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US to invest in Bengal as ‘partner state’: Mamata

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/us-to-invest-in-bengal-as–partner-state—mamata.html

IANS India Private Limited – 49 minutes ago

Kolkata, May 7: Describing her meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “positive, constructive and creative”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said the former assured her of American investment in the state for its business and economic development, considering Bengal as a “partner state”.

Banerjee, however, said issues like Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh and foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail were “never raised” in the talks.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting with Clinton at the state secretariat, the chief minister said: “They (the US) will invest in West Bengal as a partner state. For a long time, there has not been any US investment in the state. After the change in political scenario, they said that the US would favour investment in Bengal.”

Banerjee said Clinton has expressed the US’ desire to invest in West Bengal as the state has witnessed a change in its “political scenario” after decades. She said she also urged Clinton to consider American investments in the state’s software, IT and manufacturing, health and education sectors.

Banerjee said state Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell would coordinate between themselves and jointly monitor the projects, which would be set up under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

“We have formed a small group. Ghosh and Powell will coordinate between themselves and monitor the implementation of the projects,” she said.

Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief, stressed issues like Teesta water sharing dispute and FDI did not come up in the talks with Clinton as was speculated in the media.

“We only discussed developmental issues. Strategic issues we did not discuss. Teesta and FDI did not come up in the meeting. There issues were never raised,” she stated.

There was speculations in the political circles that Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh and FDI in multi-brand retail would be discussed in the Clinton-Banerjee meet. The Trinamool is strictly opposing foreign investment in retail, while the chief minister had opted out of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s Dhaka trip last year, leading to the agreement on water sharing being dropped.

After the meeting, the chief minister said she was “very delighted” as the talks with Clinton had been “positive, constructive, creative and concrete”.

Informing that the secretary of state appreciated her for implementation of different development programmes after coming to power in the state, the chief minister said she has assured her of US government’s support in the business and economic development of the state, which was facing a severe debt crisis.

“She hailed us for coming to power in the state with huge support and changing the political scenario. She also appreciated our implementation of programmes in mission mode,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, joining hands with the Congress, ousted the left Front, which had been in power for 34 years, last May.

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Posted in Geo-Politics, Global Research, India Forgotten, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on US to invest in Bengal as ‘partner state’: Mamata

Clinton pitches for FDI in multibrand retail

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/clinton-pitches-fdi-multibrand-retail-090131043.html

Note from Admin : – As usual one of the biggest most insidiously jobful bitches of the West is as usual again at it, doing what she does best, fulfilling the geo-political strategical wishes of her servant manor masters of the 13 messed up royalty banking bloodlines by coming over to the east, to my country and poking her disgusting dirty little nose into the local politics of local states in my nation.

How the hell is it even allowed to happen by all who notice this. Why the hell would a Secretary of State of the most gluttonous country in the world come over to talk politics with local chief ministers of my country. We are sovereign and independent and we don’t need any form of outside interference and/or assistance with how we should run our nation. Please F**K OFF!!

Bringing in the NCTC Act and FDI Retail Investments from the likes of Wal-Mart and others will wreck the SMBs and Cottage/Rural industries in my nation. They get mowed down by your wicked and greedy MNCs.

One of the prime opposers to this move is the Bengal Chief Minister and top political leader Mamata Bannerjee and so she is right now being coaxed to do the unthinkable and actually listen to the wonderful advice given my Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Great news for the NWO as it rumbles on in full gear forward. Either that peaks in 4 years from now or I am leaving this planet for so many other reasons.

Kolkata, May 7 (IANS) Making a strong pitch for further opening up of the Indian economy, especially with regard to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday said it would raise the standard of living in India.

“I come with certainly a belief that India can compete with anybody, anywhere. And the more open India becomes over time, the greater is the rise in the standard of living and (the more) the opportunity for the broader number of people,” Clinton said during an interaction at the La Martiniere school for girls here.

“But I also understand politics. And I understand how lots of these decisions are difficult,” she said.

Referring to the US desire to try to open the (Indian) market to multibrand retail, she said the primary reason for this was the “enormous amount of experience that has been brought to India by supply chain management in developing relationships with producers” so that their produce was easily and abundantly available and of larger quantity.

In this connection, she mentioned the factory of Fritolay India, the snack food division of Pepsico, in West Bengal, and said: “There are a lot of benefits that may not be immediately perceived.”

With her visit taking place in the backdrop of speculation that she would raise the India-Bangladesh Teesta treaty with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Clinton said: “Water is an issue about the world that will be increasingly contentious.”

“We have to do a better job of trying to find a win-win solution for everybody because the alternative will be perhaps worst than conflict, leading up to dislocation, destabilisation, refugee flows, famine and other kinds of problems that we are seeing in places like north Africa.”

“We have to work together in the international community,” she said.

Clinton clarified that the US does not have any interest on how water issues are resolved. “But we know from working on our own projections what will be the hard issues in future unless water issues are properly dealt with,” she added.

Besides FDI, she also said the US wants “greater debate” on civil nuclear cooperation.

“We want to have far greater debate and dialogue on FDI and civil nuclear cooperation. US was in conversation with Indian government on those issues for a long time,” she said.

Replying to a question on the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act passed by parliament last August, Clinton said: “We have made it clear to the government that under the legislation that was passed, it would be difficult for US companies to participate.”

“We’re still discussing this and hoping there’s a way to work it out,” she said.

The US has objected to some provisions of the Indian nuclear liability bill which allows citizens to file tort claims for damages and the nuclear plant operator’s right of recourse against nuclear suppliers.

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, India Forgotten, Pollution, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Clinton pitches for FDI in multibrand retail

Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/italy-police-seize-6-trillion-fake-u-t-144806353.html;_ylt=AvhtJn.ZeMbZWHHPr6Q6RHSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsc2wwYWgwBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDYTI3Njg2ZDgtOGFjOC0zM2EwLWE3MGEtYzgxMWU5N2IxMDFlBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzAyNmExNzYwLTU5YjctMTFlMS1iZWVmLTcyMjdlOWE3MGZkNg–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

By Elisa Forte and Gavin Jones | Reuters – 14 hrs ago

POTENZA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion worth of fake U.S. Treasury bonds and other securities in Switzerland, and arrested eight Italians accused of international fraud and other financial crimes.

The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian, Swiss and U.S. authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said.

It began as a investigation into mafia loan-sharking, but gradually expanded as prosecutors used telephone and computer intercepts to unearth evidence of illegal activity surrounding Treasury bonds.

The fake securities, worth more than a third of U.S. national debt, were seized in January from a Swiss trust company where they were held in three large trunks.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome thanked the Italian authorities and said the forgeries were “an attempt to defraud several Swiss banks”. It said U.S. experts had helped to identify the bonds as fakes.

Potenza’s prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo said an international network “in many countries” was behind the forgeries.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera said on its website that the criminal network was believed to be interested in acquiring plutonium, citing sources at the prosecutors’ office.

VERSAILLES

Police videos showed images of the trunks, with “Federal Reserve System, Treaty of Versailles” stamped on the side in large, golden letters.

Bond certificates marked “Chicago, Illinois, Federal Reserve Bank” and other securities, some for one billion dollars, were also shown.

U.S. bond traders took a light-hearted view of the news.

“If there’s that much less supply now, Treasuries should be rallying,” joked Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

A trader at Citigroup said he had swapped jokes with colleagues about the seizure, which would not move markets.

“It’s kind of like fake inflation I guess, if you take it to the max, but I don’t think it means that much.”

Prosecutors said the forgers had hoped to use the fake bonds as collateral to secure loans.

The eight men arrested are accused of counterfeiting bonds, credit card forgery, and loan-sharking in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio and Basilicata, police said.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office said Zurich state prosecutors had worked on the investigation at the request of the Italian prosecutor. The Swiss handed over their findings in July last year.

In 2009, Italian financial police seized $742 billion of fake U.S. bearer bonds in the of Chiasso, on the Swiss-Italian border.

(Additional reporting by Steve Scherer and Emily Flitter; Editing by Andrew Roche)

(In 11th paragraph, corrects company name of strategist to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, instead ofMorgan Stanley)

Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Chief prosecutor of Potenza Colangelo talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Chief prosecutor of Potenza Giovanni Colangelo (C) talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion of fake U.S. Treasury bonds in Switzerland, and issued arrest warrants for eight people accused of international fraud and other financial crimes. The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian and Swiss authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said. REUTERS/Tony Veceless 

A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, Global Research, Press Releases, Rated R, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

Loader found dead in container; Suffocation suspected

Posted by Admin on February 14, 2012

http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/loader-found-dead-in-container-suffocation-suspected-2012-02-12-1.442629

Taxi driver found hanging in Ras Al Khaimah

By VM Sathish
Published Sunday, February 12, 2012
An onion loader at the Al Awir Fruits and Vegetable market. A co-worker of his was found dead in a container (File)

A 55-year-old Indian porter found dead inside a massive onion container is likely to have died of suffocation because of the onion odour, the chief of Dubai’s criminal investigation was reported on Monday as saying.

Brigadier Khalil Al Mansoori said the body of worker at Al Awir vegetable market had been handed to the coroner to determine the precise cause of death.

“It was noticed that the dead man had blue signs on the face and lips, which indicate his dead was caused by suffocation because of low oxygen levels,” he said, quoted by the Sharjah-based Arabic language daily ‘Al Khaleej’.

“According to forensic experts, onion inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide, which leads to asphyxia and eventually death.”

Mansoori urged shipping firms not to allow their workers to sleep in loaded containers, adding that he had instructed Rashidiya police to mount an awareness drive for porters to alert them about the risks of sleeping inside containers and other places which lack ventilation.

“We are now awaiting a final forensic report about the exact cause of death of that Indian loader…details will be released later,” he said.

The worker from Tamil Nadu state was found dead inside an onion container on Sunday morning. He had worked till night loading onions in a 40-feet container and decided to sleep inside the container because of the cold weather.

EARLIER STORY:

An Indian worker from Tamil Nadu at the Al Awir Fruits and Vegetables Market was found dead inside an onion container on Sunday morning.

The worker, in his 50s, worked till night loading onions in a 40-feet container. Because of the cold weather, he chose to sleep inside the container, partially filled with onions.

According to Dubai Police, the dead man was found on Sunday morning and the cause of death is being investigated. Preliminary reports suggest that he died of carbon dioxide inhalation from the container. His body has been moved to the police morgue.

“Because of the cold weather, many workers who usually sleep on the pavements and under the trees have shifted to containers, which are warmer. It is not known whether the  man died of suffocation after someone closed the container without knowing that someone was sleeping inside,“ said a trader at the vegetable market. “He could have died of carbon dioxide produced by the onions in the locked container,” sources said.

The worker, who lives in the Hor Al Anz area, chose to sleep in the container rather than travel back to his accommodation and return to work early next morning.

“There are no fixed timings for workers in the fruit and vegetable market. After the market was shifted from Deira to Al Awir. Many workers continued to stay in their old accommodation. They have to work at odd hours, sleep wherever they find temporary shelter and resume work. It is common to see workers sleeping under the trees, on pavements and containers. During the cold season, many workers find it convenient to sleep in containers,” said an Asian worker.

According to sources in the vegetable market, containers with Advanced Fresh Air Management systems allow low levels of oxygen as onions can tolerate up to 10 per cent carbon dioxide which helps reducing sprouting, root growth and decay of the vegetable. By increasing the carbon dioxide level and minimising the ventilation openings, such containers can minimise water loss from onions and build up carbon dioxide levels, which can help to preserve onions.

Taxi driver found dead in RAK

Meanwhile, a 40- year-old Indian taxi driver was found dead on Sunday morning.

Manikuttan, a Keralite from Thiruvananthapuram, was found hanging from the celing at his accommodation in Al Julan area of Ras Al Khaimah.

According to his friends, Manikuttan, who is survived by two children and wife, returned from work and reportedly committed suicide.

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Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://documents.latimes.com/justice-department-indictment-file-sharing-site-megaupload/

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

The U.S. De­part­ment of Justice shut down MegaUp­load.com, one of the world’s largest file-shar­ing web­sites, on Thursday after char­ging the site and its ex­ec­ut­ives with vi­ol­a­tion of pir­acy and copy­right laws.

In an in­dict­ment, the Justice De­part­ment al­leged that MegaUp­load was a “mega con­spir­acy” and a glob­al crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion “whose mem­bers en­gaged in crim­in­al copy­right in­fringe­ment and money laun­der­ing on a massive scale.”

The De­part­ment also said that MegaUp­load, which had about 150 mil­lion users, tal­lied up an es­tim­ated harm to copy­right hold­ers in ex­cess of $500-mil­lion by al­low­ing users to il­leg­ally share movies, mu­sic and oth­er files. In ad­di­tion, pro­sec­utors also said in the in­dict­ment that those who op­er­ated the site racked in an in­come from that topped $175-mil­lion.

— Nathan Olivarez-Giles (Jan. 19, 2012)

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MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/file-sharing-megaupload-shut-down-for-piracy-by-feds.html

January 19, 2012 |  2:39 pm

The homepage of Megaupload.com

This post has been updated. See note below.

The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has conducted a major action to shut down MegaUpload, a popular file-sharing site widely used for free downloads of movies and television shows.

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

After receiving indictments from a grand jury in Virginia for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and other charges on Jan. 5, federal authorities on Thursday arrested four people and executed more than 20 search warrants in the U.S. and eight foreign countries, seizing 18 domain names and an estimated $50 million in assets, including servers run in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

MegaUpload is a “digital locker” that allows users to store files that can then be streamed or downloaded by others. Its subsidiary site MegaVideo became very popular for the unauthorized downloads of movies and TV shows. Users whose uploaded content proved particularly popular were paid for their participation.

DOCUMENT: Read the indictment against MegaUpload

In a joint statement, the Justice Department and FBI called the action “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.”

Ira Rothken, an attorney for MegaUpload, said in an interview that he only learned of the actions in a press release this morning and had not yet read the entire indictment. “Our initial impression is that the allegations are without merit and MegaUpload is going to vigorously contest them,” he said. “We have deep concerns over due process and assets being taken without the opportunity for a hearing.”

According to the indictment, the operators of MegaUpload earned more than $175 million in illegal profits and caused an estimated $500 million in harm to copyright holders.

The site is advertised as having more than 50 million daily visitors, according to federal authorities.

Four of MegaUpload’s operators have been arrested in New Zealand, while three more remain at large. The seven each face a maximum of 55 years in prison.

Not listed on the indictment is rapper Swizz Beatz — real name Kasseem Dean — who, according to a report in the New York Post, is the CEO of MegaUpload. Beatz is married to pop singer Alicia Keys.

Rothken said that Beatz had not been running the site but that recently there had been “a transition period going on.”

The news is sure to be welcome in the entertainment industry, whose leaders have faced a recent setback in their push for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. The proposed bills, if passed, would make it easier for U.S. courts to go after piracy sites that, unlike MegaUpload, operate entirely overseas.

Critics who believe the bills are heavy-handed and don’t adequately protect civil liberties conducted a U.S. Internet “blackout.” As many as 10,000 websites went black Wednesday, among them Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit. The protest helped to pressure lawmakers to oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Obama administration announced its opposition to the bills in their current forms Saturday.

[Update, 2:55 p.m.: The websites of the Justice department and Universal Music Group, which had been involved in litigation with MegaUpload, were down on Thursday. The sites were attacked by members of the hacker group Anonymous in response to the actions against MegaUpload, according to a report on CNET News.]

RELATED:

Photos: Sites that went dark to protest SOPA

SOPA, PIPA backlash could hurt Obama in Hollywood

Hollywood unions blast Google and urge Senate support for PIPA

Ben Fritz

Photo: The homepage of Megaupload.com. Photo: Associated Press

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Victoria tribunal says will not treat Indian origin woman’s sacking as a racism issue

Posted by Admin on January 21, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/victoria-tribunal-says-not-treat-indian-origin-womans-084626057.html

By ANI | ANI – Thu, Jan 19, 2012

Melbourne, Jan.18 (ANI): A tribunal here has said that claims by a woman that she was sacked because of her Indian heritage, will not be treated as a racism issue.

Renu Misra claimed that she was offended when a colleague told her that she had “Michael Jackson” hair.

According to the Herald Sun, Misra, an English citizen of Indian descent, told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal she was humiliated by the remark about her curly black hair, and claimed she was subject to other racist remarks at work.

But her colleague Jean-Noel Jarnet, from data technology company ESRI Australia, said he meant the hair comment as a compliment because he was a big fan of Jackson, documents show.

VCAT found that the comments did not constitute race discrimination “in this context”. Whether it was a compliment “may be a matter of opinion”.

The tribunal heard of other allegations of racial discrimination but dismissed her complaint late last year.

Misra’s business development manager role with ESRI was terminated on December 9, 2009, after eight months.he claimed Jarnet had influenced the decision.

VCAT found no evidence that she was fired based on racial discrimination or that Jarnet had a role in her sacking. (ANI)

 

Posted in India Forgotten, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Victoria tribunal says will not treat Indian origin woman’s sacking as a racism issue

Violent sex crimes by U.S. Army soldiers rise -report

Posted by Admin on January 21, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/violent-sex-crimes-u-army-soldiers-rise-report-011449493.html

By Mary Slosson | Reuters – Fri, Jan 20, 2012

=====================================================================================================================================================================

Note by the Admin of this Blog – To all the readers of this article, most of whom are sadly anglo saxon caucasians not even indigenous in terms of evolution to this world, this article is just one of the many reasons why the rest of the world and coloured people hate you so much, including me!

Remember we shall never forgive you for all the atrocities your forefathers and you, their offspring have committed upon our sacred lands of culture, value and tradition through the conquests of colonialism and imperialism.

2012 or not do not even for a moment think rapture or a second coming of your anointed one of your false bible who never died on a cross upon calvary and who fled to India for the second time to raise his offspring with his wife Mary Magdalene and whose tomb to this day stands in a public building at a busy intersection in a well known city in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India can do anything about it for he himself was nothing more than a descended disciple of the teachings of the Gautama Buddha.

This also includes your NESARA/GESARA prosperity funds to redeem each of you financially to live your capitalistic and materialistic sickening and virus minded lives to continuously plague the beautiful and bountiful lands of Dear Mother Earth whom so many of us hold so dear and upon whom your masters have wrecked destruction callously. So do the ETs have a part in all this for they were the progenitors of your race from the Pleaides/Plejaran constellations and other systems of Aldebaran and Antares. They only wish to serve yet another agenda of enslavement and deceit in the coming of a golden age with help and manipulation from the skies.

The real true good ETs would never mean something they say and try doing another for then what good would choice and free will be?

Remember a golden age does not come into being just by forgetting the past and moving on. That is utter bullshit you all have conditioned the rest of the world to believe in knowing fully well your unspeakable acts and atrocities can never be redeemed any way whatsoever.

It will be fought for in a quiet and just way and I will be one to do so anyway, for though we may hide in obscurity, never for a moment consider that your acts and thoughts have gone unnoticed and you can yet again pull over all of us a veil of delusion stating it is you who will be the forerunners to bring about civility to this world just as you did so when the first of your maritime vessels reached our shores a few centuries ago.

Hypocrisy abounds and so will the cataclysmic downfall of all intellect based civilizations that rot in the vermin of their own filth. May it be for in no other way can a just and sincere utopia be accepted for otherwise it would be not.

Remember these words and remember that no date and alignment can help you if you cannot help yourself get rid of your own inner dirt for what good is an object made to shine on the outside that carries shit inside it.

Also I must appreciate all those souls who migrated to take birth upon your continents to effect the true Renaissance and also to those ever so few genuine members of your race who have always remained steadfast and noble in the brilliance and light of the Most radiant Ones that we always are. Thank you for keeping the balance.

=====================================================================================================================================================================

What this article actually hides is the true horror of such acts committed by white boys to Iraqi girls and women. Curse all of you for continuing this…

(Reuters) – Violent sex crimes committed by active U.S. Army soldiers have almost doubled over the past five years, due in part to the trauma of war, according to an Army report released on Thursday.

Reported violent sex crimes increased by 90 percent over the five-year period from 2006 to 2011. There were 2,811 violent felonies in 2011, nearly half of which were violent felony sex crimes. Most were committed in the United States.

One violent sex crime was committed by a soldier every six hours and 40 minutes in 2011, the Army said, serving as the main driver for an overall increase in violent felony crimes.

Higher rates of violent sex crimes are “likely outcomes” of intentional misconduct, lax discipline, post-combat adrenaline, high levels of stress and behavioral health issues, the report said.

“While we have made tremendous strides over the past decade, there is still much work to be done,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli said in a statement.

“Many of our biggest challenges lie ahead after our soldiers return home and begin the process of reintegrating back into their units, families and communities,” Chiarelli said.

Violent sex crimes committed by U.S. Army troops increased at a rate that consistently outpaced the national trend, a gap that is expected to continue to grow, the Army said.

The top five violent felony offenses committed by soldiers in 2011 were aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sexual assault, forcible sodomy and child pornography.

Soldiers suffering from issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and depression have been shown to have higher incidences of partner abuse, according to the report.

Soldiers with PTSD are up to three times more likely to be aggressive with their female partners than those without such trauma, the report said.

The report also said that family abuse cases are typically underreported.

As the largest branch of the U.S. armed forces, the Army has done the bulk of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, including years of extended duty and repeated deployments. The rate of suicides among Army soldiers was steady in 2011 after years of rising, the report said.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Cynthia Osterman)

Posted in India Forgotten, Press Releases, War Quotient | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Violent sex crimes by U.S. Army soldiers rise -report

When a flu virus is made deadlier…Scientists debate whether research should be published — or be done at all!

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2011

http://projects.registerguard.com/turin/2011/dec/27/when-a-flu-virus-is-made-deadlier/

When a flu virus is made deadlier

Scientists debate whether research should be published — or be done at all

BY DENISE GRADY AND DONALD MCNEIL JR.

The New York Times

Appeared in print: Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, page A1

The young scientist, normally calm and measured, seemed edgy when he stopped by his boss’s office.

“You are not going to believe this one,” he told Ron Fouchier, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Holland. “I think we have an airborne H5N1 virus.”

The news, delivered one afternoon last July, was chilling. It meant that Fouchier’s research group had taken one of the most dangerous flu viruses ever known and made it even more dangerous — by tweaking it genetically to make it more contagious.

What shocked the researchers was how easy it had been, Fouchier said. Just a few mutations were all it took to make the virus go airborne.

The discovery has led advisers to the U.S. government, which paid for the research, to urge that the details be kept secret and not published in scientific journals to prevent the work from being replicated by terrorists, hostile governments or rogue scientists.

Journal editors are taking the recommendation seriously, even though they normally resist any form of censorship. Scientists, too, usually insist on their freedom to share information, but fears of terrorism have led some to say this information is too dangerous to share.

Some biosecurity experts have even said that no scientist should have been allowed to create such a deadly germ in the first place, and they warn that not just the blueprints but the virus itself somehow could leak or be stolen from the laboratory.

Fouchier is cooperating with the request to withhold some data, but reluctantly. He thinks other scientists need the information.

The naturally occurring A(H5N1) virus is quite lethal without genetic tinkering. It already causes an exceptionally high death rate in humans, more than 50 percent. But the virus — a type of bird flu — does not often infect people, and when it does, they almost never transmit it to one another.

If, however, that were to change and bird flu were to develop the ability to spread from person to person, scientists fear, it could cause the deadliest flu pandemic in history.

The experiment in Rotterdam transformed the virus into the supergerm of virologists’ nightmares, enabling it to spread from one animal to another through the air. The work was done in ferrets, which catch flu the same way people do.

“This research should not have been done,” said Richard Ebright, a chemistry professor and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University who has long opposed such research.

Ebright warned that germs that could be used as bioweapons already had been released unintentionally hundreds of times from labs in the United States and predicted that the same thing would happen with the new virus.

“It will inevitably escape, and within a decade,” he said.

But Fouchier and many public health experts argue that the experiment had to be done. If scientists can make the virus more transmissible in the lab, then it also can happen in nature, Fouchier said.

Knowing that the risk is real should drive countries where the virus is circulating in birds to take urgent steps to eradicate it, he said. And knowing which mutations lead to transmissibility should help scientists who monitor bird flu to recognize if and when a circulating strain starts to develop pandemic potential.

“There are highly respected virologists who thought until a few years ago that H5N1 could never become airborne between mammals,” Fouchier said.

“I wasn’t convinced. To prove these guys wrong, we needed to make a virus that is transmissible.”

Other virologists differ.

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University questioned the need for the research. He rejected Fouchier’s contention that making a virus transmissible in the laboratory proves that it can or will happen in nature.

But Richard Webby, a virologist at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., said Fouchier’s research was useful, with the potential to answer major questions about flu viruses, such as what makes them transmissible and how some that appear to infect only animals suddenly can invade humans as well.

“I would certainly love to be able to see that information,” Webby said, explaining that he has a freezer full of bird flu viruses from all over the world. “If I detect a virus in our activities that has some of these changes, it could change the direction of what we do.”

The A(H5N1) bird flu first was recognized in Hong Kong in 1997, when chickens in poultry markets began dying and 18 people fell ill, six of them fatally. Hoping to stamp out the virus, the government in Hong Kong destroyed the country’s entire poultry industry — killing more than 1 million birds in just a few days .

But the virus persisted in other parts of Asia, and it reached Europe and Africa. Millions of infected birds have died. Since 1997, about 600 humans have been infected, and more than half died.

Dr. Donald Henderson, a leader in the eradication of smallpox and now a biosecurity expert at the University of Pittsburgh, noted that even the notorious flu pandemic of 1918 killed only 2 percent of patients.

“This is running at 50 percent or more,” Henderson said. “This would be the ultimate organism as far as destruction of population is concerned.”

The medical center in Rotterdam built a special 1,000-square-foot virus lab for this work, a locked-down locale where people work in spacesuits in sealed chambers with filtered air and multiple precautions to keep germs in and intruders out and to protect the scientists.

The Dutch government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the laboratory, and the National Institutes of Health gave the Erasmus center a seven-year contract for flu research.

 

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Smart, Loving Universe or Mechanistic Physical Laws?: Interview

Posted by Admin on December 22, 2011

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-21/smart-loving-universe-or-mechanistic-physical-laws-interview.html

December 21, 2011, 7:02 PM EST

By Bloomberg

Interview by Zinta Lundborg

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — In “War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality,” Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow consider life’s big questions.

For Mlodinow, the infinite universe is governed by strict laws of nature that we are discovering.

Chopra says the universe has its source in a loving God or infinite consciousness.

A professor at the California Institute of Technology, Mlodinow has written on subjects ranging from randomness to hyperspace, including two books co-authored with Stephen Hawking. He’s also done scripts for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and designed award-winning high-tech games.

An Indian medical doctor, Chopra runs a healing center in Carlsbad, California, focusing on the mind-body connection and has written more than 60 books that have been translated into 85 languages.

We spoke at Deepak HomeBase, a physical and virtual salon Chopra just opened in New York.

Lundborg: Deepak, in positing a conscious, benevolent universe, how do you know that you’re not engaging in magical thinking?

Chopra: I have a brain inside my skull that only senses things like pH and electrolytes and body temperature and has no exposure to the external world, yet it gives me the experience of color and sound and touch — that’s magical.

So all my thinking is magical.

Yesterday’s Magic

Lundborg: Science confronts the magical differently?

Mlodinow: Today’s technology was magic yesterday. What science will be able to create in hundreds of years would appear magical to us, just like our technology would appear magical to those in the past.

Lundborg: You have totally different world views: Science says the universe is going to end in equilibrium, cold and dark, while spirituality says the universe is evolving into greater complexity. So which is it?

Chopra: There is an omnipresence and omnipotence and omniscience to the cosmos, and it is very ordered, intelligent, and creative.

We are actually an activity of the universe and the universe is becoming self-conscious through the human nervous system.

Lundborg: Leonard, you disagree?

Nature’s Laws

Mlodinow: We look at what is, and when we look at nature we see there are certain laws that everything follows and those laws don’t include any kind of organizing principle or guiding force totaling creativity or imagination.

They’re purely mechanistic laws and the beauty of it is that wonderful conscious beings like us could appear based on those laws.

Lundborg: Where do you fundamentally agree?

Chopra: Where I fundamentally agree is that you can’t argue with scientific truth. But it’s only a partial truth because it’s all about what you observe there.

Science describes nature as it’s exposed to a human nervous system, to questions that human beings ask, and therefore ultimate truth remains elusive.

Mlodinow: I agree that the awesomeness of the universe drives you. If you’re a physicist, you’re looking at data concerning things like exploding stars and colliding black holes, and when you see the amazing power in the universe, it really is pretty mind boggling. Physicists are driven by a desire to understand it.

To me, there’s a separate ground for science and for spirituality or religion. What I do object to is when they say we can’t teach science in school. If you’ve got religious beliefs, that’s fine, but don’t go saying we have to change science.

At the very frontiers of science, there may be debates, but evolution is not one of them. Global warming is not one of them — there are not two sides to these issues.

Nuclear Weaponry

Lundborg: For you, Deepak, how does spirituality help?

Chopra: Science can give us better lives, okay, but science devoid of values will create nuclear weaponry, will destroy the planet, will cause global warming.

That, linked to very primitive identity, tribal identity, ethnic identity, fundamental religious identity, is everything that’s wrong with the world right now.

Spirituality provides some sense of connection to the cosmos. It’s the emergence of a morality that comes from that feeling of — whether we call it platonic values, truth, goodness, beauty, harmony, love, compassion, joy, equanimity, peace of mind — all of that is the essential religious experience.

Lundborg: Leonard’s mother said she couldn’t believe in God because of the Holocaust. Where does evil fit into these world views?

Chopra: Maximum diversity. The infinite contains everything; otherwise, it’s not infinite.

No child comes into the world evil, even Adolf Hitler. I think there was some abuse that happened in the very early stages of development that programmed the nervous system into that.

Blaming God

Mlodinow: I’m perturbed a little bit when I see people interviewed after a tragic event. They’ll say, “The tornado came and destroyed my house and killed my daughter, but at least God was watching over us so the rest of my kids survived.”

They’ll always take the death or the horrible thing as given. They credit God for what’s good.

When they get a horrible cancer, they thank God for healing it, but don’t blame God for giving them the cancer in the first place.

“War of the Worldviews” is published by Harmony (315 pages, $26). To buy this book in North America, click here.

(Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own. This interview was adapted from a longer conversation.)

–Editors: Manuela Hoelterhoff, Laurie Muchnick.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zinta Lundborg at zlundborg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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Will Obama send U.S. citizens to Guantanamo? Outrage as President signs off law to detain home-grown terror suspects indefinitely

Posted by Admin on December 21, 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  • Drops his threat of a veto against the defence bill even though he didn’t like certain controversial provisions
  • Now American citizens can be arrested within the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo if they’re linked to Al Queda or Taliban
  • Senate voted 86-13 to pass the massive $662billion defence bill

By MEGHAN KENEALLY

Last updated at 2:00 PM on 16th December 2011

President Barack Obama faced a civil liberties backlash today after he  signed a law that will allow terror suspects to be held indefinitely- even raising the prospects of U.S. citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The controversial move, revealed last night, effectively extends the laws of the battlefield to American soil.

The move shows a clear hardening of Mr Obama’s anti-terror policies, and a major shift from the liberal stance that helped him sweep into power three years ago.

Under fire: President Obama is expected to sign the defence authorization bill, in spite of stipulations that allow prisoners to be held indefinitely

After campaigning heavily on the need to close the controversial terrorist detention base at Guantanamo Bay, he failed to deliver when met with legal obstacles.

Now, showing that he has truly moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, he is endorsing the tools and civil powers that he once rallied against.

‘It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,’ said Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowski.

‘It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent,’ Mr Malinowski continued.

Considering he is now in the midst of running for re-election, comparisons between Mr Obama and Mr Bush are certainly not something the President wants going into the 2012 race.

Civil rights groups are outraged after he dropped the threat of a veto Wednesday, meaning the bill will become a law and implement several controversial provisions, like the ability to keep all terror suspects imprisoned.

Though there are already 46 ‘indefinite detainees’ at Guantanamo currently, this new provision would allow the government to consider  Americans with close ties to Al Queda or the Taliban.

Controversial: The military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has always been a divisive topic because of the limited rights given to prisoners

One part of the debate has been whether terror suspects should be prosecuted as criminals and tried in a civilian court, as Mr Obama would like, or if they are deemed ‘enemy combatants’ and given trials in military courts which have less civil liberties for the defendants, which Republican lawmakers would prefer.

The defence bill with the controversial position shows that in light of the continued setbacks in the push for closure of Guantanamo, the Republicans are seemingly winning the fight.

Head office: Mr Obama has consistently wanted the ability to have prisoners tried in civilian courts

‘While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength,’ the White House statement said.

Congress passed the massive $662 billion defence bill Thursday , the Senate voting 86-13 for the measure. It would also authorize money for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department for the financial year beginning October 1.

The legislation is $27billion less than Obama wanted and $43billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon this year, a reflection of deficit-driven federal budgets, the end of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the House voted 283-136 for the measure late on Wednesday. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday the cooperation was a ‘little ray of sunshine’ in a bitterly divided Washington.

It also shows some foreign-policy muscle in pre-emptively freezing hundreds of millions of dollars tentatively headed to Pakistan in aid unless the defence department gets firm assurances that the country will help cut off the production and proliferation of homemade bombs.

In addition to the concerns over a curtailing of civil liberties, some critics speculate that the bill may give leeway to Republicans in next year’s presidential elections by highlighting Mr Obama’s flip-flopping on the issue.

 ‘It’s really distressing that the White House clearly shares the concerns of the national security establishment [against the bill], but feels like a veto is not politically sustainable,’ said Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the non-profit National Security Network.

CAMP OF CONTROVERSY: THE SAGA OF GUANTANAMO

The camp, which he once called a ‘sad chapter in American history’ seems to be one that will be going on for longer as his plans to close the controversial camp have failed his repeated attempts.

Different rules: Military and civilian courts give detainees different rights, and the new bill will allow the military rules to continue without civilian trials

Originally opened by President George Bush in January 2002, the camp was originally used as a place to store particularly dangerous prisoners as they were not given any rights granted under the Geneva Conventions.

Though their legal standing has changed slightly throughout the years, the camp is widely seen as a symbol of diminishing civil rights standards.

During the 2008 campaign, Mr Obama promised to close the camp within his first year in office. He first took action within his first two days in office, issuing a suspension of prosecutions at the camp.

Even though he followed up with an executive order, his efforts were thwarted by bureaucracy and legal posturing.

First, they found the proper legal files on individual prisoners were not kept up to date, preventing a quick reassignment to other prisons elsewhere.

The next problem was where to put them when moved out of Cuba: options in Kansas, Michigan and Illinois were exhausted after the local legislators put up fights because their constituents didn’t want to be living near terrorists.

The biggest blow to the effort came in January of this year, when President Obama signed the Defence Authorization Bill stopping the talk of transferring the prisoners to mainland America or foreign countries who had offered to house the prisoners.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html#ixzz1hBrp61XG

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