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Qatar World Cup toll: ‘Hundreds’ of Indian migrant workers dead in two years

RT | February 17, 2014

More than 450 Indian migrant workers in Qatar have died in the last two years, media revealed on Monday. Another upcoming report will show that 400 Nepalese have lost their lives scrambling to get the Gulf state ready for the 2022 World cup.

At least 237 Indian migrants lost their lives in Qatar in 2012 and another 218 in 2013 up to December 5, AFP reported on Monday, citing figures received via a Right to Information request filed at the Indian embassy in Qatar.

On average, 20 Indian migrants die per month in Qatar. August last year was the most deadly month on record, with 27 fatalities being reported.

The Indian embassy did not provide information regarding the causes of death or where they occurred. It also declined to disclose any correspondence between the diplomatic mission and the Indian government regarding the treatment of its nationals in the Gulf state.

Meanwhile, figures set to be released later this week say that 400 Nepalese workers have died at building sites since construction for the World Cup 2022 got underway in 2010, the Guardian reports. The Guardian did not state when the deaths occurred, but said that the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee, a respected human rights organization, which reached its figure using official sources in Doha, would release more information in the coming days.

There were 500,000 Indians estimated to be in Qatar at the end of 2012 – roughly 26 percent of Qatar’s population. Nepalese workers comprise approximately 20 percent of Qatar’s migrant workforce and 16 percent of the total population. The total death toll stemming from the country’s World Cup scramble could in fact be higher, as other migrant groups are also present in the country.

As of January 2012, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans together accounted for 14 percent of the emirate’s population, according to US State Department figures.

On February 11, Qatar issued detailed guidelines intended to protect the country’s massive expatriate community from exploitation and stem the intensified international criticism on its human rights record.

Activists, however, believe the number of dead could swell to 4,000 by the time the 2022 World Cup kicks off.

On Thursday, FIFA said there was little it could do to alleviate the slave labor conditions migrants are toiling under in the country.

According to German paper Die Welt, however, a source identified as a “senior FIFA employee” said moving the World Cup to another country is “a serious option” despite public claims to the contrary. Last July, Theo Zwanziger, a current member of FIFA’s executive committee, said the decision to award Qatar the 2022 event was a “blatant mistake.”

In September, The United Nations condemned Qatar for failing to comply with an international convention banning the use of forced labor.

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA seeks new bases for deadly drones

Press TV – February 17, 2014

The US Central Intelligence Agency is seeking new drone bases in unnamed countries in Central Asia, fearing the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would affect the targeted killings in neighboring Pakistan.

The spy agency asserts that if the US fails to sign a bilateral security deal with Afghanistan and secure an enduring military presence there, it would not be able to fly drones from its Afghan bases because drone operations are covert and need US military protection.

The security deal, which Washington says “ought to be signed” and is not renegotiable, could allow thousands of US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

However, despite pressures from the White House and Congress, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has so far refused to sign the deal and the US intelligence community is hoping that the next Afghan president will agree to sign it.

Worried that its drone killings can become a casualty of strained relations between Kabul and Washington, the CIA is reportedly making contingency plans to use bases in other countries.

“There are contingency plans for alternatives in the north,” an unnamed US official briefed on the matter told the Los Angeles Times without specifying the countries.

According to Brian Glyn Williams, a University of Massachusetts professor, the CIA and the Pentagon used to fly drones from an airbase in Uzbekistan until the US was evicted in 2005.

Michael Nagata, commander of US special operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, also traveled last month to Tajikistan, which is Afghanistan’s northern neighbor, to discuss “issues of bilateral security cooperation” and “continued military cooperation.”

Meanwhile, US officials say a new jet-powered drone, called Avenger, which will be able to “get to ‘hot’ targets in Pakistan much faster,” could soon be flying from bases outside Afghanistan.

The CIA is in charge of drone strikes in Pakistan since the country is not officially a war zone and the CIA’s program is covert.

US President Barack Obama has already stated that the responsibility for Washington’s deadly drone attacks could gradually shift from the CIA to the Pentagon. However, the idea of putting the US military in charge of drone attacks is not favored by US lawmakers.

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRISES IN CLIMATOLOGY

By Donald C. Morton | Watts Up With That? | February 17, 2014

Herzberg Program in Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada

ABSTRACT

The Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September 2013 continues the pattern of previous ones raising alarm about a warming earth due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. This paper identifies six problems with this conclusion – the mismatch of the model predictions with the temperature observations, the assumption of positive feedback, possible solar effects, the use of a global temperature, chaos in climate, and the rejection of any skepticism.

THIS IS AN ASTROPHYSICIST’S VIEW OF CURRENT CLIMATOLOGY. I WELCOME CRITICAL COMMENTS.

1. INTRODUCTION

Many climatologists have been telling us that the environment of the earth is in serious danger of overheating caused by the human generation of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is mainly to blame, but methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and certain chlorofluorocarbons also contribute.

“As expected, the main message is still the same: the evidence is very clear that the world is warming, and that human activities are the main cause. Natural changes and fluctuations do occur but they are relatively small.” – John Shepard in the United Kingdom, 2013 Sep 27 for the Royal Society.

“We can no longer ignore the facts: Global warming is unequivocal, it is caused by us and its consequences will be profound. But that doesn’t mean we can’t solve it.” -Andrew Weaver in Canada, 2013 Sep 28 in the Globe and Mail.

“We know without a doubt that gases we are adding to the air have caused a planetary energy imbalance and global warming, already 0.8 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. This warming is driving an increase in extreme weather from heat waves to droughts and wild fires and stronger storms . . .” – James Hansen in United States, 2013 Dec 6 CNN broadcast.

Are these views valid? In the past eminent scientists have been wrong. Lord Kelvin, unaware of nuclear fusion, concluded that the sun’s gravitational energy could keep it shining at its present brightness for only 107 years. Sir Arthur Eddington correctly suggested a nuclear source for the sun, but rejected Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s theory of degenerate matter to explain white dwarfs. In 1983 Chandrasekhar received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his insight.

My own expertise is in physics and astrophysics with experience in radiative transfer, not climatology, but looking at the discipline from outside I see some serious problems. I presume most climate scientists are aware of these inconsistencies, but they remain in the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the 5th one released on 2013 Sep 27. Politicians and government officials guiding public policy consult these reports and treat them as reliable.

2. THEORY, MODELS AND OBSERVATIONS

A necessary test of any theory or model is how well it predicts new experiments or observations not used in its development. It is not sufficient just to represent the data used to produce the theory or model, particularly in the case of climate models where many physical processes too complicated to code explicitly are represented by adjustable parameters. As John von Neumann once stated “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” Four parameters will not produce all the details of an elephant, but the principle is clear. The models must have independent checks.

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Fig. 1. Global Average Temperature Anomaly (°C) upper, and CO2 concentration (ppm) lower graphs from http://www.climate.gov/maps-data by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The extension of the CO2 data to earlier years is from the ice core data of the Antarctic Law Dome ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law_co2.txt.

The upper plot in Fig. 1 shows how global temperatures have varied since 1880 with a decrease to 1910, a rise until 1945, a plateau to 1977, a rise of about 0.6 ºC until 1998 and then essentially constant for the next 16 years. Meanwhile, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has steadily increased. Fig. 2 from the 5th Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013) shows that the observed temperatures follow the lower envelope of the predictions of the climate models.

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Fig. 2. Model Predictions and Temperature Observations from IPCC Report 2013. RCP 4.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5) labels a set of models for a modest rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gases corresponding to an increase of 4.5 Wm2 (1.3%) in total solar irradiance.

Already in 2009 climatologists worried about the change in slope of the temperature curve. At that time Knight et al. (2009) asked the rhetorical question “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?” Their response was “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

Now some climate scientists are saying that 16 years is too short a time to assess a change in climate, but then the rise from 1978 to 1998, which was attributed to anthropogenic CO2, also could be spurious. Other researchers are actively looking into phenomena omitted from the models to explain the discrepancy. These include

1) a strong natural South Pacific El Nino warming event in 1998 so the plateau did not begin until 2001,

2) an overestimate of the greenhouse effect in some models,

3) inadequate inclusion of clouds and other aerosols in the models, and

4) a deep ocean reservoir for the missing heat.

Extra warming due to the 1978 El Nino seems plausible, but there have been others that could have caused some of the earlier warming and there are also cooling La Nina events. All proposed causes of the plateau must have their effects on the warming also incorporated into the models to make predictions that then can be tested during the following decade or two of temperature evolution.

3. THE FEEDBACK PARAMETER

There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration. The estimated effect accounts for only about half the temperature rise of 0.8 ºC since the Industrial Revolution. Without justification the model makers ignored possible natural causes and assumed the rise was caused primarily by anthropogenic CO2 with reflections by clouds and other aerosols approximately cancelling absorption by the other gases noted above. Consequently they postulated a positive feedback due to hotter air holding more water vapor, which increased the absorption of radiation and the backwarming. The computer simulations represented this process and many other effects by adjustable parameters chosen to match the observations. As stated on p. 9-9 of IPCC2013, “The complexity of each process representation is constrained by observations, computational resources, and current knowledge.” Models that did not show a temperature rise would have been omitted from any ensemble so the observed rise effectively determined the feedback parameter.

Now that the temperature has stopped increasing we see that this parameter is not valid. It even could be negative. CO2 absorption without the presumed feedback will still happen but its effect will not be alarming. The modest warming possibly could be a net benefit with increased crop production and fewer deaths due to cold weather.

4. THE SUN

The total solar irradiance, the flux integrated over all wavelengths, is a basic input to all climate models. Fortunately our sun is a stable star with minimal change in this output. Since the beginning of satellite measures of the whole spectrum in 1978 the variation has been about 0.1% over the 11-year activity cycle with occasional excursions up to 0.3%. The associated change in tropospheric temperature is about 0.1 ºC.

Larger variations could explain historical warm and cold intervals such as the Medieval Warm Period (approx. 950 – 1250) and the Little Ice Age (approx. 1430 – 1850) but remain as speculations. The sun is a ball of gas in hydrostatic equilibrium. Any reduction in the nuclear energy source initially would be compensated by a gravitational contraction on a time scale of a few minutes. Complicating this basic picture are the variable magnetic field and the mass motions that generate it. Li et al. (2003) included these effects in a simple model and found luminosity variations of 0.1%, consistent with the measurements.

However, the sun can influence the earth in many other ways that the IPCC Report does not consider, in part because the mechanisms are not well understood. The ultraviolet irradiance changes much more with solar activity, ~ 10% at 200 nm in the band that forms ozone in the stratosphere and between 5% and 2% in the ozone absorption bands between 240 and 320 nm according to DeLand & Cebula (2012). Their graphs also show that these fluxes during the most recent solar minimum were lower than the previous two reducing the formation of ozone in the stratosphere and its absorption of the near UV spectrum. How this absorption can couple into the lower atmosphere is under current investigation, e. g. Haigh et al. (2010).

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Fig. 3 – Monthly averages of the 10.7 cm solar radio flux measured by the National Research Council of Canada and adjusted to the mean earth-sun distance. A solar flux unit = 104 Jansky = 10-22 Wm-2 Hz-1. The maximum just past is unusually weak and the preceding minimum exceptionally broad. Graph courtesy of Dr. Ken Tapping of NRC.

Decreasing solar activity also lowers the strength of the heliosphere magnetic shield permitting more galactic cosmic rays to reach the earth. Experiments by Kirkby et al. (2011) and Svensmark et al. (2013) have shown that these cosmic rays can seed the formation of clouds, which then reflect more sunlight and reduce the temperature, though the magnitude of the effect remains uncertain. Morton (2014) has described how the abundances cosmogenic isotopes 10Be and 14C in ice cores and tree rings indicate past solar activity and its anticorrelation with temperature.

Of particular interest is the recent reduction in solar activity. Fig. 3 shows the 10.7 cm solar radio flux measured by the National Research Council of Canada since 1947 (Tapping 2013) and Fig. 4 the corresponding sunspot count. Careful calibration of the radio flux permits reliable comparisons

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Fig. 4. Monthly sunspot numbers for the past 60 years by the Royal Observatory of Belgium at http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php.

over six solar cycles even when there are no sunspots. The last minimum was unusually broad and the present maximum exceptionally weak. The sun has entered a phase of low activity. Fig. 5 shows that previous times of very low activity were the Dalton Minimum from about 1800 to 1820 and the Maunder Minimum from about 1645 to 1715 when very few spots were seen. Since these minima occurred during the Little Ice Age when glaciers were advancing in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, it is possible that we are entering another cooling period. Without a physical understanding of the cause of such cool periods, we cannot be more specific. Temperatures as cold as the Little Ice Age may not happen, but there must be some cooling to compensate the heating that is present from the increasing CO2 absorption.

Regrettably the IPCC reports scarcely mention these solar effects and the uncertainties they add to any prediction.

5. THE AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

Long-term temperature measurements at a given location provide an obvious test of climate change. Such data exist for many places for more than a hundred years and for a few places for much longer. With these data climatologists calculate the temperature anomaly – the deviation from a many-year average such as 1961 to 1990, each day of the year at the times a measurement is recorded. Then they average over days, nights, seasons, continents and oceans to obtain the mean global temperature anomaly for each month or year as in Fig. 1. Unfortunately many parts of the world are poorly sampled and the oceans, which cover 71% of the earth’s surface, even less so. Thus many measurements must be extrapolated to include larger areas with different climates. Corrections are needed when a site’s measurements are interrupted or terminated or a new station is established as well as for urban heat if the meteorological station is in a city and altitude if the station is significantly higher than sea level.

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Fig. 5. This plot from the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency shows sunspot numbers since their first observation with telescopes in 1610. Systematic counting began soon after the discovery of the 11-year cycle in 1843. Later searching of old records provided the earlier numbers.

The IPCC Reports refer to four sources of data for the temperature anomaly from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forcasting in the United Kingdom and the Goddard Institute for Space Science and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States. For a given month they can differ by several tenths of a degree, but all show the same long-term trends of Fig. 1, a rise from 1978 to 1998 and a plateau from 1998 to the present.

These patterns continue to be a challenge for researchers to understand. Some climatologists like to put a straight line through all the data from 1978 to the present and conclude that the world is continuing to warm, just a little more slowly, but surely if these curves have any connection to reality, changes in slope mean something. Are they evidence of the chaotic nature of climate with abrupt shifts from one state to another?

Essex, McKitrick and Andresen (2007) and Essex and McKitrick (2007) in their popular book have criticized the use of these mean temperature data for the earth. First temperature is an intensive thermodynamic variable relevant to a particular location in equilibrium with the measuring device. Any average with other locations or times of day or seasons has no physical meaning. Other types of averages might be more appropriate such as the second, fourth or inverse power of the absolute temperature, each of which would give a different trend with time. Furthermore it is temperature differences between two places that drive the dynamics. Climatologists have not explained what this single number for global temperature actually means. Essex and McKitrick note that it “is not a temperature. Nor is it even a proper statistic or index. It is a sequence of different statistics grafted together with ad hoc models.”

This questionable use of a global temperature along with the problems of modeling a chaotic system discussed below raise basic concerns about the validity of the test with observations in Section 2. Since climatologists and the IPCC insist on using this temperature number and the models in their predictions of global warming, it still is appropriate to hold them to comparisons with the observations they consider relevant.

6. CHAOS

Essex and McKitrick (2007) have provided a helpful introduction to this problem. Thanks to the pioneering investigations into the equations for convection and the associated turbulence by meteorologist Edward Lorenz, scientists have come to realize that many dynamical systems are fundamentally chaotic. The situation often is described as the butterfly effect because a small change in initial conditions such as the flap of a butterfly wing can have large effects in later results.

Convection and turbulence in the air are central phenomenon in determining weather and so must have their effect on climate too. The IPCC on p. 1-25 of the 2013 Report recognizes this with the statement “There are fundamental limits to just how precisely annual temperatures can be projected, because of the chaotic nature of the climate system.” but then makes predictions with confidence. Meteorologists modeling weather find that their predictions become unstable after a week or two, and they have the advantage of refining their models by comparing predictions with observations.

Why do the climate models in the IPCC reports not show these instabilities? Have they been selectively tuned to avoid them or are the chaotic physical processes not properly included? Why should we think that long-term climate predictions are possible when they are not for weather?

7. THE APPEAL TO CONSENSUS AND THE SILENCING OF SKEPTICISM

Frequently we hear that we must accept that the earth is warming at an alarming rate due to anthropogenic CO2 because 90+% climatologists believe it. However, science is not a consensus discipline. It depends on skeptics questioning every hypothesis, every theory and every model until all rational challenges are satisfied. Any endeavor that must prove itself by appealing to consensus or demeaning skeptics is not science. Why do some proponents of climate alarm dismiss critics by implying they are like Holocaust deniers? Presumably most climatologists disapprove of these unscientific tactics, but too few speak out against them.

8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

At least six serious problems confront the climate predictions presented in the last IPCC Report. The models do not predict the observed temperature plateau since 1998, the models adopted a feedback parameter based on the unjustified assumption that the warming prior to 1998 was primarily caused by anthopogenic CO2, the IPCC ignored possible affects of reduced solar activity during the past decade, the temperature anomaly has no physical significance, the models attempt to predict the future of a chaotic system, and there is an appeal to consensus to establish climate science.

Temperatures could start to rise again as we continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere or they could fall as suggested by the present weak solar activity. Many climatologists are trying to address the issues described here to give us a better understanding of the physical processes involved and the reliability of the predictions. One outstanding issue is the location of all the anthropogenic CO2. According to Table 6.1 in the 2013 Report, half goes into the atmosphere and a quarter into the oceans with the remaining quarter assigned to some undefined sequestering as biomass on the land.

Meanwhile what policies should a responsible citizen be advocating? We risk serious consequences from either a major change in climate or an economic recession from efforts to reduce the CO2 output. My personal view is to use this temperature plateau as a time to reassess all the relevant issues. Are there other environmental effects that are equally or more important than global warming? Are some policies like subsidizing biofuels counterproductive? Are large farms of windmills, solar cells or collecting mirrors effective investments when we are unable to store energy? How reliable is the claim that extreme weather events are more frequent because of the global warming? Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?

References

DeLand, M. T., & Cebula, R. P. (2012) Solar UV variations during the decline of Cycle 23. J. Atmosph. Solar-Terrestr. Phys., 77, 225.

Essex, C., & McKitrick, R. (2007) Taken by storm: the troubled science, policy and politics of global warming, Key Porter Books. Rev. ed. Toronto, ON, Canada.

Essex, C., McKitrick, R., & Andresen, B. (2007) Does a Global temperature Exist? J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn. 32, 1.

Haigh. J. D., et al. (2010). An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate. Nature 467, 696.

IPCC (2013), Climate Change 2013: The Physicsal Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, http://www.ipcc.ch

Li, L. H., Basu, S., Sofia, S., Robinson, F.J., Demarque, P., & Guenther, D.B. (2003). Global

parameter and helioseismic tests of solar variability models. Astrophys. J., 591, 1284.

Kirkby, J. et al. (2011). Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric

aerosol nucleation. Nature, 476, 429.

Knight, J., et al. (2009). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90 (8), Special Suppl. pp. S22, S23.

Morton, D. C. (2014). An Astronomer’s view of Climate Change. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. Canada, 108, 27. http://arXiv.org/abs/1401.8235.

Svensmark, H., Enghoff, M.B., & Pedersen, J.O.P. (2013). Response of cloud condensation nuclei (> 50 nm) to changes in ion-nucleation. Phys. Lett. A, 377, 2343.

Tapping, K.F. (2013). The 10.7 cm radio flux (F10.7). Space Weather, 11, 394.

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s Khamenei says nuclear talks will ‘lead nowhere’

Al-Akhbar | February 17, 2014

Iran’s top decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that while he is not against a resumption of nuclear negotiations with the world’s major powers, the talks will “lead nowhere”.

“Some of the officials of the previous government as well as the officials of this government think the problem will be resolved if they negotiate the nuclear issue,” Khamenei said in remarks published on his website Khamenei.ir.

“I repeat it again that I am not optimistic about the negotiations and they will lead nowhere, but I am not against them,” he added.

Iran is due to resume talks on Tuesday in Vienna with the P5+1 powers – Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany – aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord on its controversial nuclear program following a landmark interim deal in November.

Under the interim deal, Iran agreed to freeze some nuclear activities for six months in exchange for modest sanctions relief and a promise by Western powers not to impose new restrictions on its hard-hit economy.

Western powers and Israel, which is the only country in the region to have a nuclear arsenal, have long suspected Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program, charges with no evidence and constantly denied by Tehran.

Khamenei said Iran would abide by its pledge to pursue the negotiations.

“The work that has been started by the foreign ministry will continue and Iran will not violate its commitment, but I repeat it again, it will lead to nowhere,” Khamenei said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is leading Tehran’s negotiating team, arrived in Vienna on Monday. He is scheduled to meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton over a working dinner.

Iranian media reported the negotiations would officially begin at 0830 GMT on Tuesday.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

UK flood defenses on hold due to cuts: Report

Press TV – February 17, 2014

A report says that the flood-stricken areas in the southern coasts of Britain have been left without planned defenses due to the UK government’s austerity cuts.

The report, published by the Guardian on Sunday, said that the flood-affected areas, including Somerset Levels and Yalding in Kent, have not received planned defense measures, which total many millions of pounds, due to the funding cuts.

Among the undelivered defenses are protection schemes near the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset and also on the stretch of Devon coast at Dawlish, where a part of a railway fell into the sea earlier this month due to the severe weather conditions.

In addition, a 2.2-million-pound project was halted in the flood-stricken Somerset Levels. The project aimed to improve flood management on the Parret River, the main waterway draining the area, and the nearby Sowy River.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is under fire for cutting flood defense spending by almost £100 million a year since it came into power four years ago.

Cameron’s government has also been criticized for its poor handling of the flood crisis.

A poll published on Sunday by the Independent revealed that six out of ten British voters believe the government has failed to get a grip on the flooding crisis.

Large parts of Britain continue to remain on high alert, with severe flood warnings still in place along the Thames and in Somerset.

Heavy rains have inundated villages in Britain’s southwestern area of Somerset Levels, with thousands of acres having been underwater for more than a month.

According to the estimates by the Environment Agency, it will take 26 days to pump all the water out of the Curry Moor area of the Levels once it stops raining.

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Canada grants new identity, passport to Mossad assassin

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Press TV – February 16, 2014

The Canadian government has granted a new identity and passport to an agent of the Israeli spying service Mossad who had been involved in an assassination plot in 2010.

The Mossad agent, whose identity was not revealed, received the new identity and passport after his participation in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010, Canadian news agency QMI quoted Arian Azarbar, a businessman, as saying.

“The girl who was in charge of that file at Passport Canada… told me about it,” Azarbar said.

Al-Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room by a team of ten assassins carrying European passports.

“The Canadian government has said we had nothing to do with this, but it is a lie,” Azarbar added.

Azarbar has also provided the QMI agency with the name of the Israeli spy and the location of his residence in Canada. The agency, however, has declined to disclose the information, saying it would “endanger the safety and security” of the Mossad agent.

Alexis Pavelich, the spokesman for Canada’s Immigration Ministry, has refused to talk about the passport issue.

Back in 1997, Jordan arrested two Mossad agents carrying fake Canadian passports following a life attempt on Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.

Canada is closely allied to the Israeli regime.

Canada was one of the few countries that opposed the successful Palestinian bid in November 2012 to upgrade its status at the United Nations from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state.”

In October 2011, Canada also opposed the Palestinian effort to win membership within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces use tear gas against schoolchildren in Hebron

International Solidarity Movement | February 17, 2014

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday, the 16th of February, Israeli soldiers and border police in Hebron fired tear gas and sound grenades at children on their way to school. The border police also chased the children, attempting to arrest them.

At Checkpoint 29, around 7:30 a.m., a few children on their way to school (there are three schools near the checkpoint) were throwing stones at the soldiers stationed there. In response to this two border police and a soldier appeared from an alley and threw a sound grenade at the kids close to the United Nations school on Tareq Ben Ziyad Street.

This frightened not only the children who had thrown stones but all the children on their way to school, causing them to flee. When they did not catch any children the two border police and the soldier stood in front of the school blocking the entrance and started firing teargas at those who had fled.

As the border police and the soldier returned to the checkpoint, three new soldiers came out of an apartment across the street, preventing the children from entering their school. The soldiers continued firing teargas towards the crowd of upset and frightened children.

Tear gas is a nondiscriminatory nerve gas which affects all persons nearby. The gas often takes a long time to disperse, forcing children to go through the half-dispersed gas clouds on their way to school, leaving them crying and coughing. The use of tear gas against schoolchildren is common in Hebron.

In total, seven soldiers and two border police were involved in the incident, firing six tear gas grenades and two sound grenades at the children.

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment