The Federal Reserve Ends 6-year Effort to Stimulate Economy

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QEQuantitative easing has died for the third time, but easy money lives.

On October 29, 2014, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to conclude the current asset purchase program.

The 12 members of the central bank’s committee also voted to keep its key interest rate near zero. This means people with savings in the bank get little to no interest.

The Fed’s diagnosis: Deflation, not inflation, was putting the economy in grave danger.

“We’re writing the eulogy on the most extreme Federal Reserve intervention in history,” says Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

The Federal Reserve’s job of keeping the economy humming was extraordinarily difficult during the 2007-09 financial crisis. The housing market collapsed; banks and investors stopped lending; the stock market endured its worst fall since the Great Depression; unemployment soared.

The central bank pushed the key short-term funds, which would let businesses and consumers borrow at cheaper rates.

But that still wasn’t enough to get the economy out of the intensive-care unit. So the Fed began buying long-term securities — Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities — to push long-term rates lower. The Fed essentially created the money to buy the bonds, expanding the U.S. “money supply.”

The bank started its bond program, known as quantitative easing or “QE,” in November 2008 to supposedly “aid the economy and the crippled housing market,” but the fact is it created an even worse downward spiral. It became the flagship program of former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s term in office.

economic crisis$223.3 trillion: The total indebtedness of the world, including all parts of the public and private sectors, amounting to 313% of global gross domestic product.

*Money Printing
*Wall Street is already thinking about QE4
*Huge amount of bonds it holds on its more than $4.4 trillion balance sheet.
*Number of the Week: Total World Debt Load at 313% of GDP
*Debt is an increase in current spending in lieu of a decline in future spending

What will the post-QE era look like?

• Low short-term rates. A neutral position for the fed funds rate is about 4%, says Kevin Cummins, economist at Harris private bank. “We’re not going to see that for quite a while,” he says. The bank thinks the Fed funds rate will hit 1.25% to 1.5% by the end of 2015, and may not hit 4% until after 2016. Others think that neutral may well be lower than it has been historically because of low U.S. population growth and slow gains in productivity.

• Low long-term rates. Deflation in Europe and Japan, as well as sluggish loan demand in the U.S., could keep long-term rates low for a long time. If the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 5% from 3.92% now, fewer houses would be built, the unemployment rate would go up, and the economy would slow down, LeBas says. And the Fed has taken more than $4 trillion out of the bond market. “This will place downward pressure on market interest rates, even without any new buying,” says Tony Crescenzi, portfolio manager for Pimco.

• Higher dollar. Even though the Fed’s easy money policies are still in place, Europe and Japan remain mired in deflation with even lower interest rates than the U.S. Money flows toward higher interest rates, and money will be flowing toward Treasuries and other U.S. securities, trying to push the dollar higher.

For investors, don’t hold your breath for a blast of money to come from the bond market to the stock market. “About 40% of the bond market is owned by investors who can’t sell,” LeBas says. Banks and insurance companies, for example, have to buy bonds to fund parts of their business.

As the Feds stop QE, Wall Street is already speculating the central bank could crank up a new bond-buying program to take its place as the economy continues to sour. They also saw a 15.1 percent chance of a recession in the next year.

“I think at this point, people and economists, have become conditioned, and not incorrectly, that when things turn south that QE is just a part of the toolkit, rather than some sort of unusual policy,” said Daniel Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. “With interest rates this low, that’s probably not an unfair assumption.”

There are many arguments for and against the Fed’s historic policy decision to buy bonds.

“We’re going to be debating the efficacy of the quantitative easing programs for the next 100 years,” says Greenhaus. “Its legacy is undetermined because the war isn’t over.”

Fed watchers say the Fed is unlikely to change the language in its statement about keeping rates low for a “considerable time.” That was the focus of speculation last month, as was the idea that it could alter the language about labor market conditions.

“They don’t want to send the wrong signal. They don’t want to spook the markets. I think they’ll be a little more bullish on the labor markets but they’ll pivot to inflation. They’ll be more worried about inflation,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “The markets seem pretty well prepared. The Fed has prepared them for tapering.”

Besides keeping short-term rates low, Fed watchers say it hopes to suppress longer-term rates with the huge amount of bonds it holds on its more than $4.4 trillion balance sheet. The 10-year yield was at 2.33 percent Wednesday, rising ahead of the Fed statement.

Swonk also expects the Fed to remain open to another round of quantitative easing even though it wants the program to end. “They have to leave the door open to QE4, but they really don’t want to do it. Is it the flow or the stock? They made clear they want to keep the balance sheet steady until they start raising rates,” Swonk said. The stocks are the securities on the balance sheet, and the “flow” is the purchase of new securities.

“We’ve all become accustomed to QE in the sense that we lived with it for six years, but before the crisis the purchase of Treasury securities or assets at the medium to long end of the curve was always what you were supposed to do when interest rates fell to the zero bound,” Greenhaus said. The idea has now become main stream after the Fed embarked on three programs and Operation Twist, a version where it bought and sold securities.

Operation Twisted Logic

operation twistDEFINITION of ‘Operation Twist’

The name given to a Federal Reserve monetary policy operation that involves the purchase and sale of bonds. “Operation Twist” describes a monetary process where the Fed buys and sells short-term and long-term bonds depending on their objective. For example, in September 2011, the Fed performed Operation Twist in an “attempt to lower long-term interest rates.” In this operation, the Fed sold short-term Treasury bonds and bought long-term Treasury bonds, which pressured the long-term bond yields downward.

The name “Operation Twist” was given by the mainstream media due to the visual effect the monetary policy action was expected to have on the shape of the yield curve. If you visualize a linear upward sloping yield curve, this monetary action effectively “twists” the ends of the yield curve, hence the name Operation Twist.

Defenders of this policy will argue that things would look even worse without it, and that for a while “quantitative easing” boosted equity markets and other risk assets. Hooray for that. Although it has to be said that the idea that we, the public, can easily be cajoled into feeling confident and behaving in more expansionary modes economically via the open manipulation of market prices strikes me as somewhat condescending and hubristic. But we are talking about a state agency here, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

“Operation Twist” is another attempt to keep interest rates low and to encourage borrowing when the present crisis is in fact the result of low interest rates and excessive borrowing. The only solution to our problems is to stop printing ever-larger quantities of money and to finally allow the market to set interest rates and to cleanse the economy of its accumulated dislocations.

Related:

Additional information on reinvestment’s in agency MBS and Treasury rollovers can be found in a set of Frequently Asked Questions in the following location:

FAQs: Agency MBS Reinvestments and Treasury Rollovers »

As announced on January 13, 2014, Treasury Floating Rate Notes will be treated in a similar manner to other Treasury securities in its reinvestment of proceeds received from maturing Treasury security holdings (see http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/opolicy/operating_policy_140113a.html).

For a full list of SOMA holdings, please see http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/soma/sysopen_accholdings.html.

Federal Reserve

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)

Open Market Operations – Federal Reserve Bank of New York

History of Federal Open Market Committee actions

Meeting calendars, statements, and minutes (2009-2015)

Estimated Impact of the Federal Reserve’s Mortgage-Backed

Operation Twist Definition

Market pushes back Fed rate hike expectations: Survey

Fed will go out of its way to be dovish

FRB: Press Release–Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement–October 29, 2014

Total World Debt Load at 313% of GDP – WSJ Blogs – Wall …

$233.3 Trillion: Total World Debt Load at 313% of GDP

Roubini Analyst

Federal Reserve launches Operation Twist – Sep. 21, 2011

First Take: Beginning of the end of easy money

Operation Twisted Logic – Detlev Schlichter – Mises Daily

UV Light Can Kill Viruses

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xenex-ebola-robot

While people panic worldwide over the spread of Ebola and scientists rush to develop vaccines, devices that kill the deadly virus present on surfaces in only five minutes are already available.

The question is, why aren’t these devices being used in every hospital?

Don’t be fooled, those hand sanitizers that many people use don’t kill everything. And once they’re in the body, viruses are quite tough to kill — antibiotics are powerless against them and vaccines for influenza and other viruses must be changed every year to adapt to new strains. Fortunately our immune systems can fight off many viruses, but some, like Ebola can be deadly. It may then surprise you to learn that something viruses are exposed to all the time — visible light — can be used to kill them.

A study by Kong-Thon Tsen of Arizona State University along with researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows how strong blasts of visible light from a low-power laser can kill viruses. The laser technique appears to be more successful than other methods at killing viruses, while also posing less harm to healthy tissue.

In their study, the researchers blasted a virus with a quick pulse of purple laser light. The laser, which only shines for 100 Femtosecond (a femtosecond is one millionth of a billionth of a second), causes the virus’s capsid (outer shell) to vibrate and become damaged. Essentially, the virus becomes “deactivated” while the area around the virus remains unharmed. The treatment doesn’t cause viruses to mutate either, which is a problem in other virus treatments and can lead to viral resistance.

Xenex's germ-zapping robots were used at a local school this week to protect against unwanted viruses and bacteria.

Xenex’s germ-zapping robots were used at a local school this week to protect against unwanted viruses and bacteria.

These serious diseases like Ebola, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis could be blasted with laser light. Scientists could cleanse blood samples of viruses and other pathogens, making them safer to handle. Scientists could also combine the laser therapy with current blood dialysis treatments. In that case, blood would be cycled out of a patient’s body, lasers could eliminate any pathogens in the blood and the blood would be cycled back in.

Doctors are limited in the ways they can fight viruses, which is why studies like this one are so exciting.

robot virus killer

Ebola-killing ROBOT destroys the virus in minutes: ‘Little Moe’ uses flashes 25,000 times brighter than sunlight to kill diseases

The Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots, invented by a group of Texas doctors, kills the virus by using UV light to destroy its DNA. The TRU-D | SmartUVC , pioneered by a British doctor, uses similar technology.

UV-C light has been used for many years to disinfect, but older technology relied on toxic mercury. The Xenex germ killer uses Xenon gas, which leaves no poisonous residue, to create UV-C light that is 25,000 times more powerful than natural sunlight.
When the Xenex robot is wheeled into a room, all drawers, cabinets, etc., are opened so the light can reach their contents. All people are banned from the room and the light is pulsed from two to five minutes. Pathogens are destroyed in huge numbers — as much as 62 percent of bacterial superbugs and different types of viruses.
The Xenex robot, which costs about $100,000 a unit, is already used in 250 hospitals across the United States.

Like the laser technique, UV irradiation kills viruses by breaking down their cell walls. Some ventilation and water-purification systems make use of UV irradiation to eliminate airborne or waterborne pathogens. Researchers have successfully used UV irradiation to kill food-borne pathogens, like E. coli bacteria, without diminishing taste or food quality. But while UV irradiation can be effective, it can also cause viruses to mutate and has the potential to damage healthy cells (as anyone who’s suffered a sunburn can attest).

 

 

Related:

Sources:

 

US Police get Antiterror Training in Israel on Privately Funded Trips

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National Security

An officer aims his rifle during a protest in Ferguson, Mo. The protests have reignited concerns about the militarization of U.S. law enforcement.

The clouds of tear gas, flurries of projectiles and images of police officers outfitted in military-grade hardware in Ferguson, Missouri, have reignited concerns about the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States.

But there has been another, little-discussed change in the training of American police since the 9/11 attacks: At least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small – from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California – have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars in what is described as counterterrorism techniques.

For some, dispatching American police to train in a foreign country battered by decades of war, terror attacks and strife highlights how dramatically U.S. law enforcement has changed in the 13 years since Saudi/Israel airplane hijackers crashed into New York’s World Trade Center. In many places, the image of the friendly cop on the beat has been replaced by intimidating, fully armed military-style troops. And Israel has played part in that transition.

As these trips to Israel became more commonplace, the militarization of U.S. law enforcement also was driven by the creation of various homeland security initiatives and billions of dollars of surplus military-grade equipment donated to local departments through the 1033 program after 9/11.

Islamic Shura Council of Southern CaliforniaShakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, described the tactics he sees American police use today as “a near replica” of their Israeli counterparts.

“Whether it is in Ferguson or L.A., we see a similar response all the time in the form of a disproportionate number of combat-ready police with military gear who are ready to use tear gas at short notice,” Syed said. “Whenever you find 50 people at a demonstration, there is always a SWAT team in sight or right around the corner.”

The law enforcement seminars in some ways resemble other privately funded trips to Israel, such as the birthright trips for Jewish young adults and programs for politicians, educators and other professionals. Stops on the law enforcement tours include not just the Western Wall, but also West Bank border checkpoints, military facilities and surveillance installations.

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)Participants speak highly of the experience. Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer called Israel “the Harvard of antiterrorism” after taking part in a 2005 trip sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Capt. Brad Virgoe of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California called the 2013 session he took part in an “amazing experience,” recalling visits to checkpoints in Eilat at the Israeli-Egyptian border and in the West Bank near Bethlehem.

Since 2002, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have sent police chiefs, assistant chiefs and captains on fully paid trips to Israel and the Palestinian territories to observe the operations of the Israeli national police, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israeli Border Patrol and the country’s intelligence services. Tax documents from the Jewish Institute show the organization spent $36,857 on the trips in 2012.

The U.S. program began less than a year after 9/11, when the Jewish Institute brought nine American police officials to Israel to meet with Uzi Landau, Israel’s public security minister at the time. Participants represented the New York and Los Angeles police departments, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority police and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority police.

Recently, the seminars drew attention during the Ferguson protests because the former chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, who retired in January, had participated in a 2011 trip to Israel sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.

Israeli security forces’ history of training police in counterinsurgency tactics predated that trip. In Mexico’s Chiapas state, Israeli military officials have been training police and military to combat the Zapatista uprising since 1994. The most recent Israeli training mission to Chiapas took place in May 2013.

chiapas_3rd_place_smTopics covered have included preventing and responding to terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, the evolution of terrorist operations and tactics, security for transit infrastructure, intelligence sharing, and balancing crime fighting and antiterrorism efforts. The training also touches on ways to use Israel’s counterinsurgency tactics to control crowds during protests and riots.

Virgoe said that he and his Israeli counterparts frequently discussed protests and crowd control methods.

“Around Bethlehem, they deal with it on a daily basis,” he said. “Rock throwing, it happens all the time, and they’ve become very proficient at dealing with large crowds on a moment’s notice.”

Virgoe also recounted the Israeli national police’s efficiency in dealing with hundreds of thousands of Sephardic Jews who poured into Jerusalem for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in October.

Demonstrators protest the Anti-Defamation League's Israel training trips for U.S. police in front of the group’s office in San Francisco.

Demonstrators protest the Anti-Defamation League’s Israel training trips for U.S. police in front of the group’s office in San Francisco.

The head of the Maine State Police, Col. Robert Williams, joined a trip sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League in early 2013. Speaking to the Bangor Daily News after his return, he noted that his Israeli counterparts had decades of experience in dealing with protests and he was impressed with their ability to suppress demonstrations.

“They call it riots and we call it civil unrest,” Williams told the newspaper.

San Diego Assistant Police Chief Walt Vasquez was on the same October 2013 trip as Virgoe and described a week of travel and training with the national police, Israel Defense Forces and intelligence officials. Vasquez also recalled “lots of discussions about crowd control” tactics. He was intrigued by a demonstration of the extensive surveillance camera network that covers Jerusalem.

Crowd control training provided by Israeli authorities to American law enforcement officials disturbs Human Rights Watch researcher Bill Van Esveld, who studies Israel and Palestine.

In Israel, “in a majority of cases, you’re seeing demonstrations that start with rock-throwing and devolve into tear gas, rubber bullets and sometimes live rounds being fired at people who are throwing stones,” he said.

Van Esveld added that his research has shown the risks for law enforcement are not as high in Israel, where he said officers and soldiers frequently disobey orders governing lethal force against demonstrators and rarely face discipline or other consequences.

“It is very rare that you get a soldier or policeman thrown in jail for killing or injuring someone – in practice, there’s a lot of looking the other way,” he said.

Israel’s use of less-lethal munitions in crowd control received international attention in 2009, when American activist Tristan Anderson was struck in the face with a high-velocity tear gas canister during a West Bank demonstration against Israel’s border wall. His skull was shattered, leaving him in a coma for months. Now, he uses a wheelchair.

Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, said the seminars reflect a militarized mindset diametrically opposed to traditional police-community relations in the United States.

“If American police and sheriffs consider they’re in occupation of neighborhoods like Ferguson and East Harlem, this training is extremely appropriate – they’re learning how to suppress a people, deny their rights and use force to hold down a subject population,” said Khalidi, a longtime critic of the Israeli occupation.

He pointed out a fundamental difference between the American and Israeli justice systems: Jewish residents fall under Israeli criminal law, but Palestinians are subject to Israel’s military justice system. Khalidi said Americans are learning paramilitary and counterinsurgency tactics from the Israeli military, border patrol and intelligence services, which enforce military law.

The most tangible evidence that the training is having an impact on American policing is that both countries are using identical equipment against demonstrators, according to a 2013 report by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem and photographs of such equipment taken at demonstrations in Ferguson and Oakland and Anaheim, California.

Tear gas grenades, “triple chaser” gas canisters and stun grenades made by the American companies Combined Systems Inc. and Defense Technology Corp. were used in all three U.S. incidents, as well as by Israeli security forces and military units.

Footage shot by activist Jacob Crawford in Ferguson last month revealed law enforcement used a long-range acoustic device that sends out high-pitched, painful noises designed to scatter crowds. Israeli forces first used such devices in response to West Bank protests in 2005, according to the B’Tselem report.

David Friedman, the Washington, D.C., regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, organized the dozen Israel seminars hosted by his organization for law enforcement leaders. For logistical reasons, he said, participation has been limited to “the highest levels of law enforcement.” However, Friedman confirmed that the University of Wisconsin’s police department participated, and news coverage as well as news releases from his organization show other smaller agencies and campus police began participating in the mid-2000s.

Last year, the league brought American law enforcement to meet with Palestinian police in Bethlehem for the first time.

Friedman declined to reveal how much the seminars have cost his group. The main focus is on strategies and tactics, he said, but the Israeli officials are not “giving guidance or instruction on these matters.”

Friedman emphasized that counterterrorism is the focus of the seminar, though he acknowledged that crowd control does figure into the training, with Israeli officials showing footage and presentations from protests and demonstrating the equipment they use.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the American Jewish Committee did not respond to interview requests about the law enforcement training seminars they sponsor.

**

Resources:

Document 21 – The George Washington University

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)

National Tactical Officers Association: NTOA

antiterror training in Israel on privately

Militarization and Policing—Its Relevance to 21st Century

Authorized Equipment List – LLIS.gov – Homeland Security

Israel and Mexico swap notes on abusing rights

ANALYSIS : Mexico – several movements of chess-pieces in …

Chiapas: Human rights organizations express concern for …

Ingape Tijuana – Ya ha qudado demostrado que el imperio…

Ebola through Aerosol Transmission

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Ebola-virus-pathogenesisViruses depend on the host cells that they infect to reproduce. When found outside of host cells, viruses exist as a protein coat or Capsid, sometimes enclosed within a membrane. The capsid encloses either DNA or RNA which codes for the virus elements.

When it comes into contact with a host cell, a virus can insert its genetic material into its host, literally taking over the host’s functions. Viruses cause a number of diseases in cells. In humans, smallpox, the common cold, chickenpox, influenza, shingles, herpes, polio, rabies, Ebola, hanta fever, Pneumonia and AIDS are examples of Viral diseases. Even some types of cancer — though definitely not all — have been linked to viruses.

Viral just means its being caused by a virus, and antibiotics would have no effect, bacterial is contagious too but can be treated with antibiotics. A virus needs to run its course (sorry to say) there are things to relieve the discomfort but it can still spread.

We Can’t Stop the Ebola Epidemic Unless We Understand How It’s Spread

bioweaponsAccording to the Clinic of Infectious Diseases at Oxford “The world leaders have to act fast, time is running out before Ebola becomes a “pandemic” when maybe millions of people will die and suffer. The World Health Organization (WHO) must take the lead.”

The majority of scientists are denying that Ebola is airborne technically, but others are still worried that a form of “aerosol transmission” can potentially infect people even without having contact with body fluids.

Ebola cases in Europe have also caused some anxiety since several people have died and one Spanish nurse managed to contract the deadly disease from her patients while wearing a protective suit. Health officials are still trying to figure out what went wrong, making the possibility of having Ebola airborne seemingly more likely.

Making Ebola airborne is not that easy based upon evolutionary theory. Scientists may discuss how rapidly the virus is mutating but the physical changes necessary to have the Ebola virus truly airborne are hardly trivial. First of all, making Ebola airborne would require the development of new surface proteins that would allow the virus to infect the tissues in the respiratory system necessary for the virus to be sent easily out via a sneeze or a cough.

If or when that event were to occur, the lipid membrane (the surface shell) is apparently ineffective at protecting the virus at room temperatures.

This is where the technical differences with aerosol transmission become a factor. To say that Ebola is “airborne” in this manner means the virus has successfully managed to transfer to a new host by being embedded in a heavy droplet.

Aerosol transmission is not a new discovery. Back in 2011, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) issued a handbook called “USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook.” One chapter discusses Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, which is how the Ebola virus is categorized. USAMRID claims to have seen Ebola airborne in the past.

“In several instances, secondary infections among contacts and medical personnel without direct body fluid exposure have been documented. These instances have prompted concern of a rare phenomenon of aerosol transmission of infection.”

The World Health Organization also sent out an advisory that discussed the possibility of making Ebola airborne via contaminated fluids.

“Theoretically, wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently, could transmit the virus – over a short distance – to another nearby person. This could happen when virus-laden heavy droplets are directly propelled, by coughing or sneezing onto the mucus membranes or skin with cuts or abrasions of another person.”

ebola-contagionStill, not everyone believes aerosol transmission is the only risk. Dr. David Sanders, an Ebola virologist and Purdue University professor of biological science, is claiming Ebola is airborne, although not exactly in the conventional sense.

“Our own research shows that Ebola Zaire enters human lung cells from the airway. So it has the inherent capacity to enter the lung from the airway,” he said on Fox News. “I’m not saying that there’s any evidence that the current spread is due to anything but bodily fluid contact, but we have to consider the possibility that it can enter through an airway route.”

The CDC reports Ebola could infect more than 1.4 million people by end of January 2015

Ebola, despite the initial CDC “calming” claims to the contrary, has been scientifically proven to be a communicable airborne virus. Coughing and sneezing can transmit the Ebola virus just like coughing and sneezing can transmit pneumonia and the flu.

CIDRAP Director: Airborne Ebola ‘Single Greatest Concern’ of My Career

The director of the University of Minnesota’s prestigious Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) tells CNN that the possibility of airborne Ebola is the sum of all fears.

“It’s the single greatest concern I’ve ever had in my 40-year public health career,” Dr. Osterholm told CNN. “I can’t imagine anything in my career–and this includes HIV–that would be more devastating to the world than a respiratory transmissible Ebola virus.”

Dr. Osterholm said the way the Ebola epidemic has been managed has been “largely dysfunctional.”

“Nobody’s in command, and nobody’s in charge,” said Dr. Osterholm. “It’s like not having air traffic control at an airport. The planes would just crash into each other.”

According to a new CIDRAP report, researchers just advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “scientific and epidemiologic evidence” now exists that proves Ebola has the potential to be transmitted via exhaled breath and “infectious aerosol particles.”

CIDRAP scientists are now warning both health care providers and the general public that surgical facemasks will not prevent the transmission of Ebola. According to the airborne Ebola report, medical workers must immediately be given full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators. CIDRAP has reportedly been a worldwide leader in addressing public health and safety concerns and preparedness since 2001.

Ebola4

The Importation and the supposed Quarantine of Airborne Ebola.

  Case Studies Since 1995 Have Confirmed Likelihood of Airborne Transmission

ALARMINGLY – It was discovered that in 1995 the ability of Ebola to aerosolize -or transmit via airborne pathogens- was reported, studied and confirmed.

In the United States, as with other outbreaks in affected countries, provide potential opportunities for “importation by infected humans and animals.” Furthermore, there are concerns that some of these agents could be used as bioweapons. Person-to-person transmission is documented for Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo Viral hemorrhagic fevers. In healthcare settings, transmission of these agents to healthcare personnel, patients and visitors has been described and in some outbreaks has accounted for a large proportion of cases.

According to the CDC, there have been at least 3,270 confirmed cases of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in humans since 1976, including several cases in the U.S. CDC Table of Outbreaks:

  • In 1989, the CDC reports, Ebola-Reston virus was introduced into quarantine facilities in Virginia and Pennsylvania by monkeys imported from the Philippines. No humans were infected.
  • In 1990, Ebola-Reston virus was introduced once again into quarantine facilities in Virginia and Texas by monkeys imported from the Philippines. Four humans developed antibodies but did not get sick.
  • In 1996, Ebola-Reston virus was introduced into a quarantine facility in Texas by monkeys imported from the Philippines. No human infections were identified.
  • In May of 2004, a Russian scientist died of the Ebola virus after accidentally pricking herself with a syringe while conducting research on infected guinea pigs in Siberia.
  • A similar accident with Ebola had reportedly occurred several months earlier at the US Army’s biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., but the researcher involved didn’t acquire the disease. This incident is not listed on the CDC’s list of confirmed outbreaks, perhaps because the researcher didn’t develop antibodies.
  • In 2009, a scientist in Berlin, Germany accidentally pricked herself and was infected with Ebola. She was given an experimental vaccine as part of her treatment and did not become ill.

CDC confirmed the first case of unintentional importation of Ebola virus in the U.S.  (Full Video):

“It’s not airborne but we all share the same air we breath.”

Ebola Epidemic Western Africa Panel  – C-Span

Highlights from a speech about Ebola by Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, originally aired on C-SPAN.

“ONE AREA OF A LOT OF CRITICISM IS THE CDC REPORTS 1.4 MILLION CASES BY THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY IN 2 COUNTRIES BUT THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ESTIMATES 20,000 BY NOVEMBER IN 3 COUNTRIES? HOW CAN THEY BE THAT FAR OFF?”

“WITH REGARDS TO RESEARCH. THERE ARE CERTAINLY ETHICS CHALLENGES ABOUT WHEN WE WILL START ROLLING OUT VACCINES, WHO GETS THEM FIRST, HOW WILL WE TEST THEM, THIS IS A PLACE WHERE SOPHISTICATED METHODOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH COMPASSION CAN ALL BE ALIGNED BUT IT TAKES SOPHISTICATED THINKING.”

“WE KNOW THERE ARE ETHICS CHALLENGES AND THAT THERE IS SO MUCH SUSPICION ABOUT MEDICAL RESEARCH WHEN IT COMES FROM THE WEST. WE SAW WHAT HAPPENS WITH POLIO AND MENINGITIS AND WE GO IN WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS THINKING THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HELP. WHETHER THE RESEARCH IS JUST TAKING BLOOD FOR ALL OF THESE VIROLOGY STUDIES, WHICH CAN MAKE A TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE, WE ALL KNOW THAT IT HAPPENS; WHEN WE TAKE BLOOD THEN PEOPLE DIE.”

“WHEN WE START ROLLING OUT A VACCINE AND MANDATING THAT ANY PROGRAM HAVE THAT RESEARCH AND INPUT COMPONENT TO START UNDERSTANDING WE HAVE A BIG OUTBREAK.”

“$57 MILLION INVESTMENT I THANK THE UNITED STATES FOR THAT SO THE RNC WITH THE EFFICACY HOW WILL WE MAKE IT AND WHERE WILL ME MAKE IT? I WANT TO KNOW THAT NOW. THAT MEANS NOW!”

ebola airborne 1

Lethal experimental infections of rhesus monkeys by aerosolized Ebola virus.

ebola airborne 2

The most likely route of infection of the control monkeys was aerosol, oral or conjunctival exposure to virus-laden droplets secreted or excreted from the experimentally inoculated monkeys

RELATED:

Ebola aerosol transmission is very similar to ‘Community Acquired Pneumonia Virus

Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) is pneumonia (any of several lung diseases) acquired infectiously from normal social contact (that is, in the community) as opposed to being acquired during hospitalization (hospital-acquired pneumonia).

CAP occurs throughout the world and is a leading cause of illness and death.

Causes of CAP include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Some forms of CAP can supposedly be prevented by the Pneumococcal Vaccination, but I don’t advise getting it.

 CAPPneumonia has many possible causes. The most common are bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe.

Your body usually prevents these germs from infecting your lungs. But sometimes these germs can overpower your immune system, even if your health is generally good.

Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type of pneumonia.
CAP occurs because the areas of the lung that absorb oxygen (alveoli) from the atmosphere become filled with fluid and cannot work effectively.

vaccine_dangerVaccination efforts have been met with some controversy on scientific, ethical, political, medical safety, and religious grounds. In rare cases, vaccinations can injure people and, in the United States, they may receive compensation for those injuries under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Early success and compulsion brought widespread acceptance, and mass vaccination campaigns have reduced, and in some cases, induced the incidence of many diseases in numerous geographic regions.

Related Pathophysiology:

The symptoms are the result of both the invasion of the lungs by microorganisms and the immune system‘s response to the infection. The mechanisms of infection are quite different for viruses and the other microorganisms.

Viruses:

Viruses must invade cells to reproduce. Typically, a virus reaches the lungs by traveling in droplets through the mouth and nose with inhalation. There, the virus invades the cells lining the airways and the alveoli. This invasion often leads to cell death either through direct killing by the virus or by self-destruction through apoptosis. Further lung damage occurs when the immune system responds to the infection. White blood cells, in particular lymphocytes, activate a variety of chemicals (cytokines), which make fluid leak into the alveoli. The combination of cellular destruction and fluid-filled alveoli interrupts the transportation of oxygen into the bloodstream. In addition to the effects on the lungs, many viruses affect other organs and can lead to illness affecting many different bodily functions. Viruses also make the body more susceptible to bacterial infection; for this reason, bacterial pneumonia often complicates viral CAP.

Bacteria and fungi:

Bacteria and fungi also typically enter the lung with inhalation, though they can reach the lung through the bloodstream if other parts of the body are infected. Often, bacteria live in parts of the upper respiratory tract and are constantly being inhaled into the alveoli. Once inside the alveoli, bacteria and fungi travel into the spaces between the cells and also between adjacent alveoli through connecting pores. This invasion triggers the immune system to respond by sending white blood cells responsible for attacking microorganisms (neutrophils) to the lungs. The neutrophils engulf and kill the offending organisms, but also release cytokines, which result in a general activation of the immune system. This causes the fever, chills, and fatigue common in CAP. The neutrophils, bacteria, and fluid leaked from surrounding blood vessels fill the alveoli and result in impaired oxygen transportation. Bacteria often travel from the lung into the blood stream and can result in serious illness such as septic shock, in which there is low blood pressure leading to damage in multiple parts of the body including the brain, kidney, and heart.

Parasites:

A variety of parasites can affect the lungs. In general, these parasites enter the body through the skin or by being swallowed. Once inside the body, these parasites travel to the lungs, most often through the blood. There, a similar combination of cellular destruction and immune response causes disruption of oxygen transportation.

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Ebola control: Effect of asymptomatic infection and acquired

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Infection Control Kits | Bound Tree Medical

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Coronavirus Symptoms – Ebola Virus

Ebola | History at 30,000 feet: The Big Picture | LibraryThing

ANNEX 1 Standard Precautions for Hospital Infection

Haemorrhagic fevers, Viral

Ebola Airborne?

Viral hemorrhagic fevers – Mayo Clinic

Ebola- Biological Weapons – GlobalSecurity.org

The Ebola Virus Pandemic: “A Weapon of Mass Destruction ..

Last of 3 treated at hospital for Ebola transfers

Ebola Airborne? Scientists Deny Ebola Is Airborne, But …

Generation and Behavior of Airborne Particles (Aerosols)

Top Doctors: Ebola May Become Airborne – Global Research

The Current Ebola Strain: It’s Airborne Folks – Eight Nigerian

Full Text – Clinical Infectious Diseases – Oxford Journals

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Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine …

Does the Constitution Still Matter?

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Americans right and left tend to give up on the Constitution whenever it gets in the way of policies they like.

 constitution_does_not_matter-169

The Constitution serves the nation; the nation does not serve the Constitution. That’s what the framers would say.

When it was written, Ben Franklin said the Founders gave us a republic, “if you can keep it.” Few people thought the republic would last another 227 years, but it has, and then again, it hasn’t. The Constitution’s supposed limits on government power helped create the illusion of the “most free and prosperous country on earth.”

But now, some Americans, right and left, give up on the Constitution whenever it gets in the way of policies they like. Some on the right defend anti-obscenity laws or want more mingling of church and state, while those on the left want endless economic regulation.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) asked President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Elena Kagan, “If I wanted to sponsor a bill and it said, Americans, you have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day, does that violate the Commerce Clause?” Amazingly, Kagan wouldn’t say, “Yes, of course!” She dodged the question.

Once on the Court, Kagan was part of the 5-4 majority who concluded the government can force us to buy something much more expensive than fruit and veggies: Obamacare can force us to buy health insurance.

Progressives have no problems with that. On the TV show, Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress.com said government making you buy vegetables isn’t so strange: “I don’t know how to tell you this, but government already makes you buy things like broccoli. What do you think food stamps are? What do you think school lunches are? The government has the power to tax you and buy things with it.”

Even creepier than wanting government to have so much power is the way progressives shift their arguments to get policy outcomes they want.

In 2009, Obama said that while Obamacare imposes a penalty on anyone who doesn’t buy health insurance, “Nobody considers that a tax.” The next year, when it appeared the Supreme Court would allow a tax but not a penalty, The New York Times reported, “Administration, Changing Stance, Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax.”

How effective is the Constitution if the Supreme Court itself is willing to help the President and Congress weasel their way around the constraints on federal power that the document was intended to impose?

big govMillhiser said that Congress has broad power to regulate commerce, to control things like hiring and firing, but can’t pass laws against rape and murder. I’m glad Millhiser recognizes some limits, although he seems to suggest that the feds can do whatever they want except pass laws that might actually protect people.

Timothy Sandefur of the Pacific Legal Foundation rebuted Millhiser, saying the Founders didn’t expect government to control everything that goes on in the economic realm any more than they expected it to control speech.

“The Constitution is a promise about how government power is going to be used. It’s a promise written by people who had experienced life under tyrannical government,” says Sandefur. “The lesson they learned from that and from their knowledge of previous tyrannies was that the most important issue is to wall off government power from our private lives and to make sure that nobody—not elected officials, not a king, not a dictator—gets to dictate how we live our lives.”

The Constitution doesn’t get the respect it deserves, but it can still slow the growth of government. In 1895, Congress passed an income tax, but the Supremes said, no, the Constitution does not give you that power—and the income tax was struck down. America at least avoided a national income tax for the next 18 years, until Congress and state legislatures approved an actual Constitutional Amendment.

supremes96The Constitution has also limited the power of politicians to ban handguns and political campaign contributions. Each time the Supremes say “no,” that may make the next crop of politicians a bit humbler.

The Constitution reversed President Harry Truman’s nationalization of the steel industry. Maybe that deterred Presidents Bush and Obama from nationalizing America’s banks after the collapse of the housing bubble. Maybe.

We benefit from the Constitution’s existence nearly every time it stymies politicians’ ambition to control us.

 

Related:

 

Resources:

TIME Magazine: Does The Constitution Still Matter?

Clayton McCleskey: The other side of the American Revolution

Teddy Bear Suicide

Would You Vote If Your Liberty

Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone

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Supreme-Court-of-the-United-States

The Government’s Duty to Protect the Lives of its Citizens under the Due Process Clause

The Issue: In what situations does the Constitution demand that a government protect the lives of its citizens from bad private actors?

The Supreme Court has generally declined to find that the Constitution imposes affirmative obligations on the government to help citizens. For example, the Court has rejected claims that the Constitution obligates the government to provide welfare benefits, housing, or a public education. Instead, the Court has viewed the Constitution as restraining government from depriving persons the right to pursue various liberties, such as freedom of speech or a life free from unreasonable searches or cruel punishments.

This principle, it turns out, applies even to something so basic as human lives. Clearly, the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the government itself from taking lives or liberty, except in a manner consistent with due process, and the Fourth Amendment specifically prohibits the government from unreasonably seizing persons. When it comes, however, to a government duty to protect persons from bad private actors, the Court has been reluctant to find one–even when reasonable government actors could easily have saved lives or prevented serious bodily harm.

1police stateOn June 27, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation. 

The decision, with an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia and dissents from Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, overturned a ruling by a federal appeals court in Colorado. The appeals court had permitted a lawsuit to proceed against a Colorado town, Castle Rock, for the failure of the police to respond to a woman’s pleas for help after her estranged husband violated a protective order by kidnapping their three young daughters, whom he eventually killed.

For hours on the night of June 22, 1999, Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock police to find and arrest her estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, who was under a court order to stay 100 yards away from the house. He had taken the children, ages 7, 9 and 10, as they played outside, and he later called his wife to tell her that he had the girls at an amusement park in Denver.

Ms. Gonzales conveyed the information to the police, but they failed to act before Mr. Gonzales arrived at the police station hours later, firing a gun, with the bodies of the girls in the back of his truck. The police killed him at the scene.

The theory of the lawsuit Ms. Gonzales filed in federal district court in Denver was that Colorado law had given her an enforceable right to protection by instructing the police, on the court order, that “you shall arrest” or issue a warrant for the arrest of a violator. She argued that the order gave her a “property interest” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment’s due process guarantee, which prohibits the deprivation of property without due process.

The district court and a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit dismissed the suit, but the full appeals court reinstated it and the town appealed. The Supreme Court’s precedents made the appellate ruling a challenging one for Ms. Gonzales and her lawyers to sustain.

DeShaney v Winnebago CountyA 1989 decision, DeShaney v. Winnebago County, held that the failure by county social service workers to protect a young boy from a beating by his father did not breach any substantive constitutional duty. By framing her case as one of process rather than substance, Ms. Gonzales and her lawyers hoped to find a way around that precedent.

Jessica Gonzales sued Castle Rock, alleging that the restraining order created a claim of entitlement to protective services under the Due Process Clause, a right which the city violated by failing to follow up on her calls.

The failure of Castle Rock police to respond did violate Jessica’s right to fair procedures, and should have constituted a due process violation.

But the majority saw little difference between the earlier case and this one, Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278. Ms. Gonzales did not have a “property interest” in enforcing the restraining order, Justice Scalia said, adding that “such a right would not, of course, resemble any traditional conception of property.”

Although the protective order did mandate an arrest, or an arrest warrant, in so many words, Justice Scalia said, “a well-established tradition of police discretion has long coexisted with apparently mandatory arrest statutes.”

DeShaney CaseBut Justices Stevens and Ginsburg, in their dissenting opinion, said “it is clear that the elimination of police discretion was integral to Colorado and its fellow states’ solution to the problem of under-enforcement in domestic violence cases.” Colorado was one of two dozen states that, in response to increased attention to the problem of domestic violence during the 1990’s, made arrest mandatory for violating protective orders.

“The court fails to come to terms with the wave of domestic violence statutes that provides the crucial context for understanding Colorado’s law,” the dissenting justices said.

Organizations concerned with domestic violence had watched the case closely and expressed disappointment at the outcome. Fernando LaGuarda, counsel for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said in a statement that Congress and the states should now act to give greater protection.

In another ruling, the court rebuked the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, for having reopened a death penalty appeal, on the basis of newly discovered evidence, after the ruling had become final.

The 5-to-4 decision, Bell v. Thompson, No. 04-514, came in response to an appeal by the State of Tennessee after the Sixth Circuit removed a convicted murderer, Gregory Thompson, from the state’s death row.

After his conviction and the failure of his appeals in state court, Mr. Thompson, with new lawyers, had gone to federal district court seeking a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that his initial lawyers had been constitutionally inadequate. The new lawyers obtained a consultation with a psychologist, who diagnosed Mr. Thompson as schizophrenic.

Bell v ThompsonBut the psychologist’s report was not included in the file of the habeas corpus petition in district court, which denied the petition. It was not until the Sixth Circuit and then the Supreme Court had also denied his petition, making the case final, that the Sixth Circuit reopened the case, finding that the report was crucial evidence that should have been considered.

In overturning that ruling in an opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the majority said the appeals court had abused its discretion in an “extraordinary departure from standard appellate procedures.” Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Sandra Day O’Connor joined the opinion.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the majority had relied on rules to the exclusion of justice. Judges need a “degree of discretion, thereby providing oil for the rule-based gears,” he said. Justices Stevens, Ginsburg and David H. Souter joined the dissent.

Estate of Sinthasomphone v Milwaukee (1992) is a federal district court decision involving another tragic set of facts. On a night in 1991, Milwaukee police received a 911 call informing them that a naked and badly beaten young man (who turned out to be a 14-year-old Laotian named Konerak Sinthasomphone) was at a specific address and needed help. The police responded to the call, as did the fire department and paramedics. When the police arrived, Jeffrey Dahmer, was trying to reassert control over the boy while two private citizens were trying to prevent him from doing so. The police ordered the two citizens and the fire dept to leave.

KonerakSinthasomphoneThese officers intentionally and deliberately refused to listen to the following specific information conveyed by Nichole Childress, Sandra Smith, and others: that Sinthasomphone was a child; that he was trying to escape from Dahmer, that Dahmer had referred to Sinthasomphone by various names; that Dahmer was attempting to physically control Sinthasomphone; and that Sinthasomphone was drugged, hurt, naked, and had been sexually abused. The officers threatened to arrest Childress and Smith if they persisted in trying to help Sinthasomphone or to provide information.

But because those two women had called 911, there were records of conversations between the police officers, their dispatcher, and the women involved.

The police ultimately delivered Sinthasomphone into Dahmer’s custody, without obtaining consent from Sinthasomphone or his parents. The police concluded that Dahmer and Sinthasomphone were “adult homosexual partners” who, at least at that time, were staying together in Dahmer’s apartment. By returning young Sinthasomphone to Dahmer, the police prevented any potential rescue of Sinthasomphone.
Jeffrey-dahmerThe name Jeffrey Dahmerwas largely unknown at the time. Today, everyone knows the story of the 31-year-old chocolate factory worker, a killing machine who committed the most appalling string of homicides in this city’s history.. Sinthasomphone became one of his seventeen victims, with his body dismembered and stuffed into Dahmer’s refrigerator.

Sinthasomphone’s family and estate sued, alleging Konerak’s constitutional rights were violated by Milwaukee police. 

 

On March 5, 1992, decision that “having dissected these cases, the Sinthasomphone plaintiffs alleged that “the police officers failed to protect Konerak Sinthasomphone from Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Sinthasomphone_ProtestThe three police officers in this case were entitled to “Qualified immunity” unless their conduct violated Konerak Sinthasomphone’s clearly established constitutional rights.

“Qualified immunity balances two important interests—the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably.” Specifically, it protects government officials from lawsuits alleging that they violated plaintiffs’ rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right. When determining whether or not a right was “clearly established,” courts consider whether a hypothetical reasonable official would have known that the defendant’s conduct violated the plaintiff’s rights.

Another claim based on a violation of the equal protection clause would violate clearly established law: “the cases uniformly emphasize that if police action — or even police inaction is a product of intentional discrimination, it violates the Equal Protection Clause.”

The district court dismissed the city’s motion for summary judgment on the
equal protection claim, finding that although many facts are not in dispute, there is a dispute over the relevancy of certain facts and the proper inferences to be drawn from these facts.

That motion was a rule 12 motion to dismiss based on the inadequacy of the complaint.

 

 

Related:

In Archie v. City of Racine, 847 F.2d 1211 (7th Cir.1988), the court of appeals for this circuit upheld my dismissal of claims that a Racine Fire Department dispatcher had failed to send a rescue vehicle to a woman who later died. In Ellsworth v. City of Racine, 774 F.2d 182 (7th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1047, 106 S.Ct. 1265, 89 L.Ed.2d 574, the court of appeals upheld the dismissal of a claim that the Racine Police Department, after agreeing to provide protection to the wife of an undercover narcotics officer, failed to protect her from a beating by a masked assailant. Losinski v. County of Trempealeau, 946 F.2d 544 (7th Cir.1991), concerned a woman involved in an intense domestic violence situation who, accompanied by a deputy sheriff, returned to her estranged husband’s trailer to retrieve her belongings and was killed by him. The court of appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against the county that deputy, relying on two factors: the State did not create the danger and it did not subject her involuntarily to an existing danger.

A few cases reach a contrary result in situations in which there is little room to misunderstand what the results of one’s actions or inaction will be. In White v. Rochford, 592 F.2d 381 (7th Cir.1979), a pre-DeShaney case, the court of appeals for this circuit determined that Chicago police violated the Constitution when they left three children, unattended, in a car on the Chicago Skyway after arresting the adult who had been driving the car, in which the children were riding. After exposure to the cold, the children left the car, crossed eight lanes of freeway traffic, and wandered around on the roadway at night searching for a telephone.

In Ross v. United States, 910 F.2d 1422 (7th Cir.1990), a 12-year-old boy slipped into the water of Lake Michigan. A friend summoned help, and within 10 minutes two life-guards, two fire fighters, one police officer, and two civilians, who were scuba-diving nearby, responded. However, before any rescue attempt could begin, a Lake County deputy sheriff arrived in a marine patrol boat. He insisted on enforcing an agreement between the city of Waukegan, Illinois, and Lake County, Illinois, which required the county to provide all police services on Lake Michigan. Pursuant to that agreement, the sheriff had promulgated a policy that directed all members of the sheriff’s department to prevent any civilian from attempting to rescue a drowning person and contemplated that only divers from the city of Waukegan Fire Department could perform rescues. The deputy ordered all rescue attempts to stop. When the civilian scuba divers offered to attempt a rescue at their own risk, the deputy threatened to arrest them. Twenty minutes later, 30 minutes after the first would-be rescuers had arrived, the officially authorized divers pulled the boy from the water. He later died. The court found that the complaint stated a claim against both Lake County and the individual deputy.

Horton v. Flenory, 889 F.2d 454 (3rd Cir. 1989), should now be added to the mix. Defendant Flenory was a former police officer and the owner of a private club. When his club was burglarized, he called a police officer with whom he had formerly served. Before the officer arrived, Flenory interrogated a former employee named Powdrill, whom he suspected to be the burglar, and Powdrill suffered a beating. After he arrived, the police officer did some investigation, but ultimately left Powdrill in the “good hands” of defendant Flenory. Powdrill then suffered another beating and died.

The police officer, in leaving Powdrill with Flenory, was acting under an official policy of the police department. The policy was to maintain a hands-off policy with respect to events transpiring in private clubs.

The court determined that DeShaney is “limited … to situations in which the state is not involved in the harm, either as a custodian or as an actor.” The court goes on to find that the defendants in that case were entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict “only if Mr. Powdrill’s death occurred at a time when he was entirely outside state custody and only if that death was not the result of an official policy.” At 458. The court found that Powdrill was in the custody of defendant Flenory, who was exercising a “delegated state function.”

Reed v. Gardner, 986 F.2d 1122, 1127 (7th Cir.1993), involved an intoxicated person whom a patrolman had allowed to have possession of a car and the car keys. Two hours later, that person slammed head on into another car, killing one of the passengers and injuring several others. Reversing a dismissal at the pleading stage, the court stated that “[s]ome dangers are so evident, while their victims are so random, that the state actors can be held accountable by any injured party.” (Emphasis added.) The court focused on the nature of the danger: is the danger sufficiently evident that a reasonable officer should be held accountable to have understood it.

The danger in Ross was undeniably evident: anyone has to know the inevitable result of leaving someone under water for 30 minutes. On the other hand, one does not inevitably know that getting a naked person off the streets, taking him to an apartment where his clothes and near-naked pictures of him are present, and leaving him there with a person who convincingly presents himself as a friend will result in death and dismemberment.

 

Resources:

No Duty to Protect: Two Exceptions – Police Chief Magazine

Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to

Addressing Police Misconduct Laws Enforced by the

Government’s Duty to Protect the Lives – UMKC School of Law

NYPD: Police Had No Duty to Protect Hero Who Stopped

Gun Owners of Vermont | Justices Rule Police Do Not Have

Major Lawsuit Filed Against The Salisbury Police Department

FBI — Qualified Immunity

Qualified immunity | Wex Legal Dictionary

Could Police Have Saved Young Victim?

Leagle.com

Equal Protection for Victims of Same-Sex Domestic Violence

Warren v. District of Columbia

White House Won’t Say How Much Taxpayers Pay For Obama Fundraising

lisaleaks:

When President Barack Obama takes Air Force One on a fundraising swing, he is required under the law to reimburse taxpayers for certain travel expenses.But as Mark Knoller of CBS News reports, the White House has made it a practice of not publicly releasing specific reimbursement figures, making it impossible for the public to see exactly how much they pay every time the president goes on a political trip.

Originally posted on BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ "CLINGERS of AMERICA!":

White House Won’t Say How Much Taxpayers Pay For Obama FundraisingDaily Caller ^ | 7:22 PM 10/12/2014 | Alex PappasPosted on 10/13/2014, 12:09:31 PM by Olog-hai

When President Barack Obama takes Air Force One on a fundraising swing, he is required under the law to reimburse taxpayers for certain travel expenses.But as Mark Knoller of CBS News reports, the White House has made it a practice of not publicly releasing specific reimbursement figures, making it impossible for the public to seehttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v73/gunnyg/th_big-1.jpg exactly how much they pay every time the president goes on a political trip.

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The EU’s Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreements

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EU TradeAccording to IMF estimates, over the next years, 90% of world demand will be generated outside the EU. That is why it is a key priority for the EU to open up more market opportunities for European business by negotiating new Free Trade Agreements with key countries. If we were to complete all our current free trade talks, we could add 2.2% to the EU’s GDP or €275 billion. This is equivalent of adding a country as big as Austria or Denmark to the EU economy. In terms of employment, these agreements could generate 2.2 million new jobs or additional 1% of the EU total workforce. Below is an overview of the most important on-going and concluded free trade negotiations.

Main partners
In the first quarter of 2014, based on non-seasonally adjusted data, the EU28 recorded external current account surpluses with the USA (+€25.1 bn), Switzerland (+€16.5 bn), Hong Kong (+€6.4 bn), Brazil (+€5.5 bn), Canada
(+€2.4 bn) and India (+€0.4 bn), and deficits with China (-€26.9 bn), Russia (-€16.3 bn) and Japan (-€3.2 bn).

United States of America The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks started with a round held on 8-12 July 2013 in Washington, D.C. Negotiating groups set out respective approaches and ambitions in twenty various areas that the TTIP is set to cover, including custom duties and technical standards for goods produced on both sides of Atlantic.

The second round, which took place from 11-15 November in Brussels, focused on trade rules and the regulatory component of the TTIP that will feed into a political review in January 2014 (IP/13/1091).

The initiative of a transatlantic agreement is based on the recommendations of the EU-US High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth that steered the deliberations on the future EU-US relations since late 2011. According to an independent study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, an ambitious and comprehensive trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership would bring the EU economic gains of €119 billion a year once the agreement is fully implemented.

Agreement on investment with China Investment negotiations were officially launched on the occasion of the EU-China Summit held in Beijing on 21 November 2013 (IP/13/1099 and MEMO/13/1012). The first round of talks took place at the end 2013. The Commission will negotiate on the basis of the mandate approved by the Council on 18 October (MEMO/13/913).

FDIThe current level of bilateral investment is way below what could be expected from two of the most important economic blocks on the planet. Just 2.1% of overall EU Foreign direct investment (FDI) is in China. The main purposes for these negotiations are the progressive abolition of restrictions on trade and foreign direct investment as well as promoting the overall objectives of EU policy in the world. The EU-China investment agreement will improve access to the Chinese market and provide EU investors in China a high level of investment protection in a single, coherent text.

CanadaOn 18 October 2013, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (IP/13/972). It will be the first free trade agreement between the European Union and a G8 country. It will remove over 99% of tariffs between the two economies and create sizeable new market access opportunities in services and investment. Based on the political agreement, technical negotiations will have to be completed so as to finalize the legal text of the agreement.

In 2012 Canada was the EU’s 12th most important trading partner whereas the EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, after the United States. In 2012, the value of bilateral trade in goods between the EU and Canada was €61.8 billion. An economic study jointly released by the EU and Canada before the negotiations showed that a comprehensive trade agreement could increase their bilateral trade by another €25.7 billion.

JapanThe EU and Japan launched negotiations for a free trade agreement in April 2013 (MEMO/13/348) and have held so far three rounds of talks. The third round took place from 21-25 October in Brussels (IP/13/998) and progress in negotiations was discussed at the EU–Japan Summit in Tokyo on 19 November (MEMO/13/1015).

Japan is the EU’s second biggest trading partner in Asia, after China. An FTA could increase EU GDP by 0.6% and boost EU exports to Japan by a third. 400,000 additional jobs are expected in the EU as a result of this deal.

The Commission is aware of concerns in some Member States and industry sectors, particularly as regards non-tariff barriers in Japan. This is exactly why the Commission agreed with Japan – even before potential negotiations started – that Europe could ‘pull the plug’ on negotiations after one year if Japan does not demonstrate that it is removing certain non-tariff barriers.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – The EU negotiates currently with four countries of the ASEAN region. The negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, launched in 2010, were concluded successfully in December last year (IP/12/1380) and the agreement was initialed in Singapore on 20 September 2013 (IP/13/849). However, the talks on investment protection that started only after the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, giving the EU new competencies in this area, are still on-going. On 18 October, the Council adopted also a mandate which will allow the European Commission to start investment negotiations with other ASEAN countries (MEMO/13/913).

In the meantime, the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement continue with Malaysia and Vietnam. The 5th round of FTA negotiations with Vietnam took place in Hanoi on 4-8 November 2013. The negotiations have entered a substantial phase and the sixth round of negotiations will take place in Brussels in the week of 13 January 2014. Thailand started bilateral negotiations with the EU only later, in March this year (press release). The third round of these talks will take place in Brussels during the week of 9 December.

The EU remains open to start negotiations with other ASEAN partners and hopes one day to integrate these deals into a global region-to-region trade agreement. As a whole, with €191 billion of trade in goods in 2012 and €51 billion services in 2011, ASEAN is today the EU’s third largest trading partner outside Europe, after the US and China and well ahead of other partners.

Southern MediterraneanThe EU has completed so far two rounds of negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with Morocco and the third round of talks took place in January 2014. The deal should strengthen EU-Morocco trade relations building upon existing agreements, including the Association Agreement of 2000 and the agreement on agricultural, processed agricultural and fisheries products of 2012. Morocco is the first Mediterranean country to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU. The Commission has also a mandate to start a similar process with Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.

IndiaSubstantive progress has been achieved since the beginning of the negotiations in 2007. Now both sides need to go the final mile to put the package together.  India combines a sizable and growing market of more than 1 billion people and is an important trading partner for the EU as well as an emerging global economic power.

MercosurNegotiations of an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement were launched in 2000, but suspended in 2004 due to substantial differences on the Trade part of the agreement. Negotiations were resumed in May 2010 (IP/10/496). Since then, nine negotiating rounds were held between the EU and Mercosur, which have focused on the trade rules rather than customs duty reductions.

At the EU-Mercosur trade ministerial meeting held in Santiago on 26 January 2013, the EU and Mercosur agreed to exchange offers on market access concessions for goods, services and government procurement not later than in the last quarter. Work related to preparation of the offers on both sides is on-going.

Gulf Cooperation Council – Negotiations for a free trade agreement were suspended by the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2008. Informal contacts between negotiators continue to take place.

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) – Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development partnerships between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), based on the Cotonou Agreement concluded in 2000. The aim is to consolidate free access to the EU market for products from our ACP partners, foster trade-related cooperation and attract investment, in order to promote sustainable development.

The negotiations started in 2002 and have covered seven regional groups: West Africa, Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), East African Community (EAC), South African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group, the Caribbean (CARIFORUM) and the Pacific. The EU continues the talks with all of them except CARIFORUM that signed a full Economic Partnership Agreement already in 2008.The EU Negotiations are now entering a decisive phase in the Eastern African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group. In the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa progress is uneven.

From 15 to 19 July 2013, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht traveled to four African countries: Kenya (part of the EAC) and Namibia, Botswana and South Africa (members of the SADC EPA Group) (IP/13/686). Commissioner De Gucht used this opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment relations with the African regions, in particular through comprehensive trade and development partnerships under EPAs. Commissioner De Gucht returned to the region in November, visiting South Africa again, and then Cameroon (Central African region) and Côte d’Ivoire (Western Africa) (IP/13/1057).

The EU has twelve trade negotiations under way and several more trade and development negotiations (EPAs) ongoing.

Free Trade Agreements finished but not yet applied

Eastern Neighborhood The EU has recently concluded negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. The DCFTAs are part of the Association Agreements with these three countries. The official initialing of the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia took place during the Eastern Partnership Summit on 29 November 2013 in Vilnius.

Given the decision taken by Armenia in the beginning of September to join the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the steps required for the agreement with this country to become effective are not pursued at this moment.

The EU is the main trading partner for each the three countries. In 2011 trade with the EU represented more than 50% of total trade flows for Moldova, 32% of overall trade for Armenia and 26% for Georgia. Once implemented, the DCFTAs would provide for a significantly improved mutual access for goods and services between the EU and its eastern neighbors. Furthermore, they will ensure an open, stable and predictable legal environment for the benefit of businesses and consumers on both sides.

Ukraine – The EU and Ukraine concluded the negotiations for a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) in December 2011. On 15 May 2013, the Commission adopted the proposals for Council decisions on the signing and provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement , including its trade part (IP/13/436). Ukraine decided to suspend temporarily the preparations for signing but the EU offer is still on the table (Presidents’ statement).

SingaporeThe negotiations for a Free Trade Agreements (FTA) between the European Union and Singapore were concluded in December 2012 (IP/12/1380) and the agreement was initialed in Singapore on 20 September 2013 (IP/13/849). The procedures allowing the agreement to become effective are expected to be completed by late 2014.

This is the EU’s second ambitious agreement with a key Asian trading partner, after the EU-Korea FTA, and the first with a member of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Once fully implemented, the deal will open up markets on both sides in a number of sectors.

Singapore is by far its largest EU trading partner in the South-East Asia, accounting for about a third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services, and for more than three-fifths of investment stocks between the two regions. Over 9000 EU companies have set up their regional hub in Singapore.

There are also five interim Economic Partnership Agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific States that have been negotiated but have not yet entered into force.  These are with Cote d’Ivoire, Central Africa (Cameroon), the Southern African Development Community, Ghana and the East African Community.

In total, the EU has finished negotiating ten trade agreements that have yet to enter into force.

Free Trade Agreements already in place

Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) – The Association Agreement between the European Union Central American (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) was approved by the European Parliament on 11 December 2012 (IP/12/1353). The trade provisions of the agreement apply with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama since 1 August 2013 (IP/13/758), with Costa Rica and El Salvador since 1 October 2013 (IP/13/881) and with Guatemala since 1st December 2013 (IP/13/1183).

This agreement opens up markets on both sides, helping to establish a stable business and investment environment and foster integration between the EU and the whole of the Central America. The agreement is also meant to reinforce economic integration between the members of the Central American region.

The EU is Central America’s second biggest trading partner. In 2012, the total trade flows in goods amounted to €14 billion, including almost €1.4 billion worth of trade with Honduras, €1.2 billion with Panama and €0.4 billion with Nicaragua. Benefits of the agreement will be particularly tangible for the Central America’s economy that is expected to grow by over two and a half billion euros annually once the agreement applies to the entire region.

Colombia and PeruThe FTA with members of the Andean region, Colombia and Peru, has been provisionally applied with Peru since 1 March 2013 (IP/13/173) and with Colombia since 1 August 2013 (IP/13/749).

The EU is the second largest trading partner of the Andean region after the US.  It is expected that, once fully implemented, the deal with both Andean partners will result in total tariff saving for European and Andean companies of more than €500 million per year. The improved, more stable conditions for trade and investment are expected to boost trade and investment between the two regions. The aim of the agreement between the EU, Colombia and Peru is also to foster regional integration. Therefore, the door is still open for the other Andean countries – Ecuador and Bolivia – to enter into the partnership.

South Korea – The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force in July 2011. This has been the first of a new generation of free trade agreements that went further than ever before at lifting trade barriers and making it easier for European and Korean companies to do business together. As the FTA has lowered import tariffs for European products at the Korean border, EU exports to the peninsular country have grown strongly giving the EU a trade surplus with Korea for the first time in 15 years. Marking two years since the start of the implementation phase, the state of play was discussed, Inter alia, on the occasion of the EU–South Korea Summit held in Brussels on 8 November (IP/13/1046 and MEMO/13/959). On 11 November the parties initialled an Additional Protocol to the EU-Korea FTA to take into account the accession of Croatia to the EU.

MexicoSince the entry into force in October 2000 of this comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, total bilateral trade has doubled, passing from €21.7 billion in 2000 to €47.1 billion in 2012. In the margins of the EU-CELAC 1 summit in Santiago in January 2013, the EU and Mexico agreed to explore the options for a modernization of the EU-Mexico Agreement. The new talks should deepen the existing provisions but also cover areas not included in the existing agreement, such as services, investment, public procurement, trade rules, etc. Following-up on the decision taken by Presidents Barroso and Peña Nieto in the summit, a Joint Working Group, tasked with a reflection on the modernization of the agreement, met on 22-23 October 2013.

Economic Partnership Agreements are being implemented in with three regions:  the Caribbean (fifteen CARIFORUM states), the Pacific (the only country currently applying is Papua New Guinea) and Eastern and Southern Africa (four ESA countries – Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Seychelles).

South Africa - South Africa is the EU’s largest trading partner in Africa.  The Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement, in force since 2000, established a free trade area that covers 90% of bilateral trade between the EU and South Africa. Liberalisation was completed by 2012. South Africa is now involved in further negotiations with the EU as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group.

ChileThe EU and Chile concluded an Association Agreement in 2002, which included a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in February 2003. The EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement is broad and comprehensive and covers all the areas of EU-Chile trade relations. EU is Chile’s second largest source of imports, after the USA. The EU is also Chile’s third largest export market, after the recent rise of China as an important export market for the EU.

On top of these “classic” free trade deals, Free Trade Agreements are a core component of many Association Agreements as well as Customs Unions (Andorra, San Marino, Turkey). Hence the EU also has free trade deals in force with a number of countries and territories in Europe (Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia) and the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia) and three with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (Caribbean, Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa). Trade provisions of the agreement with Syria are currently not applied.

The EU therefore has already in place trade agreements with some 50 partners.

Related:

Further Eurostat information

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EUROPAPRESS RELEASES

Centre for Economic Policy Research

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

EU-CELAC Action Plan 2013-2015 – the European External

EU provides new support to help migrants and – Europa

 

EUROPAPRESS RELEASES – Press release – “Regional

Who’s scripting the EU-US trade deal? | Corporate Europe

Pacific Alliance and Mercosur will Attempt Convergence, Sponsored by Chile

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mercosul_em_sintesis_es_set2014A first meeting to assess opportunities for accords between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur will take place next November in Santiago de Chile confirmed, and confirmed by Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz.

The meeting is scheduled for 24 November and the objective is to establish a road map that could lead to a convergence of the open market Pacific countries, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico with Mercosur Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, which have a more restrictive approach towards the private sector.

“The idea is to discuss different forms for specific accords between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, on the understanding that at this stage it is not realistic to think about a tariffs and regulations convergence, given the existing differences,” admitted Muñoz.

The November meeting will be held at foreign ministers level plus representatives from regional organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the UN economic office Economic Commission for Latin America and the

(ECLAC), ALADI, Latin American integration association plus academics.

The idea of a possible integration was first announced by Chile last June during the summit of Pacific Alliance presidents in Mexico. The Alliance only has three years and its main objective is to promote trade and investments with Asia and the Pacific. Contrary to Mercosur, the Alliance promotes free trade, open markets, a strong private sector with governments limited to regulatory tasks.

MercosurChile also admitted that in the event of a possible convergence between the two blocks a ‘two speed’ approach should not be discarded.

“If some countries can move faster towards integration and are willing to do so, they should be encouraged and be facilitated to move in that direction, while the rest can move at a slower pace but with a common horizon,” said Muñoz.

“You can argue that the Pacific Alliance will move faster and Mercosur has its own rhythm, in a way it meets its own commitments, but we must be aware that a convergence is needed, almost imperative for a strong regional architecture,” added the Chilean official.

Alliance members have a trade agreement with significant tariff reductions for 92% of items traded, represent 36% of the region’s GDP, and over 50% of exports. Uruguay and Paraguay are observers of the Pacific Alliance and have publicly announced they want to join the group, but are limited by the consensus clause that binds all Mercosur members regarding third parties.

EU bilateral free tradeThe EU is currently negotiating a trade agreement with Mercosur as part of the overall negotiation for a bi-regional Association Agreement which also cover a political and a cooperation pillar.

These negotiations with Mercosur were officially relaunched at the EU-Mercosur summit in Madrid on 17 May 2010. The objective is to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement, covering not only trade in industrial and agricultural goods but also services, improvement of rules on government procurement, intellectual property, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade.

Nine negotiation rounds (the last one from 22 to 26 October 2012) have taken place since then.

Until now, rounds have focused on the part of the agreement related to rules and the two regions are still working on the preparation of their market access offers. No date has been set yet for the exchange of market access offers.

In 1995, the EU and Mercosur countries signed an Inter-regional Framework Cooperation Agreement, including cooperation on trade-related matters. This agreement is pending ratification to date

Trade picture

Mercosur countries:

  • The EU is Mercosur’s first trading partner, accounting for more than 20% of Mercosur’s total trade in 2012. EU-Mercosur trade in that year was €112 billion.
  • Mercosur is the EU’s 8th most important trading partner, accounting for 3% of EU’s total trade. EU’s exports to the region have steadily increased over the last years, going up from € 28 billion in 2007 to €57 billion in 2013
  • Mercosur’s biggest exports to the EU are made of agricultural products (43% of total exports) and raw materials (28%), while the EU mostly exports manufactured products to Mercosur and notably machinery and transport equipment (46% of total exports) and chemicals (22% of total exports) [data of 2013].
  • The EU is also a major exporter of commercial services to Mercosur (€18.5 billion in 2012), as well as the biggest foreign investor in the region with a stock of foreign direct investment that has steadily increased over the past years and which amounted to €285 billion in 2012 compared to € 130 billion in 2000.

EU-Mercosur (5) “trade in goods” statistics

EU importsEU exportsBalance201120122013Years050-50100Billions

EU-Mercosur (5) “trade in services” statistics

EU importsEU exportsBalance201020112012Years01020Billions

Foreign direct investment

Inward stocksOutward stocksBalance2012050100150200250300

More statistics on Mercosur

EU and Mercosur

• Mercosur was established in 1991 and encompasses Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela which officially joined in July 2012. In December 2012,the Protocol of Accession of Bolivia to Mercosur was signed. This Protocol is pending ratification by all Parliaments in Mercosur countries. The EU has bilateral Framework and Cooperation agreements with Argentina , Brazil , Paraguay and Uruguay .

The EU has bilateral Partnership and Cooperation agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

All Mercosur countries, with the exception of Paraguay, will no longer benefit from the the GSP scheme, as of 1 January 2014, due to their classification as high middle-income countries. However, they will remain GSP eligible countries.

Trading with Mercosur

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Resources:

Mercosur

Portal Oficial MERCOSUL / MERCOSUR

Member states of Mercosur

Pacific Alliance and Mercosur

Mercosur – Trade – European Commission

Mercosur: South America’s Fractious Trade Bloc

MERCADO COMÚN DEL SUR (MERCOSUR) – Casa Asia

Mercado Comun del Sur – Financial Dictionary

Brazil wants to speed Mercosur/Pacific Alliance free trade

Amnesty for Illegal Aliens, Legalization and Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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Legacy of the IRCA AmnestyAn amnesty is a reward to those breaking the law

Giving amnesty to illegal aliens forgives their act of illegally entering the United States and in addition forgives related illegal activities such as driving illegally and working using false documents. An amnesty results in large numbers of foreigners who illegally entered the United States being given legal status as a reward for breaking the law. Amnesties encourage additional illegal immigration into the United States.

Politicians and the mainstream media often use code phrases to refer to amnesty for illegal aliens, such as “legalization for undocumented immigrants”, “earned legal status”, “earned path to citizenship”, “pathway to citizenship”,  “comprehensive immigration reform”, and “legal status for illegal immigrants.” This terminology is used to obscure the issue.

Indeed, the first objective of incremental amnesty proponents is basic legalization of illegal aliens. Even though a full amnesty may not be granted, allowing illegal aliens to live, go to school, and work in the United States – legally – achieves the fundamental objective of giving illegal aliens legal status. Thus, when questioning elected public servants on their position on amnesty, one must really ask them for their position on legalization for illegal aliens in order to get a definitive reply.

ImmigrationThe 2013 version of amnesty for illegal aliens is the “Gang of Eight” Senate Bill 744 , Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, introduced on April 16, 2013. This is the worst amnesty bill in United States History.

The United states, for over 200 years, gave amnesty only in individual cases and never to large numbers of illegal aliens. Then in 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) giving amnesty to all illegal aliens who had evaded law enforcement for at least four years or who were working illegally in agriculture.

The 1986 amnesty resulted in 2.8 million illegal aliens being admitted as legal immigrants to the United States. Because of chain migration, those granted amnesty subsequently brought in an additional 142,000 dependents – relatives brought in to the United States to join family members now amnestied.

The amnesty of 1986 was clearly stated by Congress to be a “one time only” amnesty. Yet including the 1986 amnesty, Congress has passed a total of 7 amnesties for illegal aliens:

ICE-Fines-and-Forfeitures

  • The Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) Amnesty of 1986 – the “one-time only” blanket amnesty for some 2.8 million illegal aliens. The Act amnestied long-term illegal aliens who paid fees, passed criminal background checks, and took English classes and classes on US history and civics. This Act for the first time prohibited employment of illegal aliens. Enforcement was specified in the Act, but was virtually ignored. Indeed, in 2004, only three employers in the entire nation were fined for hiring illegal aliens.
  • Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 – a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
  • Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 – an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
  • The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 - an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.
  • The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 – an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
  • The Late Amnesty of 2000 – an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.
  • The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 - a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.

In 2007, Ted Kennedy and John McCain floated yet another amnesty for illegal aliens under the Bush administration. It collapsed due to conservative Republican opposition and immense pressure from the American people who saw it for the sham that it was.

In 2013, the Gang of 8 are trying to force yet another gang amnesty for illegal aliens upon the American People. As the Russians say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

An amnesty benefits neither our society nor those being amnestied, but it does benefit employers who hire low-wage immigrant labor. An Immigration and Naturalization Service study found that after living in the United States for 10 years, the average amnestied illegal alien had only a seventh grade education and earned less than $9,000 a year. Amnestied illegal aliens have no sponsor to support them financially. Instead, by enacting an amnesty, Congress places a staggering financial burden on American taxpayers to support those amnestied.

The total net cost of the 1986 IRCA amnesty (direct and indirect costs of services and benefits to the former illegal aliens, less their tax contributions) amounted to over $78 billion in the ten years following the amnesty. (Center for Immigration Studies study).

Congress has paved the way for more amnesties. In 2001, Mexico’s President Vicente Fox began to lobby the United States to “regularize” the status of millions of illegal aliens from Mexico living in the United States. Both U.S. political parties, in attempts to pander to the Hispanic vote, speak of amnesties in various forms for illegal aliens. The Democratic Party wants the immigrant vote and the Republican Party wants cheap labor. Neither wants what is best for our country – to uphold our rule of law.

Latino votersBy granting amnesties, Congress has set a dangerous precedent that threatens homeland security. Our normal immigration process involves screening to block potential criminals and terrorists from entering the United States. Yet millions of illegal aliens have avoided this screening and an amnesty would allow them to permanently bypass such screening.

Census Bureau 2000 data indicate that 700,000 to 800,000 illegal aliens settle in the U.S. each year, with approximately 8-11 million illegal aliens now currently living in the United States (up to 12 million, according to Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge). Note that the stale and deliberately underestimated government figure of 11 million is not reliable. Researchers have estimated up to 40 million illegal aliens to be living in the United States.

In January, 2004 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)- an amnesty in disguise. He revived this proposal in November, 2004, just after the election. President Bush’s announcement directly caused at least a 15% to 25% increase in illegals entering the United States. (See The Promise of Amnesty.)

Numerous polls showed that nearly 70% of Americans oppose amnesty for all illegal aliens and that Hispanics were less likely to reelect President Bush because he supported amnesty.

Amnesty is but one aspect of the Congress’ policy of opening US borders to foreign job seekers. Deliberately not enforcing immigration law is another. See Enforcement of immigration law – or lack thereof.

MUST SEE VIDEO IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND!

The following video reveals how dangerous our porous US-Mexico border is and the danger that cartel operations pose to America. In this 40 minute NAFBPO video, Zack Taylor of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) reveals critical information about our porous border. It is well worth watching.

 More videos Here:

The two fundamental ways to protect America from unauthorized aliens entering our country, evading apprehension at our border, and displacing American workers in the workplace are to:

  1. secure our border – particularly the US – Mexico border, and
  2. enforce existing laws which make it illegal to aid, abet, and hire illegal aliens. Mandatory use of the federal E-verify and IMAGE programs would go a long way toward achieving that objective.

The Secure Fence Act of 2006 called for at least 700 miles of double layered fencing along the US – Mexico Border.

As of February, 2009, The Department of Homeland Security had constructed only 5% of the border fence called for by the Secure Fence Act of 2006, yet in locations where the fence was built it has significantly cut illegal immigration.

This following video reports comprehensive research conducted by American Border Patrol on the Border Fence, Where it is, and How it Works.

This interactive map allows you to view the border fence – or lack thereof – at various locations. It is evident that only small portions of our porous border actually have been secured with appropriate fencing.

This video explains how the Department of Homeland Security has misled the mainstream media and the American people on border fence security. Border Fence Fraud – This is Not a Fence.

The video reports that on December 18, 2008, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stated that “we now have over 500 miles of fence”. On December 10, 2008 and January 7, 2009, American Border Patrol flew survey missions along the border, concluding that 527 miles of “something” were built, but it was not fencing. A December 20, 2008 DHS press release explained that the government was counting 248 miles of vehicle barriers in the total. Excluding vehicle barriers, only 274 miles of fencing had been built as of January 6, 2009. When old existing mat fencing is subtracted from the total, only 199 miles of new fencing had been built by DHS, not the 700 miles as demanded by Congress.

Indeed, the Arizona Republic newspaper reported that drug smugglers were now using portable ramps to get over the vehicle barriers. Flimsy vehicle barriers do not count as a fence and do not follow the mandate of Congress.

In the following video, American Border Patrol explains how near San Diego, a 10 mile double layer fence has cut illegal entry by 90%. Unfortunately, hundreds of miles of old, broken fence still exist along our border.

Border Fence Cover Up.

The video The Fence and the Mexican Drug War explains that secure fencing actually works.

The video documents Customs and Border Inspection reports that when 6.07 miles of pedestrian fencing was completed near the Columbus, New Mexico port of entry, apprehensions in that corridor also dropped more than 60 percent from 2007 to 2008. Narcotics transport dropped by 100 percent during the same time period. The video shows that as of September 24, 2007, a new fence had cut off hundreds of vehicle trails across the border.

Recommendation

In order to secure our nation from illegal entry, Congress should reinstate the Secure Fence Act of 2006, extending fence construction to 1,000 miles of double-layered fencing. Construction and maintenance must be fully funded. A 1,951-mile full-length border fence would cost only 3.2 percent of the $104 billion spent on highway construction annually.

Advanced technology

Advanced technology has been developed by ABP to detect traffic across the border. The system, named IDENTISEIS, uses seismic detection equipment used by major oil companies, modified to detect surface disturbances. It can detect people walking at a distance of 600 feet, as compared to sensors used by the Border Patrol, which detect traffic only at a distance of 30 feet. IDENTISEIS also detects vehicles and low flying airplanes.

Integration of US border technology and IDENTISEIS intrusion detection.

References:

1. “Illegal immigration invasion numbers analysis“, Fred Elbel, www.DesertInvasion.us, August, 2004

2. “How many illegal aliens are in the U.S.?” The Social Contract (Summer 2007).  The issue includes the following articles:

3. “Introduction: How Many Foreign Nationals Actually Live in the U.S. Illegally?“, Diana Hull, Ph.D., Summer 2007

4. “Illegal Aliens: Counting the Uncountable“,  James H. Walsh, Summer 2007

5. “The Challenge of Accurately Estimating the Population of Illegal Immigrants“, Nancy Bolton, Summer 2007

6. “Racing Backwards – The Fiscal Impact of Illegal Immigration in California, Revisited“, Philip J. Romero, Summer 2007

7. “How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the U.S.? – An Alternative Methodology for Discovering the Numbers“, Fred Elbel, Summer 2007

8. State Immigration Data Profiles

Resources:

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Immigration Issues – Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform

Solution Found to Faulty Border Sensors — IDENTISEIS

California Legislature Approves Bill Enabling 15 Community

Landmark bill allowing community colleges to offer four year

Democrats Want Votes; Republicans Want Cheap Labor

Obama might allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay

Obama on Illegal Immigrant DREAMers Demanding Legalization: ‘What America Is About’

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