Wednesday 30 September 2015

"U.N Manipulated by Trans-national Corporations": Global Policy Forum

Quote: "U.N. Manipulated by Transnational Corporations, New Study Charges

Posted by johnhol on September 30, 2015, 6:44 pm

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 22 2015 (IPS) - The United Nations, which is commemorating its 70th anniversary next week punctuated by a summit meeting of world leaders, is facing charges of being politically manipulated by big business and transnational corporations (TNCs) – some openly violating labour rights and environmental standards the world body so vociferously advocates.

A new study from Global Policy Forum (GPF), released Tuesday, warns that the United Nations is “embarking on a new era of selective multilateralism, shaped by intergovernmental policy impasses and a growing reliance on corporate-led solutions to global problems.”

“The changing funding patterns of the U.N. and its funds, programmes and specialized agencies reflect these alarming trends.”

Some of the key features, the study points out, include the growing gap between the scale of global problems and the (financial) capacity of the U.N. to solve them; the growing share of non-core contributions and earmarked trust funds in U.N. finance; increased reliance on the corporate sector; and the outsourcing of funding and decision-making to exclusive global partnerships.

The 140-page study, titled ‘Fit for Whose Purpose? Private Funding and Corporate Influence in the United Nations’, is being released ahead of the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit scheduled to take place Sep. 25-27.

Asked who should be blamed for the current state of affairs, Jens Martens, Director Global Policy Forum and co-author of the study, told IPS member States have failed to provide sufficient and reliable funding to the U.N. system.

“This situation is compounded by the insistence over many years of Western governments, led by the USA, on a doctrine of zero-growth to the U.N. assessed budget,” he said.

The result has been increasing reliance on voluntary and non-core funding, as well as a growing number of ad hoc and disparate partnerships between the U.N. and the business sector, Martens added.

Article continues:

Quote: "Imagine the scene....a rocky cove of azure blue waters and golden sand, however the cove is also frequented by large sharks of great girth with big toothy grins and dollar signs in their gleaming eyes and they are looking at the shoreline. On the shoreline stand Tony Blair and Gordon Brown resplendent in water-wings, knee length shorts and carrying a water-ring each, however there is also another figure some way off down the beach. The other figure is trudging slowly away from the shore clad in full deep-sea diving gear,carrying a spear gun, repellent spray and wearing knuckle-dusters, through the helmet visor we can just make out the sweating face of Kenneth Clarke. One of the sharks turns to the other with a grin and says, "Dinner is served.""

(Note to the "Bloody" minded; not much democracy in Arizona now-days either is there?)

..."to counterpoint the meaning of the underlying metaphor?! Wrong, I write poetry in order to throw my harsh exterior into sharp relief!".......

...before we hurl ourselves out of the airlock*..consider a properly constituted English Parliament, reformed "Upper Chamber"** and a proportionately representative voting system; perhaps "a dream to some a nightmare to others" but surely a horror story if The European Union is not reformed as a matter of urgency (which itself will entail the purging of The United Nations).

*(Re: "Vogon Poetry" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adam's)
**The House of Lord's.

Qu;"How though does a devolved Britain maintain it's sense of identity if it remains part of The European Union, will we need a cultural/socio-political forum of our own, a filter between devolved Britannia and Europe?"
Ans: I would say almost certainly. If properly constituted (there's that word again) a "Council of Britons" may well prove necessary in order to represent this rather peculiar Island's interests internationally (and those of a certain region of N.W France*).

* I mean Brittany here. Go to
Perhaps a united Britain could even include Southern Ireland?

(By the way if you're wondering about my apparent prescience let me state very clearly here that our current socio-political/economic situation was indeed predicted -over 25 years E.F Schumacher)

Am I to be accused of "Brythonic bias"*? I hope not as I do not believe that one is guilty of discrimination if one proselytises for a rediscovery of our ancient countenance; I do however believe that the political pantomime of provisional parochia currently parading as parliamentary democracy is not something we should allow to pass before it.

*Or populism?

...What are we to make of "The Clegg-Cameron"?

I refer the reader to my thread "For Welfare to Work?" for further musings..
The "Sophie's Choice" of a referendum on electoral reform that the British electorate were offered recently serves only to underline these uncomfortable truths, both the paucity of debate and the cynicism with which the issue of electoral reform was marginalised demonstrate only too clearly just how far the British State has traveled down the road to "wrack and ruin".

Quote: "Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany

Independence Cymru: The Case for Brittany : Independence and national identity are emotive issues, but the arguments in favour of a greater level of autonomy for Brittany are very strong and rest upon historical, geographic, cultural, and economic considerations.

Economic Arguments

The myth that has been taught to schoolchildren for the past one hundred years is that Brittany is an intrinsically poor country, hampered by poor soil and bad weather. The real truth, however, is that for most of its history Brittany has been extremely prosperous, and that it only started to go into economic decline once it became united with France.

During the Middle Ages Brittany was one of the wealthiest areas of Europe: the interior was home to a thriving textile industry, and the coastal areas maintained a merchant fleet that was one of the most successful of the age, trading salt, textiles, fish and agricultural products across Northern Europe and down to Spain and Portugal.

The wealth accumulated by these activities attracted the jealousy of neighbouring countries, which is the reason why the King of France forced Anne of Brittany to marry him in 1491, a marriage which eventually led to a union of the two states. Brittany remained semi-autonomous and reasonably prosperous until the Revolution, when it was finally amalgamated into the rest of France. The next hundred years of its history were marked by famines and widespread destitution – giving rise to the short-sighted idea that Brittany has always been impoverished.

Although outwardly prosperous, the modern Breton economy is now dependent on agricultural subsidies and funding from central government – which, in economic terms, is disastrous.

A clear argument can be made that Brittany would be more successful in diversifying its economy and creating wealth, if its people had a greater level of control over their own affairs.

Cultural Arguments

The Breton language has survived to the present time; there is still a tradition of Breton music; and there is a wealth of stories and traditions which are specific to this part of the world. These are the sorts of cultural ingredients which are required to support the sense of identity and common purpose required for a successful unit of government. The idea of an autonomous Brittany makes a lot more sense than many other administrative regions that have been created in Europe and around the world in recent times.

Geographical Arguments

People disagree as to where the eastern border of Brittany ought to lie – for most of the past thousand years Nantes and the ‘Loire Atlantique’ have been part of Brittany – but even a cursory glance of a map of Europe marks the Breton peninsular out as a distinctive geographical area, easily distinguished from the rest of France. Many aspects of life in Brittany are dictated by the weather and the sea, which makes it have more in common with places such as Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall than with mainland Europe.

Historical Arguments

It is, perhaps, history that provides the strongest reasons in favour of a change in the way that Brittany governs itself.

Over the years the people of this region have had many different relationships with the rest of Europe, and there is no reason to suppose that the present arrangement should be regarded as permanent.

In ‘pre-historical’ times, Brittany was inhabited by people about whom we know very little except that they erected the menhirs, dolmens, and covered alleyways that are so common in the Breton countryside. These monuments are quite distinct from remains found in other parts of mainland Europe, but do bear a resemblance to sites in the UK, in India, and in China. This would suggest that, in those days, Brittany was an outward-looking country, more closely allied to countries across the ocean than to its neighbours on the mainland.

Immediately prior to the Roman occupation, Brittany was inhabited by Gallic tribes, each of which was autonomous but loosely linked to other Gallic people by Druids who travelled freely throughout France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and northern Italy. The Druids did not constitute a form of government, (or a religion in today’s sense of the word) but do seem to have provided training and spiritual guidance which knitted the Gauls together into a unified nation: it seems unlikely that a tribal chief could have maintained power without the support of the Druids.

Julius Caesar ruthlessly suppressed this civilisation – in modern parlance his ‘campaigns’ would be termed genocide – and Brittany, along with the rest of Gaul, was incorporated into the Roman Empire.

All sense of self-determination was lost over the course of the next four centuries, and, when the Western Empire finally collapsed, the people living in this area had no more idea of how to govern themselves than anyone else in Rome’s former dominions.

But, whereas most of the continent was overrun by tribes from the east (Visigoths, Ostragoths, Huns, Franks, etc.) something unusual happened in Brittany. The Romans had left Britain a few years previously, and it had been settled by people from Saxony: the Saxons. For a time, harmony was established between the native Celts and the newcomers and, consequently, Britain could enjoy a time of peace and prosperity just as chaos was engulfing the rest of Europe. (It is to this period that the legends of King Arthur and Merlin are often dated.)

‘Saints’, or wise men, crossed over from Britain to Brittany and set up sanctuaries in which they taught and helped the local people. The names of some of these men have become legendary and include the ‘Seven Founding Saints’ of Brittany – Malo, Samson, Brieuc, Tugdual, Pol Aurélien, Corentin and Patern.

Towns built up around where they settled (St Brieuc, St Pol de Leon, St Malo, etc.), composed of local people, plus Britons who came to join them. It is only since this time that this region has been known as Brittany and that its people have spoken Breton. It would seem that it is to these founding saints that Brittany owes its traditional love of freedom and independence: Brittany was the only part of modern France which did not fall under the control of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently Brittany succeeded in resisting a Norman invasion of the type that overwhelmed Britain.

For several centuries Brittany had the status of an independent Duchy, recognised by the Pope in Rome but not allied to any particular kingdom. This independence was lost when Brittany was united with France in 1532. Some modern historians blame this union on the greed of Breton nobles who preferred to accept gifts from the French court than to defending their independence; others have maintained that some form of union was inevitable given the state of European politics at the time. Whatever the case, the young heiress to the Duchy, Anne of Brittany, found herself helpless and besieged by a French army in Rennes and was forced to agree to marry the French king, which signalled the end of Breton independence.

Brittany retained separate institutions (in much the same way as Scotland retained its own legal system after it was united with England), but these were swept away in the French Revolution. Since then Brittany has, administratively, simply been part of France.

The late 1800s and early 1900s were a difficult time for Brittany because the government in Paris had little understanding of the region and no empathy with its history and culture: a legacy with which people are still trying to come to terms today.

The Future

The arguments in favour of Breton devolution are so overwhelming that it is almost inevitable that the region will acquire a greater level of control over it own affairs at some point in the future. The question is when and in what form? Many people are fearful of the phrase ‘Breton independence’ because it conjures up an image of militancy, but, if it is true that Brittany does need a greater degree of autonomy before it can move forward, then it would be those people who defend the status quo that posed the greatest threat to its future." Go to: " All posts to Media Len's message board (author's own posts subject to alteration at "Ed's" discretion).

"Greens Will Fight for Reform of E.U, says Party Leader"

Quote: "GREEN leader Natalie Bennett vowed yesterday to send out a strong message on her party’s commitment to EU membership.
During a Q&A with party conference delegates, one participant quizzed her on the party’s arguments for Britain staying in the European Union.
Ms Bennett, who has been at the helm for over three years, likened the case for EU membership to the party’s approach to state structures.
She stated: “One thing I think it’s worth saying is that we do not like the complexion of the British government. We do not like the way the British government is elected.
“But that does not mean we want to get rid of the British government — we want to reform it. That’s the case with the British government and I think is also the case of the EU.”
The Q&A was her last face-to-face with members before the party’s autumn conference ended.
Explaining the party’s EU position to the Star, Ms Bennett was adamant: “Green Party policy, as made by the members, has always been very clear. we want to remain in the EU but we want a reformed EU.
“That’s a kind of shorthand — when I say reformed, I mean 180 degrees from what David Cameron means by reformed.
“That means we want a people’s EU, a democratic, a social EU, one that defends individuals and communities across Europe, one that doesn’t defend above those the interests of multinational companies and big business.”" Go to:,-says-party-leader#.Vgut3n3ooyF

Monday 28 September 2015

"Mutations Found in Sea Life Along U.S West Coast" #Fukushima

Quote: "Mutations found in sea life along US West Coast — Deformed spines, brains, hearts, eyes reported by officials — Malformations include extra brain lobes, hunchbacks, parts of face missing, unusual limbs

NOAA Fisheries, Apr 2, 2015 (emphasis added): Here is an unusual sea star collected during last year’s bottom trawl survey on the chartered West Coast fishing vessel… (Top Comment: Hmm… mutation, clearly; etiology is – what?)

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium – Local Environmental Observer, Jun 21, 2015: Deformed fishpart of its nose and upper lip part appears missing… [Dr. Ted Meyers, State Fish Pathologist said] “The abnormality appears to be an upper and lower jaw deformity, and possibly a deformity of the eyes… The right eye is sunken and has thickened peri-orbital tissue, likely another developmental anomaly. Most likely the jaw deformity is congenital, possibly occurring during embryogenesis… Eye deformities are usually congenital as well.”
Tununak, AK… I caught a halibut with…
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium – Local Environmental Observer, Feb 27, 2015: Deformed fish – Toksook Bay, AK… This is blackfish that has either a growth or dislocation on the left side of the fish. It looks more like a growth to me. There’s small tannish colored on top of the bump. On top of the head is white-ish colored streak… LEO Comment: … this is probably not cause for concern, although certainly worth posting as a LEO observation. If however, you observe several fish with the same condition, we begin to question if there is some kind of illness or environmental cause that would require further investigation… [Dr. Ted Meyers said] “This fish looks like a developmental deformity… There could be a neoplastic growth underneath the tissues causing the linear deviation but more likely there was either a defect during embryogenesis or a traumatic injury early after hatching…”
The Marine Mammal Center, Apr 2012: A modern day health problem! Congenital defects in elephant seals, such as spinal deformities and cleft palates… [A]n elephant seal pup, has... a deformity, or birth defect, which gives her a “hunchback”… why are elephant seals so prone to birth defects? The answer may lie with this pinniped’s brush with near extinction hundreds of years ago… potentially causing the present-day problems of congenital defects such as cleft palates, spinal deformities and heart, brain and eye deformities… researchers plan on comparing the spines of these and other recent patients
SF Chronicle, Apr 19, 2012: With her dewy brown eyes, velvety fur and glossy whiskers, TVA is a lovely specimen of an elephant seal. Except for the hunchback. The month-old pinniped [was] rescued in… Marin County… [She] has an extra vertebra in her spine, bulging into a pronounced hump… Several of her compatriots at the center also have birth defectscleft palates, scoliosis, extra brain lobes… Scientists are seeing signs of weakened physiologies – specifically, emaciation – this spring at the Marine Mammal Center. (CAPTION: … Many of the baby elephant seals that turn up at the Center all have the same defect – curvature of the spine.)
See also: Japan Reporter: Mutations increasing in Fukushima -- TV: "Strange things are happening to the plants and animals" -- Gov't News Agency: "Long list of mutated life forms reported" (VIDEO)
" Go to:

"Catalan Independence: What if Seperatists Win?" (or "Grinding the Grauniads")

Quote: "If his separatist party wins a majority of the seats on Sunday, the Catalan president, Artur Mas, has vowed to lead a transitional government that would begin the process of creating an independent state, with a mandate to declare independence by 2017.
Lasting no longer than 18 months, his government would be guided by the steps outlined in the Junts pel Sí party’s 125-page electoral programme. The first would be a declaration, made within days of taking office, proclaiming the beginning of the process to break away from Spain.

If Madrid refuses talks with the region, Mas said that Catalonia could retaliate by walking away from its share of the public debt, accounting for roughly a third of Spain’s total debt.
Mas’s government also plans to begin drafting a constitution for Catalonia, hoping to draw on citizen participation to inform its content.
The creation of state structures will also begin – from a diplomatic service to a central bank – to be ready in time for the proclamation of a new Catalan state. “We have some state structures right now,” Mas said during the campaign, pointing to the region’s public healthcare, education and police service. “But we lack others.”
Plans for the first of these new state structures, a regional tax agency modelled on that of Sweden and Australia, was halted by Spain’s constitutional court earlier this month after the court agreed to hear a challenge lodged by the central government in Madrid.

The same fate could befall many of the state structures envisioned by Mas. With just days left before polling, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said Madrid would use the full power of the judiciary to block any move towards Catalan independence. “We would go to the constitutional court. And that’s the way it is. Full stop,” he told broadcaster Onda Cero.
Spain’s governing People’s party (PP) recently introduced an urgent reform giving the country’s constitutional court the power to sanction elected officials and civil servants who fail to comply with its rulings with fines of up to €30,000 (£22,000) and suspensions. As the bill was presented before the country’s lawmakers, Xavier García Albiol, the PP leader in Catalonia, left little doubt that it was aimed at quelling Catalan separatism. “This is a very clear message for those who want to break up Spain: the joke is over,” he said.
The PP is expected to flex its absolute majority in parliament to have the bill approved in the days following the Catalan elections.
But Madrid’s attempts to shut down Catalonia’s path to independence could backfire. Junts pel Sí has outlined in its programme that, should Madrid seek to block independence, “the Catalan government and parliament will proceed with the proclamation of independence and the passing of the legal transition act”, suggesting Madrid’s obstinance could simply serve to accelerate the separation process." Go to:

Also see; "The Omerta's Deceivers" Go to :, "The Omerta's Blind Spot?" Go to: "The European Arrest Warrant Should be Applied to this Bunch!" Go to: & "Brythonic Independence!" Go to:

..and live feed from The Guardian...

"Pro-independence parties win clear majority in Catalonia

Monday 21 September 2015

British Pharmaceutical Company Glaxo-Smith-Kline Fined $488.8 Million for "Massive Bribery Network" with Doctors (& more on W.H.O vaccines controversy)

Quote: "Think that the medical doctors don’t get kickbacks for prescribing certain medications? Think again!
China has fined the British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $488.8 million (3 billion Yuan) for a “massive bribery network” to get doctors and hospitals to use its products. Five former employees were sentenced to two to four years in jail, but ordered deported instead of imprisoned, according to state news agency Xinhua today.
The guilty verdict was delivered after a one day closed door trail in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province. The fine was the biggest ever imposed by a Chinese court.
The court gave Mark Reilly, former head of GSK Chinese operations, a three-year prison sentence with a four-year reprieve, which meant he is set to be deported instead of serving his time in a Chinese jail. His co-defendants received two to four years prison sentences with reprieves.
Reilly was accused of operating a “massive bribery network” in May. The police said it is believed Reilly authorized his salespeople to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK’s products since 2009.
Chinese authorities first announced the investigation on GSK in July 2013. The police said the company had funneled up to 3 billion Yuan to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials. The money was the exact amount of the fine.
Throughout 2012 a stream of anonymous emails alleging bribery authorized by senior staff at GSK were sent to Chinese regulators, according to media reports. Atthe beginning of 2013, the anonymous emails began to arrive at GSK headquarter in London, along with a sex tape of Mark Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend, according to media reports.
The charges claim that GSK hired Shanghai-based investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, to locate the whistleblower. The Humphreys were detained and charged with illegally obtaining phone logs, travel records and other data which then they put in a report to GSK.
 GSK released a statement of apologies to the Chinese government and people on its website.“GSK Plc has reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes, has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI, and must work hard to regain the trust of the Chinese people,” the statement said.
The statement also said future commitments include investment in Chinese science, improved access of its products in both city and rural areas across the country through greater expansion of production and flexible pricing.
Taking bribery from drug companies and over prescribing medicine to patients is a common hidden rule among doctors in China. It is not uncommon for patients give doctors red envelopes with cash as a blunt plea for them to do a good job on surgeries." Go to:

Quote: "My Mother's health was compromised by Ramipril (one of the "new generation" -"flash-in-the-pan"-, blood pressure drugs), and her death, I am more or less certain, caused by a combination of her compromised immune system and inspired glyphosate ("Round-Up"), she died of lung cancer ..Check out The Patient's Forum, go to:
Go to:

Quote: "As you all know, the World Health Organization or the WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
“In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats. “

What is interesting is that one of the board members of the WHO, Prof Anne Kelso is also a MAJOR shareholder in CSL Ltd (page 6 of this document shows the affiliation of adviser and company).

What is CSL and how do they affect me? Well, CSL is a global biotherapy company that makes many pharmaceuticals and vaccines. CSL is one of the worlds largest producers of named branded vaccines that are scheduled and injected in people around the world today. Gardasil, Fluvax,M-M-R II and others are among the long list of their products. Their flu vaccines are widely sold in the US and other countries.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have an issue with an adviser to the World Health Organization who is reaping financial gains off of company she owns shares of. I would be scheduling vaccines every hour if I could, I mean what is the logic in having someone like that influencing the scheduling of vaccines? I understand the need for knowledgeable people to help navigate the serious issues at the WHO, but couldn’t they have gotten a different candidate? It’s hard to trust the situation and who is making decisions at the WHO.  I decided to dig a little bit and see what I could find.  We couldnt find a current Vaccine Market Document but this is from 2012.
It seemed to me, the World Health Organization was promoting an industry by this 2012 pdf document I found on their website

Seems like they are excited about this new business and opportunity!

It sure does seem like a lot of money involved with these companies and the drugs they sell. Take a look at the companies bought just in the 2005-2012 time-frame bought by large pharmaceutical companies looking to cash in vaccines related products .

..even back in 2012 they raked in the cash from vaccines. That is some serious revenue off of a few products!

It just goes to show you how big a business vaccines really are. The same people who influence companies and governments are the same who  benefit most from the revenue their influence generated." Go to:

H1N1 Gastro-intestinal Swine-flu and the World Health Organisation's Vaccine "Stockpile"

Quote: "I got it, I’m pretty sure of that (people whose systems could be more easily compromised did), there is no natural immunity and the virus doesn’t present in any other way in this form (morning “shivers”, slight temperature elevations and persistent -esp. morning-, diarrhoea). I remember, however, warnings (which were quashed at the time), concerning the virus’s escape into the population via “the gastric route”! This stinks and mine has, if anything, been getting worse , this silent killer has been loosed upon the population at a time of most vulnerability (reminds one of The Four Horsemen themselves)."..."I have stated I believe many cases of gastrointestinal swine-flu remain undiagnosed ("hidden" in the population of the poorly advised and wary), and I suspect that things have been left this way because "they" know they cannot treat it!"

 "WHO and the pandemic flu “conspiracies” – The BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism report

Conflicts of Interest

– A joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has uncovered evidence that raises troubling questions about how WHO managed conflicts of interest among the scientists who advised its pandemic planning

– The secrecy of the committee is also fuelling conspiracy theories, particularly around the activation of dormant pandemic vaccine contracts. A key question will be whether the pharmaceutical companies, which had invested around $4bn (£2.8bn, 3.3bn) in developing the swine flu vaccine, had supporters inside the emergency committee.

- Was it appropriate for WHO to take advice from experts who had declarable financial and research ties with pharmaceutical companies producing antivirals and influenza vaccines?

- Why was key WHO guidance authored by an influenza expert who had received payment for other work from Roche, manufacturers of oseltamivir, and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of zanamivir?

- Why does the composition of the emergency committee from which Chan sought guidance remain a secret known only to those within WHO?

- Our investigation has identified key scientists involved in WHO pandemic planning who had declarable interests, some of whom are or have been funded by pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were drafting

- FDA’s advisory committee voted by 13 to 4 not to approve zanamivir on the grounds that it was no more effective than placebo when the patients were on other drugs such as paracetamol. He said that it didn’t reduce symptoms even by a day.

- conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, and WHO has dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories.”

- the advisory committee decided not to recommend zanamivir, the FDA’s management reassigned the oseltamivir review to someone else. Dr Elashoff believes that the approval of zanamivir paved the way for oseltamivir, which was approved by the FDA later that year.

- “WHO never publishes individual DOIs [declaration of interest], except after consultation with the Office of the Director-General. 

"Key scientists advising the World Health Organization on planning for an influenza pandemic had done paid work for pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were preparing. These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, and WHO has dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories.” Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter investigate.

Next week marks the first anniversary of the official declaration of the influenza A/H1N1 pandemic. On 11 June 2009 Dr Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, announced to the world’s media: “I have conferred with leading influenza experts, virologists, and public health officials. In line with procedures set out in the International Health Regulations, I have sought guidance and advice from an Emergency Committee established for this purpose. On the basis of available evidence, and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met…The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic.”
It was the culmination of 10 years of pandemic preparedness planning for WHO—years of committee meetings with experts flown in from around the world and reams of draft documents offering guidance to governments. But one year on, governments that took advice from WHO are unwinding their vaccine contracts, and billions of dollars’ worth of stockpiled oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza)—bought from health budgets already under tight constraints—lie unused in warehouses around the world."
For full article go to:
 "Also see;  "#NoNaturalImmunity H1N1 Gastrointestinal Swine-Flu: The World Health Organisation and The Silent Killer" Go to:


Saturday 19 September 2015

Typhoons Recontaminate Japanese Mainland: Arnie Gunderson, "Fairewinds" Re: #Fukushima

Quote: "Last week a serious typhoon hit eastern Japan creating flooding that has not occurred for at least 50 years. Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator and owner of the triple meltdown site Fukushima Daiichi, admitted that drainage pumps at Fukushima failed and radioactive water once again poured into the Pacific. But what about the extraordinary amount of radioactive cesium, strontium, and other isotopes spread hundreds of miles from the nuclear catastrophe site yet to be cleaned up and now displaced by the flood into newly contaminated villages? Once again, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen, is here to keep you informed.

Transcript: Hi I’m Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds,
Mainstream media in the US and in Japan is simply not doing its job.
Last week a serious typhoon hit eastern Japan creating flooding that has not occurred for at least 50 years.  Before the typhoon hit, Tokyo Electric assured the Japanese that the Fukushima Daiichi power plant was safe. As the typhoon lashed in Japan, Tokyo Electric admitted that the drainage pumps at Fukushima Daiichi failed and radioactive water once again entered the Pacific Ocean.  Also, Tokyo Electric admitted that only several dozen bags of previously collected radioactive material have also washed away.  As far as mainstream media is concerned, the extent of the radioactive contamination as a result of this typhoon was limited to these relatively small releases directly on the Fukushima site.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Fukushima Prefecture is very mountainous and became highly contaminated after the triple meltdowns.  Those of us who have studied the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi have noted for years that an extraordinary amount of radioactive cesium, strontium, and other radioactive isotopes from three nuclear meltdowns has spread hundreds of miles from the site of the disaster. The rain that lashed the east coast of Japan flooded that radioactive material to new locations downhill.  It is obvious to scientists, but not the mainstream media in Japan, that areas that have been previously decontaminated by the Japanese are now contaminated again by the flooding. These newly contaminated areas include villages that had been evacuated when the disaster struck four and a half years ago that the Japanese government has allowed its population to return to.
Fairewinds has said it before and we’ll say it again.  Follow the money! Tokyo Electric and the Japanese government do not want to reevaluate the spread of radiation as a result of this latest typhoon. It will cost too much. The expense to really clean up after this disaster is unimaginable.  Spreading contamination into populated areas through this flooding is a significant health risk to the Japanese people that the Japanese government refuses to accept.  For the next three hundred years events like this typhoon will reoccur until all the radioactivity released during the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is finally washed entirely into the Pacific Ocean, not just from the Fukushima Daiichi site but from all the tributaries and rivers in the mountains that enter the Pacific ocean.
It’s time for the Japanese and American mainstream media to hold Tokyo Electric and the Japanese government accountable to reevaluate the spread of radioactive contamination as a result of last weeks Typhoon, and the dose effect to their population from the flooding.
I’m Arnie Gundersen.  Fairewinds will keep you informed." Go to:

Friday 18 September 2015

"Refugees Who Cross Informally Could get Caught up in Border Mine Fields left over from the Yugolslav Wars in the 1990s"

Quote; "Croatia is struggling to deal with more than 7,300 and migrants who have entered the country in just 24 hours, local media reported.
The country has now said that it expects more than 20,000 refugees and migrants will arrive over the next two weeks as people scramble to find alternative routes to Europe after Hungary closed the border with Serbia early on Tuesday and clashes with police broke out on Wednesday.
"We expect a peak within the next two weeks ... over 20,000 migrants," Health Minister Sinisa Varga said, quoted by the state-run HINA news agency.
The situation has sparked concern with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic saying that the country was struggling to cope with the influx.
“Yes, of course, Croatia has shown its human face but I’m stressing that we have to prioritise the safety of the Croatian border and the stability of the country. I think that on the first day of uncontrolled [borders] a too large a number of refugees entered,” she said, while adding that it wasn’t necessary for people to enter in such large numbers.
Almost 1,000 are people now reported to be waiting at a small border train station, Tovarnika, just a few kilometres from the Serbian border. According to local media the situation was growing increasingly tense with some refugees and migrants threatening to break through police barriers if trains did not arrive soon to take them on to migration camps.
Croatia “simply cannot satisfy the needs and care for these people,” Grabar-Kitarovic said.
“It’s very bad that they come in over the cornfield. The border is not functioning as it should and I am resolutely trying to ensure that we introduce strong oversight over the national border in order that [refugees] exclusively cross over official border crossings.”
Concern has also been high that the refugees who cross informally could get caught up in border mine fields left over from the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.
On Wednesday, Grabar-Kitarovic’s government said that it would allow refugees to come in would not restrict their access, although they said that they were only prepared for several thousand new arrivals.

Under EU asylum rules, applicants must be fingerprinted in their country of arrival and their application processed there, leading many potential asylum seekers to try and avoid detection in places like Hungary and Greece, in order to not hinder their chances in countries with more generous asylum systems like Germany.
Serbian news site Blic reported that many of the refugees who had entered Croatia were still making their way north into Hungary.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has now said that he will order the building of a new border fence with Croatia after work is completed on the barbed-wire barrier with Serbia and Romania.
"Obviously the route no longer goes over the Hungarian-Serbian border," Orban told Austrian newspaper Prese. "Because of this, we have decided to build a wall with the border with Romania, and also in some specific places along the Croatian border."" Go to:

Thursday 17 September 2015

Integrating Conventional and Traditional Medicine in Africa (Cameroon -and Kalahari-)

Quote: "Throughout Africa, reports of national biomedical systems being unable to provide sufficient care for their citizens, especially in rural areas, are increasingly common.  In Cameroon, doctor-to-patient ratios and government spending on health are relatively high, although the health system is geographically unbalanced: 40% of doctors practice in the more affluent Centre region, home to just 18% of the population.
The reports of overburdened, underfunded medical systems in Africa are often accompanied by a recommendation for the integration/collaboration/professionalisation of traditional doctors and traditional medicines.  It is usually envisaged that such a process entails traditional doctors receiving training in, and then providing, basic biomedical services; and traditional herbal medicines being tested and used within biomedicine.
These widely endorsed proposals for integration may not be realistic or successful when put into practice, as the example of Cameroon demonstrates.

Health care and integration in Cameroon
The 1970s and 1980s witnessed a push to investigate and potentially implement integration of traditional doctors into the national health care system in Cameroon.  The central government surveyed and licensed traditional doctors as part of a global strategy, led by the World Health Organization, to provide “Health for All by the Year 2000”.  The aim was for traditional doctors to provide basic biomedical services in rural areas.
The survey provided valuable information about traditional medical practices and practitioners, but it did not lead to their incorporation into biomedical institutions.  The emphasis on regulation and licensing hindered collaboration; so too did entrenched scepticism regarding the merits and efficacy of traditional medicine.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the development of herbal products derived from traditional medicine attracted attention.  For example, the bark of Prunus africana, a major ingredient in traditional medicines for fevers and reproductive ailments in the region, was harvested from Oku and other highland chiefdoms for the manufacture of Tadenan (or Pygeum), sold internationally as a treatment for prostate hyperplasia.  In addition to causing over-exploitation of forests, the commercialisation of this traditional medicine did not confer any discernible financial or health benefit on local populations.


Despite these past failures, my research in Cameroon has revealed ways in which traditional and biomedicine systems are interacting in an attempt to improve health care.
Comorbidity and informal collaboration between traditional and biomedical doctors
There is a growing prevalence of chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes in Cameroon and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  Additionally, comorbidity is common, with patients in rural areas suffering from a combination of infectious diseases, non-infectious diseases and other conditions including malnutrition and anemia.
Comorbidity is a substantial challenge for health systems in Africa. It is difficult to diagnose all of the ailments afflicting a patient, just as it is impossible for all but the richest patients to afford lab tests and treatments for a plurality of illnesses.  All too often comorbidity leads to patients remaining ill after receiving uncomprehensive medical treatment.  This, in turn, results in simultaneous or alternate use of traditional and biomedical systems in an attempt to find a conclusive cure. It is here that innovative collaborations and synergistic care can be observed in Cameroon.
For example, it is now common for traditional doctors in Oku to send their patients to biomedical institutions to undergo diagnostic lab tests.  Traditional doctors explain that they do this – often in conjunction with traditional divination procedures – in order to determine what is ailing the patient before commencing a traditional treatment.  Henry Nkwan, a traditional doctor, stated: “Now we are living in a modern world. If a healer needs to know where a patient’s madness [for example] comes from, [we] can send the patient to the hospital for lab tests and the results will show what is wrong with the patient.”

Traditional doctor, David Nchinda, is shown here with a fresh harvest of medicinal plants
Traditional doctor, David Nchinda, is shown here with a fresh harvest of medicinal plants

At times traditional doctors counsel their patients to repeat a diagnostic test to establish how effective their treatment has been. They may also refer their patients to biomedical practitioners for other services.  One traditional doctor in Keyon, Oku – David Nchinda – sent a patient suffering from oedema of the abdomen to the local clinic for surgery to drain accumulated fluid.  Meanwhile, he continued administering his own extensive traditional treatments to the patient.
Some biomedical doctors have consciously collaborated with traditional doctors.  Dr. Eric Nseme, formerly chief medical examiner at the Oku Subdivisional Hospital explained: “I have some of them [traditional doctors] who are in working partnership with the hospital today. Working partnership means… they bring cases to the hospital.  We make some biological tests. We try to diagnose and the [patient] goes now to follow the treatment [from a traditional doctor].”
Dr. Nseme had witnessed patients whose ailments he had diagnosed go on to receive successful traditional treatments.  Based on his experience in Oku, he felt that patients benefited from traditional medicine in cases where they thought they would not be cured by biomedicine alone.  In his words: “People believe strongly in traditional medicine… Because of their belief, they are thinking that their problem is coming from a spiritual action and they think it is only spiritually [i.e. through traditional medicine] that the problem can be solved.”

Mr. Sah, of the Oku Subdivisional Hospital
Mr. Sah, of the Oku Subdivisional Hospital, performs the diagnostic test for malaria

During my research in Oku, mentions arose of biomedical doctors also referring patients to traditional doctors for counsel, or in cases of terminal illness when biomedical treatment options had been exhausted.  The research revealed that patients may find traditional medicine particularly appealing in the context of terminal disease since diseases diagnosed as terminal in biomedicine may be considered curable illnesses with existing remedial therapies within traditional medicine.

Meeting the demands of patients
It is not only practitioners who promote co-ordinated health care.  More often than not, the patient brings about collaboration by taking medicines from within both medical systems.  Patients in Oku frequently seek out particular traditional tea preparations as a way to supplement and complete biomedical treatments.  These teas comprise a (sometimes vast) combination of leaves, roots and fruits and are full of vitamins, minerals and, in many cases, multiple medicinal properties.  As such, these teas are known to alleviate symptoms that may persist after biomedical treatment; they target infections and underlying conditions not identified or addressed within prior biomedical consultation.
For example, the tea Ntombang is reputed to “add blood”, thus addressing symptoms of weakness, lightheadedness, and fatigue characteristic of illness and post-illness anemia.   Henry Nkwan stated that “Ntombang…makes people feel like they’ve had drip [i.e. an intravenous hydration or blood transfusion].”
The interaction and “integration” of traditional medicine and biomedicine can include an array of practices besides the incorporation of traditional doctors and their medicines into biomedicine.  Successful collaborations are those in which the traditional doctors maintain their autonomy, are treated with respect, and retain control and protection of their medicinal knowledge and plants.
It is in the best interest of future collaboration, and the continued use of locally available and often more affordable medical treatments, for the stigmatisation of traditional medicine in communications from religious and biomedical sources to be discouraged.  Perhaps a dialogue with religious leaders and medical educators could form part of the government’s effort to prioritise health care access for the poor.  Wider recognition, exploration and development of the kinds of collaboration between traditional medicine and biomedicine being practised in Cameroon and throughout Africa may provide the most promising starting place for a much-needed expansion of medical services to meet escalating and evolving health care needs.

Dr. Kelly obtained her D.Phil in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford (2014). Her research in Oku, Cameroon commenced in 1999 and has centred on: traditional medicine, ethnobotany, female infertility, children’s ailments (malaria) and chronic illnesses." 
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Quote: "Harpagophytum procumbens (devil's claw)

Used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari as a medicinal plant, devil's claw is now also used in Western medicine.

Species information

Scientific name: 
Harpagophytum procumbens DC. ex Meisn.
Common name: 
devil's claw, grapple plant
Conservation status: 
Not evaluated globally. Assessed as Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red Data List criteria in South Africa. Assessed as Lower Risk-Near Threatened in Botswana.
Sandy soils particularly in open, trampled and over-grazed lands where grass and herb cover is low, but can also be found in dry savanna or open woodland.
Known hazards: 
Extracts of devil's claw are used in medicines, high doses of which could be hazardous. In Southern Africa grazing animals can be injured if they tread on the sharp 'claws' of the fruit, or may starve if the fruit gets caught in their mouths.


Genus: Harpagophytum

About this species

Devil’s claw belongs to the sesame seed family (Pedaliaceae). Its spiny fruits give rise to its common names 'devil’s claw' and 'grapple plant'. The hooks on the fruits can get entangled in animals’ fur and hooves, which aids dispersal of the seeds. Harpagophytum is a Greek translation of the common name 'grapple plant'. The specific epithet procumbens means prostrate, referring to the creeping stems of the plant. The only other species in the genus Harpagophytum is H. zeyheri. This is also found in Southern Africa, growing in the Kalahari sands, but the fruits have much shorter spiny arms than those of H. procumbens.


Devil’s claw has been used for centuries by people living in the Kalahari as a medicinal plant to treat a wide range of illnesses, from digestive system disorders to infections and sores. Root extracts contain the iridoid glycoside, harpagoside, which has been found to be effective in the treatment of degenerative rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, kidney inflammation and heart disease. Tubers are collected by local people, who are often from poor rural communities across Southern Africa, and sold for export. Devil's claw is now widely used as a herbal medicine in the West for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In 2001, for example, devil’s claw accounted for 74% of the total number of prescriptions for rheumatism in Germany.

main info

Geography and distribution

Devil's claw is widespread in the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.


Harpagophytum procumbens is a perennial herb with a succulent taproot. The annual, creeping stems can be up to 2 m long. They grow from a primary (or 'mother' tuber) whose taproot can be up to 2 m deep. Secondary tubers (called 'babies') develop on fleshy roots growing from the primary tuber. They can be up to 25 cm long and 6 cm thick. The secondary tubers contain stachyose, a photosynthetic storage product, thought to be an adaptation to drought conditions.
The leaves are simple and opposite, up to 6.5 cm long and 4 cm wide. They are deeply or shallowly lobed. The flowers are tubular, 5-6 cm long, and are normally light purple or pink (sometimes white), but yellow inside the tube. The fruits are large, up to 15 cm in diameter, and have four rows of curved arms with recurved spines. The seeds are dark brown or black. Devil's claw flowers in the summer (November to April) and fruits from January.

Subspecies of Harpagophytum procumbens

There are two subspecies of H. procumbens:
  • The leaves of H. procumbens subsp. procumbens have five main lobes. The spiny arms on the fruits are two to five times wider than the width of the middle of the fruit. This subspecies is found in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
  • H. procumbens subsp. transvaalense has leaves with only three main lobes. The fruits have shorter spiny arms (less than twice the width of the middle of the fruit). This subspecies is found in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Threats and conservation

The main threat to devil's claw is over-harvesting for medicinal use. The tubers are an important source of income for many people living in the Kalahari. Wild-harvesting of devil’s claw tubers can be sustainable if only some of the tubers are taken and if enough are left behind for the plants to regenerate. However, in some areas the tubers have been over-collected and the species is becoming rarer.

It is difficult to grow devil's claw in cultivation, so most of the tubers used for Western medicine come from plants growing in the wild. Micropropagation techniques will help to conserve the species ex situ, and potentially provide an alternative to wild-harvested supplies for the herbal medicine trade. A propagation protocol that does not require fertilizer or water has also been developed for use by small-scale farmers in the dry regions of southern Africa where devil’s claw occurs naturally.
Devil’s claw is classified as a protected species in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Permits are required for harvesting and exporting it. Both species of Harpagophytum are listed under CITES in Annex D. No part of the tubers or roots can be traded within the European Union without proper licenses.

Grappling with the sustainability issue

Most of the world's supply of devil’s claw comes from Namibia, with lesser quantities from South Africa and Botswana. A major impediment to sustainable harvesting is the low price paid to harvesters. The Sustainably Harvested Devil's Claw (SHDC) project in Namibia (which began in 1997) suggests that improved benefit sharing for harvesters leads to better resource management and conservation, by giving harvesters a financial incentive to ensure the tubers are not over-harvested. The project also shows the importance of traditional knowledge (e.g. the best time to harvest, and how to avoid damaging the plants). The project contributed to the development of Namibia's policy on devil's claw and scientific research on the impact of harvest on growth rates to determine annual sustainable yields.
Is commercial cultivation of devil's claw the answer to sustainability? Although difficult, cultivation of devil’s claw is possible and at first glance would appear to solve the problem of sustainability. Commercial cultivation helps to reduce the pressure on wild plants, and can improve the quality of the harvested product. Cultivation also provides an opportunity to restore degraded land where unsustainable harvesting has occurred in the past. But some have pointed out the potential negative impact on the livelihoods of small-scale rural harvesters if large quantities of cultivated material dominated the export market and drove down prices.

Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.
Description of seeds: Average 1,000 seed weight = 12.74 g
Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: Nine
Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox (the seeds of this plant survive being dried without significantly reducing their viability, and are therefore amenable to long-term frozen storage such as at the MSB)

Devil's claw at Kew

Samples of fruits and roots of devil's claw are held in the behind-the-scenes Economic Botany Collection at Kew. These specimens are made available to researchers from around the world by appointment.

" Go to:

Also see;  "Devil's Claw: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings .."'s%20claw.aspx?activeingredientid=984&activeingredientname=devil%27s%20claw

Thousands of Pacific Walruses Stranded Due to Climate Change

Quote: "CHUKCHI SEA, Alaska— As Arctic sea ice this week reached its fourth-lowest level ever recorded, tens of thousands of Pacific walruses have hauled out of the sea in Alaska’s Point Lay. Such mass haul-outs have become increasingly common as the ice floes that walrus calves and their mothers rely on for feeding and resting disappear from the Chukchi Sea. Scientists fear a repeat of the stampedes that have killed hundreds of walruses at a time in recent years.
“Pacific walruses are disappearing, along with the Arctic sea ice they need to survive. It makes me sad to see so many crowded on the shore,” said Shaye Wolf, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity who authored an Endangered Species Act petition to protect Pacific walruses in 2008. “These walruses ought to be spending most of their time in the water right now, not packed together on the beach where there’s less food and they’re more likely to be killed by stampedes or bears. It’s doubly frustrating that more Arctic drilling was just approved, which will only make the problem worse.”
Young male Pacific walruses on Cape Pierce in Alaska. (Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service)
Young male Pacific walruses on Cape Pierce in Alaska. (Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Oil and gas drilling off Alaska’s coast threatens walruses through near-certain oil spills and continued melting of Arctic sea ice. After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to give walruses the protections they need, the Center and allies sued the Service in November 2014 challenging the five-year regulations allowing Shell to harass Pacific walruses in key feeding areas as part of its drilling activities. Despite that still-pending lawsuit, the federal government issued permits to let Shell drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea this summer, touching off international protests.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on Tuesday that Arctic sea ice had dropped to 1.7 million square miles on Sept. 11, its fourth-lowest level from satellite records. The lowest level of Arctic sea ice was measured in 2012 (1.31 million square miles), followed by 2007 and 2011. The sea ice is expected to now begin increasing with the end of the summer season, although the ice data center cautioned that levels could continue to fall again, as happened in 2010 and 2005.
Point Lay — where local villagers are helping protect an estimated 35,000 walruses and cautioning the general public against doing anything to scare or disrupt them — is located about 92 miles from the Burger Prospect site where Shell’s drilling is now underway. Such mass walrus haul-outs were first observed in 2007, when Arctic sea-ice extent dropped 1 million square miles below average — losing an area the size of Alaska and Texas combined.
“This situation is maddening. Shell’s dangerous project puts walruses at risk of an oil spill now, and guarantees this steady loss of Arctic sea ice will continue into the future,” said Wolf. “President Obama needs to see this massive walrus haul-out as a prompt to take serious climate action right away.”" Go to:

Massive Earthquake Hits Chile: Tsunami Warnings (again), in Effect

"Thrice seems like carelessness..."

Quote: "Tsunami advisories are in effect for Hawaii and Southern California after a powerful magnitude-8.3 earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean waters just off the coast of Chile Wednesday afternoon, generating a dangerous 15-foot tsunami along parts of the Chilean coast. Chileans continued to assess the damage as strong aftershocks continued deep into the night, and authorities said at least five people died as a result of earthquake-related incidents.
The tsunami is expected to fan out across much of the Pacific Ocean, though the worst of its power is expected to be focused westward toward French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Nonetheless, the two U.S. government agencies responsible for tsunami forecasting say tsunami waves of 1 to 3 feet may reach Hawaii early Thursday morning, while a tsunami of less than 1 foot is expected to reach southern California around the same time.
 The gauge in Coquimbo, Chile, recorded three tsunami waves of at least 4 meters (13 feet) each, including a maximum tsunami wave height 15.1 feet above normal tide levels. Several other Chilean coastal cities have recorded tsunami waves as well, though none nearly as dramatic as those in Coquimbo.
Video posted to social media shows flooding from the tsunami invading the resort city of Concón in Valparaiso Province.
Tsunami warnings are also in effect for Peru while agencies across the rest of the Pacific Rim evaluate the potential of a Pacific-wide tsunami.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the main shock struck at 7:54 p.m. Chile time (6:54 p.m. EDT in the U.S.) about 34 miles (54 km) west of Illapel, Chile, or about 145 miles (233 km) north-northwest of Santiago, Chile's largest city. It is the planet's strongest quake of 2015 thus far.
Officials in Chile issued a tsunami warning for the entire coastline of the country, advising everyone near the coast to move to higher ground. The tsunami warning was dropped for Chile's two southernmost regions shortly after 11 p.m. local time.
Shaking was reported in Santiago and across most of central Chile. The strongest shaking was reported in Coquimbo and La Serena, where the ground motions registered at level VIII (eight) on the 12-point Mercalli scale according to Chilean authorities. Such shaking is classified as "severe" and can cause severe damage in poorly built structures.
The USGS "Did You Feel It?" website received reports of level IX (nine) shaking, considered "violent" on the Mercalli scale, in Illapel.
Widespread power outages have been reported near the epicenter, and Chile's emergency management network, Red Nacional de Emergencia, said cellular phone networks have "collapsed" in some regions. RNE also said it has received reports of landslides in hilly sections of Salamancas, Coquimbo, and Los Vilos, in the region closest to the quake epicenter.
Officials ordered people to evacuate low-lying areas along the 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometers) of Chile's Pacific shore, from Puerto Aysen in the south to Arica in the north. Fishing boats headed out to sea and cars streamed inland carrying people to higher ground. Santiago's main airport was evacuated as a precaution.
Authorities said some adobe houses collapsed in the inland city of Illapel, about 175 miles (280 kilometers) north of Santiago.
Illapel's mayor, Denis Cortes, told a local TV station that a woman had been killed in the city but declined to give any details.
Electricity was knocked out, leaving the city in darkness. "We are very scared. Our city panicked," Cortes said.
The quake was immediately followed by four aftershocks of 6.0 or greater magnitude within 30 minutes. The tremors measured 6.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 7.0, striking at 7:59, 8:03, 8:16 and 8:18 local time, respectively. Additional strong aftershocks struck at 10:41 p.m. Wednesday (magnitude 6.4) and at 12:55 and 1:10 a.m. Thursday (magnitudes 6.2 and 6.3, respectively).
At least seven other aftershocks registering between 5.0 and 5.9 on the moment magnitude scale had occurred by 1:15 a.m. local time, according to the USGS.


Other South American Nations on Alert

North of Chile, the Peruvian military issued a tsunami warning for the entire coast of Peru. Sea level monitoring sites in Callao and Matarani both recorded tsunami waves of less than 1 foot (0.3 meter) late Wednesday evening.
However, the seismological agency in Ecuador, INOCAR, said the Chilean quake "does not have the characteristics necessary to generate a tsunami," and did not issue a tsunami warning for its coastline. It instead warned of dangerous currents.
The U.S. government's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center placed both Peru and Ecuador among the countries where tsunami waves could reach 0.3 to 1 meter (1 to 3 feet) above normal tide levels.


Pacific-Wide Tsunami Expected; U.S. Threat Believed Modest

Tsunami waves are expected to propagate across much of the Pacific Ocean as a result of Wednesday's earthquake.
The brunt of the wave energy is expected to travel toward the west toward French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Tsunami waves of 1 to 3 meters (3 to 10 feet) are possible there, according to the PTWC.
In the U.S., the PTWC has issued a tsunami advisory for Hawaii. The bulletin said a major tsunami is not expected, but "sea level changes and strong currents" may endanger swimmers and boaters Thursday.
The agency projects the first tsunami waves to arrive around 3:11 a.m. Hawaiian time (9:11 a.m. EDT) Thursday. Tsunami waves around Hawaii are expected to be in the 0.3- to 1-meter (1- to 3-foot) range.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said state officials are standing by, awaiting updates from the warning center.
On the Big Island, officials were bracing to be the first island affected, county spokesman Ilihia Gionson said. Officials were gathered Wednesday in the county's emergency operations center in Hilo, he said.
"It's too early to tell," he said. "This early it's best to just stay informed."
The U.S. government's National Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for southern California, including coastal areas of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego. NTWC said tsunami waves of less than 1 foot above normal tide levels can be expected.
Such waves are not a danger to those on land, but they can create unusual and dangerous currents posing a danger to swimmers and boaters. People along the coast of southern California are advised to avoid the water until the tsunami threat subsides.


Chile's Earthquake History

A magnitude-8.8 quake and ensuing tsunami in south-central Chile in 2010 killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. That quake released so much energy, it actually it shortened the Earth's day by a fraction of a second by changing the planet's rotation.

The quake had huge ramifications, both political and practical, prompting the Andean nation to improve its alert systems for both quakes and tsunamis.

Chile is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries because just off the coast, the Nazca tectonic plate plunges beneath the South American plate, pushing the towering Andes cordillera to ever-higher altitudes.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded on Earth happened in Chile - a magnitude-9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people." Go to:

Friday 11 September 2015

"Nature Abhors a Vacuum (re: the E.U refugee crisis)"

Quote: "What is this terrible hole..

Posted by Gerard on September 11, 2015, 8:20 am the reporting of the refugee crisis? It seems almost ubiquitous to the World's media that apportioning of the blame for the creation of hundreds of thousands of dispossessed and displaced people should fall anywhere but at the doorstep of the U.S administration. Why is this? Denial caused by shame (the usual reason),  Europe can hardly countenance itself over the issue let alone deal with its perverse relationship with The United States. The Germans have now become so frustrated that they are throwing out advice unilaterally (and "in all directions!"),  this morning, quote:

"BERLIN: Germany's foreign minister warned Russia, France and Britain Wednesday against increased military intervention in Syria, saying the Iran nuclear deal and new U.N. initiatives offered a starting point for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier made his comments after Russia, which along with Iran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said earlier Wednesday it had military experts in Syria. Assad is opposed by most Western countries.

Germany is keen to negotiate an end to the more than four-year-old civil war in Syria, but France is considering launching air strikes against ISIS militants there and Britain is ready carry out more.

"It can't be the case that important partners, who we need now, back the military option," Steinmeier told German lawmakers, pointing to consideration being given in France and Britain to airstrikes.

He expressed his dismay at reports that Russia is stepping up its provision of military equipment to Syria.

With Germany holding the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven economic powers, Steinmeier said he would organise a meeting of G7 countries and Syria's Arab neighbours before the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

The meeting would aim to raise more funds for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR.

"It is a scandal that the UNHCR in these days of the greatest refugee movement is so under-financed," he told the Bundestag lower house of parliament." Go to:

Our problems are causing seems to this observer that the media is failing in its duty to point out America's responsibilities at this time..the Left (because of its attitudes towards Europe -and Shengen-, re: The Scottish Vote etc.), are poor Europeans and as a result consistently fail to properly represent our financial interests to the U.S! Who is going to pay? Who is responsible?" Post to MediaLens message board by author (edited).

"Narco Nazis"

Quote: "The author of a new book on the role of narcotics in the Third Reich believes drugs not only proved decisive for some of Nazi Germany’s military successes, but also caused leader Adolf Hitler to plunge into continuous self-destructive drug abuse.
In ‘Der Totale Rausch’ (Total euphoria. Drugs in the Third Reich), Norman Ohler, writes that “Doctors and drugs account for much of the internal structure of Nazism.”
And Fuhrer Adolf Hitler was a drug enthusiast to say the least.
According to Ohler’s research, Hitler became excessively interested in drugs after Theodor Morell became his personal physician in 1936, when he prescribed the fuhrer a drug called Mutaflor to relieve the pain of stomach cramps.
Morell became Hitler’s drug dealer for years to come, prescribing the Nazi leader some of the most powerful drugs of the time, including intravenous injections of methamphetamine.
The doctor reportedly became feared by Hitler’s inner circle because Morell had so much influence on the fuhrer’s mood. Hermann Göring nicknamed Hitler’s personal doctor “the master of the bites of the Reich.”
Ohler estimates that Hitler was never actually ‘clean’ throughout all of the WWII, which explains the dictator’s talkativeness during public events and personal meetings, sudden changes of mood and other oddities in behavior, such as inexplicable decision-making.

The author calculates that from 1941 through 1945, for 1,349 days, Hitler was given no fewer than 800 injections of methamphetamine, steroids and other substances from his personal physician, and took some 1,100 pills as well.
A 47-page dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence during the WWII maintained that the fuhrer was a ‘splenetic’ man who took over 74 different types of medication.
According to the British Channel 4 documentary ‘Hitler’s Hidden Drug Habit’,the leader’s final days in his bunker were relieved by nine injections of Vitamultin, a drug which contained methamphetamine among its ingredients.
Ohler maintains that extensive drug abuse in pursuit of almightiness took a toll on Hitler over several years: by the spring of 1945 his teeth were falling out and he was eating too much sugar to cope with withdrawal symptoms.
The Third Reich, just like the rest of the world in 1930s, was obsessed with methamphetamine-based stimulants, which became popular among existentialists, artists, students and sportsmen, La Stampa writes.
The whole world was amazed by the results of the American athletes at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, to some extent thanks to such openly sold drugs as Benzedrine, a variety of amphetamine that hit the US market in 1933.
And the Germans – along with their leader – kept pace with the times, as Dr. Fritz Hauschild made the early version of crystal meth popular in Nazi Germany under the domestic brand name Pervitin, which was absolutely legal.

Even housewives were familiar with ‘wonders’ of the Pervitin, as its producer invented chocolates containing the drug.
But the really big-time consumers of Pervitin became German soldiers, which got hooked on it because it relieved fatigue and made them feel invincible. This obviously took a toll on their health.
Pervitin spread in the Wehrmacht, and was usually consumed in a form of a pill.
Between April and July of 1940 alone, more than 35 million 3mg doses of Pervitin were shipped to the German army and Luftwaffe.
As the Third Reich’s chief doctor Otto Ranke out it, Pervetin was a “militarily valuable drug.”
This drug investment brought some fruit. In 1940, during the military actions against France, Ranke strongly recommended generals, including General ‘Desert Fox’ Erwin Rommel the use of Pervitin. Rommel, who used the drug himself, followed the advice.
During the offensive in the Ardennes, Rommel’s tanks undertook a four-day march without stopping, demotivating the French troops greatly. That became the first-ever ‘amphetamine Blitzkrieg’ of the Wehrmacht, followed by other Drang Nach Osten (Push Eastward) operations in the east, against the Soviet Union." Go to:

Drug use by The U.S Military

Quote: "Pilots on 'Go Pills
"US pilots became involved in a friendly fire incident over Tarnak Farms, Afghanistan, while under the influence of Dexedrine."
US Air Force pilots' use of amphetamines is one of the most widely documented examples of the use of performance enhancing drugs by military personnel. Often tasked with conducting excessively long missions - some lasting upwards of 20 hours - US Department of Defense scientists began to issue dextroamphetamines - more commonly known as 'Speed', but referred to as 'Go Pills' within the USAF - to its pilots to ensure they remained alert long after tiredness and fatigue should have started to impinge on mental performance.
Although the benefits of such drugs have been rendered ideal, the side effects, including confusion, delusions, auditory hallucinations, aggression and, in extreme cases, psychotic behaviour, represent a disposition that is hardly ideal for a person in charge of a multimillion-dollar war machine. This is best evidenced by an incident in April 2002, in which US pilots became involved in a friendly fire incident over Tarnak Farms, Afghanistan, while under the influence of Dexedrine. Four Canadian soldiers died in the accident.
The air force does not hide away from the use of such amphetamines, and has publicly disclosed the prescription of small doses - often 10mg - of Dexedrine if "fatigue could be expected to degrade air crew performance." While the USAF is quick to insist that the use of such medications is voluntary and consent forms must be signed by pilots, the form also notes that pilots can be grounded if they decline. Pilot groundings, no matter the circumstances, can have serious implications on a pilot's career, potentially leading to a perverse situation where a pilot could almost feel forced to take the drugs.


Banned by WADA, sought by the army

The US Army sought to follow the USAF's lead regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs by investigating Dimethylamine (DMAA), a performance enhancing supplement registered on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list. Investigations were under way until the supplement was pulled from the shelves, having been linked with the deaths of two soldiers in December 2011 while undergoing a routine training drill.

US Army

Supplements containing DMAA grew in popularity due to their premise of increasing stamina and performance, particularly in preparation for gruelling physical challenges. The drug captured headlines in the UK after it was linked to the death of 30-year old Claire Squires, who died of cardiac failure having run 25 miles of the 26.2 mile London Marathon course.
The US Army continues to dispute the drug's links to the death of the soldiers, perhaps alarmingly citing that "the use and safety of these stimulant products remains matters of intense interest to the Department of Defense."


Peak Soldier Performance Programme

The comments regarding the US DoD's interest in stimulants harks back to DARPA's Peak Soldier Performance Programme, which in 2004 sought a biochemical approach that would allow a soldier to operate in theatre for up to five days without requiring sustenance. In pursuit of this, no stone or genome was left unturned." Go to:

..and what kind of over-sight does one imagine the U.S military have on unauthorised stimulant and narcotic use by its troops? Are to we are to believe that strict testing regimes are enacted following deployment?  

Quote; "DoD labs test 60,000 urine samples each month. All active duty members must undergo a urinalysis at least once per year. Members of the Guard and Reserves must be tested at least once every two years. There are several protections built-in to the system to ensure accurate results.
First, individuals initial the label on their own bottles. The bottles are boxed into batches, and the test administrator begins a chain-of-custody document for each batch" Go to: 

When you are encouraging your troops to use pharmaceutical "enhancements" yourselves (and considering the dangers inherent in the possible antagonistic -quite literally-, effects when these drugs are combined), "once a year" seems totally inadequate (for having engendered the culture what is one to expect?).