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Monday, January 26, 2015

1/26/2015 January 26th 2015

GREEK ELECTION_____________________________

Greek Anti-EU Party Wins Election: Greek people vote to throw out the banksters

A coalition party comprised of independent politicians, including democratic socialists, left-wing populist and green left groups, in addition to Maoist, Trotskyist, eurocommunist and eurosceptic elements has won the general election in Greece.

(Infowars, jan 25th)

Yanis Varoufakis is tipped to become finance minister of what may become Greece’s leading party after legislative elections on Sunday. He tells Britain’s Channel 4 what Syriza will do if it takes power.

Channel 4 economics editor Paul Mason asks Varoufakis, who teaches economics at the University of Athens, “what will you do to [Greece’s] oligarchy, concretely?”

Varoufakis responds, “We are going to destroy the basis upon which they have built, for decade after decade, a system, a network that viciously sucks of the energy and economic power from everybody else in society.”

(truthdig, jan 25th)

Radical leftists have been catapulted to power in Greece, and that means that the European financial crisis has just entered a dangerous new phase.  Syriza, which is actually an acronym for “Coalition of the Radical Left” in Greek, has 36 percent of the total vote with approximately 80 percent of the polling stations reporting.

(economic collapse blog, jan 26th)

UKRAINE CRISIS___________________________________

VIDEO: American Boots on the Ground in Ukraine: Video clearly shows soldiers with American accents in Mariupol

(Infowars, jan 25th)

VIDEO: Amid the devastation of yesterday’s Mariupol artillery strikes which killed or wounded dozens, which was promptly blamed by both sides on the “adversary” – and has been proclaimed by both ‘sides’ (more on that later) as more violent than before the truce – an ‘odd’ clip has emerged that appears to provide all the ‘proof’ a US intelligence officer would need to surmise that US military boots are on the ground in Ukraine. As the following clip shows, a Ukrainian journalist approaches what she thinks is a Ukrainian soldier (since he is wearing a Ukrainian military uniform and is carrying an AK) and asked him as they run through the battlezone, “tell me, what happened here?” His response, which requires no translation, speaks for itself.

(Zero Hedge, jan 25th)

In 2015, the Army expects to rotate a full-sized, U.S.-based heavy brigade of some 3,000 troops and additional tanks and other armored vehicles through Europe in connection with the service’s Regionally Aligned Force initiative. Last year, the program kicked off on a smaller scale, bringing combat tanks back into Europe after a brief absence following the elimination of two Germany-based heavy brigades in 2013. Now, the regional concept is picking up steam, with plans for 220 armored vehicles in Europe

(Stars and Stripes, jan 25th)

GLOBAL CONFLICTS___________________________

Students who survived Mexico’s night of bloody horror accuse army and police

Alonso survived the horrific attack on unarmed students by state and criminal forces last September in the southern state of Guerrero, which left six people dead, 25 injured and 43 trainee teachers forcibly disappeared.

“Five carloads of masked police surrounded our three buses, and as we got out to see what they wanted they started shooting. There were bullets flying everywhere, and people started running. I saw one of my classmates go down. He’d been shot in the head, everyone was crying and screaming, but I was really surprised how calm I was. I started calling friends at the school to help us.”

Alonso was among those who managed to hide as dozens of his classmates were forced into police trucks and driven away. “I thought they would beat them, but that we’d get them back the next day. We hadn’t done anything, we were just students going to a protest.”

(the guardian, jan 24th)

White House going nuclear on Netanyahu....

....A front-page story in The Wall Street Journal is a stunner — for all the wrong reasons. Under the headline “US, Iraq Set Sights on Mosul Offensive,” it lays out plans for a summer attack against the Islamic State, including the locations and numbers of allied Kurdish fighters and which Iraqi units will lead the charge.

Most shocking, the source is Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top American commander in the Middle East. He told the Journal US ground troops might be involved and that the military “would do what it takes.”

What the hell is going on? Since when does the military give the public, and the enemy, advance notice of battle plans? Has Gen. Austin lost his mind?

(NY post, jan 24th)

A British medical student who lived with and gained the trust of Islamic State militants has news for Americans: They’re planning a bigger splash than merely beheading kidnap victims.

Rather than worry about the U.S. bombing campaign, Rashidi said, Islamic State is “happy about it,” because the attention has elevated the group’s status to that of al-Qaida.

“They want to be more better than al-Qaida,” he said. “They want to do something more better than the World Trade Center.”

(Bizpac review, jan 25th)

King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned monarch, has a controversial history of helping to fund radical terror groups and has maintained ties with several anti-Semitic Muslim clerics known for advocating radical positions, according to reports and regional experts.

(Free Beacon, jan 26th)

Border Surge Likely Again In 2015, Data Shows

The flow of Central American migrant families across the Texas border is continuing at almost the same level as a year ago, according to newly released federal data.

(Daily caller, jan 26th)

U.S. ECONOMY____________________________________

Union Membership Rate Falls to 100-Year Low

According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, the union membership rate fell to 11.1 percent, with just 14.6 million wage and salaried workers maintaining membership.

(daily signal, jan 23rd)

Obama seeks to put Alaska refuge off-limits to drilling.

President Obama plans to ask Congress to designate more than 12 million acres of Alaska's wildlife refuge as a protected wilderness area, seeking to block oil and gas production.

Alaska's Republican lawmakers immediately criticized the plan, saying it would damage their state's economy.

(USA today, jan 25th)

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step. Guardianship cases are difficult to gain access to and poorly tracked by New York State courts; cases are often closed from public view for confidentiality. But the Palermo case is no aberration. Interviews with veterans of the system and a review of guardianship court data conducted by researchers at Hunter College at the request of The New York Times show the practice has become routine, underscoring the growing power nursing homes wield over residents and families amid changes in the financing of long-term care.

(NYT, jan 26th)


Falling Gas Tax Revenue Has California Lawmakers Considering Mileage Tax Plan

(CBS san francisco, jan 25th)

Rooftop solar is now cheaper than the grid in 42 American cities: Escalating utility rates lose out to solar’s fixed price

(Utility Dive, jan 14th)

Leaked documents show how U.S. companies go overseas to pay less in taxes

Mylan, Heinz among U.S. companies using Luxembourg for tax reduction: More than 300 firms are said to funnel profits through the tiny nation

(Post Gazette, jan 25th)

Nation's wealthiest majority-black county has seen reversal of fortunes [under obama].

(washington post, jan 24th)

Why are so many college students failing to gain job skills before graduation?

Bosses, of course, have long complained that newly minted college grads are not ready for the world of work, but there is a growing body of evidence that what students learn — or more likely don’t learn — in college makes them ill-prepared for the global job market. Two studies in just the past few weeks show that the clear signal a college degree once sent to employers that someone is ready for a job increasingly has a lot of noise surrounding it.

(washington post, jan 26th)


For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reclassify marijuana so that more research can be conducted in the hopes of finding benefits for children. The influential medical society also proposes that marijuana should be made available on a compassionate use basis for children with debilitating or life-threatening illnesses.
(WSJ, jan 26th)

Insecticides are sprayed year-round in the Keys' charming and crowded neighborhoods. But Aedes aegypti, whose biting females spread these diseases, have evolved to resist four of the six insecticides used to kill them.

Enter Oxitec, a British biotech firm that patented a method of breeding Aedes aegypti with fragments of genes from the herpes simplex virus and E. coli bacteria as well as coral and cabbage. This synthetic DNA is commonly used in laboratory science and is thought to pose no significant risks to other animals, but it kills mosquito larvae.

Oxitec's lab workers manually remove modified females, aiming to release only males, which don't bite for blood like females do. The modified males then mate with wild females whose offspring die, reducing the population.

Company spokeswoman Chris Creese said the test will be similar in size to Oxitec's 2012 experiment in the Cayman Islands, where 3.3 million modified mosquitoes were released over six months, suppressing 96 percent of the targeted bugs. Oxitec says a later test in Brazil also was successful, and both countries now want larger-scale projects.

Creese says Oxitec has now released 70 million of its mosquitoes in several countries and received no reports of human impacts caused by bites or from the synthetic DNA, despite regulatory oversight that encourages people to report any problems. "We are confident of the safety of our mosquito, as there's no mechanism for any adverse effect on human health. The proteins are non-toxic and non-allergenic," she said.

(AP, jan 25th)

POLICE STATE___________________________

Contrary to what you may have read recently, Attorney General Eric Holder did not put an end to civil forfeiture, a form of legalized theft in which the government takes property allegedly linked to crime without even charging the owner, let alone convicting him. Nor did Holder stop civil forfeiture by the federal government or by the Justice Department. He did not even eliminate the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing Program, which lets police dodge state limits on forfeiture. Instead Holder restricted part of that program: "adoption," where a state or local law enforcement agency seizes an asset and then asks the Justice Department to pursue forfeiture under federal law. Holder's reform was a step in the right direction, but not nearly as big a step as much of the press coverage implied.

In an order issued on January 16, Holder said adoption from now on will be limited to "property that directly relates to public safety concerns, including firearms, ammunition, explosives, and property associated with child pornography." Judging from the DOJ's new instructions to agencies seeking adoption, that list is exhaustive, and it notably does not include drug cases, which account for a large share of forfeitures. That is good news, since it means cops cannot seize cash or other property based on vague, unsubstantiated suspicions that it is somehow related to drug activity and then use adoption to keep up to 80% of the loot.

But cops still can do essentially the same thing if the seizure results from an investigation assisted by or coordinated with "federal authorities." That's a big loophole, especially since there are hundreds of federally subsidized drug task forces across the country, composed of local cops who are often deputized as federal agents. "As virtually every drug task force I know of has a federal liaison on call," says Eapen Thampy, executive director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform,

(Reason, jan 26th)

Sheriffs are campaigning to pressure Google Inc. to turn off a feature on its Waze traffic software that warns drivers when police are nearby. They say one of the technology industry's most popular mobile apps could put officers' lives in danger from would-be police killers who can find where their targets are parked.

Waze, which Google purchased for $966 million in 2013, is a combination of GPS navigation and social networking. Fifty million users in 200 countries turn to the free service for real-time traffic guidance and warnings about nearby congestion, car accidents, speed traps or traffic cameras, construction zones, potholes, stalled vehicles or unsafe weather conditions.

To Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California, Waze is also a stalking app for law enforcement. There are no known connections between any attack on police and Waze, but law enforcers such as Kopelev are concerned it's only a matter of time.

(AP, jan 26th)

CORRUPTION AND SCANDALS________________________

Charles Koch: We’re just getting started

Charles Koch on Saturday signaled to hundreds of donors, operatives and conservative leaders gathered in the California desert that the political operation he and his brother David created was just getting started.

“Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” Charles Koch said in his speech, seemingly in reference to the Republican takeover of the Senate during the 2014 midterm elections.

“But as many of you know, we don’t rest on our laurels. We are already back at work and hard at it! In fact, the work never really ends. Because the struggle for freedom never ends,” Koch said, according to excerpts provided by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit outfit that oversees the vast political and policy network created by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers.

(Politico, jan 24th)

GOP leaders to grant Obama 'enormous' new power: Congress providing 'rubber stamp' on foreign policy

(WND, jan 22nd)

The Obama administration has been using General David Petraeus’ legal predicament over an extramarital affair to keep him “on a leash” and prevent him from him from providing “devastating testimony” on Benghazi, charges Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.

“We’re not even getting to the people that really have the most direct information,” Gohmert said in a radio interview Sunday. “Have you not wondered about Petraeus being so silent all this time?”

(WND, jan 25th)

Meet the Flight trainer who flunked 2 of the 9/11 hijackers: Training 'dumb and dumber' terrorists put Rick Garza in the history books

(UT San Diego, jan 25th)

Anonymous calls for activists to help expose international paedophile networks with 'Operation DeathEaters'

(Independent, jan 23rd)

A 31-year-old woman who claims she was a teenage sex slave and forced to service high-profile clients such as Prince Andrew and attorney Alan Dershowitz has now repeated those claims under oath.

On Wednesday, the woman — referred to in court documents as Jane Doe No. 3 — made a declaration that was filed by her attorneys, including Paul Cassell, a University of Utah law professor and a former federal judge, in a Florida court.

(KSL, jan 22nd)

Ex-spies infiltrate Hollywood as espionage TV shows and movies multiply

(Washington post, jan 24th)

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