Obamacare Fines to be Seized From Bank Accounts?

Man who attempted to sign up claims he was threatened with drivers license being revoked, federal tax lien on home

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
October 2, 2013

A man who attempted to sign up for Obamacare online was told that a fine of over $4,000 dollars a year for refusing to take out mandatory health insurance could be taken directly from his bank account, and that his drivers license would be suspended and a federal tax lien placed against his home, according to an entry on the HealthCare.gov Facebook page.

Image: Obama signs the Affordable Care Act.

If true, the implementation of Obamacare is going to be a whole lot more draconian than Americans have been led to believe.

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Madagascar battling worst locust plague since 1950s

Locusts threatening livelihood of 60% of population, and have already destroyed a quarter of Madagascar’s food crops

MDG Locusts in Madagascar

A locust swarm in Madagascar’s Isalo national park. Photograph: Tiphaine Desjardin/FAO

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At least 1.5m hectares (3.7m acres) could be infested by locusts in two-thirds of the country by September, warns the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Findings from a damage assessment indicate that rice and maize crop losses due to locusts in the mid- and south-western parts of Madagascar vary, on average, from 40% to 70%, reaching up to 100% in some plots.

Madagascar’s agriculture ministry declared a national disaster in November. The food security and livelihoods of 13 million people are at stake, about 60% of the island’s population. Around 9 million people depend directly on agriculture for food and income.

“We don’t have enough funds for pesticide, helicopters and training,” said Alexandre Huynh, the FAO’s representative in Madagascar. “What is extremely costly is to run helicopters [needed to spray pesticides]. We have to start in September, and we have two to three months to prepare. We need $22.4m [£15.1m] but we are quite short of that. Discussions are going on with donors.”

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VIDEO: Knife-wielding suspect grabs 2-year-old hostage in Oklahoma Walmart

Sammie Wallace, 37, took a young girl hostage June 17, Midwest City police said. He was killed after a 30-minute standoff, which authorities say was a justified shooting.

The moment suspect Sammie  Wallace snatched a 2-year-old girl from a shopping cart inside an Oklahoma Walmart.

The moment suspect Sammie Wallace snatched a 2-year-old girl from a shopping cart inside an Oklahoma Walmart.    KFOR-TV

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The moment suspect Sammie Wallace snatched a 2-year-old girl from a shopping cart inside an Oklahoma Walmart.

Footage of a deadly hostage situation in a suburban Oklahoma City Walmart has been released by police.

The surveillance video shows the dramatic moments of June 17 as wanted felon Sammie Wallace grabs a 2-year-old girl inside the store, Midwest City police said. A police captain eventually shot the 37-year-old to death at point-blank range — action that was justified, according to police Chief Brandon Clabes.

“I mean we waited until the last second to use deadly force,” Clabes told NBC affiliate KFOR-TV on Friday. “No one wants to take a life, especially in the line of duty.”

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Incurable Disease Threatens U.S. Citrus Crop

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Marc Lallanilla, LiveScience

Florida’s $9 billion orange crop, the largest in the world after Brazil’s, may not survive an incurable disease that threatens to wipe out citrus groves throughout the United States.

The disease, known as “citrus greening” or huanglongbing, is caused by a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The bacteria are spread from tree to tree by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psyllid, The New York Times reports.

A tree affected by citrus greening may not show symptoms for years. Eventually, however, the leaves turn yellow and fall, while the tree’s fruit fails to mature, falling to the ground prematurely before the tree slowly dies.

University of California

Trees infected by citrus greening have yellowing leaves and bitter, discolored fruit.

“We have got a real big problem,” Vic Story, a lifelong Florida citrus grower, told The Times. “It’s definitely the biggest threat in my lifetime, and I’m 68. This is a tree killer.”

There is no known cure for citrus greening (which also affects grapefruit, lemons and other citrus crops), despite the best efforts of numerous research labs. The Candidatus bacteria is so devastating to citrus crops that it was classified as a bioterror weapon in 2003, The New Yorker reports.

A Global Blight

Though the Sunshine State is now the most critically affected — all 32 of Florida’s citrus-growing counties have reported the disease — the blight has also been found in California, Arizona, Texas and other states. China, Mexico and Brazil are also grappling with infestations.

And it keeps coming: Between 1985 and 2003, officials intercepted 170 cases of Asian citrus psyllids entering U.S. ports on plant material, according to a report from the University of California, Davis, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“The industry that made Florida, that is synonymous with Florida, that is a staple on every American breakfast table, is totally threatened,” Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told The Times. “If we don’t find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry.”

An Industry Under Assault

Citrus greening isn’t the only problem threatening the state’s citrus industry, which employs more than 75,000 people. Rainfall in Florida this year has been 40 percent to 70 percent below the average of the past 30 years, Bloomberg reports.

Hurricanes, canker disease (another bacterial infection of citrus fruits), hard freezes and the vagaries of the international orange market, which Brazil dominates, have also battered Florida’s citrus industry.

Agricultural economists have taken note of the toll exacted by citrus greening and other threats to Florida’s most iconic crop. In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut Florida’s orange crop forecast for the fifth straight month; in October 2012, the department had estimated 154 million boxes, but now expects the state to produce about 11 percent less, or roughly 138 million boxes.

Researchers Fight Back

The industry isn’t giving up easily, however. In the past six years, citrus growers have spent $60 million to establish a research center seeking to eradicate citrus greening, according to RT.com.

Florida lawmakers have also approved an $8 million fund for research into the condition, while Washington State University has begun a $9-million, five-year project to develop genetically modified psyllids that cannot transmit citrus greening.

Even Coca-Cola is fighting back: The company, which owns Minute Maid, has announced plans to invest $2 billion to plant 25,000 acres of new Florida orange groves.

Coca-Cola’s investment is “a real morale boost to the industry and a sign they have confidence we will find a cure for greening,” Adam Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, told The Times.

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Two Pastors in India Arrested After Being Beaten and Threatened by Hindu Mob

Pastor Mallik Arjun knew something was wrong when he received a call from the mobile phone of his friend and fellow pastor in Gadag District, Karnataka state – but it was a stranger on the other end of the line.

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The stranger told him that Pastor Nagesh Naik was being held at a hotel near Korlahalli village and to come and find him. It was a Sunday evening, Feb. 3, after Pastor Arjun’s colleague had led a home worship of the Gypsy Mission church in a neighboring village.

“I went with three church members on two motorbikes, and we were looking for such hotel all through the way and could not find one,” Pastor Arjun, of the Indian Pentecostal Church, told Morning Star News. “Finally we found a mob swelling up in a temple, and that was where they kept him – and as soon as we reached the temple, they accused us of forceful conversion and started to attack me, Pastor Nagesh and the other three Christians.”

At Hanumanthappa temple in Korlahalli village, near Mundargi, the Hindu extremists beat and kicked the Christians, threatened to set them on fire and tried to force them to worship Hindu idols, Pastor Arjun said.

“They told us they will rape our wives and give twin children to us,” he said. “I have never heard such foul abuse in my entire life.”

Earlier, at about 7 p.m., some 200 Hindu extremists led by Laxman Gaji and another who goes by a single name, Gudadirayya, had stopped Pastor Naik as he made his way home after leading a worship service at a Christian’s home in Sugar Factory quarters, near Sharanahalli village, according to attorney Moses Muragavel. They then took him to the temple before calling Pastor Arjun, said Muragavel, of the Karnataka Legal Aid Cell.

At one point during the ordeal, Pastor Arjun said, he kneeled down in a corner of the temple and began to pray.

“One extremist gripped me on my back, dragged me up and said, ‘You are even praying to Jesus even in a Hindu temple,’ and then he tried to force me to worship Hindu idols,” he said. “I asked him why he was forcing me to worship idols and told him that nobody can force me, and I have the right to choose the God that I worship.”

Pastor Naik added that the Hindu nationalists then threatened to set the Christians afire with kerosene.

“They were shouting to each other to take petrol from our bikes and burn us up,” he said, adding that another extremist stopped them, saying, ‘Do you want the whole village to go to jail?'”

Pastor Arjun said that the assailants then demanded that they leave Jesus and proclaim, “Praise my motherland, praise Lord Ram and praise Lord Krishna.”

“I told them that I will never leave Jesus – that I can say, ‘Praise my motherland,’ but I will never say Jai Shree Ram or Jai Shree Krishna,” Pastor Arjun said. “The extremists became more furious, and they continued to slap, kick and push us, and tore off our clothes.”

The extremists also denigrated Pastor Naik for his Lamani (“gypsy”) ethnic origin, saying he had converted to Christianity because he came from low caste, said Pastor Francis Xavier, president of Gadag Pastor Association.

Pastor Arjun received treatment at Mundargi Government Hospital for injuries to his right ear, back and nose, as did Pastor Naik for injuries to his head and neck, besides bruises covering his body. The other three church members received minor bruises.

Charges
The Hindu nationalists took the Christians to Mundargi Rural Police Station at about 10:30 that night and filed a complaint of forcible conversion. The two pastors were released at about 5 a.m. on Feb. 4 but had to report back to the police station at 10 a.m.

Police charged them with “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs,” and “acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention” under the Indian Penal Code.

The pastors were released on bail on Feb. 7, but they have to report to the police station on the second Sunday of every month until the charges against them are dropped.

Last Sunday (Feb. 10), Police Inspector Sunil A. Savdi and two officers from the Mundargi Police Station went to the Indian Pentecostal Church and questioned members about how long they had attended the church; how they came to know about it; and whether they had been offered money to attend.

All members said that they had come to the church on their own free will.

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North Korea threatens “final destruction” of South Korea


A North Korean flag on a tower flutters in the wind at a North Korean village near the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in this picture taken just south of the border, in Paju, north of Seoul, February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
 

(Reuters) – North Korea threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the U.N Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, saying it could take “second and third steps” after a nuclear test last week.

“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting.

Without specifically referring to the nuclear test, Jon said North Korea had recently taken a “resolute step for self-defence”, which he described as “strong counter-actions to a foreign aggressor”.

“If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward the DPRK to the last, rendering the situation complicated, it (North Korea) will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession,” he added, without elaborating.

His comments drew immediate criticism from other nations, including South Korea and Britain, whose ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was “completely inappropriate” and the discussion with North Korea was heading in the wrong direction.

“It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of U.N. member states,” she said.

U.S. Ambassador Laura Kennedy said she found North Korea’s statement profoundly disturbing.

“I also was particularly struck by the phrase ‘heralding the destruction of the Republic of Korea’ and find that language incredibly inconsistent with the goals and objectives that this body is intended to pursue,” she said.

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