Posts Tagged ‘EU’

US and EU condemn Islamic terrorist attack in China

by Jim Kouri on Friday, May 23rd, 2014

This is article 758 of 776 in the topic Terrorism

United States and the European Union leaders condemned the Muslim terrorist attack in the capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur region, Urumqi, according to statements from the Obama White House and a spokesperson from the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) on Thursday.

According to reports coming out of China, two motor vehicles, without license plates or markings, broke through a roadside fence and drove full-speed right into a crowd of Chinese men, women and children who were shopping at an outdoor marketplace in Urumqi on Thursday morning. Within seconds explosive devices that were loaded into the vehicles were detonated.

The large-scale blasts killed at least 31 people and wounded about 95 other civilians. The Chinese police officials believe the bombers were members of a radical Muslim organization that may be affiliated with al-Qaeda, according to a counterterrorism expert, Samuel Rolfentz.

Chinese police and government officials told their fellow Chinese citizens that they will severely punish the terrorists and their associates and that the police authorities will solve the case without delay. They also said they had provied the wounded proper medical treatment and offered their condolences to victims’ families, relatives and friends.

“This is a despicable and outrageous act of violence against innocent civilians, and the United States resolutely opposes all forms of terrorism,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

“We offers our condolences and sympathies to the victims, their families, and all those affected by this attack,” he added.

In addition, the European Union condemned the attack in Urumqi, a spokesperson with the EEAS told the Chinese news media.

“We have received reports of a deadly attack on a market in Urumqi, Xinjiang, in China causing 31 deaths and injuring more than 90 people,” said Maja Kocijancic, the EEAS spokesperson.

“The European Union condemns this senseless act of violence and extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims,” she added.

Thursday’s terrorist attack is considered by Chinese government officials to be the deadliest in a series of bombings and shootings in the region. The officials said the suspects are believed to be part of aIslamist-separatist group known as the Uighur who live in Xinjang region and have been involved in a conflict with the Chinese majority.

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Perils of Commercial Beekeeping

by Paul Driessen on Monday, April 7th, 2014

This is article 65 of 69 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies

One of America’s earliest food crops – almonds – is also one of the most important for commercial beekeepers. Almonds depend on bees for pollination, but the explosive growth of this bumper crop taxes the very honeybees the industry needs to thrive.

California’s Central Valley produces over 80% of the world’s almonds, valued at over $4 billion in 2012. The boom is poised to continue, with new food products and expanding overseas markets increasing demand to the point that no young almond trees are available for purchase until 2016.

Demand for almonds translates into demand for pollination. So every year commercial beekeepers transport some 60% of all US honeybees to California’s almond groves in February and March, when it’s still winter in most other states. It’s one of their biggest challenges.

For one thing, bee colonies, especially those from northern states, lack sufficient time to emerge from their heat-conserving winter clusters. Some beekeepers thus maintain 20,000 to 30,000 hives. Each one requires careful inspection for diseases and parasites – a meticulous, Herculean task on such a scale.

Complicating the situation, beekeepers are trying to work within a large-scale agricultural system, using an insect whose husbandry practices have changed little since the nineteenth century. The larger the commercial beekeeper’s stock, the harder it can be to tend them and recover from financial setbacks in the form of lost bees.

Almond growers will need 1.5 million hives this year, estimates Colorado beekeeper Lyle Johnston. “It takes almost all the commercial bees in the United States,” to pollinate the almond crop, he says. The payoff can amount to half an individual keeper’s yearly profit.

However, bees can come back from California “loaded with mites and every other disease you can think of,” beekeeper Ed Colby explains. That can often mean bee colony deaths. Last year, US beekeepers experienced an average 30% overwinter bee loss; some lost 10% to 15% of their hives, while others lost much more. It’s a normal cost of doing business, but it can be painful.

Last year’s rate was higher than normal, and higher than any keeper would want. But it was not the “bee-pocalypse” that some news stories claimed. The real story is that efforts to identify a single unifying cause for higher-than-usual losses have failed. Scientists are discovering that multiple issues affect bee health.

Urban, suburban and agricultural “development has reduced natural habitats, clearing out thousands of acres of clover and natural flowers,” a 60 Minutes investigative report observed. “Instead, bees are spending week after week on the road, feeding on a single crop, undernourished and overworked.”

The migration itself is stressful, notes Glenwood Springs, Colorado Post-Independent reporter Marilyn Gleason. “First, there’s the road trip, which isn’t exactly natural for bees, and may include freezing cold or scorching heat. Bees ship out of Colorado before the coldest weather, and drivers may drench hot, thirsty bees with water at the truck wash.”

The convergence in almond groves of so many commercial bees from all over the country creates a hotbed of viruses and pathogens that can spread to many hives. The varroa destructor mite carries at least 19 different bee viruses and diseases, causing major impacts on bee colonies. Parasitic phorid flies are another problem, and highly contagious infections also pose significant threats.

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Putin and Obama working together to split up the spoils after the war?

by Sher Zieve on Monday, March 31st, 2014

This is article 1157 of 1216 in the topic International

Ever since Obama’s “open-mic moment” when he told then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that “Vlad” needed to be patient with: “On all these issues, particularly on missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space” which was followed by his continuing with “this is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Many still continue to state – even well-known talk show hosts – that Obama meant only missile defense. But that’s not what he said. Instead, Obama stated “On ALL of these issues…” That means the deal between the two – Obama and Putin – involved a great deal more than Obama deleting the USA’s missile defense. I believe we are now deeply entrenched in Obama’s promised “flexibility”…to our great detriment.

There are ostensible conservatives in America who are singing the praises of Russia and Putin louder and louder each day, while deriding the USA and the EU. I must say that I agree with the disdain for the growing NAZI-like flavor of the EU and those who regularly read my column know my negative views about the US under Dictator-in-Chief Obama. However, via his recent and soon to be enacted takeover of all of Ukraine – and likely even more land grabs – Putin is not the “strong” leader purported by the suspect pro-Putin crowd. He is – instead – a despotic figure. Obama, Putin and the EU leadership are totalitarian and are becoming more and more violent as time passes.

Recently, Obama and Putin have had multiple phone conversations, ostensibly about Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and his 100,000 troops poised on Ukraine’s border, in order to complete the takeover of the rest of that country. Despite his recent Stalinist behaviors, Putin’s American advocates continue to say that he is “merely a Russian nationalist” and “had the right to take back Crimea.” After the infamous and aforementioned open-mic incident, I have been writing and saying that Obama and Putin had made a devil’s deal with each other that, ultimately, will involve the final destruction of the USA. Since the “Ukraine crisis” reared its ugly head, it has been reported that each time Obama has spoken with Putin it has been for at least an hour. The first time they spoke the Obama media said that the conversation lasted for an hour and a half. An hour and a half to tell “Vlad” to cease and desist in Ukraine? I think not. In my opinion, despite what we see on television when Obama and members of his criminal organization call Putin a “bully” (A bully? Really? Is that the best they can do?) and place sanctions on individuals in the Russian Oligarchy, Obama is working with – not against – Putin. And it’s long past time for the media – most of whom don’t seem to realize that they will die with the rest of us – to begin telling the truth; if for no other reason than their own survival.

Let me ask a question. If Obama is so angry with Putin and is “sanctioning” members of his government, why is the US supplying military equipment to Russia? Doesn’t make sense…does it?

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Solar and Wind Power Losing Worldwide Support

by Alan Caruba on Friday, March 21st, 2014

This is article 254 of 262 in the topic energy

In his state of the union speech in January President Obama claimed that the U.S. was closer to “energy independence” than ever. He was referring to solar energy while ignoring that his administration has been the most anti-fossil fuel energy than any previous one.

The U.S. has the greatest energy reserves, coal, oil and natural gas, of any nation in the world, but Obama has been waging a “war on coal”, delaying the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, and slow to issue permits to explore for new sources of energy reserves on federal lands. The impact on the economy is incalculable, but it is driving up the cost of energy for everyone and every industry.

Meanwhile, Obama keeps talking about “green jobs” and doubling the nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.” This another fantasy to which he clings.

As Taylor Smith, a senior policy analyst for The Heartland Institute, points out “Despite years of favorable public policy, including renewable power mandates and billions in subsidies, solar power still produces only about 0.2 percent of the nation’s electricity. The National Conference of State Legislatures says power from most large, utility-scaled solar installations still costs about 35 percent more than electricity from natural gas plants; many other experts estimate the levelized cost is even higher.”

U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the United States is producing less electricity now than it did when Obama took office even with the inclusion of wind energy.

From 2008 to 2012, U.S. electricity production declined by 1.7 percent. That’s what happens when Environmental Protection Agency regulations force coal mines to close along with coal-fired plants that previously produced 50 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Suffice to say, Obama is the enemy of fossil fuel production and the energy it provides for electricity production and our transportation needs. That makes him the enemy of the American people.

In February, the National Review had an article, “Europe’s Green Collapse”, by Stephen Moore in which he noted that “Not long ago nearly all the nations of Europe bought into this same dream of a green energy free lunch as they legislated tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for solar and wind power while directly and indirectly taxing and capping carbon-based energy.”

That policy was set in motion by the United Nations Kyoto treaty in 1997. It was based on the global warming hoax that called for a reduction in so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. The U.S. did not sign onto the treaty and Canada withdrew from it in 2012.

The Earth, however, has been in a natural cooling cycle for going on seventeen years, the result not of any manmade gases, but because of the Sun has been producing lower levels of solar radiation. The hoax is based largely on the utterly false claim that carbon dioxide warms the Earth when, in fact, it plays virtually no role whatever in the Earth’s climate. The Earth is likely to remain cooler for decades.

That fact has been brutally clear in Europe where the cold has been comparable to the temperatures the U.S. has been encountering. Moore reported that “In January Brussels announced with little media fanfare that the European Union is ditching their renewable-energy standards.” It is a matter of economic survival for Europe.

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New report: Organized crime trends in Ukraine challenge law enforcement

by Jim Kouri on Friday, November 15th, 2013

This is article 291 of 329 in the topic Criminal Activity

A new breed of organized criminal enterprise is swiftly rearing its ugly head in Ukraine, according to a preliminary report regarding organized crime and public corruption in that former Iron Curtain nation by the nonprofit, non-partisan Organized Crime Observatory (OCO) released in New York City on Tuesday.

The report, presented at a news conference at the United Nations, outlines the progress of international researchers in their assessment of the nation’s crime and corruption, ahead of a crucial European summit at Vilnius later this month in which an agreement may be signed granting the former Soviet state EU Associate status.

The OCO report assesses the current trends in Ukrainian criminality, observing that drug and human trafficking remain at a high level in the country, but new trends such as corporate raiding and fraud are increasingly common. The study will also focus on public corruption with an insight on local bureaucracies.

The biggest new challenges for law enforcement agencies are an increase in counterfeiting and cybercrime, both of which internationalize Ukraine’s criminal influence. The internationalization of corporate raiding is more hidden but still very present.

OCO President, Nicolas Giannakopoulos, commented that Ukraine has made great efforts to join and comply with European and international conventions to combat organized crime, corruption and other illegal activities but the road ahead is still challenging.

He told his colleagues:

“Europe has for some time regarded Ukraine as a hotbed for organized crime and corruption, and the high profile cases of former Prime Ministers Lazarenko and Tymoshenko certainly attest to the scale of crime in the country. Ukraine efforts shows some interesting progress against organized crime gangs, which is good news. Where more needs to be done, however, is in tacking the blight of corruption that impacts the lives of so many people in the country and the emerging risks posed by cybercrime and corporate raiding. This is where Europe could be doing more to help.”

OCO reports that one in two Ukrainians has fallen victim to internet scams, such as identity fraud and theft, with over two thousand fraud cases already reported. Corporate raiding, on the other side, often ends in western Courts.

Nicolas Giannakopoulos sees this trend as one in which the European Union can protect itself by working more closely with the country:

“European agencies could provide useful support for their colleagues in Ukraine. This would be good news for Ukrainians, but it would also help citizens across the EU too by preventing Ukrainian criminal activity spreading across the continent.”

The OCO’s comprehensive investigation and study on Ukraine will run through September 2014.

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Obama’s spy program causing frenzy and anger in Germany and EU

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

This is article 24 of 33 in the topic Espionage

While the U.S. media are giving scant coverage of the controversial spy program under President Barack Obama, the German and European Union media are in the midst of a frenzy over the report that the NSA is monitoring the cell phone communications of Chancellor Angela Merkel, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

The German press, for example, quoted U.S. intelligence sources as saying that one of the National Security Agency’s top officials, Keith Alexander, allegedly briefed the U.S. president on an eavesdropping operation involving Merkel in 2010 and that the U.S. president allowed it to continue.

Germany’s media also claim the NSA not only “tapped” Merkel’s business mobile phone but also her official “landline.”

German and European Union officials are characterized in news stories as being outraged and angry over the spying on their leader by U.S. intelligence and they’ve labeled it a “very serious breach of trust and of German national security.”

“Can you blame [the Germans] for their reaction? While the Obama administration is ever so careful not to even call Islamic terrorists Muslims and believes terrorism is a criminal justice issue, Obama is perfectly fine with government ‘spooks’ spying on American citizens and nations deemed to be our friends,” said former intelligence officer and police commander Sid Franes.

“Then our Commander in Chief’s minions claim he didn’t know about the spying. So once again either he’s lying or he’s so out of touch and ignorant that this country is being run by bureaucrats,” said Franes.

According to news reports, German representatives are expected to visit Washington to hold meetings with members of the White House staff and U.S. intelligence leaders in the coming days.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert declared to the press that “his government has received information that the Chancellor’s cellphone is possibly being monitored by American intelligence services. We promptly addressed an inquiry to our American partners, requesting immediate and thorough clarification.”

According to Seibert, the German Chancellor spoke with President Obama by phone. She made clear that, should the information prove true, she unequivocally disapproves of such practices and views them as totally unacceptable.

She is being quoted as saying, “Among close friends and partners, such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States have been for decades, such monitoring of the communications of a head of government simply must not occur. This would be a serious breach of trust. Such practices would have to be stopped immediately.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed an expectation that the U.S. authorities will provide clarification about the potential dimension of such monitoring practices and answer questions that the German government already asked months ago.

The Head of the Federal Chancellery, Federal Minister Ronald Pofalla, met with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Control Panel, Thomas Oppermann, and Deputy Chairman Michael Grosse-Brömer, to inform them of the alleged claims, according to Seibert’s statement to the press.

“High-level talks also took place in Berlin with White House and U.S. State Department officials in an effort to clarify the issues. These talks must continue,” he stated.

Meanwhile, during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said:

“No one disputes the need for careful, thorough intelligence gathering.

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EU Moves To Control All Plants

by Bob Livingston on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

This is article 56 of 69 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies
EU Moves To Control All Plants

PHOTOS.COM

The European Union is considering a law that regulates all plants by placing immediate restrictions on vegetables and woodland trees and laying the groundwork to restrict all other plant species in the future.

The psychopathic elites at the EU understand that if they control the food supply, they control the population. The Plant Reproductive Material Law makes it illegal to grow, reproduce or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested by the newly created EU Plant Variety Agency, which will be tasked with making a listing of “approved plants.”

Following an upheaval by hundreds of thousands of people protesting the possibility of such an Orwellian control agency deciding what foods are approved and making criminals out of farmers who want to use their own seed, the law was amended to:

  • “Permit” home gardeners to swap “unapproved seed” without breaking the law.
  • Allow individuals and small organizations (with fewer than 10 employees) to grow and sell “unapproved seeds.”
  • Establish seedbanks that can grow “unapproved seeds” without breaking the law.

Even with these minor changes it’s still an egregious assault on liberty. Under a similar law, rather than being considered one of the United States’ greatest scientists, George Washington Carver would have been a common criminal and enemy of the state.

The law is designed to give Big Farm organizations like Monsanto, DuPont and and Archer Daniels Midland absolute authority over seeds, limiting the availability of sustainable heirloom seeds and forcing consumers to use genetically modified seeds. I have pointed out how well that is working here, here, here and here.

Understand that if this becomes law in the EU, it’s only a matter of time before the collectivists in the United States begin a similar move here.

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Israeli Arab spying for Hezbollah sentenced by court

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This is article 960 of 1216 in the topic International

A court in Haifa, Israel, on Tuesday sentenced an Israeli citizen of Arab descent to seven years in prison for his spying activity for the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah, according to an Israel National Police source who requested anonymity.

According to court documents, Milad Khatib pleaded guilty to being in contact with a Hezbollah foreign agent, and guilty to assisting a known enemy during wartime.

Court documents say he confessed to the charges against him as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors, according to the INP source.

Khatib admitted that he gathered intelligence — then passed it on to his Hezbollah handler — regarding the security detail for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Israeli army installations especially those close to Israel’s borders.

The 26-year-old Muslim said he had been recruited by a Hezbollah intelligence officer in Denmark in 2009.

Hezbollah is a powerful terrorist group based in Lebanon with strong ties to Iran and Syria. It’s considered the largest and most powerful Islamist group in the world with tentacles reaching as far as Latin America.

In a December report, the United Nations confirmed that Hezbollah was fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism founder and director, Steve Emerson, “[Hezbollah's] reputation had already been seriously damaged in the eyes of many European Union states by its role in Syria, but the EU has thus far proved reluctant to officially designate it a terrorist organization.”

“The recent confirmation by the Bulgarian government investigation that [Hezbollah] was responsible for the bombing of a bus of Israeli tourists at Burgas last year was another blow to the Shia force’s credibility and may finally persuade the EU to act,” said Emerson, a former CNN journalist.

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Kiss the European Union Goodbye

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This is article 943 of 1216 in the topic International

I rarely re-post a commentary, but this one is relevant to what is occurring in Cyprus and what may lay ahead for the European Union and the Euro.

Reuters – (3/24/13) Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades held last-minute talks with international lenders on Sunday in an attempt to save the Mediterranean island from financial meltdown and possibly becoming the first country to leave the euro zone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kiss the European Union Goodbye

By Alan Caruba
In Paris on October 15th, a group of finance ministers and central bankers known as the G20, representing major nations, gave the European Union until October 23red to find an answer to the financial crisises that are tearing apart the EU and its monetary structure.
Don’t hold your breath. If not now, at least in the foreseeable future, the EU will collapse for the oldest reason, national sovereignty and national self-interest.
If you visit Wikipedia and enter “European Wars”, it will kick out a list that’s several pages long in small print starting with the Trojan Wars, 1193-1184 BC. The Romans conquered everyone for a while. The Spanish tried to invade England. For a while Napoleon was invading everyone. There were the hundred year wars, thirty year wars, and wars for the hell of it. Suffice to say the Europeans have a long record of going to war with one another.
World War One impoverished its participants and led to World War Two. After the devastation of World War Two and with the threat of the Soviet Union to the East, European leaders concluded that the only option to avoid future wars or being overrun by the Russian bear was to form a kind of United States of Europe.
In a newly published book, “The End of the Euro”, subtitled “The uneasy future of the European Union”, Dr. Johan Van Overtveldt, the editor-in-chief of Trends, Belgium’s leading weekly on business and economics, takes us through the history of the European Union and the creation of a common currency, the euro.
For people like me who thank a merciful God that Internet banking makes it possible to actually know my checking account balance, Overtveldt’s book is both a blessing and a challenge because it deals with some very complex issues of finance. He also provides some very useful history with which to understand the past and predict the future.
My knowledge of history was sufficient to have huge doubts about the formation of the European Union and it looks like I am about to be borne out in my pessimism. “While efforts at European integration have without question contributed to peace on the continent,” Overtveldt points out, “at least three other factors are also at play.”
“First, broader international cooperation and consultation” have been the order of the day since the end of World War Two. “Second, the presence of American troops throughout Europe, and certainly in Germany, helped maintain the military status quo. Third, the sense during the Cold War of “a common, non-democratic enemy increased cooperation and cohesion among Western European nations.”
Then Overtveldt identifies the central weakness of the European Union.

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All Roads Lead to Cyprus

by Daniel Greenfield on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

This is article 46 of 61 in the topic Finance

Cyprus is Europe’s original failure. It was the first part of modern Europe to be invaded and colonized by Muslims, while its native Christian population was ethnically cleansed. Cyprus is to Islam what Czechoslovakia was to Nazism; the canary in the coal mine warning of worse things to come.

Now Cyprus has wound up in the middle of the European Union’s meltdown as everyone scrambles to salvage what they can from an unsustainable system at the expense of everyone else. It’s easy to look at what almost happened as another case of powerful elites abusing ordinary pensioners, but it’s a good deal more complicated than that.

What we are actually seeing are the beginnings of bailout cannibalism as the Eurocrats manipulate entire nations into fighting each other while scrambling to gain some political advantage out of the mess. The real purpose of the deposit grab was to wreck Cyprus’ banking sector and continue the centralization of international finance. At the same time it was meant to give German voters, who have been funding much of the mess, the feeling that other people were getting screwed as well.

Cyprus’ government tried to salvage its banking sector by passing on the pain to ordinary depositors in one of those brutally unfair short-term/long-term decisions that technocrats like so long as they have the early warning to opt out of them. While the banks were closed to ordinary people, there’s little doubt that plenty of insiders took the time to get their money out and it will be interesting to find out who they were.

But that largely doesn’t matter. Bigger systems are bound to more corrupt and every regulation has its loopholes and exploiters. Everyone is badly overextended and betting on cleaning up once the rubble begins to fall.

In Cyprus, the Russian elite looking for a safe place to put its money when the people turn on them intersected with a Eurocratic elite trying to eliminate safe harbors and cheap places to do business. And they all bumped into British senior citizens looking for a cheap place to retire and angry leftists with no serious economic plan, but a determination to overthrow the government.

Cyprus is the place we go to learn that everything is tangled up with everything else and that there are no more answers left; just blame to be passed around and money to be stolen.

Everyone is deep in debt and no one is going to pay up. And why should they? Southern Europe may have dug itself into a hole, but the Eurocrats ordering them to dig out were the ones who provided the shovel because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Debt was a profitable and useful political tool. It still is.

American Federalism was built on the Federal assumption of state debts. Obama’s two-term reign was built on massive bailouts used to consolidate power while reassuring the banks that they would be taken care of. The National Debt is headed into 17 trillion dollar territory because that too is a useful political tool. Driving the debt to the point where it can never be repaid is meant to transform the entire way we do business and spend money. And it’s working.

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