Friday, November 4, 2011

Breaking News Fri. Nov. 4, 2011

Happy Friday to you all! In case you missed it, there's going to be a "test" on the 9th. Here's the scoop.

It's only a test, but nerves are somewhat frayed over the first nationwide exercise of the system designed to alert Americans of national emergencies.
The test occurs at 1900 GMT Wednesday, November 9, and may last over three minutes -- longer than the typical 30 seconds or one minute for most broadcast test messages.
According to a message being circulated by local school and government officials, there is "great concern in local police and emergency management circles about undue public anxiety over this test."
"The test message on TV might not indicate that it is just a test," according to one email being circulated by a Washington area school district.
"Fear is that the lack of an explanation message might create panic. Please share this information with your family and friends so they are aware of the test."
The test is being conducted jointly by the US Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Weather Service.
"We're asking everyone to join us by spreading the word to your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family... please remember: don't stress; it's only a test," FEMA said in a blog post.
The test is part of the Emergency Alert System designed to transmit, via TV and radio, emergency alerts and warnings regarding weather threats, child abductions and other types of emergencies, according to officials.
While state and local tests already take place frequently, a simultaneous, nationwide test of the national EAS "emergency action notification" code has never occurred.

Thanks to RJ  at Global Glass Onion don't forget to check out his weekly financial wrap up, and  the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer, check her blog tomorrow for a new article! Also be sure to drop in and visit the folks at the forums linked at the bottom of this post.

Bloomberg: Tepco Losses Rise to 1.8 Trillion Yen After Fukushima Crisis
MainichiDaily: U.S. think tank calls for radiation exposure survey on Fukushima 
DesdemonaDespair: Sen. Cantwell says debris from Japanese tsunami a threat to Northwest U.S. coast
IBTimes: Japan Predicts it Will Take 30 Years to Clear Contaminated Areas in Fukushima Prefecture 

Global Conflict
from CKM3: Sign Up Now! It's time for another war. Be the first on your block to support war with Iran. Israel's ready. The Tommies are ready. Aren't you ready to use nuclear weapons to free the world from nuclear weapons? How about computer worms to prevent evil computing? Back the attack! Call now, recruiters are waiting. Note: NATO has "no intention whatsoever" of intervening in Iran until it gets paid for its work in Libya. (thanks to RJ for this one!)
IBTimes: Afghanistan War: The Cost of War 
SeattlePI: US military: American service member dies in Iraq
VOA: US Iraq Withdrawal May Tempt Iran to Fill Void 
AlterNet: 3 Remarkable Occupations You Haven't Heard Enough AboutThe Occupy protests bear a striking resemblance to one another in spirit, courage and resolve.  (thanks to the Ozarker, for the above story!)

TheAtlantic: Your Latest Iran Nuclear Round-Up  - Most people outside of Israel don't seem to realize this, but there's a full-on crisis over there about plans -- or non-plans -- to bomb Iran's nuclear program. I'll round-up more of this news as it comes over the transom, but this struck me as particularly interesting: Polls by Haaretz show that the Israeli public is split on the matter. On the issue of the attack itself, the results are split with 41% of Israelis (both Arabs and Jews) in favor of a strike, 39% against it, 20% undecided. Most definitively, 80% of Israelis believe that a strike on Iran will draw Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon into a war with Israel, with 59% responding that scenario playing out would be highly likely, the other 21% responding that it would be only fairly likely.
SOTT: Propaganda Alert! UK and U.S. 'draw up joint plan to attack Iran' for Nuclear Programme
The UK and U.S. are drawing up plans to attack Iran amid growing tensions in the Middle East, it was claimed last night.
Barack Obama and David Cameron are preparing for war after reports that Iran now has enough enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons.
VOA: Activists: Israeli Ships Intercept Pro-Palestinian Flotilla
Reuters: Protesters disrupt Chicago speech by Wisconsin governor
BusinessWeek: Syria Forces Press On With Crackdown After Arab League Accord
WSJ: U.S. Tightens Drone Rules  - The Central Intelligence Agency has made a series of secret concessions in its drone campaign after military and diplomatic officials complained large strikes were damaging the fragile U.S. relationship with Pakistan. 
WashingtonPost: U.S. cyber espionage report names China and Russia as main culprits
Hosted: Palestinians urge UN action against Israel
DailyBail: RAW VIDEO - Police Use Flash Grenades & Tear Gas At Oakland General Strike
USAToday: Oakland protesters condemn violent clashes
Guardian: Syria's brutal regime exposed: 'torture and detention is systematic' - video
WashingtonPost: In Israel, speculation grows about Iran strike 
CNN: Israeli ships shadow Gaza flotilla, organizers say
ABCNews: Warships won't escort Gaza-bound flotilla 
BlacklistedNews: Will Israel Pull the Trigger and Send Iran the Ultimate Message? 
Telegraph: Flotilla ships brace for Israeli interception as they near Gaza 
Cryptogon: Israel: Did Heads of Mossad and Shin Bet Leak Plans for Attack on Iran?  

Hacker News
BusinessWeek: US Intelligence Calls China World's Biggest Cyber Thief
USAToday: U.K. police: About 6,000 possible phone hack victims
AtlanticWire: Anonymous Is Going Forward with Its Mexican Cartel Leak After All
Financial News
Bloomberg: European Stocks Rise as Greece Abandons Vote
NYT: Report Shows a Mere 80000 Jobs Added in US in October 
Bloomberg: Berlusconi's Fraying Coalition Threatens Economic Reforms Demanded by G-20 
Economist: Someone should really do something - YESTERDAY, the Federal Reserve released a new statement in which the only real change from the previous meeting's statement was that the language concerning the outlook for the economy got a little brighter. Then they released new economic projections: You'll note that the Fed's forecast has—yet again—been revised downward.
Krugman: Dear Ben: It's Not 2007 Anymore
Washington Pre-Occupied - Robert Reich - The biggest question in America these days is how to revive the economy. The biggest question among activists now occupying Wall Street and dozens of other cities is how to strike back against the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income, wealth, and political power in the top 1 percent. The two questions are related. With so much income and wealth concentrated at the top, the vast middle class no longer has the purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. The result is prolonged stagnation and high unemployment as far as the eye can see.
LAT: Papandreou agrees to open talks for a new unity government
RadioNZ: Greek PM to stand down - After a tumultous day in Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou is reported to have struck a deal to stand down, admitting he made a mistake in calling for a referendum on the eurozone rescue package
FTAlphaville: Approaching the Italian endgame
BBC: Greece PM Papandreou faces knife-edge confidence vote: Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a crucial confidence vote in parliament on Friday with the outcome on a knife-edge.  
ZeroHedge: Will Meredith Whitney Be Proven Right In The End?
Italy Threatened with Troika Surveillance; Merkozy Sends Inspectors to Italy to Verify the Italian Mish: Books; Berlusconi Under Intense Pressure to Resign - Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy were more than a little ticked off when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi showed up for the Cannes summit "empty handed". In response. Merkozy proposed a new Troika for Italy and sent inspectors to pour over Italy's books. 

MyBudget360: Un-preparing the future with the higher education bubble – graduating students with more debt and with degrees that have little demand in the marketplace. For-profits now account for nearly 10 percent of all undergraduate enrollment when in 1997-98 they accounted for 3 percent.
WSJ: Banks Conduct Greek 'Fire Drills'
Guardian: Greece may leave euro, leaders admit - The G20 is planning to increase the crisis-fighting firepower of the International Monetary Fund after the start of its summit was dominated by the first open admission from EU leaders that it might be necessary for Greece to leave the eurozone if the single currency is to survive. 

SHTFPlan: The Canary Is Dying of Asphyxiation
CapitalGainsandGames: The Treasury Joins the Build While It's Cheap Chorus  
WSJ: U.S., Again, Says It Won’t Join EU on Financial Transactions Tax - The leaders of Germany and France raised the idea of a financial transactions tax in their meetings with President Barack Obama Thursday at the G-20 summit. And both got the same disappointing answer. European Union leaders are using the G-20 forum to push for a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and derivatives to raise money for taxpayers who have bailed out their financial systems. The U.S. is against the proposal, and even some European nations — such as the U.K. and Sweden — say it won’t work unless it’s adopted globally because activity would move to regions that don’t assess the tax. 
WSJ: House Democrats Propose Unemployment Extension - House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday that would extend federal unemployment insurance through 2012 and help states continue to offer assistance as well. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee‘s subpanel on human resources, submitted legislation Thursday that would extend federal unemployment benefits through the 2012 calendar year and give breaks to states trying to maintain their own assistance programs.  
Zerohedge: Because Central Banks Just Aren't Enough: G-20 Will Ask IMF To Print Reserve Currency 
BusinessWeek: Italy Faces Monitoring Pressure, Trumping Greece in Debt Concern 
BusinessInsider: Refuting The China Bears In One Big Slide 
Zerohedge: Behind The Scenes European Panic As Interbank Liquidity At Worst Level Ever 
FT: AIG records biggest loss since 2009 
TheTelegraph: Britain liable for billions of pounds as eurozone crisis deepens - Britain is poised to provide billions of pounds for a new global economic rescue package, prompted by concerns that the EU plan to save the euro will not be enough to stabilise the world economy. 
NakedCapitalist: Bank CEOs Lying When They Say They’ve Stopped Robosigning
Independent: Euro chaos: Britain prepares for worst - UK looks to IMF while Greece drops referendum proposal.
McClatchy: As Greece woes ebb, other Eurozone problems surface
SFGate: 397,000 jobless filings, fewer than expected 
Politico: Bill Gates aims for 'Robin Hood' tax 
CNBC: Bank Exodus From Euro Zone Sovereign Debt Quickens 
SeattleTimes: Economy poised for modest job gains in October - Employers likely added only enough jobs in October to keep the unemployment rate from rising, reflecting their cautious outlook in the sluggish economy. 

Peak Oil and Energy News
Grist: Learning from history: Why natural gas prices will rise
TheOilDrum: New Dept. of Energy Priority-Setting Analysis Seriously Flawed
The new report sets priories based on a distorted view of the future. One issue is that it is trying to set priorities based on an overly optimistic view of energy supply presented in the EIA's International Energy Outlook 2011 (IEO 2011). Another issue is that it overlooks the way the US and world economy can be expected to change as a result of lower oil and natural gas supply. A third issue is that its view of climate change mitigations is based on a view of fossil fuel supply that is far greater than is likely to be the case.
DeclineofTheEmpire: Are You Caught In The Energy Trap? - It is the first day of November but the national average gasoline price is $3.437 per gallon according to AAA's National Fuel Gauge. This is the first year I can remember in which gas prices have not fallen below $3/gallon this late in the fall.

Mineweb: Greece's referendum and the impact on gold currency markets
Zerohedge: Central Banks Quietly Accumulating Gold - Declared Purchases of 206 Tons Through September 2011

Environmental News
M 5.8, Vanuatu Islands
M 5.1, South of Bali, IndonesiaM 4.4, Tyrrhenian Sea  
M 4.9, Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan
ExtinctionProtocol: Chile coastline under seismic assault from new tension along Nazca plate
ExtinctionProtocol: NASA detects X 2-class flare eruption on the Sun HUGE SUNSPOT: One of the biggest sunspot groups in many years has just emerged over the sun's eastern limb.  The sunspot's magnetic canopy is crackling with M-class (medium-sized) solar flares and seems poised to launch even stronger X-class eruptions. The sunspot, named AR1339, is not yet directly facing Earth but it will be turning toward our planet in the days ahead.   (got this alert in my email)
CBSNews: "Monster" greenhouse gas levels seen
Statesman: EPA to probe gas drilling's toll on drinking water 
PopSci: Bringing Biodiversity Data Online, One Leaf At A Time
Grist: This bridge is made from recycled plastic
This 90-foot bridge in Wales is Europe's first to be made entirely out of recycled plastic, not to mention the longest plastic bridge ever built. More than 50 tons of plastic went into making the bridge, which can carry vehicles up to 44 metric tons (heavier than most tractor-trailers).  
TheAtlantic: In China, 'Time Is Not Ripe' for Honest Air Pollution Readings
Time: The Realm of the Red Penguin: Peru's Dead Sea of Fossils 
ScienceMag: Wildlife Biologist Found Guilty of Attempting to Poison Feral Cats 
CNN: Freak snowstorm blamed for at least 22 deaths
DesdemonaDespair: Global warming: Middle East’s vital wet winters are disappearing
TheTelegraph: Iceberg the size of Berlin forms in Antarctica - A huge iceberg that will grow to 880 square kilometres - an area the size of Berlin - is forming in a shelf of floating ice in West Antarctica.
TheGuardian: China to phase out incandescent lightbulbs - Energy-inefficient lightbulbs will be phased out in five years in a bid to save energy and curb climate change

America in Decline
LegitGov: New Report: Military Losing the Battle Against Suicide
Chron: Guardianships putting thousands of elderly Texans at risk - Documents show they're losing their rights
CBSNews: AP Exclusive: CIA following Twitter, Facebook
Guardian: US poverty data: 1 in 15 people among America's poorest poorData shows about 20.5m Americans make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50% or less of the official poverty level ( I know I posted about this yesterday but I think it's pretty important. This is part of the permanent decline in America, it's part of what will become the new normal. )
NYT: Bleak Portrait of Poverty Is Off the Mark, Experts Say
and the one below from RJ
LimitedInc: Another lizard-like Smeeding: making poverty disappear in our plutocratic era - When you are dealing with a fire, the experts involved are firefighters. When you are dealing with scuba diving, the experts are scuba divers. But a funny thing happened to expertise on the way to D.C. The experts on poverty are – upper class.

RawStory: Detroit in ‘extremely serious’ fiscal shape: mayor The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System 
CNNMoney: Are America's unemployed youth becoming unemployable? The jobless generation 
PolicyShop: Not Their Parent's American Dream: The State Of Young America  

Food and Water
BigPictureAgriculture: Industrial Agriculture's Seed Companies Family Tree Graphic
OrionMagazine: The Era of Small and Many - For 150 years the number of farms in America has inexorably declined. In my state—the most rural in the nation—the number of dairies fell from 11,000 at the end of World War II to 998 this summer. And of course the farms that remained grew ever larger—factory farms, we called them, growing commodity food. Here in Vermont most of the remaining dairies are big, but not big enough to compete with the behemoths in California or Arizona; they operate so close to the margin that they can’t afford to hire local workers and instead import illegal migrants from Mexico.  But last year the USDA reported that the number of farms in America had actually increased for the first time in a century and a half. The most defining American demographic trend—the shift that had taken us from a nation of 50 percent farmers to less than 1 percent—had bottomed out and reversed. Farms are on the increase—small farms, mostly growing food for their neighbors. They’re not yet a threat to the profits of the Cargills and the ADMs, but you can see the emerging structure of a new agriculture composed of CSAs and farmers’ markets, with fewer middlemen. Which is all for the good. Such farming uses less energy and produces better food; it’s easier on the land; it offers rural communities a way out of terminal decline.(special thanks to RJ for this one)

Science and Technology
PopSci: Video: The Air Force's 'Micro-Aviary' Gives Tiny Flying Robots a Place to Call Home
Reuters: Pale-faced Mars crew "lands" after 520 days in isolation - Pale-faced but smiling, the crew of a long-duration isolation study emerged bleary-eyed to a flood of daylight and applause on Friday after 520 days locked away in windowless, cramped cells to simulate the length of a journey to Mars.
KurzweilAI: World’s most powerful laser to tear apart the vacuum of space
A laser powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space is planned as part of a new scientific project that aims to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our universe.
PopSci: The World's Most Amazing Databases: Sloan Digital Sky Survey Database
ArchaeologyNewsNetwork: Humans and Climate contributed to extinctions of large Ice Age Mammals

Medical and Health
TechReview: Company Decodes Cancers to Target Treatment
TheNation: Culture of Death: Who Gets to Be a Person in Mississippi? 
VOXEU: Does sport make your kids smarter? New evidence from Germany
WSJ: Thai Flooding Causes Threat of Disease
ScientificAmerican; Prolonged Sitting Linked to Breast and Colon Cancers
SOTT: Man pleads guilty to illegally trafficking kidneys from Israel where they were later transplanted into American patients at prestigious US hospitals 

Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
ModernSurvivalBlog: Organize and Rotate your Food Supplies

Other News
BeforeItsNews: Warning: Magnetic 'Death Vortex' Now ApproachingAtlantic: One Victim's Battle to End Sexual Violence Against Journalists - Eleven years after she was drugged, kidnapped, and gang-raped, a Colombian journalist is seeking justice - for women, for journalists,
SOTT: US, California: Bay Area Woman Trapped in Airport for Eight Days - All for Lack of a $60 Baggage Fee
Bloomberg: Minter: China’s ’Birth Tourism’ Isn’t About the U.S.
Why do wealthy Chinese women fly to the United States to give birth? Last week, this phenomenon known as “birth tourism” became a national topic of discussion in China when a rumor circulated that Wang Baoqiang, a baby-faced A-list movie star who is popular for his comedies, had accompanied his pregnant wife to Los Angeles, where she is to give birth to the couple’s second child.
If one goes by the conventional U.S. wisdom about “birth tourism” featured recently in American news media, the answer is self-evident: Children born in the U.S. are entitled to U.S. passports, free American education and other rights of U.S. citizenship that are not readily available to their Chinese-born parents. This is a neat (if self-flattering) explanation that undoubtedly finds support in the growing number of "birthing centers" in Los Angeles and New York that cater to Mainland Chinese clients.
But for many Chinese, the obvious explanation for Wang Baoqiang and his wife traveling to Los Angeles to give birth wasn’t to give their child U.S. citizenship, but because they are restricted from having a second child born in China, where population control rules -- popularly known in the West as the "one-child policy" -- have been in force for decades.
AtlanticWire: Journalists Don't Like Being Told How to Retweet 
USAToday: Police: Judge won't be charged over video beating
Wired: Battle of the Bulge: China’s Military Recruits More Fatties
DailyMail: Festering anger, Nazi war crimes and the £60bn the Greeks believe the Germans owe them - The SS indulged their bloodlust on men, women and children alike. While homes and shops blazed around them like some hellish inferno, women were violated and those who were pregnant were stabbed in the guts. Small babies were bayoneted in their cribs. The village priest was beheaded. By the time Hitler’s men had left the Greek village of Distomo near the ancient town of Delphi on that bloody day in June 1944, 218 people were dead. The Waffen-SS was pleased with its work: the local partisans who had dared to attack a German unit had been taught a bitter lesson in revenge. The slaughter at Distomo was such an outrage that, in 2003, even a German Federal Court judge described it as ‘one of the most despicable crimes of World War II’. But he refused to grant the families of the victims any compensation for their suffering, and not a single German soldier was ever punished for what he and his comrades had done.  

AtlanticWire: How Elizabeth Warren Handles a Very Rude Heckler
Grist: The GOP brain explained: Why Cliff Stearns wants to subsidize successful companies
Yesterday I sketched the sort of personality type most likely to identify as conservative: those who prefer stability to change, order to complexity, familiarity to novelty, and conformity to creativity. This sort of personality type is drawn to clear lines separating in-groups from out-groups, highly aware of social hierarchies, suspicious of change, and strongly inclined toward system justification, i.e., seeing the prevailing socioeconomic regime as worthy and desirable Perry tries to pass blame for Cain revelations to Romney campaign
BusinessWeek: Romney Urges Only 'Essential' Spending in Plan to Tame Debt
BlackListedNews: Members of Congress Increased Personal Wealth 25% in Two Years Senate GOP blocks Obama infrastructure plan
TPM: Eager to meet Cain's wife and see what she has to say as he promised? Too bad:Cain's Wife Won't Appear On Fox FridayHerman Cain’s wife, Gloria, will not appear on Fox News on Friday, the New York Times reports. As the scandal surrounding Cain has unfolded, the Republican presidential contender promised that the public would soon meet his wife.
Treehugger: Jon Huntsman bucks Republican party establishment with common sense. Says we need to "Break Oil's Monopoly"
Republican Presidential Candidate: We Need to "Break Oil's Monopoly"
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is again making headlines due to his eminently reasonable and comparatively forward-looking ideas on topics like science and energy. First, in a move perceived by the Republican establishment as radical, he said that he trusts scientists on issues like climate change. That caused a ruckus amongst conservatives who blasted him for alleged ideological impurity -- and simultaneously exposed how extreme the Republican party has become, and how far it has drifted from science.
Now, Huntsman is again causing a stir. He recently released his proposal for an energy plan, and it includes venturing into territory hitherto considered anathema to the modern GOP: Cutting off the flow billions of dollars in subsidies to Big Oil.
DetroitFreePress: Romney seeks arts, Amtrak cuts
NYDailyNews: Lupica: So much for Cain being Mr. Honest
StarDemocrat: GOP's alarming track record
RawStory: GOP presidential candidate pledges pardons for marijuana prisoners

The Forums
TinfoilPalace: UFO in New Orleans 
TinfoilPalace: Harold Holt, Prime-Minister of Australia mysteriously disappeared in 1967
TheOilAge: I don't think the government will last until tonight... TheOilAge: Thirty companies paid no U.S. income tax 2008-2010 
HubbertsArms: Is Financial Doom an Illusion? 
HubbertsArms: Coming your way: The end of the oil age! Are you prepared? 
SilentCountry: Grocery Store Prices
SilentCountry: Doom -o- meter

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