Record 12 billion rubles in CASH seized from arrested FSB officer – reports


17-05-19 04:24:00,

Some 12 billion rubles ($185 million) in cash has been reportedly seized from an FSB colonel facing charges of large scale corruption – overshadowing the notorious case of Colonel Zakharchenko and his record of 8.5 billion rubles.

The piles of cash – literally – were discovered at three apartments belonging to FSB Colonel Kirill Cherkalin and, allegedly, to his allies, Russian media reported on Friday, citing sources close to the investigation. Aside from cash, a whole collection of luxury wristwatches and other treasures were seized as well.

The funds were allegedly provided to the official and two of his accomplices by various banks and other businesses for “protection.”

“We believe these funds have been received for a general ‘patronage’ from representatives of several commercial firms, first of all from directors of banks,” a source told Rosbalt.

Трёх сотрудников ФСБ, включая полковника Кирилла Черкалина, посадил бизнесмен Сергей Гляделкин. Он обвинил сотрудников ФСБ в присвоении его фирмы. Черкалин не сдавался во время ареста и ему сломали руку и ходит в гипсе.

— Игорь Пачковский (@5pLoo0uwJdudGc2) 26 апреля 2019 г.

On Thursday, Colonel Cherkalin, who has served as the head of the FSB department on cyber security in the banking sphere, was charged with receiving a hefty bribe of $850 thousand (some 55 million rubles) from a commercial firm. Cherkalin and his two accomplices – both of them are retired FSB Colonels – were arrested earlier this year and remain in custody by court ruling.

If confirmed, the sum of 12 billion rubles will mark the largest-ever amount of cash, seized from a corrupt official in Russia. Prior to this, the dubious ‘record’ was held by police colonel, Dmitry Zakharchenko.

While holding a senior anti-corruption post, Zakharchenko managed to amass a whopping 8.5 billion rubles (some $ 131.5 million) in cash, allegedly extorting bribes from various businessmen. The hearings on the Zakharchenko case continue, earlier this week a prosecutor asked the court to sentence the former law enforcer to 15 and a half years behind bars.

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Record Number Of Robots Replaced Humans In 2018


04-03-19 09:32:00,

US companies deployed more robots last year than ever before – as advanced machines capable of specialized tasks have come down in price and availability, reports Reuters

Shipments of robots hit 35,880 in 2018 – up 7% over 2017, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) – an industry group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. What’s interesting is that while most robots have historically been bought by the automotive industry, 16,702 shipments went to non-automotive companies, an increase of 41%, while automotive industry orders dipped by 12%. 

Notable growth came in areas like food and consumer goods (48 percent), plastics and rubber (37 percent), life sciences (31 percent), and electronics (22 percent).

Meanwhile, shipments to the automotive industry slowed, with only 19,178 units shipped to North American automotive OEM and tier supplier customers in 2018. This was 12 percent lower than the 21,732 units shipped in 2017. Overall, the automotive industry accounted for only 53 percent of total robot shipments in North America in 2018, its lowest percentage share since 2010. –A3

“The food industry is really starting to take off,” said Kawasaki Robotics (USA) director of sales and marketing Dan Hasley, adding “food and beverage is one of the segments that really responds to tight labor markets.”

“While the automotive industry has always led the way in implementing robotics here in North America, we are quite pleased to see other industries continuing to realize the benefits of automation,” said A3 President Jeff Burnstein. “And as we’ve heard from our members and at shows such as Automate, these sales and shipments aren’t just to large, multinational companies anymore. Small and medium-sized companies are using robots to solve real-world challenges, which is helping them be more competitive on a global scale.” 

FILE PHOTO: Attendees look over a demonstration of industrial robots at the Omron booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Vice President of A3, Bob Doyle, notes that automation is moving beyond automotive manufacturing and other large manufacturers and into warehouses and smaller factories. 

One of those is Metro Plastics Technologies Inc,

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Year of the android: Record number of robots installed in the workplace in 2018


01-03-19 10:17:00,

American companies installed a record number of robots in the workplace in 2018, according to a new report. Automation helps companies cut costs and stay competitive, but the bots face a growing backlash.

In 2018, 35,880 robots were shipped, a seven-percent increase over 2017, states a report from the Association for Advancing Automation, a robotics industry lobby group. All kinds of firms stepped up their orders last year, with notable growth happening in the food and consumer goods (48 percent), plastics and rubber (37 percent), life sciences (31 percent) and electronics (22 percent) sectors.

Factory robots have long been most closely associated with the automotive industry. However, the auto industry’s orders fell in 2018 to just 53 percent of the robots shipped, its lowest share of the market since 2010.

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These sales and shipments aren’t just to large, multinational companies anymore,” AAA president Jeff Burnstein said. “Small and medium-sized companies are using robots to solve real-world challenges, which is helping them be more competitive on a global scale.”

For these companies, the advantages are obvious. Plastics company boss Ken Hahn told Reuters that he used to employ three forklift drivers to haul finished parts from the production area to quality inspectors. Now those three workers and their vehicles have been made redundant by a $40,000 robot.

Online retail megacorporation Amazon employs thousands of robots in its warehouse facilities, and recently trialed an unmanned delivery vehicle on the streets of Tacoma, Washington. Unlike their human colleagues, Amazon’s robots never collapse from exhaustion, don’t have to relieve themselves into bottles to meet their production quotas, and don’t agitate to unionize.

A Gallup poll taken last year found that 58 percent of Americans see artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation as a bigger threat to jobs than immigration and outsourcing over the next 10 years. Artificial intelligence expert Kai Fu Lee told CBS News last month that automation will likely wipe out 40 percent of the world’s jobs by 2035, just one of a number of equally dire predictions.  

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A Record Number Of Americans No Longer Want To Live In The U.S.


10-01-19 10:28:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

Anyone still calling America “the land of the free” is delusional at best. Things continue to go from bad to worse in the United States, and people are feeling it.  So much so, that a record number of Americans no longer want to live in the United States at all.

Once known as the land of opportunity, the U.S. is now more like the land of tax slave and debt slave.  Unfortunately, it isn’t the enslavement to debt or the government that is disturbing those the most.  It’s dissatisfaction with the current ruling class.

According to Gallup, the recent poll they conducted showed that the 16% of Americans overall who said in 2017 and again in 2018 that they would like to permanently move to another country if they could is higher than the average levels during either the George W. Bush (11%) or the Barack Obama administration (10%).

While Gallup’s World Poll does not ask people about their political leanings, most of the recent surge in Americans’ desire to migrate has come among groups that typically lean Democratic and that have disapproved of Trump’s job performance so far in his presidency: women, young Americans and people in lower-income groups. –Gallup

Which means these people don’t wish to be free, they simply want a different master somewhere else. And women appear to be angrier than men that their desired master isn’t controlling them, and their fellow slaves chose subservience to someone else. What’s truly horrifying about this particular poll is that Americans, for all intents and purposes, have simply accepted the fact that they are required to be enslaved by the political elites.

The 30% of Americans younger than 30 who would like to move also represents a new high — and it is also the group in which the gender gap is the largest. Forty percent of women younger than 30 said they would like to move, compared with 20% of men in this age group. These gender gaps narrow with age and eventually disappear after age 50. –Gallup

The desired destination for these slaves appears to be the Canadian plantation.

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Occupied Palestine in 2018: Record Deaths and Injuries, Food Insecurity, Demolitions, Record Low Humanitarian Funding – Global Research


30-12-18 04:18:00,

Trends affecting humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory

Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) released a summary of data collected during 2018. Further breakdowns and statistics from previous years are available through the links below.

Record numbers of Palestinian deaths and injuries

A total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces. This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt in 2005.

About 61 per cent of the fatalities (180 people) and 79 per cent of the injuries (over 23,000) were in the context of Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations by the fence. Across the oPt, 57 of the Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the injuries were under 18 years of age. At least 28 of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2018 were members of armed groups in Gaza and another 15 were perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

A total of 14 Israelis were killed during the year by Palestinians and at least 137 others were injured. While the number of fatalities is nearly the same as in 2017 (15 people), the proportion of civilians among these fatalities (50 per cent) increased compared to the previous year (27 per cent).

Uptrend in attacks by settlers

In 2018, OCHA recorded 265 incidents where Israeli settlers killed or injured Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, marking a 69 per cent increase compared with 2017; as a result, one Palestinian woman was killed, and another 115 Palestinians were injured (another two Palestinian suspected perpetrators of attacks were killed by Israeli settlers). Palestinian property vandalized by settlers includes some 7,900 trees and about 540 vehicles.

There were at least 181 incidents where Palestinians killed or injured settlers and other Israeli civilians in the West Bank or damaged Israeli property, a 28 per cent decline compared with the previous year. However, the number of Israelis killed in these incidents in 2018 (seven),

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Record Heat-Wave Sends SoCal Electricity Prices Soaring

Record Heat-Wave Sends SoCal Electricity Prices Soaring

09-07-18 07:31:00,

The second day of a dangerous heat wave brought record-high temperatures across Southern California, and sent spot electricity prices soaring to two-year highs.

As Bloomberg reports, electricity prices in Southern California averaged $552.19 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended 3 p.m. local time, the highest since August 31, 2016, as people blasted their air conditioners to keep cool.

The National Weather Service declared an excessive heat warning for the region, and California’s grid operator asked transmission operators to restrict maintenance in anticipation of high demand.

As The LA Times reports, among the places that hit record-high temperatures were Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114), UCLA (111) and Santa Ana (114).

Peak energy demand climbed to 6,256 megawatts Friday, knocking down the previous July record of 6,165 megawatts set in 2006 and making it the fifth-highest peak demand recorded in the city’s history.

Consumers were urged to reduce their electricity usage from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., the hours when high use is typical.

The National Weather Service predicted another hot day Sunday, though slightly less oppressive than Saturday, but power outages continue…

How long before PG&E cuts the power off “to avoid wildfires”?

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