Cyprus signs LNG deal with US-Israeli partnership

Cyprus to see its all time biggest LNG infrastructure investment project after signing MOU with US-Israeli partnership.  Cyprus inked a deal with a US-Israeli partnership on Wednesday to build a liquefied natural gas plant on the island to exploit untapped energy riches.  A memorandum of understanding was signed between Cyprus and a partnership comprising US-based Noble Energy International and Israeli companies Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration to build a LNG facility at Vassiliko near the southern resort town of Limassol.

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Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon

Federal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.  The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta.

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The ‘Sex Jihad’

News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law. Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-’Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women.  Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices–their chastity, their dignity–in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria.

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Bilderberg Group 2013: guest list and agenda

The Bilderberg, the secretive annual gathering of businessmen, politicians and defence officials, today meets at The Grove hotel in Watford. This is the guest list and agenda in full.  The meeting will take place from 6 to 9 June at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire, with 140 delegates from 21 countries. The topics for discussion are:

• Can the US and Europe grow faster and create jobs?

• Jobs, entitlement and debt

• How big data is changing almost everything

• Nationalism and populism

• US foreign policy

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Uncovering the “Truth” Among the Conspiracy Theorists at the 2013 Bilderberg Fringe Festival

Every year, the Bilderberg Group—a collection of some of the world’s most powerful people—gets together to discuss how to keep on being powerful. Now, considering that the past couple weeks haven’t been great ones for democracy (shouts to Turkey and the NSA!), I don’t blame you if the prospect of powerful government officials holding a closed-door meeting with the financial elite gets your goat a little. Especially since while the big swinging dicks gathered in Watford, England, last weekend, unemployment in the UK continued to rise, cities in Turkey kept on burning, and the war in Syria remained the stuff of nightmares.

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We’ll be uploading our entire MINDS to computers by 2045 and our bodies will be replaced by machines within 90 years, Google expert claims

In just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal – an event called singularity – according to a futurist from Google.  Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, also claims that the biological parts of our body will be replaced with mechanical parts and this could happen as early as 2100.  Kurweil made the claims during his conference speech at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York at the weekend.  The conference was created by Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov and featured visonary talks about how the world will look by 2045.

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Evangelical Group Misleads on Funding Source for Immigration Ads

Breitbart News has reported that the Evangelical Immigration Table, whose members have taken a leading role in pushing for the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, doesn’t legally exist. We have also reported that the ads the group claims are “paid for by the Evangelical Immigration Table” were actually purchased by the National Immigration Forum, an organization which has received millions of dollars from George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

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Study: 70 Percent Of Americans On Prescription Drugs

Rochester, Minn. (CBS ATLANTA) – Researchers find that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half receive at least two prescriptions.  Mayo Clinic researchers report that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids are the most common prescriptions given to Americans. Twenty percent of U.S. patients were also found to be on five or more prescription medications.  The study is uncovering valuable information to the researchers about U.S. prescription practices.

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Scrapping equipment key to Afghan drawdown

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.  The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.

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Guantánamo judge calls recess over possible national security concern

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The judge in the Sept. 11 conspiracy trial abruptly cleared the court Thursday during questioning of a former prison camps commander about what intelligence groups were at work on this remote base.  At issue in the hearing is who and what organizations influenced Navy Rear Adm. David B. Woods as he restricted attorney-client communications ahead of last May’s arraignment of the five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings and 2,976 murders.

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India’s Shale Gas Boom: Dream or Reality?

As India prepares for the release of its long anticipated shale gas policy, pressure continues to mount on New Delhi. An increase in coal imports over the past 12 months has demonstrated the stress on current energy supply and the negative impacts it has on India’s public health and environment.  In March, Veerappa Moily, India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that the government’s shale gas policy would be released in early April, yet such a policy, which Moily stated in an interview with Reuters in March would be a “game changer” for India, is still to materialize. Many analysts continue to point to the importance of improving the country’s energy security. Indeed, shale gas production could offer a reprieve for energy-starved India as well as a much needed boost to its economy.

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U.S. Aid to Syrian Rebels: Last Chance or Too Late?

The aid is an attempt to build up the moderates as an alternative to the Islamists but critics question if it is too late for that.  After a White House announcement that it will provide military help to the Syrian rebels, the CIA will soon be delivering small arms to the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syria Army (FSA) through Turkey and Jordan. The FSA is the only one of the 12 rebel groups that is not Islamist (excluding one group that is an offshoot of a Kurdish terrorist group).  Is this the last chance to build up a third alternative to Assad and the Islamist rebels or is it too late?

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GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.  The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

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Fighting Terrorism by Arming Terrorists

The Syrian intervention John McCain and the Clintons want would be a war for Islamism, not democracy.  The Obama administration appears to be moving toward arming rebels in Syria, though the White House has only publicly confirmed an increase in the “scope and scale” of its military support.  By one estimate, seven of nine key rebel combatant groups are Islamist. “As the civil war has dragged on, the rebels have become more Islamist and extreme,” the Economist reports. Thus the administration’s decision to arm only the non-Islamist rebels may soon resemble O.J. Simpson’s search for the “real killers.”

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Rubio thinks immigration bill in good shape; Graham says a GOP block would add to party’s ‘death spiral’

The top Republican crafting the Senate’s sweeping immigration-reform legislation acknowledged Sunday the bill still has flaws, while a fellow GOP senator said their party blocking its passage will only add to their “demographic death spiral.”  Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and potential 2016 presidential candidate, said roughly 95 percent of the bill is in “perfect shape” and that the full chamber debates are off to a good start.  However, he expressed concerns about whether the legislation ensures adequate border security and said Americans have “valid issues” about the matter.

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Downgraded: Greece Ousted from Index of ‘Developed’ Countries

The latest setback for Greece: MSCI Inc. MSCI -0.92% booted the euro-zone member from its index of developed countries.  The decision, announced late Tuesday, is the first time the index provider demoted a country from its “developed” to its “emerging-market” category since the launch of its flagship emerging-markets index in 1987.  It affirms what investors have believed for years. Multiple bailouts by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, a sharp contraction in gross domestic product and a still-large debt burden mean Greece now has more in common with Hungary than France.

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Iran Is Deeply Unpopular, Except Among Asia’s Muslims

As Iranians head to the polls to select a new president, global perceptions of Iran are at an all-time low.  That’s at least according to a new poll by Pew’s Global Attitudes Project, which surveyed views of Iran from 39 countries around the world and found only 20 percent of respondents viewed Iran favorably compared to 59 percent who viewed the country unfavorably. Interestingly, Iran enjoys some of its highest favorability ratings in Muslim-majority countries in the Asia-Pacific.  For the countries in which Iran was viewed unfavorably, two issues stand out: its nuclear program and human rights record. On the former issue, over the past year Chinese have further soured on Iran becoming a nuclear armed power, with Beijing joining the United States, Israel, and the European Union countries in staunch opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Indeed, 62 percent of respondents in China now oppose a nuclear-armed Iran, up from 54 percent in 2012; in Russia, no less than three in every four respondents agree with the majority view of their Chinese counterparts.

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G8 summit: Jim Broadbent calls for action on tax avoidance to tackle world hunger as protesters gather in Belfast

Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent today called on the G8 leaders to end world hunger by tackling tax avoidance.  The star of Iris also appealed for the world’s richest countries to examine how they distribute aid, after Broadbent joined 2,000 anti-poverty campaigners in the pouring rain for a concert in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens, where he recited a poem to the crowd.  Addressing the crowd, he said: “With so many people turning out, even on a day like today, it shows there is an enormous will to get people to listen to the issues and to correct what is clearly not right.

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China approves three GMO soybean imports

BEIJING, June 15 (UPI) — China said this week it would allow three more varieties of genetically modified soybeans to be imported.  The government committee in charge of GMO (genetically modified organisms) matters Thursday issued a written statement giving the green light to a strain of beans from Germany’s BASF and two created by Monsanto Far East Ltd.  The beans, which were engineered to withstand herbicides and insects, will be allowed to be planted in Chinese fields. The varieties were previously approved by several other nations, the notice said.

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Colorado theatre shooting suspect James Holmes enters insanity plea

James Holmes, the man accused of massacring 12 people in a Colorado cinema, has been allowed by a judge to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.  The decision means the 25-year-old will undergo months of mental evaluations but will still face trial and could eventually be executed.  Jurors will be asked to weigh evidence of Holmes’s mental state and could press ahead with the death penalty if they do not accept he was insane at the time of the shootings.

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