Historians Claim They Have Proof That A Chalice On Display In A Spanish Museum Is The Holy Grail

Jewel-Encrusted Goblet Found Gathering Dust In Tiny Spanish Museum ‘Touched The Lips Of Jesus And Is In Fact The Holy Grail’ Say Two Historians With Evidence To Prove It – Daily Mail

It is a mystery dating back millennia.

But apparently, the long-lost Holy Grail has finally been found – on display in a Spanish museum.

The onyx chalice has been sat in the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon, north Spain, for 1000 years – touted to visitors as a goblet belonging to 11th century Queen Urraca.
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But in fact, there is ‘no doubt’ it contains the cup which touched the lips of Jesus Christ, two historians claim.

In an explosive book charting three years of ‘scientific research’, Margarita Torres and Jose Ortiza del Rio reveal there is conclusive evidence from scrolls in Egypt that confirm their theory.

The onyx vessel made between 200 BC and 100 AD, they claim, is trapped inside a bejewelled medieval chalice.

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According to two medieval documents written in Arabic, it was stolen from Jerusalem by Muslims, who gave it to the Christian community in Egypt.

Centuries later, in around 1050 AD, it was sent as a gift to King Fernando I of Castile to thank him for sending aid during a famine, they say.

By that point, it had been concealed with opulent decorations.

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Gold inside, with patterns etched around the edges, the revered ornament is covered with pearls, emeralds, amethysts and sapphires, which the Egyptian kings will have designed to honour the well-liked Fernando.

It was housed and used in the Basilica of San Isidoro, where it remained in storage until it was put on display in the museum which opened in the 1950s.

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Ms Torres, a history professor at the University of Leon, said: ‘The only chalice that could be considered the chalice of Christ is one which went via Cairo to León, and this chalice did so.

‘This is a very important discovery because it helps solve a big puzzle.

‘We believe this could be start of a wonderful stage of research.’

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Obama Regime Covertly Providing Russia With Free High Tech Military Equipment (Video)

Obama Administration Caught Giving Free High Tech Military Equipment To Russia – Gateway Pundit

This is not 21st century behavior.

The Obama administration has been secretly giving Russia free Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers.

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While slapping Russia publicly on the wrist, the Obama Administration has been giving Russia FREE high tech military equipment.

Judicial Watch reported:

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment – also used to train American troops – even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat.

It’s a crucial, military-grade technology that’s similar to a “laser tag” available in some commercial markets, according to one of the outraged lawmakers (Oklahoma Republican Jim Bridenstine) that helped uncover the scandal. Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has joined forces with Ohio Republican Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, to demand an end to the program. Along with about a dozen other House colleagues they penned a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversees the agency carrying out the “irresponsible military equipment transfers” to Russia.

The Obama administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is a grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, the legislators point out. “It is difficult to imagine a worse time to provide military-grade technology employed by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Special Operations Forces to Russia than when it has illegally invaded Ukraine and is violating the intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,” the letter to Moniz says. “To make matters worse, it is our understanding from the budget documents that the Department has been, and continues to propose, providing this technology to Russia free-of-charge.”

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Obama Disapproval Number Reaches New High

Disapproval Of Obama Climbs To New High – The Hill

Nearly six in 10 people disapprove of President Obama’s job performance in a new poll by The Associated Press, the highest rating recorded by the newswire.

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According to the AP-GFK survey released Wednesday, 59 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, while 41 percent approve.

A similar poll released by the news outlet in January found 45 percent approved of him, while 53 percent disapproved.

Other recent polling has found Obama’s disapproval rating slightly lower, remaining in the low 50s. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed 50 percent disapproval, while Gallup has his disapproval at 52 percent.

In the AP poll, only 40 percent approve of Obama’s handling of international relations, a new low. The newswire notes that Obama’s handling of foreign policy is usually neutral.

Fifty-seven percent dislike his handling of the situation in Ukraine, where the Crimean region of the country voted this month to gain independence and join Russia.

The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials who it found violated the sovereignty of Ukraine. Obama has also signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on some sectors of the Russian economy.

Fifty-four percent said they dislike Obama’s interaction with Russia.

The president is in Europe this week as he makes the case for continued condemnation of Russia’s moves, which the United States has described as a violation of international law.

About nine in 10 survey respondents support sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea. The public is split on whether the sanctions should be strengthened or are about right.

Most people have no opinion on providing monetary aid to Ukraine. Twenty percent support it, while about 30 percent oppose it.

The poll surveyed 1,012 people in online interviews. It contains a 3.4-percent margin of error.

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Putin’s Approval Rating Hits 80 Percent – Big Peace

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Vladimir Putin’s popularity is cresting again in his native Russia, according to the independent Levada Center. His approval rating now stands at 80%, with only 18% of Russians disapproving. The last time Putin was so popular in Russia was in 2008, after he won a war with Georgia and Russia’s oil sales were giving a huge boost to the economy.

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President Asshat Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty

Obama Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty – Weasel Zippers

Consumer protections and the use of domestic law in the U.S. may drastically change as President Obama forges ahead with two secretive international deals that impact major aspects of the economy, privacy and beyond.

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Wednesday, Obama defended a proposed mega free-trade zone between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and the European Union.

“I have fought my entire political career, and as president, to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections,” Obama said during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Obama was responding to criticism of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which the U.S. has been negotiated with the EU since last July.

Besides creating the world’s biggest free-trade zone, the TTIP will also bring about closer cooperation between EU and U.S. regulatory bodies while more closely integrating the two economies.

One leak about the TTIP revealed a proposed “Regulatory Cooperation Council” that would evaluate existing regulations in the U.S. and EU and recommend future rules while coordinating a response to the current regulations.

Writing in the left-leaning the Nation magazine, foreign policy analyst Andrew Erwin said the TTIP was less about reducing tariffs and “more about weakening the power of average citizens to defend themselves against corporate labor and environmental abuses.”

Erwin took particular issue with a section in the TTIP called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which stipulates foreign corporations can sue the government utilizing a special international tribunal instead of the country’s own domestic system that uses U.S. law.

“The tribunals are not accountable to any national public or democratically elected body,” wrote Erwin.

Last December, a coalition of more than 200 environmentalists, labor unions and consumer advocacy organizations drafted a letter asking for the Investor-State Dispute Settlement section to be dropped.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported earlier this week that some American companies “are concerned that protections for investors will not be part of a deal.”

While Obama is negotiating the TTIP largely in secret, talks continue to forge ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The expansive plan is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.

On Tuesday, the leaders of Canada and Japan reportedly met on the sidelines of a nuclear summit at the Hague to discuss the TPP.

The TPP negotiations have been criticized by politicians and advocacy groups alike for their secrecy. The few aspects of the partnership leaked to the public indicate an expansive agenda with highly limited congressional oversight.

A New York Times opinion piece previously called the deal the “most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.”

Last October, the White House website released a joint statement with the other proposed TPP signatories affirming “our countries are on track to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.”

“Ministers and negotiators have made significant progress in recent months on all the legal texts and annexes on access to our respective goods, services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets,” the White House said.

The statement did not divulge details of the partnership other than to suggest a final TPP agreement “must reflect our common vision to establish a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries.”

Secrecy

In February, the Open the Government organization sent a letter to Obama blasting the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP talks, stating the negotiations have been “conducted in unprecedented secrecy.”

“Despite the fact the deal may significantly affect the way we live our lives by limiting our public protections, there has been no public access to even the most fundamental draft agreement texts and other documents,” read the letter.

The missive was signed by advocacy groups such as OpenTheGovernment.org, Project On Government Oversight, ARTICLE 19 and the Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and Information.

The groups warned issues being secretly negotiated include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”

Lack of oversight

Normally free-trade agreements must be authorized by a majority of the House and Senate, usually in lengthy proceedings.

However, the White House is seeking what is known as “trade promotion authority” which would fast track approval of the TPP by requiring Congress to vote on the likely lengthy trade agreement within 90 days and without any amendments.

The authority also allows Obama to sign the agreement before Congress even has a chance to vote on it, with lawmakers getting only a quick post-facto vote.

A number of lawmakers have been speaking out about the secret TPP talks.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., recently proposed legislation requiring the White House to disclose all TPP documents to members of Congress.

“The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations – like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America – are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden.

However, Obama has so far refused to give Congress a copy of the draft agreement.

Regulates food, Internet, medicine, commerce

The TPP is “more than just a trade deal,” wrote Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a New York Times op-ed last June.

“Only 5 of its 29 chapters cover traditional trade matters, like tariffs or quotas. The others impose parameters on nontrade policies. Existing and future American laws must be altered to conform with these terms, or trade sanctions can be imposed against American exports.”

Wallach and Beachy spotlighted several leaks in the proposed TPP text, including one that would regulate the price of medicine.

“Pharmaceutical companies, which are among those enjoying access to negotiators as ‘advisers,’ have long lobbied against government efforts to keep the cost of medicines down. Under the agreement, these companies could challenge such measures by claiming that they undermined their new rights granted by the deal.”

Amnesty International USA warned draft TPP provisions related to patents for pharmaceuticals “risk stifling the development and production of generic medicines, by strengthening and deepening monopoly protections.”

Another leak revealed the TPP would grant more incentives to relocate domestic manufacturing offshore, Wallach and Beachy related.

Jim Hightower, a progressive activist, wrote the TPP incorporates elements similar to the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Hightower wrote the deal would “transform Internet service providers into a private, Big Brother police force, empowered to monitor our ‘user activity,’ arbitrarily take down our content and cut off our access to the Internet.”

Indeed, Internet freedom advocacy groups have been protesting the TPP, taking specific issue with leaked proposals that would enact strict intellectual property restraints that would effectively change U.S. copyright law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued the TPP would “restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector.”

In a petition signed by more than 30 Internet freedom organizations, the group warned the TPP would “rewrite global rules on intellectual property enforcement.”

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Deadly Ebola Virus Spreading Fast In West Africa

Terrifying Ebola Outbreak Spreading Fast – WorldNetDaily

The Ebola virus that has killed at least 59 people of the 80 who initially contracted it in Guinea now threatens all of West Africa, as health officials in Liberia try to determine if recent deaths there are connected.

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Six cases have been reported of which five have already died, including a child, Liberian Health Minister Walter Gwenigale said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse.

There was a suspicion that Ebola had migrated to Canada, with one victim hospitalized this week with a fever and bleeding, but health officials said tests for Ebola were negative.

The World Health Organization said the case may be severe malaria.

The World Health Organization reports the Ebola virus that causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever, or VHF, can produce outbreaks with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

The WHO has documented the Ebola virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans, with the capability of spreading through the human population.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus, and, most alarming, there is no effective medical treatment or preventative vaccine for either animals or human beings.

Many Americans first heard about Ebola – including its terrifying symptoms, virulence and communicability – in author Richard Preston’s 1995 No. 1 New York Times bestseller, “The Hot Zone.”

The BBC reported Tuesday that Guinea has now banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the disease, according to Rene Lamah, Guinea’s health minister.

Lamah explained to the BBC that people who eat the bats often boil them into a spicy pepper soup sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol. Other ways of preparing bats to eat include drying them over a fire.

The WHO reports Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in a village in Yambuku, Congo, situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

“Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals,” the WHO website notes.

“In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found dead or ill in the rainforest.”

The WHO warns of burial ceremonies in which the deceased person can play a role in the transmission of Ebola. The transmission of the disease via infected semen can occur up to seven weeks after clinical recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn the symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Some patients also experience a rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing and swallowing, as well as bleeding inside and outside of the body.

After an incubation period of between two and 21-days, the Ebola virus can cause death a few days after the virus appears in particularly virulent cases in which the body organs shut down and internal bleeding becomes unstoppable.

People who fall sick with the disease tend to vomit, have diarrhea, and suffer both internal and external bleeding, explained Dr. Peter Piot, the founding executive director of UNAIDS and under secretary-general of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, in a Reuters report.

Piot is the microbiologist and physician who co-discovered Ebola and now directs the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Ebola virus has alarmed international health officials because the frequency of international air travel has increased the possibility the outbreak in one nation might quickly be transmitted to other countries by patients in the incubation phase.

Guinea, one of the world’s poorest nations, ranked 156 of 187 countries in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index, or HDI, based on cross-country data from the United Nations Population Division, UNESCO, and the World Bank.

The CDC has identified five subspecies of Ebola. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus. The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), is known to cause disease only in nonhuman primates.

According to a Stanford University report, the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe,” killed more people that World War I. An estimated 20 to 40 million people worldwide died, making it the most lethal epidemic virus documented in the 20th century.

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How To Save The Internet (Gordon Crovitz)

How To Save The Internet – Gordon Crovitz

It’s been a good month for Vladimir Putin : He got Crimea and the Internet.

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Gallows humor is not the only possible response to the Obama administration plan to give up U.S. control of the Internet to a still-to-be-determined collection of governments and international groups. Congress should instruct President Obama that if the Internet ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Authoritarian governments led by Russia and China long ago found ways to block access to the Internet for their citizens. Under the new Obama plan, these regimes could also block access to the Internet for Americans.

There is recent precedent: Authoritarian governments tried to block new Internet top-level domains beyond the familiar .com and .org and .net. Saudi Arabia sought to veto the addition of .gay as being “offensive.” It also tried to block .bible, .islam and .wine. Under U.S. control, the Saudis were denied their wishes. With some new post-U.S. system of governance, will .gay websites be removed from the Internet?

The plan announced on March 14 would have the U.S. give up control of the “root zone file” of the Internet and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. This root of the Internet stores all the names and addresses for websites world-wide, while Icann controls Web addresses and domains. The U.S. has used this control to ensure that websites operate without political interference from any country and that anyone can start a website, organize on Facebook or post on Twitter without asking permission.

It’s easy to imagine a new Internet oversight body operating like the United Nations, with repressive governments taking turns silencing critics. China could get its wish to remove FreeTibet.org from the Internet as an affront to its sovereignty. Russia could force Twitter to remove posts by Ukrainian-Americans criticizing Vladimir Putin.

The plan announced by the Commerce Department set off enough alarm bells that officials felt obliged last week to issue a follow-up news release denying the U.S. is “abandoning the Internet” and pledging “nothing could be further from the truth.” But it still has no plan to safeguard the Web against authoritarian governments. Nor is there any reassurance in a letter to the editor in Monday’s Wall Street Journal from the head of Icann, Fadi Chehade. He says the Internet’s “billions of diverse stakeholders all deserve a voice in its governance,” and he remains on record saying that “all governments are welcome” in whatever the new governance process turns out to be.

Hearings on U.S. protection for the Internet were quickly called for the House starting in early April. One topic should be whether the executive branch of government has the unilateral authority to transfer control over Internet addresses and root zone management of domains.

Congress doubted that the president could do this on his own when the issue was considered in 2000. The General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office, concluded it was “uncertain” whether Congress has to pass a law. The Property Clause of the Constitution says Congress must pass legislation to effect a transfer of government property. Arguably the president could no more transfer the valuable control over the naming and domains of the Internet than he could give Alaska back to Russia.

Contacted by this columnist last week, a spokesman for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said the agency reviewed this legal issue and concluded the administration can act without Congress but refused to share a copy of the legal analysis. Congress should ask for a copy and do its own analysis.

Congress also could tell the Commerce Department not to carry out its plan. In 2012, both the Senate and House passed a unanimous resolution to keep the Internet “free from government control.” That happened as the Obama administration was being outfoxed by Russia and China, which hijacked the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union to legitimize control over the Internet in their countries. Protecting the Internet may be the most bipartisan issue in Congress.

Meanwhile, at a meeting over the weekend in Singapore to plan a post-U.S. system, sources say Icann’s Mr. Chehade upset the “multistakeholders” in attendance by presenting a PowerPoint slide dictating a new structure that minimizes accountability for Icann. After pushback, Mr. Chehade withdrew his slide, but his intentions are clear.

The alternative to continued U.S. authority is control by an international body dominated by authoritarian regimes. In a law review article about Icann in 2000, “Wrong Turn in Cyberspace,” Michael Froomkin wrote that “It is hard to see how an undemocratic solution based on the international system in which a tyranny’s vote is as valid as a democracy’s vote would be a material improvement on Icann itself.”

Congress should quickly come to the same conclusion and act to save the Internet.

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Egyptian Court Sentences 529 Obama-Backed, Muslim Brotherhood Extremists To Death

Egypt Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death – Times Of Israel

A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial, judicial sources said.

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Islamist backers of Morsi are facing a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested.

The sentence was delivered in the second hearing of a trial which began on Saturday in Minya, south of the capital.

Of those sentenced, 153 are in detention and the rest are on the run, the sources said, adding that 17 others were acquitted. The verdict can be appealed.

Those sentenced are among more than 1,200 Morsi supporters on trial in Minya. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.

They are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters on August 14.

They are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, judicial sources said.

The accused include several leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie.

Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president, was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across the deeply polarised nation.

Hundreds of people died in the August assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.

Rights group Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, and thousands more have been arrested.

Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace while he was in office.

Morsi was removed after just 12 months as president following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.

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Corpses Of Murdered Babies Incinerated To Help Heat British Hospitals

Aborted Babies Incinerated To Heat UK Hospitals – London Telegraph

The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

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Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.

The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.

One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘waste to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated.’

Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.

They were brought in from another hospital before being burned, generating energy for the hospital site. Ipswich Hospital itself disposes of remains by cremation.

“This practice is totally unacceptable,” said Dr Poulter.

“While the vast majority of hospitals are acting in the appropriate way, that must be the case for all hospitals and the Human Tissue Authority has now been asked to ensure that it acts on this issue without delay.”

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, has written to all NHS trusts to tell them the practice must stop.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has also written to the Human Tissue Authority to ask them make sure that guidance is clear.

And the Care Quality Commission said it would investigate the programme’s findings.

Prof Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “I am disappointed trusts may not be informing or consulting women and their families.

“This breaches our standard on respecting and involving people who use services and I’m keen for Dispatches to share their evidence with us.

“We scrutinise information of concern and can inspect unannounced, if required.”

A total of one in seven pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, while NHS figures show there are around 4,000 stillbirths each year in the UK, or 11 each day.

Ipswich Hospital Trust said it was concerned to discover that foetal remains from another hospital had been incinerated on its site.

A spokeswoman said: “The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust does not incinerate foetal remains.”

She added that the trust “takes great care over foetal remains”

A spokesman for the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that trained health professionals discuss the options with parents ‘both verbally and in writing.’

“The parents are given exactly the same choice on the disposal of foetal remains as for a stillborn child and their personal wishes are respected,” they added.

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Leftist Rag Blames Inability To Find Malaysian Jet On – WAIT FOR IT – Man-Made Climate Change

Lib Rag Mother Jones Blames Inability To Locate Flight 370 On “Man-Made Climate Change” – Weasel Zippers

The left has become a bad parody of itself.

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Via Mother Jones:

Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

The search of 8,880 square miles of ocean has yet to turn up signs of the missing flight.

Even if the fragments captured in satellite images are identified as being part of the jet, which Malaysian officials say deliberately flew off course on March 8, investigators coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will still have an enormous task to locate remaining parts of the plane and its flight recorders. Among the assets deployed in the search – including a multinational array of military and civil naval resources – are data modelers, whose task will be reconciling regional air and water currents with local weather patterns to produce a possible debris field. “Data marker buoys” are being dropped into the ocean to assist in providing “information about water movement to assist in drift modeling,” John Young from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told a press conference in Canberra on Thursday.

While longer-term climate shifts are unlikely to play into day-to-day search and rescue efforts, these large climate-affected currents – among them the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the world’s most powerful ocean system – are an essential factor in oceanographers’ understanding of the literal undercurrents of search operations.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Gulliver, Unbound


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U.S. Government Paying Male Prostitutes In Mexico For Not Getting STDs

U.S. Gov’t Study Pays Mexican Male Prostitutes For Not Getting STDs – CNS

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is spending $398,213 on a project studying whether paying male Mexican sex workers for being free of sexually transmitted diseases will increase condom use.

The study, “Conditional Economic Incentives to Reduce HIV Risks: A Pilot in Mexico,” began in June 2011 and is funded through the end of May 2014.

“The working hypothesis is that a program with modest economic incentives to stay free of sexually transmitted infections (STI) can be implemented among MSW (male sex workers) to incentivize condom use and reduction of sex partners,” the abstract of the study says. “We hypothesize that CEI (conditional economic incentives) treatment groups will exhibit greater program participation and retention rates as compared to the control group.”

The study includes male sex workers in Mexico City, who first must attend a workshop on the benefits of condom use and “condom negotiation” before they are broken up into smaller groups.

According to the study abstract, one group of 100 individuals will “receive low incentive ($200 pesos/each time) only if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”

Another group of 100 will receive high incentives “($500 pesos/each time) if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”

The control group of 100 does not receive any money regardless if they are STI free or not.

Attempts by CNSNews.com to contact Project Leader Dr. Omar Galarraga of Brown University to discuss the study went unreturned.

However, some early results of Dr. Galarraga’s findings were recently published in The European Journal of Health Economics.

A Brown University article on the publication quotes Galarraga: ‘We’re trying to prevent HIV from spreading and we are trying to save money,’ said public health economist Omar Galarraga, assistant professor of health services policy and practice and lead author of the study published in the European Journal of Health Economics.”

“We want to make sure that every dollar spent has the greatest impact.”

“Through detailed questionnaires administered to 1,745 gay men 18-25 years of age, Galarraga and his colleagues in Mexico’s Institute for Public Health (INSP) found that at a rate of $288 a year, more than three-quarters of the men would attend monthly prevention talks, engage in testing for sexually transmitted infections, and pledge to stay free of STI’s with testing to verify that. To obtain a similar level of participation among the 5.1 percent of the sample who were male sex workers, the price was much lower: $156 a year.”

“The target population seems generally very well-disposed to participate in these types of programs at prices which are consistent with other social programs currently in place in Mexico for preventing other health risks,” Galarraga said.

When questioned about the goals of the study, NIH replied, “NIH research addresses the full spectrum of human health across all populations of Americans. Research into unhealthy human behaviors that are estimated to be the proximal cause of more than half of the disease burden in the U.S. will continue to be an important area of research supported by NIH.”

“Only by developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for health-injuring behaviors can we reduce the disease burden in the U.S. and thus, enhance health and lengthen life, which is the mission of the NIH.”

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Putin Sending Ships, Long-Range Bombers To Latin America; Plans New Bases In Cuba, Venezuela And Nicaragua

Putin’s Quiet Latin America Play – The Hill

Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn.

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To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years.

Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.

“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.

“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.

The U.S. military says it has been forced to cut back on its engagement with military and government officials in Latin America due to budget cuts. Kelly said the U.S. military had to cancel more than 200 effective engagement activities and multi-lateral exercises in Latin America last year.

With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.

Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the “operational presence” of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.

“On the military side, I believe they’re establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.

China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.

The Chinese Navy conducted a goodwill visit in Brazil, Chile and Argentina last year and conducted its first-ever naval exercise with the Argentine Navy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had to cancel the deployment of its hospital ship USNS Comfort last year.

“Our relationships, our leadership, and our influence in the Western Hemisphere are paying the price,” Kelly said.

Some experts warn against being too alarmist, and say Russia, China and Iran do not have the ability or desire to project military power beyond their borders.

Army War College adjunct professor Gabriel Marcella said Russia’s maneuvering is more about posturing than a real threat.

“Latin America is seen as an opportunity to challenge the United States in terms of global presence,” he said. “They want to show the flag to assert their presence and say they need to be counted on the world stage.”

Other experts said the encroachment of rivals has huge economic implications for the U.S., which has more trade partners in Latin America than in any other region in the world.

“[Russia’s presence] serves to destabilize what has become a more stabilized, middle class continent with an increasing respect for the rule of law… Any type of unsettling of that environment will scare off investors,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

“Market economies and democracies are fundamental for trade, for jobs, and for stable investment environments,” he said.

Marczak noted the instability in Venezuela, which is facing civil unrest from anti-government protestors.

“In Venezuela, a lot of the money that’s been able to prop up President Chavez and now Maduro has been Chinese money,” Kelly said.

So far, 31 protestors have been killed in clashes with government security forces.

“I see a real degradation in what used to pass as Venezuelan democracy. There’s less and less of that now,” Kelly said.

And while Chinese investment in Latin America could have positive aspects for the region, it could also make it more difficult for U.S. official to push labor and environmental safeguards that it argues are building blocks for democracy, Marczak said.

Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at RAND, said cuts to the defense budget are going to accelerate a long trend of U.S. neglect and disengagement with Latin America.

According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), there are 10 countries in Latin America that currently have no U.S. ambassador because they either haven’t been nominated yet or confirmed, a sign that the region is seen as a low priority.

“We will be losing the ability to influence developments in a region that is very important to us because of proximity,” Rabasa said.

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*VIDEO* CNN Finally Goes Full-Blown Batshit Crazy


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Vlad Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern For Russian Minority

As Ted Cruz Predicted: Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern Of Russian Minority – Gateway Pundit

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Today Russia signaled concerns of the large Russian minority in Estonia.

Reuters reported:

Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

Ted Cruz warned about this earlier today.

Today his sights are set on Ukraine, but if he continues undeterred tomorrow it could be Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, or Poland. Meeting his challenge now with strength, not appeasement, would be the best way to ensure that this does not happen, and that we do not squander our hard-won Cold War victory over the Soviets.

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Your Daley Gator Crimean Annexation News Roundup

Masked Forces Storm Ukrainian Navy HQ, Raise Russian Flag and Detain Commander – The Blaze

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Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.

Ukraine’s military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.

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Members of the Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces climb up to take down a Ukrainian flag, right, and a Ukrainian navy flag, left, at the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea’s self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. In center is a Russian flag. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

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Crimean pro-Russian volunteers in military fatigues line up in a square in front of a statue of Vladimir Lenin, next to the Council of Ministers of Crimea’s building, in Simferopol, on March 14, 2014, two days ahead of the referendum over Crimea’s bid to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on March 14 that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make no decision on Ukraine until after Sunday’s referendum on the region of Crimea. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL OLIVAS AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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Russian soldiers stand guard near Ukranian soldiers walking inside the Ukranian navy headquarters in Simferopol on March 18, 2014. Russia’s Constitutional Court unanimously ruled on March 19, 2014 that President Vladimir Putin acted legally by signing a treaty to make Crimea part of Russia, in an essential step in the Russian legal process towards ratifying the treaty. AFP PHOTO/ Filippo MONTEFORTE

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The several hundred militiamen who captured the base in Sevastopol met no resistance. Sevastopol is also the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

It came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

The Russian-speaking troops, who arrived on the base after the storming, wore helmets, flak jackets and uniforms with no identifying insignia. By afternoon, they were in full control of the naval headquarters, a set of three-story boxy white concrete buildings with blue trim. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, Ukrainian servicemen remained on the base.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said no one was injured in the raid, which it said was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.

The ministry said in its statement that Rear Adm. Sergei Haiduk was detained by unknown people after the storming of the fleet headquarters. The Russian state ITAR-Tass news agency reported that he was being questioned by Crimean prosecutors.

Ukraine’s defense minister and deputy prime minister had planned to travel to Crimea on Wednesday in what they said was a bid to avert an escalation in hostilities.

The prime minister in Crimea warned after the announcement of their departure that they would be turned back, however.

“They are not welcome in Crimea,” Sergei Aksyonov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “They will not be allowed to enter Crimea. They will be sent back.”

Interfax later cited Welfare Minister Lyudmila Denisova as saying the officials had been denied entry to Crimea. She said an emergency session of the National Security and Defense Council will held in response.

At the Ukrainian navy headquarters, an Associated Press photographer said the militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.

The unarmed militiamen waited for an hour on the square and, following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, they took over the building.

The AP photographer was able to enter the headquarters and saw the militia roaming around while the Ukrainian servicemen were packing up and leaving.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia following a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.

Jubilant crowds in Moscow and other cities across Russia hailed the annexation, while Ukraine’s new government called Putin a threat to the “civilized world and international security,” and the U.S. and the European Union threatened tougher sanctions against Moscow. On Monday, Washington and Brussels targeted Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.

Russian news agencies on Wednesday cited Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin as saying the treaty signed by Putin has been ruled valid, thus formally clearing another hurdle for Moscow to annex Crimea. The treaty now only requires ratification by the Russian parliament.

A Ukrainian serviceman and a member of a militia were killed by gunfire in the incident in Crimea on Tuesday.

It is unclear whether the militiaman was a Ukrainian citizen. Although Moscow has insistently denied it has not deployed its own troops in Crimea, people in the peninsula have reported seeing a large number of military vehicles with Russian plates.

Thousands of troops under apparent Russian command took over Crimea two weeks before Sunday’s hastily called referendum, seizing Ukrainian military bases, blockading others and pressuring Ukrainian soldiers to surrender their arms and leave.

Putin insisted Russia’s military presence in Crimea was limited to those stationed under the terms of a treaty with Ukraine that allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops at its Black Sea fleet base. Ukraine claims that Russia deployed further forces, however, and expressly went against its request for troops to remain confined within their barracks.

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Related article:

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Russia Confiscates Half Of Ukrainian Fleet In Crimea Including Submarine – Gateway Pundit

Twenty Ukrainian ships were confiscated by the Russians.

Unian.net reported:
(Article was translated)

Those ships and vessels, which are now in the Crimea will formally first in the so-called “maritime self-defense force” of the Crimea, and then in the Battle of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia.

Up to 20 warships and support vessels of the Naval Forces of Ukraine (VMSU) may enter into operation in the Black Sea Fleet of Russia, told RIA Novosti Chairman of Russian State Duma Committee on Defense, former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov.

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Biden’s Turn To Warn Russia With A Sternly Worded Statement – Weasel Zippers

I’m sure Russia is riddled with fear.

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) – Issuing an outright warning to Moscow, Vice President Joe Biden declared Wednesday the United States will respond to any aggression against its NATO allies, as Russia’s neighbors looked warily to the escalating crisis in nearby Ukraine.

Standing side by side with a pair of Baltic leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania, Biden said the U.S. was “absolutely committed” to defending its allies, adding that President Barack Obama plans to seek concrete commitments from NATO members to ensure the alliance can safeguard its collective security.

In a jab at Russia, he said the U.S. stands resolutely with Baltic states in support of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression.

“Russia cannot escape the fact that the world is changing and rejecting outright their behavior,” Biden said, after meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvian President Andris Berzins.

Biden’s comments came at the close of a two-day trip to Lithuania and Poland with a two-pronged theme: Sending a stern message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. won’t abide Russian intervention in Ukraine, and reassuring fretful NATO allies that the U.S. and others will come to their defense if necessary.

“We’re in this with you, together,” Biden said.

Amid the tough talk from Biden and the Baltic leaders, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion.

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Jubilant Putin Urged To Snatch Back Belarus And Kazakhstan As Demonstrations Celebrating Crimea Secession Erupt Across Russia – Daily Mail

Russian politicians and media were last night demanding Vladimir Putin goes further by grabbing back more former Soviet regions and states.

The nationalistic frenzy whipped up by the return of Crimea – in defiance of the West – has led to calls on state-run TV for Moscow to take back oil and gas-rich Kazakhstan and authoritarian Belarus as well as more slices of a battered Ukraine, already filleted by the Kremlin.

Putin was last night riding the crest of an adulatory wave after righting what many Russians see as an historical wrong and reintegrating Crimea and the Black Sea fleet headquarters of Sevastopol back in to Russia after a gap of 60 years.

Senior politicians openly mocked Western sanctions and discounted Putin’s assertion that he did not seek more of Ukraine as long as the West stops seeking sway in his backyard.

The Russian strongman defiantly told a joint session of the Russian parliament that he would not accept NATO ‘next to our home or on our historic territories’.

Accusing the West of hypocrisy in pushing for self-determination for Kosovo but denying Crimea, he said the peninsula had been ‘robbed’ from Russia in Soviet times while ‘regions of Russia’s historic south’ were only now Ukrainian because of a Bolshevik blunder.

In an emotional and historic address he said: ‘In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia.’

Putin has succeeded in uniting many of his foes behind him but last night it also appeared he had unleashed a tidal wave in favour of more land grabs.

Senior politician Sergei Mironov hailed ‘the great day when the gathering of Russian lands began’.

Sergey Zheleznyak, deputy chairman of lower house, demanded Russian ‘support’ for other Ukrainian regions.

‘We cannot feel calm and happy as long as we realise how our brothers in other regions of Ukraine are suffering,’ he said.

A prime time TV talk show speculated about restoring the sovereign states of Belarus and energy-rich Kazakhstan in a substantial remaking of the Soviet Union, while also calling for the historically Russian cities of Donetsk and Odessa in Ukraine to be returned.

Meanwhile a campaign was underway for the breakaway republic of Transdniestria – in Moldova – to follow Crimea back into the embrace of the Russian bear.

With some parliamentarians in tears during Putin’s historic speech – when he officially welcomed Crimea and Sevastopol back to Russia – only his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, caught napping during the barnstorming address, failed to join the patriotic fervour punctuated by standing ovations.

Politicians queued up to pour scorn on Western sanctions with deputy speaker Sergey Zheleznyak branding them a ‘kindergarten measure’ and close Putin ally Igor Sechin accusing the U.S. and EU of ‘hysteria’.

Stage-managed patriotic celebrations were marked across Russia’s nine time zones yesterday.

In Moscow, residents were urged by officials to fly Russian flags from their balconies to ‘celebrate’ the return of Crimea.

Ukraine watched helplessly as Putin and Crimean leaders penned an agreement restoring the territory to Russia.

Senior diplomat Yevhen Perebyynis warned: ‘What has made the entire world shudder is the real rebirth of Russian imperialism, for which nothing is sacred, neither internationally recognised borders of sovereign states, nor the rights and freedoms of citizens, nor international obligations.’

Kiev protested that the move ‘has nothing in common with law or democracy or common sense’.

But in a warning to the world, the country’s foreign ministry said: ‘Putin’s address very clearly demonstrates just how real the threat is that Russia poses to international security and international security.’

Ukrainian volunteers were queuing to sign up for a newly-created National Guard amid fears that the threat of invasion from Russia remains, or that Putin will use alleged ‘saboteurs’ to spark riots and political protests in major cities.

Kiev claimed it had uncovered ‘convincing evidence of the participation of Russian special services in organizing unrest in the east of our country.’

Last night it was claimed a Ukrainian naval officer was shot twice in the leg seeking to defend a naval facility from pro-Moscow attack in Crimea.

But Putin insisted: ‘The residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia with a request to protect their rights and their lives. We could not have rejected their appeal and left them in trouble.’

He complained that the fall of the USSR left Russia ‘the biggest divided nations in the world’ with millions of compatriots waking up in a foreign country.

In Ukraine, ethnic Russians were undergoing ‘forced assimilation’ in a country where ‘neo-Nazis’ played a key role in decision making.

Western diplomats saw him as using rhetoric which could act as justification for future military adventures to restore other areas of the old USSR.

But Putin told Western leaders to ‘stop the hysteria’ and respect his country’s national interests. ‘They keep trying to drive us into a corner’, and could have grabbed Sevastopol for themselves.

NATO members ‘are great guys, but it’s better for them to come visit us in Sevastopol, than for us to visit them there’.

Crimean clocks are to be switched back two hours later this month, so they tick by Moscow time. Putin ordered three official languages in his new province – Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

The Kremlin last night began pouring roubles into Crimea but was eyeing the seizure of 20 warships in the Ukrainian navy which are stranded here.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev – often seen as a Putin critic – hailed Crimea’s vote to join Russia as a ‘happy event.’

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The British House of Commons Supports Additional Sanctions Against Russia – Washington Free Beacon

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While answering questions in the British House of Commons Prime Minister David Cameron was asked by Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, “Does the Prime Minister agree with me that the referendum was illegal, and in direct violation of the terms Ukrainian constitution? Does he all so share my deep concern following the news that a Ukrainian servicemen were shot and killed at a military base in Crimea yesterday?”

Prime Minster David Cameron responded, “Well the right honorable gentleman is absolutely correct that the referendum in the Crimea was illegitimate and illegal. It was brought together in the 10 days and held at the point after Russian Kalashnikov. This can not be accepted legitimatized by international community.”

When asked if he would support further sanctions on the Russia Federation David Cameron answered:

We said if the Russian Federation did not take part in a contact group with the Ukrainian government to take forward discussions, then asset freezes travel bans should follow. Those have been put in place at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday. And I believe further action should be taken at the European Council of Ministers which I will take part in on Thursday. I also think we should be responding to the fact of this annexation. That we said that if there was further action to destabilize the Ukraine and this annexation is that action, further consequences need to follow. We need to set that out, on Thursday, in concert with our European partners and at the same time I think we need to put down a very clear warning that if there was further destabilization for instance, going into the eastern Ukraine in any way, then we would move to a position of sorts of economic sanctions that we discussed in The House last week.

Opposition Leader Ed Miliband told Prime Minster Cameron that he would have the full support of the House of Commons to enact, “for the toughest possible diplomatic and economic measures against the Russian Federation given the totally illegitimate actions they have taken.”

Prime Minster David Cameron finished his remarks by indicating he would be open to expelling Russia from the G-8.

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Beaten Obama Turns His Back On The World – Michael Goodwin

The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I feel sorry for Obama,” I said. As my wife looked at me in disbelief, I quickly added a correction. “Well, almost.”

Beset by failures at home and abroad, the president cuts a lonely and sad figure these days. His aura of grief reflects his profound loss.

His worldview crashed headlong into reality, and reality won. Obamaism is dead, may it rest in peace.

That’s sad for him, but hold the tears – his loss is mankind’s hope. If Obama wakes from his utopian visions and faces the truth, there is a fighting chance to reverse America’s slide and keep the peace.

But first, he must come to grips with the historic dimensions of what has happened, and I’m not sure he’s capable of it. The signs aren’t encouraging.

In many ways, Vladimir Putin’s grab of Crimea is as significant as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 35 years ago.

Then-President Jimmy Carter quickly understood he had been wrong to trust the Soviets, and shifted to offense. His January 1980, speech was defiant and bold. Compared to Obama’s timid rebukes of Putin, Carter sounded like Churchill rousing Great Britain against Hitler.

Obama is still stuck in the belief that Putin is either crazy, or secretly looking for a way to save face and end the confrontation. He hasn’t accepted Putin for what he is because to do so would mean acknowledging that Obama’s whole approach to international relations has been a mistake.

The world, meaning friend and foe alike, already knows the president is uncomfortable with American power. The result is that his once-magical ability to inspire with words is now an international punch line because they are just words. He promised change and delivered disaster.

From Syria and Iran to North Africa and North Korea, the abdication of American leadership is proving calamitous. And now Putin’s move in Europe demolishes once and for all any illusion that Obama’s election would herald a turning point for mankind. Instead of people the world over beating their swords into plowshares, the 21st century is turning out to be a chaotic and bloody mess.

“The tide of war is receding,” Obama insisted.

Like so many of his pronouncements, he was confusing the ideas in his head with reality. It is not clear if he knows the difference.

The world looks to America, and America looks away. “It it is time to focus on nation-building here at home,” he declared, as though the Earth would take care of itself in a one-big-happy-family kind of way.

It turns out that the committee system is no better at running the global order than it is at running a corner grocery.

Somebody has to take the lead and assume responsibility for success. Somebody has to set the rules and enforce them.

That somebody used to be America, and it is no accident that when America led, the Earth became a better place for more people. The seven decades after World War II marked a historic era of peace and stability around the globe.

As Robert Kagan wrote in “The World America Made,” his 2012 book, “The most important features of today’s world – the great spread of democracy, the prosperity, the prolonged great-power peace – have depended directly and indirectly on power and influence exercised by the United States.”

But the reverse is also true, and that is what we are witnessing today. As Kagan put it, “when American power declines, the institutions and norms American power supports will decline too.”

All is not lost – yet. But Obama must take off his rose-colored glasses and face the facts.

Putin is his most immediate test. The president’s wrist-slap sanctions at a few functionaries were predictably dismissed, and widely regarded as a sign of weakness. That can only embolden the would-be czar.

Even worse was the timing, with talks on Iran’s nuclear program starting again. Bet the farm the mullahs will take their cue from whether Putin pays a serious price for carving up a country.

If he gets away with it, the Iranians won’t even bother to pretend to care what Obama says. Why should they?

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Thanks Barack… China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet

China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet – Breitbart

Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.

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This morning we heard from a few Republican critics of the Internet handover. National Journal adds Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to the list:


“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”

The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!

It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:

If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”

The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.

“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”

So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.

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Putin Signs Treaty Annexing Crimea (Video)

Russia’s Putin Signs Treaty To Annex Crimea – Wall Street Journal

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to annex the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea but sought to reassure Ukrainians by saying Moscow has no further designs on its southern neighbor’s territories.

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In an otherwise defiant speech to both houses of parliament and top officials, Mr. Putin dismissed sanctions and threats of other consequences from Europe and the U.S., saying the West had “crossed the line” by fomenting what he called a putsch in Kiev earlier this year.

Mr. Putin signed treaties formally annexing Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol, which has long had a separate administrative status. Even if he stops there, Mr. Putin’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula would be the first such move in Europe since the end of World War II, upending long-held assumptions about security on the continent and potentially condemning Russia to a period of prolonged isolation.

Western leaders immediately denounced the move and threatened new sanctions. U.S. President Barack Obama called for a meeting next week of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations in Europe to discuss the crisis, pointedly excluding Russia from what had been known as the G-8.

Legislators were expected to complete the ratification process this week and the regions would become Russian territory within days. The process has moved swiftly since voters in Crimea on Sunday overwhelmingly passed a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

Reaching back centuries into czarist history and relying heavily on widely felt nostalgia for the superpower status of the Soviet Union, Mr. Putin said Russia will stand up for the millions of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in what he called “historic Russian lands” now outside its borders.

“In the hearts and consciousness of people, Crimea always was and will be an inalienable part of Russia,” he said, arguing that the 1954 Soviet decision to assign the region to Ukraine was a “blatant historical injustice” conducted in violation of laws then in effect.

“Crimea is our common property and a very important factor in the stability of the region,” he said. “This strategic territory should be under a strong, sovereign state and that in fact can only be Russia.” Leaving Crimea in Ukrainian hands, he warned, could lead Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, to become a harbor for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Mr. Putin was interrupted repeatedly by applause and some wiped tears from their eyes. Dignitaries chanted “Glory to Putin” during the ovations.

He signaled that Moscow isn’t planning to send its troops – which occupied Crimea over the last two weeks – further into Ukraine. But he reiterated his harsh denunciations of the Western-backed government in Kiev as illegitimate and dominated by nationalists.

Appealing to the people of Ukraine, Mr. Putin said, “don’t believe those who are using Russia to scare you, who say that other regions will follow Crimea. We don’t want a partition of Ukraine. We don’t need this.”

“Millions of Russian people, Russian-speakers, now live and will continue to live in Ukraine, and Russia will always defend their interests through political, diplomatic and legal means,” he said.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry didn’t appear persuaded by Putin’s signal that Moscow wasn’t planning to send troops, and said it wouldn’t recognize the annexation.

“The signing of the so-called agreement on the inclusion of Crimea in Russia and the president’s speech has nothing to do either with the law, or with democracy or common sense,” a spokesman said. “Putin’s speech demonstrated how dangerous Russia is for the civilized world and global security.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Mr. Putin seemed to cast doubt on Ukraine’s historical claims to the eastern and southern regions where ethnic Russians make up a large share of the population. Mr. Putin said those territories – which he called “the historical south of Russia” – were given to Ukraine by Bolshevik leaders in the early 1900s without the approval of residents.

Western capitals have called the annexation a violation of international law. On a visit to Warsaw, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the world sees through Mr. Putin’s “flawed logic” and that the U.S. was ready to impose further sanctions on Russia.

The U.S. joins “Poland and the international community in condemning the continuing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the blatant violation of international law by Mr. Putin,” he said.

Mr. Putin scoffed at such criticisms in his speech, accusing the U.S. and its allies of ignoring international law when it suited their interests and “cynically” relying on “the law of the strong.”

“We’ve been deceived time after time” by Western assurances that Russia’s interests would be taken into account, he said. “We have every reason to believe that the well-known policy of containing Russia from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is being continued today.”

After years of weakness in the 1990s where Russia couldn’t defend its interests, Mr. Putin said Russia now is able to stand up for itself. “If you compress a spring to the limit, it will ultimately rebound strongly,” he said.

He dismissed threats of western sanctions. “We of course will confront external pressure, but we have to decide for ourselves whether we are ready to consistently defense our national interests or endlessly betray them, retreating who knows where,” he said.

Russia’s currency and stock markets have dropped since the crisis began and capital flight has accelerated, leading many economists to warn that the economy faces stagnation this year.

But investors welcomed the tone of Mr. Putin’s speech, interpreting it as more conciliatory than expected.

European shares, which had fallen as investors awaited the speech, rallied sharply. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.8% midafternoon. Russia’s RTS index climbed 2.5%, while the Russian ruble bounced back from steep losses earlier in the day.

Officials blacklisted by the U.S. and EU on Monday laughed off the initial wave of sanctions, with many saying they have no overseas assets that could be targeted. Many said they viewed being named as an honor.

All of the 353 deputies of the lower house of parliament, the state Duma, present Tuesday voted to join in on the sanctions, state news channel Rossiya 24 reported.

In his speech, Mr. Putin cited strong public support for the annexation, noting that polls show over 90% of Russians back the move. The Kremlin organized a celebratory rally on Red Square on Tuesday afternoon, where Putin also spoke.

A poll released this week found that about as many Russians – 48% – said they wanted to live in a “great power that other countries respect and fear” as said they wanted to live in a country with a high standard of living that wasn’t one of the most powerful in the world.

Fueling fears the hardening of foreign policy is bringing a crackdown on opponents at home, Mr. Putin also warned that any efforts by outsiders to undermine Russia’s resolve through what he called “a fifth column or various national traitors” would provoke a firm response.

In recent weeks, the Kremlin has tightened pressure on independent media and political opponents.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*PICTURE* Need We Say More?



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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day From The Daley Gator!


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Who Is St. Patrick?

People all over the world celebrate on the 17th day of March in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Some cities have parades, most revelers wear green, and a few families commemorate the day with traditional Irish fare for their meal. However, not everyone may know who St. Patrick is.

Born in Britain during the 4th century, St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Although he was able to escape after six years and become a priest in Britain, he later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary, in order to help spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he also used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish. In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for thirty years while baptizing newly converted Christians and establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. He died on March 17th and was canonized by the local church.

St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90′s, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.

While many Catholics still quietly celebrate this day of religious observance by going to mass, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years many symbols have been included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland’s folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, shamrocks and wearing green). Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada, along with many cities across the United States.

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SAINT PATRICK’S DAY 2014 – DUBLIN IRELAND (PART 1)

PART 2
PART 3
PART 4
PART 5
PART 6
PART 7
PART 8
PART 9
PART 10
PART 11
PART 12
PART 13
PART 14
PART 15
PART 16
PART 17
PART 18
PART 19
PART 20
PART 21

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Your Daley Gator Ukrainian Revolution News Update

Crimea Parliament Declares Independence, Asks To Join Russia After Landslide Vote – Fox News

The disputed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea formally applied to join Russia Monday, after its people voted 97 percent in favor of a referendum to secede. The referendum has been condemned as illegal by Ukrainian leaders and the U.S. and its European allies are expected to announce sanctions against Russia Monday.

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European Union foreign ministers moved quickly to impose travel bans, and froze the assets of 21 people linked to the Ukraine unrest Monday.

A statement on Crimea’s parliament website said it proposed “to the Russian Federation to admit the Republic of Crimea as a new subject with the status of a republic,” Reuters reported.

The proposal came after Crimea’s election chief Mikhail Malyshev said in a televised news conference Monday that the final tally of voters in favor of joining Russia was 96.77 percent. The announcement was merely confirmation of what had been expected once the referendum was announced by the region’s parliament earlier this month.

Later Monday, the Crimean parliament voted to formally declare its independence from Ukraine. In the same resolution, it said that all Ukrainian state property on the territory of the Black Sea peninsula will be nationalized and become the property of the Crimean Republic. A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday for negotiations on how to proceed further. Russian lawmakers have suggested that formally annexing Crimea is just a matter of time. Crimean lawmakers have also asked the United Nations and other nations to recognize it.

The election had been denounced as illegal and destabilizing by the U.S., the European Union, and the interim Ukrainian government. The vote offered residents of the strategic Black Sea peninsula the choice of seeking annexation by Russia or remaining in Ukraine with greater autonomy.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that he was confident that the 28 E.U. member nations would reach agreement Monday on which Russian officials to hit with sanctions, which would possibly include asset freezes and visa restrictions. Hague also hinted that more measures could be taken at a summit of E.U. leaders due to begin Thursday.

President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the vote, and the White House said it would reject the results of the referendum held “under threats of violence and intimidation.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke to Putin by phone Sunday, proposing that an international observer mission in Ukraine be expanded quickly as tensions rise in the east. Her spokesman said she also condemned the Russian seizure of a gas plant near the Ukrainian village of Strilkove Saturday.

Opponents of secession appeared to largely stay away Sunday, denouncing the vote as a cynical power play/land grab by Russia. But turnout was reported to be well above the 50 percent that would make the referendum binding.

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the annexation could take “from three days to three months,” according to the Interfax news agency.

Valery Ryazantsev, head of Russia’s observer mission in Crimea and a lawmaker from the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Monday that the results are beyond dispute. He told the Interfax news agency that there are “absolutely no reasons to consider the vote results illegitimate.”

Senior officials in Moscow were discussing Crimea’s annexation as a fait accompli. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said the region could receive tax breaks.

“We want to go back home, and today we are going back home,” said Viktoria Chernyshova, a 38-year-old businesswoman. “We needed to save ourselves from those unprincipled clowns who have taken power in Kiev.”

Ukraine’s new government in Kiev called the referendum a “circus” directed at gunpoint by Moscow, referring to the thousands of troops that now occupy the peninsula, which has traded hands repeatedly since ancient times.

“Today is a holiday!” said 66-year-old Vera Sverkunova, breaking into a patriotic war song: “I want to go home to Russia. It’s been so long since I’ve seen my mama.”

The referendum comes two weeks after Russian-led forces seized control of Crimea. Locals say they fear the new Ukrainian government that took over when President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia last month will oppress them.

Putin insisted the referendum was conducted in “full accordance with international law and the U.N. charter.” At the United Nations on Saturday, Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution declaring the referendum illegal. China, its ally, abstained and 13 of the 15 other nations on the council voted in favor – a signal of Moscow’s isolation.

Andrew Weiss, vice president for Russian and East European studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, suggested the confrontation could intensify.

Russia “is really turning its back on the outside world and is basically going to say to the West, ‘Now, go ahead. Show us how tough you are.’ And the West, I think, is struggling to come with an adequate response.”

Ukraine’s Regional Policy Minister Volodymyr Groisman told The Associated Press that the new government was already working on giving towns and regions more autonomy but said there were no plans to turn Ukraine into a federation.

In Donetsk, one of the main cities in eastern Ukraine, pro-Russia demonstrators called Sunday for a referendum similar to the one in Crimea and some of them stormed the prosecutor-general’s office.

In Sevastopol, speakers blared the city anthem up and down the streets, giving off a block-party feeling. But the military threat was not far away – a Russian naval warship still blocked the port’s outlet to the Black Sea, trapping Ukrainian boats.

At a polling station inside a historic school, tears came to Vladimir Lozovoy, a 75-year-old retired Soviet naval officer, as he talked about his vote.

“I want to cry. I have finally returned to my motherland. It is an incredible feeling. This is the thing I have been waiting for for 23 years,” he said.

But Crimea’s large Muslim Tatar minority – whose families had been forcibly removed from their homeland and sent to Central Asia during Soviet times – remained defiant.

The Crimea referendum “is a clown show, a circus,” Tatar activist Refat Chubarov said on Crimea’s Tatar television station. “This is a tragedy, an illegitimate government with armed forces from another country.”

The fate of Ukrainian soldiers trapped in their Crimean bases by pro-Russian forces was still uncertain. Crimea’s pro-Russian authorities have said if those soldiers don’t surrender after Sunday’s vote, they will be considered “illegal.”

“This is our land and we’re not going anywhere from this land,” Ukraine’s acting defense minister, Igor Tenyuk, was quoted as saying Sunday by the Interfax news agency.

But Tenyuk later said an agreement had been reached with Russia that its forces would not block Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea through Friday. It was not clear exactly what that meant.

On the streets of Simferopol, blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags were nowhere to seen but red, white and blue Russian and Crimean flags fluttered in abundance.

Ethnic Ukrainians interviewed outside the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral of Vladimir and Olga said they refused to take part in the referendum, calling it an illegal charade stage-managed by Moscow. Some said they were scared of the potential for widespread discrimination and harassment in the coming weeks, similar to what happened in parts of nearby Georgia, another former Soviet republic, after its 2008 war with Russia.

“We’re just not going to play these separatist games,” said Yevgen Sukhodolsky, a 41-year-old prosecutor from Saki, a town outside Simferopol. “Putin is the fascist. The Russian government is fascist.”

Vasyl Ovcharuk, a retired gas pipe layer who worked at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, predicted dark days ahead for Crimea.

“This will end up in military action, in which peaceful people will suffer. And that means everybody. Shells and bullets are blind,” he said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related articles:

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What A Turnout! 123% Of Sevastopol, Crimea Voted For Merger With Mother Russia – Gateway Pundit

You don’t see turnouts like this very often.

123% of Sevastopol, Crimea residents voted yesterday to join with Mother Russia.

Pravda Ukraine reported:
(Translated)

If you believe the Crimean “authorities”, 474,137 people voted in Sevastopol “referendum”.

However, as of November 1, 2013, according to the statistics in Sevastopol , all the permanent population of the city – 383,499 people, and is present at the time – 385,462 people.

At the end of last year, the voting population of Sebastopol was 385,462. This tailored to the children who did not have the right to vote. 474,137 – 385,462 = 88,675 people accidentally appeared in Sevastopol to vote during the referendum. 474 137/385 462 * 100 = 123% of Sevastopol voted for entry into Russia.

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Impeach: Obama Skips Another National Security Staff Meeting On Russia – Conservative Times

There’s no question about it – we’re currently involved in a full Cold War-style standoff with Russia right now over what’s going on in Ukraine.

The Crimean region just overwhelmingly (95% of the vote) passed a referendum to join the Russian Federation. Obviously, with thousands of Russian troops ominously looking on nearby, this was essentially voting at gunpoint.

The vote has already been condemned by the government of Ukraine, the US, and most of the rest of the West. Russian president Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscle to see just how tough Western governments really are. e knows Obama is weak, and he has the president looking clueless and spineless on the world stage.

As threats of sanctions from the UN and individual nations loom large, you’d expect for our president to be actively involved in the process of crafting official US national security policy to deal with this crisis. Wrong.

Obama has skipped yet another national security staff meeting on the situation, instead opting to be briefed on the meeting. Amazing.

Remember, he already skipped one national security staff meeting while a Russian invasion of Ukraine was impending and was instead briefed by Susan Rice, the same woman who spent weeks telling us that Benghazi had everything to do with a YouTube video.

Via Yahoo News:

President Barack Obama’s national security team discussed the Ukraine crisis in a session at the White House on Saturday after a last-ditch bid to find a diplomatic solution to the Cold War-style standoff with Russia floundered.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who just returned from talks with his Russian counterpart in London, was at the White House meeting along with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

Being briefed on a meeting of this gravity is no substitute for being actively involved in the process of deciding what the official US response to the Ukraine crisis will be. s Commander in Chief, Obama is charged with being the sole organ of foreign policy in the United States – not Congress or another branch of government or the military. His utter disregard for his most important duty shows that he isn’t remotely fit for office. It’s past time to impeach.

Are you outraged that Obama is skipping yet another vital national security staff meeting on Russia? Share this article on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about how Obama is neglecting his most basic duties as Commander in Chief.

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John Bolton: Sending Kerry To Deal With Russian FM Lavrov Is Like “Sending A Cupcake To Negotiate With A Steak Knife” – Weasel Zippers

Cupcake and Mom Jeans, in charge of fore-in policy.

Bolton is however wrong about there being no votes before. In 1991, Ukraine including Crimea voted along with the the rest of Ukraine to be an independent entity. 54% of Crimeans (not under a gun) voted to be part of an independent Ukraine.

Via IJR:

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but this latest comparison literally “takes the cake.” While appearing on Fox News to discuss the referendum in the Crimea to join Russia, Bolton discussed the weak sanctions America is taking against Russia:

“I don’t think [the sanctions] will have much impact. I think the Obama administration and the Europeans are demonstrating weakness, these sanctions are pinpricks, and y’know we sent Secretary of State John Kerry to London to negotiate with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that’s like sending a cupcake to negotiate with a steak knife.”

Bolton continued to describe the collective failure of leadership in the West, which he says has ignored these threats for five years, and is now seeing the consequences of this inattentiveness. Finally, he predicts that Putin will use the Crimea to get what he “really wants, which is a government subservient to Russia.”

Meanwhile, Obama is defending his wearing of mom-pants to Ryan Seacrest in an attempt to sell Obamacare to young people.

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Ukraine Mobilises Its Army As Kremlin Ups The Ante With Warning To America: ‘We Can Reduce You To Radioactive Ash’ – Daily Mail

The Crimean crisis moved a step closer to all-out war today as Ukraine mobilised its armed forces and a firebrand Kremlin mouthpiece warned America to stay out of its business, declaring: ‘We could turn you to radioactive ash.’

Since a referendum called for Crimea’s annexation to Russia last night, tensions between Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world have risen faster than at any point since the stand off erupted three weeks ago.

As dawn broke this morning, the Ukrainian parliament approved the deployment of 40,000 battle-ready soldiers as it vowed to ‘defend our homeland’ from any incursion.

But with a pool of just 160,000 active frontline personel, the Ukrainian armed forces are dwarfed by a Russian army that includes more than 700,000 men and women and many more in reserve.

Already tens of thousands of heavily-armed Russian troops – mostly in uniforms without identifying insignia – stand guard over swathes of Crimea as Moscow appeared to ratchet up its rhetoric, ignoring western pleas for peace.

Instead, it upped the ante when the head of its state news agency, Dmitry Kiselyov, issued a thinly-veiled threat to America on live TV, urging the superpower to stay out of the crisis or risk facing the full force of Russia’s military muscle.

Speaking against a backdrop of a nuclear mushroom cloud, Kiselyov – who was handpicked personally by president Vladimir Putin – told viewers of his popular news show: ‘Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash.’

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Far from warding the US and Europe off, however, his incendiary remarks only added to the situation’s trembling volatility.

This morning Barack Obama responded to Russia’s growing belligerence and imposed visa bans and asset freezes on 11 Russian and Ukrainian politicians blamed for the military incursion, in the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War.

Among those sanctioned were ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich and Putin aides Vladislov Surkov and Sergei Glazyev.

Within hours, the European Union followed suit, imposing similar sanctions on 21 Russian and Ukrainian politicians.

In further developments today, Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the situation in its Crimea region.

‘In connection with the situation in Crimea and the necessity of discussing some of its international aspects, the Ukrainian side is recalling its ambassador to the Russian Federation, Volodymyr Yelchenko,’ the Foreign Ministry said.

Today’s events come after Crimea’s parliament declared itself an independent state, following a regional referendum yesterday that saw 96.6 per cent of its residents vote to break off from Ukraine and join Russia.

The referendum, however, is not recognised by the West, and the United States and the European Union are preparing further sanctions against Russia, whose troops have been occupying Crimea for several weeks.

The White House has dismissed the secession vote in Crimea as an illegal power grab by the former Soviet state, saying it violated both the Ukrainian constitution and international law, and urged president Putin not to follow through with threats to annex the peninsular.

And today a senior US diplomat revealed there is ‘concrete evidence’ that some ballots arrived ‘pre-marked’ in the referendum adding that other voting anomalies were also detected.

As a shot across Russia’s bows, Obama today warned that continued Russian military intervention in Ukraine would only increase Russia’s isolation and exact a greater toll on its economy.

‘If Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions,’ he said.

Amid fears that Russia might move into eastern Ukraine, Obama said further provocations will achieve nothing except to ‘further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world.’

Senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the penalties said they were the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War.

The European Union took similar steps, targeting 21 people in Russia and Crimea while leaving open the possibility of adding harsher economic measures when EU leaders meet later this week.

At a briefing today, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague revealed Britain would join Europe in reducing its dependence on Russian energy which currently supplies 30 per cent of the continent’s gas.

‘We have started today discussing the longer term, the need to reduce European dependence on Russian energy over many years to come,’ he said. ‘It is some of these sorts of things that will be the biggest costs in the long term to Russia if we make no diplomatic progress over the coming weeks.’

As Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the situation in its Crimea region, Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsya also came out fighting today, promising that his government was ‘prepared to defend our homeland’.

He told BBC Radio 4′s The World At One programme: ‘We are very much concerned with the deployment of Russian troops on the eastern border of Ukraine and the number of provocations made by Russians in eastern regions of Ukraine.

‘We are prepared to defend our homeland if Russia will decide to move further into the eastern parts of Ukraine.’

Mr Deshchytsya said the sanctions agreed today were a ‘step forward in mobilising the international community’.

‘But I think we also need to deepen our relations with the European Union,’ he said.

Parts of the Crimea is now swarming with well-armed soldiers without identifying insignia but believed to have been sent across the border by Russia.

Crimean lawmakers have asked the United Nations and other nations to recognize it.

A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday for negotiations on how to proceed further. Russian lawmakers have suggested that formally annexing Crimea is almost certain.

The Kremlin clearly put the issue on a fast track. Both houses of parliament were set to gather for a joint meeting in the Kremlin on Tuesday to hear President Vladimir Putin’s address on the subject.

In Kiev, the national parliament approved acting President Oleksandr Turchynov’s call for a military mobilization that would include 20,000 volunteers with previous military experience, and reservists.

Ukraine recently formed a national guard also about 20,000-strong.

Turchynov said the order was necessary “considering the continuing aggression in… Crimea, which Russia is trying to disguise with a large farce called `referendum,’ which will never be accepted by Crimea or the whole civilized world,” he was quoted as saying by the Intefax news agency.

Russia is expected to face strong sanctions from the U.S. and Europe over backing the Crimean referendum, which could also encourage rising pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine’s east and lead to further divisions in this nation of 46 million. Residents in western Ukraine and the capital, Kiev, are strongly pro-West and Ukrainian nationalist.

Russian forces effectively took control of Crimea late last month after Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in the wake of months of protests.

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Ron Paul Is Supporting Russia’s Illegal Occupation Of Crimea – Daily Beast

The libertarian godfather has become one of the biggest cheerleaders for the “referendum” that will lead to Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

In the Crimea crisis, it seems Ron Paul thinks that libertarianism stops at water’s edge.

The former Republican congressman and libertarian icon has long enjoyed a mixed reputation in the United States. While many admire Paul for his small government views on civil liberties, other shy away from a politician who has criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and allowed a series of racist and conspiratorial news letters to be published under his own name.

However, the former congressman whose presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 helped elevate libertarians from a political afterthought to a key constituency in the Republican Party and whose son, Rand Paul is poised for a 2016 bid for the White House, has now started a new chapter of his career. He’s defending the chauvinist and imperialist Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin.

Over the past several weeks, Paul has become one of the most vocal American supporters of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea, a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine. In the aftermath of a revolution that drove out its ally in Kiev, Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow is attempting to annex the province by holding a “referendum” Sunday in hopes that it will provide a patina of legality to its blatantly illegal land grab. Paul, long a foe of military action and democracy promotion efforts overseas, has not been content to limit himself to criticisms of American policies in Eastern Europe. He has gone out of his way to legitimize and justify the actions of Putin.

“He’s no angel but actually he has some law on his side,” Paul said earlier this week on the Fox Business Network. “They have contracts and agreements and treaties for a naval base there and the permission to go about that area.” While Russia has leased its naval base from the Ukrainian government in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol until 2042, the terms of that agreement explicitly prohibit Russian forces from leaving their barracks, never mind overrunning and occupying government buildings, violating Ukraine’s airspace, and taking over border posts.

It is for this reason that the 20,000 or so Russian forces now spread out across the peninsula, harassing journalists and threatening anyone else who protests their presence there, are not wearing Russian uniforms; according to Moscow, these men are “local self-defense forces,” not Russian soldiers. This is a lie, and only the most slavish of Russian propagandists are claiming otherwise.

Russia’s actions also violate the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which it signed along with the United Kingdom and the United States, committing all parties “to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine” in exchange for Kiev’s transferring its then-considerable post-Soviet nuclear weapons stockpile to Moscow.

Paul and his supporters used to complain that the American media and political establishment never gave him a fair shake in his various presidential campaigns, so it is a little odd to see him and his denizens providing a democratic gloss to Sunday’s “referendum” on Crimea’s status. The referendum on the Crimea is happening quite literally at gunpoint as Russian forces have occupied the entire peninsula and offers no option for Crimeans to maintain their current status within the Ukraine. Instead, voters can either vote to allow Russia to annex the peninsula or “reunification of Crimea with Russia” in the parlance of the ballot or to “restore the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine.” (Early exit polls show 93% of Crimean voters chose to join Russia.)

The referendum – which has been denounced as illegal by outside observers, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – was only scheduled by the Crimean parliament after armed men occupied that body in late February. Those gunmen installed a pro-Russian figurehead as the region’s Prime Minister, as well – a guy named Sergey Aksyonov, the alleged criminal leader of a miniscule pro-Russian political party which has never earned more than 4% at the polls.

But for Ron Paul and the acolytes at his think tank, a motley crew of Putin apologists and admirers of post-Soviet thugs, Sunday’s sham election is all about the spirit of 1776. He recently wrote that “The only question that remains is whether there will there be an honest election, and I don’t see any reason there can’t be.” He did this on the website of his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which, in light of current events might be better called the Ron Paul Institute for Russian Aggression and Economic Exploitation (Its director, Daniel McAdams, has referred to the American ambassador to Ukraine as an “outlaw.”)

Paul bases his support of the Crimean referendum on libertarian grounds, as if what’s happening half a world away under the watchful eyes of the Russian military is akin to a Tea Party protest demanding less federal control over education policy. “There should be a right of secession,” Paul said on Fox. One cannot consider Paul’s defense of the Crimean “secession” without first becoming familiar with his nostalgia for the American one.

A crucial element of Paul’s worldview and that of his paleoconservative brethren is that America began to go to hell in a hand-basket with the Union victory in the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln’s firm use of executive power to crush the slaveholding states’ attempt to secede initiated, in their view, the centralization of federal government power that continues to this day. The 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report (the name of which was a deliberate appeal to the then burgeoning far-right “survivalist” movement preparing for racial apocalypse) stated that “the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society” and that “there is nothing wrong with loosely banding together small units of government. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, we too should consider it.” Ironically, while Paul was applauding Ukrainian independence 20 years ago, he is now cheering the Crimea’s forcible reintegration into Russia.

In addition to whitewashing Russian aggression, Paul depicts some of the most benign elements of America’s overseas involvement as nefarious and illegitimate. “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organizations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he told The Guardian. “Our hands are not clean.”

By this, Paul was referring to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S.-government funded, independently operated grant-making institution that supports civil society organizations in authoritarian states as well as emerging democracies. It enjoys bipartisan support, but has long been a target of Paul and other American isolationists, who see malevolence in everything their government does. Paul’s belief that America was trying to orchestrate “regime change” in Ukraine goes back to at least 2004, when he railed against supposed NED “meddling” in the 2004 presidential election that Yanukovych attempted to steal. (For the curious, here’s a list of NED grantees in Ukraine, which range from a “weekly youth journal” to election monitoring outfits).

To be sure, Yanukovych’s election theft was exposed and resisted by some U.S. and European government-funded civil society organizations, which would scarcely be able to exist without outside support. Why Americans should be outraged about this is something Paul neglects to answer.

There is an irony in a so-called “libertarian” defending the likes of Vladimir Putin. Ron Paul and his ilk claim to support individual rights, free markets, and a foreign policy of non-violence, yet here they are defending a man who hounds gays, presides over a kleptocratic mafia state, and invades his neighbors. Paul shirks the label of “isolationist,” preferring instead that of, “non-interventionist,” which is true only in the sense that he opposes interventionism – of even the non-violent sort – undertaken by the United States and its democratic allies. When it comes to violent Russian intervention in the affairs of its sovereign neighbors, however, Paul agrees with none other than former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who said that Moscow retains a “sphere of privileged interests” among the ex-vassal states of the Soviet Union. Why would a formerly elected official in America lend ideological cover to a foreign dictator’s assault on the basic human rights of his own people?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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