that the ceasefire with Hamas, brokered by Egypt and the United States following the counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, is dissolving. Meanwhile, Arab media reported on Tuesday that Hamas did not fire rockets at Israel this week because of infighting between the group’s armed wing and its political bureau.Arutz Sheva 7

RadioShack may be heading towards “Extinction” as 500 Stores set to close

Electronics retail pioneer RadioShack is preparing to shut down 500 stores as part of a continued restructuring effort according to people familiar with the matter as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The company currently operates around 4,500 stores although it’s unclear which locations will be the first to go and when it’ll take place. 500 fewer stores would put the total around 4,000 which is about 1,000 less than the more than 5,000 stores in existence a decade ago. The sources added that it isn’t unusual for a company going through restructuring to close stores.  The news comes just days after the Fort Worth, Texas, retail chain aired one of the most popular ads during Super Bowl XLVIII. The commercial, which used a bevy of ‘80s-era entertainment personalities to poke fun at the store’s outdated image, boosted share value by seven percent the next morning. The electronics chain has been struggling for quite some time now and a sales strategy focused on smartphones has failed to improve revenue over the past couple of years. As such, RadioShack was forced to take out $835 million in loans last October to refinance around $625 million in debt. The remainder of those funds was set aside for restructuring efforts. RadioShack declined to comment on the matter, saying it’s their policy not to comment on speculation or rumor. Share value is down nearly five percent on the news as of writing. TechSpot

The $956 billion farm bill, in one graph

This week, Congress will vote on a massive farm bill that will set the course of U.S. food policy for the next half-decade. The old farm bill expired in 2012, and its replacement (pdf) is 959 pages long, costing some $956.4 billion over 10 years. So what’s actually in it? I’ve made a pie chart below to outline the basics. This is based on the latest Congressional Budget Office’s scoring as well as reporting on how its predecessor House and Senate bills got combined. I’ll update as needed: First, some clarification: Under existing law, the United States was already on pace to spend $972.9 billion on these programs over the next decade. So the bill before Congress would technically cut spending, relative to that baseline, by about $16.5 billion.  How does it do that? Well, food stamps are cut by $8 billion (relative to current law). Farm subsidy and commodity programs are cut by $14 billion. Conservation programs get cut by $4 billion. And crop insurance is increased by about $6 billion. But there’s still a fair bit of spending left — $956.4 billion in all, or about 2 percent of all federal spending over the decade. So here’s a breakdown of what we know about the farm legislation’s various provisions: More

ALERT: The Stock Market In Japan Is Collapsing as we speak

Did you see what just happened in Japan? The stock market of the 3rd largest economy on the planet is imploding. On Tuesday, the Nikkei fell by more than 610 points. If that sounds like a lot, that is because it is. The largest one day stock market decline in U.S. history is only 777 points. So far, the Dow is only down about 1000 points during this “correction”, but the Nikkei is down more than 2,300 points. The Nikkei has dropped more than 14 percent since the peak of the market, and many analysts believe that this is only just the beginning. Those that have been waiting for a full-blown stock market collapse may be about to get their wish. Japan is absolutely drowning in debt, their central bank is printing money like crazy and the Japanese population is aging rapidly. As far as economic fundamentals go, there is very little good news as far as Japan is concerned. So will an Asian financial collapse precede the next great financial crisis in the United States? That is what some have been predicting, and it starting to look increasingly likely. What happened to the Nikkei early on Tuesday was absolutely breathtaking. The following is how Bloomberg described the carnage. More

Top intel chiefs warn Al Qaeda forming base in Syria for possible US attacks

For the second time in a week, the nation’s top intelligence chiefs Tuesday issued a scathing assessment of the global threats facing the United States, warning that Syria is becoming a base from which extremist, Al Qaeda-linked groups could attack the U.S. “We are concerned about the use of Syrian territory by the Al Qaeda organization to recruit individuals and develop the capability to be able not just to carry out attacks inside of Syria, but also to use Syria as a launching pad,” said CIA Director John Brennan at a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “There are camps inside of both Iraq and Syria that are used by Al Qaeda to develop capabilities that are applicable, both in the theater, as well as beyond.” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put the threat assessment in stark terms: “Looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence, I have not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe,” he said. Clapper and Brennan were joined at the hearing by the head of the FBI, James Comey, Defense Intelligence Chief Gen. Mike Flynn and Matt Olson, who heads the National Counterterrorism Center. The Syrian insurgency, Clapper said in opening remarks, is made up of between 75,000 and 110,000 fighters from about 1500 different groups. More
MADISON, Wisc. – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit on Monday in an attempt to overturn Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex ‘marriage.’ Wisconsin voters passed a constitutional amendment in November 2006 that enshrined marriage as being between a man and a woman. “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state,” the measure, passed by 59 percent of the vote, reads. “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.” The amendment was challenged in 2009 at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but was deemed to be constitutional.  However, the ACLU of Wisconsin is reviving the challenge in federal court, asserting that the ban is discriminatory and thus unlawful. “We expect to demonstrate that Wisconsin’s refusal to allow marriages or to recognize out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples violates the fundamental right to marry, as well as the equal protection guarantee of the 14th amendment of the United States constitution,” legal director Larry Dupuis told local television station WXOW. The suit was filed on behalf of eight homosexuals in the state, who assert that the criminal penalties attached to the law, which include fines and jail time, are excessive. More

Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’…

Watch this video, taken from a police raid in Des Moines, Iowa. Send it to some people. When critics (like me) warn about the dangers of police militarization, this is what we’re talking about. You’ll see the raid team, dressed in battle-dress uniforms, helmets and face-covering balaclava hoods take down the family’s door with a battering ram. You’ll see them storm the home with ballistics shields, guns at the ready. More troubling still, you’ll see not one but two officers attempt to prevent the family from having an independent record of the raid, one by destroying a surveillance camera, another by blocking another camera’s lens. From the images in the video, you’d think they were looking for an escaped murderer or a house full of hit men. No, none of that. They were looking for a few people suspected of credit card fraud. None of the people they were looking for were inside of the house, nor was any of the stolen property they were looking for. They did arrest two houseguests of the family on what the news report says were unrelated charges, one for a probation violation and one for possession of illegal drugs.
Justice Antonin Scalia predicts that the Supreme Court will eventually authorize another a wartime abuse of civil rights such as the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II. ”You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told the University of Hawaii law school while discussing Korematsu v. United States, the ruling in which the court gave its imprimatur to the internment camps.  The local Associated Press report quotes Scalia as using a Latin phrase that means “in times of war, the laws fall silent,” to explain why the court erred in that decision and will do so again. ”That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot,” Scalia said. “That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification but it is the reality.” The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who was Japanese-American, was not among those sent to the camps but was declared an “enemy alien.” When he got the chance to fight for his country in World War II, he jumped at it, eventually earning a Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry” near San Terenzo, Italy, in 1945. “I was angered to realize that my government thought that I was disloyal and part of the enemy, and I wanted to be able to demonstrate not only to my government but to my neighbors that I was a good American,” Inouye told Ken Burns in “The War,” as quoted by Reuters. More

France’s finance minister brushed off US criticism regarding a French delegation’s visit to Iran



Tehran has always supported Palestinians, and will continue to back their resistance



Israel is pushing ahead with its plans for building 100 more settler units



Syria is committed to destroying its chemical weapons despite difficulties caused by war



Over 1200 Syrian families returned home after the ceasefire deal



The UN denounces the Vatican over sex abuse in the Catholic Church



The trial of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has been adjourned to March



Lebanon’s military issues an arrest warrant for a prominent official of Abdullah Azzam brigades



Iran stresses it will NOT give up an iota of its nuclear rights


West Virginia residents fear water is unsafe

Former executives appear at Irish bank trial

Deadly blasts rocked Baghdad’s Green Zone

2 Yr Old Toddler Smoking Cigarette Like A Pro – SHOCKING VIDEO


STATE OF EMERGENCY: California Drought Worst in Half-Century


Zombie Virus Reemerges! Naked man shot dead after biting off the face of an 18 year old


A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter — With Ties to Wall Street Investigations








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