Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons | The Center for Public Integrity

“If confirmed, I intend to make sure that [DOE laboratories and intelligence experts] … These programs have experienced billions of dollars in cost overruns in recent years, forcing the administration to look elsewhere in the DOE budget to find the money it needs to keep them alive.

Moniz, in his confirmation hearing, tread carefully around the topic of what the department should be spending on nonproliferation. The study determined that the modernization program was underfunded, and steps have been taken to ensure adequate funding for essential modernization needs moving forward.”

The priority shift “is going to be a disaster,” said a Democratic congressional aide, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the budget before its official release. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Jennifer D. Not by a long shot.” He also proudly said the government has been “increasing funding, and sustaining it … Elzea, declined to address the issue in detail but confirmed that “over the past year DOD and DOE carried out a joint study regarding DOD’s nuclear weapons requirements and funding options for those requirements. Specifically, officials said, the Energy Department determined in consultation with the Pentagon that it would likely need $10 billion in new funds to fulfill all of its promises to the military for the production of modernized warheads, over the next decade alone.

Under the Obama administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2014, spending for the MOX plant would be around $330 million, or 47 percent of the budget it was supposed to get next year. That would include a 16 percent cut in spending on efforts to halt the use of fissile material in civilian nuclear reactors and collect or secure weapons-usable fissile materials in other countries; an 8 percent cut in spending on policy to control the spread of nuclear weapons-related technologies; and a 36 percent cut in efforts to monitor potential illicit commerce in fissile materials.

In the end, the Pentagon was cajoled into contributing $3 billion more. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and independent arms control groups predicted the decision will provoke controversy and a substantial budget fight this year.

The department also needs more funds than anticipated for improvements to the W76 warhead, which is carried by Trident submarine-based missiles.

Only one category of Energy Department nonproliferation work would be increased – research and development, mostly to finance work on a new nuclear detonation sensor to be placed about Air Force satellites.

Under the 2014 proposal, the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons activities funding — which includes modernization efforts for bomber-based and missile-based warheads – would be increased roughly 7 percent, or around $500 million, above the current level of $7.227 billion for these activities.

Tom Collina, research director for the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said “in a way,” it seems inconsistent for the administration to promote arms control while cutting the DOE’s nonproliferation budget. military deploys could be cut by at least a third, below a limit of 1550 established in a treaty with Russia in 2010. At the end of it, a $250 million DOE “nuclear counterterrorism incident response” program previously considered a weapons activity was shifted to the nonproliferation budget account, a change that has the effect of making the bottom line for that account look better than it otherwise would have.

But then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, after hearing from aides that these overruns were due in part to poor management and inaccurate cost accounting at DOE, initially said the department would not provide any new funds to DOE, on top of the $4.5 billion it previously promised to cover earlier overruns, according to two government officials privy to the deliberations.

To cover the $10 billion total cost overrun, the Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration agreed to transfer roughly $3 billion into weapons work from management accounts and other internal savings. programs for securing, reducing and eliminating weapons usable nuclear materials are a critical part of our strategy for combating nuclear terrorism and preventing the proliferation of these deadly dangerous materials…A decision to significantly cut these programs, including our near-term ability to dispose of excess plutonium, would be a setback to our ability to reach critical security goals.”

Asked for comment, NNSA spokesman Robert Middaugh said he could not respond until the budget has been formally released. Its construction would be greatly slowed, while the Defense Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration study alternative ways to safeguard tons of the excess plutonium.

The Energy Department needs at least $3 billion to $5 billion more to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb – meant for deployment aboard strategic and tactical aircraft – than it initially expected, and several billions of dollars more to cover cost overruns in construction of the uranium processing facility. “I will certainly look into this with high priority” if confirmed, he told Scott.

Under the Obama proposal, the budget for other DOE work related to nuclear nonproliferation would also be curtailed by about $277 million. because our national security depends on it.”

One, who asked not to be named, said the DOE shortfall had set off “months of wrangling” about the issue, not only within the department but at the highest levels of the administration. “These cuts are going to be huge,” and will be particularly problematic amid budget boosts for weapons programs that many lawmakers believe “have been mismanaged for the last five to six years.”. (Work on the facility and its equipment was well along when DOE abruptly realized it would not be large enough to accommodate needed machinery, forcing a costly redesign and lengthy delays.)

Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, ducked multiple questions from Sen. continue to sustain the nation’s nuclear security,” he said, without delving into budgetary issues or specific programs.

Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit arms control group founded by Ted Turner and former Sen. But that still left a $4 billion gap between DOE’s nuclear weapons-related promises to the military and its ability to complete that work, forcing a scramble during the department’s budget deliberations to cut from other programs, officials said.

But several officials and other sources familiar with the administration’s budget deliberations this year said the DOE nuclear weapons-related cost overruns and the new austerity climate gripping Washington – including the demand under so-called “sequestration” legislation for $54 billion in national security spending cuts each year until 2021 -had upended the administration’s plans to spend more on nonproliferation.

The Center for Public Integrity has previously reported administration officials had agreed that the number of nuclear warheads the U.S. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.) about whether he supports completing the MOX plant. It then asked the Pentagon to provide the additional $7 billion.

The half-billion-dollar shift in spending priorities reflects an administration decision that nuclear explosives work the Energy Department performs for the military should be both accelerated and expanded. nuclear weapons arsenal into fuel for reactors that generate electricity, known as the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant in Savannah River, S.C. But he said officials may have calculated that they cannot win congressional support for further cuts in nuclear arsenals with Russia without spending billions more to refurbish America’s remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons, under a bargain Obama struck during his first term.

The new weapons-related spending would expand efforts to upgrade the W76, W88, W78, and B-61 warheads, and help fund construction of a new facility in Tennessee for processing uranium, a nuclear explosive used in these and other warheads. Sam Nunn, said “the U.S. That plant was initially budgeted at $1.8 billion, but the pricetag has ballooned to at least $7.5 billion, provoking widespread criticism and allegations of mismanagement.

The plant is about 60 percent completed, but one senior administration official called it “managerially and programmatically, a nightmare,” with continuously rising costs.

The department’s nonproliferation programs, aimed at diminishing the security threat posed by fissile materials in other countries that can be used for nuclear weapons, would be cut by roughly 20 percent, or $460 million, below the current level of $2.45 billion, the officials said.

As recently as December 3, President Obama described the government’s nuclear nonproliferation efforts – including some directed by the Defense Department – as “one of our most important national security programs.” Speaking at the National Defense University, Obama said the effort was “nowhere near done. The officials have also decided to discuss a potential agreement for such reductions with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The Obama administration will propose a deep cut in funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department largely so it can boost the department’s spending to modernize its stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to government officials familiar with the proposed 2014 federal budget to be unveiled Wednesday, April 10.

Much of the reduction in nonproliferation spending – around $183 million – would come from a controversial plant designed to transform excess plutonium from the U.S

Posted by admin on May 23rd, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Are there still operational, targeted nuclear weapons, on ballistic missiles, which would explode as they hit the ground to form a crater kilometres across and hundreds of metres deep, unlike air burst nuclear explosions, from cruise missile delivery?

To comply with the START II most US multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, have been eliminated and replaced with single warhead missiles. The U.S. The U.S. Each submarine is equipped with a complement of 24 Trident II missiles. with about 5,400 total nuclear warheads: around 3,575 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads; and about 1,260 additional warheads held in the inactive stockpile. maintains about 400 nuclear gravity bombs capable of use by F-15, F-16, and F-35. Sea-launch weapons make up the majority of weapons declared under START II rules. However, since the abandonment of the START II treaty, the U.S. Other warheads are in some step of the disassembly process.”

“- Land-based intercontinental ballistic and cruise missiles (ICBMs)

The US Air Force currently operates about 450-500 ICBMs at around 15 missile complexes located primarily in the northern Rocky Mountain states and the Dakotas. attack submarines are equipped to launch, but do not currently carry nuclear Tomahawk missiles. Some Trident missiles are equipped with the W88 warhead.. All USAF Minuteman II missiles have been destroyed in accordance to START and their launch silos sealed or sold to the public. The bomber force consists of 94 B-52s, and 19 B-2s. “For 2007, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists listed the U.S. These are all of the Minuteman III ICBM variants. The Strategic Air Command which for decades had kept nuclear weapons aboard bomber aircraft aloft 24 hours a day was disbanded in 1992 and merged into the US Strategic Command. Peacekeeper missiles were phased out of the Air Force inventory in 2005. The first Minuteman III were removed under this plan in 2007 while, at the same time, the warheads deployed on Minuteman IIIs began to be upgraded from smaller W62s to larger W87s from decommissioned Peacekeeper missiles.

- Heavy bomber group:

The US Air Force also operates a strategic nuclear bomber fleet. is said to be considering retaining 500 warheads on 450 missiles. Some 350 of these bombs are deployed at seven airbases in six European NATO countries[11]; of these, 180 tactical B61 nuclear bombs fall under a nuclear sharing arrangement.”

Source and further information:

- Sea-based ICBMs:

The US Navy currently has 14 SSBN Ohio-class submarines deployed. Approximately 12 U.S. goal under the SORT treaty is to reduce from 1,600 warheads deployed on over 500 missiles in 2003 to 500 warheads on 450 missiles in 2012. All 64 B-1s were retrofitted to operate in a solely conventional mode by 2007 and are no longer counted as nuclear forces.

In addition to this, the US armed forces can also deploy tactical smaller nuclear weapons either through cruise missiles or with conventional fighter-bombers

Posted by admin on May 22nd, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized Online Sportsbook, Live Casino, Slots, Keno, Lottery, 优德W88

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Posted by admin on May 21st, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

White ‘Halo’ Xbox One bundle coming to the US

And in case you missed out on the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive bundle from last year, now’s your chance to get one. Microsoft just revealed a kit that’s loaded with a white version of the console, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 500GB of storage and a 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial. But you better hurry if you want it — as usual, this will only be up for grabs in limited quantities. The special edition is only available in the US and costs $350, which would save you about $50.

Source: Xbox

Tags: hdpostcross, Microsoft

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. White ‘Halo’ Xbox One bundle coming to the US

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Posted by admin on May 21st, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

28 dối tượng trong dường day danh bạc hang tram tỷ Fun88 bị truy tố | Phap luật

S? ti?n c? b?c giao d?ch qua các tài kho?n này lên ??n hàng tr?m t? ??ng.

Theo k?t lu?n ?i?u tra, Toàn tr??c ?ây là thành viên tích c?c c?a trang m?ng c? b?c M88, ?ã b? B? Công an ?ánh s?p. ?? núp bóng tinh vi ho?t ??ng, Toàn thành l?p công ty CP truy?n thông FAM, v?i gi?y phép ???c c?p là qu?ng cáo, marketing qua m?ng Internet.

Toàn s? d?ng các tài kho?n ?? chuy?n ti?n cho nhà cái ? n??c ngoài; ??ng th?i thanh toán ti?n c? b?c cho các con b?c trong n??c. Trong th?i gian là chân r?t c? b? c?a M88, Toàn thi?t l?p ???ng dây ?ánh b?c c?c l?n thông qua trang m?ng khác, là Fun88… Con b?c mu?n tr? thành thành viên trang Fun88 ph?i chuy?n ti?n b?ng ngo?i t? hay ti?n Vi?t Nam vào tài kho?n cho Toàn, r?i ???c c?p m?t tài kho?n trên trang c? b?c trên, có s? ti?n ?o t??ng ???ng, dùng ?? ?ánh b?c. . Có 59 tài kho?n ngân hàng c?a nhân viên công ty CP truy?n thông FAM ???c Toàn s? d?ng vào m?c ?ích c? b?c. Toàn ???c xác ??nh là giám ??c công ty CP truy?n thông FAM (tr? s? ? m?t tòa nhà trên ???ng ?inh Tiên Hoàng, ph??ng ?a Kao, qu?n 1, TPHCM).

27 ng??i có liên quan ??n ???ng dây ?ánh b?c này b? ?? ngh? truy t? v? t?i “?ánh b?c”, trong ?ó không ít b? can là gi?i trí th?c, công ch?c Nhà n??c…

???c bi?t giao di?n trang Fun88 có nhi?u ngôn ng? khác nhau, ng??i ch?i có th? ??t c??c ? t?t c? các môn c? b?c và có th? ?ánh b?c tr?c ti?p v?i nhau. Gi?a n?m 2012, Toàn chuy?n giao quy?n ?i?u hành công ty cho ng??i em h? là V? Vi?t H?i (SN 1985, ng? qu?n Bình Th?nh) nh?ng th?c ch?t v?n ?i?u hành t?t c? m?i ho?t ??ng.

Theo k?t qu? ?i?u tra, ???ng dây ?ánh b?c qua m?ng Fun88 có hàng ngàn con b?c tham gia trên c? n??c, trong ?ó không ít con b?c là gi?i trí th?c, doanh nhân, ng??i giàu có…

C?m ??u t? ch?c ???ng dây ?ánh b?c tr?c tuy?n là Ph?m Huy Toàn (SN 1977, ng? qu?n Bình Th?nh, TPHCM, có 1 ti?n án t?i “l?a ??o chi?m ?o?t tài s?n”) b? ?? ngh? truy t? v? t?i “t? ch?c ?ánh b?c”.

Th?c t? l?y danh ngh?a này, Toàn tuy?n nhân viên, yêu c?u m?i ng??i dùng gi?y t? cá nhân m? 5 – 6 tài kho?n ngân hàng r?i có gi?y ?y quy?n cho Toàn s? d?ng các tài kho?n này

Posted by admin on May 20th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Return To Saigon – CBS News

All Rights Reserved. But Ky’s visit underscores a significant shift in attitudes among many overseas Vietnamese – the “Viet kieu” – hundreds of thousands of whom fled the Communist regime decades ago. after many years apart.”

© 2004 The Associated Press. Increasingly, through travel and business deals, they are renewing ties with their homeland.

In 1975, when Communist North Vietnamese forces took over Saigon, the capital of U.S-backed South Vietnam, Ky escaped by flying a helicopter out to sea, landing on a U.S. More than US$2 billion in remittances was sent to Vietnam in 2002.

“A lot of people said ‘Don’t go, don’t go,’ but I said this is my home, my country,” Ky said as he was driven in a van from the airport. 28 and visiting his hometown of Son Tay, about 25 miles northwest of the capital.

Nguyen Cao Ky, 73, former South Vietnamese premier, in Ho Chi Minh City, on 1-14-04, when he returned to his homeland for the first time since fleeing the country in 1975, during the fall of Saigon.


Former exiled South Vietnamese premier Nguyen Cao Ky returned Wednesday to the Communist country he fled nearly three decades ago, in his first homecoming trip since the Vietnam War ended.

Ky, 73, of Hacienda Heights, California, arrived in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport with his wife, daughter and three friends, becoming one of the best-known political figures from the former U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government to return.

Ky, one of the most colorful leaders during the Vietnam War, was a flamboyant fighter pilot who became premier following a military coup in 1965. 22 this year. He also wrote several books and lectured at universities.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of Viet kieu have returned for visits, with an estimated 200,000 flooding home annually for Tet celebrations, which begin Jan. “We Asians, we believe in destiny, so it’s the right time, the right moment to come.”

Arriving at his hotel, Ky reached out to give a warm hug to his former bodyguard who had come to greet him, along with a small crowd of friends, some bearing flowers.

“The war ended 30 years ago, but it still divides us into two camps. “And I believe if everybody loves the country and loves its people, we will sit together as one.”

By Tini Tran

In Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, the welcome for Ky was echoed by Doan Dinh Nhat, 65, a former soldier in the South Vietnamese army who spent three years in re-education camp after the war.

The one-time air force general went on to serve as vice president under Nguyen Van Thieu in 1967-1971.

He is expected to visit friends and family in Ho Chi Minh City before flying to Hanoi Jan. So I want to put aside the past hatred, and just sit together and talk to one another, face to face,” he told Radio Free Asia. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. If we stay bitter, it doesn’t change anything,” said Nhat, a motorbike taxi driver.

In southern California – which has the largest Vietnamese population in the U.S. U.S. officials were wary of his reputation as a playboy with a fondness for drinking, gambling and womanizing.

Prior to his return, which coincides with Tet Lunar New Year festivities, Ky, a long-standing critic of the Communist leadership in Hanoi, said in interviews that he wants to bring a message of reconciliation on his trip.

“He’s been away a long time so it’s a good chance for him to come back. – some activists have condemned Ky’s visit to Vietnam, arguing it bestows legitimacy on a corrupt government.

Vietnam, which issued a tourist visa to Ky, has said it welcomes his decision “to come back to the homeland …

Communist Vietnam, which once viewed the returnees with outright suspicion and hostility, has changed its approach, now actively wooing overseas Vietnamese to return as tourists or to invest and do business in their homeland.

There are an estimated 2.7 million Viet kieu, including about 1.3 million in the United States.. naval carrier. A resident of southern California since then, he became a businessman. It’s normal that he wants to come home

Posted by admin on May 20th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

FUN88 Has Now Taken a Majority Stake in BETNGO | Reuters

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FUN88 Has Now Taken a Majority Stake in BETNGO

Posted by admin on May 19th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Card Tattoo Designs And Meanings; Card Tattoo Variations And Ideas-Playing Card Tattoos, Designs, And Pictures

The Ace of Spades is often the top card in most card games. Other popular hands include the full house and straight.

Another card that is often chosen for card tattoo designs is the Joker. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 is the card types used in playing cards. The royal flush hand symbolizes power, success, and winning. This tattoo is popular among the women and can represent a few different things. Card tattoos can represent one’s love and passion for gambling, but they can also be used to symbolize other things. The Queen of Hearts is often associated to Alice in Wonderland. In your traditional deck, you have 52 playing cards. Another popular hand that men and women choose is the playing hand of four aces. But in the poker world, it is often viewed as a good luck charm.

Another popular card that is chosen to be tattooed alone in the Queen of Hearts. With all the different things you can do with card tattoos, it is easy to see why they are a popular tattoo choice.

There are a variety of different card hands that are chosen for tattoo designs. You actually have 54, which includes two Joker cards, but they are rarely used in most card games. The Joker card tattoo can symbolize good luck, as it is often a wild card in many card games. This hand includes the cards of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10. One of the most popular hands are the royal flush. The Queen of Hearts tattoo may also represent the will to survive. The most popular card to be tattooed is the Ace of Spades. The Ace is the highest playing card in the entire deck. The Ace of Spades can symbolize achievement, power, winning, and leadership. Card tattoos are very popular among professional card players or anyone that enjoys cards and gambling.

Card tattoos make for some very interesting tattoo designs that come in a variety of different variations and styles. Each card is set to a specific suit. In order for this hand to be a royal flush, all of the cards have to be from the same suit. The Joker tattoo can be displayed in several different ways. Each type has four cards, 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, ect. There is also a darker side of the Ace of Spades. If you have ever watched the movie, you may recall seeing this card. You need to get a background on general information about cards. Each card in the deck is part of a four card set. Many people may display the Batman character holding a Joker card. The royal flush is the highest winning hand you can have. Due to this, the Queen of Hearts tattoo can symbolize determination and perseverance. Four aces can be used to symbolize power, victory, or good luck. Because of this, the Ace of Spades is often called the Death Card.

Before you choose to get a card tattoo, you need to make sure you have an understanding of how cards are played. There are several choices when it comes to single card tattoos. Some people link the Queen of Hearts to love.

Some men and women may want to only get a single card tattooed on them. These cards were often placed on the helmets of soldiers during the Vietnam War. This is one of the reasons that it is so popular. The Joker can also be used to symbolize misfortune and deceit. The four suits that are used include Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs.

Posted by admin on May 19th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Column: FIFA presidency no laughing matter as would-be candidate becomes frontman for gambling

After Thursday’s passing of the entry deadline, “Team Ginola” should fade away.

John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. But I mean you’re talking about one of the biggest, powerfulest jobs in football and all you’re getting to hear about is Paddy Power.”

Sports and gambling have, of course, long gone together, feeding off each other’s success and growth. Sport “matters more when there’s money on it,” it says. But the mere thought of the gambling industry even attempting to place a stooge at the very top of football makes the prospect of another Blatter term seem perhaps not quite so bad.

. That much was clear from the Paddy Power branding.

“I’m here today to talk about love” were the Frenchman’s seductive opening words at his campaign launch in London this month.


“It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said in a phone interview. Hull against Aston Villa on Feb. 10 will pit two Asian online bookmakers against each other. FIFA’s election and ethics rules will almost certainly keep him off the May ballot. In pocketing 250,000 pounds (335,000 euros; US$375,000) from bookmaker Paddy Power for this stunt, Ginola became the latest Trojan horse in the gambling and gaming industry’s creeping and creepy embrace of football.

And how about this blurb from Sky Bet, title sponsor since 2013 of England’s three divisions below the Premier League. What ever happened to sport for sport’s sake, for the buzz of competition, not a bet? How quaint. “There’s more passion, more pleasure and more pain.”

We’re talking here about David Ginola. Tuning in for results of football betting pools, which offered big jackpots for small stakes, was a Saturday afternoon ritual for many 20th Century English families.

Twaddle takes a very dim view of Ginola’s Paddy Power-backed grab for FIFA.

Bet. It won’t happen; FIFA’s ethics rules should see to that. Write to him at or follow him at

Imagine, for a moment, a Paddy Power-financed FIFA president. This was about making a splash. “It’s great for Paddy Power. That was before online bookmakers offered odds on anything and everything, from match results and goals scored to which team will win the coin toss or take the first corner, and before their relentless advertising.

Asking your kids to make tea during half-time breaks won’t shield them from the bombardment, not with gambling ads flashing throughout matches on pitch-side light-boards. The increase was three-fold for children aged 4-15.

“It just makes like a mockery of football.”

PARIS –  Don’t laugh. Bet some more.

And that isn’t funny at all.

But that’s not the point here. In the UK, which liberalized gambling advertising in 2007, adults’ exposure to gambling commercials on television soared five-fold in eight years to 2012, regulator Ofcom found. So silky as a player for Newcastle and Tottenham; so ridiculous now with his car-crash campaign for the FIFA presidency.

Whoa. It reads like a plug for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Ginola has zero chance of unseating Sepp Blatter. There’s nothing funny about the gambling industry’s latest wheeze to sink its teeth even deeper into football and its fans.

All this in a sport grappling with the increasing danger of gambling-related match-fixing and with ample examples of gambling-addicted players who frittered away their wealth.

“It’s eyeballs we’re after,” 12Bet executive Rory Anderson, quoted in the Daily Mail, said when the online bookmaker became the name on Hull City’s shirt for this Premier League season.

But the targets were our wallets and spending habits, not our hearts. Bet again. Villa’s shirt sponsor is dafabet, a name that works better in Chinese, where “dafa” means “big wealth.” Stoke and Burnley players are billboards for Bet365 and Fun88 (another name that plays on the Chinese word to get rich).

That is the message that football, more than most other sports, is mainlining into our homes, helped by names like Ginola and teams lending their cachet, stadiums, jerseys and players to the industry that had cash to splash when the 2008 financial crisis hobbled other sponsors.

One of those is Kevin Twaddle, a former player for Motherwell and other Scottish clubs who told his story in the biography, “Life On The Line: How to Lose a Million and So Much More.” He no longer gambles and has delivered talks to other players about the risks.

But gambling advertising wasn’t as in-your-face as now

Posted by admin on May 18th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Winter Solstice ~ What it means, its origins and how it is celebrated around the world

The axis at New Grange were set for the Winter Solstice.

Sun Celebration,

Yule or Yuletide is also a celebrated secular alternative to “Christmas”, commonly occurring on the winter solstice or December 24th and 25th, in the northern hemisphere.

In Finland, the Saami, which are the indigenous peoples of much of Scandinavia,worship a sun goddes of fertility and sanity. Originally Celebrated by the Ancient Greeks as Kronia the festival of Chronos, Saturnalia was the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of Saturn, which originally took place on 17 December, but expanded to a whole week, up to the 23 of December.

This year, Winter Solstice falls on December 21nd.

The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect.

Archeologists and paleontologists believe that solstice festivals may have gone on since neolithic times, since physical remains have been found during Neolithic and Bronze Age archeological sites such as Stonehenge and New Grange.

Sun rising at Stonehenge in southern England during Summer Solstice. Children disguised themselves as Koledari, and visited house and sang songs of good luck. The winter months were also known as the famine months in ancient times. This originated as Lussi Night and was usually occurred on December 13, which was believed to have been the longest night of the year.The Roman Catholic church appropriated this feast and called it Santa Lucia or St. Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves during this period.

Of course, one of the most beautiful festivals is that of Santa Lucia, St. Winter Solstice is commonly referred to globally as December Solstice.

In Pakistan, a demigod returns on this night to collect prayers; men and boys, women and children undergo purification baths, after which a great festival follows.

Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu emerging from a cave.

Besides public rituals, there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. Families made a fire and invited their personal household Gods to join the festival. colorful, informal “dinner clothes”; and a certain ‘freedman’s hat’ was worn by everyone. On this night, Hors, which symbolizes the old sun, becomes smaller as the days become shorter in the Northern Hemisphere.

The earliest recorded Australian midwinter bonfire was lit in  Moonta,  the night leading into  June 24, 1862 by  immigrants carrying on the European Midsummer  tradition. In Russia, this festival was later applied to Christmas Eve but most practices were lost during Communism. Lucy’s day in Sweden. Wikipedia commons, free license. Missionaries finally convinced many in Europe to abandon this practice around the 13th century in Europe.


Fires burned brightly during Winter Solstice in ancient times.

New Grange, Ireland, dating from about 3,000 BC. “Jewish Yule”) for Chanukkah.

Machu Picchu sunrise, Wikipedia public domain

Use of evergreens, large ongoing fires, feasting and gathering with friends and family, dancing and making merry are hallmarks of the winter solstice celebrations since ancient times, and even since the beginning of civilization.

The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned, framing the winter solstice sunrise (New Grange)and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge).

Winter solstice festivals in the Northern Hemisphere have gone on since ancient times, focusing on lights, feasts, town and community gatherings, and many celebrations that are the origins of some of the practices associated during the Christmas holidays.

In Ireland, winter begins on All Hallows, November 1, also known as Samhain, with winter ending and the beginning of Spring celebrating on Imbolc or Candlemas on February 1 or 2.

In the Northern Hemisphere, that means the shortest day of the year.  In the Southern Hemisphere, that day is longer on that day than on any other day of the year. The Spanish Conquistadores never found Machu Picchu, and so Machu Picchu remains the only extant example of this early Incan practice of using the large stone column, the Intihuatana, to tie the post to the sun, to prevent the sun from escaping.

A large and important public festival in Rome, it involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch set in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year.

In China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, the festival that marks the extreme of winter is one of the most important festivals; this festival dates back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance, noting, of course, the shortest day and longest night during the year, during which time the heavens become more in balance. The midwinter bonfire holiday also began in Burra soon after.

In Sweden, and also in many other parts of Europe, tribes that were polytheistic in origin often celebrated a Midvinterblot or mid-winter sacrifice, that often featured both animal and human sacrifice, not unlike the sacrifices of the Incas of the lamb or the virgin by the Priests at Machu Picchu.

Saturnalia, of course, is the Winter Solstice feast that predates most Winter Solstice feasts. They were given gifts in return, much like the old wassailing or mummers tradition.

The contemporary Scandinavian Jul, Julfest, Jol or Joulu is primarily a cultural observance and does not distinguish between the Germanic feast, the Christian Christmas, the secular Yule, the Neopagan Yule, or the pre-indo European winter solstice celebration and is also occasionally used to denote other holidays in December, e.g., “jodisk jul” or “judisk jul” (tr. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Lucy’s Day, and was believed in the Swedish folklore that if Swedish children did not carry out their chores that a female demon would punish them.

Currently, Yulefest is observed by various Australians, often starting on a weekend in late  June.

Wikipedia public domain

Priests also sacrificed llamas and virgins at Machu Picchu.

The sacrifice was to appease the Gods, to convince them to let go of Winter’s cold, cruel grip. She travels through the sky in a vehicle made of reindeer bones with her daughter; this is believed to signal the return of green to the world.

The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. Most wine and beer that had been made was finally ready for drinking during this time.

The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not assured to live through the winter, and had to be prepared during the previous nine months.

In Hawaii, the night of Hoku was a celebration on the full moon closest to the winter solstice.

Winter Solstice festivals around the world, from early times.. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals, which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves ostensibly switch places, temporarily reversing the social order.

Nobody was assured of surviving the cold, bleak winter months with minimal shelter and little food. The midwinter celebration was known as the last celebration of a feast, before deep winter began.

Creative Commons: Fredrik Magnusson

Solar celebrations in the Southern Hemisphere often occur on December 24.

In Japan, dating from the 7th century, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu (or Amateras, Hindu) re-emerged from her cave, to bring sunlight back to the world. Stonehenge was used a s a calendar during ancient times. The longer daylight hours are believed to restore energy. Balls of sticky rice, which symbolize reunion, are eaten during this time.

Karachun, Korochun or KraÃ,,Ã,un was a Slavic holiday as a day when the Black God and other evil spirits are most powerful. Requiems for the dead were performed during the night, as they awaited the sunrise.

In Slavonic culture, the festival of Kaleda began at Winter Solstice and lasted for 10 days. Other similar formations are scattered throughout Ireland.

The Incans in Peru celebrated the return of the sun in their practice, tying of the sun. In 1967 a thin light showing through a passageway for 17 minutes was first observed during sunset at Winter Solstice. The Slavs celebrate it on the longest night (shortest day) of the year – Winter Solstice. In the southern hemisphere it is often celebrated on the winter solstice or some time through early July.

The actual word solstice derives from Latin and means Sun set still in winter.

Cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during winter months; this made for a fresh supply of meat to become available, and one that would have to last until Spring

Posted by admin on May 18th, 2015 :: Filed under Uncategorized