Signs Of Troubled Economy?: 13 Of The Biggest Retailers In America Are Closing Down Stores

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Published in ‘The Economy Collapse’ By Michael Snyde on February 25th, 2016

Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“.  Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?  Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse.

Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States.  Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story.

Earlier today, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert released a letter to shareholders that was filled with all kinds of bad news.  In this letter, he blamed the horrible results that Sears has been experiencing lately on “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending

In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, Lampert said the impact of “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending has spread more broadly in the last year to retailers “that had previously proven to be relatively immune to such shifts.”

“Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Staples, Whole Foods and many others have felt the impact of disruptive changes from online competition and new business models,” Lampert wrote.

And it is very true – Sears is doing horribly, but they are far from alone.  The following are 13 major retailers that are closing down stores…

#1 Sears lost 580 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, and they are scheduled to close at least 50 more “unprofitable stores” by the end of this year.

#2 It is being reported that Sports Authority will file for bankruptcy in March.  Some news reports have indicated that around 200 stores may close, but at this point it is not known how many of their 450 stores will be able to stay open.

#3 For decades, Kohl’s has been growing aggressively, but now it plans to shutter18 stores in 2016.

#4 Target has just finished closing 13 stores in the United States.

#5 Best Buy closed 30 stores last year, and it says that more store closings are likely in the months to come.

#6 Office Depot plans to close a total of 400 stores by the end of 2016.

The next seven examples come from one of my previous articles

#7 Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.

#8 K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.

Full article:  http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/economic-recovery-13-of-the-biggest-retailers-in-america-are-closing-down-stores

Zika virus: Your questions answered

zika childBy Gretchen Vogel, Jon Cohen, Martin Enserin

Where did the Zika virus come from?

First isolated in 1947 and first described in a paper in 1952, Zika has long been known to occur in Africa and Southeast Asia—but until a decade ago, fewer than 15 cases had been described in the scientific literature. In 2007, the virus caused a big outbreak on Yap, an island group in the Western Pacific that is part of the Federated States of Micronesia; since then, it went on a major tour of other Pacific Islands before it landed in Brazil, from where it started spreading rapidly to other parts of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Why has it exploded so suddenly?

There may have been big outbreaks in Africa and Asia in the past that went undetected; scientists weren’t paying much attention. But the current massive epidemic was an event waiting to happen. Latin America has huge numbers of A. aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, an important vector for Zika. (The Asian tiger mosquito, A. albopictus, which is on the rise around the world, is believed to be a vector as well.) In addition, nobody in the Americas had immunity to the virus. Travel makes it worse. Aedes mosquitoes don’t fly more than a few hundred meters during their lives; Zika travels from city to city and country to country when infected people get on cars, buses, trains, and planes.

These combined factors meant that the virus had the ability to spread far and fast once it had arrived.

Will Zika spread to the United States and Europe?

Both the United States and Europe have already seen “imported cases”—people who arrived from a Zika-affected country carrying the virus. This was widely expected given the size of the epidemic in Latin America. The key question is whether there will be local outbreaks—that is, mosquitoes spreading the virus from person to person. There’s definitely a chance; A. albopictus occurs in several countries in southern Europe (and it may move north), while the southern and eastern United States have populations of both A. aegypti and A. albopictus.

If so, scientists expect outbreaks to be much smaller than elsewhere, based on past experience with mosquito-borne diseases. Recent dengue outbreaks in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii haven’t sickened more than a few hundred people, for instance; an outbreak of a mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya in northern Italy in 2007—which started when a man infected with the virus arrived from India—ended after 197 cases. One reason that outbreaks in these countries tend to be smaller may be that people spend less time outside and live in houses that are more difficult for mosquitoes to enter; mosquito population sizes may play a role as well.

Do we know for sure that Zika is causing a rise in birth defects?

No. There is strong circumstantial evidence that areas in Brazil hit hard by Zika have experienced a sharp increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a condition in which the head is much smaller than normal because the brain fails to develop properly. But it will take at least several months before the results from the first case-control studies of pregnant women infected with Zika are available. Doctors in Brazil first noticed an increase in cases of microcephaly during ultrasounds of pregnant women in June and July, a few months after the sudden rise in Zika infections. Fetal medicine expert Manoel Sarno, who works at the Federal University of Bahia, says the pattern of brain damage he is seeing now looks distinct from microcephaly caused by other infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) or rubella. He and his colleagues started a study in August that is following women infected with Zika during their pregnancy; the results could come out late summer. Similar studies are underway elsewhere in Brazil and in Colombia.

Are there other urgent questions that scientists are asking?

Plenty. Scientists have difficulty determining who has been infected and who hasn’t because diagnostic tests have limitations. The most accurate tests—which detect viral RNA in a patient’s blood—only work within a week of the first symptoms appearing. After that time, researchers can test for antibodies in the blood. But current tests for Zika antibodies cross-react with antibodies to dengue, which is so widespread in Brazil—and much of the rest of Latin America—that almost all adults have antibodies to it. That makes it difficult to tell whether the mother of a baby born with microcephaly was infected with Zika earlier in her pregnancy.

Researchers would also like to know how often Zika is transmitted through sexual contact. One U.S. scientist who caught the virus in Africa passed it to his wife after he got home in 2008, and a second case of suspected sexual transmission happened in French Polynesia in 2013. But researchers have no idea what the risk is. (“If I was a man and I got Zika symptoms, I’d wait a couple of months before having unprotected sex,” virologist Scott Weaver of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston recently told The New York Times.)

What drugs are available against Zika?

None. Until last year, Zika was so rare and believed to be so mild, that nobody bothered to look for candidate drugs. Even now that the virus is surging, it’s not obvious that there’s a big market for an antiviral drug, because the vast majority of those infected have very few symptoms or none at all. And it’s not clear that a drug could prevent birth defects when women contract Zika during pregnancy; by the time they become infected and develop symptoms, it may be too late to prevent such damage. A vaccine against Zika may offer more hope of preventing microcephaly.

And when can we expect a vaccine?

That will take years. Several groups have begun to make candidate Zika vaccines, a process that will take at least several months. Most of these vaccine approaches are piggybacking on existing vaccines. For example, many vaccines are made by stitching proteins from a pathogen’s surface into a harmless virus or vector; that is now being tried with Zika using those same vectors. Once a candidate vaccine is made, it will have to be tested in animals before humans.Human trials begin with small safety studies, then move on to larger studies that test whether the candidate product works. All of that usually takes 10 to 15 months. Given the urgency, the timeline could be compressed, but even so, Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told STAT that it may be at least 5 to 7 years before a Zika vaccine is commercially available.

Then what can we do to stop the spread of the virus?

Stop mosquitoes from biting people. Countries and communities can try to reduce mosquito populations by removing the small water reservoirs—such as flower pots, empty bottles, and discarded tires—in which Aedes mosquitoes like to breed. People can also reduce their personal exposure—especially important for women who are or might become pregnant—by putting screens on windows, covering their skin, and using insect repellant. However, history has shown that the impact of mosquito control on epidemics is modest at best, and they’re difficult to sustain.

There must be better ways to control mosquitoes?

Not yet but they’re in the works. A British biotech called Oxitec—which was recently purchased by Intrexon, a U.S. synthetic biology company—has developed A. aegyptimosquitoes containing a gene construct that will kill their offspring before they reach adulthood. When massive numbers of male individuals of this strain are released in the wild, they will mate with local females, producing offspring that are not viable, which has been shown to make a dent in the population.

In another line of research, scientists are infecting A. aegypti with a bacterium named Wolbachia, which reduces mosquitoes’ ability to transmit diseases. The researchers developing these approaches were mostly thinking about dengue, but Zika’s surge is giving their attempts a new sense of urgency. But again, it will take several years before these strategies are ready for prime time.

How Kennedy’s Years of Lightning, Day of Drums Stole The Heart Of Ghanaians

DePree 1People’s Republic of Mozambique President Samora Machel meeting with U.S. Ambassador Willard DePree in July 1980. Photo: Courtesy of Willard DePree

Years after waiting to get to Africa, WILLARD DE PREE, US Political Officer, finally had his chance. He was initially assigned to Kaduna, in Nigeria, but that appointment was cancelled  Bill Edmondson, who was head of the political section in Accra had to return to the United States for family reasons.

Oliver Troxel, the DCM, asked De Pree, if I would be interested in going out to replace Bill Edmondson. He was very pleased with the assignment, especially in a country under one of Africa’s strongest leaders, Kwame Nkrumah. America played a significant role in Ghana’s politics and which cost Nkrumah at the end, when he was overthrown-ed a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

Ambassador Willard De Pree born in Michigan in 1928 and received his B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1952, was assigned to Ghana from 1964 to 1968. During his tenure of office in Accra, the US embassy received copies of the film that USIA had put out entitled, “Years of Lightning, Day of Drums,” about the Kennedy Administration.

Shortly before that film was produced, the embassy had sent the regional governors of Ghana to the United States for a tour. They had been escorted by Jack Matlock, who was then an officer at the embassy in Ghana. When the film arrived, the embassy decided to show it around Ghana at each of the regional capitals.

De Pree together with Jack Matlock, went to Blogatanga, in the northern region of Ghana and the governor put the screen in the middle of the town square and thousands of people, seated on all sides of the screen, showed up to see it. It was incredible, the reaction and feeling of black Africa toward Kennedy and the Kennedy Administration.

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Link of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvN5ecqCFk0

World Health Organization: You Have Abused Your Trust

Story 3The beginning of Africa’s Ebola story: Spraying contaminated vaccines into the mouth of innocent African children in Zaire.

The mere mention of the name World Health Organization, brings satisfaction, comfort and hope to many in both developed and developing countries globally. For decades WHO directs, coordinates and responsible for providing solutions to global health matters, monitoring and assessing health trends within the United Nations.

However, it seems in the past years, WHO has taken part in certain medical crimes, which took place in Africa, especially the Aids and Ebola issues. WHO can’t deny they are not aware that Aids and Ebola viruses are human made and tested on Africans in Uganda and Zaire, in order to find vaccines against it for military defending purposes.

WHO can’t deny they are not aware from 1954 to 1957, Dr. Hillary Koprowski injected over a million Africans with the viruses of Aids and Ebola, deceiving them it was vaccine for polio. Between 1960 and 1973, tests were held on a major initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a medical field research site in the West Nile district.

Three times a year, blood was taken from about 45.000 children, including babies to investigate a relationship which existed between a common endemic disease and the virus that causes mononucleosis. But that wasn’t the reason. They were actually looking for antibodies against micro-organisms, the reason those children and babies were given contaminated polio vaccines.

This contaminated vaccine was confirmed by Professor-Scientist Cohen, decades ago in a medical press conference held in The Netherlands. With all these emerged evidences can The World Health Organization still continue to pretend they aren’t aware or know that Aids and Ebola are medical crimes against humanity?

Both The World Health Organization and the Media have failed the world, because both have abused their trusts.This practice calls journalists not only free but makes them even complicit because they are constantly behind the medical establishment running away from fear of powerful reprisals against falling advertising revenue from pharmaceutical and medical field and a possible boycott of medical Mafiosi after placing negative items.

It is part of both World Health Organization and the Media to inform the public on issues considered as a threat to public health; instead they chose to cover up the crime, because those crimes were committed against Africans, but they have forgotten that Aids has taken both the black and whites to their untimely graves.

Even though no amount of apology can heal the pains of the families of victims of Aids and Ebola, yet it is time for World Health Organization to come out clean and apologize, because that’s the only way to rebuild their trust.

Finally, the scientist, Professor Johan Van Dongen, now considered a whistle blower, by his country, Holland, for revealing those crimes, has a message for everyone including unborn babies:

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” – William Faulkner.

Bullying: How Can We Protect Our Children From This Aggressive Behaviour?

 

Bullying 1Every child deserves to be happy at home and at school, but many times that happiness they are looking for eludes them. At school and on play grounds, it’s very common for a child to experience bullying from other boys, because he or she looks different.

Physical bullying, taunts and calling one funny names happen every day at school and after school, without the knowledge of teachers or parents. The reason is many children wouldn’t like to speak out to the authorities or parents, because they are scared to talk about it. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, about 160,000 students in the United States, daily refuse to go to school because of bullying.

A married woman with six children, once told me that in her teens at school, she nearly committed suicide. According to her, she was bullied everyday because of her ginger-coloured hair and many called her ugly girl, because she had freckles on her face. Her story was emotional and sad, as she claimed her own brother was part of her misery. He called her ugly too. Despite her ordeal, she summoned up courage to study psychology at the university. That’s one of the best ways to ignore bullying, but how many children have the strength to stand this psychological torture?

On his way to school, a mother kissed her son, without knowing that’s her last kiss to the son, who is being bullied every day at school without her knowledge, because her child never told her. When the child reached a bridge over a busy street, he jumped to his death. Every newspaper in Belgium published this sad story for the government to do something about it. Today the fight against bully is very active in the country.

Children who intimidate or bully other children enjoy doing that. They never stop until the victim has courage to tell his or her parents or put up resistance. It is very important for parents to ask children often, if they are experiencing problems at school. Talking to your child about school is one of the quickest ways to determine if your child is hiding anything from you, for the parents to take necessary actions.

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The Fultz Quadruplets: Born At The Wrong Time In America?

Ebony

The Fultz Quadruplets were the first identical Black quad babies born in the United States. The Fultz girls became baby celebrities, while Fred Klenner, the white doctor who delivered them into the world, exploited them for fame and money.

The Fultz Quads – Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine – were born on May 3, 1946 at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, N.C. The Quads’ parents, sharecropper Pete and deaf-mute mother Annie Mae, lived on a farm with their six other children but were too poor to care for the babies. Multiple births were rare at the time and the equipment to care for underweight babies wasn’t as prevalent as it is in modern times.

The girls were delivered in what was known as “the Basement,” according to a 2002 report by journalist and educator Lorraine Ahearn. This “basement” was the Blacks-only wing of Annie Penn, and Klenner and Black nurse Margaret Ware helped Annie Mae give birth. Since the Fultz family couldn’t read or write, Dr. Klenner  named the girls after his own family members.

When news of the quads began to spread nationwide, curious onlookers and media began sniffing around for photo opportunities. At the time, baby formula companies such as Gerber and PET wanted to use the quads as a means to start an ad campaign to sell their wares in the Black community. Black families didn’t buy formula during the late ’40’s, as many mothers opted to breast feed because of the high cost of baby formula.

Klenner struck a deal with PET for an undisclosed amount and the Fultz Quads were well on their way to becoming stars.  The quads’ starred in ads in Ebony Magazine, and they even made the cover of the publication. But all of this notoriety came with a price as Klenner used the girls for his “Vitamin C therapy” that he claimed made the girls healthy along with the PET evaporated milk formula.

While Klenner reaped the financial benefits, PET Milk company gave the Fultz quads a farm, a nurse, food, and medical care. Even more shocking, when Klenner returned the girls home, he displayed them in a glass-enclosed nursery. In a follow up story reported by Ebony, the then 22-year-old sisters were ultimately adopted by the nurse PET assigned to them and her husband. They struggled with adulthood. The farm they were given was on difficult land, and Pet paid the quads just $350 a month, leaving them virtually broke.

The girls became the third set of quadruplets in America to survive until adulthood. But according to Ahearn’s story, three of the sisters died of breast cancer before age 55, with Catherine Fultz Griffin believed to be the last surviving Fultz quadruplet.

Originally published by NlackAmricaweb.com

http://blackamericaweb.com/2015/06/10/little-known-black-history-fact-the-fultz-quadruplets/

Hitler’s Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of European Blacks, Africans and African-Americans During the Nazi Era

 

hitler-4

Drawing on interviews with the black survivors of Nazi concentration camps and archival research in North America, Europe, and Africa, this book documents and analyzes the meaning of Nazism’s racial policies towards people of African descent, specifically those born in Germany, England, France, the United States, and Africa, and the impact of that legacy on contemporary race relations in Germany, and more generally, in Europe. The book also specifically addresses the concerns of those surviving Afro-Germans who were victims of Nazism but have not generally been included in or benefited from the compensation agreements that have been developed in recent years.

The Author

D09_347_SIS_Faculty_Staff nfs Clarence Lusane, SIS, faculty

Dr. Clarence Lusane is a full Professor of Political Science and International Relations, and the former Program Director for Comparative and Regional Studies in the School of International Service. He teaches courses in comparative race relations, modern social movements, comparative politics of the Americas and Europe and jazz and international relations.

He is an author, activist, and scholar, and a well-respected expert in the areas of human rights, global race relations, U.S. elections and politics, and international relations. He has lectured on these topics in over 60 countries including China, Colombia, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Japan, the Netherlands, Panama, S. Korea, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe among others.

He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and eight books on human rights, U.S. and black politics, globalization, and European history. His latest book is The Black History of the White House. The book has been nominated for numerous awards and he has led to two presentations on the book at the White House. Among his other books are Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century; and Hitler’s Black Victims:

The Experiences of Afro-Germans, Africans, Afro-Europeans and African Americans During the Nazi Era. Dr. Lusane is currently conducting research on the intersection of jazz and international relations; global economic factors affecting African Americans employment; and the impact of President Obama’s campaign and election on global discourses on race and identity.

He is a former co-Chair of the U.S. Civil Society Committee of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan for the Elimination of Racism and was a longstanding board member of the Institute for Policy Studies. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the TransAfrica Forum Scholars Council. He is also a Commissioner on the District of Columbia’s Commission on African American Affairs.

http://www.amazon.com/Clarence-Lusane/e/B001HPQK4M/