Archive | January 16, 2016

U.K. Ground Foot Soldiers, the Social Services to Run the NHS*

U.K. Ground Foot Soldiers, the Social Services to Run the NHS*

This is the way things will be going.  Every citizen will have a compulsory relationship with Social Services via the NHS.   What began as a supposedly free health service is now the front end of the totalitarian state.

By Christian Duffin

A GP practice in Scotland will become the first to be placed under the control of social services managers, alongside health managers, within two months.

Health minister Shona Robison confirmed to the Scottish Parliament yesterday on 13 January that the practice in Lochee, Dundee will be run by a partnership between NHS Tayside and Dundee City Council from March.

This partnership will review whether the practice – which operates in an area of deprivation – has the right mix of health professionals and will examine ways to ‘stabilise’ the practice, she added.

Dozens of other struggling practices in Scotland are already under the management of health board having become unsustainable under the private contractor model.

But the Lochee surgery will be the first one to have additional operational input in a formal way from social services.

Ms Robison said:

‘There is an opportunity through the Dundee community health partnership working in an integrated fashion to take on operational management of the practice, look at the possibility of a multidisciplinary workforce, and stabilise that practice.

‘It will be able to look to the future and, I hope, develop new services for the people of Lochee.’

All regions of Scotland are expected to have ‘integration joint boards’ – comprising NHS board managers and social services managers – in place by April, to ensure that health and social care services work closer together, share resources and become more efficient.


Related Topics:

20,000 Doctors Protest in London*

U.K. Doctors Want NHS Out of TTIP Now*

Schoolgirls Snatched by Social Services after Complaining to Teacher at being Grounded*

U.S. Sued over $280bn Tax-deductible Aid Sent to Israel*

U.S. Sued over $280bn Tax-deductible Aid Sent to Israel*

A lawsuit has reportedly been filed against the US Treasury Department, alleging that some 150 NGOs sent as much as $280 billion worth of tax-deductible donations to Israel in the past 20 years.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, the donations were “pass-throughs” to support the Israeli army and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories which had been ruled illegal by the U.N. Susan Abulhawa, a prominent Palestinian-American writer and human rights activist, has reportedly put her name on the 73-page lawsuit.

The lawsuit reportedly claims that the grants sent over to Israel were filed as part of the U.S. income tax regulations code 501(c)(3).

501(c)(3) stands for a non-profit organization that has been recognized by the IRS (the U.S. Internal Revenue Service) as being tax-exempt by virtue of its charitable programs.

U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, 82, and several other pro-Israeli businessmen came to be named in the lawsuit as donors but not as defendants, Al Jazeera reported.

The Treasury Department has reportedly declined to comment on the suit, saying the judicial process is ongoing.

Israel is the “largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” according to the latest congressional report on aid to the country.

To date, the United States has provided Israel as much as $124.3 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all US bilateral aid to Israel is said to be “in the form of military assistance.”

In 2007, the Bush administration and the Israeli government agreed to a $30 billion, 10-year military aid package for the period from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2018.

Israel allegedly made a request for its annual defence aid from Washington to be raised to as much as $5 billion after its current package (worth about $3 billion a year) expires in 2017, congressional sources told Reuters last month. It means Tel Aviv could get a total of $50 billion in military aid over 10 years.

According to sources, Israel says it needs more money to counter threats that may allegedly arise as a result of the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

“It’s no secret the security environment in the Middle East has deteriorated in many areas and, as I’ve said repeatedly, the security of Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities, and that has expressed itself not only in words but in deeds,” Barack Obama said during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month.

“I want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violence against its and innocent Israeli citizens. And I want to repeat once again, it is my strong belief that Israel has not just the right, but the obligation to protect itself,” the US president added.

Benyamin Netanyahu thanked Obama for his “commitment to further bolstering Israel’s security.”

Israel has shouldered a tremendous defence burden over the years and we have done it with the generous assistance of the United States of America,” he noted.

Earlier this month United Nations experts called for an end to the harassment of human right defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, calling the attacks – which include physical violence and death threats – “unacceptable.”

“Amidst a charged and violent atmosphere over past months in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Palestinian and international defenders are providing a ‘protective presence’ for Palestinians at risk of violence, and documenting human rights violations,” Michel Forst, the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said.

In July 2014, in retaliation against Hamas rockets, Israel launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge.” It claimed the lives of some 2,251 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 72 Israelis, according to the U.N.


Related Topics:

What I’ve Learnt About US Foreign Policy*

U.S. Silent on U.S. Citizens Engage in Violence against Palestinians*

Jewish NY High School Student Facing Legal Action for Supporting Palestine*

IDF Destroys’ 400 acres of Gaza’s Crops*

Palestinian Child Beaten to Death after Being Shot by Military*

Holiday Season Holy Land Atrocities for Palestinians*

After 2,000 years, Christians Disappearing from Gaza*

IDF Whistleblowers Expose Reality of Occupation to Israelis*

How the Global Jewellery Industry is Funding Israeli Crimes against Humanity*

How the Global Jewellery Industry is Funding Israeli Crimes against Humanity*

By Sean Clinton

The diamond industry is “one of the cornerstone of the Israeli economy” – a fact confirmed by the recent publication of Israel’s trade performance for 2014

Revenue from the diamond industry is estimated to generate about $1bn/yr in funding for the Israeli military. Despite the many grievous human rights violations committed by Israel the jewellery industry continues to deceive consumers by claiming diamonds from Israel are conflict-free.

The Zionist project in Palestine has prevailed, and can only be sustained, by the violent denial of the human rights and democratic will of the Palestinian people. Sustaining the Zionist reign of terror places a heavy burden on the Israeli economy – the primary source of the revenue needed to sustain the project.

The Israeli government recently approved a military budget of NIS 60bn ($15bn) for 2016. This money has to be extracted from the Israeli economy in taxes of one form or another. The U.S. presently gives Israel an additional $3bn per year in military aid and that figure looks likely to increase to $4.5bn/yr in 2018. Efforts to pressure Israel to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people are undermined by the U.S. and the E.U. which shelter Israel from economic, political and military sanctions.

The international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction gives civil society the means to surmount the political firewalls that protect the regime. BDS has the potential to impose an economic toll that can significantly change the political and economic cost benefit of the Zionist project.

In order to help bring about the changes needed to shift the political scales in favour of justice and peace the boycott campaign needs to impact vulnerable sectors of the Israeli economy that can have significant economic consequences.

Israel imports more goods than it exports. Goods that bring in large amounts of foreign currency are critically important to the economy and the regimes ability to provide the social services the electorate demand while at the same time maintaining the matrix of military control needed to brutally subjugate the Palestinian population.

Some sectors of the Israeli economy are much more vulnerable to boycott and divestment than others. In terms of importance and vulnerability the diamond industry stands out.

The diamond industry is “one of the cornerstone of the Israeli economy” – a fact confirmed by the recent publication of Israel’s trade performance for 2014 (see graph).

Unlike electronics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other commodities exported by Israel, diamonds are a very personal and emotion-laden purchase for individual consumers. Most people who purchase diamonds probably know little about the plight of the Palestinian people but when they part with thousands of dollars for a bit of polished carbon they certainly don’t want to be sold a blood diamond.

Decades of publicity about atrocities associated with the diamond trade in parts of Africa have primed the public to reject blood diamonds for ethical, fashion and peer pressure reasons. Jewellers know this all too well and cannot afford to have their brand image and reputation tarnished by association with the bloodshed and atrocities of Zionist war crimes in Palestine or other rogue regimes in Africa.

Chief executives in publicly listed companies have onerous moral and legal responsibilities to shareholders and patrons alike. The average tenure of CEOs in leading public companies is about 10 years during which they must safely navigate the corporate ship until they can disembark with their retirement package secured.

Jewellers who sell diamonds that generate revenue used to fund human rights violations risk destroying their company’s brand and reputation. They also expose the company to potentially costly legal action from disgruntled patrons who would feel aggrieved to discover they were sold a blood diamond and from the victims of diamond-funded human rights violations seeking reparations.

When NGOs exposed the trade in blood diamonds in certain African countries the threat to the diamond brand image was such that in 2002 jewellers eventually agreed to the establishment of a system of self regulation known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) to control the trade in rough diamonds. However, the industry refuses to ban all blood diamonds and limited the remit of the KP to “conflict diamonds” – rough diamonds that fund rebel violence. Blood diamonds that fund human rights violations by government forces legally enter the legitimate market.

Diamonds are a significant source of revenue for violent regimes in Israel, Angola and Zimbabwe. They account for about 30% of the global diamond market in value terms. These blood diamonds are not “conflict diamonds” and once mixed with diamonds from other counties are impossible to identify. Thus, billions of dollars of blood diamonds are laundered by the jewellery industry each year.

Efforts to broaden the KP definition of a “conflict diamond” to include diamonds that fund human rights violations by government forces have met with resistance from Israel and other vested interests in the KP where each member has a veto. Some NGOs that form part of the KP’s tripartite system which includes governments, and representatives of the diamond industry, continue to prop up the discredited system. Global Witness withdrew from the KP when blood diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange district were certified KP compliant in 2011.

Amnesty International, referring to the export of blood diamonds from the Central African Republic, recently stated that “diamond companies continue to hide behind the veneer of respectability offered by the Kimberley Process rather than taking responsibility for what happens along their supply chains.” That veneer of respectability is rapidly wearing thin as increasing numbers of people learn about the linkage between leading jewellery companies including De Beers, Harry Winston, Sotheby’s, and Tiffany’s and the funding of human rights violations in Palestine.


Related Topics:

Israel’s ‘Blood Diamonds’ Financing War Crimes in Gaza*

Egypt Signs Contract to Import Palestinian Natural Gas from Israel*

Palestine from Sovereignty to an Israeli Enclave*

Foreign Investment Plummets in Israel*

Ireland’s Largest Multinational Company Disinvests from Israel*

Brazil Cancels $2bn Contract with Israeli Security Firm for 2016 Olympics*

World Rushes to De-Dollarize Oil Trade Before U.S. Economy Crashes*

World Rushes to De-Dollarize Oil Trade Before U.S. Economy Crashes*

Russia, China, India and other emerging powers are pushing for a multi-polar world; meanwhile the United States, a former hegemon, is unable to stop them as it is losing its political power and is “de-facto bankrupt,” William Engdahl, a political observer for New Eastern Outlook, told Radio Sputnik.

Slowly, but surely Russia, China and other emerging economies are beginning to reduce their dependency on the US dollar. Russia plans to trade oil using rubles by undermining the current U.S. oil price monopoly.

“That would begin de-dollarizing the world oil trade in a significant way,” Engdahl told Sputnik.

This move would be a dramatic blow to the economy of the United States and break the U.S. political hegemony, Engdahl explained.

To make things even worse, the U.S. economy is already struggling.

“The rest of the world is beginning to realize that the United States of America, the hegemon or the sole super power, whatever you want to call it, is de-facto bankrupt,” the political expert told Sputnik.

It’s not simply about the upcoming de-dollarization of the global oil trade, Engdahl explained, but due to the fact that the U.S. economy has been severely hit on multiple fronts.

With U.S. industries outsourced to other countries, unemployment shooting through the roof and trillions of dollars of debt, the U.S. economy is in a terrible shape, Engdahl said.

JP Morgan analysts were less dramatic than Engdahl, but even they agreed that the chance of the U.S. economy slowing down over the course of next few years increased by 75%. While the global economy is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2016, the U.S. economy would likely slide into recession.


Related Topics:

U.S. Government Admits Social Security Going Bankrupt*

The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves*

The U.S. is Back in Recession with Interest Rates Already at Zero*

U.S. Wasted $231mn on Failed Missile Defence Program*

U.S. Navy Just Spent $2.1bn on a Fancy Transport Fleet That Sinks*

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’*

Obama’s Program in Disarray having Spent $41mn Training ” Five” Syrian Rebels*

Obama Spent $700 Million Promoting Homosexuality Overseas*

1980 Interview: How the Tax Exempt Foundation has brought about the Destruction of U.S.*



U.S. Navy Just Spent $2.1bn on a Fancy Transport Fleet That Sinks*

U.S. Navy Just Spent $2.1bn on a Fancy Transport Fleet That Sinks*

By Rudy Panko

America, the beacon of light amongst a world of shadows. A country where all men are created equal, but 22% of all children live below the federal poverty level. Freedom has a price, and it usually comes in the form of spending billions of dollars on fancy cargo ships that are not even seaworthy:

“The U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to repair new high-speed transport ships built by Austal Ltd. because their weak bows can’t stand buffeting from high seas, according to the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.

“The entire ship class requires reinforcing structure” to bridge the twin hulls of the all-aluminum catamarans because of a design change that the Navy adopted at Austal’s recommendation for the $2.1 billion fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transports, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress.”

Here’s the juicy part:

““Since the repairs are still in progress, there has been no heavy weather testing yet to verify if the fixes are sufficient,” Marine Corps Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a spokesman for Gilmore, said in an e-mail.

Even with reinforced structures, the fast transport ships operate under sailing restrictions because “encountering a rogue wave” can “result in sea-slam events that causes structural damage to the bow structure,” Gilmore wrote. The operating restrictions include requiring vessels to wait out the highest seas or travel at speeds much lower than their maximum, according to Gilmore’s report.”

Billions spent on a dumb new Navy fleet. Then millions more on repairs that might not even work.

In conclusion: Stop paying your taxes.


Related Topics:

U.S. Wasted $231mn on Failed Missile Defence Program*

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’*

Obama’s Program in Disarray having Spent $41mn Training ” Five” Syrian Rebels*

Obama Spent $700 Million Promoting Homosexuality Overseas*

U.S. Government Admits Social Security Going Bankrupt*

The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves*

The U.S. is Back in Recession with Interest Rates Already at Zero*

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’*

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’*

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has labelled yet another project in danger of failing. This time its U.S. plans to develop the country’s oil, gas and minerals industries.

By Megan McCloskey

The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported today.

The project’s failings are the result of poorly planned programs, inadequate infrastructure and a challenging partnership with the Afghan government, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wrote in its newest damning assessment of U.S. efforts in the war-torn country. The finding comes after some 200 SIGAR reports have detailed inefficient, unsuccessful or downright wasteful reconstruction projects. A recent ProPublica analysis of the reports found that there has been at least $17 billion in questionable spending.

We Blew $17 Billion in Afghanistan. How Would You Have Spent It?

Here’s just what the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found. See for yourself how that money could have been used at home. Explore the app.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a Pentagon task force were in charge of developing a so-called “extractive” industry in Afghanistan — basically a system for getting precious resources out of the ground and to the commercial market. SIGAR called out both USAID and the Defense Department last year for their failures to coordinate and to ascertain the ability of Afghans to sustain the project, which unsurprisingly is not promising. In fact, when international aid stopped supporting the Afghan office responsible for oversight of the petroleum and natural gas industries, two-thirds of the staff were fired.

Exploiting these resources, which are estimated to be worth as much as $1 trillion, is pivotal to Afghanistan’s economic future. SIGAR noted that the Afghan government has shown progress under USAID’s tutelage in regulating and developing the commercial export of the resources. But the report said the project was still hampered by corruption, structural problems and a lack of infrastructure for the mining industry, such as reliable roads. Many of the mines operate illegally, with some profit going to the insurgency, SIGAR said.

When it came to individual extractive projects, there was little progress made, the IG found.

The controversial Pentagon task force in charge of much of the effort, the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, spent $215 million on 11 extractive programs, but “after operating in Afghanistan for 5 years, TFBSO left with nearly all of its extractive projects incomplete,” SIGAR found. Three of the programs technically met objectives, but one of those is of questionable value at best. The task force built a gas station for an outrageously inflated cost and in the end it didn’t have any customers. So while the objective to create the station was achieved, SIGAR doubted it was a worthwhile venture.

The Karkar Valley coal mines in Puli Khumri, Afghanistan. (Benjamin Lowy/Getty)

The task force, made up of mostly civilian business experts and designed to develop the Afghan economy, has come under fire from SIGAR and Congress for demanding unusual and expensive accommodations in the country, allegedly punishing a whistleblower, and lacking overall accountability. The Senate is holding a hearing on the task force next week.

In today’s report, SIGAR highlighted that the task force spent $46.5 million to try to convince companies to agree to develop the resources, but not one ended up signing a contract. About $122 million worth of task force programs had mixed results, SIGAR said.

The Defense Department declined SIGAR’s request to comment on its findings. In its response, USAID said it has helped Afghanistan “enact investor-friendly extractive legislation, improve the ability to market, negotiate and regulate contracts, and generate geological data to identify areas of interest to attract investors.” Any conclusions and criticisms, USAID told SIGAR, “need to be substantially tempered by the reality that mining is a long-term endeavour.”


Related Topics:

CIA Helicopters Ferrying ISIS Fighters into Afghanistan*

U.S.-Backed Coalition Just Bombed ANOTHER Doctors Without Borders Hospital*

Why did Afghanistan Get an Earthquake?*

CIA + Contractors = ISIS in Afghanistan*

Ten Year Old Afghan Girl Buries her Toy Gun and says No to World War*

Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money Went to DynCorp International*

A New Puppet so the Cabal Can Rape Afghanistan of its Rare Earth Mineral Wealth*

U.S. Wasted $231mn on Failed Missile Defence Program*

Obama’s Program in Disarray having Spent $41mn Training ” Five” Syrian Rebels*

Obama Spent $700 Million Promoting Homosexuality Overseas*

U.S. Government Admits Social Security Going Bankrupt*