Friday, June 22, 2012

THE PRIEST CLASS OF THE MAGI: Vatileaks & the Fight to be Petrus Romanus - Growing Scandal Could Bring Down the Second Most Important Person in the Vatican!

The Vatican is in the midst of an unprecedented series of scandals after the leak of a huge treasure trove of suppressed documents given to a notorious investigative journalist last year. But who leaked the "Vatileaks" and why? The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has played down the scandals, insisting it's just the result of journalists "pretending to be Dan Brown". He also, cryptically, blamed the "devil". But Cardinal Bertone should probably be worried — he's thought to be the target of the leaks.

Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone.
Journalist Gianlugi Nuzzi, notorious for a series of books about the Vatican, was reportedly vetted for months before being given the documents by an unknown source, known only as "Maria", the Daily Beast reports. Nuzzi began revealing the information in the documents in his TV show The Untouchables last year, before publishing full details in a book last month, Sua Santit√†—Le Carte Segrete di Benedetto XVI. The documents themselves are 30 faxed memos from the Pope's office to other Vatican offices. Many of the documents are mundane, Der Spiegel notes, but some hint at huge scandals, which later led to further investigations and wild speculation. Crucially, the documents appeared to show that Vatican insiders who attempted to confront corruption in the Vatican Bank were sidelined. For example, during Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano's tenure as deputy-governor of the Vatican city from 2009-2011, Vigano encountered and reportedly tried to put a stop to corruption, cronyism, nepotism, and the awarding of contracts to friends of officials at inflated prices. However, when he brought evidence of these events to the attention of Pope Benedict XVI, he was removed from office. 

Perhaps even more damning than the documents themselves are the scandals in Italian newspapers that have come in the wake of the Vatileaks. Most scandalous of all was the case of Magliana mob boss Enrico De Pedis, who was reportedly buried alongside the bodies of former Popes and Cardinals following his death in 1990 — all for the lump sum of 1 billion lire ($660,000). While the rumors about De Pedis had existed for years, one new note leaked from the Vatican press office suggested that Pedis may have played a role in the disappearance of a Vatican employees 15-year-old daughter. Soon after that revelation, Father Gabriel Amorth, an exorcist in the Catholic Church, said he believed Emanuela Orlandi had been involved in depraved Vatican sex parties, and her remains were buried with De Pedis. Thus far, the tomb has been exhumed and investigators have found bones that do not belong to De Pedis. The newest accusation of mafia links involves Father Ninni Treppiedi and Sicilian mafioso Matteo Messina Denaro. Millions of Denaro's euros were reportedly laundered through Treppiedi's former parish Aclamo, the richest parish in Sicily. Denaro is still at large and is considered by many as the most wanted man in Italy.

The scandals appear to have been a huge headache for the Catholic church. For example, the Vatican Bank President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was given a vote of no confidence in May (the Vatican says it was for leaking documents, he says it was for trying to reform the Bank. He now reportedly fears for his life). Last month, following a lengthy investigation, Vatican authorities finally arrested one man thought to be behind the leaks — the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele. While the arrest was to the delight of headline writers around the world, there's a significant amount of people who don't buy it. The theory is that Gabriele could never had access to some of the documents, and others (possibly high ranking cardinals) must have been behind the leak. Journalist Nuzzi has refused to say anything about the person who gave him the Vatileaks documents.

Regardless, the leaks appear to have prompted official reactions from other entities. For the first time ever, the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said the Vatican city as an area "of concern" when it comes to money laundering, and the Milan branch of JPMorgan Chase closed the Vatican bank account at the end of March, citing a lack of transparency and insufficient information concerning money transfers.
Curiously, Nuzzi himself has told Der Spiegel that the target isn't the pope himself, instead arguing that Benedict XVI is revolutionary, and clearly wants to bring transparency to the Vatican bank. What the leaks really show, he said, is his weakness of his leadership. Many note that the target of attacks seems to be the second most important person in the Vatican — the secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone, who has been accused of cronyism and refusing to deal with corruption, Reuters reports. Bertone is of course the man who would like to blame the scandal on "the devil", but he's also the head of the opaque and archaic Vatican bureaucracy, the Curia, which is dominated by Italian clerics such as Bertone and can effectively overrule the pope. Benedict XVI had planned to reform the church, but instead found himself under its power, despite a growing backlash. Whatever the reason behind the leaks, the scandal has shown the incredible level of infighting inside the secretive headquarters of the Catholic Church. Exactly how brutal that infighting will be remains to be seen... In February, a letter was sent to the highest Vatican officials of a potential plot to kill Benedict XVI. - Business Insider.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Dead Turtles Mysteriously Washing Ashore Along U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast - Scientists Not Sure Why?!

In the weeks between late May and June, five sea turtles washed ashore along Delaware’s beaches. Then, over last weekend into Monday, that number more than doubled: six additional dead turtles were found.  Along New Jersey beaches, four dead sea turtles washed in on Sunday alone. And along the Virginia coast, the number of dead turtles was abnormally high during May.

Delaware marine officials examine a dead sea turtle that washed up on Dewey Beach.
State and federal officials who monitor sea turtle populations said they don’t know if the numbers indicate any problem.  “This time of year, turtles are migrating,” said Edna Stetzer, a state biologist. “They might be more concentrated.”  And several days of onshore winds may have driven dead and dying turtles — creatures that wouldn’t typically be discovered — up onto beaches in the area, said Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the MERR Institute, Delaware’s marine stranding organization.  Kate Sampson, the federal sea turtle stranding and disentanglement coordinator in this region, said federal, state and regional stranding coordinators from Maine to Virginia are gathering for planned quarterly meetings next week and will discuss what they have been seeing.  Sampson said that turtles typically begin arriving along the Virginia coast in April and May, then move north. The Chesapeake and Delaware bays are popular summer feeding grounds for juvenile loggerhead turtles.
“Once turtles start moving into an area, the strandings start to increase,” she said.  The one concern in Virginia is that strandings in May numbered 58 sea turtles. So far in June, there have been 39, she said. Typically, those numbers would be reversed, she said.  So the question is: “What is that all about?” she said. “So far, there is no one smoking gun.”  One factor may be the impact from a warmer-than-usual winter and early spring — something that affected everything from horseshoe crab spawning to plant flowering.  Another may be the strong onshore winds of the last few weeks. What is not known is whether other factors — boat strikes, marine pollution or disease — also could be playing a role, she said.  Delaware’s numbers, for instance, are a little higher than normal but not alarming, she said.  Warmer water temperatures do allow species such as sea turtles to move north sooner to forage for food, she said.  One thing officials in Delaware look for is whether the turtles show signs of injury, such as from a boat strike or entanglement with fishing gear, Stetzer said. The bigger concern, she said, is if they are washing up for no apparent reason.  The state Division of Fish & Wildlife and the MERR Institute hold a joint permit to respond to turtle strandings.  Rob Rector, with the MERR Institute, responded to one stranding in early June.  The turtle was a 200-pound sub-adult loggerhead, he said. It showed no signs of a propeller strike. “We know that for a fact,” he said.  The shell did have some dislocations, but that could be caused by tumbling in the surf, he said.  Of the Delaware turtle strandings, all but one have been loggerheads. One of the strandings last weekend was a leatherback. - Washington Post.

TERMINATOR NOW: Project Plan X and the Rise of the Machines - U.S. Pentagon Developing Cyber Weapons That Can Launch, Possibly Select Targets, Without Human Intervention!

The United States government is developing a computer system that would allow it to conduct cyber warfare without the intervention of a human programmer. Recently, stories have leaked detailing the U.S. government’s creation and implementation of two cyber attacks on the information systems of other nations.
"Flame" was the name of a computer virus reportedly developed and launched by the United States in order to glean critical data from computers in several Middle Eastern countries.

According to a story published in the Washington Post, the United States and Israel launched a joint venture to develop the Flame virus. Once launched into cyber space, the code reportedly collected online intelligence data that was then used to create a similar bit of malware that would cripple Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Officials cited in the Post article revealed that the effort was a collaboration of the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, and the Israeli military. One product of that Israeli-American secret enterprise was the Stuxnet virus. Stuxnet was the virus allegedly deployed by the United States to decelerate Iran’s progress toward the development of a nuclear weapon. Apparently, Flame and Stuxnet were just the beginning of a more sophisticated and sustained American cyber assault against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure. As one source quoted by the Washington Post reports: “This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. “Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.” There is substantial evidence that this unnamed intelligence official knew what he was talking about.

Soon after the existence of Flame and Stuxnet was uncovered (some say leaked by the Obama administration itself), the Post ran a story claiming that the ultra-secret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was preparing to test “unmanned cyber attacks” that launch themselves without the need of a human at the controls. Last month, Ellen Nakashima wrote an article about a just such a program being carried out by DARPA. According to Nakashima, the project is codenamed Plan X, and its goal is to “develop systems that could give commanders the ability to carry out speed-of-light attacks and counterattacks using preplanned scenarios that do not involve human operators manually typing in code — a process considered much too slow.” Yes, the need for a human being to launch these cyber attacks is seen by the government as an unnecessary speed bump, much the same way they see the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that a warrant be obtained before anyone is searched or anything is seized as a result of that search. One former member of the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps sees the Pentagon’s creation of these weapons as the first step toward the deployment of an autonomous weapon that not only launches without human direction, but can choose its own targets, as well.
- The New American.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: 75 Sea Birds Found Dead on Daytona Beach, Florida?!

When Myrna Moore took her customary walk along the beach Wednesday morning, she was surprised to find more than a dozen dead seabirds in the surf.  "I've never seen that many dead birds at one time, and I've lived here 40 years," Moore said.

File Photo.
She found the birds along the beach in Daytona Beach Shores during a three-mile walk. At least 75 birds have been found dead along the beach since the weekend, said Joanne Magley, a Volusia County spokeswoman, including at least 20 on Wednesday.  The birds are shearwaters, a family of birds generally found offshore over the open ocean, officials said. Several varieties of shearwaters can be seen offshore of Volusia County including sooty, greater and Audubon's. 

About 10 shearwaters were found alive this week and taken to the County's Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, said Capt. Tammy Marris, spokeswoman for the Volusia Beach Patrol.  "They're coming in extremely exhausted if not dead." Science center staff members believe the birds were probably downed by high winds over the ocean this week, Magley said.  They say the phenomenon isn't that uncommon, with sick, very young and aging birds falling prey to the weather.  Marris said science center staff told her dead seabirds have been found along the coast and not just in Volusia County. - The Daytona Beach News Journal.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Pandora's Box at Japan's Nuclear Dead Zone - Radiation Level in Sub-Drain of Reactor 2 Increased Ten Times After Passage of Typhoon Guchol!

As we have documented here, Typhoon Guchol pushed across Japan this week, dumping heavy rains and gusty winds in areas such as Tokyo, Shikoku and the Kii Peninsula.

The TRMM satellite passed above weakening typhoon Guchol on June 18, 2012 at 2322 UTC (7:33 pm EDT/US) as
it moved toward Japan's main island of Honshu. The yellow, green and blue areas indicate light-to-moderate rainfall
between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour. Red areas are considered heavy rainfall at 2 inches/50 mm
per hour and there was none evident in the image. Credit: Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
The first tropical storm of the season to make landfall in Japan was a soaker, and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured its large area of rainfall as it moved over the big island. The TRMM satellite passed above weakening typhoon Guchol on June 18, 2012 at 2322 UTC (7:33 p.m. EDT) as it moved toward Japan's main island of Honshu. A precipitation analysis from TRMM's (TMI) and (PR) instruments showed that the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Shikoku were getting rainfall from Guchol at the time of that orbit. Guchol was shown by TRMM to be enhancing rainfall in parts of Japan over 500 km (~310.7 miles) from the typhoon's center. The Joint issued their final bulletin on Guchol on June 19 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT). At that time, maximum sustained winds were down to 35 knots (40 mph/64 kph). It was located about 110 miles (177 km) west of Yokosuka, Japan, near 35.3 North and 137.5 East and speeding to the northeast at 37 knots (42.5 mph/68.5 kph)!Guchol re-emerged over the Pacific Ocean as a fully extra-tropical cyclone and will continue to weaken at sea. - PHYSORG.
The typhoon was projected to pass relatively close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant with sustained winds of about 100 mph. The Japanese government had declared that the reactors posed no significant additional risk. However, Robert Alvarez, the former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, cast a dangerous warning about the potential impact on Fukushima from any further deterioration.

The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident. - University of California, Berkeley.
Yesterday, Iori Mochizuki of the Fukushima Diary website, indicates that after the passage of the typhoon, cesium level in sub-drain of reactor2 was increased 10 times higher than usual and that TEPCO comments rain washed radiation to flow into the sub-drain.

Source 1 2 3

HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE: Order Out of Chaos - Secret EU Summit Document Shows First Step to European Banking Union!

A classified draft of next week’s EU summit conclusions is the first step on an emerging “roadmap” to a banking union, pooling debt via eurobonds and political union via EU treaty change over the next 10 years. The “limite” text - published exclusively by The Daily Telegraph, is secret, restricted for the "eyes only" of diplomats and officials preparing for the 28 and 29 June European Council in Brussels

Most of the text, the annexed “Compact for Growth and Jobs”, are deals on project bonds and other small scale EU initiatives that Francois Hollande is trumpeting as a €120bn “growth pact”.  The first draft is relatively uncontroversial because the eurobond and "banking union" issues are currently all too sensitive to be committed to paper for officials.  Other so-called "non-papers" are circulating at a top secret level between national capitals and Brussels.  The difficult issues not included in the draft are the “p.m” items in the draft: “other financial stability measures” and “PEC report on EMU”.

Translated from the Brussels jargon, the PEC – president of the European Council – report will be Herman Van Rompuy’s preliminary text of the future of “Economic and Monetary Union”.  This will be circulated in sealed envelopes next week.  The separate text will set out a “roadmap” to a banking union, polling debt via some kind of eurobonds and political union via EU treaty change over the next 10 years.  Also important and controversial is will the “other financial stability measures” paper, including financial transition tax proposal and moves towards a banking union that can be taken by the EU before the end of the year.  Britain faces major fight over an FTT, or some other banking levy, at a meeting of EU finance ministers on Friday ahead of the summit next week.  The UK – which has no veto under current proposals on deepening EU banking regulation – also faces the ECB becoming Europe’s main banking regulator and the creation of national bank resolution funds that can be asked to contribute to European bank bailouts on a “compulsory” basis.  - Telegraph.
Click HERE to look at the secret document.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Large Sinkhole Threatens Bledsoe County Highway in Tennessee!

A sinkhole is getting bigger, threatening a main highway in Bledsoe County... and the sinkhole on Highway 127 is attracting spectators.

A 20 foot wide sinkhole has opened up in a field right near Highway 127, and local residents say that it is still growing.
Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
At 23 feet deep, geologists say the sides are unstable and the hole could still be growing. Sam Williams, a geologist for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, spent the afternoon surveying the damage.
He believes the property owner is safe, but worries the sinkhole could take part of the highway with it. "There does appear to be an underground stream or cave at the bottom of it, and it does appear to be flowing back toward the road," said Williams, "so, we do want to get a repair started as quick as we can."

TDOT crews have roped off the area, and plan to fill the hole possibly Monday.
For now Highway 127 is open to drivers. - WRCB.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Pilots Warned About the Sudden Eruption of Alaska's Cleveland Volcano!

It seems there can be some trouble for aircrafts hovering over southwest of Anchorage, as there are reports that indicate a remote Aleutian volcano became active on Tuesday.

For the past one year, it has been silent but it has been showing signs of strong eruptions.  Recent reports from the Alaska Volcano Observatory have alerted one and all about what can happen to aircrafts if in case they travel in such condition. Nonetheless, it is believed that there is nothing much to worry about as intensity of such ash signals is quite weak. "It was just one explosion, which was very typical of the thing Cleveland has been doing in the last year”, said Stephanie Prejean, a U. S. Geological Survey seismologist at the observatory in Anchorage. 

It is believed that there are chances that explosion can affect aircrafts traveling. It was also found that an ash cloud was seen building some 35,000 feet above sea level. It is believed that Cleveland is one of the most active Alaska's volcanoes but still there is no on-site seismic monitoring equipment.  In any case, warning has been sent in the same context so that necessary precautions can be taken by pilots’ flying over the region. - French Tribune.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.0 Quake Strikes Off Australia's Macquarie Island!

A powerful earthquake of 6.0 magnitude struck in the Pacific Ocean off Australia's remote and sparsely-populated Macquarie Island on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 

The USGS reported that the quake struck at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles at about 3:30 p.m. local time, with its epicenter located some 14 miles northwest of Macquarie Island.  There were no immediate reports of casualities or damages, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is yet to respond to the tremor. 

Macquarie Island is located in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica. Politically, it is part of Tasmania, Australia, since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978. In 1997 it became a World Heritage Site.  The island is home to the entire Royal Penguin population on earth during their annual nesting season. Ecologically, the remote island is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion. 

Since 1948, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base on the island. The population of the base, the island's only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year. - RTT News.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.