‘Dear reader put away your charts and graphs. Forget about fundamental and technical analysis. Ignore financial statements and trends. The extraordinary agreement to share information between the National Security Agency [NSA], a host of European, Russian, Canadian and Chinese spy agencies and the world’s Central Banks will ensure that the only relevant force in Global Stock markets will be the trading activity of the world’s Central Banks. Thanks to the data gathering of the NSA and its subsidiary spy agencies around the world, the Central Banks will be privy to the most confidential conversations and communications from the boardroom, the bedroom and the trading floor. Central Banks will now be able to trade with inside information that could only be dreamed about in years gone by.’
‘Today Iain Duncan Smith is being questioned by the Commons work and pensions committee on universal credit, after finally admitting last week that the scheme’s targets had been “reset”. Last week, the petition calling for a cumulative impact assessment of the way welfare reform affects sick and disabled people, known as the WOW petition, passed 100,000 signatures, triggering its consideration for debate by the backbench business committee. To add to Duncan Smith’s woes, the well-respected Centre for Welfare Reform has released details of its report, How Norms Become Targets, which exposes the myth that Atos, the private company responsible for assessing the needs of people unable to work, does not do so on the basis of targets.
Today also sees the publication of the stunning People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment (pdf). It has been compiled by the anonymous organisation, We Are Spartacus, whose activism in this area has been hugely empowering. The report is a collection of statistics surrounding welfare reform and reactions of MPs, charities and professional groups to the way in which it has been administered. An almanac of condemnation, if you will. Most importantly, the report compiles statements from sick and disabled people actually going through the system.’
‘The Princess, who is an interior designer and author, told The Times in an interview to promote her debut novel: “I am in very austere economic times too, thank you very much!”
“We’ve cut back dramatically. I mean we never go out to dinner unless we go to somebody’s house. We never go to restaurants. That’s too extravagant.”
The Princess, who lives with her husband at Kensington Palace, added: “We invite people here [Kensington Palace]. I cook. Well, if I’m giving a dinner party I get in help.”
She also told the interviewer of her love for budget carrier easyJet saying: “it’s the only direct route to Biarritz.”
“We always fly tourist-class anyway in Europe. For long-haul we go club,” she added.’
‘Former Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Sha Zukang has warned that the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands could lead to World War III.
CIting a Chinese-language piece written by Zukang for the the pro-regime Global Times, a report in the China Times says that Zukang warned of the futility of going to war over “those two tiny rocks,” a reference to the disputed islands which have become the center of a geopolitical tug of war between China and Japan, with the United States and South Korea also becoming embroiled.
“If China started a war with Japan, it would be much larger than both the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, said Sha. The United States and Japan should cooperate with China to maintain regional peace,” states the report.’
‘Japanese media outlets have been feverishly dreaming up scenarios of war with China as soon as next year in response to Beijing’s imposition of an air defense zone over the disputed Senkaku Islands.
As the Japan Times notes, “Five out of nine weekly magazines that went on sale last Monday and Tuesday contained scenarios that raised the possibility of a shooting war.”
The Sunday Mainichi ran an article entitled Sino-Japanese war to break out in January, which speculated that a worsening Chinese economy and a real estate crash may provoke Beijing to stage an incident “accidentally on purpose,” which could take the form of a civilian airliner being forced to land and the passengers held hostage.’
‘One of Britain’s biggest charities is today accused by a whistleblower of self-censoring criticism of Big Six energy suppliers for fear of upsetting existing – or potential – corporate donors.
Save the Children, one of the UK’s oldest NGOs, which raised almost £300m last year, is alleged to have repeatedly quashed press releases criticising British Gas price rises to avoid damaging its corporate partnership with the company, which was worth £1.5m over 10 years. The charity is also accused of dropping a potential campaign on the effects of fuel poverty on children while it was under consideration for funding from EDF.’
‘Millions of pounds donated to Comic Relief have been invested in shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms, BBC Panorama has learned.
It includes £630,000 in shares in arms firm BAE Systems and more than £300,000 in alcohol manufacturer Diageo.
The BBC has also seen evidence which suggests Save the Children censored criticism of energy firms to avoid upsetting corporate partners.
Both charities deny any wrongdoing.’
‘I never finished the groove article, but the subject stayed on my mind, especially the instantaneous, intuitive communication part. Now I know we humans are constantly bombarding each other with thoughts… negative or positive. In the consciousness movement we know enough to watch what we’re projecting, and we do what we can to protect against negative incoming. But ego-based thoughts are not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about back and forth, heart-centered, nearby or at-a-distance conversations. It happens to me frequently with my down-syndrome granddaughter. She has no barriers to it, it seems. I just shine in on her, from miles away, and if I can catch her attention she shines right back. There is only one thing in our communication… love. It seems the rule is: heart communication doesn’t convey the ego’s need or desire or concern because it doesn’t have an ego. It’s just light shining back and forth…a safe place.
I wonder sometimes what we can grow into with this, especially collectively. I get emails from the readers of my blog, strangers from halfway around the world, and it seems like the barriers are down already. We can laugh and joke as if we’re neighbors having lunch. This leads me to wonder about our ever expanding consciousness community… what will we eventually be able to create? It seems to me a possibility, that one day we’ll be masterful enough with our instruments to slip ‘in the groove’.’
‘A number of occurrences have taken place over the past 13 years since the rise of the new millennium; we have seen and are seeing the rise of popular movements all over the world and a resistance to the forces of imperialism, capitalism, and subjugation, from the most recent Arab Spring to the world’s largest coordinated anti-war protest in history with the global protests against the Iraq War, to the rise of the Occupy Movement and the rise of indigenous resistance as can be seen in the Idle No More campaign of Canada’s First Nations population. What we seeing around the world is a global resistance that, in some cases, has anarchist undercurrents. We are witnessing the new politics of the 21st century.
While many movements such as the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring had anarchists and anarchist influences within them, anarchism as a political philosophy is quite misunderstood and some time should be taken to understand it.’
‘Concerned about the presence of foreign forces in the region, Iran and Afghanistan have decided to sign a joint cooperation agreement to boost “regional security” amid American efforts to force the Afghan president to seal a security pact with Washington.
“Afghanistan agreed on a long-term friendship and cooperation pact with Iran,” President’s Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said, as quoted by Reuters. “The pact will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai reached the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday. The joint communique issued after the talks stipulates that foreign ministers of both counties were assigned to draw up the topics of such a pact, IRNA reports.’
‘Police are failing to investigate some of the most serious crimes, including rapes and sexual abuse of children, in an attempt to massage official statistics, a parliamentary committee was told.
MPs on the Commons public administration committee heard evidence from past and present officers who claimed the fiddling of crime figures was done to boost apparent performance.
Former West Midlands chief inspector Dr Rodger Patrick said the failure to investigate serious allegations properly had catastrophic consequences: “I highlighted this issue in relation to incidents involving domestic violence and child protection, child abuse, but the incidents weren’t recorded and investigated and subsequently this led to homicide.
“That is the extreme end of the risk that people are taking. It isn’t just about fudging the figures to keep everybody happy – there are really serious consequences of this behaviour.”‘
‘A powerful icy storm system is sweeping across the US, resulting in temperatures dropping to -29C and lower as well as deaths, power cuts and massive travel disruption.
Yesterday the winter storm began pushing up the country’s densely-populated Eastern Seaboard, and forecasters say it will continue to drop freezing rain, sleet and snow on cities from West Virginia to Maine.
A severe warning was issued by the Government’s National Weather Service (NWS) at the weekend, and officials say temperatures will remain low until late on Monday (local time) when the system exits to the northeast.
On Saturday, the mercury dropped to -29C in Montana and South Dakota during the day, while officials warned residents in northwest Minnesota to brace for temperatures as low as -45C with the impact of wind chill.’
‘People in the UK spend a week working just to pay the interest on the national debt, new figures reveal.
Despite a return to economic growth, Britain’s debt mountain continues to grow with interest alone to rise by 50 per cent in just four years.
The UK government owes a total of £1.2trillion, and paying the interest is expected to cost £72.5billion by 2017.18.
The huge sums spent on servicing the debt is equivalent to the total amount raised from council tax, fuel duty and stamp duty.’
Recorded at London’s vast Wembley Arena before a sell-out audience of thousands, and watched live by tens of thousands worldwide on the Internet.
Nearly ten hours of cutting edge information researched, compiled and presented by David Icke that you will hear nowhere else in the world put together in this way.
‘As you can see the NASA figure of a peak of 7 for Solar cycle 25 puts it in Maunder Minimum territory. Not good for us heat loving humans, and our heat loving crops and livestock. We know that humans can get by in intense cold, but doing so brings with it some very major difficulties, predominantly food.
Returning to Maunder Minimum temperatures, or even Dalton Minimum temperatures is going to represent a major problem for agriculture and livestock across the northern hemisphere.
We see the results of cold weather on both crops and livestock every year. Wheat rotting in the fields due to cold and rain, cattle freezing to death under a thick blanket of snow, but generally, these are isolated incidents.
Imagine if you can the whole of North America, as well as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, facing the same crisis at the same time.’
‘An 11-month Financial Times investigation reveals mismanagement at Vatican Bank
Many do not realize that the Vatican manages a banking empire with approximately $7 Billion in assets.
On June 28th, a Vatican cleric, along with a former Secret Service agent, and a financial broker were all arrested by Italian police and charged with fraud and corruption. The three were suspected of smuggling $24 Million by private plane across the border from Switzerland.
Prosecutors allege that the the Vatican cleric who is a former banker, was using the Institute of Religious Works (The formal name for the Vatican Bank) to transport money for Naples businessmen. In Italy, Naples is considered the base for organized crime. The arrested Vatican cleric was also the head of accounting at the Treasury of the Vatican (Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.)’
‘”If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” Sadly, that appears to be the approach that the Obama administration and the mainstream media are taking with the U.S. economy. They seem to believe that if they just keep telling the American people over and over that things are getting better, eventually the American people will believe that it is actually true.
On Friday, it was announced that the unemployment rate had fallen to “7 percent”, and the mainstream media responded with a mix of euphoria and jubilation. For example, one USA Today article declared that “with today’s jobs report, one really can say that our long national post-financial crisis nightmare is over.” But is that actually the truth?’
‘Oh Samsung, you tried to have a YouTube video pulled after it showed a Galaxy S4 that caught fire while charging but this is about to blow up in your PR and legal teams face after you sent a ‘hush’ document to the user.
Here’s the deal, YouTube user GhostlyRich posted a video on YouTube in early December that showed that his Samsung Galaxy S4 caught fire while charging. While the battery did not explode (thankfully) you can clearly see the charging port is burnt. To no surprise, a burnt charging point rendered the device useless and seeing that the Phone is still under warranty, you would think Samsung would simply exchange the device and make good with the consumer to fix the issue.
Wrong. What Samsung has done, foolishly, is sent the user a document saying that they will exchange his defective device only after he pulls his initial video from YouTube. If Samsung was unaware of how the Internet works, it’s about to find out that trying to quiet the user will result in a black eye for the company.’
‘A sandwich shop owner endured eight hours of questioning by police and had his computer seized for three weeks – after making tasteless Nelson Mandela jokes on the internet.
Neil Phillips, who runs Crumbs in Rugeley, Staffordshire, says he was also finger-printed and DNA-swabbed after officers received complaints about what he insists were harmless gags.’
‘Ukrainian protesters blocked streets leading to government buildings with barricades, as tens of thousands rallied on Kiev’s Independence Square. The opposition hoped its pro-EU protest would attract 1 million people, calling it “The Million March.”
Nearly 100,000 protesters have gathered on Kiev’s center, according to police estimates. The opposition has claimed nearly 1 million people are taking part in the rally.
However, observers at the scene quoted by RT’s Paul Scott said such a figure is way too “optimistic.” Ukrainian Interior Ministry later said in a statement that Independence Square can only hold up to 100,000 people dressed in winter clothes, citing own calculations.’
‘You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why genetically modified foods are dangerous, but if you look closely, you may just find the name of one listed among the names of more than 800 scientists from around the globe who have joined forces in an open letter to all world governments, outlining their detailed concerns over the alarming potential threat of biotech’s unauthorized, worldwide GM foods experiment.’
‘Yes, it’s that’s time of year again when working Americans foolishly blow their hard-earned money on junk primarily because of the thousands of advertisements that tell them to do just that at an accelerated rate during the holidays.
Of course, you’re not supposed to know about the mothers and children in miserable conditions that labor to make all that material stuff for a buck a day, much less think about how the Company Men exploit the poor by turning them into automatons.
Just buy the stuff—that’s all that matters. If you don’t, Shame, shame, Oh the power of guilt! Why do you suppose the corporate networks broadcast the shopping malls as if it were a competitive race almost every night until the end of New Year’s?’
‘From the Zionist cesspit that is Canada’s political elite, a voice of reason has emerged.
According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), Canada’s largest Protestant church has launched a campaign to boycott goods made in the occupied West Bank.’
‘French neo-colonialism in Africa is now official fact after the deployment this weekend of hundreds of its troops in the poverty-stricken Central Africa Republic.
The manipulation of events and public opinion to justify this French intervention has all the garish choreography of a can-can dance troupe.
Yet there is hardly a murmur of international protest at this audacious interference in a sovereign country. UN chief Ban Ki-moon has even praised France, and indeed there are some African leaders, such as Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, who have welcomed the French initiative. How naive can these people be?’
‘Having discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the crypto-currency and noted the extreme volatility of the last few weeks, it seemed only a matter of time before some ambitious entrepreneur tried to monetize the volatility. What better way to “manage the risk” of your virtual currency horde than buying (or selling) options (in a more levered way). Predictious, the Dublin-based prediction market, this week unveiled Bitcoin Option Spreads enabling both long- and short-positions to be constructed on the already extremely volatile ‘asset’. Regulatory clamp-down in 3..2..1…’
‘Food banks or food pantries are non-profit charitable organizations that find ways to collect, store and distribute free food to the truly needy.
Most who help out are volunteers, and their funding depends largely on the government, non-government foundation grants, businesses and individual donations. Matching grant funds to individual donations are common.
The first food bank in the world was St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Arizona, founded by retired business man John van Hengal in 1967 and still strong today. While volunteering at St. Vincent’s soup kitchen, John met a woman who came often and told him that she depended on the soup kitchen and supermarket dumpsters to survive.’
‘The Asia Foundation was a creation of the CIA, and to this day remains a front for the US State Department and the corporate financier interests of Wall Street and London. Their attempts to overthrow the sovereign institutions of Thailand by backing the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra has required them to conduct extensive research into the population of Thailand in order to find the strengths and weaknesses of both the Thai establishment, and their proxy, the Shinawatra regime.
To that end, they have conducted several “national public perception surveys of the Thai electorate,” (2010′s full .pdf here), revealing what must have been for them and their proxies, very unpleasant realities within Thai society.’
Nearly 700 pages, 355,000 words, 325 illustrations and 32 pages of original colour art by Neil Hague. A Monumental Work What is the ‘Moon Matrix’?
‘Players of fantasy games like World of Warcraft are usually worried about their character dying or running out of money. But new documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that they should have another concern: government spying.
The New York Times’ and Pro Publica’s Mark Mazzetti and Justin Elliott have written a story detailing how the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communication Headquarters, have infiltrated the online games World of Warcraft and Second Life. Known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games, World of Warcraft and Second Life create virtual worlds for players.
The NSA and GCHQ have collected data and the content of communications of players in the games. They have also created characters for the express purpose of infiltrating the games to spy on and recruit players to become informers. It’s the latest revelation to show that the NSA has a “collect it all” model that now extends to video games.’
‘If all you’ve got is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. And if police and prosecutors are your only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone will be treated as criminal. This is increasingly the American way of life, a path that involves “solving” social problems (and even some non-problems) by throwing cops at them, with generally disastrous results. Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches ever more on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.
By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where “the War on Crime” and “the War on Drugs” are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko’s blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.)
But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct. It’s also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.’
‘The garbage trucks of Gaza city are at a standstill due to an ongoing fuel shortage affecting all aspects of daily life, including garbage collection, sewage and waste disposal and other vital services. But the local donkeys are here to help.
Abu Hesham on his donkey cart won’t be able to clear all the streets of garbage. In Gaza’s Barcelona neighbourhood, trash bins are overflowing – a common sight since fuel for motor vehicles became scarce – and as the 33-year-old donkey cart owner approaches the garbage dump, there is no space left and no option but to throw the trash out on the side of the road.
“What else can I do?” he tells IPS as he carries sacks of waste at 7:00 AM through Gaza’s misty weather.
The smell of rotting garbage is getting worse and worse. The people in Gaza attempt to burn the garbage to reduce the quantity and minimise the risk of infection, so the air is filled with black smoke too. Right now, breathing fresh air is not an option for most people in Gaza, whether children or adults.’
‘In move shrouded in secrecy, officials admit they have revised protocols regarding controversial prisoner protest
Officials at Guantanamo Bay have implemented revised protocols for hunger strikes and force-feeding, according to a Justice Department letter obtained by Al Jazeera. The controversial military detention center keeps scores of detainees imprisoned, often without charge.
The move comes as officials at the base disclosed this week that they would no longer release new figures to journalists on a hunger strike that is currently underway. As of Monday, the last day Guantanamo officials released fresh numbers, 15 prisoners were protesting, up by two from the previous week. All of the hunger strikers were reportedly being force-fed.’
‘Prominent American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says US President Barack Obama did not tell the whole story about a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus in August.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, in a new report published in the London Review of Books, wrote that the administration of President Obama was aware of the fact that the militants fighting against the Syrian government had the ability to make chemical weapons but did not inform the public about it.
“Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts,” he wrote in the article.’
‘Head of Egyptian Interests Section in Tehran has described the Israeli regime as the only possessor of nuclear arsenal and a serious threat to the entire region, reiterating Cairo’s desire to see a Middle East free of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.
Khalid al-Said Ibrahim Amari further emphasized during an interview on Monday that the Tel Aviv regime must open its nuclear facilities to international inspections and accept global nuclear regulations.
Describing the recent Geneva nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers as “a significant step on the part of Iran to allay concerns” about Iran’s nuclear energy program, Amari noted that Egypt “welcomes the agreement and believes Iran demonstrated through this agreement that it can serve as a good example of transparency and dispelling concerns of the international community.”’
‘The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post.
The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. The documents reveal broad disagreement over a host of key positions, and general skepticism that an agreement can be reached by year-end. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year’s Day, though there is no technical deadline.’
‘Rail commuters in Britain are spending up to a quarter of their salaries on travelling to work, new figures have revealed.
The research, from management consultancy Hay Group, indicated a wide variation across the country with London and Birmingham residents paying the highest and those who live in Cardiff paying the lowest proportion of their salaries in commuting costs.
The study showed that low-paid workers in Birmingham and London part with 23 percent of their annual incomes on the daily commute while the poorest workers in Cardiff spend 8 percent of their salaries on long rail commutes.’
‘The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has won a majority of votes in local elections, maintaining control of most of the country’s municipalities.
The National Electoral Council said Sunday with three-quarters of the country’s 337 mayoral races counted, Maduro’s party and his allies received a combined 49.2-percent support, compared to the opposition coalition and partners’ 42.7 percent.
According to figures from the electoral council, the ruling coalition won in 196 municipalities while the opposition in 53. The results from an additional 78 municipalities were to be announced later.’