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Underworld

POLL: Monsanto Third Most Hated Company In the World

by Mike Barrett

Back in 2011, we declared Monsanto to be the worst company of the year for threatening both human health and the environment at large. Our decision was met with massive support, even amid the still growing climate of understanding when it came to what Monsanto and mega biotech at large were truly doing to the food supply. In 2014, however, the global resistance is making even greater strides.

Now, a relatively new poll from Nielsen found that Monsanto’s reputation ranked 3rd worst among 60 high-profile companies, right behind oil juggernaut BP (responsible for the worst oil spill in U.S. history) and Bank of America (known for being a key player in the meltdown of the financial market).

Monsanto, a major biotech corporation responsible for genetically modifying and taking over many of the nation’s crops, isn’t necessarily a consumer-facing company. Yet it faces public opposition unlike no other.

As reported by 247Wallst:

“3. Monsanto
> Reputation score: 57.27
> 2013 Reputation score: 61.70

…few businesses have had such a long-running negative public perception. The company’s promotion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been controversial because many consumers remain suspicious about crop engineering. Monsanto has also actively worked to protect seed patents, including suing farmers who have used its seeds without permission and proper payments. The company’s opposition to proposed GMO labeling laws, which require that foods sold to consumers containing GMOs include a label, has also not helped its image.”

The Many Reasons to Hate Monsanto

Numerous scientific studies have found Monsanto’s products, from GMO crops to top-selling pesticides, to be endangering the planet at an incredibly fast rate. It took Monsanto less than 2 decades to convert much of the nation’s crops to GMO, leading to 98% of corn and 94% of soy to be genetically modified – among other crops.

And with this genetic manipulation of our crops, we also have a host of studies demonstrating that Monsanto’s GMOs and Roundup herbicide (a top selling herbicide sprayed heavily on GMO crops) have been linked to numerous disease, including:

What’s more, we already have a host of genetically modified crops contaminating organic farms. According to one survey, a third of organic growers are now reporting problems with cross contamination. More than 80% of farmers who participated in the survey are ‘concerned’ about the impact of genetic seeds. About 60% are ‘very concerned.’.

But that isn’t all. Even those who know little about Monsanto may realize that the company puts forth tens of millions of dollars to strike down GMO labeling laws. This is an action that would cause anyone to be against the company, as 96% of the nation supports GMO labeling laws. GMOs maybe controversial, but we still want to know what ingredients are in our food – including those from GM sources.

Lastly, Monsanto seems committed to selling soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides used to treat about 1/3 of the United States’ crops. Neonicotinoids are thought to be a leading cause of honeybee colony collapse disorder, or CCD. What’s worse, the Environmental Protection Agency just said that neonicotinoids do not improve crop yields.

According to the EPA, “in most cases there is no difference in soybean yield when soybean seed was treated with neonicotinoids versus not receiving any insect control treatment.”

Thanks to you, awareness of Monsanto’s actions become more well known every year. In 2011, we deemed them the worst company over the year, and now in 2014, a major poll from a different source found Monsanto to be the 3rd most hated company of the year. Perhaps next year Monsanto will rank #1, that is if it isn’t overrun by the power of the people.

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Underworld

Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease

A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.

CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.

It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.

At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.

In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder. 

The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.

Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.

Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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