Israel strikes 9 military targets in Syria

An Israeli F16C fighter jet

Nine Syrian military targets have been hit by Israeli jets and guided missiles, the IDF says, claiming it was a decisive response to a series of cross-border shootings to protect the citizens of Israel. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, “at least 10 members of the Syrian army were killed,”Reuters reported. The strikes on targets in Golan Heights were carried out shortly after midnight, Haaretz reports citing an IDF official, who called it a direct response to Sunday’s deadly incident when an anti-tank projectile fired from Syrian territory struck near the border fence on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. “The shooting [on Sunday] was a very serious act of provocation, and a continuation of a series of attacks carried out over the past several months against IDF forces throughout the border region, and in this area specifically,” the statement reads. A military command headquarters reportedly was among the targets hit in Syria. Earlier on Sunday, in response to the killing of Israeli teen Mohammed Karaka, IDF artillery pounded military outposts on Syrian territory, with speculations about possible strikes against other targets. The killed teenager was an Arab citizen of Israel, accompanying his father, a Defense Ministry civilian contractor, to the Golan, the ministry said, uncertain whether the boy was 15 or 13 years old. The father and two more people we injured in the incident.

An Israeli soldier prepares to load shells into his Merkava tank positioned near the Quneitra checkpoint on the border with Syria in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

It was not clear who exactly fired the anti-tank missile that hit the Israeli border from an area contested by the Syrian army and the rebels. Relations between Syria and Israel have been tense since the civil war erupted in the country more than three years ago. Ripped by internal warring factions, numerous cross-border shooting and shelling have become a common occurrence in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, which Tel Aviv secured following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. IDF aerial retaliatory strikes were reported in January 2013, when Israeli planes allegedly struck deep within Syrian territory, reportedly targeting anti-aircraft weaponry outside Damascus. Israeli warplanes also struck a Syrian air-defense base near the port city of Latakia in October 2013, as confirmed by US officials, with some experts speculating that the target was missile equipment that may have been transferred to Lebanese Hezbollah. In May 2013, Syrian media reported “Israeli airstrikes” targeting military positions in Damascus, following bombing in Rif Dimashq governorate. In July 2013, RT reported that Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a week after July 5 depot attack in Latakia.

#9-military-strikes, #golan-heights, #idf, #israel, #israel-fire-into-syria, #isreal, #syria, #syrian-observatory-for-human-rights

Secret trade negotiations: is this the end of the big four?

WikiLeaks publishes draft trade agreement
Details of the draft trade agreement revealed by WikiLeaks have big implications for Australia’s sovereignty

Peter Martin: Giant risk to financial stability buried in small print
Malcolm Maiden: Will we be better or worse off under this deal?
Philip Dorling: Assange unlikely to slip quietly into obscurity
The Abbott government is pressing ahead with secret trade negotiations aimed at bringing about radical deregulation of Australia’s banking and finance sector, WikiLeaks documents reveal.
Highly sensitive details of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations, obtained by Fairfax Media, show Australian trade negotiators are working on a financial services agenda that could end the Australian government’s ”four pillars” banking policy and allow foreign banks much greater freedom to operate in Australia. The changes could also see Australians’ bank accounts and financial data freely transferred overseas and allow an influx of foreign financial and information technology workers. Negotiations “could undo the effective regulation that sheltered Australia from the global financial crisis”: Leon Carter from the FSU. Photo: Andrew De La Rue. Financial Services Union national secretary Leon Carter said there was ”a real danger” that the negotiations ”could undo the effective regulation that sheltered Australia from the global financial crisis” and result in ”a tidal wave of finance job losses in Australia”.

Negotiations “could undo the effective regulation that sheltered Australia from the global financial crisis”: Leon Carter from the FSU

Financial Services Union national secretary Leon Carter said there was ”a real danger” that the negotiations ”could undo the effective regulation that sheltered Australia from the global financial crisis” and result in ”a tidal wave of inance job losses in Australia”. But Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the negotiations were a “key focus” in his policy to “open as many doors as possible” for Australian financial services. “Financial services are a key part of the negotiations for us given the strength of our sector in areas including banking and wealth management, particularly in the major, growing markets of Asia,” he said. A confidential negotiating text provided to Fairfax Media by WikiLeaks reveals that the TiSA talks have big implications for Australia’s financial system, potentially pre-empting the Abbott government’s Financial System Inquiry which, chaired by former Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray, will present an interim report on July 15.

World Trade Organisation members including Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the European Union are engaged in the negotiations.Australia’s major banks strongly support the process, with ANZ arguing that there is ”a significant opportunity not only for lowering barriers to trade for current parties to the negotiations, but also to set important targets for further liberalisation in the future by nations currently not party to the negotiation”. Key provisions in the leaked draft text include a US proposal for a ”standstill” on financial regulation.

Dr Patricia Ranald, research associate at the University of Sydney and convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said the US wants to ”tie the hands” of governments. ”Amendments from the US are seeking to end publicly provided services like public pension funds, which are referred to as ‘monopolies’ and to limit public regulation of all financial services,” she said. ”They want to freeze financial regulation at existing levels, which would mean that governments could not respond to new developments like another global financial crisis.”

The draft TiSA text also includes US and European Union proposals for each party to the agreement to allow financial service providers of other parties the right to establish or expand within its territory ”including through the acquisition of existing enterprises”. The application of ”most favoured nation” and ”national treatment” to the acquisition of financial services providers would preclude an Australian government blocking foreign takeovers of banks, although it is possible that Australia could obtain a ”carve-out” for its ”four pillars” policy preventing the big four banks from merging and legislation that limits individual shareholdings in Australian financial sector companies to 15 per cent. Foreign financial institutions would be allowed to bring ”temporary” workers into Australia, including computer, telecommunications, actuarial and legal specialists. ”Temporary” is not defined in the leaked text. The US has also proposed measures that would allow Australian customers’ financial data to flow freely to other TiSA countries where Australian privacy laws would not apply. ANZ argues that data protection and privacy laws are becoming ”an area of significant divergence” between countries, inhibiting the free provision of financial services. The US Chamber of Commerce says TiSA must ”prohibit restrictions on legitimate cross-border information flows … [and] ensure that cloud computing services are freely available, regardless of facility or end-user location.” Parliamentary consultation on TiSA has been minimal with the talks only briefly mentioned in Senate estimates committee hearings.

WikiLeaks documents, reported in Fairfax Media, showed that Australia, the United States, the European Union, Japan and 19 other countries were in talks about opening up access to their banking industries to foreign players as part of a Trade in Services Agreement. Australian governments have long supported a ban on mergers among any of the country’s four major banks — the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ

The leaked draft TiSA financial services chapter can be found at

#australia, #australian-trade-negotiators, #commonwealth-bank, #fairfax-media, #secret-trade-negotiations, #the-national-australia-bank, #tidal-wave-of-finance-job-losses, #westpac-and-anz, #wikileaks

A speech made in 1942 that is still relevant in 2014

Charlie Chaplin did a movie in 1942, a few years before WWII ended and in the middle of a war. The movie was called ‘The Great Dictator’ Now many people know this but the video below of his speech for democracy and peace was actually adlibbed. He forgot his lines and just spoke from the heart, he said what I am guessing many thought at the time. The video is his voice with modern images over it. I have shared this video 100 times now, I just shared it with someone on their blog and it made me do this blog. This video speaks a 72 year old language in a World long lost and forgotten. A world where men would take their own life if they could not fight for their country. I know it happened in the USA and the UK. That is an Alien World now. The values we held then have gone, social values have collapsed and we have turned into a hateful species, we do see individual acts of kindness but too often we see a world where hate and greed have taken over

It’s amazing how a 72 year old speech from 1942, made up on the spot can be so relevant in 2014

#1942-speech, #2014-still-relevant, #a-dlibbed-speech, #charlie-chaplin-speech, #democracy, #love, #movie, #the-great-dictator, #video, #war

Ground Zero Cross: Court presses atheist group to explain why artifact is ‘offensive’

The World Trade Center Cross waits to be blessed by a Franciscan priest, New York

Well yet again religion or the lack of it raises it’s ugly stupid head. Why on EARTH can anyone be offended by this? What happened to live and let live. Why can a Muslim Mosque show it’s signs and banners and NEVER a word is spoken. Yesterday I did a blog about an American man being told to remove his American Flag because it might offend Muslims! What on Earth is going on. Why can’t people just be clever, the World’s gone mad!

A federal appeals court said this week that an atheist group trying to keep the so-called Ground Zero Cross out of the National September 11 Memorial Museum must better explain how displaying the artifact is “offensive” and violates members’ constitutional rights. The 17-foot-tall, steel beam “cross” was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York that fell during the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The cross became a sort of shrine or place of comfort for first responders who often prayed there and left messages or flowers. It was moved away from the debris a few weeks later and became a tourist attraction through several years of reconstruction. American Atheists filed the suit in 2011, which was thrown out last year by a federal judge in the Southern District of New York.

The appeals court ruling Thursday cites an amicus brief filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm that specializes in church-state law and protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. “We’re thrilled that the court picked up on this issue,” said group lawyer Eric Baxter, whose brief argued that American Atheists had no right to bring a lawsuit in the first place. “Courts should not allow people to sue just because they claim to get ‘dyspepsia’ over a historical artifact displayed in a museum.” The museum officially opened on May 21.

Just my way of thinking

The judge has now given the plaintiffs until July 14 to file supplemental legal briefs before deciding whether the case will proceed. Among the questions that must be answered in the new filings is how the offensiveness of the cross, which the plaintiffs view as a Christian symbol for all 9-11 victims, becomes a “constitutional injury.” The other question is — if the plaintiffs indeed feel displaying the cross “marginalizes them as American citizens” — then how is that a “particular and concrete injury” compared to just “the abstract stigmatization of atheists generally.” The judge has also asked the plaintiffs to substantiate their claim the museum and Sept. 11 memorial are getting taxpayer dollars. “Taking personal offense is not an injury that warrants invoking the power of the courts to shut down everything you disagree with,” Baxter also said. “The Constitution is not a personal tool for censoring everyone’s beliefs but your own.”

This was said. How can this be. Is there an Obama Muslim Connection? Just asking what others think

#911, #american-atheists, #american-flag, #atheist-group, #ground-zero, #ground-zero-cross, #muslim-mosque, #new-york, #religious-cross, #world-trade-center, #world-trade-center-cross

Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon dies

Gerry Conlon received an apology from then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005

Sad day today, one of the 4 accused of a bombing has passed away. Accused of being a republican member of the IRA Gerry one of 4 were jailed for life, they spent 15 years and got out on appeal, due to shoddy police work, they were set up from the start. I only hope in the final years of his life Gerry had a good life. R.I.P to a brilliant man. Shamed by England for a crime he and the other 3 never done. Makes you wonder how many other innocent people believed to be IRA members are in prison due to Thatcherism ways

Gerry Conlon, who spent 15 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, has died at the age of 60. Mr Conlon was wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford IRA pub bombing that killed five people and injured 65. He was one of the Guildford Four, whose convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in 1989. Mr Conlon’s case was highlighted in the 1993 Oscar-nominated film In The Name Of The Father, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

In the Name of the Father Official Trailer 

Gerry Conlon, pictured with his sisters after being released at the Old Bailey in 1989

Mr Conlon, pictured in 2013 at the funeral of SDLP MP Eddie McGrady

The Reality

Mr Conlon’s father Giuseppe was arrested when travelling to London from Belfast to help his son. He died while serving his sentence. In 2005, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair apologised for the miscarriage of justice. In October 1989, the Court of Appeal quashed the sentences of the Guildford Four – Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Carole Richardson and Paddy Armstrong – amid doubts raised about the police evidence against them. An investigation into the case by Avon and Somerset Police found serious flaws in the way Surrey Police handled the case – considered to be one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in Britain. Emerging from the Appeal Court a free man, Mr Conlon declared: “I have been in prison for something I did not do. I am totally innocent.” In June 1991 it overturned the sentences on the Maguire Seven, who were all arrested because of a family connection to Mr Conlon.

In a statement issued through his lawyer Gareth Peirce, Mr Conlon’s family said: “He brought life, love, intelligence, wit and strength to our family through its darkest hours. “He helped us to survive what we were not meant to survive. “We recognise that what he achieved by fighting for justice for us had a far, far greater importance – it forced the world’s closed eyes to be opened to injustice; it forced unimaginable wickedness to be acknowledged; we believe it changed the course of history. “We thank him for his life and we thank all his many friends for their love.”

#gerry-conlon, #gerry-conlon-dies, #guildford-four, #mr-conlon, #prime-minister-tony-blair, #the-wolf-tones, #tony-blair

*BREAKING NEWS* Russian Forces Put On ‘Full Combat Alert’

Troops in central Russia have been put on “full combat alert”, a day after neighbouring Ukraine declared a week-long ceasefire.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the alert would encompass the Volga region and Ural mountains and would last a week, according to Russian state news media.

The one-week drill will include 65,000 troops, according to the head of Russia’s General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov.

Last week Russia continued to build-up its forces on the border with Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are locked in battle with Ukraine government forces in a conflict that has killed some 300 people and forced 34,000 civilians to leave their homes.

#russia, #central-russia, #combat-alert, #defence-minister-sergei-shoigu, #russian-army, #russian-military-full-alert, #russian-state-news, #ukraine, #ural-mountains

Queen Gets New Helicopter For William And Kate

RAF helicopter pilot Prince William will fly with Kate to royal engagements

As the people of the UK get hit hard by Austerity cuts, bills getting higher, cost of living getting higher, the Queen buys her Grandkid a Helicopter out of the public purse. We paid for this present, the tax payers of the UK. And people wonder why the Royals are disliked these days. I don’t know many people in the UK never mind Scotland who have ANY time for the Royals. It seems the World likes the Royals more. We are sick of them here. They live of us, the people. Sadly should Scotland get independence, we keep the Royals. Yeah, Brilliant!

Prince William is to get his hands on the ultimate boy’s toy – a luxury helicopter paid for by the Queen. The six-year-old Agusta A109S Grand, which has already been dubbed ‘Heirforce One’ after the US President’s aircraft, has no previous owners and boasts a top speed of 180mph. It will be used to whisk William and his wife Kate between official engagements so they can spend as much time as possible at home with their son, Prince George.

The Duke of Cambridge, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, is a qualified RAF helicopter pilot. However, it is not clear whether he will get behind the controls of the Augusta, according to the Daily Mirror. The newspaper said the aircraft will be leased out by the Queen, with other members of the Royal Family able to hop on board. A royal source told Sky News the helicopter, which can stay in the sky for up to four and a half hours, covering a maximum distance of more than 530 miles, represented “better value for money”.

A busy schedule means time away from Prince George for the Duke and Duchess

It would also be safer, since checks will need to be carried out on just one aircraft rather than several, the source said. Prince William started his flying training in 2009 at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, where he learnt to pilot search and rescue aircraft. The Duke, or Flight Lieutenant Wales as he is known in the military, landed a Sea King helicopter on water during a tour of Canada in 2011. He also took to the skies above the Falkland Islands during a six-week deployment the following year.

#8m-helicopter, #helicopter, #paid-for-by-people-of-uk, #prince-william, #queen-of-england, #raf-helicopter-pilot, #royal-engagements, #the-royals

Watch Trey Gowdy’s Powerful Speech in Congress That Could Be a Defining Moment for America

No wonder Mr Gowdy got a standing ovation. I believe what he said will make him a target now, why? Because the spoke the truth. I like this guy. As I said before I don’t look left or right or wish red or blue (Even here in Scotland) I am for people, I am for fairness. What Mr Gowdy says here is make some waves of truth and I say well done Sir!

South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy has said some amazing things during his time in Congress that has gotten the attention of America. Using his prosecutorial skills, a deep respect and understanding of how law and government works, and a sardonic wit, Gowdy is unafraid to call things as he sees them. One of his more memorable moments came on the House floor as he sought support for his ENFORCE the Law act, a bill that would give Congress standing to sue an overreaching Executive branch that has taken lawlessness to an “unprecedented level”. Unfortunately, President Obama has said he will veto the bill if it ever reaches his desk. However, we should take a moment to reflect and hear Gowdy explain precisely why we even need such a law.

“I want us to talk as colleagues, because our foundational documents gave us, as the House, unique powers and responsibilities. We run every two years because they intended for us to be closest to the people. The President was given different duties and powers. The President was given the duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. So my question is what does that mean to you, that the laws be faithfully executed? We know the President can veto a bill for any reason or no reason. We know the President can refuse to defend the Constitutionality of a statute, even one he has signed into law. We know the President can issue pardons for violations of the very laws that we pass. And we know the President has prosecutorial discretion , as evidenced and used through his US attorneys. That is a lot of power. What are we to do when this President, or any President, decides to selectively enforce a portion of a law and ignore other portions of that law?

What do we do when, regardless of motivation, a President nullifies our vote by failing to faithfully execute the law? How do we explain waivers and exemptions and delays in a bill passed by Congress and affirmed by the US Supreme Court? Why pursue immigration reform when Presidents can turn off the very provisions we pass? In the oath that brand new citizens take, it contains six different references to the law. If it’s good enough for us to ask brand new citizens to affirm their devotion to the law, is it too much to ask that the President do the same?

If a President can change some laws, can he change all laws? Can he change election laws? Can he change discrimination laws? Are there any laws, under your theory, that he actually has to enforce? What is our recourse, what is our remedy? Some would argue that the framers gave us the power of the purse and the power of impeachment, but those are punishments and not remedies. What is the remedy if we want the Executive to enforce our work? This bill simply gives us standing if our votes are nullified. This bill allows us to petition the Judicial branch for an order requiring the Executive branch to faithfully execute the law. We are not held in high public esteem right now. Maybe members of Congress would be respected more if we respected ourselves enough to require that when we pass something it be treated as law.

The House of Representatives does not exist to pass suggestions. We do not exist to pass ideas. We make law, and while you are free to stand and clap when any President comes in to this hallowed chamber and promises to do it, with or without you, I will never stand and clap when any President, no matter whether he’s your party or mine, promises to make us a Constitutional anomaly and an afterthought. We make law!

#congress, #executive-branch, #mr-gowdy, #powerful-speech, #president-obama, #south-carolina-representative-trey-gowdy, #speech-in-congress, #trey-gowd

US Man told to remove his US flag as it’s a ‘threat to Muslim community’

WEBSTER, Texas — A Webster man says his apartment complex manager told him his American flag was a “threat to the Muslim community,” and that he has to take it down. But he’s not giving up without a fight.

Stepping onto Duy Tran’s balcony in Webster, one thing is clear: “It means a lot to me,” he said. He’s talking about his American flag that he proudly put up when he moved in just a few days ago. But then an apartment manager at the Lodge on El Dorado told him he had to take it down. “What really stunned me is that she said it’s a threat towards the Muslim community,” said Tran. “I’m not a threat toward anybody.” We tried to ask a manager if that’s exactly what was said, but she just handed us a statement, refused to answer any questions, and called an officer to escort us off the property, before we could press any further: “While the Lodge on El Dorado admires our resident’s patriotism, we must enforce our property rules and guidelines. Such guidelines maintain the aesthetics of our apartment community and provide for the safety of all residents. The apartment community already proudly displays our country’s flag in a safe and appropriate manner at the entrances to our community.”

But we saw other patriotic symbols hanging from other balconies in the complex, and Tran doesn’t plan to budge. “I’m gonna leave my flag there, as an American, until she shows me proof that I don’t have the right to leave my flag there,” said Tran. To Tran it’s about so much more than stars and stripes. “I have friends that died for this country,” he said. So he says this fight is the least he can do. We have not heard of any residents complaining about any flags at the complex, or any of the patriotic items we saw. In fact, we spoke to several neighbors who say they want Tran’s flag to stay.

#american-flag, #apartment-community, #apartment-manager, #duy-tran, #muslim-community, #muslims, #offensive-to-muslims, #remove-usa-flag, #usa-flag

Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In All UK Public Schools

I don’t see this being a HUGE issue in Scotland but would be interested to know what English, Welsh and NI people think. For me School is no place for religion, it is something you either get at home or not at all. There is an argument to teach cultures and that is fine, but the line between teaching cultures and religion is a small one.

In what’s being heralded as a secular triumph, the UK government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools.

The new clauses, which arrived with very little fanfare last week, state that the…

…requirement for every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school.

So, if an academy or free school teaches creationism as scientifically valid, it’s breaking the funding agreement to provide a “broad and balanced curriculum.” In the UK, state-funded academies are basically equivalent to charter schools in the United States, and are primarily comprised of high schools. Free schools, which were introduced in 2010, are non-profit making, independent, state-funded schools which are not controlled by a local authority, but are subject to the School Admissions Code. Free schools make it possible for parents, teachers, charities, and business to set up their own schools. In addition to the new clauses, the UK government clarified the meaning of creationism, reminding everyone that it’s a minority view even within the Church of England and the Catholic Church.

Back in 2012, the UK government banned all future free schools from teaching creationism as science, requiring them to teach natural selection. At the time, however, it didn’t extend those requirement to academies, nor did the changes apply to existing free schools. The new verbiage changes this, precluding all public-funded schools — present or future — from teaching creationism as evidence-based theory.

The new church academies clauses require that “pupils are taught about the theory of evolution, and prevent academy trusts from teaching ‘creationism’ as scientific fact.” And by “creationism” they mean:

[A]ny doctrine or theory which holds that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth and therefore rejects the scientific theory of evolution. The parties acknowledge that creationism, in this sense, is rejected by most mainstream churches and religious traditions, including the major providers of state funded schools such as the [Anglican] [Catholic] Churches, as well as the scientific community. It does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory.

And in regards to protecting religious beliefs, the clauses acknowledge that the funding agreement does…
…not prevent discussion of beliefs about the origins of the Earth and living things, such as creationism, in Religious Education, as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.
Seems fair and reasonable to me. The British Humanist Association, which has been advocating for the change since 2011 via its “Teach Evolution, Not Creationism” campaign, is celebrating the move.

“[We] believe that… the objectives of the campaign are largely met,” noted BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal in a statement. “We congratulate the Government on its robust stance on this issue.” He added: “However, there are other ongoing areas of concern, for example the large number of state financed creationist nurseries, or the inadequate inspection of private creationist schools, and continued vigilance is needed in the state-funded sector. We will continue to work for reform in the remaining areas, but are pleased that the vast majority of issues are now dealt with.”

This move by the UK government stands in stark contrast to what’s happening in the United States. In Missouri, for example, a proposed bill would require schools to “alert” parents when evolution is taught.

#banned-uk, #charles-darwin, #church-academies, #creationism, #creationism-as-science, #creationism-vs-evolution, #missouri, #no-religion-in-school, #pope-believes-in-evolution, #public-schools, #teaching-creationism, #uk, #uk-government, #united-states

CCT Video Shows Police Officer Shooting and Killing inmate

Newly released video shows a Texas police officer fatally shooting a handcuffed prisoner in El Paso city jail.

The footage shows a struggle between the inmate – bodybuilder Daniel Saenz – police officer Jose Flores and an unidentified prison guard. The release of the video was ordered by the Texas Attorney General’s Office after a request by the newspaper El Paso.

The video dates to March 8, 2013.

Saenz, 37, had been arrested that day after he had allegedly attacked an off-duty police officer. Saenz was then being transported from jail to a hospital because he had smashed his head against the doorway and injured himself. The video shows Saenz, his hands in cuffs behind his back, being dragged by Mr Flores and the guard. According to a statement by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), the inmate had been tasered five times throughout the course of the day but continued to resist. Mr Flores pulled out his gun, firing a shot that went through Saenz’s shoulder and into his heart, local reports said. Saenz died shortly thereafter in hospital. CLEAT claimed the guard inadvertently hit the officer’s hand, causing the gun to fire. Mr Flores has not been charged but is believed to be on leave.

#bodybuilder-daniel-saenz, #cct-video, #combined-law-enforcement-associations, #daniel-saenz, #el-paso-city-jail, #jose-flores, #killing-inmate, #police-officer, #police-officer-shooting, #prisoner-saenz, #saenz, #texas-attorney-generals-office

Alien – The Black Knight Satellite – Polar Orbit

Something we as a species have never been able to achieve with ANY satellite is a stable polar orbit, going pole to pole and round that way, this satellite, whatever it is, NASA doesn’t know, Russia doesn’t know, European Space Agency and China don’t know. Black Knight also known as the Black Knight satellite is an alleged object orbiting Earth in near-polar orbit that ufologists and fringe authors believe is approximately 13,000 years old and of extraterrestrial origin. However it is most probable that Black Knight is the result of a conflation of a number of unrelated stories. Basically we don’t know.

Fringe authors claim that there is a connection between long delayed echos and reports that Nikola Tesla picked up a repeating radio signal in 1899 which he believed was coming from space. The satellite explanation originated in 1954 when newspapers including the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner ran stories attributed to UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe saying that the US Air Force had reported that two satellites orbiting the Earth had been detected. At this time no man-made satellites had been launched.

In February 1960 there was a further report that the US Navy had detected a dark, tumbling object in an orbit inclined at 79° from the equator with an orbital period of 104.5 minutes. Its orbit was also highly eccentric with an apogee of 1,728 km (1,074 mi) and a perigee of only 216 km (134 mi) At the time the Navy was tracking a fragment of casing from the Discoverer VIII satellite launch which had a very similar orbit. The dark object was later confirmed to be another part of this casing that had been presumed lost. In 1973 the Scottish writer Duncan Lunan analyzed the data from the Norwegian radio researchers, coming to the conclusion that they produced a star chart pointing the way to Epsilon Boötis, a double star in the constellation of Boötes. Lunan’s hypothesis was that these signals were being transmitted from a 12,600 year old object located at one of Earth’s Lagrangian points. Lunan later found that his analysis had been based on flawed data and withdrew it, and at no time did he associate it with the unidentified orbiting object.
An object photographed in 1998 during the STS-88 mission has been widely claimed to be this “alien artifact”. However, it is more probable that the photographs are of a thermal blanket that had been lost during an EVA.

Video via: DarkSkyWatcher74

Some images

Sputnik had a semi polar orbit, but we can’t get any satellite to stay in a polar orbit, the black knight is in a polar orbit and has been for many years

#13-000-years-old, #alien, #black-knight-satellite, #chinese, #nasa, #nikola-tesla, #polar-orbit, #russian, #seen-200-years-ago, #tesla-picked-up-a-repeating-radio-signal-in-1899

California pastor orders Christians to ‘isolate’ LGBT kids and then ‘turn them over to Satan’

Pastor John MacArthur

Pastor John MacArthur said during a recent edition of his “Grace to You” show that parents of LGBT kids should cast them out of their lives and “turn them over to Satan.” Americans Against the Tea Party reported that the pastor was responding to a question from a congregant about parenting a gay child.

“My adult child just ‘came out,’” wrote MacArthur’s viewer, “‘in other words declared to be a homosexual. What do I do?’” “You know, the answer depends,” answered MacArthur. “If that adult child professes Christ, claims to be a Christian, then that becomes an issue for confrontation of the sternest and strongest kind because that falls under Matthew 18.”

“If that person doesn’t repent and turn, you take two or three witnesses, and confront again. If there’s still no repentance, then tell the church. And if the church pursues it and there’s still no repentance, then there’s a public putting-out of the church, that person who professes to be a Christian. That’s how you deal with that.” Non-believers, he said, don’t matter. “They’re just acting like a non-Christian.” However, “if they profess to be a Christian, you have to alienate them,” he said. “You have to separate them. You can’t condone that, it’s inconsistent with the profession of Christ. So, you isolate them. You don’t have a meal with them. You separate yourself from them. You turn them over to Satan, as it were, as scripture says.”

#america, #bisexual, #california-pastor-john-macarthur, #christians, #gay, #john-macarthur, #lesbian, #lgbt, #matthew-18, #satan, #transgender, #turn-your-kids-to-satan

Scotland records UK’s hottest day of 2014 as temperatures top 26C

Summer sun: Warm weather was enjoyed across central Scotland on Wednesday.

Scotland has recorded the hottest UK temperature of the year, with Perthshire soaring to 26.5C on Wednesday.

The record-equalling high was set at Strathallan, near the village of Forgandenny. STV (Scottish Television) weather presenter Sean Batty, who said the warm temperatures of the past few days have made parts of Scotland just as hot as many Mediterranean holiday destinations, warned Scots to take care. “The UV levels are at their highest point now with just a few days to go till the summer solstice,” he said. “Towards the end of the week the temperatures will come down to mid teen values for most of the country and there will also be a higher risk of some showery rain.” The temperature set at Strathallan equals that recorded in Writtle in Essex on Monday. My city hot 27 yesterday and it was BAKING outside. Here in Scotland we make the most of this weather, it could last a day, a week, an hour 😀 And of course nobody can deny eye candy right?

1 mile from my house

#27-degrees, #central-scotland, #edinburgh, #hot-weather, #scotland, #scottish-television, #sean-batty, #warm-temperatures, #warm-weather, #weather

Gaza under attack as Israel search for missing girls

Why are Main stream media not reporting this?

The search for the three kidnapped yeshiva students entered its fourth day on Monday. The Israeli military on Sunday called up a limited number of reserves and is now focusing most of its efforts to find Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, from Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon in the Hebron area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Hamas is behind the abduction. Netanyahu asserted that he holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the teens’ fate. The Ma’an Palestinian news agency quoted Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, as saying that Israel “has a lot of information on the kidnapping case. The investigation is conducted in absolute secrecy.”

On Sunday it was cleared for publication that one of the abducted teens managed to call the police emergency line immediately after he was taken, at 10:25 P.M. on Thursday and said: “We’ve been kidnapped.”

The security cabinet convened Monday to further discuss efforts to locate the three teenagers. One of the ideas being considered is to expel senior Hamas members from the West Bank to Gaza, as a way of pressuring the organization. The Justice Ministry convened on Sunday to explore whether such steps are in keeping with international law.

The U.S. on Sunday condemned the kidnapping, and called for the immediate release of the three teens. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S. is still looking for information as to who is behind the incident, but adds that “many indications point to Hamas’ involvement.” The military’s working assumption is that the three are still in the West Bank.

Latest updates from 18th June (Today)

23:28 The IDF reports that one Palestinian was shot and seriously wounded while attempting to breach the security barrier in the area of Kochav Yaacov. The army said it was unaware of reports of additional wounded.In disruptions in Beit Omer, the IDF shot rubber bullets and stun and gas grenades at several dozen Palestinians throwing rocks at the security forces. No injuries were reported. (Gili Cohen)

23:20 Rocket explodes in an open field adjacent to Ashkelon. No siren was sounded and no injuries have been reported. (Shirley Seidler)

23:19 Two fire-bombs thrown at Beit Orot Yeshiva in East Jerusalem. No injuries reported. (Nir Hasson)

23:15 Two Israelis, one an 18-month-old baby, have been lightly injured in rock-throwing near Kfar Azoun in the Shomron. (Chaim Levinson)

18:40 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers an official televised statement:

“We are in the middle of a complex operation. We need to be prepared for the fact that it may take more time,” he said. “It is a serious incident and will have grave consequences.”

He also urged members of the international community to speak out against the abduction: “I call on those in the international community that condemn us for building in Jerusalem to clearly condemn this kidnapping,” he said.”

With regard to the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the last few days, during the operation to find the missing teens, Netanyahu said: “We will retaliate forcefully against any rocket fire from Gaza. Anybody who attempts to attack Israeli citizens will be targeted.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the media following Netanyahu’s statement, declaring: “This abduction will not pass without Hamas paying a big price.”

14:25 Israel’s security cabinet has convened to discuss the West Bank kidnapping. The ministers are to be briefed on the investigation and to discuss possible measures against Hamas. The options being considered include expelling top Hamas operatives from the West Bank to Gaza, demolishing operatives’ homes and imposing sanctions on Hamas inmates in Israeli prisons. (Barak Ravid)

13:20Israeli security forces shoot rubber bullets at Palestinians who threw rocks at Israeli soldiers at a Hebron checkpoint. (Gili Cohen)

12:32 P.M. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has called on the Israeli public to refrain from “spreading unfounded rumors” via social media. (Gili Cohen)

12:40 P.M. Germany has called for the release of three Israeli teenagers believed to have been abducted in the West Bank.

“We are concerned about the whereabouts of three youngsters who disappeared… There are some indications that the three have been kidnapped. If this is the case, we condemned this action and urge those responsible to release them, free of harm, immediately,” a German foreign ministry spokesman said. “This has come at a time of considerable tension in the Palestinian territories, it is therefore in the interests of everyone to prevent any further escalation,” he added. (Reuters)

11:58 A.M. In first conversation in over a year, Abbas called Netanyahu on Monday and Netanyahu told him he expected him to help return the abducted teens and catch their abductors.”The abductors from Hamas came from an area under Palestinian Authority control and returned to PA-controlled territory,” Netanyahu said. “It’s important to understand the consequences of the unity with Hamas – it’s bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians, and bad for the area.

“This incident reveals the character of the terror that we are fighting,” he said. “Terrorists abduct innocent Israeli children while we give medical care in our hospitals to sick Palestinian children. That is the difference between our humane policy and the murderous terror that is attacking us.”

11:38 A.M. The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issues a first statement condemning the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. “Both sides should refrain from violence,” the statement said.

Abbas condemned the kidnapping and the sequence of events that followed, including the death of a Palestinian youth in a clash with Israeli soldiers. He called on both sides to refrain from violence, and lauded the Palestinian security forces for their efforts to “stop the PA from being dragged into disorder and prevent the factions from taking advantage of the situation for non-nationalistic purposes.” He expressed intention to continue the struggle to free Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

back to latest update

10:57 A.M. The IDF says three soldiers were lightly wounded by rocks thrown at them during the clashes in the al-Jilazoun refugee camp. Military officials add that a gun and two cartridges were found at a nearby home; the resident has been taken in for questioning.

10:55 A.M. Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz warns of “earth-shattering” consequences if the three missing teens are hurt.

10:34 A.M. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch says thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed in search of the three missing teens.

Israeli soldiers arrest Abdel Aziz Dweik, speaker of the long-defunct Palestinian parliament and a senior Hamas figure, at his home during a military operation to search for three missing Israeli.
Israeli soldiers arrest Abdel Aziz Dweik, speaker of the long-defunct Palestinian parliament and a senior Hamas figure, at his home during a military operation to search for three missing Israeli.AP
“We’re doing everything to bring the abductees home,” he said, reiterating that Hamas is behind the kidnapping and that Israel is holding the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, responsible.

9:40 A.M.: The IDF confirms that a Palestinian man, Ahmad Asabarin, 23, was shot to death overnight by Israeli forces in the Jilazoun refugee camp in the West Bank. The IDF says the youth was shot after he threw a large brick toward the soldiers.Two other youths were moderately hurt in the clashes. (Gili Cohen)

9:30 A.M. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said during a briefing on Sunday night that the military’s foremost goals are to “find the three boys and bring them home, and to hurt Hamas as much as possible.” (Gili Cohen)

7:41 A.M. According to reports in Gaza, four sustain light and moderate wounds in an IAF strike on a Hamas base. (Gili Cohen and Jack Khoury)

6:54 A.M. The IDF arrests 40 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, including Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Duwaik. So far 150 Palestinians have been arrested as part of the search for the missing teens.

Top military officials convene for a briefing and decide against expanding the scope of the military operation. Arrests of Hamas operatives in the West Bank are expected to continue.

A senior IDF official says the military is not aware of a Palestinian who was killed during the clashes in the al-Jilazoun refugee camp. The death was reported earlier by Palestinian medical staff and witnesses. According to the official, the report is being investigated, as are reports of Palestinians wounded in IAF strikes in Gaza.

The IDF believes that the Islamic Jihad was behind Sunday night’s rocket fire from Gaza. Hamas was not responsible for the attack, a military official says. (Gili Cohen)

5:45 A.M. Three Palestinians were reportedly wounded in an Israeli air strike on Gaza, including 3-year-old child. The IDF earlier on Monday issued a statement that said it conducted an aerial strike in the Gaza Strip as a response to rocket fire from Gaza on Sunday. (DPA)

5:25 A.M. A 20-year-old Palestinian was killed and another was wounded during clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah, according to Palestinian hospital officials.

Witnesses say Palestinians threw rocks at soldiers conducting house-to-house searches in al-Jilazoun refugee camp, outside Ramallah, before dawn. (Reuters)

3:15 A.M. Israel Air Force strikes five targets in the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit says in a statement. One of the targets was described as a “center for terrorist activity” and three others are said to be weapons-manufacturing and storage sites – all in the northern Gaza Strip – and another location of terrorist activity in the Strip’s south. The IDF says direct hits were identified.

The stament says that the strike was a response to the rocket fire from Gaza toward southern Israel on Sunday. (Gili Cohen)

12:22 A.M. The government is weighing whether to expel senior Hamas men from the West Bank to Gaza as a way of pressuring the organization to help resolve the kidnapping of the three teens. A senior Israeli official says the Justice Ministry had held a discussion Sunday on whether this was legally feasible.

The assessments and discussions in the Prime Minister’s Office over the past few days have included talk of ways of punishing Hamas aimed at pressuring the organization’s senior officials. The senior Israeli source says among the options discussed are expelling senior Hamas men from the West Bank to Gaza, demolishing the homes of Hamas operatives and sanctions against Hamas inmates in Israeli prisoners.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, together with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and other ministry officials, convened on Sunday to explore whether such steps were in keeping with international law and would stand up to challenges in the High Court of Justice. No decisions were made Sunday, but research into the issue is continuing. (Barak Ravid)

Live updates here:

Israeli plane bombing Gaza tonight

Israeli F-16s and helicopters have carried out a series of air attacks across the Gaza Strip tonight, targeting Rafah and Khan Younes.

It has been confirmed by the Gaza health ministry that a 15-year-old girl and a 27 year old woman were injured in the Rafah attacks.

#4-missing-girls, #gaza, #gaza-strip, #gaza-under-attack, #hamas, #idf, #israel, #israel-bombing-gaza, #live-updates-from-gaza, #prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu, #war-planes-hitting-gaza-now

Anti-paedophile police fight child porn ‘epidemic’

US and UK forces join to arrest many paedophiles

It is good when countries come together for this kind of action, we will catch more perverted paedophiles this way. USA sent advisers over to train UK specialists and both countries work hard together to make sure these vile humans, men and woman are caught. Normal people can’t get their mind around this, so to see this on my news tonight was good, knowing there are specialist teams looking for these non-humans.

The internet trade in images that show child sex abuse is now “an epidemic”, according to the head of the global initiative to combat the problem. Police officers from around the world serve on the Virtual Global Taskforce. Its chairman, Ian Quinn, tells the BBC there has been an “explosion” in cases handled by US authorities. The US alone has 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) units, each made up of state, local police and federal agents. BBC News joined a recent operation in Los Angeles. Twenty one officers were briefed at dawn in a parking lot in central LA. Lt Andrea Grossman, from the Los Angeles Police Department, told us they conducted such operations “three to five times per week”.

A man was arrested as a result of the Los Angeles operation

The amount of images of child sexual abuse on the internet, she says, is “beyond out of control, we’re now just getting to the surface of it”. Their target was a man who had tried to send obscene images via his Gmail account. The team was led by an officer holding a pump-action shotgun, backed up by others with an assault rifle and hand guns. A suspect was detained. The man’s computer was analysed in a mobile laboratory, housed in a large camper van parked outside the address.

Online images accumulate
In 2002 the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reviewed and confirmed 45,055 examples of obscene images of children found online (some of these were duplicates)
In 2013 the figure had grown to 23,881,197
As of May 2014, the centre had reviewed 112 million files containing images of child sexual abuse

Via: ahmet tufan

Officers removed the suspect’s hard drive and analysed it in a mobile laboratory

But now within minutes of his arrest officers had found images of the abuse of children as young as six-years-old. He was charged with possessing illegal material.
Operation Predator
The US Department of Homeland Security investigations (HSI) launched more than 4,000 investigations into online child sexual abuse last year. “Globally there’s not a country that can hide from this crime,” says Mr Quinn. To combat the problem department launched Operation Predator in 2003, with three key aims:

to rescue children
to prosecute their abusers
to stop the trade in obscene images

Investigators have repaired mobile phone chips to analyse the images they hold

Predator has led to more than 1,000 arrests across the world in the past six months, 29 of those were in the UK.

Predator detentions

In 2003, 339 arrests were made worldwide in connection with Operation Predator
In 2013, the number had grown to 2,099
To date, the total number of arrests linked to the operation totals 10,608
Lt Grossman says paedophiles trade images across the world, which demands a global response from law enforcement. “Your suspects are our suspects, your victims are our victims,” she says. “I start my day at 04:00, so I can talk to the Brits, the Australians, to any international partner.” Her team also has access to software that can track in real time paedophiles accessing images on peer-to-peer networks.

Computer forensic experts help gather evidence to prosecute suspected paedophiles

Earlier this year Lt Grossman and a colleague were in London training 100 British detectives from across the UK. They taught their UK counterparts advanced techniques for tracking suspects online and gathering evidence.

British arrest

The cooperation between the US and UK has led to some high profile arrests. Earlier this year a British man called Mark Luscombe was jailed after an operation which began in the US. Luscombe, 29, of Verwood, Dorset, used a paedophile chat room online. He contacted an undercover agent from Homeland Security who was posing as a man offering his children for sex.

Some paedophiles have been found with thousands of illegal images on their computers

The 29-year-old offered to send the officer indecent images of children in exchange for watching a girl being abused live on a webcam. Luscombe was sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to 16 offences at Bournemouth Crown Court. BBC News has obtained access to his police interview tapes. In them Luscombe tells officers that he thought he might be under surveillance. Mark Luscombe was caught in an operation by US and UK police “I know I probably spoke to one of you and that’s how you probably got me,” he said. He also admitted that he needed help. “I’ve always felt this way, I know it’s bad and wrong… it’s just wired up.” Detective Superintendent Chris Naughton from Dorset police believes this conviction sends a powerful message. “From us receiving the information to going through his door was about 48 hours,” he says. “I think that shows how well [international cooperation] works.”

Undercover agent

Mark Luscombe was caught in an operation by US and UK police

Homeland Security regularly deploys undercover officers online. Special Agent Kevin Laws has been doing the job for a decade and has made 60 arrests. He poses on incest chat rooms as a father offering his children for sex with other adults. “This is as bad as it gets,” he tells us. He gets frequent requests from people who want to meet him and abuse the fictitious children, including people from the UK. “Oh every day, it’s a rare time I don’t speak to someone in the UK,” he says. He admits that his work is like “a drop of sand in the ocean”, but that it does send a clear message to abusers. “We might not get you today or tomorrow, but we will get you, and it will be when you least expect it.”

#anti-paedophile, #anti-paedophile-police, #child-porn-epidemic, #child-sex-abuse, #child-sexual-abuse, #epidemic, #mark-luscombe, #operation-predator, #paedophile, #uk-and-us-special-teams

There May Be an Ancient Earth Inside Earth, Say Harvard Scientists

A team of Harvard scientists believe the remnants of an ancient Earth, dating to the time another planet collided with ours to produce the moon, may still be lodged deep within the Earth’s mantle. If you thought it was a trip to see the Earth from space, then wait until you get a load of this: A team of scientists from Harvard University believe that have found evidence that an ancient Earth exists inside the Earth.

The team believes that a previously unexplained isotopic ratio from deep within the Earth might be a signal from material from before the Earth collided with another planet-sized body, which led to the creation of the Moon. This might be an echo of an ancient Earth that existed 4.5 billion years ago, prior to the proposed collision.

The current favored theory says that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when the Earth collided with a mass the size of Mars, dubbed “Theia.” This theory states that the heat generated by the collision would have melted the whole planet before some of the debris spun off to create the Moon. But now, the team at Harvard, led by Associate Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, believe that they’ve found evidence to support that only part of the Earth melted, and that an ancient part still exists within the Earth’s mantle.

According to Professor Mukhopadhyay: “The energy released by the impact between the Earth and Theia would have been huge, certainly enough to melt the whole planet. But we believe that the impact energy was not evenly distributed throughout the ancient Earth. This means that a major part of the impacted hemisphere would probably have been completely vaporized, but the opposite hemisphere would have been partly shielded, and would not have undergone complete melting.”

Science believes there still exists some of an ancient world before Earth was hit to create our moon

The team analyzed the ratios of noble gas isotopes from deep within the Earth’s mantle and compared the results to isotope ratios closer to the surface. They found that 3He to 22Ne ratio from the shallow mantle is significantly higher than the equivalent ratio deep within the mantle. Professor Mukhopadhyay remarked: “This implies that the last giant impact did not completely mix the mantle and there was not a whole mantle magma ocean.”

Further evidence comes from analysis of the 129-Xenon to 120-Xenon ratio. Material brought to the surface from the deep mantle has a lower ratio than what’s normally found near the surface. Because 129-Xenon is produced by the radioactive decay of 129-Iodine, the isotopes place the formation age of the ancient section of mantle to within the first 100 million years of Earth’s history.

“The geochemistry indicates that there are differences between the noble gas isotope ratios in different parts of the Earth, and these need to be explained. The idea that a very disruptive collision of the Earth with another planet-sized body, the biggest event in Earth’s geological history, did not completely melt and homogenize the Earth challenges some of our notions on planet formation and the energetics of giant impacts. If the theory is proven correct, then we may be seeing echoes of the ancient Earth, from a time before the collision,” said Professor Mukhopadhyay.

Professor Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution Department of Terrestrial Magnetism stated: “This exciting result is adding to the observational evidence that important aspects of Earth’s composition were established during the violent birth of the planet and is providing a new look at the physical processes by which this can occur.” The findings of the team at Harvard coincide with a German team’s findings supporting the theory that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago after a catastrophic collision with a planet-sized mass. Both the Harvard and German teams presented their findings to the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in California this week.

The famous Agharta map

Real of fake?

#ancient-earth, #earth-inside-earth, #earths-mantle, #harvard-scientists, #professor-mukhopadhyay

Il Divo – Amazing Grace – And Freedom for Scotland

The sound of the Bagpipes do strange things to a Scottish person, I think it is in our DNA, when the Bagpiper comes in at 2 minutes 15 seconds every hair on my body stands on end. I love this song, it is sung at Weddings and parties, I remember as a kid wondering why we always sung this song. As I grew older I got it. As I got older I understood what being Scottish IS. What it means and why patriotism comes so easy for me. But people the World over are patriots, be you from England, USA, China, Argentina or Russia, people love where they are from. The sheer amount of history in my country is staggering, not far from the back of my house are 2 small houses, one we think was a castle, just ruins now, but both are from the 13oo’s. When you venture to the City you can’t help but look up at Edinburgh Castle as it towers over the city. Steeped in history that made Scotland what it is today. Soon we vote on independence, but be we get it or not won’t change my ways. I am Scottish not British. I have English friends, I don’t dislike England, I just love Scotland, call me a nationalist call me what you will, I just love my Country. When I am up the town and I see a loan piper I stand or sit for an hour or more, listening to what used to be outlawed pipes by English rule, now we are free to sing and play the pipes. As things stand we have devolution, we take care of our own affairs but Westminster (London) has the purse strings. I vote #AYE because I know the battles that went before me, history I was taught as a kid come to the fore and I know on September 19th I will be crying no matter the result. I don’t care about politics, I don’t care about any political party, I care about the future of my people, my kids and of course Scotland, nothing could take me from her shores but maybe I will have to for a while due to disability. Until that day, and past that day my feet belong on Scottish soil. If you are Scottish and vote #NAW on the 18th you don’t know the history, you don’t care for the blood spilled to allow us to vote on the 18th September, NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU COME FROM OR MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHERE ‘WE’ ARE GOING! COME ON SCOTLAND, WE CAN AND MUST DO THIS!

#amazing-grace, #free-scotland, #history, #ii-divo, #independence-for-scotland, #no-to-westminster, #scotland

Incurable chikungunya virus spreads in US, at least 6 states affected

US health officials are on high alert as a mosquito-borne virus that yet has no cure has struck six of the US states. The virus called chikungunya causes severe joint pain which can last for years.

The latest case of the virus has been confirmed by Tennessee officials as the resident of Madison County, has been tested positive for the virus. The officials, however, added that there was no transmission to other residents in the state.

“It will be more difficult for the virus to establish itself here,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee told Tech Times.

Rhode Island authorities also confirmed two cases of the mosquito-borne virus. They involve travelers who returned from the Dominican Republic on May 17 and May 29, said state officials, adding that authorities are currently investigating several other suspicious cases of the virus.

Florida has been the worst hit by the virus, with at least 25 cases reported in the state, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Florida Department of Health released a set of guidelines in order to avoid becoming infected and spreading the virus.

A scientist examines tiger mosquitos (AFP Photo / Pascal Guyot)

The cases of the virus, transmitted to humans through mosquitoes, have also been confirmed in North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana.

On Wednesday, the virus affected two residents from the US Virgin Islands, according to local authorities.

“The first case has been confirmed as locally acquired; the second case is an imported case with the patient recent travel history outside of the Territory,” said the Department of Health in the US Virgin Islands in a press release.

Florida officials advised residents “to wear long sleeves and long pants when possible,” and “use mosquito-proof screens on windows and doors.”

A resident of San Cristobal, southeast of Santo Domingo with symptoms of chikungunya fever awaits to be treated in the emergency sector of the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital.

Symptoms of the malaria-like illness include fever, headache, chills, sensitivity to light, and rash, vomiting and severe joint pain, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, it adds. They usually begin three to seven days after infection occurs. The consequences include a long period of joint pains which may persist for years in some cases. Though the virus rarely leads to death, the problem is that there is currently no vaccine available. The treatment only aims at improving the symptoms.

According to WHO, Chikungunya was first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952, eastern Africa, and since then has been detected in nearly 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and also in the Americas.

The Pan American Health Organization says that about 165,000 cases have been either suspected or confirmed in the Caribbean since it was first documented in 2013-2014 with 14 death cases. Most of the cases have been detected in Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Martinique and Haiti.

#6-states-effected, #chikungunya, #chikungunya-fever, #deadly-virus, #dominican-republic, #incurable-chikungunya-virus, #mosquito-borne-virus, #us-virgin-islands, #usa, #vanderbilt-university-medical-center


A cancerous lung

AP –

A bold new way to test cancer drugs started Monday in hundreds of hospitals around the U.S. In a medical version of speed dating, doctors will sort through multiple experimental drugs and match patients to the one most likely to succeed based on each person’s unique tumour gene profile. It’s a first-of-a-kind experiment that brings together five drug companies, the government, private foundations and advocacy groups. The idea came from the federal Food and Drug Administration, which has agreed to consider approving new medicines based on results from the study. Its goal is to speed new treatments to market and give seriously ill patients more chances to find something that will help. Instead of being tested for individual genes and trying to qualify for separate clinical trials testing single drugs, patients can enroll in this umbrella study, get full gene testing and have access to many options at once. The study, called Lung-MAP, is for advanced cases of a common, hard-to-treat form of lung cancer – squamous cell. Plans for similar studies for breast and colon cancer are in the works.

“For patients, it gives them their best chance for treatment of a deadly disease,” because everyone gets some type of therapy, said Ellen Sigal, chairwoman and founder of Friends of Cancer Research, a Washington-based research and advocacy group that helped plan and launch the study. “There’s something for everyone, and we’ll get answers faster” on whether experimental drugs work, she said. Cancer medicines increasingly target specific gene mutations that are carried by smaller groups of patients. But researchers sometimes have to screen hundreds of patients to find a few with the right mutation, making drug development inefficient, expensive and slow.

This could provide a longer life to millions

One of the leaders of the Lung-MAP study – Dr. Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at the Yale Cancer Centre – said he once screened 100 patients to find five that might be eligible for a study, and ultimately was able to enroll two. “It’s just going to be impossible, in rare subgroups, for companies to find enough” people to try out a new medicine, said Dr. Richard Pazdur, cancer drugs chief at the FDA. He and others at the FDA suggested the Lung-MAP trial design to speed new treatments to market and “minimize the number of patients exposed to ineffective therapies,” he said. Everyone in the study will be screened for mutations in more than 200 cancer-related genes, rather than a single mutation as in conventional studies.

Then they will be assigned to one of five groups based on what these tumor biomarkers show. Each group will test a particular experimental medicine. Drugs can be added or subtracted from the study as it goes on, based on how each performs. The initial round of testing involves Amgen, Genentech, Pfizer, AstraZeneca PLC, and AstraZeneca’s global biologics partner, MedImmune. Up to 1,000 patients a year can be enrolled in the study. It will cost about $150 million. The National Cancer Institute is paying $25 million, and the rest will come from foundations, charities and others in the public-private partnership.

About 500 hospitals that are part of a large cancer treatment consortium around the country will take part, and some private groups want to join as well, Herbst said. “Nothing like this has ever been done before,” where such comprehensive testing will be done to match patients to experimental drugs, he said. Breyan Harris, a 33-year-old nurse from Sacramento, hopes to enroll. She’s a lifelong non-smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer on June 3. “Since then I’ve pretty much been on the phone, seeing doctors, trying to figure out how do I get rid of this,” she said. Harris expects to have one lung with a large tumor removed, “but if it comes back in my other lung I’m in real trouble,” so finding a drug to attack any remaining, hidden cancer is crucial, she said.

This is being tried on people with late stage Lung Cancer

#cancer, #cancer-drugs, #colon-cancer, #experimental-drugs, #food-and-drug-administration, #lung-cancer, #lung-cancer-treatment, #new-cancer-hope, #new-lung-cancer-hope, #usa