Venezuela in chaos/Chinese warships near Australian waters/Brazil suffers of worst drought in 20 yrs/Abbas: We don’t want to divide Jerusalem, or flood Israel with refugees/Syria’s Death Toll Now Exceeds 140,000 and more signs of JESUS’ soon return

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North Korea: ‘You are brainwashed from the time you know how to talk’

UN dossier of regime’s human rights abuses contains appalling stories of how state brutally enforces ‘racial purity’

Among the desperate and appalling chronicle of horrors presented across 372 pages in the full UN report into rights abuses in North Korea, the chilling testimony of a young woman called Jee Heon, sent to a prison camp after being returned from China, stands out.

Giving evidence to the commission’s first public evidence session, in Seoul last August, Jee explained the camp guards’ policy towards women who returned to North Korea pregnant. The country’s strict rules over perceived racial purity meant most of these women endured forced abortions, lest their babies have Chinese fathers. One woman, however, successfully gave birth, Jee said.

“The baby was crying as it was born; we were so curious, this was the first time we saw a baby being born. So we were watching this baby and we were so happy. But suddenly we heard the footsteps,” she said. The footsteps belonged to a guard, who ordered the mother to drown her baby.

Jee continued: “The mother was begging, ‘I was told that I would not be able to have the baby, but I actually got lucky and got pregnant, so let me keep the baby, please forgive me’, but this agent kept beating this woman, the mother who just gave birth. And the baby, since it was just born, it was just crying. And the mother, with her shaking hands she picked up the baby and she put the baby face down in the water. The baby stopped crying and we saw this water bubble coming out of the mouth of the baby. And there was an old lady who helped with the labour, she picked up the baby from the bowl of water and left the room quietly.”

The mystery of the North Star: Astronomers baffled to find Polaris is getting BRIGHTER

Astronomers have discovered that Polaris, the north star, is getting brighter. They say the star has suddenly reversed two decades of dimming. It is expanding at more than 100 times the rate they expected – and nobody is sure why.  A team led by Scott Engle of Villanova University in Pennsylvania recalibrated historic measurements of Polaris by Ptolemy in 137 C.E., the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi in 964 C.E., and others.  They investigated the fluctuations of the star over the course of several years, combing through historical records and utilising the Hubble Space Telescope. The team found that Polaris is 2.5 times brighter today than in Ptolemy’s time, which they say is a remarkable rate of change.More

Iran general says US is heading for collapse

The commander of Iran’s Army ground forces on Sunday declared that the US is heading for collapse. Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan was quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency warning Washington against any military action against Iran, and predicting that US was moving toward a final collapse.  “Based on the remarks of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), the ‘world arrogance’ is moving on a historical twist,” he said in an address, referring to the US. “And if it repeats its wrong method against Iran, it will no doubt have no destiny, but decomposition like the Soviet Union.” The remarks, the latest in a series of belligerent comments by prominent Iranian figures, came two days before Iran and world powers begin talks aimed at transforming an interim deal into a long-term accord on Iran’s rogue nuclear program. More

GOG N MAGOG WATCH – Handing the Middle East to Russia

Some 40 years ago, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat ended his regime’s alliance with, and reliance on, the Soviet Union, and, in one of the Cold war’s most dramatic turnabouts, joined the Middle Eastern bloc of nations close to the United States. The switch led to the Camp David peace accords, the defeat of a Soviet-sponsored rebellion in the Arabian Peninsula, the taming of the Communist regime in South Yemen and the containment of the Ba’athist regimes of Syria and Iraq. Since the modern Middle East emerged from the debris of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the region has needed an outside power to ensure stability by curbing internal and external ambitions, and acting as an honest broker. Through the 1950s, Britain played that role. Then, until the late 1960s, the region was divided into Soviet and British spheres of influence, with the United States getting a cameo role every now and then. But by 1980, despite the fall of the pro-West regime in Iran, America was the principal guarantor of stability in the region. More

WAR DRUMS: Australia scrambles planes in response to Chinese warships near Australian waters

Australia scrambled an air force surveillance plane earlier this month to monitor an unannounced Chinese military exercise that took the emerging superpower’s ships closer to Australian territory than ever before. In what observers say is a significant strategic development, China carried out combat simulations at the beginning of the month between Christmas Island and Indonesia in an apparent flexing of its growing naval muscle. China had not announced the exercise. When Australia became aware that the three Chinese vessels were sailing across the waters to the north, the Royal Australian Air Force sent an AP-3C Orion maritime surveillance plane from RAAF Base Edinburgh, near Adelaide, to observe. The Chinese flotilla – two destroyers and a landing ship able to carry hundreds of marines – came closer than the People’s Liberation Army Navy ships had ever come while carrying out such an exercise. It was the first time China had carried out a military simulation in Australia’s maritime approaches. The three warships came through the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, skirted along the southern side of Java – taking them close to Christmas Island – before turning north through the Lombok Strait next to Bali.More

WATER WAR: Southern states battle to keep faucets flowing

The drought-parched states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida are back at it — fighting for a slice of water rights in a decades-long water war that’s left all three thirsty for more. The 24-year dispute is emblematic of an increasingly common economic problem facing cities and states across the country – the demand for water quickly outpacing the supply as spikes in population soak up resources. During the dispute, Alabama and Florida have argued metro Atlanta consumes more water than it should, leaving too little downstream for municipalities, farmers, business interests and endangered shellfish. They believe the amount of water legally available to the metro Atlanta area should be scaled back significantly. Florida says Georgia’s water grab is cutting off the water flow the seafood industry in Apalachicola Bay needs to survive. Alabama says Georgia’s increased water consumption is placing an unfair economic burden on its residents. More

‘Abundant evidence’ of crimes against humanity in North Korea, panel says

A stunning catalog of torture and the widespread abuse of even the weakest of North Koreans reveal a portrait of a brutal state “that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” a United Nations panel reported Monday. North Korean leaders employ murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation and other abuses as tools to prop up the state and terrorize “the population into submission,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea said in its report. The commission traced the abuses directly to the highest levels of the North Korean government while simultaneously blaming world leaders for sitting on their hands amid untold agony. ”The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action,” commission Chairman Michael Kirby told reporters.More

Brazil rations water in 140 cities amid worst drought in 20 Years

Over 140 Brazilian cities have been pushed to ration water during the worst drought on record, according to a survey conducted by the country’s leading newspaper. Some neighborhoods only receive water once every three days. Water is being rationed to nearly 6 million people living in a total of 142 cities across 11 states in Brazil, the world’s leading exporter of soybeans, coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef. Water supply companies told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that the country’s reservoirs, rivers and streams are the driest they have been in 20 years. A record heat wave could raise energy prices and damage crops. Some neighborhoods in the city of Itu in Sao Paulo state (which accounts for one-quarter of Brazil’s population and one-third of its GDP), only receive water once every three days, for a total of 13 hours. More

Bill Nye says “Big Government the Cure for Climate Change”

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, David Gregory hosted a climate change panel with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to discuss the government’s role in fighting “climate change.” Nye said the solution lies in the U.S. Government doing more in order to “lead the world” in the fight. We all have to acknowledge that we have a problem and I think it would be in everybody’s best interests. Now, I was born in the U.S., you know, I’m a patriot and so on. It would be in everybody’s best interest to get going, to just do as I like to say, “Everything all at once.” So, the fewer very dirty coal-fired power plants we have the better. The less energy we waste the better. The less inefficient our transportation systems are, the better. The more reliable our electricity transmission systems are, the better. And so we all get into this thing that big governments are bad. I know that’s a very strong claim that for me, as a voter and taxpayer, is somehow tied to climate change. But what we want to do is not just less. We want to do more with less. And for me, as a guy who grew up in the U.S., I want the U.S. to lead the world in this rather than wait. What Nye is referencing there is waiting for other countries like China or the UK who are making their own strides in the fight against climate change while America could fall behind while debating its validity. Nye said, “The more we mess around with this denial, the less we’re going to get done.” INFO WARS

El Salvador’s San Miguel may be stirring for another eruption

EL SALVADOR – Warning signs of a possible new eruption of the volcano in the near future are becoming increasingly alarming. Accompanied by an ongoing earthquake swarm, tremor (as an indicator of internal pressure) continues to climb. Pulsating gas emissions reaching 50-400 m height above the crater have been seen recently. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions remain high. Depending on wind direction and speed, air quality in downwind areas near the volcano often reaches unhealthy values. Since 27 Jan, a total of 109 earthquakes were detected by MARN under the north flank of the Chaparrastique volcano, with magnitudes ranging between 0.6 and 1.9.Extinction Protocol

Abbas: We don’t want to divide Jerusalem, or flood Israel with refugees

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital but do not seek to divide the city, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday. He also said he did not want to flood Israel with millions of Palestinian refugees. “We don’t want to redivide Jerusalem,” he told 300 Israeli students and young activists at the Muqata, his presidential compound. “We would leave the city open, and have two municipalities with one governing body above them. This is the meaning of coexistence,” he said to raucous applause.  Abbas also accused Israel’s current government of discriminating against the Palestinians vis-à-vis the distribution of water, claiming that Israelis are permitted to consume 12 times more water than Palestinians. “We are humans, you need to take a shower, I need to take a shower. You need to drink, I need to drink,” he said. “We are similar, why do you take 12 times more?” The Palestinian leader admitted that anti-Israeli incitement exists and that it needs to be confronted. However, he argued that the Palestinians for years have been willing to discuss incitement in a trilateral committee with the Israelis and the Americans, but that such efforts had failed due to Israeli obstinacy. More

locals warned of new eruptions from Peru’s Ubinas volcano

PERU – The volcano could be in the process of entering a new eruptive phase. Two small (likely phreatic) explosions occurred last Friday at 13:46 and 14:45 h local time (18:46 and 19:45 GMT), ejecting plumes of ash and steam rising approx. 1.5-2 km. A strong sulfur smell was noticed in up to 5 km distance. Ubinas, Peru’s most active volcano, had been showing increased signs of unrest since the beginning of the month. Episodes of tremor occurred frequently during 1-9 Feb, accompanied by intense fumarolic activity. Tremor decreased after 9 Feb, but a swarm of long-period earthquakes occurred with up to 80 quakes detected per day. n important increase in SO2 emission (500 tons/day on 7 Feb) was measured, which suggests the presence of new magma. In addition, INGEMMET detected 25-30 mm inflation of the southern flank, but notes that it is likely a sign of its structural instability, enhanced by the current seismic activity (as opposed to being a sign of magma pushing from inside). Authorities have distributed dust masks to people in the areas of Cancosani, Titi and Cangalle. Extinction Protocol

PRESIDENT: Signing Up for Obamacare ‘Just Part of Growing Up’

An interview former NBA star Charles Barkley conducted with President Obama aired last night on TNT. In the interview, President Obama defended Obamacare and called signing up for the health care program “just part of growing up”:  Barkely asked, “What do you think of the term Obamacare?” ”I like it. I don’t mind. And I tell you, five years from now, when everybody’s saying, ‘Man, I’m sure glad we got healthcare,’ there are going to be a whole bunch of people who don’t call it Obamacare anymore because they don’t want me to get the credit. But you don’t know what life will throw at you. And sometimes people don’t recognize, particularly young people, how important it is to have coverage until you get sick and you realize you may lose everything you have, or your parents may lose everything they have, trying to make you well. So we’re encouraging people to sign up. They’ve got until March 31 to sign up for this year.” Barkley followed up, “So, if you can speak to a specific group, I guess you really talking about young adults – ”Folks our age, I mean I wouldn’t call us old yet –” Obama started. ”We’re knocking on the door.” ”We are knocking on the door. So once you are 50, you wake up sometimes — does this happen to you, Chuck? — you wake up and something hurts and you don’t know exactly what happened. Right?” ”Everything hurts when I wake up,” said Barkley. The Weekly Standard

 

FREE INTERNET? Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space

You might think you have to pay through the nose at the moment to access the Internet. But one ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth. Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015. And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea. Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world. The group is hoping to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations to get the project on the road. More

On Saturday, a huge sinkhole opened up at the side of a house in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Swallowing up half of the front lawn, it was 35ft wide and 20ft deep. Last week, a hole as deep as a double-decker bus is high suddenly opened up in the back-garden of a house in South-East London, almost swallowing a child’s trampoline as the ground collapsed without warning. Had the poor owner’s daughter been rushing out to play on the trampoline, she could have very easily have been seriously injured or even killed. Two weeks ago, there was a similarly narrow escape for a family living in High Wycombe, when, overnight, a deep hole appeared  without warning in the driveway just next to the house. This time the adult daughter’s car did end up buried at the bottom of the hole, thankfully, while there was no one in it.   And in Kent last week, motorists hoping to use the M2 were left fuming by the motorway’s temporary closure, after a substantial hole — 15ft deep — suddenly appeared in the central reservation. Again, no one was hurt but had the hole opened up just a few yards away, it is obvious what a different story it could so easily have been. More

Toronto issues extreme cold weather alert as storm blasts Atlantic provinces with heavy snow, 130 km/h winds

Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert Sunday as heavy snow and high winds wreaked havoc across the Atlantic provinces, causing power outages and dangerous driving conditions. Extreme cold weather alerts are issued when the temperature is forecasted to drop below -15 C. Extra shelter space is opened and street outreach is increased overnight. This is the 26th time Toronto has had to issue an alert this winter. The temperature in Toronto is expected to drop to -16 C this evening with the wind chill making it feel as low as -25 C. So far, the frigid weather has not caused any transit or flight delays in the city. Meanwhile, a brutal winter storm blanketed New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island with snow overnight Saturday and brought a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow to Nova Scotia. Up to 35 centimeters of snow was expected across Newfoundland on Sunday, with winds gusting up to 130 kilometers an hour in some areas. More

Gold price signals China credit bubble bursting as investors seek safety

China’s “unfolding credit crunch” is having an unforeseen and dramatic impact on gold prices as investors urgently stock up on the precious metal as a form of financial protection against a sharp correction in the world’s second largest economy. This is the main reason why gold prices have unexpectedly shot up more than 10pc to breach $1,300 (£776) an ounce for the first time since November against the prevailing forecasts for weaker demand made by many industry experts at the beginning of the year, according to Adrian Ash, head of research at gold trading platform BullionVault.com. Gold traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange has also reached a three-month high. Rebounding is part of the reason for the rise, said Ash, adding: “Gold lost 30pc and silver nearly 40pc last year. The world economy will struggle to deliver all the good news priced in by that crash. But China’s unfolding credit-crunch looks central right now.” Uncertainty is growing over China’s ability to sustain the rapid rates of economic growth it has seen over the past decade amid concern over high-levels of debt among its provincial governments. These concerns have helped to drive sharp falls across emerging markets since the beginning of the year. More

Did you know that the U.S. state that produces the most vegetables is going through the worst drought it has ever experienced and that the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is now the smallest that it has been since 1951?  Just the other day, a CBS News article boldly declared that “food prices soar as incomes stand still“, but the truth is that this is only just the beginning.  If the drought that has been devastating farmers and ranchers out west continues, we are going to see prices for meat, fruits and vegetables soar into the stratosphere.  Already, the federal government has declared portions of 11 states to be “disaster areas”, and California farmers are going to leave half a million acres sitting idle this year because of the extremely dry conditions.  Sadly, experts are telling us that things are probably going to get worse before they get better (if they ever do).  As you will read about below, one expert recently told National Geographic that throughout history it has been quite common for that region of North America to experience severe droughts that last for decades.  In fact, one drought actually lasted for about 200 years.  So there is the possibility that the drought that has begun in the state of California may not end during your entire lifetimeMore

Republicans Warn “Obama violating Constitution, but little can be done about it”

obama_pittsburgh_070612Washington Republicans on Sunday restated their argument that President Obama has violated the Constitution by using executive orders to alter the Affordable Care Act but acknowledged they likely have no recourse or ability to stop another incident. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told “Fox News Sunday” that congressional Republicans think the president abused the government’s separation of powers by using the executive orders to sidestep Congress and delay the law’s employer mandate.  However, he said critics would be challenged to win in court because Congress lacks the so-called “legal standing” to present the case and they would have a “tough time” finding somebody hurt enough by the delays to be a good plaintiff. “The president knows this is wrong,” said Lee, among the most outspoken ObamaCare critics. “What gives him the ability to rewrite the law?” More

Volcano eruption in Indonesia kills 3, forces 100,000 to be evacuated

indonesia-volcanoA powerful volcanic eruption on Indonesia’s most populous island blasted ash and debris 18 kilometers (12 miles) into the air Friday, killing three people and forcing authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 and close seven airports. The eruption of Mount Kelud on Java island could be heard up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) away, Indonesia’s disaster agency said. ”The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding,” Ratno Pramono, a 35-year-old farmer, said as he checked his property in the village of Sugihwaras, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the crater. “I thought doomsday was upon us. Women and children were screaming and crying.” Ash and grit fell to earth in towns and cities across the region, including Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city after Jakarta, with a population of about 3 million. It also fell farther afield in Yogyakarta, where motorists switched on headlights in daylight. Workers attempted to cover the famed ninth century Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur with plastic sheeting to protect it. More

 

Residents Baffled by Terrifying Loud Booms in Oklahoma


If you hear a bang in the night in Oklahoma, it’s probably not a monster, but could something worse — an earthquake. Across the south central state, 20 earthquakes were reported to The United States Geological Survey on Saturday alone. One of those quakes in the Edmond area had a magnitude of 3.5. But residents are puzzled as to why the quakes are occurring so frequently and making such alarmingly loud noises. ”Felt like bombs going off. It’s just a huge loud noise and then it’s like a reverb from that boom that just shakes the entire house,” Logan County resident Nancy York told ABC News affiliate KOCO-TVin Oklahoma City. ”If I’m experiencing eight of these in one day, then when does it erupt and become absolutely horrible that takes my house down?” York asked. Similar booms have been heard across other states including Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island in the last month. All of these regions are active areas on the USGS seismic hazard map. Seismologist Austin Holland with the Oklahoma Geological Survey said that the unexplained noises are a result of sound waves emitting deep from within the earth before erupting. Residents might not know it’s an earthquake because the shaking may be too slight to detect. ”When you’re on top of a small earthquake it generates a boom. It’s kind of similar to an explosion,” Holland said. “I know these booms have been reported in other places and they couldn’t figure out what was going on.” Oklahoma has seen a steep rise in the frequency of earthquakes in the area, according to a joint statement by both USGS and OGS. Residents have experienced more than 200 measuring at least a magnitude 3.0 since the beginning of 2009. More

Episcopal Bishops Rebuke Kansas Anti-Gay House Bill 2453 With Religious Righteousness

Sam BrownbackDAYS OF LOT – On Wednesday, Kansas’ Republican-dominated House passed Bill 2453, which makes it legal for individuals, groups, and businesses to refuse services for same-sex couples if they believe it goes against their religious beliefs to do so. Though the bill claims that it “protects the rights of religious people,” some people of faith are against it, explaining that legalizing discrimination doesn’t protect religious freedom at all. Two bishops of the Episcopal Church, the Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe and the Right Reverend Michael P. Milliken, urged the rejection of Bill 2453 in a joint statement sent to all members of the Kansas Senate: More

Michael Sam Received A Standing Ovation At A Missouri Basketball Game For “Coming Out of the Closet”

sam3DAYS OF LOT -Michael Sam received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards during Missouri’s basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday. The All-America defensive end who could became the first openly gay player in the NFL, later blew a kiss to the student section and shook hands with fans. Sam and football team were honored at halftime for their Cotton Bowl over Oklahoma State. Wearing a shirt declaring “We Are All CoMo Sexuals,” 51-year-old Michelle Carmichael joined more than a thousand others in forming a line of support for Sam. She didn’t hesitate to answer why. ”Because Michael Sam stood up for Mizzou his entire career and we need to stand up for him,” she said. The shirt plays off the nickname of Columbia, Mo., where Sam announced to his teammates in August that he was gay. The NFL hopeful shared his sexuality with the world last Sunday. A Facebook event created this week called for the community to stand together for Sam outside Mizzou Arena on Saturday. Nearly 5,000 people said they would attend, though not as many turned out in the 30-degree chill. More

 

 

Obama Defends Homosexuality, Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Would Mark Step Backward

DAYS OF LOT – RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama says pending steps by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality will complicate what he is describing as America’s valued relationship with the East African nation. In a written statement, Obama says legislation that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he will sign will mark a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. Obama says it also will mark a serious setback for everyone who is committed to freedom, justice and equal rights. The legislation prescribes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts in Uganda, where homosexuality already is illegal. The measure has alarmed rights activists but enjoys wide support among Christian clerics and lawmakers who say it’s needed to deter Western homosexuals from recruiting Ugandan children. More

John Kerry: Climate Change Is ‘Perhaps The World’s Most Fearsome Weapon Of Mass Destruction’

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Indonesians on Sunday that man-made climate change could threaten their entire way of life, deriding those who doubted the existence of “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”. Kerry described those who do not accept that human activity causes global warming as “shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues”, and said big companies and special interests should not be allowed to “hijack” the climate debate. Aides said Kerry had chosen Indonesia for the first of what is to be a series of speeches on the topic this year partly because, as an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, it is particularly at risk from rising sea levels.”Because of climate change, it’s no secret that today Indonesia is … one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth,” Kerry told an audience of students at a high-tech U.S.-funded cultural center at a Jakarta mall. More

Syria’s Death Toll Now Exceeds 140,000

B2069B81-A143-4196-BA07-EEF59CE5199E_w640_r1_sMore than 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, have been killed in Syria’s uprising-turned-civil war, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday. The pro-opposition Observatory said the period since the “Geneva 2″ peace talks for Syria began last month had been the bloodiest of the nearly three-year conflict. The death toll is now at 140,041, according to the Observatory, which is based in Britain but has a network of activists across the country. Among the dead were 7,626 children and 5,064 women. The revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began as peaceful street protests but transformed into an armed insurgency after a fierce security force crackdown. It has since descended into a civil war with sectarian dimensions. The Observatory’s toll could not be independently verified by Reuters. The United Nations said last month it would stop updating its death count in Syria as dangerous conditions on the ground made estimates impossible to update with accuracy. The Observatory said all those cases included in its count were those it could document with either names and identification documents, or pictures and videos. It said the fate of tens of thousands more people remained unknown. The Observatory said it counted more than 30,000 rebels killed and over 50,000 from pro-Assad forces. But the group’s chief, Rami Abdelrahman, said the true toll on both sides was likely much higher – by perhaps more than 60,000.More

European boycotts begin to bite, catching Israel’s attention

0224-OBOYCOTTISRAEL-date-palm_full_600Drive down the steep road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, and as the desert hills unfold toward the Jordan River the eye meets hundreds of rows of lush palms laden with succulent dates. More than a third of the world’s Medjool dates are grown here in the Jordan Valley, a narrow strip of the West Bank where Israeli agriculture is flourishing. Nearly all Israeli grape exports, as well as abundant crops of peppers and herbs, also come from this arid region. The European Union, Israel’s No. 1 trading partner, accounts for about a third of its total trade, and was long the favored destination for Jordan Valley produce. But these fruits and vegetables are grown on land that Israel has occupied since 1967. For a growing number of European consumers, that’s a problem. They say that buying such produce is supporting the illegal confiscation and control of land and water resources that should be in Palestinian hands. More

In some states, including Missouri, laws have been put into place that require schools to conduct “active shooter drills” to prepare for school shootings, sort of like a fire drill prepares them for fire.  However, when seeing the tactics that the schools use for these drills it seems like they are designed to traumatize the children. It is also leaving many to ask if these drills are practice for false flag events. Missouri’s Lincoln County school district has already held over a dozen of these drills in the past year alone.  In many of the drills the drama club volunteers to be the victims, where they pretend to be shot using lifelike blood makeup and guns firing blank bullets. “I’ve done this like 10 times, and it gets me every time,” says Bargen, who agreed to do the drill as extra credit for drama class. “This one is even scarier because it’s on my home turf. It’s going to make me second-guess my school.” “It’s a bit nerve-wracking because I’m disabled and can’t really run away,” says Katie Ladlie, 15, who is in a wheelchair. Her plan is to go into the elevator to the third floor and either slump in her wheelchair or fall out of it when the gunman shows up. More

‘SNAKE SALVATION’ STAR DEAD FROM SNAKEBITE

With the first season fully filmed National Geographic had no plans for a second season of Snake Salvation, says a network rep. Now in the wake of Jamie Coots‘ death NatGeo is working up a special tribute episode “so people can understand Pastor Jamie and his method of worship and see that he died doing what he believed was his calling.” Here’s NatGeo on Coots’ passing: National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. More

SYRIAN REBELS RECRUIT CHILDREN FOR WAR

A compilation of videos reveals the Syrian opposition, particularly the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, is recruiting children to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One segment of video shows a 12-year-old child being guided by an adult as he hacks off the head of a captured fighter. The child is then instructed to place the head on the top of the body. The video compilation opens with a number of children and young people displaying a variety of weapons they are carrying, from a Kalashnikov, or AK-47, to a rocket propelled grenade, or RPG and firing artillery pieces. The video, put out by “Syrian Truth,” was a compilation of others from Syrian rebel channels that have appeared at various times on YouTube. Revelation of the video comes as the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, released a report with dozens of images of Islamist militants teaching children to embrace violent jihad against Islam’s enemies. “Children’s deaths in fighting are being glorified in videos and photos circulated online and in social media,” MEMRI said. “In a November 2012 video, a Syrian boy, who appears to be about 10, digs his own grave and expresses his wish for ‘martyrdom.’” The Syrian Truth video, which has English subtitles, points out that recruiting underage minors and “thrusting them in war actions is a crime punishable by international law.” More

DEVELOPING: Possible radiation leak at New Mexico military site…

Unusually high levels of radioactive particles were found at an underground nuclear waste site in New Mexico on Saturday in what a spokesman said looked like the first real alarm since the plant opened in 1999. U.S. officials were testing for radiation in air samples at the site where radioactive waste, such as plutonium used in defense research and nuclear weapon making, is dumped half a mile below ground in an ancient salt formation. ”They (air monitors) have alarmed in the past as a false positive because of malfunctions, or because of fluctuations in levels of radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas),” Department of Energy spokesman Roger Nelson said. ”But I believe it’s safe to say we’ve never seen a level like we are seeing. We just don’t know if it’s a real event, but it looks like one,” he said. It was not yet clear what caused the air-monitoring system to indicate that radioactive particles were present at unsafe levels, Nelson said. No one was underground at the Department of Energy Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, in New Mexico’s south east, when the alarm went off at 11:30 p.m. MST on Friday, and none of the 139 employees working above ground at the facility was exposed to radioactive contaminants, he said. More

 

BAFTA: Another Idol MISSING an EYE!

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After being notified by a friend regarding the BAFTA trophy I instantly jumped into investigating it.  BAFTA stands for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is equivalent to the Oscars in America.  What stands out about BAFTA is the trophy itself. Just like the recently rediscovered statue of Apollo in Gaza now in possession by Hamas – it is missing an eye. Not only that this version of the trophy has a slit pupil for the other eye!continue

 

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