Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tropical Storm Emily on path toward Haiti

Tropical Storm Emily on path toward Haiti | Top AP Latin America Stories | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Rain and wind gusts from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Emily struck Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the storm gathered strength on a track that threatened the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where more than 630,000 people are still without shelter after last year's earthquake.

Puerto Rico was spared major damage and forecasters said Emily was headed next to the more vulnerable island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where rains from the front of the storm should start arriving in force Wednesday afternoon or evening.

"The biggest threat to lives is probably the flooding," said John Dlugoenski, senior meteorologist with Accuweather.com.

Dlugoenski said a "steady shield of rain" would reach the Dominican Republic and then Haiti around noon Wednesday, and the rainfall would worsen late afternoon, early evening. Skies would likely clear up Thursday afternoon.

On Puerto Rico, there were no reports of major damage or injuries and no immediate demand for the nearly 400 schools that were converted into emergency shelters around the island.

Gov. Luis Fortuno declared a state of emergency and most government offices were closed. Ahead of the storm, people cleared water and other emergency supplies from store shelves and tourists fled the small Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques.

Most of the island saw no more than sporadic gusts and showers. But the National Weather Service said up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain had fallen in the Cabo Rojo-Mayaguez region in the island's west.

One regional airline, LIAT, canceled flights but otherwise activity was normal at the airport and throughout most of the capital.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm, which had been almost stationary in the morning, was heading west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph). The path would bring Emily's center over Hispaniola by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday. Both countries, but especially Haiti, are prone to devastating floods.

A slow-moving storm that triggered mudslides and floods in Haiti killed at least 28 people died in June.

Late Tuesday night, the storm was about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Ponce, Puerto Rico. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). Dlugoenski said the wind speed was unlikely to accelerate as the storm passed over land but flooding and mudslides still posed the bigger threat to Hispaniola.

Civil defense officials and the military in the Dominican Republic have already begun moving people out of high-risk zones ahead of the storm. Haitian authorities urged people to conserve food and safeguard their belongings.

In Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, Jislaine Jean-Julien, a 37-year-old street merchant displaced by the January 2010 earthquake, said she was praying the storm would pass her flimsy tent without knocking it over.

"For now, God is the only savior for me," Jean-Julien said at the edge of a crowded encampment facing the quake-destroyed National Palace. "I would go some place else if I could but I have no place else to go."

Haitian emergency authorities set aside a fleet of 22 large white buses in the event they needed to evacuate people from flooded areas. Emergency workers would then bus the people to dozens of schools, churches and other buildings that will serve as shelters.

"We're working day and night to be to able respond quickly in case we have any disasters," said Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti's Civil Protection Agency.

Emergency workers, both Haitian and foreign, also sent out text messages to cell phone users, alerting them to the approaching storm and to take precautions such as staying with friends or relatives if that were an option.

Such advisories are not uncommon but few in Haiti have the means to heed them because of the crushing poverty.

"This is not the first time we've heard these messages," said Alexis Boucher, a 29-year-old man who lives in Place Boyer, a public square that became a camp after the earthquake. "We receive these messages and yet we still don't have anywhere to go."

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti notified its 11,500 troops to be on standby in case they need to respond, said Sylvie Van Den Wildenberg, a spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, too, put emergency teams on standby, who have access to relief supplies already in place for up to 125,000 people in seaside towns throughout the country.

In the Dominican Republic's southern tourist districts, workers at hotels and restaurants gathered up umbrellas, tables, chairs, and anything else that might be blown away.

Capt. Frank Castillo, dock master of the Marina Casa de Campo in the southeastern tourist city of La Romana, and his crew helped boat owners secure their vessels in slips or pull them ashore.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the government said it would not open emergency shelters on Tuesday afternoon since storm tracking information indicated that the U.S. territory would not get hit by damaging winds or heavy rainfall.

So far, the storm had not caused major problems passing through the Caribbean, just minor ones. It forced the postponement until the weekend of the annual Carnival parade and caused mudslides and local flooding in Dominica.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Associated Press writers Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico; David McFadden in Kingston, Jamaica; Ezequiel Lopez Blanco in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Raul Colon in San Juan contributed.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/latinamerica/7681013.html#ixzz1Tvue1cGh

Resistance Radio Weekly Round-up - 1

Armadebton: The Case For Hitting the Debt Reset Button

Activist Post: Armadebton: The Case For Hitting the Debt Reset Button
Eric Blair
Activist Post

Donald Trump tells a story about the Savings and Loan crash in the late 1980s. He was complaining to his young daughter at the time about how devastating the real estate plunge was for them. She didn't understand why he was crying poor when they lived such a lavish lifestyle. The Donald pointed to a bum on the park bench and said, "You see that guy over there? He is billions of dollars wealthier than we are."

He was referring to the debt he owed to banks. On paper he was worse than broke, so he was actually poor compared to the penniless squatter in the park. But, in reality, he was still fabulously wealthy, as the debt was just an arbitrary number, and he still slept in a penthouse within a building he owned, not a park bench. And, of course, the banks had to work with Trump because he was too big to let fail.

This story is relevant to the current debt "crisis" facing the United States. Although many believe the national debt to be real, it is also simply a number in a ledger. First, consider that about 12%, or $1.7 trillion, of the overall debt is owed directly to the Federal Reserve. Another $2.6 trillion is owed to Social Security. Furthermore, other large private banks, including foreign banks, own a huge chunk of debt as well, most of it bought with the $16 trillion created from nothing and given to banks as bailouts. The amount owed to China pales in comparison. The scheme guarantees an income stream for the banks who got virtually free money backed by the U.S. taxpayer to invest in higher-interest bonds backed by the U.S. taxpayer.

Next, the money never existed in the first place until it was created in the ledger. It was lent into existence in the moment of need. It started off as fiction and remains fiction. Since the banks never had the money it lent in the first place, they're either collecting interest or seizing assets due to default from funny money. It's not difficult to see how the banks will end up owning everything if this scheme keeps up for much longer.

Finally, the American people don't owe this money, just like the people of Iceland or Greece don't owe their nations' debts to a shadowy banking cartel. They did not sign a contract to borrow the money. They did not mismanage the funds, or borrow more money to paper over private banking losses. They did not demand wars with any of the victims of the government's imperial conquest. They did not demand the PATRIOT Act and resulting behemoth surveillance-industrial complex. The taxpayer is not responsible for this debt as Stefan Molyneux explains below:

Yet, the politicians tell the same story Trump told: we're worse than broke. It's a crisis,economic Armadebton. America's credit rating is at stake. Soldiers and seniors won't get paid if we don't extract more taxes and cut benefits. All while they go to bed in the penthouse.

The real wealth of America has nothing to do with a phony number on the ledger. Some great wealth lies in the infrastructure -- water systems, roads, electric grids, universities, buildings, farms etc. Some wealth lies in our capacity to make war. But America's greatest riches are its innovative people; each brought up to believe they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. This is precisely the reason Trump was not actually broke no matter what he owed to banks -- because he had the ability to be creative, and the capacity to accomplish big things.

If America defaulted and all debt was reset to zero, it would still be the wealthiest nation on Earth for the reasons above. The bankers argue that if the U.S. defaulted or lost its credit rating, no one would lend it money. That's laughable. The entire world depends on the ebb and flow of American business, and it always will. Starting over at zero would likely cause a surge of new capital.

Therefore, I propose to the banks a complete write-off of the national debt in exchange for your survival. In other words, the American people will probably forgive your crimes and the bailouts, if the banks forgive the debt -- even-steven. Should the banks not accept this deal, they and their political cohorts will eventually meet their demise and lose everything. And unlike the American people, they have not been able to prove that they can create anything of true wort

True News 9: Screw the National Debt - You Are Not the Nation!

Greece Hit By Silent Bank Run

Greece Hit By Silent Bank Run - BlackListedNews.com

In one of the biggest banks in the centre of Athens a clerk is explaining how his savers have been thronging to pull out their cash.

Wary of giving his name, he glances around the marble-floored, wood-panelled foyer before pulling out a slim A4-sized folder. It is about the size of a small safety-deposit box – and those, ever since the financial crisis hit Greece 18 months ago, have become the most sought-after financial products in the country. Worried about whether the banks will stay in business, Greeks have been taking their life savings out of accounts and sticking them in metal slits in basement vaults.

The boxes are so popular that the bank has doubled the rent on them in the past year – and still every day between five and 10 customers request one. This bank ran out of spares months ago. The clerk leans over: "I've been working in a bank for 31 years, and I've never seen a panic like this."

Official figures back him up. In May alone, almost €5bn (£4.4bn) was pulled out of Greek deposits, as part of what analysts describe as a "silent bank run". This version is also disorderly and jittery, just not as obvious. Customers do not form long queues outside branches, they simply squirrel out as much as they can. Some of that money will have been used to pay debts or supplement incomes, of course, but bankers put the sheer volume of withdrawals down to a general fear about the outlook for Greece, one that runs all the way from the humble rainy-day saver to the really big money.

Read Full Article Here

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