Archive for 10/05/2012

World Food Prices Moving Closer To Crisis Levels, No Normalization Expected Anytime Soon

10/05/2012 8 comments

Reuters – “World food prices rose in September and are moving nearer to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis.

The United Nations food agency reported on Thursday that the worst drought in more than 50 years in the United States had sent corn and soybean prices to record highs over the summer, and, coupled with drought in Russia and other Black Sea exporting countries, raised fears of a renewed crisis.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, rose 1.4% in September, mainly due to higher dairy and meat prices.

‘It’s highly unlikely we will see a normalisation of prices anytime soon,’ said FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian.

Parmjit Singh, head of the food and drink sector at London law company Eversheds, said higher prices would place further pressure on squeezed international food supply chains.

‘Manufacturers and producers will naturally want to pass on increased costs to their clients but they will meet with stiff resistance from retailers who are reluctant to increase checkout prices for increasingly value-conscious customers,’ Singh said.

FAO’s index is below a peak reached in February 2011, when high food prices helped drive the Arab spring uprisings in the Middle East and north Africa, but current levels are very close to those seen in 2008, which sparked riots in poor countries.” Source – The Guardian.

Flashback: ‘Drought Of Biblical Proportions’ Strikes Spain’s Olive Oil Harvest – “That has caused prices to spike, with consumers expected to pay more for the ‘green gold’ in coming months as supermarkets jack up prices. ‘It’s been a drought of biblical proportions, the worst since 1945, the ‘year of hunger’ for Spain,’ said Nuñez de Prado, adding rainfall where his farm is located in the shadows of the Sierra Madre mountains was the lowest since that year.” Read more.

Flashback: US Drought Now Officially Among The Worst In American History May Intensify In The Months Ahead – “The drought scorching the nation has reached a level surpassed only twice before in recorded weather history. The National Climatic Data Center reported this week that 57.2% of the contiguous USA is ‘moderately to extremely dry,’ a percentage topped only during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and during another drought in the mid-1950s.” Read more.

Flashback: Worst Drought In Years Devastates Southeast Europe, ‘Only God Can Help Us’ – “After the harshest winter in decades, the Balkans in the southeast of Europe is now facing the worst drought in years. Sadly, it will only serve to compound the global effects of America’s current drought. Nikola Radic, a Serbian farmer, said, ‘There is no salvation here.’ Radic says he ‘lost hope for salvation even a month ago, and now it’s even worse.’ In some places in Bosnia, the drought is the worst in 40 years.” Read more.

Alliance Of Afghan Islamic Scholars Issues Fatwa Declaring Terrorism Against America ‘Obligatory’ For All Muslims And Islamic Nations

10/05/2012 2 comments

After the attack against the US Embassy in Libya and the murder of Ambassador Stevens, a stupefied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was unable to fathom how the events of the previous day could have happened “in a country we helped liberate” — words indicative of a foreign policy that has, and continues, to completely ignore the true nature of the enemy we’re dealing with …

Britannia Radio – “The Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan (Alliance of Afghan Islamic Scholars), which is headed by Osama bin Laden’s friend

Sheikh Abdullah Zakiri, has issued a fatwa urging the rulers of Islamic countries to boycott the U.S. and United Nations in protest against the controversial anti-Muhammad movie. Sheikh Abdullah Zakiri was described by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri as Osama bin Laden’s friend in a video statement issued via jihadist internet forums on September 26, 2012.

Describing jihad against the United States of America as obligatory, the Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan urged the Islamic nations to expel the U.S. ambassadors and recall their envoys from the United States. The fatwa, which is signed by over 25 Afghan Islamic scholars associated with Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan, also condemned the Saudi Arabian leadership for permitting 250,000 American troops on Saudi soil. It also rejected a recent fatwa by Saudi cleric Qazi Abdul Aziz, which declared attacks on U.S. installation as haram (forbidden).

Following are excerpts from the Pashtu-language fatwa:

‘Some 63 Years Ago Bait-ul-Muqaddas [Jerusalem Mosque] Fell Into The Hands Of Jews, With The American Support; Since That Day, The Islamic States One By One Are Being Occupied, And Americans Carry Out All Kind Of Crimes There’

‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

‘Fatwa Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan

‘Dated: Ziqa’ad 4, 1433 / September 20, 2012

‘A meeting of Ittehad Ulema-e-Afghanistan was held on Ziqa’ad 4, 1433 AH [September 20, 2012] with Sheikh Abdullah Zakiri in the chair. It thoroughly deliberated the issues of American aggression [on the Muslim ummah] and the continued sacrilege of the glorified Islamic religion. [The meeting was informed that] America dared to take such actions after [the former] Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan in 1357 AH. [In response,] the Afghans started jihad and with Allah’s blessing the Soviet Union bowed down on its knees and vanished from the world map, and the field was left open for America [to become the sole superpower].’

Source – Britannia Radio.

Radical Islamist Leader Warns That Terror Attacks Will ‘Liberate’ European Nations That Once ‘Belonged To Islam’

10/05/2012 4 comments

“BUCHAREST — Radical Islamist leader Omar Bakri has warned that terrorist attacks would be launched against Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and other countries in the region.

The reason for this, the Syria-born extremist told Bulgaria’s newspaper 24 Chasa, is that those were ‘territories that belong to Islam’.

Bakri further explained: ‘When Islam enters a territory, it becomes Islamic, therefore Islam is under obligation to eventually liberate it.’

The Mediafax news agency is also reporting that he listed all ‘Muslim territories’ as follows: ‘Spain, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia’:

‘Spain, for instance, is a Muslim territory. Eastern Europe as well. Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia… but due to its decision to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and its military cooperation with Israel, Bulgaria is also a legitimate target.’

Bakri, who lived in London for 20 years, has been banned from returning to Britain after he left the country in the wake of the terrorist attacks in July 2005. He is considered to have ‘strong ties with Al Qaeda’.

Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean reacted to the statements by saying that his was ‘primarily a Christian country’, and that ‘there was no need to comment on various statements that have nothing to do with reality’.

However, this official noted that Romania took on various strategic projects, such as NATO’s missile defense shield, and that it was a strategic partner to the U.S. and NATO that planned on remaining ‘a faithful ally, regardless of risks’.” Source – B92.

Wyoming: Massive Black Hills Deer Die-Off Could Be Worst In Decades

10/05/2012 1 comment

By CHRISTINE PETERSON, Casper Star-Tribune – “CASPER, Wyo. — Wildlife officials knew some deer would die in the Black Hills this fall. No one expected what could be the worst die-off in decades.

Called epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, the disease typically strikes fawns and bucks and is worse during droughts. Biologists first found the disease in the Black Hills in the 1950s.

‘Our deer numbers are down right now anyway, and this sure isn’t helping anything,’ said Joe Sandrini, a Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist based in Newcastle.

The disease is spread by a type of biting gnat. White-tailed deer are most often affected. It’s worse during dry years because deer congregate in larger groups near diminishing water sources. A hard frost will kill the gnats, but when temperatures don’t drop low enough, the gnats — and the disease — persist, Sandrini said.

It cannot be spread to humans or most other wildlife and is not a threat to humans, Sandrini said.

Dying deer may be lethargic, appear to be drooling and congregate near water. If a deer succumbs to the disease, it typically dies within three days of infection, Sandrini said.

Biologists won’t know the extent of the die-off until mid-October after they begin calculating the herd estimates. It seems to be worse in the northern part of the Black Hills, Sandrini said.

Sundance Game Warden Chris Teter started fielding calls from concerned residents around the first of September and has since received dozens reporting dead or dying deer.

‘I’ve not had this many calls ever before, even during an outbreak,’ said Teter, who has been the game warden for 22 years.” Read more.

Flashback: Illinois: Virus Previously Unknown To Area Kills Hundreds Of Deer Around Chicago – “Hundreds of deer in the Chicago area have been killed by a virus previously unknown in the area. The Daily Herald reports that roughly 200 deer in Cook County have died. Six suspected cases have been reported in Kane County. The disease is known as EHD, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease. It’s a virus that kills deer in about a week and is spread among them by bites from flies known as midges.” Read more.

Flashback: Virus Killing Hundreds Of Deer In Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas … – “Hundreds of deer in eight Michigan counties have died from a viral disease that is on the rise nationwide because of hot, dry weather, state officials said Thursday… ‘We are seeing a large die-off of deer in local areas. To date we have over 900 reports of dead deer across all (eight) counties,’ stated Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist.” Read more.

Oregon: Portland Bird Population Threatened After Outbreak Of Avian Botulism Kills Thousands Of Birds

10/05/2012 Leave a comment

By Lauren Edmundson – “At least 2000 birds have died from an outbreak of avian botulism in Portland, Oregon. This outbreak could reduce the area’s migratory bird population significantly. Officials are currently working to contain the outbreak.

Avian botulism is caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is found in the soil and activated by warm temperatures. Experts believe that the warm weather combined with decomposing plant materials have led to elevated bacteria levels in the area.

Birds can be infected with avian botulism through consuming the bacteria directly or by consuming other invertebrates that are infected with the bacteria. In this outbreak, maggots have been feeding on dead birds, and other birds become infected by eating these maggots.

For this reason, experts are focusing on clean up of sick and dead birds as the primary means of prevention. Dan Moeller, Metro’s Natural Areas Land Manager, explained to Portland’s local news station, KGW, ‘If groups of scientists and workers aren’t out here collecting the dead materials then it can spread very quickly. And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since we found it was occurring, was to get out here as quickly as possible.'” Read more.

Report: Defection Of Ahmadinejad’s Personal Cameraman May Yield Treasure Trove Of Secret Nuclear And Missile Intelligence

10/05/2012 2 comments

If true, will the US sit on the information they have, or will they share it with Israel? …

“DEBKAfile reveals one of the CIA’s most dramatic scoops in many years, and epic disaster for Iran. Our most exclusive Iranian and intelligence sources disclose that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s personal cameraman, Hassan Golkhanban, who defected from his UN entourage in New York on Oct. 1, brought with him an intelligence treasure trove of up-to-date photographs and videos of top Iranian leaders visiting their most sensitive and secret nuclear and missile sites.

The cameraman, who is in his 40s, is staying at an undisclosed address, presumably a CIA safe house under close guard.

He stayed behind when Ahmadinejad, after his UN speech, departed New York with his 140-strong entourage. For some years, Golkhanban worked not just as a news cameraman but personally recorded visits by the Iranian president and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of top-secret nuclear facilities and Revolutionary Guards installations.

When he left Tehran in the president’s party, his luggage was not searched and so he was able to bring out two suitcases packed with precious film and deliver it safely into waiting hands in New York.

The Iranian cameraman has given US intelligence the most complete and updated footage it has ever obtained of the interiors of Iran’s top secret military facilities and various nuclear installations, including some Read more…

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