Monday, October 7, 2013

THE AGE OF OBAMA & CHILDHOOD'S END: Precursors To The End Of The U.S. Corporation And The Collapse Of The FAILED White Supremacy Paradigm - China Warns United States Against A Default, Says Debt Crisis Could Be Catastrophic For Global Economy!

October 07, 2013 - CHINA - A senior Chinese official has warned that the "clock is ticking" to avoid a US default that could hurt China's interests and the global economy.

China, the US's laargest creditor, is "naturally concerned about developments in the US fiscal cliff", vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said.

Washington must agree a deal to raise its borrowing limit by 17 October, or risk being unable to pay its bills.

He asked that "the US earnestly take steps to resolve" the issue.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said that unless Congress agrees an increase in the debt ceiling by 17 October, Washington will be left with about $30bn (£18.6bn) in cash to meet its obligations - about half the $60bn-a-day needed.


For many governments and investors the approaching deadlock over the debt ceiling is far more critical than the current impasse over the federal shutdown caused by Congress's failure to agree a new budget.

On Sunday Republican House Speaker John Boehner reiterated that Republican lawmakers would not agree to raise the debt ceiling unless it included measures to rein in public spending.

Mr Zhu said that China and the US are "inseparable". Beijing is a huge investor in US Treasury bonds.

Mr Zhu said China and the US are "inseparable"
"The executive branch of the US government has to take decisive and credible steps to avoid a default on its Treasury bonds," he said.

"It is important for the US economy as well as the global economy."

"We hope the United States fully understands the lessons of history," Mr Zhu said, referring to a similar deadlock in 2011 that led to a downgrade of the US "AAA" credit rating.

That deadlock ended with an eleventh-hour agreement.

'Strong suspicion'

On Monday, President Barack Obama said he would not negotiate with Republicans in the House of Representatives "under the threat of economic catastrophe".

He said that he and the Democrats in Congress had already agreed to fund the US government at levels that were favourable to Republicans but lower than preferred by the Democrats.

There is little doubt that Mr Boehner could whenever he wants gather enough votes from moderate Republicans and most all Democrats to reopen the government, says Dick Meyer, BBC executive producer, America.

Mr Obama called on Mr Boehner to allow his caucus to "vote their conscience" on a bill that would fund the government.

"If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it," he said, adding he had a "strong suspicion" there would be enough Republicans to join Democrats in the House of Representatives to pass the bill.

"Let the bill go to the floor and let's see what happens. Just vote." - BBC.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For October 7, 2013 - Updates On Etna, Tangkubanparahu, White Island, Veniaminof, Fuego And Copahue!

October 07, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of  Volcano Discovery.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The New SE crater has resumed weak, sporadic strombolian activity with small ash emissions. This goes along with an increase of the tremor signal today. The situation is certainly worth following!

Ash emission from Etna's New SE crater this morning.

Tangkubanparahu (West Java): (6 Oct) Phreatic eruptions occurred from the crater on Saturday and Sunday morning (at 06.21 and 03:37 WIB, respectively). The eruptions lasted about 10 minutes and produced small ash plumes. Volcanologists measured strong tremor accompanying the eruptions.

Access to the crater (a popular tourist spot in the vicinity of the regional capital Bandung) was closed within a radius of 1.5 km.

White Island (New Zealand): The latest report of GNS/GeoNet comments on the recently increased tremor amplitude and mentions that a small steam eruption occurred on 4 October, but does not think a larger eruption is on its way.

View of active vent area from the summit on 4 October 2013. Note how the active vent area in the centre has
moved to the left and the pinky-red landslide debris in the foreground. (GeoNet)

This is the full report:
"Volcanic unrest continues at White Island (Whakāri). Volcanic tremor levels have remained slightly elevated since the eruption on 20 August. A further small energetic steam venting event occurred on 4 October around 4.30 pm. This generated a steam plume above the island that was seen from the mainland. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1 and the Aviation Colour Code at Green.

Volcanic tremor levels have been elevated since about 24 September, but are at lower levels than those during eruptive activity during the January to April period this year. GNS Science volcanologists visited the island on 4 October to make gas measurements, repair equipment damaged by the recent storms and record observations.

The 20 August 2013 eruption has created a new basin that is now filled with water. The lava dome area appears unchanged except for some small ponds in the area.  Recent activity has moved the focus of activity within the active crater area. The newly established lake is further to the north-east by a few tens of metres. There has also been several landslides from the Main Crater walls. The landslides are most likely related to the recent weather events.

Tremor amplitude during the past 30 days (GeoNet).

Video compilation from the web camera on the North Rim shows activity at 03:36h 57s (UTC) pulsing above the crater rim, while the camera at Whakatane shows the general increase of emissions from around 03:35h (UTC) on 4 October. Note times in the video clips are in UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time, 13 hours behind local time).

WATCH:  Activity at White Island.

Gas flux from the volcano also remains slightly elevated and is consistent with the small scale unrest occurring on the island. Daily sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas flux for the last month has ranged from 117 to 662 tons per day. These are typical of the last 12-18 months but are higher than those measured before the unrest started in July 2012.

While the eruptive activity at White Island is currently at a low level, eruptions similar to those experienced over the last 15 months are possible with no prior warning. The larger eruptions can eject mud and rocks and may impact the crater floor area to which visitors have access."

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): (6 Oct) The eruption of Veniaminof resumed this morning, the Alaska Volcano Observatory reports.

Current seismic recording from Veniaminof (VNHG station, AVO).

"The Aviation Color Code has been increased to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch. Seismic tremor increased over the past several hours, and highly elevated surface temperature were observed in satellite images this morning. Lava effusion has likely resumed, but no ash emissions have been observed in satellite images. Web camera images are obscured by clouds. This is a similar level of eruptive activity that first began in June 2013." (AVO)

Fuego (Guatemala): In the past hours, activity has increased and might be heading towards another paroxysm. The frequency and size of explosions rose significantly and has been creating an ash plume about 1 km high and drifting 8 miles south and southwest. Many of the explosions generate shock waves, rattling roofs and windows of houses in the villages Panimaché, Morelia and Panimaché II.

Seismic signal showing the increase of Fuego's activity this morning.

Constant degassing produces locomotive-like sounds and incandescent material ejected from strombolian activity reaches 125-200 m height and produces avalanches on the upper slopes. The lava effusion increased as well starting at 05:15 local time, and the flow towards Trinidad canyon reaches now 400 meters in length, generating avalanches. A second flow has started to move towards Ceniza canyon and avalanches from it reach 800 m length.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina): Sporadic weak ash venting continues to be observed from time to time.

Steam (with ash?) plume from Copahue this morning (SERNAGEOMIN webcam).

The local press has commented on this, citing volcanologist Alberto Caselli that there is no associated change in seismic activity suggesting an impending new eruptive phase, but that the emissions are caused by decompression gas/steam release from a still hot, degassing magma body inside the inner conduits of the volcano.

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: "This Is Unprecedented" - Thousands Of Swallows Die From "Bad Weather" In Oregon, Stunning Wildlife Experts!

October 07, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The storms that have thrashed Oregon have taken a big toll on swallows, killing thousands from St. Helens to Junction City.

Residents have reported groups ranging from 10 to 200 dead or dying barn and violet-green swallows in barns and around other structures where they perch. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the dieoffs appear to be worst close to rivers and standing water where the birds tend to gather.

Thousands of barn and violet-green swallows have died amid harsh weather in Oregon.
(Bill Monroe/The Oregonian)

The toll, estimated in the thousands, has stunned Fish and Wildlife specialists. “This type of mortality event is unprecedented and considered a rare and unusual event,” said Colin Gillin, wildlife veterinarian for the agency. “The effect on bird populations is unknown.”

Pathologists at the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory who examined carcasses said their bodies were emaciated, indicating that the birds had not eaten during the recent harsh weather. They suspect that consecutive days of pounding rain and strong winds had prevented the swallows from feeding at a time when they normally would be bulking up in preparation for their winter migration to Central and South America.

The swallows feed on insects while flying. Severe weather can prevent young or weaker birds from consuming enough food to sustain them in flight. The swallows come to Oregon in summer and return south in winter.

People should not try to help sick or injured birds or other wildlife. Rather report them and dead creatures to Fish and Wildlife’s health lab at 866-968-2600. - Oregon Live.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: MILLIONS Of Dead Fish Washing Up Along Neuse And Tar-Pamlico Rivers In North Carolina?!

October 07, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Millions of dead fish are washing in eastern North Carolina.

In the last few days people who live along the Tar-Pamlico River Basin and Neuse River have been watching dead menhaden fish pop up in the water and on the sand.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources says they believe millions of menhaden fish have died  during this latest fish kill.State officials believe this latest fish kill is a result of cooler temperatures and low oxygen levels caused by an algal blooms. State officials say they expect the fish kill to continue for at least  few more days or until a cloudy or rainy day.

Heather Garrish lives in Blounts Creek and noticed the dead fish earlier this year; however, she says this latest batch of dead menhaden fish have ulcers on them. It's those sores she says caused her to have concerns for her dogs.

"I'm more worried for my animals cause they play in the water everyday.And I'm worried that they could possibly get the skin legions that the fish have," said Garrish.

WATCH:  Fish kill washes up in eastern North Carolina.

State officials say a similar fish kill occurred this time last year along the same areas. A spokesperson for the Division of Water Quality while the numbers may be similar, it appears this years fish kill is more widespread.
State officials say the water, mold, and algal bloom are not dangerous to humans. However, they advise the public to stay out of the areas affected for the next couple of days.

State officials are collecting samples of the dead to fish to determine the exact cause of this latest fish kill. - WBTW.

WAR DRUMS: North Korea Threatens Pre-Emptive Strikes Against South Korea And The United States!

October 07, 2013 - NORTH KOREA - North Korea has threatened to launch strikes against its enemy South Korea and the US, to pre-empt an attack by the two countries on its nuclear facilities.

A file photo from North Korean military parade - (Reuters)

The threat follows an agreement between Seoul and Washington over the introduction of nuclear deterrents against Pyongyang.

Under the US-South Korea agreement, the two countries vowed to attack North Korea if there are indications it will use its nuclear weapons. The strategy is being dubbed as "customised deterrence".

North Korea has denounced the agreement and said it will not hesitate to attack US and South Korean interests if they resort to "such military provocations".

The North Korean spokesperson added: "If our enemies try to threaten us in the slightest, the country will launch ruthless pre-emptive strikes of annihilation."

Meanwhile a statement from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), claimed that "the military plot aims to derail the ongoing peace process and dialogue on the Korean Peninsula and can fuel tensions that can lead to a nuclear conflict."

North Korea has also condemned a large military parade held by South Korea to showcase its latest missiles and torpedoes, marking the 65thanniversary of the country's armed forces.

The US is due to hold a joint naval exercise with Japan and South Korea. However officials in Seoul claim the programme "is a humanitarian training exercise to search and rescue private ships that meet with a disaster." - IBT.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To The Total Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - France Forces Stores To Close Early, As Unemployment Reaches Record High!

October 07, 2013 - FRANCE - The French like to refer to the Champs Elysées in Paris as "the most beautiful avenue in the world," and 300,000 people stroll up and down it every day to see for themselves, many of them tourists looking to shop. No surprise, then, to find that retailers from Nike to LVMH are willing to pay premium rents for space on the avenue, which runs in a straight line from the Place de la Concorde up to the triumphal arch at Etoile.

Just don't try to buy anything in the evening. This week a Paris court of appeal ordered the cosmetics chain Sephora to close its flagship store on the avenue at 9 p.m., rather than staying open until midnight during the week and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It was the latest ruling over store-closing hours that has already forced several other big name retailers in Paris both on and off the avenue to close early, including Apple, France's Monoprix and the Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo. Two other stores on the Champs Elysées, Abercrombie and Fitch and perfumer Marionnaud, are also facing legal action.

France has a raft of regulations governing shopping, and its labor unions ensure that they are strictly enforced. As well as strict limits on opening and closing hours, the rules only allow sales during certain periods of the year, price promotions are circumscribed, loss leaders are illegal, store sizes are limited and even the types of shops allowed to open up are regulated. The Swedish clothing retailer H&M fought a long legal battle against the Paris city authorities before it won permission in 2008 to open on the Champs Elysées; City Hall vetoed the plan on the grounds that it was one clothing store too many, and would change the character of the avenue. The issue was finally decided in H&M's favor by the Conseil d'Etat, the nation's highest administrative court.

For the most part, these rules just provoke a Gallic shrug in France itself. But at a time when the national economy remains stuck in a rut and unemployment continues to rise, this latest ruling on Sephora has struck a raw nerve. The case was brought by a consortium of labor unions, which has been zealous in its attempts to have the store-closing hour law enforced, arguing that it needs to protect workers from unscrupulous owners who force them to work antisocial hours. But that logic is patently untrue in this case.

The cosmetics chain reckons it does about 20 percent of its business after 9 p.m., and the 50 sales staff who work the late shift do so voluntarily — and are paid an hourly rate that is 25 percent higher than the day shift. Many of them are students or part-time workers, and they have publicly expressed their indignation about being put out of work by labor unions. The judge refused to take into consideration a petition they presented to the court, saying the case was a matter of public order, so now they are taking their campaign online, including with a Facebook page. Sephora says it will appeal the decision.

Political reaction has been swift. Pierre Lellouche, a member of parliament for Paris whose constituency includes the Champs Elysées, called the regulations "suicidal," and said it was "scandalous in our country, where the unemployment rate is above 10 percent of the active population, that unions should fight against jobs, and even more worrying that the law should be on their side." The national employers association has called for the laws to be changed. And an association of store owners on the Champs Elysées has worried publicly about wealthy tourists going elsewhere to shop, including London, where there are far fewer barriers to their ability to spend money.

It's not clear whether this case might turn out to be a tipping point in favor of consumers. What is certain, however, is that France remains wedded to highly regimented forms of business that are hard to change, and which place protection of the status quo far ahead of the interests of consumers and the economy as a whole. While there is a French anti-trust commission charged with promoting greater competition, it is relatively weak and overshadowed by a more powerful and much larger sister agency that enforces the regulations. And France's code of labor legislation, with its 981 articles, is about four times the volume of that of neighboring Germany, itself no slouch when it comes to protecting workers' rights.

Two big department stores near the Paris Opera, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, both very popular with tourists, have calculated that they could increase their revenues by at least $200 million per year and employ an additional 1,000 full-time staff if they were allowed to open more often on Sunday. Unlike the Champs Elysées stores, which have a legal exemption to open on Sundays because they are in zones classified as highly touristic, the two department stores are only allowed to open on five Sundays per year.

WATCH: Euroscepticism on rise in France amid demand to boost economy.

Retailing regulation is the most visible, but many other consumer-oriented businesses are also subject to rigidly-enforced rules. Taxis, hairdressers, public notaries and many others are governed by "obsolete regulation," according to an official 2008 report on ways to open up the French economy, written by Jacques Attali, a writer, consultant and former top government official, who argued that it was time to blow up the rules and liberate producers and consumers alike in order to create jobs and give a boost to the economy. Among other things, he recommended eliminating a 1973 rule that limits the numbers of bars with alcohol licenses; enabling hairdressers with five years experience to open a salon without having to pass a special exam; dumping a quota system that limits the number of pharmacies, and breaking a taxi monopoly in Paris that restricts the number of cabs in the French capital and can make it hard to find one at peak hours or when it's raining.

Cab drivers immediately staged a protest that blocked streets for hours, and the government responded by shelving any reform plans. That sounded the death knell for the Attali report more generally.

So far, President François Hollande and his socialist government have shown no signs of wanting to change the status quo. To do so would mean taking on the labor unions, a core constituency. But when jobs and growth are so obviously at stake, letting people buy lipstick at midnight seems a small price to pay. - Yahoo.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 8,000 TONS Of Salmon To Be Destroyed Due To Lice Infestation In Vikna, Norway!

October 07, 2013 - NORWAY - Five Norwegian salmon producers are mass-slaughtering some 8,000 metric tons of salmon from their pens in an area north of Vikna, central Norway, due to high lice levels.

Three of those, Marine Harvest, Emilsen Fisk and Midt-Norsk Havbruk, are rushing to empty some 5,000 metric tons within deadlines set by the Norwegian food safety authority (NFSA).

In late August, the authority had informed these three producers that they would have to slaughter all their salmon in the area, after all other measures to counter the lice infestation failed.

Vikna, located in Ytre Namdal, in Nord Trondelag, is one of the busiest salmon farming regions in Norway.

The three producers had levels of five to six mature female lice per fish in the area affected — far above the national limit of 0.5/fish, said John Bjarne Falch, regional director of NFSA.

NFSA has ordered the producers to slaughter all their fish, or face a fine of approximately NOK 100,000 per day, for every day extending beyond the deadline, said Falch. One producer has to slaughter its fish by Oct. 3, another by Oct. 10 and the third by Oct. 23.

“It’s a question of capacity,” Falch told Undercurrent News. “The slaughterhouses are running at full steam, so the deadlines just reflect how fast they can empty their pens.”

Two other producers, Sinkaberg-Hansen and Salmonor, also operate in the same area. While these have not reached the national limit, they have come very close to it, and have decided to slaughter the fish of their own accord, said Falch.

This means some 8,000t are now being harvested from the area this month, he said. The fish affected are around 3.5-4kg in size, on average.

Need for bigger zone, better management

The farms in the area had started to show signs of resistance to traditional anti-lice measures. The producers had managed to deal with the situation so far, with best practices and biological means, but by the spring, it started becoming problematic, said Falch. The summer then intensified the situation, as sea lice reproduce faster in warmer waters.

Under Norwegian regulations, when a farm first exceeds its lice level limit, NFSA orders it to address the situation using all delousing methods available. Failing which, as in this case, the authority orders the affected pens to be emptied of all fish.

In Falch’s view, part of the problem in Vikna is that the farming zone designated for the area was too small. In Norway, salmon farming areas are divided into zones, in which farms must comply to certain rules on sizes and biomass, and must empty their pens and fallow at the same time.

This fallowing time is usually key in regulating sea lice, as they disappear when the fish are harvested, and are at their lowest levels when farming resumes. In this case, however, because the zone is small, the farms were getting infected immediately after fallowing from lice in neighboring zones, said Falch.

As a result, NFSA is working on expanding the zone in question. The area will also be ordered to fallow for the whole of February and March next year, he said.

Another issue, he said, is to do with how the farms are managed. “A bit further south, we have some farms, the same type of site, which have managed to keep the lice levels at 0.06 per fish — a tenth of what the regulation says.”

These sites do not have any other delousing methods than the ones north of Vikna, he said, showing the importance of good management. “If you use delousing products too early, for instance, you incur a higher risk of creating resistance among the fish.” - Undercurrent News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Indonesia Raises Volcano Alert Warning As Mount Tangkuban Perahu Erupts - Triggering Minor Earthquakes In Lembang Subdistrict!

October 07, 2013 - INDONESIA - Indonesia’s volcanology center issued an alert for Mount Tangkuban Perahu as the volcano rumbled to life on Saturday, erupting three times and triggering minor earthquakes in Lembang subdistrict over the weekend.

A crater of Mount Tangkuban Perahu in Lembang, 30 kilometers off the West Java capital of Bandung, is seen
after the volcano, mostly dormant over decades, erupted in March. (JG Photo/Rezza Estily)

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) raised the status of the volcano from normal — the lowest level — to waspada (alert) on Saturday morning. The agency’s four warning levels run from normal to awas (danger) with waspada as the first warning above normal.

Volcanologists said they would keep an eye on the volcano as the tremors continued.

“We’ll kept watching out for quake signals from under the crater before we decide if we should raise the alert level further,” PVMBG official Gede Suandika told Indonesian news portal on Monday.

People were banned from a 1.5-radius around the volcano’s crater — a regular tourist draw in Lembang subdistrict. The PVMBG has not recommended an evacuation.

“Residents around Mount Tangkuban Perahu are urged to stay calm and keep doing their activities as usual and not be provoked by issues related to Mount Tangkuban Perahu’s eruptions,” the PVMBG said on its website, adding ” but they are also expected to keep paying attention to developments on [the volcano's] activities listed by the local BPBD [Disaster Mitigation Agency] and follow its instructions.”

The volcano, which lies on the outskirts of Bandung, West Java, last erupted in March, but the activity was minor. Tourists were banned from the crater and vendors were told to move. - The Jakarta Globe.