Report: Research Facility “Loses” Thousands of Tubes Containing Deadly Virus

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A French research institute working on various deadly viruses, including SARS, has apparently misplaced thousands of tubes and no one is quite sure where they went.

A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said.

It is not clear how the tubes disappeared from one of the institute’s safest laboratories. Management were made aware of the loss in January, Le Monde newspaper reported.

For weeks, staff at the institute tried to find the missing vials, general director Christian Bréchot said.

“We’ve looked for those boxes [containing the tubes] everywhere,” Bréchot explained.

“We went thought the lists of all the people who have worked here in the past year and a half, including trainees. We have scrutinised their profile to check if there was any conflict.”

Bréchot said that foul play was “highly improbable” but had not been ruled out.

Though it’s not clear how, investigators have pretty much ruled out foul play. But keep in mind that we’re talking about a deadly virus that has been removed from what should be a highly secured area.  Moreover, no one seems to know when the virus was actually taken.

According to the Pasteur Institute, however, there is no immediate danger because the virus in the vials won’t spread the disease:

The institute was quick to reassure the public and said that the contents of the missing vials had no infectious potential. They contained only part of the virus and had no ability to spread.

“Independent experts referred by health authorities have qualified such potential as ‘non-existing’ according to the available evidence and literature on the survival of the Sars virus,” the institute said.

When dealing with deadly viruses, it is always a good idea to secure your facility, which makes this particular disappearance alarming.

Although the fragments are not dangerous, they do raise concerns by revealing the lab’s vulnerability, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“It’s actually not in itself so scary but you wonder about the procedures in that laboratory,” said Schaffner, who is also a former president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “Could that lab and perhaps others actually misplace vials that have the complete virus so that it might escape?”

For all we know, the vials disappeared months ago, which brings up the possibility that other infectious disease tubes may have also disappeared.

Apparently, security at these high level research facilities is not up to par. Last year a vial of Guanarito bio-terror agent capable of being used in a “contagion attack” disappeared from a Galveston, TX facility. The incident was voluntarily disclosed to the public but the lost tube has yet to be located.

What’s scary is that, even though such events must be reported to the CDC by law, the public really has no way of knowing whether a deadly agent has been compromised, giving ample time for such a virus to spread should it be released as a weapon.

Moreover, we now have government facilities being built in and around population centers such as the Bio Safety Level 4 facility centrally located in Kansas.

In the wrong hands, one of these agents could easily be used to attack an entire population – and given the “security” of these facilities it may not be so hard to acquire one. And once they have it, it’s as simple as releasing it in a major airport, sitting back, and watching the infection spread and kill off thousands, or perhaps millions of people.

Related: Pandemic Preparedness

 


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Executive Order on Gun Research Backfires on Obama

Guest post by Kyle Wintersteen

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Obama issued a list of Executive Orders. Notably among them, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was given $ 10 million to research gun violence.

“Year after year, those who oppose even modest gun-safety measures have threatened to defund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it,” Obama said on Jan. 16.

As a result, a 1996 Congressional ban on research by the CDC “to advocate or promote gun control” was lifted. Finally, anti-gun proponents—and presumably the Obama Administration—thought gun owners and the NRA would be met with irrefutable scientific evidence to support why guns make Americans less safe.

Mainstream media outlets praised the order to lift the ban and lambasted the NRA and Congress for having put it in place.

It was the “Executive Order the NRA Should Fear the Most,” according to The Atlantic.

The CDC ban on gun research “caused lasting damage,” reported ABC News.

Salon said the ban was part of the NRA’s “war on gun science.”

And CBS News lamented that the NRA “stymied” CDC research.

Most mainstream journalists argued the NRA’s opposition to CDC gun research demonstrated its fear of being contradicted by science; few—if any—cited why the NRA may have had legitimate concerns. The culture of the CDC at the time could hardly be described as lacking bias on firearms.

“We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes,” Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who oversaw CDC gun research, told The Washington Post in 1994. “Now [smoking] is dirty, deadly and banned.”

Does Rosenberg sound like a man who should be trusted to conduct taxpayer-funded studies on guns?

Rosenberg’s statement coincided with a CDC study by Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay, who argued guns in the home are 43 times more likely to be used to kill a family member than an intruder. The study had serious flaws; namely, it skewed the ratio by failing to consider defensive uses of firearms in which the intruder wasn’t killed. It has since been refuted by several studies, including one by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, indicating Americans use guns for self-defense 2.5 million times annually. However, the damage had been done—the “43 times” myth is perhaps gun-control advocates’ most commonly cited argument, and a lot of people still believe it to this day.

So, the NRA and Congress took action. But with the ban lifted, what does the CDC’s first major gun research in 17 years reveal? Not exactly what Obama and anti-gun advocates expected. In fact, you might say Obama’s plan backfired.

Here are some key findings from the CDC report, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” released in June:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:

“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:

“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results:

“Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.”

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:

“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).”

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:

“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.”

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

Why No One Has Heard This

Given the CDC’s prior track record on guns, you may be surprised by the extent with which the new research refutes some of the anti-gun movement’s deepest convictions.

What are opponents of the Second Amendment doing about the new data? Perhaps predictably, they’re ignoring it. President Obama, Michael Bloomberg and the Brady Campaign remain silent. Most suspicious of all, the various media outlets that so eagerly anticipated the CDC research are looking the other way as well. One must wonder how media coverage of the CDC report may have differed, had the research more closely fit an anti-gun narrative.

Even worse, the few mainstream journalists who did report the CDC’s findings chose to cherry-pick from the data. Most, like NBC News, reported exclusively on the finding that gun suicides are up. Largely lost in that discussion is the fact that the overall rate of suicide—regardless of whether a gun is involved or not—is also up.

Others seized upon the CDC’s finding that, “The U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.” However, as noted by the Las Vegas Guardian Express, if figures are excluded from such anti-gun bastions as Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., “The homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country.”

The CDC report is overall a blow to the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional agenda. It largely supports the Second Amendment, and contradicts common anti-gun arguments. Unfortunately, mainstream media failed to get the story they were hoping for, and their silence on the matter is a screaming illustration of their underlying agenda.


Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News

Doug Ross @ Journal

Casey Research: “There’s a Nationalization of Global Resources Occurring Now”

As economic conditions around the globe deteriorate and super powers vie for military, political and financial position, governments are increasingly putting their focus on the acquisition of resources.

In China, where the government essentially owns all aspects of the economy, national wealth funds are being rapidly diversified into everything from agricultural resources and international energy exploration, to precious metals and rare earth minerals. Take, for example, the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 2008, which the People’s Republic cited as a political annexation. While politics certainly played a role, there was a much more sinister and strategic power-play at the core of the military occupation. Tibet is rich in one key resource that China lacks for its 1 billion strong population – fresh, clean water. That alone is motivation enough to send in the army when your own rivers and eco-systems have been destroyed because of unsustainable manufacturing practices.

The U.S., for its part, is very much involved in similar strategic machinations. Given the trillions of dollars being generated, who could realistically deny that our primary purpose for military hegemony in the middle east is focused solely on the acquisition of cheap oil resources (Iraq) to keep the U.S. economy afloat and rare earth deposits like uranium (Afghanistan) that provide essential components for the defense industry?

Countries all over the world, large and small, are racing to get their hands on anything of value, and they are actively and without regret nationalizing once private industries across the board.

It’s happening as we speak.

You look at what’s just recently happened in Argentina. In 2012 Argentina basically nationalized the oil sector and with that it had a major spillover effect.

From there, look at Venezuela and Bolivia, and what happened in the last ten years. The same situation.

This is a cold war of resources.

A big pinch of resources is really happening where these national oil companies are kicking out these foreign exploration companies.

And it’s going to become a major, major issue moving forward.

You look at Venezuela… they’ve actually decreased their oil production since Chavez has been in power.

There’s a nationalization of global resources occurring now.

It’s difficult to paint with a broad brush, but I really like following the smart money – the management teams that truly understand, not just the commodity, but the political minefield of where they’re at.

Listen to energy expert Marin Katusa of Casey Research discuss the geo-political strategy of resource domination, learn how to spot trends that will change the face of how resources are shared and acquired over the coming decade, and develop investment strategies to protect and grow your wealth in our ever-changing global landscape:

Interview via Future Money Trends

With the U.S. already in fiscal and economic trouble, leaders of nations all over the world are making moves to restrict our access to key commodities and resources. Some of them, including China and Russia, are no longer using the U.S. dollar in trade, and are switching to gold or other instruments.

They’ve seen how political forces within the U.S. government have progressively weakened the domestic availability of key commodities like oil, food, and our power grid supply originating from coal and nuclear. Special interests, through legislative mandates and regulations, have created a national security situation that could prove disastrous in the future, as the United States will be wholly dependent on foreign supply for essential resources needed to run our country on every level.

With the global grab for resources happening in full force, the long-term effect will be ever more scarcity and higher prices. This is inevitable, because as the global population continues to put more strain on the system and more people in places like India and China increase their quality of life, most political leaders will opt to take care of their domestic requirements before those of the United States.

Thus, the only option for those concerned with this long-term trend is to continue investing their wealth into physical commodities. For some, that’s reserve food, tools, land, precious metals and sustainable energy practices. For others, who have retirement portfolios or personal savings, diversifying into unconventional assets that will thrive when others collapse in value will be the key to maintaining and growing wealth.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You