Italy Steps Up Security Over Alleged ISIS Plot to Kill The Pope (Source The Daily Beast) The Roman newspaper Il Tempo published a disturbing report that Francis is “in the crosshairs” of ISIS for “bearing false witness” against Islam. Citing anonymous sources within Italy’s intelligence community and pointing to notable heightened security in Rome, the paper went on to say that ISIS plans to heat things up by “raising the level of confrontation” with Europe, Italy and very specifically Pope Francis, the “greatest exponent of the Christian religions.” Italy’s deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico said that Italy and the Vatican are equally at risk after authorities issued a terrorism alert, warning ISIS could launch terrorist attacks on what they referred to as “sensitive targets” in Rome and elsewhere, specifically pinpointing embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, bus and train stations, sea ports, airports and travel agencies. Other security measures include restricting air space above Vatican City and Italy’s foreign ministry, in addition to stepped up police presence in public transportation hubs and busy tourist sites like the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Square.
THE NAIL IN THE PETRODOLLAR COFFIN: GAZPROM BEGINS ACCEPTING PAYMENT FOR OIL IN RUBLE, YUAN (Source Zero hedge) Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated “Holy Grail” energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar’s stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative. This changed in late June when first Gazprom’s CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Rubles, and at the same time the People’s Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors. And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent. Until now. According to Russia’s RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Rubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is conerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin'(sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world.
Dangerous Crossroads: US-NATO To Deploy Ground Troops, Conduct Large Scale Naval Exercises against “Unnamed Enemy” (Source globalresearch.ca) From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders. On July 24, in consultation with the Pentagon, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove called for “stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia” On July 24, in consultation with the Pentagon, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove called for “stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia” Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” is to be presented at NATO’s summit in Wales in early September, according to The London Times. War preparations are invariably accompanied and preceded by major military exercises. US-NATO multi-warfare naval exercises are to be conducted off the Florida coastline under operation FLEETEX, with the participation of the US, Canada, Germany and Turkey. The underlying premise of these war games is “global warfare”. All four NATO member states are adjacent to strategic sea corridors, which are contiguous to Russian maritime areas, respectively the Bering Sea and straits (US), the Arctic Ocean (Canada), the North Sea (Germany) and the Black Sea (Turkey). The Florida war games are predicated on multi-country integration and coordination of naval operations directed against an unnamed enemy.
States with medical pot see nearly 25 percent fewer fatal prescription drug overdoses (Sources RT)
A new study reveals that states where medical marijuana is legal experience around one-quarter fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses, signaling perhaps a small victory for proponents of pot’s alleged pain-alleviating powers. According to the study published in the latest installment of JAMA Internal Medicine, the 13 states in America that have legalized the use of medical marijuana for patients with valid prescriptions see a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose rate that those where weed can’t legally be offered to treat ailments.
Dr. Marcus A. Bachhuber of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center writes in the study that “States that implemented medical marijuana laws appear to have lower annual opioid analgesic overdoses death rates (both from prescription pain killers and illicit drugs such as heroin) than states without such laws.
Vladimir Putin: Don’t mess with nuclear-armed Russia (Source telegraph.co.uk) Vladimir Putin raised the spectre of nuclear war with the West on Friday as he defied international condemnation over his decision to send thousands of Russian troops and heavy armour into Ukraine. Accused by Europe and Nato of launching a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine, the Russian leader boasted to a group of Russian youngsters that “It’s best not to mess with us.” In language not seen since the height of the Cold War, he told his audience: “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.” Mr Putin’s comments, made during a visit to a pro-Kremlin youth camp on the banks of a lake outside Moscow, will horrify Western governments as they try to bring Russia into check. Even during the height of Cold War hostilities, few Kremlin leaders ever resorted to the direct mentions of Russia’s nuclear arsenal. He made his remarks as European leaders prepare to gather tomorrow for an emergency summit to discuss further sanctions on Moscow over the appearance in the last few days of more than 1,000 regular Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. The soldiers are believed to be the backbone of a lightning counter-offensive that has seen pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine claw back large swathes of territory from Ukrainian government forces in recent days, dramatically turning the tide in the four-month conflict. A major battle is expected in the port city of Mariupol in coming days, where Ukrainian forces are dug in in anticipation of a full-scale assault by rebels backed by the Kremlin’s forces. The escalation in the conflict is the most serious since the pro-Russian uprising began, and has dashed Western hopes that the sanctions on the Kremlin had forced it to gradually abandon its support for the rebels.
The Significance of Germany’s Break From America (Source thetrumpet.com) Because of continued revelations of American spying, in July German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief to get out of Berlin. The decision was a slap in America’s face, and the German public loved it. However, reports also surfaced that other German leaders are upset with Chancellor Merkel for not being forceful enough against the United States. That fact is going to help usher in a new German leader—a strongman who will more broadly reflect the German public’s opinion of the United States. The Bible has many prophecies of a strong leader rising on the European scene in the end time and wreaking havoc in the world. The Trumpet has been watching for this leader for many years, and now conditions in Europe and the rest of the world are opening the door for him to emerge. As crises intensify, Europeans are crying out for strong leadership! We have said for years we believe that strongman will be Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the former defense minister of Germany. We believe there are strong indications this man will become the next German chancellor. Mr. Guttenberg wrote an article in Germany’s biggest-selling tabloid, Bild, about the spying scandal. He warned about the strong anti-Americanism it was creating in Germany. He said that the government’s decision to expel the CIA station chief “should sound President Obama’s alarm bells.” He said that the president could “enter the history books as THE GRAVEDIGGER OF THE TRANSATLANTIC FRIENDSHIP.” Guttenberg is saying this relationship is about to die and be buried! This is the man who could rule Germany in a very few years. Most Americans don’t realize how violently our allies are condemning our foreign policy. They are too absorbed and distracted with sports, entertainment and domestic issues to be interested.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HIT BY STRONGEST EARTHQUAKE IN 25 YEARS; WINE COUNTRY SHAKES (Source Zero Hedge) As Reuters reports, and as thousands felt early in morning 8/24/14, an earthquake of 6.0 magnitude, the largest in the region for 25 years, shook the San Francisco Bay Area, waking residents and causing some power outages and minor damage, according to initial reports. NBC Bay Area reports that The Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa has admitted 70 patients but their injuries are not expected to be serious. Randy Baldwin, a USGS geophysicist, said the tremor was potentially damaging because it was close to populated areas. He added the USGS was starting to receive reports of some damage in the city of Napa, mostly masonry and some structural damage, as well as power outages. Local CBS news said that several fires had broken out in Napa, which is famous as a wine-growing center. A safety dispatcher for several cities, including American Canyon and Napa, said there were reports of people losing power. The question now is whether the aftershocks, which can continue for the next several weeks and which experts will watch their distribution to determine if this quake happened on a fault line, will morph into something even stronger.
40% OF U.S. ON WELFARE; OBAMACARE EXPANDS WELFARE BY 23 MILLION; MORE ON WELFARE THAN FULL-TIME-EMPLOYED (Source blacklistednews.com) The latest welfare statistics are from year-end 2012. Those figures show 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare. 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time. When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012. Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans’ benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans’ benefits. The 153,323,000 total benefit-takers at the end of 2012, said the Census Bureau, equaled 49.5 percent of the population. The 150,026,000 taking benefits other than veterans’ benefits equaled about 48.5 percent of the population. In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, there were 103,087,000 full-time year-round workers in the United States (including 16,606,000 full-time year-round government workers). Thus, the welfare-takers outnumbered full-time year-round workers by 6,544,000.
Jordan to import natural gas from Gaza field (Source stratrisks.com) Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have agreed in principle to start negotiations for Jordan to purchase natural gas from a field recently discovered off Gaza’s coast. In a statement to Anadolu news agency, the chairperson of the energy committee in the Jordanian parliament, Gamal Qumwa, explained that the preliminary agreement includes supplying Jordan with 150 cubic feet of natural gas from Gaza’s field. He pointed out that this quantity would cover 50 per cent of Jordan’s natural gas needs, which ranges from between 300 to 350 cubic feet per day. In 1999, the Palestinian Authority granted the company British Gas and the Federation of Contractors a concession to explore offshore gas in Gaza’s sea. Two fields were discovered in the year 2000, located 30 km off Gaza’s coast and at a depth of 600 meters. Qumwa noted that the agreement would benefit Jordan in that it will cover a large portion of its needs with a relatively low cost due to the proximity of Gaza’s gas field to Jordan. He predicted that transporting the gas would be carried out initially via ships, until the establishment of a pipeline that would connect Gaza’s field with Al-Aqaba gas port in Jordan, now under construction.
‘Aggressive’ Chinese fighter jet flies dangerously close to U.S. Navy plane (Source CNN) A Chinese fighter jet made several “dangerous” and “unprofessional” passes at a U.S. Navy plane this week — coming as close as 20 feet at one point — in what the White House called a “deeply concerning provocation.” The incident occurred Tuesday in international air space in the South China Sea about 135 miles east of the Chinese island of Hainan, the Pentagon said on Friday. Rear. Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department spokesman, described a flamboyant approach by what he called an armed Chinese fighter jet that three times crossed beneath the Navy Poseidon patrol aircraft with “only 100 feet of separation.” China slammed U.S. accusations, calling them “totally groundless” and saying its jet was within safe distance. The Chinese fighter jet was deployed to make “regular identification and verification,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told state-run Xinhua news agency