Coca-Cola and Nestle to Acquire Private Ownership of the largest Reserve

Coca-Cola and Nestlé to Acquire Private Ownership of the Largest Reserve of Water in South America (Source

Private companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestlé are allegedly in the process of acquiring private ownership of the largest reserve of water, known as the Guarani Aquifer, in South America. The aquifer is located beneath the surface of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and is the second largest-known aquifer system in the world. The major transnational conglomerates are “striding forward” with their negotiations to privatize the aquifer system. Meetings have already been reserved with authorities of the Brazil’s Temer government to outline procedures required for private companies to exploit the water sources. The concession contracts would last more than 100 years. This issue extends beyond South America. Humanity will be affected by the decision to privatize the second-largest aquifer system in the world. Essentially, the corporations are profiting off a natural resource that should be freely available to all. Under the Guarani Aquifer Project’s Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Project, known as ANA’s Guarani Aquifer Project (SAG), the aquifer would be managed and preserved for present and future generations. Following the conservatives’ victory in Argentina and the coup d’état, pressed for by the ultra right in Paraguay and Brazil, only Uruguay was left to vote on the privatization of the aquifer. Approximately two-thirds (1.2 million km²) of the reserve is located in Brazilian territory. Future generations will ultimately suffer if this deal goes through, which is why human rights organizations around the world are getting involved.

America’s Military Is Not Enough

America’s Military Is Not Enough (Source

China has developed and tested a new ballistic missile system that could hit America, Japan and India. United States intelligence assessments of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) show that the new DF-17 “hypersonic” weapon may even be able to avoid the American-made THAAD missile-defense system, according to a December 2017 article by Tokyo-based news site, the Diplomat. The DF-17 is a new missile delivery method known as a “hypersonic glide vehicle” (HGV). Minnie Chan of the South China Morning Post describes the HGVs as “unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable aircraft that glide and ‘skip’ through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds. Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less-trackable trajectories. The approach leaves defense systems less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload.”

The new HGV missile systems has U.S. military officials worried. On February 14, the head of the U.S. military Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, told lawmakers: “China’s hypersonic weapons development outpaces ours … we’re falling behind.” America’s military elite are growing worried about this kind of foreign competition. Cyberwarfare is at the forefront of this technological race. Forward Observer, a company specializing in threat intelligence and trend analysis, believes the U.S. military is dangerously unprepared and incapable of dealing with cyberattacks in the event of war with China or Russia. “Defense Department officials are concerned about the devastating impacts that electronic and cyberwarfare could create for the U.S. Navy,” it wrote. “The ability to manipulate communications, propulsion or weapons systems of a ship through a cyber- or electronic-attack is a low-cost, low-risk alternative to fighting it conventionally, and it’s this vulnerability that potential adversaries seek to exploit.

Florida suspect said he heard voices telling him to carry out massacre

Florida suspect said he heard voices telling him to carry out massacre, law enforcement sources say (Source ABC News)

The 19-year-old who is accused of killing 17 people and injuring dozens more when he opened fire on a South Florida high school Wednesday afternoon told investigators that he heard voices in his head, giving him instructions on what to do to conduct the attack, law enforcement sources told ABC News. The voices were described as “demons” by law enforcement sources. An attorney for the family who had taken Cruz in after his adoptive mother died said he was “depressed” following her death but had been going to therapy, while a student who participated in Junior ROTC with Cruz described him as a “psycho” who was enthusiastic about weapons. Cruz was apprehended by police more than an hour after he was dropped off on campus by an Uber, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a press conference. Cruz attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school from Jan. 13, 2016, to Feb. 8, 2017, according to school records obtained by ABC Miami affiliate WPLG. Cruz had bought the weapon allegedly used on the crime just three days after his last day attending the school, on Feb. 11, and picked it up one week later on Feb. 18, 2017, following a background check, an attorney for the gun store owner said in a statement. An assault involving Cruz occurred on Jan. 19, 2017, the records show. On that same day, he was suspended for one day and a threat assessment was ordered for him. He had been suspended for two days one month earlier. It is unclear what the result of the threat assessment was or whether one was even conducted. School officials declined to answer questions about Cruz’s record, citing privacy rules.

Slave owner compensation was still being paid off by British taxpayers in “15

Slave owner compensation was still being paid off by British taxpayers in 2015 (Source RT)

Bristol taxpayers in 2015 were still paying off debt borrowed by the government to “compensate” slave owners in 1833, the Treasury has revealed. The revelations show that the £20 million (US$28 million) the government spent to reimburse the owners of slaves – who themselves were some of Britain’s richest businessmen – took the taxpayer 182 years to pay off. The descendants of slaves were never compensated, but it appears some would have been paying to compensation slave owners. The information was revealed by the Treasury under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the Bristol Post reports. It added an infographic which said: “Did you know? In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40 percent of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire. “The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn’t paid off until 2015. Which means living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.” The tweet was quickly deleted after it sparked a backlash. Historian David Olusoga, who has written about Bristol’s role in the slave trade, was one of several experts who questioned the tone of the Treasury’s tweet. “The real question is why anyone thought this was ok?” he said, according to the newspaper. “I really do think we’re getting better at accepting the UK’s role in slavery and the slave trade, but things like this make me question my optimism. “Also, just to compound the general level of ignorance, when HM Treasury reduce the complex story of the abolition of slavery to one of their fun ‘Friday Facts’ they use an irrelevant image of the slave trade – which was abolished three decades earlier.” Bristol City councilor Cleo Lake said she was outraged. “I want my money back,” she tweeted. “I’m outraged. This messaging is so loaded.” When the UK government abolished slavery and banned people from owning slaves in Britain and on Britain’s colonies anywhere in the world, those slave owners received compensation. Bristol had the highest concentration of people in Britain who owned slaves in 1833 outside of London. The slaves themselves received nothing, and had to continue working for their masters for a number of years before they could consider being free.

China and Russia ‘preparing for war with West’

China and Russia ‘preparing for war with West’ (Source China and Russia could soon match the military might of the US and her allies – and the decline of western supremacy could lead to all-out war. Those are the conclusions of a report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), which says that although war between the great powers is not inevitable, Washington, Moscow and Beijing are now preparing for the possibility. The IISS’s annual Military Balance 2018 report sets out at length how China’s leadership has stepped up its military programme in recent years, with huge spending on new technology that could give it an advantage on land, sea and air.

The opening of China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti will enable it to carry out missions over vast distances, and has been viewed as a major statement of intent.

While the pace of militarisation is slower in Russia, partly due to a shortage of funding and industrial capacity, the country is “benefiting from experience of real life combat in Syria and Ukraine and has shown extensive capabilities in the field of hybrid warfare including cyber attacks”, says The Independent. The Foreign Office said last night that the Russian military was reponsible for the NotPetya cyber attack on Ukraine last year. In a bid to combat the growing threat posed by Russia and China, reports CNN, the US Pentagon is asking for a boost in military spending for 2019, requesting Congress approve a budget of $686bn – one of the largest in US history.

Van Jones: ‘Black Panther’ is a revelation

Van Jones: ‘Black Panther’ is a revelation (Source CNN)

Every once in a while, a movie arrives right on time.

Earlier this year President Trump insulted people of African heritage when he referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.” His words were an affront to countless Americans and people across the world; they flew in the face of American values of respect for diversity and opening doors of opportunity to all. But while the White House is putting down people of African descent, Hollywood is lifting us up — most spectacularly through the release of Disney-Marvel’s new movie, “Black Panther.” “Black Panther” is a long-awaited film. It brings to life a technologically advanced, culturally rich mecca of black excellence. It takes place in Wakanda — a fictional, fully autonomous African nation, rich in resources and innovation. The nation is home to a brilliant ecosystem of black technologists. It is a sight to behold. A cinematic vision of black genius, accomplishment and prosperity that is rarely portrayed. And one I am so excited to witness. I had the privilege of watching the film while seated in front of Denzel Washington, beside Whoopi Goldberg and in the company of almost every major black actor and celebrity on the east coast: Chris Rock, Gayle King, Tyra Banks, Robin Roberts and more. Denzel was moved to tears by the movie, said he felt like a proud father, and predicted it would make a billion dollars.

This film is a godsend that will lift the self-esteem of black children in the US and around the world for a long time. It shifts the understanding of where the power of African-descended people can come from. It underscores the fact that such power, in the new century, will come from access to technology more than any other source, and will inspire young people of color to pursue technology as a possible career path. The film also manages to be radically pro-woman without being in the least bit anti-male. And will therefore give young women and men a reason to believe in themselves and their own capacity.


A Houston Company Dumped Cancer-Causing Chemicals into a Hood

A HOUSTON COMPANY DUMPED CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD STORM DRAIN (Source QUARTZ) Houston is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the US. Often nestled within residential neighborhoods, chemical plants, oil refineries, and the myriad businesses that support them often operate with little oversight. Now one, Wright Containers—a company that deals in used industrial plastic containers meant to hold 330 gallons of hazardous liquid at a time—is facing felony charges that could land its managers in prison for 10 years. Prosecutors say they hope the case will spark a new era of making companies accountable for environmental crimes in a city where that’s unusual, the Houston Chronicle reports. Wright Containers is accused of instructing employees to dump the residual toxic chemicals they routinely handled down a storm drain. The company stacked their large plastic containers, known as “totes,” around the storm drain to conceal it from public view, prosecutors said. It went unnoticed for months. But employees who were injured by exposure to the chemicals became whistleblowers, alerting authorities. The site is a half-mile from an elementary school, three-quarters of a mile from a second elementary school, and a mile from a junior high. The Chronicle notes that it is also in close proximity to hundreds of homes. When police showed up, they smelled noxious fumes and “felt more nauseous the closer they got to the drain,” Alex Forrest, chief of the environmental crimes division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, told the Chronicle. “Some of the chemicals would burn the skin off your bones,” he said. On Feb. 2, the company was indicted on felony charges in a county court. The Chronicle called the indictment “rare” in a city in which “materials facilities have been allowed to flourish in the city’s unzoned sprawl,” where “catching chemical waste dumpers — or merely getting an inventory of all the haz-mat sites around town — has proven difficult for the Houston Fire Department.” The chemicals dumped included benzene—which causes cancer in humans—along with dichloromethaneethylbenzene and toluene, which are all either respiratory irritants, hormone disruptors, or probable carcinogens. The storm drain was connected to Simms Bayou, which flows into Galveston Bay.

Houston is notorious for its many toxic, federal Superfund sites, oil refineries, and industrial complexes, many of which are clustered near Latino or low-income neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods were in the spotlight when Hurricane Harvey hit, flooding waste sites and causing refineries to far exceed their permitted air pollution limits, releasing millions of pounds of pollutants into the air and water. And those communities have long faced “more exposure to air toxics than almost anywhere in the country,” according to Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, who specializes in air pollution.

Earth’s Poles Could Be’ About To Flip’

Earth’s Poles Could Be ‘About To Flip’ (Source The Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to flip, sparking chaos and making large parts of the planet uninhabitable, a new study claims. Science author Alanna Mitchell has delivered the stark warning in an article that declares the Earth is “under attack from within” and that a shift in poles could have dire consequences. Ms Mitchell warned that a shift means the important shield surrounding the Earth called a magnetic field could be “compromised for centuries”. She wrote: “Because grids are so tightly coupled with each other, failure would race across the globe, causing a domino run of blackouts that could last for decades.

“The shield could be compromised for centuries while the poles move, allowing malevolent radiation closer to the surface of the planet for that whole time. Already, changes within the Earth have weakened the field over the South Atlantic so much that satellites exposed to the resulting radiation have experienced memory failure.

“It turns out that the dipole — the orderly two-pole magnetic field our compasses respond to — is under attack from within. “The Earth’s magnetic field protects our planet from dangerous solar and cosmic rays, like a giant shield. As the poles switch places (or try to), that shield is weakened; scientists estimate that it could waste away to as little as a tenth of its usual force.”

China and the Vatican are close to a groundbreaking agreement

China and the Vatican are close to a groundbreaking agreement (Source

An accord between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China “is almost made” and could be signed in the coming months, thereby opening a new phase in the relations between them, according to a senior Vatican source informed on the secret negotiations between the two sides.

The source, who requested anonymity, told America Magazine that the negotiations have reached this crucial stage following the visit by a Holy See delegation to Beijing last December when, for the first time since the Chinese communist government expelled the papal nuncio from China in 1951, Vatican officials were able to meet and speak with two bishops from the underground church community.

The Holy See’s five-person delegation, led by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has been involved in Sino-Vatican relations since 1983, traveled to Beijing just before Christmas for another meeting of the Joint Working Group that was established in 2014. The J.W.G. was set up after the two sides signed a framework document of intent regarding the nomination of bishops. It was tasked with resolving the various problematic elements in that text. Since then, it has met around 12 times, alternately in Beijing and the Vatican. In previous sessions, it reached agreement on most of the key issues in the framework text, including the most important one for the Holy See: that the pope shall have the final say in the nomination of bishops.


Hear What Peter Schiff Says Is Coming Next: ‘There’s No Way To Stop This’

Hear What Peter Schiff Says Is Coming Next: ‘There’s No Way To Stop This’ (Source Peter Schiff, a market analyst who had accurately predicted the 2008 recession and the recent stock market plunge says more is coming.  Wait until you hear what he says is on the horizon for America and the global economy in the Trump era. In an interview with Infowars‘ Alex Jones, Schiff details what we can all expect from the economy. There’s no way to stop this,” Shiff begins. “The problem is so big that the minute the Fed has to try to solve it, it’s gonna unleash a much bigger one [problem],” Shiff says.  The economy is a giant bubble and it will pop at some point, not just deflate. “The Fed were dragging their feet in raising rates while Obama was president.  They talked about raising rates but at the end of the day, they barely moved them up. The pace of hikes has increased since Trump was elected, but part of the reason for that…I mean, the media is not talking down the economy; if anything they’re overhyping the economy.  Everybody’s talking about how strong the economy is, how everything is great. Everybody is taking credit for this great economy. The Fed wants to take credit for it, Trump wants to take credit for it, so if everybody wants to talk about how great the economy is, the Fed doesn’t have any excuse if it doesn’t raise rates…in order to keep up the pretense that the economy is as strong as everybody thinks, the Fed is in this box where it has to raise rates. But they [the Fed] can’t tell the truth that it’s really a bubble, and if we raise rates, we’re gonna prick it, so they’re kinda in this bind.  And they are still telegraphing that they’re gonna raise rates three or four times this year.  And that is the problem.“ “One of the things the happened under Obama, is he inherited a massive deficit from Bush. The deficit skyrocketed in 2008/2009 and so, after a couple of years, the deficits were slowly falling while Obama was president. Now, they were falling from a very high level, but at least they were going down. All of a sudden, deficits are skyrocketing and they’re about to explode out of control. Yet, we have no way to finance them. So interest rates have no place to go but way up. Not just a little up.”

Schiff says Trump should come clean on how the economy is really looking. “The sooner he tells the truth, the better…I don’t think this market is going to roar back and make new highs.” The other problem is Americans have the lowest savings rate in ten years.  There is no money for the public to buy undesirable bonds that not even the Chinese will buy. Schiff also says that the social justice warriors need to take a break and focus on the bigger picture. “Social issues need to take a backseat. If the economy crashes, if the market crashes, if we have a worse economy than the one that Bush left Obama, then none of the other stuff matters.