Interview with Gennady Yevstafyev, retired Lieutenant-General of Russia’s Foreign IntelligenceWe know that in the Gulf there are two flattops surrounded by several dozens of American ships. And yesterday or the day before yesterday the nuclear submarine Annapolis, which is a very big one, and accompanied by several of the most advanced corvettes, entered the area.the amount of naval forces they keep there is really spectacular.It is not Iran which is prepared to launch an attack against the United States.
The British Royal Navy is planning to send the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless, a state-of-the-art warship, to the region on her maiden mission in a few months, a move interpreted by some experts as a provocation of war. “London is after issues of big media impact to hide the daily sufferings of Britain with its problems of unemployment, shrinking economy, social unrest by appealing to a very distant situation such is the South Atlantic Islands dispute.”
Germany leaked news that it was demanding an EU-appointed “budget commissioner” for Greece with the power to override Greek budget policy as a precondition for any further loans.It could not threaten its creditors with default and would have to accept whatever cuts financial authorities demanded of it, even if the banks withheld agreed-upon bailout payments.
Iran's state news agency IRNA said the satellite was launched Friday. It is reportedly designed to collect data on weather conditions and monitor for natural disasters.Iran's space program has raised concerns because the same technology that allows missiles to launch satellites can be used to fire warheads.
Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said on Thursday he has concerns there could be a military conflict with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.Clegg said Britain had been attempting to demonstrate “that there are very tough things we can do which are not military steps in order to place pressure on Iran.”He would not speculate on whether “Britain would participate” if the standoff eventually led to a military response.
The officials interviewed said that the attack will be led by the Israeli artillery, which will use Jericho 2 missiles that have a range of 2,500 kilometers. The report also says the artillery will be assisted by F-15i aircraft and Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).Another important note made by the NBC report is that all the officials interviewed agreed with recent reports that Israel will not notify the White House a long time in advance of the attack.
Low level marijuana arrests in New York City rose for the seventh straight year in 2011 to 50,680. The arrest total is the highest total on record since former pot smoker Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office and it is the second highest total of pot arrests ever recorded in the history of the city Shockingly, the near-record high arrest total comes just months after New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called on officers to cease making marijuana misdemeanor arrests. Apparently, NYPD officers aren’t very good at listening to their commanding officer.Of course, what is most troubling about these arrest figures is that under state law they largely shouldn’t be occurring at all. Since 1977, New York State law has categorized the possession of 25 grams of marijuana or less as a violation, not a misdemeanor crime. So then how are NYPD making so many misdemeanor pot arrests? By violating the spirit of the law, if not the law itself. Rather than ticketing low level marijuana offenders, City police for over a decade have been taking advantage of a separate statute, NY State Penal Law 221.10, which makes it a criminal misdemeanor to possess pot if it is ‘open to public view.’ According to an investigation last year by New York City public radio station WNYC, it was determined that City cops routinely conduct warrantless ’stop-and-frisk’ searches of civilians, find marijuana hidden on their persons, and then falsely charge them with possessing pot ‘open to public view.’
Looking at millions of individual bills that makeup the 2.7 trillion dollars of annual health care costs opens a gigantic window on the massive waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud and sometimes criminal over-billing.Americans continue to spend more on health care than patients anywhere else. Moreover, France and Germany, Italy, England, Canada, Belgium, Sweden and all other western countries plus Japan and Taiwan cover almost all their citizens, unlike the U.S. where 50,000,000 people are uninsured.These include higher administrative costs to deal with insurance paperwork, higher insurance company profits and executive compensation and less developed electronic health records leading to costly errors.Health care bills come with hefty levels of fraud.fully ten percent of all health care expenditures are the result of computerized billing fraud and abuse. That will be $270 billion this year.But why the health insurance companies, a formidable force do not do more to stop fraudulent billing practices, is a puzzle.
You wouldn’t think handling a notebook or a camera could be a hazardous line of work. But according to the latest global Press Freedom Index, abuse and oppression of reporters has made journalism an increasingly risky job in many countries. The past year has even left a notable taint on the U.S. press, despite the country's mythos as a beacon of free expression. [Occupy Wall St. protesters—and journalists—stand in front of the residence of NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch on Oct. 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)] In the space of two months in the United States, more than 25 [journalists] were subjected to arrests and beatings at the hands of police who were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behaviour, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation.The most high-profile violations of press freedom took place during the Occupy protests, as reporters were abused by police and otherwise stonewalled by authorities.But as usual, the crackdowns only challenged activists to push back more fiercely as digital images and reports of police brutality and oppression went viral. And much of the heavy lifting was accomplished by a deft, if somewhat chaotic, grassroots media sphere.
The death toll in Syria is mounting amid a standoff at the United Nations over a response to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Opposition groups say at least 68 people were killed in clashes with Assad’s forces across Syria on Wednesday. The fighting comes as Russia continues to oppose a Security Council measure backed by the United States and the Arab League. The measure rules out foreign intervention but calls for "transparent and free elections," a clause Russia says is unacceptable as it could impose Assad’s forced removal. In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Russia is on the wrong side of history.
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