‘Starbucks has suffered an embarrassing tax backlash after its sales in Britain fell for the first time in its history.
The coffee chain has faced a public boycott since it emerged 18 months ago that it uses a labyrinth of payments to funnel money overseas to Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The company was branded ‘immoral’ by MPs for these practices, which are legal but deprive HMRC of badly-needed revenues and leave ordinary taxpayers to make up the difference.
Last night Starbucks revealed its annual sales in the UK fell to £399million last year from £413million the year before.’
‘Barclays was accused of attempting to silence criticism of its bonus culture after one of the bank’s directors slapped down a major shareholder for speaking out against its pay practices.
Sir John Sunderland, chairman of the bank’s remuneration committee, was angrily heckled by shareholders after he told Standard Life’s Alison Kennedy that it “would be good in future if these points could be made during the consultation phase”.
His criticism of Standard Life for publicly voting against the Barclays remuneration report – which increased the bank’s bonus pool despite falling profits – will fuel public suspicion of “backroom” City pay deals.
In total, a third of shareholders withheld their support for the bank’s executive pay plan at a stormy AGM on Thursday, with nearly a quarter of those who voted actively opposing the board.’
‘A Welsh Housing Association has come under fire after offering residents a “free creme egg” to make up for the financial hardship they may have experienced under the bedroom tax.
Valleys 2 Coast sent out the thank you letter along with the offer of the free creme egg a year after the ‘spare room subsidy’ was introduced. The controversial reform, dubbed ‘the bedroom tax’ cuts the benefits of social housing tenants with a spare room.
Nearly six out of seven affected households have been unable to avoid the cuts as a chronic shortage of housing means there are no smaller properties for them to move to. Campaigners said the move targets the most vulnerable in society, including carers and the disabled.’
‘Homeless people living in the centre of Verona are to be cleared out like pigeons after the city’s right-wing mayor announced plans to introduce fines of €500 (£411) for those found feeding the homeless.
Flavio Tosi, the first citizen of the pretty northern city forever associated with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, said the rising numbers of vagrants in a central piazza was posing a “risk to public health”.
And he blamed a local homeless charity for attracting them there with food handouts.
“Near to Piazza Dante there’s a garden where for some time the Ronda della Carita [charity] has been sending food parcels,” said Mr Tosi, a member of the rabble-rousing Northern League.’
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.
‘Recently unearthed evidence comprised of eyewitness accounts and other supporting FBI documents, tell a different story – that Hitler did indeed escape the bunker in the final days of the Fall of Berlin, flying to Denmark, then to Spain where General Franco supplied him with an aircraft to the Canary Islands, and finally to the Argentine coast by way of a German submarine. After settling in Argentina, Adolph Hitler eventually died of respiratory disease on February 13, 1962, at the age of 73. It would be an incredible story, if it wasn’t so compelling.
Controversy and disputes over how the evidence has been presented threaten to mire the debate, but one thing is very clear – it’s opened a can of worms for mainstream historians who had stood by the orthodoxy of a 70 year old ‘official’ narrative. Last week, the mainstream media coverage by London’s Express Newspaper added fuel to the debate citing more claims that the Fürer had escaped to Argentina.’
‘Fracking for shale gas could be a vote-winner – but more needs to be done to persuade the public it is safe, Michael Fallon, the energy minister, has said.
Speaking after the launch of an industry report claiming fracking could create 64,000 jobs, he said: “More home-grown energy of all kinds, more energy security, can certainly be a vote-winner.
“People have been quite shaken by events in the Ukraine in recent weeks. I think there is widespread support for a policy of more home-grown energy, a mixture of energy sources to reduce our reliance on imported oil and gas.”’
‘Imagine a major city completely covered by a video surveillance system designed to monitor the every move of its citizens. Now imagine that the system is run by a fast-learning machine intelligence, that’s designed to spot crimes before they even happen. No, this isn’t the dystopian dream of a cyber-punk science fiction author, or the writers of TV show “Person of Interest”. This is Boston, on the US East Coast, and it could soon be many more cities around the world.’
‘Scientists warn that large-scale fracking for shale gas planned by Mexico’s oil company Pemex will cause a surge in seismic activity in northern Mexico, an area already prone to quakes.
Experts link a 2013 swarm of earthquakes in the northern states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León to hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Burgos and Eagle Ford shale deposits – the latter of which is shared with the U.S. state of Texas.
Researcher Ruperto de la Garza found a link between seismic activity and fracking, a technique that involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into the well, opening and extending fractures in the shale rock to release the natural gas.
“The final result is the dislocation of the geological structure which, when it is pulverised, allows the trapped gas to escape,” the expert with the environmental and risk consultancy Gestoría Ambiental y de Riesgos told IPS from Saltillo, the capital of the northern state of Coahuila.’
‘A convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea will keep the sea free from any military facilities except of either Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran or Azerbaijan, according to nur.kz citing Kazakhstan’s KTK Channel.
The accord was reached between foreign ministers of the five Caspian states at talks held in Moscow.
Although the countries have been in dispute over delimitation of the sea bed for the last two decades, the diplomats came up with unanimous decision on alien military presence.
There is hardly any other issue within the CIS area which was talked over so long at this high level.
It is 18 years now the Caspian states have been seeking a compromise on who should own the sea, what laws should regulate it and who should be prevented from entering it under any pretext.’
‘Last month, as the Senate was busy negotiating the final details of its Ukraine aid package, Majority Leader Harry Reid became temporarily distracted with a campaign finance issue. Since winning re-election in 2010, Reid’s campaign had purchased gifts for supporters and donors from vendors like Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Nordstrom, and the Senate gift shop, among others. But one round of spending was directed to a less recognizable firm: Ryan Elisabeth, a jewelry line.
In 2012 and 2013, the campaign spent $31,267 purchasing gifts from the company, which is owned by Reid’s granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid. All told, she took in nearly seven times more cash than all vendors of donor gifts combined during that period of time.’
‘Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined his state’s top attorney on Wednesday in blasting the federal Bureau of Land Management over concerns that it may be looking at laying claim to thousands of acres of property in northern Texas.
“The federal government already owns too much land,” Perry told Fox News.
At issue are thousands of acres of land on the Texas side of the Red River, along the border between Texas and Oklahoma. Officials recently have raised concern that the BLM might be looking at claiming 90,000 acres of land as part of the public domain.’
‘A raid was carried out on a man’s home recently because he made a parody Twitter account for his town’s mayor. There were many comical but embarrassing posts made to the account.
According to one tweet, “Mayor Ardis utilizes illegal drugs, associates with prostitutes and utilized offensive inappropriate language.” Mayor Jim Ardis was deeply offended by the Twitter account that was set up in his name, so he launched a full scale police investigation into the identity of the prankster.
Last Tuesday the investigation ended in a full scale raid of Jacob Elliot’s house. Three people at the home were taken into police custody for questioning, as were two others who were met by police at their places of employment.’
‘The Queen should lose her constitutional role as head of the Church of England, Nick Clegg has said.
In comments that divided the Coalition, the Deputy Prime Minister became the most senior politician of modern times to propose the disestablishment of the Church.
Mr Clegg believes that the Anglican Church would “thrive” if no longer “inhibited” by its role at the heart of the British constitution.
The Prime Minister immediately rejected Mr Clegg’s call to disestablish the Church, saying that the proposal was “not a Conservative one” and will not be implemented by the Government.’
‘Russia will work to boost the capacities of the Lebanese Army, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday, adding that his country respects the democratic process in Lebanon.
“ Russia will enhance military cooperation with Lebanon, mainly by reinforcing the defense capabilities of the Lebanese Army and security forces,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil in Mosow.
“We will present our contributions to the international community in the plan to reinforce the Lebanese Army and the state institutions,” he said, in reference to the plan by the International Support Group for Lebanon.
Lavrov also said Russia would not interfere in the Lebanese presidential election.’
‘If we allow a fraudulent pseudo-environmentalist cult to control every aspect of our lives then our children are doomed to a totalitarian existence which Stalin could only have dreamed of.
“The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.
All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”’
‘Geoenginneering, HAARP, scalar energy, chemtrails, weather warfare, storm manipulation, cloud-seeding, weather weaponization, solar obscuration, climate change…
These are all terms well familiar to those who have done research into the very real issue of weather modification. Not so for the general public.
But now the mainstream is slowly acclimating people to the idea of this type of ’new’ technology, even though research shows this has been going on for decades. It’s what they’re NOT revealing that is the dangerous part.’
‘There are still some segments of society hung up on the issue of ending cannabis prohibition due to an unfounded fear that the seed-bearing plant is somehow a “gateway drug” that leads to a life of vice and crime. But the real gateway substances that we should all be worried about, and perhaps the ones with the most negative impact on society, are pharmaceutical drugs, and antidepressants like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) in particular, which have been proven to lead to extreme depression, suicide and even mass murder.
A recent report by James Corbett of The Corbett Report unearths some of the extensive history of SSRI-induced suicides and homicides in America, drawing specific attention to a number of mass shootings that have occurred as a result of these drugs. Prozac, for instance, which is often prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was responsible for triggering multiple mass shootings at schools during the 1990s and 2000s, while other SSRIs have been linked to similar shootings.’
‘The Vermont Senate has given decisive approval to a measure that would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, meaning the state could become the first one in the country to enact such a law.
“We are saying people have a right to know what’s in their food,” said Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, a Democrat. The vote was 26-2 in favor of GMO labeling.
Campbell and other supporters said they believe that they have written a measure that is legally defensible, the Burlington Free Press reported. Nevertheless, the bill would create a fund to help pay the state’s legal bills, since many lawmakers are assuming that food manufacturers will sue.’
‘US President Barack Obama has set the stage for formal talks today with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by provocatively telling the Yomuiri Shimbun that the US is fully committed to supporting Japan in any military conflict with China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. Obama landed in Tokyo yesterday on the first leg of his Asian trip, which includes South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
In written answers to the Japanese newspaper, Obama declared: “The policy of the United States is clear—the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.”
While US officials have made similar statements previously, Obama’s unequivocal backing for Japan in any war with China will only further fuel the tense situation surrounding the islets, and harden Abe’s refusal to even concede that a territorial dispute exists.’
‘The New York Times pushed fabricated evidence in the run up to the Iraq war. A year later, the newspaper apologized for its inaccurate, one-sided coverage.
The U.S. and the New York Times pretended that Syria’s government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack … but that claim was debunked, and even the New York Times was forced to retract itseveral months later. (The alternative media, including Pulitzer prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh, has also pointed out that it was the Syrians rebels – with the help of the Turkish government – did it).
Then the U.S. and the New York Times pretended that they had proof that Russian soldiers were the mysterious “masked men” seizing government buildings in Russia. But a couple of days later, they were forced reporting from the alternative media – especially Robert Parry, winner of the George Polk Award for National Reporting – into retracting that claim, and admitting that their “proof” was almost as flimsy as proof of Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”.’
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’?
‘Martin McGuinness, the “Butcher of Bogside,” a murderer and bomb-making terrorist, just attended a state banquet with the British queen in Windsor Castle. McGuinness shooks hands with Her Majesty—even though, as an Irish Republican Army commander, he helped to assassinate the Queen’s cousin, Lord Mountbatten, by blowing up his boat, also killing his grandson and another teenager.
On that same day the IRA ambushed and killed 1 British Army soldiers, the deadliest attack on the army in the so-called Troubles.’
‘Since 2008, the FBI has been hard at work transforming its massive fingerprint database (IAFIS) into an even more massive biometric database called Next Generation Identification. NGI will include iris scans, palm prints and images of faces that can be scanned using face recognition technology and matched to age, race, address, ID number, and immigration status, among other things.
According to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FBI’s efforts to amass as much identifying data as possible is going quite well: the database, which contained 13.6 million images of 7 to 8 million people in 2012, is expected to hold 52 million photos by next year. Most of the images come from local and state law enforcement. Although the FBI has said it doesn’t intend to collect social media images, there are no rules in place barring the accumulation of pictures from sources other than law enforcement.’
‘In 2008, the IDF created a new weapon (Hebrew) in its arsenal and trained a new group of fighters to use it.
It was a remote-operated gun mounted on an IDF security tower along the Gaza border. The guns are operated by female IDF soldiers trained, like drone jockeys, to monitor the border area by video feed and shoot to kill pretty much anything that moves there.
While I’m not an expert in military weaponry, this strikes me as a new development in the lethality of the IDF. Now, it doesn’t even need shooters on the ground to patrol the border and kill in face-to-face situations. It can all be done by remote control. It’s drone warfare transitioning to the ground.
This begs the question: how long will it be before Israel can delegate all its fighting to machines? Then it can maintain the Occupation by remote control and even fight its wars against Hezbollah and Hamas from computer screens. No, or hardly any soldiers need be killed at all. It’s a perfect example of taking the fight to the enemy, while suffering no casualties yourself.’
‘At least eleven people have been killed after a bomb blast hit a police checkpoint south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The incident took place during rush hour on Thursday morning, when an explosive-laden car drove into the checkpoint at one of the entrances of the southern city of Hillah.
A police official said some 27 people were also wounded in the attack and that the dead included four policemen. Some 15 cars were also damaged
Last month, similar bomb blast killed 36 people in the city.’
‘A political commentator says international media’s silence on the Bahraini regime’s continuing crackdown on dissidents is politically motivated.
“The frustration of the Bahraini people is that the international news media is not covering their plight, their terrible situation,” William Beeman, professor at the University of Minnesota from San Jose, told Press TV on Wednesday.
“I am afraid that this is a politically imposed silence on the atrocities that are taking place in that country”, Beeman said.
The analyst said that one of the reasons behind the silence of the International media and in particular the media in the US is that “the United States maintains a naval fleet in Bahrain and so the US press is completely silent on the prosecution of the Bahraini people by the Al Khalifa regime.”’
‘Seven Palestinians have been wounded in yet another airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip by the Israeli regime, medical sources say.
Spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said on Wednesday that a 50-year-old man and two children had been “moderately” injured in the Israeli aerial strike on the Beit Lahiya neighborhood in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip.
Four more people were also injured in the strike, although further details on their identities have not yet been released.
Eyewitnesses further said that the aerial attack struck a motorcycle.’
‘Al-Qaeda militants are likely to carry out a false-flag chemical attack in Syria, similar to that of August 2013, says a political commentator.
“There’s going to be an attempt, I believe, to stage another false-flag attack,” Gordon Duff told Press TV in an interview on Thursday.
He said al-Qaeda is in possession of “chemical stockpiles” inside Syria. “These are stockpiles that were transferred through Turkey. These are stockpiles that we have traced back to American-run chemical weapons plants in the Republic of Georgia.”
Duff said the Israeli regime is “the player… behind the scenes” in a possible chemical attack in Syria.’