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Archive for April 3, 2011

Gulf spill company Transocean Ltd. hands out safety bonuses

Company whose rig caused biggest oil spill in US history rewards executives for “best year in safety performance”.
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2011 Article and Video Here:-
Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded off the Gulf of Mexico last year, has given its top executives bonuses for achieving the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history”, despite the blast that killed 11 people and spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the ocean.  Transocean noted “the tragic loss of life” in the Gulf when the rig operated by BP PLC exploded last April. But it said the company still had an “exemplary” safety record because it met or exceeded certain internal safety targets concerning the frequency and severity of its accidents, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. 

Safety accounts for a quarter of the executives’ total cash bonuses. The total bonus for CEO Steve Newman last year was $374,062.

The company said in a regulatory filing that its most senior managers were given two thirds of their total possible safety bonus.

The company said its bonuses were appropriate as a way to recognise its executives’ efforts in “significantly improving the company’s safety record” and implementing a new internal planning system.

Those efforts have “enabled the company to maintain its financial flexibility during a challenging period, while, at the same time, positioning the company for sustained growth in the future.”

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera has learned that a recent survey carried out in southern Louisiana, one of the worst affected areas, found a high number of people who say they are getting ill more often and their sickness is consistent with chemical exposure.

The massive oil spill sent dangerous compounds into the ocean; one of them was benzene which can cause cancer, as well as a chemical dispersant that was added to the oil to break it up.

Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and set off the largest offshore oil spill in US history.

A commission appointed by Barack Obama, the US president, earlier this year said the explosion was caused by a series of time and money-saving decisions by Transocean, BP and oil services company Halliburton Inc. that created an unacceptable amount of risk.

Categories: News of the moment

Japan’s Earthquake – Natural Or Engineered?

By Stephen Lendman
31st March 2011 Full Article Here:-

On March 29, London Guardian writer Ian Sample headlined, “Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor,” saying:  “The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel (onto) a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.” It’s already major and increasing.

According to Richard Lahey, former GE boiling-water reactors head of safety research:
“The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell. I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards.”

“The reason we are concerned is that they are detecting water outside the containment area that is highly radioactive and it can only have come from the reactor core.” Lahey added that it won’t be as bad as Chernobyl. In fact, it’s multiples worse from:
— increasing radiation releases, including deadly plutonium;
— spreading them catastrophically across the entire Northern Hemisphere, especially over wide parts of Japan;
— causing permanent contamination; and
— potentially killing millions from deadly cancers.

According to Dr. Tom Burnett:
“Fukushima is going to dwarf Chernobyl. (Its) reactions are getting worse. I suspect three nuclear piles are in meltdown….When the molten mass (reaches) the water table, (it) will explode (releasing) more radioactive particulate matter. The concrete will melt and the problem will get worse.”
It’ll continue for months. The only solution is bad; namely, “detonat(ing) a 10 kiloton fission device inside each reactor containment vessel and hope to vaporize the cores.”
Nuclear core meltdowns are self-sustaining. Only halting the reaction can stop them. That “require(s) a nuclear weapon….in each containment vessel….(b)ut it will be messy.”

America “Carried Out a Second Nuclear Attack on Japan”
Noted Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza believes that the March 11 disaster was artificially caused by America’s X-37B spaceplane. In his article titled, “The Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami – Natural or Artificial?” he argued that Washington caused numerous disasters, including Pakistan’s 2005 quake, the country’s 2010 floods, the 2004 Indian Ocean quake/tsunami, and 2011 Japanese calamity, possibly by HAARP technology.

Specifically he said:  “Whenever the US Spaceplane X-37B is sent Into space, a natural disaster occurs somewhere in the world. He gave examples, including Pakistan devastated by monsoon-triggering floods.

– America’s “objectives are to continue its domination of the world, and not let another power or group of powers challenge its domination. Japan may have been targeted for collaborating with “other countries to replace the US dollar with a new currency for international trading.” According to a Nibira TV report, former Japanese finance minister Heizo Talaneka “was warned to hand over the Japanese financial system to (America or be) attacked by an earthquake.

– “Today, ‘rulers (especially in America) are coming to the forefront and, using science, are causing earthquakes, tsunamis, weather alterations, changes in airplanes’ routes, plane crashes, and floods.”
The Pentagon’s Alaska-based transmitter ability to send three billion watts of electromagnetic waves at a frequency of 2.5 – 10 megahertz can cause all of the above destruction and more.

Geoscientist Leuren Moret believes a HAARP-aerosol/chemtrails plasma weapon likely caused Japan’s disaster, citing:
— its intensity and characteristics; and
— using the Stuxnet virus (a Windows computer worm targeting industrial software and equipment) at Fukushima, causing malfunctions in cooling pumps and valves. “The trouble after the earthquake was that the pumps and valves and controllers malfunctioned so workers could not get (them) working. This just adds to the HAARP earthquake and much more evidence that it was a false flag HAARP event.”
Moreover, HAARP-created vortex clouds over San Francisco on March 18 triggered heavy irradiated rain over the Bay area.
Moret also explained calculations she made, saying spent fuel rods stored in cooling ponds above each of six reactors are releasing the equivalent of “92,000 nuclear bombs. Each unit has 400 assemblies of spent fuel rods, with 60….for each assembly. Each individual rod holds 72 pounds of uranium (compared to) a 20-pound” nuclear bomb payload.
She believes enormous amounts of radiation are now being released into the troposphere, traveling below 300 feet over Japan and America, heading east. As a result, air, earth, water, food and humans are being contaminated with deadly radiation. Downplaying the hazard is scandalous.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.  http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

590ft controversial ‘Triangle’ tower to be built in Paris

Paris town council has given the green light to a controversial “Triangle” tower rising 590ft above Paris which critics say is an “attack on the beauty of the French capital”.

A computer generated image of how the

A computer generated image of how the “Triangle” tower will look
By Henry Samuel, Paris 3:55PM BST 31 Mar 2011    Full Article Here:-

The 40-storey steel and glass building will be the first skyscraper to be built inside the French capital in more than 30 years and will cost 535m euros (£472 million)

The privately financed building, scheduled for completion by 2017, will overlook Paris from its southwestern extremity at the porte de Versailles, already home to a vast exhibition centre.

It will include mainly offices, a conference hall, panoramic restaurants and ground-floor shops, creating 5,000 jobs according to local authorities.

Earlier plans to include a hotel, swimming pool and museum have been scrapped.

But while Paris’s cross-party council this week approved a protocol agreement for the tower, Greens and defenders of Paris’ heritage fiercely oppose it.

Noam Chomsky: On Libya and the Unfolding Crises

 

Thursday, 31 March 2011 21:21

In recent weeks, for example, there was no reaction when the Saudi dictatorship used massive force to prevent any sign of protest.

Z Net March 31, 2011

An interview with Noam Chomsky by Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert.

Interview Here:-

Categories: News of the moment

The war on welfare scroungers, part 94.

Posted by Mehdi Hasan – 02 April 2011 12:37    Full Article Here:-

Jobcentres ‘tricking’ people out of benefits to cut costs, says whistleblower.

He says he will watch the banks “like a hawk” but allows bankers to walk away with taxpayer-funded, multimillion-pound bonuses. He says he cares about the poor, but cracks down on welfare claimants. Such is our prime minister, David Cameron, the “compassionate Conservative”.

In Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Cameron said:

Far too much in our system is lost from fraud and error and I do not think that taxpayers go to work, and work hard, in order to fund benefits to which people are not entitled.

Yet, as I noted on Twitter at the time, tax evasion costs the UK exchequer more than fifteen times as much as benefit fraud. Why do we not hear the PM condemning tax evasion with the same vigour and regularity with which he raises the subject of benefit fraud? Instead, Cameron kicked off PMQs by condemning and defaming the anti-tax-evasion group, UKUncut.

Mehdi Hasan’s polemical take on politics, economics and foreign affairs

Categories: News of the moment

Chinese police detain artist Ai Weiwei

Officials stopped outspoken artist at Beijing airport this morning and police have surrounded studio.

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 3 April 2011       Full Article Here:-

Tania Branigan and Jonathan Watts in Beijing

China‘s best-known artist Ai Weiwei has been detained at Beijing airport this morning and police have surrounded his studio in the capital.

The 53-year-old, who designed the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium, has been an outspoken critic of the government. Although he has previously experienced harassment by officials, he appeared to be relatively protected by the status of his late father, a renowned poet, and his high international profile; last year, he created the Sunflower Seeds installation for Tate Modern.

His detention comes amid a wider crackdown on activists and dissidents, which human rights campaigners describe as the worst in over a decade. At least 23 people have been detained, mostly in relation to incitement to subversion or creating a disturbance. Three more have been formally arrested and more than a dozen are missing, including high profile human rights lawyers.

Ai was due to fly to Hong Kong for business this morning, but was detained at immigration on his way out of Beijing. An officer told an assistant who was travelling with him that the artist had “other business” and could not board the plane.

Between 15 and 20 uniformed and plain clothes police surrounded his studio in Caochangdi, in the north of the capital, and more were believed to be searching it. Power to the neighbourhood was cut off.

Men who appeared to be plainclothes police grabbed the phone of a Guardian journalist who took a photograph of the scene and deleted the image. A uniformed officer told the reporter: “You are not allowed to be on this street. You must leave.”

Nato’s Fascist War

By Fidel Castro
Article Here:-
April 01, 2011 “Cuba” March 28, 2011 — — You didn’t have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great detail in three Reflection Articles I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “The NATO Plan Is to Occupy Libya,” “The Cynical Danse Macabre,” and “NATO’s Inevitable War.”

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days.

Almost 75 years to the day have passed since then, but nothing that has happened over the last 75 centuries, or even 75 millenniums of human life on our planet can compare.

Sometimes it seems that those of us who serenely voice our opinions on these issues are exaggerating. I dare say that we have actually been naive to assume that we all should be aware of the deception or colossal ignorance that humanity has been dragged into.

In 1936 there was an intense clash between two systems and ideologies of more or less equal military power.

The arms back then seemed more like toys compared with today’s weapons. Humanity’s survival was not threatened despite the destructive power and the locally lethal force deployed. Entire cities and even nations could have been virtually destroyed. But never was the human race, in its totality, at risk of being exterminated several times over for the stupid and suicidal power developed by modern science and technology.

With these current realities in mind, it is embarrassing to read the continuous news reports on the use of powerful laser-guided rockets with 100% accuracy, fighter-bombers that go twice the speed of light, potent explosives that blow apart uranium-hardened metals that have an everlasting effect on the inhabitants and their descendants.

Cuba stated its position regarding the internal situation in Libya at the meeting in Geneva. Without hesitating, Cuba defended the idea of a political solution to the conflict in Libya and was categorically opposed to any foreign military intervention.

In a world where the alliance between the United States and the developed capitalist powers of Europe increasingly take hold of the people’s resources and fruits of their labor, any honest citizen, whatever their standpoint to the government, would be opposed to a foreign military intervention in their country.

But most absurd about the current situation is the fact that before the brutal war broke out in Northern Africa, in another region of the world, nearly 10 000 kilometers away, a nuclear accident had occurred in one of the most populated areas of the world following a tsunami caused by a 9.0 earthquake, which has already cost a hard-working nation like Japan nearly 30 000 lives. Such accident would have not occurred 75 years before.

In Haiti, a poor and underdeveloped country, a nearly 7.0 quake according to the Richter scale, caused over 300 000 deaths, countless people wounded and hundreds of thousands harmed.

However, what was terribly tragic in Japan was the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, whose consequences are still to be assessed.

I will only recall some of the main stories published by the news agencies:

ANSA.- Fukushima 1 nuclear plant is releasing “extremely high and potentially lethal radiations,” said Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US nuclear entity.

EFE.- The nuclear threat stemming from the serious situation at a Japanese plant, following the earthquake, has triggered security revisions in atomic plants around the world and has made some countries paralyze their plans.

Reuters.- Japan’s devastating earthquake and deepening nuclear crisis could result in losses of up to $200 billion for Japanese economy, but the global impact remains hard to gauge.

EFE.- The deterioration of one reactor after another at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear center continued to feed fears of a pending nuclear disaster as desperate attempts to control a radioactive leak did nothing to provide even a glimmer of hope.

AFP.- Japan´s Emperor Akihito expressed concern about the unpredictable character of the nuclear crisis hitting Japan following the quake and tsunami that killed thousands of people and left 500 000 homeless. New quake reported in the Tokyo area.

There are reports talking about even more concerning issues.

Some refer to the presence of toxic radioactive iodine in Tokyo’s drinking water, which doubles the tolerable amount that can be consumed by the smallest children in the Japanese capital. One of these reports says that the stocks of bottled water are shrinking in Tokyo, a city located in a prefecture at more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima.

This series of circumstances poses a dramatic situation on our world.

I can express freely my views on the war in Libya.

I do not share political or religious views with the leader of that country. I am a Marxist-Leninist and a follower of Marti, as I have already said.

I see Libya as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a sovereign State of the nearly 200 members of the United Nations.

Never, a large or small country, in this case with only 5 million inhabitants, was the victim of such a brutal attack by the air force of a militaristic organization with thousands of fighter-bombers, more than 100 submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, and sufficient arsenal to destroy the planet many times over. Our species had never encountered this situation and there had been nothing similar 75 years ago, when the Nazi bombers attacked targets in Spain.

Now, however, the criminal and discredited NATO will write a “beautiful” little story about its “humanitarian” bombing.

If Gaddafi honors the traditions of his people and decides to fight to the last breath, as he has promised, together with the Libyans who are facing the worst bombing a country has ever suffered, NATO and its criminal projects will sink into the mire of shame.

The people respect and believe in men who fulfill their duty.

More than 50 years ago, when the United States killed more than a hundred Cubans with the explosion of merchant ship “La Coubre” our people proclaimed “Patria o Muerte.” (Homeland or Death). They have fulfilled this, and have always been determined to keep their word.

“Anyone who tries to seize Cuba,” said the most glorious fighter in our history-“will only gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood.”

I beg you to excuse the frankness with which I address the issue.

Fidel Castro Ruz – 28 March 2011

Categories: News of the moment

Obama Receives Transparency Award at Secret Meeting

Written by Raven Clabough
Thursday, 31 March 2011 14:51

On Monday President Obama received an award for transparency, which ironically was given to him during a closed, unannounced meeting. Bestowed upon the President from a group of transparency advocates, the ceremony took place in secret, even though — as of two weeks ago — it was supposed to be open to the press. According to Politico, the meeting was “inexplicably postponed” and rescheduled without notice for Monday “without disclosing the meeting on [the President's] public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.”

Those present at the ceremony, which took place in the Oval Office, included Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalgish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org.

Gary Bass commented:

Our understanding going into the meeting was that it would have a pool photographer and a print reporter, and it turned out to be a private meeting.” He adds, “He was so on point, so on target in the conversation with us, it is baffling why he would not want that message to be more broadly heard by reporters and the public interest community and the public generally.

Full Article Here:-

Categories: News of the moment

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal

THE ROVING EYE
By Pepe Escobar       April 2nd 2011      Full Article Here:-

To follow Pepe’s articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a “yes” vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya – the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, “This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner.”

As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to “seduce” three other members to get the vote.

Translation: only nine out of 22 members of the Arab League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was essentially a House of Saud-led operation, with Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa keen to polish his CV with Washington with an eye to become the next Egyptian President.

Thus, in the beginning, there was the great 2011 Arab revolt. Then, inexorably, came the US-Saudi counter-revolution.

Categories: News of the moment
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