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.
The Obama administration has lifted a ban on military assistance to Uzbekistan in order to preserve a supply line for the war effort in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan has seen reduced U.S. military aid in recent years amid widespread human rights abuses, including torture earlier this month, allowing the United States to provide non-lethal military equipment. On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the move will help Uzbekistan fight terrorism.
The Middle East’s despots and the push for democracy synonymous with the Arab Spring make curious bedfellows. And yet, as an Arab League delegation presses the United Nations to support the league’s latest roadmap to peace in Syria, all overt signs suggest that the Arab world’s most ardently anti-democratic leaders have re-cast themselves as champions of Western-style liberal democracy, at least in appearance.
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit to Cuba served to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, leverage the South American giant's investments in the Caribbean island, and deepen political ties. In what was her first trip to Cuba, Rousseff judged as wrong "a blockade that denies a people access to food," in reference to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, and said her government would be granting 350 million dollars in credit for food purchases from Brazil. On Feb. 1, Rousseff travelled to Haiti, where she was set to meet with government officials to discuss a number of issues, According to official press accounts, during her stay in the capital she signed several agreements with Cuba, but no details of their content were released. "We also agreed to finance the purchase of equipment, machinery, small tractors, and harvesters, with a 200 million (dollar) credit to boost food production in Cuba," Rousseff said, and insisted on a partnership between the two nations that will help the island's development and ensure better living conditions for its people.
A Republican State Senator from Alabama claimed this week that keeping teacher salaries low is actually an order from the Christian deity figure, imparted in ancient texts written by Jewish tribesmen thousands of years ago. Speaking at a prayer breakfast recently, Alabama state Senator Shadrack McGill praised giving pay raises to politicians, saying that it helps to prevent bribery. Then he shifted gears and went in the opposite direction with regards to teachers, arguing against a bill that would increase their salaries, it wouldn’t matter how much you would pay them.McGill voted in favor of a 67 percent pay raise for lawmakers in 2007.Alabama ranks 31st in the nation in average teacher salaries, although the state did see an 11 percent increase in teacher pay from 2007-2009. The state’s Republicans have adopted so-called “right to work” laws that forbid public employees from collectively bargaining for better wages and benefits.
BRUSSELS — US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a “strong likelihood” that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear installations this spring, the Washington Post said Thursday in an editorial.“Israel indicated they’re considering this (a strike), we’ve indicated our concerns,” he added.The Post columnist said Panetta “believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.”
President Barack Obama and Panetta are “said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold,” he said.
“But the White House hasn?t yet decided precisely how the United States would respond if the Israelis do attack.”
Memo to Israeli Defense Minister Barak: if you feel you must strike Iran, I would caution you, very seriously, to take to heart what US Joint Chief of Staff Dempsey said last week regarding the US response to an uncoordinated Israeli attack against Iran. Russian and Chinese officials have said, very clearly and publicly, that they will support Iran in the event of either an Israeli or US attack against it, enjoy all the pleasures of a 3-front war between Israel, Iran, China, and Russia; that ought to be spectacular. Defense Minster Barak, you and your colleagues in Israel need to get one thing straight: thinking Americans are sick and tired of paying the cost in American blood and American money as a sacrifice on the altar of potential Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. We want that practice stopped by the US government, and right the heck now!!
President Barack Obama linked his economic policies to his Christian faith, saying on Thursday that meeting the nation's challenges requires strong values as much as smart policies. Obama, making his third appearance as president at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, used his remarks to justify many of his actions, such as his call for the wealthy to pay more in taxes and his health care overhaul. He said they were not only economically sound but also rooted in his Christian values. "When I talk about shared responsibility, it's because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling and at a time when we have enormous deficits, it's hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone," Obama said. "But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus' teaching that, for unto whom much is given, much shall be required," he said.
The reason why we have an unstable world and a goverment out of control is because we have the International Bankers in control.These are the people who cause famines wars and misery. These are the people who impoverish nations and kill leaders who do not play ball with the moneychangers. This reason to go to war with Iran is insane to do in the first place. Iran has not attacked any country ever. Israel and the United States needs a fabled enemy to justify its police state at home while attacking nations into submission to set up a private central bank under the control of the European bankers. We have become a rogue state antagonizing the world as the bullies for the bankers. The saber rattling beating the war drum to bomb Iran is nothing more than the European bankers using the American Military as a hired gun to bomb nations into submission to accepting a private central bank to put the people into debt slavery and for the Military industrial complex so they can keep making bombs. When there is no wars, that is not good for business for the defense contractors. This impending war is about the bankers gaining control of the issuance of the currency. The rest of the propaganda is just a cover story to sell the public to justify a war. Follow the money and you will see that the bankers are pushing this war. Weapons of mass destruction or not. The enemies of humanity must be taken down or we all be working for funny money as debt slaves.
JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli official said Thursday that the missile testing site near Tehran that was destroyed in a huge explosion three months ago was developing missiles with a range of about 6,000 miles that could reach the United States. RelatedThe assertion went far beyond what rocket experts have established about Iran’s missile capabilities, and American officials questioned its accuracy.
Detroit city union leaders said Tuesday that they had reached concession agreements in 25 of the 48 bargaining units for city employees, including huge cuts in the health benefits for thousands of workers.
According to a report Wednesday in the Detroit Free Press, the deals include a $20 million cut in prescription drug benefits and what the newspaper called “substantial” reductions in pension benefits.
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." -- Ronald Reagan (1986)
As tensions between the US and Iran heat up, author Michael T. Winter believes the main reason behind America’s harsh stance is Tehran’s move to seek an alternative to the dollar as an oil currency. - Economic sanctions, spearheaded by the US and, less willingly, the EU could have a disastrous effect on both of their respective economies. If Iran cannot sell their oil to Europe, there are plenty of customers waiting in the wings, and if they come bearing not petrodollars, but gold and sovereign currencies, then all the better for Iran. These sanctions, if enforced, will in effect place a serious dent in the power of the petrodollar. Any rhetoric regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the insistence on crippling it is nothing more than a US attempt to force regime change for one more receptive to maintaining the hegemony of the petrodollar.
“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor — we have a safety net there,” he said. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich — they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Welcome to the new INTERPOL – the International Criminal Police Organization -- a carbon copy of the INTERPOL that was briefly headquartered in Berlin under the Nazi regime. Today, INTERPOL, an international law enforcement agency composed of 190 members nations, INTERPOL, headquartered in Lyon, France, is under the control of Secretary General Ron K. Noble, a former Undersecretary for Enforcement of the U.S. Treasury Department. Under Noble, INTERPOL is tracking political dissidents while leaving gangsters and other criminals, especially those wanted by Russia, remain at large. INTERPOL’s Secretaries General included four German SS generals: Otto Stenhausl, Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Security Service chief Reinhard Heydrich – assassinated in a Prague suburb by Czechoslovak agents in 1942, Arthur Nebe – head of the KRIPO criminal police and executed for his part to assassinated Adolf Hitler in 1944, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner – executed for war crimes after the Nuremburg trials.During INTERPOL’s control by Nazi generals, the international law enforcement organization became a virtual arm of Nazi German intelligence.
During a broadcasted meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director, panel Chairperson indicate they met Tamir Pardo in Washington this week; U.S. official: Iran willing to attack U.S. targets if threatened. Mossad chief Tamir Pardo held secret talks with top U.S. officials in recent days, cursory comments made during a public Senate hearing indicated on Tuesday.The clandestine Washington visit was exposed during a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was participated by CIA Director David Petraeus, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate panel. During the meeting, Feinstein asked Clapper whether or not Israel intended to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, with the top U.S. intelligence official answering that he would rather discuss the issue behind closed doors. Feinstein then indicated that she had met Mossad chief Pardo earlier in the week in Washington, with Petraeus adding that he too met Pardo and cited what he called Israel's growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The CIA chief also said that it was important to note that Israel considered a nuclear Iran as an existential threat. The entire exchange was broadcasted live on American television.
The command post of NATO’s European anti-missile shield will be deployed to the German military base of Rammstein, AFP cited today European diplomatic sources as saying.NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated late January that the European missile shield would be built in 8-10 years.
Mr. Rasmussen went on to say he hoped NATO would be able to announce the initial stage of the operational readiness at its May 2012 summit in Chicago.
[A] concentration of military forces in the Gulf creates an explosive situation in the region. One accidental shot would be enough to trigger fire on both sides.All countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization share Russia’s concern. China is yet another major international player opposed to a military campaign against Iran. Unfortunately, neither protests from China, nor warnings from Russia have had any effect on the allies as they step up preparations for a new Middle East conflict. The United States, Britain and France have begun to deploy troops in the Gulf in a move which experts say suggests preparations for a war with Iran. The first strikes could be carried out at the beginning of the summer, media reports say.According to reports, troops are arriving at the Masirah Island in Oman which is located south of the Strait of Hormuz where a US air base is deployed. Two American strike groups are currently stationed in the Gulf. Some reports say that the grouping will be reinforced with one more aircraft carrier, the destroyer Momsen and the nuclear submarine Annapolis. The US is also enhancing its presence in Israel and Kuwait. British troops and troops from the United Arab Emirates have been arriving in Saudi Arabia. The main target is Iran, whose nuclear program has long been an issue of particular concern in the West. Reports have been leaked to the press that hundreds of penetration bombs capable of destroying heavily fortified underground bunkers have been delivered to an American base on the British Island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
China's near-exclusive access to terbium and yttrium sent prices soaring in 2011, potentially hobbling clean energy industry. Shortages of a handful of rare minerals could slow the future growth of the burgeoning renewable energy industries, and affect countries' chances of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, business leaders were told at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. Last year, prices of many scarce minerals exploded, rising as much as 10 times over 2010 levels before dropping back, said PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).Terbium, yttrium, dysprosium, europium and neodymium are widely used in the manufacture of wind turbines, solar panels, electric car batteries and energy-efficient lightbulbs. But because these "rare earths" are mined almost exclusively in China, it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to source them in the required quantities. In a survey of some of the largest clean energy manufacturers, 78% told PwC said they were already experiencing instability of supply of rare metals, and most said they did not expect shortages to ease for at least five years. Currently, 95% of the rare earth minerals needed by clean tech industries come from China which has set strict export quotas. Last year China reserved most for its own for its domestic wind, solar and battery industries, shifting costs to the US and Europe which do not mine any of the minerals.
The experts are sure that precisely Iran will become the main issue of discussions in Washington as the US intends to use Georgian territory for actions against Iran. And it is not accidental that the US provide much money for military airports in Vaziani, Marneuli and Batumi. “I do not accept Saakashvili participating in an anti-Iranian campaign in return for keeping his position”, ex-Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze considers. “It may become a real catastrophe for our country. War against Iran must not be led from our territory.” Today, on January 30 Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will meet his American counterpart Barack Obama. According to experts, Georgia’s possible participation in the military operation against Iran will be the main issue of the discussions. Mr. Saakashvili seems to be ready to make Georgian territory available for the conflict against Tehran and he will explain its readiness with the necessity to be protected from the “Russian military danger,” Russian kommersant.ru writes.
Provocative testimony by US officials at a January 31 US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing has become the focus of a media campaign, accusing Iran of posing a terrorist threat to the United States.
The US is already waging a campaign to impose an oil embargo on Iran and backing a covert campaign of bombings and assassinations, apparently carried out by Israel, against Iran’s nuclear program. It is now further turning up pressure on Tehran, reviving accusations that were earlier abandoned by Washington last October that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in Washington, DC.
The United States, France, Britain and the Arab League are pressing for the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution on Syria, while denying that it is intended to pave the way for Western military intervention. This is a lie. While the imperialist powers and their proxies are helping arm “rebel” forces that are fighting a deepening civil war in Syria, they are simultaneously trying to intimidate Russia and China, who oppose intervention, by casting them as responsible for the deepening bloodshed in Syria.
An airline passenger going through security at JFK airport last night was relieved of $5,000 cash by a quick-fingered TSA officer, authorities say. A TSA spokesperson tells us the employee has been working for the TSA for over four years, and she's been identified as Alexandra Schmid. She was allegedly caught on surveillance camera taking the cash from a passenger's jacket as it moved along the X-Ray conveyor belt at the A checkpoint in Terminal Four.
A surveillance video shows a screener taking the cash, police say Alexandra Schmid of Brooklyn is charged with grand larceny. She has been with the TSA for more than four years the agency says. A man who had retrieved his coat from an X-ray machine belt Wednesday evening told authorities a short time later that $5,000 was missing, police spokesman Al Della Fave said.
Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research claims.
Scientists say that old wives tales about the precious metal being a ‘silver bullet’ to beat the Big C could be true.
The metal already has a wide range of medicinal uses and is a common antiseptic, antibiotic and means of purifying water in the third world.
ashington loves free trade – if it produces a surplus for the U.S.
In an election year, with a modest economic recovery underway, American politicians are trumpeting their credentials in saving and creating jobs and protectionism sentiment against foreign products is rising.
And the number one target?China
SOME 10,000 nurses at four of the largest New York City hospitals recently settled contracts that include modest raises and increased staffing. The deals also include lump-sum payments that partially offset a recent arbitration decision requiring private-sector nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) to contribute to their health care fund for the first time.
'A Hawaii politician who proposed legislation requiring Internet providers to keep records of every website their customers visit has finally acknowledged that the bill is dead in the water.State Representative John Mizuno says he has conceded to an “incredible” national backlash against H.B. 2288 (PDF) a bill that would have required the creation of virtual dossiers on state residents.'
After a wave of strikes and protests by truck drivers and fishermen paralysed Italy early last week, protests continue against the harsh austerity measures the unelected government of Prime Minister Mario Monti is imposing on the Italian working class.Last Friday, a 24-hour national strike was called by main transportation unions in response to a series of tax and fee increases affecting broad layers of the population: IVA (value-added, or sales, tax) from 21 to 23 percent, taxes on individuals, health care co-pays, fuel taxes and the reinstitution of the tax on first homes (ICI).
Tthe BBC now “reveals”, almost a year after the information was relayed by several alternative media, that British Special Forces played a key role in steering and supervising Libya's "freedom fighters" to victory. Known and documented many of these so-called rebels were mercenaries under contract to NATO.British efforts to help topple Colonel Gaddafi were not limited to air strikes. On the ground - and on the quiet - special forces soldiers were blending in with rebel fighters: The existence of E Squadron is well known within the special forces community but has not hitherto been discussed publicly. It was formed five years ago to work closely with the intelligence service MI6, and is mainly involved in missions where maximum discretion is required, say Whitehall insiders. According to special forces people, E Squadron is a composite organisation formed from selected SAS, SBS and Special Reconnaissance Regiment operators. It is not technically part of the SAS or SBS, but at the disposal of the Director of Special Forces and MI6. The squadron often operates in plain clothes and with the full range of national support, such as false identities, at its disposal.
Last year I already exposed one secret, Europe-wide network dealing with police spies, the European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities. Previously, even parliamentarians had been unaware of the group’s existence. The Federal Government cited ‘politically motivated’ crime as one of the group’s ‘main issues’.There are also secret police groups dealing with surveillance technology and the use of spy software by the state. A picture is increasingly emerging of an international police network operating without oversight.
Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Steve Beshear proposed budget cuts of 8.4 percent for many state agencies and spending freezes for other critical areas. Among the most austere budgets in Kentucky history, the plan will cripple the already underfunded public infrastructure at a time when record numbers of families are in need.
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