Breaking News — Third Confirmed Case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas, Airborne Ebola Spreading Through Tiny Aerosolized Droplets in Sneezes and Coughs — Time To Send Ebola Patients to A Biosafety Level 4 Safety Hospitals with A Total of 19 Beds — Videos

Posted on October 16, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, British History, Chemistry, Climate, College, Communications, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Disease, Documentary, Ebola, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, Health Care, history, Law, liberty, Life, media, Medical, Medicine, Obamacare, People, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, Volcano, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 320: August 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 319: August 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 318: August 27, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 316: August 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 315: August 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 314: August 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 313: August 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 312: August 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 311: August 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 310: August 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 309: August 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 308: August 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 306: July 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 305: July 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 297: July 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 296: July 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 295: July 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Story 1: Breaking News — Third Confirmed Case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas,  Airborne Ebola Spreading Through Tiny Aerosolized Droplets in Sneezes and Coughs — Time To Send Ebola Patients to A Biosafety Level 4 Safety Hospitals with A Total of 19  Beds — Videos

“We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.”

Friedrich August von Hayek

Obama Calls for CDC ‘SWAT’ Team for Ebola Virus

Response Team to Be Sent for Any Ebola Case: Obama

Experts: Ebola Could Go Airborne, Kill Millions

Expert Doctor says CDC is lying about Ebola virus

Ebola strain appears to be different

Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive For Ebola In Texas

Dallas Mayor: ‘It May Get Worse Before it Gets Better’

Texas officials confirm second healthcare worker has Ebola

CDC: Ebola patient flew on plane before diagnosis

CDC Set To Slow Large Ebola Outbreak by Placing Doctors At Risk

BioContainment Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center

USAMRIID The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease

USAMRIID Overview

Activation- A Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit Story

US Army: Ebola like FLU needs Winter Weather to go AIRBORNE

Max Alert! EBOLA Bodily Fluids Readily Airborne Weaponizable

Aerosolizing ONE DROP of EBOLA = 1/2 MILLION DEAD

Ebola – The Truth About the Outbreak (Documentary)

Why Do Viruses Kill

MicroKillers: Super Flu

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (full documentary)

In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 – five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Where did the 1918 flu come from? Why was it so lethal? What did we learn?

RED ALERT: TOP GENERAL WARNS EBOLA WILL NOT STAY IN WEST AFRICA!!!!

Dallas Mayor: ‘It May Get Worse Before it Gets Better’

“There are two things that I harken back to this. The only way that we are going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail. We have those protocols in place, the city and county, working closely with the CDC and the hospital. The second is we want to minimize rumors and maximize facts. We want to deal with facts, not fear. And I continue to believe that while Dallas is anxious about this and with this news this morning, the anxiety level goes up a level, we are not fearful and I’m pleased and proud of the citizens that I talk to day in and day out knowing that there is hope if we take care and do what is right in these details. It may get worse before it gets better. But it will get better.”

The comments were given at a news conference in Dallas this morning announcing that another hospital worker in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/dallas-mayor-it-may-get-worse-it-gets-better_816316.html

Nurses’ Union: Ebola Patient Left In Open Area Of ER For Hours

A Liberian Ebola patient was left in an open area of a Dallas emergency room for hours, and nurses treating him worked without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a statement released by the nation’s largest nurses’ union.

Among those nurses was Nina Pham, 26, who has been hospitalized since Friday after catching Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. He died last week.

Public-health authorities announced Wednesday that a second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health care worker had tested positive for Ebola, raising more questions about whether American hospitals and their staffs are adequately prepared to contain the virus.

The CDC has said some breach of protocol probably sickened Pham, but National Nurses United contends the protocols were either non-existent or changed constantly after Duncan arrived in the emergency room by ambulance on Sept. 28.

Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Duncan’s family show that Pham helped care for him throughout his hospital stay, including the day he arrived in intensive care with diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and the day before he died.

When Pham’s mother learned she was caring for Duncan, she tried to reassure her that she would be safe.

Pham told her: “Mom, no. Don’t worry about me,” family friend Christina Tran told The Associated Press.

Duncan’s medical records make numerous mentions of protective gear worn by hospital staff, and Pham herself notes wearing the gear in visits to Duncan’s room. But there is no indication in the records of her first encounter with Duncan, on Sept. 29, that Pham donned any protective gear.

Deborah Burger of National Nurses United, who convened a conference call with reporters to relay what she said were concerns of nurses at the hospital, said they were forced to use medical tape to secure openings in their flimsy garments and worried that their necks and heads were exposed as they cared for Duncan.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of Nurses United, said the statement came from “several” and “a few” nurses, but she refused repeated inquiries to state how many. She said the organization had vetted the claims, and that the nurses cited were in a position to know what had occurred at the hospital. She did not specify whether they were among the nurses caring for Duncan.

The nurses allege that his lab samples were allowed to travel through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, possibly risking contaminating of the specimen-delivery system. They also said that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.

Wendell Watson, a Presbyterian spokesman, did not respond to specific claims by the nurses but said the hospital has not received similar complaints.

“Patient and employee safety is our greatest priority, and we take compliance very seriously,” he said in a statement. He said the hospital would “review and respond to any concerns raised by our nurses and all employees.”

The nurses’ statement said they had to “interact with Mr. Duncan with whatever protective equipment was available,” even as he produced “a lot of contagious fluids.” Duncan’s medical records underscore that concern. They also say nurses treating Duncan were also caring for other patients in the hospital and that, in the face of constantly shifting guidelines, they were allowed to follow whichever ones they chose.

When Ebola was suspected but unconfirmed, a doctor wrote that use of disposable shoe covers should also be considered. At that point, by all protocols, shoe covers should have been mandatory to prevent anyone from tracking contagious body fluids around the hospital.

A few days later, however, entries in the hospital charts suggest that protection was improving.

“RN entered room in Tyvek suits, triple gloves, triple boots, and respirator cap in place,” a nurse wrote.

The Presbyterian nurses are not represented by Nurses United or any other union. DeMoro and Burger said the nurses claimed they had been warned by the hospital not to speak to reporters or they would be fired.

The AP has attempted since last week to contact dozens of individuals involved in Duncan’s care. Those who responded to reporters’ inquiries have so far been unwilling to speak.

David R. Wright, deputy regional administrator for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which monitors patient safety and has the authority to withhold federal funding, said his agency is going to want to get all of the information the nurses provided.

“We can’t talk about whether we’re going to investigate or not, but we’d be interested in hearing that information,” he said.

CDC officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Duncan first sought care at the hospital’s ER late on Sept. 25 and was sent home the next morning. He was rushed by ambulance back to the hospital on Sept. 28. Unlike his first visit, mention of his recent arrival from Liberia immediately roused suspicion of an Ebola risk, records show.

The CDC said 76 staff members at the hospital could have been exposed to Duncan after his second ER visit. Another 48 people who may have had contact with him before he was isolated are being monitored. Pham remained hospitalized Tuesday in good condition and said in a statement that she was doing well.

The Rev. Jim Khoi, pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Fort Worth, which Pham’s family attends, said the 2010 Texas Christian University nursing school graduate appeared to be in good spirits when she spoke to her mother via video chat.

Pham’s mother, Ngoc Pham, is “calm,” Khoi said. “She trusts in God. And she asks for prayers.”

http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/10/15/nurses-union-ebola-patient-left-in-open-area-of-er-for-hours/

CDC: Ebola Patient Traveled By Air With “Low-Grade” Fever

The CDC has announced that the second healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola — now identified as Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas — traveled by air Oct. 13, with a low-grade fever, a day before she showed up at the hospital reporting symptoms.

The CDC is now reaching out to all passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth. The flight landed at 8:16 p.m. CT.

All 132 passengers on the flight are being asked to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). Public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight Wednesday afternoon.

“Although she (Vinson) did not report any symptoms and she did not meet the fever threshold of 100.4, she did report at that time she took her temperature and found it to be 99.5,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.  Her temperature coupled with the fact that she had been exposed to the virus should have prevented her from getting on the plane, he said.  “I don’t think that changes the level of risk of people around her.  She did not vomit, she was not bleeding, so the level of risk of people around her would be extremely low.”

Vinson first reported a fever to the hospital on Tuesday (Oct. 14) and was isolated within 90 minutes, according to officials. She did not exhibit symptoms while on the Monday flight, according to crew members. However, the CDC says passenger notification is needed as an “extra level of safety” due to the proximity in time between the flight and the first reported symptoms.

“Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” said Dr. Frieden. “The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.”

Frieden specifically noted that the remaining 75 healthcare workers who treated Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital will not be allowed to fly. The CDC will work with local and state officials to accomplish this.

Frontier Airlines is working closely with the CDC to identify and notify all passengers on the flight. The airline also says the plane has been thoroughly cleaned and was removed from service following CDC notification early Wednesday morning.

However, according to Flighttracker, the plane was used for five additional flights on Tuesday before it was removed from service. Those flights include a return flight to Cleveland, Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), FLL to Cleveland, Cleveland to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and ATL to Cleveland.

While in Ohio, Vinson visited relatives, who are employees at Kent State University.  The university is now asking Vinson’s three relatives stay off campus and self-monitor per CDC protocol for the next 21 days out of an “abundance of caution.”

“It’s important to note that the patient was not on the Kent State campus,” said Kent State President Beverly Warren. “She stayed with her family at their home in Summit County and did not step foot on our campus. We want to assure our university community that we are taking this information seriously, taking steps to communicate what we know,” said Dr. Angela DeJulius, director of University Health Services at Kent State.

Vinson is a Kent State graduate.  She received degrees from there in 2006 and 2008.

Cleveland’s Public Health Director, Toinette Parrilla, said Vinson was visiting in preparation for her wedding.  While there, she visited her mother and her fiance.

Complete Coverage Of Ebola In North Texas

The latest Ebola diagnosis was announced by the Texas Department of State Health Services early Wednesday morning.

Vinson is the second worker at Presbyterian Hospital to be diagnosed after providing health care to Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. He died last week.

Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Thomas Eric Duncan’s family show Amber Joy Vinson was actively engaged in caring for Duncan in the days before his death. The records show she inserted catheters, drew blood, and dealt with Duncan’s body fluids.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings addressed the media on Wednesday, saying the patient lives alone and has no pets.

“It may get worse before it gets better,” Rawlings said, “but it will get better.”

Crews worked to decontaminate the common areas of Vinson’s Dallas apartment building Tuesday morning. The apartment unit will be decontaminated by contractors starting early Wednesday afternoon.

The CDC announced that Vinson will be transported to Emory Hospital in Atlanta for further treatment. Two previous American Ebola patients, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were treated at Emory and were the first Ebola patients to be treated in the United States. They were released in August.

Nina Pham was diagnosed with the virus over the weekend and remains isolated in good condition. Pham’s dog — a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley — has been taken into custody and is being cared for at an undisclosed location.

Frontier Airlines released the following statement:

“At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10.

Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.

Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO.

The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed.”

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/10/15/ebola-patient-traveled-day-before-diagnosis/

Frontier jet made 5 flights before taken out of service in Ebola scare

The Frontier Airlines jet that carried a Dallas healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola made five additional flights after her trip before it was taken out of service, according to a flight-monitoring website.

Denver-based Frontier said in a statement that it grounded the plane immediately after the carrier was notified late Tuesday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the Ebola patient.

Ebola patient flew day before symptoms surfaced
Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas, traveled by air on Oct. 13, the day before she first reported symptoms.
Flight 1143, on which the woman flew from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, was the last trip of the day Monday for the Airbus A320. But Tuesday morning the plane was flown back to Cleveland and then to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., back to Cleveland and then to Atlanta and finally back to Cleveland again, according to Daniel Baker, chief executive of the flight-monitoring site Flightaware.com.

He said his data did not include any passenger manifests, so he could not tell how many total passengers flew on the plane Tuesday.

The airline said it is working with the CDC to contact all 132 passengers on the Monday flight that carried the Ebola patient.

Frontier could not be reached to confirm the FlightAware data, and it was unclear if passengers on the additional flights were being contacted.

The passenger “exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew,” Frontier said.
The plane went through a routine but “thorough” cleaning Monday night, Frontier said. Airline industry experts said routine overnight cleaning includes wiping down tray tables, vacuuming carpet and disinfecting restrooms.

The healthcare worker also had flown to Cleveland from Dallas three days earlier on Frontier Flight 1142, the airline reported.

In response to the news that another Ebola patient flew on a commercial flight, the union that represents 60,000 flight attendants on 19 airlines is asking the CDC to monitor and care for the four flight attendants who were on flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth.

cComments
whats it going to take to close the border to people from africa? 10 dead? 100 dead? 1000 dead? we know obumma doesnt give a flying fluke about the american citizens, but isn’t there someone in the government with an ounce of brains? or is this part of obumma’s scheme to declare martial law?…

The Assn. of Flight Attendants “will continue to press that crew members are regularly monitored and provided with any additional resources that may be required,” the group said.

The Ebola scare prompted the union last week to call for better measures to protect flight attendants from exposure to the deadly virus.

The group’s international president, Sara Nelson, suggested that flight attendants are being asked to do too much in the fight against Ebola.
“We are not, however, professional healthcare providers and our members have neither the extensive training nor the specialized personal protective equipment required for handling an Ebola patient,” she said in a statement.

Earlier this month, United Airlines was rushing to contact passengers who flew on two flights that carried a Liberian man infected with Ebola from Brussels to Washington, D.C., and then to Dallas.

The Ebola-stricken healthcare worker who flew on Frontier had been treating the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died.

Airline-industry stock prices have taken a beating in recent weeks, with some analysts blaming the Ebola scare.
On Wednesday, stocks of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines fell more than 6% in early trading before partially recovering. With less than 90 minutes remaining in the regular trading session, the two stocks were each down about 2% from Tuesday’s closes. Frontier is privately held.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-frontier-airline-ebola-patient-20141015-story.html

There are only 19 level 4 bio-containment beds in the whole of the United States…and four in the UK

Story

The UK is well set for an Ebola outbreak (sarcasm alert) We have TWO isolation units, but one is getting ‘redeveloped’ so it’s not available right now. Called High Security Infectious Diseases Units there are two in the country, each capable of taking two patients. One is at The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead North London, the other, the one getting a bit of a make-over, is at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, up in the north-east of England.

Four level 4 bio-containment beds between 69,000,000 people

In the US there are 4 units geared up to handle Ebola. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, has 3 beds. Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, has 10 beds. Emory Hospital, Atlanta has 3 beds and St Patricks Hospital, Missoula  has 3 beds (source)

19 level four biocontainment beds for 317,000,000 people

I think we just found out why the government(s) are under-playing the situation. They simply do not have the facilities to cope with even a small outbreak. They are, in fact in exactly the same position as the dirt-poor hospitals in West Africa…there are not enough facilities to stop the spread of the disease if it gets out. The quality of care is better, but the availability of containment most likely isn’t.

I am sure ‘regular’  isolation units will be pressed into use but they are not designed to handle level 4 biohazards, they are nowhere near as secure medically speaking, as biocontainment units.

A couple of days ago I explained how exponential spread works. You can read that article here if you like. As a quick recap.  Once a disease is at the point where every carrier infects 2 more people,(exponential spread) it will continue until it:

A) runs out of hosts

B) is stopped by medical science or

C) mutates into something less harmful.

What follows will show you how woefully inadequately our governments have prepared for something as lethal as Ebola.

In the flu pandemic of 1918-1920 28% of Americans were infected with the disease…try to remember I am talking numbers here not HOW  disease spreads or any medical similarities between diseases, 625,000 Americans lost their lives out of some 29,400,000 infections. The population of the United States at that time was 105,000,000 people. (source)

Fast forward to today. If that flu pandemic had hit the United States in 2014, when the population stands at 317,000,000 people 88,760,000 people would have been infected and 2,130,240 of them would have died.

Now, let’s try this with Ebola. I have picked Liberia just because it is in the news due to the Thomas Duncan case.

Liberia has a population of 4,290,000 people, as of the latest figures there have been 3692 cases of Ebola, this represents 0.0086% of the population.Of those infections, 1998 people have died that’s a fatality rate of 54%. (source)

If that same infection and death rate were applied to the United States Ebola would infect 269,000 people and of those 156,281 would die.

Now, if as doctors and scientists fear the basic reproduction rate rises to 2 in Liberia the numbers change very quickly. Using the mean average incubation time of 9 days it would take around 13 weeks for the entire population of Liberia to become infected. (10 doublings starting with 3692 = just under the population of Liberia. This multiplied by 9 days gives us 90 days which divided by 7 gives 12.85 weeks.) Of the 4,290,000 people infected 2,316,000 would lose their lives.

This is just Liberia, not the other affected countries in West Africa. 

Translated to an equivalent outbreak in the United States, where the basic reproduction rate is also 2, the numbers are horrifying. Starting with patient zero it would take around 245 days, 35 weeks for every person in the United States to become infected. Of those 17,118,000 people would die. (27.17 doublings x 9 days = 245 days =35 weeks)

Please remember the figures for Liberia are pulled from the CDC website, the percentages are correct.

United States was based on exactly the same parameters as for Liberia…a like for like comparison.

The CDC could be spending their time educating people, advising people to stock up,  get ready for  the possibility of staying in their homes. Self imposed isolation, or if need be state imposed isolation, that may last for an extended time period may become a reality. They’re not doing it though are they? They are sprouting figures and applying them to West Africa, and they can’t even get that right. They are saying that there could be 1.4 deaths in West Africa in a worst case scenario. When actually applying the figures they supplied with some simple mathematics we can see that 1.4 million deaths is a gross understatement.

Even a basic reproduction rate of 1.7, the latest figure for Liberia it will only take around  30 weeks to get to the same point as the above scenario, over 2,000,000 dead.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the UK government is any better, if anything they are worse, they don’t even try to do the maths. Most of them went to Eton (a very expensive school that churns out politicians) so it’s unlikely they would be capable of it even if they wanted to. You only have to look at our national finances to see they are no good at sums. They send out press briefings  that there will be an emergency COBRA meeting, do you have any clue what that stands for? Let me enlighten you, Cabinet Office Briefing Room A.  COBRA is not an emergency planning group, it’s an effing office.

Although I am loathed to say it, it’s time that our governments started worrying about the facilities at home rather than worrying about the facilities abroad. Stopping the disease in Africa does not mean we are out of the woods. There are so many unreported cases, people turned away from medica facilities in West Africa that nobody has the slightest idea how many cases of Ebola are actually out there. The porous borders of the region mean that people move around without the controls that are usually exercised in the west. There has to be a travel ban on non-US citizens entering the United States from these areas, the same applies from the UK.

Border control has to be improved in both countries if we have any hope of halting the spread of this terrible disease. The west is going to be the destination for anyone from Ebola hit areas that can afford to make their way from Africa. Many West Africans have contacts in the west who will help them get out, and shelter them when they arrive. As harsh as it seems this has to be stopped, it’s time for governments to put their own citizens first. Repatriation of your own is one thing, risking millions of lives at home because you won’t man up and prevent foreigners entering is quite another.

Take Care

http://undergroundmedic.com/?p=6990#sthash.wfb8elnm.dpuf

The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been struggling since March to stop what has become the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded. The disease is causing widespread fear and disruption in West Africa, and shows no signs of being brought under control.

CHRONOLOGY OF COVERAGE

  1. OCT. 15, 2014

    Spain’s ad hoc, improvisational response to citizens infected by Ebola virus and brought back to the country underscores holes in West’s readiness to confront wider outbreak; cases of Ebola in Spain have raised urgent questions about risks of disease spreading even in developed countries, particularly among health care workers. MORE

  2. OCT. 15, 2014

    Doctors Without Borders criticizes lack of reliable evacuation systems from West Africa, saying that more would volunteer to fight Ebola in region if it were not so difficult to leave in case of emergency; cites fact that it took 50 hours to evacuate French nurse to Paris after she tested positive for virus. MORE

  3. OCT. 15, 2014

    Bellevue Hospital is designated as center for treatment of the Ebola virus should it emerge in New York City; announcement comes amid widespread concerns that disease may not be so easily contained by every hospital that has an isolation unit. MORE

  4. OCT. 15, 2014

    World Health Organization warns new cases of Ebola virus could reach 10,000 a week in West Africa by December, nearly 10 times the current rate; reports none of the three most heavily affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, are adequately prepared for epidemic; comments come in report before the United Nations Security Council, which voices fear that epidemic could renew the risk of political instability in a region barely recovering from civil war.MORE

  5. OCT. 15, 2014

    Dr Thomas R Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, acknowledges for first time that quicker and more concerted action on agency’s part might have kept Dallas nurse from contracting Ebola virus; says agency plans a more robust response to any future Ebola cases in American hospitals. MORE

  6. OCT. 15, 2014

    Frank Bruni Op-Ed column contends other, more common ailments deserve more concern and attention in United States than Ebola; points out influenza kills between 3,000 and 50,000 Americans per year, and skin cancer kills 10,000 per year; lists other common, and much-researched, illnesses that Americans should vaccinate and protect themselves against. MORE

  7. OCT. 15, 2014

    Jere Longman On Soccer column examines plight of SIerra Leone’s national soccer team, caught amid self-destructive feud between nation’s soccer federation and sports ministry; observes that team was already exhausted from playing road-only games due to Ebola outbreak. MORE

  8. OCT. 14, 2014

    Transmission of Ebola virus to Dallas nurse Nina Pham forces Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reconsider its approach to containing the disease; state and federal officials are re-examining whether equipment and procedures are adequate or too loosely followed, and whether more decontamination steps are necessary when health workers leave isolation units. MORE

  9. OCT. 14, 2014

    Experience of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in caring for three Ebola patients calls into question oft repeated assurances from federal health officials that most American hospitals can safely treat disease; transmission of virus to Dallas nurse Nina Pham has also raised questions about general level of preparedness in hospitals around the country; medical experts have begun to suggest it may be better to transfer patients to designated centers with expertise in treating Ebola. MORE

  10. OCT. 14, 2014

    Public health concerns about Ebola virus have spread to both political parties, which are engaged in finger-pointing debate that could jar midterm elections; Republicans blame the Obama administration for failing to protect the United States, and Democrats are saying it is GOP budget cutting that has put Americans at risk. MORE

  11. OCT. 14, 2014

    Experts rule out notion that Ebola virus has become a super-pathogen and raise doubts that it will evolve into one; say virus is not fundamentally different from those in previous outbreaks dating back to 1976, and it is highly unlikely that natural selection will give it ability to spread more easily, particularly by becoming airborne. MORE

  12. OCT. 14, 2014

    Friends of Dallas nurse Nina Pham describe the 26-year-old, part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, as conscientious and caring, and from a very private family. MORE

  13. OCT. 14, 2014

    Editorial warns effort to combat the Ebola virus in Western Africa is lagging dangerously behind; contends the international community must dramatically step up aid if epidemic is to be controlled; holds obligation is particularly strong for the United Sates as it faces first case of patient who contracted the virus domestically. MORE

  14. OCT. 14, 2014

    Sierra Leone’s national soccer team is enduring a series of demeaning and discouraging indignities since outbreak of Ebola in West Africa; team is barred from playing in its own stricken country and it must play every match on the road as it struggles to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, continent’s biennial championship. MORE

  15. OCT. 14, 2014

    World Bank president Dr Jim Yong Kim, frustrated with slow global response to Ebola outbreak, has made fighting epidemic his mission, driving bank to act on Ebola with uncharacteristic speed; bank has committed $400 million to fighting disease. MORE

  16. OCT. 13, 2014

    The topic everyone on Wall Street is discussing urgently but quietly isn’t the volatile stock market. It is Ebola. MORE

  17. OCT. 13, 2014

    News that a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has contracted Ebola virus transforms part of Dallas into scene of concern and contamination; residents in victim’s neighborhood are filled with anxiety, while hazardous-materials crews scramble to clean her apartment building. MORE

  18. OCT. 13, 2014

    Nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas becomes first person to contract Ebola within United States; development prompts local, state and federal officials to scramble to determine how she became infected, despite wearing protective gear, and to monitor others potentially at risk; news further stokes fears among health care workers across country. MORE

  19. OCT. 13, 2014

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say agency will take new steps to help hospital workers protect themselves, providing more training and urging hospitals to practice dealing with potential Ebola patients. MORE

  20. OCT. 13, 2014

    Op-Ed article by Prof Siddhartha Mukherjee contends Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas shows that medical community must rethink concept of quarantine, in light of the absence of any established anti-viral treatment; calls for development of pilot program for rapid-testing quarantine. MORE

  21. OCT. 12, 2014

    Liberian Army has suddenly become linchpin in fight against Ebola virus rampaging the country; for decades, Liberians viewed the armed forces with fear due to atrocities committed during civil war. MORE

  22. OCT. 11, 2014

    Doctors Without Borders, first to respond to Ebola crisis in West Africa, remains primary international medical aid group battling disease there; strained and overworked charity has erected six treatment centers in West Africa, with plans for more, and has treated the majority of patients, just as they have in previous Ebola outbreaks and some other epidemics in the developing world. MORE

  23. OCT. 10, 2014

    Health workers at International Medical Corps treatment center in Liberia face dilemma of how to care for newborn whose mother may have died of Ebola; many health workers have contracted Ebola while attending to births and being exposed to blood and other body fluids, provoking fears of providing maternity care; doctors speculate that Ebola can be transmitted from mother to baby (Series: The Ebola Ward). MORE

  24. OCT. 10, 2014

    Britain says it will introduce measures at airports and rail terminals to screen passengers from affected countries as concerns over Ebola grow in Europe. MORE

  25. OCT. 10, 2014

    Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, nations most affected by the Ebola outbreak, implore world leaders to increase their support to fight the disease; speak at meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. MORE

  26. OCT. 10, 2014

    Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit in Omaha, with arrival of two Ebola patients in last six weeks, is at forefront of the nation’s response to the disease; unit’s 10 beds sat empty for years. MORE

  27. OCT. 10, 2014

    Dallas officials say Sgt Michael Monnig, local shefiff’s deputy examined for possible infection with Ebola virus, has tested negative and is sent home from hospital; many in city remain uneasy. MORE

  28. OCT. 9, 2014

    Thomas Eric Duncan dies of Ebola in Dallas, renewing questions about whether delay in receiving treatment could have played a role in his death and what role it played in the possibility of his spreading the disease to others; it remains unclear why, and how, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital did not initially view the Liberian man as a potential Ebola case; nearly 50 people who came into contact with Duncan when he was experiencing active symptoms are being monitored. MORE

  29. OCT. 9, 2014

    Federal health officials will require temperature checks for the first time at five major American airports for people arriving from three West African countries hardest hit by Ebola epidemic; however, health experts say measures are more likely to calm worried public than to prevent people with Ebola from entering country; move comes after death of Thomas Eric Duncan, Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. MORE

  30. OCT. 9, 2014

    Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan shows off its isolation rooms and its leave-no-skin-cell-uncovered precautions in an attempt to reassure New Yorkers that should the Ebola virus arrive in the city, its premier public hospital could handle it. MORE

  31. OCT. 9, 2014

    European leaders are scrambling to upgrade their response to Ebola crisis after Pres Obama’s announcement that he will send 3,000 troops to West Africa to build hospitals and otherwise help in fight against the disease. MORE

  32. OCT. 9, 2014

    Spanish health officials explain how auxiliary nurse Maria Teresa Romero Ramos became the first Ebola case in Western Europe, saying that it was likely she became infected when she touched her face with the gloves she had worn while tending to a Spanish missionary with Ebola at a Madrid hospital. MORE

  33. OCT. 9, 2014

    Dog named Excalibur who belonged to Ebola-infected nurse Maria Teresa Romero Ramos is destroyed by Spanish health officials, even as protesters and animal rights activists surround Madrid home of the nurse and her husband; online petition calling for dog’s life to be spared drew hundreds of thousands of signatures. MORE

  34. OCT. 9, 2014

    Editorial notes new screening procedures directed at travelers entering United States from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, center of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; holds screenings, while burdensome and possibly of little practical value, may ease public anxieties about keeping virus out of country and assure people that risks are being minimized. MORE

  35. OCT. 8, 2014

    Schedule for a single day at newly opened Ebola treatment center in Suakoko, Liberia, run by International Medical Corps charity, offers portrait of efforts to halt spread of virus; center is both ordinary and otherwordly, where health workers tend to those infected and those quarantined while awaiting test results (Series: The Ebola Ward).MORE

  36. OCT. 8, 2014

    Spain’s government comes under heavy criticism for its handling of Western Europe’s first Ebola case, as health care workers argue that they have not been given proper training or equipment to handle the disease; government quarantines three more people and monitors dozens who had come into contact with infected nurse. MORE

  37. OCT. 8, 2014

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scrambles to address concerns from health workers nationwide as anxiety mounts over Ebola virus; agency has scheduled two nationwide conference calls, but has so far not changed its recommendations on protective gear.MORE

  38. OCT. 8, 2014

    Doctors report first positive signs in recovery of Thomas Eric Duncan, Liberian man battling Ebola virus in Dallas hospital; Duncan’s temperature and blood pressure have normalized, though he remains on a ventilator and is still receiving kidney dialysis. MORE

  39. OCT. 8, 2014

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials promise additional measures to screen airline passengers arriving in United States for Ebola virus; remain opposed to draconian travel restrictions such as outright bans, saying that they would cause more problems than they would solve. MORE

  40. OCT. 7, 2014

    Nurse in Spain becomes first health worker to be infected with Ebola virus outside West Africa, raising serious concerns about how prepared Western nations are to safely treat people with the deadly illness; nurse contracted the illness while treating a Spanish missionary who was infected in Sierra Leone and flown to Madrid, where he died; infection exposes weak spots in Spain’s highly praised health care defense systems. MORE

  41. OCT. 7, 2014

    Adel Faqih, Saudi Arabia’s acting health minister, says this year’s hajj has been free of Ebola and other contagious diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome because of measures taken to protect more than two million Muslim pilgrims. MORE

  42. OCT. 7, 2014

    Pres Obama says screening for Ebola virus at airports both in the United States and West Africa will increase, but does not offer specifics; Dallas residents remain on edge as they await to learn if those who came into contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan became infected. MORE

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/e/ebola/index.html

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-349

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShow 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

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The Pronk Pops Show 348, October 14, 2014, Story 1: Story 1: Stop The Ebola Illegal Alien Invasion/Pandemic — Secure The U.S./Mexican Border — Videos

Posted on October 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Chemistry, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Diasters, Ebola, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medical, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 320: August 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 319: August 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 318: August 27, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 316: August 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 315: August 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 314: August 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 313: August 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 312: August 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 311: August 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 310: August 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 309: August 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 308: August 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 306: July 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 305: July 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 297: July 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 296: July 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 295: July 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Story 1: Stop The Ebola Illegal Alien Invasion/Pandemic — Secure The U.S./Mexican Border — Videos

USA Invaded by Central America….

RED ALERT: TOP GENERAL WARNS EBOLA WILL NOT STAY IN WEST AFRICA!!!!

Why Do Viruses Kill

MicroKillers: Super Flu

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (full documentary)

In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 – five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Where did the 1918 flu come from? Why was it so lethal? What did we learn?

After Armageddon  (when deadly virus strikes)

SOMETHING ‘NEVER SEEN BEFORE’ IS COMING TO AMERICA (GLOBAL PANDEMIC)

Video: Ebola patient escapes quarantine, spreads panic in Monrovia (Liberia)

Judge Jeanine Pirro – Hidden Danger? – Could Illegal Immigrant Kids Bring Diseases To U.S.?

Obama Triggers a Massive Surge of Illegal Immigrant Children(90,000!)

Reporters Confront U.S. Border Patrol Over Illegal Immigration Stand-Down

Pestilence : Illegal Aliens bringing serious diseases across the U.S. Border (Aug 01, 2014)

\

immigrants bring in serious, contagious diseases

PJTV – Illegal Immigrants Being Illegally Dumped in Arizona…Illegally

Gen. Kelly at University of South Florida

 

 

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-348

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShow 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

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315,000 More Americans Have Left Labor Force in September 2014 Bringing Total To 92,584,000 — Nearly Seven Years Later The Number of Employed Hits 146.6 Million Last Seen In November 2007 — Labor Participation Rate At 62.7% Should Be At 67% — The Ebola Income and Jobs Effect Will Hit In The November 7 Jobs Report After Elections — Videos

Posted on October 5, 2014. Filed under: Agriculture, Airplanes, American History, Banking, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Chemistry, College, Communications, Constitution, Crisis, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medical, Medicine, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 320: August 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 319: August 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 318: August 27, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 316: August 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 315: August 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 314: August 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 313: August 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 312: August 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 311: August 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 310: August 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 309: August 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 308: August 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 306: July 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 305: July 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 297: July 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 296: July 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 295: July 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Story 2: 315,000 More Americans Have Left Labor Force in September 2014 Bringing Total To 92,584,000 — Nearly Seven Years Later The Number of Employed Hits 146.6 Million Last Seen In November 2007 — Labor Participation Rate At 62.7% Should Be At 67% — The Ebola Income and Jobs Effect Will Hit In The November 7 Jobs Report After Elections — Videos

sgs-emp

Current Labor Participation Rate Dropped To 62.7%

U.S. Labor Participation Rate – Graph of Reagan vs obama

Surge Of Hiring Cuts US Jobless Rate To 5.9 Pct.

JEC Chair Brady discusses the importance of declining labor force participation rate

Labor participation rate is down to unprecedented levels

What The Six-Year Unemployment Low Means For U.S. Economy

Ebola ;could wreck W Africa economies, #; warns World Bank

BBC News – Ebola crisis: Toll on regional economies

Counting the Cost – Ebola: The Economic Fallout

 

 

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                 USDL-14-1796
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, October 3, 2014

Technical information:
 Household data:	(202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:	(202) 691-6555  •  cesinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


                        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2014


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 248,000 in September, and the 
unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, 
retail trade, and health care.

Household Survey Data

In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9
percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million.
Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were
down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for
adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The
rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0
percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was
4.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs decreased by 306,000 in September to 4.5 million. The number of long-term
unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.0
million in September. These individuals accounted for 31.9 percent of the unemployed.
Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.2 million.
(See tables A-11 and A-12.) 

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in
September. The employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the fourth
consecutive month. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 7.1 million.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In September, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,
and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 698,000 discouraged workers in September,
down by 154,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or
family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 248,000 in September, compared with an
average monthly gain of 213,000 over the prior 12 months. In September, job growth
occurred in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.
(See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 81,000 jobs in September, compared with an
average gain of 56,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains
occurred in employment services (+34,000), management and technical consulting
services (+12,000), and architectural and engineering services (+6,000). Employment
in legal services declined by 5,000 over the month.

Employment in retail trade rose by 35,000 in September. Food and beverage stores
added 20,000 jobs, largely reflecting the return of workers who had been off payrolls
in August due to employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England.
Employment in retail trade has increased by 264,000 over the past 12 months.

Health care added 23,000 jobs in September, in line with the prior 12-month average
gain of 20,000 jobs per month. In September, employment rose in home health care
services (+7,000) and hospitals (+6,000).

Employment in information increased by 12,000 in September, with a gain of 5,000
in telecommunications. Over the year, employment in information has shown little net
change.

Mining employment rose by 9,000 in September, with the majority of the increase
occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000). Over the year, mining has added
50,000 jobs.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places
continued to trend up in September (+20,000) and is up by 290,000 over the year.

In September, construction employment continued on an upward trend (+16,000).
Within the industry, employment in residential building increased by 6,000. Over
the year, construction has added 230,000 jobs.

Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in September (+12,000) and
has added 89,000 jobs over the year. In September, job growth occurred in insurance
carriers and related activities (+6,000) and in securities, commodity contracts,
and investments (+5,000).

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade,
transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change over the month.

In September, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek was unchanged at
40.9 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls
edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $24.53,
changed little in September (-1 cent). Over the year, average hourly earnings
have risen by 2.0 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees were unchanged at $20.67. 
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +212,000
to +243,000, and the change for August was revised from +142,000 to +180,000.
With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 69,000 more
than previously reported.

_____________
The Employment Situation for October is scheduled to be released on Friday,
November 7, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



 

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

[Numbers in thousands]
Category Sept.
2013
July
2014
Aug.
2014
Sept.
2014
Change from:
Aug.
2014-
Sept.
2014

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

246,168 248,023 248,229 248,446 217

Civilian labor force

155,473 156,023 155,959 155,862 -97

Participation rate

63.2 62.9 62.8 62.7 -0.1

Employed

144,270 146,352 146,368 146,600 232

Employment-population ratio

58.6 59.0 59.0 59.0 0.0

Unemployed

11,203 9,671 9,591 9,262 -329

Unemployment rate

7.2 6.2 6.1 5.9 -0.2

Not in labor force

90,695 92,001 92,269 92,584 315

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

7.2 6.2 6.1 5.9 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

7.0 5.7 5.7 5.3 -0.4

Adult women (20 years and over)

6.2 5.7 5.7 5.5 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

21.3 20.2 19.6 20.0 0.4

White

6.3 5.3 5.3 5.1 -0.2

Black or African American

13.0 11.4 11.4 11.0 -0.4

Asian (not seasonally adjusted)

5.3 4.5 4.5 4.3 -

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

8.9 7.8 7.5 6.9 -0.6

Total, 25 years and over

5.9 5.0 5.1 4.7 -0.4

Less than a high school diploma

10.4 9.6 9.1 8.4 -0.7

High school graduates, no college

7.5 6.1 6.2 5.3 -0.9

Some college or associate degree

6.1 5.3 5.4 5.4 0.0

Bachelor’s degree and higher

3.7 3.1 3.2 2.9 -0.3

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

5,803 4,859 4,836 4,530 -306

Job leavers

984 862 860 829 -31

Reentrants

3,165 2,848 2,845 2,809 -36

New entrants

1,211 1,087 1,066 1,105 39

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,571 2,587 2,609 2,383 -226

5 to 14 weeks

2,685 2,431 2,449 2,508 59

15 to 26 weeks

1,802 1,412 1,486 1,416 -70

27 weeks and over

4,125 3,155 2,963 2,954 -9

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

7,914 7,511 7,277 7,103 -174

Slack work or business conditions

4,955 4,609 4,261 4,162 -99

Could only find part-time work

2,548 2,519 2,587 2,562 -25

Part time for noneconomic reasons

18,919 19,662 19,526 19,561 35

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,302 2,178 2,141 2,226 -

Discouraged workers

852 741 775 698 -

- Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Sept.
2013
July
2014
Aug.
2014(p)
Sept.
2014(p)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 243 180 248

Total private

153 239 175 236

Goods-producing

22 63 14 29

Mining and logging

6 9 2 9

Construction

13 30 16 16

Manufacturing

3 24 -4 4

Durable goods(1)

9 27 0 7

Motor vehicles and parts

2.9 13.7 -4.5 3.3

Nondurable goods

-6 -3 -4 -3

Private service-providing(1)

131 176 161 207

Wholesale trade

11.3 3.0 2.5 1.8

Retail trade

27.3 25.4 -4.7 35.3

Transportation and warehousing

23.1 21.1 8.5 1.9

Information

13 10 5 12

Financial activities

-1 15 12 12

Professional and business services(1)

37 50 63 81

Temporary help services

19.7 15.7 24.6 19.7

Education and health services(1)

9 37 42 32

Health care and social assistance

14.5 40.7 40.7 22.7

Leisure and hospitality

9 10 20 33

Other services

2 3 10 0

Government

11 4 5 12

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES(2)
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.4 49.4 49.3

Total private women employees

48.1 47.9 47.9 47.9

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.6 82.6 82.6 82.6

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.5 34.5 34.5 34.6

Average hourly earnings

$24.06 $24.46 $24.54 $24.53

Average weekly earnings

$830.07 $843.87 $846.63 $848.74

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

99.1 101.0 101.2 101.7

Over-the-month percent change

0.1 0.2 0.2 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

113.8 117.9 118.5 119.0

Over-the-month percent change

0.3 0.3 0.5 0.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

33.6 33.7 33.8 33.7

Average hourly earnings

$20.21 $20.61 $20.67 $20.67

Average weekly earnings

$679.06 $694.56 $698.65 $696.58

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)

106.3 108.7 109.2 109.1

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.2 0.5 -0.1

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2002=100)(4)

143.5 149.7 150.8 150.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.0 0.3 0.7 -0.1

DIFFUSION INDEX(5)
(Over 1-month span)

Total private (264 industries)

59.8 67.8 62.7 57.8

Manufacturing (81 industries)

54.9 56.2 54.9 51.9

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(p) Preliminary

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When Will Obama Close United States Airports and Borders To Flights and Travelers From Ebola Virus Disease Infected Countries Such As Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria? Time To Follow Saudi Arabia’s Stringent Ebola Checks! — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

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Story 1: When Will Obama Close United States Airports and Borders To Flights and Travelers From Ebola Virus Disease Infected Countries Such As Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria? Time To Follow Saudi Arabia’s Stringent Ebola Checks! — Videos

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Story 1: When Will Obama Close United States Airports and Borders To Flights and Travelers From Ebola Virus Disease Infected Countries Such As Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria? Time To Follow Saudi Arabia’s Stringent Ebola Checks! — Videos

 

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Michael Osterholm on the Bird Flu in China

Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy: Session Two: The Economics

Watch experts analyze the economic effects of pandemic influenza including on the labor force and trade.
This session was part of a CFR symposium, Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy, which was cosponsored with Science Magazine.

SPEAKERS:
Yanzhong Huang, Director, Center for Global Health Studies, Seton Hall University
Andrew Jack, Pharmaceutical Correspondent, Financial Times
Michael T. Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota (via teleconference)
PRESIDER:
Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

 

Saudi Arabia bans Ebola-stricken countries from hajj pilgrimage

With the arrival of approximately two million people from around the world in Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage, there are a group of pilgrims who were not welcomed.

The Saudi government has banned the entry of travelers from three countries currently dealing with the Ebola epidemic: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The decision to reject visa requests from these countries has affected 7,400 people, according to the Associated Press.

Hospitals in Saudi Arabia are also preparing in the event of an outbreak by setting up isolation and surgery units as well as dispatching medical staff to airports.

Despite banning pilgrim seekers from West Africa, Saudi officials are granting visas to pilgrims travelling from Nigeria. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport has provided them with two exclusive lounges as a precaution.

“So far 118,000 pilgrims have arrived by air from Nigeria. There was not a single suspected case of the deadly virus among anyone of them,” said Abdul Ghani Al-Malki, supervisor of hajj affairs at the airport.

Saudi officials have also been closely monitoring incoming flights from Kenya, Congo and other countries with reported cases of Ebola. Al-Malki told the local Saudi Gazettethat airport’s health inspection center ensured that planes and their passengers were not only free of Ebola, but other contagious diseases as well. “We have double-checked the papers that prove the airplanes had been sprayed twice before taking off to their destinations.”

The current death toll from Ebola in West Africa rose to 3,338, according to the World Health Organization report released Wednesday.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/saudi-arabia-bans-pilgrims-ebola-stricken-countriespilgrims-ebola-stricken-countries-banned-hajj/

 

Saudi Arabia plays down Ebola concern for Hajj pilgrimage

Some in the crowd wore face masks – a possible precaution over Ebola fears

Two million Muslims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a five-day ritual central to Islam.

This year there have been concerns pilgrims may spread the contagious diseases Ebola and MERS.

Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj takes place, played down fears on Ebola, having banned pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Their decision has excluded 7,400 Muslims, though it is estimated that 1.4m of the pilgrims are international.

Some of the numbers involved in 2014’s Hajj – in 60 seconds

Saudi Arabia has claimed this year’s Hajj is Ebola free as pilgrims flooded into Mina, 5km (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca, for the start of the pilgrimage.

As well as refusing visas to those from the three countries worst hit by Ebola, Saudi authorities asked all visitors to fill out medical screening cards and detail their travels over the past three weeks.

But Ebola is not the only disease concerning the Saudi government.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, hit Saudi Arabia badly in the spring of this year.

Since 2012, there have been more than 750 cases of MERS in the country. Of this total 319 people died, some of whom were health workers.

Grey line

The meaning of Hajj

Pilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, archivePilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca, the building is the most sacred place in Islam and the direction of prayer for Muslims
  • Hajj is an annual five-day pilgrimage which all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform at least once in their lives, if they can afford it
  • It is the fifth and final pillar of Islam and is supposed to cleanse Muslims of sin and bring them closer to each other and God
  • The pilgrims, or Hajjis, wear simple white garments called “ihram” which give them all equal status
  • Those going on the hajj are required to abstain from sex, not to argue, kill anything or hunt and to avoid shaving and cutting their nails
  • Pilgrims perform several rituals during the hajj including walking counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba in Mecca, drinking from the Zam Zam Well and performing a symbolic stoning of the devil.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29461229

Will Airborne Ebola Become A Modern Global Plague?

The last several months have led to much confusion about the spread of the Ebola virus. Health officials and governments first denied that a serious threat existed and took no significant action to prevent its spread outside of West Africa. Then, after it had made it’s way to six different countries in the region, officials at the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control started to panic. Apathy gave way to the real fear that we were facing a virus on a whole different scale than ever before.

At its current rate, some mathematical models show that the virus could infect anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 by the end of the year, with over 4,000 people worldwide having been infected thus far. About 2,300 people, over 50% of those who have contracted it, have died.

Fired Up Obama to Immigration Activists: ‘No Force On Earth Can Stop Us’

‘Si se puede, si votamos! Yes, we can, if we vote!’

 BY DANIEL HALPER

A fired up President Barack Obama had a message to immigration activists at a dinner this evening in Washington, D.C.: “no force on earth can stop us.”

 

“The clearest path to change is to change [the voter turnout] number,” said Obama “Si se puede, si votamos! Yes, we can, if we vote!”

“You know, earlier this year, I had a chance to host a screening of the film Cesar Chavez at the White House, and I was reminded that Cesar organized for nearly 20 years before his first major victory. He never saw that time as a failure. Looking back, he said, I remember the families who joined our movement and paid dues long before there was any hope of winning contracts. I remember thinking then that with spirit like that, no force on earth could stop us.

“That’s the promise of America then and that’s the promise of America now. People who love this country can change it. America isn’t Congress. America isn’t Washington. America is the striving immigrant who starts a business or the mom who works two low-wage jobs to give her kids a better life. America is the union leader and the CEO who put aside their differences to make the economy stronger. America is the student who defies the odds to become the first in the family to go to college. The citizen who defies the cynics and goes out there and votes. The young person who comes out of the shadows to demand the right to dream. That’s what America is about.

“And six years ago, I asked you to believe, and tonight, I ask you to keep believing, not just in my ability to bring about change, but in your ability to bring about change. Because in the end, DREAMer is more than just a title, it’s a pretty good description of what it means to be an American.

http://engine.4dsply.com/Bridge/Index?width=850&height=650&url=%2FRedirect.engine%3FPerformanceTest%3Dnull%26MediaId%3D15307%26PId%3D17982%26MediaSegmentId%3D11932%26PoolId%3D26%26SiteId%3D523%26ZoneId%3D2029%26Country%3DUnited%20States%26Bid%3D10.57807%26MaxBid%3D16%26currentUrl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.weeklystandard.com%252Fblogs%252Ffired-obama-immigration-activists-no-force-earth-can-stop-us_808488.html

 

Patient Being Evaluated for Possible Ebola at D.C.’s Howard University Hospital

A patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had recently traveled to Nigeria is being treated at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., a hospital spokesperson confirmed late Friday morning.

That person has been admitted to the hospital in stable condition and is isolated. The medical team is working with the CDC and other authorities to monitor the patient’s condition.

“In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient,” said hospital spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton in a statement. “Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health.”

Hamilton did not share further details about the patient, citing privacy reasons, but said the hospital will provide updates as warranted.

The D.C. Department of Health released a statement shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, saying that the department has been working with the CDC and Howard University Hospital to monitor “any patients displaying symptoms associated with the Ebola virus.”

There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in D.C., said the statement.

At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, a patient is in isolation with “flu-like symptoms and a travel history that matches criteria for possible Ebola,” according to a statement from the hospital. Lab results indicate the patient has another illness.

“We are working closely with the Montgomery County Health Department and State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) as well as the CDC to manage this case and to ensure we continue to be prepared to care for patients with Ebola symptoms,” the statement said.

“We will only be making an announcement if and when there is a laboratory confirmed case, and that announcement would be made in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the CDC,” Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Mary Anderson said.

The White House announced Friday that senior administration officials will hold a briefing on the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola pandemic at 4:30 p.m., NBC News reported.

As public health advocates had warned, the raging Ebola outbreak in West Africa has begun to affect Westerners, though the disease is difficult to spread casually.

Thursday, news broke that a freelance NBC cameraman covering the outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia had tested positive for Ebola after experiencing symptoms of the disease.

The cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, had been working with chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. NBC News is flying Mukpo and the entire team back to the U.S. so Mukpo can be treated and the team can be quarantined for 21 days.

Snyderman told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she and the rest of her crew have shown no signs of the disease and have taken precautions while covering the outbreak, including washing their hands with bleach.

The crew are quarantining themselves as a precaution.

Ebola is contagious only when infected people are showing symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who have been exposed to Ebola will show signs of it within 21 days of exposure, the CDC said.

“There is no risk to people who have been in contact with those who have been sick with Ebola and recovered, or people who have been exposed and have not yet shown symptoms,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC.

On Tuesday, the CDC confirmed the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, flew from his hometown of Monrovia, Liberia, and through Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 20 before entering the United States via Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He then traveled on to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Duncan, a Liberian man with family in the United States, first went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sept. 25 but was sent home. He returned to the hospital via ambulance Sunday.

On Friday, he was listed in serious but stable condition.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Patient-With-Ebola-Like-Symptoms-Being-Treated-at-Howard-University-Hospital-278025181.html

U.S. Ebola Screening Widens

Officials Say About 100 Individuals Will Be Monitored for Potential Exposure

The number of people in Texas who are being screened for potential exposure to Ebola expanded to approximately 100, and four members of a family close to the U.S. patient were ordered to remain in their Dallas home. (Photo: AP)

The number of people in Texas who are being screened for potential exposure to Ebola expanded Thursday to roughly 100, as health officials cast a wide net to try to prevent the one confirmed case of the disease from sparking an outbreak.

Four members of a family close to Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man diagnosed with the virus, were ordered to remain in their Dallas home and not receive any visitors until at least Oct. 19, to pass the 21-day maximum incubation period for the often-deadly disease.

The 100 people being screened represent a “very wide net,” including some who possibly had brief encounters with Mr. Duncan, Texas health officials said. They added that the number is likely to drop as they narrow the list to those actually at potential risk of infection.

Thursday, an American freelance journalist in Liberia tested positive for the disease, his father and his employer, NBC News, said. The 33-year-old man is tentatively scheduled to be transported back to the U.S. on Sunday.

In Mr. Duncan’s case, Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said officials so far have identified only “a handful” of individuals who may have had close contact with him.

The public health search comes as authorities in Liberia grapple with how Mr. Duncan managed to leave their country and bring Ebola to the U.S. despite government efforts to stop transmission of the virus, a journey that took him from a neighborhood of tin-roof houses in a West African capital to an isolation ward at a Dallas hospital.

Before traveling to Texas via Belgium, Mr. Duncan escorted a woman to a treatment ward in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, where she was turned away and died of the virus within hours, said Irene Seyou, Mr. Duncan’s next-door neighbor.

In a community near where U.S. victim Thomas Eric Duncan lived in Monrovia, many have died and children are worried they will be taken away. Glenna Gordon for The Wall Street Journal

On Sept. 16, several health workers arrived in Mr. Duncan’s neighborhood in Monrovia to investigate a report that a pregnant 18-year-old woman, recently sent home from a nearby clinic, had shown Ebola symptoms that included vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding, said Prince Toe and other members of the Ebola Response Team in the capital’s 72nd community.

But when the team arrived in the neighborhood, residents insisted the pregnant teenager had been in a car accident, said Mr. Toe, the unit’s supervisor. When the neighbors grew rowdy at being pressed for information, the team turned back, he said.

At Liberia’s airport, the temperatures of arriving and departing passengers are checked three times by security guards—at the entrance, before the check-in desk and at the metal detectors—to screen out those who display Ebola’s hallmark early symptom, a fever.

Passengers are asked to fill out questionnaires about whether they had been in contact with any Ebola victims. Mr. Duncan lied on those forms—and would be prosecuted for doing so if he returns to Liberia—the Associated Press reported Liberia’s government as saying Thursday.

Mr. Duncan is in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which initially sent him home with antibiotics after he complained of illness, only to accept him on Sunday after he returned in an ambulance. Hospital officials have since conceded that they erred by not taking him in initially after he mentioned his symptoms and country of origin.

Hospital officials said Thursday that Mr. Duncan’s condition continued to be serious. Dr. Frieden of the CDC said Mr. Duncan’s physicians were discussing the possible use of experimental treatments with his family.

Edward Goodman, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s epidemiologist, said the team of doctors treating Mr. Duncan has received guidelines from the CDC but that there is no specific treatment for Ebola other than supportive measures, such as keeping the patient well hydrated to avoid organ damage and supplying oxygen.

Most of the 100 people Texas is tracking for potential Ebola exposure haven’t been ordered to stay home. Officials said they ordered four of Mr. Duncan’s family members to remain in their home because the family disobeyed their request to stay there. They said the family, which was examined Thursday, hadn’t developed any symptoms. A law enforcement official is stationed outside their apartment to make sure they don’t leave.

Ebola is a highly contagious virus, but only if you come into contact with certain bodily fluids of those infected. What do scientists know about how it’s transmitted? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.

Judge Clay Jenkins, the highest elected official in Dallas County, said there were no plans to issue similar orders for other people. Local and state health officials said they had delivered groceries to the family and were arranging for a contractor to clean the apartment. Mr. Jenkins said it appeared that sealed bags filled with Mr. Duncan’s belongings, including his clothes and sheets, were still inside, and that the family had pushed mattresses against the wall.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sought to assure the public that the risk of contagion was minimal. “We’re getting the word out and people are starting to understand what has happened,” he said.

Still, at schools attended by five children who came into contact with Mr. Duncan, attendance was down to 86% from the 95% level that is normal, said Mike Miles, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, who added that custodians were doing extra cleaning.

While officials sought to control the panic over Ebola in Texas, some people who had come into contact with Mr. Duncan wondered why he hadn’t received treatment sooner.

Joe Joe Jallah said he met Mr. Duncan last week when visiting Mr. Jallah’s former wife, Louise Troh, the same woman Mr. Duncan had come to see in the U.S.

Ms. Troh declined to speak about the situation when reached by phone.

Mr. Jallah, who has a daughter with Ms. Troh, said he listened as Mr. Duncan described how dire things had become in Liberia, and how rigorous the health screenings were during his trip to the U.S.

Several days later, on Saturday, Mr. Jallah said he heard that Mr. Duncan had fallen ill at Ms. Troh’s apartment. Concerned, Mr. Jallah went back.

“He was lying down on the floor with a comforter. He said he was sick and that he had no appetite,” Mr. Jallah said.

“I said, ‘Did you go to the hospital?’ He said, ‘Yes, but they did nothing for me,’” Mr. Jallah recalled. “I said, ‘You should eat so you can gain strength.’”

The next day, Mr. Jallah said he returned after his daughter, Youngor Jallah, a nurse’s aide who visits her mother frequently, called, sounding frantic and saying that Mr. Duncan was still sick.

Ms. Jallah said Mr. Duncan had been up all night with diarrhea. His eyes were red, he seemed exhausted and had no appetite for the breakfast she made. He tried to drink some tea. Ms. Jallah took his temperature and it was 104, she said.

Ms. Jallah decided to call an ambulance. When emergency workers came, she informed them that Mr. Duncan was sick and had traveled to Dallas from a virus stricken-region in Africa. The workers put masks over their faces.

Ms. Jallah said she has since been told she and her family must stay in their home for 17 more days.

“I am concerned for myself. When I took his blood pressure, I never had no protection. I worry about my kids. My kids were over there with my mom,” she said.

“I am worried about him too,” she added.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-ebola-screening-grows-1412293227?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_health

Michael Osterholm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert in the United States.[1] Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, a professor in the School of Public Health, and an adjunct professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School.[2]

Career

From 1975 to 1999, Osterholm served in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), including as state epidemiologist and Chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section from 1984 to 1999. While at the MDH, Osterholm strengthened the departments role in infectious disease epidemiology, notably including numerous foodborne disease outbreaks, the association between tampons and toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and the transmission of hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in healthcare workers. Other work included studies regarding the epidemiology of infectious diseases in child-care settings, vaccine-preventable diseases (particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B), Lyme disease, and other emerging and re-emerging infections.

From 2001 through early 2005, Osterholm, in addition to his role at CIDRAP, served as a Special Advisor to then–HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. In April 2002, Osterholm was appointed to the interim management team to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), until the eventual appointment of Julie Gerberding as director.

Osterholm was appointed by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity in 2005.

Biosecurity

Osterholm has been particularly outspoken on the lack of international prepardness for an influenza pandemic.[3][4] Osterholm has also been an international leader against the use of biological agents as weapons targeted toward civilians.

Other

Osterholm serves on the editorial boards of five journals, and is a reviewer for another two dozen. He is a past president of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and has served on the CDC National Center for Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors from 1992 to 1997.

Osterholm serves on the IOM Forum on Emerging Infections. He has served on the IOM Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century and the IOM Committee on Food Safety, Production to Consumption, and he was a reviewer for the IOM Report on Chemical and Biological Terrorism. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Defense, and the CDC.

Honors

Osterholm has received numerous honors for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Luther College, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of theNational Academy of Sciences.

References

  1. Jump up^ “Plague War: Interviews: Michael Osterholm”. Frontline. PBS. 1998-10-01. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  2. Jump up^ “Global Conference 2006″. Milken Institute. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  3. Jump up^ “Renewed warning over flu pandemic”. BBC News. 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  4. Jump up^ Osterholm MT (May 2005). “Preparing for the next pandemic”. N. Engl. J. Med. 352 (18): 1839–42. doi:10.1056/NEJMp058068. PMID 15872196. Retrieved 2008-07-02.

External links

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Obama Spreading Communicable Diseases Across United States With Illegal Aliens in Schools and Communities– TB, Virus, Ebola — What’s Next? — Pandemic! — Videos

Posted on October 5, 2014. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Biology, Blogroll, Business, Chemistry, Communications, Computers, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Family, Federal Government, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, liberty, Life, Links, Meat, media, Medical, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, Water, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Obama Spreading Communicable Diseases Across United States With Illegal Aliens in Schools and Communities– TB, Virus, Ebola — What’s Next? — Pandemic! — Videos

graphic_InfectiousCommunication Diseases - Dayssymptoms-bloody-noseRhoVictim.003ebola-symptoms1Ebola-outbreak-graphicWhat-are-the-symptoms-of-Ebolaillness-flu3EbolaSymptoms3ebola-united-states-dallas-texas-meme-3

symptoms of tbtuberculosis-of-the-lungsCOMMUNICABLEfunny-pictures-barack-obama-talking-about-illegal-aliens-are-now-called-undocumented-democratsobama_bull

Story 1: When Will Obama Close United States Airports and Borders To Flights and Travelers From Ebola Virus Disease Infected Countries Such As Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria? Time To Follow Saudi Arabia’s Stringent Ebola Checks! — Videos

 

Obama Just Endangered 250 Million Americans, UNBELIEVABLE!

Aerosolizing ONE DROP of EBOLA = 1/2 MILLION DEAD

NIH Wants Blood From ‘NATURALLY’ Exposed Ebola Survivors in Congo

Dallas Ebola Victim Acquired His Infection On His Aircraft +50% Probability

Pestilence : Mutating Airborne Ebola Virus Diagnosed inside the US for the first time (Oct 02, 2014)

Experts worry Ebola could mutate to spread by air | Breaking News

DALLAS EBOLA WARNING, AIRBORNE RISK HIGH.

The Secret Ebola Open Border Connection Revealed: Special Report

Saudi Arabia Stringent Ebola checks for 3 million Haj pilgrims – LoneWolf Sager

Ebola – What You’re Not Being Told

SOMETHING ‘NEVER SEEN BEFORE’ IS COMING TO AMERICA (GLOBAL PANDEMIC)

Officials Monitor Contacts of Ebola Patient in Texas

Ebola: The Gear Worn To Prevent Infection

Up to 100 possibly exposed to U.S. Ebola patient; four isolated

Shocking! Over 80 Possible Ebola Victims in Dallas

Ebola Virus in Dallas Texas US – Ebola Patients 80 to 100 people being checks Presbyterian!!!

Ebola in Texas – Ebola outbreak 2014 Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Duncan Virus Timeline!

Ebola Virus Symptoms | Ebola Virus effects on Human Body

Ebola Unleashed: Bioweapons 101

Saudi Arabia bans Haj pilgrims from Ebola hotspots

Ebola’s spread to US “inevitable”

Patient with Ebola-like symptoms in Washington D.C. at Howard University Hospital

Ebola In D.C. Patient With Ebola Like Symptons At Howard University Hospital

Patient Showing Signs of Ebola Reportedly Quarantined in D.C. Hospital

Ebola crisis: United States patient’s flat cleaned by specialists

Washington DC hospital admits patient with possible Ebola Virus US – Ebola Patients In DC 10/3/2014!

Saudi Arabia’s first suspected Ebola victim dies, as death tolls tops 900

Ebola Outbreak: Saudi Arabia Bans Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia From Hajj

Suspected Ebola victim dies in Saudi Arabia.

Ebola-Infected Patient Escapes Quarantine In Search Of Food

U.S. Democrat Congressman Demands Travel Ban From Ebola Infected Countries

SOMETHING ‘NEVER SEEN BEFORE’ IS COMING TO AMERICA (GLOBAL PANDEMIC)

Michael Osterholm on the Bird Flu in China

Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy: Session Two: The Economics

Watch experts analyze the economic effects of pandemic influenza including on the labor force and trade.
This session was part of a CFR symposium, Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy, which was cosponsored with Science Magazine.

SPEAKERS:
Yanzhong Huang, Director, Center for Global Health Studies, Seton Hall University
Andrew Jack, Pharmaceutical Correspondent, Financial Times
Michael T. Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota (via teleconference)
PRESIDER:
Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

 

Saudi Arabia bans Ebola-stricken countries from hajj pilgrimage

With the arrival of approximately two million people from around the world in Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage, there are a group of pilgrims who were not welcomed.

The Saudi government has banned the entry of travelers from three countries currently dealing with the Ebola epidemic: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The decision to reject visa requests from these countries has affected 7,400 people, according to the Associated Press.

Hospitals in Saudi Arabia are also preparing in the event of an outbreak by setting up isolation and surgery units as well as dispatching medical staff to airports.

Despite banning pilgrim seekers from West Africa, Saudi officials are granting visas to pilgrims travelling from Nigeria. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport has provided them with two exclusive lounges as a precaution.

“So far 118,000 pilgrims have arrived by air from Nigeria. There was not a single suspected case of the deadly virus among anyone of them,” said Abdul Ghani Al-Malki, supervisor of hajj affairs at the airport.

Saudi officials have also been closely monitoring incoming flights from Kenya, Congo and other countries with reported cases of Ebola. Al-Malki told the local Saudi Gazettethat airport’s health inspection center ensured that planes and their passengers were not only free of Ebola, but other contagious diseases as well. “We have double-checked the papers that prove the airplanes had been sprayed twice before taking off to their destinations.”

The current death toll from Ebola in West Africa rose to 3,338, according to the World Health Organization report released Wednesday.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/saudi-arabia-bans-pilgrims-ebola-stricken-countriespilgrims-ebola-stricken-countries-banned-hajj/

 

Saudi Arabia plays down Ebola concern for Hajj pilgrimage

Some in the crowd wore face masks – a possible precaution over Ebola fears

Two million Muslims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a five-day ritual central to Islam.

This year there have been concerns pilgrims may spread the contagious diseases Ebola and MERS.

Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj takes place, played down fears on Ebola, having banned pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Their decision has excluded 7,400 Muslims, though it is estimated that 1.4m of the pilgrims are international.

Some of the numbers involved in 2014’s Hajj – in 60 seconds

Saudi Arabia has claimed this year’s Hajj is Ebola free as pilgrims flooded into Mina, 5km (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca, for the start of the pilgrimage.

As well as refusing visas to those from the three countries worst hit by Ebola, Saudi authorities asked all visitors to fill out medical screening cards and detail their travels over the past three weeks.

But Ebola is not the only disease concerning the Saudi government.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, hit Saudi Arabia badly in the spring of this year.

Since 2012, there have been more than 750 cases of MERS in the country. Of this total 319 people died, some of whom were health workers.

Grey line

The meaning of Hajj

Pilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, archivePilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca, the building is the most sacred place in Islam and the direction of prayer for Muslims
  • Hajj is an annual five-day pilgrimage which all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform at least once in their lives, if they can afford it
  • It is the fifth and final pillar of Islam and is supposed to cleanse Muslims of sin and bring them closer to each other and God
  • The pilgrims, or Hajjis, wear simple white garments called “ihram” which give them all equal status
  • Those going on the hajj are required to abstain from sex, not to argue, kill anything or hunt and to avoid shaving and cutting their nails
  • Pilgrims perform several rituals during the hajj including walking counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba in Mecca, drinking from the Zam Zam Well and performing a symbolic stoning of the devil.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29461229

Will Airborne Ebola Become A Modern Global Plague?

The last several months have led to much confusion about the spread of the Ebola virus. Health officials and governments first denied that a serious threat existed and took no significant action to prevent its spread outside of West Africa. Then, after it had made it’s way to six different countries in the region, officials at the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control started to panic. Apathy gave way to the real fear that we were facing a virus on a whole different scale than ever before.

At its current rate, some mathematical models show that the virus could infect anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 by the end of the year, with over 4,000 people worldwide having been infected thus far. About 2,300 people, over 50% of those who have contracted it, have died.

Fired Up Obama to Immigration Activists: ‘No Force On Earth Can Stop Us’

‘Si se puede, si votamos! Yes, we can, if we vote!’

 BY DANIEL HALPER

A fired up President Barack Obama had a message to immigration activists at a dinner this evening in Washington, D.C.: “no force on earth can stop us.”

 

“The clearest path to change is to change [the voter turnout] number,” said Obama “Si se puede, si votamos! Yes, we can, if we vote!”

“You know, earlier this year, I had a chance to host a screening of the film Cesar Chavez at the White House, and I was reminded that Cesar organized for nearly 20 years before his first major victory. He never saw that time as a failure. Looking back, he said, I remember the families who joined our movement and paid dues long before there was any hope of winning contracts. I remember thinking then that with spirit like that, no force on earth could stop us.

“That’s the promise of America then and that’s the promise of America now. People who love this country can change it. America isn’t Congress. America isn’t Washington. America is the striving immigrant who starts a business or the mom who works two low-wage jobs to give her kids a better life. America is the union leader and the CEO who put aside their differences to make the economy stronger. America is the student who defies the odds to become the first in the family to go to college. The citizen who defies the cynics and goes out there and votes. The young person who comes out of the shadows to demand the right to dream. That’s what America is about.

“And six years ago, I asked you to believe, and tonight, I ask you to keep believing, not just in my ability to bring about change, but in your ability to bring about change. Because in the end, DREAMer is more than just a title, it’s a pretty good description of what it means to be an American.

http://engine.4dsply.com/Bridge/Index?width=850&height=650&url=%2FRedirect.engine%3FPerformanceTest%3Dnull%26MediaId%3D15307%26PId%3D17982%26MediaSegmentId%3D11932%26PoolId%3D26%26SiteId%3D523%26ZoneId%3D2029%26Country%3DUnited%20States%26Bid%3D10.57807%26MaxBid%3D16%26currentUrl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.weeklystandard.com%252Fblogs%252Ffired-obama-immigration-activists-no-force-earth-can-stop-us_808488.html

 

Patient Being Evaluated for Possible Ebola at D.C.’s Howard University Hospital

A patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had recently traveled to Nigeria is being treated at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., a hospital spokesperson confirmed late Friday morning.

That person has been admitted to the hospital in stable condition and is isolated. The medical team is working with the CDC and other authorities to monitor the patient’s condition.

“In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient,” said hospital spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton in a statement. “Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health.”

Hamilton did not share further details about the patient, citing privacy reasons, but said the hospital will provide updates as warranted.

The D.C. Department of Health released a statement shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, saying that the department has been working with the CDC and Howard University Hospital to monitor “any patients displaying symptoms associated with the Ebola virus.”

There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in D.C., said the statement.

At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, a patient is in isolation with “flu-like symptoms and a travel history that matches criteria for possible Ebola,” according to a statement from the hospital. Lab results indicate the patient has another illness.

“We are working closely with the Montgomery County Health Department and State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) as well as the CDC to manage this case and to ensure we continue to be prepared to care for patients with Ebola symptoms,” the statement said.

“We will only be making an announcement if and when there is a laboratory confirmed case, and that announcement would be made in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the CDC,” Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Mary Anderson said.

The White House announced Friday that senior administration officials will hold a briefing on the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola pandemic at 4:30 p.m., NBC News reported.

As public health advocates had warned, the raging Ebola outbreak in West Africa has begun to affect Westerners, though the disease is difficult to spread casually.

Thursday, news broke that a freelance NBC cameraman covering the outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia had tested positive for Ebola after experiencing symptoms of the disease.

The cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, had been working with chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. NBC News is flying Mukpo and the entire team back to the U.S. so Mukpo can be treated and the team can be quarantined for 21 days.

Snyderman told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she and the rest of her crew have shown no signs of the disease and have taken precautions while covering the outbreak, including washing their hands with bleach.

The crew are quarantining themselves as a precaution.

Ebola is contagious only when infected people are showing symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who have been exposed to Ebola will show signs of it within 21 days of exposure, the CDC said.

“There is no risk to people who have been in contact with those who have been sick with Ebola and recovered, or people who have been exposed and have not yet shown symptoms,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC.

On Tuesday, the CDC confirmed the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, flew from his hometown of Monrovia, Liberia, and through Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 20 before entering the United States via Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He then traveled on to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Duncan, a Liberian man with family in the United States, first went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sept. 25 but was sent home. He returned to the hospital via ambulance Sunday.

On Friday, he was listed in serious but stable condition.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Patient-With-Ebola-Like-Symptoms-Being-Treated-at-Howard-University-Hospital-278025181.html

U.S. Ebola Screening Widens

Officials Say About 100 Individuals Will Be Monitored for Potential Exposure

The number of people in Texas who are being screened for potential exposure to Ebola expanded to approximately 100, and four members of a family close to the U.S. patient were ordered to remain in their Dallas home. (Photo: AP)

The number of people in Texas who are being screened for potential exposure to Ebola expanded Thursday to roughly 100, as health officials cast a wide net to try to prevent the one confirmed case of the disease from sparking an outbreak.

Four members of a family close to Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man diagnosed with the virus, were ordered to remain in their Dallas home and not receive any visitors until at least Oct. 19, to pass the 21-day maximum incubation period for the often-deadly disease.

The 100 people being screened represent a “very wide net,” including some who possibly had brief encounters with Mr. Duncan, Texas health officials said. They added that the number is likely to drop as they narrow the list to those actually at potential risk of infection.

Thursday, an American freelance journalist in Liberia tested positive for the disease, his father and his employer, NBC News, said. The 33-year-old man is tentatively scheduled to be transported back to the U.S. on Sunday.

In Mr. Duncan’s case, Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said officials so far have identified only “a handful” of individuals who may have had close contact with him.

The public health search comes as authorities in Liberia grapple with how Mr. Duncan managed to leave their country and bring Ebola to the U.S. despite government efforts to stop transmission of the virus, a journey that took him from a neighborhood of tin-roof houses in a West African capital to an isolation ward at a Dallas hospital.

Before traveling to Texas via Belgium, Mr. Duncan escorted a woman to a treatment ward in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, where she was turned away and died of the virus within hours, said Irene Seyou, Mr. Duncan’s next-door neighbor.

In a community near where U.S. victim Thomas Eric Duncan lived in Monrovia, many have died and children are worried they will be taken away. Glenna Gordon for The Wall Street Journal

On Sept. 16, several health workers arrived in Mr. Duncan’s neighborhood in Monrovia to investigate a report that a pregnant 18-year-old woman, recently sent home from a nearby clinic, had shown Ebola symptoms that included vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding, said Prince Toe and other members of the Ebola Response Team in the capital’s 72nd community.

But when the team arrived in the neighborhood, residents insisted the pregnant teenager had been in a car accident, said Mr. Toe, the unit’s supervisor. When the neighbors grew rowdy at being pressed for information, the team turned back, he said.

At Liberia’s airport, the temperatures of arriving and departing passengers are checked three times by security guards—at the entrance, before the check-in desk and at the metal detectors—to screen out those who display Ebola’s hallmark early symptom, a fever.

Passengers are asked to fill out questionnaires about whether they had been in contact with any Ebola victims. Mr. Duncan lied on those forms—and would be prosecuted for doing so if he returns to Liberia—the Associated Press reported Liberia’s government as saying Thursday.

Mr. Duncan is in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which initially sent him home with antibiotics after he complained of illness, only to accept him on Sunday after he returned in an ambulance. Hospital officials have since conceded that they erred by not taking him in initially after he mentioned his symptoms and country of origin.

Hospital officials said Thursday that Mr. Duncan’s condition continued to be serious. Dr. Frieden of the CDC said Mr. Duncan’s physicians were discussing the possible use of experimental treatments with his family.

Edward Goodman, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s epidemiologist, said the team of doctors treating Mr. Duncan has received guidelines from the CDC but that there is no specific treatment for Ebola other than supportive measures, such as keeping the patient well hydrated to avoid organ damage and supplying oxygen.

Most of the 100 people Texas is tracking for potential Ebola exposure haven’t been ordered to stay home. Officials said they ordered four of Mr. Duncan’s family members to remain in their home because the family disobeyed their request to stay there. They said the family, which was examined Thursday, hadn’t developed any symptoms. A law enforcement official is stationed outside their apartment to make sure they don’t leave.

Ebola is a highly contagious virus, but only if you come into contact with certain bodily fluids of those infected. What do scientists know about how it’s transmitted? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.

Judge Clay Jenkins, the highest elected official in Dallas County, said there were no plans to issue similar orders for other people. Local and state health officials said they had delivered groceries to the family and were arranging for a contractor to clean the apartment. Mr. Jenkins said it appeared that sealed bags filled with Mr. Duncan’s belongings, including his clothes and sheets, were still inside, and that the family had pushed mattresses against the wall.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sought to assure the public that the risk of contagion was minimal. “We’re getting the word out and people are starting to understand what has happened,” he said.

Still, at schools attended by five children who came into contact with Mr. Duncan, attendance was down to 86% from the 95% level that is normal, said Mike Miles, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, who added that custodians were doing extra cleaning.

While officials sought to control the panic over Ebola in Texas, some people who had come into contact with Mr. Duncan wondered why he hadn’t received treatment sooner.

Joe Joe Jallah said he met Mr. Duncan last week when visiting Mr. Jallah’s former wife, Louise Troh, the same woman Mr. Duncan had come to see in the U.S.

Ms. Troh declined to speak about the situation when reached by phone.

Mr. Jallah, who has a daughter with Ms. Troh, said he listened as Mr. Duncan described how dire things had become in Liberia, and how rigorous the health screenings were during his trip to the U.S.

Several days later, on Saturday, Mr. Jallah said he heard that Mr. Duncan had fallen ill at Ms. Troh’s apartment. Concerned, Mr. Jallah went back.

“He was lying down on the floor with a comforter. He said he was sick and that he had no appetite,” Mr. Jallah said.

“I said, ‘Did you go to the hospital?’ He said, ‘Yes, but they did nothing for me,’” Mr. Jallah recalled. “I said, ‘You should eat so you can gain strength.’”

The next day, Mr. Jallah said he returned after his daughter, Youngor Jallah, a nurse’s aide who visits her mother frequently, called, sounding frantic and saying that Mr. Duncan was still sick.

Ms. Jallah said Mr. Duncan had been up all night with diarrhea. His eyes were red, he seemed exhausted and had no appetite for the breakfast she made. He tried to drink some tea. Ms. Jallah took his temperature and it was 104, she said.

Ms. Jallah decided to call an ambulance. When emergency workers came, she informed them that Mr. Duncan was sick and had traveled to Dallas from a virus stricken-region in Africa. The workers put masks over their faces.

Ms. Jallah said she has since been told she and her family must stay in their home for 17 more days.

“I am concerned for myself. When I took his blood pressure, I never had no protection. I worry about my kids. My kids were over there with my mom,” she said.

“I am worried about him too,” she added.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-ebola-screening-grows-1412293227?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_health

Michael Osterholm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert in the United States.[1] Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, a professor in the School of Public Health, and an adjunct professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School.[2]

Career

From 1975 to 1999, Osterholm served in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), including as state epidemiologist and Chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section from 1984 to 1999. While at the MDH, Osterholm strengthened the departments role in infectious disease epidemiology, notably including numerous foodborne disease outbreaks, the association between tampons and toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and the transmission of hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in healthcare workers. Other work included studies regarding the epidemiology of infectious diseases in child-care settings, vaccine-preventable diseases (particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B), Lyme disease, and other emerging and re-emerging infections.

From 2001 through early 2005, Osterholm, in addition to his role at CIDRAP, served as a Special Advisor to then–HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. In April 2002, Osterholm was appointed to the interim management team to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), until the eventual appointment of Julie Gerberding as director.

Osterholm was appointed by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity in 2005.

Biosecurity

Osterholm has been particularly outspoken on the lack of international prepardness for an influenza pandemic.[3][4] Osterholm has also been an international leader against the use of biological agents as weapons targeted toward civilians.

Other

Osterholm serves on the editorial boards of five journals, and is a reviewer for another two dozen. He is a past president of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and has served on the CDC National Center for Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors from 1992 to 1997.

Osterholm serves on the IOM Forum on Emerging Infections. He has served on the IOM Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century and the IOM Committee on Food Safety, Production to Consumption, and he was a reviewer for the IOM Report on Chemical and Biological Terrorism. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Defense, and the CDC.

Honors

Osterholm has received numerous honors for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Luther College, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of theNational Academy of Sciences.

References

  1. Jump up^ “Plague War: Interviews: Michael Osterholm”. Frontline. PBS. 1998-10-01. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  2. Jump up^ “Global Conference 2006″. Milken Institute. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  3. Jump up^ “Renewed warning over flu pandemic”. BBC News. 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  4. Jump up^ Osterholm MT (May 2005). “Preparing for the next pandemic”. N. Engl. J. Med. 352 (18): 1839–42. doi:10.1056/NEJMp058068. PMID 15872196. Retrieved 2008-07-02.

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Asset Price Bubble Bursts Coming In October With 69 Months of Near Zero Federal Funds Interest Rates! — Interest Rate Suppression or Price Control and Manipulation Will Blow Up Economy — Suppressing Savings and Investment With Low Interest Rates Is A Formula For Diaster and Depression — Panic Time — Start A War Over Oil — Meltdown America –Videos

Posted on September 21, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crisis, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Films, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, Government Land Ownership, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Public Sector, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Securities and Exchange Commission, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Asset Price Bubble Bursts Coming In October With 69 Months of Near Zero Federal Funds Interest Rates! — Interest Rate Suppression or Price Control and Manipulation Will Blow Up Economy — Suppressing Savings and Investment With Low Interest Rates Is A Formula For Diaster and Depression — Panic Time — Start A War Over Oil — Meltdown America –Videos

U.S. Debt Clock

Current Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
09/17/2014 12,767,522,798,389.80 4,997,219,915,398.95 17,764,742,713,788.75

 

TABLE I -- SUMMARY OF TREASURY SECURITIES OUTSTANDING, AUGUST 31, 2014
(Millions of dollars)
                                              Amount Outstanding
Title                                         Debt Held             Intragovernmental         Totals
                                              By the Public         Holdings
Marketable:
  Bills.......................................        1,450,293                     1,704                1,451,998
  Notes.......................................        8,109,269                     7,365                8,116,634
  Bonds.......................................        1,521,088                        57                1,521,144
  Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.....        1,031,836                        52                1,031,888
  Floating Rate Notes  21  ...................          109,996                         0                  109,996
  Federal Financing Bank  1  .................                0                    13,612                   13,612
Total Marketable  a...........................       12,222,481                    22,790 2             12,245,271
Nonmarketable:
  Domestic Series.............................           29,995                         0                   29,995
  Foreign Series..............................            2,986                         0                    2,986
  State and Local Government Series...........          105,440                         0                  105,440
  United States Savings Securities............          177,030                         0                  177,030
  Government Account Series...................          193,237                 4,993,277                5,186,514
  Hope Bonds 19...............................                0                       494                      494
  Other.......................................            1,443                         0                    1,443
Total Nonmarketable  b........................          510,130                 4,993,771                5,503,901
Total Public Debt Outstanding ................       12,732,612                 5,016,561               17,749,172
TABLE II -- STATUTORY DEBT LIMIT, AUGUST 31, 2014
(Millions of dollars)
                                              Amount Outstanding
Title                                         Debt Held             Intragovernmental         Totals
                                                 By the Public 17, 2Holdings
Debt Subject to Limit: 17, 20
  Total Public Debt Outstanding...............       12,732,612                 5,016,561               17,749,172
  Less Debt Not Subject to Limit:
    Other Debt ...............................              485                         0                      485
    Unamortized Discount  3...................           15,742                    12,421                   28,163
    Federal Financing Bank  1     ............                0                    13,612                   13,612
    Hope Bonds 19.............................                0                       494                      494
  Plus Other Debt Subject to Limit:
    Guaranteed Debt of Government Agencies  4                 *                         0                        *
  Total Public Debt Subject to Limit .........       12,716,386                 4,990,033               17,706,419
  Statutory Debt Limit  5.....................................................................                   0
COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY
THE BUREAU OF THE FISCAL SERVICE
www.TreasuryDirect.gov

Interest Expense on the Debt Outstanding

The Interest Expense on the Debt Outstanding includes the monthly interest for:

Amortized discount or premium on bills, notes and bonds is also included in the monthly interest expense.

The fiscal year represents the total interest expense on the Debt Outstanding for a given fiscal year. This includes the months of October through September. View current month details (XLS Format, File size 199KB, uploaded 09/05/2014).

Note: To read or print a PDF document, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (v5.0 or higher) software installed on your computer. You can download the Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Website.

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Interest Expense Fiscal Year 2014
August $27,093,517,258.24
July $29,260,530,745.98
June $97,565,768,696.69
May $32,081,384,628.40
April $31,099,852,014.96
March $26,269,559,883.36
February $21,293,863,450.50
January $19,498,592,676.78
December $88,275,817,263.03
November $22,327,099,682.97
October $16,451,313,332.09
Fiscal Year Total $411,217,855,816.94
Available Historical Data Fiscal Year End
2013 $415,688,781,248.40
2012 $359,796,008,919.49
2011 $454,393,280,417.03
2010 $413,954,825,362.17
2009 $383,071,060,815.42
2008 $451,154,049,950.63
2007 $429,977,998,108.20
2006 $405,872,109,315.83
2005 $352,350,252,507.90
2004 $321,566,323,971.29
2003 $318,148,529,151.51
2002 $332,536,958,599.42
2001 $359,507,635,242.41
2000 $361,997,734,302.36
1999 $353,511,471,722.87
1998 $363,823,722,920.26
1997 $355,795,834,214.66
1996 $343,955,076,695.15
1995 $332,413,555,030.62
1994 $296,277,764,246.26
1993 $292,502,219,484.25
1992 $292,361,073,070.74
1991 $286,021,921,181.04
1990 $264,852,544,615.90
1989 $240,863,231,535.71
1988 $214,145,028,847.73

chart

fredgraph

fredgraph

BND-10-Year-Treasury-Yield-09122014

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Jim Rogers Discusses Concern Over The Market

Jim Rogers On Economic Collapse And The US Debt‬

US Economy 2014 Collapse – *Peter Schiff* – FED will cause Huge Economic Crisis!

US ECONOMY COLLAPSE WILL LEAVE MILLIONS IN POVERTY

There Will Be No Economic Recovery. Prepare Yourself Accordingly

US Massive Financial Crisis Coming

Dan Mitchell Discussing Harvard Survey, Arguing for Growth over Class Warfare

The Coming Stock Market Crash and The Death of Money with Jim Rickards

Market Crash, Economic collapse 2014, The coming of World War 3 – Stock Market

Forbes: Obama’s Economic Reforms Are the Definition of Insanity

Why America Should Default and You Should Live Abroad: Q&A with Doug Casey

Doug Casey-No Way Out-Stock, Bond and Real Estate Markets Will Collapse

Russia conspired to destroy US dollar with China – clip from Meltdown America documentary

http://www.caseyresearch.com/lg/meltdown-video

 

 

Here a bubble, there a bubble: Ol’ Marc Faber

Even after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs, closely followed contrarian Marc Faber keeps sounding the alarm.

“We have a bubble in everything, everywhere,” the publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. Faber has long argued that the Federal Reserve’s massive asset purchasing programs and near-zero interest rates have inflated stock prices.

The catalyst for a market decline, as he sees it, could be a “raise in interest rates, not engineered by the Fed,” referring an increase in bond yields.

 

Faber also expressed concern about American consumers. “Their cost of living have gone up more than the salary increases, so they’re getting squeezed. So that’s why retailing is not doing particularly well.”

A real black swan event, he argued, would be a global recession. “The big surprise will be that the global economy slows down and goes into recession. And that will shock markets.”

If economies around the world can’t recovery with the Fed and other central banks pumping easy money into the system, that would send a dire message, Faber added. He believes the best way for world economies to recover is to cut the size of government.

Read MoreBond market hears Fed hawks; stocks see doves

There’s a dual-economy in the U.S. and around the world with the rich doing really well and others struggling, he said. “[But] the rich will get creamed one day, especially in Europe, on wealth taxes.”

On the other end of the market spectrum, longtime stock market bull Jeremy Siegel told CNBC on Tuesday (ahead of Wednesday’s Fed policy statement leaving interest rate guidance unchanged) that he stands by his Dow 18,000 prediction.

The Wharton School professor sees second half economic growth of 3 to 4 percent, S&P 500 earnings near $120, and the start of Fed rate hikes in the spring or summer of 2015

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102016166

 

Fed and TWTR Overvaluation, Evidence of Looming Market Crash: Stockman

The Federal Reserve Wednesday reassured investors that it will hold interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after it ends the bond-buying program known as quantitative easing in October. In response, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) closed at a new record high.

Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and author of the book, The Great Deformation, David Stockman, has significant concerns about that very policy.

“I’m worried… that we’ve got the greatest bubble created by a central bank in human history,” he told Yahoo Finance.

In a recent blog post, Stockman offered a handful of high-flying stocks as evidence of what he sees as “madness.”

                                               “…Twitter, is all that is required to remind us that once

                                               again markets are trading in the nosebleed section

                                               of history, rivaling even the madness of March 2000.”

Behind the madness

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Stockman blamed Fed policy for creating that madness.

“We have been shoving zero-cost money into the financial markets for 6-years running,” he said. “That’s the kerosene that drives speculative trading – the carry trades. That’s what the gamblers use to fund their position as they move from one momentum play and trade to another.”

And that, he says, is not sustainable. While Stockman believes tech stocks are especially overvalued, he warns that it’s not just tech valuations that are inflated. “Everything’s massively overvalued, and it’s predicated on zero-cost overnight money that continues these carry trades; It can’t continue.”

And he still believes, as he has for some time – so far, incorrectly – that there will be a day of reckoning.

“When the trades begin to unwind because the carry cost has to normalize, you’re going to have a dramatic re-pricing dislocation in these financial markets.”

As Yahoo Finance’s Lauren Lyster points out in the associated video, investors who heeded Stockman’s advice last year would have missed out on a 28% run-up in stocks. But Stockman remains steadfast in his belief that the current Fed policy and the resultant market behavior can not continue. “I think what the Fed is doing is so unprecedented, what is happening in the markets is so unnatural,” he said. “This is dangerous, combustible stuff, and I don’t know when the explosion occurs – when the collapse suddenly is upon us – but when it happens, people will be happy that they got out of the way if they did.”

 

 

Federal Reserve Statistical Release, H.4.1, Factors Affecting Reserve Balances; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page
Release Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
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FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release

H.4.1

Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions and Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks September 11, 2014

1. Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions

Millions of dollars

Reserve Bank credit, related items, and
reserve balances of depository institutions at
Federal Reserve Banks
Averages of daily figures Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Week ended
Sep 10, 2014
Change from week ended
Sep 3, 2014 Sep 11, 2013
Reserve Bank credit 4,377,690 +    4,183 +  761,693 4,379,719
Securities held outright1 4,159,537 +    2,675 +  765,361 4,160,521
U.S. Treasury securities 2,439,657 +    2,671 +  401,376 2,440,637
Bills2          0          0          0          0
Notes and bonds, nominal2 2,325,368 +    2,678 +  386,333 2,326,351
Notes and bonds, inflation-indexed2     97,755          0 +   11,737     97,755
Inflation compensation3     16,534 -        7 +    3,306     16,531
Federal agency debt securities2     41,562          0 -   22,868     41,562
Mortgage-backed securities4 1,678,317 +        4 +  386,851 1,678,322
Unamortized premiums on securities held outright5    208,963 -      219 +    5,815    208,907
Unamortized discounts on securities held outright5    -18,664 +       21 -   12,958    -18,654
Repurchase agreements6          0          0          0          0
Loans        291 -        8 +       18        352
Primary credit         10 -       18 -        8         53
Secondary credit          0          0          0          0
Seasonal credit        247 +        9 +       94        266
Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility7         34          0 -       68         34
Other credit extensions          0          0          0          0
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane LLC8      1,664 -        1 +      171      1,665
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane II LLC9         63          0 -        1         63
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane III LLC10         22          0          0         22
Net portfolio holdings of TALF LLC11         44          0 -       80         44
Float       -675 -       69 +       94       -627
Central bank liquidity swaps12         77 +        1 -      243         77
Other Federal Reserve assets13     26,369 +    1,784 +    3,517     27,349
Foreign currency denominated assets14     22,933 -      353 -      737     22,801
Gold stock     11,041          0          0     11,041
Special drawing rights certificate account      5,200          0          0      5,200
Treasury currency outstanding15     46,103 +       14 +      820     46,103
Total factors supplying reserve funds 4,462,967 +    3,844 +  761,776 4,464,863

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Footnotes appear at the end of the table.

1. Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions (continued)

Millions of dollars

Reserve Bank credit, related items, and
reserve balances of depository institutions at
Federal Reserve Banks
Averages of daily figures Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Week ended
Sep 10, 2014
Change from week ended
Sep 3, 2014 Sep 11, 2013
Currency in circulation15 1,292,467 -      442 +   84,956 1,291,993
Reverse repurchase agreements16    266,584 +      818 +  173,996    267,602
Foreign official and international accounts    102,228 -      296 +    9,640    107,303
Others    164,356 +    1,115 +  164,356    160,299
Treasury cash holdings        165 +        4 +       23        164
Deposits with F.R. Banks, other than reserve balances     52,715 -    6,170 -   19,233     53,117
Term deposits held by depository institutions          0          0          0          0
U.S. Treasury, General Account     39,081 -    3,787 +      530     31,872
Foreign official      5,432 -    1,134 -    3,562      5,241
Other17      8,202 -    1,248 -   16,201     16,004
Other liabilities and capital18     63,991 -        1 +      818     63,033
Total factors, other than reserve balances,
absorbing reserve funds
1,675,922 -    5,792 +  240,561 1,675,910
Reserve balances with Federal Reserve Banks 2,787,045 +    9,636 +  521,214 2,788,954

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

1. Includes securities lent to dealers under the overnight securities lending facility; refer to table 1A.
2. Face value of the securities.
3. Compensation that adjusts for the effect of inflation on the original face value of inflation-indexed securities.
4. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. The current face value shown is the remaining principal balance of
the securities.
5. Reflects the premium or discount, which is the difference between the purchase price and the face value of the securities that has not been amortized.  For U.S. Treasury and Federal agency debt securities, amortization is on a straight-line basis.  For mortgage-backed securities, amortization is on an effective-interest basis.
6. Cash value of agreements.
7. Includes credit extended by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to eligible borrowers through the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility.
8. Refer to table 4 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
9. Refer to table 5 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
10. Refer to table 6 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
11. Refer to table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
12. Dollar value of foreign currency held under these agreements valued at the exchange rate to be used when the foreign currency is returned
to the foreign central bank. This exchange rate equals the market exchange rate used when the foreign currency was acquired from the
foreign central bank.
13. Includes accrued interest, which represents the daily accumulation of interest earned, and other accounts receivable.  Also, includes Reserve Bank premises and equipment net of allowances for depreciation.
14. Revalued daily at current foreign currency exchange rates.
15. Estimated.
16. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, federal agency debt securities, and mortgage-backed securities.
17. Includes deposits held at the Reserve Banks by international and multilateral organizations, government-sponsored enterprises, and designated financial market utilities.
18. Includes the liabilities of Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden Lane III LLC, and TALF LLC to entities other than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, including liabilities that have recourse only to the portfolio holdings of these LLCs. Refer to table 4 through table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9. Also includes the liability for interest on Federal Reserve notes due to U.S. Treasury. Refer to table 8 and table 9.

Sources: Federal Reserve Banks and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

1A. Memorandum Items

Millions of dollars

Memorandum item Averages of daily figures Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Week ended
Sep 10, 2014
Change from week ended
Sep 3, 2014 Sep 11, 2013
Securities held in custody for foreign official and international accounts 3,338,309 -      417 +   61,832 3,343,937
Marketable U.S. Treasury securities1 3,010,563 -      456 +   86,414 3,016,027
Federal agency debt and mortgage-backed securities2    285,805 +       28 -   29,008    285,934
Other securities3     41,942 +       12 +    4,427     41,976
Securities lent to dealers     10,669 +    1,648 -    1,429     11,123
Overnight facility4     10,669 +    1,648 -    1,429     11,123
U.S. Treasury securities      9,860 +    1,721 -    1,405     10,373
Federal agency debt securities        810 -       72 -       23        750

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

1. Includes securities and U.S. Treasury STRIPS at face value, and inflation compensation on TIPS. Does not include securities pledged as collateral to foreign official and international account holders against reverse repurchase agreements with the Federal Reserve presented in tables 1, 8, and 9.
2. Face value of federal agency securities and current face value of mortgage-backed securities, which is the remaining principal balance of the securities.
3. Includes non-marketable U.S. Treasury securities, supranationals, corporate bonds, asset-backed securities, and commercial paper at face value.
4. Face value. Fully collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities.
2. Maturity Distribution of Securities, Loans, and Selected Other Assets and Liabilities, September 10, 2014

Millions of dollars

Remaining Maturity Within 15
days
16 days to
90 days
91 days to
1 year
Over 1 year
to 5 years
Over 5 year
to 10 years
Over 10
years
All
Loans1        118        234          0          0          0        352
U.S. Treasury securities2
Holdings          0         90      3,194 1,037,162    742,261    657,930 2,440,637
Weekly changes          0          0          0 +    1,615 -        1 +    2,037 +    3,651
Federal agency debt securities3
Holdings      1,556      1,329      3,584     32,746          0      2,347     41,562
Weekly changes          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Mortgage-backed securities4
Holdings          0          0          0         10      4,698 1,673,614 1,678,322
Weekly changes          0          0          0          0 +      863 -      857 +        6
Asset-backed securities held by
TALF LLC5
         0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Repurchase agreements6          0          0          0
Central bank liquidity swaps7         77          0          0          0          0          0         77
Reverse repurchase agreements6    267,602          0    267,602
Term deposits          0          0          0          0

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
…Not applicable.

1. Excludes the loans from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) to Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden
Lane III LLC, and TALF LLC. The loans were eliminated when preparing the FRBNY’s statement of condition consistent with consolidation
under generally accepted accounting principles.
2. Face value. For inflation-indexed securities, includes the original face value and compensation that adjusts for the effect of inflation on the
original face value of such securities.
3. Face value.
4. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. The current face value shown is the remaining principal balance of the securities.
5. Face value of asset-backed securities held by TALF LLC, which is the remaining principal balance of the underlying assets.
6. Cash value of agreements.
7. Dollar value of foreign currency held under these agreements valued at the exchange rate to be used when the foreign currency is returned to
the foreign central bank. This exchange rate equals the market exchange rate used when the foreign currency was acquired from the foreign
central bank.

3. Supplemental Information on Mortgage-Backed Securities

Millions of dollars

Account name Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Mortgage-backed securities held outright1 1,678,322
Commitments to buy mortgage-backed securities2     80,643
Commitments to sell mortgage-backed securities2          0
Cash and cash equivalents3          4
1. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. The current face value shown is the remaining principal balance of the securities.
2. Current face value. Generally settle within 180 days and include commitments associated with outright transactions, dollar rolls, and coupon swaps.
3. This amount is included in other Federal Reserve assets in table 1 and in other assets in table 8 and table 9.

4. Information on Principal Accounts of Maiden Lane LLC

Millions of dollars

Account name Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane LLC1      1,665
Outstanding principal amount of loan extended by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Accrued interest payable to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Outstanding principal amount and accrued interest on loan payable to JPMorgan Chase & Co.3          0
1. Fair value. Fair value reflects an estimate of the price that would be received upon selling an asset if the transaction were to be conducted in an orderly market on the measurement date. Revalued quarterly. This table reflects valuations as of June 30, 2014. Any assets purchased after
this valuation date are initially recorded at cost until their estimated fair value as of the purchase date becomes available.
2. Book value. This amount was eliminated when preparing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s statement of condition consistent with consolidation under generally accepted accounting principles. Refer to the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
3. Book value. The fair value of these obligations is included in other liabilities and capital in table 1 and in other liabilities and accrued dividends in table 8 and table 9.

Note: On June 26, 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) extended credit to Maiden Lane LLC under the authority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. This limited liability company was formed to acquire certain assets of Bear Stearns and to manage those assets through time to maximize repayment of the credit extended and to minimize disruption to financial markets. Payments by Maiden Lane LLC from the proceeds of the net portfolio holdings will be made in the following order: operating expenses of the LLC, principal due to the FRBNY, interest due to the FRBNY, principal due to JPMorgan Chase & Co., and interest due to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Any remaining funds will be paid to the FRBNY.

5. Information on Principal Accounts of Maiden Lane II LLC

Millions of dollars

Account name Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane II LLC1         63
Outstanding principal amount of loan extended by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Accrued interest payable to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Deferred payment and accrued interest payable to subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc.3          0
1. Fair value. Fair value reflects an estimate of the price that would be received upon selling an asset if the transaction were to be conducted in an orderly market on the measurement date. Revalued quarterly. This table reflects valuations as of June 30, 2014. Any assets purchased after
this valuation date are initially recorded at cost until their estimated fair value as of the purchase date becomes available.
2. Book value. This amount was eliminated when preparing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s statement of condition consistent with consolidation under generally accepted accounting principles. Refer to the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
3. Book value. The deferred payment represents the portion of the proceeds of the net portfolio holdings due to subsidiaries of American
International Group, Inc. in accordance with the asset purchase agreement. The fair value of this payment and accrued interest payable are
included in other liabilities and capital in table 1 and in other liabilities and accrued dividends in table 8 and table 9.

Note: On December 12, 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) began extending credit to Maiden Lane II LLC under the authority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. This limited liability company was formed to purchase residential mortgage-backed securities from the U.S. securities lending reinvestment portfolio of subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. (AIG subsidiaries). Payments by Maiden Lane II LLC from the proceeds of the net portfolio holdings will be made in the following order: operating expenses of Maiden Lane II LLC, principal due to the FRBNY, interest due to the FRBNY, and deferred payment and interest due to AIG subsidiaries. Any remaining funds will be shared by the FRBNY and AIG subsidiaries.

6. Information on Principal Accounts of Maiden Lane III LLC

Millions of dollars

Account name Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane III LLC1         22
Outstanding principal amount of loan extended by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Accrued interest payable to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Outstanding principal amount and accrued interest on loan payable to American International Group, Inc.3          0
1. Fair value. Fair value reflects an estimate of the price that would be received upon selling an asset if the transaction were to be conducted in an orderly market on the measurement date. Revalued quarterly. This table reflects valuations as of June 30, 2014. Any assets purchased after
this valuation date are initially recorded at cost until their estimated fair value as of the purchase date becomes available.
2. Book value. This amount was eliminated when preparing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s statement of condition consistent with consolidation under generally accepted accounting principles. Refer to the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
3. Book value. The fair value of these obligations is included in other liabilities and capital in table 1 and in other liabilities and accrued dividends in table 8 and table 9.

Note: On November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) began extending credit to Maiden Lane III LLC under the authority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. This limited liability company was formed to purchase multi-sector collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) on which the Financial Products group of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has written credit default swap (CDS) contracts. In connection with the purchase of CDOs, the CDS counterparties will concurrently unwind the related CDS transactions. Payments by Maiden Lane III LLC from the proceeds of the net portfolio holdings will be made in the following order: operating expenses of Maiden Lane III LLC, principal due to the FRBNY, interest due to the FRBNY, principal due to AIG, and interest due to AIG. Any remaining funds will be shared by the FRBNY and AIG.

7. Information on Principal Accounts of TALF LLC

Millions of dollars

Account name Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Asset-backed securities holdings1          0
Other investments, net         44
Net portfolio holdings of TALF LLC         44
Outstanding principal amount of loan extended by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Accrued interest payable to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York2          0
Funding provided by U.S. Treasury to TALF LLC, including accrued interest payable3          0
1. Fair value. Fair value reflects an estimate of the price that would be received upon selling an asset if the transaction were to be conducted in an orderly market on the measurement date.
2. Book value. This amount was eliminated when preparing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s statement of condition consistent with consolidation under generally accepted accounting principles. Refer to the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
3. Book value. The fair value of these obligations is included in other liabilities and capital in table 1 and in other liabilities and accrued dividends in table 8 and table 9.

Note: On November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve announced the creation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) under theauthority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. The TALF is a facility under which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) extended loans with a term of up to five years to holders of eligible asset-backed securities. The Federal Reserve closed the TALF for new loan extensions in 2010. The loans provided through the TALF to eligible borrowers are non-recourse, meaning that the obligation of the borrower can be discharged by surrendering the collateral to the FRBNY.

TALF LLC is a limited liability company formed to purchase and manage any asset-backed securities received by the FRBNY in connection with the decision of a borrower not to repay a TALF loan. TALF LLC has committed, for a fee, to purchase all asset-backed securities received by the FRBNY in conjunction with a TALF loan at a price equal to the TALF loan plus accrued but unpaid interest. Prior to January 15, 2013, the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) committed backup funding to TALF LLC, providing credit protection to the FRBNY. However, the accumulated fees and income collected through the TALF and held by TALF LLC now exceed the remaining amount of TALF loans outstanding. Accordingly, the TARP credit protection commitment has been terminated, and TALF LLC has begun to distribute excess proceeds to the Treasury and the FRBNY. Any remaining funds will be shared by the FRBNY and the U.S. Treasury.

8. Consolidated Statement of Condition of All Federal Reserve Banks

Millions of dollars

Assets, liabilities, and capital Eliminations from consolidation Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Change since
Wednesday Wednesday
Sep 3, 2014 Sep 11, 2013
Assets
Gold certificate account     11,037          0          0
Special drawing rights certificate account      5,200          0          0
Coin      1,930 +        8 -       62
Securities, unamortized premiums and discounts, repurchase agreements, and loans 4,351,126 +    3,534 +  756,847
Securities held outright1 4,160,521 +    3,657 +  763,739
U.S. Treasury securities 2,440,637 +    3,651 +  399,549
Bills2          0          0          0
Notes and bonds, nominal2 2,326,351 +    3,661 +  385,784
Notes and bonds, inflation-indexed2     97,755          0 +   10,546
Inflation compensation3     16,531 -       10 +    3,219
Federal agency debt securities2     41,562          0 -   22,654
Mortgage-backed securities4 1,678,322 +        6 +  386,844
Unamortized premiums on securities held outright5    208,907 -      132 +    5,820
Unamortized discounts on securities held outright5    -18,654 +       19 -   12,787
Repurchase agreements6          0          0          0
Loans        352 -       10 +       75
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane LLC7      1,665 +        1 +      167
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane II LLC8         63          0 -        1
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane III LLC9         22          0          0
Net portfolio holdings of TALF LLC10         44          0 -       68
Items in process of collection (0)         94 -       22 -       31
Bank premises      2,255          0 -       29
Central bank liquidity swaps11         77 +        1 -      243
Foreign currency denominated assets12     22,801 -      404 -      925
Other assets13     25,095 +    2,704 +    3,719
Total assets (0) 4,421,408 +    5,821 +  759,373

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Footnotes appear at the end of the table.

8. Consolidated Statement of Condition of All Federal Reserve Banks (continued)

Millions of dollars

Assets, liabilities, and capital Eliminations from consolidation Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Change since
Wednesday Wednesday
Sep 3, 2014 Sep 11, 2013
Liabilities
Federal Reserve notes, net of F.R. Bank holdings 1,247,980 -    2,086 +   84,510
Reverse repurchase agreements14    267,602 +   17,296 +  175,438
Deposits (0) 2,842,072 -    8,612 +  499,663
Term deposits held by depository institutions          0          0          0
Other deposits held by depository institutions 2,788,954 -   24,799 +  513,312
U.S. Treasury, General Account     31,872 +   10,836 +    1,852
Foreign official      5,241 -    1,326 -    3,524
Other15 (0)     16,004 +    6,676 -   11,978
Deferred availability cash items (0)        721 -      482 -      163
Other liabilities and accrued dividends16      6,693 -      299 -    1,529
Total liabilities (0) 4,365,067 +    5,817 +  757,919
Capital accounts
Capital paid in     28,170 +        2 +      726
Surplus     28,170 +        2 +      726
Other capital accounts          0          0          0
Total capital     56,341 +        4 +    1,454

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

1. Includes securities lent to dealers under the overnight securities lending facility; refer to table 1A.
2. Face value of the securities.
3. Compensation that adjusts for the effect of inflation on the original face value of inflation-indexed securities.
4. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. The current face value shown is the remaining principal balance of the securities.
5. Reflects the premium or discount, which is the difference between the purchase price and the face value of the securities that has not been amortized.  For U.S. Treasury and Federal agency debt securities, amortization is on a straight-line basis.  For mortgage-backed securities, amortization is on an effective-interest basis.
6. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities.
7. Refer to table 4 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
8. Refer to table 5 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
9. Refer to table 6 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
10. Refer to table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9.
11. Dollar value of foreign currency held under these agreements valued at the exchange rate to be used when the foreign currency is returned to
the foreign central bank. This exchange rate equals the market exchange rate used when the foreign currency was acquired from the foreign
central bank.
12. Revalued daily at current foreign currency exchange rates.
13. Includes accrued interest, which represents the daily accumulation of interest earned, and other accounts receivable.
14. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, federal agency debt securities, and mortgage-backed securities.
15. Includes deposits held at the Reserve Banks by international and multilateral organizations, government-sponsored enterprises, and designated financial market utilities.
16. Includes the liabilities of Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden Lane III LLC, and TALF LLC to entities other than the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York, including liabilities that have recourse only to the portfolio holdings of these LLCs. Refer to table 4 through table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 9. Also includes the liability for interest on Federal Reserve notes due to U.S. Treasury.

9. Statement of Condition of Each Federal Reserve Bank, September 10, 2014

Millions of dollars

Assets, liabilities, and capital Total Boston New York Philadelphia Cleveland Richmond Atlanta Chicago St. Louis Minneapolis Kansas Dallas San
City Francisco
Assets
Gold certificate account     11,037        352      4,125        338        464        824      1,349        706        278        173        291        880      1,257
Special drawing rights certificate acct.      5,200        196      1,818        210        237        412        654        424        150         90        153        282        574
Coin      1,930         32         94        124        123        320        222        276         25         46        153        182        332
Securities, unamortized premiums and discounts, repurchase agreements,
and loans
4,351,126     88,009 2,670,390    104,231     94,993    243,168    240,542    177,833     53,725     26,795     57,330    132,586    461,524
Securities held outright1 4,160,521     84,160 2,553,576     99,673     90,839    232,534    229,991    170,046     51,317     25,497     54,804    126,772    441,311
U.S. Treasury securities 2,440,637     49,370 1,497,974     58,470     53,288    136,409    134,917     99,752     30,104     14,957     32,149     74,367    258,881
Bills2          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Notes and bonds3 2,440,637     49,370 1,497,974     58,470     53,288    136,409    134,917     99,752     30,104     14,957     32,149     74,367    258,881
Federal agency debt securities2     41,562        841     25,509        996        907      2,323      2,298      1,699        513        255        547      1,266      4,409
Mortgage-backed securities4 1,678,322     33,949 1,030,093     40,207     36,644     93,803     92,777     68,595     20,701     10,285     22,107     51,139    178,021
Unamortized premiums on securities held outright5    208,907      4,226    128,220      5,005      4,561     11,676     11,548      8,538      2,577      1,280      2,752      6,365     22,159
Unamortized discounts on securities held outright5    -18,654       -377    -11,449       -447       -407     -1,043     -1,031       -762       -230       -114       -246       -568     -1,979
Repurchase agreements6          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Loans        352          1         44          0          0          0         34         11         61        132         20         17         33
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden
Lane LLC7      1,665          0      1,665          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden
Lane II LLC8         63          0         63          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden
Lane III LLC9         22          0         22          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Net portfolio holdings of TALF LLC10         44          0         44          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Items in process of collection         94          0          0          0          0          0         93          0          0          1          0          0          0
Bank premises      2,255        121        434         74        110        222        209        198        124         97        243        224        200
Central bank liquidity swaps11         77          4         25          6          6         16          4          2          1          0          1          1         11
Foreign currency denominated assets12     22,801      1,037      7,335      1,714      1,813      4,754      1,311        629        192         96        240        381      3,299
Other assets13     25,095        535     15,039        739        546      1,547      1,374      1,014        356        219        347        798      2,580
Interdistrict settlement account          0 +   10,547 -   58,585 +    2,678 +    9,252 +      197 +    8,040 -   10,297 -   10,950 -    2,083 -      134 +    2,635 +   48,701
Total assets 4,421,408    100,833 2,642,468    110,114    107,543    251,460    253,799    170,787     43,900     25,434     58,623    137,969    518,478

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Footnotes appear at the end of the table.

9. Statement of Condition of Each Federal Reserve Bank, September 10, 2014 (continued)

Millions of dollars

Assets, liabilities, and capital Total Boston New York Philadelphia Cleveland Richmond Atlanta Chicago St. Louis Minneapolis Kansas Dallas San
City Francisco
Liabilities
Federal Reserve notes outstanding 1,443,974     44,572    489,349     42,766     65,118    103,568    212,875     94,569     37,360     21,242     36,783    115,911    179,862
Less: Notes held by F.R. Banks    195,994      5,311     63,063      6,357      8,870     11,177     20,690     11,915      4,937      4,278      5,302     25,736     28,359
Federal Reserve notes, net 1,247,980     39,261    426,285     36,409     56,248     92,391    192,186     82,654     32,423     16,964     31,481     90,175    151,503
Reverse repurchase agreements14    267,602      5,413    164,244      6,411      5,843     14,956     14,793     10,937      3,301      1,640      3,525      8,154     28,385
Deposits 2,842,072     53,409 2,030,175     62,876     40,791    131,999     42,547     75,315      7,510      6,356     22,882     38,429    329,783
Term deposits held by depository institutions          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Other deposits held by depository institutions 2,788,954     53,397 1,977,410     62,837     40,788    131,731     42,538     75,306      7,510      6,355     22,881     38,428    329,774
U.S. Treasury, General Account     31,872          0     31,872          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Foreign official      5,241          2      5,214          3          3          8          2          1          0          0          0          1          6
Other15     16,004         11     15,679         36          0        260          7          7          0          0          1          0          3
Deferred availability cash items        721          0          0          0          0          0        611          0          0        110          0          0          0
Interest on Federal Reserve notes due
to U.S. Treasury16
     1,693         19      1,199         20         10         23         86         73         20         12         20         54        155
Other liabilities and accrued
dividends17
     5,000        167      2,179        211        208        544        361        282        142        118        126        208        454
Total liabilities 4,365,067     98,270 2,624,083    105,927    103,101    239,913    250,583    169,261     43,395     25,200     58,034    137,021    510,279
Capital
Capital paid in     28,170      1,282      9,193      2,093      2,221      5,773      1,608        763        252        117        295        474      4,099
Surplus     28,170      1,282      9,193      2,093      2,221      5,773      1,608        763        252        117        295        474      4,099
Other capital          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0          0
Total liabilities and capital 4,421,408    100,833 2,642,468    110,114    107,543    251,460    253,799    170,787     43,900     25,434     58,623    137,969    518,478

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Footnotes appear at the end of the table.

9. Statement of Condition of Each Federal Reserve Bank, September 10, 2014 (continued)

1. Includes securities lent to dealers under the overnight securities lending facility; refer to table 1A.
2. Face value of the securities.
3. Includes the original face value of inflation-indexed securities and compensation that adjusts for the effect of inflation on the original face value of such securities.
4. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. The current face value shown is the remaining principal balance of the securities.
5. Reflects the premium or discount, which is the difference between the purchase price and the face value of the securities that has not been amortized.  For U.S. Treasury and Federal agency debt securities, amortization is on a straight-line basis.  For mortgage-backed securities, amortization is on an effective-interest basis.
6. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities.
7. Refer to table 4 and the note on consolidation below.
8. Refer to table 5 and the note on consolidation below.
9. Refer to table 6 and the note on consolidation below.
10. Refer to table 7 and the note on consolidation below.
11. Dollar value of foreign currency held under these agreements valued at the exchange rate to be used when the foreign currency is returned to the foreign central bank. This exchange rate
equals the market exchange rate used when the foreign currency was acquired from the foreign central bank.
12. Revalued daily at current foreign currency exchange rates.
13. Includes accrued interest, which represents the daily accumulation of interest earned, and other accounts receivable.
14. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, federal agency debt securities, and mortgage-backed securities.
15. Includes deposits held at the Reserve Banks by international and multilateral organizations, government-sponsored enterprises, and designated financial market utilities.
16. Represents the estimated weekly remittances to U.S. Treasury as interest on Federal Reserve notes or, in those cases where the Reserve Bank’s net earnings are not sufficient to equate surplus to capital paid-in, the deferred asset for interest on Federal Reserve notes. The amount of any deferred asset, which is presented as a negative amount in this line, represents the amount of the Federal Reserve Bank’s earnings that must be retained before remittances to the U.S. Treasury resume. The amounts on this line are calculated in accordance with Board of Governors policy, which requires the Federal Reserve Banks to remit residual earnings to the U.S. Treasury as interest on Federal Reserve notes after providing for the costs of operations, payment of dividends, and the amount necessary to equate surplus with capital paid-in.
17. Includes the liabilities of Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden Lane III LLC, and TALF LLC to entities other than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, including liabilities that have recourse only to the portfolio holdings of these LLCs. Refer to table 4 through table 7 and the note on consolidation below.

Note on consolidation:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has extended loans to several limited liability companies under the authority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. On June 26, 2008, a loan was extended to Maiden Lane LLC, which was formed to acquire certain assets of Bear Stearns. On November 25, 2008, a loan was extended to Maiden Lane III LLC, which was formed to purchase multi-sector collateralized debt obligations on which the Financial Products group of the American International Group, Inc. has written credit default swap contracts. On December 12, 2008, a loan was extended to Maiden Lane II LLC, which was formed to purchase residential mortgage-backed securities from the U.S. securities lending reinvestment portfolio of subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. On November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve Board authorized the FRBNY to extend credit to TALF LLC, which was formed to purchase and manage any asset-backed securities received by the FRBNY in connection with the decision of a borrower not to repay a loan extended under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility.

The FRBNY is the primary beneficiary of TALF LLC, because of the two beneficiaries of the LLC, the FRBNY and the U.S. Treasury, the FRBNY is primarily responsible for directing the financial activities of TALF LLC. The FRBNY is the primary beneficiary of the other LLCs cited above because it will receive a majority of any residual returns of the LLCs and absorb a majority of any residual losses of the LLCs. Consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, the assets and liabilities of these LLCs have been consolidated with the assets and liabilities of the FRBNY in the preparation of the statements of condition shown on this release. As a consequence of the consolidation, the extensions of credit from the FRBNY to the LLCs are eliminated, the net assets of the LLCs appear as assets on the previous page (and in table 1 and table 8), and the liabilities of the LLCs to entities other than the FRBNY, including those with recourse only to the portfolio holdings of the LLCs, are included in other liabilities in this table (and table 1 and table 8).

10. Collateral Held against Federal Reserve Notes: Federal Reserve Agents’ Accounts

Millions of dollars

Federal Reserve notes and collateral Wednesday
Sep 10, 2014
Federal Reserve notes outstanding 1,443,974
Less: Notes held by F.R. Banks not subject to collateralization    195,994
Federal Reserve notes to be collateralized 1,247,980
Collateral held against Federal Reserve notes 1,247,980
Gold certificate account     11,037
Special drawing rights certificate account      5,200
U.S. Treasury, agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities pledged1,2 1,231,743
Other assets pledged          0
Memo:
Total U.S. Treasury, agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities1,2 4,160,521
Less: Face value of securities under reverse repurchase agreements    257,508
U.S. Treasury, agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities eligible to be pledged 3,903,013

Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

1. Includes face value of U.S. Treasury, agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities held outright, compensation to adjust for the effect of inflation on the original face value of inflation-indexed securities, and cash value of repurchase agreements.
2. Includes securities lent to dealers under the overnight securities lending facility; refer to table 1A.

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Story 1: The Select Committee on Benghazi Will Never Answer The Most Important Questions — Why Was The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) In Benghazi, Libya and What Were They Doing? — Shipping Arms Through Turkey To The Syrian Rebels — Free Syrian Army, Al Nustra, Islamic State — Al Qaeda Arms Deal Gone Bad — Congress and Obama Arms Our Enemies To Kill Christians —  The War on Christians! — Videos

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Benghazi Select Committee Holds First Public Hearing Trey Gowdy On The Record

Watch Live: Select Committee on Benghazi Holds First Hearing

President Obama announces bipartisan House and Senate support of his plan to arm rebels in Syria

Islamic State: Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels approved

Rand Paul Lambasts White House, Congress for Arming Syrian Rebels

General: Benghazi ‘Botched Arms Deal’ To Muslim Brotherhood And Al Qaeda

Chairman Gowdy’s Questioning in First Benghazi Select Committee Hearing

Trey Gowdy Demands Answers On Benghazi

Rand Paul Destroys Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi-Gate During Capitol Hill Press Conference

Chaffetz: Clinton’s Top Aides Involved In Benghazi Documents Scrub

Hillary allies secretly removed Benghazi documents damaging to her ahead of ARB probe

Obama Admin Lied To Us! They Knew Who Attack Us In Benghazi, Libya On 9-11!!

RUSH: Benghazi Cover-Up Blown Wide Open And Nobody’s Talking About It

CIA Arming Syrian Rebels With Missiles, Taxpayer Dollars

Congress Passes War Funding To Support Obama’s ISIS Fight

The Benghazi Select Committee: Many Questions Remain Unanswered

Patrick Cockburn on the rise of the Islamic State

The Rise of ISIS: US Invasion of Iraq, Foreign Backing of Syrian Rebels Helped Fuel Jihadis’ Advance

Patrick Cockburn: U.S. Turns Blind Eye As Saudis Fund Jihadists in Syrian Conflict (2 of 2)

Syria – Who are Jabhat al-Nusra? – Truthloader

Who are ISIS? – Truthloader

 

benghazi-we-will-find-out-what-difference-does-it-make

13_hours

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Thousands of Surface To Air Missiles Are Missing In Libya

Libya rebels discover Gaddafi’s huge tank store in Tripoli ready for battle

The largest arms depot in Africa ( Alqaha)been taking over by Libyan freedom fighters

Benghazi, Arms for Rebels & Obama Lies About Syrian Chemical Weapons

FSA rebels shoot down SAA aircraft with 9K38 “Igla” MANPADS

Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front): Reports on Terror Group from CNN & Al-Jazeera… Purpose Explained!

13 Hours – Full Interview of the Three Benghazi Survivors – Fox News

Benghazi – The Truth Behind The Smokescreen – Bret Baier Reporting

Glenn Beck Why Obama Hid the Truth of Benghazi

Rep. Trey Gowdy blasts Jay Carney and Ambassador Susan Rice: I want to know why we were lied to!

Susan Rice Caught Lying About Benghazi – Rep. Trey Gowdy Whistleblower Questioning

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

CIA Pressuring Agents With Knowledge Of Benghazi To Keep Silent

SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria

Retired Lt Gen Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

SYRIA Rand Paul “Maybe We Were Facilitating Arms Leaving Libya Going Through Turkey Into Syria”

Rand Paul Blasts Stupid Senate for Wanting to Arm Syrian al-Qaeda Fighters

Sen. Rand Paul: ‘Worldwide War on Christianity’ Ignored by Obama, Media

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels; CR Passes (Updated) (Video)

After voting to give President Barack Obama the authority to arm and train Syrian rebels, the House passed legislation Wednesday to fund the government until Dec. 11, moving the bill to avoid a government shutdown and address Islamic State organizations to the Senate.

House lawmakers voted 319-108 to pass the continuing resolution, with 143 Democrats joining 176 Republicans in support of the measure. 55 Democrats and 53 Republicans voted against the bill.

A vote on the spending bill, which will continue government spending through Dec. 11 at a $1.012 trillion level, was delayed last week so lawmakers could attach a request from the president to give him Title 10 authority to fight the Islamic State group.

That authority would allow the Obama administration to equip Syrian rebels for the intended purpose of fighting ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also referred to as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Obama praised the House and urged the Senate to follow suit on the legislation, which he reiterated is not an authorization for the use of U.S. troops in Syria.

“Today’s vote is another step closer to having the authorization to train and equip vetted elements of the moderate Syrian opposition so they can defend themselves against, and ultimately push back on, ISIL forces,” he said in a statement

Just before the CR vote, lawmakers voted 273-156 to adopt the Syrian rebel amendment. 159 Republicans and 114 Democrats voted for the proposal, while 85 Republicans and 71 Democrats voted against it.

As voting on the amendment took place, members stared at the board in the House chamber showing who was voting for the amendment and who was voting against it. Despite a tally that was never really close, it was a dramatic vote.

Much of the debate on the CR turned into a debate on the proposal to arm Syrian rebels, and, more broadly, the specter of another war in the Middle East. In fact, the CR has become such a proxy for the Syria amendment that the Club for Growth, a conservative group opposed to the spending bill, withdrew its key vote on the legislation, explaining that the vote was now largely driven by foreign policy.

But if it were true that foreign policy was driving decisions on the CR, then it was the memories of past foreign policy decisions largely driving this current debate.

Liberal Democrats and some conservative Republicans worried on the House floor that this initial authorization was the first step of a larger military entanglement.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., a staunch opponent of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, said the six-hour debate on the amendment reminded her of “the failure to have a thorough and robust debate in the wake of 9/11,” which, she said resulted in an overly broad authorization that was a “blank check for perpetual war.”

Other members voted against the amendment because they worried of an opposite effect. Louisiana Republican John Fleming expressed concern that the authorization was “little more than an incremental strategy, not unlike the one used in Vietnam.”

“History warns of the dangers of such approaches,” Fleming said. “By moving hesitantly in piecemeal fashion, the enemy has more time to learn, adapt and get stronger. This is a recipe for a stalemate and failure.”

Many other lawmakers expressed concern over the stated strategy of arming the Free Syrian Army. They said there was no guarantee those rebels would always be allies of the United States, or that they wouldn’t simply use their U.S.-supplied weapons to take down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead of ISIL.

The Obama administration says there will be a thorough vetting process before any Syrian rebel is handed a weapon, but, by Wednesday, many lawmakers remained less than convinced. California Republican Dana Rohrabacher called the administration’s plan “wishful thinking, not realistic planning.”

But congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle insisted the authority was needed.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said earlier Wednesday that Obama deserved the support of Democrats in what she acknowledged was a “war vote,” but a proposal that was “discrete” and “short-term.”

“It is not pleasant, it’s not easy,” Pelosi later said on the House floor. “It’s hard. But it really is necessary for the House to approve this.”

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said ISIL was already threatening U.S. allies in the Middle East and in Europe.  ”And if left unchecked,” he said, “it will surely threaten us here at home.”

The ranking Democrat on the Armed Services panel, Adam Smith of Washington, argued that arming Syrian rebels would deny ISIL a “safe-haven,” and Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, who sponsored the amendment, said there was “no doubt” that any strategy to defeat ISIL would need to include a Syria component.

The plan to arm Syrian rebels is a middle-of-the-road response to the rise of ISIL. It isn’t an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, as the amendment explicitly indicates, and it won’t, by itself, dismantle terrorists in the region. But it’s not nothing.

Speaker John A. Boehner appealed to his conference by arguing this was a first step toward defeating ISIL, saying Congress had a responsibility to give the president this authority. While hetold reporters Tuesday there’s “a lot more” the U.S. needed to be doing to address ISIL, the Ohio Republican said there was “no reason not to do what the president asked us to do.”

Already, GOP leaders seem to be indicating that the House may soon consider a new authorization for use of military force for the Middle East, with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthytelling reporters on Monday that, “after November,” there may be an “opportunity” to debate a larger military authorization.

As for the CR itself, the 10-week extension, if it is — as expected — agreed to by the Senate and signed by the president, will force lawmakers to return after the midterm elections and begin work on a more permanent spending solution. Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said he was hopeful the House and Senate could work out an omnibus package similar to the one lawmakers worked out in January 2014.

“It is my sincere hope that if this CR is enacted, we can use the coming months wisely to craft agreement on all 12 bills by Dec. 11,” said the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Nita M. Lowey of New York. “There is absolutely no reason to punt our responsibilities into the new year and new Congress.”

Conservatives had pushed for a longer CR — one that would fund the government until, say, March 1, 2015 — so that a new Congress, perhaps one with a Senate under Republican control, could set the spending levels. Conservatives also voiced concern over extending the Export-Import Bank until June 30, 2015. They wanted to simply let the credit agency expire.

But the reauthorization until June 30 seemed to scare Democrats more than Republicans. Democrats are showing unease that they won’t have a must-pass bill in June to which they can attach another extension of the Ex-Im Bank, and they worry that decoupling the agency from a spending bill will ultimately kill it.

Democrats seemed to understand, however, that holding up the CR over the length of extension on such an inside-the-Beltway issue would not be politically advantageous just before an election.

Passing the CR allows both Republicans and Democrats to get back to their districts early and campaign for about six weeks before the midterms. While the House is scheduled to be in session next week, most aides expect McCarthy to cancel the remaining legislative days before November and send everyone to the campaign trail early.

http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/house-votes-to-arm-syrian-rebels-passes-cr/?dcz=

Clinton insiders screened Benghazi documents before ARB probe, official says

 BY ED MORRISSEY

Just how unfettered was that “unfettered access” promised by the State Department to the Accountability Review Board in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack two years ago? According to one of the four officials punished and then cleared by State for the failures that led to the death of four men, a weekend housecleaning operation kept the ARB from seeing some of the most explosive documentation related to the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell told Sharyl Attkisson that the operation was supervised by advisers within Hillary Clinton’s inner circle, in this Daily Signal exclusive:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story. …

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

Not long afterward, two people high up the State Department chain arrived to check on the operation. Attkisson describes them as “close confidants” of Hillary Clinton, probably from Maxwell’s own description, although neither are named in Attkisson’s report. Maxwell says that both of them accompanied him into another office with a fourth person, where they personally vetted more documents:

Maxwell says after those two officials arrived, he, the office director and an intern moved into a small office where they looked through some papers. Maxwell says his stack included pre-attack telegrams and cables between the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and State Department headquarters. After a short time, Maxwell says he decided to leave.

“I didn’t feel good about it,” he said.

Don’t expect that this will disappear as quietly. Maxwell says that members of the select House committee on Benghazi have already deposed him on this weekend filing session, including both chair Trey Gowdy and Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz told Attkisson that he is “100% confident the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep on that issue.”

The ARB has insisted all along that they conducted a thorough and independent probe, a claim at which Maxwell scoffs on both counts in Attkisson’s report. This could let them off the hook, though. If State conspired to hide evidence from them, it will give the ARB an opening to withdraw their report — which would be a PR move entirely, since the ARB had no authoritative status otherwise — and give Congress even more validation for pursuing this in select-committee form. If Maxwell testifies to this in open session and the BSC finds one or more corroborating witnesses, it will put this right back front and center. And we may still yet hear from the unnamed advisers, too, as to what their orders were, and who gave them.

Benghazi Post-Attack Satellite Revelations

Benghazi, Libya showing the locations of the U. S. Consulate and CIA Annex on the outskirts of town

Perplexing questions yet remain surrounding the attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Satellite images taken before and AFTER the attacks, which anyone can view on Google Earth, show evidence of the attacks at both the Consulate and CIA Annex. They help clarify conditions on the ground at the time.

Google Earth (GE) is an incredibly useful online tool. With it, armchair sleuths at home can uncover important details about news events that get overlooked by the big shot mainstream media.

Such is the case with the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Geography and News Events

Google Earth provides two unique capabilities to the armchair sleuth:

  • A scalable geographic look at any place on Earth and its surroundings
  • A history of images of that place to investigate its background and history

Most important for investigating the Benghazi attacks is that the most current GE satellite image of both the Consulate and CIA Annex were taken on 9/17/2012, just 6 days after the attack.

GE’s image history is used to go back and forth between before and after images to identify evidence of the attacks visible from space.

For the attack on the CIA Annex this is particularly important because Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed when hit by mortar fire while defending the Annex from a rooftop position.

The U.S. Consulate


—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Plainly visible on the satellite image of the Consulate complex are the burned out remains of two vehicles, the charred remains of burnt furniture next to one of the vehicles and the couch and other things tossed into the swimming pool by either the terrorists or looters.

GE shows us that the U.S. Consulate is located on the outskirts of Benghazi in a very open area surrounded by an orchard and soccer field. Contrary to news reports, GE tells us it is in a narrow rectangular shaped property about 300 feet wide and 800 feet long.

The property is surrounded by trees with no visible wall. It was built as a residence. It has two gates.
The back gate has no defenses whatsoever.

The consulate has three main buildings and a guardhouse at the front gate. The front gate has been fortified with barriers since October of 2011. Those barriers are the only visible signs of increased security at the Consulate. The unprotected back gate opens onto Fourth Ring Road, one of the main streets circling Benghazi.

Its three main structures are the consulate building, a detached Ambassador’s residence with saferoom where Ambassador Stephens was found; and a nearby guard barracks near the front gate.

GE history reveals the main consulate building, detached residence and swimming pool were a lonely patch of dirt in August of 2007 and that they were under construction in June of 2009. Little has changed since then.

During the consulate attack Navy SEAL Woods and others came from the CIA Annex, fought their way to consulate, rescued staff and recovered the body of Sean Smith. They took them back to the CIA Annex from the consulate.

The CIA Annex

CIA Annex showing where mortar rounds struck building tops and grounds

Line of sight, the CIA Annex complex is located about a mile from the consulate next to what appears to be a large warehouse with many buildings.

The annex is within a thick wall surrounding a 300 X 400 foot rectangle. It is better fortified and much more defensible than the consulate. It is also closer to civilian targets.

The annex took mortar fire. Mortar strikes show up as distinct smudges on the satellite image near the red dots. Navy SEALs Doherty and Woods were killed by one of the rooftop mortar strikes.

GE history reveals the annex was built some time after June 28th, 2009.

Conclusions

From satellite images it is easy to see why Ambassador Stephens would be seriously concerned about consulate security, especially given all the al Qaeda activity in area and previous attacks.

The consulate, originally built as someone’s house, was barely modified after it was acquired by the U.S. government. It is not even clear from satellite imagery that it had a surrounding wall. Its unguarded back gate opens onto a main Benghazi street and is easily penetrable.

The Annex is better protected and was successfully defended against a physical breach, albeit at the cost of Doherty and Woods who gave their lives defending the annex from a rooftop position.

Woods and Doherty probably deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts.

Armchair sleuthing reveals this immutable fact… the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, one of the most dangerous places in the world, was woefully under-protected at the time of the attacks. The warning signs of another inevitable attack were all present. Those up the chain of command had been told.

Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith and the others didn’t stand a chance.
Someone MUST be held accountable!

Intrigue Surrounding The Secret CIA Operation In Benghazi Is Not Going Away

In May CNN’s Jake Tapper argued that the CIA’s presence in Benghazi, where four Americans were killed in an attack on September 11, 2012, should be scrutinized.

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) agreed, saying: “There are questions that must be asked of the CIA and this must be done in a public way.”

The Agency, for its part, doesn’t want anyone knowing what it was doing in the Libyan port city.

On Thursday Drew Griffin and  of CNN reported that the CIA “is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.”

Sources told CNN that 35 Americans were in Benghazi that night — 21 of whom were working out of the annex — and that several were wounded, some seriously.

One source said: “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

Among the questions are whether CIA missteps contributed to the security failure in Benghazi and, more importantly, whether the Agency’s Benghazi operation had anything to do with reported heavy weapons shipments from the local port to Syrian rebels.

In short, the CIA operation is the most intriguing thing about Benghazi.

Here’s what we know:

benghaziThe attack

At about 9:40 p.m. local time on Sept. 11, a mob of Libyans attacked a building housing U.S. State Department personnel. At 10:20 p.m. Americans arrived from a CIA annex located 1.2 miles away, to help the besieged Americans. At 11:15 p.m. they fled with survivors back to the secret outpost.

Armed Libyans followed them and attacked the annex with rockets and small arms from around midnight to 1:00 a.m., when there was a lull in the fighting.

Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL and CIA security contractor, was with a team of Joint Special Operations Command military operators and CIA agents in Tripoli at the time of the attack. When they received word of the assault on the mission, Doherty and six others bribed the pilots of small jet with $30,000 cash for a ride to Benghazi.

At about 5:15 a.m., right after Doherty’s group arrived, the attackers began shooting mortars at the annex, leading to the death of Doherty and fellow former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor Tyrone Woods.

At 6 a.m. Libyan forces from the military intelligence service arrived and subsequently took more than 30 Americans — only seven of whom were from the State Department — to the Benghazi airport.

So the CIA’s response to go to the mission where Ambassador Christopher Stevens was located, after being held back for 20 minutes, saved American lives but also ended up exposing the annex.

And according to Paula Broadwell, the mistress of David Petraeus when he was CIA director, the CIA may have provided an impetus for the attack by holding prisoners: “Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back.”charlene lamb

At its heart a CIA operation’

The top-secret presence and location of the CIA outpost was first acknowledged by Charlene Lamb, a top official in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, during Congressional testimony in October.

Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa immediately called a point of order when Lamb exposed the location of the annex, and asked for the revelation to be stricken from the record.

“I totally object to the use of that photo,” Chaffetz. said. “I was told specifically while I was in Libya I could not and should not ever talk about what you’re showing here today.”

In November The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. mission in Benghazi “was at its heart a CIA operation.”

In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the CIA was leading a “concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover … MANPADS [man-portable air defense systems]” looted from the stockpiles of toppled Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi.

The State Department “consulate” served as diplomatic cover for the previously-hidden annex.

AnnexWeapons from Benghazi to Syria

Also in October we reported the connection between Ambassador Stevens, who died in the attack, and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (i.e. MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey.

That 400-ton shipment — “the largest consignment of weapons” yet for Syrian rebels — was organized by Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was the newly-appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.

In March 2011 Stevens, the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan rebels, worked directly with Belhadj while he headed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Stevens’ last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi “to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.”

Syrian rebels subsequently began shooting down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets with SA-7s akin to those in Qaddafi’s looted stock. (The interim Libyan government also sent money and fighters to Syria.)

What did the CIA know?

Collectively these details raise the question of what the CIA knew, given that Agency operatives in Libya were rounding up SA-7s, ostensibly to destroy them, while operatives in southern Turkey were funneling weapons to the rebels.

The State Department told CNN that it was not involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries, but it “can’t speak for any other agencies.”

Ambassador Stevens certainly would have known if the new Libyan government was sending 400 tons of heavy weapons to Turkey from Benghazi’s port.

Just like the CIA would know if those the weapons arrived in Turkey and began showing up in Syria.

Journalist Damien Spleeters created this sourced map, drawing info shared on social media such as YouTube, that gives an idea of the MANPADS presence in Syria.

We’ve added red tag noting the Turkish port, Iskenderun, where the massive SA-7 shipment docked.

And this map of nearby Turkish highways shows that the heavy weapons could have been transported from the port to the Syrian city of Aleppo in three hours.

syriaOther intriguing details

This week Nancy Youssef of McClatchy reported that Ambassador Stevens twice turned down offers for additional security, despite specifically asking for more men in cables to the State Department.

Right after the attack American Matthew VanDyke, who fought with Libyan rebels during their revolution, told us he suspected that extremist groups in the nearby mountains — who felt marginalized by the new Libyan government — “saw their opportunity to pounce.”

In May Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kent.) told CNN: “I’ve actually always suspected that, although I have no evidence, that maybe we were facilitating arms leaving Libya going through Turkey into Syria. … Were they trying to obscure that there was an arms operation going on at the CIA annex? I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but I think questions ought to be asked and answered.”

So now that the White House has released more than 100 pages of Benghazi emails, and the State Department’s role during and after the attack have been probed ad nauseam, the only thing to explore is “whatever [the CIA] was doing.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-secret-cia-mission-in-benghazi-2013-8

UN has testimony showing Syrian rebels used sarin gas

WW3 UPDATE – U.S. Intelligence: Rebels Used Sarin Gas

U.N. Strong Suspicions That Syrian Rebels Used Sarin Gas

Syria Gas Attack – ‘Eyes Twitching, Noses Foaming’ (CNN, 30Aug13)

Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Caught with Sarin Gas inside Turkey

Seymour Hersh: Obama “Cherry Picked” Intel on Syrian Chemical Attack to Justify U.S. Strike (1 of 2)

Seymour Hersh: Obama “Cherry Picked” Intel on Syrian Chemical Attack to Justify U.S. Strike (2 of 2)

Sy Hersh Reveals Potential Turkish Role in Syria Chemical Strike That Almost Sparked U.S. Bombing

U.S. Ship Finishes Neutralizing Syria’s Worst Chemical Arms: Pentagon

Syrian Sarin gas chemicals destroyed.

 

 

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.​* Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.

For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’

The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.) The DIA paper went on: ‘Previous IC [intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own CW … Al-Nusrah Front’s relative freedom of operation within Syria leads us to assess the group’s CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in the future.’ The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous agencies: ‘Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,’ it said, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.’ (Asked about the DIA paper, a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence said: ‘No such paper was ever requested or produced by intelligence community analysts.’)

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin. Five of those arrested were freed after a brief detention. The others, including the ringleader, Haytham Qassab, for whom the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of 25 years, were released pending trial. In the meantime the Turkish press has been rife with speculation that the Erdoğan administration has been covering up the extent of its involvement with the rebels. In a news conference last summer, Aydin Sezgin, Turkey’s ambassador to Moscow, dismissed the arrests and claimed to reporters that the recovered ‘sarin’ was merely ‘anti-freeze’.

The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons. It said Qassab had ‘self-identified’ as a member of al-Nusra, and that he was directly connected to Abd-al-Ghani, the ‘ANF emir for military manufacturing’. Qassab and his associate Khalid Ousta worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of a Turkish firm called Zirve Export, who provided ‘price quotes for bulk quantities of sarin precursors’. Abd-al-Ghani’s plan was for two associates to ‘perfect a process for making sarin, then go to Syria to train others to begin large scale production at an unidentified lab in Syria’. The DIA paper said that one of his operatives had purchased a precursor on the ‘Baghdad chemical market’, which ‘has supported at least seven CW efforts since 2004’.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’

In the months before the attacks began, a former senior Defense Department official told me, the DIA was circulating a daily classified report known as SYRUP on all intelligence related to the Syrian conflict, including material on chemical weapons. But in the spring, distribution of the part of the report concerning chemical weapons was severely curtailed on the orders of Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff. ‘Something was in there that triggered a shit fit by McDonough,’ the former Defense Department official said. ‘One day it was a huge deal, and then, after the March and April sarin attacks’ – he snapped his fingers – ‘it’s no longer there.’ The decision to restrict distribution was made as the joint chiefs ordered intensive contingency planning for a possible ground invasion of Syria whose primary objective would be the elimination of chemical weapons.

The former intelligence official said that many in the US national security establishment had long been troubled by the president’s red line: ‘The joint chiefs asked the White House, “What does red line mean? How does that translate into military orders? Troops on the ground? Massive strike? Limited strike?” They tasked military intelligence to study how we could carry out the threat. They learned nothing more about the president’s reasoning.’

In the aftermath of the 21 August attack Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’ The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed. ‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The Pentagon planners said we can’t use only Tomahawks to strike at Syria’s missile sites because their warheads are buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’ The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’, the former intelligence official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.

Britain and France were both to play a part. On 29 August, the day Parliament voted against Cameron’s bid to join the intervention, the Guardian reported that he had already ordered six RAF Typhoon fighter jets to be deployed to Cyprus, and had volunteered a submarine capable of launching Tomahawk missiles. The French air force – a crucial player in the 2011 strikes on Libya – was deeply committed, according to an account in Le Nouvel Observateur; François Hollande had ordered several Rafale fighter-bombers to join the American assault. Their targets were reported to be in western Syria.

By the last days of August the president had given the Joint Chiefs a fixed deadline for the launch. ‘H hour was to begin no later than Monday morning [2 September], a massive assault to neutralise Assad,’ the former intelligence official said. So it was a surprise to many when during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on 31 August Obama said that the attack would be put on hold, and he would turn to Congress and put it to a vote.

At this stage, Obama’s premise – that only the Syrian army was capable of deploying sarin – was unravelling. Within a few days of the 21 August attack, the former intelligence official told me, Russian military intelligence operatives had recovered samples of the chemical agent from Ghouta. They analysed it and passed it on to British military intelligence; this was the material sent to Porton Down. (A spokesperson for Porton Down said: ‘Many of the samples analysed in the UK tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.’ MI6 said that it doesn’t comment on intelligence matters.)

The former intelligence official said the Russian who delivered the sample to the UK was ‘a good source – someone with access, knowledge and a record of being trustworthy’. After the first reported uses of chemical weapons in Syria last year, American and allied intelligence agencies ‘made an effort to find the answer as to what if anything, was used – and its source’, the former intelligence official said. ‘We use data exchanged as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The DIA’s baseline consisted of knowing the composition of each batch of Soviet-manufactured chemical weapons. But we didn’t know which batches the Assad government currently had in its arsenal. Within days of the Damascus incident we asked a source in the Syrian government to give us a list of the batches the government currently had. This is why we could confirm the difference so quickly.’

The process hadn’t worked as smoothly in the spring, the former intelligence official said, because the studies done by Western intelligence ‘were inconclusive as to the type of gas it was. The word “sarin” didn’t come up. There was a great deal of discussion about this, but since no one could conclude what gas it was, you could not say that Assad had crossed the president’s red line.’ By 21 August, the former intelligence official went on, ‘the Syrian opposition clearly had learned from this and announced that “sarin” from the Syrian army had been used, before any analysis could be made, and the press and White House jumped at it. Since it now was sarin, “It had to be Assad.”’

The UK defence staff who relayed the Porton Down findings to the joint chiefs were sending the Americans a message, the former intelligence official said: ‘We’re being set up here.’ (This account made sense of a terse message a senior official in the CIA sent in late August: ‘It was not the result of the current regime. UK & US know this.’) By then the attack was a few days away and American, British and French planes, ships and submarines were at the ready.

The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt. They pressed the DIA and other agencies for more substantial evidence. ‘There was no way they thought Syria would use nerve gas at that stage, because Assad was winning the war,’ the former intelligence official said. Dempsey had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. Last April, after an optimistic assessment of rebel progress by the secretary of state, John Kerry, in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘there’s a risk that this conflict has become stalemated.’

Dempsey’s initial view after 21 August was that a US strike on Syria – under the assumption that the Assad government was responsible for the sarin attack – would be a military blunder, the former intelligence official said. The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course. The official White House explanation for the turnabout – the story the press corps told – was that the president, during a walk in the Rose Garden with Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, suddenly decided to seek approval for the strike from a bitterly divided Congress with which he’d been in conflict for years. The former Defense Department official told me that the White House provided a different explanation to members of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon: the bombing had been called off because there was intelligence ‘that the Middle East would go up in smoke’ if it was carried out.

The president’s decision to go to Congress was initially seen by senior aides in the White House, the former intelligence official said, as a replay of George W. Bush’s gambit in the autumn of 2002 before the invasion of Iraq: ‘When it became clear that there were no WMD in Iraq, Congress, which had endorsed the Iraqi war, and the White House both shared the blame and repeatedly cited faulty intelligence. If the current Congress were to vote to endorse the strike, the White House could again have it both ways – wallop Syria with a massive attack and validate the president’s red line commitment, while also being able to share the blame with Congress if it came out that the Syrian military wasn’t behind the attack.’ The turnabout came as a surprise even to the Democratic leadership in Congress. In September the Wall Street Journal reported that three days before his Rose Garden speech Obama had telephoned Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, ‘to talk through the options’. She later told colleagues, according to the Journal, that she hadn’t asked the president to put the bombing to a congressional vote.

Obama’s move for congressional approval quickly became a dead end. ‘Congress was not going to let this go by,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.’ At this point, there was a sense of desperation in the White House, the former intelligence official said. ‘And so out comes Plan B. Call off the bombing strike and Assad would agree to unilaterally sign the chemical warfare treaty and agree to the destruction of all of chemical weapons under UN supervision.’ At a press conference in London on 9 September, Kerry was still talking about intervention: ‘The risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting.’ But when a reporter asked if there was anything Assad could do to stop the bombing, Kerry said: ‘Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week … But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.’ As the New York Times reported the next day, the Russian-brokered deal that emerged shortly afterwards had first been discussed by Obama and Putin in the summer of 2012. Although the strike plans were shelved, the administration didn’t change its public assessment of the justification for going to war. ‘There is zero tolerance at that level for the existence of error,’ the former intelligence official said of the senior officials in the White House. ‘They could not afford to say: “We were wrong.”’ (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The Assad regime, and only the Assad regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that took place on 21 August.’)

*

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.

By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’ In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond in March and April.’

There was no public sign of discord when Erdoğan and Obama met on 16 May 2013 at the White House. At a later press conference Obama said that they had agreed that Assad ‘needs to go’. Asked whether he thought Syria had crossed the red line, Obama acknowledged that there was evidence such weapons had been used, but added, ‘it is important for us to make sure that we’re able to get more specific information about what exactly is happening there.’ The red line was still intact.

An American foreign policy expert who speaks regularly with officials in Washington and Ankara told me about a working dinner Obama held for Erdoğan during his May visit. The meal was dominated by the Turks’ insistence that Syria had crossed the red line and their complaints that Obama was reluctant to do anything about it. Obama was accompanied by John Kerry and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser who would soon leave the job. Erdoğan was joined by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, and Hakan Fidan, the head of the MIT. Fidan is known to be fiercely loyal to Erdoğan, and has been seen as a consistent backer of the radical rebel opposition in Syria.

The foreign policy expert told me that the account he heard originated with Donilon. (It was later corroborated by a former US official, who learned of it from a senior Turkish diplomat.) According to the expert, Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’ (Donilon, who joined the Council on Foreign Relations last July, didn’t respond to questions about this story. The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to questions about the dinner. A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed that the dinner took place and provided a photograph showing Obama, Kerry, Donilon, Erdoğan, Fidan and Davutoğlu sitting at a table. ‘Beyond that,’ she said, ‘I’m not going to read out the details of their discussions.’)

But Erdoğan did not leave empty handed. Obama was still permitting Turkey to continue to exploit a loophole in a presidential executive order prohibiting the export of gold to Iran, part of the US sanctions regime against the country. In March 2012, responding to sanctions of Iranian banks by the EU, the SWIFT electronic payment system, which facilitates cross-border payments, expelled dozens of Iranian financial institutions, severely restricting the country’s ability to conduct international trade. The US followed with the executive order in July, but left what came to be known as a ‘golden loophole’: gold shipments to private Iranian entities could continue. Turkey is a major purchaser of Iranian oil and gas, and it took advantage of the loophole by depositing its energy payments in Turkish lira in an Iranian account in Turkey; these funds were then used to purchase Turkish gold for export to confederates in Iran. Gold to the value of $13 billion reportedly entered Iran in this way between March 2012 and July 2013.

The programme quickly became a cash cow for corrupt politicians and traders in Turkey, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. ‘The middlemen did what they always do,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Take 15 per cent. The CIA had estimated that there was as much as two billion dollars in skim. Gold and Turkish lira were sticking to fingers.’ The illicit skimming flared into a public ‘gas for gold’ scandal in Turkey in December, and resulted in charges against two dozen people, including prominent businessmen and relatives of government officials, as well as the resignations of three ministers, one of whom called for Erdoğan to resign. The chief executive of a Turkish state-controlled bank that was in the middle of the scandal insisted that more than $4.5 million in cash found by police in shoeboxes during a search of his home was for charitable donations.

Late last year Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz reported in Foreign Policy that the Obama administration closed the golden loophole in January 2013, but ‘lobbied to make sure the legislation … did not take effect for six months’. They speculated that the administration wanted to use the delay as an incentive to bring Iran to the bargaining table over its nuclear programme, or to placate its Turkish ally in the Syrian civil war. The delay permitted Iran to ‘accrue billions of dollars more in gold, further undermining the sanctions regime’.

*

The American decision to end CIA support of the weapons shipments into Syria left Erdoğan exposed politically and militarily. ‘One of the issues at that May summit was the fact that Turkey is the only avenue to supply the rebels in Syria,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘It can’t come through Jordan because the terrain in the south is wide open and the Syrians are all over it. And it can’t come through the valleys and hills of Lebanon – you can’t be sure who you’d meet on the other side.’ Without US military support for the rebels, the former intelligence official said, ‘Erdoğan’s dream of having a client state in Syria is evaporating and he thinks we’re the reason why. When Syria wins the war, he knows the rebels are just as likely to turn on him – where else can they go? So now he will have thousands of radicals in his backyard.’

A US intelligence consultant told me that a few weeks before 21 August he saw a highly classified briefing prepared for Dempsey and the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, which described ‘the acute anxiety’ of the Erdoğan administration about the rebels’ dwindling prospects. The analysis warned that the Turkish leadership had expressed ‘the need to do something that would precipitate a US military response’. By late summer, the Syrian army still had the advantage over the rebels, the former intelligence official said, and only American air power could turn the tide. In the autumn, the former intelligence official went on, the US intelligence analysts who kept working on the events of 21 August ‘sensed that Syria had not done the gas attack. But the 500 pound gorilla was, how did it happen? The immediate suspect was the Turks, because they had all the pieces to make it happen.’

As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’ Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’ Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way.’

The post-attack intelligence on Turkey did not make its way to the White House. ‘Nobody wants to talk about all this,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘There is great reluctance to contradict the president, although no all-source intelligence community analysis supported his leap to convict. There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’

Turkey’s willingness to manipulate events in Syria to its own purposes seemed to be demonstrated late last month, a few days before a round of local elections, when a recording, allegedly of a government national security meeting, was posted to YouTube. It included discussion of a false-flag operation that would justify an incursion by the Turkish military in Syria. The operation centred on the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the revered Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, which is near Aleppo and was ceded to Turkey in 1921, when Syria was under French rule. One of the Islamist rebel factions was threatening to destroy the tomb as a site of idolatry, and the Erdoğan administration was publicly threatening retaliation if harm came to it. According to a Reuters report of the leaked conversation, a voice alleged to be Fidan’s spoke of creating a provocation: ‘Now look, my commander, if there is to be justification, the justification is I send four men to the other side. I get them to fire eight missiles into empty land [in the vicinity of the tomb]. That’s not a problem. Justification can be created.’ The Turkish government acknowledged that there had been a national security meeting about threats emanating from Syria, but said the recording had been manipulated. The government subsequently blocked public access to YouTube.

Barring a major change in policy by Obama, Turkey’s meddling in the Syrian civil war is likely to go on. ‘I asked my colleagues if there was any way to stop Erdoğan’s continued support for the rebels, especially now that it’s going so wrong,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The answer was: “We’re screwed.” We could go public if it was somebody other than Erdoğan, but Turkey is a special case. They’re a Nato ally. The Turks don’t trust the West. They can’t live with us if we take any active role against Turkish interests. If we went public with what we know about Erdoğan’s role with the gas, it’d be disastrous. The Turks would say: “We hate you for telling us what we can and can’t do.”’

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

 

Whose sarin?

Seymour M. Hersh

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assad’s government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’: ‘Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people,’ he said. ‘We know the Assad regime was responsible … And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.’ Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.

He cited a list of what appeared to be hard-won evidence of Assad’s culpability: ‘In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighbourhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.’ Obama’s certainty was echoed at the time by Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, who told the New York Times: ‘No one with whom I’ve spoken doubts the intelligence’ directly linking Assad and his regime to the sarin attacks.

But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’

The complaints focus on what Washington did not have: any advance warning from the assumed source of the attack. The military intelligence community has for years produced a highly classified early morning intelligence summary, known as the Morning Report, for the secretary of defence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; a copy also goes to the national security adviser and the director of national intelligence. The Morning Report includes no political or economic information, but provides a summary of important military events around the world, with all available intelligence about them. A senior intelligence consultant told me that some time after the attack he reviewed the reports for 20 August through 23 August. For two days – 20 and 21 August – there was no mention of Syria. On 22 August the lead item in the Morning Report dealt with Egypt; a subsequent item discussed an internal change in the command structure of one of the rebel groups in Syria. Nothing was noted about the use of nerve gas in Damascus that day. It was not until 23 August that the use of sarin became a dominant issue, although hundreds of photographs and videos of the massacre had gone viral within hours on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites. At this point, the administration knew no more than the public.

Obama left Washington early on 21 August for a hectic two-day speaking tour in New York and Pennsylvania; according to the White House press office, he was briefed later that day on the attack, and the growing public and media furore. The lack of any immediate inside intelligence was made clear on 22 August, when Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters: ‘We are unable to conclusively determine [chemical weapons] use. But we are focused every minute of every day since these events happened … on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts.’ The administration’s tone had hardened by 27 August, when Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, told reporters – without providing any specific information – that any suggestions that the Syrian government was not responsible ‘are as preposterous as suggestions that the attack itself didn’t occur’.

On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assad’s office. The document said that the NSA’s worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been ‘able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there’. But it was ‘a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces apparently later recognised’. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)

The Post report also provided the first indication of a secret sensor system inside Syria, designed to provide early warning of any change in status of the regime’s chemical weapons arsenal. The sensors are monitored by the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that controls all US intelligence satellites in orbit. According to the Postsummary, the NRO is also assigned ‘to extract data from sensors placed on the ground’ inside Syria. The former senior intelligence official, who had direct knowledge of the programme, told me that NRO sensors have been implanted near all known chemical warfare sites in Syria. They are designed to provide constant monitoring of the movement of chemical warheads stored by the military. But far more important, in terms of early warning, is the sensors’ ability to alert US and Israeli intelligence when warheads are being loaded with sarin. (As a neighbouring country, Israel has always been on the alert for changes in the Syrian chemical arsenal, and works closely with American intelligence on early warnings.) A chemical warhead, once loaded with sarin, has a shelf life of a few days or less – the nerve agent begins eroding the rocket almost immediately: it’s a use-it-or-lose-it mass killer. ‘The Syrian army doesn’t have three days to prepare for a chemical attack,’ the former senior intelligence official told me. ‘We created the sensor system for immediate reaction, like an air raid warning or a fire alarm. You can’t have a warning over three days because everyone involved would be dead. It is either right now or you’re history. You do not spend three days getting ready to fire nerve gas.’ The sensors detected no movement in the months and days before 21 August, the former official said. It is of course possible that sarin had been supplied to the Syrian army by other means, but the lack of warning meant that Washington was unable to monitor the events in Eastern Ghouta as they unfolded.

The sensors had worked in the past, as the Syrian leadership knew all too well. Last December the sensor system picked up signs of what seemed to be sarin production at a chemical weapons depot. It was not immediately clear whether the Syrian army was simulating sarin production as part of an exercise (all militaries constantly carry out such exercises) or actually preparing an attack. At the time, Obama publicly warned Syria that using sarin was ‘totally unacceptable’; a similar message was also passed by diplomatic means. The event was later determined to be part of a series of exercises, according to the former senior intelligence official: ‘If what the sensors saw last December was so important that the president had to call and say, “Knock it off,” why didn’t the president issue the same warning three days before the gas attack in August?’

The NSA would of course monitor Assad’s office around the clock if it could, the former official said. Other communications – from various army units in combat throughout Syria – would be far less important, and not analysed in real time. ‘There are literally thousands of tactical radio frequencies used by field units in Syria for mundane routine communications,’ he said, ‘and it would take a huge number of NSA cryptological technicians to listen in – and the useful return would be zilch.’ But the ‘chatter’ is routinely stored on computers. Once the scale of events on 21 August was understood, the NSA mounted a comprehensive effort to search for any links to the attack, sorting through the full archive of stored communications. A keyword or two would be selected and a filter would be employed to find relevant conversations. ‘What happened here is that the NSA intelligence weenies started with an event – the use of sarin – and reached to find chatter that might relate,’ the former official said. ‘This does not lead to a high confidence assessment, unless you start with high confidence that Bashar Assad ordered it, and began looking for anything that supports that belief.’ The cherry-picking was similar to the process used to justify the Iraq war.

*The White House needed nine days to assemble its case against the Syrian government. On 30 August it invited a select group of Washington journalists (at least one often critical reporter, Jonathan Landay, the national security correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, was not invited), and handed them a document carefully labelled as a ‘government assessment’, rather than as an assessment by the intelligence community. The document laid out what was essentially a political argument to bolster the administration’s case against the Assad government. It was, however, more specific than Obama would be later, in his speech on 10 September: American intelligence, it stated, knew that Syria had begun ‘preparing chemical munitions’ three days before the attack. In an aggressive speech later that day, John Kerry provided more details. He said that Syria’s ‘chemical weapons personnel were on the ground, in the area, making preparations’ by 18 August. ‘We know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons.’ The government assessment and Kerry’s comments made it seem as if the administration had been tracking the sarin attack as it happened. It is this version of events, untrue but unchallenged, that was widely reported at the time.

An unforeseen reaction came in the form of complaints from the Free Syrian Army’s leadership and others about the lack of warning. ‘It’s unbelievable they did nothing to warn people or try to stop the regime before the crime,’ Razan Zaitouneh, an opposition member who lived in one of the towns struck by sarin, told Foreign Policy. The Daily Mail was more blunt: ‘Intelligence report says US officials knew about nerve-gas attack in Syria three days before it killed over 1400 people – including more than 400 children.’ (The number of deaths attributable to the attack varied widely, from at least 1429, as initially claimed by the Obama administration, to many fewer. A Syrian human rights group reported 502 deaths; Médicins sans Frontières put it at 355; and a French report listed 281 known fatalities. The strikingly precise US total was later reported by the Wall Street Journal to have been based not on an actual body count, but on an extrapolation by CIA analysts, who scanned more than a hundred YouTube videos from Eastern Ghouta into a computer system and looked for images of the dead. In other words, it was little more than a guess.)

Five days later, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence responded to the complaints. A statement to the Associated Press said that the intelligence behind the earlier administration assertions was not known at the time of the attack, but recovered only subsequently: ‘Let’s be clear, the United States did not watch, in real time, as this horrible attack took place. The intelligence community was able to gather and analyse information after the fact and determine that elements of the Assad regime had in fact taken steps to prepare prior to using chemical weapons.’ But since the American press corps had their story, the retraction received scant attention. On 31 August the Washington Post, relying on the government assessment, had vividly reported on its front page that American intelligence was able to record ‘each step’ of the Syrian army attack in real time, ‘from the extensive preparations to the launching of rockets to the after-action assessments by Syrian officials’. It did not publish the AP corrective, and the White House maintained control of the narrative.

So when Obama said on 10 September that his administration knew Assad’s chemical weapons personnel had prepared the attack in advance, he was basing the statement not on an intercept caught as it happened, but on communications analysed days after 21 August. The former senior intelligence official explained that the hunt for relevant chatter went back to the exercise detected the previous December, in which, as Obama later said to the public, the Syrian army mobilised chemical weapons personnel and distributed gas masks to its troops. The White House’s government assessment and Obama’s speech were not descriptions of the specific events leading up to the 21 August attack, but an account of the sequence the Syrian military would have followed for any chemical attack. ‘They put together a back story,’ the former official said, ‘and there are lots of different pieces and parts. The template they used was the template that goes back to December.’ It is possible, of course, that Obama was unaware that this account was obtained from an analysis of Syrian army protocol for conducting a gas attack, rather than from direct evidence. Either way he had come to a hasty judgment.

The press would follow suit. The UN report on 16 September confirming the use of sarin was careful to note that its investigators’ access to the attack sites, which came five days after the gassing, had been controlled by rebel forces. ‘As with other sites,’ the report warned, ‘the locations have been well travelled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the mission … During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.’ Still, the New York Times seized on the report, as did American and British officials, and claimed that it provided crucial evidence backing up the administration’s assertions. An annex to the UN report reproduced YouTube photographs of some recovered munitions, including a rocket that ‘indicatively matches’ the specifics of a 330mm calibre artillery rocket. The New York Times wrote that the existence of the rockets essentially proved that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack ‘because the weapons in question had not been previously documented or reported to be in possession of the insurgency’.

Theodore Postol, a professor of technology and national security at MIT, reviewed the UN photos with a group of his colleagues and concluded that the large calibre rocket was an improvised munition that was very likely manufactured locally. He told me that it was ‘something you could produce in a modestly capable machine shop’. The rocket in the photos, he added, fails to match the specifications of a similar but smaller rocket known to be in the Syrian arsenal. The New York Times, again relying on data in the UN report, also analysed the flight path of two of the spent rockets that were believed to have carried sarin, and concluded that the angle of descent ‘pointed directly’ to their being fired from a Syrian army base more than nine kilometres from the landing zone. Postol, who has served as the scientific adviser to the chief of naval operations in the Pentagon, said that the assertions in the Times and elsewhere ‘were not based on actual observations’. He concluded that the flight path analyses in particular were, as he put it in an email, ‘totally nuts’ because a thorough study demonstrated that the range of the improvised rockets was ‘unlikely’ to be more than two kilometres. Postol and a colleague, Richard M. Lloyd, published an analysis two weeks after 21 August in which they correctly assessed that the rockets involved carried a far greater payload of sarin than previously estimated. The Times reported on that analysis at length, describing Postol and Lloyd as ‘leading weapons experts’. The pair’s later study about the rockets’ flight paths and range, which contradicted previous Times reporting, was emailed to the newspaper last week; it has so far gone unreported.

The White House’s misrepresentation of what it knew about the attack, and when, was matched by its readiness to ignore intelligence that could undermine the narrative. That information concerned al-Nusra, the Islamist rebel group designated by the US and the UN as a terrorist organisation. Al-Nusra is known to have carried out scores of suicide bombings against Christians and other non-Sunni Muslim sects inside Syria, and to have attacked its nominal ally in the civil war, the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA). Its stated goal is to overthrow the Assad regime and establish sharia law. (On 25 September al-Nusra joined several other Islamist rebel groups in repudiating the FSA and another secular faction, the Syrian National Coalition.)

Two months later, a White House statement announced a change in the assessment of Syrian culpability and declared that the intelligence community now had ‘high confidence’ that the Assad government was responsible for as many as 150 deaths from attacks with sarin. More headlines were generated and the press was told that Obama, in response to the new intelligence, had ordered an increase in non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. But once again there were significant caveats. The new intelligence included a report that Syrian officials had planned and executed the attacks. No specifics were provided, nor were those who provided the reports identified. The White House statement said that laboratory analysis had confirmed the use of sarin, but also that a positive finding of the nerve agent ‘does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination’. The White House further declared: ‘We have no reliable corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons.’ The statement contradicted evidence that at the time was streaming into US intelligence agencies.

Already by late May, the senior intelligence consultant told me, the CIA had briefed the Obama administration on al-Nusra and its work with sarin, and had sent alarming reports that another Sunni fundamentalist group active in Syria, al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), also understood the science of producing sarin. At the time, al-Nusra was operating in areas close to Damascus, including Eastern Ghouta. An intelligence document issued in mid-summer dealt extensively with Ziyaad Tariq Ahmed, a chemical weapons expert formerly of the Iraqi military, who was said to have moved into Syria and to be operating in Eastern Ghouta. The consultant told me that Tariq had been identified ‘as an al-Nusra guy with a track record of making mustard gas in Iraq and someone who is implicated in making and using sarin’. He is regarded as a high-profile target by the American military.

On 20 June a four-page top secret cable summarising what had been learned about al-Nusra’s nerve gas capabilities was forwarded to David R. Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. ‘What Shedd was briefed on was extensive and comprehensive,’ the consultant said. ‘It was not a bunch of “we believes”.’ He told me that the cable made no assessment as to whether the rebels or the Syrian army had initiated the attacks in March and April, but it did confirm previous reports that al-Nusra had the ability to acquire and use sarin. A sample of the sarin that had been used was also recovered – with the help of an Israeli agent – but, according to the consultant, no further reporting about the sample showed up in cable traffic.

Independently of these assessments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assuming that US troops might be ordered into Syria to seize the government’s stockpile of chemical agents, called for an all-source analysis of the potential threat. ‘The Op Order provides the basis of execution of a military mission, if so ordered,’ the former senior intelligence official explained. ‘This includes the possible need to send American soldiers to a Syrian chemical site to defend it against rebel seizure. If the jihadist rebels were going to overrun the site, the assumption is that Assad would not fight us because we were protecting the chemical from the rebels. All Op Orders contain an intelligence threat component. We had technical analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, weapons people, and I & W [indications and warnings] people working on the problem … They concluded that the rebel forces were capable of attacking an American force with sarin because they were able to produce the lethal gas. The examination relied on signals and human intelligence, as well as the expressed intention and technical capability of the rebels.’

There is evidence that during the summer some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were troubled by the prospect of a ground invasion of Syria as well as by Obama’s professed desire to give rebel factions non-lethal support. In July, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, provided a gloomy assessment, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony that ‘thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces’ would be needed to seize Syria’s widely dispersed chemical warfare arsenal, along with ‘hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers’. Pentagon estimates put the number of troops at seventy thousand, in part because US forces would also have to guard the Syrian rocket fleet: accessing large volumes of the chemicals that create sarin without the means to deliver it would be of little value to a rebel force. In a letter to Senator Carl Levin, Dempsey cautioned that a decision to grab the Syrian arsenal could have unintended consequences: ‘We have learned from the past ten years, however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state … Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.’

The CIA declined to comment for this article. Spokesmen for the DIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said they were not aware of the report to Shedd and, when provided with specific cable markings for the document, said they were unable to find it. Shawn Turner, head of public affairs for the ODNI, said that no American intelligence agency, including the DIA, ‘assesses that the al-Nusra Front has succeeded in developing a capacity to manufacture sarin’.

The administration’s public affairs officials are not as concerned about al-Nusra’s military potential as Shedd has been in his public statements. In late July, he gave an alarming account of al-Nusra’s strength at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. ‘I count no less than 1200 disparate groups in the opposition,’ Shedd said, according to a recording of his presentation. ‘And within the opposition, the al-Nusra Front is … most effective and is gaining in strength.’ This, he said, ‘is of serious concern to us. If left unchecked, I am very concerned that the most radical elements’ – he also cited al-Qaida in Iraq – ‘will take over.’ The civil war, he went on, ‘will only grow worse over time … Unfathomable violence is yet to come.’ Shedd made no mention of chemical weapons in his talk, but he was not allowed to: the reports his office received were highly classified.

*

A series of secret dispatches from Syria over the summer reported that members of the FSA were complaining to American intelligence operatives about repeated attacks on their forces by al-Nusra and al-Qaida fighters. The reports, according to the senior intelligence consultant who read them, provided evidence that the FSA is ‘more worried about the crazies than it is about Assad’. The FSA is largely composed of defectors from the Syrian army. The Obama administration, committed to the end of the Assad regime and continued support for the rebels, has sought in its public statements since the attack to downplay the influence of Salafist and Wahhabist factions. In early September, John Kerry dumbfounded a Congressional hearing with a sudden claim that al-Nusra and other Islamist groups were minority players in the Syrian opposition. He later withdrew the claim.

In both its public and private briefings after 21 August, the administration disregarded the available intelligence about al-Nusra’s potential access to sarin and continued to claim that the Assad government was in sole possession of chemical weapons. This was the message conveyed in the various secret briefings that members of Congress received in the days after the attack, when Obama was seeking support for his planned missile offensive against Syrian military installations. One legislator with more than two decades of experience in military affairs told me that he came away from one such briefing persuaded that ‘only the Assad government had sarin and the rebels did not.’ Similarly, following the release of the UN report on 16 September confirming that sarin was used on 21 August, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, told a press conference: ‘It’s very important to note that only the [Assad] regime possesses sarin, and we have no evidence that the opposition possesses sarin.’

It is not known whether the highly classified reporting on al-Nusra was made available to Power’s office, but her comment was a reflection of the attitude that swept through the administration. ‘The immediate assumption was that Assad had done it,’ the former senior intelligence official told me. ‘The new director of the CIA, [John] Brennan, jumped to that conclusion … drives to the White House and says: “Look at what I’ve got!” It was all verbal; they just waved the bloody shirt. There was a lot of political pressure to bring Obama to the table to help the rebels, and there was wishful thinking that this [tying Assad to the sarin attack] would force Obama’s hand: “This is the Zimmermann telegram of the Syrian rebellion and now Obama can react.” Wishful thinking by the Samantha Power wing within the administration. Unfortunately, some members of the Joint Chiefs who were alerted that he was going to attack weren’t so sure it was a good thing.’

The proposed American missile attack on Syria never won public support and Obama turned quickly to the UN and the Russian proposal for dismantling the Syrian chemical warfare complex. Any possibility of military action was definitively averted on 26 September when the administration joined Russia in approving a draft UN resolution calling on the Assad government to get rid of its chemical arsenal. Obama’s retreat brought relief to many senior military officers. (One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been ‘like providing close air support for al-Nusra’.)

The administration’s distortion of the facts surrounding the sarin attack raises an unavoidable question: do we have the whole story of Obama’s willingness to walk away from his ‘red line’ threat to bomb Syria? He had claimed to have an iron-clad case but suddenly agreed to take the issue to Congress, and later to accept Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical weapons. It appears possible that at some point he was directly confronted with contradictory information: evidence strong enough to persuade him to cancel his attack plan, and take the criticism sure to come from Republicans.

The UN resolution, which was adopted on 27 September by the Security Council, dealt indirectly with the notion that rebel forces such as al-Nusra would also be obliged to disarm: ‘no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer [chemical] weapons.’ The resolution also calls for the immediate notification of the Security Council in the event that any ‘non-state actors’ acquire chemical weapons. No group was cited by name. While the Syrian regime continues the process of eliminating its chemical arsenal, the irony is that, after Assad’s stockpile of precursor agents is destroyed, al-Nusra and its Islamist allies could end up as the only faction inside Syria with access to the ingredients that can create sarin, a strategic weapon that would be unlike any other in the war zone. There may be more to negotiate.

 

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Russian Separatist Rebels in Ukraine Shot Down Malaysian Airline Flight MH 17 Killing 298 Passengers and Crew With A Russian Provided SA 11 Gadfly Surface To Air Missile (SAM) From A BUK Launcher — Videos

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 Story 1: Russian Separatist Rebels in Ukraine Shot Down Malaysian Airline Flight MH 17 Killing 298 Passengers and Crew With A Russian Provided SA 11 Gadfly Surface to Air Missile (SAM) From A BUK Launcher — Videos

Scenes reminiscent of MH370 disaster as distraught MH17 relatives gather at airports to learn the fate of their missing loved ones

  • Relatives gathered at airports in Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur
  • Nine Britons and 27 Australians were among those on board, according to Dutch authorities
  • Fears that up to 23 Americans could have been on Malaysian Airlines flight
  • Plane was shot down over territory held by Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine

By STEPHANIE LINNING

Clutching the side of an escalator for support, one man weeps after finding out the fate of his relative at an information point set up at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where the doomed plane took off from at lunchtime today.

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where flight MH 17 was due to land shortly after 6am local time on Friday morning, women cry into tissues as they hear about the fate of their loved ones.

Up to 100 children were thought to be among the 283 passengers and 15 crew who died when the plane was shot down in an ‘act of terrorism’ on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Scroll down for videos

A woman who believes that a relative was travelling on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A woman who believes that a relative was travelling on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A relative of a passenger on flight MH17 walks past members of the press as he arrives at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, to find out more information

A relative of a passenger on flight MH17 walks past members of the press as he arrives at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, to find out more information

A woman sobs on the phone after finding out the fate of her relative who was on board flight MH17. A full passenger list of those who were travelling on the plane has still not been published

A woman sobs on the phone after finding out the fate of her relative who was on board flight MH17. A full passenger list of those who were travelling on the plane has still not been published

A man clutches his head in anguish as he leaves Schiphol airport on a bus provided for the families of passengers travelling on MH17

A man clutches his head in anguish as he leaves Schiphol airport on a bus provided for the families of passengers travelling on MH17

A woman weeps into a tissue after hearing news regarding a relative who was travelling on the plane. She was one of a group of people who gathered in Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

A woman weeps into a tissue after hearing news regarding a relative who was travelling on the plane. She was one of a group of people who gathered in Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

Izzy Sim is visibly shaken after learning that she cheated death

Nine British passengers are among the 298 feared dead after a Malaysian Airlines plane was ‘shot down’ on the Russia-Ukraine border, according to Dutch authorities.

There were are fears that there were up to 23 Americans on the flight, though it has yet to be confirmed that any were on board.

In one image taken from the crash site, a pile of passports can be seen scattered amid the rubble.

 

Witnesses say body parts are scattered over a distance of 15km, suggesting the plane broke up in mid-air.

As shocking images emerged of bodies amid the smouldering wreckage of the Boeing 777 it raised concerns of renewed tension between the US and Russia.

A woman lights a candle in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev on Thursday night to commemorate passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

A woman lights a candle in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev on Thursday night to commemorate passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

A young girl places her head on a teddy bear as people around her light candles at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They gathered on Thursday night to pay tribute to those on flight MH17

A young girl places her head on a teddy bear as people around her light candles at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They gathered on Thursday night to pay tribute to those on flight MH17

Flowers, signs and candles line the street in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They commemorate the 295 passengers who died when flight MH17 was shot down

Flowers, signs and candles line the street in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They commemorate the 295 passengers who died when flight MH17 was shot down

Tearful family members leave Schiphol airport in a bus provided after finding out the fate of their relatives. The crash site was littered with remains of charred passports

Tearful family members leave Schiphol airport in a bus provided after finding out the fate of their relatives. The crash site was littered with remains of charred passports

 

A tearful couple, who had loved ones on board flight MH 17, hold on to each other for support as they leave Schiphol airport on Thursday evening

A tearful couple, who had loved ones on board flight MH 17, hold on to each other for support as they leave Schiphol airport on Thursday evening

 

Relatives, eyes red from crying, head towards the area in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam where family members of the victims are gathering to await further information

Relatives, eyes red from crying, head towards the area in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam where family members of the victims are gathering to await further information

A family anxiously await news of passengers on flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

A family anxiously await news of passengers on flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

Smoke and debris believed to be from flight MH17 falling to Earth

Pictures and footage taken from the wreckage show the charred remains of passports and suitcases scattered on the crash site.

MH17: DEATH TOLL SO FAR

154 Dutch nationals 45 Malaysians (including 15 crew members) 27 Australians 12 Indonesians Nine Britons Four Germans Four Belgians Three Filipinos One Canadian 41 unconfirmed

Emergency workers are seen tackling the blazes that broke out after the aircraft crashed near Donestsk, where pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian government forces. TV pictures from the scene showed a pall of smoke billowing into the sky apparently from the stricken aircraft. Among those feared dead is a Dutch man who posted a photo on Facebook of the plane on the tarmac just hours before the crash.

Initially, friends commented on the photo wishing him happy holidays. But their messages turned to ones of concern once news of the crash broke.

Based on the number of flights leaving Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, and the timing of his Facebook status, it is feared he was on the fated flight. His cousin later posted the flight number beneath the picture and shortly after friends began leaving messages saying ‘rest in peace’. Another said that his girlfriend was on the flight with him.

 

A relative of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam speaks on the phone as he waits for information outside the family holding area at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A relative of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam speaks on the phone as he waits for information outside the family holding area at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A couple walks towards the information point at Schiphol Airport that has been set up for loved ones of passengers travelling on flight MH17

A couple walks towards the information point at Schiphol Airport that has been set up for loved ones of passengers travelling on flight MH17

One passenger is believed to have posted this picture of the doomed flight on the tarmac of Amsterdam airport just hours before it was shot down over Ukraine

One passenger is believed to have posted this picture of the doomed flight on the tarmac of Amsterdam airport just hours before it was shot down over Ukraine

Passports from some of the doomed passengers on-board MH17 found

Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘I’m shocked and saddened by the Malaysian air disaster. Officials from across Whitehall are meeting to establish the facts.’

In a statement on Thursday night Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘We do believe that there were British Nationals on board the flight we’re currently working through passenger data cross checking it and referencing it to establish exactly the numbers and identities of those British nationals and as soon as we have further information we will be in contact with the families.’

It is believed the plane was struck by BUK surface-to-air missile at 33,000ft around 20 miles before entering Russian airspace.

Russian news footage taken from the crash site shows passports on the ground among the wreckage of MH17

Russian news footage taken from the crash site shows passports on the ground among the wreckage of MH17

A suitcase is found among the wreckage of flight MH17. Six British passengers were killed after the aircraft was shot down, according to Dutch authorities

A suitcase is found among the wreckage of flight MH17. Six British passengers were killed after the aircraft was shot down, according to Dutch authorities

Suitcases and bags are pictured at the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17

Suitcases and bags are pictured at the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17

A spokesman from the Foreign Office would not be drawn on whether any British nationals had been on board the plane.

‘We are aware of the reports and are urgently working to establish what has happened,’ he said.

Asked about reports that up to 10 British people had been on board, the spokesman added: ‘Our first priority is to establish if there are any British persons on board but we are not in a position to go beyond that line.’

David Cameron has summoned officials from across Whitehall for urgent talks at 7pm to discuss the latest on the crash, and what is known about any British casualties.

The Foreign Office is in talks with consular teams in Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur to obtain passenger lists to establish how many UK nationals were on board.

Malaysian Airlines said they have no information about any survivors.

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Charred plane parts  litter the ground at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Charred plane parts litter the ground at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash site in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash site in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Firefighters put out smouldering wreckage of ‘shot down’ MH17

In a tweet, the airline said: ‘Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.’

A Boeing spokesman said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones.

‘Boeing stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities.’

The jet would have been flying at high altitude on an intercontinental flight that took it over the crisis hit region of Ukraine, where the authorities have accused Russia-backed separatists of previous attacks on aircraft.

A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

 

Carnage: A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

Carnage: A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

Kuala Lumpur International airport after plane downed

The crash comes four months after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which is thought to have crashed into the Indian Ocean. Two weeks ago, investigators say what little evidence they have to work with suggests the plane was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometres from its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean. The search was narrowed in April after a series of acoustic pings thought to be from the plane’s black box recorders were heard along a final arc where analysis of satellite data put its last location

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696340/Up-10-British-23-American-passengers-feared-dead-Malaysian-Airlines-MH17-shot-Ukraine.html

2014 – BBC World News – Obama: US Has Evidence MAS Plane Shot Down from Inside Ukraine – 19/7/14

Malaysian MH17 : SA 11 Buk Missile Dating to Soviet Era Eyed in MH17 Attack

U.S. Evidence Points to Separatist Missile Downing Airliner

Flight MH17: Ukraine releases video of ‘Buk missile unit’

Footage Emerges Of BUK Missile Launcher Being Smuggled Back To Russia ~ MISSING TOW ROCKETS!!!

Malaysia Airlines MH17 killed by Buk missile launcher in Ukraine rebel territory

SA-11 Gadfly (9К37 Бук) Soviet SAM System

The Buk missile system is the successor to the NIIP/Vympel 2K12 Kub (NATO reporting name SA-6 “Gainful”).

The first version of Buk adopted into service carried the GRAU designation 9K37 and was identified in the west with the NATO reporting name “Gadfly” as well as the US Department of Defense designation SA-11. Designed: 1972-1977, testing in 1977-1978, operation in 1979

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 Crash: Timeline Of Flight MH17 Malaysian Plane Shot Down In Ukraine

List of Nationalities Aboard Malaysia Airlines MH-17

 

Obama says Malaysian plane shot down by missile from rebel-held part of Ukraine

President Obama said Friday that a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people, including at least one U.S. citizen, was evidently shot down by an antiaircraft missile fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. In a White House news conference a day after the Boeing 777 crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Obama stopped short of saying who fired the missile or directly blaming Russia for the deaths, which he called “an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” But he said the separatists “have received a steady flow of support from Russia,” including heavy arms, training and antiaircraft weapons. Pointing to rebel claims to have shot down several Ukrainian aircraft in recent weeks, including a Ukrainian fighter jet, Obama said it was “not possible for these separatists to function the way they’re functioning . . . without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training, and that is coming from Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin “has the most control over that situation, and so far at least, he has not exercised it,” Obama said. He spoke after U.S. officials disclosed a preliminary intelligence assessment indicating that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely shot down by pro-Russian separatists with an SA-11 missile. The SA-11 is an early version of the Buk antiaircraft system that was previously identified by Ukrainian authorities as the weapon used to bring down the airliner.

As emergency workers continue to search for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after it was shot down near the Russian border, world leaders are calling for a cease-fire in Ukraine. (AP)

In public statements, senior members of the administration from the president down did not specify the perpetrators of the shootdown, although they made it clear that the rebels are the likeliest suspects.

Because of the “technical complexity” of the Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, “it is impossible to rule out Russian technical assistance” to the separatists in operating it, Samantha Power , the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council earlier Friday. Separately, military and intelligence officials said Friday that the United States has gathered a significant body of evidence that Ukrainian separatists have been trained on Russian territory in recent weeks to fire antiaircraft missiles. Obama identified the American victim on the plane as Quinn Lucas Schansman, a 19-year-old U.S.-Dutch dual national who reportedly lived in Amsterdam and was traveling to Kuala Lumpur to meet his family for a vacation. The president called for “a credible international investigation” into the tragedy and urged Russia to cooperate with it. As the shootdown sent the Ukraine war into the realm of international crisis, Obama called it a “global tragedy,” saying that “it is not going to be localized; it is not going to be contained.” He joined calls for an international investigation and said investigators from the FBI and National Transportation Safety Board have already been dispatched. At an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting Friday morning, Power was much more direct in holding Russia responsible for the shootdown, detailing the volume of weapons and other assistance that Moscow has provided to the separatists.

“Russia can end this war,” she said. “Russia must end this war.”

Among the 298 victims, Power said, were 80 children and three listed on the passenger manifest as infants. In response, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin did not directly address charges that Moscow bears responsibility and was complicit in the missile attack. Agreeing that an international investigation is needed, Churkin criticized those who he said are “trying to prejudge the outcome with broad statements and insinuations,” and he accused the Ukrainian government of failing to warn international aviation to avoid the conflict area in eastern Ukraine. “Why did Ukrainian aviation dispatchers send [the Malaysian plane] to an area of strife, where there were antiaircraft systems in operation?” he asked. By continuing its military offensive to dislodge the separatists, Ukraine “chose the wrong path, and their Western colleagues supported them,” Churkin said. “I’m talking about the United States; they actually pushed them to escalate,” he said, and now “they are trying to lay the blame on Russia.” Britain, which lost nine citizens in the crash and called for the emergency Security Council meeting, demanded an independent international investigation. “The immediate priority has to be for investigators to gain access to the crash site,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said. “There must be no interfering or tampering with the evidence.” As the council session continued, and before any Russian response, most representatives concentrated on the need for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and an independent probe. Many indirectly accused Russia of responsibility for the separatists’ actions, although China cautioned member nations not to “jump to any conclusions . . . or trade accusations.”

Speaking later in the White House briefing room, Obama said it was “too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions were of those who might have launched” the missile. “What we know right now, what we have confidence in saying right now, is that a surface-to-air missile was fired, and this is what brought the jet down. . . . That shot was taken within territory that was controlled by the Russian-backed separatists.” The identities of “what individuals or groups of personnel ordered” the strike, he said, are “still subject to additional information that we’re going to be gathering.” But after months of conflict in Ukraine, the shootdown should “snap everyone’s head” to action, he said. “We don’t have time for propaganda; we don’t have time for games.” “Time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to de-escalate the situation,” Obama said. At least in public, the leaders of Germany, France and Britain expressed outrage over the downing of the airliner but were careful not to rush to judgment or publicly accuse Russia. Countries in the region considered more hawkish on Russia, however, were more willing to assign blame. “We are concerned over press reports that the Ukrainian side has captured phone conversation recordings indicating that pro-Russian separatists might be responsible for shooting the plane down,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. British and German leaders were more cautious. “We have some information, but we need to find more information,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. He called for an proper international investigation but added, “until we know more, it’s not really possible to say more.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday pressed Russia to work harder toward a political solution in the Ukrainian conflict. But she also drew a line between the Russians and the separatists. “We’re assuming that the Russian president of course has an influence on Russian separatists,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “But still one has to differentiate between the separatists and the Russian government.” On Wednesday, both the United States and European Union slapped new sanctions on Russia, but the European moves were significantly less stinging. Suggesting Friday that she was in no rush to go further, Merkel called Wednesday’s move “an adequate response to what happened in the past few days.” But she also noted that the E.U. decision had left open the door to “act on a new level” if necessary. As the day wore on, and particularly after the Security Council meeting, the rhetoric grew somewhat harsher. “Those who are responsible for this would forfeit their right to claim their own concerns in the name of humanity,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Mexico City. In France, pressure mounted on the government to cancel the $1.7 billion sale to Russia of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers — capable of transporting 16 attack helicopters, dozens of tanks and 700 soldiers. Philippe Migault, a Russia expert at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said canceling the sale would cost the nation hundreds of jobs, result in a substantial cash penalty and portray France a nation that does not meet its defense contracts.

But, he said, “if there is further evidence of the responsibility of the pro-Russian rebels, there are chances that it might be” canceled. European governments have been more reluctant than the Americans to slap tougher sanctions on the Russians largely due to Moscow’s economic clout in the region. Should the pro-Russian separatists — with the direct or indirect aid of Russia — ultimately be proven responsible for the shootdown, analysts said the calculations in the region could change. “It’s a game-changer because it’s very difficult to see how anyone in Europe can continue as business as usual,” said Jonathan Eyal, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “This time we have our own European casualties. It’s not a theoretical conflict in which people we do not know are dying.” Yet other analysts insisted that the desire of the Europeans to sidestep truly forceful sanctions to protect their economies should not be underestimated. Just as vital to their calculations, analysts said, will be a desire not to take steps that could dramatically ratchet up tensions and prompt the Russians to respond by cutting off important energy supplies to the region. “How Europe reacts, we don’t know. It could go either way,” said Andrew Wilson, senior policy fellow in the London office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Jakov Devcic, deputy bureau chief of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Kiev, a group associated with Merkel’s CDU party, said that in Europe, as in the United States, military intervention remained ruled out. But if the rebels are found to have filed the missile, Germany and the E.U. will consider further sanctions, including import bans on luxury goods and, as a second step, moves targeting Russian financial transactions.

The U.S. intelligence assessment that rebels were responsible for the shootdown came as Ukrainian leaders stepped up their condemnation of Russia over the crash, calling for Moscow to be held accountable for allegedly supplying the missile system that they said was used by the rebels in eastern Ukraine. “This is a crime against humanity,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, as he called for swift international justice. “All red lines have been already crossed. . . . We ask our international partners to call an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting and to [do] everything we can to stop this war: a war against Ukraine, a war against Europe, and after these terrorists shot down a Malaysian aircraft, this is a war against the world.” Yatsenyuk added: “Everyone is to be accountable and responsible. I mean everyone who supports these terrorists, including Russians and the Russian regime.” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, addressing the nation early Friday, also blamed pro-Russian separatists and those he called their Russian masters for the downing of the Boeing 777 with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The victims included “nearly 100 researchers and advocates” who were en route from Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur to attend an AIDS conference in Australia, Obama said. “They were taken from us in a senseless act of violence,” he said. AIDS conference organizers have confirmed only seven names and said they think the number of people flying to the conference on the Malaysian flight could be much lower than 100.

“War has gone beyond the territory of Ukraine,” Poroshenko said earlier Friday. “Consequences of this war have already reached the whole world.” Russia and the separatists both denied any responsibility for the shootdown, pinning the blame instead on the Ukrainian government. But Poroshenko said recordings of what the Ukraine Security Service described as intercepted phone conversations between separatist rebels and Russian intelligence officials implicated them in the shootdown. The Security Service released new recordings Friday in which it said rebels discussed possessing and moving the Russian-made Buk missile launcher that Ukraine says shot down the airliner. The Ukrainian government released video purporting to show rebels moving a Buk antiaircraft missile system to the Russian border Friday from eastern Ukraine. The government claimed that the missile-launcher was missing one of its missiles. Neither the claims nor the authenticity of the video could be independently verified. Russia pushed back Friday, accusing Poroshenko of poisoning efforts to investigate the crash.   A rebel leader on Thursday had briefly claimed responsibility for downing a plane that he described as a Ukrainian military aircraft. Soon after it was established that a commercial airliner had been shot down, the claim was removed. Ukraine’s top intelligence official said Friday that the plane crash was being investigated as a criminal case under Ukraine’s terrorism laws. Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the Ukraine Security Service, said Ukraine now believes that the Boeing 777 was shot down by rebel forces using a Buk antiaircraft missile launcher that had recently been moved over the border from Russia. He said Ukraine has detained two Russian citizens who allegedly helped bring the missile launcher into Ukraine. Ukrainian intelligence services also observed rebels trying to move back into Russia a Buk launcher that had fired two missiles, he added. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the claims.

“The terrorists are trying to hide the crime,” Nalyvaichenko said. The Ukraine Security Service on Friday released a second series of recordings of what it said were intercepted phone calls between pro-Russian separatists over the last few days, in which the voices describe being in possession of and moving the Buk missile launcher. In the first conversation, which the Security Service said took place on July 14, an alleged rebel called “Oleg” said he missed a plane flying above a village. “We already have the Buk,” a woman identified as “Oreon” told him. “We’ll be knocking it down.” The Security Service said that on additional tapes from July 17, rebels discuss moving the Buk launcher. “Where do we ship this beauty to, Nikolayevich?” asked an alleged rebel identified by the Security Service as “Buryat.” “It’s not necessary to hide it anywhere,” came the reply. The rebel identified as Nikolayevich, also known as “Khmuri,” also talked about stocks of other weapons and the rebels’ relationship with the Russians at one point. “The thing is, we have Grads, but no spotters,” he said, referring to the mobile, Russian-made multiple rocket launcher. “We are waiting. Supposedly Russia should strike from that side at their positions.” In recent months, the rebels have shot down numerous Ukrainian military aircraft using short-range surface-to-air missiles. Experts said such missiles probably could not reach a plane flying at 33,000 feet, the reported altitude of Flight 17. But Ukrainian authorities have said the rebels recently obtained Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missiles — a complex system using ground radar to guide a missile to its target. Experts said it requires expertise and training to operate.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the international community could not expect Russia to get the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms. But Lavrov said he hoped that the OSCE would send monitors to the Russian-Ukrainian border before the end of the week. In an interview with Rossiya-24 television, he added that Russia was ready to guarantee the safety of those observers at Russia’s own border checkpoints but could make no promises about keeping them safe from bombardments from Ukraine, Interfax reported. Lavrov also accused Poroshenko of potentially poisoning the investigation of the plane crash by calling for a commission to look into it while also declaring it an act of terrorism. “Of course, attempts to claim that this was a terrorist act, so the Ukrainian researchers will be guided by this in their work — this is unacceptable, this pressure on the acts of the this commission,” Lavrov said. In an effort to cooperate with international investigations, Lavrov said, Russia would not accept the black box that rebels said they had recovered from the plane. “We are not going to take away these boxes,” he said. “We are not going to violate the rules existing with regard to this sort of cases within the international community.” Aleksey Komarov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, called for “a thorough investigation with the use of representatives from all the interested international organizations.” He alleged that, according to the information available to the Russians, a Ukrainian military Buk-M1 type air defense system capable of bringing down the jet as it cruised at 33,000 feet was stationed in the area near the crash.

“Ukrainian Air Force planes armed with various types of missiles are constantly present in the Donetsk region airspace,” he said on Rossiya 24 TV. “This is an indisputable fact.” He said Kiev’s claims that these systems or planes did not shoot at airborne targets “raise serious doubts.” He added that “planes of the Russian Air Force did not fly in Russian regions bordering the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014.” The Ukrainians, however, have cited the purported intercepts and conflicting claims by the pro-Russian rebels, who have been operating with tactical Russian assistance, as evidence of their guilt. In recent days, the rebels, who have shot down numerous Ukrainian military aircraft using shorter-range missiles, claimed to have obtained more advanced antiaircraft missile systems. “Evidence and information we have as of now confirm that it was pro-Russian groups, and unfortunately this tragedy took the lives of 298 people,” Ihor Dolhov, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO, told the BBC. Sergei Kavtaradze, a representative of the separatist militias, told Interfax on Friday that the purported recordings of intercepted phone calls amounted to “unprofessional propaganda.”   http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/missile-downs-malaysia-airlines-plane-over-ukraine-killing-298-kiev-blames-rebels/2014/07/18/d30205c8-0e4a-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html

Did MH17 pilot divert INTO the danger zone? Aviation expert claims captain made last-minute change of course over Ukraine because he ‘felt uncomfortable’

  • Russian military expert claims pilot radioed his concerns about the route before diverting over rebel-held territory
  • Russian media explores theory that Ukrainian armed forces shot down Boeing 777 after mistaking it for Putin’s jet
  • Malaysia Airlines filed flight plan requesting 35,000 feet through airspace but was told to fly at 33,000
  • Kremlin leader was flying back to Moscow from Brazilian World Cup at around same time passenger plane crashed
  • Russian aviation sources said the routes of the two planes ‘crossed at the same point and on the same altitude’
  • Ukrainian official accuses Putin of smuggling missile launcher back into Russia to cover up Kremlin involvement
  • Malaysian transport minister said MH17 was flying on approved route and pilot given no last-minute instructions
  • Putin calls for a ceasefire by pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces to allow for negotiations
  • Confusion over the two black boxes: Rebel says none found, another said it has eight, Ukraine says it has both
  • Ukrainian officials issue plea for respect as it emerges looters are raiding the possessions of dead passengers

By SIMON TOMLINSON and MICHAEL SEAMARK and LOUISE ECCLES and WILL STEWART and TED THORNHILL

The pilot of MH17 radioed that he ‘felt uncomfortable’ about the route he was flying while over Ukraine and fatally altered his course to hostile territory, according to an expert. Dr Igor Sutyagin, Research Fellow in Russian Studies from the Royal United Services Institute, believes that MH17 was shot down by rebels based in the 3rd District of Torez, in eastern Ukraine, after mistaking his plane for a government military transport aircraft. He told MailOnline that information had been leaked from a source he was unwilling to name that the pilot of MH17 ‘felt bad’ about his course over Ukrainian airspace, so changed direction. Little did he know, according to Dr Sutyagin, that his plane would then be mistaken by rebels who brought it down using a ground-to-air Buk missile system. Malaysia Airlines today denied that the plane was told to alter its course. His comments come as Vladimir Putin called for a ceasefire by pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces to allow for negotiations. A top separatist leader in east Ukraine has ruled out a truce with government forces but pledged to allow investigators to access the crash site. ‘There is no question of a ceasefire but we will let experts access the site of the catastrophe,’ Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, told journalists.

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Is this proof that MH17 change course into a war zone? A route map compiled by Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros using data from flight-tracking website Flightaware claims to show how the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane took a different flightpath to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights

Is this proof that MH17 change course into a war zone? A route map compiled by Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros using data from flight-tracking website Flightaware claims to show how the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane took a different flightpath to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights

Stunned: Ukrainians inspect the wreckage of MH17 as coal miners, farmers and other volunteers help with the grisly task of clearing up the crash sites after the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the east of the country

Stunned: Ukrainians inspect the wreckage of MH17 as coal miners, farmers and other volunteers help with the grisly task of clearing up the crash sites after the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the east of the country

Decimated: A pro-Russian separatist looks at wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed near the village of Rozsypne

Decimated: A pro-Russian separatist looks at wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed near the village of Rozsypne

Disturbing: A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet in a sunflower field near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Disturbing: A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet in a sunflower field near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

All hand on deck: Coal miners help with the search effort at the crash site near the village of Rozsypne in eastern Ukraine

All hand on deck: Coal miners help with the search effort at the crash site near the village of Rozsypne in eastern Ukraine

Emergency workers, police officers and even coal miners spread out across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of MH17

Emergency workers, police officers and even coal miners spread out across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of MH17

Out of the blue: A Ukrainian covers a body with a  plastic sheet in a field. Malaysia's prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation

Out of the blue: A Ukrainian covers a body with a plastic sheet in a field. Malaysia’s prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation

BRITAIN BLAMES PUTIN AS UKRAINE CALLS ON WORLD LEADERS TO ‘BRING THOSE B******* TO JUSTICE’

Britain today formally accused Russia of being responsible for bringing down flight MH17 over Ukraine – killing on 298 passengers on board. The UK’s representative at the UN said it was ‘clear’ who was to blame for shooting down the Malaysian Airways aircraft over Ukraine. Speaking at the UN in New York today, Ambassador Peter Wilson said the blame lay with ‘the senseless violence of armed separatists and with those who have supported, equipped and advised them’. Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Western leaders to ‘bring justice to those b*******’ who brought down the flight. He said world leaders needed to realised there was ‘a war in the heart of Europe’ taking place, amid growing fury at Moscow’s backing the pro-Russian separatists suspected of carrying out the assault.

Dr Sutyagin’s theory appears to be supported by a route map which shows the passenger plane travelling on a different course to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights. Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros collated the information from Flightaware, the largest flight tracking website in the world. Dr Sutyagin said: ‘There is a Ukrainian mechanised brigade blocked by separatists near the Russian border.

‘It’s blocked on three sides by separatists and behind the brigade is the Russian border, so they can’t get out. The Ukrainians try to resupply them from the air by transport aircraft. ‘Now, the pilot of MH17 said that he “felt bad” and wanted to change course south to get out of the danger zone. But several kilometers to the south is a Ukrainian Army heavy transport plane, an IL76, or Candid, which has the same echo as a 777 on a radar screen. ‘The two planes came close. They tried to shoot down the transport delivering supplies to the brigade. They believed that they had been firing at a military plane, but they mistakenly shoot down a civilian airliner.’ His comments came as Malaysia Airlines said it filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000 feet through Ukraine airspace but was instructed by Ukraine air traffic control to fly at 33,000. It would still have been in range of the missile were it flying at the higher altitude, however.

Rescue workers, police and even coal miners are today combing the site where a Malaysian Airlines jet crashed after being shot from the sky by a surface-to-air missile, scattering wreckage and bodies across the Ukrainian countryside.

Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the plane which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, while the Russian media today blamed everyone but pro-Moscow rebels for the Malaysia Airlines horror.

One theory explored by TV and newspapers was that the Ukrainian armed forces may have shot the Boeing out of the sky after mistaking it for Vladimir Putin’s official Ilyushin jet.

The Kremlin leader was flying back to Moscow from Brazil at around the same time that the Boeing 777 was downed, stated TV and newspaper reports.

Blaming the Ukraine: Self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai (centre), arrives at the crash site

Blaming the Ukraine: Self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai (centre), arrives at the crash site

Blame game: The pro-Russian self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk region Paul Gubarev (centre) is surrounded by armed guards as he looks at debris of the Boeing

Blame game: The pro-Russian self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk region Paul Gubarev (centre) is surrounded by armed guards as he looks at debris of the Boeing

Under pressure: Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey arrives for a meeting with media in Kramatorsk as global demands mounted to find those responsible for downing the airliner

Under pressure: Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey arrives for a meeting with media in Kramatorsk as global demands mounted to find those responsible for downing the airliner

HORRIFIC IMAGE OF DEAD BABY IN FIELD ‘ON PUTIN’S CONSCIENCE’

A shocking photograph released today by an Ukrainian official shows the harrowing image of an infant victim lying on its own in a field. The baby, who is pictured sprawled in the dirt near the crash site, is thought to be the youngest victim of the crash. Ukraine government advisor Anton Gerashchenko, who published the picture, said in a statement: ‘This baby’s death is on your conscience Putin’ – placing the blame squarely on Russia. The nationality of the baby is still unknown.

Evidence for the theory seems scant, but an anonymous source in Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transportation was quoted saying that there was a crossover flight path between the doomed Malaysian aircraft and Russian plane ‘number one’ used by Putin.

A source at the agency was quoted by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper as saying: ‘Vladimir Putin’s plane could have been a target for a Ukrainian missile.’

NTV cited a source from the same body as saying: ‘I can say that the routes of plane Number One and the Malaysian Boeing crossed at the same point and on the same altitude.

‘It was near Warsaw at altitude 10,100 metres, echelon 330. The plane Number One was at that point at 16.21 Moscow time, the Malaysian plane was there at 15.44 Moscow time.’

The source also said that the ‘plane’ contours are similar in principle, the real sizes are also similar, and ‘as for their liveries then at the distance they are almost identical’.

Putin’s equivalent of Air Force One is a specially modified Ilyushin, the Il-96 300. It is a four-engine  long distance aircraft, with a length of 55 metres, and a wingspan of 60 metres.

The Boeing 777-200 is 63 metres long, and its wingspan 61 metres.

Asked last night on the route of Putin’s plane, agency head Alexander Neradko said: ‘We never comment on the routes and other details of the flights of the president of Russia.’

Political storm: Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the Malaysian Airlines tragedy that claimed the lives of all 298 people on board

Political storm: Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the Malaysian Airlines tragedy that claimed the lives of all 298 people on board

Crumpled: Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in east Ukraine

Crumpled: Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in east Ukraine

Complex investigation: Rescue workers pick through the debris of Flight MH17 at the crash site outside Shakhtyorsk in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

Complex investigation: Rescue workers pick through the debris of Flight MH17 at the crash site outside Shakhtyorsk in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

'Circumstances need to be investigated carefully and objectively': Vladimir Putin has called for a thorough probe into the cause of disaster

‘Circumstances need to be investigated carefully and objectively': Vladimir Putin has called for a thorough probe into the cause of disaster

Earlier, Ukrainian government official Anton Gerashchenko accused Mr Putin of ‘a desperate attempt to hide the consequences of his deeds’ by permitting the smuggling of the Buk rocket launcher – suspected of being used to shoot down the Boeing – across the frontier into Russia.

An effort during the night was made ‘to hide the Buk rocket complex on Russian territory’, he alleged.

He did not say if it was known whether or not it had moved into Russia.

‘It is most likely that the machinery which fired the missiles at Malaysian aircraft will be destroyed and the people who committed the act of terror will be annihilated,’ warned Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Interior Ministry in Kiev.

‘Several hours ago, Putin made a statement in regard the catastrophic crash of the Malaysian Boeing in which he blamed it all on Ukrainian side. What else is there to be done for an international terrorist? Only lie.’

Poignant: A white flag placed by the Ukrainian Emergency Services marks the location of a body (not pictured) the settlement of Grabovo

Poignant: A white flag placed by the Ukrainian Emergency Services marks the location of a body (not pictured) the settlement of Grabovo

Mangled: Malaysia Airlines is trying to arrange safe access for relatives of victims to the site in eastern Ukraine where its Boeing 777 airliner crashed

Mangled: Malaysia Airlines is trying to arrange safe access for relatives of victims to the site in eastern Ukraine where its Boeing 777 airliner crashed

Distressing: Cards, games and money belonging to passengers on MH17 lie strewn across the grass near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine

Distressing: Cards, games and money belonging to passengers on MH17 lie strewn across the grass near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine

Clear-up operation: Personal luggage is collected at the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Clear-up operation: Personal luggage is collected at the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Global response: The UN Security Council has called for 'a full, thorough and independent international investigation' after approving a statement expressing 'deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims'

Global response: The UN Security Council has called for ‘a full, thorough and independent international investigation’ after approving a statement expressing ‘deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims’

Meanwhile, Pro-Kremlin Izvestia cited separatists claiming the shooting out of the sky was ‘a planned provocation by Kiev’.

‘Judge for yourself, who could have done it? The rebels don’t have weapons that you could use to shoot down a plane at such a height, but Kiev does,’ one local leader told the paper.

Tabloid Tvoi Den splashed a full-page cover photograph of the crash scene with a line reading: ‘Donetsk People’s Republic Authorities Claim Plane Destroyed by Ukrainian Buk Missile,’ an anti-aircraft system.

Rebel official Sergei Kavtaradze was quoted saying: ‘According to our information, this plane was shot down by Ukrainian armed forces.’

Other media claimed it could have been a Ukrainian plot to give the Americans an excuse to deploy NATO on the ground in the eastern European country.

But a Ukrainian military expert, Igor Levchenko, told Kommersant business daily that although Kiev did have several Buks in the conflict zone, they ‘definitely would not be used against such a target as a passenger liner.’

IS THIS THE SMOKING GUN THAT PROVES SEPARATISTS WERE TO BLAME? FOOTAGE SHOWS MISSILE LAUNCHER BEING SMUGGLED BACK TO RUSSIA WITH TWO ROCKETS MISSING

An expert believes that MH17 was downed by a missile fired from rebel-held Torez in eastern Ukraine – and a BUK anti-aircraft launcher has been pictured rumbling into the town just two hours before the crash, leading to speculation that it was this piece of equipment that was used to bring about the tragedy.

On Friday a missile launcher with two rockets missing was then filmed by Ukrainian intelligence services being smuggled on the back of a truck to Russia.

Anton Gerashchenko, from Ukraine’s interior ministry, said of the missing missiles that ‘it’s not hard to guess why’.

Suspicious: Ukrainian spies reportedly filmed the launcher used in the attack being smuggled to Russia - with two missiles missing

Suspicious: Ukrainian spies reportedly filmed the launcher used in the attack being smuggled to Russia – with two missiles missing

A view of what is believed to be a BUK surface-to-air missile battery being driven along a path on July 17 in Torez, Ukraine

A view of what is believed to be a BUK surface-to-air missile battery being driven along a path on July 17 in Torez, Ukraine

Launch site? The BUK missile system photographed in Torez hours before MH17 was downed

Launch site? The BUK missile system photographed in Torez hours before MH17 was downed

‘It was exactly these missiles which brought death to almost 300 innocent passengers of the ill-fated Malaysian Boeing,’ he said, according to the Telegraph.

He continued: ‘International terrorist Igor Strelkov, aka Girkin, last night visited Snizhne to settle the situation with the downed Malaysian Boeing.

‘In the night the Buk system, from which the missile was launched, was removed to Russia, where it is likely to be destroyed.’

He claimed that the ‘direct performers of the terrorist attack’ are also likely to have been killed to avoid any witnesses.

The rebels ‘happily announced that they had downed the Ukrainian AN-26′ when in fact they had shot the Boeing, he said.

Dr Igor Sutyagin, Research Fellow in Russian Studies from the Royal United Services Institute, believes that MH17 was shot down by rebels based in the 3rd District of Torez.

Russian air defense missile system Buk M2 seen at a military show at the international forum "Technologies in machine building 2010" in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Russian air defense missile system BUK  M2 seen at a military show at the international forum in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, in 2010

A map showing the distance between the launch site and the MH17 crash site

A map showing the distance between the launch site and the MH17 crash site

Dr Sutyagin said the evidence that Russian separatists were responsible was very strong – and that there’s even a suggestion the BUK missile launcher was being manned by soldiers from Russia.

He said: ‘These separatists boasted on Twitter about capturing an BUK SA11 missile launcher [capable of downing high-flying airliners] on June 29, and several hours before the downing of the plane locals in Torez reported seeing BUK missile launchers and separatist flags around the city.

‘Later, there was lots of video posted of the plane falling down and rebels saying that “it was not pointless moving it [the BUK] there”.’

Dr Sutyagin then underscored the emerging Russian link to the tragedy.

He said: ‘The military leader of the Donetsk Republic, Igor Strelkov, real name Girkin, a Muscovite, a Russian citizen, posts a video of the intercept.’

This video was taken down once it was discovered that the downed plane was civilian. 

The expert implicated Russia further, revealing that the former commander of Russian Air Force Special Operations Command, a Colonel-General, stated recently in an interview that the separatists did not have the expertise to operate the BUK launchers, that only Russian personnel could do so.

It’s also suspicious, Dr Sutyagin said, that Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported the crash at 16.13 Moscow time, several minutes before the crash actually happened – at 16.20.

‘The plane is safely in the sky, and RIA Novosti publishes information that it has been shot down,’ he said.

Grim: Bodies lie strewn among the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 a day after it was shot down over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Grim: Bodies lie strewn among the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 a day after it was shot down over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Horrific: Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, exploded into flames at 33,000ft after it was hit by a surface-to-air missile

Macabre: As shocking pictures of bodies and debris emerged, the tragedy sparked a full-blown international crisis, increasing tension between Moscow and Washington

Macabre: As shocking pictures of bodies and debris emerged, the tragedy sparked a full-blown international crisis, increasing tension between Moscow and Washington

Devastation: Dutch authorities have said that at least nine Britons, 154 Dutch, 27 Australians were among the passengers and crew killed on board the flight

Devastation: Dutch authorities have said that at least nine Britons, 154 Dutch, 27 Australians were among the passengers and crew killed on board the flight

Turning some of the blame towards the aviation industry, the same paper cited aviation sources saying it was ‘reckless’ to allow passenger flights over the region.

Government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta said: ‘It remains unclear how a Boeing 777 came to be above a conflict zone and why air traffic controllers didn’t prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

Malaysia’s transport minister today insisted there were no last-minute instructions to the pilots of MH17 before it took off.

Liow Tiong Lai said the Boeing 777 was flying on an internationally-approved route which other airlines had been using ‘in the hours before the incident’.

He said: ‘Our sympathies are with those affected by this tragedy. There were 298 passengers and crew. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families at this incredibly difficult time for them.’

Mr Lai reiterated that the plane had ‘a clean bill of health’ and all its systems were functioning normally.

The route taken over Ukraine was one approved by the International Civil Aviation Authority and by the International Air Transport Association.

He went on: ‘There were no last-minute instructions given to the pilots to change the route. In the hours before the incident, a number of airlines used this route.’

Mr Lai said that of the 41 passengers whose nationalities were initially unknown, 21 had now been identified.

Listing the nationalities, he confirmed that nine UK passengers were among those lost.

He added that the full passenger manifesto would be released once all next of kin had been informed.

Mr Lai called for the crash site to be preserved, adding that Malaysia was sending a dozens-strong team to Ukraine, which would include 15 medical staff. Malaysia Airlines is also sending 40 staff to Amsterdam to support families there.

Speaking at a media conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Lai said Ukraine would start the investigation into the crash and he supported a call for an international investigation.

Demanding answers: Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten arrives for a press conference at the Ministry of Security and Justice in The Hague

LOOTERS RAIDING POSSESSIONS OF 298 PASSENGERS AND CREW STREWN BETWEEN DEAD BODIES

Cash and jewellery is being stolen from victims of the Malaysian plane crash, Ukrainian politicians claim. The missile strike which brought down the MH17 flight left naked bodies strewn across fields surrounded by hundreds of possessions including children’s books, playing cards, slippers, letters and old vinyl records. But tonight it has emerged looters have descended on the distressing scene, stealing valuable goods from the 298 passengers and crew, who all died in the blast. Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Kiev government, said: ‘I have received information that terrorist death-hunters were collecting not only cash and jewellery of the crashed Boeing dead passengers but also the credit cards of the victims. ‘Currently, they might as well try to use them in Ukraine or pass them on to Russia. ‘My humble request to the relatives of the victims to freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t loose their assets to terrorists.’

The Duke of Cambridge spoke today of his ‘deep sadness’ over the Ukraine plane disaster.

Speaking at an event at Australia House in London to remember a British explorer, William said words ‘cannot do justice to our sense of loss’.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight  MH17 in Ukraine was ‘an absolutely appalling, shocking, horrific incident’ and said his thoughts were with the families of those killed.

Mr Cameron said: ‘If, as seems possible, this was brought down, then those responsible must be held to account and we must lose no time in doing that.’

Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a jetliner shot down as it flew miles above the country’s battlefield.

By midday, 181 bodies had been located, according to emergency workers in contact with officials in Kiev.

Malaysia Airlines said the passengers included 189 Dutch, 29 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one person each from Canada and New Zealand.

Still Nataliya Bystro, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s emergency services, said rebel militiamen were interfering with the recovery operation.

It came as the UN Security Council has called for ‘a full, thorough and independent international investigation’ after approving a statement expressing ‘deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash’.

Security Council members stood in a moment of silent tribute to the 298 victims at the start of an emergency council meeting.

The council called for an investigation ‘in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability’.

It stressed the need for ‘immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident’.

The crash site is spread out between two villages in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russia separatists apparently controlling access in and out.

Confusion surrounds the fate of the plane’s flight recorders after conflicting reports over whether they had been found.

An assistant to the insurgency’s military commander, Igor Girkin, said earlier that eight out of the plane’s 12 black boxes had been located and that he was considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the crash site.

Since planes usually have two black boxes – one for recording flight data and the other for recording cockpit voices – it was not clear what the number 12 referred to.

But another separatist leader, Aleksandr Borodai, said later: ‘No black boxes have been found. We hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened.’

Earlier, the separatists claimed that one of the black boxes had been sent to Moscow.

Meanwhile, Kostyantyn Batozsky, adviser to the Donetsk regional governor, claimed the voice and data recording devices by the Ukrainian Emergency Services Ministry after workers were granted access to the crash site by rebels, it was reported by The New York Times. But Mr Batozsky said he did not know the current location of the devices or who had them.

Large chunks of the Boeing 777 that bore the airline’s red, white and blue markings lay strewn over a field.

The cockpit and one of the turbines lay more than half a mile (1km) apart and residents said the tail landed about six miles (10km) away, indicating that the aircraft probably broke up before hitting the ground.

The downing of flight MH17

PASSENGERS AND CREW WILL HAVE BEEN OBLIVIOUS TO HORROR AS MISSILE BLEW APART AIRCRAFT

The 298 passengers and crew aboard MH17 will have been oblivious to the horror as a shrapnel-based missile instantly shredded the doomed plane, experts claim. The SA-11 missile – known as a Grizzly – that hit the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight is designed to pulverise aircraft on impact. It will have perforated the plane at various points, ignited the fuel, and taken out the engines and the wings within a split second – meaning the people aboard will have been unconscious almost instantly. Justin Bronk, researcher analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told MailOnline: ‘An SA-11 missile is designed to shred aircraft. ‘The extent at which the remains of the aircraft are spread across a large area seems to confirm that. ‘The missile is programmed using a tracker to get within a metre of the target then let off a ring of shrapnel, which will enter the aircraft at various points. ‘The shrapnel will have hit the wings, the engines and the fuel tanks, igniting the fuel. ‘A large aircraft like that is highly pressurised to allow humans to breathe at that altitude so it will have exploded instantly.’

Bodies and body parts strewn across the field outside the village of Rozsypne about 2.5 miles (4km) away from the crash site. Shocking new accounts of the carnage emerged today. ‘The plane broke up in the air and the parts and human bodies are lying within a three-kilometre area,’ said a post by Vsevolod Petrovsky after visiting the scene. ‘One body broke a hole in the thin roof of a summer terrace in a private house. I got out of the car and immediately saw the naked body of a woman, covered by some leaves. ‘There were many bodies without clothes around. Probably, their clothing was torn away after the loss of pressurisation. Horrible. ‘I go further and see a hill made of the cockpit parts. The area is lit. The pilot’s body is in this seat, with seat belt fastened, he is dressed in his clothes. ‘Among the plane parts there were many parcels. Letters tied with a rope, books, old vinyl records, somebody’s shoes. Children’s caps with the Dutch national flag colours. Amazingly, almost all of these things are not destroyed. ‘There was no fire in this part of the plane. The fire was in the back part which is lying not far from Grabovo village.’ A local farmer said: ‘I was herding my cows and heard a buzzing noise. I lay on the ground and thinking only that it would not hit me and my cows. ‘Then I looked and saw that something turns sharply and two big wings were flying. Bang. And something explodes. It came from eastern side, from the side of Sokholikha mountain.’

American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down but are still working on who fired the missile and whether it came from the Russian or Ukrainian side of the border, a U.S. official said.

Malaysia’s prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

More than half of the passengers on board – 154 – were Dutch citizens, with 43 from Malaysia, including the 15 crew members.

Another 27 were Australians, 12 from Indonesia, and nine Britons. The victims included three infants.

Earlier it was feared that 23 Americans had perished based on a Reuters report, but there has been no confirmation of any U.S. deaths since then from the State Department.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called it an ‘act of terrorism’ and demanded an international investigation. He insisted his forces did not shoot down the plane.

U.S. Senator John McCain said there ‘would be hell to pay’ if the plane was shot down by the Russian military or separatists.

Earlier this week, the rebels claimed responsibility for shooting down two Ukrainian military planes.

In Kuala Lumpur, several relatives of those on board the jet gathered at the international airport.

A distraught Akmar Mohamad Noor, 67, said her older sister was coming to visit the family for the first time in five years.

‘She called me just before she boarded the plane and said, “See you soon”,’ she said.

Counsellors were meeting with a few family members in the airport viewing gallery, sealed off from a horde of journalists. One woman emerged in tears and was escorted out of the airport by a security officer without saying anything.

‘This is just too much,’ said Cindy Tan, who was waiting at the airport for a friend on another flight.

‘I don’t know really why this happened to a MAS (Malaysia Airlines) plane again.’

Ukraine’s security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that showed rebels were responsible.

In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.

In the second, two rebel fighters – one of them at the crash scene – say the rocket attack was carried out by a unit of insurgents about 15 miles (25km) north of the site.

MH17 WASN’T THE ONLY ONE FLYING OVER DANGER ZONE: 55 OTHER AIRCRAFT ALSO DID ON THE SAME DAY

A Singapore Airlines passenger plane was flying just 15 miles away from flight MH17 when it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine.

Data from Flightradar24.com reveals the Copenhagen to Singapore flight was in airspace above the dangerous Donetsk region just two minutes before a surface-to-air missile hit the Malaysia Airlines plane on Thursday.

Figures also reveal 55 planes – including six flights from London’s Heathrow Airport – flew over the war zone on the same day the tragedy happened.

The flights were still operating in the conflict zone despite warnings from as far back as April from the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about potential risks to commercial planes.

Danger zone: Flightradar24.com data shows the closest plane in the air to MH17 just two minutes before it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine was a Singapore Airlines flight

Danger zone: Flightradar24.com data shows the closest plane in the air to MH17 just two minutes before it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine was a Singapore Airlines flight

Neither recording could be independently verified.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Sergey Kavtaradze, a special representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic leader, as denying that the intercepted phone conversations were genuine.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the crash a ‘terrible tragedy’ and spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Mr Poroshenko. Britain called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine.

Later, Mr Putin said Ukraine bore responsibility for the crash, but he did not address the question of who might have shot it down and did not accuse Ukraine of doing so.

‘This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine,’ he said, according to a Kremlin statement issued early today.

‘And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.’ At the United Nations, Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev told the AP that Russia gave the separatists a sophisticated missile system and thus Moscow bears responsibility, along with the rebels.

SHOT OUT OF THE SKY: OTHER PLANES HIT MID-FLIGHT

April 20, 1978: Korean Airlines Flight 902, which diverted from its planned course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and strayed over the Soviet Union. After being fired upon by an interceptor aircraft, the crew made a forced landing at night on the surface of a frozen lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by the hostile fire September 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by at least one Soviet air-to-air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed July 3, 1988: Iran Air Flight 655 Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament today that authorities owe it to the families of the dead to find out exactly what happened and who was responsible.

‘As things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime. And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice,’ he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was ‘horrified’ by the crash, and the United States was prepared to help with an international investigation.

Ukraine’s crisis began after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by a protest movement among citizens angry about endemic corruption and seeking closer ties with the European Union.

Russia later annexed the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, and pro-Russians in the country’s eastern regions began occupying government buildings and pressing for independence. Moscow denies Western charges that it is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest.

Kenneth Quinn, of the Flight Safety Foundation, said an international coalition of countries should lead the investigation.

Safety experts say they are concerned that, because the plane crashed in area of Ukraine that is in dispute, political considerations could affect the investigation.

The RIA-Novosti agency quoted rebel leader Alexander Borodai as saying that talks were under way with Ukrainian authorities on calling a short truce for humanitarian reasons. He said international organisations would be allowed into the conflict-plagued region.

Aviation authorities in several countries, including the FAA in the United States, had issued warnings not to fly over parts of Ukraine prior to yesterday’s crash, but many carriers, including cash-strapped Malaysia Airlines, had continued to use the route because ‘it is a shorter route, which means less fuel and therefore less money,’ said aviation expert Norman Shanks.

Within hours of the tragedy, several airlines said they were avoiding parts of Ukrainian airspace.

A U.S. official said American intelligence authorities believe the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile but are still working to determine additional details about the crash, including who fired the missile and whether it came from the Russian or Ukraine side of the border.

But American intelligence assessments suggest it is more likely pro-Russian separatists or the Russians rather than Ukrainian government forces shot down the plane, according to the official.

The United States has sophisticated technologies which can detect missile launches, including the identification of heat from the rocket engine.

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at about 33,000ft (10,000m) when it was hit by a missile from a Buk launcher, which can fire up to an altitude of 72,000ft (22,000m). He said only that his information was based on ‘intelligence’.

Igor Sutyagin, a research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said both Ukrainian and Russian forces have SA-17 missile systems – also known as Buk ground-to-air launcher systems.

Rebels had recently bragged about having acquired Buk systems.

Mr Sutyagin said Russia had supplied separatists with military hardware but had seen no evidence ‘of the transfer of that type of system from Russia’.

Earlier yesterday, AP journalists saw a launcher that looked like a Buk missile system near the eastern town of Snizhne, which is held by the rebels.

Mr Poroshenko said his country’s armed forces did not shoot at any airborne targets.

Separatist leader Andrei Purgin told the Associated Press news agency he was certain that Ukrainian troops had shot the plane down, but gave no explanation or proof.

There have been several disputes over planes being shot down over eastern Ukraine in recent days.

A Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down on Wednesday by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane, Ukrainian authorities said, adding to what Kiev says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the insurgents.

Pro-Russia rebels claimed responsibility for strikes on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets on Wednesday. Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile but the pilot landed safely.

The tragic victims of Flight MH17: EIGHTY children among the 298 who perished on doomed plane – including a brilliant young British mathematician, Catholic nun, UN worker and leading Aids doctor

  • Three Australian children – Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, aged between eight and 12 – were among those killed
  • An entire Indonesian family – including a five-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, also died in the attack
  • Two British students – Richard Mayne, 20, and Ben Pocock, in his early 20s, were also named as victims today
  • Also named were press officer Glenn Thomas, 49, and Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney
  • As many as 100 of the victims are thought to have been Aids experts on their way to a conference in Melbourne

By SIMON TOMLINSON and MICHAEL SEAMARK and LOUISE ECCLES and WILL STEWART and TED THORNHILL

Eighty children were among the victims killed when a passenger jet was shot out of the sky at 32,000ft by a surface-to-air missile yesterday.

Two Indonesians aged just three and five who were flying with their parents, as well as three Australian children headed home with their grandfather, numbered among the 298 dead after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held Ukraine yesterday.

Also on board the doomed flight were around 100 Aids experts on their way to an international conference, a Catholic nun from Australia and a British university student.

The nationalities of more victims were confirmed today – with the toll now including 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and nine Britons. Four passengers are yet to be verified. No victims are thought to be U.S. citizens.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile over territory near Donetsk held by pro-Russian rebels who the Ukrainian government says are backed by the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the attack.

Children: Evie (left), Mo (centre) and Otis (right) Maslin, pictured celebrating a birthday, are among the Australian victims of the disaster, in which a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down by a missile over Ukraine

Children: Evie (left), Mo (centre) and Otis (right) Maslin, pictured celebrating a birthday, are among the Australian victims of the disaster, in which a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down by a missile over Ukraine

 

Young: Evie Maslin, 10, from Australia was flying with her siblings

Young: Evie Maslin, 10, from Australia was flying with her siblings

Accompanying: Grandfather Nick Norris, pictured, was on board the flight with his three grandchildren

Accompanying: Grandfather Nick Norris, pictured, was on board the flight with his three grandchildren

Pose: Mo Maslin has is pictured above at a parade

Pose: Mo Maslin has is pictured above at a parade

Child victims: Three grandchildren, Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along with their grandfather Nick Morris

Child victims: Three grandchildren, Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along with their grandfather Nick Morris

At one swoop: An entire Indonesian family was killed in the attack: John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and two children, Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five and Sri Paulissen, three

At one swoop: An entire Indonesian family was killed in the attack: John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and two children, Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five and Sri Paulissen, three

 

Devastation: A surviving relative shows photographers images of the family, who were on the doomed plane

Devastation: A surviving relative shows photographers images of the family, who were on the doomed plane

The plane was shot down in an ‘act of terrorism’, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including three Australian children, aged between eight and 12, who were travelling with their grandfather. The family had been on holiday and the children’s parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few extra days, but Mr Norris took his grandchildren on MH17 to get them back to Australia in time for school, Australian broadcasters reported.

NATIONALITIES OF THE MH17 VICTIMS

Netherlands: 189 Malaysia: 44 Australia: 27 Indonesia: 12 UK: 9 Germany: 4 Belgium: 4 Philippines: 3 Canada: 1 New Zealand: 1 Unverified: 4

The tragedy has sparked outrage across the globe, with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leading calls on world powers to support his government in bringing to justice ‘those b****** who committed this international crime’ after a passenger plane was shot down over his country.

Security forces from Ukraine claim to have intercepted two phone conversations in which in which pro-Russian separatists seem to celebrate hitting the plane. In the wake of the aviation disaster tributes have poured in for the victims, who include families and renowned researchers.

Nick Norris, from Perth, Australia, was flying on the service with his grandchildren Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis Maslin, eight, when it was shot down at around 16.00 BST yesterday.

Mr Norris’s son Brack, 24, paid tribute to his father, niece and nephews. ‘I’m a bit dizzy right now,’ he told MailOnline in Australia. The family had been on holiday and the children’s parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few extra days, but Mr Norris took his grandchildren on MH17 to get them back to Australia in time for school, Australian broadcasters reported. Mr Norris, the managing director of management consulting firm Collaborative Systemic Change Pty Ltd, is survived by his son Brack, who is the company’s marketing manager, and daughter Kirstin, a marine engineer with the Royal Australian Navy. He was a well-known member of the South Perth Yacht Club. The identities of British victims also emerged today, including two Newcastle United fans on their way to see the club play in New Zealand, and a student from Leeds University.

A Leeds university student has also been named as one of the British nationals who died when flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine. Richard Mayne, 20,  was originally from Leicester where he lived with his parents.

 

He also leaves behind his brothers Thomas, 24, and William, 19. Mr Mayne was studying maths and finance at the university.

Student: Richard Mayne, 20, was another of the British victims, who studied maths and finance at Leeds University

Student: Richard Mayne, 20, was another of the British victims, who studied maths and finance at Leeds University

 

Gap year: Mr Mayne was setting off to spend a year in Australia, friends said

Around the world: Mr Mayne had been at a celebratory barbecue days before as friends wished him luck on his voyage

Traveller: Mr Mayne was on his way to spend a year in Australia, friends said, and had been at a celebratory barbecue days before where he was wished good luck

 

Speaking from the family home today, his father Simon, 53, said: ‘He was on his way to Perth. When we were looking at flights together, there was this one that stopped in Amsterdam and we thought it would be perfect.

‘I took him to the airport at 3am myself, to fly to Amsterdam. When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh god, oh god – I couldn’t believe it. We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight. ‘You think you’ve got problems and them something like this happens and it all just takes over. I can’t even bring myself to look at a photograph of him. We are beyond devastated. It is such a beautiful sunny day but our lives have been torn apart.’ Student Ben Pocock from Bristol was also named today as one of the victims. Mr Pocock, who was in his early 20s, had just finished studying at Loughborough University and was headed to Australia for a year’s placement abroad. The university paid tribute to Mr Pocock, today, saying he was destined to achieve a first-class degree. ‘We are incredibly saddened to hear that one of our students, Ben Pocock, was believed to be a passenger on flight MH17,’ a spokesman said.

Student: Ben Pocock, a student from Bristol who had just finished exams at Loughborough University, was headed to a holiday in Australia on MH17

Student: Ben Pocock, a student from Bristol who had just finished exams at Loughborough University, was headed to a holiday in Australia on MH17

‘Ben had just completed the second year of his international business BSc degree and was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia as part of his third year. ‘Ben was an excellent student and on course to gain a first class degree. He was also a fine athlete, who played on the university athletic union’s Ultimate Frisbee team and won their Player of the Year honour.’ Glenn Thomas, a 49-year-old UN worker from Blackpool, was on board the flight. Mr Thomas was a media relations co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation, an agency of the United Nations agency, and had previously worked as a journalist for the BBC.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysian (including 15 crew and two infants), 12 Indonesian, nine British, four German, three Filipino, and one Canadian citizen were also on the plane.

Mr Thomas grew up in Blackpool and worked as a journalist in the Lancashire seaside resort in the early 1990s, where his twin sister Tracey Withers still lives. The Blackpool Gazette reported that he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, a decade ago to start working for the WHO. He was said to have posted a status update shortly before starting his journey, which was supposed to end in Melbourne.

He caught a place from Geneva to Amsterdam, and boarded the doomed service from the Dutch capital to Kuala Lumpur, where he would have boarded a connecting flight. Mr Thomas lived in Geneva with his partner who lived in Geneva with his partner Claudio-Manoel Villaca-Vanetta, but is said to have kept up his ties to Blackpool.

Today one of his nephews said the family was ‘totally torn up’ by his death. The relative, a son of Mr Thomas’s sister Tracey and her husband Mark, said his parents were on holiday in Spain when they heard the news. He said: ‘She is on her way home; she is totally torn up. Like any twins they are very close-one of them feels everything the other does.She must have known in her mind something terrible was going on.’

Tributes were paid to Mr Thomas today, whom colleagues described as ‘a wonderful personal and a great professional’. WHO spokesman Fadela Chaib said: ‘I can confirm he was on the flight travelling to Australia to attend the Aids conference in Australia.

Victim: Glenn Thomas, 49, pictured, was a media relations worker for the World Health Organisation

Briton: Mr Thomas is from Blackpool and used to work for the BBC

Victim: Briton Glenn Thomas, 49, was among the 298 killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blasted out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile

 

International: Mr Thomas (circled) is pictured above at a press conference delivered by the World Health Organisation - an agency of the United Nations - and is surrounded by high-ranking experts from the body

International: Mr Thomas (circled) is pictured above at a press conference delivered by the World Health Organisation – an agency of the United Nations – and is surrounded by high-ranking experts from the body

‘For the time being we would like to give his family time to grieve. We have lost a wonderful person and a great professional. Our hearts are broken. We are all in shock.’

It was also revealed that two Newcastle United fans were among the nine Britons killed. A fan site for the football club posted that two people were aboard MH17 on their way to New Zealand, where the team is playing in a pre-season tour.

One of the men is thought to be fan John Alder, who was in his 60s. The loyal supporter is known to other fans as The Undertaker because of his tradition of wearing a suit to every game.

He is thought only to have missed a single match since he started attending in 1973, and follows the team around the world for their away games.

It is believed John was travelling to the game with another 28-year-old fan, believed to be Liam Sweeney, from Newcastle.

Before the flight John had made his way from Amsterdam, then boarded the flight destined for Kuala Lumpur.

Tributes have started to pour in for the former BT worker, who was also known for his mullet-style haircut.

Loyal: John Alder, in his 60s, is thought to have died

Fan: Tributes were also paid to Liam Sweeney, 28

Newcastle Fans: John Alder, pictured left, and Liam Sweeney, right, were football supporters who were travelling to watch Newcastle United play in New Zealand when MH17 was shot out of the skies

GROWING LIST OF THE DEAD: NAMED VICTIMS FROM THE MH17 TRAGEDY

Mo Maslin, 12, Australian                                               Otis Malsin, eight, Australian                                             Evie Maslin, 10, Australian John Paulissen, Indonesian                                           Yuli Hastini, Indonesian                                                        Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five, Indonesian Sri Paulissen, three, Indonesian                                                 Glenn Thomas, 49, British, WHO press officer          Richard Mayne, 20, British, student John Alder, 60s, NUFC fan                                                            Liam Sweeney, 28, NUFC fan                                 Elaine Teoh, student, Australian Nick Norris, Australian                                                    Albert Rizk, Australian, estate agent                       Mari Rizk, Australian Sister Philomene Tiernan, Australian, nun                   Roger Guard, Australian, pathologist                      Jill Guard, Australian Joep Lange, leading HIV expert                                      Pim de Kuijer, Aids expert                                       Martine de Schutter, Aids expert Eugene Choo Jin Leong, Malaysian, pilot                     Regis Crolla, Dutch                                                Azrina Yakob, Malaysian, air stewardess Sanjid Singh Sandu, 41, Malaysian, air steward            Shazana Salleh, Malaysian, air hostess                  Angeline Premila, Malaysian, air hostess Ben Pocock, early 20s, British, student                          Fatima Dyczynski, Australian, entrepreneur           Liliane Derden, Australian, researcher Willem Witteveen, 62, Dutch, senator                           Cameron Dalziel, British, helicopter pilot                Fan Shun-Po, Hong Kong, chef

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said today his players were ‘deeply shocked and saddened’ at the deaths of two such ‘dedicated’ fans.

The club said both men were familiar faces at every United away game and attended reserve and academy matches as well as first-team games.

The sixth Briton named today was helicopter rescue pilot and father-of-two Cameron Dalziel.

Mr Dalziel, 43, is from South Africa but travels on a British passport, it is believed. He moveed to Malaysia last October with his wife Reine, and their two sons Sheldon, 14, and four year-old Cruz, to take up a job with CHC Helicopter.

He had previously worked as a helicopter rescue pilot in KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa.

Mr Dalziel’s brother-in-law, Shane Hattingh, said his sister Reine was so traumatised she has not been able to answer phone calls from anxious relatives, according to Eye Witness News.

He said: ‘She is basically alone there other than with new friends. So she couldn’t even talk to me. Apparently three people from the company were there with her. It’s crazy, the kids are going to be absolutely shattered.’

It is understood Mr Dalziel had been sent for training in the Netherlands and was returning on yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines flight when the plane was shot down.

Victim: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as a victim

Victim: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as a victim

Helicopter pilot: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as another victim, the sixth Briton

The airline has now said that all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will now be taking alternative routes, avoiding the usual route over Ukraine. A real estate agent, from Victoria, Australia, his wife, a Perth management consultant, a Melbourne university student and a Sydney Catholic nun are among the Australian dead on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border. A Catholic nun from Sydney was also on board the flight. Sister Philomena, a teacher at girls’ high school Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was the relative of school students at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in North Sydney. Malaysian student Elaine Teoh, who had been studying at Melbourne University, was on the flight, along with recently retired pathologist Roger Guard and his wife Jill from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight. Dr Guard was well regarded in the medical community, acting as the director within the Pathology Queensland laboratory in Toowoomba Hospital. He also helped perform autopsies on the victims of the Queensland flood and was well known for organising local marathon events in his local community for the Toowoomba Road Runner fitness group. A Victorian couple Frankie Davison and her husband Liam were on MH17. Mrs Davison was a teacher at Toorak College Community, south-east of Melbourne.

Entrepreneur: Fatima Dyczynski, the founder of data company Xoterra Space, is thought to have been on board

On board: Ms Dyczynski's Australian parents fear their Amsterdam-based daughter was on board

Entrepreneur: Fatima Dyczynski, the founder of data company Xoterra Space, is thought to have been on board. Her parents are believed to be Australian

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying MH17 when it was shot down. Malaysia Airlines has described him as one of their most trusted pilots

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying MH17 when it was shot down. Malaysia Airlines has described him as one of their most trusted pilots

 

Melbourne University student Elaine Teoh was among the 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border

Victims: Melbourne student Elaine Teoh

Nick Norris

Perth man Nick Norris

Victorian real estate agent, Albert Rizk, was among the 298 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

Marie Rizk

Mr Rizk’s wife Marie

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan, a teacher at eastern Sydney's Catholic girls' school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan (centre), a teacher at eastern Sydney's Catholic girls' school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan (centre), a teacher at eastern Sydney’s Catholic girls’ school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Shot down: Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Scientist: Leading HIV researcher Joep Lange (pictured) died in the MH17 crash

Scientist: Leading HIV researcher Joep Lange (pictured) died in the MH17 crash

Conference: Pim de Kuijer, another AIDS researcher, was on his way to the Melbourne conference