Iceland’s Government Just Collapsed Amid A Pedophilia Scandal


Meanwhile, Brexit is destabilizing the region, Donald Trump is rattling NATO and China is flexing its muscles.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland ― Iceland’s government has collapsed amid uproar over Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s father helping expunge the criminal record of a convicted child rapist.

The centrist Bright Future party dropped out of the three-party, conservative coalition, eliminating its one-seat parliamentary majority. Benediktsson called a snap election on Friday as protesters gathered near the parliament building in this city’s posh downtown area.

“We have lost the majority, and I don’t see anything that indicates we can regain that,” Benediktsson said Friday at a press conference. “I am calling an election.”

The party blamed Benediktsson for failing to inform the government that his father wrote a letter recommending a pardon for Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson. Hauksson was convicted in 2004 of raping his stepdaughter almost daily for 12 years, starting when she was 5 years old. He served nearly six years in prison, but was granted “restored honor” last August ― a legal status encoded in old Icelandic law that allows criminals who receive three letters of recommendation speaking to their good character to have their records wiped clean and go on to serve in public office or work as an attorney.

Hauksson’s victim described the pardon as “surreal” and said he continues to harass her in text messages and phone calls, according to The Reykjavík Grapevine, an English-language newspaper in Iceland.

Benediktsson said elections would take place in November. Despite the scandal, he could return to power.

Asgeir Asgeirsson / Reuters
Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson arrives at the presidential residence in Bessastadir, Iceland, on Saturday. 

The Independence Party leader refused to step down as the nation’s finance minister after his name appeared in the Panama Papers last year, despite 60 percent of Icelanders calling for his departure. The leaked cache of financial documents showed he once owned part of an offshore investment firm in the Seychelles. Then-Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned two days after reporters began publishing the documents, as an estimated 6.6 percent of Iceland’s population took to the streets in protest.

The tree-lined square near the parliament building was quiet on Saturday night, as well-heeled tourists dined at the neighborhood’s trendy restaurants and drank in its pubs.

Yet the disintegration of the coalition ― which had been in power for just nine months ― comes at a particularly sensitive time for the island nation of less than 335,000 people.

“Iceland needs to remain a functioning country despite the crisis at election time,” Damien Degeorges, a Reykjavik-based international consultant, told HuffPost on Saturday evening. “There’s no room for putting things on hold because you’re waiting on a new government.”

The head of the legislature, called the Alþingi, canceled a budget debate Friday after the government disbanded, and no other sessions were listed on its official website. Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a parliamentarian from the anarchist Pirate Party, told HuffPost on Sunday that she was fighting to convene lawmakers at least one more time before the legislative session officially ended.

“The parliament is supposed to be a safety valve in regard to the executive branch,” she said in a phone interview, during which she jokingly derided Benediktsson as the “crime minister.”

“We still have pending bills and resolutions that need to be ratified,” she added. “It’s time-sensitive stuff.”

Top party officials are scheduled to meet Monday morning to discuss plans to move forward, she said. Alþingi President Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir did not immediately respond to a call and email requesting comment on Sunday.

Iceland emerged from a deep financial crisis in 2011 to a tourism-fueled economic boom. The country is set to welcome a record 2.3 million visitors this year, a 30 percent surge from 2016. The economy expanded 7.2 percent last year. In March, the government lifted capital controls put in place nine years ago after three banks failed and sent the country spiraling into its great recession. Cranes dot the skyline, a sign of rapid housing construction.

But Iceland’s recovery, hailed by some as a miracle, has made it a critical player in the drama over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The United Kingdom was Iceland’s second-largest trading partner in 2015, buying $611 million of the country’s roughly $5.4 billion in exports. Iceland is not a member of the EU, but it participates in the European Free Trade Association alongside Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Icelandic Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Thór Thórðarson extended an olive branch to the British during an interview on BBC Radio 4 earlier this month. The British risk being penalized by France and Germany in Brexit negotiations.

“Everyone wants to make a free-trade deal with Britain,” he said. “You are the fifth-largest economy in the world. Everyone wants to sell you goods and services. It’s as simple as that.”

Without a stable government in Iceland, British Prime Minister Theresa May appears even more alone. Her political mandate shattered after the Labour Party’s surprise surge in the election.

“Iceland needs to be functioning well for this period,” Degeorges said.

Despite its size, Iceland has long played an outsize role in international affairs. It hosted the famed 1986 summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union premier Mikhail Gorbachev that marked the beginning of the Cold War’s end.

The country also looked to confirm its status as an arbiter between the U.S. and Russia earlier this year, when officials in Washington and the Kremlin considered it as a venue for a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The summit never took place, but the talks underscored the strategic importance of a country that has no military and therefore depends on NATO for its defenses. Trump has repeatedly threatened NATO allies for not paying enough for their defenses and made unprecedented suggestions that he would not honor long-standing security pacts.

Iceland has long courted superpowers. In 2013, it became the first European country to sign a free-trade agreement with China. The accord came as China ramps up its ambitions in the Arctic. Last year, Beijing took a nearly 10 percent stake in a Russian natural gas project, amounting to a $1.2 billion investment from its $40 billion Silk Road Fund. China has yet to expand into Nordic countries, but in March, two top Icelandic executives wrote an op-ed in The Diplomat proposing Beijing as a natural partner to build up infrastructure in the region.

Iceland seems keen to hold China at a comfortable distance. Earlier this month, the ruling coalition moved to tighten rules limiting foreign ownership of Icelandic land. The decision appeared to be aimed at blocking an unidentified Chinese investor from buying a nearly 5-square-mile plot of land to build a resort in the island’s touristy Golden Circle, according to Bloomberg.

But, at least for now, those have become a distant worry.

“Violence against women is a direct threat to the democratic participation of women, and therefore a direct threat to Icelandic democracy,” The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association wrote in a statement following the government’s collapse. “How can we build an equal and progressive society, when we still can’t guarantee the safety of all our citizens?”

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/iceland-government-collapse_us_59bddeb2e4b02da0e1427d63

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The House Just Stripped Medical Marijuana States Of Protection From The DEA


Note: I’d have more to say on Attorney General Granny Clampets latest move to ignore the non-consent of the governed to repeal medical marijuana protections; but, as my grandmother always said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nything at all. Hopefully the Senate will stop that wretched Granny in her tracks…

Seriously, what good is this man as AG when the Clintons. Podesta and Bush’s still run free. Banker’s are still stealing peoples homes. And where are all the mass arrests for high profile pedophiles? Sessions is nothing but a prison for profit WHORE, another Swamp Monster who could care less about the wishes of American’s whose taxes fund his paychecks…

Oopss…that wasn’t very nice was it – sorry Grandma!

States that have legalized medical marijuana could soon get an unwanted visit from the DEA. Yesterday, Congress stunned the cannabis industry by rejecting the only legal protection preventing Attorney General Jeff “good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions from cracking down on those 30 states for violating federal cannabis prohibition.

Back in 2014, lawmakers passed an amendment to the federal budget to protect state-legalized medical marijuana industries and the patients they serve. The amendment prevented the DEA from spending a single penny on enforcing cannabis prohibition in those states. It didn’t overturn federal cannabis prohibition or legalize medical marijuana, but it did tie the Department of Justice’s hands by freezing their finances.

At the time, medical marijuana was legal in 21 states, a number that has grown to 30 since then. But they could all be shuttered soon because that amendment — which has to be renewed with every budget — was rejected yesterday by the House Rules Committee. That means the House can’t include the rider in their final version of the federal budget.

If the budget passes without that rider, budtenders, dispensary owners, doctors recommending cannabis and even medical marijuana patients could face prosecution for their involvement in the industry. And not just for what they’re doing right now. They could be charged with offences dating back to when they got involved in the state’s cannabis industry.

And Attorney General Sessions might do just that since he’s been itching to crackdown on those states. Since taking office, Sessions has ramped up anti-marijuana rhetoric in America. And last May, he asked Congress to drop the amendment so that he could unleash the DEA on medical marijuana states if he saw fit. His request was denied in July by the Senate Appropriations Committee, but it seems like his message resonated in the House.

The fight for the marijuana amendment isn’t over yet though. The budget has yet to reach the Senate, where the rider could be re-inserted with support from Senators Cory Booker (D – NJ), Mike Lee (R – UT), Lisa Murkowski (R – AK), Rand Paul (R – KY), Bernie Sanders (D – VT) and others.

But even if it does get reinserted and passed, the amendment only buys patients, doctors and businesses a small window of relief before they have to start looking over their shoulders for DEA helicopters again. The reality is that the industry won’t be safe until Congress listens to the 94 percent of Americans who support medical marijuana and changes the country’s criminally outdated cannabis laws.

 

https://www.civilized.life/articles/medical-marijuana-states-stripped-dea-protection/

Ohio Reporter Shot Without Warning For Photographing Routine Traffic Stop


In one of the more bizarre stories to hit national news this week, an Ohio sheriff’s deputy is under investigation for shooting a local reporter who innocently set up a camera and tripod on a public sidewalk to document a routine traffic stop. What’s more is the shooting took place in a small town where “everyone knows everybody” and the police officer and victim were actually friends.

Ohio based New Carlisle News reports that its own photographer was shot in the incident which occurred Monday night:

Andy Grimm was shot by a Clark County deputy Monday evening. Andy had left the office around 10:00 p.m. to take pictures of lightning. There was a traffic stop on Main Street near Studebaker’s Restaurant, but Andy was not the subject of the stop. He had his camera and tripod in his hands and Deputy Jake Shaw apparently mistook it for a weapon and fired, striking Andy in the side. He was rushed to Miami Valley Hospital for surgery. He is expected to recover from his wounds.


Image source: New Carlisle News

Body camera video released by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office shows Deputy Jake Shaw shoot Grimm. The shooting sequence begins at 3:20 in as the officer is checking info inside the police car on speeder he pulls over.

In an unexpected twist, the wounded cameraman is now pleading for the officer to keep his job. Grimm told local reporters, “I know Jake. I like Jake. I don’t want him to lose his job over this,” in reference to the sheriff’s deputy that shot him.

The victim’s father, Dale Grimm, told The Washington Post that his son “got out, parked under a light in plain view of the deputy, with a press pass around his neck. He was setting up his camera, and he heard pops.” Sheriff’s deputy Jake Shaw reportedly gave no warning before firing.

The case has been turned over to the the Ohio state attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Division. While it’s entirely possible that there’s much more here than what’s being reported – for example, there could have been some kind of personal dispute between the friends – the strange incident is part of a growing list of “shoot first, ask questions later” incidents which display an increasingly militarized and trigger-happy mentality by local and state police.

As we reported last week in The Alarming Militarization of American Police, it is deeply disturbing that the federal government currently seeks to pass on military hardware to local and state authorities which continue to display lack of judgement as well as over the top tactics while dealing with routine local civilian matters. Local police forces should never operate like the Pentagon, but it appears we’re headed down precisely that path:

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order clearing the way for local police in America to receive military gear such as grenade launchers, high-calibre weapons, and armored vehicles. Trump and the DOJ have just reversed former President Barack Obama’s restrictions that allows local police departments to receive surplus military equipment.

…Let’s not kid ourselves, America by the day is turning into a police state where power through police force is the objective. The citizens of the police state may experience restrictions on social or financial mobility, or even on their freedom to express or communicate alternative political views.

No, the sheriff’s deputy who possibly mistook a simple camera and tripod on a small-town street for a mounted assault rifle should not keep his job – he is an absolute danger to society. But could we imagine if such police made regular use of mounted 50-caliber machine guns and grenade launchers?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-06/ohio-reporter-shot-without-warning-photographing-routine-traffic-stop

Arkema Explosions – Plume may increase Evac Zone…Texas Republicans Helped Chemical Plant That Exploded Lobby Against Safety Rules 8/31/17


Texas Republicans Helped Chemical Plant That Exploded Lobby Against Safety Rules

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UPDATE at 4:13pm ET: Arkema originally reported that there were two explosions at its Crosby facility. Law enforcement authorities have since said that there were no explosions. The company’s CEO has said that there is “noxious” smoke coming from the facility. This story will continue to be updated to reflect the ongoing situation.

The French company that says its Houston-area chemical plant is spewing “noxious” smoke and may explode successfully pressed federal regulators to delay new regulations designed to improve safety procedures at chemical plants, according to federal records reviewed by International Business Times. The rules, which were set to go into effect this year, were halted by the Trump administration after a furious lobbying campaign by plant owner Arkema and its affiliated trade association, the American Chemistry Council, which represents a chemical industry that has poured tens of millions of dollars into federal elections.

The effort to stop the chemical plant safety rules was backed by top Texas Republican lawmakers, who have received big campaign donations from chemical industry donors.

Representatives from Arkema Americas and the American Chemistry Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 2013, a West, Texas, chemical plant explosion killed 15 people, prompting the Obama administration to try to raise chemical plant safety standards (investigators later found the explosion was caused deliberately). In an executive order that year, President Obama proposed an overhaul of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program with the goal of increasing safety and transparency at chemical plants by strengthening existing regulations. The EPA said the enhanced rules would “seek to improve chemical process safety, assist local emergency authorities in planning for and responding to accidents, and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated source.”

Arkema has six production plants in Texas and has received more than $8.7 million worth of taxpayer subsidies from the state. Arkema’s Crosby plant — which OSHA fined more than $90,000 for ten “serious” violations earlier this year and has spewedsmoke in Crosby — appears to be covered under the existing EPA rules because of the kinds of chemicals it uses. While Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has given chemical companies legal cover to hide the locations of their EPA-regulated chemicals, the Associated Press reports that the imperiled Arkema facility houses large amounts of toxic sulfur dioxide and flammable methylpropen, which required Arkema to submit a risk management plan to the agency —  and which would have subjected the company to the strengthened safety rules.

However, those rules — which would have taken effect on March 14 — were blocked by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. The move was a big win for the chemical industry that has spent more than $100 million supporting federal lawmakers since 2008. Among those who have received more than $100,000 from the industry are powerful Texas lawmakers including Sen. John Cornyn (R), Rep. Joe Barton (R), Rep. Pete Olson (R), Rep. Gene Green (D), Rep. Pete Sessions (R) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R).

“Will Likely Add Significant New Costs”

Documents reviewed by IBT show that Pruitt’s announcement followed a lobbying campaign by Arkema and its colleagues in the chemical industry.

In May of 2016, Arkema sent a letter to the EPA criticizing the proposed rule. One part of the letter said the rule’s requirement of independent risk management audits “will likely add significant new costs and burdens to the corporate audit process.” The company also took issue with the rule’s “Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis” (STAA) requirements.

Those provisions would have required that companies consider using “inherently safer technology” that would encourage companies to “substitute less hazardous substances” and encourage firms to “simplify covered processes in order to make accidental releases less likely or the impacts of such releases less severe.”

“The additional requirement for STAA would be burdensome because there is no consensus methodology, definitions or standards for STAA,” the company told the agency. “Knowledge of ‘inherently safer technologies’ can vary greatly depending on the process being examined and the knowledge and expertise of the team performing the analysis. As a result, implementation of STAA would likely be inconsistent across companies.”

Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Arkema specifically lobbied on the chemical safety rules. In the first quarter of 2017, as the Trump administration was reviewing the rule, federal records show the company was lobbying on “EPA chemical regulations, including Significant New Use Rules and the Significant New Alternatives Policy program and EPA Risk Management Program regulations.” The records show the company directly lobbied the EPA and the White House on the issue. In the second quarter, federal records show Arkema lobbying the EPA and the National Economic Council on “EPA risk management program regulations.”

Of Arkema’s six production plants in Texas, five, including the Crosby plant, are near the coast and in the Houston area, raising the prospect of additional explosions due to flooding. The town of Beaumont, where there is a taxpayer-subsidized Arkema plant, has experienced severe flooding. Another plant is located in Houston, and two more, in nearby Pasadena, sit right on the Trinity Bay; one of these plants took in nearly $5 million in subsidies.

Arkema Push To Stop Rules Gets Boost From Its Lobbying Group & From Texas Republicans

In its letter to the EPA, Arkema noted that it is a member of the American Chemistry Council — a powerful lobbying group that has delivered $1.6 million of campaign donations to federal lawmakers since 2010. That Arkema-backed group helped spearhead the effort to block the EPA’s chemical plant safety rule. In January, the council was one of 21 groups that sent a letter to congressional leaders asserting that the new rule’s costs were not worth the alleged safety benefits.

“The lack of identifiable and quantifiable benefits stands in stark contrast to the clear costs associated with this rule,” said the letter. “Whether it be the requirement of third-party auditor participation that will reduce the pool of qualified auditors, changing well-established audit procedures already designed to maximize safety effectiveness, or imposing ineffective requirements to consider ‘inherently safer technology/design,’ the final rule includes a litany of costly changes that have not been shown to increase safety.”

The push to persuade the Trump administration to block the chemical plant safety rules was bolstered by an American Chemistry Council-backed resolution introduced on February 1 by Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

Among the 65 co-sponsors of the measure to block the rules were 10 members of the Texas Congressional delegation, including five who represent Houston area districts: Brian Babin (TX-36), whose district encompasses Crosby, where the Arkema plant lies; Michael McCaul (R-10), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, whose district sits northwest of Houston; John Culberson (R-7), whose district covers part of Houston; Randy Weber (R-14), who represents a coastal district just outside of Houston; Blake Farenthold (R-27), a representative whose coastal district lies southwest of Houston. Other co-sponsors include Louie Gohmert (R-1), vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Lamar Smith (R-21), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology who has challenged climate science. Weber and Babin are also members of that committee.

The Texas lawmakers who sponsored Mullin’s bill to block the chemical plant safety regulations have received more than $652,000 from the chemical industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Federal contribution data show the American Chemistry Council specifically has delivered more than $160,000 to the entire Texas congressional delegation since 2008, with top recipients including Gene Green ($20,288), Olson ($18,999), McCaul, who co-sponsored the Mullin bill, ($13,500), Barton ($16,500) and Sen. Ted Cruz ($15,000). Babin and Weber, who also co-sponsored the bill, each received $3,000 from Arkema. The National Institute on Money In State Politics reports that the American Chemistry Council has given more to federal lawmakers in Texas than lawmakers in any other state.

In 2017, after Mullin bill was moving through Congress, the American Chemistry Council directly lobbied the EPA — along with the U.S. House and Senate, the Department of the Interior, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Agriculture — on the resolution on behalf of Arkema and its many other corporate sponsors. In a May 2017 letter to the EPA, the American Chemistry Council advocated that the implementation of the safety rule be delayed for “at least eighteen months” — until February 19, 2019, arguing that the current rule would be too expensive for its members such as Arkema to implement.

“The Final Rule raises significant security concerns and compliance issues that will harm ACC members and others in the regulated community,” the trade association wrote to the EPA. “Certain provisions, such as the requirement to audit ‘each covered process’ in a facility’s compliance audit, impose costly and burdensome obligations on facilities.”

 

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/texas-republicans-helped-chemical-plant-exploded-lobby-against-safety-rules

Campbell Soup Company Buys Organic Pacific Foods for $700 Million


Campbell's Buys Pacific Foods
image via Pacific Foods

The Campbell Soup Company announced last Thursday its $700 million acquisition of Oregon-based organic nondairy milk, broth, and soup company, Pacific Foods.

“Pacific Foods is an excellent fit with Campbell,” said company president and CEO Denise Morrison in a statement. “Culturally, Campbell and Pacific Foods share similar values and a commitment to a purpose-driven approach. Philosophically, both companies believe in making food that we are proud to serve at our own tables using simple, recognizable ingredients.”

Thirty-year-old Pacific Foods will continue to operate from its certified organic plant in Tualatin, Oregon, and company CEO and co-founder Chuck Eggert will remain on board as a supplier of key ingredients through his family farms.

“We’ve spent the past 30 years focused on making nourishing foods with an emphasis on simple, organic ingredients and authentic, rich flavors,” said Eggert. “Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldn’t do alone, reaching more people while increasing our impact on sustainable agriculture.”

Pacific Foods also produces shelf-stable plant-based beverages and meals like baked beans, hummus, and cooked chicken in stock.

Pacific Foods will mark Campbell’s fifth purchase in five years, which include organic baby-food maker Plum Organics, salsa and hummus producer Garden Fresh Gourmet, and smoothie producer Bolthouse Farms. Alongside the company’s commitment to phase artificial ingredients out of its soups by 2018, these purchases show that Campbell’s is attempting to align itself the current trend in a consumer demand for natural and organic products.

“The acquisition is a smart move for Campbell, which has struggled with lagging demand for its marquee condensed soups and disappointing revenues for its Fresh segment,” reports Food Dive; in Campbell’s last earnings report, sales from the Campbell Fresh division, which includes salad dressings and refrigerated soups, had fallen 6 percent to $248 million.

“Analysts have said that Campbell’s foray into fresh is a cautionary tale of a CPG company trying to apply its previous center store success to the very different world of the store’s perimeter,” continues Food Dive.

USA Today reports that the deal still needs approval from regulators before being finalized.

Related on Organic Authority
Campbell’s Will Pull BPA After Study Found the Toxic Chemical in All of Its Canned Soup
Campbell’s Soup Pledges to Drop Artificial Ingredients by 2018
Stock Up on Campbell’s Soup: The Company is Shifting its Focus Away from Cans

 

http://www.organicauthority.com/campbell-soup-company-buys-organic-pacific-foods-for-700-million/

DOJ announces largest healthcare fraud bust in nation’s history


Thursday morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced at a press conference the conclusion of a massive takedown operation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, involving $1.3 billion in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billings.

The takedown is being described as the largest in the history of the Department of Justice, with charges being brought against 412 defendants across the nation, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical personnel, according to a DOJ press release.

As a result of the investigation, the HHS department has suspended or banned 295 health care providers from participating in federal healthcare programs.

Also speaking at the press conference, HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson confirmed this is the nation’s largest criminal healthcare fraud takedown in history, which required the expertise and coordination of over 1,000 federal state and local law enforcement, including nearly 350 agents from the office of Inspector General.

Arrests occurred Thursday in 41 federal districts, assisted by 30 state Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

“Over 120  defendants, including doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics,” the DOJ reported.

Charges were filed for fraudulent billing schemes targeting Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE (a health insurance program for military members and veterans) for medically unnecessary and false drug prescriptions, including the illegal distribution of opioids.

According to the Department of Justice, arrests include the following:

  • Southern District of Florida – 77 defendants were charged in fraud schemes involving over $141 million in false billings for home health care, mental health services and pharmacy fraud.
  • Eastern District of Michigan – 32 defendants were charged for $218 million in false claims, including fraud, kickbacks, money laundering and drug diversion schemes.
  • Southern District of Texas – 26 individuals were charged for over $66 million in Medicare and prescription fraud.
  • Central District of California – 17 defendants were charged for $147 million of Medicare fraud schemes.
  • Northern District of Illinois – 15 individuals were charged for $12.7 million in fraudulent billing.
  • Middle District of Florida – 15 individuals were charged, involving over $12.7 million in fraudulent billing.
  • Eastern District of New York – 10 individuals were charged for $151 million worth of fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billings.
  • Louisiana and Mississippi – 7 individuals were charged in connection with over $207 million in fraudulent billing.
  • To see the complete list, visit the press release on the Justice Department website.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in his remarks, expounded on just some of the schemes that were taken down:

One fake rehab facility for drug addicts in Palm Beach is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift cards, visits to strip clubs, and even drugs-enabling the company to bill for over $58 million in false treatments and tests.

Another illegal clinic in Houston allegedly gave out prescriptions for cash. Just one doctor at this clinic allegedly gave out 12,000 opioid prescriptions for over 2 million illegal painkiller doses. These defendants have been charged and they will face justice.

He spoke of the dangerous drug and opioid epidemic in America today. “One American dies of a drug overdose every 11 minutes and more than 2 million Americans are ensnared in addiction to prescription painkillers.”

“We are sending a clear message to criminals across the country: we will find you. We will bring you to justice. And, you will pay a very high price for what you have done,” Sessions said.

“Healthcare fraud is not only a criminal act that costs billions of taxpayer dollars – it is an affront to all Americans who rely on our national healthcare programs for access to critical healthcare services and a violation of trust,” said Secretary Price. “The United States is home to the world’s best medical professionals, but their ability to provide affordable, high-quality care to their patients is jeopardized every time a criminal commits healthcare fraud. That is why this Administration is committed to bringing these criminals to justice, as President Trump demonstrated in his 2017 budget request calling for a new $70 million investment in the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program. The historic results of this year’s national takedown represent significant progress toward protecting the integrity and sustainability of Medicare and Medicaid, which we will continue to build upon in the years to come.”

http://dennismichaellynch.com/doj-announces-largest-healthcare-fraud-bust-nations-history/

Cherry Blossom: How the CIA can hack into your internet router


Sputnik

© Pixabay

Wi-Fi routers typically sit in dusty corners of homes and offices, quietly transmitting internet accessibility to computers, tablets and phones in its immediate vicinity. However, these unpretentious devices are a goldmine for hackers – and were specifically targeted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, the latest Wikileaks release has revealed.

The release is the latest instalment of Wikileaks’ “Vault7” series, which the group has been drip-feeding to the public since March. Previous trickles have revealed CIA attempts to hack office computers, televisions and phones, among many other shock exposures.

This time, the documents contain detailed information on the CIA’s router hacking “toolkit” — and how the Agency sought to leverage common vulnerabilities in routers sold by companies such as D-Link and Linksys. The techniques range from hacking network passwords to rewriting device firmware to remotely monitor traffic flowing across a target’s network.

While few may have stopped to consider a router’s attractiveness to a hacker, in truth the devices are an obviously attractive entry point — routers typically aren’t equipped with interfaces beyond on/off and reset buttons, and have no means of alerting users they have been compromised.

A router could be hacked for years, with a user’s every online action tracked and recorded, without anyone being any the wiser.

The CIA’s router-hacking approach begins with a tool — “Claymore” — which scans a network to identify devices and then launches two exploiters — “Tomato” and “Surfside” — the former is noted to target vulnerabilities in at least two routers sold by D-Link and Linksys, and steals those devices’ administrative passwords. Moreover, the documents state at least two other routers sold by Linksys could be targeted with “Tomato” after a mere few weeks of development.

“Surfside” is left largely unexplained, though the documents hint it may abuse a protocol called Universal Plug and Play. Oft dubbed UPNP, and embedded in around 7,000 different devices — including routers, printers, media players and smart TVs — tech security experts have long-warned it poses a potential risk.

As the documents date back to early 2016, it’s unclear whether D-Link or Linksys have identified and/or rectified these vulnerabilities — however, routers are difficult to manually update, and given their ubiquity, providers are reluctant to dispatch professional staff to do so, instead obliging consumers to do so themselves. Any vulnerability in a router can be left to smolder for years before correction, if at all — and the aforementioned lack of a “warning” system alerting users to threats, ala antivirus software, means users may never discover if their device is vulnerable.

Another means of access mentioned in the papers is the failure of users to change default admin passwords — often, individuals are simply unaware there is an admin password, and it can be amended. This likewise offers unbridled access to the contents of an individual’s router — after access, a hacker or CIA agent could then install custom firmware (the CIA’s is called Flytrap) on the router monitor a target’s browsing, strip SSL encryption from webpages visited, and even inject other exploits into their traffic, designed to offer access directly to the target’s PC or phone. Yet another piece of software, CherryTree, serves as a command-and-control system, allowing operators to monitor and update infected network devices from a browser-based interface called CherryWeb.

Nonetheless, while acknowledging the exposures are “alarming,” Matthew Hickey, Founder of Hacker House, isn’t shocked the CIA would target routers.

“The information security community has been warning about this risk since 2005, if not before. Still, while technically adept users likely won’t be impacted by the technique, it does potentially mean the CIA can access millions of web histories — and there’s the prospect of it easily being misused and abused in surveillance operations. The only Godsend is the CIA wouldn’t be able to do this remotely or in bulk — they need to be in the nearby vicinity of a router network to access it, from a car or van or similar,” Mr. Hickey told Sputnik.

Ultimately, given the evident insecurities ingrained in average Wi-Fi routers, it’s perhaps unsurprising the world’s most well-financed spying group has exploited them — and maybe still does. Wikileaks’ latest revelations serve as a palpable reminder to net users to update their routers regularly, and change their default admin passwords. Otherwise, potentially no private, internet-equipped home is safe from US surveillance.

Slap on the wrist: Penn State administrators sentenced to only a few months in jail for their role in covering up child rape


 


Penn State school administrators were sentenced for their role in covering up Jerry Sandusky’s child rape, their combined sentences are less than 1 year.

Justice has finally been served to those now found responsible for covering up Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against children. The former president, vice-president, and athletic director at Penn State have all been sentenced to jail. However, their sentences do not fit their crimes of covering up what was one of the most explosive child rape incidents in U.S. history.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Former President Graham Spanier, 68, was sentenced to only two months in jail and eight months of house arrest. Former athletic director Tim Curley, 63, only got three months in jail. Former vice president Gary Schultz, 67, received just two months behind bars. They all pleaded guilty to child endangerment and will report to jail to begin their sentencing on July 15.

Judge John Boccabella didn’t hold back his feelings at sentencing, saying, “They ignored the opportunity to put an end to his crimes when they had a chance to do so.” He added he was “appalled that the common sense to make a phone call did not occur…sort of robs my faith of who we are as adults and where we are going.”

Assistant Coach Mike McQueary said he witnessed Sandusky molesting a child in the Penn State locker room showers and reported the incident to his superiors, who did nothing to prevent the abuse from continuing. Sandusky, who ran a charity and was heavily involved in Joe Paterno’s Penn State football program, had access to children through his charity and was later found guilty of several felony child sex abuse charges.

The number of known victims stands at 10 and he’s currently serving 30 to 60 years in prison. Sandusky’s case, as gruesome as it was, served to expose the horrid nature of child rapists in positions of power. Politicians, police, the clergy — all of these roles attract society’s worst who use their authority to prey on the vulnerable.

As The Free Thought Project recently reported, a Netflix documentary entitled The Keepers described the horrors of rape, gang rape, sodomy, physical and mental abuse of over 100 girls at Baltimore’s prestigious Archbishop Keough High School. The girls, all middle-aged now (some have passed away), testify they were tortuously abused by Father Joseph Maskell, his well-connected friends in politics, and police.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that their voices were heard, but not believed. In fact, at least 100 victims reportedly gave testimony and depositions to Maryland’s state attorney Sharon May, who told the filmmakers of The Keepers that there was simply not enough evidence to charge Maskell — even though eye-witnesses stated police dug up enough evidence to put him away for life.

The documentary takes an interesting turn in episodes 7 and 8 when dentist Charles Franz said he, too, was abused in the late 1960s and that his mother went to the Archdiocese in Baltimore and told them Maskell had raped him as well. It was at that time Franz said Maskell was transferred to Keough, where he continued his reign of terror on countless victims for many years.

Not only was Maskell not held accountable for his crimes, but to date, no one in the Catholic Church has been arrested and charged with any crimes such as the charge of child endangerment for which Penn State’s administration was just convicted.

Adding insult to injury, Maskell’s victims say politicians, police and others were invited to the school to rape them as well. However, one brave victim said she confided in her teacher, Sister Catherine Cesnik. Shortly thereafter, Cesnik was found dead. To date, no one has been charged with her murder. No one has been charged with brutally raping the teens over decades of recorded abuse — and no one in the Catholic Church has been charged with covering-up the alleged crimes.

The fact that no one has been charged is most likely due to the status of those involved in the crimes. Because Maskell was well-connected within the police department, he was allowed to prey on his victims with impunity as he brought in officers who did the same.

Maskell’s brother was a high-ranking city cop. This connection had two facets. First, it allowed him to cover up their crimes using these police connections. Second, it allowed for these depraved police officers to enter into this dark child sex ring.

It’s time to charge the Church with breaking the law and not reporting the numerous allegations of child sexual abuse as they’re required to do, being that all clergy in the U.S. are considered “mandatory reporters.” They should have reported it to police when Franz says they knew about it in the 1960s.

For now, the church has been protected by Maryland’s seven-year statute of limitations. But that can change with enough pressure being placed on the Maryland State Legislature to abolish statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse. For those Maryland residents who are interested in advancing such legislation, contact MD State Representative C.T. Wilson who is spearheading the effort.

Comment: Sad, but rather unsurprising as those in power will always protect their own. Pedophilia is so pervasive among the elites, there is no real motive to punish those involved.

https://www.sott.net/article/352838-Slap-on-the-wrist-Penn-State-administrators-sentenced-to-only-a-few-months-in-jail-for-their-role-in-covering-up-child-rape

HUFF-POST: Congress Gives Jeff Sessions $0 To Go After Medical Marijuana Laws. It’s the latest sign that a major federal crackdown on state pot laws isn’t likely


Link to full HUFf-POST article and video

WASHINGTON ― Congress, once again, is blocking the Justice Department from spending any money that interferes with state medical marijuana laws.

In their newly unveiled budget bill, lawmakers included a provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, that allows states to carry on with crafting their own medical marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention. The bill, which funds the government through the end of September, is expected to pass this week.

Here’s the full text of the marijuana provision:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

It’s not unusual to find this tucked into a budget bill; lawmakers have been renewing the medical marijuana provision in every consecutive budget since it first passed in 2014. But what it shows is that Congress isn’t interested in stepping up federal oversight of state pot laws under the Trump administration, even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hints that he wants a crackdown.

Link to full HUFf-POST article and video

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions may not like that some states have legalized marijuana. But he’s outnumbered.

 

Former SEAL: 3000 Elite Pedophiles Arrested – Media Silent


Former Navy SEAL says 3000 pedophiles arrested as part of elite pedo ring investigation amid media blackout

Former Navy SEAL Craig Sawyer says that over 3,000 pedophiles belonging to an elite satanic pedophile ring have been arrested, amid a total blackout by the mainstream media. 

Speaking with Infowars‘ Michael Zimmerman at the NRA’s annual convention, Sawyer says that intelligence insiders have confirmed that Trump’s vow to take down the elite pedophile ring in Washington DC is already being fulfilled.

According to Sawyer, his independent research has led him to discover that high-level government officials routinely torture and kill young children during satanic rituals. He says that despite a concerted effort by social media and the mainstream to suppress this information, they cannot escape the avalanche of truth being released by the independent media.

Transcript of interview with Former Navy SEAL Craig Sawyer

We started a nonprofit organization called ‘Veterans For Child Rescue’ and we are raising money to expose high level elite pedophile rings that are snatching up our children. Some of them are into satanic rituals and torturing little infants and toddlers to death.

I’m getting high level information from federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. There have been over 3,000 arrests since January. We have a President now who is not ok with children being raped and tortured to death, thank God.

With all of these arrests going on, I’ve been learning more and more about it and i’ve realised i have to go independent to get around the gatekeepers in the mainstream media who refuse to report on it.

My mission is to inform the American citizens of what they’ve been denied knowing. I want to provide a non permissive environment against these acts for these children and make a better environment for the children going forward. We have to do something.

I’ve assembled a task force of high level intelligence retirees and veterans who are very capable. So we’re going to shoot this documentary and shine a light on this cesspool of corruption and help clean it up.

Immediately after I told Alex Jones and announced our founding of the organisations. I got phone calls from officials saying there are two groups planning to attack the organisation.

I’m going to allow their attacks to illuminate what they’re doing.

Social media is suppressing my reach. Crowdfunding sites have undermined us. But every day we are gaining more and more support from high level officials. Its a grassroots movement that is growing very very quickly.

http://yournewswire.com/navy-seal-3000-pedophiles-arrested/

Octopuses are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why


 

A new study published in the journal Current Biology has revealed some startling statistics — a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide have found that since the 1950s, the population of cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) in the world’s oceans has exploded. What makes this truly curious is the fact that climate change, overfishing, and ocean acidification have caused the numbers of many fish and shellfish species to plummet during the same period.

octopus, cephalopod, squid, cuttlefish, marine life, ocean life, cephalopod population, ocean research, biodiversity

Scientists aren’t completely sure what’s causing these tentacled creatures to proliferate so widely, but they have a few theories. One idea is that humans have killed off large numbers of predatory fish that would normally compete with the cephalopods for food. But it’s also possible that these species are simply better equipped to deal with rising ocean temperatures than some other ocean animals.

octopus-01-lead-120x120The lead author of the study, Zoe Doubleday, told Gizmodo that the success of these species can largely be attributed to rapid population turnover rates, saying, “Cephalopods tend to boom and bust—they’re called the weeds of the sea. If environmental conditions are good, they can rapidly exploit those conditions because they grow so fast.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t all good news for the species involved. octopus-01-120x120Researchers warn that if the number of cephalopods rises too high, the animals may be forced to resort to cannibalism due to lack of food. As they take over larger portions of the marine ecosystem, they may also be harvested in greater numbers and become a more important staple in the human diet. Either way, the cephalopod population boom is likely to be a mixed blessing for the species involved.

Via Gizmodo

Images via Wikimedia Commons (1, 2)

 

http://inhabitat.com/octopi-are-taking-over-the-oceans-and-no-one-knows-why/

Shailene Woodley on Malia Obama’s Presence at “Sundance Standing Rock Solidarity Event” Against DAPL


s09_malia

 

Sundance Film Festival has been abuzz this year with sightings of former first daughter Malia Obama. We speak to actress Shailene Woodley about how Malia attended a Sundance event in solidarity with Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think President Obama could have done more to stop this from happening, done it earlier and been more forceful in really stopping the pipeline from moving forward?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: It’s hard to say. You know, as a citizen, of course, I would say that. But I’m not—I’m not in the White House. I don’t know what obstacles that man was up against. I don’t know what resistance he was up against. And so, obviously, again, as a citizen, I would love to say, yes, I wish he had stopped this in 2014, when it was originally proposed to the tribe and when the Army Corps of Engineers originally ignored the tribes—actually, you know, according to law, they were meant to meet with the tribe multiple times, and that didn’t happen. So, in 2014, I wish Obama had done something, but I don’t know, actually, that he could have. So, it’s kind of a—it’s hearsay for me.

AMY GOODMAN: Were you surprised to see Malia Obama yesterday at the protest?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: It was amazing to see Malia. I saw her last night when we did the event with Chairman Dave Archambault. And it was incredible to see her there. Also—

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama’s daughter.

SHAILENE WOODLEY: President Obama’s daughter. Also, to witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to, because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s actor and activist Shailene Woodley. When we come back, Annie Leonard of Greenpeace.

Filed under: Dakota Access Pipeline

http://m.democracynow.org/stories/17035

The Open Source Seed Revolution – #NewWorldNextWeek ~ Corbett Report


Welcome to New World Next Week — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. In this week’s episode:

Story #1: Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates For Second Time In Decade
http://bit.ly/2hy7QPP

Deutsche Bank Advised… Poorly
http://bit.ly/2hziYvE

Rupee plunges 42 paise against dollar
http://bit.ly/2gfc2qg

Story #2: IMF Chief Lagarde On Trial In Paris Over Negligence Charges
http://bit.ly/2hGRbML

NWNW Flashback: IMF’ed – Lagarde Under Investigation In France (Aug. 28, 2014)
http://bit.ly/2hPurGB

Wikipedia: Rodrigo Rato
http://bit.ly/1NlQ2zX

Bush War Crimes Lawsuit Gets Heard In California Court
http://bit.ly/2gKKIk3

Justice for Neocons: Lawsuits Challenge American Status Quo
http://bit.ly/2hH3EQu

Saleh v. Bush oral arguments
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVNe3…

The Case Against Kissinger
http://bit.ly/2gvUG7d

Story #3: Open-Source Seed Producers Are Changing Global Food Production
http://bit.ly/2gKRc2p

Free the Seed! Introducing the Open Source Seed Collection
http://bit.ly/2hvmRnP

Open Seeds: Biopiracy and the Patenting of Life
http://bit.ly/2dnY7hr

#GoodNewsNextWeek: We Go Where Eagles Dare
http://bit.ly/2gKHJrH

#NewWorldNextWeek Headlines: Pipeline Spills 176,000 Gallons of Crude, 150 Miles From Dakota Protest Camp
http://bit.ly/2hPwGcJ

UK MPs Claim Russian Hackers “Probably” Swayed Brexit Vote
http://bit.ly/2gMNKm2

Bill Gates Says Trump Could Be New JFK
http://bit.ly/2gKNBBa

FBI Chief Exposes MK Ultra Programs That Murder, Use, & Traffic Children – High Level People Involved


Never before has so much been exposed in the mainstream about those we call our ‘leaders,’ those we ‘vote’ for, and those who appear one way in front of the masses, but represent something completely different when it comes to getting things done. 2016 seems to be a landmark year for transparency in the mainstream, and that’s in large part thanks to the efforts of researchers, activists, and whistleblowers like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Unfortunately, what is being revealed to us is extreme corruption within Western politics and our entire political, corporate, and financial systems.

Whether it hints at a hidden government, the enactment of corporate/financial agendas, or rigged elections (as we saw in the DNC this year),  the “disastrous rise of misplaced power” that president Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address as president of the United States is and has been happening for decades, and it’s destroying our planet.

The entire political process up to this point has been about brainwashing the masses into accepting various agendas.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic societyThose who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

– Edward Bernays (“the father of public relations”), Propaganda, 1928 (note that Bernays’ book, Propaganda, begins with the above quote).

advertisement – learn more

The bright side to all of these revelations is the fact that we are waking up to what has been happening, the ability for people to simply ‘see’ through so much deception, like that which occurred on 9/11 or what is happening at Standing Rock for example, are excellent catalysts for people to have a shift in consciousness (defined here as awareness, perception, self-awareness etc) about our world and what is really happening on it.

As a result, more and more people every year desire change, and so the heart and collective intention of the human race begins to manifest it, we are living in the shift now.

Not only do these ruling bodies exist to brainwash us, some of our supposed leaders have been and are involved in some very disturbing things. Many of these revelations have been made by credible sources presented by several alternative media outlets, and have since been dubbed as ‘fake news,’ despite how clearly the elite were and are scrambling to hide this information that threatens their power and their ability to control the human race.

These revelations include pedophellia, child trafficking, and murder.

With regards to pedophellia, ever since Donald Trump brought to light the allegations against Bill Clinton and his treatment of women, others have come forward to corroborate his story.

One of the most recent examples is former U.S. State Department official Steve Pieczenik. His roles within U.S. politics were many, having been the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vacne, and James Baker, and also serving the presidential administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan, and George H.W. Bush. If you’ve done research into U.S. politics, being associated with names like Kissinger and Bush is an automatic red flag. What’s even more concerning to some is that he was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a group many consider to be corrupt and even evil, operating under the guise of good deeds. However, he was removed from the membership as early as October 2012, the same time he started whistleblowing.

He says: “We know that both of them have been a major part and participant of what’s called The Lolita Express, which is a plane owned by Mr. Jeff Epstein, a wealthy multi-millionaire who flies down to the Bahamas and allows Bill Clinton and Hillary to engage in sex with minors, that is called Pedophilia.”  (source)

Here is some background coverage that was done on it last year. I’m not saying these examples are proof of a massive elitist global pedophile ring, but there have been several examples like this, and various scandals that have gone completely unreported by mainstream media.

Former U.S. representative Cynthia McKinney also knew about pedophilia within the government in 2005. She grilled Donald Rumsfeld on DynCorp’s child trafficking business of selling women and children. (source)

This is important information to share, especially with all that’s going on with the Pizzagate scandal,  which the elite are also trying to debunk. Here is another Pizzagate video put together by the underground resistance network.

It’s hardly surprising that they are trying to discredit this story, but with all of the other stories from investigations out there that are already verified, it’s important that we don’t ignore this and that somebody within the power structure actually initiates an investigation.

Investigations Reveal That It Goes Far Beyond Pedophilia

Unfortunately, investigations into this type of behaviour reveal that many working for mainstream politics, its corporate structure, the big banks, and parts of the military industrial complex (CIA, contractors, etc.) could be involved in even more disturbing things.

Not only are these children abused, they are tortured and often murdered as part of ‘satanic’ sacrifice ceremonies. Many of them, based on my research, are subjected to mind control techniques as well.

Ted Gunderson, former FBI special agent and head of their L.A. office, worked to uncover and expose these horrors before he died. A simple YouTube search of his name will show you what exactly he spent his last years researching (source). Here’s one of his last lectures.

He is one of several dozen to have investigated this topic and found some disturbing facts.

Below is another lecture that describes in detail what he’s experienced.

 

North Dakota officials hope to quell pipeline protests with fines


Editorial by Mani Wanji ZephierThe Governor of North Dakota is so concerned about the “health and well-being” of the camp, he is starting to blockade supplies of firewood, food, medical supplies and water. Yeah, turning off heat, food, water and medical supplies to 10,000 people, over half being women and children is a REALLY good way to protect peoples health and well being. 😠

Is that even legal?! I would think it’s illegal to blockade in ten thousand people with no heat,food,water or medical???

(UPDATE just saw that According to Article 54 of the Geneva Convention, withholding food from civilians is prohibited and is considered an Act of War.)

I just also read Bismark Tribune article on the blockade where the Governor’s spokesperson said, “If they freeze to death, it’s their own fault”.

No. It’s YOUR fault, #NorthDakota#WhiteHouse#Obama#MortonCountySherriff#NDNationalGuard

Seriously this is 2016 they act like it’s the 1800’s. They did this a lot to native people back then. That’s what started the great Indian War, and my ancestor, Cut Nose, was hung at Mankato for raiding for food for the starving people.

He’s also not allowing them to plow the roads from the snow storm within a few miles of camp, hopefully supplies will be able to get in OK through the reservation on the back way. Maybe the tribe can plow?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

North Dakota officials hope to quell pipeline protests with fines

Image result for standing rock

 

North Dakota protesters defy governor’s order
01:59
By Terray Sylvester | CANNON BALL, N.D.

North Dakota officials on Tuesday moved to block supplies from reaching oil pipeline protesters at a camp near the construction site, threatening to use hefty fines to keep demonstrators from receiving food, building materials and even portable bathrooms.

Activists have spent months protesting plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying the project poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites.

State officials said on Tuesday they would fine anyone bringing prohibited items into the main protest camp following Governor Jack Dalrymple’s “emergency evacuation” order on Monday. Earlier, officials had warned of a physical blockade, but the governor’s office backed away from that.

Law enforcement would take a more “passive role” than enforcing a blockade, said Maxine Herr, a spokeswoman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

“The governor is more interested in public safety than setting up a road block and turning people away,” Herr said by telephone.

Officers will stop vehicles they believe are headed to the camp and inform drivers they are committing an infraction and could be fined $1,000.

These penalties should serve as a hindrance, according to Cecily Fong, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

“So that effectively is going to block that stuff (supplies), but there is not going to be a hard road block,” Fong said by telephone.

A spokeswoman from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was not immediately available for comment.

North Dakota Governor-elect Doug Burgum, a Republican, declined to comment.

The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen in a snow storm during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The 1,172-mile (1,885 km) pipeline project, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, is mostly complete except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

Thousands of people are protesting at camps located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, north of the Cannonball River in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The main protest camp near Cannon Ball is called Oceti Sakowin, the original name of the Sioux, meaning Seven Council Fires.

Protest leaders said state officials and local law enforcement officers were “bullying” demonstrators with the threat of fines.

“It’s bogus and I don’t know about the legality of it,” said Kandi Mossett, an organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network. “We’re not afraid. We’re moving in and out of the camp at will. So people shouldn’t be afraid of coming and supporting the water protectors. They’ve been bullying us since day one.”

‘HARSH WINTER CONDITIONS’

Image result for standing rock

Dalrymple’s evacuation order was issued on Monday due to the “harsh winter conditions.” Snow and wind gusts up to 45 mph (73 kph) were forecast for Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Despite the sub-freezing temperatures, law enforcement on Nov. 21 used water cannons to disperse protesters who had blockaded a highway.

Demonstrators and law enforcement have clashed over the months since protests began, with demonstrators claiming excessive use of force by law enforcement.

On Tuesday, the National Lawyers Guild filed a class action in U.S. District Court in North Dakota on behalf of injured protesters, claiming local authorities in Morton and Stutsman counties used excessive force.

The civil rights complaint said there were no orders to disperse or warnings issued before local police turned water cannons and tear gas on the protest. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages.

Stutsman County Auditor Casey Bradley said the county sheriff’s office was unaware of the lawsuit and unable to comment on the allegations.

Officers were justified in using water cannons because of the threat posed by demonstrators, Fong and Herr said. Law enforcement gave numerous warnings for protesters to disperse, they said.

North Dakota officials have issued several requests for additional help from federal law enforcement in light of the demonstrators. However, the Army Corps said Monday its order to evacuate the primary protest camp by Dec. 5 would not include forcibly removing people from the land.

The Obama administration in September postponed final approval of a Army Corps’ permit required to allow tunneling beneath the lake, a move intended to give federal officials more time to consult tribal leaders.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a Tuesday news briefing that Obama believes law enforcement has “an obligation” to show restraint and protesters have a “responsibility” to protest peacefully.

In a related protest, prosecutors suspended charges against Deia Schlosberg, a documentary maker arrested while filming as environmental protesters attempted to shut down the flow of oil through pipelines carrying crude from Canada to the United States in October.

(Writing by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Additional reporting by David Gaffen and Mica Rosenberg in New York, Ernest Scheyder in Houston, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Roberta Rampton and Doina Chiacu in Washington.; Editing by Ben Klayman, Matthew Lewis and Andrew Hay)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13O2FD

 

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Literally Too Many Veterans Have Signed Up To Join DAPL Protests ~ ZeroHedge


Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

Last week, the newly formed group “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock” called on veterans to nonviolently stand up to militarized law enforcement at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Since its initial call to action, the veterans’ movement has grown exponentially.

Last week, the Facebook event, which was launched by Army veteran Wesley Clark Jr. and former Marine and Baltimore cop-turned-reformist, Michael A. Wood Jr., received widespread media attention. This boost helped increase the number of attendees from a couple hundred veterans to their maximum capacity of 2,000.

A standard email response from the group (as of Saturday) reads:

We are happy to announce our small campaign has grown to 2,000 Veterans from every corner of the US [and] will be joining us to stand in peace with our brothers and sisters in Standing Rock.

Their event page states they have over 2,100 veterans signed up and are exploring options for a second trip.

The group has a strict no weapons policy but is stocking up on body armor and protective gear like gas masks to withstand potential attacks from the heavily militarized police, who have arrested at least 400 of protesters so far. According to on-site medics, hundreds of protesters have also been injured. Last week, a 21-year-old woman was reportedly hit with a concussion grenade, leading to a severe injury that may require her arm to be amputated. Though police have blamed protesters for what happened to her, at least one witness claims law enforcement’s version of events is untruthful.

Outrage against incidents like these, as well as attacks on journalists via tasersrubber bullets, and felony charges has made the ongoing situation ripe for outside intervention.

“This country is repressing our people,” Wood Jr. said last week. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”

With 2,100 veterans signed up to make a stand, it appears police will be forced to reconcile their aggressive behavior with the nonviolent show of veterans, who intend to march toward police on site.

The group has gained substantial financial backing since word of their mission spread. According to their GoFundMe page, they have already raised over $500,000 to fund their trip, which is planned for December 4 to December 7.

Their goal is currently set at $750,000, an increase from the $100,000 — and then $200,000 — requested last week.

I increased the goal because I was wrong,” Wood Jr. said, according to Task and Purpose. “I was giving a ballpark number that we could get 500 people there without feeling like I was asking much of the public. In a short period of two days, the picture changed dramatically. As long as we’re increasing in size, I have to ask for more funds. And as long as we have more funds, we will increase in size.”

He added:

This is already way beyond transportation. So the additional funds will go toward protective equipment, infrastructure, lodging, food, medical supplies, and stuff to help deal with the elements of nature.

The funds will also go toward bailing out members of the group who are arrested during their demonstration.

As the cash and volunteers continue to roll in, the group’s resolve in its self-described “deployment” is only increasing.

We’ve grown to the point where we have an actual chain of command now,” Wood Jr. said. “Emails are hundreds a day, if not thousands.”

Anti-Media spoke to one Navy veteran, Jake Bagwell, who heard about the event last week through social media and is now scheduled to head to Standing Rock, pending his request for time off from work.

I figured if any demographic would have a big enough impact to wake people up, it’s vets. Especially when it comes to standing up to the government,” he said.

He added:

Nothing about what the ‘authorities’ are doing makes sense. Water cannons in subfreezing temperatures? Are you serious?

Another veteran, Sam Deering, posted on Facebook about his decision to join Vets Stand for Standing Rock:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpermalink.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D10103957681840790%26id%3D12934326&width=500

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the land where protesters are camped out, issued a notice last week warning them to evacuate by December 5. Reuters reports the agency has said it has no plans to forcibly remove protesters, but on Monday, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple issued a separate mandatory order to evacuate the area.

Anti-Media has reached out to Veterans Stand for Standing Rock to learn how they plan to respond to these demands and will update this story if they respond.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-29/literally-too-many-veterans-have-signed-join-dapl-protests

Power Structure Wages Weather Warfare Against Dakota Pipeline Protesters


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Dane Wigington
geoengineeringwatch.org

The Dakota pipeline protests have become the frontline representation of the critical struggle against a completely out of control totalitarian power structure. Those in power cannot afford to allow this justifiable protest to continue or succeed. Geoengineering/weather warfare has now been added to the already long list of criminal assaults that have been hurled at the peaceful pipeline protesters. In the coming days and weeks, weather warfare will likely be the most deadly and effective weapon that the power structure will wield against the pieceful Dakota pipeling protesters.

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The pipeline protest camp at Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, November 29, 2016. Photo credit: Reuters

Climate engineering and the use of toxic chemical ice nucleation elements are the reason a record early season snow has just occurred in the exact region of the protests (named winter storm “Blanche”). Weather warfare has long since been a covert weapon of choice for the criminals that truly control our government. Is it just a coincidence that a record early season snowstorm also decimated the Occupy Wall Street protesters?

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Occupy Wall Street protesters prepare for the record October, 2011, snowstorm that decimated their camp.

Weather modification activities were also noted over the massive historical gathering in Woodstock. The combination satellite radar images below clearly reveal extreme and completely unnatural weather anomalies over the continental US. The first satellite/radar image below was taken at 11:30 am (ET), Monday, shows a ribbon of warm air and moisture flowing in a northeasterly direction all the way from far west of Baja California, across Mexico and Texas (picking up even more warm moisture from the Gulf of Mexico). This flow of warm air and moisture pushes north where some of it eventually gets caught up in the counterclockwise low pressure system being held directly over the protest region (via atmospheric manipulation with radio frequency/microwave transmissions). The engineered winter chemical ice nucleation assault was commenced and continues.

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Note the center of the counterclockwise spinning low pressure system centered almost exactly over the pipeline protest region.

Massive atmospheric aerosol spraying operations were also occurring off of the US west coast on Monday, November 28, 2016. The aerosol saturation reduces west coast precipitation and thus contributes to the effective migration of Pacific moisture further east toward the low pressure vortex over the protest zone.

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In addition to the extensive aerosol spraying visible in this NASA satellite image, some radio frequency manipulation waves can be seen in the upper right corner of the satellite image.

By the evening of Monday, November 28, 2016, the huge plum of warm moisture is pulled closer to the still stationary spinning vortex over the Dakota protests.

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Aerosolized chemically cooled moisture flowing in from the Pacific also merges with the engineered Dakota snowstorm.

At 9:45 am (ET), November 30, 2016, the stationary Dakota vortex continues to spin (winter storm “Blanche”). The plume of warm Gulf of Mexico moisture is now directed at Maine, where “winter storm Blanche” has been scheduled by the weather makers to continue (completely separate from the still ongoing “winter storm Blanche” over the Dakotas).

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The engineered cutoff low pressure zone has remained incredibly stationary and nearly centered over the Dakota pipeline protest zone.

The “departure from normal high temperature” map below reveals just how warm it actually was in the regions near the center of the Dakota storm and along the entire track from which much of the storm moisture came.

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Radical temperature divides, like those reflected in the map above, are historically unprecedented. Now such incredible imbalances have increasingly become the norm.

The animation below contains the most revealing and important images of all. Drifting cells of liquid precipitation (rain) should not just “flash out” to frozen precipitation (snow) for no reason whatsoever (no change in topographical elevation and no colliding cold air masses). Areas of the storm then suddenly flash back to rain as the jet aircraft sprayed chemical ice nucleating agents settle down through the air column. Examine this animation closely, it is the “smoking gun” of a completely engineered chemically nucleated weather warfare assault.

Minnesota Weather Radar Loop

Massive climate engineering/chemical ice nucleation deployments can and will continue to create toxic cool-downs and radical weather anomolies. These anomalies will continue to manipulate the perception of populations who don’t realize (or are not willing to accept) what is going on in our skies. The latest NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) extended temperature forecast map is below. All the weather modeling for NOAA and NWS (National Weather Service) is done by private defense contractor, Raytheon, a corporation that is a primary climate engineering entity. This means that the weather forecasts are now the “scheduled” weather. Why don’t employees of NOAA and NWS speak out about the climate engineering insanity? Because all the employees of both agencies have a federal gag order on them.

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The NOAA map above shows predictions for record cold temperatures at or near the Dakota pipeline protest for the coming 6-10 day period. Each color tear represents a 2-3 degree departure from normal high temperatures. Less than a week ago, the temperature predictions for the middle northern tear states was for near record high temperatures, what changed? The US military industrial complex has long since stated its desire to “own the weather” on the record, now they do.

Why would the global power structure go to such lengths in the attempt to bring the Dakota pipeline protests to end? Because the Dakota protests represent the rapidly growing will and unity of the people to take a stand against the criminal corporate and government tyranny that has completely taken over our country. The power structure will clearly do anything they can get away with to crush this all important protest. We must not let this happen. GeoengineeringWatch.org is working directly with representatives from the protest to test samples of precipitation and aircraft aerosol spraying that has taken place at the protest site. All of us are needed in the critical battle to sound the alarm on what is occurring at the Dakota protest, share credible information, make your voice heard.
DW

May be freely reprinted, so long as the text is unaltered, all hyperlinks are left intact, and credit for the article is prominently given to GeoengineeringWatch.org and the article’s author with a hyperlink back to the original story.

http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/power-structure-wages-weather-warfare-against-dakota-pipeline-protesters/

On Thanksgiving Week, Native Americans Are Being Tear-Gassed in North Dakota


Stephanie Keith / Reuters
Law enforcement officers use a water cannon amid protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

WASHINGTON ― Thanksgiving began in the fall of 1621 when a group of Native Americans joined with newly arrived English settlers to create a harvest feast together and protect each other from violence.

This year, as Americans pick out their turkeys and count their blessings, members of the Sioux Nation in Standing Rock, North Dakota, reported being attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in subfreezing temperatures as they protested an oil pipeline that threatens to contaminate their water and disrupt their sacred sites. Approximately 300 Native American and non-native protesters were injured in one 10-hour clash with law enforcement on Sunday evening, according to the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, and 26 were taken to hospitals with severe head and limb wounds, eye trauma, internal bleeding and hypothermia from being doused with water in 22-degree weather.

“Basically, it’s an act of war,” said Frank Sanchez, a delegate from the Yankton Sioux Tribe, in an interview with The Huffington Post.

The government says the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline is the safest, most efficient way to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. But the project has become a rallying point for Native Americans because the pipe would cut under the Missouri River within a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, potentially contaminating the local tribes’ source of fresh water and encroaching on land that the U.S. government had agreed to set aside for them in an 1851 treaty. The clash between protesters, who call themselves “water protectors,” and North Dakota law enforcement reached a boiling point on Sunday, when force was used to keep protesters off a barricaded bridge about a mile south of the pipeline construction site.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said the demonstrators were being violent. The Sioux ― who have long suffered economically ― say the blocked-off bridge is the main access point to their reservation, and they are trying to protect the land and water that have sustained them for centuries.

“I’m a prisoner of war in my own land,” said Sanchez. “That’s the only way I can see it. We have the right to hunt, fish and gather, as we always did, but all the barbed wire fences and posts to ‘Keep out’ have to come down so we can continue living the way we’ve always lived.”

Sanchez, 61, is in Washington, D.C., this week lobbying the federal government on behalf of the Sioux tribes. He is a direct descendant of the man who signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851, in which the U.S. government ceded portions of five states to the Sioux and agreed to strict rules preventing outsiders from accessing Sioux territory. But Congress soon broke its end of the bargain by seizing the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1877, when gold was discovered there ― and the government’s land grabs have continued.

“This issue could have been settled years ago, but we don’t have the money for attorneys to represent us,” he said.

The government seems to have at least recognized the problem, temporarily suspending construction in Standing Rock. Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it needed more time to decide whether to build on Sioux land.

In the meantime, the Sioux will be celebrating Thanksgiving alongside hundreds of non-native allies who have joined the protests in North Dakota. For Native Americans, Sanchez said, Thanksgiving “is just another day.”

“When we wake up in the morning, we say thank you all day long ― for creation, for life. Things are beautiful, people are beautiful, little babies, everything I see. This coffee is excellent,” he said, smiling and pointing at the Starbucks cup in his hand.

“But people need to realize that these situations still exist in this country. We’re not savages, but there have been times when we had to prove we were human. These wounds need to be addressed and healed in order to really be thankful.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-sioux-tear-gas-thanksgiving_us_583496a3e4b000af95ece35d

Because YouTube Censorship Sucks ~ Truthstream Media


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This Is How The Media Manipulates You.


 
image credit: youtube

A few months ago, I put up an article about an anti-vaccination rally in San Diego. In the article, my concern was how the coverage was manipulating the coverage to seem as if the rally garnered little support, when in fact, the truth was much the opposite. But all the same, the rally was termed “a flop.”

Now that might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it is huge. Causing a rally to appear small and feeble creates a perception that the cause is uncared for and un-winnable and can create an exponential apathy of sorts. If it didn’t work, why would they attempt to manipulate it?

I found this video which details the greatest “known” journalism crimes in our history. In this piece, the focus is on the use of images within Photoshop, but the greater idea isn’t lost on any of our modern causes even without the use of Photoshop. This is what swings political support on various issues. This is a great reminder to keep in mind how tainted the media pipeline has become. (video below)


http://edgytruth.com/2015/07/27/this-is-how-the-media-manipulates-you/#

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