Seeds of Destruction: Hijacking of the World’s Food System (Source globalresearch.ca) Birds and bees are something most of us take for granted as part of nature. The expression “teaching about the birds and the bees” to explain the process of human reproduction to young people is not an accidental expression. Bees and birds contribute to the essence of life on our planet. A study by the US Department of Agriculture estimated that “…perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.”The honey bee is the most important pollinator of agricultural crops. Honey bees pollinate over 70 out of 100 crops that in turn provide 90% of the world’s food. They pollinate most fruits and vegetables — including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions and carrots. But while managed honey bee populations have increased over the last 50 years, bee colony populations have decreased significantly in many European and North American nations. Simultaneously, crops that are dependent on insects for pollination have increased. The phenomenon has received the curious designation of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), implying it could be caused by any number of factors. Serious recent scientific studies however point to a major cause: use of new highly toxic systemic pesticides in agriculture since about 2004. If governments in the EU, USA and other countries fail to impose a total ban on certain chemical insecticides, not only could bees become a thing of the past. The human species could face staggering new challenges merely to survive. The immediate threat comes from the widespread proliferation of commercial insecticides containing the highly-toxic chemical with the improbable name, neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. They act on the central nervous system of insects. But also on bees and small song birds. Recent evidence suggests they could also affect human brain development in newborn.
DEA to Look At “Rescheduling” Marijuana over next Few Months (Source naturalblaze.com
It is one of the most tragically comedic aspects of the War on Drugs that marijuana is classed in the same category as heroin and LSD by the U.S. Federal Government. Such a ridiculous classification would truly be worth laughing at if it did not bring along with it mass incarcerations, militaristic policing, untold millions of wasted money and a general police state. The utterly useless Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, a list reserved for “the most dangerous drugs” that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” If one did not suspect that the U.S. Government’s War on Drugs was actually a cover for enslaving its citizenry, then he would be justified in wondering where the DEA has intellectually been since it was created. Just to clarify – according to the DEA, marijuana is significantly more dangerous than cocaine. That classification, however, HYPERLINK “http://fortune.com/2016/04/06/dea-decision-marijuana-reschedule/” might potentially change over the next few months. That is because the DEA has announced plans to decide “in the first half of 2016” whether or not the agency will reschedule marijuana. If the DEA should indeed reclassify the plant down to either Schedule 2 or Schedule 3, the decision would most likely open the door much wider when it comes to greater research regarding marijuana’s medicinal value. The legal marijuana industry also stands to gain from any reclassification. But before anyone gets too excited, the DEA and the Federal Government are not suggesting that marijuana become legal at the federal level – it is only suggesting the reclassification of the plant. In other words, the U.S. Government is itself attempting to reclassify its policy on marijuana from incurable insanity to crippling and severe mental health issues.
US sending commandos, combat aircraft to Philippines (Source washingtonpost.com) In a military buildup certain to inflame tensions with China, the United States said Thursday it will send troops and combat aircraft to the Philippines for regular, more frequent rotations, and will conduct more joint sea and air patrols with Philippine forces in the South China Sea. The announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter in a news conference with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was the first time the U.S. disclosed that its ships had carried out sea patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea, a somewhat rare move not done with many other partners in the region.Carter insisted that the U.S. did not intend to be provocative and was “trying to tamp down tensions here.” But Gazmin said he expected that U.S. forces, “with their presence here, will deter uncalled-for actions by the Chinese.” The increased troop presence is part of a broader U.S. campaign to expand its assistance to the Philippines as America shores up its allies in the Asia-Pacific that are roiled by China’s building of man-made islands in the South China Sea.
Massive anti-Trump protest planned in New York City (Source Yahoo) Protesters are planning to demonstrate against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Manhattan on. Organizers told Yahoo News they expect at least 10,000 people to show up for the protest. It is being held in front of the annual New York State Republican Party gala, where Trump and the other GOP primary candidates are scheduled to speak. The demonstration is being organized by many of the same groups that were involved in a protest against Trump in Chicago that drew thousands and HYPERLINK “http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/11/politics/donald-trump-chicago-protests/” led the candidate to cancel one of his planned appearances. Political consultant Aaron Black, a veteran of the original Occupy Wall Street protest, told Yahoo News he is working with grassroots activists and over 30 progressive groups to organize the protest in Midtown Manhattan. Black said the protest initially HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/events/1195942747097385/1215947318430261/” began on a Facebook page where over 1,000 people indicated they plan to attend. It spread to other social media pages and now has the backing of a variety of progressive organizations. The demonstration is also expected to include a substantial labor contingent. Prior to the protest, several unions will be holding strikes and HYPERLINK “http://fox6now.com/2016/04/14/fight-for-15-fast-food-workers-rally-in-milwaukee-and-across-the-country/” a rally of their own calling for a $15 minimum wage. Black said many of the union workers will be heading to the Trump protest following their rallies. According to Black, the protest will be focused on declaring that “Trump doesn’t speak for New York.” He said there will be thousands of people carrying signs based on the “I Love New York” logo that instead declare love for various minority groups, including Muslims, immigrants, refugees, African-Americans, gays and Jews.
Pope to church: Be more accepting of divorced Catholics, gays and lesbians (Source cnn.com) Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice while not changing any official doctrines. He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations. “A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives,” Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters. He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules. “By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” he writes. He emphasizes that “unjust discrimination” against gays and lesbians is unacceptable, downplays the idea of “living in sin” and suggests that priests should use their own discretion on whether divorced Catholics in new marriages can take Communion.
“Playing with fire”? Russia defends close fly-bys of U.S. warship (Source cbsnews.com) The Pentagon released dramatic video of the jets flying extremely close to the ship more than 30 times over two days. The Obama administration calls the “simulated attack” passes unsafe. The U.S. will file a diplomatic protest, but Russia will have made its point; it resents the U.S. operating so close to Russian territory and intends to push back, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin. The Russian planes raced by the U.S. Navy destroyer low and fast, over and over. Pictures taken from onboard the ship show just how dangerously close they came during some of their passes. They were flying what the commander of the USS Donald Cook described as a “simulated attack profile,” although they carried no weapons under the wings — a total of 31 runs over two days. On Monday, the Cook was preparing to conduct helicopter flight operations in the Baltic Sea, in international water 70 miles off the coast of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday the Su-24 fighter jet pilots saw the ship and then turned back “while using all measures of precaution.” Konashenkov claimed that the ministry was baffled by what he described as the “distressed reaction of our American counterparts.” “The principle of freedom of navigation for the U.S. destroyer, which is staying in close proximity to a Russian naval base in the Baltic Sea, does at all not cancel the principle of freedom of flight for Russian aircraft,” Konashenkov said.
Sierras Are Way Overdue for Major, Costly Earthquake (Source newser.com) The West is long overdue for a major earthquake that could cause billions of dollars in damage to parts of Nevada and California, the HYPERLINK “http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/Sierra-Nevada-Fault-Earthquake-California-376214641.html” \t “_blank” AP reports. Scientists expect a magnitude-7 quake along the eastern front of the Sierra fault system every 30 years or so; there hasn’t been one in more than 60. Similarly, a magnitude-6 or greater quake is expected every 10 years on average; it’s been 22 years since the last one. In fact, there were seven magnitude-6.5 or stronger earthquakes between 1915 and 1954; but the fault that stretches from north of Reno and Lake Tahoe to south of Yosemite National Park has been quiet since. FEMA estimates a magnitude-6 quake could cause up to $1.9 billion in damage to the Reno and Sparks areas of Nevada and another $590 million in damage to South Lake Tahoe in California. The Nevada Seismology Laboratory’s Graham Kent tells the AP the unusually quiet fault system has lulled residents into a false sense of security when it comes to major earthquakes. Instead, he says governments should be using this time to put together plans for both disaster response and economic recovery in the event of a major quake. Earthquake experts are gathering in Reno this week for the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.
$10 Oil Will Trigger Economic Collapse, Warns Economist (Source thesovereigninvestor.com)
Several noted energy experts warn that the price of oil will continue to plummet in 2016. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley expect oil to plummet to $20 a barrel and Royal Bank of Scotland says $16 oil is on the horizon. Both British bank Standard Chartered and energy expert Dr. A. Gary Shilling warn that we need to “get ready for $10 oil.” Why many Americans celebrate cheap prices at the pump, they don’t realize that “cheap oil” spells DOOM for the U.S. economy. Oil service companies Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger have already laid off over 50,000 employees. But it’s not just energy company employees who are impacted. The companies that supply fracking equipment, employee housing, restaurants and consumer services all feel the pinch, and will follow suit and layoff tens of thousands more employees, many of these businesses will have to close. Then there’s the banks who loaned billions of dollars to these companies who will see massive losses and many banks will go bankrupt. As a results, tens of thousands of more workers will lose jobs and just like that cheap oil brings down the entire U.S. economy. But one economist, James Dale Davidson, believes that cheap oil is the least of our problems. “It’s not cheap oil that should frighten you,” Davidson warns, “There are three other key economic indicators everyone is ignoring. And they are screaming SELL. They don’t imply that a 50% stock market collapse is looming, it’s already at our doorstep.” Before you dismiss Davidson’s warning, know that he is the famed economist who correctly predicted the collapse of 1999 and 2007, and even larger events like the fall of the Soviet Union long before it toppled over.
New ‘Praetorian Guard’ Seals Putin’s Hold on Power (Source thetrumpet.com) During a televised appearance last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a putin-gets-his-own-army” \t surprise announcement. He was overhauling Russian law-enforcement operations to create a domestic army that would answer to him personally. This paramilitary force will be called the National Guard and will be led by former KGB agent Victor Zolotov, a judo-sparring partner of Putin’s who once served as the president’s bodyguard. There are also indications that Putin is growing increasingly concerned that Washington may try and stage a new Russian revolution against him. The new National Guard is being equipped with its own intelligence service and investigative powers. This intelligence service would report directly to Putin, via Zolotov, and not to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. “Of course the president is concerned, he can see that the United States wants to overthrow him, like they did to Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi, or look what they have done in Ukraine—they dream of seeing Russia fall apart, so Putin takes measures to prevent a Ukrainian-style coup,” one member of the Russian Duma’s Public Chamber told the Daily Beast. At a time when economic stagnation is making civil unrest more likely, there are legitimate concerns that Putin’s new National Guard will be even more authoritarian than the old Internal Troops. The number of National Guard personnel will exceed 15 percent of the Russian military. This paramilitary police force has also been granted the rights to make arrests without introducing themselves and to fire without warning “in special cases.” In comments made last January, Putin said he sincerely believed in the Communist ideology when he was serving in the KGB. He mentioned that he didn’t throw away his putin-denounces-lenin-says-stalin-got-it-right KGB membership card like many of his colleagues did. Rather, he still keeps it at home. As president, Putin is combining Stalin’s idea of a unitary state model with imperial policies from Russia’s czarist era. Like the Byzantine emperors and Russian czars, Putin is using the Russian Orthodox Church as a de facto state religion to unify his empire. If this Orthodox-dominated unitary state isn’t enough to secure his power base, Putin now has a 400,000-strong Praetorian Guard to do his bidding!
Polish Minister Says Russia Preparing Aggression Against NATO (Source newsmax.com)
Poland’s defense minister has said Russia continued to pose a serious threat to NATO and that Moscow was systematically preparing for aggression against the alliance. Poland, a former Soviet satellite state, fears Russia is seeking to extend its influence beyond its borders after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and continues to support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Earlier this month, two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer which had just left the Polish port of Gdynia. A U.S. official said this was one of the most aggressive interactions between the two sides in recent memory.
“So far, all Russian behaviour attests to systematic preparation for aggressive action,” Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the Rzeczpospolita daily in an interview published on Tuesday. “And it’s time to talk about it openly.” Warsaw will host a NATO heads of state summit in July, where it will push for an increased military presence on the alliance’s eastern flank. In 2014, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over its role the conflict in Ukraine. Russia says deployment of significant NATO forces close to its borders would violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.