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Apparent Ukrainian troop defections escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine — Tensions escalated in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, with pro-Russian gunmen storming City Hall in the sprawling city of Donetsk and a cluster of Ukrainian troops meant to be restoring order in the region apparently defecting to the side of separatists.A column of armored vehicles flying Russian flags drove into an eastern Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia demonstrators Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes to re-establish control.

The events signaled a challenge ahead for the pro-Western Ukrainian government on the second day of its campaign to quell the restive east and came as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine was on the verge “of a civil war.”

A line of combat vehicles flying Russian flags rolled Wednesday morning into Slovyansk, a city of 120,000 where separatists have set up roadblocks since Saturday. One soldier named Andrei, speaking to the Associated Press, identified the men as part of the 25th Brigade of Ukraine’s airborne forces that had switched to the side of pro-Russian forces. The troops, in green camouflage and packing automatic weapons and grenade launchers, received a warm welcome from local separatists, AP said.

The report could not be immediately verified, and it was unclear whether the troops, if they did defect, were acting on their own free will.

Around 10 a.m. local time, a squad of separatists backed by seven masked gunmen in camouflage stormed the seat of Donetsk’s mayor and local council.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 40 men, some masked and heavily armed, were occupying the building but still allowing workers and local officials to go about their business inside city hall.

 

 

 

READ MORE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/ukrainian-troop-defections-escalate-tensions-in-eastern-ukraine/2014/04/16/4d36b1b6-c532-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html

Citing Russian Moves, NATO Plans New Deployments

BRUSSELS — The head of NATO pledged on Wednesday to immediately step up military patrols along the alliance’s vast eastern border in response to mounting evidence of Russian interference in Ukraine.

The announcement by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, appeared to be another sign that the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine was becoming more acute. But Mr. Rasmussen emphasized that the move was designed to be a deterrent rather than preparation for conflict.

“Our decisions today are about defense, deterrence and de-escalation,” Mr. Rasmussen said in a statement posted on the NATO website. “NATO will protect every ally and defend against any threat against our fundamental security,” he said.

Even so, the moves represent a significant strengthening of NATO’s posture in a region where it is already operating an air-policing mission in the Baltic states and surveillance flights over Poland and Romania.

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/world/europe/nato-ukraine.html?hp

EDWARD LUCAS: I hope I’m wrong but historians may look back and say this was the start of World War III

Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too ­possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape.

Whipped up by the Kremlin ­propaganda machine and led by Russian ­military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag.

They are demolishing not just their own country — bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered — but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe and us, here in Britain, safe and free for decades.
Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West.

 

  • ‘Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West’
  • ‘We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states’
  • ‘Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions’
  • ‘If we choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying miltary escalation’
  • ‘I do not think it an exaggeration to say this could bring us to the brink of nuclear war

READ MORE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605578/Edward-Lucas-I-hope-Im-wrong-historians-look-say-start-World-War-III.html

294 Missing After Ferry Sinks off South Korea’s Coast

Nearly 300 people are missing and at least four are confirmed dead after a ferry carrying 462 people, many of them students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday.

There were fears of a big jump in the number of deaths, as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers scrambled to rescue passengers who had been on the ferry travelling to the southern island of Jeju. Those rescue efforts will continue overnight. One rescued passenger said he believed that many people had been trapped inside the ferry when it sank.

Photos: Sadness, Desperation as Ferry Sinks Off South Korea’s Coast

The confirmed fatalities are a female crew member, 22, and a male student.

The ferry, identified as the Sewol, was sailing to the southern island of Jeju when it sent a distress call as it began leaning to one side. The passengers include more than 300 students from Danwon High School in Ansan, near Seoul, who were on a school trip.

 

Read More:

Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising

Grocery shoppers may soon need more green in their wallets to afford their next salad.

The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year drought in California shows few signs of abating, according to an Arizona State University study set to be released Wednesday.BN-CJ559_calipr_G_20140415104036

The study found a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62 cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. (The run-up in produce prices is in line with other projections showing that overall food cost gains are expected to accelerate this year.)

The latest projections were compiled by Timothy Richards, an agribusiness professor at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He studied the drought’s effect on farmland and consumer purchasing trends to determine the eight fresh fruits and vegetables likely to see the largest price increases this spring and summer.

And the price increases may already be happening. Grocery prices rose by 0.5% for the second-straight month in March, according to the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, released Tuesday. It was the largest two-month gain in the food-at-home category since 2011. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.9% last month, after a 1.1% gain in February. Meat and dairy prices are also increasing. Meanwhile, overall consumer prices rose just 0.2% last month, as broader inflation in the economy remains tepid.

California is the largest domestic producer of each of the products Mr. Richards identified, ranging from grapes to peppers. And in the case of avocados, it’s the only state with a significant crop.

 

READ MORE: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/15/attention-shoppers-fruit-and-vegetable-prices-rising/?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsFifth

Ebola Outbreak: At Least 100 Die in West Africa

Passengers with flu like symptoms — fever, diarrhea, or joint pain — aren’t allowed to fly.

“It’s probably one of the more complicated outbreaks because it is occurring in a very densely-populated urban area, unlike previous outbreaks,” he said by phone from Conkary, which has a population of 2 million.

Dr. Jagatic described it as the biggest known Ebola outbreak an urban area.

Health officials do not expect the virus to go global and stress that Ebola is not easy to catch, requiring direct contact with an infected victim’s bodily fluids.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/ebola-outbreak-least-100-die-west-africa-n80351

Ukraine on verge of major armed conflict

Alec Luhn, Paul Lewis and Julian Borger
theguardian.com
April 15, 2014

Ukraine is on the verge of major armed conflict as government forces launch their first significant military action in the east of the country, where they have clashed with about 30 armed pro-Russian gunmen at a provincial airfield.

Shots were fired in Kramatorsk airport as Ukrainian special forces stormed in to reassert Kiev’s control. As troop helicopters hovered above and tempers flared, a Ukrainian general was set upon by a group of local people incensed that two protesters had been injured, knocking off his military-issue fur hat and yelling, “Jail him.”

At the same time as Kramatorsk airport was being seized, elite Ukrainian units were also gathering outside the nearby city of Slavyansk in an operation aimed at taking back control from armed pro- Russian groups.

The deployment involved regular army troops alongside special forces from the interior ministry and the security service in at least nine troop carriers and seven buses. Tracked troop carriers could be seen parked in the woods.

Read more

Artificial blood to be tested on humans – and could be used in transfusions by 2035

Jonathan O’Callaghan
Daily Mail
April 15, 2014

Mineman Seaman donates blood during a Red Cross blood drive at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.

Artificially created blood could one day replace donations as the norm for blood transfusions.

That’s according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh who have been using stem cells to create red blood cells.

And in 2016 they are planning to conduct a groundbreaking trial that, for the first time, will test artificial blood made from stem cells in patients.

The £5 million project is being pioneered by the University of Edinburgh and comes after years of research into growing red blood cells.

Read more

Bundy Ranch: Fed retreat was psyop next wave soon (VIDEO)

New developments in the Bundy Ranch standoff. DHS insider reveals the Federal retreat was complete Psyop to study opposition to crush rebellion in next assault.

SOTT Comment: If what the DHS insider says is true welcome to the Orwellian nightmare!
Source: http://www.sott.net/article/277382-Bundy-Ranch-Fed-retreat-was-psyop-next-wave-soon

BREAKING — Exclusive: Sources Inside The BLM and Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home

Bunkerville, NEVADA, April 14, 2014– As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.”  Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.

Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters used by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.

“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.

Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,”  said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.

Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”

Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.

“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

Whistleblower allegedly admits that Bundy Ranch was a test run for future standoffs

By John Vibes

BUNKERVILLE, Nevada (INTELLIHUB) —Investigator Doug Hagmann, of The Hagmann and Hagmann Reportwrote in a public email, to radio host and researcher Steve Quayle, that he has been speaking to a source inside the Department of Homeland Security about the recent surrender of federal agents in the Bundy Ranch standoff.

According to the email, Hagmann’s source claims that the Bundy Ranch standoff is far from over and that the surrender was a merely strategical ploy.  The source also told Hagmann that the incident was used as a test run, to plan for future instances of resistance and to gather information about militia members.

Some interesting points were mentioned in the email which can be read in full below:

Date: Saturday, 12 April 2014
Time: 1840 ET
To: Steve Quayle
From Doug Hagmann

At 1750 hours ET, I was contacted by my source within the Department of Homeland Security regarding the current situation at the Bundy Ranch. To put it bluntly, the people are being hoodwinked into believing that the situation is being resolved. It is not. It is a strategic de-escalation to fool the public. This source stated that the retreat of the BLM agents and the release of the cattle was actually crafted as a potential plan yesterday (Friday, 11 April 2014) based on the following:

1. A military assessment of satellite and drone surveillance imagery of the “patriot resistance. Drones under the control of the U.S. military were in use, taking real-time photographic images of not just the activity at the ranch, but “identifying the protesters, any arms and any supplies they might have or be carrying. “Mission accomplished.”
2. Real-time communication intercepts between patriots on-site and their off-site support;
3. Active monitoring of internet traffic regarding the coverage of events at ranch;
4. The monitoring of real-time video from the scene.

This source stated that a response by the patriot movement was anticipated, although exceeded their expectations. Although this was a real operation, they also ran this as a test case for future government operations once they saw the response. They were also actively managing the media, in some cases threatening to cut off White House access to anyone covering the event.

Despite this, the coverage by the alternative media began to create a public relations problem that was not easily managed. Note the lack of acknowledgment by the White House regarding this event. They are intentionally framing it as a state issue, despite the fact that all federal response has been and continues to be from the White House. There is a reason for this – a reason that has not been identified in any of the public reports to date. I will explain in further detail in a follow-up report on Sunday, after this source attends [redacted] to obtain more specific information about future federal operations. Regardless, according to this source, the government will take back ‘their land’ as they must to fulfill international obligations. It was never about grazing rights or anything other than (1) “securing clear title” to the land, and (2) further demonizing any patriotic resistance. It is my understanding, based on the information from this source, that it is a critical task to create a situation that will also advance their agenda of gun control and confiscation.

The points made in this email are not far-fetched when looking at how the government handled the “Occupy” protests.  Many of the initial protests were mostly used to gather information and then eventually when things got violent. In fact, the government agents knew exactly who they were dealing with and in many cases they had already infiltrated the movement.

(Photo: YouTube)

Judge Napolitano: Ranch Rebellion Was Americans’ “Line in the Sand”

BLM feds should have been arrested for theft of private property

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
April 14, 2014

Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox News to denounce the federal government’s operation against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, asserting that BLM agents should have been arrested for seizing his property and that the case represents a “line in the sand” for Americans who have had enough of big government tyranny.

Napolitano said the feds were forced to back down because they had suffered a public relations nightmare, pointing out that Bundy lost his case in a federal court but that the case should have been tried in a state court.

“The federal judiciary should not be deciding what land the federal government owns,” said Napolitano, adding that the feds should have placed a lien against Bundy’s property to collect grazing fees and not conducted a raid backed up by armed agents to seize his private property.

“The government’s option is to take the amount of money he owes them and docket it, that is file the lien on his property….the federal government could have done that, instead they wanted this show of force,” said Napolitano, adding, “They swooped in….with assault rifles aimed and ready and stole this guy’s property, they stole his cattle, they didn’t have the right to do that, that’s theft and they should have been arrested by state officials”.

Napolitano also chastised the BLM’s ludicrous creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech was banned. Protesters completely ignored the zone and it was quickly torn down by BLM officials after being widely derided in the media.

“They established something utterly repellant in America, a First Amendment Zone….the square was three miles away from where these events were going – this is the federal government emasculating the First Amendment rights of the protesters,” said the judge.

Napolitano characterized the resistance shown by Bundy supporters as a clear example of how Americans feel, “enough is enough with the federal government, we’re drawing a line in the sand right here – and it drew people from all around the country who basically said ‘quit your heavy handed theft of property and act like you’re a normal litigant and not God almighty’.”

As we reported on Saturday, around 380 cattle were eventually released by BLM agents who then left the scene after a confrontation with hundreds of Bundy supporters who refused to back down despite facing threats that they would be shot dead.

However, the BLM has still vowed to pursue Bundy legally for the $1 million dollar grazing rights fee they claim he owes. Bundy asserts the land in question has been in his family for generations and has said he will only pay the fee to Clark County and not the feds.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71

FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Sen. Harry Reid: Bundy Dispute ‘Not Over’

“We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over”

Mikael Thalen

Infowars.com

April 14, 2014

After remaining silent for days, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid made comments regarding the ongoing dispute between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy today, accusing the Bundy family of violating the law.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

“Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid told News 4.

Despite telling the Bundy family that a deal had been reached Saturday after federal agents were forced to retreat, the BLM reversed its promise Monday and told reporters that they planned to go after Bundy “administratively and judicially.”

“The door isn’t closed. We’ll figure out how to move forward with this,” BLM spokesman Craig Leff said. “The BLM and National Park Service did not cut any deal and negotiate anything, there was no deal we made.”

Unsurprisingly, reporters made no attempt to question Reid regarding his involvement after an Infowars report linked Reid to the attempted Bundy land grab.

The most read news story in the world Friday, Infowars reporter Kit Daniels revealed documents linking Reid and the BLM’s director, Reid’s former senior adviser, to a Chinese energy firm that has been working to remove Bundy from his home in order to install solar panel power stations.

“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” one document states about Bundy’s cattle.

Despite multiple attempts by the BLM to regulate Bundy off the land his family has worked on for more than 140 years, in one instance claiming Bundy was harming an endangered tortoise that the agency itself was killing in mass, Bundy has continued to remain the last rancher in his area.

Although corporate media outlets are attempting to sway public opinion, Bundy supporters continue to arrive at the ranch to provide support. Regardless of the federal government’s next move, the BLM’s heavy handed response to the situation, which included snipers, assaults, a no-fly zone, a First Amendment Area and threats of death, has shattered their public image.

Fresh off the historic victory, which saw federal agents back down to Americans and return nearly 100 cattle, Bundy supporters remain on scene, awaiting the federal government’s next move.

RoundUp Tainting our Food: Monsanto Misleads on Glyphosate-Tainted GM Crops

Elizabeth Renter
Infowars.com
April 14, 2014

Photo by Viriditas, Wikimedia Commons

If you believed Monsanto, you would think conventionally-grown crops have higher levels of toxic glyphosate than GM varieties. Not surprisingly, you would be wrong. Despite Monsanto’s assurance that their GM crops are safe, a recent analysis in Food Chemistry revealed that not only do GM crops “take up and accumulate” dangerous pesticides during the growing season, but that Monsanto’s research to the contrary is completely misleading.

According to the researchers on that project, Thomas Bohn and Marek Cuhra, genetically modified foods contain “extreme levels” of pesticide residues, glyphosate and its principal breakdown product Aminomehtylphosponic acid (AMPA).

For the study, the researchers tested three different soybean samples for nutrients and various compounds including pesticides, glyphosate, and AMPA. Those three samples included: organic soybeans, GM soybeans, and conventional (non-GM) soybeans. None of the organic or conventional soybeans showed residues of glyphosate or AMPA. The GM soybeans, however, had residues averaging 9.0 mg/kg, an amount that surpasses many vitamins in the crop.

So how is this possible, considering Monsanto has always said pesticide contamination is worse in conventionally grown crops when compared with their Roundup-ready GM varieties? Not surprisingly, it seems the “truth” simply depends on who’s telling it.

In 1999, Monsanto said glyphosate levels in conventionally grown soybeans measured up to 16-17 mg/kg, which would be an alarmingly-high rate. But, these residues were present because of a pre-harvest pesticide spraying.

Read: Glyphosate-Ban Demanded in Brazil

Monsanto has also said that residue levels up to 5.6 mg/kg found in GM-soy are extreme and “far higher than those typically found”. In other words, they are outside the norm, according to the GM-giant. But seven of 10 of the tested GM samples in the latest study had glyphosate far higher than this “extreme level”.

It’s likely true that glyphosate contamination is actually increasing as time passes. This is because the number of glyphosate-tolerant weeds in GM-fields are increasing and so farmers are having to apply more pesticides than ever, in both higher concentrations and more frequent applications.

The toxicity of RoundUp has in part been underestimated because regulatory agencies are only testing the safety of claimed active ingredients. This despite the listed “inert” ingredients in RoundUp having disastrous consequences when combined and sprayed liberally on foods.

With the prevalence of GM foods and the use of RoundUp at alarming levels, we are only beginning to fully understand the effects. In 2012, a study indicated glyphosate’s presence in the urine of all tested men. Most recently, a study has even found that chronically sick people have even more glyphosate in their urine than healthy people.

The chemical is inside us and there is evidence it is leading to fertility problems, cancer, mental illness, and more.

This article first appeared at NaturalSociety.com.

RUSSIAN FIGHTER JET BUZZES NAVY WARSHIP

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, a U.S. military official said Monday.

In the first public account of the incident, the official said the Russian Fencer flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, at about 500 feet above sea level. Ship commanders considered the actions provocative and inconsistent with international agreements, prompting the ship to issue several radio queries and warnings.

The fighter appeared to be unarmed and never was in danger of coming in contact with the ship, said the official, who was not authorized to talk publicly by name about the encounter so spoke on condition of anonymity. The passes, which occurred in the early evening there, ended without incident.

Source

 

White House Counterterror Chief: “Confrontational” Children Could be Terrorists

Obama adviser tells parents to be suspicious of their own kids

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
April 18, 2014

Image: Lisa Monaco (White House).

White House counterterrorism and Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco gave a speech this week in which she urged parents to watch their children for signs of “confrontational” behavior which could be an indication of them becoming terrorists.

During the speech at at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday night, Monaco, who replaced John Brennan last year in overseeing the executive branch’s homeland-security activities, said that parents need to be suspicious of “sudden personality changes in their children at home.”

“What kinds of behaviors are we talking about?” she asked. “For the most part, they’re not related directly to plotting attacks. They’re more subtle. For instance, parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home—becoming confrontational.”

Monaco lamented the fact that, “The government is rarely in a position to observe these early signals,” encouraging parents to act as watchdogs to detect radicalization in line with President Obama’s goal of combating homegrown extremism.

Over the last decade, the federal government has broadened its definition of what constitutes potential terrorism to such a degree that the term has lost all meaning and is clearly being used as a political tool to demonize adversarial political activism.

Indeed, only yesterday Senator Harry Reid caused outrage when he labeled supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists”.

Although such tactics pre-date the 2009 release of the MIAC report, the Missouri Information Analysis Center document was perhaps the most shocking in that it characterized a whole swathe of conservative Americans as domestic extremists, including Ron Paul supporters, people who own gold and people who display political bumper stickers.

Homeland Security study leaked in 2012 upped the ante even further, demonizing Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

Lisa Monaco’s speech and the federal government’s track record in assailing both banal behavior and political activism as potential “terrorism” serves as a reminder that the war on terror has now been focused inwardly against innocent Americans, making it all the more harder to detect actual terrorists.

In the video below, Alex Jones breaks down the bigger picture behind the move to turn the war on terror against American citizens.

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NASA discovers most Earth-like planet in ‘Habitable Zone’

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has found an Earth-sized planet within the habitable zone of the star it orbits, the space agency announced Thursday.

The planet, which NASA calls Kepler-186f, is located in the constellation Cygnus, about 500 light-years from Earth. Kepler-186f orbits the star Kepler-186 once every 130 days and receives one-third of the energy from that star than Earth does from the sun, NASA said in a statement. The amount of energy Kepler-186f receives at noon is similar to what Earth receives an hour before sunset, which places the newly discovered planet at the outer edge of the habitable zone.

NASA defines the habitable zone as “the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.” Being in the habitable zone, however, does not guarantee that life is possible, just that it could be.

“We know of just one planet where life exists — Earth. When we search for life outside our solar system we focus on finding planets with characteristics that mimic that of Earth,” Elisa Quintana, research scientist at the SETI Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and lead author of the paper published in the journal Science, said in the NASA statement. “Finding a habitable zone planet comparable to Earth in size is a major step forward.”

Kepler-186 is located near the bright star Deneb, which is one of the defining stars of the Cygnus constellation, according to the French blog Around the Sky. It is classified as an M dwarf (also known as a red dwarf) star, which means it is smaller and dimmer than the sun, NASA said. This particular star is about half the size and mass of Earth’s sun. M dwarfs make up approximately 70 percent of the stars in the Milky Way.

 

Image Credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-Caltech

Image Credit: NASA Ames / SETI Institute / JPL-Caltech

“The host star, Kepler 186, is an M1-type dwarf star which means it will burn hydrogen forever, so there is ample opportunity to develop life around this particular star and because it has just the right orbital period water may exist in a liquid phase on this planet,” said Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin R. Crepp in Science Codex.

There is much that is unknown about the Kepler-186f planet, including its mass and composition, though the researches posit that the planet is likely to be rocky. NASA does know that the planet is less than ten percent larger than Earth.

“The Kepler space telescope infers the existence of a planet by the amount of starlight blocked when it passes in front of its star. From these data, a planet’s radius, orbital period and the amount of energy [received] from the host star can be determined,” NASA said.

“Being in the habitable zone does not mean we know this planet is habitable. The temperature on the planet is strongly dependent on what kind of atmosphere the planet has,” Thomas Barclay, research scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames and co-author of the paper, said in the NASA press release. “Kepler-186f can be thought of as an Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth.”

The Kepler telescope launched in 2009 with the goal of searching about 150,000 target stars for planets transiting (passing by) the telescope at least three times over the course of up to three years, Reuters reports. Researchers pore through archived data from Kepler to find planets that could be in the habitable zone, which is nicknamed the “Goldilocks Zone.”

“It’s very challenging to find Earth analogs,” Barclay said to Reuters. “Most candidates don’t pan out, but things change as we get more measurements.”

NASA says the next step is to look for true Earth-twins and to measure their chemical compositions. Kepler-186f will also be a target for future telescopes in the hopes of measuring its chemical composition, Reuters reports.

 

 

SOURCE: http://rt.com/usa/nasa-kepler-planet-habitabal-zone-256/

Federal Judge: BLM Engaged In A Criminal Conspiracy Against Ranchers

Court opinion exposes BLM’s true intent against Cliven Bundy

Kit Daniels
Infowars.com
April 17, 2014

For over 20 years, the Bureau of Land Management engaged in a “literal, intentional conspiracy” against Nevada ranchers to force them out of business, according to a federal judge whose court opinion exposes the BLM’s true intent against rancher Cliven Bundy.

BLM agents who impounded Cliven Bundy's cattle.

In his opinion of United States v. Estate of Hage, U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones reveals that after late Nevada rancher E. Wayne Hage indicated on his 1993 grazing permit renewal that by signing the permit, he was not surrendering his family’s long-standing water and forage rights on the land, the BLM not only rejected the permit but also conspired for decades to both deny his family’s property rights and to destroy their cattle business.

“Based upon E. Wayne Hage’s declaration that he refused to waive his rights — a declaration that did not purport to change the substance of the grazing permit renewal for which he was applying, and which had no plausible legal effect other than to superfluously assert non-waiver of rights — the Government denied him a renewal grazing permit based upon its frankly nonsensical position that such an assertion of rights meant that the application had not been properly completed,” Judge Jones wrote. “After the BLM denied his renewal grazing permit for this reason by letter, the Hages indicated that they would take the issue to court, and they sued the Government in the CFC [Court of Federal Claims.]”

And at that point, Jones explained, the BLM refused to consider any further applications from Hage.

“The entire chain of events is the result of the Government’s arbitrary denial of E. Wayne Hage’s renewal permit for 1993–2003, and the effects of this due process violation are continuing,” he stated.

Judge Jones continued:

In 2007, unsatisfied with the outcome thus far in the CFC, the Government brought the present civil trespass action against Hage and the Estate. The Government did not bring criminal misdemeanor trespass claims, perhaps because it believed it could not satisfy the burden of proof in a criminal trespass action, as a previous criminal action against E. Wayne Hage had been reversed by the Court of Appeals. During the course of the present trial, the Government has: (1)invited others, including Mr. Gary Snow, to apply for grazing permits on allotments where the Hages previously had permits, indicating that Mr. Snow could use water sources on such land in which Hage had water rights, or at least knowing that he would use such sources; (2) applied with the Nevada State Engineer for its own stock watering rights in waters on the land despite that fact that the Government owns no cattle nearby and has never intended to obtain any, but rather for the purpose of obtaining rights for third parties other than Hage in order to interfere with Hage’s rights; and (3) issued trespass notices and demands for payment against persons who had cattle pastured with Hage, despite having been notified by these persons and Hage himself that Hage was responsible for these cattle and even issuing such demands for payment to witnesses soon after they testified in this case.

By filing for a public water reserve, the Government in this case sought specifically to transfer to others water rights belonging to the Hages. The Government also explicitly solicited and granted temporary grazing rights to parties who had no preferences under the TGA [Taylor Grazing Act of 1934], such as Mr. Snow, in areas where the Hages had preferences under the TGA.

It is necessary to note that under the TGA, according to Red Canyon Sheep Co. v. Ickes (1938), a rancher whose cattle had previously grazed in the area based upon adjacent land, water rights on the land, etc., has a right to a grazing permit over others who apply for a permit to graze the area without having previously grazed there.

So in this instance, Hage would have priority over Snow for a grazing permit, but the BLM willfully ignored this court ruling.

And after the agency filed for a public water reserve, according to Judge Jones, the BLM “sent trespass notices to people who leased or sold cattle to the Hages, notwithstanding the Hages’ admitted and known control over that cattle, in order to pressure other parties not to do business with the Hages, and even to discourage or punish testimony in the present case.”

“For this reason, the Court has held certain government officials in contempt and referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” he wrote. “In summary, government officials, and perhaps also Mr. Snow, entered into a literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also of their vested water rights.”

“This behavior shocks the conscience of the Court and provides a sufficient basis for a finding of irreparable harm to support the injunction described at the end of this Order.”

So in other words, the BLM willfully attempted to destroy the Hage family’s livelihood because Hage dared to assert his existing rights to the land which his family has held since the late 19th century.

And unfortunately the BLM is attempting to do the exact same thing to Cliven Bundy.

“Has Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuted any federal officials for criminal activity and violation of the Hage family’s constitutionally protected rights? No,” William F. Jasper, senior editor of The New American, wrote on the subject. “Has Sen. Harry Reid denounced this lawlessness and criminal activity by government officials and call upon President Obama and Attorney General Holder to protect the citizens of his state from the depredations of federal officials under their command? No.”

“With attitudes such as those expressed above by Sen. Harry Reid, it is almost a certainty that the recently defused Bundy Ranch standoff will be replayed again — and in the not-too-distant future. And the outcome could be much less amicable for all concerned.”

American Civil Unrest is Starting on Schedule

Martin Armstrong
armstrongeconomics.com

April 17, 2014

We have been warning that 2014 is the beginning of a new cycle that will see a highly unusual convergence between our domestic (civil unrest & revolution) data and our international war model. Both converge for the first time since the 1700s when there were US and French Revolutions and the fall of monarchy. This was the topic at our Cycle of War Conference (see also special report).

Image: Bundy Standoff (Infowars).

The civil unrest will develop first outside the USA and turn up more aggressively in the USA after 2015.75. Nonetheless, it still begins in 2014 for the USA as well. We are starting to see this in the West where memories of previous events still linger deep wounds from 1992.

The confrontation in Nevada between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, whose Director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has turned into an issue of important cycle unrest. The government wants the land and demands Bundy gets his cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations. This dispute between a Nevada rancher and federal rangers over alleged illegal cattle grazing erupted into an Old West-style showdown on the open range this week, even prompting self-proclaimed members of militia groups from across the country to join the rancher in fighting what they say is U.S. “tyranny.”

This is a brewing resentment of federal government that goes back to Ruby Ridge, which was the site of a deadly confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992 between Randy Weaver, his family and his friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It resulted in the death of Weaver’s son Sammy, his wife Vicki, and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Francis Degan. The Feds simply shot his unarmed family dead and it was alleged they even shot his son in the back. This is indeed the continued militarization of the police in America. The corruption was so bad in Ukraine that when someone saw the police, they trembled in fear. In the US, this trend is also underway and demonstrated by this video where the police began shooting at a minivan driven by a woman with children in the car over a traffic violation.

Kerry Agrees to Defuse Ukraine Crisis While U.S. Sends Military Aid to Junta

Kerry meeting nullified by Pentagon announcement to send military aid to Ukraine

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
April 17, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly reached “a compromise, of sorts,” on the situation in Ukraine. Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the top diplomats agreed that all parties in the dispute would refrain from “violence, intimidation, or provocative actions” and that all “illegal armed groups will be disarmed.”

 

Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, during a joint news conference with the Defense Minister of Poland, Tomasz Siemoniak, said the United States will exacerbate the situation by providing “non-lethal military assistance” to the regime in Kyiv.

The material will consist of “health and welfare items and other supplies,” including medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats, water purification units, shelters, small power generators, hand fuel pumps, and other items that will be used by the Ukrainian military. Last month, the Pentagon sent several hundred thousand meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) to the Ukrainian military.

“The United States continues to stand with Ukraine. And earlier this morning, I called Ukraine’s acting defense minister to tell him that President Obama has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies,” Hagel said during the news conference.

The announcement came after the Obama administration put a stop to a previous aid commitment, including body armor and night-vision goggles.

Making a further mockery of the talks between Kerry and Lavrov, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the United States should send lethal military aid to the coup.

“Here is what I would do: I would be sending arms to the Ukrainian army. I would encourage the European Union to expand and take in Ukraine… I would provide serious assistance to the Ukrainians so that they could defend themselves” against pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine, McConnell said.

McConnell also said the United States needs to confront Russia more forcefully.

“I would renew the discussions that the president just dropped, the idea of missile defense and the Czech Republic and Poland at the beginning of his term as a sort of a gesture to the Russians. I would reengage with the Pols and the Czechs and see if we can’t get missile defense back in those countries. All of those steps would indicate without sending in a single American soldier that the U.S. is serious in standing up to this kind of new form of Russian aggression,” he told a Kentucky radio station

 

Report: Research Facility “Loses” Thousands of Tubes Containing Deadly Virus

Mac Slavo
SHTFplan.com
April 17, 2014

A French research institute working on various deadly viruses, including SARS, has apparently misplaced thousands of tubes and no one is quite sure where they went.

Image: Laboratory (Wiki Commons).

A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said.

It is not clear how the tubes disappeared from one of the institute’s safest laboratories. Management were made aware of the loss in January, Le Monde newspaper reported.

For weeks, staff at the institute tried to find the missing vials, general director Christian Bréchot said.

“We’ve looked for those boxes [containing the tubes] everywhere,” Bréchot explained.

“We went thought the lists of all the people who have worked here in the past year and a half, including trainees. We have scrutinised their profile to check if there was any conflict.”

Bréchot said that foul play was “highly improbable” but had not been ruled out.

Though it’s not clear how, investigators have pretty much ruled out foul play. But keep in mind that we’re talking about a deadly virus that has been removed from what should be a highly secured area.  Moreover, no one seems to know when the virus was actually taken.

According to the Pasteur Institute, however, there is no immediate danger because the virus in the vials won’t spread the disease:

The institute was quick to reassure the public and said that the contents of the missing vials had no infectious potential. They contained only part of the virus and had no ability to spread.

“Independent experts referred by health authorities have qualified such potential as ‘non-existing’ according to the available evidence and literature on the survival of the Sars virus,” the institute said.

When dealing with deadly viruses, it is always a good idea to secure your facility, which makes this particular disappearance alarming.

Although the fragments are not dangerous, they do raise concerns by revealing the lab’s vulnerability, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“It’s actually not in itself so scary but you wonder about the procedures in that laboratory,” said Schaffner, who is also a former president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “Could that lab and perhaps others actually misplace vials that have the complete virus so that it might escape?”

For all we know, the vials disappeared months ago, which brings up the possibility that other infectious disease tubes may have also disappeared.

Apparently, security at these high level research facilities is not up to par. Last year a vial of Guanarito bio-terror agent capable of being used in a “contagion attack” disappeared from a Galveston, TX facility. The incident was voluntarily disclosed to the public but the lost tube has yet to be located.

What’s scary is that, even though such events must be reported to the CDC by law, the public really has no way of knowing whether a deadly agent has been compromised, giving ample time for such a virus to spread should it be released as a weapon.

Moreover, we now have government facilities being built in and around population centers such as the Bio Safety Level 4 facility centrally located in Kansas.

In the wrong hands, one of these agents could easily be used to attack an entire population – and given the “security” of these facilities it may not be so hard to acquire one. And once they have it, it’s as simple as releasing it in a major airport, sitting back, and watching the infection spread and kill off thousands, or perhaps millions of people.

Related: Pandemic Preparedness