Dunkin Donuts to remove Titanium Dioxide from donuts….Wait, what?!?!

Dunkin’ Donuts is dropping titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar donuts after pressure from a public interest group who argued it is not safe for human consumption.toxic donut

Titanium dioxide is used to make the powdered sugar appear brighter. It is also used in sunscreen and paints. The group As You Sow argues titanium dioxide that can cause DNA and chromosomal damage when consumed. The decision by Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN) was recently disclosed by the advocacy group.” This is a groundbreaking decision,” said Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel of the group. “Dunkin’ has demonstrated strong industry leadership by removing this potentially harmful ingredient from its donuts.”…More

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The Tiny House Movement & Agenda 21: Welcome Home

The Community Faith Partners (CFP) has invested in the Second Wind Cottages (SWC) project which is a village of tiny houses built for the homeless in Newfield, New York.
With the cost of each home being $10,000, this project has become part of a national movement to offer an alternative to apartment building living.TinyHomeAgenda 21
SWC is currently open to homeless men only; however the non-profit is “exploring how to help women in similar circumstances”.
Services to help these homeless occupants will be provided by “private and governmental agencies” as well as “Christian fellowship and support”.
In Olympia, Washington, Quixote Village has been operational since late 2013 with “30 free-standing cottages and a community center. It was born out of the homeless encampment.”
The 30 cottages on the property are 114 square feet….READ

Whopper of the Day

Pelosi: “I Don’t Remember Saying that Everybody in the Country Would Have a Lower Premium.”….Just a few weeks ago the honorable Congresswoman from San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi, made the stunning claim that health insurance in America would be cheaper than ever before. “Many of the initiatives that he passed are what are coming to bear now, including the Affordable Care Act,” she said at a recent press conference about legislation championed by the President. “The Affordable Care Act is bringing the cost of health care in ourcountry down inboth the public and private sector.” Of course, days later we found out what the future of  ”affordable” health care and lower costs actually meant, when the IRS admitted that prices would top $20,000 per year for the average American family. It seems that these are the ramifications for passing a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care industry without having first read the bill to find out what was in it….more

DHS insider: It’s about to get very ugly

Washington, D.C.—Something quite unexpected happened just hours ago, in the dark of night, during a two-day layover in Washington, DC. My son and I are scheduled to take part in a seminar outside of Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend, so we combined our travels to include a side-trip to DC for a business meeting we had previously arranged. It was during this layover that something seemingly ripped from the pages of a spy novel took place...more

Another Phony Jobs Report From A Government That Lies About Everything –Paul Craig Roberts

June 7, 2013. The payroll jobs report for May released today continues the fantasy.

Goods producing jobs declined, with manufacturing losing another 4,000 jobs, but the New Economy produced 179,000 service jobs.

Are these jobs the high-powered, high-wage “innovation jobs” that economists promised would be our reward from Globalism. I’m afraid not.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs created are the usual lowly paid
non-exportable domestic service jobs–the jobs of a third world country.

·         Retail trade accounts for 27,700 of the jobs.

·         Wholesale trade accounts for 7,900 jobs.

·         Ambulatory health care services accounts for 15,300 of the jobs.

·         Waitresses and bartenders account for 38,100 of the jobs.

·         Local government accounts for 13,000 of the jobs.

·         Amusements, gambling, and recreation account for 12,500 of the jobs.

·         Temporary help services provided 25,600 jobs.

·         Business support services provided 4,300 jobs.

·         Services to buildings and dwellings provided 6,400 jobs.

·         Accounting and bookkeeping services provided 3,100 jobs.

·         Architectural and engineering services provided 4,900 jobs.

·         Computer systems design and related provided 6,000 jobs (most likely filled by H-1B work visas)

·         Management and technical consulting services provided 3,200 jobs.

For a decade this has been the jobs profile of “the world’s most powerful economy.” It is the profile of third world India 40 years ago. The jobs that made the US the dominant economy have been moved off shore by corporations threatened by Wall Street with takeovers if they did not increase their profits…..more

Accused Fort Hood Shooter Paid $278,000 While Awaiting Trial

The Department of Defense confirms to NBC 5 Investigates that accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has now been paid more than $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 32 injured. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty.

If Hasan had been a civilian defense department employee, NBC 5 Investigates has learned, the Army could have suspended his pay after just seven days….more

Inventor of ‘ADHD’ Deathbed Confession: ”ADHD” is a Fictitious Disease”

Fortunately, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK, President: Otfried Höffe) critically commented on the use of the ADHD drug Ritalin in its opinion of 22 November 2011 titled Human enhancement by means of pharmacological agents: The consumption of pharmacological agents altered the child’s behavior without any contribution on his or her part. That amounted to interference in the child’s freedom and personal rights, because pharmacological agents induced behavioral changes but failed to educate the child on how to achieve these behavioral changes independently. The child was thus deprived of an essential learning experience to act autonomously and emphatically which “considerably curtails children’s freedom and impairs their personality development”, the NEK criticized. The alarmed critics of the Ritalin disaster are now getting support from an entirely different side. The German weekly Der Spiegel quoted in its cover story on 2 February 2012 the US American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, born in 1922 as the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who was the “scientific father of ADHD” and who said at the age of 87, seven months before his death in his last interview: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease”...more

Penguins and sea lions found dead on Chilean shore…

CHILE Chilean Navy discovers more than 600 dead animals in Punta de Choros, a small fishing town north of La Serena. The bodies of sea lions, cormorants and penguins littered a seven mile stretch of beach in Punta de Choros, northern Chile on Sunday. The crime scene is in close proximity to the Humboldt Penguin Nature Reserve. Two days prior the Movement in Defense of the Environment (MODEMA) reported a band of ten fishing boats off the coastline of Punta de Choros. MODEMA and other environmental groups accused the boats of blast fishing — using explosives to catch mass quantities of fish. Sernapesca, Chile’s National Fishing Service, investigated the scene and determined that all the animals were killed by the same incident. Autopsies report animals withmore

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Exploding Manholes Set Cars On Fire, Cut Power In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Several manholes exploded in Brooklyn on Monday, setting cars on fire and sending people running for their safety.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, dozens of families were left without power following the explosions in Bushwick on Monday afternoon. As late as 9 p.m., power was still out for several customers, and smoke was still billowing on and off from one of the manholes that exploded.

Not one, and not two, but three manhole covers blew along Menahan Street near Wyckoff Avenue, witnesses said.

“I seen that there was smoke coming from out of there. So when I looked and saw that, that’s when I started telling people to get out; something’s going to blow,” Arlene Baker said….more

Mystery Aircraft Frightens Quincy Residents

**Does this have anything to do with the “smell” reported in Quincy?**

QUINCY (CBS) – A mystery in Quincy continues to deepen: Who is flying around the city from dusk to dawn, for the past ten days or so?

“It’s frightening, not just weird, but frightening,” said one resident of the Wollaston section.

Every night for nearly the last two weeks, residents have spotted a low-flying aircraft doing loops over the city. WBZ has learned the FAA knows what’s going on, but the agency isn’t telling….more

Mystery smell irks Quincy neighborhood

 – Residents of a Quincy senior apartment complex near the ocean are used to the full spectrum of sea scents wafting over their building.But the persistent rotten egg smell that has lingered over The Moorings at Squantum Gardens for about six week is becoming unbearable, and so far, remains unexplained. The city hired chemists to test water samples for the presence of bacteria that could explain the smell. They came back negative. A city councilor suggested it was red tide. The state Division of Marine Fisheries says that may not be the cause, although another type of algae may be responsible. A local clammer thinks it may be rotting shellfish killed by a virus….more

Sarajevo hit by massive swarm of flies

WOW!!!
Some people reportedly fled the city to escape the aerial invasion, according to local media. Bosnian fire brigade officials said that could do little to combat the flies but advised people to shut doors and windows in order to keep the swarming insects at bay….

more here…http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/bosnia/10032597/Sarajevo-hit-by-massive-swarm-of-flies.html

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are….more

US GDP is about to get a lot bigger The economy will grow by 3% in July because of a shift in how the government measures output, especially of intangible assets.

Starting in July, the U.S. gross domestic product will officially jump by 3%. The change isn’t due to some miraculous economic event but rather from a shift in the way the government looks at statistics in the digital age. Brent Moulton, an associate director at the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, says the revised benchmark economic number will take into account billions of dollars in intangible assets that have previously been left out.  “We’re capitalizing research and development,” Moulton told the Financial Times, “and also this category referred to as entertainment, literary and artistic originals, which would be things like motion picture originals, long-lasting television programs, books and sound recordings.”  For example, according to the FT, the output of iPads produced by Apple (AAPL +1.28%) is currently included in GDP, but the R&D needed to create those iPads isn’t. With the changeover this summer, R&D will now be considered an investment and will add to the overall measured size of the economy.  Shortfalls in defined-benefit pension plans will also be reevaluated. “We will now show a liability for underfunded plans, which particularly has large ramifications for the government sector,” said Moulton, “where both at the state level and the federal level we have large underfunded plan.”...more

Philadelphia abortion clinic horror

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, “described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, ‘literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.” One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his “snipping” technique to use on infants born alive.

Massof, who, like other witnesses, has himself pleaded guilty to serious crimes, testifiedIt would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” Here is the headline the Associated Press put on a story about his testimony that he saw 100 babies born and then snipped: “Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic.”…more

New conservative lobbying push for gay marriage

A national group of prominent GOP donors that supports gay marriage is pouring new money into lobbying efforts to get Republican lawmakers to vote to make it legal.

American Unity PAC was formed last year to lend financial support to Republicans who bucked the party’s longstanding opposition to gay marriage. Its founders are launching a new lobbying organization, American Unity Fund, and already have spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where the Legislature could vote on the issue as early as next week….more

Kentucky woman ordained as priest in defiance of Catholic church

In defiance of Roman Catholic authority and doctrine, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordained its first Louisville-area priest on Saturday.

Rosemarie Smead of Bedford, Ky., a retired Indiana University Southeast counselor-education professor, was ordained during the two-hour service hosted by a bishop of the movement, Bridget Mary Meehan.

Several other women priests in the movement, in white robes and red stoles, gathered from around the country to participate in a ceremony patterned on traditional Catholic ordination liturgy but suffused with feminist imagery. About 200 people attended the service at St. Andrew United Church of Christ, most of them coming forward to lay hands on Smead in blessing….more

Has Stephen Hawking Made God Unnecessary?

Picture of Stephen Hawking

This week Stephen Hawking delivered a lecture at the California Institute of Technology titled “The Origin of the Universe,” and you’re likely to have heard about it because, according to mainstream media outlets, Hawking has put God out of a job. In an article headlined “Stephen Hawking lays out case for Big Bang without God,” NBC News describes the presentation:  MORE

The Tsarnaev brothers were double agents who decoyed US into terror trap

The big questions buzzing over Boston Bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have a single answer: It emerged in the 102 tense hours between the twin Boston Marathon bombings Monday, April 15 – which left three dead, 180 injured and a police officer killed at MIT – and Dzohkhar’s capture Friday, April 19 in Watertown.  The conclusion reached by debkafile’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources is that the brothers were double agents, hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks which, helped by Saudi financial institutions, had spread across the restive Russian Caucasian….more

As Predicted, James Holmes Was Taking Violence-Linked Antidepressant Drugs

It likely comes as no surprise to those who have been following the disturbing trend of mass shooters over the years, but a new Los Angeles Times report has confirmed that Holmes had been taking the prescription psychotropic drugs Zoloft and Clonazepam (Klonopin) — one of which is the same drug that the Colombine Eric Harris was on.

For months now the alternative news media has been predicting that Holmes was most certainly on antidepressant drugs as we know 90% of school shootings have links to psych meds, but until now it has only been announced that certain prescription medication was seized (and listed as Vicodin by some sources). Ultimately, we received a large degree of flak and downright hate for predicting that Holmes was on these drugs like to aggression and suicide, but it’s simply following a very blatant pattern….more

Japan whalers have ‘worst ever’ catch

The Japanese whaling fleet has had it’s worst ever season in the southern ocean, an anti-whaling group claims. Sea Shepherd Australia says the Japanese fleet only managed to catch 103 whales in 2012-13, less than 10 per cent of their annual quota. The Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research had intended to catch 50 humpback whales, 50 fin whales and 935 minke whales this season. Sea Shepherd Australia Captain Siddharth Chakravarty is delighted to have held back the Japanese fleet saying it has lost prestige. “It is a definitely an epic moment in Sea Shepherd’s history, however it is an even bigger one for the whales,” he said in a statement. “The whales were spared the harpoons. “Sea Shepherd Australia said with the costs of outfitting, fuelling and operating the Japanese whaling fleet rising and catches dwindling each year, it was “economic lunacy” to continue the hunt.…more

Cyprus bank crisis: Workers threaten Thursday strike

The financial crisis in Cyprus has worsened with workers threatening to strike just 24 hours before the banks are due to re-open.

Banks have already been closed for nearly two weeks but the workers’ union has said its members are prepared to cause branch closures almost as soon as they resume for business on Thursday.…more

Landslide Destroys Homes On Washington Island

Landslide in Washington

The landslide hit the Ledgewood Beach community, on Whidbey Island, at around 4.15am local time on Wednesday, knocking one home off its foundations and damaging a road, according to a fire chief.

Authorities rescued 12 residents from properties in the area that had been cut off when the road was damaged, Central Whidbey fire chief Ed Hartin said.…more

Would You Like Some Emerald Green Shrimp with Your Pink Water?

Following the hot-pink water coming out of taps in Jinan, China last week, the nation continues to be experiencing food discoloration of acid trip proportions. Shrimp that turns vibrant green when cooked were recently found in Shanghai.

A member of China’s Weibo microblogging service, Christy Mi Jiang was warming up some shrimp in her microwave one day. When she went to remove the crustaceans she was surprised to see that their heads had turned a deep green color.

As is the custom when you see something freaky, Christy took a photo and posted it on the social networking service right away. It garnered instant attention and went as viral as those shrimp looked….more

Meteor lights up East Coast — and social media

(CNN) — The streaking ball of fire Friday night above the East Coast did not, alas, signal the end to civilization as we know it.

Though you might get that sense from social media.

East Coach Meteor PicturesThe sky lit up along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard with reports of “a thin streak of blue-greenish-white” from people like Chip Guy, who was driving in eastern Maryland when he and his family he spotted it.

“It didn’t last more than eight or nine seconds, then it disappeared,” said Guy, a spokesman for Sussex County, Delaware. “Frankly, I didn’t think too much of it.”

But his tune changed once he posted something about the presumed meteor on a local social media web page, which triggered a quick and hearty response...more

Tremors detected at Assumption Parish sinkhole

All work has been ceased at the Bayou Corne sinkhole after monitoring systems detected tremors Friday morning, officials said Friday.

According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury website, the Office of Conservation and the Assumption Parish Incident Command detected elevated subsurface activity in the area around a massive 13-acre sinkhole.

Seismic monitoring also detected water movement in the slurry as well as increased bubbling on the western side of the sinkhole.

Experts say a brine cavern drilled into the underground Napoleonville salt dome may have caused the sinkhole after it collapsed. 350 residents in a nearby town have been evacuated as a result of the slurry area.

Gov. Bobby Jindal paid his first visit to the sinkhole Wednesday to meet with residents and reiterate plans to make the cavern’s owner pay damages and offer fair buyouts to residents looking to move.

Geologic Event

Mar 20, 2013

04:10:04 GMT–Unusual geological event – North-America – USA

Just after 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon residents in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties say they felt multiple earthquake-like tremors that rattled their homes and offices. Absecon resident, Kay Stadlmeir, said, "I don't think it would be an earthquake, but what could it be? It's just really odd." Somers Point resident, Bob Mower, explained, "There was a rattling of my windows and I felt the house shake just a little bit - it was unusual." Stadlmeir told NBC40, "It has to be something really big to be witnessed in such a widespread area of South Jersey." The reports vary from region to region. Atlantic county emergency management officials confirmed with the U.S. Geological Survey that it was not an earthquake. The next thought was that military training or an aircraft flying by might have caused the shakes. Both the 177th Fighter Wing in Egg Harbor Township and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst confirmed none of their aircrafts were in the area at that time....(more)

North Carolina church vows to stop marriages until same-sex couples can wed

A church in North Carolina will stop performing marriages until United Methodist pastors are allowed to officiate weddings for same-sex couples in the Tar Heel state.

The Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem made the announcement on its Facebook page on Friday and held a press conference on Sunday detailing its plan. The Rev. Kelly Carpenter told FoxNews.com on Monday that his 400-member congregation and its 18-member Leadership Council have long considered the move.…(more)

After The Banksters Steal Money From Bank Accounts In Cyprus They Will Start Doing It EVERYWHERE

Cyprus is a beta test.  The banksters are trying to commit bank robbery in broad daylight, and they are eager to see if the rest of the world will let them get away with it.  Cyprus was probably chosen because it is very small (therefore nobody will care too much about it) and because there is a lot of foreign (i.e. Russian) money parked there.  The IMF and the EU could have easily bailed out Cyprus without any trouble whatsoever, but they purposely decided not to do that.  Instead, they decided that this would be a great time to test the idea of a “wealth tax”.  The government of Cyprus was given two options by the IMF and the EU – either they could confiscate money from private bank accounts or they could leave the eurozone.  Apparently this was presented as a “take it or leave it” proposition, and many are using the world “blackmail” to describe what has happened.  Sadly, this decision is going to set a very ominous precedent for the future and it is going to have ripple effects far beyond Cyprus.  After the banksters steal money from bank accounts in Cyprus they will start doing it everywhere.  If this “bank robbery” goes well, it will only be a matter of time before depositors in nations such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are asked to take “haircuts” as well.  And what will happen one day when the U.S. financial system collapses?  Will U.S. bank accounts also be hit with a “one time” wealth tax?  That is very frightening to think about….(more)

Pepsi replaces sugar with mystery ingredient

**Personally, I wont drink it. It’s JUST cola. Why the need to sabotage it?**

So what exactly is this magic ingredient that will be appearing in a new version of Pepsi, and how is it made? Unfortunately, those questions are hard to answer. Senomyx… refers to them only as ‘enhancers’ or ‘ingredients’… The products work by triggering receptors on the tongue and tricking your taste buds into sensing sweetness — or saltiness or coolness, in the case of the company’s other programs
So are Senomyx’s covert ingredients safe? That, too, is anyone’s guess… many of its enhancers have ‘been granted’GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status, but all that means is that the company did its own assessment and then concluded everything was fine. We don’t know whether Senomyx did any testing since the company isn’t required to submit anything to the FDA.14
There’s no reason to think that Senomyx’s products will cause harm, but until or unless Pepsi decides to share details about how exactly it’s achieving a 60 percent reduction in sugar while keeping the taste the same, customers will be drinking their ‘scientifically advantaged’ sodas completely in the dark.”…(more)

Hungry Homeless Man Ticketed for Digging Through Trash

The city of Houston, Texas is officially more concerned about the safety and dignity of trash than the city’s homeless. The Houston Chronicle reports: James Kelly was hungry and looking for something to eat. He tried to find it in a trash bin near Houston City Hall.

For that, the man, who said he spent about nine years in the Navy but fell on hard times, was ticketed by a Houston police officer.…(more)

Angel in sky photos: South Florida sees a message from above…

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A message from above?  That’s what several South Florida residents thought after looking toward the sky on the day a new pope was named. Most saw an angel in the clouds and grabbed their cameras to document the vision. For some, it was a clear sign from heaven, maybe a message from God himself, showing his pleasure at the election of the first Latin American as the 267th successor of St. Peter.  Read more:

North Carolina church vows to stop marriages until same-sex couples can wed

greenstreet660.jpg

A church in North Carolina will stop performing marriages until United Methodist pastors are allowed to officiate weddings for same-sex couples in the Tar Heel state.  The Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem made the announcement on its Facebook page on Friday and held a press conference on Sunday detailing its plan. The Rev. Kelly Carpenter told FoxNews.com on Monday that his 400-member congregation and its 18-member Leadership Council have long considered the move.…(more)

Census shows record 1 in 3 US counties are dying

**Hint: They need cheap labor to repatriate US companies**

AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record number of U.S. counties – more than 1 in 3 – are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.  New 2012 census estimates released Thursday highlight the population shifts as the U.S. encounters its most sluggish growth levels since the Great Depression.  The findings also reflect the increasing economic importance of foreign-born residents as the U.S. ponders an overhaul of a major 1965 federal immigration law. Without new immigrants, many metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St. Louis would have posted flat or negative population growth in the last year.  “Immigrants are innovators, entrepreneurs, they’re making things happen. They create jobs,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, at an immigration conference in his state last week. Saying Michigan should be a top destination for legal immigrants to come and boost Detroit and other struggling areas, Snyder made a special appeal: “Please come here.”...(more)

Parents Blast New State Database of Private Student Info

New York parents furious at program, inBloom, that compiles private student information for companies that contract with it to create teaching tools.  Concerns have arisen that the information could be sold to other companies, which officials deny. The system contains names, attendance records, disciplinary histories, addresses, test scores and learning disabilities. New York joins eight other states that have adopted it….(more)

U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans’ finances

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.

Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of “suspicious customer activity,” such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database. However, intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, currently have to make case-by-case requests for information to FinCEN.

The Treasury plan would give spy agencies the ability to analyze more raw financial data than they have ever had before, helping them look for patterns that could reveal attack plots or criminal schemes.

The planning document, dated March 4, shows that the proposal is still in its early stages of development, and it is not known when implementation might begin.

Financial institutions file more than 15 million “suspicious activity reports” every year, according to Treasury. Banks, for instance, are required to report all personal cash transactions exceeding $10,000, as well as suspected incidents of money laundering, loan fraud, computer hacking or counterfeiting.

“For these reports to be of value in detecting money laundering, they must be accessible to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, financial regulators, and the intelligence community,” said the Treasury planning document.…(more)

Bankrupt Harrisburg, Pa., can’t fix the 41 sinkholes plaguing its streets….

Pennsylvania’s state capital is suffering from a rash of monster sinkholes, but city officials are too broke to do anything about it.  Loose soil and leaky, century-old underground water pipes are to blame for the municipal nightmare, which came to a head on the New Year’s Eve when a 50-foot sinkhole yawned open along Fourth Street, the WSJreported.

…(here’s more)

Blackjack Player Who Won $15 Million From 3 Casinos Reveals How

Previously tightlipped about how he did it, Johnson said he played “fair and square” but he did have some favorable conditions when he played single blackjack hands of up to $100,000.blackjack21

He won $6 million from the Tropicana; from the Borgata, $5 million, and he took $4 million from Caesar’s, all between December 2010 and April 2011. In an interview with The Atlantic, Johnson described how the casinos gave him a 20 percent discount on his losses and slightly more favorable house rules that let him break the bank.

“I guess for the first time in 30 years, a group of casinos actually had a huge setback on account of one player,” Johnson told the magazine. “Somebody connected all the dots and said it must be one guy.”

Perks for high rollers, like free hotel stays and trips on jets, are not new to gambling houses. But two years ago with revenues tanking in an unstable market, casinos became desperate to attract big spenders, to the point that they began calling to invite Johnson, a known player, to play in late 2010 with special deals.

Johnson negotiated for discounts as high as 20 percent after his losses hit $500,000 at the Tropicana and then decided to play. So if he were to lose the whole $500,000 he’d only have to pay $400,000.

Johnson admitted to The Press of Atlantic City, taking some losses along the way.

But Tropicana “pulled the deal” after he won a total of $5.8 million, the Borgata cut him off at $5 million, and the dealer at Caesars refused to fill the chip tray once his earnings topped $4 million, according to The Atlantic.

The 49-year-old resident of Bensalem, Pa., said in the interview with The Press that he began playing blackjack 15 years ago, starting with $25 bets. His profession is gambling-related as chief executive officer of Heritage Development LLC, which develops computer-assisted wagering systems for horseracing. His prowess in blackjack, he says, has gotten him banned from some casinos.

Johnson said he did not count cards, which is considered cheating and will get you banned from some casinos, but not illegal. Blackjack players with a trained memory and enough acuity can keep track of which cards have been played and which are still in the deck, thereby maximizing their chances for beating the house.

Explains Richard, a former card counter who today works on Wall Street (and who asks that his last name not be used), “As the composition of the cards in the deck fluctuates, the player’s advantage fluctuates. When he knows he has the advantage, he bets higher. When he knows the advantage has shifted to the house, he bets lower. Not only do you change the amount of your bets, you change your playing strategy: When you know it’s to your advantage, you hit a hand you’d otherwise have decided to stand on.”

Alan, a professional gambler who asks that his last name not be used, adds, “Even under normal circumstances, the house’s edge is small against a knowledgeable player. The size of the edge depends on the variation of the game that’s being played, but it can get down to less than 1 percent. Card counting can turn the edge against the casino, which is why management bans card counters when they’re caught.”

Henry Tamburin, author of “Blackjack: Take the Money and Run” and editor of Black Jack Insider Newsletter, said it was “unheard of” but not impossible that he was getting a discount of 20 percent on his losses.

“A 20 percent discount?” Tamburin asked, “but if that’s true, and you’re only losing only $8 out of every $10 you bet, you’ve already got an edge if you just keep banging away. All you’d have to do it bet at high levels and use basic strategy.”

Alan puts it more bluntly: “I can’t believe casino management would be so dumb as to lose its edge entirely by increasing the [per hand] limits to $100,000 and by forgiving 20 percent of the player’s debt.”

But perhaps they were. As the CEO of the Tropicana said in early May, referring to his casino’s loss of $6 million to an undisclosed player assumed to be Johnson, “We ran very unlucky.”

In fact, it was the first time since the casinos opened in Atlantic City in 1978 that a gambling house lost money at the game of blackjack over a particular month, a spokesman for New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission told The Star Ledger: “It’s extraordinarily unusual for a casino to lose money at the game of blackjack in a particular month,” the spokesman told the paper.

Link to Article Here