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Spain, Italy and other European nations to be raided to save Euro

It is in their blood. Bankers are born believing they can risk people’s assets and then come back to ask for financial rescues to pay for the losses that weren’t even theirs.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 26, 2013

What are the real chances that the European Union applies the same medicine to other members nations in an effort to ‘save’ the Euro? According to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, more looting is possible in places like France, Italy and Spain, three of the most heavily burdened countries in the economic bloc.

Dijsselbloem said yesterday that the European technocratic organization would do what is necessary, that includes taking more money from depositors and investors in other countries, the keep the Euro afloat. The statement sent shocks and sounded alarms all over European markets.

The plan revealed by Mr. Dijsselbloem should not be a surprise for those who closely follow what’s going on in the old continent and almost everywhere in the world. The openness of many other countries to apply for the same kind of aid that Cyprus did this week will hold  shareholders, bondholders and even bank depositors hostage to the thirst of the European bankers who in in addition to causing the debt crisis are now demanding that the poorest in the continent pay for the losses of their gambling.

Given the uproar caused by his words, Dijsselbloem’s communication department quickly tried to soften them, but the stone had been already thrown. Now that people all over Europe and the world know of the bankers’ plans, it is likely they will proceed with caution. It is even possible that they delay further raids in other countries in order to calm the markets and the insecurity created by the statement issued on the same say when most details about the so-called Cypriot bailout was completed.

Dijsselbloem has revived fears that awoke while the Eurogroup endorsed and then rectified the confiscation of deposits in accounts with 100,000 euros or more by imposing a new tax. This measure is the first in the history of the European Union.

Banking professor Juan Ignacio Sanz Esade of Spain says it is possible that something similar might happen in Spain in the “medium or long term”. He emphasizes that “there is a great suspicion when trying to recognize our own responsibilities.” For Sanz, Spain’s Bankia is one of the first candidates to suffer the same fate as Litzki and Bank of Cyprus. “Bankia is likely to continue falling if the market remains in this situation” and states that “no banking unit will be strong in Europe until all banks are cleaned up.”

The European currency fell after Jeroen Dijsselbloem, announced that example of Cyprus can be the model for future takeovers anywhere in Europe. “If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’,” he said. “If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders.”

The problem with this is that the bankers are only partners in crime with the largest banking institutions in the continent, so the public would do a disservice to themselves by believing that their local banks have their best interests in mind. Cyprus is a clear example of that. Neither can depositors or investors trust their politicians, because as it has been seen in Cyprus, they are easy pray for technocrats who use baseless threats to inflict fear on them.

It is important to remember that with the banking takeover in Cyprus two things became apparent. First, no one’s savings or investments are safe in any bank, and second, previous policies that protected savers’ funds according to the amount they had in their accounts have also been ditched. Now, according to Mr. Dijsselbloem, all accounts are fair game. It is expected that private investors and depositors be hit to pay for bad banking debts.

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Spain will also investigate the health threats of Bayer’s Diane 35 drug

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 31, 2013

Yesterday, the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (MSNA) announced it decided to suspend the sale of Diane 35, a drug that is prescribed to combat acne, but that is also provided as contraceptive pill. The agency made the decision to issue such suspension after four women died mysteriously after using the drug.

As explained by the MSNA, Diane 35 may be the trigger for what is known as thromboembolic disease, which first reports say, were the cause of the deaths in France.  MSNA director, Dominique Maraninchi, said Wednesday that it is unclear among experts what kinds of acne can be treated with this drug and that they have concluded that taking Diane 35 quadruples the risk of thromboembolic disease.

Meanwhile in Spain, the warning issues by the French agency prompted the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Competent Authority) to begin a review of the drug due to its effects in generating excessive risk of blood clots (venous thromboembolism).

Two suspicious ingredients, when combined, seem to be the ones responsible for the deadly reaction. Drugs like Diane 35 and Dianette, contain cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol, which are thought to cause thromboembolic disease. The Spanish review scheduled for next week, will be conducted by the European medical and pharmaceutical watchdog.

In France, the MSNA decided to stop funding these pills a few weeks ago, and finally opted for the full suspension because of the four deaths that apparently were caused by thromboembolic disease.

In Spain, the use of the drug was authorized since 1981, but in 2002 was restricted to treat “androgen-dependent diseases in women, such as acne, those which are accompanied by seborrhea or by inflammation or formation of nodes (acne Papulopustulosa, nodular acne), androgenic alopecia and mild forms of hirsutism” says AEMPS.

In total it is estimated that in Spain some 100,000 to 150,000 women are treated with Diane 35. Despite the alert issued by France’s MSNA, doctors are still allowed to prescribe the drug to patients until a final review is concluded.

The well-known risk created when combining  cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol, is also related to obesity, immobility and history of varicose veins and thrombosis in the family.

Bayer, which manufactures Diane 35, issued a note showing surprise for the decision of the French health authorities. They say that “Bayer is not aware of any new evidence that may lead to change the positive risk-benefit assessment of Diane 35” which has been marketed for 25 years in over one hundred countries and had never been removed for security reasons.

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Bayer’s Diane 35 drug linked to death of four women

France suspends sale of Diane 35 until further research is done.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 30, 2013

The French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (MSNA) announced today that it has decided to suspend the sale of Diane 35, a drug generally used to combat acne, but that is also sold as a contraceptive. The decision was made after four women who used the pharmaceutical product died mysteriously.

The action against the generic product will take effect within three months, and health authorities advised women who use the drug to consult with their physicians regarding any treatment options that involve the use of Diane 35.

MSNA director, Dominique Maraninchi, said today at a press conference that specialists should stop prescribing the drug, and pharmacists should continue providing it in the right doses to avoid sudden breaks in treatment.

The MSNA explained Monday that the death of four women on a date that was not specified by the entity, was caused by a venous thrombosis linked to the consumption of Diane 35, a drug that is approved in 135 countries and marketed in 116 of them.

Diane 35, whose marketing in France dates back to 1987, is indicated for acne, but its ability to inhibit ovulation has made it a recommendation for contraception.

“It’s not a pill and it should not be prescribed as such,” Maraninchi said today, emphasizing that the review that his agency has completed  about the product did not found sufficient data to ensure its effectiveness for this purpose.

The representative of the agency said that it is unclear among experts what kinds of acne can be treated with this drug and that they have concluded that taking Diane 35 quadruples the risk of thromboembolic disease.

Although the MSNA asserted that the risk of thromboembolic disease is related to other factors in addition to the use of the drug, the statement said that given the current scenario, the organization opted to withdraw approval for the sale of the product and to issue an alert to the rest of its European counterparts on the decision.

The decision to ban the sale of Diane 35 comes after the French government decided this month to encourage physicians to prescribe second-generation pills instead of third and fourth generation ones, in order to minimize the risk thrombosis.

In this particular case, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), responsible for the scientific evaluation of medicines sold in Europe, said there was no reason for any woman to stop taking combined birth control pills considering that no new evidence existed that those may pose health risks.

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France orders Special Forces to protect Uranium mines in Niger

As Western-sponsored wars ravage parts of Northern Africa, Paris will send troops to another country to secure its supply of raw material to produce energy.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 25, 2013

France has ordered his special forces to protect the uranium at the nuclear facilities in Areva, Niger due to the French government are threats of attacks against its interests since France invaded Mali.

Areva is the largest foreign investor in Niger, and has had uranium mining operations in Niger for more than five decades. These mines provide much of the raw material that the nuclear power industry uses in France. Nuclear power accounts for 75% of electricity production in the European nation.

A military source confirmed  the information that was first published by ‘Le Point’, which claimed that Paris had dispatched special forces and production material to uranium sites in Areva and Arlit Imouraren, but did not want to elaborate. The Defense Ministry has not commented on the information, and Areva has merely stated that it has held talks about security issues.

Ironically, the uranium mines in Niger are the symbolic place where many people believe began the West’s war against Al Qaeda about a decade ago. Bush administration officials, eager to go to war against Iraq, asked their intelligence services and those of its allies for any information linking Al-Qaeda in Iraq and to indicate that Baghdad sought to acquire nuclear weapons. That was later presented as a reason to attack Iraq, even though it was backed by false intelligence.

The then Secretary of State, Colin Powell, finished presenting a false report, which included photographs taken in Niger, to prepare the ‘casus belli’ in the UN, attributing it to foreign intelligence services, and Bush later attributed such information to Britain.

Two years ago, in September 2011, seven workers, including five French nationals, were kidnapped in Arlit by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Later the kidnappers released three of the hostages, but still held four Frenchmen. Areva has about 2,700 workers in Niger and plans to start operating a third mine in Imouraren this year or in 2014.

A company spokesman said this month that the French Government had not asked them to reduce staff in Niger and said that Areva had a comprehensive security plan for its employees that it had been approved by the French authorities.

From January 11, at the request of the Government of Mali and the green light of the Security Council of the UN and the international community, Paris launched airstrikes and sent about 3,200 soldiers to Mali – which borders with Niger – to prevent the advance of the rebel Tuareg.

Insurgents have threatened to retaliate by hitting French targets in the region of Sahel and beyond, and a few days after the start of operation Serval attacked a gas plant in Amenas, southeast of Algeria, taking hundreds of hostages. The hijacking ended with an attack carried out by the Algerian army that resulted in the death of thirty workers and as many jihadists.

A convoy carrying two hundred soldiers from Chad to Mali arrived Thursday in Niamey, capital of Niger. Djamena has decided to send 2,000 troops to the conflict zone at the request of Paris. Those troops will help the forces of the International Support Mission sent to Mali that was organized by CEDEAO, but taht is not under its control.

According to France Presse, there are currently 600 soldiers and 500 Chadians and Nigerians in Ouallam, northern Niger, near the border with Mali. These two battalions will be deployed in the region of Gao, northern territory of Mali to help French troops and the government to take on Islamist strongholds where they’ve been for at least a year.

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French government ‘begs’ for a terrorist attack

Alleged jihadist terrorist group threatens France after Hollande orders invasion of Mali

By LUIS MIRANDA MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 15, 2013

The ‘most urgent’ problem for France has been solved, it seems, after French troops invaded Mali last Friday. In another example of Western interventionism, France followed American steps in other African countries by putting boots on the ground to supposedly help liberate Mali from the advance of terrorists.

With its military intervention, Hollande apparently stopped an offensive led by three alleged radical groups while legitimizing their future attacks in the African country and on the French mainland. The former French colony is now ripe to become another Afghanistan in the heart of Africa.

A suspected North African branch of Al Qaeda (AQIM), the Tuareg, mobilized to northern Mali, which it allegedly controls since March. Seventy two hours after the French landed, the group moved south on two different axes to regroup in Segou.

France’s bombings were determined to stop a supposed take over led by the Tuareg. France intended to stop its advance to help the weak Mali Army to recover. The French fire spread north to, for example, Gao a city of 90,000 inhabitants, the largest Islamist jihadist power center, to destroy the bases.

The French operation seeks to create a sort of buffer zone in southern Mali protected from the ravages of the North. By sending hundreds of troops to Bamako, is an attempt by Hollande to supposedly hold on to one  of the weakest “democratic institutions in Africa”. The dissension of its political and the coup led by its military in March weakened the country even more.

“The operation will last long enough,” Hollande said on Friday, which means that the French must remain there for months, at least until they start the reconquest of the north.

More Bombardments, more troops

French President François Hollande, announced Tuesday morning that he will reinforce the French military operation in Mali, pending the arrival of troops from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that fight against Islamist rebels for the control of the north African country since last March.

The UN backed military intervention again called for a political solution and for national reconciliation to resolve the conflict, which the UN says has left 150,000 refugees in neighboring countries like Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria, as well as 230,000 people displaced inland.

“Currently, there are 750 men and the number will increase so we can make room for African soldiers as quickly as possible,” said Hollande during his visit to a French naval base in Abu Dhabi. This figure will reach 2,500 soldiers, according to sources close to the French government.

Hollande, who believes that the deployment of African troops will still take “a long time” stated that “new attacks have reached their goals tonight.” According to a Malian military source quoted by AFP, the French air force has bombed the town of Diabali today, a place that the Salafists had taken over just 48 hours ago.

Without an open declaration of war, French war planes pounded Diabali, which is located 400 kilometers from the capital, Bamako. At least five people died and several other were injured in the attack, ” Hollande said. A local resident said he saw armed rebels fleeing the city.

Another Malian military source said, that jihadi fighters are still in Diabali and that several have kidnapped local politician as bargaining chips. The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who travels with Hollande, said he was confident that the Gulf states support the action of the African troops to fight Islamist Ansar Dine, the North African branch of Al Qaeda (AQIM ) and the Movement for the Union of Jihadism in West Africa (MUYAO), who supposedly control northern Mali.

U.S. to assist France in its reconquering of Mali

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, said Monday that his country will provide “limited logistical support” and intelligence to the French Government in its military invasion in Mali.

“I’ve talked to the French Defense Minister,” said Panetta. Our aid will provide limited logistical and intelligence support where possible to assist them in their effort,” Panetta told reporters on the plane that took him to Lisbon.

Meanwhile, neither Panetta nor the State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, confirmed that the Obama administration has granted telecommunications and transportation assistance to France, said French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius.

However, Panetta admitted that the Pentagon considers sending transport planes to carry French troops or military equipment. “There are some areas where airlift will be used to assist the operation,” he said.

The Defense Secretary did not say whether U.S. drones will be sent to Mali, as requested by the Government of François Hollande. “I will not go into details about the assistance beyond saying that we will assist in the area of ​​intelligence,” he reiterated. That of course means the U.S. will indeed send drones for intelligence gathering at the very least, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the drones are also used to strike targets as the U.S. did in Pakistan and Afghanistan throughout 2012.

“We have a responsibility to pursue Al Qaeda wherever they are,” said Panetta. “We’re chasing them in Yemen and Somalia, and we have a responsibility to ensure that al Qaeda does not establish a base of operations in North Africa, in Mali.” Panetta, who last year announced he takes military orders from NATO, not from the U.S. Congress did not consult American representatives in Washington about this new intervention in Mali.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) “may have no specific plans to attack the United States and Europe, but that is a goal that they still have over all and that is why we must take steps now,” he added. As it has been publicly revealed by Hillary Clinton, al-Qaeda is a terrorist group created by the United States back in the 1970s to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. government trained and financed al-Qaeda to carry out its dirty deeds all over the Middle East and now in Africa.

Al-Qaeda is the gift that keeps on giving for the United States. It was used as an excuse to attack Libya and later praised for its murderous campaign in Syria, where the U.S. recognizes the rebel opposition groups as ‘heroes’ for attacking innocent civilians while they try to destabilize the Assad regime. Now, Panetta warns that the American intervention in Mali is a preventive move to impede al-Qaeda related groups from establishing their bases on Mali.

Back in 2001, al-Qaeda was blamed by the Bush administration for the 9/11 attacks, which prompted the invasion of Afghanistan.

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