Saturday, December 13, 2008

Japan’s power output drops for 4th month on recession

Japan's electricity generation dropped for a fourth straight month in November, falling 1.8 percent from a year earlier as companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. cut production and the recession deepened.

The country's 10 regional utilities cut production to 77.17 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last month, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said in a report released in Tokyo today. Chubu Electric Power Co., which relies most heavily on industrial users among the 10 power utilities, saw the biggest decline, of 5.1 percent.

The Cabinet Office said yesterday gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, exceeding the 0.9 percent forecasted by economists. The central bank's Tankan survey next week will probably show sentiment among big manufacturers sank the most in 34 years, economists predict.

“The drops would be much larger if they didn't include sales to households and small businesses such as hotels and shopping centers,” Hirofumi Kawachi, an energy analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. “There is too much bad news around.”

Chubu Electric, which supplies central Japan, sells about 40 percent of its output to manufacturers including Toyota and Sharp Corp., the country's biggest maker of liquid-crystal-display televisions. Sharp today announced plans to close some lines at two plants in Mie and Nara prefectures and cut 380 temporary jobs at three factories.

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The Nine Signs of Hopi Prophecy

The Fourth World shall end soon, and the Fifth World will begin. This the elders everywhere know. The Signs over many years have been fulfilled, and so few are left.

First Sign: We were told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana -- men who took the land that was not theirs and who struck their enemies with thunder. (Guns)

Second Sign: Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. (Covered wagons)

Third Sign: A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. (Longhorn cattle)

Fourth Sign: The land will be crossed by snakes of iron. (Railroad tracks)

Fifth Sign: The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider's web. (Power and telephone lines)

Sixth Sign: The land shall be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun. (Concrete roads and their mirage-producing effects.)

Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it. (Oil spills)

Eighth Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like our people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn our ways and wisdom. (Hippies)

Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of the Hopi people will cease.

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...The 'Purifier' is mentioned is the other brother that was sent forth, out to the East, and this was the teaching that he had.....that he was sent of to the East and he would reach the point of origin where the Sun would come out from. When he reached that place, then he would touch his head to the Earth and he would return back to us. When this, you know, time comes that's the end of....the end times....time for a purification time when he will return back. He is the one that has the....in a way, you know....the weapons or the artillery and he is the Big Brother so he would know what to do and how he would help us and how we would go about in having to make us understand. His job is to make us understand and try to get ourselves to behave in the way that we're supposed to and, if we don't, then the one from the West will come and they are the ones that are going to come with much force. He, the 'Purifier', the one that went to the East, is supposed to be big enough to take on the ones that are coming from the West. That is going to become like the Third World War...

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Some skewed reactions to Greece's recent riots

Greece Turns Communist

Greece is important for Putin, being both an EU and NATO member.
If communist, it can therefore become the Trojan horse in the EU, more than it already is.

For sure Greece can postpone NATO's MAP (Membership Action Plan) for Macedonia.

Important politically, religiously and being also engaged in many pipeline projects with Russia, such as South Stream and Burgas-Alexandroupoli , if turning left, Greece is a good gain for Putin.

Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline is rival with the US - backed - Kosovo - linked AMBO oil pipeline.

~Veronica Bicer

QUOTES:

Officials said they expect more demonstrations and unrest in Athens as students and the Greek Communist Party are expected to hold protests throughout the day. With a 24-hour general strike called for Wednesday, many expressed fears that the demonstrations could last for days.
Karamanlis' government faced a series of protests from labor groups and students in recent months. Reports said that Karamanlis, whose government rules with a slim majority, may be forced to call early elections.

Public unrest has grown with the conservative government's austerity measures, with unions regularly demonstrating against privatizations, pension reforms and the cost of living.

-DEUTSCHE WELLE
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3858663,00.html
a membership action plan will be extended to Macedonia, as soon as its name dispute with Greece is settled.

http://voanews.com/english/2008-12-03-voa42.cfm
Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline
The Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline is an oil pipeline that will be used to transport Russian and Caspian oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek Aegean port of Alexandroupoli. The pipeline will be an alternative route for Russian oil bypassing the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Its construction will begin in June of 2009, and is estimated to be completed by the beginning of 2011.

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Greek “student intifada:” murderous, violent cry-babies

For the last seven days, childish, bored, and spoiled Greek brats, calling themselves “anarchists,” have gone on a violent, deadly, and expensive rampage, supposedly protesting what they claim to be “economic oppression.” It is sad to have watched Greece, one of the cradles of democratic philosophy, become a third-rate banana republic, populated by scores of politically-correct cry-babies, unable to maintain law and order, and unable to preserve the basic principles of civilized societies. There is a stark contrast between responsible, mature societies and weak, decadent ones: Populations who hold the principles of common decency, compassion, and peacefulness work hard and constructively to overcome hard times; complacent, spoiled, and nihilistic societies go on childish rampages when faced with adversity.

Not surprisingly, nihilists in other Western European nations have thrown tantrums to show “solidarity” with their Greek “compatriots.” Western Europeans were saved from German imperialism not once, but twice, by thousands of brave Americans who fought selflessly to protect democratic nations that the U.S. population saw as kin — our friends and ancestors. After WWII, the U.S. spent billions of dollars rebuilding Europe's infrastructure. America sent thousands of her sons and daughters, both military and civilian, and spent even more billions of dollars, all to protect Western Europe from the grave menace of the Soviet Union. Europe benefited greatly from American beneficence. Unfortunately, many Europeans got too used to letting someone else provide their own nations' security. Western Europe concentrated on building nanny-states, big on government handouts, and low on personal responsibility. The end-result was several generations of Europeans born with silver spoons in their mouths, never having to face the ultimate challenge of fighting for democracy and/or survival. With generous government dolls, many European youths grew up bored and complacent.
Notice that people from countries who endured, survived, and won their independence from “socialism” are not rioting and looting in support of the Greek, anarchist cry-babies. The citizens of, for example, the Baltic States know what reality means; they survived near extermination from “socialism” by persevering — tenaciously holding onto their cultural heritages (treasures). They threw off the yolk of “communist” dictators peacefully, and are now working hard to build civilized, affluent, and democratic societies — all through peaceful means and not by throwing tantrums.

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Unrest spreads across Europe, Greece riots could be trigger

The unrest that has gripped Greece is spilling over into the rest of Europe, raising concerns the clashes could be a trigger for opponents of globalization, disaffected youth and others outraged by the continent's economic turmoil and soaring unemployment.

Protesters in Spain, Denmark and Italy smashed shop windows, pelted police with bottles and attacked banks this week, while in France, cars were set ablaze Thursday outside the Greek consulate in Bordeaux, where protesters scrawled graffiti warning about a looming "insurrection."

At least some of the protests were organized over the Internet, showing how quickly the message of discontent can be spread, particularly among tech-savvy youth. One Web site Greek protesters used to update each other on the locations of clashes asserted there have been sympathy protests in nearly 20 countries.

More demonstrations were set for Friday in Italy, France and Germany.

Still, the clashes have been isolated so far, and nothing like the scope of the chaos in Greece, which was triggered by the police killing of a teenager on Saturday and has ballooned into nightly scenes of burning street barricades, looted stores and overturned cars.

Nevertheless, authorities in Europe worry conditions are ripe for the contagion to spread.

As Europe plunges into recession, unemployment is rising, particularly among the young. Even before the crisis, European youths complained about difficulty finding well-paid jobs _ even with a college degree _ and many said they felt left out as the continent grew in prosperity.

In Greece, demonstrators handed out fliers Thursday listing their demands, which include the reversal of public spending cuts that have brought more layoffs, and said they were hopeful their movement would spread.

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From Anarchists' fury fuels Greek riots

...Anarchist groups frequently set off small bombs throughout the city – on Wednesday alone a bomb damaged the offices of the French news service Agence France Presse and arsonists torched a Bosnian embassy car and a bank cash machine.

Brady Kiesling, a former US diplomat, who is writing a book about the Greek militant group November 17, says Greek police have limited power to use force against these groups because public sentiment will not tolerate it. This has resulted in a delicate balance in Exarchia, with neither pushing the other too far. Many Greeks cite the events of November 17, 1973 – a day that is still commemorated, when the army stormed the Athens Polytechnic University and killed a number of striking students – as a reason why the police must be restricted.

"The police stay out of certain areas, unless there's a major emergency, and the anarchists don't trash things badly unless there's a good reason," Mr. Kiesling says. But "once someone gets killed, the doctrine is massive retaliation."...


Gunmen were on drugs during Mumbai attacks

The thugs responsible for last week's attacks in Mumbai fueled their terror binge with cocaine and hallucinogens, Indian officials say.

"We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by the terrorists and later found drugs in their blood," one official told London newspaper the Telegraph. Syringes and other drug paraphernalia were found on the scene of the horrific crimes.

The drugs help explain how the 10 young men were able to fight hundreds of Indian commandos for 50 hours without stopping to eat or sleep. One terrorist fought for 6 hours despite a severe wound to his thigh before later being killed by commando fire.

Officials also found evidence of steroid use, which they say is not uncommon among terrorists.

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Are the Greek riots a taste of things to come?

After firing 4,600 tear-gas canisters in the past week, the Greek police have nearly exhausted their stock. As they seek emergency supplies from Israel and Germany, still the petrol bombs and stones of the protesters rain down, with clashes again outside parliament yesterday.

Bringing together youths in their early twenties struggling to survive amid mass youth unemployment and schoolchildren swotting for highly competitive university exams that may not ultimately help them in a treacherous jobs market, the events of the past week could be called the first credit-crunch riots. There have been smaller-scale sympathy attacks from Moscow to Copenhagen, and economists say countries with similarly high youth unemployment problems such as Spain and Italy should prepare for unrest.

Ostensibly, the trigger for the Greek violence was the police shooting of a 15-year-old boy, Alexis Grigoropoulos. A forensic report leaked to Greek newspapers indicated he was killed by a direct shot, not a ricochet as the policeman's lawyer had claimed. The first protesters were on the streets of Athens within 90 minutes of Alexis's death, the start of the most traumatic week Greece has endured for decades. The destructiveness of the daily protests, which left many stores in Athens's smartest shopping area in ruins and caused an estimated €2bn (£1.79bn) in damage, has stunned Greece and baffled the world. And there was no let-up yesterday, as angry youths shrugged off torrential rain to pelt police with firebombs and stones, block major roads and occupy a private radio station.

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A week on, protesters still on Greece's streets

Protesters are promising to remain on the streets of Greece, one week after the police killing of a 15-year-old boy sparked massive riots.

Demonstrations are scheduled Saturday, followed by daily rallies over the next week, including plans to gather outside police headquarters.

Riots that followed the police shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos have left hundreds of stores smashed and looted. At least 70 people have been injured and more than 200 arrested.

The protests are driven in part by the widening gap between rich and poor in a country where the minimum monthly wage is €658 ($850), graduates have poor job prospects and the government is making painful reforms to the pension system.

"It is clear that this wave of discontent will not die down. This rage is spreading because the underlying causes remain," said veteran left-wing politician Leonidas Kyrkos.

At the site where Grigoropoulos was shot, scores of people came to leave flowers and pin messages to a a notice board. A privately made street sign was placed on the corner of the block with the teenager's name.

Internet tribute sites were also flooded with messages.

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U.S. seems to have turned a blind eye to Afghan ally's war crimes

Seven years ago, a convoy of container trucks rumbled across northern Afghanistan loaded with a human cargo of suspected Taliban and al-Qaida members who'd surrendered to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Afghan warlord and a key U.S. ally in ousting the Taliban regime.

When the trucks arrived at a prison in the town of Sheberghan, near Dostum's headquarters, they were filled with corpses. Most of the prisoners had suffocated, and others had been killed by bullets that Dostum's militiamen had fired into the metal containers.

Dostum's men hauled the bodies into the nearby desert and buried them in mass graves, according to Afghan human rights officials. By some estimates, 2,000 men were buried there.

Earlier this year, bulldozers and backhoes returned to the scene, reportedly exhumed the bones of many of the dead men and removed evidence of the atrocity. In the area where the mass graves once were, there now are gaping pits in the sands of the Dasht-e Leili desert.

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Author, humanitarian, international philanthropist and seventh-grader

Stefan has just finished his third book about his San Francisco adventures with his pet rats.

As with his first two books, all proceeds go to build schools in Africa.

"I want to help the less fortunate," said Stefan, 13, at a recent book signing at a law firm in a downtown high-rise. "There are a lot of AIDS orphans in Africa."

For $5,000, he financed the conversion of an abandoned cowshed in Kakamega, Kenya, into a two-room school. He's now halfway through construction of an eight-room school for 100 children, the Stefan Lyon Academy, in the neighboring village of Bungoma.

Stefan is on a book promotion tour for the holidays, hoping to raise the last $30,000 to finish the school.

Stefan, who has his own nonprofit, the Stefan Lyon Foundation, knows that he's not a typical 13-year-old, but he also doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

For as long as his mother, Denise Lyon, can remember, Stefan was always a compassionate child.

"He'd sit with the kids who got bullied at school until they felt better," she said.

Part of his empathy is conditioned. Before he could walk, his mother would carry him on her back as she handed out lunches to the homeless.

By elementary school, Stefan passed out cookies and blankets to the homeless at the Civic Center from his red wagon.

He'd insert notes in the cookie bags:

"I'm thinking of you."

"God loves you."

He served drinks at Glide Memorial Church, and brought art supplies to a homeless youth center.

At 8, he wrote a letter to Mayor Gavin Newsom urging him to help the homeless.

Newsom had him in for a meeting, and asked the boy what he should do.

"Stefan told him, 'You need to be gracious,' " Denise Lyon said.

The mayor, somewhat stunned, presented Stefan with the seal of the city.

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The 10 big energy myths

There has never been a more important time to invest in green technologies, yet many of us believe these efforts are doomed to failure. What nonsense, writes Chris Goodall

Myth 1: solar power is too expensive to be of much use

In reality, today's bulky and expensive solar panels capture only 10% or so of the sun's energy, but rapid innovation in the US means that the next generation of panels will be much thinner, capture far more of the energy in the sun's light and cost a fraction of what they do today. They may not even be made of silicon. First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin panels, claims that its products will generate electricity in sunny countries as cheaply as large power stations by 2012.

Other companies are investigating even more efficient ways of capturing the sun's energy, for example the use of long parabolic mirrors to focus light on to a thin tube carrying a liquid, which gets hot enough to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity. Spanish and German companies are installing large-scale solar power plants of this type in North Africa, Spain and the south-west of America; on hot summer afternoons in California, solar power stations are probably already financially competitive with coal. Europe, meanwhile, could get most of its electricity from plants in the Sahara desert. We would need new long-distance power transmission but the technology for providing this is advancing fast, and the countries of North Africa would get a valuable new source of income.

Myth 2: wind power is too unreliable

Actually, during some periods earlier this year the wind provided almost 40% of Spanish power. Parts of northern Germany generate more electricity from wind than they actually need. Northern Scotland, blessed with some of the best wind speeds in Europe, could easily generate 10% or even 15% of the UK's electricity needs at a cost that would comfortably match today's fossil fuel prices.

The intermittency of wind power does mean that we would need to run our electricity grids in a very different way. To provide the most reliable electricity, Europe needs to build better connections between regions and countries; those generating a surplus of wind energy should be able to export it easily to places where the air is still. The UK must invest in transmission cables, probably offshore, that bring Scottish wind-generated electricity to the power-hungry south-east and then continue on to Holland and France. The electricity distribution system must be Europe-wide if we are to get the maximum security of supply.

We will also need to invest in energy storage. At the moment we do this by
pumping water uphill at times of surplus and letting it flow back down the mountain when power is scarce. Other countries are talking of developing "smart grids" that provide users with incentives to consume less electricity when wind speeds are low. Wind power is financially viable today in many countries, and it will become cheaper as turbines continue to grow in size, and manufacturers drive down costs. Some projections see more than 30% of the world's electricity eventually coming from the wind. Turbine manufacture and installation are also set to become major sources of employment, with one trade body predicting that the sector will generate 2m jobs worldwide by 2020.

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On this day: The Massacre of Kalavryta

From Kalavryta

Kalavryta is marked by a holocaust, during the Nazi occupation, in World War II. On 13 December 1943 the Nazi troops ordered all male residents, aged 14 years and up, to gather in a field just outside the village. There, they machine-gunned down almost all 700 of them. Only about 13 survived.


From George Duncan's Massacres and Atrocities of WWII

GREECE

KALAVRYTA( December 13, 1943 )

Due to partisan activity around the town of Kalavryta in southern Greece, a unit of the German army 'Kampfgruppe Ebersberger' the 117th Jager Division, under the command of General Karl de Suire, surrounded the town on the morning of Monday, December 13. All the inhabitants were herded into the local school. Females and young boys were separated from the men and youths, the latter being marched to a hollow in a nearby hillside. There the soldiers took up positions behind machine-guns. Below, they witnessed the town being set on fire. Just after 2pm a red flare was fired from the town. This was the signal for the soldiers to start firing on the men and youths who were huddled in the hollow. At 2.34pm the firing stopped and the soldiers marched away. Behind them lay the bodies of 696 persons, the entire male population of Kalavryta. There were 13 survivors of the massacre, the town itself totally destroyed. Only eight houses out of nearly five hundred, were left standing. It was not until late afternoon that the women and young boys were released to face the enormity of the tragedy. Today a memorial stands on the site of the massacre on which are carved the names of 1,300 men and boys from Kalavryta and 24 nearby villages who were murdered that day. (Around 460 villages were completely destroyed and approximately 60,000 men, women and children were massacred during the occupation of Greece)

A plague worse than AIDS?

The issue of antibiotic-resistant disease is a very serious one. It actually exacts a greater death toll than “modern plagues” like AIDS.

Compounding the problem is that not only are potent antibiotics over-prescribed in modern medicine, they are also widely over-used in agriculture – a fact that is grossly overlooked. In fact, agricultural antibiotic use is a MAJOR source of human antibiotic consumption, which contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistant “superbugs” like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

According to a study published in October, 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), there were close to 100,000 cases of invasive MRSA infections in the United States in 2005, which lead to more than 18,600 deaths.

To put that number into perspective, HIV/AIDS killed 17,000 people that year.

The numbers are even more staggering when you include ALL hospital infections, not just MRSA, as approximately 1.7 million Americans contracted infections during hospital stays in 2007, and a subsequent 100,000 people perished from these diseases, according to the U.S. Center of Disease Control (CDC).

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