Tag Archive: United States


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Pelamis platurus, related to the cobra family (Elapidae)
Yellowbelly Sea Snake      Carpenter0     Wikipedia.org

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El Nino washes a SECOND posionous sea snake onto popular California beach which has not seen any for THIRTY YEARS

For the second time in two months, a rare deadly sea snake has washed ashore at one of southern California’s most popular beaches.

A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by volunteers for the Surfrider Foundation in Huntington Beach, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In October, a two-foot-long yellow bellied sea snake was discovered slithering onto Silver Strand State Beach in Ventura County, but it died shortly after being taken to a US Fish and Wildlife Service office nearby.

The venomous sea serpent, known to scientists as Pelamis platura, was first spotted in 1972 during an El Niño in San Clemente.

 

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

A descendant of Australian tiger snakes, experts believe the arrival of the sea snake is a harbinger of El Niño because the last time it appeared in California was during the weather system in the ’80s.

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liftarn   Wikimedia.org

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People Are Waking Up to the Dark Side of American Policing, and Cops Don’t Like It One Bit

Pushing back against a creeping police state.

If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

 

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Texas plumber wants $1 million from dealership that sold his truck to jihadists

A December 2014 photo of the Ford truck used by jihadists in Syria. The "Mark-1 Plumbing" sign is clearly visible © Twitter
 
A Texas plumber has dealt with death threats and abusive phone calls after the Ford truck he sold to a local dealership showed up in the hands of jihadists in Syria ‒ with his company sign intact. Now he is suing for at least $1 million in damages.

Mark Oberholtzer, who runs Mark-1 Plumbing in Galveston, Texas, says that Autonation Ford Gulf Freeway, a dealership in Houston, resold his 2005 Ford F-250 pick-up without removing the decal with his company’s name and phone number. After the truck ended up in the hands of a Syrian rebel group, a photo of it showed up on Twitter and was featured on the final episode of Comedy Central’s ‘Colbert Report’.

Colbert joked that Syria “is going down the toilet, but for the first time, they know who to call to unclog it.”

By the end of that day, “Mark-1’s office, Mark-1’s business phone, and Mark’s personal cell phone had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation,” ranging from degrading to expletive-laced death threats, according to the lawsuit filed in Harris County by Oberholtzer’s attorneys. Up to 200 calls per day continued to come in over the next three weeks, and the plumber still gets calls to this day, especially after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) commits an atrocity somewhere, the lawsuit said.

Chechen Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar using plumbing truck against regime in

In the complaint, Oberholtzer says the dealership stopped him from removing the decal, claiming that doing so would damage the paint. At no time did anyone at the dealership inform Oberholtzer that they would “leave the decals on the truck, which would be transferred in some fashion to international jihadists conducting warfare upon innocents in Syria,” the lawsuit stated, calling what happened an “incomprehensible and horrific eventuality.”

Noting that the plumber had sold several of his old trucks to dealerships in Texas over the years, the lawsuit goes on to add: “On none of these occasions have any of those dealers transferred to international jihadists the traded-in vehicle with Plaintiffs’ identifying marking still upon them.”

According to Carfax vehicle history reports, attached to the lawsuit as evidence, the truck was sold at an auction on November 11, 2013. It was exported from Houston and ended up in Mersin, a port in southeastern Turkey. On December 15, 2014, a photo of the truck posted on Twitter showed it being used as a weapons platform by a jihadist group in Syria – with the “Mark-1 Plumbing” sign still there.

 

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NBC NEWS

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Utah’s Strategy for the Homeless: Give Them Homes

Utah’s Chronic Homeless Rate Drops 91% When It Gives the Needy Housing2:30

By the end of 2015, the chronically homeless population of Utah may be virtually gone. And the secret is quite simple:

Give homes to the homeless.

“We call it housing first, employment second,” said Lloyd Pendleton, director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force.

Even Pendleton used to think trying to eradicate homelessness using such an approach was a foolish idea.

“I said: ‘You guys must be smoking something. This is totally unrealistic,'” Pendleton said.

But the results are hard to dispute.

In 2005, Utah was home to 1,932 chronically homeless. By April 2015, there were only 178 — a 91 percent drop statewide.

“It’s a philosophical shift in how we go about it,” Pendleton said. “You put them in housing first … and then help them begin to deal with the issues that caused them to be homeless.”

Chronically homeless persons — those living on the streets for more than a year, or for four times in three years, and have a debilitating condition — make up 10 percent of Utah’s homeless population but take up more than 50 percent of the state’s resources for the homeless.

 

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PressTV News Videos PRESS TV

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:15AM
A tank operated by Saudi-led forces fires at a position of Yemeni fighters in the Labanat area, between Yemen's northern provinces of al-Jawf and Marib on December 5, 2015. (Reuters photo)
A tank operated by Saudi-led forces fires at a position of Yemeni fighters in the Labanat area, between Yemen’s northern provinces of al-Jawf and Marib on December 5, 2015. (Reuters photo)

A new report says mercenaries and military advisers from the infamous US security firm, formerly known as Blackwater, are replacing UAE troops in the Saudi war in Yemen.   

The Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said on Thursday UAE forces are being gradually replaced by recruits from the US-based private military contractor, which now goes by the name, Acamedi.

The move came after the UAE evacuated some of its military sites in Yemen following its failures in several operations, the Lebanese daily added.

According to al-Akhbar, UAE’s move to involve the private military contractor in the Yemen conflict has raised objections among some members of the Saudi-led coalition.

On Wednesday, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news website said the commander-in-chief of Blackwater mercenaries in the country was killed in the al-Omari district of Ta’izz Province.

 

Read More Here

 

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Blackwater: Shadow Army

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NaturalNews

Syngenta mixed GMOs into US crops to force the world to accept untested biotechnology, lawsuit claims

 

Syngenta

(NaturalNews) Agri- and biotech giant Syngenta is being sued by hundreds of farmers in at least 20 states for shocking business practices, including using the American people as GMO guinea pigs.

According to Arkansas Business, one of the lawsuits against the Swiss seed manufacturer, which has been filed on behalf of two Newport-area farms, alleges that Syngenta “has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China (and) other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept” GMO corn.

The publication further reported in online editions:

The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime.

The firm filed the class-action suit in January on behalf of Eagle Lake Farms and Kenny Falwell, both operating farms in the Newport area. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. At least eight other suits have also been filed against the seed maker, the news report said.

In all, there are hundreds of pending suits against Syngenta that have been filed by American farmers since last fall. The suits claim that Syngenta caused financial losses of between $1 billion and $2.9 billion to U.S. corn farmers after selling them GMO corn that China had yet to approve for use. China is a major (and growing) importer of American corn and maize-related byproducts.

Drop in value

In particular, the suits identified the Agrisure Viptera seed, also known as MIR 162. The suits say the seeds have been genetically altered to resist corn pests including earworms and cutworms. The seed was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010.

In November 2013, China began banning shipments of U.S. corn after its scientists detected the GMO trait, leading to a dramatic decrease in the price and value of U.S. corn. The suits allege that even farmers who did not use the GMO corn suffered economic losses as well.

Farmers in 20 states have filed suit. Together, they represent 86 percent of all corn planted in the United States last year, plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

Arkansas Business further reported:

China went on to approve Viptera in December, but plaintiffs’ lawyers say the development has little, if any, effect on their case. Scott Powell of Hare Wynn Newell & Newton of Birmingham, Alabama, is one of those lawyers.

China, with its rapidly expanding middle class, has “a voracious appetite for corn,” Powell said, and when it stopped buying U.S. corn, it found other vendors, like Brazil. And once a country finds a substitute vendor for a product, it rarely switches back.

It’s not just farmers lining up to sue Syngenta for its shady practice. Other agri-business giants are suing as well.

‘We don’t mess with China’

For example ADM, one of the world’s largest processors of corn, filed suit against the Swiss company in November. “Syngenta chose to sell a corn seed product with traits that were not approved in all major export markets, without undertaking reasonable stewardship practices to prevent the resulting crop from commingling with or otherwise tainting the rest of the U.S. corn supply,” an ADM spokeswoman told Arkansas Business.

For it’s part, Syngenta says the suits are baseless, saying it “believes that the lawsuits are without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase both their productivity and their profitability,” as reported by AgWeb.com.

The company added that it “commercialized the trait in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements,” “obtained import approval from major corn importing countries,” and “has been fully transparent in commercializing the trait over the last four years.”

U.S. farmers take China’s business seriously.

“We don’t mess with China,” Deb Volnek, a Nebraska farmer involved in the suit against Syngenta, told Reuters. “When China buys something, the markets go up. When they don’t, the markets go down.”

Sources:

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com

http://www.agweb.com

http://www.reuters.com

 

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About NaturalNews

The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NaturalNews Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

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by Dr. Tony Phillips.

GEMINID METEOR SHOWER–TONIGHT!

 

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight, Dec. 13-14, as Earth passes through a stream of gravelly debris from “rock comet” 3200 Phaethon. Dark-sky observers in both hemispheres could see as many as 120 meteors per hour during the dark hours between midnight and sunrise on Dec. 14th. Last night, Dec. 12-13, NASA’s all-sky meteor network detected 15 Geminid fireballs over the USA. That number will surely grow on peak night–tonight! Got clouds? Listen for Geminid echoes in the audio feed from our live meteor radar.

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Geminids meteor shower prediction: Moonless and marvelous
  • Geminids meteor shower is peaking
  • Geminid meteors can flash into view anywhere in the night sky

(Sky and Telescope)The nights of December 13-14 offer dark skies for a popular, underappreciated meteor display.

The Geminid meteor shower competes with August’s Perseids for showiness — yet it’s not nearly as well-known. The Geminids are easier on your sleep schedule, too. Their radiant (near Castor in Gemini) climbs as high by 11 p.m. standard time (45 degrees above the local horizon) as the Perseid radiant does by 2 a.m. daylight time on the peak Perseid nights. The higher the radiant, the more meteors you’ll see.

The Geminid meteors can flash into view anywhere in the late-night sky when the shower peaks in mid-December. But if you follow their paths back far enough, they all appear to diverge from a point in the constellation Gemini.

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) predicts that the Geminids should reach an impressive zenithal hourly rate of 120 this year. (ZHR is how many meteors you’d see see per hour in a very dark sky if the radiant were at the zenith. This year the peak should be centered on roughly 18h Universal Time on December 14. Unfortunately, that’s 1 p.m. EST and 10 a.m. PST. So in North America the shower’s performance is likely to be similar on the nights of December 13-14 and 14-15.

This week’s sky at a glance

As the IMO notes, “Near-peak Geminid rates persist for almost a day, so much of the world has a chance to enjoy something of the shower’s best.” In addition, “mass-sorting within the stream means fainter telescopic meteors should be most abundant almost a day ahead of the visual maximum,” and the meteors after maximum are typically brighter than average.

The moon will be a waxing crescent a few days old, no trouble at all.

Read More Here

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US Navy’s newest ship breaks down 20 days after commissioning, towed to emergency repair

© Russavia
 
The US Navy’s brand new littoral combat ship, the Milwaukee, broke down on Friday and had to be towed for emergency repair just three weeks after commissioning. The warship’s troubles came after several days of propulsion system problems.

The USS Milwaukee was traveling from Halifax, Canada to Mayport, Florida, on its way to its homeport in San Diego when it suffered an engineering failure, the Navy Times reported.

 The salvage ship Grapple towed it more than 40 nautical miles to the Joint Expeditionary Base in Little Creek, Virginia, where the cause of the failure will be traced and repairs carried out.

Initial indications point to metal filings in the lube oil filter as the cause of the shutdown, the report said. The ship experienced propulsion problems after leaving Halifax. Engineers cleaned out the metal debris and locked the port shaft as a precaution, but it appears the fix wasn’t enough to keep the Milwaukee running.

 

Read More Here

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Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

© Fatih Saribas
Turkey’s “incursion” into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is – what else? – Divide and Rule.

Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan – which is part of the state of Iraq – no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a “training camp”– as Ankara is spinning. It’s a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about “training” Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the “4+1” alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In Syria, Ankara is virtually paralyzed, after the “stab in the back”downing of the Su-24; the Russian revelations of complicity between Turkey’s first family and stolen Syrian oil (Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan ‘Mini Me’denies everything); and the Russian Air Force relentless pounding of Turkey’s fifth column Turkmen. Not to mention the deployment of S-400s and even a third-generation submarine complete with Kalibr cruise missiles.

So Ankara now switches the attention to Iraq with a “counter-alliance”, made up of Turkey; the KRG (which – illegally – sells oil to Turkey); and Sunnis in northern Iraq under the supposed leadership of the sprawling Nuceyfi tribe in Mosul.

© Stringer

This is textbook neo-Ottomanism in action. We should never forget that for the AKP in power in Ankara, northern Syria and northern Iraq are nothing but former Ottoman Empire provinces, an eastward extension of Turkey’s Hatay province. ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s (unstated) wet dream is to annex the whole lot.

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Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.

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Montana Kootenai National Forest Forest Fire 12.11.2015 photo Montana Kootenai National Forest Forest Fire 12.11.2015_zpsqgzgixoy.png

 Montana Kootenai National Forest Forest Fire 12.11.2015

RSOE EDIS

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Base data

EDIS Number WF-20151211-51205-USA
Event type Forest / Wild Fire
Date/Time December 11 2015 04:22 AM (UTC)
Last update December 11 2015 04:25 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Damage level Medium Damage level

Geographic information

Continent North-America
Country United States of America
County / State State of Montana
Area Fort Belknap area
Settlement
Coordinate 48° 28.950,108° 45.926

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A large grass fire is burning several miles east of Fort Belknap. There are no reports of injuries at this time; the cause of the fire is not yet known. Randy Perez tells us that the fire is heading toward Pony Hill Cemetery, and is south of Savoy Road. Perez, who lives very close to where the fire is burning, says that it is burning in mostly grass-land, with some alfalfa. He tells us that the wind pushed the fire toward Savoy Road, and the fire then changed direction. Hundreds of tons of hay have burned; at this point, no livestock are believed to have perished. The fire is believed to be about nine miles long, and more than a mile wide. Perez says that ranches have moved two herd of cattle and 100 bulls from the area to escape the approaching flames. At least ten fire trucks are at the scene, with crews responding from the MT Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Harlem, Turner, Chinook, Dodson, Malta, and Fort Belknap. Authorities estimate that the fire has burned about 5,000 acres.

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Fires Continue to Burn on Kootenai National Forest

Fires in Lincoln County continue to burn and send smoke to the Flathead Valley

Unseasonably dry and warm fall weather has allowed the lightning-caused fires in the Goat Rock complex and Marston Fire to continue to burn and send smoke to the Flathead Valley.The fires in the Goat Rock complex have burned more than 22,000 acres and are located in and around the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and Scotchman Peaks area. The Marston Fire has burned over 7,000 acres north of Trego.

While some of the fires are continuing to grow slowly, the majority of the burning is in the interior with pockets of fuel burning within the perimeter of the fires, fire managers say. These fires will continue to burn and put up smoke until the area receives significant rain and or snow.

 

Read More Here

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