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My Predictions… 2012

The Mayan Calendar isn't a part of it

Everybody who’s anybody is making predictions these days, why not somebody who is nobody?

All this information has been gleaned from the news and happenings around the world tempered with my own thoughts. It makes dismal reading, especially when you consider that this is all possible this year.

2011 was a disaster, actually every year since 2007 has been; but will look like a picnic after 2012 is done.

2012 is going to have some radical changes. I have no good news.

:: The climate: Worsening, floods will be bigger, storms, monsoons, tornadoes and hurricanes will become more furious; temperature extremes greater, hotter will get hotter, colder will get colder. The aurgument as to whether it is man’s fault is now irrelevent.

:: Natural disasters: Earthquakes and volcanoes more frequent and more violent.

:: Radio, telephone and internet services, and probably power, will be affected by solar activity as the sun nears its 11 year cycle in 2013.

:: Europe will implode financially, as a result hyper inflation will hit the USA. The Euro is in imminent danger of total collapse.

:: The Chinese renminbi becomes the world currency.

:: The American elections will be cast in doubt and have similar problems to the 2011 Russian election.

:: Iran will foolishly and pigheadedly close the Hormuz Straight, igniting the region.

:: The Syria problem hasn’t been settled and sides with Iran.

:: The US will retaliate, within 24 hours Israel will cease to be.

:: Great Britain will be drawn into the conflict as well as various European nations.

:: The US will lose the Iran offensive and will retreat like a whipped puppy with its forces in tatters; you cannot fight religious zealots.

:: Further sectarian violence will explode across the globe as extremist groups vie for control.

:: China will try to control the South China Sea region, with the possibility of war against the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. With the rest of the world already occupied they know it is their chance for survival, especially in the oil stakes.

:: Occupy Wall Street movement will cross the US like a tidal wave as the population wake up from the American dream.

:: The first public hangings in the USA will begin, ironically, in Zucotti Park as the US sinks into the financial mire. No need to say who will be hung.

:: The Federal Reserve and probably Washington D.C. will be surrounded by a million unhappy Americans, none will escape alive.

:: The government will call on military, police and reserves to try to contain the restive and FEMA Camps will be filled, the inmates will ‘just disappear’ as more and more are incarcerated.

:: Occupy Wall Street becomes a civil war as the people see the true intent behind the Patriot and National Defence Acts. The American people will see the American Spring as hundreds of thousands take to the streets and mean business.

:: With the US forces concentrated overseas and at home, there will be no gasoline, food shortages and production will shut down.

:: The possibility of a bloodbath like America has never seen before, nor anticipated, will have begun. The wick was lit years ago and has been smouldering, sputtering for decades and it is now close to the explosives. Watch for the BANG!

:: Americans will flee the cities to escape the violence and find food. This will pit Americans against Americans and it will be a matter of the survival of the fittest.

:: Countries like Brazil are in the best position to survive, although the global events will still take their toll.

:: Good news, the chances of the world being struck by an errant object from space remains as remote as ever, but not impossible.

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Brazilian anti-dam campaigner sacked

The projected dam at Belo Monte in Brazil would be the third largest in the world, after the Itaipu dam, above, on the Brazil/Paraguay border

Activists in Brazil are in uproar after one of the country’s best-known indigenous leaders was sacked from his job with the indigenous protection service, allegedly because of his outspoken stance against the construction of a massive hydro-electric plant in the Brazilian Amazon.

According to reports in Brazil, Megaron Txucarramãe lost his job late last week after years campaigning against the Belo Monte dam, which is currently being built in the Amazon state of Pará but which campaigners fear will bring environmental and social chaos to the region.

“It is political persecution,” Txucarramãe told the Guardian in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They said nothing to me. They haven’t said what I did wrong. They just did it [fired me]. Nobody in Brasilia called me or explained the reason. It is strange.”

Megaron Txucarramãe, a member of the Kaiapó people, is one of the Amazon’s most respected indigenous leaders and was until this week a co-ordinator for the indigenous protection service, Funai, in the Amazon town of Colíder in Mato Grosso state. He has been highly critical of the £7bn Belo Monte dam project which would be the third largest in the world, after China’s Three Gorges and the Itaipu construction on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

“I will never support the construction of Belo Monte. It will damage the indigenous people, the environment and the rainforest,” Txucarramãe said.

“The Belo Monte dam is not good for the environment, for the Indians who live nearby, for the fishermen or the river-dwellers.”

Environmentalists and indigenous rights activists slammed the decision to fire him.

“This is one more symptom of dams versus democracy in Brazil,” said Christian Poirier, Brazil programme coordinator for environmental group Amazon Watch. “Chief Megaron’s sacking is yet another politically motivated and authoritarian action taken by a government that has shown itself impervious to the demands for human rights and environmental protection that the Kaiapó are fighting for.”

Calls to Funai went unanswered on Wednesday, a bank holiday in Brazil. The department has yet to make a public statement explaining Txucarramãe’s sacking.

The Brazilian government is currently engaged in a fierce propaganda war with NGOs and activists who oppose to the dam’s construction.

Hollywood celebrities such as Avatar director James Cameron have weighed in, supporting those fighting Belo Monte’s construction.

Meanwhile a leading Brazilian production company was recently hired by the consortium building Belo Monte to produce more upbeat documentaries and television programs about the project.

Source: The Guardian

Opinion:

The building of dams with such a high social and demographic impact should be banned.

The Brazilian city dwellers should not be placed before the original peoples of the land.

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Brazil Amazon deforestation ‘at lowest level in years’

Rainforest is cleared for timber or to make way for farming

Brazil says the rate of deforestation in its Amazon region has fallen to the lowest level for 23 years.

The National Institute for Space Research said 6,238 square km (2,400 square miles) of rainforest disappeared between August 2010 and July 2011, a drop of 11% from the previous year.

The government says the fall is due to its tougher stance on illegal logging.

But in at least two states, Rondonia and Matto Grosso, rainforest clearance rose considerably in the past year.

The research institute has used satellite technology to monitor the rainforest since 1988.

Destruction peaked in recent years at 27,700 square km (10,700 square miles) in 2003-4.

The main causes of illegal clearing of the rainforest are cattle farming and agricultural crop production, as well as logging for timber.

Brazil’s congress is due to debate a reform of land laws in the next few days which would reduce the conservation area.

The farming lobby says reform is needed as current regulations are a burden on production. But environmentalists say it would be a setback for efforts to preserve the rainforest.

Source: BBC News

Opinion:

What a crock o’ shit!

If Brazil was in any way half interested in reducing the deforestation to nil they could. They could, they could do it tomorrow.

Even the smoke from buring fires can be detected by satellite

With today’s modern technology, GPS, satellite monitoring and stuff they know where and wehn the instant it is happening.

Brazil has compulsory military training, they have a huge military force sitting around on their arses doing nothing that could be at a state of readiness and be flown to effected areas within a matter of hours to catch the bastards red handed arrest them and confiscate their equipment and prosecute them.

But they don’t want to.

Carlos Lupi, the latest minister to be caught with his hand in the till

Impunity is rife here in Brazil, the guilty get off Scott-free everyday.

Corruption of government and officials happens on a daily basis at the highest and lowest levels. Just in the last less than a year, seven government ministers have bitten the dust; six of them for corruption and amassing wealth beyond honest means. Just this week, the arrest of more than 20 in the Ministerio de Fazenda (Inland Revenue) for bribing companies involved in fraudulent practices to avoid  fiscal inspection and payment of taxes. The bribes have been in the hundreds of thousands and millions. This is not a case of give me a hundred bucks and I’ll turn my back.

Brazil is not just corrupt, it is rotten to the core; he government, the public service and the business people. They all play a game of how-rich-can-we-get-and-how-quickly; this is bribery wholesale.

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Brazil bans oil giant Chevron

Brazil bans oil giant Chevron from drilling after spill

Brazilian authorities say the oil spill is now under control.

Brazil is temporarily banning the American company, Chevron, from drilling for oil in its territory.

The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said it would suspend Chevron’s activities in Brazil until it had established the cause of an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Chevron has apologised for the leak, but has stressed it acted as rapidly and safely as possible to contain it.

The Brazilian government has fined Chevron $28m (£18m) for the spill.

Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Chevron could face further fines if an investigation into the spill revealed more infractions.

ANP also rejected a Chevron request to drill a deeper well in the Frade field in order to reach sub-salt fields, which could hold reserves of more than 100bn barrels of high-quality recoverable oil.

It said such drilling would “pose risks to the environment similar to those that occurred in the well where the spill occurred, but bigger and magnified by the greater depth”.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

Last night on the Brazilian news channel O Globo there was no mention of ‘temporary’. It was quite emphatic that Chevron is banned, period!

It is good to see that Brazil is making a stand on this issue. Many have feared that Brazil’s usually relaxed attitude could easily be undermined by the ruthless practices within the oil industry and lead to Macondo-type disasters.

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Brazil police target drug gangs in Rio’s biggest slum

Rocinha is the latest favela to be targeted by Rio's police cracking down on drug traffickers

Brazilian police have begun an operation to clear Rio de Janeiro’s biggest slum, Rocinha, of drug gangs.

Elite police units backed by armoured military vehicles and helicopters moved into the slum before dawn, the Associated Press reports.

Alleged Rocinha drugs kingpin Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes was arrested trying to flee the slum on Thursday.

Police are trying to clear Rio’s shantytowns of drug gangs ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Since 2008, they have occupied some 20 slums, or favelas, to drive out the dealers who controlled the areas.

‘Historic moment’

Police had openly announced their plan to move into Rocinha – which is officially home to some 70,000 people, although is widely thought to have considerably more residents.

Some of the favela’s residents left the area on Wednesday, as police began setting up checkpoints at entrances to the slum district, which is located close to tourist areas in Rio’s south zone.

Source: BBC News Read more

Another report on The Guardian

Opinion:

Rocinha, the dauntingly colourful backdrop to one of Rio's richest suburbs

Home to more than 70,000, Rocinha is controlled by drug taffickers and other criminal elements. Taxi drivers have to pay the drug dealers bribes to operate in the area. Criminals run gatonet (clandestine cable TV), control the sale of domestic gas and run bingo machines.

O gato (illegal power connections) giving the name 'gatonet' to illegal cable TV connections

The Policia Militar (Rio’s regular police force) are paid bribes to ‘turn the other way.’

For many kidnapped by the gangs and taken to the favela, it is the end of the road and they are never seen again. It is an urban war.

Criminals from Rocinha attack Vidigal, just across the hill, for control of drug selling areas, and Vidigal retaliate.

The moradores (residents) are subjected to running gun battles in the streets between rival gangs and between the gangs and the police. It is a place where the bala perdida (stray bullet) is merely a fact of life, many innocents have become victims.

Incursions by the police looking for wanted and suspected criminals are commonplace.

Life for the average person is fraught with danger on a daily basis.

This attempt by the police with the help of the military is another in the on-going battle against the gangs, drug dealers and criminals in Rio’s most violent settings. The setting up of the UPP (Unidade Pacificadora da Policia – Police Pacification Unit) in Rocinha is the latest of 20 such units around Rio trying to bring some law and order and a dignified life to the residents.

Council tents bring services to the people before permanent offices are available

These  are not simply an occupation by police, but they are also bringing social services, justice, education, community projects and medical posts that the people have been denied by the criminals. Initially services are provided from Council tents as soon as possible, even before they set up permanent offices.

In the past even the kids cannot play safely on the streets, you could not have a family party without ‘permission’ of these dregs, schools were frequently shut because of the kid’s safety, the neighbourhoods were repressed, divided and isolated. The UPPs have brought an end to this reign of terror where they have been successful. Not all have been a total success, a few of the UPPs have seen corruption, but once discovered severe steps have been taken to rectify the situation quickly.

FIFA 2014

In 2014 Rio is host to many of the games in the FIFA World Cup and again in 2016 hosts the Olympic Games. The majority of UPPs have been set up in favelas surrounding the famous Maracanã Stadium to ensure visitor safety for these major international events.

Rio de Janeiro was once in the Top 10 of the world’s most dangerous cities, at No. 8 (It might be noted that from Nos. 1 – 7 included six US cities with Medellin in Colombia as No. 1). Rio’s reputation in the world of tourism was not good; well, brilliant from the point of view of attractions, but shocking when it came to the fact of tourists being robbed. This is all changing.

My main worry, is that criminals do not stop being criminals just because you have dislocated them. What will they turn to next to supplement their incomes?

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Rio lawmaker Marcelo Freixo ‘to flee’ Rio after threats

Armed men run through a favela in a scene from Tropa de Elite 2

A congressman in Rio de Janeiro says he will flee Brazil with his family on Tuesday after an escalation of threats to his life.

Since 2006, Marcelo Freixo’s work to expose the city’s militias has earned him a price on his head of 400,000 reais (£143,000; $230,000).

It was his campaign that inspired Brazil’s biggest grossing movie to date, last year’s Tropa de Elite 2, which shows how militias – gangs formed of current and former police, firemen, soldiers and security guards – are taking over from the traditional scourge of drug dealers in the city’s slums.

These militias run services such as gas, water and alternative transport in slums, as well as charging protection money and ruling with violence and fear.

Police units have tackled crime in some Rio slums but militias are a growing threat

A further source of concern was the murder on 11 August of judge Patricia Acioli. It led to the resignation of chief of police Mario Sergio Duarte and the arrest of a large number of police officers.

The murder of the judge, known for her hard line against corrupt police in the dock, sparked comparisons with the Italian Mafia and is one of the reasons for Mr Freixo’s decision to leave.

“Patricia Acioli was threatened but at the time everyone said that no-one would kill her,” he said.

He will travel to Europe on the invitation of Amnesty International although the destination has not been disclosed.

Follow the money

Source: BBC News Read the full story

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So much for the Blonde Bimbo

Brazil central bank cuts 2011 growth forecast to 3.5%

The Blonde Bimbo

Brazil’s central bank has lowered its forecast for economic growth to less than half of last year’s, partly blaming the slowing global economy.

The central bank lowered its prediction for growth in 2011 to 3.5%, from 4% that it expected in June.

Brazil has boomed as other countries have stalled, growing 7.5% last year.

The bank pointed to “the deterioration in the international outlook” for the downgrade, and also to spending cuts enacted by President Dilma Rousseff.

The central bank said there could be further “moderate” cuts to the basic interest rate, which was lowered in August to 12%, from 12.5%.

In February, the Brazilian government will implement 50bn reais ($30bn; £19bn) of spending cuts in order to curb inflation and help prevent the economy from overheating.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

It wasn’t so long ago that the Blonde Bimbo announced on TV that Brazil could weather any effect from the global economic situation.

Really, she’s got no idea!

This is just affirming what I predicted the moment the polls closed and we had an overweight Barbie for a presedenta.

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