Tag Archives: profiteering

Bill Gates orders £500m hydrogen-powered superyacht


Microsoft billionaire’s innovatively designed and eco-fuelled 112m-long Aqua vessel to launch after 2024

Bill Gates has ordered the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht, worth an estimated £500m ($644m) and boasting an infinity pool, helipad, spa and gym.

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft has commissioned the Aqua ship – a 112m (370ft) luxury vessel completely powered by liquid hydrogen – which was publicised last year at the Monaco Yacht Show by Dutch design firm Sinot.

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Battle Groups

The deployment of western troops at the Russian border constitutes the central element of the arms buildup decided at Warsaw’s NATO summit. Battalion-sized NATO “Battle Groups” [1] will be deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Germany being the “framework nation,” the Bundeswehr will command the battle group in Lithuania. Berlin and NATO claim that this decision is still not in violation of the NATO-Russia Founding Act from 1997, which stipulates that no “substantial combat forces” be stationed permanently in the new NATO-member countries. However, during the NATO summit, Poland’s Defense Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, pointed out that in fact a much larger number of NATO-servicemen could be present, for example in Poland. Waszczykowski recalled that the USA plans to regularly dispatch a brigade to Poland from Germany for military exercises. There will also be the personnel for the NATO missile defense and the combat support brigade for the Multinational Corps Northeast, with leading Bundeswehr participation. According to Waszczykowski, more than 10,000 NATO servicemen will be stationed in Poland.[2]

Successful Offensive

During its Warsaw summit, NATO also agreed on other measures, which are clearly directed at Russia – in spite of some of its declarations to the contrary. NATO declared partial readiness of its new missile defense system and officially took command handed over by the United States. A radar system in Turkey and a missile interception site in Romania are operational and four warships docked in Spain can also be used for the missile defense system. Its central command has been installed at NATO’s Allied Air Command Headquarters in Ramstein, Germany. NATO will help Ukraine to modernize its armed forces and to achieve interoperability with NATO. Both measures are aimed at Russia. The war alliance expressed its explicit appreciation of “Ukraine’s significant contributions to Allied operations and the NATO Response Force.”[3] NATO also seeks to “strengthen its air and maritime presence” in the Black Sea region. Romania will establish a fully operational “multinational brigade” in which Bulgaria will participate. To prevent Russia from undertaking counter measures in response to this NATO aggression, NATO has announced a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council for Wednesday. If NATO succeeds in forestalling Moscow’s reaction, its arms buildup offensive would be successful without disadvantages.[4]

The “Suwalki Gap”

Leading German media are accompanying NATO’s arms buildup with elements of propaganda revived straight from the tool chests of the cold war. Today, they have begun to propagate the notion of a “Suwalki Gap,” a region of northeast Poland and Southern Lithuania where an alleged Russian assault is expected. The term “Suwalki Gap” alludes to the cold war’s “Fulda Gap,” which up to 1989 had been considered the alleged gateway for the Warsaw Treaty nations’ troops into Germany. NATO is spreading the word that “there is a threat of Russia provoking a regional conventional conflict,” where Russian units attack via Belarus through the “Suwalki Gap” to Kaliningrad. This would “separate the Baltic from the rest of NATO, returning these countries to Moscow’s orbit.” NATO would have to stand by “watching helplessly” from the sidelines, because it has “no strong forces in the region,” it is claimed. Moreover, “the Baltic could hardly be retaken after [Russian, editor’s note] conquest.”[5]

The Helpless NATO

The absurdity of the assertion that NATO is “helpless,” has been graphically debunked in exhibits published in the German media – this is also a replica of corresponding illustrations from the cold war period – comparing NATO’s and Russia’s arms budgets and weapons. According to these illustrations, in 2015, poor “helpless” NATO had spent around US $861 billion on its arms buildup – just about thirteen times Russia’s military budget (US $66 billion). NATO nations – without the USA – are spending nearly the same amount per capita on their armed forces (US $440) vs. Russia’s US $470, while the USA, alone, spends US $1,870 per capita on its military. 800,000 Russian soldiers are up against 3.41 Million NATO soldiers, 750 Russian fighter jets and 1,400 ground combat aircraft are up against NATO’s 4,000 fighter jets and 4,600 ground combat aircraft. In a warfare situation, a single Russian aircraft carrier would have to take on 27 NATO aircraft carrier, 100 Russian frigates, destroyers or corvettes would confront 260 of the corresponding NATO warships, 60 Russian submarines would be confronting 154 NATO subs. Only in the domain of multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) and self-propelled guns (SPGs) would Russia hold a slight advantage over the western alliance. However, in modern warfare, the military advantage these weapons represent can be regarded as of subordinate significance.[6]

Germany’s Global Role

That the EU would cooperate more closely with NATO was not among the least the decisions taken at the Warsaw summit. This would be the case, above all, in areas where the EU is either significantly weaker than the USA, or where it wishes support. The former case applies to the domain of cyberwarfare and intelligence activities to be expanded, while the latter applies to the EU warding off migrants, wherein the military alliance will lend support. It also stipulates that the EU’s arms industry should be further bolstered and can possibly expect new orders from the United States. This reinforcement of cooperation was taken after German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had announced that Germany has become a “central player” on the world stage and takes on a “global role,” while the USA has “stumbled” and “the illusion of a unipolar world” faded.[7] Steinmeier, together with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, additionally call for an excessive EU arms buildup permitting the European confederation to become an “independent” and “global” actor – also “independent” of the USA.[8]

The Next Major Conflict

While the EU and NATO are intensifying cooperation, the United States is heating up the next major conflict. As was announced late last week, Washington will be stationing the Thaad missile defense system in South Korea,[9] allegedly aimed at stopping North Korean missiles. In reality, however, this sophisticated radar technology permits the USA to spy on China from South Korean territory. The missile defense system also weakens China’s retaliatory capabilities and thereby Chinese defenses. With this, Washington is heating up the major conflict with China, which has been growing more critical all along.[10]

Where is My European Union?

Last winter, I stood outside the Opera House in the centre of Athens looking at the posters in the window. I was approached by a well-dressed and immaculately groomed elderly lady. I moved to the side. I thought she wanted to pass. She didn’t. She asked me for a few euros because she was hungry. I took her to dinner and, in generous and unsolicited exchange, she told me her story.

Her name was Magda and she was in her mid-seventies. She had worked as a teacher all her life. Her husband had been a college professor and died “mercifully long before we were reduced to this state”, as she put it. They paid their tax, national insurance and pension contributions straight out of the salary, like most people. They never cheated the state. They never took risks. They saved. They lived modestly in a two bedroom flat.

In the first year of the crisis her widow’s pension top-up stopped. In the second and third her own pension was slashed in half. Downsizing was not an option – house prices had collapsed and there were no buyers. In the third year things got worse. “First, I sold my jewellery. Except this ring”, she said, stroking her wedding ring with her thumb. “Then, I sold the pictures and rugs. Then the good crockery and silver. Then most of the furniture. Now there is nothing left that anyone wants. Last month the super came and removed the radiators from my flat, because I hadn’t paid for communal fuel in so long. I feel so ashamed.”

via Where is My European Union?.

Ned Link Resources

If you would like to dip into the sources, I looked at each day, the Links below will take you to my resource bundles:

Human Rights: http://www.inoreader.com/bundle/0014cd635acc

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 23.22.38

Viva-Innovators-Creatives: http://www.inoreader.com/bundle/0014cd635a84

Feministas: http://www.inoreader.com/bundle/0014cd635a9b

Anti-war/for peace: http://www.inoreader.com/bundle/0014cd635acb

Pandemic Primping and Posing – The Ebola Version

Crises, especially health related crises bring out the best and the worst of we humans. Back, last December reports started to come out about a new Ebola outbreak and areas where it had never appeared before. There was coverage by people who research disease outbreaks and look for answers to causes and for prevention but little coverage by the standard global press and all the second level media who feed off of them. Then three Americans contracted Ebola and everything changed. US media jumped to attention and EU press followed since 30-50% of what it reports as news is US news.

As that coverage ramped up both politicians, wannabe politicians, and drug companies, as well as academic researchers took notice that perhaps they could advance their stature, status, and profit by “doing” something about Ebola and quick. Thus the news feeding frenzy began, followed by pimping and primping for profits and votes.

The public is left to wonder is this a real threat, who is telling the truth, and should I be afraid for myself or family?

Notice the pattern? It is the same for “action” pattern followed for hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, floods, bird flu, and new terrorist groups.

This morning there were 124 stories waiting in my reader at 8 AM. Here is a smattering of them that illustrate how people and organizations try to gain an edge or defend their edge in the face of the latest big thing.

Samsung joins fight against Ebola – The Star Online
Ebola — South KoreaDOING ITS BIT: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is joining the fight against Ebola by donating 3,000 Galaxy S3 Neo smartphones to be used in the United Nation’s Humanitarian Connectivity Project.

Quarantined Ebola patients threaten to break out of isolation for lack of food in … – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
Ebola — LiberiaMONROVIA, Liberia — Dozens of people quarantined for Ebola monitoring in western Liberia are threatening to break out of an isolation because they have no food, the West African nation’s state radio reported Thursday.

Texas firm releases rapid Ebola tests – Outbreak News Today
Ebola — Texas, United StatesSan Antonio, Texas-based Biotech Company Alpha Diagnostic Int’l (ADI) has developed and released several convenient, rapid, and sensitive ELISA test kits for the detection of major Ebola viral protein antibodies (Glycoprotein, GP; Nucleoprotein, NP,

Trial flu, Ebola drug shows promise against norovirus – Medical News Today
Influenza, Ebola, Norovirus — United StatesSpeeding up mutation is emerging as a potential new way to treat virus infection. Now, a new study shows that favipiravir – a trial drug currently being tested against Ebola and influenza – successfully treated norovirus in mice using that method.

Starving Liberians: We’ll Break Ebola Quarantine – Newser
Ebola — Liberia( ) – Dozens of people quarantined for Ebola monitoring in western Liberia are threatening to break out of isolation because they have no food, the West African nation’s state radio reported today. Forty-three people were put in quarantine after four

NBC’s Nancy Snyderman told to ‘take some time off’ after scandal about her … – Daily Mail
Ebola — LiberiaThe 62-year-old medical correspondent was ordered to avoid all human contact for 21 days as doctors treated her cameraman Ashoka Mukpo after he contracted the deadly virus in Liberia. Despite this, Dr Snyderman and her … in to grab the order, according to TMZ. After three weeks, the doctor and her team’s quarantine is over, but, instead of returning to the nation’s screens,

PH to implement 42-day quarantine vs Ebola spread – ABS CBN News
Ebola — PhilippinesThe President has directed all concerned agencies to undertake preparations needed to implement this concept.” The group of internists earlier urged the government to review quarantine procedures amid the threat of the Ebola virus. PCP suggested 21 days

Duke prepared for Ebola outbreak, doctors say – Duke Chronicle
Ebola — Liberia“Duke is in a good position in terms of local resources, local expertise and in-hospital management capacity,” Dr. Cameron Wolfe said of the possibility of an bola outbreak. Should a local case appear, Duke would be a fortuitous place to encounter the virus

Panama bars travelers from three Ebola-hit African countries – Reuters Africa
Ebola — PanamaPANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Panama has banned entry of travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African nations worst hit by the Ebola virus, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The ban applies to anyone traveling from the three ;…

California Department of Public Health Establishes Ebola Hotline – Imperial Valley News
Ebola — California, United StatesSacramento, California – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has established an Ebola hotline call center to respond to public inquiries related to Ebola it was announced today by Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and state health officer.

Alphas Turns Over 96-Bed Ebola Treatment Unit to Gov’t – AllAfrica.com
Ebola — Virginia, United StatesResponding to the growing demand for more space to accommodate Ebola patients, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority have turned over a 96-bed Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) to the Government through the Ministry of Health and

Dallas nurse’s dog doesn’t have Ebola – Delhi Daily News
Ebola — Texas, United StatesBentley, the dog of Ebola-infected nurse, Nina Pham, has tested negative for the deadly virus. The dog was quarantined after Pham was diagnosed with Ebola earlier this month. Dallas City Hall said in a statement that the dog was tested Monday and it will remain in quarantine for 21 days and will be tested again for the deadly viral disease which has claimed over 4,000 lives in West Africa.

Airport workers protest amid Ebola fears – KOMO News
Ebola — Washington State, United StatesSEATAC, Wash. — More than a dozen airline cabin cleaners, along with members of the non-profit group Working Washington, protested in the terminal of Sea-Tac Airport Wednesday over what they say are un-safe working conditions onboard airlines.

Connecticut Launches Ebola Information Website – CTNow
Ebola — Connecticut, United StatesFollowing news that nine Connecticut residents have, as a precautionary measure, been quarantined and monitored for possible exposure to Ebola, the state of Connecticut is launching an informational website

As Ebola fears spread, states take emergency response into their own hands
Fox News
Not satisfied with the federal response, several states are taking the Ebola crisis into their own hands – tapping emergency funds in their budgets, launching treatment units and holding public hearings to stanch the spread of misinformation about the …
Dallas hospital will no longer treat EbolaThe Hill
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Response To Ebola Under ScrutinyHuffington Post
Richardson Ebola Center Ready To GoCBS Local
Breitbart News -International Business Times -Texas Tribune
all 235 news articles »

Police catch Thai pet shop owner with rare lions | News , International | THE DAILY STAR

Albino Lions

Thai police say they have arrested a pet shop owner for illegally possessing wildlife after finding hundreds of protected species, including rare lions, in his warehouse near Bangkok.

Police Col. Ek Ekasart said Monday that police found 14 albino lions from Africa, hundreds of birds, meerkats, tortoises, peafowls, monkeys and other species believed to be from overseas and Thailand.

Police also found a hornbill and a leopard cat that are protected by Thai law.

Ekasart says Montri Boonprom-on, 41, faces charges of possessing wildlife animals and carcasses and could face up to four years in jail.

Police say Montri owned an exotic pet shop at Bangkok’s renowned Chatuchak weekend market and was previously convicted of wildlife trade.

via Police catch Thai pet shop owner with rare lions | News , International | THE DAILY STAR.

People-officials had to know – did he not pay bribe on time. 4 years not enough for repeat offense.

Dutch man who sold horse meat labeled as Halal beef given 50,000-euro fine

A Dutch appeals court has upheld the fraud conviction of a man who sold horse meat labeled as Halal beef to two French traders, but reduced his punishment to a six-month suspended sentence and a 50,000-euro ($65,000) fine.

Jan Fasen was convicted in 2012 for purchasing hundreds of thousands of kilograms of horsemeat from Brazil and Mexico, mislabeling it as beef slaughtered according to Muslim dietary laws, and then selling it on to two unnamed French buyers.

via Dutch man who sold horse meat labeled as Halal beef given 50,000-euro fine.

I think the people he sold it to should be named and I hope that a good number of believers in Islam line up to sue him for  endangering their physical and moral health!

IPS – Profits Before Safety in Pakistan’s Factories | Inter Press Service

Having visited Ali Enterprises – the apparel factory in Pakistan’s capital, Karachi, that went up in flames last September, killing 300 workers – he says he cannot fathom how the plant was awarded the prestigious SA8000 certification by Social Accountability International, a New York-based monitoring body tasked with assessing safety standards, just weeks before one of the worst recorded industrial disasters.

Reportedly caused by short-circuiting, the fire tore quickly through the factory, trapping workers behind locked doors.

Though the factory owners blamed the heavy death toll on the chaos that followed the blaze, experts say a lack of basic safety standards – like an absence of exit passages or adequate in-house emergency firefighting capabilities – was the primary factor behind the tragedy.

A good five months down the road, families of several victims are waiting to gain custody of their deceased loved ones: burnt beyond recognition, the bodies have not yet been identified, despite repeated DNA tests.

via IPS – Profits Before Safety in Pakistan’s Factories | Inter Press Service.

Sgt. York, Secret Afghan Cyber Warrior?

$200 million of your tax dollars are being spent to try and influence the Afghanistan conflict by a few contractors pretending to be dozens of different Taliban, Taliban sympathizers, and other Afghans who oppose efforts of Afghan government and NATO.

What if everyone in a 100 person chat room or network is actually two guys – one a NATO contractor and the other a Taliban contractor and living in the same hotel in a rich Kabul suburb? And they figure this out but continue the game because the money is pretty good.

Grin. And people want to cut money from NPR? Ha, ha, ha – as the two contractors nod to each other on the way to the bank.

US Army’s top secret psyops initiative aimed at the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online personas. This $200 million CENTCOM programme was first developed for use in Iraq and is now said to be targeted at countering Taliban propaganda in Afghanistan.
One can imagine how easy it would be to influence events via Twitter, for example, where people tend to follow particular hashtags. Astute tweeting on a popular hashtag by a lot of personas acting in unison could easily be used to divert people away from what was really happening.

Read more at circlingthelionsden.blogspot.com