February 22, 2012
By Matthew Lee and Bradley Klapper
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to ramp up diplomatic efforts against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime on a trip to North Africa this week, as some countries begin to explore the possibility of arming Syria’s rebels.
Clinton is traveling to London on Wednesday for a conference on Somalia, but U.S. officials will be using the international gathering to lay the groundwork for a major conference on Syria’s future taking place later this week in Tunisia. The trip comes as the Obama administration is opening the door slightly to international military assistance for Syria’s armed opposition.
In coordinated messages, the White House and State Department said Tuesday they still hoped for a political solution. But faced with the daily onslaught by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians, officials dropped the administration’s previous strident opposition to arming anti-regime forces. It remained unclear, though, what, if any, role the U.S. might play in providing such aid.
“We don’t want to take actions that would contribute to the further militarization of Syria because that could take the country down a dangerous path,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “But we don’t rule out additional measures if the international community should wait too long and not take the kind of action that needs to be taken.”
The administration had previously said flatly that more weapons were not the answer to the Syrian situation. There had been no mention of “additional measures,” despite daily reports from Syrian activists of dozens of deaths from government attacks.
At the State Department, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland used nearly identical language to describe the administration’s evolving position.
“From our perspective, we don’t believe that it makes sense to contribute now to the further militarization of Syria,” she told reporters. “What we don’t want to see is the spiral of violence increase. That said, if we can’t get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures.”
Neither Carney nor Nuland would elaborate on what “additional measures” might be taken but there have been growing calls, including from some in Congress, for the international community to arm the rebels. Most suggestions to that effect have foreseen Arab nations such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — and not the West — possibly providing military assistance.
September 10, 2010
By: Jonathan Benson
The National Forestry Commission of Mexico in conjunction with the Swiss government recently held a conference to discuss the possibility of new, centralized climate change legislation. If enacted, the legislation will change the way Latin America governs its forests, and potentially set a precedent for how governments around the world manage their resources. But many at the conference expressed concerns that such legislation will end up benefiting a few wealthy elite while depriving local communities of their natural resources–all in the name of protecting the climate.
The REDD+ legislation–short for “reducing deforestation and forest degradation”–will require industrialized nations to pay developing nations to store carbon in their forests as well as manage them according to sustainable standards. Advocates say REDD+ will greatly benefit developing nations by helping to bring them out of poverty and end forest mismanagement.
Critics, however, say the legislation will do the exact opposite. By centralizing control of forest management, local communities and property owners in forest-rich nations like Brazil will be robbed of their resources, and a select few will have total control of these valuable resources.
The vast majority of Mexico’s 64 million hectares of forest, for instance, are currently owned by rural communities and local landowners who manage them well. Climate change legislation that takes this control away and gives to centralized governments will only devastate these communities and open up the floodgates for corruption.
“Mexico’s long tradition of community forest management provides a strong foundation for local action,” explained Jose Carlos Fernandez Ugalde, head of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission.
So rather than transfer control of Latin American forests and their resources to a select few in the name of protecting the climate, many experts are urging that such control remain in the hands of the people.
“If REDD+ is to succeed, it must not come from central government decrees that undermine rural communities,” stressed Christian Kuchli from Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment. “It must have local support and involve increased resource flows to rural areas, with adequate safeguards in a balanced regulatory framework.”
June 8, 2010
FARS News Agency
“The conditions we are experiencing today need planning for new orders in the world and (our) cooperation and co-thinking for organizing the conditions,” Ahmadinejad told reporters before departing for Istanbul, Turkey to take part in the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Reminding that major world and Asian players will take part in the Istanbul conference, the Iranian president underlined that “Iran, too, will have active participation in drafting the final statement, taking stances as well as mutual consultations” with participants in the conference.
Ahmadinejad said that his visit will take place at the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul, and pointed out that he is slated to meet other foreign officials during the visit.
May 27, 2010
On Thursday, for the first time in 308 days, President Obama will confront the White House press corps in a full-blown news conference, taking the best shots that reporters have to offer on the topics of their choosing.
Obama’s lengthy absence from reporters’ crosshairs has exceeded President George W. Bush’s longest gap of 204 days.
As a candidate two years ago, Obama, then a senator, mused aloud about holding a news conference every month.
As president, Obama has held just four prime-time news conferences in the first 485 days of his term, but that is equal to the total number that his last three predecessors – combined – had held by the same point in their first terms. The Bushes had each held one; Bill Clinton, two.
May 21, 2010
By Linda Doell
For most of us, going to the grocery store is unavoidable. And if you’re not careful, leaving too much money in stores’ hands will be unavoidable, too.
Scanners ring up wrong prices, stores overcharge, and you can end up paying more for less in subtle ways as well.
Just this week, we told you the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office filed criminal charges against the California grocery chain Ralph’s, alleging the retailer has been overcharging for prepackaged and weighed goods. Undercover inspectors found overcharges, incorrectly-priced food packages or packages that weighed lighter than they should, according to the allegations.
Stores also pump up the weight in packaged food, by adding ice or water solutions. The nonprofit National Conference on Weights and Measures says consumers may be paying up to $23 a pound for ice in seafood in certain circumstances, according to a 17-state investigation conducted earlier this year. An ice glaze is added during the packaging process to help preserve the quality. It’s legal, but some unscrupulous packagers can profit by pumping up the amount of the solution.
LiveCheap.com, a website dedicated to helping people, well, live cheap, came up with the top five ways grocery stores can get you to pay more than you should:
April 9, 2010
By: Paul Joseph Watson
The Bilderberg Group will meet this year in Spain and continue to advance their agenda for world economic governance while agreeing to prolong the global financial recession for another year, according to Bilderberg sleuth Jim Tucker, who has discovered through his routinely accurate inside sources that the conference will take place from June 3-6.
Bilderberg sleuths were correct in predicting that this year’s meeting would take place in western Europe, but were wrong in pinpointing the UK as the likeliest location. The 2010 conference will take place in a coastal resort called Sitges, which is about 20 miles from Barcelona.
Bilderberg have now been absent from the UK for the longest time in their history. Even if Bilderberg chooses the UK as their 2011 destination, 13 years will have passed since their 1998 conference in Scotland, the longest gap between UK conferences since the group’s founding in 1954. As we highlighted yesterday, Bilderberg’s decision to avoid the UK is undoubtedly related to increased awareness of the group and the expectation that they would receive unwanted press attention as well as sizeable demonstrations if they held the meeting in the British Isles.
Bilderberg last met in Spain in 1989 when they held their annual conference on the Spanish island of La Toja.
This year’s confab will be similarly secluded, with Bilderberg’s increasing army of police and private security guards on hand to create a lock down of the entire resort.
Bilderberg will have a wide choice of hotels from which to host their secretive get-together, meaning the precise location of the conference will be harder than ever to pin down. The area is known for having a plethora of high standard hotels and is a popular tourist resort.
The most likely candidate however would appear to be the Hotel Dolce Sitges (pictured top), a 5 star luxury resort adjacent to a prestigious golf club. Forming the consensus which sets the agenda for global policy behind closed doors can be stressful, which is why Bilderbergers like to interrupt their scheming with the odd round of golf.
“Business facilities include 11 meeting rooms, 25 breakout rooms, 2 boardrooms, and a spacious amphitheatre accommodating up to 60 guests. All of the venues are equipped with the latest audiovisual technologies and ideal for holding congresses, cocktails, weddings and any other kind of event for up to 550 guests,” states the promotional text for the hotel, suggesting it would be ideal for the Bilderbergers.
The Hotel Dolce Sitges has no rooms available from June 2 to June 6, strongly indicating that this is when the resort will be locked down for the arrival of Bilderberg elitists.
The resort appears to be suitably secluded and away from the crowded tourist areas, making it perfect for Bilderberg’s needs. In addition, attempting to book a room from June 3-6 via the hotel’s website reveals that no rooms are available from June 2 to June 6, strongly indicating that this is when the resort will be locked down for Bilderberg.
However, Bilderberg has been known to leak false information about where the group is staying, so we cannot confirm the exact location until Jim Tucker or Daniel Estulin pinpoint the precise location via their inside sources, who have proven to be habitually accurate.
State of the art conference facilities and 5 star luxury suggest the Hotel Dolce Sitges may be the preferred location for this year’s Bilderberg meeting.
This year’s confab will focus around prolonging the global financial recession and creating more economic woe in order to provide the pretext for more regulation in pursuit of world economic governance, according to Jim Tucker’s sources.
“Bilderberg hopes to keep the global recession going for at least a year, according to an international financial consultant who deals personally with many of them. This is because, among several reasons, Bilderberg still hopes to create a global “treasury department” under the United Nations. Bilderberg first undertook this mission at its meeting last spring in Greece, but the effort was blocked by nationalists in Europe and the United States. “Nationalists” (a dirty word in Bilderberg) objected to surrendering sovereignty to the UN,” writes Tucker.
January 08, 2010
By Chris Isidore
A two-year string of job losses appears to be near an end, if it hasn’t ended already.
When the government releases its jobs report for December on Friday morning, some believe it will show an increase in hiring. That would be the first rise in payrolls in two years, although the consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com is for another loss of 35,000 jobs.
Most economists don’t expect the employment picture to significantly improve anytime this year — or over the next few years for that matter.
The unemployment rate, which stood at 10% in November, is expected to stay uncomfortably high for the foreseeable future. Some experts even suggest that the labor market won’t be able to fully recover from the 7.2 million jobs lost since the start of 2008 before another recession and round of job losses.
This probably won’t be a jobless recovery, like the 21-month period that followed the 2001 recession during which an additional 1.1 million jobs were lost. Most economists are looking for employers to start adding to U.S. payrolls early this year.
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The first step of climbing out of the job hole is to stop digging. So a positive payroll number would be significant. But the hole the economy fell into during the Great Recession is so deep, the return of hiring won’t do much to significantly fix the weak job market.
“The problem is recovery doesn’t mean recovered,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute. “We need a long recovery to get back 7 million jobs.”
Achuthan believes even if there is decent growth this year, there will be slow growth over the course of the expansion. That means it could take as long as 10 years to recover all the lost jobs — and that assumes that there isn’t another recession in that time frame. Achuthan believes another recession later this decade is likely.
Unemployment heading up. The unemployment rate is forecast to be unchanged for December. But most economists expect it to rise during the course of 2010, even as employers start adding jobs.
Part of that is because the economy needs a gain of more than 100,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth.
The other part of the problem is that there is a large pool of 6 million out-of-work adults who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work and are therefore not counted as unemployed. As employers start hiring again, many of those will flood back into the labor force .That will drive up the unemployment rate.
Gad Lavanon, associate director of macroeconomic research for the Conference Board said he is looking for unemployment at or above 10% all the way through 2010. He doesn’t expect unemployment to return to pre-recession levels of under 5% anytime in the next six years.
“Our forecast is for a very mild jobs recovery probably throughout 2010,” he said. He said low consumer confidence and tight credit will keep consumer spending in check, which in turn will stop employers from adding staff in significant numbers.
“If you look at previous expansions, consumer confidence was at a much higher level than it is now at this point in the cycle,” he said.
January 5, 2010
By David Gutierrez
One in every five patients readmitted to the hospital within a year of an inpatient treatment ends up there because of an adverse drug reaction, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The research was presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester and published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.
“While medicines have lots of benefits, they can also have harmful side-effects resulting in re-admission to hospital” researcher Emma Davies said. “Managing this involves checking patients’ medicines while they are in hospital and regularly reviewing prescriptions in primary care after patients are discharged.”
Researchers examined data from approximately 1,000 patients who had been admitted to a large Liverpool hospital. Among the 290 patients who were readmitted within one year and for whom data were available, 21 percent had been readmitted at least partly because of an adverse drug reaction.
The researchers defined an adverse drug reaction as “an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment, or alteration of the dosage regimen, or withdrawal of the product.”
After analyzing each case, the researchers concluded that 57 percent of the adverse drug reactions probably or definitely could have been prevented. The most common side effects resulting in readmission were reactions to aspirin (prescribed to prevent heart attacks or strokes) or diuretics (prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure or heart failure).
Not all drug reactions in the study caused hospital readmission, but all required medical treatment. A total of 73.3 percent were classified as low severity, necessitating only minor treatment; 24.7 percent were classified as moderate, requiring a moderate increase in treatment but causing no lasting damage; 1.91 percent were classified as severe, causing permanent harm, and 0.14 percent were catastrophic, directly leading to a patient’s death.
December 30, 2009
Los Angeles Times
By Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger
With the healthcare battle still unfinished, the Obama administration has been laying plans to take up an issue that could prove even more divisive — a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.
Senior White House aides privately have assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation next year to provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.
In a recent conference call with proponents, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, political director Patrick Gaspard and others delivered the message that the White House was committed to seeing a substantial immigration bill pass and wanted to make sure allies were prepared for the fight.
In addition to the citizenship provision, the emerging plan will emphasize efforts to secure U.S. borders against those trying to cross illegally. But that two-track approach was rejected repeatedly in the past by Republicans and other critics who insist that a border crackdown must demonstrate its effectiveness before any action on citizenship is considered.
Whatever proposal Obama puts forward will probably meet equally determined opposition. Another complication is the calendar: Midterm elections are in November, and polls show that the public is more worried about joblessness and the fragile economy than anything else.
So embracing an immigration bill is a gamble for the White House, which already has a packed agenda for 2010: economic recovery, global warming legislation and tougher regulation of financial institutions.
December 18, 2009
By Paul Joseph Watson
The final Copenhagen draft agreement which was hammered out in the early hours of Friday morning includes provisions for a global tax on financial transactions that will be paid directly to the World Bank, as President Obama prepares to bypass Congress by approving a massive transfer of wealth from America into globalist hands.
As Lord Monckton, Alex Jones and others warned, the notion that the globalists would achieve nothing at Copenhagen has likely been a ruse all along. The elite look set to ram through the lion’s share of their agenda, which would include a massive global government tax at a cost of at least $3,000 a year for American families already laboring under a devastating recession, double digit unemployment and a reduction in living standards.
Hillary Clinton arrived yesterday to rally global leaders around a resolution and Barack Obama is set to be portrayed as the savior of the world by rescuing what was pitched all along as a conference doomed to fail.
“The summit “hangs in the balance,” said Obama this morning. “We are running out of time. The time for talk is over. It is better for us to act than to talk. The question is whether we move forward together or split apart.”
The final agreement may not force countries to meet CO2 emission targets, but it will grease the skids for the biggest tax hike in human history, a fact that establishment media outlets have completely failed to emphasize.
Monckton told the Alex Jones Show last week that the initial secretive draft version of the Copenhagen agreement represented a global government power grab on an “unimaginable scale,” and mandated the creation of 700 new bureaucracies as well as a colossal raft of new taxes including 2 percent levies on both GDP and every international financial transaction.
Monckton said that the new world government outlined in the treaty would be handed powers to, “Tax the American economy to the extent of 2 percent GDP, to impose a further tax of 2 percent on every financial transaction….and to close down effectively the economies of the west, transfer your jobs to third world countries.”
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