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A spokesman for the Northeast Frontier Railway Nripen Bhattacharya said in Guwahati that three special trains had left for Bangalore yesterday taking back in a phased manner those who had fled from the capital of Karnataka fearing attacks on them sparked by rumours in the wake of violence in Assam The official, however, could not give the exact number of people returning to Bangalore.

Government officials said it would take two to three days before all of them returned to Bangalore and other cities like Pune and Chennai from where thousands of fear-stricken Northeasterners had fled. After four days of panic-driven exodus of Northeasterners, the situation eased today with police and railway officials saying it has stopped in Karnataka and reduced to a trickle in Tamil Nadu.

In contrast to the exodus of people from the northeast, it was a normal situation in Bangalore which was turned into a virtual fortress amid tight security. Upto 30,000 people had fled the country's IT capital since late last week which abated yesterday after the government went overdrive to instil confidence in the people from northeast. Over 18,000 police personnel, bolstered by Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), kept a hawk-like vigil in Bangalore with Ramzan also being celebrated.

"The situation is absolutely peaceful and normal ... People from the northeast are going about their chores without any disturbance and the exodus has completely stopped", additional commissioner of police (law and order) Suneel Kumar told PTI. Bangalore Police commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji said they have held several peace committee meetings with community leaders and police also intensified night patrolling. Railways, which ran additional trains to Guwahati after the sudden rush of fleeing northeasterners, did not operate any special services for the second consecutive day.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

The Jesuit-led Vatican is the common denominator of power in Britain, Israel, and the United States. The Vatican is the head of New World Order monster and she has big plans for earthly Jerusalem. To understand how all of the intrigue has come to a head in our time, we must take a closer look at the historical record.

In order to understand that the Vatican has the upper hand on both Britain and America, we need to examine the American Revolution. The United States is Rome’s satellite and has been since the end of the Revolution. The historical record shows that the Jesuits fomented the American Revolution using Freemasonry as a cover. Prior to the American Revolution, 10 out of 13 colonies had put in place strict penal measures against Roman Catholicism and Catholics. Rome couldn’t stand for that so she brought about the Revolution to correct the situation. The Constitution opened the door in the United States for the flourishing of Roman Catholicism and other cults. All of this was part of the Jesuit-led continuing counter-reformation that began in the 1540’s. The U.S. Constitution with its ‘freedom of religion’ gave us a Jesuitical/Freemasonic/universalist government that put Rome in the driver’s seat of the New World Order. The New World Order was launched right here on American soil in 1776. Rome and Britain had been locked in a battle for world dominance and Rome was working desperately to get Britain back under her control since Britain broke off during the Reformation. The Spanish Armada was a failure, so Rome had to resort to covert means.

Catholic Monarch King James II during his reign in England put the forth the Jesuit constructed ‘Declaration of Indulgences’ (1687) in order to lift the restrictions against Catholicism in England. It was written to include tolerance for all religions, but was really a mask to give tolerance to Rome. In 1688, English Protestants refused the Declaration and deposed Catholic King James II from the throne.

“The Liberty James wanted them to proclaim was neither more nor less than indulgence to the Jesuits and the whole Church of Rome. Men knew the hand from which it came and saw the latent intention. Under the specious plea of toleration and liberty, the object of the Declaration was to advance Popery… and give license… to the Church of Rome, and all its schemes for reconquering England.” (John Charles, Ryle, Churchman, Feb. 1880)

Fast forward 100 years and the ‘Declaration of Indulgences’ was re-written as the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and solidified in the U.S. Constitution under the guise of ‘freedom of religion’. The American Revolution was not about tea or taxes. It was a religious war.

With the American Revolution, Rome killed two birds with one stone. (1) Rome separated the American Colonies from Britain and delivered the colonies and all their wealth into Rome’s hand. (2) As part of the continuing Jesuit-led counter-reformation, Rome created the Constitution with ‘freedom of religion’ built into it in order to allow Roman Catholicism to come in and swallow up biblical Christianity that had existed in the colonies.

Remember, Catholicism had been banned in 10 out of 13 colonies. The American Revolution and Constitution made legal (Catholicism) what had been made illegal (Catholicism) in England.

Tupper Saussy wrote in his book Rulers of Evil:

“Before the Constitution was ratified, American Catholics had few civil rights; after ratification, they had them all… the Constitution welcomed agents of Pontifex Maximus, the world’s chief enemy of Protestantism, into the ranks of government. Of the 2,500,000 enumerated inhabitants in 1787 America, the Roman Catholic population consisted of no more than 16,000 in Maryland, 7,000 in Pennsylvania, 1,500 in New York, and 200in Virginia. Once the Constitution was in place, a steady influx of European immigrants transformed Roman Catholicism from America’s smallest to largest religious denomination. By 1850, the higher powers at Rome could view the United States as a viable tributary, if not another papal state.”

The whole American Revolution was a Jesuit scam. Most people wanted to stay loyal to Britain. Freemasons inside the British Parliament pushed laws/taxes on the American colonists to get them angry and rouse them to rebellion. Freemasons on the ground in the colonies fanned the flames of revolution. Washington’s Masonic Lodge at Fredricksburg, Virginia was Catholic/Jacobite infested. Jacobite Hugh Mercer came over to America from Scotland after having fought for the Catholic Jacobite cause in the Army of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Hugh Mercer joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredricksburg, Virginia and eventually became its master. Jacobite Hugh Mercer was also a close friend and adviser to George Washington. The Fredricksburg Masonic Lodge had 8 members who were generals in the American Revolution (Washington, Mercer, George Weedon, William Woodford, Fielding Lewis, Thomas Posey, Gustavus Wallace, and the Marquis de Lafayette). The Fredricksburg Masonic Lodge got its charter from the Mother Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland in 1758.

Prior to the American Revolution, the Jesuits infiltrated Freemasonry in the mid-1700’s, which had evolved from the fugitive Templars during the 14th-16thCenturies. While hiding within the order of Freemasonry, the Jesuits were also operating on the ground out in the open. The British General Haldimand wrote to his superiors in the British Government that the Jesuits were behind the American rebels. In the book Catholics and the American Revolution, Volume 3, (1906) written by Catholic Martin Ignatius Joseph Griffin, Griffin explains that during the American Revolutionary War the British General Haldimand, while he was in Quebec, wrote a letter to British Prime Minister Lord North, which told Lord North that the French Jesuits were supporting the American rebels. Griffin writes:

“The French Jesuits were upholders of the American cause. Hence the English authorities in Canada did not wish such (Jesuits) to enter the country. They desired priests from Savoy or other places. In 1783 Gen. Haldimand wrote to Lord North that he had sent two French priests back to France; that the Bishop desired recruits from the seminaries in France; that he was under Jesuit influence; that he is honorable, but that the Jesuits have sided with the rebels.”

Additionally, Griffin wrote two other volumes of his book. From Catholics and the American Revolution, Volume 1, Griffin quotes British General Haldimand directly from a letter that Haldimand wrote to Lord North. In this letter, Haldimand states plainly to Lord North that the Jesuits are supporting the American rebels in the Revolutionary War. Haldimand states:

“The Jesuits are the only order of regular priests who have shown an attachment to the rebels during the course of the war.”

The Jesuit Carroll family played a major role in the American Revolution. They were one of the wealthiest American families of the era. There were three Carroll sons: Daniel, John and their first cousin Charles. All of them were trained in Jesuit warfare at the Jesuit St. Omer’s College in France. John Carroll became a teacher there. Daniel Carroll donated the land on which the U.S. Capitol Building sits. Property records from the 1600’s reveal that this land was called ‘Rome’. Charles Carroll was the War Commissioner during the American Revolution. John Carroll was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin and even lived at Franklin’s home. John Carroll founded the Jesuit powerhouse Georgetown University and would become the first Catholic Bishop of the United States.

In the decades following the American Revolution, the Americans built the U.S. Capitol Building as an exact replica of St. Peter’s Basilica and even put a statue of the queen of heaven/Babylon on top of it. Then they erected an obelisk facing the Capitol Building just like the one in the Vatican courtyard that faces St. Peter’s Basilica. A Vatican painter, Constantino Brumidi, painted the interior of the U.S. Capitol dome with the ‘Apotheosis of George Washington’, which mirrors paintings of the ‘Apotheosis of Ignatius Loyola’ found throughout Jesuit Churches in Rome. Could it be any more obvious who founded this country?

Rome hated the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but she permitted its creation knowing that she would eventually subvert and destroy it, and it didn’t take long. Its creation was only necessary to allow Romanism to flourish where Romanism had been banned. Rome was thinking long-term and her patience and diligence has paid off. As of the present day in the United States, Catholics out number Protestants. We have an intelligence community run by the Knights of Malta, which is subservient to the Jesuit Order. Six out of nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices are Roman Catholic. We have 28 Jesuit colleges and Universities. Please understand that this writing is not an attack on Catholics. There are many good, everyday Catholic people in this country, but we must understand that Catholicism at the highest levels is Babylonian Sun Worship. It is the headquarters for occultism the world over. All of the other cults and ancient mystery schools flow from and feed into it. Rome has either launched or absorbed them all.

During the 19th and 20th Centuries, the counter-reformation continued and the subversion of Protestantism by the Jesuits would intensify in Britain and the United States. In Britain and America, much of the subversion has its roots in the Oxford Tractarian Movement and its Jesuitical futuristic prophetic schemes. These futuristic schemes would be later be attached to Zionism and its variants such as British-Israelism in order to influence the political sphere.

Froom writes of how Jesuitical futurism began to overcome Protestantism in England during the 1800’s:

“Catholic Futurism, initially projected by Jesuit Ribera about 1585, began to obtain a foothold and then gain momentum among Protestants in Britain. Thus the same concept that sought to break the force of the Reformation view of the papal Antichrist, by assuming a future infidel antichrist, was again invoked to weaken the force of the great evangelical advent and prophetic awakening. Protestant expositors, some leaning toward Rome and some prompted by rationalistic concepts, joined hands in the attempt—perhaps unwittingly—to promote the Jesuit position. This, moreover, came to be tied inseparably with the Oxford Tractarian Movement of the Anglican Church, wherein ninety tracts were scattered by the hundreds of thousands to favor Rome and to disprove the Protestant concept of Antichrist” (Leroy Froom, Prophetic Faith Of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, 655, 656).

Jesuit Futurism would influence Irving and Darby in England, and later Scofield in America:

“Far too many evangelicals today do not realize who was behind the work of Maitland, Todd, Burgh, and the whole Oxford Tractarian Movement. The reason that futurism made its way to Irving and Darby—and latter Scofield—is because it flourished in the Anglican Church, and the reason futurism flourished in Anglicanism is for the simple reason that the Jesuits were personally behind this work…The fact of the matter is clear: The whole Oxford movement with its birth of modern day dispensational futurism was, from its inception, a movement going back to Rome.” (D.S. Farris, Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy, Chp. 8)

After having been injected into the body of Christ, the concepts of Dispensational Futurism would later be leveraged to benefit political Zionism:

“the Jesuits were very successful at implementing Dispensational Futurism into the policies of Great Britain, and Britain indeed became the champion for Zionism. The Balfour Declaration was a letter dated November 2, 1917, from the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. The letter stated the position, agreed at a British Cabinet meeting on October 31, 1917, that the British government supported Zionist plans for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there. The Jesuit Illuminati was very successful in conditioning (through the Jesuit Counter Reformation) Great Britain to nurture the ideology of Zionism among European Jews. The second task of the Jesuits was to create events that would trigger the relocation of the Jews to Palestine. Part two of the Jesuit Illuminati’s geopolitical strategy was to create Fascism inevitably to create the State of Israel in Palestine.” (D.S. Farris, The Two-Horned Beast: Part Two – The New World Order, Chp. 11)

The roots of British-Israelism are obscure, but it appears to be a movement created for political purposes as opposed to something that Christians genuinely (and erroneously) believed in. In the early days of the Zionist movement, there were some British politicians who embraced British-Israelism and supported relocating the racial Jews to Palestine because they thought it would fulfill ‘prophecy’ faster and hasten the second coming of Christ. Most telling is that British-Israelism arose out of British Freemasonry; therefore, we can assume British-Israelism originated with the Jesuits considering the Jesuits control Freemasonry and the country of Britain. Barry Chamish wrote in an article titled ‘British Freemasonry Covets Israel’:

“Without British Freemasonry there would be no modern state of Israel. In the 1860s, the British-Israelite movement was initiated from within Freemasonry.”

Anton Chaitkin adds:

“The British monarchy and its prime ministers and Foreign Office fabricated British Israelism in the nineteenth century, from earlier versions of the story. They claimed that Queen Victoria was descended from the Biblical King David, and was thus a descendant of the Davidic family tree that produced Jesus. They taught that the tribes of Israel wandered into northern Europe; that by this supposed genealogy, the British are the real Chosen People, and the British Empire is thus God’s empire. The modern Jews, by this British account, are not the historical Hebrews of Old Testament Israel, but rather, the British are. But, says the British Israel myth, in a leap of logic, the Jews need to be put into Palestine, to fulfill prophecy, get slaughtered in a war with the Muslims, and bring about the End Times. To provide fuel for this mythology, the royal family asked the British Grand Lodge of Freemasonry to establish the Palestine Exploration Fund.”

What Anton Chaitkin is describing in British-Israelism is just another variation of Zionism, which ends up in the same place as regular Zionism – the racial Jews relocated to Palestine. However, Chaitkin misses the fact that the Jesuits created the false futuristic prophetic schemes that support Zionism. It wasn’t the British Royals who concocted the Oxford Tractarian Movement and its false future prophetic structures. Seemingly, British-Israelism is just another angle from which the Jesuits can cause people to focus on the flesh and earthly Jerusalem. The Jesuits are the great Zionists. Likely, the British Royals are working hand-in-hand with them and British-Israelism is a decoy to take our eyes off of the real plot of relocating the pope’s chair to Jerusalem.

History shows that the Vatican/Jesuits brought the Nazi regime into power in order to turn Europe into a nightmare for the Jews in hopes of relocating them to Palestine. To get the Christians on board with this program of a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine, Jesuit dispensationalism was pumped into American churches through the Scofield Reference Bible, which has caused Christians to support Israel with bloodthirsty, unwavering support.

According to some researchers such as Chamish, the Vatican was given control of all the ‘holy’ sites in east Jerusalem when Jesuit-trained Shimon Peres had the sites handed over to Vatican control through the Oslo Accords in 1993. The Vatican is apparently closing in on Jerusalem trying to regain what she lost to the Muslims during the crusades of the Middle Ages.

The only problem is that the Muslims still control the Dome of the Rock which supposedly sits on top of the remnant of Solomon’s Temple. The Vatican would like to rebuild Solomon’s Temple but needs to get the Dome of the Rock out of the way. Potential solutions in eyes of Vatican:

1) Foment World War III between the Muslims and the “Jews” in Israel and just take the Dome of the Rock from the Muslims.

2) Create peace and unity between Muslims, Jews, and Christians through ecumenism and just unite everybody on common religious ground, thus avoiding war, and make Jerusalem an international city.

Most likely, the idea that British Royals are going to make New Jerusalem in Britain or in the Middle East is just a Jesuit diversion. The British Royals aren’t pulling the strings of everything – the Jesuits and Rome are hiding behind them. The British government, like the U.S. government, is also infested with Freemasonry and the Knights of Malta among many other occult orders that feed into the Vatican. The real endgame is putting the pope’s chair in Jerusalem. After all, he is the ‘vicar’ of Christ and ‘God’ on earth, according to the papacy.

1.2 Billion “Christians” already bow down to him. The British Royals certainly don’t have that kind of devotion from the world’s people. The dumbed-down Protestants will support the pope in the name of unity if the right political conditions can be fabricated. Many Protestants already welcome the pope with open arms. The whole world is probably going to end up bowing down to him if and when he moves into Jerusalem, but God’s remnant will not. We’ve got our eyes on Jerusalem above. Praise God.

Source: soundoctrine.org

 
By Admin (from 18/08/2012 @ 16:55:05, in en - Science and Society, read 1515 times)

Descoperirea unei substante capabile sa inhibe productia de spermatozoizi ar putea conduce la obtinerea unei pilule contraceptive pentru barbati, cu efecte reversibile, fara a perturba sinteza de hormoni masculini, afirma autorii unui studiu american.

În contextul în care fabricarea unei pilule contraceptive masculine a devenit în ultimii ani o veritabila provocare pentru comunitatea stiintifica internationala, cercetatorii americani au testat cu succes o molecula - JQ1 - pe soareci, se afirma într-un articol publicat în revista medicala Cell.

Sursa: mytex.ro

 

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.

The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.

There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.

Source: craigmurray.org.uk

About Craig Murray

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

Personal Biography:

Craig Murray was born in West Runton in October 1958 and educated at Sheringham Primary and Paston Grammar schools.

He graduated from the University of Dundee in 1982 with a MA (Hons) 1st Class in Modern History.

From 1982 to 1984 he was President of Dundee University Students Association and he was a member of Dundee’s tournament winning Granada TV University Challenge team in 1983.

Professional Biography:

In 1984 he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As a member of the Diplomatic Service his responsibilities included the following:

1986-9 Second Secretary, Commercial, British High Commission, Lagos

Responsible for promoting British exports to, and business interests in, Nigeria.

1989-92 Head of Maritime Section, FCO, London

Responsible for negotiation of the UK and Dependent Territory continental shelf and fisheries boundaries, for implementation of the Channel Tunnel treaty and for negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. From August 1990 to August 1991 he was also head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, responsible for intelligence analysis on Iraqi attempts at evading sanctions, particularly in the field of weapons procurement, and with providing information to UK military forces and to other governments to effect physical enforcement of the embargo.

1992-4 Head of Cyprus Section, FCO London

Responsible for UN negotiations on the Cyprus dispute, relations with the government of Cyprus and for the mandate and requirements of the British contingent of the UN force in Cyprus,

1994-7 First Secretary (Political and Economic), British Embassy, Warsaw

Head of the Political and Economic sections of our Embassy in Poland. Responsible for relations with Poland, and assisting Poland’s post-communist transition process with reference to preparation for EU membership.

1997-8 Deputy Head, Africa Department (Equatorial), Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Responsible for British political and commercial relationships with West Africa, including development issues.

1998-2002 Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, West Africa Branch

Responsible for British economic, political, commercial and aid relationships with Ghana and Togo. In Autumn 1998 Craig Murray was the UK Representative at the Sierra Leone Peace talks held in Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including direct negotiation with the RUF terrorist leadership.

2002-2004 British Ambassador, Uzbekistan

Responsible for our relationship with Uzbekistan. He found Western support for the dictatorial Karimov regime unconscionable, as detailed in the rest of this website.

At the 2005 UK General Election, Craig Murray takes on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn as an Independent candidate, winning 2,082 votes.

 

Early next week, an extraordinary machine will plunge down in a sheet of flame, pirouette through the Martian skies and come to rest, Newton willing, on the floor of a rocky crater next to a mountain almost five kilometres high. The Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity, is a $US2.5 billion ($2.38 billion) robotic planetary rover. This nuclear-powered craft, a tonne in weight and the size of a small car, is by far the largest, most complex and most expensive unmanned probe ever sent to the surface of an alien planet. Curiosity's brief is to spend several years poking around Gale crater, perhaps climbing Aeolis Mons, and looking for signs of past and even present life on the Red Planet.

Just about everyone agrees that Curiosity is an example of what NASA does best: robotic planetary exploration, on a tight budget, with maximum bang (in science terms) per buck. And this, I would argue, is also the only way forward for an agency that has otherwise lost its way - a pointer to a new focus that could yet herald the true dawn of the space age.

Since the days of the Pioneers, Voyagers and Mariners of the 1960s and 1970s, NASA's star performers have been the robot brainchildren of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, its outpost in Pasadena, California. These machines have glimpsed lakes on Titan, flown through the rings of Saturn, photographed fire-fountains on Io and sniffed briny oceans on Europa - all for a total cost, over 50 years, that amounts to what the Pentagon spends in eight weeks.
To see the opposite of this pure brilliance, simply fly across the US to the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, home to the Astronaut Corps. High on expectations after the Apollo moon landings, NASA's Human Space Flight division has spent four decades pouring cash down the drain and going nowhere.

Since the Space Shuttle program was cancelled last year, America's manned program has been in chaos. Officially, a new spacecraft called Orion, revealed earlier this month, will take American astronauts out of low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972, first to the moon, then to the asteroids and on to Mars. The first flights are scheduled for 2014, with the moon missions slated for the 2020s.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control Systems Manager and Deputy Surface Phase Lead Steve Lee points to the remote sensing mast which includes navigation cameras and a ChemCam laser on an engineering model of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover

Rumbling into the future … NASA's guidance, navigation and control systems manager, Steve Lee, points out the features on Curiosity. Photo: Reuters

But it won't happen. There is no national leadership, no inspiration, no goal. Budgets will be cut, timetables will slip. The great thing about the moon as a destination is that you can stand on the White House lawn and point to it. But NASA will not get funding to send astronauts to asteroids - for the simple reason that most American taxpayers don't care about asteroids, even if they know what they are.

So what should NASA do? After all, the agency still has considerable funds at its disposal; more, theoretically, since the pointless space shuttles were finally grounded. I believe that it should, along with its international partners such as the European and Russian space agencies, refocus on one overriding goal: to search for life outside the Earth - scrapping more or less everything else.

After all, there can be no more pressing or fascinating question in the whole field of space exploration and astronomy. To discover that Earth's biosphere is unique, to find that even the most Earth-like planets out there are no more than sterile rocks, to discover that wherever we look, we see not even bacterial slime, would be extraordinary. If the evidence stacked up that we are indeed alone, our view of ourselves - of our place in the universe and our custodianship of our planet - would take on a whole new meaning.

And, of course, the alternative would be just as awe-inspiring. Finding microbial life on Mars with a different genetic make-up to earthly life (showing that the Martian bugs are not the result of meteoritic cross-contamination between the two planets) would suggest that life is everywhere. The biochemist Nick Lane, of University College London, one of the surprisingly few scientists in the world studying the origin of life, suggested recently that microbial life probably is everywhere, but that evolution to more complex forms such as recognisable animals and plants demands a series of biochemical flukes that may yet mean that life as we know it is vanishingly rare. This fascinating idea needs exploring.
Under its strategy, what should NASA do in practical terms? First, expand robotic exploration of the solar system. With the money saved by cancelling the Space Shuttle, the US - with input from Europe and perhaps India and China - could send a series of flagship missions to Mars, Europa (a moon of Jupiter) and Titan (a moon of Saturn) to look for life. The European Space Agency is building an ambitious new probe to explore the Jovian system. This was originally meant to be a joint mission with NASA, but the Americans pulled out, a move that should be reversed.

Second, NASA should wriggle out of its commitment to the International Space Station, a $100 billion, orbiting white elephant. Congressional law now demands NASA continues to support this exercise until 2017. In May, a private spacecraft called Dragon successfully docked with the space station, showing commercial space flight can be a reality. Since SpaceX's Dragon capsule can carry people, NASA should effectively privatise the whole ISS enterprise - and the whole business of getting men and material into orbit. Turn the station into a hotel, get it sponsored by McDonald's; anything, really. Private enterprise may even manage to make it interesting.

With yet more funds saved, NASA should build a fleet of space telescopes. In terms of value for money, few machines can compete with the Kepler observatory. At a cost of $600 million (about the price of one Space Shuttle launch) this machine has revolutionised our view of the cosmos. In three years it has found more than 2000 ''exoplanets'' orbiting nearby stars, including dozens that are roughly Earth-like in size and temperature. Twenty years ago, we did not know of a single exoplanet; now, it is estimated that there are at least 30,000 potentially habitable planets within 1000 light years of Earth - places such as Kepler-22b, a world bigger than our own yet with similar surface temperatures and possibly a huge ocean covering its surface.

We need more Keplers, and bigger ones. Large space telescopes, or fleets of space telescopes, placed either in Earth's orbit or at the solar system's gravitational oases (known as the Lagrange points) would allow us to survey nearby Earth-like planets, sniffing their atmospheres spectroscopically for oxygen, methane, water vapour and the like - the tell-tale signs of a biosphere. With a really big telescope, we could theoretically see the dark-light colour changes that may signify continents and oceans passing as the planet rotates.

This does not mean, however, that human space exploration should cease altogether. A return to the moon makes sense, not least because the lunar far side is an ideal place to build extremely large telescopes that could explore the surfaces of ''Earth twins'' even more effectively. And if Mars looks promising, it remains the case that a human astrobiologist could achieve in a week what the best robot could do in three years.

Yet concentrating on a search for life would have the advantages of being scientifically valid, being relatively cheap and connecting with the public imagination. Since 1972, Americans have spent far more money making and watching movies about fictional aliens than they ever spent actually going into real space. Looking for ET will garner rather more enthusiasm than growing cress seeds in orbit. And there is a case for devoting modest public funds in the search for alien radio signals.

There remain scientifically and culturally valid reasons to maintain a human presence in space, not to mention more nebulous justifications such as vicarious excitement and national pride. But NASA should leave the flag-planting, for now, to the privateers and to other nations (the next humans on the moon will be Chinese, arriving in the late 2020s).

Go looking for life, and it may well find it. Once it does, all bets will be off - and NASA might just get the money to do whatever it wants.
Michael Hanlon is the author of The Worlds of Galileo and The Real Mars.

Telegraph, London

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Growth in employment has been slow in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite some further signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined since earlier this year, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Executive Order 11110

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up very gradually. Consequently, the Committee anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook. The Committee anticipates that inflation over the medium term will run at or below the rate that it judges most consistent with its dual mandate.

To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.

The Committee also decided to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities as announced in June, and it is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Dennis P. Lockhart; Sandra Pianalto; Jerome H. Powell; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Jeremy C. Stein; Daniel K. Tarullo; John C. Williams; and Janet L. Yellen. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who preferred to omit the description of the time period over which economic conditions are likely to warrant an exceptionally low level of the federal funds rate.

Source: money.cnn.com

 

Once in a great while an opportunity comes along to deliver justice to a people, giving them what they truly deserve. Greece’s time has come.

It must be dawning on all but the most obtuse member of the banking elite that they can’t possibly steal enough money from German taxpayers to save the Greek government from default. Put it off, maybe, but collapse is inevitable.

Once this happens, what is the purpose of casting Greece into some selective temporary financial purgatory where the irrelevant Greek economy can continue embarrassing anyone foolish enough to lend their dysfunctional government a dime? Why not go all the way and give the country what many of its people have been violently demanding for almost a century?

Let them have Communism.


Hard as it is for young people to believe, Communism was once a major historical force holding billions of people in thrall. Outside the halls of elite universities, who still takes it seriously? Sure we have Cuba, where the Castro deathwatch is the last thing standing between that benighted penal colony and an inevitable makeover by Club Med. Then there is Venezuela, though hope is fading that Hugo Chavez will carry the Bolivarian banner much longer now that he’s busy sucking down FOLFOX cocktails while checking for signs that his hair is falling out. And frankly, a psychopathic family dynasty ruling a nation of stunted zombies hardly makes North Korea a proper Communist exemplar.

What the world needs, lest we forget, is a contemporary example of Communism in action. What better candidate than Greece? They’ve been pining for it for years, exhibiting a level of anti-capitalist vitriol unmatched in any developed country. They are temperamentally attuned to it, having driven all hard working Greeks abroad in search of opportunity. They pose no military threat to their neighbors, unless you quake at the sight of soldiers marching around in white skirts. And they have all the trappings of a modern Western nation, making them an uncompromised test bed for Marxist theories. Just toss them out of the European Union, cut off the flow of free Euros, and hand them back the printing plates for their old drachmas. Then stand back for a generation and watch.

The land that invented democracy used it to perfect the art of living at the expense of others, an example all Western democracies appear intent on emulating. Being the first to run out of other people’s money makes Greece truly ripe to take the next logical step beyond socialism.

As wrenching as it will be we can take comfort in the fact that Greece doesn’t have much of an economy to disrupt. The only Greek industry that’s worth a damn is tourism, rapidly collapsing as travelers get tired of being stranded by strikes while dodging Molotov cocktails. The rest of us can find plenty of other sources of lamb chops, yogurt, and olive oil. They crushed the concept of private property long ago under the burden of environmental, cultural, and social regulations that govern land use. Wouldn’t it be instructive to let them have a go at building a workers’ paradise to remind us what state enforced equality looks like?

Unlike neighboring Balkan nations that got to experience the joys of Communism after the Second World War, Greece was brought back from the brink by massive western intervention as well as a Churchillian side deal that obliged Stalin to butt out. The nasty civil war between the Greek Communist Party (the KKE) and government forces backed by Britain and the U.S. set the stage for decades of struggle between communist sympathizers who never gave up the dream, and right wing juntas determined to rule by force. The uneasy peace that has existed since the colonels were booted merely masks underlying tensions as every Greek worries, is someone else working fewer hours than I am?

How Greece conned its way into the European Union while hard working Turkey was left begging is a testament to the astute diplomats in Brussels, no doubt consulting their playbook on what dodge they can conjure up next to stick someone else with the bill. Why the E.U. extended credit to a nation whose governments have been in a chronic state of default since the country gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832 is a fitting subject for a News of the World expose. Perhaps they were being advised by Fannie Mae.

So despite the frantic meetings, the tragicomedy nears its final act. It’s time for the global financial industry to pull up stakes and go home before more innocent bank employees get immolated. If you don’t want the real contagion to spread, that is the disease of believing you can perpetually consume more than you produce, leave Greece to the Greeks and let the bankers take their lumps.

As difficult as it is for a Greek-American like myself to admit, resting on 2,000 year old laurels is a stale act. While few cultures can proudly look back on as many achievements in the arts, drama, athletics, philosophy, rhetoric, and architecture that were the glory of Greece, it’s time for modern Greeks to take a good hard look at themselves. What have they done for the world lately? More importantly, what are they prepared to do to help themselves? If they can’t face that question then it’s time to sing the Internationale.

Source: Forbes.com - Author: Bill Frezza, Contributor

 

The conference, being held in New York from July 2-27, will include all major producers, exporters and importers of conventional arms.


 
It is hoped the resulting treaty would make the international arms trade more responsible, help alleviate human suffering and curb the illicit trade in arms and weapons.
 
Crucial for the outcome of the negotiations will be the positions of countries such as the United States, Russia and China, all of whom have reservations about certain aspects.
 
Diplomats and non-governmental organisations are hoping for a robust treaty, even if not all states end up signing it.
 
In this regard they are referring to the impact of the treaty on banning anti-personnel mines. Even though big producer countries have not adhered to the Ottawa treaty, production and use of these mines are becoming less frequent since the adoption of the convention.

Model of a Chinese multiple launch rocket system at a defence fair. China is also among the top four weapons imorters

No globally binding rules
While the world trade in many goods such as exotic woods, dinosaur bones or bananas is covered by binding regulations, no such rules exist with regards to the international trade in conventional arms.
 
“Many people are just shocked when they hear this,” Jeff Abramson, director of the Control Arms campaign told swissinfo.ch.
 
Control Arms is a global civil society alliance that has been campaigning for an arms trade treaty for years.
 
Amnesty International, one of the alliance’s founding members, summarises the ramifications of this lack of regulation: every minute somewhere in the world someone dies in a war, from excessive use of weapons violence or because of a crime – more than half a million people a year.

Possible stumbling blocks
A few days before the start of the conference, Abramson was taking a cautiously optimistic stand.
 
“Looking at it under a longer time-frame we’re at a good point now. There’s a lot of energy around,” he said. Sure, a lot of work remains to be done, “but major arms producer countries are on board”.
 
He pointed out that there were open questions and sceptics among the countries. Among them the United States, which has reservations about the inclusion of ammunition in the accord. Or Russia and China with their reservations regarding human rights protection and how this should have an impact on the approval of arms transfer requests.
 
The current example of Syria, Abramson said, showed the importance of curbing the irresponsible trade in arms on a global level.
 
“Now, Russia just points out that there is no United Nations arms embargo against Syria, therefore, their reasoning goes, no rules are broken.”

“Golden Rule”
“For us it is essential that the protection of human rights and international humanitarian law stands at the centre of the treaty. We call it the ‘Golden Rule’ with which those rights must be protected,” he said.
 
This rule must bind all states to analyse whether arms transferred to another state are likely to be used for serious human rights abuses. If that is the case, there can be no approval for a requested transfer.
 
Some states have expressed reservations about those human rights safeguards.
 
“It's all about the formulation,” Abramson said. For Control Arms there’s no question: in case of a risk of human rights violations any export approval must be denied and the formulation must therefore include the words “shall not”. China and Russia and most Middle Eastern Countries opt for less stringent wording.
 
The alliance wants to see a comprehensive treaty that incorporates all kinds of conventional arms and weaponry as well as a system for registering all arms deals and a control mechanism.
 
If the conference comes to a decision by consensus, with a common denominator that is not too weak, the alliance would consider the accord a “first big step, with further steps to come”, Abramson said.

Small arms and light weapons
“Switzerland is among those states with ambitious goals for a strong and efficient treaty. We want an accord that is transparent, non-discriminatory and universal,” Serge Bavaud, expert for security and military questions at Switzerland’s Mission to the United Nations in New York, told swissinfo.ch.
 
A central aspect of the treaty is the standards to be set for any transnational transfers. The treaty should make reference to the UN Charter and Switzerland wants approval for exporting or transferring arms to be given only if there is no danger that these arms will lead to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.
 
The Swiss also want clear and transparent obligations for national implementation of the treaty’s rules in the individual states.
 
“From our point of view it is very important that the small arms and light weapons are included,” Bavaud said, because those were the weapons harming civilians most often.
 
“If those weapons are not part of the accord, its values will be strongly limited.”

Author: Rita Emch in New York - Source: swissinfo.ch

 

While Mexico offers huge untapped potential, firms operating there face numerous challenges such as heavy bureaucracy and insecurity.

Mexico is preparing for a presidential election on July 1

swissinfo.ch talked to Rudolf Knoblauch, the Swiss ambassador to Mexico, about trade opportunities between the two countries, especially for small-and-medium-sized businesses.

swissinfo.ch: How would you describe Switzerland’s business relationship with Latin America?
Rudolf Knoblauch: Our relationship with Latin America began long before the Second World War. It’s good, but it could be better.
 
Trade relations with Asia are more dynamic. In Latin America Swiss exports have continued in a traditional vein: large firms export successfully, but small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing. We do not see enough of them in this market.

swissinfo.ch: Foreign trade between Switzerland and Latin America has increased significantly over recent years. But overall volumes remain modest despite the huge potential of 600 million consumers. Why is that?
R.K.: Firstly, Asia boasts two extraordinary economies: China and India. Demand in these two countries is impressive, as they want to catch up with everyone else.
 
This phenomenon doesn’t exist in Latin America, and there are some economies which are worse off than 20 years ago. Nowadays, the countries with the greatest potential are Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
 
The second thing is that Latin America has always experienced political ups and downs and countries like Mexico have their eyes firmly set on the United States.

swissinfo.ch: A free trade accord between Switzerland and Mexico entered into force in 2001. What’s your view on trade relations over the past decade?
R.K.: I don’t think people have taken sufficient advantage of this free trade agreement. I often meet Swiss and Mexican entrepreneurs who are not even aware of its existence. Much more can be done in this respect.

swissinfo.ch: Switzerland exports mainly pharmaceuticals, chemicals, watches and machinery to Mexico and imports pearls, refined lead and machines. What sectors offer most potential for both countries in the short and medium term?
R.K.: The Swiss pharmaceutical industry is very present, but it’s a sector where there are still many interesting opportunities for SMEs. There are also opportunities in green technologies, where Switzerland has a lot of experience.
 
There is also the mining sector, where Mexico has a long tradition, as well as transport and engineering – the application of scientific principles to the design, construction and maintenance of machinery, buildings and communication systems.

swissinfo.ch: Latin America is a melting pot of different economic policies. Some countries are rather neoliberal, like Mexico, while others are more protectionist, like Venezuela and Bolivia. How do Swiss investors cope with such a varied playing field?
R.K.: I have lived in Argentina, Mexico and several other Latin American countries, and there have always been potential ups and downs and nationalist tendencies.
 
Argentina has experienced everything but it’s impossible to say which approach is best. Countries like Brazil and Argentina, which have closed certain sectors, have experienced impressive growth. Mexico has chosen a different model, and has done well in general. Its growth is superior to that of Europe, but mediocre when compared to other countries in the region.
 
An entrepreneur tends to have more confidence in a country like Mexico, where there is continuity in the economic policy. It is no surprise that Peru and Colombia, which have also pushed for trade liberalisation, are more successful today.

swissinfo.ch: Mexico is holding a presidential election on July 1. How do you think Swiss investors will react if there is a swing to the left?
R.K.: If Josefina Vazquez Mota, of the governing National Action Party (PAN), or the front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party win, I don’t think Mexico’s economic model will change much.
 
But if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftwing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) wins, I don’t think radical changes will be made to Mexico’s economy either.

Rudolf Knoblauch

Rudolf Knoblauch (swissinfo)

swissinfo.ch: How do Swiss firms cope with on-going social problems in Mexico such as drug trafficking and insecurity?
R.K.: These are problems that have increase significantly over recent years, partly as a result of the current government’s strategy since 2006. But they don’t create more worries for employers.
 
For Swiss companies active in Mexico, insecurity is just one of the costs they have to bear. A businessman once told me: "Two years ago I lost two out of 100 trucks with goods. Now I lose five". These things are taken into account in a budget and no one gives up an investment for this reason.
 
Nonetheless, it’s alarming that 12,000 to 13,000 people die every year due to drug trafficking. But it is also important to remember that the centre and the south of the country do not experience these kinds of problems. The north witnesses more conflict and some big cities like Monterrey are particularly badly affected.
 
Bureaucratic problems can sometimes be more important for companies. The European press often talk about Mexico’s difficulties and bad news, but this remains an extraordinary market. And the Swiss businessmen who are able to follow the basic rules can make money here and do so with a clear conscience.

Autore: Andrea Ornelas - Fonte: swissinfo.ch - Translated from Spanish by Simon Bradley

 

The protest was organised by unions, political parties and human rights groups critical of “repressive tendencies” in asylum matters.

The protest came just over a week after the House of Representatives backed a series of measures including cutting social benefits to asylum seekers, restricting family asylum rights and creating special centres for “uncooperative” asylum seekers.
 
Saturday’s protestors marched from Bern’s train station to parliament, with a representative of the forum for the integration of migrants addressing the crowd and calling for action against their discrimination, marginalisation and exploitation.

Protestors called for more humane migration policies


 
In another address, Green parliamentarian Balthasar Glättli criticised the recent House of Representatives decisions, saying the reforms represented “pure inhumanity”.
 
Instead of a culture of anger or fear inside Switzerland, “there should be courage, trust and solidarity”, Glaättli said, adding that with refugees and asylum seekers accounting for 0.6 and 0.2 per cent of the population respectively, the country had room to accommodate more people.
 
Among the protestors was a group of 130 people without any official status in Europe and who are currently walking from Brussels to Strasbourg to raise awareness of their situation. They had crossed over the Swiss border into Basel on Thursday.

Hot topic
Immigration and asylum are among the most controversial political topics in Switzerland. There were 22,551 asylum applications submitted in 2011 – up by about 45 per cent on that in 2010 and the highest figure since 2002.
 
On June 14, the House of Representatives voted to reduce welfare payments to a basic minimum for all asylum seekers even before their applications are considered by the authorities. An alliance of rightwing and centre-right parties also voted to restrict the right of people with official refugee status to invite family members to join them in Switzerland.
 
The decision came despite opposition from the centre-left and warnings by Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga that the measures went against the country’s humanitarian traditions.
 
The House also voted for the creation of special centres for asylum seekers who refuse to cooperate with the Swiss authorities or who are known troublemakers. A majority backed shortening deadlines for rejected asylum seekers to lodge legal appeals but to extend the waiting period for people with temporary refugee status hoping to apply for residence permits.
 
The bill now returns to the Senate to consider the latest amendments.

Source: swissinfo.ch and agencies

 
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