Thursday, April 30, 2009




12 And the ten horns (NATIONS) which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse:(PEACE) and he that sat on him had a bow;(EU DICTATOR) and a crown was given unto him:(PRESIDENT OF THE EU) and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.(MILITARY GENIUS)

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.(THE EU AND ITS DICTATOR IS GODLESS)
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.(DICTATOR COMES FROM NEW AGE OR OCCULT)
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;(MURDERERD) and his deadly wound was healed:(COMES BACK TO LIFE) and all the world wondered after the beast.(THE WORLD THINKS ITS GOD IN THE FLESH, MESSIAH TO ISRAEL)
4 And they worshipped the dragon (SATAN) which gave power unto the beast:(JEWISH EU DICTATOR) and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?(FALSE RESURRECTION,SATAN BRINGS HIM TO LIFE)
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.(GIVEN WORLD CONTROL FOR 3 1/2YRS)
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,(HES A GOD HATER) to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.(HES A LIBERAL OR DEMOCRAT,WILL PUT ANYTHING ABOUT GOD DOWN)
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,(BEHEAD THEM) and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(WORLD DOMINATION)
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.(WORLD DICTATOR)
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.(SAVED CHRISTIANS AND JEWS DIE FOR THEIR FAITH AT THIS TIME,NOW WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE BUT DURING THE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH, PEOPLE WILL BE PUT TO DEATH (BEHEADINGS) FOR THEIR BELIEF IN GOD (JESUS) OR THE BIBLE.

DANIEL 9:26-27
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (ROMANS IN AD 70) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMANS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he( EU ROMAN, JEWISH DICTATOR) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:( 7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,( 3 1/2 YRS) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


Israel threatens to end EU diplomatic role
ANDREW WILLIS Today APR 30,09 @ 09:28 CET

Israel is deeply unhappy with comments made by EU officials regarding its government and the Palestinian peace process and has threatened to end the bloc's mediation role in the region. Israel is asking Europe to lower the tone and conduct a discreet dialogue,deputy director for Europe at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Rafi Barak, told European ambassadors in Israel this week reports Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.However, if these declarations continue, Europe will not be able to be part of the diplomatic process, and both sides will lose,he said. EU external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner is causing the Israeli government particular concern after the EU froze plans to upgrade the bloc's ties with the country at the beginning of the year.

Talks to upgrade the current association agreement that defines relations between the EU and Israel began in December 2008, but were suspended in January over Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip that killed over 1,400 Palestinians.Last Thursday, Ms Ferrero-Waldner told journalists in Brussels that the upgrade in bilateral ties would continue to be postponed until the new Israeli government shows a clear commitment to pursue peace negotiations with the Palestinians.But Mr Barak said it was unclear what gave Ms Ferrero-Waldner the authority to make the statement on delaying closer ties as EU member state governments had not made a formal decision on the matter. We want the European Union to be a partner [in the diplomatic process], but it is important to hold a mature and discreet dialogue and not to resort to public declarations, Barak told the European ambassadors in a series of telephone conversations.The Israeli military recently conducted an internal investigation into claims of human rights abuses during the short war and concluded it had not broken international law, although human rights organisations were quick to point out flaws in the investigation.Brussels has campaigned for a two-state solution to the decades-old problem and opposes continued Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Tensions at home

While EU member states have not always shared a unified position on the Israeli-Palestine question, recently it appears differences in opinion have opened up between the EU institutions.Speaking to journalists after a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg acknowledged that there were conflicting opinions between the Czech EU presidency and the European Commission.But he said the situation had escalated quite unnecessarily, referring to a recent spat between outgoing Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and Ms Ferrero-Waldner.Mr Topolanek recently said that comments made by Ms Ferrero-Waldner stating EU relations with Israel would only improve if Israel promised to continue peace talks as an example of the European Commission's arrogance, reports the Prague Daily Monitor.Yes, the talks on the action plan [with Israel] have been stalled, but the decision is up to the Council. She overstepped her powers,said Mr Topolanek.


7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).














Ohio National Guard Moves Tamaflu into Secure Buildings
12.160Mhz April 30, 2009

In this photo released by the Ohio Department of Health, shipment of Tamiflu vaccine is received and stored by the Ohio National Guard at an undisclosed location Tuesday, April 28, 2009 in Ohio. Laboratory testing shows the new virus is treatable by the anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, and the first shipments from a federal stockpile arrived Wednesday in New York City and several other locations in the U.S.. The government was shipping to states enough medication to treat 11 million people as a precaution.

Flashback: CDC to Mix Avian, Human Flu Viruses in Pandemic Study
April 28th, 2009 Via: CIDRAP:

One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world.That could happen, scientists predict, if someone who is already infected with an ordinary flu virus contracts the avian virus at the same time. The avian virus has already caused at least 48 confirmed human illness cases in Asia, of which 35 have been fatal. The virus has shown little ability to spread from person to person, but the fear is that a hybrid could combine the killing power of the avian virus with the transmissibility of human flu viruses.Now, rather than waiting to see if nature spawns such a hybrid, US scientists are planning to try to breed one themselves—in the name of preparedness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon launch experiments designed to combine the H5N1 virus and human flu viruses and then see how the resulting hybrids affect animals. The goal is to assess the chances that such a reassortant virus will emerge and how dangerous it might be.Because of the obvious risks in creating viruses with the potential to spark a pandemic, the work will be done in a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory at the CDC in Atlanta, Daigle told CIDRAP News.We recognize that there is concern by some over this type of work. This concern may be heightened by reports of recent lab exposures in other lab facilities, he said.But CDC has an incredible record in lab safety and is taking very strict precautions.Daigle said the US Department of Agriculture requires that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses be treated as Select Agents and that research on them must be done in BSL-3 labs with enhancements.These include special provisions to protect both laboratory workers and the environment.BSL-3 is the second highest level of laboratory biosecurity. It is used for work with pathogens that may cause serious or potentially lethal disease if inhaled, such as tuberculosis or St. Louis encephalitis, according to the CDC.

Baxter International Unintentionally Sent Flu Samples to Companies that Contained H5N1Avian Flu February 26th, 2009

That’s the headline, but the reality of what happened might indicate a far more serious situation.In U.S. Researchers Trying to Create Pandemic Avian Flu, pay very close attention to the part about the ferrets:Now, flash forward to today.What happened to the ferrets that received Baxter’s H5N1 virus material? The animals died promptly according to the story below.The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is: Did any ferrets in neighboring cages—that didn’t receive the Baxter H5N1 virus—also get sick and die? The answer to that question is conveniently missing from every story that I have found about this incident.If the answer is yes it means that Baxter didn’t supply standard H5N1 virus, but rather a weaponized/pandemic version that is the same as or similar to the one that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was developing.

Via: The Canadian Press:

Officials are trying to get to the bottom of how vaccine manufacturer Baxter International Inc. made experimental virus material based on a human flu strain but contaminated with the H5N1 avian flu virus and then distributed it to an Austrian company.That company, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then disseminated the supposed H3N2 virus product to subcontractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany. Authorities in the four European countries are looking into the incident, and their efforts are being closely watched by the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Control.Though it appears none of the 36 or 37 people who were exposed to the contaminated product became infected, the incident is being described as a serious error on the part of Baxter, which is on the brink of securing a European licence for an H5N1 vaccine. That vaccine is made at a different facility, in the Czech Republic.For this particular incident … the horse did not get out (of the barn),Dr. Angus Nicoll of the ECDC said from Stockholm.But that doesn’t mean that we and WHO and the European Commission and the others aren’t taking it as seriously as you would any laboratory accident with dangerous pathogens - which you have here.

Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses - if that indeed happened - could have resulted in dire consequences. Nicoll said officials still aren’t 100 per cent sure the mixture contained live H5N1 viruses. But given that ferrets exposed to the mixture died, it likely did.H5N1 doesn’t easily infect people, but H3N2 viruses do. They are one of two types of influenza A viruses that infect people each flu season.If someone exposed to the mixture had been co-infected with H5N1 and H3N2, the person could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people. That mixing process, called reassortment, is one of two ways pandemic viruses are created.Research published last summer by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that in the laboratory, H5N1 and H3N2 viruses mated readily. While less virulent than H5N1, a number of the offspring viruses appeared to retain at least a portion of the killing power of their dangerous parent.Baxter International, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., said the contamination was the result of an error in its research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.The facility had been contracted by Avir Green Hills to make what Baxter refers to as experimental virus material based on human H3N2 viruses.Christopher Bona, Baxter’s director of global bioscience communications, said the liquid virus product was not a vaccine and was developed for testing purposes only. He deferred questions about the purpose of the testing to Avir Green Hills, but said the batch was to be used in animals and was never intended for use in humans.Avir Green Hills said in an email that it took possession of the material in late December. It later sent the product to the sub-contractors. The email said the material was stored and handled throughout under high biosafety conditions.Alarm bells rang in early February when researchers at the Czech sub-contractor inoculated ferrets with the material and the animals promptly died. Baxter learned about the problem on Feb. 6, Bona said from Deerfield.

Ferrets are susceptible to human flu strains, but they don’t die from those infections. Preliminary investigation found the material was contaminated with H5N1 flu virus, which is lethal to ferrets.Nicoll said the fact the ferrets died supports the working assumption that there were live H5N1 viruses in the material Baxter produced.Bona said Baxter has identified how the contamination happened and has taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. He said Austrian authorities audited Baxter’s Orth-Donau research operations after the problem came to light and are satisfied with the steps taken.Baxter is the only flu vaccine manufacturer to work with wild type flu viruses, felt to be more dangerous than the altered and attenuated (weakened) viruses other manufacturers use.The company uses what is known as BSL3 level precautions in all its vaccine research facilities, Bona said. (Researchers at the U.S. CDC use BSL3-plus biocontainment when working with H5N1 viruses, a spokesperson for the agency said.)People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses have somehow co-mingled in the Baxter research facility. That should not be allowed to happen, a number of experts insisted.

The company isn’t shedding much light on how it did.

It was a combination of just the process itself, (and) technical and human error in this procedure,Bona said. When asked to elaborate, he said to do so would give away proprietary information about Baxter’s production process.Bona said when Baxter realized its error, it helped the various companies destroy the contaminated material and clean up their facilities. And staff who had been exposed to the contaminated product were assessed and monitored by infectious diseases doctors. They were also offered the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).Baxter’s error is reminiscent of a 2005 incident where a U.S. manufacturer of kits used by laboratories to test their detection capabilities included vials of H2N2 virus in several thousand proficiency kits. H2N2, the virus that caused the 1957 pandemic, has not circulated since 1968 and is thought to be a prime candidate to cause the next pandemic.That mistake, discovered by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, set authorities around the world scrambling to retrieve and destroy the vials of virus, which had been sent to labs in 18 countries.

More: Baxter: Product Contained Live Bird Flu Virus

The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.

And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present, medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.The contamination incident, which is being investigated by the four European countries, came to light when the subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn’t die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses.Public health authorities concerned about what has been described as a serious error on Baxter’s part have assumed the death of the ferrets meant the H5N1 virus in the product was live. But the company, Baxter International Inc., has been parsimonious about the amount of information it has released about the event.On Friday, the company’s director of global bioscience communications confirmed what scientists have suspected.

It was live,Christopher Bona said in an email.

The contaminated product, which Baxter calls experimental virus material,was made at the Orth-Donau research facility. Baxter makes its flu vaccine — including a human H5N1 vaccine for which a licence is expected shortly — at a facility in the Czech Republic.People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses somehow co-mingled in the Orth-Donau facility. That is a dangerous practice that should not be allowed to happen, a number of experts insisted.

Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses could have resulted in dire consequences.While H5N1 doesn’t easily infect people, H3N2 viruses do. If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people.That mixing process, called reassortment, is one of two ways pandemic viruses are created.There is no suggestion that happened because of this accident, however.We have no evidence of any reassortment, that any reassortment may have occurred,said Andraghetti.And we have no evidence of any increased transmissibility of the viruses that were involved in the experiment with the ferrets in the Czech Republic.Baxter hasn’t shed much light — at least not publicly — on how the accident happened. Earlier this week Bona called the mistake the result of a combination of just the process itself, (and) technical and human error in this procedure.He said he couldn’t reveal more information because it would give away proprietary information about Baxter’s production process.Andraghetti said Friday the four investigating governments are co-operating closely with the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Control in Stockholm, Sweden.We are in very close contact with Austrian authorities to understand what the circumstances of the incident in their laboratory were,she said.And the reason for us wishing to know what has happened is to prevent similar events in the future and to share lessons that can be learned from this event with others to prevent similar events. … This is very important.

France calls for EU Mexico travel ban as swine flu alert level raised
ELITSA VUCHEVA Today APR 30,09 @ 09:26 CET

France is to push for an EU ban on flights to Mexico during an emergency meeting of the bloc's health ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday (30 April), while the first death from swine flu outside the North American nation has been confirmed and the World Health Organisation has said a pandemic is now imminent.We will ask our European colleagues to consider the suspension of flights going to Mexico, French health minister Roselyne Bachelot said after talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday.Return flights from Mexico to the EU would not be stopped at this stage however, she said, the BBC reports.Several EU countries besides France – including the UK, the Netherlands and Italy – are already advising against travelling to Mexico,ground zero of the flu's outbreak.The virus has already contaminated close to 2,500 and killed eight in the country, with as many as 168 more death cases attributable to it.Ms Bachelot's comments came as a 23-month-old toddler in Texas on Wednesday became the first death outside of Mexico resulting from having caught the H1N1 virus.

The same day, the World Health Organisation raised the level of its pandemic crisis alert system to five out of six, meaning a human-to-human transition of the disease has taken place in at least two countries and that a pandemic is now imminent.It really is the whole of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic,said WHO director-general Margaret Chan when announcing the move.She called on all countries to activate their pandemic plans and underlined that action should be taken with increased urgency.The flu – a mixture of swine, bird and human viruses – has been spreading in Europe in the last few days with ten cases now confirmed in Spain, five in the UK, three in Germany and one in Austria. France meanwhile has reported two probable ones.In the US, the number of confirmed cases rose to 91 across 10 states, while Canada and New Zealand have confirmed more than 10 cases each. Two cases have also been confirmed in Israel.The first case in South America was also confirmed on Wednesday, where a 27-year-old Argentine woman felt ill during a flight from California to Argentina via Mexico and Panama, and was then hospitalised in Peru.

Argentina and Cuba have already stopped flights to and from Mexico.But the WHO's assistant director-general, Keiji Fukuda, was sceptical as to how effective restricting travel to Mexico would be.Instituting travel bans would really not be very effective, as the virus has already spread to several other countries,he was reported as saying by the BBC.

Texas Doctor Claims Swine Flu Cases Far Worse Than Reported
Paul Joseph Watson Prison Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dr. Marcus Gitterle, an emergency medicine physician based out of New Braunfels, Texas, sent out an internal alert which contains several stunning claims about swine flu that, if true, officials have presumably sought to keep from the public.Dr. Marcus Gitterle, an emergency medicine physician based out of New Braunfels, Texas, sent out an e mail alert to his patients which contains several stunning claims about swine flu that, if true, officials have presumably sought to keep from the public.

After I returned from a public health meeting yesterday with community leaders and school officials in Comal County and Hays County, (name removed) suggested I send an update to my patients in the area, because what we are hearing privately from the CDC and Health Department is different from what you are hearing in the media,writes Gitterle.The doctor claims that the actual number of confirmed cases of swine flu is 10 to 25 times worse than has been reported, and that people are not recovering easily, as has been claimed, but that many Americans are in fact seriously ill.The way they fudge on reporting this is that it takes 3 days to get the confirmatory nod from the CDC on a given viral culture, but based on epidemiological grounds, we know that there are more than 10 cases for each confirmed case right now, claims Gitterle.

This has not been in the media, but a 23 month old in Houston is fighting for his life, and a pregnant woman just south of San Antonio is fighting for her life, he writes.Gitterle’s mention of a 23 month old in Houston obviously refers to the Mexican toddler who died on Monday night and was announced as the first U.S. fatality on Tuesday morning.Quick access to drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza, as well as ventilators, is preventing fatalities on the scale of Mexico, but Gitterle warns that within a couple of weeks, regional hospitals will likely become overwhelmed.Gitterle warns,ER’s south of here are becoming overwhelmed — and I mean that — already. It is coming in waves, but the waves are getting bigger.The doctor states that the severity of the situation has already crossed the threshold of the definition of a WHO phase 6 pandemic.This has not happened in any of our lifetimes so far. We are in uncharted territory,he writes.Gitterle claims that President Obama is being advised to declare a national emergency and that this could happen within the next 48 hours.This may not happen, but if it doesn’t, I will be surprised. When this happens, all public gathering will be cancelled for 10 days minimum,writes the doctor.Gitterle advises people to avoid all public gatherings, especially those held indoors, to avoid going to their ER if they feel ill, and to take the nutritional supplements N-Acetyl-Cysteine and Oscillococinum. He recommends Relenza as a more powerful drug than Tamiflu but warns that supplies of both drugs are running out fast.The doctor states that swine flu is infectious for about two days prior to symptom onset and that the virus can spread for more than seven days after symptom onset. The symptoms are the same as normal flu, although it has been discovered that swine flu causes a distinctive hoarseness in many victims.Since it is such a novel (new) virus, there is no herd immunity, so the attack rate is very high. This is the percentage of people who come down with a virus if exposed. Almost everyone who is exposed to this virus will become infected, though not all will be symptomatic. That is much higher than seasonal flu, which averages 10-15%. The clinical attack rate estimation from CDC and WHO may be around 40-50%. This is the number of people who show symptoms. This is a huge number. It is hard to convey the seriousness of this to those outside of the medical fields,he writes.


Biden: Stay Off Subways During Swine Flu Panic,World Health body raises alert to level 5, one notch short of full pandemic By XANA O'NEILL 2:00 PM EDT, Thu, Apr 30, 2009

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered.Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states. His remarks quickly caused a stir, leading his own office to issue a clarifying statement and drawing a rebuke from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Swine Flu Cases on the Rise Worldwide
View SlideshowSwine flu cases are erupting worldwide. The WHO raised the alert level to a phase 5, one level short of declaring a full pandemic.W.H.O. Raises Swine Flu Pandemic Alert to Phase 5 .The World Health Organization has raised it's classification of the swine flu outbreak to Phase Five, one step away from a worldwide pandemic.

The threat of swine flu is keeping many travelers on edge.
The uproar began when Biden appeared on NBC's Today show and said he would advise against riding the subway or taking commercial flights and implied schools should be shuttered amid confirmation of the first swine-flu relation death in the U.S.I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now,Biden said when Matt Lauer asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway.The vice president also implied that schools should be closed as the threat of swine flu increases.If you're out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft or a closed container or closed car or closed classroom it's a different thing.About two hours after the interview, Biden's office issued a statement attempting to clarify the vice president's remarks.The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving all Americans: That they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the vice president has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week,Biden's spokeswoman, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement.Mayor Bloomberg, who often rides the subway in New York, said riding the mass transit poses no additional risks in the city with the greatest number of confirmed swine flu cases.The bottom line is I feel perfectly safe on the subway,the mayor said today.I took the subway here. I take the subway every day, Bloomberg said. I think what's clear is the flu does not seem to be taking over the city so there's no evidence that taking the subway ... would increase dramatically the probability.

Today show co-host Meredith Vieira and NBC's Chuck Todd discussed Biden's statement after he made the remarks, wondering if the vice president really had intended to caution the American public to stay off public transportation and airplanes. They noted his comments seemed to contradict public statements by other high-ranked White House officials.The White House is concerned the vice president's remarks create a panic that causes people to avoid public transportation, Todd later reported.American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith didn't comment directly on Biden's interview but told the Associated Press that advising people not to fly is fear mongering.To suggest that people not fly at this stage of things is a broad brush stroke bordering on fear mongering,Smith said.The facts of the situation at this stage anyway certainly don't support that.Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Meanwhile, dozens of Marines in California were confined Wednesday after one came down with the disease. Some 100 schools were closed, and more might need to be shut down temporarily.President Barack Obama pledged great vigilance in dealing with the situation as the total confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to nearly 100, with many more suspected.The Geneva-based World Health Organization sounded its own ominous alarm, raising its alert level to one notch below a full-fledged global pandemic. Said WHO Director General Margaret Chan: It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.EU health ministers planned emergency talks Thursday in Luxembourg to coordinate national efforts in preventing the spread of swine flu in Europe. Already Britain, Spain, Austria, Germany and Switzerland have confirmed cases of the disease, which is blamed for over 150 deaths and 2,400 infections in Mexico. In a televised address late Wednesday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon asked his countrymen to literally stay in their homes between May 1 and May 5. Asia, so far, has escaped infection though South Korea says it has one probable case, with final test results still coming.Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Atlanta there were confirmed cases in ten states, including 51 in New York, 16 in Texas and 14 in California. The CDC also counted scattered cases in Kansas, Massachusetts , Michigan, Arizona, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.State officials in Maine said laboratory tests had confirmed three cases in that state, not yet included in the CDC count.Also, Illinois officials cited nine likely cases,most of them in the Chicago area, and three schools were shut down. Washington state health officials reported six probable cases, and Maryland health officials are awaiting lab tests to confirm six likely cases.And the Pentagon said a Marine at the Twentynine Palms base in California had been confirmed to be ill with swine flu and was isolated, along with his roommate. A Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, Maj. David Nevers, said the sick Marine was doing well and his condition continued to improve. Nevers said about 30 others who had been in contact with the sick Marine would be held apart for five days as well as to see if they show symptoms.In Mexico, where the flu is believed to have originated, officials said Wednesday that the disease was now suspected in 168 deaths, and nearly 2,500 illnesses.The first death in the United States from the flu was a Mexico City toddler who traveled to Texas with his family to visit relatives.Texas' health director, Dr. David Lakey, told a news conference that it was highly likely that the boy contracted the disease in Mexico before his trip to the U.S.

Officials in Brownsville were trying to trace his family's trip to find out how long they were in the area, who they visited and how many people were in the group, said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.The boy, who was 23 months old, had underlying health issues before he flew to Matamoros, Mexico, on April 4 and crossed into Brownsville to visit relatives, state health officials said.He developed flu symptoms four days later and was taken to a Brownsville hospital April 13 and transferred the following day to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, where he died Monday night.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday confirmed that he had been infected with the swine flu virus. The cause of the death was pneumonia caused by the virus, Cascos said.Texas called off all public high school athletic and academic competitions at least until May 11 due to the outbreak.Despite calls from many U.S. lawmakers for tightening controls over the Mexico-US border, Obama and his deputies ruled out that option.At a prime-time news conference, Obama said health officials weren't recommending closing the border with Mexico.That, he said,would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.Instead, Obama said, his administration had ramped up screening efforts and made sure needed medical supplies were on hand.The key now is to just make sure we are maintaining great vigilance, that everybody responds appropriately when cases do come up, he said. And individual families start taking very sensible precautions that can make a huge difference.Earlier, Obama's Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said closing the borders was not warranted.She said closing borders or U.S. ports would have enormous adverse economic consequences and would have no impact or very little to help stop the spread of the virus.This virus is already in the United States. Any containment theory ... is really moot at this time,Napolitano said.In fact, customs agents have delayed 49 people at the border because of flulike symptoms, and 41 have been cleared so far. Test results on the other eight were not complete.Still, a number of American universities are calling off faculty and student travel to Mexico, and at least one is evacuating students from the country. The list includes campuses from Western Illinois to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Tulane University in Louisiana.Laboratory testing showed the new virus was treatable by the anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, and the first shipments from a federal stockpile arrived Wednesday in New York City and several other locations. The government was shipping to states enough medication to treat 11 million people as a precaution. All states should get their share by May 3.No shortages had been reported — there was plenty in regular pharmacies, federal health officials said.The disease is not spread by eating pork and U.S. officials appeared to go out of their way on Wednesday to not call the strain swine flu. Obama called the bug the H1N1 virus,and other administration officials followed his lead.

Related Stories
Swine Flu Fallout: 168 Deaths Suspected, 2,498 Sickened .The disease is not a food-borne illness,Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, CDC's interim science and public health deputy direct, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.She said the strain is particularly worrisome because it's a virus that hasn't been around before. The general population doesn't have immunity from it.Associated Press / NBC New York.

Mexico shuts nonessential services amid swine flu By MARK STEVENSON and ANDREW O. SELSKY, Associated Press Writers APR 30,09

MEXICO CITY – Mexico is telling citizens to stay home, urging businesses to close for five days and suspending government services as the World Health Organization warns the swine flu outbreak is on the brink of becoming a global epidemic.In the United States, federal health officials said Thursday the number of confirmed cases had risen to 109. President Barack Obama told Americans the government was taking the utmost precautions and preparations to stop the virus.Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in a televised address that only essential businesses such as supermarkets, hospitals and pharmacies should stay open, and only critical government workers such as police and soldiers would be on duty from Friday through Tuesday. School had already been canceled nationwide through Tuesday.The steps are aimed at stopping further spread of the virus, blamed for 168 deaths in Mexico and one in the United States, even though the WHO has suggested nations should focus on minimizing its effects, not containing its spread.There will be no government activities — those that are not fundamental for citizens — nor any private-sector activities that are not fundamental to common life,Calderon said Wednesday night in a televised address.

There is no safer place to protect yourself against catching swine flu than in your house,he said, defending the government against criticism that it had been slow to act against signs of a new and dangerous virus.In the U.S., both Vice President Joe Biden and the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in televised interviews Thursday there would be no practical benefit to closing the U.S.-Mexican border. Biden said on CBS that it would be a monumental undertaking with far-reaching consequences.Biden also said on NBC's Today show that he is advising his own family to stay off commercial airlines and even subways because of swine flu. If one person sneezes on a confined aircraft, he said, it goes all the way through the aircraft.Within two hours, Biden's office issued a statement backing off the remarks and suggesting he was talking about travel to Mexico.His precautions go beyond official advice from the U.S. government; Obama merely urged people to wash their hands, cover their coughs and stay home when they feel sick. Calderon gave similar advice.The WHO on Wednesday raised its alert level to Phase 5, the second-highest, indicating a pandemic may be imminent, and was talking about moving to Phase 6. The Phase 5 alert — the first ever — activates added efforts to produce a vaccine.

It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic, WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in Geneva.We do not have all the answers right now, but we will get them.Switzerland and the Netherlands became the latest countries to report swine flu infections. In addition to Mexico and the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria have confirmed cases.The Swiss government said a 19-year-old student with swine flu was mistakenly released from the hospital and then hastily readmitted. The Dutch said a 3-year-old child who recently returned from Mexico had contracted swine flu and was being treated and recovering well.

European Union health ministers planned emergency talks in Luxembourg to coordinate national efforts in preventing the spread of swine flu in Europe.WHO flu chief Dr. Keiji Fukuda said it was difficult to say whether the outbreak justified declaring a Phase 6 pandemic.By definition, he said, a pandemic means established transmission of this new virus in multiple countries and multiple regions of the world. So right now we're saying that we see it convincingly in two countries in one region of the world.

We think we are in the process of moving toward there, but we still need to see the evidence that we are there,Fukuda said. The WHO raised its tally of confirmed swine flu cases around the world to 236 from 148, with most of the new cases from Mexico. The WHO count lags behind what individual countries report. The United States confirmed its first swine flu death on Wednesday, a Mexican toddler who visited Texas with his family and died Monday night in Houston. Thirty-nine Marines were confined to their base in California after one came down with the virus, a mix of pig, bird and human genes to which people have limited natural immunity. The outbreak appeared to be stabilizing in Mexico, the epicenter. New deaths and cases seemed to be leveling off after an aggressive public health campaign launched when the epidemic was declared April 23. Hospital records suggest the outbreak may have peaked here last week.Calderon said authorities would use the partial shutdown to consider whether to extend emergency measures or ease some restrictions. The dates of the shutdown include a weekend and two holidays, Labor Day and Cinco de Mayo, minimizing the added disruption.Even before the shutdown went into full effect, a surprised radio reporter exclaimed that traffic was unusually light Thursday. Businessmen in surgical masks trudged in for their last day of work, passing beggars who kept their masks on too. Even the capital's legendary smog seemed to be easing. Obama said his administration has made sure that needed medical supplies are on hand and he praised the Bush administration for stockpiling 50 million doses of antiviral medications.

The key now is to just make sure we are maintaining great vigilance, that everybody responds appropriately when cases do come up. And individual families start taking very sensible precautions that can make a huge difference,he said. Ecuador, Cuba and Argentina have all banned travel to or from Mexico, and Peru has banned inbound flights. The Panama Canal Authority ordered pilots and other employees who board ships passing through the waterway to use surgical masks and gloves. The U.S., the European Union and other countries have discouraged nonessential travel to Mexico. Some countries have urged their citizens to avoid the United States and Canada as well. Health officials said such bans would do little to stop the virus. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Cabinet ministers to discuss swine flu, and the health minister said France would ask the European Union to suspend flights to Mexico.Medical detectives have not pinpointed where the outbreak began. Scientists believe that somewhere in the world, months or even a year ago, a pig virus jumped to a human and mutated, and has been spreading between humans ever since. China has gone on a rhetorical offensive to squash any suggestion it's the source of the swine flu after some Mexican officials were quoted in media reports in the past week saying the virus came from Asia and the governor of Mexico's Veracruz state was quoted as saying the virus specifically came from China. One of the deaths in Mexico directly attributed to swine flu was that of a Bangladeshi immigrant, said Mexico's chief epidemiologist, Miguel Angel Lezana. He said the unnamed Bangladeshi had lived in Mexico for six months and was recently visited by a brother who was reportedly ill. Lezana suggested the brother could have brought the virus from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

By March 9, the first symptoms were showing up in the Mexican state of Veracruz, where pig farming is a key industry in mountain hamlets and where small clinics provide the only local health care. The earliest confirmed case was there: a 5-year-old boy who was one of hundreds of people in the town of La Gloria whose flu symptoms left them struggling to breathe. People from La Gloria kept going to jobs in Mexico City despite their illnesses, and could have infected people in the capital. Days later, a door-to-door tax inspector was hospitalized with acute respiratory problems in the neighboring state of Oaxaca, infecting 16 hospital workers before she became Mexico's first confirmed death. Neighbors of the inspector, Maria Adela Gutierrez, said Wednesday that she fell ill after pairing up with a temporary worker from Veracruz who seemed to have a very bad cold.Jose Cordova, the Mexican health secretary, said getting proper treatment within 48 hours of falling ill is fundamental for getting the best results and suggested people can survive the virus if it is quickly diagnosed and treated. But it was neither caught quickly nor treated properly in the early days in Mexico, which lacked the capacity to identify the virus, and whose health care system has become the target of widespread anger and distrust. In case after case, patients have complained of being misdiagnosed, turned away by doctors and denied access to drugs.Swine flu has symptoms nearly identical to regular flu — fever, cough and sore throat — and spreads like regular flu, through tiny particles in the air, when people cough or sneeze. People with flu symptoms are advised to stay at home, wash their hands and cover their sneezes. AP writers Frank Jordans in Geneva; Tom Raum and Lauran Neergaard in Washington; Olga Rodriguez in Oaxaca, Mexico; Paul Haven and E. Eduardo Castillo in Mexico City; Mike Stobbe in Atlanta; Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Balz Bruppacher in Bern, Switzerland, contributed to this report.

Wed, April 29, 2009 World Health Organization raises pandemic flu alert level to Phase 5 Global outbreak of the disease is imminent By THE W.H.O.

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave. Previous pandemics have been characterized by waves of activity spread over months. Once the level of disease activity drops, a critical communications task will be to balance this information with the possibility of another wave. Pandemic waves can be separated by months and an immediate at-ease signal may be premature. In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.

Infowars Under Sophisticated Denial of Service Attack
Kurt Nimmo Infowars April 28, 2009

Earlier this evening, Alex Jones’ flagship website,, came under a concerted denial of service (DoS) attack. The site was down for more than two hours.

The attacks are coming out of Japan. A Whois database search reveals the origin to be the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre in Milton, Australia. DoS attacks usually consist of concerted efforts to shut down a web server by flooding the computer with requests and consuming its resources so that it is no longer available to users. DoS attacks commonly constitute violations of the laws of individual nations. Over the last few days, Alex Jones and his websites have covered the so-called swine flu pandemic and have built a solid case that the outbreak is part of a larger campaign by the government to frighten the populace and institute martial law as specifically detailed in the Department of Defense’s Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza and other government documents. Alex Jones is the primary media source calling the government’s bluff on the bogus pandemic elevated earlier today to a level 5 under World Health Organization guidelines. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan declared the phase 5 alert after consulting with flu experts from around the world. All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans, Chan told reporters in Geneva. It really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic.

All countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans,the WHO declares.This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace.The Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Plan follows the same criteria in the case of a flu pandemic or terrorist attack and relies on the military — specifically the Northern Command — to respond to such events. Alex Jones has featured a number of guests on his nationally syndicated radio show in the last few days that have outlined the government’s plan to use a bogus pandemic as an excuse to impose martial law and engage in forced vaccination. Guests have also noted the eugenics endgame of the ruling elite, determined to reduce world population to 500 million, as stated on the Georgia Guidestones. A number of U.S. military cyber attacks have originated out of Japan where there is a large military presence. Over the last few years, the Pentagon has developed an offensive cyber capability against adversaries, including DoS attacks. In the Pentagon’s Information Operation Roadmap document, it is stated that the military must fight the Net.The Pentagon believes the internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy weapons system.

Finally, here is a list of specific IP addresses and other information related to the attack:

Multinational forces storm Mayport beach for drills,The surprise scene at the shore startled beachgoers, but readied the troops.By Timothy J. Gibbons Story updated at 3:44 AM on Sunday, Apr. 26, 2009

Canadian fighters get a warm welcome Saturday from some Brazilians on Mayport's beach, which was stormed by combined multinational forces as part of military exercises.We are better for these exercises,said Maj. Gen. James Williams.Sailors and Marines along the beach at Mayport began moving the crowd away from the water Saturday afternoon as the amphibious assault vehicles approached across the waves.

Everybody back up! a sailor shouted. Keep backing up. Now move back just a little more.Moments later, the vehicles - looking like the offspring of a submarine and a tank - burst through the surf, surging forward as their treads bit into the sand.The hydraulic brakes slammed into action, and the rear of the vehicles opened, disgorging more than 100 troops from eight countries.Left, go left! shouted a U.S. Marine. Shape up over there!Overhead, a brace of helicopters rented the sky.The assault on the beach at Mayport Naval Station was part of the Marine's Partnership of the Americas exercise, held in conjunction with the Navy's Unitas exercise.It's really a learning environment for everybody,said Col. Jay Huston, commanding officer of the task force doing the exercise.During the past week, the troops - Marines from the U.S. and six countries in Central and South America, as well as soldiers from Canada - worked together at Camp Blanding, fast-roping out of helicopters, firing weapons and sharing tactics.

They jelled quickly.

The only difference in identity said Lt. Col. Jorge Garcia of Colombia,is in the color of the uniforms. We have the same objectives.That was evident on the amphibious transport dock ships the troops boarded in the past few days: Throughout the USS Mesa Verde, for example, gaggles of marines from Chile conversed with those from Peru and troops from Colombia shared war stories with those from the United States.That type of interaction is vital considering that multinational forces operating in the region need to cooperate in the field.We are better for these exercises, said Maj. Gen. James Williams. At the end of the day, you can't do that sort of thing unless you figure it out in advance.For the vast majority of U.S. Marines, Saturday's exercise was the first time they'd experienced an amphibious assault.That made riding in the assault vehicles - which plow along beneath the water until approaching the beach - an experience.It was pretty great,said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rene Quintero, a medic working with the Marines.When we hit the surf, it just jumped up.The entire exercise, Quintero said, brought the troops from all the nations together. They're true professionals,he said.We've gathered the best out of all the nations.A few minutes after those professionals hit the sand around their assault vehicles, the exercise was over. The troops stood, brushed sand from their uniforms and shook hands with one other.The next mission: An hour-long bus ride back to Camp Blanding. As the men lined up to march over to the vehicle, the crowd applauded., (904) 359-4103

World takes drastic steps to contain swine flu By WILLIAM J. KOLE and MARIA CHENG, Associated Press Writers APR 30,09

From Egypt's order that all 300,000 pigs in the country be slaughtered to travel bans and putting the kibosh on kissing, the world is taking drastic — and some say debatable — measures to combat swine flu.Egypt ordered the pig slaughter even though there hasn't been a single case of swine flu there and no evidence that pigs have spread the disease. Britain, with only five cases, is trying to buy 32 million masks. And in the United States, President Barack Obama said more of the country's 132,000 schools may have to be shuttered.At airports from Japan to South Korea to Greece and Turkey, thermal cameras were trained on airline passengers to see if any were feverish. And Lebanon discouraged traditional Arab peck-on-the-cheek greetings, even though no one has come down with the virus there.All this and more, even though world health experts say many of these measures may not stop the disease from spreading. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert to the second-highest level, meaning it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

Scientifically speaking, the main thing is that every virus behaves differently, said Joerg Hacker, president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's top public health authority.At the moment, the main issue is to get to know this virus, how it works.In Germany, where officials confirmed three cases, Lufthansa announced that starting Thursday it will put a doctor aboard all flights to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.Experts said that makes sense: The doctors will be able to field questions from uneasy passengers and tend to anyone who might fall ill.The World Health Organization said total bans on travel to Mexico — such as one imposed by Argentina, which hasn't had any confirmed cases — were questionable because the virus is already fairly widespread.Roselyne Bachelot, France's health minister, said she would ask the European Union to suspend all flights to Mexico at a meeting Thursday in Luxembourg.

Travel bans were effective during the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Asia, because that illness can be transmitted only by people who already show symptoms. With flu, by contrast, the incubation period ranges from 24 hours to four days, meaning people often are infectious before they have symptoms.Health officials don't know enough about swine flu right now to say what the precise incubation period is, but if it's similar to other flu, people are likely able to spread it before they're sick.WHO does not recommend closing of borders and does not recommend restrictions of travel, said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the Geneva-based organization's flu chief.From an international perspective, closing borders or restricting travel would have very little effect, if any effect at all, at stopping the movement of this virus.Nor will killing pigs, as Egypt began doing Wednesday, infuriating pig farmers who blocked streets and stoned Health Ministry workers' vehicles in protest. While pigs are banned entirely in some Muslim countries because of religious dietary restrictions, they are raised in Egypt for consumption by the country's Christian minority.Unlike bird flu, where the H5N1 strain that spread to humans was widespread in bird populations and officials worried about people's exposure to infected birds, WHO says there is no similar concern about pigs — and no evidence that people have contracted swine flu by eating pork or handling pigs.There is no association that we've found between pigs and the disease in humans, WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said.

But that hasn't stopped governments from banning pig products. Macedonia ordered a halt to all live pig imports and on Tuesday, Mexico City closed down all its popular streetside taco stands for at least a week.Dr. Nikki Shindo, a WHO flu expert, said the agency will consider requests to stop calling the disease swine flu, since the virus is not food-borne and has nothing to do with eating pork.U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others have suggested a new name, arguing that swine flu implies a problem with pork products. China, Russia and Ukraine are among countries that have banned pork imports from Mexico and parts of the United States affected by swine flu. But some anti-flu measures have merit, such as Obama's admonition Wednesday that more American schools might have to be closed temporarily if swine flu cases spread. Already tens of thousands of students in Texas, New York, California, Chicago and elsewhere are out of school. The WHO said closing schools and public places, along with banning or restricting mass gatherings, can be a way to contain the spread of disease. Epidemiologists call it social distancing, and the idea is simple: If you keep people who have the virus away from others, you can stop the chain of transmission.That's a technique we would be recommending in a pandemic, said WHO's Thompson.We would recommend it to nations as a useful technique to be applied given the special circumstances of each nation.Officials in Hong Kong, which has no confirmed cases, said workers were scrubbing public toilets every two hours in an effort to improve hygiene. Not only will we be stepping up our usual efforts, but also we will make special efforts to make sure that our back alleys, public housing estates, recreation and transportation facilities are thoroughly cleansed and disinfected,said Gabriel Leung, undersecretary for the Food and Health Bureau.

Experts, however, said it's debatable how much good disinfecting public places will do. It probably helps cut down on bacteria and kill viruses lurking on surfaces, but it's unclear whether it would stop person-to-person transmission. Ditto the advice to stop kissing on the cheek, which was among the earliest measures — along with refraining from handshakes — to be recommended by authorities in Mexico. WHO's Thompson was noncommittal on the don't kiss advice, saying only: There are different national circumstances that health officials are going to know far better than we will. It's up to them to make that call.But at a news conference announcing the elevated pandemic level, WHO chief Margaret Chan went further, suggesting it was time to rethink the traditional three kisses on the cheek popular in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.Perhaps instead of having the traditional three hugs to say hello and welcome your friends, maybe you don't do that anymore, she said.Don't hold each other and hug their face three times.The flu virus is airborne and spread through tiny particles — mostly through sneezing and coughing. That helps explain why governments worldwide have been distributing millions of face masks, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other agencies have questioned their effectiveness. Some doctors warn masks might even be harmful, causing people to take risks — like venturing into crowds or neglecting to wash hands — in the mistaken belief the mask protects them. More expensive high filtration masks like those used by health professionals can filter out fine particles carried in the air, but even these must be used properly to give real protection. Other measures, such as installing thermal cameras at airports to screen passengers from infected countries, are simply inconclusive. Scanners were set up across Asia during the SARS outbreak, but officials aren't sure they caught any cases. WHO says the usefulness of such devices is debatable. Amid the flurry of measures being taken, fear mingled with a sense of fatalism.You can't protect yourself — not in the way that people are traveling nowadays,said Karin Henriksson, 56, of Stockholm. Then you would have to put the entire population in quarantine. And you can't do that, can you? Kole reported from Vienna; Cheng, an AP Medical Writer, from London.


ORANGE ALERT:To all those who have taken an oath to defend the U.S. against all enemies foreign and domestic - BE ADVISED of the following:April 22, 2009
Steve Quayle

Over the next 6 months, law enforcement and the military will be given unlawful and illegal orders to round up and purge all dissidents against the New World Order crowd. The purge is the systematic liquidation of all those identified as a threat against the Globalist Plan. Furthermore, all TEA Party participants have been filmed and their license plate information taken by all FBI Special Agents in charge at all the rallies. Consider the ramifications... Since coming to office, the current regime has devoted massive amounts of money and Federal Spy Agency assets to identifying gun owners and those in the military who still love this Country and take their oath seriously. All former combat Veterans, Special Forces, Green Berets, Delta, and Spec operations personnel must absolutely change your physical location and TELL NO ONE! With DHS having validated the Seek and Destroy Lists, their plans are now being set in motion! Does it not make you furious that men and women in the Armed Forces who have fought all these years for the principles that the Constitutional Republic ONCE Stood for, are now deemed terrorists by the DHS along with Constitutionalists, Christians, gun owners and those who speak out against the foreign destruction of America's economy. Domestic security is now defined as quell all first amendment rights. Period! Whether false flag or intentional acts of globalist terror incidents, the events will be orchestrated to blame the DHS hit list people. Whether you know it or not, by painting conservatives and people who are against the New World Order with such a terroristic civil rights violating hit piece you have not only been vilified but have been targeted for extermination. Anyone who would follow orders to take your guns away will not hesitate to BLOW YOU AWAY. History has proven this time and time again! The Psalmist wrote If the foundations be destroyed what shall the righteous do? Our only Hope is to repent and cry out to the Living God and seek his personal direction and guidance. While we can not stop the hand of Divine Judgment, we can know our God and do exploits! Write your Senators and Congressmen and women — scream at the top of your lungs, write editorials; do all that you can do legally. But remember, very soon when they initiate their attacks, you will have no one to blame except yourselves while there is still a whisper of time to make a difference for Righteousness Sake.DO NOT ALLOW THESE PLANS FOR SLAUGHTER TO GO UNOPPOSED!

Retired Navy Seal Agrees With Orange Alert
April 22, 2009 Unnamed Retired Navy Seal

Read your Orange Alert and passed it on to my ex Navy Seal friend and his take is as follows: He agrees with your assessment but thinks the time frame is more likely to be by July of this year. He also says shiploads of Hamas fighters are being sent to this country and if this is a fact, it would explain Obama's brain fart to send 100,000 of our troops to Afghanistan so they would not be in play to fight against the foreign invasion. A perfect place to hide these Hamas fighters would be, in my opinion, in all of the Concentration Camp facilities located throughout the U.S. When the takeover order is given it will be total bedlam when the Hamas fighters are deployed and start the war on our soil. Yes we have many citizens with guns and such but are you aware there is a critical shortage of ammo? No bullet no bango! I hope you tell me I'm a bit short of a full deck but I smell a rat of tremendous size if all this comes to pass. Keep up the good work Steve.

then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

JAMES 5:1-3
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

REVELATION 18:10,17,19
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM



09:30 AM +2.40
10:00 AM +92.94
10:30 AM +104.49
11:00 AM +100.25
11:30 AM +103.54
12:00 PM +68.09
12:30 PM +33.13
01:00 PM +7.40
01:30 PM -14.42
02:00 PM +17.12
02:30 PM +23.17
03:00 PM +8.76
03:30 PM -33.78
04:00 PM -17.61 8168.12

S&P 500 872.81 -0.83

NASDAQ 1717.30 +5.36

GOLD 888.80 -11.70

OIL 51.08 +0.11

TSE 300 9353.43 -62.88

CDNX 1008.03 -5.94

S&P/TSX/60 567.62 -2.95


Dow -6.73%
S&P -3.28%
Nasdaq +8.55%
TSX Advances 1,036,declines 481,unchanged 259,Volume 2,167,137,466.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 486,Declines 316,Unchanged 354,Volume 326,699,623.

Dow +71 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow +2 points at low today.
Dow +119 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $895.20.OIL opens at $50.58 today.

Dow +2 points at low today so far.
Dow +119 points at high today so far.

NYSE Advances 2,731,declines 823,unchanged 89,New Highs 19,New Lows 70.
Volume 2,875,898,092.
NASDAQ Advances 1,808,declines 786,unchanged 101,New highs 28,New Lows 13.
Volume 1,056,133,592.
TSX Advances 774,declines 527,unchanged 239,Volume 1,128,227,512.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 302,Declines 281,Unchanged 271,Volume 121,329,644.

Dow -52 points at low today.
Dow +119 points at high today.
Dow -0.22% today Volume 341,374,838.
Nasdaq +0.31% today Volume 2,147,483,648.
S&P 500 -0.10% today Volume N/A

-Sept 30,1996 5,882.17
-Oct 30,1996 5,993.23
-Nov 6,1996 6,177.71
-Dec 16,1996 6,268.35
-Apr 15,1997 6,587.16
-Apr 21,1997 6,660.21
-Apr 28,1997 6,783.02
-May 1,1997 6,976.48
-May 7,1997 7,085.65

-Sept 5,1996 649.44
-Sept 6,1996 655.68
-Sept 11,1996 667.28
-Sept 12,1996 671.13
-Oct 1,1996 689.08
-Oct 28,1996 697.26
-Nov 4,1996 706.73
-Nov 5,1996 714.14
-Dec 17,1996 726.04


EU presents economic recovery budget for 2010
HONOR MAHONY Today APR 30,09 @ 09:28 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a €139 billion budget for 2010, largely aimed at boosting economic growth in the European Union.A large part of the funds (45%) is for programmes meant to boost growth and employment, a rise of 3.2 percent on 2009's budget.An increase of 12 percent has been proposed for programmes linked to research and energy while around 9 million citizens are expected to receive support from the European Social Fund.Presenting the budget, EU commissioner Siim Kallas said: The budget targets measures to help avert an even sharper downturn.Trans-European transport and energy networks will receive 12.7 percent more funding compared to 2009 (€1.08bn) while the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme will grow by 3.3 percent to 500 million.The EU's satellite navigation programme, Galileo, is set to receive an extra 8 percent (€900m) next year.

Around 40 percent of the budget will go to the EU's farmers, traditionally the main beneficiaries of EU largesse while €8 billion is foreseen for external aid.The draft budget will now be negotiated by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, representing member states.Normally the council reduces the amount proposed by the commission, with member state contributions making up the EU budget. The negotiations are expected to be wrapped up and the budget approved in December.

AP sources: Chrysler to file for bankruptcy By STEPHEN MANNING and TOM KRISHER, Associated Press Writers APR 30,09

WASHINGTON – Chrysler will file for bankruptcy after talks with a small group of creditors crumbled just a day before a government deadline for the automaker to come up with a restructuring plan, two administration officials said Thursday.The Obama administration had long hoped to stave off bankruptcy for Chrysler LLC, but it became clear that a holdout group wouldn't budge on proposals to reduce Chrysler's $6.9 billion in secured debt, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the filing plans are not public. Clearing those debts was a needed step for Chrysler restructure by the Thursday night deadline.Bankruptcy doesn't mean the nation's third largest automaker will shut down. And the privately-held Chrysler is expected to sign a partnership agreement with the Italian company Fiat as early as Thursday as part of its restructuring plan. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would allow a judge to decide how much the company's creditors would get.

President Barack Obama is expected to discuss the nation's auto sector at noon Eastern.

The developments come as Chrysler rival General Motors Corp. is working on its own restructuring plan. GM's bondholders said Thursday they want a majority stake in a restructured GM in exchange for forgiving their claim to $27 billion of that automaker's debt. GM has proposed giving the U.S. government a 50 percent equity stake in exchange for about $10 billion in loan forgiveness. GM faces a June 1 deadline to get a restructuring plan in place.The Treasury Department's auto task force has been racing in the past week to clear the major hurdles that prevented Chrysler from coming up with a viable plan to survive the economic crisis ravaging nation's automakers.Along with the Fiat deal, the United Auto Workers ratified a cost-cutting pact Wednesday night. Treasury reached a deal earlier this week with four banks that hold the majority of Chrsyler's debt in return for $2 billion in cash.But the administration said about 40 hedge funds that hold roughly 30 percent of that debt also needed to sign on for the deal to go through. Those creditors said the proposal was unfair and were holding out for a better deal.While the administration was willing to give the holdout creditors a final opportunity to do the right thing, the agreement of all other key stakeholders ensured that no hedge fund could have a veto over Chrysler's future success,said one of the administration officials.

A third person briefed on Wednesday night's events said the Treasury Department and the four banks tried to persuade the hedge funds to take a sweetened deal of $2.25 billion in cash. But in the end, this person said most thought they could recover more if Chrysler went into bankruptcy and some of its assets were sold to satisfy creditors. This person asked not to be identified because details of the negotiations have not been made public.On Thursday, a group of funds identifying themselves as 20 of Chrysler's non-TARP lenders released a statement saying they had been sidelined during negotions between lenders and the government. The group, which said it holds $1billion in Chrysler debt, complained that the four banks were obviously conflicted because they had accepted money from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program while they had not gotten TARP money.As much as anyone, we want to see Chrysler emerge from its current situation as a viable American company, and we are committed to doing what we can to help,the group said. Indeed, we have made significant concessions toward this end — although we have been systematically precluded from engaging in direct discussions or negotiations with the government.The group said its offer to the Treasury Department to reduce its claim to 40 percent was flatly rejected or ignored,and added that it continued to discuss its position with Treasury.

When it files for bankruptcy, Chrysler would continue operating and Fiat would still sign on as a partner on Thursday, the people said. The government already has promised to back Chrysler's warranties in an effort to allay customers' fears that the automaker wouldn't be around to honor them.President Barack Obama's auto task force in March rejected Chrysler's restructuring plan and gave it 30 days to make another effort, including a tie-up with Fiat. The company has borrowed $4 billion from the federal government and needs billions more to keep operating. President Obama said Wednesday night while the lender talks were still ongoing that he was very hopeful that deals can be worked out to keep Chrysler LLC a viable automaker, and more hopeful than he was a month ago that the company will stay in business.The UAW agreement, which would take effect May 4, meets Treasury requirements for continued loans to Chrysler Corp., and includes commitments from Fiat to manufacture a new small car in one of Chrysler's U.S. facilities and to share key technology with Chrysler.Meanwhile, the Fiat partnership means Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli could be out of a job. In an April e-mail to employees, he said that if the deal is completed, Chrysler would be run by a new board appointed by the government and Fiat. The new board, Nardelli wrote, would pick a CEO with Fiat's concurrence.Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the Italian automaker, told reporters earlier this month that he could run Chrysler. Obama said Wednesday that Fiat's management has actually done a good job transforming their industry.Krisher reported from Detroit. Associated Press Writers Ben Feller in Washington, Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy, Kimberly S. Johnson in Detroit, David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan, and Dan Strumpf in New York contributed to this report.

Economic crisis could cause generational conflict
HONOR MAHONY 29.04.2009 @ 17:28 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The current economic crisis could sharply worsen the problems associated with Europe's ageing population and cause friction between younger and older generations if long term structural changes are not undertaken, the European Commission has warned.In its 2009 Ageing Report, published Wednesday (29 April), the commission said that the economic downturn could make the challenges creating by ageing more acute.The report says that EU policy makers have a 10 year window – roughly the length of time left before the baby-boom generation starts to retire – to implement reforms to the health, pension and education systems. After the next decade, labour forces are predicted to no longer keep increasing.No action will mean that the demographic changes ahead will change societies considerably and affect intergenerational solidarity and create new demands on future generations.The EU's current population of about 500 million people is expected to be roughly the same in 2060 but significantly older. From 2015 deaths will outnumber births and the over 65 are set to increase to 30% of the population in 2060 from 17% in 2008. The 80+ would nearly treble to 12% of the total.In 50 years time, the EU is expected to move from having now four working-age people (15-64yrs) for every person over 65 to a ratio of only two to one in 2060.This will massively affect the pension systems as a decrease in the number of workers paying into the system means pension contributions have to rise or the state has to cough up.

The fiscal impact of ageing is projected to be substantial in almost all member states,says the report. It predicts that spending on pensions, healthcare and longterm care will increase by 4.75 percentage points of GDP by 2060 in the EU as a whole and by 5 percentage points in the eurozone.The report divides member states into three groups. Those where age-related public spending is highest at 7 percentage points of GDP including the Netherlands, Spain and Ireland. Countries such as the UK, Germany and Belgium belong to the next swathe where spending is predicted at 4-7 percentage points.A final ten countries (including France, Sweden, Italy and Poland) will see the least increase in age-related spending at 4 percent points or less. The differences are due to variations in birthrates as well as health and pension systems.

The commission predicts that annual GDP growth rate will decline significantly in the future with a smaller working age population acting as a drag on growth and on per capita income.To boost productivity, it recommends member states to do more to keep older people in the workplace longer, increase the share of employed women and take steps to lower the rates of early school-leavers. This has spin-off implications for such things as child care, with improved facilities allowing more women to return to work or encouraging more couples to have children in the first place.


The commission's response represents the first longterm look at the impact of the crisis, with most of the focus to date on the short term impact on employment rates, GDP and budget deficits.The study's release coincides with the first European Day of Solidarity. A poll on the issue showed that only 14 percent of EU citizens consider old people to be a burden to society. However, 52% of Europeans fear that people in employment will be increasingly reluctant to pay taxes and social contributions to support older people, with the Portuguese and the Maltese being the most pessimistic in this respect and the Swedish and the Danes the most optimistic.AGE, the European Older People's Platform, agrees that Europe's demography is beginning to create tensions between the generations, but that seeing the problem purely through a financial lens was not enough.The way in which our society is organised must be reviewed completely in order to rebuild the social fabric and the links between and within the different generations,it said in a statement.

No more than 30,000 Moldovans to receive EU citizenship VALENTINA POP
Today APR 30,09 @ 10:04 CET

EUOBSERVER / WARSAW – Some 30,000 Moldovans could get Romanian citizenship this year, Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc told EUobserver on Wednesday (30 April), downplaying the effects of the fast-track citizenship scheme adopted by his government following violent post-election demonstrations in Chisinau.The measure created a stir in Brussels and some European capitals, worried about the prospect of 1 million Moldovans – a fourth of the population of what is Europe's poorest country – travelling visa-free within the EU.However, Mr Boc estimated that the actual number of people receiving Romanian citizenship in 2009 would be much smaller.We are not talking about such large numbers. Last year, for instance, there were around 10,000 people who got citizenship. Maybe now it will be double or triple, but no way are there going to be millions,he said.Mr Boc rejected the idea that facilitating the acquisition of Romanian citizenship for Moldovan citizens was an aspect of foreign policy.It's an individual policy to give Romanian citizenship, but not to everyone. Eligible are just the people who had Romanian citizenship in the past and lost it for reasons they are not guilty of,he said.

He was referring to citizens who used to be Romanians before 1940, when Moldova was annexed by the Soviet Union. The right to Romanian citizenship now also extends to their great-grandchildren.It is not a collective right, it's an individual right and applies only to those people who held citizenship in the past or their grandchildren –up to the third generation,Mr Boc explained.Moldovan Communist President Vladimir Voronin has also accused Bucharest of staging the post-election demonstrations and of interfering in his country's internal affairs.We respect all the borders of every country. We don't talk of any changes or interference with the internal politics of Moldova. The future of Moldova is inside the European Union and we give all our support for this,Mr Boc stressed, adding that Romania supports the Eastern Partnership, the EU's newest policy towards its eastern neighbours, including Moldova.

Announced by the country's president, Traian Basescu, who is expected to stand for re-election later this autumn, the citizenship scheme was adopted by the government in an emergency ordinance on 15 April.The parliament can still modify some amendments to the bill by 15 May when it will enter into force.

Socialist intervention

Social Democrat leader Mircea Geoana, himself a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, has called for speedy debates and amendments on the new law, although his party holds half of the ministries within Mr Boc's government. He said the law should have the most acceptable form from an internal and European point of view,citing concerns in Brussels over implications of the move.It's going to be debated, but I don't think there will be major changes to the bill in the parliament, the Romanian premier said, noting that the Social Democrats are members of the government as well.The government has a common position and the ordinance will be approved by the parliament,he said.On the diplomatic row between Chisinau and Bucharest, Mr Boc said that after expelling the Romanian ambassador, the Moldovan authorities also rebuked proposals for a new Romanian envoy.We will not respond in the same way and will support Moldova in its policy towards the European Union. I think that's the future,he said.After the post-election demonstrations, Chisinau imposed visas for Romanian citizens traveling to Moldova, requesting an official invitation approved by the Moldovan Ministry of the Interior. Romania is now the only EU country whose citizens need a visa for Moldova. At the same time, Moldovan citizens, who before Romania's EU accession travelled visa-free to the neighbouring country, have needed a visa since 2007.Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski said on Wednesday that his country went through the same experience with Belarus and Ukraine upon accession to the EU, when Warsaw had to impose visa requirements on these countries. Speaking at the European People's Party study days, ahead of a major political congress in Warsaw, Mr Sikorski criticised the EU policy of erecting a visa wall at our eastern border.People are frustrated that it's so hard to get into Europe now. The more flexible our visa policy, the less there will be the need for these kinds of measures [such as the citizenship scheme]. Poland was moved 300 kilometers to the west after World War II, so these are familiar problems,Mr Sikorski told EUobserver about the Romanian citizenship plan, adding that the issue was discussed at the EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday.According to diplomatic sources, some European colleagues urged Romanian foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu to scrap the scheme, but he stood firm in its support.

Voronin accuses EU of building new iron curtain

President Vladimir Voronin on Thursday said the European Union was raising an iron curtain against his citizens by allowing them to freely travel in Europe only with Romanian passports. What the European Union is doing to Moldova is not good. To open Europe only for those Moldovan citizens who hold Romanian passports is humiliating for the Moldovan people. They should not insult us and make us travel to Europe via Romania,he told national television.Meanwhile, a European Parliament delegation that visited Moldova from 27-29 April harshly criticised Moldovan authorities for the violence and human rights abuses against civilians, saying that Europe was not as naive as Chisinau thought.Russia, however, which so far has consistently backed Mr Voronin and given credit to the allegations that Romania was behind the protests, on Wednesday said that the EU was not objective enough, as it is governed by solidarity with EU member Romania.

Arctic Council rejects EU's observer application
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today APR 30,09 @ 09:29 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Arctic Council on Wednesday (29 April) put on hold the European Union's application to gain permanent observer status with the council as a result of Brussels' expected approval of a ban on seal products.Canada, the world's largest sealing nation, convinced the council to push back consideration of the EU's application, furious that Brussels is moving ahead with the ban despite its insistence that the seal hunt is sustainable and not cruel to the animals.Gaining permanent observer status with the council had been a key element of the EU's new Arctic strategy, announced last November.The Arctic Council ministerial meeting's final declaration from Tromso, Norway, said that it had decided to continue discussing the role of observers in the Arctic Council.But as the next full ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council is not due until 2011, the council has in effect turned the EU's application down for the time being.Canada doesn't feel that the European Union, at this stage, has the required sensitivity to be able to acknowledge the Arctic Council, as well as its membership, and so therefore I'm opposed to it,Canadian foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after the meeting.I see no reason why they should be … a permanent observer on the Arctic Council.Ottawa maintains that seals are not endangered and that the domestic legal requirements for sealing are stricter than those covering European slaughterhouses.Canadian indigenous groups say that the EU ban would hurt their livelihoods. Despite an exception for traditional indigenous sealing in the ban, which is due to be voted on by the European Parliament in early May, the Inuit say that the ban would still result in a collapse in markets for seal products.Ahead of the meeting, Eva Aariak, the premier of Nunavut, Canada's majority Inuit territory, said: The Arctic Council… was formed to promote co-operation and co-ordination and interaction in regards to member states in the Arctic. What [the] European Union is trying to do is not those.

Denmark, one of the Arctic Council's eight member states, is strongly opposed to the EU's plans and has excused itself from its common position on the matter. Sealing continues as a traditional activity in Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but not of the EU.Norway and Canada are both considering taking the EU to the World Trade Organisation over its seal product ban should it be passed. Nevertheless, the decision to exclude the EU from the council remains awkward for Oslo, which favoured EU accession as a permanent observer, and frustrating for Brussels. Norway shares that view [on the seal ban] with Canada. But for Norway, that's yet another reason to invite the observers in,said Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, reports AFP.Norway, which is not a member of the EU bloc, has territorial access to Arctic oil and gas whereas the EU does not and thus the Nordic country is viewed by the bloc as key to its energy security. It is estimated that a quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas lies under the Arctic seabed and Europe's other traditional sources of fossil fuel energy, Russia and the Middle East, remain highly politically unreliable. Beyond Norway, Denmark and Canada, the Arctic Council also included Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Russia as full members. Six indigenous groups from around the Arctic, including the Inuit, the Gwich'in, the Aleut and the Saami, sit as permanent observers.China, Italy, the EU and South Korea had also applied as permanent observers and were also turned down for now, alongside the EU.The EU may yet get another chance, however. Due to the increased activity and interest in the Arctic, the Tromso meeting decided that the Arctic Council from now on will meet at political level once a year.Separately, the council agreed to negotiate an international instrument on cooperation on search and rescue. As maritime activities in the Arctic increase, there will be increasing need for Arctic search and rescue services.The council also urged the International Maritime Organisation to urgently develop new guidelines for ships operating in Arctic waters, as well as mandatory regulations on safety and environmental protection.Guidelines on oil and gas exploration and a taskforce on how to reduce non-CO2 drivers of climate change such as methane, which play a prominent role in Arctic climate change, were also established.

EU and ex-Soviet states to make pro-democracy pledge,The Statue of Liberty in New York - a worldwide symbol of demcoracy and freedom, but will the Prague summit's words be matched by action? (Photo: Brian Auer)ANDREW RETTMAN 29.04.2009 @ 17:25 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU and its six former-Communist neighbours are to pledge support for democracy and open markets at a summit in Prague on 7 May, according to a draft declaration seen by EUobserver.The participants of the Prague Summit agree that the Eastern Partnership will be based on commitments to fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as to the principles of international law, market economy, sustainable development and good governance,the text says. The 7-page paper, drafted by the Czech EU presidency, is currently under discussion among EU states and Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, with changes likely to be made before the signing ceremony next week.The main goal of the Eastern Partnership is to create the necessary conditions to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the European Union and interested Eastern Partners,it adds.The declaration envisages EU help in building Western-type public institutions in the post-Soviet states, re-modelling economies to match the EU single market through deep and comprehensive free trade agreements and taking gradual steps toward full visa liberalisation.With the region home to three frozen conflicts in Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan, the text has a special clause on conflict resolution.Participants of the Prague summit emphasize the need for their earliest peaceful settlement on the basis of norms and principles of international law,it says.The declaration foresees the launch of several new multi-lateral forums to drive projects forward, starting with an initial round of meetings at senior official level in June this year.The EU 27 and the six eastern leaders are to meet once every two years in venues inside the union and the six countries. Foreign ministers are to meet every year. Senior officials twice each year, with extra panels of experts and sector-specific ministers convened from time to time.The text also encourages national parliaments to create an EU-Neighbourhood East Parliamentary Assembly and for the European Commission to set up a Civil Society Forum for the East Partnership.

The enlargement question

The Czech paper tries to steer a middle way between anti-enlargement feeling in EU countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and France and Polish-Ukrainian hopes that the project is a prelude to EU expansion.[The partnership] will be developed without prejudice to individual Eastern Partners' aspirations for their future relationship with the European Union,the text says. Some EU states have already objected to the phrase accelerate political association as being too pro-enlargement, however.The Czech paper also nods toward Russian sensitivity that the EU is trying to create a new sphere of influence in the east.Third states will be eligible for the participation on a case-by-case basis in concrete projects,it explains.Tellingly, the line introducing the signatories contains, in brackets, a reference to doubts over who will actually attend the 7 May event.The Heads of State or Government [and representatives] of...the 27 plus six countries have met in Prague,it says. Moldova's acting president Vladimir Voronin last week threatened to pull his country out of the scheme altogether over accusations that EU member Romania is trying to destabilise his country by giving Romanian passports to around one quarter of its population.EU top diplomat Javier Solana on Monday also indicated the EU would prefer if Belarus sent someone in place of President Alexander Lukashenko, suspected of personal involvement in the disappearance of four opposition activists nine years ago.EU officials fear that his presence could create protocol quandaries if some EU leaders decline to shake hands with him in public, despite his problem-free meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi earlier this week.

Words and deeds

The Prague pledge to champion democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights by other leaders in the group may also have an embarrassingly hollow ring. The Voronin administration is linked to three deaths in post-election violence on 7 April. Ten people died in post-election battles in Armenia last year. One person died and over 300 sustained serious injuries when Azerbaijan's president came to power in 2003.On the EU side, some senior leaders are considering staying away in what could create a mixed bag of foreign ministers, autocrats, minor presidents and assorted special envoys in Prague on the day.We don't know who will come from Germany, from the UK or from France,an EU diplomat said after a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday.

Juncker said to be considering stepping down as eurogroup chief
HONOR MAHONY Today APR 30,09 @ 17:08 CET

Luxembourgish Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker is considering stepping down from his post as head of the 16-nation euro-group, according to a report in a German newspaper.The Handelsblatt newspaper, citing talk in Brussels diplomatic circles, said Mr Juncker, who is also finance minister of the Grand Duchy, may resign as a result of the series of run-ins he has had with EU heavy-weights France and Germany, most recently over tax havens.A government spokesperson denied the report, saying it was totally nonsense.He said that the only mention Mr Juncker has made about the length of time he would stay in the post was last year when he was re-elected to be head of the eurogroup. At that time he said he may not be able to serve out his mandate because the country faces elections on 13 June.If he is no longer finance minister after the election, then obviously he cannot be head of the eurogroup,said the spokesperson.The rumours have been sparked by the deteriorating relations between Mr Juncker and his French and German counterparts, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.

Once a firm friend of Paris and Berlin under previous leaderships, and regularly used as a friendly mediator between the two, Mr Juncker has increasingly been at loggerheads with the two capitals.The latest point of conflict concerned the OECD putting Luxembourg on a grey list of countries considered not to be fully implementing international tax standards. The list was made public at a meeting of G20 countries in London last month, after Germany and France lobbied strongly to make cracking down on tax havens a key feature of the meeting. Fellow EU member states Belgium and Austria also made it to the list.The move prompted fury in Luxembourg particularly because a March gathering of EU leaders reached agreement that no member state would appear on the list.The spokesperson denied that relations have become frosty and pointed out that tax issues and the G20 have nothing to do with the eurogroup.Another flash-point touches economic governance. Since coming to power in 2007, Mr Sarkozy has strongly argued for greater economic governance in the eurozone and threatened to have eurozone issues discussed as EU-leader level in special summits, something that would undermine the Mr Juncker's eurogroup of finance ministers.So far, Mr Juncker has fended off the calls from Paris on this issue, mainly because German Chancellor Angela Merkel also does not think it is a good idea.

But while Berlin and Luxembourg agree on this point, they have not always seen eye-to-eye on how best to help struggling eurozone countries to weather the current economic crisis.The rift on both fronts may have damaged the future political chances on a European stage for Mr Juncker, one of the bloc's most experienced politicians. Early last year, he was one of the strongest names tipped to become the first president of the European Council, a post that will be created if the Union's new institutional rules – the Lisbon Treaty – come into force.


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