People taking up work experience places – providing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour –
face losing benefits if they quit.
Under the government’s work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury’s and a multitude of other big-name businesses.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers “express an interest” in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.
Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.
In three such cases jobseekers also claim they were not told about the week’s cooling-off period, and that once they showed a willingness to take part in the scheme they were told by their case manager they would be stripped of their £53- a-week jobseekers allowance (JSA) if they backed out.
The Guardian has also learned that lawyers are mounting a legal challenge to a separate work experience scheme known as mandatory work activity, which they argue represents a form of slavery under the Human Rights Act (HRA).
Cait Reilly, 22, is completing three weeks at Poundland, working five hours a day. Reilly, who graduated last year with a BSc in geology from Birmingham University, found herself with five other JSA claimants last week stacking and cleaning shelves at Poundland in south Birmingham.
She says there are about 15 other staff at the store but, unlike them, she will receive no remuneration for her work. “It seems we’re being used as some free labour, especially in the runup to Christmas.”
Reilly says she told her local jobcentre in King’s Heath, Birmingham, that she did not need the experience in the store as she had already done plenty of retail work.
Despite DWP rules, Reilly says she was told by the jobcentre that she would lose her benefits if she did not take the Poundland placement. The DWP says jobseekers should be told about the cooling-off period but was unable to comment on individual cases without being given personal details.”I was told [the work experience placement] was mandatory after I’d attended the [retail] open day,” she said.
She said she felt she had to do it because “without my JSA, I would literally have nothing”.
The work experience programme, which is separate from a multitude of other programmes designed to get people back into work, was advertised in January as voluntary after the time spent volunteering was increased from two to eight weeks.
However, the DWP has clarified that there is a clause which allows jobcentre case workers around the country to force unemployed people into placements. The DWP says that once people “express an interest”, including verbal consent, in doing work experience they will lose their JSA if they pull out after their first week into the placement.
One big superstore told the Guardian it thought the entire scheme was voluntary and that people could pull out whenever they wanted without fear of penalty.
Under the scheme, there is no guarantee of a job, only an interview. Multiple jobseekers can work in one store at the same time, cleaning or stacking shelves and competing against each other for a potential offer of paid work.
The DWP has no overall figure for the numbers involved, so it is not known how many hundreds or thousands of young people are working without pay for months.
But including similar schemes such as mandatory work activity, sector-based work academies and the work programme, which is mainly run by private companies, the government expects hundreds of thousands of young people to do weeks of unpaid and forced work experience for big companies.
Figures released on Wednesday 16th November 2011 reveal that youth unemployment stands at 1.016 million.
The Silver Bear Cafe – July 21st 2011. Find Article Here:-
The first ever GAO(Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke(pictured to the right), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.
What was revealed in the audit was startling:
$16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious – the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.
To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.
In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.
“This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” – Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.
Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses will eventually plunder the world economy.
The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows..
Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places
View the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve(July 21st, 2011): http://www.scribd.com/doc/60553686/GAO-Fed-Investigation
FULL PDF on GAO server: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11696.pdf
Senator Sander’s Article: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3
Americium-241 and Plutonium detected in ALL soil samples off Fukushima coast — Tepco says NOT caused by meltdowns.
Press Release (Nov 15,2011)
We had been studying to implement sampling surveys on the ocean soil, completed preparations and conducted the surveys on April 29, 2011. (Previously announced on May 3, 2011)
We conducted analysis for americium as well as curium because plutonium and uranium were detected from the ocean soil* sampled on September 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 25. As a result, Americium 241 was detected as shown in the appendix.
Today, we reported the results to NISA and the government of Fukushima Prefecture.
We will continuously conduct the same sampling surveys.
*The results of nuclide analysis for 3 major nuclides (I-131, Cs-134, Cs-137) were previously announced on September 9, 10, 13, 14, 16 and 26.
Detected Am-241 cannot be judged to be caused by the nuclear accident of this time for reasons below.
- Detected Pu-239 and 240 are within the range of past (FY1999 to FY 2008) analysis in the sea around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station.
- Detected U-234, U-235 and U-238 are evaluated to be as same level as those exist in the natural environment
- Cm-242, Cm-243 and Cm-244, the nuclides that do not naturally exist, are not detected.
By Barbara H. Peterson November 23rd 2011. Find Full Article Here:-
To rewrite history, one begins by eliminating generational knowledge. One way this is accomplished is through economics and social engineering, which combine to force people to struggle to simply survive, isolating individuals so that they are alone, desperate and vulnerable. Families working together as cohesive units are anathema to what appears to be a concerted effort to destroy what we have and rewrite our very existence. But what can we do? How can we reverse this trend and bring history back into focus, denying the falsehood that is being thrust upon us by those who choose world dominance over humanity?
Generational knowledge is passed from one person to another. From one generation to another. It comes from a father teaching a child how to plant seeds and help them grow. It comes from a mother baking bread every day and teaching her daughter or son how to do the same thing – when to put the ingredients in, how long to wait before kneading, how to get the crust soft after baking, and all the things that you just cannot learn from a book. Generational knowledge! This is what is being stolen right out from under our noses. This is our children’s inheritance that they will never get. We are quite literally aiding those who would rewrite history to set up our own demise. We are letting those whose only motives are profit and power steal our collective generational knowledge that is the single most precious thing that we have on this earth. This knowledge lets us know what to do with flour, salt, yeast, water, and sugar to somehow form a loaf of edible bread, or how to collect eggs from laying hens without causing stress, or how to raise healthy animals without hormones or vaccines, or antibiotics.
We used to pass down generational knowledge from parents to children as a family heritage. This is priceless information about cooking, morals, honesty, business dealings, growing food, and whatever else you needed to know to not only survive, but thrive. Instead, the generational knowledge that we pass down today is how to microwave a dinner from the frozen food section of Wal-Mart, get the cheapest gas, and choose the best hair color before we rush off to labor for worthless pieces of paper printed by the Federal Reserve, designed to perpetuate endless debt. Hardly what we need to know to survive. At least not in a post collapse society.
Weapons and fighters sent to support overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
Paul Joseph Watson Monday, November 28th, 2011. Find Full Article Here:-
The same Al-Qaeda terrorists who fought U.S. troops in Iraq and helped NATO overthrow Colonel Gaddafi are now being airlifted into Syria to aid rebels there topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Libya’s transitional ruling authority has agreed to send weapons and fighters over to Syria to help the Free Syrian Army fight government forces.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” a Libyan source told the London Telegraph, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
In a separate piece, the Telegraph also reports that terrorist commander Abdulhakim Belhadj, now head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” after being sent there by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the interim Libyan president.
A rival Libyan rebel brigade detained Belhadj at Tripoli airport for traveling on a fake passport and threatened to jail him before Jalil stepped in to intervene.
“Members of the Free Syrian Army on the borders of Lebanon and Turkey denied rumours circulating in Tripoli that “hundreds” of Libyans had tried to cross into Syria,” states the article, amidst other reports that Libyans have already been detained trying to infiltrate the country from the Turkish border.
As we previously documented, Abdulhakim Belhadj is the former front man for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Belhadj was captured by the CIA in Malaysia in 2003 and extradited to Libya where Colonel Gaddafi had him imprisoned. Belhadj is a committed jihadist who fought with the Taliban against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi also admitted that Belhadj’s LIFG fighters were the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, responsible for killing U.S. troops.
A 2007 West Point report indicated that the Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk area of Libya is a world capital for Al-Qaeda or mujahideen suicide bomber recruitment. Author Webster Tarpley details this intelligence in his excellent analysis piece, The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq. The West Point report detailed how the LIFG and Al-Qaeda had formed an “increasingly co-operative relationship”.
Libyan rebels have gone on to impose a “reign of terror” across the country, throwing blacks in concentration camps while torturing and murdering thousands of others before imposing Sharia law. The official Al-Qaeda flag now flies high and proud above Libyan cities as armed gangs roam the streets.
November 26th 2011. Find Article Here:-
The Syrian crisis aassumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival United States and Russia naval air carrier armadas in Syrian waters, debkafile’s military sources report.
The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23, in the wake of the three Russian warships anchored earlier opposite Tartus which established a command post in the Syrian port. They will be augmented by Russia’s only air carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is due in mid-week.
By deploying 70 ship-borne fighter-bombers plus three heavy guided missile cruisers and five guided missile destroyers opposite Syria, Washington has laid down military support for any intervention the Arab League in conjunction with Turkey may decide on.
Bashar Assad can see for himself that Washington has hoisted a nuclear aerial umbrella to protect its allies, Israel, Turkey, and Jordan, against the retaliation his armed forces high command pledged Friday for the deaths of six Syrian air force elite pilots in an ambush Thursday.
For some time, Ankara has been weighing the creation of a protected haven for rebels and refugees inside Syria. France has proposed slicing “humanitarian corridors” through Syria for them to flee safely from military tank and gunfire and secure supply of food, medicines and other essential supplies to the cities under army siege.
Both plans would depend on being safeguarded by substantial ground and air strength inside Syria which would certainly face fierce resistance from Assad’s military.
The Arab League has scheduled weekend meetings to decide how to proceed after Damascus ignored its Friday deadline for accepting hundreds of monitors. Saturday, Nov. 26, AL finance ministers will discuss economic sanctions. In the past 48 hours, at least 70 people were reported killed as the Syrian army continued its crackdown in the face of spreading armed opposition.
The Russian Kuznetzov carrier and its accompanying strike vessels will join the three Russian warships parked opposite Tartus for more than a week. It will enter the same Syrian offshore waters as the USS Bush and the US Sixth Fleet, which is permanently posted in the Mediterranean.
The Syrian crisis is therefore building up to a superpower face-off unparalleled since the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union ended in the nineties, debkafile’s military sources note.
While Washington clearly stands ready to back operations against the Assad regime, Moscow is drawing a red line around his presidential palace in Damascus. The Kremlin is warning the US, NATO and the Arab League that they will not be allowed to repeat their feat in Libya of overthrowing Muammar Qaddafi against Assad.
In the face of this escalating big power standoff and the high possibility of the Syrian ruler deciding to lash out against his country’s neighbors, the Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish armies have declared a high state of war preparedness.