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Italy to add drug trafficking, prostitution to GDP figures
Published time: May 23, 2014 19:09
The Italian government will include revenue from drug traffic, prostitution and smuggling while calculating its gross domestic product (GDP) in a bid to boost its shaky economy.
Starting this October, Italy will include revenues from “the illegal activities: drug trafficking, prostitution and smuggling services (cigarettes or alcohol)” to its GDP, the country’s national statistics office said on Thursday.
“The methodology for estimating the economic dimension of these activities will be consistent with the guidelines established by Eurostat," it added.
The move may add up to 2 per cent to Italy's GDP, European Union's statistical service, Eurostat, earlier predicted. This should bring the country’s new government under Prime Minister Matteo Renzi closer to its goal - reaching strong growth and lowering the public debt, which the EU says is now “the major challenge”.
The change in methodology initially comes from the EU, which back in January, set new rules forcing its member-states to track the value of all activities that produce income, including criminal activities like "production and consumption of drugs", prostitution and black market alcohol and cigarette sales.
Eurostat issued its guideline on how to count such “illegal” revenues. Thus, it recommends that the figure for prostitution (to be included under "services") be calculated from approximating the"supply" side and the drug trade from the "demand" side.
Italy’s Istat admits that calculating such income will be “very difficult for the obvious reason as these illegal activities are not reported.”
Last time Italy calculated the size of “grey of businesses” that do not pay taxes was in 2008, when it was said to be worth between 16.3 per cent and 17.5 per cent of the economy.
Spain, where the size of “grey economy” is estimated 19.2 percent, announced the switch to the new method back in January, when Eurostat proposed it. By including illegal activities, Spain expects to add about €10 billion to GDP in 2014.
Among other countries that turned to the EU method is Britain, where drugs and prostitution is expected to add over $13 billion to GDP.
However, experts say the new GDP-boosting method may have an underside.
“While these countries might enjoy having their GDP boosted by a few percentage points from the shadow economy, which is notably huge in the periphery, the impact might be less welcome once it starts factoring into their share of the EU budget,” Raoul Ruparel, head of economic research at the Open Europe think-tank was cited by the Times back in February.
In 2013, Italy’s public debt rose to 2.07 trillion euros ($2.84 trillion) or 132.6 percent of gross domestic product, making it the second-biggest public debt as a percentage of GDP among the 18 euro countries, Istat estimated in March.
Global anti-GMO action: People unite against Monsanto dominance
Published time: May 24, 2014 03:11
Edited time: May 24, 2014 04:23
Edited time: May 24, 2014 04:23
Over 400 cities worldwide will see millions marching against the US chemical and agricultural company Monsanto in an effort to boycott the use of Genetically Modified Organizms in food production.
Marches are planned in 52 countries in addition to some 47 US states that are jointing in the protest.
Follow RT's LIVE UPDATES on March Against Monsanto
“MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMOs and harmful pesticides,” said Tami Monroe Canal, founder of March Against Monsanto (MAM) in a press release ahead of the global event.
The movement was formed after the 2012 California Proposition 37 on mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food initiative failed, prompting activists to demand a boycott of the GMO in food production.
“Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agriculture practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity,” Canal said.
The main aim of the activism is to organize global awareness for the need to protect food supply, local farms and environment. It seeks to promote organic solutions, while “exposing cronyism between big business and the government.”
Activists claim that Monsanto spent hundreds of millions of dollars to “obstruct all labeling attempts” while suppressing all “research containing results not in their favor.”
Birth defects, organ damage, infant mortality, sterility and increased cancer risks are just some of the side-effects GMO is believed to cause.
“That is what the scientists have learned about, that the genetically modified foods will increase allergies that they are going to be less nutritious and that they can possibly or very contain toxins that can make us ill,” Organic Consumers Association's political director Alexis Baden-Mayer told RT.
GMOs have been partially banned in a number of countries, including Germany, Japan, and Russia but yet in most countries across the globe still feed GMOs to their animals.
Citing the US example, Baden-Mayer told RT that “it is hard to distinguish the company Monsanto from the players in the US government.”
“Most of the genetically modified crops grown in the US, almost all of them end up in factory farms, concentrated in animal feeding operations,” stating that US has enough grassland to pasture and raise “100 percent grass-fed beef” and produce even more grass fed beef than is raised on “modified corn and soy.”
One year ago over 2 million people in 436 cities in 52 countries worldwide marched against the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds.
Japan Begins Purposely Dumping 100s Of Tons Of Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into The Pacific
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/23/2014 21:34 -0400
Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,
How do you get rid of hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water? You dump it into the Pacific Ocean of course! In Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. has made the “painful decision” to begin purposely dumping massive amounts of radioactive water currently being stored at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear facility directly into the Pacific. This is being done even though water radiation levels near Fukushima spiked to a brand new all-time record high just a few days ago. The radioactive material that is being released will enter our food chain and will potentially stay with us for decades to come. Fukushima is an environmental nightmare that never seems to end, but the mainstream media in the United States decided to pretty much stop talking about it long ago. So don’t expect the big news networks to make a big deal out of the fact that Japan is choosing to use the Pacific Ocean as a toilet for their nuclear waste. But even though they aren’t talking about it, that doesn’t mean that radioactive material from Fukushima is not seriously affecting the health of millions of people all over the planet.
According to the Japan Times, Tepco released 560 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific on Wednesday, and Tepco says that for the foreseeable future we should expect another 100 tons of radioactive water to be released into the ocean every single day…
Tokyo Electric Power Co. began dumping groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the Pacific on Wednesday, in a bid to manage the huge amounts of radioactive water that have built up at the complex.The utility, which says the water discharged is within legal radiation safety limits, has been fighting a daily battle against contaminated water since Fukushima No. 1 was decimated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.Tepco said 560 tons of groundwater captured and stored before it entered reactor building basements was to be released Wednesday, using a bypass system that funnels it toward the ocean after checking for radiation levels.Using the bypass, Tepco hopes to divert an average of100 tons of untainted groundwater a day into the ocean.
Tepco is assuring us that the radioactive water that is being released is within “legal radiation safety limits”.
But this is the same company that could not tell us why radiation levels in water near Fukushima reached a new all-time high just a few days ago…
Radiation has spiked to all-time highs at five monitoring points in waters adjacent to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday.The measurements follow similar highs detected in groundwater at the plant. Officials of Tepco, as the utility is known, said the cause of the seawater spike is unknown.Three of the monitoring sites are inside the wrecked plant’s adjacent port, which ships once used to supply it.At one sampling point in the port, between the water intakes for the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, 1,900 becquerels per liter of tritium was detected Monday, up from a previous high of 1,400 becquerels measured on April 14, Tepco said.Nearby, also within the port, tritium levels were found to have spiked to 1,400 becquerels, from a previous high of 1,200 becquerels.
So do you trust Tepco?
I certainly do not.
And this is not just a Japanese issue. Radioactive material from Fukushima has literally been found all over the planet. For example, a nuclear fuel fragment from Fukushima has been found as far away as Norway.
Once this radioactive material gets into the ocean and into our food chain, there is no telling where it may end up.
If the mainstream media really did care about “the environment”, they would be talking about this. But instead, there seems to be a conspiracy of silence. Just consider the comments that Martin Fackler of the New York Times made during one recent interview…
Yeah… it’s so hard in Japan to talk about the radiation issue, like how bad is it really… There is a sense that if you even talk about these issues, you’re hurting the poor people of Fuksuhima. Therefore, we shouldn’t talk about it. That’s just not right… The folks who don’t want us to talk about it are the government, because they don’t want to pay compensation… I feel like there is a lot going on in Fukushima that just doesn’t get talked about in the local media, not necessarily for government cover-up sort of issues, but self restraint or self censorship. Even papers that are pretty strong in their reporting on Tepco in some ways, like the Tokyo Shimbun, won’t talk about these issues because they’re afraid that somehow its unpatriotic to talk about radiation. There’s a lot of questions and issues that are not being talked about, and I think they should be talked and if there is damage to the people of Fukushima that’s the responsibility of Tepco…
And the U.S. media certainly doesn’t seem to want to talk about how radiation from Fukushima could be affecting the west coast of our country.
But the evidence continues to mount that something very unusual is happening.
Just consider what is happening to young sea lions along the coast of California…
Sea lions are once again struggling to survive and are washing ashore, many of them pups dehydrated, malnourished and on the brink of death.The year started off quieter than last year, and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s director of development, Melissa Sciacca, thought they were in the clear – until about a month ago, when the calls started coming in nonstop. The center, in Laguna Beach, is near capacity, with about 100 sea lions being treated so they can be returned to the wild once they are strong enough.“We thought it was going to be a nice calm year; in the last month it’s just spiked,” she said. “The rescues just keep coming in at a steady pace.”
And as I wrote about just the other day,something is causing millions of fish to diein mass death events all over the globe right now.
Could Fukushima be a contributing factor?
A lot of people out there are attempting to downplay the impact that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had on the Pacific Ocean.
I believe that this is a huge mistake.
Nuclear radiation causes cancer.
Nuclear radiation kills.
The total amount of nuclear material released from Fukushima just continues to increase and slowly accumulate in our food chain. When these nuclear particles get into you, they can literally start cooking you from the inside out. In aprevious article, I included a quote from an opinion piece by Helen Caldicott that was published in the Guardian….
Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.
Doesn’t that sound lovely?
And it has been documented that radioactive material from Fukushima has been getting into the seafood being sold in North America.
For example, back in 2012 the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being discovered in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of the mackerel
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
So why was radiation testing for seafood subsequently shut down in Canada?
Since that time, as I detailed in one of my previous articles, a high school student up in Canada tested seafood bought at local grocery stores for radioactive contamination. What she found was absolutely stunning…
A Canadian high school student named Bronwyn Delacruz never imagined that her school science project would make headlines all over the world. But that is precisely what has happened. Using a $600 Geiger counter purchased by her father, Delacruz measured seafood bought at local grocery stores for radioactive contamination. What she discovered was absolutely stunning. Much of the seafood, particularly the products that were made in China, tested very high for radiation. So is this being caused by nuclear radiation from Fukushima? Is the seafood that we are eating going to give us cancer and other diseases?
Why aren’t we being warned about this?
Earlier this year, a fish that was caught just off the coast of the Fukushima prefecture was discovered to have 124 times the safe level of radioactive cesium.
But virtually nobody in the mainstream media considers this to be important enough to talk about.
A lot of people seem to think that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is old news. But in many ways the biggest problems for North America may just be beginning. For example, according to scientists at the University of South Wales, the main radioactive plume of water from Fukushima has finally crossed the Pacific Ocean and is going to hit our shores at some point during 2014…
The first radioactive ocean plume released by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster will finally be reaching the shores of the United States some time in 2014, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales — a full three or so years after the date of the disaster.
The following graphics come directly from that study…
So as the main plume of nuclear radiation reaches our shores, what will that do to our wildlife, our fishing industry and our beaches?
And what kind of danger does this radioactive water pose to those living along the west coast?
These are very important questions, but unfortunately those in power and those working for the mainstream media don’t really want to talk about these things.