Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chinese vase fetches $83 million

It was just an old Chinese vase that had been in the family for 80 years. It turned out to be much more.

When the intricately painted 18th-century piece went on the block at Bainbridges, a small suburban London auction house, it sold for a record $83 million Thursday, scooped up by a Chinese buyer.

"How do you anticipate the Chinese market?" asked the shocked auctioneer, Peter Bainbridge. "It's totally on fire."

The sale price was more than 40 times the pre-sale estimate and a record for a Chinese work of art — an outcome Bainbridge called "a fairy tale" for the family who owned the vase.

To read the rest of the story follow this link: Vase

Commentary on this story:

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Internet Control or Security?

Here is the link to the news story referenced in the above commentary:


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Chatter Rises On Iran Strike

The first really clear indication that serious planning was underway to strike at Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons site came a month ago when British news outlets reported that Saudi Arabia had given Israel permission to cross its airspace en route to Iranian targets.

Yesterday, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said publicly that his country was willing to live with the consequences of a strike against Iran despite the enormous amount of trade between the two countries and the likelihood of riots after a strike.

Today, you have Sen. Joe Lieberman in Israel saying the U.S. would influence Iran, “through diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions if we can, but through military action if we must.”

Read the rest of the report at this link: Iran

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Retired US Air Force serviceman Larry Warren to unveil fascinating footage of the best known UFO event in Britain

Retired US Air Force serviceman Larry Warren to unveil fascinating footage of the best known UFO event in Britain

12:50pm Friday 16th October 2009

REMARKABLE revelations of the best known UFO event in Britain is set to be unveiled in Halton.

An action-packed Paranormal Week of free events is lined up at Halton Lea Library in Runcorn, from Monday.

In what is seen as a big coup, retired US Air Force serviceman Larry Warren will be showing fascinating footage shot by a USAF law enforcement official in Rendlesham forest on the night of December 27, 1980.

His roll of film - to be screened at 7pm on Friday, October 23 - includes images he claims proves what he and many British people have insisted did happen.

Larry has spoken at UFO conferences all over the world and has appeared on countless TV and radio programmes.

Rob Bethell, Mark Rosney and Jebby Robinson of the TV series Spook School will also host evenings.

Hands-on workshops will run every night and paranormal experts will be available to answer question.

Here is the link to the original story: UFO

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Invasion of the killer caterpillar

A PLAGUE of killer caterpillars is sparking health alerts across Britain.

Brown tail moth caterpillars each have up to two million hairs which can break off, get into the air and cause severe allergic reactions.

Thousands of the moths recently invaded a housing estate near Trowbridge, Wilts, where worried residents came out in itchy rashes.

And a family restaurant near Folkestone, Kent, was forced to close part of its car park over health fears.

Julie Payne, 35, lives on the affected housing estate.

She said: “Every time we went into the garden we found caterpillars everywhere.

“Then we noticed there were thousands of what looked like cobwebs in our cherry tree.

“We now know they are the moths’ nests.

“The children started coming out in spots and they could not stop scratching themselves.”

Inhaling or touching the tiny bristles can also lead to potentially fatal breathing problems, plus headaches and conjunctivitis.

But the caterpillars pose no threat when they turn into moths, which is due to happen in about four weeks.

The Health Protection Agency has warned the public to wash their hands and eyes should they come into contact with the caterpillars, and use calamine lotion if they develop a rash.

Link to original source: caterpillar

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:01 AM   3 comments

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pentagon Preparing For War With The Enemy: Russia

Take some time and read the following article

Pentagon Preparing For War With The Enemy: Russia
By Rick Rozoff

URL of this article:

Global Research, May 14, 2009

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Fish that triggers hallucinations found off British coast

A species of bream, sarpa salpa, which can trigger hallucinations when eaten, has been been discovered in British waters due to global warming.

The species of bream is normally found in the balmier waters of the Mediterranean and South Africa, was found by fisherman Andy Giles in his nets in the English Channel.

Mr Giles, 38, caught the fish, which is instantly recognised by its gold stripes running along its body, six miles south of Polperro, Cornwall.

"We were trawling for lemon sole and hauled up the net at the end of the day and almost immediately saw this striped fish, we didn't have a clue what it was," he said.

"I had never seen one before and after taking a photograph of it I tried to look it up on the internet and called some friends to see if they knew what it was.

"I put it in the fish box and brought it back for experts to have a look at it.

"Now I realise what it was and the effects it can have, perhaps I should have taken it into town to sell to some clubbers!"

There have only been three previous recordings of sarpa salpa in British waters before, with one of them being off the Channel Islands in 1983.

James Wright, a senior biologist at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said: "These are a fairly common fish off Tenerife, Malta and Cyprus but it is very rare to get them this far north.

"It could be a single fish that was shoaling with a different species but it could be that there are more of them in our waters."

Sarpa salpa are a popular dish in many Mediterranean restaurants.

But according to marine experts, certain species of plankton-eating fish, like the sarpa salpa, can give off hallucinogenic fish poisoning if the heads or other body parts are consumed.

The effects include vivid hallucinations within minutes of eating it which can last for days.

In 2006 two men, one aged 90, were hospitalised in the south of France after eating sarpa salpa.

The elderly man suffered from auditory hallucinations a couple of hours after eating the fish followed by a series of nightmares over the next two nights.

The younger man, aged 40, endured similar effects which took 36 hours to disappear.

Here is the link to the original report: Fish

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Potential outcomes in Pakistan's war with Taliban

Pakistan's military is pressing ahead with an offensive to try to crush the Taliban, following warnings from Washington that the militants pose an existential threat. Following are some scenarios of how events could unfold:


Even if Taliban fighters melt away from their strongholds in Swat in the face of the latest army offensive, they can regroup.

Militants could stealthily widen and consolidate their territorial grip as long as they were careful not to overreach and provoke another major army offensive.

"The Pakistan Taliban are effectively taking advantage of the lack of governance and development. Neither appeasement nor military assault is likely to prove effective for handling the long-term threat posed by these groups," said Maria Kuusisto, Pakistan analyst at Eurasia Group in London.

The outlook would be more of the same -- instability, a continued terrorist threat, and a divided Pakistani leadership.

But this relatively negative outlook is already priced in, analysts say, meaning local markets will largely ignore the poor security situation and focus on the brighter economic picture.

There would be room for gains by local stocks, and the rupee would stabilize, seeing an orderly depreciation over time due to exchange rate reforms. There would be little or no impact on global markets.


The Pakistani government and army so far retain considerable public support for their offensive against the Taliban in Swat. If they can press home their advantage and deal a significant military blow to the Taliban, stocks could see strong gains.

"We reiterate that investors keep an eye on the bigger picture and any progress on the political and military front should be taken as a bullish signal," Credit Suisse said last week. Analysts said the stock market upside could be 25 percent.

The military has also shown success in dealing with militants in tribal areas earlier this year.

But crushing an insurgency is notoriously difficult.

"Pakistani military forces already are privately expressing their concerns that many of the Taliban have blended in with the refugees fleeing the district, likely making it a matter of time before Taliban forces are able to reconstitute themselves in the area," risk consultancy Stratfor said in an analysis.

Furthermore, a sustained campaign against the Taliban would worsen an already severe refugee crisis and send the civilian death toll sharply higher, undermining popular support.

"If the war against militants becomes a prolonged one, and with heavy civilian casualties (as can be expected), public resentments against the government may well serve to break up the unity, laying the groundwork for both social and political unrest," said Jan Zalewski, analyst at IHS Global Insight.

To read the rest of the report follow this link:


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Friday, May 01, 2009

North Korean nuclear test likely

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Obama administration official said he expects that North Korea will test a nuclear weapon before it is forced back to international disarmament negotiations.

At an event at the Brookings Institution, U.S. President Barack Obama's coordinator for weapons of mass destruction policy, Gary Samore, also on Friday expressed some understanding for Russia's objections to U.S. missile defense plans in Europe.

Samore said that North Korea was trying to divide the five countries that have been involved with it in disarmament talks. He said that North Korea was looking for ways to provoke problems.

"It's very clear that the North Koreans want to pick a fight," he said. "They want to kill the six-party talks."

North Korea has vowed to quit six-nation nuclear negotiations and restart its atomic program after the U.N. Security Council's criticism of North Korea's launch of a long-range missile on April 5. North Korea also kicked all international monitors out of its nuclear facilities.

Asked if he expected Pyongyang to carry out another nuclear test, Samore said: "I think they will. That's what they are threatening to do."

Pyongyang conducted its first atomic test in 2006, and is thought to have enough plutonium to make at least a half-dozen nuclear bombs.

Samore said that the United States is committed to the six-nation talks and predicted that North Korea would be forced back to negotiations within nine months.

"We'll just wait," he said. He added that he believed that other major powers would support further sanctions against North Korea if they carry out a test.

"The Chinese are very, very angry at the North Koreans," he said.

Among the five countries involved in the negotiations with North Korea, China is widely seen as having the most influence. It is also a member of the U.N. Security Council, which would have to approve any international sanctions.

On Russia, Samore broke with the old U.S. line formulated under the Bush administration, that Russia's objections to U.S. missile defense plans in Europe were completely unfounded.

He said that some of Russia's concerns were valid in the context of U.S.-Russia talks for long-term reduction of its nuclear arsenals.

The Bush administration had argued that its missile defense plans in Poland and the Czech Republic were aimed at countering Iran and that the system's 10 interceptors were too few to pose a threat to Moscow's vast arsenal.

However, Samore said that Russia's concerns could be legitimate if the two countries significantly reduced their arsenals of nuclear missiles.

"When we go down to really low numbers

Link to the original article: Test

Additonal report:

Korea 'will test nuclear weapon'

A SENIOR United States government official said yesterday he expects that North Korea will test a nuclear weapon before it is forced back to international disarmament negotiations.

Gary Samore, co-ordinator for America's weapons of mass destruction policy, says North Korea wants to divide the five other countries involved in the nuclear talks.

Pyongyang has vowed to restart its atomic programme in anger at United Nations security council criticism of its long-range rocket launch on 5 April.

Link to original report: Weapon

North Korea seeks upper hand with nuclear threat

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's threats on Wednesday to conduct a nuclear test and fire an intercontinental ballistic missile are likely aimed at increasing its bargaining leverage with global powers.

The North said it would go ahead with the tests unless the U.N. Security Council apologized for tightening sanctions against Pyongyang in response to the reclusive state's rocket launch this month.

* Experts say that since the North's only nuclear test in October 2006 was just a partial success, another is inevitable because Pyongyang needs to see if it has built a better bomb design. A nuclear test is one of the biggest cards North Korea can play in its strategy of brinkmanship with the international community, and doing so would push Pyongyang right to the top of U.S. President Barack Obama's agenda.

* The North for years has used its military threat to squeeze concessions from regional powers. A nuclear test, coming so soon after the North defied global warnings and launched a long-range rocket in early April, would give it more options to play in its dealings with Washington.

* It will be difficult for the North to back down from its threat unless a face-saving solution can be found. But a test, if it does occur, would not likely happen for several months due to the preparation needed.

* A test would likely rattle financial markets in North Asia, which shrugged off the North's launch of the long-range missile this month.

* North Korea will alienate China, its last major ally and biggest benefactor, with a nuclear test. It will likely be hit with further U.N. sanctions as a result because Beijing may not use its U.N. Security Council veto to protect Pyongyang, which will also take a hit financially for the large costs it takes to conduct a test.

* But since the isolated North may already feel the pinch from a tightening of existing sanctions called for in response to the rocket launch, it may believe the economic damage that would come after a test would not deal too heavy a blow to its already wobbly economy.

* A second nuclear test would also deplete the North's meager supply of fissile material, which experts say is estimated to be enough for six to eight nuclear weapons.

* North Korea will likely try to resume all of its nuclear activities, after it started to take apart its Yongbyon nuclear plant in a disarmament-for-aid deal it reached with the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

* The North said this month it had restarted its facility at Yongbyon that separates plutonium from spent fuel rods cooling at the plant, which could eventually give it enough fissile material for one more nuclear bomb.

* A second nuclear test would be heralded by the North's propaganda machinery as a triumph for leader Kim Jong-il and his "military-first" policy. This would help Kim further solidify his leadership after questions were raised about his grip on power after he was suspected of suffering a stroke in August.

Link to original report: Threat

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reaction: Swine flu spreads

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHO raises the level from a 4 to a 5

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is There A Swine Flu Cover Up?

Is the seriousness of Swine Flu being downplayed? Did a Florida hospital try to cover up a case of the Swine Flu?

Listen to the latest Worldview podcast to find out. Here is the link:


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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:00 PM   0 comments

Newly Discovered Minor Planet

The following is from the, Earth Changes Media Newsletter:

A newly discovered "minor planet" with an elongated orbit around the Sun may help explain the origin of comets, researchers said on Monday. The orbit of 2006 SQ372 is an ellipse four times longer than it is wide, said University of Washington astronomer Andrew Becker, who led the research team.

The new object is about 60 miles in diameter. "It's basically a comet, but it never gets close enough to the Sun to develop a long, bright tail of evaporated gas and dust," Becker said in a statement.

Here is an additonal report:

WASHINGTON - A newly discovered "minor planet" with an elongated orbit around the Sun may help explain the origin of comets, researchers said on Monday.

The object, known as 2006 SQ372, is starting the outward portion of a 22,500-year orbit that will take it 150 billion miles away from the Sun.

The icy lump of rock is just over 2 billion miles from Earth, a bit closer than the planet Neptune, researchers told a symposium on Monday. They will publish their findings in the Astrophysical Journal.

The orbit of 2006 SQ372 is an ellipse four times longer than it is wide, said University of Washington astronomer Andrew Becker, who led the research team. Sedna, a distant, Pluto-like dwarf planet discovered in 2003, is the only other object with a similar orbit, but not nearly as stretched out.

The new object is about 60 miles in diameter. "It's basically a comet, but it never gets close enough to the Sun to develop a long, bright tail of evaporated gas and dust," Becker said in a statement.

University of Washington graduate student Nathan Kaib said it is unclear how the object formed, "It could have formed, like Pluto, in the belt of icy debris beyond Neptune, then been kicked a large distance by a gravitational encounter with Neptune or Uranus," Kaib said in a statement.

More likely, he said, it came from the Oort Cloud, a distant reservoir of icy, asteroid-like bodies that orbit the Sun at distances of several trillion miles (km).

"One of our goals is to understand the origin of comets, which are among the most spectacular celestial events. But the deeper goal is to look back into the early history of our solar system and piece together what was happening when the planets formed," Kaib said

Here is the link to the original report: Planet

Link to an additional story: Planet

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Update

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu Update

I just recorded a new podcast dealing with the Swine Flu outbreak: You can listen to it at this link:


Recent news stories:

US declares public health emergency for swine flu

WASHINGTON – The U.S. declared a public health emergency Sunday to deal with the emerging new swine flu, much like the government does to prepare for approaching hurricanes.

Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. Unlike in Mexico where the same strain appears to be killing dozens of people, cases in the United State have been mild — and U.S. health authorities can't yet explain why.

"As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," predicted Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."

At a White House news conference, Besser and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to assure Americans that health officials are taking all appropriate steps to minimize the impact of the outbreak.

Top among those is declaring the public health emergency. As part of that, Napolitano said roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu will be moved from a federal stockpile to places where states can quickly get their share if they decide they need it. Priority will be given to the five states with known cases so far: California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas.

Napolitano called the emergency declaration standard operating procedure — one was declared recently for the inauguration and for flooding. She urged people to think of it as a "declaration of emergency preparedness."

"Really that's what we're doing right now. We're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be."

E-mail reports from Mexico

I'm a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.
Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

I am a doctor and I work in the State of Mexico. I don't work in the shock team; I am in the echocardiography team, but I do get some news from my colleagues in the hospital. There have been some cases of young people dying from respiratory infections, but this happened before the alert and they were not reported because the necessary tests weren't done. We doctors knew this was happening a week before the alert was issued and were told to get vaccinated. I went to buy some anti-virals for my husband, who is also a doctor, because he had contact with a young patient who presented influenza symptoms and died. I don't think pharmacies stock enough anti-virals.

I understand the government doesn't want to generate panic, but my personal opinion is that they issued the alert too late. Still now, the population is not getting the information they need. We have been out in the street and some people are not wearing face masks and are not taking any preventive measures.

You can read more reports at this link: E-mails

Please send me any reports you come across. My e-mail is

I will record another podcast later today.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:14 PM   0 comments