Europe to End Sales of Incandescent Bulbs Tomorrow

Bulbs will be substituted by toxic fluorescent light bulbs filled with mercury.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 31, 2012

The European Union (EU) will officially stop the sale of the traditional incandescent bulbs, whose creation is credited to Thomas Edison. The move is supposed to be a step towards an improvement in performance and savings, however, it is not as simple as that. As The Real Agenda has reported before, the compact fluorescent light bulbs have been found to emit dangerous radiation on top of containing mercury, a strong developmental neurotoxin that damages the liver, brain, kidneys and central nervous system.

Infants and young children are more vulnerable to mercury’s toxicity. There are no safe levels of exposure neither to the radiation not to the mercury. Even low levels of exposure are responsible for causing a number of health problems. The demonstrated effects include impaired motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. More exposure to both the radiation and the mercury, likely results in more serious health problems.

But despite the proven threats to human health, countries like the United States, Brazil and whole regions such as the EU have established deadlines for the production and sale of the reliable incandescent bulbs. In the EU, the sale of the bulbs will end on September 1 — tomorrow. “They’ve had a great importance, have been a stable light source in the last hundred years,” said Santiago Erice, Philips lighting expert.

Thanks to this first reliable light source, humanity became independent of the sun and could lengthen their workdays and nightfall, which meant a significant increase in productivity and further development. Incandescent bulbs led lighting systems were installed on streets lamps, increasing safety of pedestrians and vehicular traffic. They were also very important for hospitals, libraries, cafes and of course, homes.

The appearance of more efficient light sources paved the way for questions to be put forth about the incandescent bulbs’ efficiency, but no one seemed to care about  the safety of the new compact fluorescent bulbs. As in many other aspects of life, the economic benefits were put before the health of consumers, and just as it happened with the depletion of the ozone layer and the supposedly more efficient home appliances, big business imposed its will. Governments were lobbied enough to not only accept the use of the compact bulbs, but also to put an end to the production and sale of incandescent ones, instead of letting the market take care of the choice.

With LED bulbs’ hefty prices and little practicality, consumers are now literally obligated to purchase the more toxic compact fluorescent ones. While the cost of an incandescent bulb remains at about $ 1 on average, a compact halogen is around $ 7 — depending on the type — and modern LED lamps up to $ 50. The LED is seen as the natural successor to the incandescent, not only for its energy efficiency, but also for its multiple applications (the new screens of televisions, for example), but its cost makes puts it at an unreachable price for millions of people around the world.

So-called Environmental organizations such as WWF and Friends of the Earth welcomed the withdrawal of incandescent bulbs, which they say, will generate less waste due to the longer duration of other bulbs. Not a surprise here as both the WWF and Friends of the Earth are heavily financed by the corporations that sought the end of the incandescent bulb and the adoption of the toxic compact fluorescent bulb.

The withdrawal of incandescent bulbs has increased concerns about the negative health effects that fluorescent bulbs will have on consumers. In the case of Europe, it seems like there is no turning back. Tomorrow they will say farewell to the incandescent and hello to the disease causing compact fluorescent bulb.

Massive Cyber Attack on Banks Happening Across Western World

$2.5 Billion Siphoned From Financial Institutions So Far

By MAC SLAVO | SHTFPLAN.com | JUNE 27, 2012

Leading cyber security firm McAfee has issued a startling breaking news report that indicates the U.S., European and Latin American financial systems are under a massive financial attacks that have digitally siphoned some $2.5 billion from thousands of accounts from various financial institutions.

According to McAfee, the attacks are ongoing and international law enforcement agencies are currently working to shut them down:

McAfee and Guardian Analytics have uncovered a highly sophisticated, global financial services fraud campaign that has reached the American banking system. As this research study goes to press, we are working actively with international law enforcement organizations to shut down these attacks.

Unlike standard SpyEye and Zeus attacks that typically feature live (manual) interventions, we have discovered at least a dozen groups now using server-side components and heavy automation. The fraudsters’ objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, hence
the name chosen for this research: Operation High Roller.

With no human participation required, each attack moves quickly and scales neatly. This operation combines an insider level of understanding of banking transaction systems with both custom and off the shelf malicious code and appears to be worthy of the term “organized crime.”

This study found 60 servers processing thousands of attempted thefts from high-value commercial accounts and some high net worth individuals. As the attack shifted emphasis from consumers to businesses, mule business accounts allowed attempted transfers averaging in the thousands of Euros, with some transfers as high as €100,000 (US$130,000).

Three distinct attack strategies have emerged as the targets have expanded from the European Union, to Latin America, to the United States.

Debunking the popular wisdom that only big banks are affected, the research documents attacks at every class of financial institution: credit union, large global bank, and regional bank. So far, we estimate the criminals have attempted at least €60 million (US$78 million) in fraudulent transfers from accounts at 60 or more financial institutions (FIs). If all of the attempted fraud campaigns were as successful as the Netherlands example we describe in this report, the total attempted fraud could be as high as €2 billion.

Source: Dissecting Operation High Roller

Video News Report “Biggest cyber bank robbery in history” from Sky News via The Daily Sheeple:

For the last week the Royal Bank of Scotland has been plagued with problems that have made it impossible for its 12 million customers to access cash via ATM’s, maintain their accounts online or to even withdraw money at their local bank branches. Though the issues affecting RBS may be unrelated, they have alarmed many observers as indicators of problems within the European financial and banking systems. Silver Doctors suggests the attack discovered by McAfee may be to blame for the issues experienced by RBS:

Sky News is reporting that McAfee Virus has uncovered a series of financial attacks on US, UK, and Euro-zone banks with individual transfers of over €100,000 being reported.

Is this an extension of RBS’ NatWest’s complete banking system melt-down/ cash account rehypothecation, which is now in its 8th day?

Our thoughts are this is either an Iranian ‘Stuxnet’ retaliation, or a false-flag banking system lock up by the Western Central Banks themselves on which they can conveniently pin the blame for an imminent derivatives induced contagion and banking collapse.

Source: Silver Doctors via SGT Report

Governments have needed a pretext to tighten banking regulations and gain even more authority over the individual movement of capital. Whether real or a false flag, this cyber attack may very well give them the ammunition they need to take complete control of the internet.

Hat tip Silver Doctors, SGT Report, The Daily Sheeple

Bilderberg Wants Mandatory Internet ID for Europe

AARON DYKES | INFOWARS | MAY 23, 2012

While the international ACTA treaty and United States’ CISPA legislation are setting the stage to clamp down on the world wide web, technocrats are working overtime to try to pin down your identity and make sure all your activities are thoroughly monitored and under control.

The European Union is now moving to create a mandatory electronic ID system for all EU citizens that would be implemented across Europe to standardize business both online and in person, authenticating users via a common ‘electronic signature.’ A single authenticating ID would guard access to the Internet, online data and most commerce. It is nothing short of an attempt to phase in a Mark of the Beast system, and a prominent Bilderberg attendee is behind the scheme.

Neelie Kroes is the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, and is introducing legislation she hopes will force “the adoption of harmonised e-signatures, e-identities and electronic authentication services (eIAS) across EU member states.”

The extent of such a system would, of course, expand over time, particularly as many EU nations have resisted the big government encroachment of ID requirements on civil rights grounds, which even now smack of the Nazi regime’s draconian “papers please” policies that empowered their other avenues of tyranny. According to EurActiv.com, Neelie Kroes would later “widen the scope of the current Directive by including also ancillary authentication services that complement e-signatures, like electronic seals, time/date stamps, etc,” as the supra-national body attempts to corral more nations into participation.

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More money for Banks as BoE keeps interest rates at 0.5%

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE | APRIL 18, 2012

Bank of England policymakers all voted in favour of holding interest rates at a record low earlier in April, while one member called for more stimulus cash, the BoE said on Wednesday.

Minutes from the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on April 4-5 showed that the nine policymakers voted to keep the key lending rate at 0.50 percent, where it has stood since March 2009.

The policymaking panel meanwhile voted 8-1 at the same meeting in favour of maintaining the size of the bank’s asset purchasing programme at £325 billion (388 billion euros, $514 billion).

One member, David Miles, voted for the second month to increase the so-called quantitative easing (QE) programme by an additional £25 billion.

Under QE, the central bank creates new cash that is used to purchase assets such as government and corporate bonds in the aim of giving a boost to lending and economic activity.

“For most members, there was no sufficient reason to change either bank rate or the quantity of asset purchases,” the minutes read.

“Moreover, for them, it seemed sensible to let the current programme of asset purchases run its course while coming to a view on medium-term prospects in the context of the May forecast round.

“For one member, the balance of risks continued to warrant an expansion of the asset purchase programme this month, although the decision was finely balanced.”

European Central Bank acts to prop up debt of Italy, Spain

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post
August 8, 2011

LONDON—Moving to stem panic of an escalating debt crisis in Europe, the European Central Bank on Sunday signaled it would intervene in bond markets to prop up hard-hit Italy and Spain, as world leaders scrambled to calm investors before the opening of financial markets Monday.

The reluctant decision by the ECB underscored the gravity of a crisis that some fear could lead to a messy breakup of the euro zone if not quickly contained, and which has gathered fresh urgency following the downgrading of U.S. debt by Standard & Poors.

Worried investors have been dumping Italian and Spanish bonds, driving their borrowing costs to record levels in recent days and sparking fears the world’s 7th and 12th largest economies could be engulfed by the same kind of crisis that forced far smaller Greece, Ireland and Portugal to request emergency bailouts. By intervening in bond markets, however, the bank could at least temporarily take some of the pressure off both nations by buying debt that private investors now see as too risky.

The ECB, as is customary, did not explicitly say it would buy Italian and Spanish bonds. But it strongly suggested in a statement that it would do so, with its move amounting to an admission that the bank’s tepid dabbling in bond markets last week did not go nearly far enough in calming investors. The bank’s governing council agreed after an 11th-hour emergency teleconference on Italy and Spain to take more drastic steps “to ensure [bond] price stability in the euro area.”

The move came as European leaders Sunday were scrambling to calm investors jittery over the crushing debt of wealthy nations. Without further steps from governments and central bankers, analysts fear more drops in global stock markets – with bourses in the Middle East, open on Sunday, tumbling ahead of the opening of key Asian trading.

A European official who declined to be named given the sensitivity of the issue said “a range of international discussions” was coming together Sunday. Those talks were set to include conference calls between G7 financial chiefs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy issued a joint statement backing moves by Rome and Madrid on Friday to speed up austerity measures and adopt reforms to improve stagnant growth.

Opposition in fiscally conservative Germany, by far the largest economy in the 17-nation euro zone, to intervention by the ECB was seen as one major factor holding the bank back. But the ECB, in the text of its statement Sunday, appeared to interpret Merkel’s joint statement with Sarkozy as a sign of grudging acceptance from Berlin that more must be done.

With concern increasingly centered on Italy, whose debt amounts to a whopping 119 percent of its national economy, Merkel and Sarkozy “especially” welcomed the announcement by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi “to achieve a balanced budget a year earlier than previously envisaged.”

Raj Badiani, an economist with IHS Global Insight in London, called the ECB move “an attempt to provide a sharp jolt to the negative sentiment engulfing Spain and Italy.”

But he and others warned it may only be a short-term solution. The ECB cannot indefinitely intervene in European bond markets on such a grand scale. A program that goes on too long could trigger inflation and undermine the stability of the euro. Rather, the ECB may effectively be buying time for European leaders to do something they have thus far failed to do — take decisive action to end the crisis.

Analysts have been calling for European leaders to greatly expand a bailout fund to cover a worst-case scenario in Italy and Spain. But European leaders were doggedly sticking to a July 21 agreement that once again shored up Greece while also allowing rescue funds to be used to buy up the bonds of troubled nations in times of crisis, much like the ECB.

But the pool of cash available, about $616 billion, does not approach the level needed to aid Italy or Spain, and European leaders have showed no signs of agreement in raising that amount. In addition, all 17 nations in the euro zone still need to ratify that deal before it can go into effect.

Europe, led by Germany, has bailed out Greece, Ireland and Portugal. But German voters have had it with bailouts, and in a worst-case scenario Italy would need roughly $1.4 trillion — or more than double the size of the current European rescue fund.

Rather, Europeans leaders and the ECB seem to be banking on temporary intervention to give Italy and Spain time to make good on their pledges to restore market confidence through budget cuts and long-awaited economic reforms.

“I suspect it could help to stabilize Italian bond yields at current levels, and help to deflect some of the financial contagion hitting Italy,” Badiani said. “However, we will need to see much more detail about the scale of the proposals and the pace of implementation before there is any significant unwinding of the bond yield rises of the past month.”

If Italy or Spain fails to quell market panic, analysts say, Europeans might be forced to move toward the advent of a new euro-bond, putting the economic weight of Germany behind its profligate neighbors. But Germany and other northern European nations remain opposed to such a deal, as well as the more radical step of a more established fiscal union that would go further in turning a vast chunk of Europe into one giant economy.