Cristiano Ronaldo claims tax investigations are only because ‘he’s Cristiano Ronaldo’

Cristiano Ronaldo denies €14.7m tax evasion in Madrid court

Ronaldo has denied he evaded tax or hid details of his income from the authorities

 It is alleged that he concealed income from the sale of image rights
 Real Madrid and Portugal forward hides from 200 journalists outside court
Madrid court
 Cristiano Ronaldo opted not to speak to the crowd of journalists who were waiting for his statement outside court in Madrid

In a rare attack of camera-shyness, Cristiano Ronaldo hid from the 200 journalists waiting outside the Madrid court where he is under investigation for tax evasion and then, having promised to make a statement, snuck back out without a word.

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward spent 90 minutes in court being questioned by judge Mónica Ferrer Gómez over allegations that from 2011 to 2014 he defrauded the Spanish treasury of €14.7m in taxes.

And the Spanish media reported that Ronaldo argued with the judge during the behind-closed-doors hearing, saying:

“If I wasn’t called Cristiano Ronaldo, I wouldn’t be sat here.”

Ronaldo denied any wrongdoing

“The Spanish treasury knows every detail about my income, because it’s been given to them; I never concealed anything and I never tried to evade taxes,” the player told the court, according to a statement 

“I always make my tax returns on a voluntary basis because I think we all have to declare and pay taxes based on our income.

“Those who know me know what I ask my advisers to do: have everything up date and paid promptly, because I do not want any problems.”

“This is the time to let justice run its course. I believe in justice and I hope that, in this case, once, again, there will be a fair decision,” Ronaldo said.

“In order to avoid any unnecessary pressure, or any contribution to a parallel trial, I’ve decided I won’t make any more statements on this subject until the decision is made.”

Independent

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Some “fair facts” about CR7

Personal information
Full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth 5 February 1985 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth FunchalMadeira, Portugal
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 7
Youth career
1992–1995 Andorinha
1995–1997 Nacional
1997–2002 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Appearances (Goals)
2002–2003 Sporting CP B 2 (0)
2002–2003 Sporting CP 25 (3)
2003–2009 Manchester United 196 (84)
2009– Real Madrid 265 (285)
National team
2001 Portugal U15 9 (7)
2001–2002 Portugal U17 7 (5)
2003 Portugal U20 5 (1)
2002–2003 Portugal U21 10 (3)
2004 Portugal U23 3 (2)
2003– Portugal 143 (75)

Goldman Sachs Says That There Is A 99 Percent Chance That Stock Prices Will Not Keep Going Up Like This

Analysts at Goldman Sachs are saying that it is next to impossible for stock prices to keep going up like they have been recently.  Ever since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory in November, stocks have been on a tremendous run, but this surge has not been matched by a turnaround in the real economy.  We have essentially had a “no growth” economy for most of the past decade, and ominous signs pointing to big trouble ahead are all around us.  The only reason why stocks have been able to perform so well is due to unprecedented intervention by global central banks, but they are not going to be able to keep inflating this bubble forever.  At some point this absolutely enormous bubble will burst and investors will lose trillions of dollars.

The only other times we have seen stock valuations at these levels were just before the stock market crash of 1929 and just before the dotcom bubble burst in 2000.  For those that think that they can jump into the markets now and make a lot of money from rapidly rising stock prices, I think that it would be wise to consider what analysts at Goldman Sachs are telling us.  The following is from a CNBC article that was published on Monday

Investors may be in for disappointing market returns in the decade to come with valuations at levels this high, if history is any indication.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs pointed out that annualized returns on the S&P 500 10 years out were in the single digits or negative 99 percent of the time when starting with valuations at current levels.

Do you really want to try to fight those odds?

Unfortunately, it appears that is precisely what a lot of investors are planning to do.  In fact, Schwab says that they are opening new accounts “at levels we have not seen since the Internet boom of the late 1990s”

New accounts are at levels we have not seen since the Internet boom of the late 1990s, up 34% over the first half of last year. But maybe more important for the long-term growth of the organization is not so much new accounts, but new-to-firm households, and our new-to-firm retail households were up 50% over that same period from 2016.

And a different survey found that Millennial investors in particular are eager to pour money into the stock market

Furthermore, according to a June survey from Legg Mason, nearly 80% of millennial investors plan to take on more risk this year, with 66% of them expressing an interest in equities. About 45% plan to take on “much more risk” in their portfolios.

One of the fundamental tenets of investing is to buy low and sell high.  Those that are getting in at the peak of the market are going to get absolutely slaughtered.  Trillions of dollars of paper wealth will be completely wiped out by the coming crash, and I wish that I could get more people to understand what is about to happen.

I recently wrote about how some really big investors are betting millions upon millions of dollars that a major stock market crash is going to happen in the very near future.  The financial markets are far more primed for a crash than they were in 2008, and there are certainly a lot of potential “black swan events” that could push us over the edge.  In his most recent article, Simon Blacklisted some of the things that he is currently watching…

– North Korea is threatening to nuke the US
– Donald Trump is firing his entire cabinet
– The Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates to record lows and drowned the world in trillions of dollars of cash
– Debt levels are at record highs
– Entire banking systems, especially in Europe, are in need of massive bailouts
– The US government will run out of money in less than 90-days and hit the debt ceiling once again

You only make money in the stock market if you get out in time.  And since just before the crisis of 2008 I have never seen so many prominent names in the financial community warn about a coming stock market crash as I have over the last 90 days.  For example, legendary investor Jim Rogers is warning that there will almost certainly be a crash “this year or the next”, and that it will be “the worst in your lifetime and my lifetime”

The best-selling author expects the next financial crisis to be the “worst” he has ever seen.

“We’ve had economic problems in the U.S. or in North America every four to eight years since the beginning of the Republic so to say that we’re going to have a problem is not unusual,” he told Kitco News from the Freedom Fest conference in Las Vegas.

“I would expect it to start this year or the next…and it’s going to be the worst in your lifetime and my lifetime.”

What goes up must come down, and markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up.

And in the environment that we are in today, caution is a very good thing.  I really like how billionaire Howard Marks put this the other day…

I think it’s better to turn cautious too soon (and thus perhaps underperform for a while) rather than too late, after the downslide has begun, making it hard to trim risk, achieve exits and cut losses.

Perhaps this will be the first giant financial bubble in our history to end smoothly, but I wouldn’t count on it.

In the end, I expect this one to end just like all of the others.  And I anticipate that the coming crisis will ultimately be worse than anything we have ever faced before because this current bubble has been artificially inflated for so long.

Hopefully stock prices will go up again tomorrow, but it would be exceedingly foolish to ignore all of the warnings.  Goldman Sachs says that there is a 99 percent chance that stocks cannot continue surging like this, and in this case I believe that Goldman Sachs is entirely correct.

Michael Snyder His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

 The Economic Collapse a USA based Blog

Damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami – A quick report

Abstract

The Tohoku region, Northeast Japan, was hit by a gigantic earthquake which occurred in the Pacific close to Tohoku, and subsequently by a giant tsunami. These hazards have caused huge damage on the eastern coast Japan. The earthquake’s magnitude was 9.0, the strongest ever recorded in Japan. The tsunami was also historical as its run-up height reached over 39 m. As of early May, 2011, over 24 thousand people were reported as dead or missing.

Moreover, serious accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants No.1 were caused by the effects of the tsunami. Therefore, the damage faced by Japanese people can be seen as a giant composite disaster. Although Japan, and the northeast of Japan in particular, has over a long time period increased its preparedness against earthquakes and tsunamis, huge damage still occurred. This paper considers why this tragedy occurred, and what unrecognized factors contributed to the high vulnerability of the area. To assist in answering such questions, this paper presents a timely report of the features of the earthquake and tsunami, the damage they caused, and the early efforts for recovery and reconstruction.

Introduction

At 2:46PM Japan Standard Time (JST) on 11th March, 2011, a gigantic earthquake occurred in the Pacific, just off the coast of Tohoku, Japan. The combined earthquake and resulting giant tsunami caused huge damage in eastern Japan. The earthquake’s magnitude was 9.0, the maximum ever recorded in Japan. The tsunami was also historical in terms of its height and area affected. Its run-up height reached over 39 m. As of early May, 2011, over 24 thousand people were reported as dead or missing. The number of temporary refugees exceeded 350 thousand at one time. Moreover, serious accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) No.1 of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) were caused by the tsunami. Figure 1 shows the locations of prefectures and places damaged heavily in the east Japan, which will be referred in this paper.

Fig. 1

Damaged prefectures and cities in the east Japan

Japan has been long and repeatedly suffered from earthquakes and tsunamis. As 70% of its national land is occupied by mountainous areas, population, assets, industrial activities and infrastructure are concentrated in the narrow low-lying coastal areas. Japan has also made a long effort to prevent damage from natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Significantly, the Tohoku coast which was heavily damaged by the March 11 event had developed the most advanced anti-earthquake/tsunami system in the world. So why did this tragedy happen? What factors contributed to the high vulnerability of the area?

We are concerned that it is too early to present a report as so many refugees still remain in evacuation centers and we have only an incomplete picture of the disaster. However, Dr Robert Dixon, Editor of Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, invited us to prepare a paper as many people in the world wait for information from Japan. To respond to his request, we wrote this paper, as an interim report from university researchers in the affected area. As academic results are still limited, we used reports released by the government, research institutes and mass media as a basis of this paper.

The Japan Meteological Agency (JMA) named the earthquake as the “2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake”. On the other hand, the government refers to the complex disaster as the “Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami”. We follow the latter in this paper.

Characteristics and damaged of the earthquake

2.1 Characteristics of the earthquake motion

The epicenter of the Great East Japan Earthquake was at 38 N and 142.9E, as indicated in Fig. 2The depth was estimated to be 24 km. This earthquake is considered to be a plate-boundary thrust-faulting in subduction area with a reverse fault. The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (2011), the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, reported that the fault area stretched 400 km and 200 km in the NS and EW directions, respectively. In this area, at least three large earthquakes occurred consecutively, with the maximum slide distance of the crust amounting to 24 m. Immediately after the earthquake the magnitude was reported as M8.8, but it was later corrected to M9.0. These parameters prove that the earthquake was unprecedented in Japan. The prefectures nearest to the epicenter (Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima) were the worst affected as well.

Fig. 2

Distribution of epicenters of the main earthquake and aftershocks (Revised from Japan Meteological Agency 2011a)

To classify the ground motion, JMA uses the Japan’s intensity of ground motion, with 0 to 7 classes. The highest class 7 of was recorded in Kurihara-city, Miyagi prefecture. Figure 3 shows that strong ground motion (ranking 6 to 7 and shown in dark colors) occurred in a wide coastal area of the east Japan.

Fig. 3

Distribution of Japan’s intensity of ground motion (Revised from Japan Meteological Agency 2011b)

By comparing the past strong earthquakes, we can identify the characteristics of the Great East Japan Earthquake as follows:

  1. i)

    The earthquake was the biggest measured earthquake in Japan. Maximum recorded acceleration of the ground motion reached 3000 gal (30 m/s2) in Kurihara-city, Miyagi prefecture. In addition, shaking lasted for nearly 6 minutes, which reflected the consecutive breaks of the faults over a wide area. Based on such observations, the earthquake is considered to be a 1/1000 year event.

  2. ii)

    Many large aftershocks followed the main event (Fig. 2). The number of those larger than M5 is over 420 as of 19th April. One of the largest, with M7.1, occurred on 7th April. Moreover, the JMA suggested that an earthquake which took place on 9th March might be a foreshock. These indicate that the phenomena were a series of large scale crustal motions which will last for a considerable period of time, with ongoing consequences.

  3. iii)

    The dominant period of the main earthquake was 0.2 to 1.0 s. This range is shorter than that of the 1995 Great Kobe Earthquake. This is a possible reason why the damage of buildings was less intensive compared to the previous case in Kobe.

  4. iv)

    Accidents of Fukushima NPP No.1 were induced. This makes the disaster much more serious to society, and the recovery pathways very complicated.

2.2 Damage from the earthquake

The earthquake resulted in huge damage. The Disaster Countermeasures Office (2011a), Office of Prime Minister, reported the following data on the damage as of 27th April.

  1. i)

    Human casualties include 14,508 dead and 11,452 missing people. Since many areas are still left uninvestigated, the number is expected to increase.

  2. ii)

    The number of completely collapsed and washed-out houses amounts to 76,000, and the number of those with half and partial damage is over 244,000. Following the earthquake, 345 fires occurred in 12 prefectures, including cases where the tsunami triggered the fire.

  3. iii)

    Infrastructure damage was also very wide spread; reported damaged included 3,546 areas along roads, 71 bridges and 26 parts of the railway system. Such damage has strong effects on the recovery as well as on economic activities in general. On the other hand, thanks to the long efforts for disaster preparedness, the hundreds of trains in operation, including Tohoku Shin-Kansen, were able to make emergency stops safely, without any deaths or serious injuries.

  4. iv)

    Lifeline infrastructure such as electricity, water supply, sewage systems, and gas lines, was also damaged. Though such services were soon restored in most of the damaged areas, the coastal areas most heavily damaged in the northeast Japan are still without these services at the time of writing.

  5. v)

    The damage costs will be between 16 and 25 trillion yen.

According to the Geographical Survey Institute (2011), the main earthquake which occurred on the 11th March was associated with large movement of the crustal plate; i.e. about 4.0 to 5.0 m horizontal offshore movement and 0.4 to over 1.0 m subsidence. On land, large movements were also observed. The largest movement was at the Ojika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture, where 5.4 m (horizontal) and 1.20 m (vertical) movements of the ground were observed.

As a result of such motions, many impacts occurred on artificially reclaimed lands, soft alluvial plains, and fragile slopes. These are common land features in Japan. Land slides also created strong damage, because the sediment mass has large weight, and hence apply stronger impulse forces to buildings and other features. For example, in Sukagawa-city, Fukushima Prefecture, a 18.1 m high earth dam was broken, causing eight deaths and missing people (Fig. 4). Another landslide and debris flow occurred in Shirakawa-city and Nasukarasuyama-city killing 13 people, and with two people still missing.

Fig. 4

Burst dam (Fujinuma reservoir)

Building damage is closely related to the frequency responses. The frequency of the ground motion is higher than that of 1995 Great Kobe Earthquake, as shown in Fig. 5. This results in smaller effects on the structure of buildings. Therefore, the destroyed houses and buildings in the coastal areas were mainly due to the tsunami. However, in Ibaraki Prefecture, at the southern end of the damaged region, there were completely or half collapsed houses in inland areas. They were not damaged by the tsunami, but by the earthquake and resulting foundation failure.

Fig. 5

Frequency characteristics of velocity response spectrum (Revised from Earthquake Research Institute (2011))

Breakdown of lifelines continued for several weeks in many places. Figure 6 shows the recovery of water supply in Fukushima Prefecture as of 28th March. Much longer time is needed in the areas with tsunami damage and soft foundations. Damage to roads, railways and lifelines first resulted in insufficient supplies of food and gasoline to the impacted areas. Secondary effects then resulted, including on the physical and psychological conditions of refugees. These also became big problems for rescue activities.

Fig. 6

Aqueduct damage map, Fukushima prefecture

The largest consequence of the earthquake and tsunami is the accident at the Fukushima NPP No1. Many serious problems have resulted, including nuclear contamination of soils and sea water, and evacuation of a large number of residents in the surrounding areas, initially 20 km and then subsequently more distant from the NPP. This event revealed problems associated with risk management, and information disclosure as well. When the physical impacts of the earthquake and tsunami were combined with health, psychological, and social problems caused by the Fukushima NPP accident, the situation became very serious and complicated. The causes of the nuclear accident and the present situation at the NPP will be discussed later in this paper.

Characteristics of the tsunami and its damages

According to the tsunami-related information released by Japan Weather Association (2011), very soon after the major earthquake occurred at 2:46PM JST the first wave arrived at cities near to the failure fault, such as Miyako, Ofunato, and Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture. The highest wave arrived at these locations between 3:15 and 3:20PM. This means that the highest waves reached the nearest coastlines 30 to 40 min after the earthquake occurred. The first waves arrived at more distant coasts, from Hokkaido in the north to Chiba Prefecture in the south, considerably later.

Very large wave heights occurred along southern Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and northern Fukushima Prefectures. Wave heights and run-up elevations of tsunami are not the same; wave height is the distance between the mean sea level and the crest of the tsunami wave in the sea, while run-up elevation refers to the maximum height of the land where the tsunami reaches. Many tidal stations recorded high water levels of around 8 m in these areas, before they were destroyed by the tsunami, and no data were recorded. One exception is Onagawa NPP of Tohoku Electric Power Co. It recorded temporal variations of sea surface elevation at the coast, as shown in Fig. 7. This is a precious record obtained at a central position in the severely damaged region. This record shows that a large wave of nearly 13 m high arrived just before 3:30PM, with lowest values occurring around 15:45. More data are expected to be published from sensors in the deep sea floor.

Fig. 7

Tsunami wave profile observed at Onagawa coast, Miyagi Prefecture. Note: O.P. is the datum at Onahama Port, Fukushima Prefecture. (Revised from Tohoku Electric Power Co. (2011))

Ria coasts dominate in the damaged area in Iwate Prefecture. The coasts consist of many bays and rocky cliffs. People concentrate in narrow flat plains along the bays, to form cities such as Rikuzen-Takata and Miyako, and fishery and/or commercial ports such as Kamaishi and Ofunato. These names of these cities will be used when describing more local damage. The tsunami hit these bays with a wave height of over 10 m, the height being higher due to the amplification effect of the horn aperture of the bays. Table 1 indicates a summary of the strength of the tsunami and inundation, and the resulting human casualties for several cities in this area. For example, in Rikuzen-Takata-city, the wave height was over 15 m, with the highest run-up elevation being about 39 m. Furthermore, tsunami waves extended up along a river and flooded over river dikes in the middle and upper reaches. There are some areas which were hit by both tsunamis approaching from the coast and rivers, in a pincer attack. As these places are several kilometers inland from the coast, people did not expect that such flooding would occur. The overwhelming force of tsunami inundated 43% of the residential areas, and caused 2,422 deaths and missing people, accounting for 10.4% of the total city population.

The 100 km stretch south of the Ria coasts has sandy coasts, stretching from Miyagi Prefecture to northern part of Fukushima Prefecture. The coastal plain is called Sendai Plain, as Sendai-City, the largest city in Tohoku Region, is situated inland on this plain. A wave height of 7 m was observed at Souma, the southern tip of this coast. The elevation of the plain is less than 5 m, and high tsunami waves penetrated deep into it. The maximum penetration distance was about 6 km. Flooding on such a wide area, and the resulting damages, are unprecedented.

Ibaraki and Chiba Prefectures are south of Fukushima Prefecture. Tsunamis of 3.3 m to 7.2 m high (Ibaraki) and 1.3 m to 7.6 m high (Chiba) were observed. Consequently, the tsunami associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake attached a long coastline of over 800 km in the northeast Japan, representing a major external force that imposed devastating damages on the coastal areas.

Some aspects of the tsunami damage

4.1 Effects of coastal dykes and breakwaters

The Pacific coast of northeast Japan is called Sanriku Region. This region has suffered from large tsunamis in the past: it experienced enormous damage in 1886 (Meiji Snriku Tsunami), 1933 (Showa Sanriku Tsunami), 1960 (Chilean Earthquake Tsunami) and 1968 (Off Tokachi Tsunami). Based on these disasters, the national and local governments continued to increase the level of the tsunami countermeasures. As one of such measures, large breakwaters were constructed at the mouths of Ofunato, Kamaishi, Miyako, and Kuji bays, to protect the cities located in the inner bay areas against tsunamis.

Among the tsunami protection facilities, giant bay-mouth breakwaters were noteworthy. For example, Kamaishi Bay has a breakwater consisting of north and south parts of 990 m and 670 m length, respectively, and a total length of 2 km. Its maximum depth below water is 63 m, while the height above mean sea level is 8 m. Its design criterion was to protect the city and port of Kamaishi against the Meiji Sanriku Tsunami, which was caused by a M8.5 earthquake in 1896. About 6,700 people were killed and 1,600 houses were washed away by the tsunami. Therefore, constructing this breakwater has long been desired by the local people. This breakwater was completed in 2009, using 700 million m3 of concrete. This breakwater is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the deepest breakwater in the world. It played a role to protect the city against tsunamis, until March 11. Ofunato also has a big bay-mouth breakwater with a total length of 550 m and a depth of 40 m. Though water pollution in the bay became worse after the breakwater was constructed, residents considered the tsunami protection to be more important relative to any adverse consequences.

Taro district, in Miyako City, was surrounded by high coastal dykes called “Great Walls”. They were 10 m high and 10 km in total length (Fig. 8). Taro experienced a tragedy after being hit by a 10 m tsunami which killed over 900 people in 1933. They started to build the coastal dykes the following year. In 1958 a 10 m dyke system with a length of 1.4 km was completed. It worked very well in the occasion of the Chilean Tsunami in 1960, with no casualties. In 1979 the dyke system was partially upgraded to a great wall with a two-track structure. After that it continued to be effective.

Fig. 8

Ten meter high coastal dykes in Taro, Miyako City (Before the tsunami; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)

The recent Great East Japan Tsunami flew over these structures, attacking cities and causing huge casualties. The bay-mouth breakwaters were destroyed in Kamaishi and Ofunato. The great coastal dykes in Taro could not prevent overflows and were destroyed as well. Some people claimed that the structures had no effect, and that disaster prevention education should be more effective. However, evidence from videos, photos and witnesses confirms that the coastal structures reduced the damage to some extent. Thus the role of coastal structures remains a controversial issue. However, it is true that the structures played a preventive role against past tsunamis which had heights lower than their design heights. Therefore, the role and effectiveness of structures when the tsunami is higher than the design criterion is a matter for further study.

4.2 Education for disaster prevention

People of cities in northeast Japan, such as Kesennuma and Kamaishi, are enthusiastic about tsunami disaster prevention. They have been very effective in this regard, by organizing workshops, education for tsunami disasters and evacuation practices over the past 20 years. In particular, after the construction of the breakwaters, they also strengthened soft measures such as distribution of tsunami hazard maps to all households. Each city/town government prepared a tsunami hazard map, which overlays the estimated inundation areas of tsunamis and river floods, as well as risk areas for slope failures, based on scientific estimates. Moreover, they also promoted soft measures in local workshops for disaster prevention, such as discussions and practices to find evacuation places and routes. Loud speakers and radio transmissions were installed in each city or town to announce emergency cautions.

These prevention activities had a great effect, even in face of the gigantic tsunami. Special note should be mentioned about the fact that nearly 3,000 children in elementary and middle-high schools managed to evacuate safely in Kamaishi. There is a legend of “Tsunami tendenko”. As “tendenko” means “scattered” in local language, the legend has been transferred for a long time to teach that, when you feel an earthquake, you should not wait for a unified action but run away individually and immediately. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, most elementary and middle-high schools evacuated students to higher places. Importantly, this action was taken before local authorities issued evacuation alerts. On the other hand, some people regretted that they relied too much on hard structures such as coastal dykes, based on the fact as they thought that these structures had successfully protected against tsunamis until then.

There was an instance where raised awareness was of no assistance. In Otsuchi, officers of the town government evacuated from the town hall after the earthquake. The tsunami attacked them shortly after they established a disaster countermeasure office outside of the town hall. Eleven officers, including the town mayor, were killed or missing, out of 14 staff in Otsuchi (Fig. 9). They thought that they were responsible to lead people’s evacuation rather than their own evacuation. They also tried to achieve allocated emergency roles such as shut-down of water gates and preparation of evacuation centers. Their roles conflicted with their own “evacuation first”.

Fig. 9

Damages in Otsuchi (Photo: So Kazama, 5th April)

4.3 Aged victims

According to a newspaper, the dead people over 60 and 70 years accounted for 65% and 45%, respectively, of the 2,854 victims in five prefectures. There are 35% and 21% in these age-groups in Iwate Prefecture,. Thus the victims’ rates are twice as large. This clearly indicates a disproportionately high death rate for aged people. In the case of the 1995 Great Kobe Earthquake, people over 70 years accounted for 40% of the deaths in Hyogo Prefecture. Higher mortality rates for aged people have been recognized as an important issue in the past, and was the same for the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. One reason is that people in hospitals and nursing-care facilities need a longer time for evacuation. Single people and aged people who need nursing-care are also less able to make a quick evacuation. Therefore, we need to develop evacuation measures that are effective for Japan’s aged society.

4.4 Recovery and reconstruction

There are different challenges recovering from tsunami damages compared to those from earthquakes. The first challenge is the interruption to transportation in the coastal areas. Ports , railways and roads could not be used due to heavy damage. Some places could be accessed only by helicopter. In fact, air transportation was the only way to bring water, food and other life necessities to islands for 2 weeks.

Some municipalities lost city/town halls, and could not provide help and services to people. The most tragic town is Otsuchi where many officers were killed by the tsunami. It could not establish even the disaster countermeasures office. Other municipalities sent their officers to help them from a week later. As the officers themselves were victims of disasters to a greater or lesser degree, it is very hard to establish a headquarter office to help refugees and affected people. Many NPOs and local people worked to help them.

Another problem is safety management of rescue activities for aftershocks and possible further tsunamis. Data transmission stopped from many tsunami monitoring stations off the Pacific coast operated by JMA. For example, tsunami measurement station at Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, ceased data transmission after sending increasing water surface to 7.3 m at 3:50PM on March 11. Nine of ten tidal stations could not send their data after the first or second tsunami wave, or immediately after the earthquake. By then the region had lost its tsunami monitoring capability for a certain period of time.

Ground subsidence has increased the risk of inundation in a wide area along the Pacific coast. As mentioned in Section 2.2, subsidence ranges from 0.4 to 1.2 m. Sea water piling up in the inundated area did not return to the sea naturally, and it was a large obstacle for investigation of missing people and for rescue activities. Although local authorities introduced many pumper trucks, drainage of sea water takes time because the inundated areas are very expansive. As a result of ground subsidence and collapse of seawalls after the earthquake, parts of the coastal areas were inundated by regular tidal motion during spring tide,. The Pacific coast of the northeast Japan faces a huge problem of how to reconstruct the protection system against high tide, waves, storm surges and tsunamis.

Disaster wreckage is another big problem. The earthquake and tsunami generated 25 million tons of wreckage in only the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. It is not possible to take the wreckage to outer areas. Stock piling a mixture of wreckages may cause contamination of soils, sandy beaches, and surface and ground waters. Therefore, disasters and their recovery are closely connected to environmental problems. Disaster management plans focus on the refugees etc., but seldom consider the treatment of the wreckage. There is a need to incorporate this issue in disaster management plans.

Tsunami and the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant No.1

The most serious consequence of the tsunami is the accident of Fukushima NPP No.1. Construction of the first nuclear reactor in Fukushima started in 1967, and six reactors were built over a period of about 10 years. Table 2 shows the year construction started and the generation capacity of each reactor. The generation capacity of the Fukushima No.1 was 4,696 MW in total, which amounts to 6% of the gross supply capacity of the TEPCO. Fukushima NPP No.2 is located 10 km south of Fukushima No.1. These two NPPs are all situated on the coast, with their own ports for transportation of nuclear fuels and cooling water uptake. The Fukushima coast, therefore, is Japan’s big electricity supply base. The giant tsunami hit it, inducing the severe accident and raising serious concerns in Japan and, furthermore, around the world.

2:46PM, 11th March, the great earthquake occurred. Nuclear reactors 1 to 3 made emergency shut-downs successfully, while the other reactors 4 to 6 were not operating because of regular inspection. As the electric feeder lines to Fukushima NPP No.1 were damaged by the earthquake, emergency generators started to power the emergency cooling system. However, the first wave of the tsunami arrived at 3:27PM, and the second wave at 3:35PM, inundating the buildings housing the nuclear reactors and generators with water 4 to 5 m deep. As a consequence, the emergency generators stopped, and reactors 1 to 5 lost electricity for cooling systems.

After 12th March, cooling water levels were lowered in reactors 1 to 3, resulting in damage and partial melting of nuclear fuel rods. To protect the nuclear reactors, pressure was lowered by releasing water vapor out of the reactors. This diffused radioactive matter into the atmosphere. At the same time, as used nuclear fuel rods were stored in pools in the buildings, there was also a need to cool the pools continuously. As of the end of April, 2011, though the situation is becoming stable, unprecedented long-term efforts are necessary to stabilize the rectors.

Obviously, the tsunami triggered the accident. TEPCO (2011) recently reported that the tsunami run-up elevation was 14 to 15 m, whereas the height of the design tsunami was 5.7 m. The ground elevation of the Fukushima NPP No.1 is about 10 m, and the emergency cooling pumps were set in the basements of the buildings. Therefore, the reactors lost the cooling system due to tsunami flooding.

There are other nuclear power plants located on the Pacific coast, such as Onagawa (Miyagi), Fukushima No.2, and Tokai No.2 (Ibaraki). These were also affected by the tsunami, but no critical accident occurred. This is mainly because in each case the elevation of the ground were high enough compared with the tsunami’s run-up. For example, in Fukushima No.2, the run-up height was 6.5 to 7 m, higher than the design height of 5.2 m. However, the major buildings were situated on ground which is 12 m high. The damage from the tsunami was not large (TEPCO, 2011). Significantly, the Onagawa NPP of the Tohoku Electric Power Co. was hit by a 13 m tsunami, but, as the ground level was 13.8 m, it only suffered from a small inundation (Tohoku Power Co. 2011).

As already mentioned, the Pacific coast of the northeast Japan has a history of damage caused by big tsunamis such as Meiji Sanriku Tsunami in 1896, Showa Sanriku Tsunami in 1933 and Chilean Earthquake Tsunami in 1960. Moreover, recent research has found evidence that a giant tsunami called the Jyogan Earthquake Tsunami occurred in 869 (Minoura and Nakaya, 1991). It is estimated that the earthquake’s magnitude was about M8, and that the tsunami penetrated 2 to 4 km inland (Sugawara et al. 2001; Satake et al. 2008). Similar wide inundation areas might have happened 1200 years ago. Considering that accumulation of stresses between the Pacific and the North American plates generates big earthquakes periodically, such big earthquakes and tsunami can occur every several hundreds to a thousand years. Based on such findings, the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion plans to investigate the big earthquakes and tsunamis off the Pacific coasts. Unfortunately, such a major event happened before such scientific findings could be incorporated into practical policies, plans and actions.

 

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Conclusions

Characteristics and damages vary between disasters. The most significant feature of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami is in its complexity. We should regard it as not a simple composite disaster but a giant composite disaster. The combination of an earthquake of M9.0 and a giant tsunami was unprecedented in Japan’s recent history. Furthermore, the combination of these natural events and the nuclear accident makes this a disaster with serious and widespread damage.

Japan, and northeast Japan in particular, have for a long time been increasing the preparedness against earthquakes and tsunamis. Despite this, huge damage occurred. This indicates that the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami was beyond past experiences and our expectation. This event suggests that we should not only implement disaster prevention based on improved scientific understanding, but also take into account the possibility of maximum potential hazards.

For the reconstruction of the heavily impacted areas, should people continue to live in the same areas in the future? This is an important question. Given the potential high risk levels in these areas, we need to examine the strategy for disaster prevention and recovery. In order to save lives in the face of a 1/1000 year tsunami, there are no ways other than quick evacuation and rescue. We should remember this concept clearly. At the same time, we can protect human lives and socioeconomic activities against more frequent and lower magnitude tsunamis by using a combination of hard and soft measures. An idea emerging in the discussion for reconstruction of the northeast Japan is division of living and working places. People should live in higher places, while they work on the coastal areas because low-lying coastal areas are still effective and important for ports, fishery ports and commercial activities. Therefore, coastal dykes, coastal forests and other facilities should be reconstructed so that they can protect the economically important coastal areas against using design criteria such as 1/200 or more frequent events. Although discussions are only starting, we need to reestablish flexible and disaster prevention systems with multilayered targets.

At the same time, Japan’s society also should address the other problems which were recognized as sustainability issues for a long time before the earthquake and tsunami. They are how to address the aging society, climate change and nature friendly society in an integrated manner. The reconstruction is not merely the reconstruction of the former local societies. We should create new societies which are safer, more environmentally friendly and more vital. This is a real challenge for Japanese society.

The historical event and the resulting damage shocked all social sectors, including the research community. Recent findings of scientific research were not transferred to the improvement of the protection of nuclear power plants and other important facilities. This is a problem for the decision-making system of society. We realize that there were barriers among different fields to hamper information flows between disciplines. Single academic fields cannot resolve a real world problem. Rather, multi-disciplinary approaches are necessary to meet the challenges facing society. This has been recognized for a relatively long time, but we need to realize the importance of this notion and develop new mechanisms to promote multi-disciplinary cooperation. This is how academic society can contribute to the reconstruction of the Japanese society.

Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami occurred we received numerous emails, telephone calls and letters from friends in many countries. These are most encouraging to us. In addition, Dr Robert Dixon, Editor of Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, kindly offered an opportunity to present a timely report. We appreciate Prof. John Hay for his careful proof reading and correction of English of the draft. We hope that this paper assists many people to understand the situation that is ongoing in Japan.

 

Authors

  • Nobuo Mimura
  • Kazuya Yasuhara
  • Seiki Kawagoe
  • Hiromune Yokoki
  • So Kazama

Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean

(True Activist) Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean – And It’s Going To Get Worse:

What was the most dangerous nuclear disaster in world history? Most people would say the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but they’d be wrong. In 2011, an earthquake, believed to be an aftershock of the 2010 earthquake in Chile, created a tsunami that caused a meltdown at the TEPCO nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan.

Three nuclear reactors melted down and what happened next was the largest release of radiation into the water in the history of the world. Over the next three months, radioactive chemicals, some in even greater quantities than Chernobyl, leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

However, the numbers may actually be much higher as Japanese official estimates have been proven by several scientists to be flawed in recent years.

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Radioactive Debris from Fukushima approaching North America’s western coast       Credit – RT

If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed asit is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years. This could easily be the worst environmental disaster in human history and it is almost never talked about by politicians, establishment scientists, or the news. It is interesting to note that TEPCO is a subsidiary of General Electric (also known as GE), one of the largest companies in the world, which has considerable controlover numerous news corporations and politicians alike. Could this possibly explain the lack of news coverage Fukushima has received in the last five years? There is also evidence that GE knew about the poor condition of the Fukushima reactors for decades and did nothing. This led 1,400 Japanese citizens to sue GE for their role in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Even if we can’t see the radiation itself, some parts of North America’s western coast have been feeling the effects for years. Not long after Fukushima, fish in Canada began bleeding from their gills, mouths, and eyeballs. This “disease” has been ignored by the government and has decimated native fish populations, including the North Pacific herring. Elsewhere in Western Canada, independent scientists have measured a 300% increase in the level of radiation. According to them, the amount of radiation in the Pacific Ocean is increasing every year. Why is this being ignored by the mainstream media? It might have something to do with the fact that the US and Canadian governments have banned their citizens from talking about Fukushima so “people don’t panic.”

Further south in Oregon, USA, starfish began losing legs and then disintegrating entirely when Fukushima radiation arrived there in 2013. Now, they are dying in record amounts, putting the entire oceanic ecosystem in that area at risk. However, government officials say Fukushima is not to blame even though radiation in Oregon tunatripled after Fukushima. In 2014, radiation on California beaches increased by 500 percent. In response, government officials said that the radiation was coming from a mysterious “unknown” source and was nothing to worry about.

However, Fukushima is having a bigger impact than just the West coast of North America. Scientists are now saying that the Pacific Ocean is already radioactive and is currently at least 5-10 times more radioactive than when the US government dropped numerous nuclear bombs in the Pacific during and after World War II. If we don’t start talking about Fukushima soon, we could all be in for a very unpleasant surprise.

What are your thoughts on this news? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

Source : (True Activist)

North Korea can hit most of USA say American Intelligence officials

North Korea’s missiles are capable of hitting targets across most of the United States, American intelligence officials claim, citing evidence from Pyongyang’s latest missile test.
North Korea test-launched a Hwasong-14 ballistic missile on Saturday, calling it a “stern warning” to the US that it would not be safe if it resorts to military action.
The consensus in Washington is that the Hwasong-14 in many ways resembled an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and proved the North’s ability to hit targets on American soil, Reuters reported Monday, citing two US intelligence officials.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials said the missile’s 47-minute flight time was indicative of a greater range compared to another missile that was tested on July 4th, which flew 39 minutes.

This picture taken on July 4, 2017 and released by North Korea shows an intercontinental ballistic missile reportedly capable of reaching the US. (Photo by AFP)
The Hwasong-14 also made use of force stabilizing engines that gave it greater height, range and power by deflecting the effects of winds and other forces that could knock it off course while ascending.
The Pentagon says the missile’s trajectory, although not direct enough to reach the US, showed that it had the potential.
In a press briefing, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis refused to reveal the US military’s assessment but confirmed that the missile could fly at least 5,500 km (3,420 miles), the minimum range for what the Pentagon classifies as an ICBM.
“You could have the debate back and forth of whether the capability is proven or not, the fact of the matter is we take it seriously and we are prepared to defend against (it),” he noted.
Last month, the United Nations Security Council imposed a fresh array of sanctions on Pyongyang in response to a number of missile tests carried out this year.
‘Years away from North Korean nuke missile’
Russia and China have opposed calls for new sanctions and would only agree when the North obtains the required technology to develop ICBMs, according to diplomatic sources.
Unlike Washington, Beijing and Moscow argue that Pyongyang has yet to master the know-how.
US shifting blame over N Korea situation: Russia
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov played down concerns about North Korea’s ability to produce nuclear missiles, saying on Friday that the country is “years and years away from a moment they can weaponize.”
“What they are testing are quite primitive devices which require months for preparation, and which are essentially pieces of equipment with all sorts of wires and additional elements around, which simply cannot be put on top of any missile,” he added.

Read More:
US ‘done talking’ over North Korea: Haley
US, S Korea hold missile drill in response to North
‘Whole US mainland within N Korea ICBMs range’

Trump Wallowing in Wall Street’s Swamp, “Draining the swamp” Long Forgotten

So Much for ‘Drain The Swamp’: White House Won’t Say Who’s Visiting

 

If you thought the new Trump administration would prioritize transparency, don’t get your hopes up. On Friday, the White House said it would not reveal visitor logs to the public.
The move leaves open the question of what the administration has to hide, but officials said that it was “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns” that led to the decision.
The policy was first initiated by President Barack Obama, who released the names of the millions of people who enter the grounds of the White House. These records “provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president,” Noah Bookbinder of legal watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told The Hill.
Donald Trump’s White House has grown to look a lot like Wall Street despite the populist rhetoric the now-president deployed on the campaign trail. Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and Steve Mnuchin all have histories at Goldman Sachs. And even though Steve Bannon, chief strategist to Trump, frequently bashes the presence of such “globalist” bankers in the White House, Bannon himself used to work at the Mergers and Acquisitions desk at Goldman. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
It hypocrisy may not be reserved just for members of Trump’s staff:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2012
Government watchdogs say the public has a right to know who is walking into the West Wing. Instead, the man who vowed to “drain the swamp” is leading the effort to keep White House records for select eyes only.

 

Trump ‘Lacks Specialists on Russia’, Faces ‘Sabotage’ in Washington
The decision comes from the same man who stated in his inaugural address, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”
Trump kicked off that speech by stating, “we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the American People.”
Is “the time for empty talk is over?” It doesn’t appear so.

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Russia could overrun The Baltic states in THREE DAYS: US war planners say NATO has been caught napping

 

  • Think tank of army and civilian officials fear US and allies would be overrun
  • Research suggests NATO has been caught napping by a resurgent Russia
  • Russia could take the Baltic States in just 36-60 hours by launching two-pronged attack on Latvia then Estonia, according to series of war games
  • NATO would have to rush to protect Riga and Tallinn, the capitals, but they do not have enough heavy armor in their ground forces to rival Putin’s fleet
  • All 27 of Russia’s battalions have battle tanks; NATO’s 12 have none

 

Russia could overrun Eastern Europe in just three days because NATO has not been bolstering its fleet since Vladimir Putin took Crimea, according to US military predictions.

Testing every possible scenario in a series of war games, a US military think tank has concluded it would take a resurgent Russia between 36 and 60 hours to push its 27 heavily-armored battalions past NATO’s lightweight 12 to occupy the Baltic States.

Most likely, the study found, Russia would start by launching a two-pronged attack across the Latvian border, sending heavily-armed battalions in from the north and the south.

These battalions would push past the light-weight Latvian and NATO battalions before uniting to take the capital of Riga.

Once secured, the remaining part of Russia’s 27 maneuver battalions would cross the Narva reservoir into Estonia to take the ethnic Russian north-east before heading to Tallinn, the capital.

NATO’s only hope would be to concentrate its forces in Tallinn and Riga while stationing some delays along the main routes. But eventually, the West ‘would have to launched a belated nuclear attack’.

‘The outcome was, bluntly, a disaster for NATO,’ the report concludes.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

This is a map of how a US military think tank believes Russia could overrun NATO to take the Baltic States in just 36-60 hours. Even with a week's notice, NATO's 12-strong fleet would be no match against Putin's 27

This is a map of how a US military think tank believes Russia could overrun NATO to take the Baltic States in just 36-60 hours. Even with a week’s notice, NATO’s 12-strong fleet would be no match against Putin’s 27

NATO report claimed Russia's military drills have now reached levels 'unseen since the height of the Cold War'

The study by a think tank made up of US military officials warns that Russia has never appeared more likely to stage an attack on Eastern Europe and NATO forces since bolstering its fleet after taking Crimea

RUSSIA’S FLEET

27 maneuver battalions

Heavily-armored battle tanks in every battalion

Light-armored vehicles in 8 airborne fleets 

Troops stationed in Kalingrad Oblast, surrounding the Baltic States

NATO’S FLEET

12 battalions – 7 of which are the domestic fleets of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia

No main battle tanks

Only one, a single Stryker battalion, has heavy armor

NATO has adequate airpower but this would be futile with weak ground forces 

The report warns, NATO’s ground forces are no match for Russia’s. They do not have any battle tanks; all of Russia’s do. And NATO would have little room for maneuver, annexed in by Russian forces in Kalingrad Oblast.

In the scenario given by the study, NATO would have one week’s notice to defend Eastern Europe.

 

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The study, carried out between 2014 and 2015, suggested even a combination of US and Baltic troops combined with US airstrikes would not be able to prevent Russia advancing.

Seven of NATO’s 12 battalions in Eastern Europe are domestic fleets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They only have one heavy armored fleet, a single Stryker battalion, and no main battle tanks, the report explains.

Though NATO’s air power could put up a strong defense, it would be futile as its lightweight ground forces would be plowed down by Russia’s.

‘The games’ findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,’ the report said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3430259/Russia-overrun-Eastern-Europe-THREE-DAYS-NATO-caught-napping-Putin-hopelessly-outgunned-according-military-predictions.html#ixzz4oSOaoDeS
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Putin says he Has Proof Princess Diana Was Killed By British Royal Family

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a call-to-action to the people of Britain, saying that following the murder of their beloved Princess Diana 18 years ago, the country must prosecute the Royal family after conclusive proof has emerged that they were responsible for her assassination.

During a solemn Christmas luncheon at the Kremlin, Putin accused Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles of arranging the murder of Princess Diana via MI6 agents in Paris. He says that after speaking with Elton John on the telephone last month, he was privy to irrefutable evidence that the royal family had blood on their hands.

WATCH: Banned Princess Diana Documentary ‘Unlawful Killing’

During an informal and reflective speech, Putin told a select group of colleagues and esteemed state-approved journalists that Diana’s brutal assassination brought him unfathomably to tears at the time in 1997, and that he knew deep down that her death was due to foul-play.

Putin, who vows to destroy the Illuminati in 2016, said that the late great Princess Diana was a thorn in the side of the corrupt British establishment, and served as a constant threat to their existence due to the fact she knew way too much about what the illuminati had in store for humanity.

Holding back the tears, Putin stood up at the table with a glass of Vodka raised, and proclaimed:

She was about to go on the world’s stage and tell a very shocking truth”, he told the crowd who had just finished their blini appetiser.

And now, friends, I know this truth and I am prepared to let the world know too,” he warned, before slamming the drink back.

He continued, “That person sitting in Buckingham palace isn’t some innocent wrinkly old monkey. She’s evil incarnate. The whole rotten family needs to abolished”.

According to one of the journalists present, the crowd erupted into spontaneous applause at the man they have affectionally dubbed ‘The Illuminati Killer’ in Moscow.

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An 80-year-old retired MI5 agent, John Hopkins, has made a series of astonishing confessions since he was released from hospital in London on Wednesday and told he has weeks to live. Hopkins claims to have been involved in 23 assassinations for the British intelligence agency between 1973 and 1999, including Princess Diana. 

Mr. Hopkins, who worked for M15 for 38 years as an operative, claims he was often used as an hitman by the agency, to discreetly assassinate individuals considered a threat to the domestic security of the United Kingdom.

Trained as both a mechanical engineer and munitions expert, Mr. Hopkins claims he also has extensive experience of less conventional methods of inflicting death and destruction, including chemicals and poisons.

The 80-year-old British man claims he was involved with MI5 assassinations between June 1973 and December 1999, during a period he says “the MI5 operated with less external oversight.” Hopkins says he was part of a cell of seven operatives who were trusted to carry out political assassinations across the UK. Most victims were politicians, activists, journalists and union leaders.

Mr. Hopkins says Princess Diana is unique among his victims, as she is the only female he ever assassinated, as well as the only Royal. She is also the only victim that the Royal Family themselves ordered to be taken out.

[Banned Worldwide: Princess Diana Documentary ‘Unlawful Killing’. Must See.]

He claims to feel “ambivalent” about Princess Diana’s death. On the one hand, Diana was “a beautiful, kind-hearted woman” who did not deserve to have her life cut short. But according to Mr. Hopkins, she was also placing the British Crown at risk:

She knew too many Royal secrets. She had a huge grudge and she was going to go public with all sorts ofwild claims. My boss told me she had to die – he’d received orders directly from Prince Philip – and we had to make it look like an accident. I’d never killed a woman before, much less a princess, but I obeyed orders. I did it for Queen and country.”

The next stage of the high-level conspiracy involved the media, under tight Palace control, talking to each other to “square their stories, make sure everybody was on the same page. It was a well run operation.”

British journalists all answer to editors who answer to oligarchs who all want knighthoods from the crime family at Buckingham Palace. There is no free press in Britain,” said Mr. Hopkins.

“We got away with murder.”

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The 80-year-old, spending his final weeks at home, said he expects to be taken into custody following his admissions, but says “I can’t say that I care an awful lot.” Hopkins explained that any investigation into the affair would “take forever” and be “very complicated” because there are few written records around secret MI5 activities and “most of my colleagues are already dead“.

The most important witness in the case, Mr. Hopkin’s boss, died of a heart attack in “the early 2000s” and the alleged ringleader, Prince Philip, “will never be charged with anything, of course

[Queen Elizabeth Ordered Princess Diana Murder Says Diana’s Best Friend]

If Prince Philip ever let himself be analyzed by a psychiatrist I’m sure he’d be diagnosed a psychopath. He has all the dark triad traits.”

Asked why he didn’t refuse the job, or expose the plot at the time, he explained “MI5 agents swear allegiance to the Crown, we can’t be impartial when it comes to the Royal family. At best I would have been done for treason, at worst Philip would have designed a grisly fate for me.

Yournewswire

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at Your News Wire. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.

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Venezuela’s Maduro cheers election, meanwhile opposition barricades streets

CARACAS (Reuters) – Anti-government demonstrators barricaded streets on Monday and promised a fresh wave of protests against President Nicolas Maduro, after an election a day earlier giving the Venezuelan leader and his ruling Socialist Party sweeping powers.

At least 10 people were killed on Sunday in protests against the unpopular Maduro, who insists the country’s newly elected constituent assembly will bring peace after four months of protests that have killed more than 120 people.

Opposition parties sat out the election, saying it was rigged as part of a naked power grab by Maduro, leaving all 545 of the assembly’s seats for the socialists and their allies.

Protesters set up barricades along main avenues of Caracas as they denounced the advent of dictatorship.

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Construction worker Leonardo Valbuena, 35, leaning on a rusting barrel next to a cable was stretched across a usually busy street, said he was protesting because the economic crisis had left him unable to find work.

“I’ve got four kids – four! How am I supposed to feed them?” said Valbuena, adding that the official figure of 8 million voters in Sunday’s election was inflated. The opposition put the figure at around 2.5 million.

“Now that they’ve got their assembly they’re going to come for us. But we’ll die fighting them.”

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Countries across the Americas, as well as the European Union, denounced the creation of the assembly, which will have the power to rewrite the constitution.

The United States – the top market for the OPEC nation’s oil – called the vote a sham, and officials in Washington said they were preparing oil-sector sanctions.

Opposition leaders say the election was designed to tighten Maduro’s hold on power amid growing anger over an economic crisis marked by rising poverty levels, the world’s highest inflation rate and chronic food shortages.

Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who has been harshly critical of Maduro this year, said the creation of the constituent assembly was putting “absolute power” in the hands of the Socialist Party leadership.

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“We are in the presence of dictatorial ambitions,” Ortega told a news conference.

“Nobody recognizes that (constituent) assembly, it’s the epitome of nothing,” said legislator Juan Requesens in an internet broadcast as he entered Congress for a meeting with opposition deputies.

Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello on Sunday hinted that the constituent assembly would meet in the same legislative palace. The socialists had controlled Congress until the opposition’s landslide victory in 2015.

“They kick us out the door we come back through the window,” he told a news conference.

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Requesens, however, warned of a struggle if government forces wanted to seize the premises of the legislature.

“If they want to take over Congress with their armored vehicles, with their paramilitary groups, then what’s waiting for them here is a fight,” he said, referring to armed pro-government gangs who recently burst into Congress and beat legislators with lead pipes, leaving several of them bloodied and injured.

Latin American nations from Argentina to Mexico, which are historically wary of siding with Washington in hemispheric disputes, sharply condemned the vote, leaving Venezuela on track to become a pariah state.

The EU said the constituent assembly could not be part of the negotiated solution to the country’s crisis, noting it was elected under doubtful and often violent circumstances..

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The opposition organized an unofficial referendum over Maduro’s plan earlier in July, when more than 7 million voters overwhelmingly rejected his constituent assembly and voted in favor of early presidential elections.

Additional reporting by Fabian Cambero, Diego Ore

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a meeting with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela July 30, 2017. Picture taken July 30, 2017.

Government officials have for weeks suggested that she will be removed by the new assembly, which will have the power to dissolve state institutions such as the opposition-run Congress and dismiss state officials.

Maduro on Monday night called for a “restructuring” of the chief prosecutor’s office.

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Helsinki builds massive underground CITY to prepare for Russia invasion

AN UNDERGROUND city is being prepared for habitation in case Russia invades Europe during a military exercise

Hundreds of miles of tunnels underneath Helsinki, Finland, have been painstakingly constructed in the case of an emergency.

Nine million cubic metres of passageways will fit all 600,000 residents of the capital should there be an invasion.

Russia is currently preparing to conduct its Zapad 2017 military exercise, the largest since the end of the cold war.

Russian troops, directed by Moscow, will carry out drills close to the Finnish borders and unease is spreading.

In Europe, Nato allies fear President Vladimir Putin’s true intentions leading to ”serious doubts Moscow is revealing the true extent of its military exercises”.

It has now been revealed Finnish soldiers are carrying out training to deal with a mass evacuation.

The City Planning Department has said parts of the network are highly classified, while other areas are for the people.

In March, soldiers carried out an exercise which was designed to prepare for a siege on the city.

Neighbouring Estonia has already voiced major concerns over Putin’s practice close to their country.

 

Finnish authorities have tunnels under the capitalGETTY

Finnish authorities have built tunnels under the capital city over Russia invasion fears

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