Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
(Jeremiah 33:3)

I Will Answer Thee

Dear Friends,

Greetings! Except for the Bible and the gifts God has given us, including hearing directly from Him, trying to understand what is happening in the world today by natural reasoning and putting two and two together is near to impossible.

Many millions of people know something is wrong, dreadfully wrong, but don't know why and are unable to comprehend the reasons the world appears to be coming apart at the seams.

Even mainstream newsreaders are confounded at how it doesn't make sense that yesterdays enemy is today's ally, and yesterday's ally is todays enemy with other maybes and possibilities mixed in for good measure.

We are speaking here of course of the current amalgamation of warring factions in the middle-east.

One thing we must always keep in mind is this is a spiritual warfare between the forces of light against the forces of darkness. Ephesians 6. It of course has outcroppings that are being manifested all over our physical world.

Once again we emphasis that we are living in an age of extreme deception. Jesus said the deceit would become so bad and so strong that if it were possible even God's elect would be deceived.

And not to wonder at this, for if he who is Satan resembles an Angel of light, It is not a great matter if also his Ministers imitate Ministers of righteousness, those whose end will be like their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

This is a fairly well known verse. A series of verses not quite so well known come from 2 Chronicles, chapter 18: “And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith?

And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.”

Is this surprising? “With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11

Where are we going with all of this? As in the case with one of our articles below, “Leaked report: Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine.” In this case it just doesn't add up, and we really have to ask God to do the math.

Have a great week ahead.

***

NOW THE END BEGINS

PERFECT RED HEIFER DISCOVERED IN US TO BE SENT TO ISRAEL TO PURIFY COMING THIRD JEWISH TEMPLE

NTEB News Desk | June 20, 2014

THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:” Numbers 19:1,2


There is a group in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem called the Temple Institute.For the past 27 years they have worked tirelessly to fashion all the items that will be needed to for worship in the Third Jewish Temple. It is a painstakingly-slow job but one that they have accomplished. One missing ingredient, however, was a perfect, unblemished red heifer as found in Numbers 19 whose ashes would be used in a purification cleansing ritual for the Temple. For the entire time that the Temple stood in Israel, a total of nine red heifers were used. Jews believe that the appearance of a perfect red heifer would usher in the appearance of the long-awaited Messiah. The 10th red heifer has been found in America, and preparations are now underway to bring the animal to Israel.

“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7

The 9th chapter of the book of Daniel tells us that the Temple is indeed standing during the time of Jacob’s trouble as found in Jeremiah 30:7. Daniel learned much from the writings of the prophet Jeremiah. But Daniel goes on to say that when the Temple is rebuilt, it will be inhabited by the Antichrist – the false messiah. Daniel devotes multiple chapters to this man of sin that will arise and deceive the Jews by flatteries.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27

The appearance of a perfect red heifer has sent shock waves amongst the Temple faithful in Israel, for they believe it will usher in the Messiah. But it will not. It will usher in a time of agony, bloodshed and woe the likes of which this world has never seen. It will start with a false messiah in a rebuilt Third Temple, and it will end with the time of Jacob’s trouble leadingi nto the Day of the Lord from Joel chapters 2 and 3.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

***

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Leaked report: Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine

JIM WALD March 18, 2014

Jim Wald is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for the Book at Hampshire College, where he teaches modern modern European cultural history and the history of the book.

(Our Russian and Ukrainian correspondents Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass also contributed to this story, delayed due to the crisis over the Crimean referendum.)

Fast-breaking Developments

Followers of Middle Eastern affairs know two things: always expect the unexpected, and never write off Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has more political lives than the proverbial cat.

Only yesterday came news that Syrian rebels plan to give Israel the Golan Heights in exchange for creation of a no-fly zone against the Assad regime. In an even bolder move, it is now revealed, Israel will withdraw its settlers from communities beyond the settlement blocs—and relocate them at least temporarily to Ukraine. Ukraine made this arrangement on the basis of historic ties and in exchange for desperately needed military assistance against Russia. This surprising turn of events had an even more surprising origin: genetics, a field in which Israeli scholars have long excelled.

A Warlike Turkic People—and a Mystery

It is well known that, sometime in the eighth to ninth centuries, the Khazars, a warlike Turkic people, converted to Judaism and ruled over a vast domain in what became southern Russia and Ukraine. What happened to them after the Russians destroyed that empire around the eleventh century has been a mystery. Many have speculated that the Khazars became the ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews.

The Khazar Empire, from M. J-H. Schnitzler’s map of The Empire of Charlemagne and that of the Arabs, (Strasbourg, 1857)

Arabs have long cited the Khazar hypothesis in attempts to deny a Jewish historical claim to the land of Israel. During the UN debate over Palestine Partition, Chaim Weizmann responded, sarcastically: “lt is very strange. All my life I have been a Jew, felt like a Jew, and I now learn that I am a Khazar.” In a more folksy vein, Prime Minister Golda Meir famously said: “Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speak.”

Contrarian Hungarian ex-communist and scientist Arthur Koestler brought the Khazar hypothesis to a wider audience with The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), in the hope that disproving a common Jewish “racial” identity would end antisemitism. Clearly, that hope has not been fulfilled. Most recently, left-wing Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People took Koestler’s thesis in a direction he had not intended, arguing that because Jews were a religious community descended from converts they do not constitute a nation or need a state of their own. Scientists, however, dismissed the Khazar hypothesis because the genetic evidence did not add up. Until now. In 2012, Israeli researcher Eran Elhaik published a study claiming to prove that Khazar ancestry is the single largest element in the Ashkenazi gene pool. Sand declared himself vindicated, and progressive organs such as Haaretz and The Forward trumpeted the results.

Israel seems finally to have thrown in the towel. A blue-ribbon team of scholars from leading research institutions and museums has just issued a secret report to the government, acknowledging that European Jews are in fact Khazars. (Whether this would result in yet another proposal to revise the words to “Hatikvah” remains to be seen.) At first sight, this would seem to be the worst possible news, given the Prime Minister’s relentless insistence on the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” and the stagnation of the peace talks. But others have underestimated him at their peril. An aide quipped, when life hands you an etrog, you build a sukkah.

Speaking off the record, he explained, “We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around Abbas’s insistence that no Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly don’t want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the Gaza Hitnatkut [disengagement].

We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical.

Speaking on deep background, a well-placed source in intelligence circles said: “We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorship.”

Khazaria 2.0?

All Jews who wish to return would be welcomed back without condition as citizens, the more so if they take part in the promised infusion of massive Israeli military assistance, including troops, equipment, and construction of new bases. If the initial transfer works, other West Bank settlers would be encouraged to relocate to Ukraine, as well. After Ukraine, bolstered by this support, reestablishes control over all its territory, the current Autonomous Republic of Crimea would once again become an autonomous Jewish domain. The small-scale successor to the medieval empire of Khazaria (as the peninsula, too, was once known) would be called, in Yiddish, Chazerai.

the Khazar Empire, map of Europe in the Age of Charles the Great, from Karl von Spruner, Historisch-geographischer Hand-Atlas (Gotha, 1854)

The Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”

“As you know,” the spokesman continued, “the Prime Minister has said time and again: we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 years. The same is true of the Khazars: just back in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”

no “Auschwitz borders”: the great extent of the Khazar Empire (pink, at right) is readily apparent in this map of Europe circa 800, by Monin (Paris, 1841). Compare with Charlemagne’s empire (pink, at left)

“As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. It’s in all the history books. You can look it up.”

Old-New Land?

Black Sea, showing Khazar presence in Crimea and coastal regions: Rigobert Bonne, Imperii Romani Distracta. Pars Orientalis, (Paris, 1780). Note Ukraine and Kiev at upper left. At right: Caspian Sea, also labeled, as was the custom, as the Khazar Sea

“We’d like to think of it as sort of a homeland-away-from-home,” added the anonymous intelligence source. “Or the original one,” he said with a wink. “After all, Herzl wrote about the Old-New Land, didn’t he? And the transition shouldn’t be too difficult for the settlers because, you know, they’ll still get to feel as if they are pioneers: experience danger, construct new housing, carry weapons. The women can continue to wear scarves on their heads, and the food won’t be very different from what they already eat.”

In retrospect, we should have seen this coming, said a venerable State Department Arabist, ticking off the signs on his fingers: a little-noticed report that Russia was cracking down on Israeli smuggling of Khazar artifacts, the decisions of both Spain and Portugal to give citizenship to descendants of their expelled Jews, as well as evidence that former IDF soldiers were already leading militias in support of the Ukrainian government. And now, also maybe the possibility that the missing Malaysian jet was diverted to Central Asia.

A veteran Middle East journalist said: “It’s problematic, but in a perverse way, brilliant. In one fell swoop, Bibi has managed to confound friend and foe alike. He’s put the ball back in the Palestinians’ court and relieved the pressure from the Americans without actually making any real concessions. Meanwhile, by lining up with the Syrian rebels and Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Azerbaijan, he compensates for the loss of the Turkish alliance and puts pressure on both Assad and Iran. And the new Cypriot-Israeli gas deal props up Ukraine and weakens the economic leverage of both the Russians and the Gulf oil states. Just brilliant.”

Reactions from around the world

Given the confluence of the weekend and the Purim and Saint Patrick’s Day holidays, reporters scrambled to get responses. Reactions from around the world trickled in.

• Members of the YESHA Council of settlers, some of them evidently the worse for wear after too much festival slivovitz, were caught completely off-guard. Always wary of Netanyahu, whom they regard as a slick opportunist rather than reliable ideological ally, they refused to comment until they had further assessed the situation.

Most of the hastily offered reactions fell into the predictable categories.

• Right-wing antisemitic groups pounced on the story as vindication of their conspiracy theories, claiming that this was the culmination of the Jews’ centuries-old plan to avenge the defeat of Khazaria by the Russians in the Middle Ages, a reprise of Israel’s support for Georgia in 2008. “Jews have memories as long as their noses,” one declared.

A continuum of conquest and cruelty

• From Ramallah, a Fatah spokesman said the offer was a start but did not go nearly far enough toward satisfying Palestinian demands. Holding up an image of a Khazar warrior from an archaeological artifact, he explained:

There is a continuum of conquest and cruelty. It’s very simple, genetics does not lie. We see the results today: the Zionist regime and brutal Occupation Forces are descended from warlike barbarians. Palestinians are descended from peaceful pastoralists, in fact, from the ancient Israelites that you have falsely claimed as your ancestors. By the way, it is not true, however, that your ancestors ever had a temple in Jerusalem.

• The famously reliable unofficial intelligence website DAFTKAfile admitted:

Boy, are our faces red. We were caught flat-footed and thought that the return to Spain and Portugal was the real story. Obviously, that was an impeccably planned and clever feint to distract attention from the coming revolution in Ukraine. Nicely played, Mossad.

• Prolific blogger Richard Sliverstein, whose knowledge of Jewish culture and uncanny ability to ferret out military secrets regularly provoke astonishment even among his critics, commented:

Frankly, I’m surprised that my Mossad sources did not get this story to me first. But I’ve been up against a deadline for an essay on the kabbalistic significance of sesame seeds, the main ingredient in hummus, so I haven’t caught up on my email. But, do I feel vindicated? Well, yes, but it’s scant satisfaction. I’ve been saying for years that the Jews are descended from Mongol-Tatar Khazars, but it has barely made a dent in the propaganda armor of these Zionist hasbaroid dolts.

• An official of a leading human-rights NGO said:

Evacuating illegal settlements must be a part of any peace deal, but first forcing settlers to leave Palestine and then resettling them in Ukraine may be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We’ll see what the ICC has to say about this. And if they think they can be even more trigger-happy in Ukraine than the West Bank, they have another thing coming.

• Ultra-Ultra-Orthodox spokesman Menuchem Yontef (formerly of Inowraclaw) welcomed the news:

We reject the Zionist state, which is illegitimate until Mashiach comes. We don’t care where we live as long as we can study the Torah and obey its commandments in full. However, we refuse to serve in the military there as well as here. And—we also want subsidies. That is G-d’s will.

• The spokeswoman for a delegation of Episcopalian peace activists, reached after the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem, said, with tears in her eyes:

We applaud this consistency of principle. If only all Jews would think like Menuchem Yontef—in fact, I’d like to call them “Menuchem Yontef Jews”: “M. Y. Jews,” for short—then antisemitism would disappear and members of all three Abrahamic faiths would again live together peacefully here as they did before the advent of Zionism. The nation-state is a relic of the nineteenth century, which has caused untold suffering. The most urgent task for world peace is the immediate creation of a free and sovereign Palestine.

• Noted academic and theorist Judith Buntler mused:

It may seem like a paradox to establish alterity or ‘interruption’ at the heart of ethical relations. But to know that we have first to consider what such terms mean. One might argue that the distinctive trait of Khazarian identity is that it is interrupted by alterity, that the relation to the gentile defines not only its diasporic situation, but one of its most fundamental ethical relations. Although such a statement may well be true (meaning that it belongs to a set of statements that are true), it manages to reserve alterity as a predicate of a prior subject. The relation to alterity becomes one predicate of ‘being Khazarian.’ It is quite another thing to understand that very relationship as challenging the idea of ‘Khazarian’ as a static sort of being, one that is adequately described as a subject. . . . coexistence projects can only begin with the dismantling of political Zionism.

Not the “two-state solution” they expected

• Anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) leader Ali Abubinomial put it more simply. Pounding his desk, he fumed, “So, Israel and Khazaria? This is what the Zionists mean by a ‘two-state solution’?! Do the math! Has no one read my book?”

• Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) called an emergency meeting to establish ties with the Pecheneg Liberation Organization (PLO), saying, “Pechenegs should not pay the price for European antisemitism.” The new solidarity group, “Students for Pechenegs in Ukraine” (SPUK), proclaimed as its motto: “From the Black to the Caspian Sea, We’re Gonna Find Somebody to Free!”

• For his part, peace activist and former East Jerusalem administrator Myron Benvenuti responded with equanimity: “I’ve got nothing to worry about: I’m Sephardic and my family has lived here for centuries. Anyway, if I have to go somewhere else, it’s going to be Spain, not Ukraine: more sunshine, less gunfire.”

The consensus of the broad majority of “Middle Israel,” which feels that Netanyahu is not doing enough for peace but also questions the sincerity of the Palestinians, is skeptical and despairing. One woman said, in frustration: We all long for an agreement but just cannot see how to achieve it. For now, all we can see is this Chazerai.

* * *

Update March 17:

Latest reports, including Vladimir Putin’s recognition of Crimea as a “sovereign and independent state,” and the estimate that relocation of Israeli settlers in any peace agreement would cost $10 billion, confirm the details of the above story. Ed.

***

Psychosurgery

“We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. . . Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. . . . We must electronically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electronic stimulation of the brain.” Dr. Jose M.R. Delgado, Director of Neuropsychiatry, Yale University Medical School, Congressional Record, No. 26, Vol. 118, February 24, 1974.

“No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.” David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

***

io9
Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In All UK Public Schools

George Dvorsky

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.

***

BBC

Berlin House of One: The first church-mosque-synagogue?

By Stephen Evans

21 June 2014 Last updated at 19:01 ET

BBC News, Berlin

Berlin thinks it is making religious history as Muslims, Jews and Christians join hands to build a place where they can all worship. The House of One, as it is being called, will be a synagogue, a church and a mosque under one roof.

An architecture competition has been held and the winner chosen. The striking design is for a brick building with a tall, square central tower. Off the courtyard below will be the houses of worship for the three faiths - the synagogue, the church and the mosque. It is to occupy a prominent site - Petriplatz - in the heart of Berlin.

The location is highly significant, according to one of the three religious leaders involved, Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin. "From my Jewish point of view the city where Jewish suffering was planned is now the city where a centre is being built by the three monotheistic religions which shaped European culture," he told the BBC.

Can they get on? "We can. That there are people within each group who can't is our problem but you have to start somewhere and that's what we are doing."

The imam involved, Kadir Sanci, sees the House of One as "a sign, a signal to the world that the great majority of Muslims are peaceful and not violent". It's also, he says, a place where different cultures can learn from each other.

Each of the three areas in the House will be the same size, but of a different shape, architect Wilfried Kuehn points out.

"Each of the singular spaces is designed according to the religious needs, the particularities of each faith," he says. "There are for instance two levels in the mosque and the synagogue but there's only one level in the church. There will be an organ in the church. There are places to wash feet in the mosque."

He and his team of architects researched designs for the three types of worshipping place and found more similarities than expected.

"What's interesting is that when you go back a long time, they share a lot of architectural typologies. They are not so different," Kuehn says. "It's not necessary for instance for a mosque to have a minaret - it's only a possibility and not a necessity. And a church doesn't need a tower. This is about going back to the origins when these three faiths were close and shared a lot architecturally".

In the past, different faiths have used the same buildings but not usually at the same period. Mosques in southern Spain became cathedrals after the Christian conquest. In Turkey, churches became mosques. In Britain old Welsh chapels have sometimes become mosques as areas change - and Brick Lane mosque in the East End of London started as a church in the 18th Century, later became a synagogue before turning to Islam, and has now become a place of worship for the newly arrived Muslim community.

But that's different from the three faiths worshipping as neighbours under one roof.

The idea came from the Christian side of the triangle.

Pastor Gregor Hohberg, a Protestant parish priest, says it will be built where the first church in Berlin, dating back to the 12th Century, was once situated. St Petri's Church was badly damaged at the end of World War Two as the Red Army liberated Berlin. What remained was destroyed in the period after the war by the East German authorities.

Then, six years ago, archaeologists uncovered remains from an ancient graveyard and it was decided that something should be done to resurrect a community and its place of worship. The project expanded and changed from a single-faith building to the present three-faith plan. Money is now being raised to turn the architects' plans into bricks and mortar.

Each faith will keep its distinctive ways within its own areas, Pastor Hohberg says.

"Under one roof: one synagogue, one mosque, one church. We want to use these rooms for our own traditions and prayers. And together we want to use the room in the middle for dialogue and discussion and also for people without faith.

"Berlin is a city where people come together from all over the world and we want to give a good example of togetherness."

It was not always the Berlin way.

***

WND

DEAD SEA 'SALT CUBE' PHENOMENON WOWS WORLDWIDE

Beachcombers record video of their surprising find

Published: June 22, 2014

DREW ZAHN


At the end of the Jordan River, the Dead Sea on the border of Israel – known biblically as the Sea of Arabah – is a popular tourist destination, in part, because the sea’s dense salt content provides surprising buoyancy for swimmers.

Just as surprising is the video released by some unidentified beachcombers who found the sea’s famous salinity had formed natural, bite-sized cubes of salt – similar to ice cubes or sugar cubes – that had then washed up on shore.

Seeing salt crystals on the shore of the Dead Sea is commonplace, but less expected is to see nature form the straight lines and right angles necessary to make perfect, little cubes.

The video has popped up on Reddit and dozens of other social media sites and blogs across the world and has garnered over 500,000 views on YouTube.

The formations themselves are best explained when understanding that various salts, including common table salt, Sodium Chloride, naturally form cube-shaped crystals. The Dead Sea provides a perfect environment for these crystals to grow to unusual size.

The Dead Sea is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, with a salinity varying between 30 and 34 percent, nearly 10 times as salty as the ocean. Located at over 1,400 feet below sea level, the shores of the Dead Sea mark it the lowest-elevation sea on Earth, and with a depth of over 1,000 feet, the sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world.

***

MailOnline

Three American friends hospitalised after becoming 'possessed' following Ouija board game in Mexican village

  • Alexandra Huerta, 22, reportedly playing with Ouija board in Mexican village

  • Joined by her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas

  • But minutes into game, trio apparently started acting in a 'trance-like state'

  • Alexandra began 'growling', while her relatives were suffering hallucinations

  • The players were taken to hospital, where they were treated with painkillers

By SOPHIE JANE EVANS

PUBLISHED: 08:05 EST, 23 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:44 EST, 23 June 2014

Three American friends have been taken to hospital after reportedly becoming 'possessed' by evil spirits while playing with a Ouija board.

Alexandra Huerta, 22, was playing the game with her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas at a house in the village of San Juan Tlacotenco in south-west Mexico.

But minutes into it, she apparently started 'growling' and thrashing around in a 'trance-like' state.

Possessed? Alexandra Huerta (pictured), 22, her brother Sergio, 23, and cousin Fernando Cuevas, 18, have been taken to hospital after reportedly becoming 'possessed' by evil spirits while playing with a Ouija board

Meanwhile, Sergio and Fernando also reportedly started showing signs of 'possession', including feelings of blindness, deafness and hallucinations.

Paramedics were called to the house and took the trio to hospital, according to Alexandra's parents.

They restrained Alexandra to prevent her from hurting herself, before treating the three with painkillers, anti-stress medication and eye drops, which seemingly worked.

Victor Demesa, 46, the director of public safety in the nearby town of Tepoztlan, said: 'The medical rescue of these three young people was very complicated.

'They had involuntary movements and it was difficult to transfer them to the nearest hospital because they were so erratic.

'It appeared as if they were in a trance-like state, apparently after playing with the Ouija board.

'They spoke of feeling numbness, double vision, blindness, deafness, hallucinations, muscle spasm and difficulty swallowing.'

He added that whether the trio were really possessed, or had simply convinced themselves that they were, was not for doctors to comment on.

Alexandra's parents said they had called paramedics after a local Catholic priest refused to perform an exorcism on the three because they were not regular churchgoers.

Mainstream religions and some occultists have associated use of a Ouija board with the concept of demonic possession, and have cautioned their followers not to use one.

***

CNN

Presbyterians dump companies they say are tied to Palestinian occupation

By Shelby Lin Erdman and Ben Brumfield, CNN

June 21, 2014 -- Updated 1954 GMT (0354 HKT)

A Palestinian man sits on the debris of his house in Arab east Jerusalem in February 2014 after it was demolished by Israeli authorities who said it was built without municipal permission.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

In a 310-303 vote, the church decides to pull $21 million in investments

It is divesting from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions

Jewish groups, and some Presbyterians, condemn the decision

The church is keeping other investments in Israel, while investing in Palestinian territories, too

(CNN) -- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) is pulling millions of dollars in investments out of three U.S. companies tied to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

In a close vote at its annual assembly in Detroit on Friday, the church voted 310-303 to divest $21 million from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions.

The church says Caterpillar supplies products to Israel that are used to destroy Palestinian homes, Hewlett-Packard provides logistics and technology to help enforce the naval blockade of Gaza, and Motorola Solutions provides military and surveillance systems in illegal Israeli settlements.

But immediately after the vote, church leaders said the decision was not a judgment against Israel. "In no way is this a reflection for our lack of love for our Jewish sisters and brothers," Moderator Heath Rada said.

The approved divestment proposal included a preface underscoring the denomination's longstanding commitment to peace in the region and the suffering on both sides.

"We recognize the complexity of the issues, the decades-long struggle, the pain suffered and inflicted by policies and practices of both the Israeli government and the Palestinian entities," it said.

The church also stressed it still supports Israel and that the vote was not connected to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign to punish the Jewish state over the occupation of Palestinian lands and other hotly contested issues.

Vote stirs passionate responses

But some Jewish organizations, even those that support a two-state solution to the ongoing crisis in the region, see the decision as a direct result of and support for the BDS movement.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) says the decision undermines the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"It is a very sad day for Presbyterian-Jewish relations when church leaders from across the U.S. align with the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement," Rabbi Noam Marans, the AJC's director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, said in a statement.

"This is an affront to all who are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Marans said.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued a statement after the vote calling it "a preference for a policy of isolation, rather than one of engagement."

"Of course, we will continue to partner with our allies within the church who are committed to a two-state solution, reject the effort of the BDS campaign to delegitimize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and work toward a just and fair solution to enable the Palestinians to achieve the state that they deserve," Jacobs said.

The Anti-Defamation League called the move "out of step" with the majority of Presbyterians in churches across the United States.

The ADL's National Director Abraham J. Foxman said the decision also creates an atmosphere of open hostility."

"This resolution sends a painful message to American Jews and threatens the long-standing relationship between the Jewish community and the national Presbyterian Church with whom we have worked closely on many issues of mutual concern."

Some Presbyterians are condemning the vote, as well.

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, the president of New York's Auburn Seminary, is calling on Presbyterians opposed to the decision to reach out to their local Jewish communities to try to repair relationships following the controversial vote.

Henderson said the vote "sets back the work toward a just and peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

"It hurts the Presbyterian place at the table for peacemaking, and creates barriers not just between Presbyterians and Jews, and Israelis and Palestinians, but also within the Presbyterian body."

Palestinian supporters of the BDS movement, meantime, said they are pleased with the church's divestment decision and see it as a sign the movement is gaining momentum in United States.

Omar Barghouti, for one, calls the vote a "sweet victory."

"Presbyterian supporters of Palestinian rights have not only solidly introduced divestment from Israel's occupation to the U.S. mainstream, they have given the Palestinian people real hope in the face of the relentless cruelty of Israel's regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid," said Barghouti, a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Not a snap decision

The denomination, the largest Presbyterian body in the United States, says it still supports the Jewish state.

"We have significant investments in Israel," said church spokeswoman Kathy Francis. And the church is keeping them.

The decision was about morality, not politics, she said. There are many Palestinian Christians in the occupied territories that the church is concerned about and obligated to support.

Francis said the church no longer wanted to profit from investing in companies that have a hand in the destruction of people's homes and lives. Instead, she said, it will now shift some of its investments into economic development programs in the Palestinian territories.

The divestment from the three companies was not a snap decision. The church has discussed and considered the issue for the past 10 years. It almost passed a divestment proposal at its 2012 assembly, narrowly voting it down by just two votes.

Francis said the vote may make the Presbyterians seem unique among American Protestants, but they are not alone.

"There are other denominations that are grappling with this," she said.

***

WND

ISIS THREATENS TO STORM JORDAN WITH 15,000 FIGHTERS

Al-Qaida-inspired jihadists seize border crossing

Published: June 24, 2014

TEL AVIV – Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are claiming on jihadist websites that the group is preparing an operation in which more than 15,000 of its militants will storm into Jordan, WND has found.

The claims were made on Arabic jihadist websites in which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is known to be active.

While it was unclear whether or not the ISIS could fulfill its threat to storm Jordan, the after the al-Qaida-inspired group on Sunday reportedly seized control of Iraq’s main border crossing with Jordan.

Alongside its capture of the Turabil border crossing, three more towns in Iraq’s western Anbar province fell to ISIS, putting the jihadist group within reach of Jordan.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials, Jordan has been holding emergency meetings since yesterday to discuss a possible military response, while the Jordanian air force was placed on high alert.

ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, whom they view as an enemy of Islam.

Israel, meanwhile, is watching ISIS developments in neighboring Jordan particularly closely amid fears the violence could ultimately spill over to the Jewish state’s own borders.

***

MailOnline

Radical cleric who was UK's most feared and hated enemy takes control of Baghdad to repel rampaging jihadists

  • Hordes of suicide bombers, holding Kalashnikovs, paraded the streets

  • Some were wearing white shrouds to denote their readiness to die

  • They were part of the private army of powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr

By BARBARA JONES

PUBLISHED: 18:43 EST, 21 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:50 EST, 22 June 2014

Yesterday I witnessed the extraordinary sight of hordes of suicide bombers, dressed in black and brandishing Kalashnikovs, marching through the slums of Baghdad.

Grouped into makeshift platoons – some wearing white shrouds to denote their readiness to die – they demonstrated their deadly skills in an astonishing display by ‘detonating’ the bombs they carried.

They were part of the private army of powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, an enemy of Britain and the US who inflicted terrible damage on Western troops after the 2003 America

Captured: A Saudi man fighting with ISIS is arrested by an Iraqi soldier (left) and a member of the elite SWAT team

He has now raised a militia of tens of thousands of fighters to combat the threat posed by ISIS extremists – and yesterday I saw their brutal power for myself.

The Mahdi Army – which has vowed to protect Baghdad and its holy shrines to the death – is now battling alongside government troops to defend an Iraq on the verge of collapse against advancing Sunni militants.

Their march came on yet another day of fighting and bloodshed as:

  • Officials admitted that ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – has seized a strategically important border crossing to Syria, near the town of Qaim, killing 30 troops after a day-long battle;

  • About 270 Iraqi troops remained trapped inside the Baiji oil refinery as they struggled to defend it;

  • Barack Obama denied that America’s failure to send arms and equipment to rebels in Syria had left a power vacuum in Iraq, which has aided the rise of ISIS;

  • There was constant skirmishing 40 miles from Baghdad, with militant Sunni rebels apparently preparing for a thrust from the west.

The reappearance of the Mahdi Army comes a few months after al-Sadr announced his withdrawal from politics citing disillusionment with the corruption of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

But it has taken less than two weeks for him to mobilise his private army again in response to the ISIS attacks in the north.

Al-Sadr himself headed up a military show of strength in Najaf city, his headquarters, while I and thousands watched a fighting force of men, women and young boys in combat gear and balaclavas brandished rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and truckloads of ground-to-air missiles march through the heart of Baghdad for several hours.

They closed off the highways as they made their way through Sadr City, a slum area home to more than a million Shia Muslims.

The platoons assembled according to their city districts. Many were from Sadr City, which has become a no-go zone due to roadside bombs and tension between the poor militant Shia population there and displaced Sunnis, many of whom feel excluded from the government.

As the sheikhs on the podium recited the Koran, I saw fighters fall to their knees in prayer.

It was a day when almost everyone had come out to fight, the aggressive platoons, boasting of their engineering, bomb-making skills.

The suicide-bomb brigade broke ranks as it passed the podium. At a sign from the sheikhs, the men in balaclavas and ammo-vests went into operational mode, staking out a target, crouching low on the ground and ‘detonating’ their charges with bravado.

The message over loudspeakers all along the route was threefold: ‘Let the Dash (ISIS) militants see our power today; let Prime Minister al-Maliki see we are stronger than his government and his army; and tell the Iraqi people not to be afraid, we will win this war for you.’

The clerics boomed out encouragement: ‘To all those willing to die for Iraq, your souls will go to heaven. We will pray for you.’

Not a shot was fired during this showy parade. But later yesterday, four people were killed by four roadside bombs in Baghdad, two of them in Sadr City.

It was twice the daily average for this volatile city.

Al-Sadr’s powerful display in Baghdad came as ISIS militants claimed to control 75 per cent of the crucial Baiji oil refinery in the north-east, flying its signature black flag over the installation.

It boasted of trapping 270 Iraqi soldiers inside and threatened to starve them into surrender.

European workers there were evacuated before the attack, but Indian, Chinese and Turkish employees are believed to be hostages.

The effect on oil prices has been instantaneous with Brent Crude rising to a nine-month high of $115.06 a barrel by Friday.

Meanwhile, around 400 troops were flown to Mosul and Tikrit to fight the militants now running both cities, extorting money from local firms, and raiding shops and banks.

Iraq’s army, stretched to the limit in fierce battles in cities and surrounding towns, and at Tal Afar airport, has been forced to work with former foes such as the vicious Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq – the League of the Righteous, and other free-ranging Shia militias. Baghdad itself, the seat of government and the last bastion standing against ISIS, which has total control of Fallujah to the west and is winning the battle for important towns in Diyala Province to the north-east, was yesterday in lockdown.

Hundreds of new checkpoints, both police and military, have appeared over the past few days. Traffic comes to a standstill as documents, vehicles, drivers and passengers are thoroughly and laboriously checked.

In the siege mentality which prevails, many are determined to sit it out come what may. Despite reports of people fleeing, there are seats on most flights out and no flood of traffic away from the city centre.

At Baghdad’s only Anglican church, St George’s, yesterday Father Faiz Jerges said: ‘I am staying here and my congregation is staying here. If necessary I will die with my people.

‘We have our communion services and our youth meetings and our Mothers’ Union. We pray for peace all the time of course, now more than ever, but we also take food rations to the soldiers at the checkpoint outside and we encourage our Muslim friends to join us when they can.‘We have heard it all for many years and still we are finding the strength to go on. We pray for peace all the time of course, now more than ever. Against all odds we have a good relationship with peace-loving Muslims. We hope for a miracle, to see Baghdad free again one day.’

***

Zero Hedge

Judge Who Sentenced Saddam Hussein To Death Has Been Executed By ISIS, Local Media Reports

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/22/2014

Back in 2006, after the second US invasion of Iraq culminated if not with the discovery of the WMDs (which were the pretext for the invasion in the first place), but the unearthing (literally) and kangaroo court trial of Saddam Hussein, the US was quick to announce "mission accomplished." Recent events have made a mockery of that claim, however what is truly the straw that broke the back of poetic justice, to mix metaphors, are reports from local media that as part of its blitz-campaign to take over northern Iraq, ISIS found and the promptly executed Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, the judge who sentenced Saddam to death: a death which to many was the crowning moment of the second US invasion of Iraq, and the confirmation of successful US foreign policy.

It goes without saying that if true, the murder of the man who indirectly did the US bidding in slamming the book shut on the Saddam regime (and with it US claims of Iraqi "liberation") and was responsible for Saddam's death, means the last "Mission Accomplished" posted can now be safely taken down.

As LiveLeak first reported, Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman was the replacement chief judge of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein in 2006. His background, from Wikipedia:

Abd al-Rahman was an ethnic Kurd from Halabja, the site of the 1988 Halabja poison gas attack. He replaced Rizgar Mohammed Amin as chief judge on 23 January 2006. Amin had resigned after being criticised in the Iraqi media for appearing "too soft" on the defendants by allowing them to speak aloud in court without being recognized.After Amin's resignation, Abd al-Rahman headed the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal during the rest of the trial of Saddam Hussein for genocide, and when it sentenced him to death. He also sentenced to death some of his top aides.In December 2006, Abd al-Rahman took his family to Britain on a travel visa, and three months later applied for asylum. He later cancelled his application.

In 16 June 2014, Abd al-Rahman was arrested by ISIS rebels during 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. Two days later, it was reported that ISIS captured and executed him.

***

BBC

Global refugee figures highest since WW2, UN says

By Imogen Foulkes

BBC News, Geneva

20 June 2014

The number of people living as refugees from war or persecution exceeded 50 million in 2013, for the first time since World War Two, the UN says.

The overall figure of 51.2 million is six million higher than the year before, a report by the UN refugee agency says.

Antonio Guterres, head of the UNHCR, told the BBC the rise was a "dramatic challenge" for aid organisations.

Conflicts in Syria, central Africa and South Sudan fuelled the sharp increase.

"Conflicts are multiplying, more and more," Mr Guterres said. "And at the same time old conflicts seem never to die."

Of particular concern are the estimated 6.3 million people who have been refugees for years, sometimes even decades.

People living in what the UN terms "protracted" refugee situations include more than 2.5 million Afghans. Afghanistan still accounts for the world's largest number of refugees, and neighbouring Pakistan is host to more refugees than any other country, with an estimated 1.6 million.

Around the world, thousands of refugees from almost forgotten crises have spent the best part of their lives in camps. Along Thailand's border with Burma, 120,000 people from Burma's Karen minority have lived in refugee camps for more than 20 years.

Refugees should not be forcibly returned, the UN says, and should not go back unless it is safe to do so, and they have homes to return to. For many - among them the more than 300,000 mainly Somali refugees in Kenya's Dadaab camp - that is a very distant prospect.

Some camps, the UN refugee agency admits, have become virtually permanent, with their own schools, hospitals, and businesses. But they are not, and can never be, home.

But the world's refugees are far outnumbered by the internally displaced (IDP) - people who have been forced to flee their homes, but remain inside their own countries.

In Syria alone there are thought to be 6.5 million displaced people. The conflict has uprooted many families not once but several times. Their access to food, water, shelter and medical care is often extremely limited, and because they remain inside a conflict zone, it is hard for aid agencies to reach them.

Worldwide, the UN estimates there are now 33.3 million internally displaced people.

Large numbers of refugees and IDPs fleeing to new areas inevitably put a strain on resources, and can even destabilise a host country.

Throughout the Syrian crisis, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have kept their borders open. Lebanon now hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, meaning a quarter of its total population is Syrian. The pressure on housing, education and health is causing tensions in a country which itself has a recent history of conflict.

The UN is concerned that the burden of caring for refugees is increasingly falling on the countries with the least resources. Developing countries are host to 86% of the world's refugees, with wealthy countries caring for just 14%.

And despite the fears in Europe about growing numbers of asylum seekers and immigrants, that gap is growing. Ten years ago wealthy countries hosted 30% of refugees, and developing countries 70%.

Antonio Guterres believes Europe can and should do more.

"I think it's very important that Europe fully assumes its responsibilities," he said.

"I think it's also clear that we have in Europe good examples, Sweden, Germany, have taken very generous measures… but we need a joint expression of European solidarity."

Kim Ghattas reports on the "forgotten plight" of Afghan refugees

But what frustrates UN aid agencies most of all is being asked to cope with ever more refugees, while the UN's political arm, the Security Council, seems unable either to resolve conflicts, or to prevent them starting.

"The world is becoming more violent, and more people are being forced to flee," said Mr Guterres, adding that humanitarian organisations had neither the capacity nor the resources to cope.

"There is no humanitarian solution to these problems… to see the Security Council paralysed, when all these crises are evolving, is something that doesn't make sense."

"What frustrates me is the suffering of people, to see so many innocent people dying, so many innocent people fleeing, so many innocent people seeing their lives completely broken, and the world being unable to put an end to this nonsense."

***

Zero Hedge

Putin Scores Another Historic Victory: Austria Signs South Stream Pipeline Deal In Defiance Of Europe

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/25/2014 07:23 -0400

As the war of words between Europe and Russia has escalated, one of the outcomes that has emerged is that just like in false flag war over Syria, the Ukraine war was about the simplest possible thing, and yet so very complicate: a gas pipeline. Of course, it was never a secret that the prize in controlling Ukraine was possession of the vast pipeline infrastructure that left Russia and entered Europe, but since it was all Gazprom's gas in the first place, it didn't really matter if Kiev had possession of the gas as it transits to Europe, or if, as the case is now, Ukraine is merely a transit hub with all Russian gas delivered to European countries and none of it staying in the civil war torn country. After all as of this moment Ukraine can't afford any Russian gas, and if it siphons off any of the product destined for Germany and beyond it would simply antagonize its new NATO best friends, who also happen to be Gazprom clients.

No, the pipeline that has emerged with a starring role in the Ukraine conflict has nothing to do with Ukraine, but is a pipeline that crosses several hundred kilometers south of Ukraine - the South Stream project, which leaves the Russian black sea coast south of Crimea, crosses the black sea, and traverses Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and ends up in the gas hub in Baumgarten, Austria from where it proceeds to all points in central Europe, mostly Germany.

The project, which was conceived in 2007, was meant explicitly to bypass Ukraine, and to be an alternative to the now mothballed Nabucco gas pipeline which, with the backing of the US and Europe, would have taken Caspian gas (mainly Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) and traverse Turkey before emerging in Bulgaria, and then followed the European path of the South Stream into the Austrian hub and beyond.

Not surprisingly, it was the key transit hub of the South Stream, Bulgaria, that started making problems for Putin even as he succeeded in trumping Nabucco (when in June 2013 the CEO of Austrian energy giant OMV, Gerhard Roiss, announced the project as "over" after the Turkish Shah Deniz consortium chose the Trans-Adriatic Pipieline over Nabucco as a gas export route which would supply Italy instead of Austria).

Recall that it was in January, two months before the Ukraine government was overthrown that the prime minister of Bulgaria - a country that has a very distinguished love/hate relationship with Russia (a relationship which the US would love to make more "hate") - Plamen Oresharski, surprisingly ordered a halt to work on the South Stream, on the recommendation of the EU. The decision was announced after his talks with US senators.

"At this time there is a request from the European Commission, after which we've suspended the current works, I ordered it," Oresharski told journalists after meeting with John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson during their visit to Bulgaria on Sunday. "Further proceedings will be decided after additional consultations with Brussels."

At the time McCain, commenting on the situation, said that "Bulgaria should solve the South Stream problems in collaboration with European colleagues," adding that in the current situation they would want "less Russian involvement" in the project.

"America has decided that it wants to put itself in a position where it excludes anybody it doesn't like from countries where it thinks it might have an interest, and there is no economic rationality in this at all. Europeans are very pragmatic, they are looking for cheap energy resources - clean energy resources, and Russia can supply that. But the thing with the South Stream is that it doesn't fit with the politics of the situation," Ben Aris, editor of Business New Europe told RT.

It was also in January when EU authorities ordered Bulgaria to suspend construction on its link of the pipeline, which is planned to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and onward to western Europe. Brussels wants the project frozen, pending a decision on whether it violates the EU competition regulations on a single energy market. It believes South Stream does not comply with the rules prohibiting energy producers from also controlling pipeline access.

Therein, of course, lies the rub, because as Europe has learned the hard way so many times, its overrliance on Russia for both the production and the transit of gas means that it has absolutely no leverage over the Kremlin - something recent events in Ukraine have only confirmed.

Putin, earlier today, merely cemented the reality that it is not so much about who controls the energy transit pipelines, but whose influence controls Europe: America's or Russia's. "The US opposes the Russian South Stream gas pipeline project because it wants to supply gas to Europe itself, President Putin said on Tuesday. He called the situation an "ordinary competitive struggle."

“They do everything to disrupt this contract. There is nothing unusual here. This is an ordinary competitive struggle. In the course of this competition, political tools are also being used,” the Russian president said after holding talks with his Austrian counterpart, President Heinz Fischer, in Vienna.

"We are in talks with our contract partners, not with third parties. That our US friends are unhappy about South Stream, well, they were unhappy in 1962 too, when the gas-for-pipes project with Germany was beginning. Now they are unhappy too, nothing has changed, except the fact that they want to supply to the European market themselves," Putin stated.

Should this happen, American gas “will not be cheaper than Russian gas – pipe gas is always cheaper than liquefied gas,” Putin stressed.

+ + +

Which in turn brings us to the culmination of the political struggle over the South Stream, when earlier today, in yet another coup for the Kremlin, one of the most stable and respected European countries, AAA-rated Austria gave its final approval to the "controversial" Russian gas pipeline project early Tuesday, defying EU officials and welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the neutral country that has been a long-standing energy customer for Moscow.

As Reuters reports, "the chief executives of Russia's Gazprom and Austria's OMV sealed the deal to build a branch of the South Stream gas pipeline to Austria, a staunch defender of the project in the face of opposition from the European Commission."

In other words, one short month after Putin concluded the Holy Grail deal with Beijing, he not only managed to formalize his conquest of Europe's energy needs with yet another pipeline, one which completely bypasses Ukraine (for numerous reasons but mostly one: call it a Plan B), but scored a massive political victory by creating a fissure in the heart of the Eurozone, after Austria openly defied its European peers and sided with Putin.

Needless to say, the European Commission is furious, and is digging in its heels saying South Stream does not comply with EU competition law because it offers no access to third parties. South Stream also, as noted above, counters the EU's policy of diversifying supply sources to reduce dependence on Russia.

But OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss, in a stunning moment of realpolitik clarity and admission that when it comes to the energy future of Europe, Putin is more important than Mario Draghi, told a news conference after the signing: "Europe needs Russian gas. Europe will need more Russian gas in future because European gas production is falling ... I think the European Union understands this, too."

Of course, they do. The only issue is they don't want to admit it because doing so seals Europea's fate as a vassal energy state of Russia. As for Europe's pipedream, pardon the pun, alternative of receiving LNG from the US, it was none other than Cnehiere CEO Charif Souki who said in April, when asked if Cheniere’s terminal could rescue eastern European countries from their dependence on Russia, that "It’s flattering to be talked about like this, but it’s all nonsense. It’s so much nonsense that I can’t believe anybody really believes it.”

They don't, but it's all politics. And in politics it is all about wielding power, or submitting to it. Austria did the latter today, and by defecting on its European peers, it may have started a process that leads to the splintering of the Eurozone itself, with none other than Vladimir Putin once again pulling the strings.

The project has pitted European industry against politicians in Brussels, and divided South Stream supporters - which stretch from Germany through the heavily Russia-dependent central and southeastern Europe - from other EU member states.

On a one-day working visit to Vienna that drew some criticism in the EU, Putin spoke of close business ties to Austria, the first western European country to sign, in 1968, long-term gas supply deals with Moscow.

He called Austria an "important and reliable" partner for Russia, which is Austria's third-biggest non-EU trading partner after the United States and Switzerland.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer also defended the South Stream project, saying: "No one can explain to me - and I can't explain to the Austrian people - why a pipeline that crosses EU and NATO countries can't go 50 km into Austria."

Oh and for the record, the Austrian president said "He said he opposed sanctions against Moscow"... just in case the next time Europe dares to pass off any Russian sanctions over Ukraine decision as unanimous.

And speaking of Ukraine, things got downright bizarre in Vienna when the head of Austria's chamber of commerce reminded Putin that part of Ukraine had belonged to Austria in 1914. "What is that supposed to mean? What are you proposing?" Putin quipped, eliciting laughter from the business elite. Next thing you know Putin will be joking about annexing Hungary...

And there you have it, just in case it was still unclear: what is happening in Ukraine is all a big joke to the power brokers in Europe, the "business elite" - the decision has long since been made that Putin will see no objection by said elite to whatever his intentions with regard to the irrelevant and civil war-torn country are. Aside, of course, from the token CIA and US theater fit simply for lower common denominator consumption.

The joint South Stream Austria project will be 50 percent owned by Gazprom – Russia's largest gas producer – and 50 percent owned by Austria’s OMV Group, the country’s largest oil and gas company.

Austria's president Fischer stated that if anyone criticizes Austria, they should also criticize other member countries and their companies.

“I suppose that there will be no such moment when such a country as Austria will not be holding talks with a partner, which has intense relations with us, and will not be ready to negotiate with it,” the Austrian leader said.

“We know such a dialogue does not contradict any EU decision,” he added. What he meant is that nobody in Europe can tell Putin what to do.

+ + +

As for the logistical issues of the pipeline, now that the agreement has been signed, they will all be resolved in due course: Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said earlier he was in weekly if not daily contact with European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger about winning approval for the South Stream project.

"We solve problems as they come up, and now the problem of construction of the pipeline is to be solved," Miller said.

The pipeline deal does not address the question of third-party access, which is required by EU law to prevent the owner of an energy source from monopolising its distribution channels. OMV's Roiss said the issue must be negotiated with Brussels. Roiss said the Austrian part of the pipeline, which is planned to be built in 2016 and deliver its first gas supplies around the start of 2017, would comply fully with European law.

Gazprom and OMV said they would split the 200 million euro ($272 million) costs of building the 50-km (31- mile) Austrian stretch of South Stream, which in total will be 2,446 km long. The total cost of the South Stream pipeline is $40 billion.

At the end of the day it's only capex: money that is more than returned to the investor in the long-run. America may remember capex - it's what companies did before they pushed financial engineering beyond the edge, all in the pursuit of short-term capital appreciation gains. And if Gazprom can't fund it, we are confident China would be delighted to invest in the project by buying a few billion Renminbi-denominated bonds.

+ + +

So congratulations to Putin: today he merely further cemented his status as Europe's default energy provider. But not only that. As Reuters noted some politicians have warned that Putin may try to exploit divisions between friendly EU states, such as neutral Austria with its traditionally good ties to Moscow, and those like Britain that want to take a harder line.

"Obviously ... Putin wants to split the European Union. That's nothing new. That's what the Russians always try to do when they are in a corner," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Austrian broadcaster ORF on Monday.

Well, Mr. Bildt, Russia certainly succeeded in sowing the seeds of even more discord in the European Union, whose most stable country just sided with Putin and told all of its European "partners", Merkel and Cameron included, a big f*ck you. As for your completely wrong remark about just who is "in the corner" we will let it slip: after all, as that other European career politician Jean-Claude Juncker taught us, when it gets serious, you have to lie.

***

ZERO HEDGE

RUSSIA REIGNITES THE PROXY WAR: PUTIN OFFERS “COMPLETE SUPPORT” TO IRAQ PRIME MINISTER SCORNED BY OBAMA

Because clearly one can't have a global proxy war without China, and certainly without Russia

JUNE 21, 2014

Two days ago, before it was formalized that the US tacitly, if not explicitly, now supports the removal of the Iraqi Prime Minister whom it itself had helped elect, we summarized the geopolitical tensions and “national interests” in Iraq, which is shaping up to be a proxy war that makes last year’s Syrian escapade pale by comparison, as follows:

The situation in Iraq, already a jumble of domestic sectarian violence, is now pitting virtually all major (and regional) international players against each other as well. There is:

  • US which tacitly supports Iran intervention in the region, but may have suddenly cooled in its support of Maliki despite sending naval and troop forces in the country after partially evacuating its embassy

  • Saudi Arabia which wants to remain friendly with the US but is antagonistic to the Iraq regime, is potentially aiding the ISIS forces, and clearly refuses to allow Iran entrance in Iraq

  • Iran, which has suddenly become America’s best friend in the region, which is willing to enter Iraq and protect its holy sites

  • Syria, whose president is sitting back amused at last year’s failed campaign by the US to remove him from power, and whose army is at a stalemate with the local US-armed and funded rebels

  • Qatar, which is supporting the Syrian rebels, but so far has not made its stance clear on Iraq. Like Saudi, it too may be indirectly backing ISIS

  • Jordan, which is a close friend the US, and which may have hosted ISIS in a secret base on its territory with the US instructing the jihadist group according to an unconfirmed report

  • Turkey, which is on constant alert to Kurdish escalation across the border, the same Kurds which now have far more leverage courtesy of ISIS crushing the Iraq army in the north and handing over Kurds access to oil fields in the north.

  • And of course Russia: because while Putin clearly benefits from rising crude prices, it is his Lukoil that is developing (and investing vast amounts of money in) the vast Iraqi West Qurna-2 oil field. It is not clear how he would feel about it falling into ISIS hands.

It was the bolded text that was of biggest interest because as we noted the next day, when discussing the next steps for ISIS, we said that “One wonders how long until the mercenary force finds its latest major backer, because for all the western, US-led intervention, both Russia and China are oddly missing from the scene. We expect that to change soon.”

Because clearly one can’t have a global proxy war without China, and certainly without Russia.

Well, we said we expected Russia’s conspicuous absence to “change soon”, and so it did: within just 24 hours. Because apparently all Putin was waiting for was for Obama to pick sides (i.e., not Maliki) before the Russian leader made it clear whom he sides with. US, helpfully obliged yesterday morning when we also reported that “US Slams Its Former Iraq Puppet: “The Maliki Government, Candidly, Has Got To Go“.”

So what does Putin - who as a reminder is heavily invested in Iraq’ massive West Qurna-2 oil field via Lukoil – do? Why announce his undying support for Maliki, of course, and as AP reported, the former KGB spy offered Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki Russia’s total backing for the fight against fighters who have swept across the country, as well as his full support for the embattled prime minister.

More:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, expressing Moscow’s support for his action against the militant offensive.

The Kremlin said in a statement that al-Maliki informed Putin on Friday about his government’s steps to combat the “terrorist groups in the north of the country.” It added that the insurgency threatens security of the entire region.

Putin confirmed Russia’s “full support for the Iraqi government’s action to quickly free the territory of the republic from terrorists,” the Kremlin said,adding that Putin and al-Maliki also discussed bilateral cooperation.

Putin’s expression of support for the embattled Iraqi prime minister comes as al-Maliki’s rivals have mounted a campaign to force him out of office, with some angling for support from Western backers and regional heavyweights.

And just like in Syria from 2012 to 2013, the chessboard is once again set, with a regional middle-east conflict, this time in Iraq, merely serving as the proxy staging ground in which the Iraqi PM, once an obedient US puppet but now an enemy of Saudi Arabia and thus the US, “simply has to go” in the words of Dianne Feinstein, has suddenly become the fulcrum issue behind yet another soon to escalate conflict between Russia and the US.

One thing is certain: the more the US (and Saudi Arabia, and Qatar) pushes for Maliki’s ouster, the more involved Russia will become with its offers of support and bilateral cooperation. And if the Syrian fiasco (for John Kerry) is any indication, Russia is about to expand its “national interest” sphere of influence by one more country.

***

Whiteout Press

133 G77 Nations Vow to Destroy America’s New World Order

21 Jun 2014

June 17, 2014. Bolivia. The American and European media are doing everything they can to black this news out. But it’s not going to stay a secret for long. As of this weekend, there’s a new New World Order on Earth and its enemy is the United States, the EU, the UN Security Council and the world’s shadow government led by the IMF and WTO. This new alliance of poor countries wouldn’t be much of a threat, except it includes two-thirds of the world’s nations including China and India.

It’s a sad day for the American people when their government and state-sponsored news industry blacks out such an important news story. Americans actually have to rely on outlets like the Havana Times in Cuba, The Times of India, and United Nations press releases. There’s a reason this news is being censored across the West. And it’s only the latest global news story over the past two weeks on this subject blacked out from the American people. Read on to find out why.

End of the New World Order

When the richest and most powerful nations on Earth formed the G7, G8, G20 and the like, they united to combine their dominance over the remaining 175 countries that make up humanity. And for decades, the wealthiest 20 countries led by the US have gotten exponentially more wealthy at the expense of the poorest 175 nations, who in turn have gotten even poorer. That’s been the result of the West’s ‘New World Order’, led mainly by self-appointed global governments like the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

133 of those 175 countries have had enough of the New World Order’s rigged global financial system based in New York and London. They’ve seen their economies destroyed by corrupt corporations and global governments that create a cycle of never-ending dependence and poverty. They’ve seen their nations’ vast resources stolen by multinational corporations. Their agriculture landscape has been poisoned. Their citizens bankrupted by the IMF and Wall Street. And their democratically elected leaders overthrown by foreign agents from countries like the US.

They’ve had enough of the New World Order. And an alliance of 133 countries, two-thirds of the nations on Earth, signed an agreement this weekend to end the West’s New World Order and replace it with a fair, honest and legitimate World Order - one that lets everyone participate and benefit, not just the super rich.

The Next World Order

The organization is officially called the ‘Group of 77 and China’, but the alliance actually includes 133 nations. Showing just how much influence they have, their meeting this weekend in Bolivia was opened with a keynote speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In the audience were over 30 heads of state from around the world and official representatives from over 100 more governments. Also illustrating the organization’s growing influence, China isn’t even a member of the G77, but insisted on participating anyway in a show of unity with the globe’s Next World Order.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro participated, telling the gathered nations they had to unite to, “fight for fair and sustainable economic growth and for a new world economic order.” Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa went one step further, telling the gathered national leaders and representatives, “Only when we are united across Latin America and united around the world will we be able to make our voice heard and change an international order that is not just unfair, it is immoral.”

A report from AFP on Yahoo News, about the only report found in Western media, describes how Cuban President Raul Castro also participated, but reserved his comments for a call to help their top ally Venezuela. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and a number of South American countries have insisted they are currently under attack by the United States and the CIA, who they insist are desperately trying to orchestrate coups to overthrow their democratically elected, pro-socialist governments the same way they are accused of doing in the Ukraine recently.

Iran and the UN

An announcement published by the United Nations this weekend touts UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s enthusiastic participation in the G77 meeting. It discusses how important this massive alliance is to the goals of the UN, particularly with regard to reversing the world’s growing economic inequality among nations. Moon and the UN are also sponsoring a separate but related meeting of nations in September to draft new climate resolutions to be enacted in 2015.

The announcement describes a private meeting between the UN Secretary General and Iran’s Vice President, ‘On the margins of today's summit, Mr. Ban met with the First Vice President of Iran, Eshaq Jahangiri, to discuss development issues, as well as the potential role that Iran could play in restoring stability in Iraq and Syria. The Secretary-General added that he looked forward to Iran's positive involvement on climate change and said he very much hoped that President Hassan Rouhani would attend the climate summit this September.’ The report also says the two leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the coming July deadline for compliance with past mandates.

Threats of America’s “second Vietnam”

Many of the government leaders in attendance took the opportunity to strike a blow against what they consider to be the biggest enemy of world peace, democracy and economic freedom - the United States. One leader even went as far as calling out President Obama by name and threatening the United States with a second Vietnam.

As reported by the Times of India, the G77 conference’s host this weekend - Bolivian President Evo Morales - threatened the United States and the American President telling the gathered heads of state, “If Mr. Obama keeps assailing the people of Venezuela, I am convinced that, faced with provocation and aggression, Venezuela and Latin America will be a second Vietnam for the United States. Let us defend democracy, natural resources, our sovereignty and our dignity.”

Cuba’s President Raul Castro was possibly the most pointed and focused in his remarks regarding the agenda of the participating countries. As reported by the Havana Times, Castro told the alliance of 133 nations, “It is necessary to demand a new international financial and monetary order and fair commercial conditions for producers and importers from the guardians of capital, centered in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and from the defenders of neoliberalism grouped in the World Trade Organization, which are attempting to divide us. Only unity will allow us to make our ample majority prevail.”

UN Civil War - dissolving the UN Security Council

One of the more ambitious goals of the G77 and its 133 participating countries is the elimination of the United Nations Security Council. World leaders insist it is little more than a five-nation tyranny over the full UN body. With five permanent members of the UN Security Council having veto power over the rest, UN policies and actions have been dictated by those five countries - US, UK, Russia, France and China. Members of the G77 want the Security Council eliminated so the UN can go back to being a purely democratic body.

The Cuban leader went on to describe a global economic system run by American hypocrisy and financial corruption, “The principles of International Law and the postulates of the New International Economic Order are brazenly violated, concepts that attempt to legalize meddling are imposed, force is used and threats of force are made with impunity, the media are used to promote division.”

Dominoes beginning to fall

This is just the latest organized attack on a global financial system rigged by corrupt governments and the multinational corporations that control them. Just last month, Russia and China signed a long term trade alliance that represents the first major crack in the US Dollar bubble. The two countries agreed to stop using US Dollars in their transactions and instead use their own two currencies. The two largest banks from both countries immediately announced they would be dumping the US Dollar as well.

On top of that, the world’s ‘BRIC’ countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - have publicly declared their goal of replacing the corrupted US Dollar with some other global default currency. Now that Russia and China have finally taken actual steps to do that, the remaining two-thirds of the world will most likely begin making preparations to stop using the US Dollar as well. It was only this weekend that 133 of them pledged to do just that.

The scary part for Americans is that both Washington and Wall Street have promised this would never happen, because if it did, it would destroy the US economic system and possibly the US itself.

***

THE INDEPENDENT

Ebola outbreak: Virus is 'totally out of control' warns Doctors Without Borders medic

Almost 330 deaths have been linked to the virus

KASHMIRA GANDER

Friday 20 June 2014

A senior official for Doctors Without Borders has warned that the Ebola virus is “totally out of control” in west Africa, where an outbreak of the disease has killed more people than ever before.

The current outbreak began in Guinea either between the beginning and end of last year, but had appeared to slow before picking up pace again in recent weeks, including spreading to the Liberian capital for the first time.

Ebola has since been linked to more than 330 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Doctors Without Borders' director of operations, Bart Janssens, said that the medical group’s resources are becoming increasingly stretched, and urged both the governments of the countries affected and international organisations to send in more health experts.

“The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in a second wave,” Janssens said. “And, for me, it is totally out of control.”

With more than 40 international staff currently on the ground and four treatment centers, Doctors Without Borders has reached its limit to respond, Janssens said. It is unclear if the group will be able to mirror the current treatment centres set up in Guinea and Sierra Leone in newly affected Liberia, he said.

“There needs to be a real political commitment that this is a very big emergency,” he said. “Otherwise, it will continue to spread, and for sure it will spread to more countries.”

Janssens went on to accuse the countries involved of not recognising the gravity of the situation, and criticise the WHO for not doing enough to inspire local leaders to act.

The deadly Ebola virus is spreading through West Africa

The UN health agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Earlier in the week, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said that the multiple locations of the current outbreak and its movement across borders make it one of the “most challenging Ebola outbreaks ever.”

“This is the highest outbreak on record and has the highest number of deaths, so this is unprecedented so far,” Armand Sprecher, a public health specialist with Doctors Without Borders, told reporters.

Ebola causes internal bleeding and organ failure, and spreads through direct contact with infected people. There is no cure or vaccine, so containing an outbreak focuses on supportive care for the ill and isolating them to limit the spread of the virus.

Janssens added that members of the public need to be better educated so they know to come forward when symptoms occur, and to avoid touching the sick and dead.

Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia's deputy minister of health, said the highest levels of government are working to contain the outbreak, noting that Liberia had a long period with no new cases before this second wave.

Unni Krishnan of Plan International, which provides equipment to the three countries, claimed that while Governments and international agencies were struggling to contain the disease, he noted that Ebola has struck one of the world's poorest regions, where public health systems are already fragile.

The highest previous death toll was in the first recorded Ebola outbreak in Congo in 1976, when 280 deaths were reported. But as Ebola often spreads in remote areas where first cases sometimes go unrecognized, it is likely that there are deaths that go uncounted.

Additional reporting by AP

***

EXPRESS

Cameron's EU crisis: UK business chiefs turn on PM as Juncker heads to Brussels victory

DAVID Cameron is starring into the abyss of a European crisis as he has been blasted today by leading UK businesses for his dealings with Brussels.

By: Dion Dassanayake

Published: Sun, June 22, 2014

David Cameron warned the UK would leave the UK if Jean-Claude Juncker was victorious[EPA & PA]

A group of top British businessmen have criticised the Prime Minister for failing to protect them from new European Union (EU) tax plans.
The 54 company bosses signed a letter demanding the Conservative leader puts the City at the heart of his plans for a renegotiation of terms with the EU.
The letter sent to The Sunday Times comes as ex-Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker is on his way to becoming the new European Commission (EC) president.
Mr Cameron had warned a few weeks ago that the UK could leave the EU if Mr Juncker became the next head of the EU's executive arm.
However, his decision to oppose Mr Juncker's nomination looks set to fail as nine-centre left leaders have declared their support for the 59-year-old.

Top British businesses have criticised the PM for failing to protect them from new EU tax plans [EPA]

The Juncker agenda is wrong for the people of Europe, including the people of Britain

Conservative former defence secretary Liam Fox

Mr Cameron wants to delay the process for finding a consensus candidate and will call for an unprecedented vote at a summit next week.
Speaking to the BBC, a Downing Street source said: "British officials have been clear... that if there was the political will to find consensus then the decision on commission president could and should be delayed.
"But if leaders are not even willing to consider alternative names, despite their widely expressed misgivings, then a vote should take place.
"The Prime Minister believes it is important that each leader sets out their position clearly when such an important principle is at stake - handing power to the parliament through a back-room deal."

Mr Cameron wants to hold an unprecedented vote if Mr Juncker is voted EC president [EXPRESS]

Mr Cameron wants to renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership of the EU and sees Mr Juncker as someone who will prevent those reforms.
Iain Duncan Smith said if leaders of the 28-member bloc backed Mr Juncker it would be "flicking two fingers" at voters across the continent.
The ex-Tory leader said the rise of Eurosceptic parties had sent a "seismic message" and accused heads of government of being "utterly complacent".
He said: "I was talking to the Prime Minister the other day and he said there are a load of countries there who share his view on this.
"They think this is the wrong man, the Italians were saying it, many were saying it, even privately I understand many Germans say it."

Mr Cameron is concerned Mr Juncker will oppose EU reformation [AFP]

Conservative former defence secretary Liam Fox said Mr Cameron needed to "fight a battle and take a bloody nose" over Mr Juncker's candidacy.
He said if the PM failed it would put the EU "on the juggernaut route" to ever closer union.
He told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "The Juncker agenda is wrong for the people of Europe, including the people of Britain, and the British Prime Minister is right to stand up against it."
The news comes as a senior diplomatic source reportedly told the Mail on Sunday that Mr Juncker likes to have "cognac for breakfast".
The EU envoy told the paper: "Juncker and his boozing is the worst-kept secret in Brussels. He is politically and personally unsuited to run the EU."

***

MailOnline

Blair must go! Ex-diplomats lead calls for PM who went to war on a lie to be axed as Middle East peace envoy

  • Three former UK ambassadors to Middle East sign open letter against Blair

  • Other signatories include Ken Livingstone and former minister Crispin Blunt

  • Letter organised by makers of George Galloway's 'The Killing of Tony Blair'

By JAMES CHAPMAN, POLITICAL EDITOR

PUBLISHED: 13:21 EST, 23 June 2014 | UPDATED: 07:19 EST, 24 June 2014

Three former UK ambassadors to the Middle East will tomorrow join calls for Tony Blair to be removed from his role as Middle East peace envoy.

Signatories to an open letter, led by Mr Blair's former ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton, describe his achievements in the region as ‘negligible’, criticise his money-making activities and accuse him of trying to ‘absolve himself’ of responsibility for the crisis in Iraq.

Other former diplomats to sign the letter are Oliver Miles, Britain’s ambassador to Libya when diplomatic relations were severed after the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, and Christopher Long, ambassador to Egypt between 1992 and 1995.

Step down: Three former UK ambassadors to the Middle East will tomorrow join calls for Tony Blair to be removed as Middle East peace envoy

Other signatories include former London mayor Ken Livingstone, former Conservative prisons minister Crispin Blunt, the human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC and the former Liberal Democrat peer Lady Tonge, who resigned her party's whip in 2012 over anti-Israel remarks.

The letter has been organised by the makers of Respect MP George Galloway's film The Killing of Tony Blair. It has been timed for this week’s seventh anniversary of Mr Blair’s appointment as envoy on the Middle East to the ‘quartet’ of the UN, the EU, Russia and the US.

The letter is addressed to John Kerry, the US secretary of state; Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister; Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general; and Cathy Ashton, the EU's self-styled ‘foreign minister’.

It argues that Mr Blair’s 2003 invasion of Iraq is to blame for the rise of ‘fundamentalist terrorism in a land where none existed previously’ and he should be removed from his position.

The letter says: ‘We, like many, are appalled by Iraq's descent into a sectarian conflict that threatens its very existence as a nation, as well as the security of its neighbours. We are also dismayed, however, at Tony Blair's recent attempts to absolve himself of any responsibility for the current crisis by isolating it from the legacy of the Iraq war.’

It alleges that Mr Blair ‘misled the British people’ by suggesting Saddam Hussein had links to al-Qaeda.

‘In the wake of recent events it is a cruel irony for the people of Iraq that perhaps the invasion's most enduring legacy has been the rise of fundamentalist terrorism in a land where none existed previously. We believe that Mr Blair, as a vociferous advocate of the invasion, must accept a degree of responsibility for its consequences,’ it adds.

Criticising the former prime minister’s business interests, the letter alleges that his ‘conduct in his private pursuits also calls into question his suitability for the role’.

Mr Blair has faced criticism for a lack of transparency in the way he organises his personal finances. The letter accuses him of ‘blurring the lines between his public position as envoy and his private roles at Tony Blair Associates and the investment bank JPMorgan Chase.’

Mr Miles said: ‘Tony Blair is the wrong man in the wrong job. The wrong man because he is identified with the war in Iraq; criticism has concentrated on his misreading of intelligence and his lies, but equally important was his failure to plan for the peace, with the result we see today. The wrong job because patching up the Palestine economy sounds good but avoids the real issue, the repression and misery of the occupation; that is what the quartet should tackle. Seven years on it's time to blow the whistle.’

Mr Blunt said: ‘It's time to end Tony Blair's personal calvary as quartet envoy following his disastrous statesmanship in office on the Middle East. His role as envoy was neutered politically almost as soon as it began, and is now a distraction from the increasingly desperate need for a comprehensive peace deal.’

The letter adds to growing calls for Mr Blair to stand down. Last week former foreign secretary Lord Owen criticised Mr Blair for his claims that the 2003 invasion was not a factor in the current unrest in Iraq.

‘Tony Blair should no longer be allowed to speak for the EU on the Middle East and someone else found for helping Palestine without his past record and crusading messianic fervour,’ he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Blair said: ‘These are all people viscerally opposed to Tony Blair with absolutely no credibility in relation to him whatsoever.

‘Their attack is neither surprising nor newsworthy. They include the alliance of hard right and hard left views which he has fought against all his political life. Of course he completely disagrees with them over the Middle East. He believes passionately in the two State solution but also believes that can only be achieved by a negotiation with Israel.

‘The truth, and anybody who knows anything about the situation in respect of Palestine knows this, is that transformational change is impossible unless it goes hand in hand with a political process. There was hope that this could progress with the recent US led talks which were underpinned by a hugely ambitious economic plan spearheaded by Mr Blair.’

Of the criticism of Mr Blair's business interests, she added: ‘Mr Blair has done no work for JP Morgan in the Middle East – he is the chair of their International Advisory Council – where he provides advice on global political issues.’Mr Blair’s allies also pointed out that Mr Miles had criticised the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war on the basis that two of its members ‘are Jewish’.

***

MailOnline

Paralysed man uses just the power of his mind to move his hand: Microchip in brain reads his thoughts in breakthrough which gives hope to millions

  • Ian Burkhart, 23, has ushered in what doctors are calling a 'bionic age'

  • Team from Ohio State University and research firm put chip in his brain

  • All the US patient had to do was think intensely about moving his hand

  • Medical experts claim 'Neurobridge' could offer hope to stroke victims

  • He broke his spine in 2010 diving into shallow water off North Carolina

By DANIEL BATES

PUBLISHED: 22:24 EST, 24 June 2014 | UPDATED: 07:07 EST, 25 June 2014

A man who is paralysed from the neck down has become the first such patient to move his hand by the power of thought alone.

Thanks to a chip implanted in his brain, Ian Burkhart ushered in what doctors are calling a ‘bionic age’ which could revolutionise treatment for the disabled.

All he had to do was think intensely about moving his hand and the rest was done by the chip in less than a tenth of a second.

Mr Burkhart, 23, carried out a successful test of the ‘Neurobridge’ which doctors say could offer hope to stroke victims and those with muscular disorders.

A team from Ohio State University and research firm Battelle opened up the US patient’s skull and inserted the 0.15-inch chip into his brain to ‘read’ his thoughts.

The information is transmitted via cable to a computer which decodes it and adds commands that would normally come from the spinal column.

The computer is connected to a sleeve of electrodes on his arm which stimulates the muscle fibres to move.

Battelle’s Chad Bouton said: ‘It’s like a heart bypass, but we’re bypassing electrical signals instead of blood. We take signals from the brain, go around the injury and go directly to the muscles.’


In a test, Mr Burkhart was able to curl his hand into a fist, open it fully and grab a spoon. He told reporters that the thing he misses most is ‘just being independent’.

He said: ‘You have to rely on other people so much. It would really be nice to just do something as simple as open up a water bottle myself.’

Mr Burkhart, from Dublin, Ohio, broke his spine in 2010 after diving into the sea off the coast of North Carolina and hitting a sandbar.The water was more shallow than he realised and the next thing he knew he could not feel his body. His friends pulled him out of the water and he was airlifted to hospital where he began his recovery

***

CNN

Gary Oldman goes off on hypocrisy, political correctness, Gibson and Baldwin

By Todd Leopold, CNN

June 24, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)

Actor Gary Oldman arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012.

(CNN) -- So, Gary Oldman, tell us what you really think.

In a raw interview with Playboy, the actor, 56, railed against Hollywood "dishonesty" and double standards, said that Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin have been victims of hypocrisy and asserted that not voting for "12 Years a Slave" to win an Oscar meant "you were a racist."

Oh, and he doesn't like the Golden Globes, helicopter parents or reality TV, either.

Indeed, the "Dark Knight" actor, who's starring in the forthcoming "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," pulled no punches when talking about pretty much anything. The conversation will appear in the magazine's July/August issue.

The Gibson and Baldwin affairs really angered him, he said, because he believes their accusers don't exactly have clean hands themselves.

"I don't know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we've all said those things. We're all fing hypocrites," Oldman said. "The policeman who arrested him has never used the word 'n*****' or 'that fing Jew'? I'm being brutally honest here. It's the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy.

"Mel Gibson is in a town that's run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he's actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him -- and doesn't need to feed him anymore because he's got enough dough," Oldman continued. "But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn't turned and said, 'That fing kraut' or 'F those Germans,' whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me. It's just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone."

Other Oldman tidbits:

On reality TV: "The museum of social decay."

On helicopter parents: "There's never any unsupervised play to develop skills or learn about hierarchy in a group or how to share. The kids honestly believe they are the center of the f*ing universe. But then they get out into the real world and it's like, 'St, maybe it's not all about me,' and that leads to narcissism, depression and anxiety."

On political correctness at the Oscars: "At the Oscars, if you didn't vote for '12 Years a Slave' you were a racist. "

On the Golden Globes: "A meaningless event. ... It's 90 nobodies having a wank."

If Oldman is hard on Hollywood and its people, he's equally critical of himself. Asked about "Sid & Nancy," his breakthrough film, he said, "I don't like myself in the movie." Ditto with "The Fifth Element" and "The Dark Knight."

"It was work," he said. (He did have kind things to say about the film "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Francis Ford Coppola and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" director Alfonso Cuaron.)

As the interview continued, Oldman -- who described his politics as "libertarian" -- recognized that he may have been a little too blunt.

"So this interview has gone very badly. You have to edit and cut half of what I've said, because it's going to make me sound like a bigot," he said at one point

"You're not a bigot?" replied interviewer David Hochman.

"No, but I'm defending all the wrong people," Oldman said. "I'm saying Mel's all right. Alec's a good guy. So how do I come across? Angry?"

"Passionate, certainly," Hochman said. "Readers will have to form their own opinions."

"It's dishonesty that frustrates me most," Oldman said. "I can't bear double standards. It gets under my skin more than anything."

***

30 Breathtaking Satellite Photos That Will Change How You See Our World

Click here to see more.

***

Chipotle's anti-Big-Food ad wins Cannes PR award


***

Natural News

DNA from GMOs can pass directly into humans, study confirms

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The idea that DNA from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is broken down in the digestive tract and rendered innocuous, a common industry claim, is patently false. A recent study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE found that large, meal-derived DNA fragments from GMOs are fully capable of transferring their genes directly into the bloodstream, deconstructing the myth that transgenic foods act on the body in the same way as natural foods.
A combined analysis of four other independent studies involving more than 1,000 human samples and a team of researchers from universities in Hungary, Denmark and the U.S. looked at the assimilation process for GMOs as they are currently consumed throughout the world. This includes derivatives of GM crops such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from GM corn, for instance, and soy protein from GM soybeans, as well as meat derived from animals fed a GM-based diet.
After looking at the data on how the human body processes these and other forms of GMOs, the team discovered that DNA from GMOs is not completely broken down by the body during the digestion process. What would normally be degraded into smaller constituents like amino acids and nucleic acids was found to remain whole. Not only this, but these larger DNA fragments were found to pass directly into the circulatory system, sometimes at a level higher than actual human DNA.
"[B]ased on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system," explained the authors in their study abstract.
"In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA."


Genes from GMOs transfer into small intestine, alter composition of beneficial bacteria

This is an astounding discovery that proves false claims made by Monsanto and others that GMOs are no different from non-GMOs as far as the body is concerned. Monsanto even claims on its "Food Safety" page for GMOs that the DNA from GMOs is "extensively digested" and "present[s] no hazards," both of which have now been shown to be lies.

Based on this latest analysis of how food genes are transferred from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, it is now apparent that the genes of GMOs pass into the bloodstream whole. Their presence is also associated with major inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, adenoma and colorectal cancer.

The presence of transgenic genes in the small intestine was also found to affect the composition of beneficial bacteria, which are responsible for protecting the gut against foreign invaders and helping the body absorb nutrients from food. Individuals with ileostomies, or perforations in their abdominal walls as a result of surgery, were found to literally be harboring full DNA sequences from GMOs in their intestinal tracts.

None of this is really all that surprising, of course, as the biological activities behind how GMOs are processed by the human body have never been legitimately studied. Biotechnology companies have always just claimed that GMOs are the same as real food, without any evidence to back this up, and this has been enough for the government to keep them on the market for nearly 20 years.

"One small mutation in a human being can determine so much, the point is when you move a gene, one gene, one tiny gene out of an organism into a different one you completely change its context," said David Suzuki, co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. "There is no way to predict how it's going to behave and what the outcome will be."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.realfarmacy.com

http://www.plosone.org

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

http://science.naturalnews.com

***

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof.”
(Ezekiel 14:13)


http://www.missionarychristian.org