‘SNP ministers have announced an indefinite ban on fracking in Scotland as they intensified their general election battle with Labour over which party is promising the greatest restrictions on the controversial practice.
Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, declared a moratorium on granting planning permission for “unconventional” oil and gas projects that blocked all schemes north of the Border under development.
In a statement to MSPs, he said the ban would last however long it took to carry out a full public consultation on the extraction of shale gas and research into its impact on the environment and public health.’
‘I’m thinking of quitting Britain over ‘very, very depressing’ recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks, says Jewish actress Maureen Lipman
· Maureen Lipman said she is considering leaving the UK over anti-Semitism
· The 71-year-old actress said she is concerned by the increasing attacks
· She told LBC she is considering a move to either New York or Israel
Mrs. Lipman, 71, said the Jewish community in Britain ‘give, give and give’ and described the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks as ‘very, very depressing’.’
‘Victims of non-emergency crimes in England and Wales should report offences online to save police time and money, the Home Secretary has said.
Theresa May said cutting the number of phone calls into police would free up officers for frontline work, and could help save millions of pounds.
But campaigners warned that making people report crimes using a website would put “artificial barriers” between the police and the public.’
‘The new Greek government has spoken out against the EU partners over the statement that lays the blame for Saturday’s fatal attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Russia. Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria voiced similar objections earlier.
The government, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tripras, said in a press release on Tuesday that “the aforementioned statement was released without the prescribed procedure to obtain consent by the member states, and particularly without ensuring the consent of Greece.”
“In this context, it is underlined that Greece does not consent to this statement,” Tsipras added.
He voiced his “discontent” in a phone call to EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini.’
‘Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded #JeSuisCharlie statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey — including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.
It’s an illustration, perhaps, of how extremely complicated and nuanced issues of online speech really are. It’s also conclusive proof of what many tech critics said of Zuckerberg’s free-speech declaration at the time: Sweeping promises are all well and good, but Facebook’s record doesn’t entirely back it up.’
‘In a taste of what lies ahead, Yanis Varoufakis, the flamboyant new finance minister, said on his way to the government’s swearing-in ceremony that negotiations would not continue with the hated troika of officials representing foreign lenders.
“They have already begun but not with the troika,” said Varoufakis, an economist who has disseminated his anti-orthodox views through blogs and tweets almost daily since the debt crisis exploded in Athens in late 2009 – something he promised on Tuesday to continue to do. “The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived,” he wrote on his blog. “My plan is to defy such advice.”’
‘Members of Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community who assist police investigating alleged child sexual abuse have been pressured to stay silent, secret tape recordings and emails obtained by Fairfax Media reveal.
The details of the pressure being exerted on victims have emerged as the Royal Commission into child sex abuse prepares to hold public hearings next week to examine the responses of Melbourne and Sydney’s yeshivah centres to alleged offences dating back to the 1980s.
In one secret, legally recorded 2011 telephone conversation, prominent Melbourne criminal lawyer Alex Lewenberg tells a victim of St Kilda Yeshivah centre sex offender David Cyprys he should not have co-operated with police.’
‘Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s far-Right Front National party, was slightly injured on Monday in an accidental fire at his house outside Paris.
The fire at Mr Le Pen’s house in Rueil-Malmaison is thought to have started in a chimney where work was being carried out. Mr Le Pen was injured as he escaped the flames by climbing out a window.
“There’s not much left” of the plush villa in the Paris suburb of Rueil-Malmaison, Mr Le Pen told Paris Match. “The damage is impressive.”‘
‘More than a million people receiving treatment for asthma may have been misdiagnosed, experts warned today.
Almost a third of the 4.1m people treated for asthma in the UK did not show any ‘clear evidence’ of the incurable condition, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) .
This means they may be receiving unnecessary treatment.
However, asthma charities warned diagnosing asthma is difficult and the majority of patients ‘do not receive adequate care’.
And experts cautioned that no one diagnosed with the condition should stop taking prescribed medication unless instructed by a healthcare professional.’
‘British charities say they have been targeted in a “subtle” yet “menacing” fashion by prominent political figures for publicly criticizing the coalition’s austerity policies. Others are silenced by gagging clauses in government contracts.
The coalition’s ramped up efforts to silence dissent poses serious difficulties for charities that compete for government contracts to provide public services.
Gagging clauses embedded in such contracts have allegedly been used by the coalition to prevent voluntary groups from engaging in unwelcomed public debate.’
‘Despite poll after poll showing that Americans want more clean energy, Indiana legislators are pushing bills that would reduce energy efficiency and make it harder for Hoosier state residents to go solar, just as the solar industry is getting on its feet in the state.
Last week, Indiana’s Senate Utilities Committee heard from a packed room about its bill that would let utilities set energy efficiency goals. Last year the state decided to end the popular Energizing Indiana efficiency program. Now some in the legislature have created Senate Bill 412, which is very one-sided in favor of utilities who sell electricity and doesn’t protect the average person from monopoly interests.’
‘Super Bowl security will be reinforced by Black Hawk military-style helicopters and massive X-ray machines designed to scan large cargo trucks, all courtesy of US Customs and Border Protection.
On Monday, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske was in Glendale, Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLIX, for a flyover demonstration of the Black Hawks, which will assess air traffic near the University of Phoenix Stadium. The agency has deployed about 100 officers to assist state and local law enforcement, according to AP.’
‘Is the campaign for a North American Union officially underway with this editorial appearing in CNN?
Certainly conspiracy theorists might be justified in thinking so.
For years, more than a decade, some have suspected that powerful bureaucracies in North America – especially in Washington – might seek to combine Mexico, the US and Canada into a single super-state.
This was always greeted with howls of contempt by those in the mainstream media, especially in the liberal congregation, who knew better. There was no need, no possibility, that Canada, Mexico and the US would ever form a single trading – and perhaps political – union in the manner of the EU.
But here we go. Those derisive hoots are now drowned out by the reality of what this editorial proposes.’
‘Large-scale, commercial agriculture, among other things, is taking a toll on the planet, particularly in America’s Heartland, and is threatening the existence of life on Earth, according to an international team of researchers.
Published in the journal Science, their study called, “Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet,” identifies and defines Earth’s systemic limits, or planetary boundaries, and the changes they can withstand while still being able to support human life.’
‘Now we finally come to the real agenda of the vaccine industry. After vaccines have been repeatedly documented by the Natural News Lab to contain neurotoxic chemicals such as mercury, formaldehyde and MSG; after vaccine shots have been repeatedly shown to kill people who take them; and after flu shots have been exhaustively shown to be based on no science whatsoever — with vaccine manufacturers openly admitting there are no clinical trials to show they even work — the rabid vaccine pushers are unveiling their end game: throw vaccine resistors in prison.’
‘Within the mainstream medical and scientific community there is an unassailable pseudo-truth that vaccines are safe and effective, whether administered individually or in combination. Within the vaccine injured children and autism movements there is also an unchallenged belief that vaccines are effective but not always safe. In this case, vaccine-injured children or adult family members were simply one of the rare cases where they received a hot lot vaccine or possessed biomolecular abnormalities, such as mitochondria dysfunction, and suffered the consequences.
Even many parents with two children developing neurological complications after vaccination, will continue to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. Any medical physician, scientist, nurse, public health advocate, politician, or journalist who questions the myth of vaccine safety and efficacy are often immediately attacked, ridiculed, and designated a conspirator. In fact, the pro-vaccine propaganda machine sends forth articulate doctors and university scientists to engage in ad hominin personal attacks against vaccine dissenters.’
‘In March 2011, a massive earthquake and an ensuing tsunami triggered the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Almost 4 years later we’re still seeing repercussions of the disaster, and the effects will likely continue for decades. This disaster is contributing to untold health concerns and environmental damage.
While you may have heard information about Fukushima in the news, there are some stories the mainstream media isn’t covering. Let’s dive into 5 things you’re not being told about the Fukushima situation.’
‘Marine biologists and other researchers are voicing serious concerns regarding the high mortality rate among orcas (killer whales) observed over the past couple of years.
No one has yet proven that there is a direct link between the 100 percent mortality rate seen among orca infants and the effects of the radiation contamination of the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactor leak in Japan, but it certainly can’t be ruled out as a possibility.
It is rather interesting that the incidence of orca deaths — not just of infants, but full-grown specimens as well — has risen sharply since the accident occurred in 2011 and as the radiation has made its way across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of North America.’
‘Severe winter storm events often prompt naysayers to mock, “Where’s that global warming?” But while the concept may seem to conflict with rising global temperatures, these storms are actually obvious evidence of man-made climate change.
Climate change, say scientists, fuels the increasing intensities of winter storms. Warmer temperatures allow the atmosphere to hold more moisture and create heavier than normal precipitation.
Climatologists agree that global warming will continue to make these storms worse over time.’
‘The robber barons are back and are buying American politicians at the highest level in more than a century, as several hundred of the wealthiest Americans led by the Koch brothers say they will spend $900 million in 2016’s presidential and national elections.
“For that kind of money, you could buy yourself a president—oh right, that’s the idea,” Mark McKinnon, a longtime Republican political consultant told Politico.com, when asked to comment on the 2016 agenda presented at the Koch’s donor retreat this past weekend near Palm Springs, CA.’
‘The Obama administration Tuesday announced a proposal to ban drilling in certain environmentally sensitive parts of the Arctic — but in exchange, it will open up the Atlantic to gas and oil interests for the first time in decades.
The Interior Department’s draft plan for five-year lease sales, which would begin in 2017, cover 14 potential sites: 10 in the Gulf of Mexico, three off Alaska, and one in the Atlantic, off the shores of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
It’s the kind of arrangement that the administration presents as a “balance” between energy interests and environmental concerns, in that no one’s happy about it — Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has already been freaking out over an earlier decision to prohibit drilling in 12 million acres of Arctic Refuge – but it’s a major, and surprising, blow to environmental groups that have fought to keep Big Gas and Oil out of the Atlantic.’
‘Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras has openly challenged international creditors by stopping privatization plans agreed upon under the country’s bailout deal.
During his first meeting with cabinet members on Wednesday, Tsipras said that they could not disappoint voters already battered by a drop in living standards caused by austerity measures.
“We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country,” he told ministers.’
‘Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has killed two Israeli soldiers in a surprise attack on an Israeli convoy in northern occupied territories.
Hezbollah’s retaliatory attack on Wednesday killed two Israeli soldiers and destroyed at least nine military vehicles.
The Israeli regime responded with combined aerial and ground strikes on southern Lebanon.’
‘A senior Turkmen politician says some 10,000 Iraqi Turkmen tribesmen have joined the volunteer Shia fighters to battle the ISIL Takfiri militants operating inside the Arab country.
“Seven thousand Turkmens from Tal Afar in the northern province of Nineveh, more than 2,000 others from the town of Tuz Khormato in the province of Salahuddin, and hundreds from Bashir village in Kirkuk province have joined Shia forces,” Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency quoted Torhan al-Mufti as saying on Wednesday.
In late August 2014, Iraqi army troops, backed by thousands of Shia volunteers and Kurdish fighters, liberated the northern town of Amerli, situated about 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, from the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.’
‘The Pakistani government has expressed serious concern over a recent nuclear deal between the United States and India, saying it will be detrimental to stability of South Asia.
The deal was signed between the US and India during a recent trip to New Delhi by US President Barack Obama. At a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Indian capital on Sunday, Obama said they had reached “a breakthrough understanding” on the nuclear cooperation that would allow US companies to establish reactors in India.
Reacting to the deal, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said in a statement on Wednesday that the agreement would “further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment” in the troubled region.’