Friday, August 17, 2007
500 DEAD IN PERU QUAKE
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Relatives search bodybags in Peru quake as death toll tops 500
Fri Aug 17, 5:23 AM - By Jeanneth Valdivieso
PISCO, Peru (AP) - Rescuers combed rubble for survivors and distraught relatives wept as they searched rows of bodybags for loved ones killed when a powerful earthquake devastated southern Peru. Officials said the death toll across the region hit by the magnitude-8 temblor topped 500 late Thursday night. In the gritty port city of Pisco, searchers at San Clemente church pulled at least 60 bodies out of the ruins and lined them up on the plaza. Doctors struggled to help more than 1,500 injured, including hundreds who waited on cots in the open air, fearing more aftershocks would send buildings crashing down. Peru's fire department said the death toll from the quake had risen to 510, and rescuers were still digging through ruins of collapsed adobe homes in cities and hamlets. Destruction from Wednesday's quake was centred in Peru's southern desert, near the oasis city of Ica and nearby Pisco, about 200 kilometres southeast of the capital of Lima. Hundreds had gathered in the pews of the San Clemente church on Wednesday - the day Roman Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary's rise into heaven - for a special mass marking one month since the death of a Pisco man.
With minutes left in the mass, the church's ceiling began to break apart. The shaking lasted for an agonizing two minutes, burying 200 people, according to the town's mayor. On Thursday, only two stone columns and the church's dome rose from a giant pile of stone, bricks, wood and dust. Rescuers laid out the dust-covered dead beneath bloodstained sheets in the city's plaza. Civil defence workers then arrived and zipped them into body bags. But relatives searching desperately for the missing unzipped the bags, crying hysterically each time they recognized a familiar face.
Few in the traumatized crowds would talk with journalists. One man shouted at the bodies of his wife and two small daughters as they were pulled from the rubble: Why did you go? Why?
Pisco Mayor Juan Mendoza told Lima radio station CPN, sobbing: The dead are scattered by the dozens on the streets. We don't have lights, water, communications. Most houses have fallen. Churches, stores, hotels - everything is destroyed.As dusk fell, Health Minister Carlos Vallejos said finding survivors seemed increasingly unlikely. We keep losing hope of finding someone alive after 24 hours have passed since the quake struck, Vallejos told The Associated Press outside of the church.
Felipe Gutierrez, 82, sat in his pyjamas - his only clothing - in front of what was his Pisco home. The quake reduced it to rubble and he, his 74-year-old wife, their two children and three grandchildren sat staring at the ruins, a tangle of adobe, straw and all of their belongings. Yesterday we slept on a mattress, and now we'll have to set up a tent, because we have no where to live, he said. The deputy chief of Peru's fire department, Roberto Ognio, presented a report late Thursday saying the death toll from the quake had risen to 510. The previous total had been 450 and he did not say where the additional deaths had occurred. The earthquake's magnitude was raised from 7.9 to eight on Thursday by the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 14 aftershocks of magnitude five or greater caused renewed anxiety, though there were no reports of additional damage or injuries. President Alan Garcia flew by helicopter to Ica, a city of 120,000 where a quarter of the buildings collapsed, and declared a state of emergency. Government doctors called off their national strike for higher pay to handle the emergency. There has been a good international response even without Peru asking for it, and they've been very generous, Garcia said during a stop in Pisco. The help includes cash from the United States, Canada United Nations, Red Cross and European Union as well as tents, water, medicine and other supplies. The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort, equipped with a staff of 800 and 12 operating rooms, is in Ecuador and could quickly sail to Peru if asked, U.S. officials said. In Washington, President George W. Bush offered condolences and said his administration was studying how best to send help. One American died in the quake, according to the State Department. Canada pledged $2 million for relief and recovery efforts, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier and International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said in a statement Thursday. There are no reports of Canadian injuries.
Electricity, water and phone service were down in much of southern Peru. The government rushed police, soldiers and doctors to the area, but traffic was paralyzed by giant cracks and fallen power lines on the Panamerican Highway. In Chincha, a small town near Pisco only 40 kilometres from the quake's epicentre, an AP Television News cameraman counted 30 bodies on a hospital patio. The face of one victim was uncovered, her eyes open. The feet of another stuck out from under a blanket. Hundreds of injured lay side-by-side on cots on walkways and in gardens outside hospital buildings. Our services are saturated and half of the hospital has collapsed, Dr. Huber Malma said as he single-handedly attended to dozens of patients.
In Lima, 153 kilometres from the epicentre, only one death was recorded. But the furious two minutes of shaking prompted thousands to flee into the streets and sleep in public parks. Scientists said the quake was a megathrust - a type of earthquake similar to the catastrophic Indian Ocean temblor in 2004 that generated deadly tsunami waves. Megathrusts produce the largest earthquakes on the planet, USGS geophysicist Paul Earle said. In general, magnitude eight quakes are capable of causing tremendous damage. Quakes of magnitude 2.5 to three are the smallest generally felt, and every increase of one number on the magnitude scale means that the quake's magnitude is 10 times as great. The temblor occurred in one of the most seismically active regions in the world at the boundary where the Nazca and South American tectonic plates meet. The plates are moving together at a rate of more than seven and a half centimetres a year, Earle said.
HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
Sarkozy calls for more market monitoring after recent turmoil
17.08.2007 - 09:27 CET | By Honor Mahony
Nicolas Sarkozy has called on G7 governments to work with the International Monetary Fund and central banks on financial transparency following a week of turbulence on world markets over US mortgage sector problems.The French president said he thought it essential that as heads of state we should draw the consequences and lessons of the events that are affecting the markets.It seems essential to me that we monitor the transparency of the markets' operations and their ability to finance the world economy in a stable and effective way, he said according to AP news agency.The comments were made in a letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel, current head of the G8 group of industrialised nations which also includes the G7.The letter calls on G7 finance ministers to draw up a set of proposals on greater transparency to be discussed at their next meeting in October.The proposal is likely to be a boost to Germany's aims - it is currently G8 president - to get greater transparency over hedge funds by getting a code of conduct established for them - a push that failed during the last G8 meeting in June.
The scrutiny is set to increase elsewhere too. The European Commission on Thursday (16 August) said it was looking into whether rating agencies had done enough to alert investors about the possible dangers of the US sub-prime mortgage sector.
Subprime loans are loans given to people with a poor credit history. It was the recent sharp increase in defaults on repayments on these loans that prompted the market panic and credit crunch over the last week.The European Central Bank over the past days pumped over €200 billion into the markets to fend off a credit crunch. Other central banks around the world also made cash injections.Brussels' investigation, to be headed by internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy, is to look into how ratings agencies are financed and whether there is any possible conflict of interest.At the moment, ratings agencies are paid by the concerns that they are rating, a system that Mr McCreevy and his officials are taking a close look at.
The commission is to examine concerns we have to their slowness with regard to market deterioration since mid-2006, said a spokeswoman on Thursday, with reference to the fact that it has been known since last year that there were problems with the US mortgage sector.However, the commission is unlikely to take any action before April next year, said the spokeswoman, when the Committee of European Securities Regulators is due to produce a separate report looking at how the ratings agencies are run.
How will it feel ...the moment you die?
This question could lead
YOUR unsaved loved one to Christ! AUG 17,07
Among the many thousands of people to whom I have ministered down through these past 50+ years, the single most important question of life has been death: What will happen when I die? Answers to questions of death and eternity can become your most valuable witnessing tools, as you pray for and witness to your unsaved loved ones!
The answers are available, praise God! His Word clearly reveals what happens the moment one dies. And our friend GRANT JEFFREY, the bestselling author, has compiled the answers into a brilliantly written, fast-paced book entitled:
JOURNEY INTO ETERNITY: Search for Immortality
This amazing volume explores the scientific, medical, philosophical, and scriptural evidence for life after death -- its fascinating reading for Christians and non-Christians alike. It is user-friendly, understandable, and practical ... answering such intriguing questions as:
Will we be aware of those left on earth?
What does it feel like to die?
What does one experience in the moments immediately following death?
Is one conscious of the soul leaving the body after death?
What happens to the soul between physical death and final resurrection?
What will one’s spiritual body be like after death?
What happens to babies at death?
Will we retain our memories?
How do new medical experiments prove that one survives after death?
These intriguing questions and many more are clearly and masterfully answered by JOURNEY INTO ETERNITY! This incredible book also introduces people who have had deathbed visions, often recorded by medical personnel. You will learn what these visions mean and what they can teach us! Please request JOURNEY INTO ETERNITY as you give a ministry gift of $15 (U.S.), $20 (Canada). Please help us even more generously if you can. We need you today!
Praise the Lord!
I ask you to be as generous as you can, because we need your support in order to finish the difficult summer season -- keeping our program on the air for your sake, and for millions of others who don’t yet know Christ!
Thanks for being our friend. I hope to hear from you soon!
Yours in world evangelism,
Dr. Jack Van Impe - P.S. JOURNEY INTO ETERNITY features a clear-cut call to salvation, making it a wonderful witnessing tool. Share it with a friend or relative who needs the Lord!
THERE WILL BE A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT HEADED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
East Africa: EAC States Beat Deadline On Key Trade Pact With EU
Business Daily (Nairobi) -15 August 2007 - Allan Odhiambo
East African states have agreed on key aspects of a regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to be signed with the European Union, removing the threat of a looming fallout over failure to beat the December 31 deadline.Member states have decided to formally endorse part of the text that had been agreed upon instead of starting the process afresh under the East African Community (EAC) platform. EAC member states have agreed on more than 75 per cent of the text.The agreement reached in Arusha means the five member states can sign a new trade deals as a single Customs Union and beat the December 31 deadline and save members, especially Kenya, the consequences of paying duty for its exports to Europe.In the absence of a new trade pact, commercial relations between Kenya and the EU would have reverted to a General System of Preferences (GSP) platform that would have made its exports eligible for a duty of between 8.5 per cent and 15.7 per cent.
EU regulations demand that all developing countries that fail to land new EPAs on time automatically revert to the GSP scheme unless waivers are granted.It is true we have reached a consensus to sign a deal under the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) platform that has made significant progress with the EU, said Mr Nalo.We have agreed on a pact dubbed EAC-EPA Plus which gives us room to enter into a pact with the EU even if non EAC countries choose to stay out.People familiar with international trade agreements said this open arrangement could favour other ESA member nations who are not linked to any customs union. The move is expected to restore calm among EAC member states who have been fighting over the choice of a platform on which to negotiate with the EU.
Though some member states had wanted EAC to start their own negotiations with the EU, a group led by Kenya opposed the move, citing time limitations.All EAC member states - save for Tanzania which has been negotiating under the Southern Africa Development Community - have been negotiating a new trade pact with the EU under ESA.
These differences in negotiating platforms are linked to the fact that ESA is backed by Comesa from which Tanzania pulled out in 2000.Since April this year, frosty relations with SADC saw Tanzania fall back to its EAC partners seeking a new deal under the regional bloc.In June the EAC heads of state acceded to the Tanzanian demands and allowed its officials to negotiate with the EU as a regional bloc.
In an official report on entering fresh talks under the EAC/EPA option, Kenya warned that more that Sh100 billion in trade and investment would be at stake should the parties fail to reach an agreement by end of year.With only four months to the December deadline, starting afresh EPA configuration is rather ambitious. Experience in all configurations that are currently negotiating EPAs shows that a minimum of three to six months is required to agree on negotiation mandate, structure and procedure, the Ministry of Trade report said.The report says Kenya stands to lose more than Sh69 billion in trade with the EU. Analysts further warned that should the country opt for EAC/EPA talks and fail to reach a deal on time, it would not be possible for the country to ask for a waiver from the World Trade Organization (WTO) within the remaining four months.
Sources close to the talks said Kenya was also keen on sticking to the ESA platform because Tanzania and EAC which are classified as a Least Developed Country (LCD) have a privilege position to opt to negotiate for an Everything But Arms (EBA) with the EU.In trade circles, EPAs are preferred because they contain provisions for special gestures such as technical assistance schemes for developing nations.
The Independence of the European Central Bank
Wednesday 15 August 2007 - Pietro De Matteis
One of the results of the Treaty of Maastricht was the creation of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) chaired by Wim Duisenberg. In 1998 when the third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union began, the EMI was replaced by the European Central Bank (ECB) whose primary objective, according to the treaties, is to maintain price stability.In order to do so, 2% target inflation has been settled (i.e. below but close to 2%). Several issues have been raised regarding both the 2% target itself and, on a wider perspective, whether inflation should be the main ECB target.
Until now the ECB has exclusive competence for Monetary Policy and work in concert with the European System of Central Banks ( composed by the 27 EU National Central Banks) and with the Eurosystem (composed by the National Central Banks of the countries that adopted the Euro) to achieve its price stability objective.Without prejudice to this first objective the ECB defines its policy in order to boost employment and growth. The main reasoning is that since the European Union does not have a federal budget and has within its borders economies under both different economical cycles and stages of development, the main result that can be achieved is to promote price stability. This is a necessary condition for both job growth and job creation (although not sufficient on its own) and allows a higher degree of certainty for the economic operators as well as lower interest rates.
These days the ECB is in the spotlight for two reasons: its important role in order to avoid a financial crisis in the EU following the lack of liquidity in the bank system and the development linked to the draft Reform Treaty.
ECB’s independence undermined
As for the latter issue the Portuguese presidency has rephrased the articles regarding the ECB with respect to what was proposed during the 2004 Intergovernmental Conference. In particular the ECB has been listed together with other EU institutions and the sentence “The European Central Bank is an institution” has been removed. President J.C. Trichet is clearly concerned about these developments and especially sees that this could lead to a lower degree of independence of the ECB from other European institutions and especially from national governments.French President Nicolas Sarkozy has already shown on several occasions his wish to have an ECB taking more into account the European economic situation while setting its monetary policy objectives, and in particular would like to have a bigger say on the setting of the exchange rate with the US dollar and on the inflation target.
Of course lowering the degree of independence of the ECB is a serious risk as it could lead to a less credible monetary policy. Moreover, if political pressure was to be allowed, smaller countries might end up with an EU monetary policy more synchronized with the cycle of the biggest EU economies instead of a neutral pro-EU development one. In the worst scenario the ECB could be even pushed to follow the political or electoral cycles of the biggest EU countries.
New EU treaty may force UK or France to give up UN seat: Think tank
London, Aug.16 : The fine print of a new European Union treaty may force the exit of Britain from the UN Security Council, a leading European think-tank has warned.
According to the Skeptika Group, there is a paragraph in the treaty, signed by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which provides for the exit of either Britain or France.The excerpt quoted by Skeptika says that the EU would take the place of Britain and France - the only two European states who are permanent members of the Security Council - in cases where it had set out a common position.
The Daily Mail quoted Lee Rotherham of Skeptika as saying, The new treaty makes clear that Britain will have to give up its seat on the Security Council on issues where the EU has taken a common position. This is an extraordinary surrender of national sovereignty.The Foreign Office insisted the UK would not lose its seat. It has listed on its website that this is one of 10 myths about the constitution. A spokesman said: The UN Charter does not allow international organisations like the EU to hold a seat on the Security Council. Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague has described the moves as clearly the thin end of the wedge for an EU takeover of our only seat. --- ANI
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king shall do according to his will;(EU PRESIDENT) and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS A EUROPEAN JEW) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(HES A MILITARY GINIUS) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds (CONTROL HEZBOLLAH,AL-QUAIDA MURDERERS ETC) with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south(EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR PROTECTING ISRAELS SECURITY) and the king of the north(RUSSIA) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.(WW3,1/2 earths population die).
ISAIAH 13:6-13 KJV
6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:(FROM FRIGHT)
8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
ISAIAH 24:17-23 KJV
17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
We're ready to compromise with Palestine: Israel
Friday, August 17, 2007 at 1656 hours IST
Jerusalem, August 17: Concerned over continued violence in the Middle East, Israel has urged international community, including India, to help strengthen moderate forces in the region and said it was ready to compromise with Palestinians. We understand the need of compromise. The dialogue is important not only to Israel but also for the Palestinian people and their leadership, Israel's Vice Prime Minister Tzipi Livni said during an interaction with a delegation of Indian Muslim leaders on Thursday evening. While stating the general perception that those who compromise are perceived as weak, Livni sought support of the Arab and Muslim world for the Palestinian moderates and also for Israel, saying that it will legitimise talks between the two sides.
Total reconciliation is based on understanding of mutual cooperation, she said, adding any implementation of peace needs to be accorded the guarantee of Israel's security. The idea of two-state solution was adopted not only by the Israel government but also by the people, she noted. Livni, also the Foreign Minister, described the relationship between India and Israel as very good and said that it can also be effective in sending a right political message to strengthen the moderate forces in Palestine by telling them that they are doing the right thing.
Expressing fears over the rise of extremist forces in the region, she said there is a gap between understanding of leaders and the public opinion. This gap or misunderstanding is being used by the extremists, she added.
WW3 THE 3 WAVES THAT MARCH TO ISRAEL
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south( EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) and the king of the north (RUSSIA AND MUSLIM HORDES OF EZEK 38+39) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.(JORDAN)
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA 2ND WAVE OF WW3) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
The Third and Final Wave of WW3 is when all Nations march to Jerusalem, but JESUS bodily returns to earth and destroys them,sets up his KINGDOM OF RULE FOR 1000 YEARS THEN FOREVER.
Russia, China, Iran warn U.S. at summit By LEILA SARALAYEVA, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 16, 2:56 PM ET
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - The leaders of Russia, China and Iran said Thursday that Central Asia should be left alone to manage its stability and security — an apparent warning to the United States to avoid interfering in the strategic, resource-rich region. The veiled warning came at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and on the eve of major war games between Russia and China.The SCO was created 11 years ago to address religious extremism and border security in Central Asia, but in recent years, with countries such as Iran signing on as observers, it has grown into a bloc aimed at defying U.S. interests in the region.Stability and security in Central Asia are best ensured primarily through efforts taken by the nations of the region on the basis of the existing regional associations, the leaders said in a statement at the end of the organization's summit in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attending the summit for the second consecutive year, criticized U.S. plans to put parts of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe as a threat to the entire region.These intentions go beyond just one country. They are of concern for much of the continent, Asia and SCO members, he said.Washington has said the system would help protect against potential Iranian missiles.Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't mention the United States in his speech, but he said that any attempts to solve global and regional problems unilaterally are hopeless.He also called for strengthening a multi-polar international system that would ensure equal security and opportunities for all countries comments echoing Russia's frequent complaints that the United States dominates world affairs.Moscow has also bristled at Washington's plans to deploy the anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying the system would threaten Russian security.
Putin and Hu Jintao of China were set to attend Friday's military exercises in the Chelyabinsk region in Russia's Ural Mountains. Some 6,000 Russian and Chinese troops, dozens of aircraft and hundreds of armored vehicles and other heavy weapons will participate — the first such joint drills on Russia's territory.China hosted the first-ever joint maneuvers in August 2005, which included a mock assault on the beaches of northern China and featured Russia's long-range bombers.Moscow and Beijing have developed what they dubbed a strategic partnership after the Soviet collapse, cemented by their perceptions that the United States dominates global affairs.In 2005, the SCO called for a timetable to be set for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from two member countries, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan evicted American forces later that year, but Kyrgyzstan still hosts a U.S. base, which supports operations in nearby Afghanistan.
Russia also maintains a military base in Kyrgyzstan.
The SCO, whose members are some of the world's biggest energy producers and consumers, also discussed ways to enhance energy cooperation. Washington has supported plans for new pipelines that would carry the region's oil and gas to the West and bypass Russia, while Moscow has pushed strongly to control the export flows.
A further sign of the group's intention to influence energy markets was the participation in the Bishkek summit of Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, whose country is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the former Soviet Union after Russia. Turkmenistan is not an SCO member; the president was attending as a guest.Associated Press writer Bagila Bukharbayeva in Moscow contributed to this report.
Nonpartisan Group Calls for Three-State Split in Iraq
Think Tank Report Says Country Is Near Total Collapse
By Robin Wright - Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 17, 2007; 11:16 AM
In a report to be released next week, the Fund for Peace calls for the managed break-up of Iraq into three separate states with their own governments and representatives to the United Nations, but continued economic cooperation in a larger entity modeled on the European Union.Prospects of Iraqi leaders being able to establish a multiethnic democracy are now fanciful, the nonpartisan Washington think tank says in its report titled A Way Out: The Union of Iraqi States. Based on data tracked monthly since before the U.S. invasion in 2001, the report authored by Fund president Pauline Baker concludes that Iraq is now near total collapse.
While there may be pockets of improvement from the surge, these are transitory and limited achievements that are about four years too late . . . Rather than fight fragmentation, it would be better to manage the trend with a view toward establishing an entirely new political order, the report concludes.The report is one of several official and unofficial Iraq assessments coming over the next month, culminating with the Bush administration's own much-awaited evaluation of Iraq's security and political progress due on Sept. 15.The military campaign underway with Gen. David H. Petraeus might have worked after the 2003 invasion, during a security vacuum and before militias emerged, but the Iraqi government's lack of political will and inability to broker reconciliation have divided the country in irretrievable ways, the report concludes.
The Fund has monitored twelve indicators -- ranging from the economy to political factionalization and the rule of law -- and concludes that all have deteriorated significantly since before the war. Working out a transition that divides political power while continuing to allow Iraq's three major communities -- Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- to share economic wealth may be the only way to bring U.S. troops home in the near future, the report concludes.This is the best, and possibly the last, chance to end the war, limit spillover and reduce U.S. troop presence, while leaving something constructive behind, Baker writes.The idea of an economic union would bypass the problem of dividing up current and future oil resources. There are a number of alternatives for Baghdad, the multiethnic capital, including making it the Brussels of Iraq as the headquarters for the new Union of Iraqi Sates, the report says
Guest Comment: These are our Leaders? - Gary Cooperberg AUG 17,07
Ever since the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel began in 1948, the Arab nations have done all in their power to destroy it. It is a principle of Islam to maintain its sovereignty over all lands in the Middle East, and its eventual aim is for complete world dominance. Given the fact that most Arab leaders are religious Moslems, it is an act of futility to assume that they will willingly alter their religious beliefs even for peace. One would hope that Israel would have leaders that would never make negotiations that would compromise Jewish principles. Unfortunately our leaders appear to have no principles and are prepared to rewrite the Torah [Hebrew Scriptures] to please our enemies. This is the crux of our problems and the reason why we will never see peace result from holding human ideology above that of our Creator.
Mr. Olmert may think that he is advancing the cause of peace by suggesting a willingness to give away Jewish Land to our enemies. He may think that he is taking bold new initiatives. The fact is that Israel has been trying to give away the miracle of 1967 ever since 1967. For forty years our leaders have been dreaming of making peace by undoing miracles. Yet every attempt to make peace by giving away parts of our homeland has resulted in further bloodshed and terror. The most successful attempt yet to part from our obligatory birthright, the evacuation of Gaza and turning it over to the PLO as a gesture to encourage our enemies to make peace with us only resulted in increasing the danger to the Jewish State by allowing the Arabs to build a powerful terror network there. To this day missiles are launched upon the Jewish State from this folly. And to this day not only are no plans being considered to undo the mistake, rather further mistakes are being planned for the future. It is like a gambler who has lost a fortune, borrowing money to go back to the roulette wheel in order to get rich.
It is uncanny how the one man who has most influenced all of our peace blunders is now occupying the seat of President of Israel [i.e. Shimon Peres] and again engineering proposals to emasculate our country in a futile search for a peace that clearly will never result from such stupidity.Jewish tradition tells us that the Messiah will come only when most people have given up hope for our survival. Looking at our situation from a political stance we clearly have reached a stage of hopelessness. Simple logic tells us that the days of Israel's existence are extremely limited. It is just a matter of time until either our enemies destroy us, or we do it for them.
Fortunately for us, this is the only country in the world where logic has no place. Bush and Olmert and Peres may have plans for us, but the Creator of the Universe has His own plans which were drawn up even before the world was created. Can one imagine that those plans can be altered... even by the President of the United States? [Many Americans do not realize the intense political pressure the US is putting upon Israel to give up their land.] When given the choice to decide between trusting our own eyes and ears or to accept the words of our Torah and prophets, most people seem to prefer their own eyes and ears. This is logical. But it is a mistake. Were logic to have ruled here, the State of Israel never would have come into existence, much less to have continued to exist and thrive over the last nearly sixty years.
For all these years our leaders have been promulgating the nonsense, Give Peace a Chance, which they interpreted as giving away our homeland to our enemies in the hope that peace would result. Time and time again experience proved that this concept was ridiculous. Yet they continue to follow the path of death and destruction. Olmert once said that he is tired of winning wars… Can one imagine anyone being so stupid? Yet these are the leaders we have been blessed with.
The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel . Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray for our son Jordan, and all of his fellow soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ... David & Josie
Thursday, August 16, 2007
7.9 QUAKE IN PERU
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Peru earthquake kills more than 300 AUG 16,07
LIMA (AFP) - A powerful earthquake devastated several Peruvian cities killing at least 337 people in toppled buildings and forcing the government to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.As many as 1,000 people were injured and tens of thousands of panicked residents flocked onto the streets fearing aftershocks, after the 7.9-magnitude quake rattled the country for two terrifying minutes late Wednesday.The towns of Pisco, Chincha, and other localities in Peru's southern coastal region were said to be in ruins after the biggest earthquake to hit the South American nation in decades.Buildings left standing had their windows smashed and trees were toppled.
In the coastal city of Ica, 300 kilometers (190 miles) south of Lima, the Senor de Luren church collapsed during a service, killing at least four worshippers and injuring dozens.The nearby city of Pisco was also hit hard with many people killed in their homes as roofs caved in.The government sent a convoy of trucks to the region carrying medical supplies, doctors and nurses.The quake and aftershocks sparked panic in the capital, Lima, where people camped on the streets for hours after the first big tremor and most buildings were evacuated as a precaution.Cut telephone lines were slowly reconnected in the capital but power and water services continued.The quake struck just offshore at 6:41pm (2341 GMT) and prompted evacuations along the Pacific coast because of fears of a tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later lifted its warnings.
The government declared its highest state of emergency as authorities grappled with collapsed buildings and cut power and telephone lines.Hospitals around the country were put on high alert amid predictions the death toll would rise and the health ministry made an emergency appeal for blood donations.A strike launched Wednesday by some health workers was called off so all doctors and nurses could help with the emergency and the authorities closed schools to avoid the risk of new casualties in the quake ruins.President Alan Garcia went on national television to appeal for calm.
Fortunately, the number of dead is not high for a quake of this power, he said. Thanks to God almighty, it has not been as serious as in the past.Peru has long lived in fear of a repeat of a 1970 earthquake killed 70,000 people, many of whom perished in the mountain city of Huaraz which was buried by a mudslide.A 2001 earthquake in the southern Peruvian state of Arequipa killed 75 people and destroyed 25,000 homes.The quake measured 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Peruvian authorities said it measured 7.7 on the open-ended Richter scale. The epicentre was offshore about 148 kilometers (92 miles) southwest of Lima at a depth of 40 kilometers (25 miles), according to USGS.
A second 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck about an hour and 20 minutes later near the same location and at a depth of 10 kilometers (0.6 miles).Late Wednesday, the country was rattled by a 5.6 magnitude aftershock near the coast of central Peru.
Nearly 40 minutes after the first quake, tsunami warnings were issued for the 11 countries on the Pacific south of the United States, especially Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.The Colombian government evacuated buildings in the port cities of Tumaco, Buenaventura and Bahia Solano. Peruvian authorities told residents of La Punta district, in the port of Callao which serves Lima, to leave their homes.
Although a subsequent advisory from the center stated that sea level and subsurface instruments indicated a tsunami had been generated by the quake, the warning was cancelled at 0209 GMT.
EARTH DESTROYED WITH THE EARTH
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Texas braces for Tropical Storm Erin; hurricane Dean forms in open Atlantic
By Elizabeth White AUG 16,07
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Some vacationers packed up while others vowed to wait out Tropical Storm Erin and its torrential rainfall as it headed for flood-weary Texas early Thursday. Meanwhile, hurricane Dean formed in the open Atlantic and headed toward the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, forecasters said. Erin was not expected to gain hurricane strength before making landfall Thursday morning, which was why some said they wouldn't abandon long-planned trips to Texas' coast. It's not a hurricane. I ain't worried. If they say don't evacuate, I'm not going to worry about it, said Matt Sandlin of Amarillo, who was on a beach near Corpus Christi with his family on Wednesday as the wind whipped up and the horizon darkened with clouds. Unless I see a shark or whale go flying by, I'm good.Gov. Rick Perry ordered emergency vehicles and personnel, including National Guard troops, to the Harlingen and Corpus Christi areas. Because storms have saturated much of our state this summer, many communities in this storm's projected path are at high risk of dangerous flash flooding,Perry said in a statement.
Early Thursday, the National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for six counties along the Texas coast near the anticipated landfall of the storm. Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, the top elected official for the state's southernmost county, urged residents to evacuate trailers and mobile homes on South Padre Island.
Corpus Christi hadn't asked for any evacuations, said Ted Nelson, a city spokesman, and was keeping only a handful of people at the emergency operations centre overnight. We're just advising folks to review their own personal emergency plans and look around your yard and remove any loose items, he said. Nelson said that with 3½ months left in the Atlantic hurricane season, the incoming storm was a nice little wake-up call for people to make sure they are prepared for more severe weather.
Some weren't taking any chances.
We came out to get as much beach time in as possible, said John Cullison of the Dallas area, who was vacationing with his family and planned to leave southern Texas Thursday instead of Friday. After the hurricanes from a few years ago, you have to take it kind of serious.Erin formed late Tuesday as the fifth depression of the Atlantic hurricane season and was upgraded to a tropical storm Wednesday when its maximum sustained speed hit 64 km/h. The threshold for tropical storm status is 62 km/h. At 5 a.m., the storm was centred about 4 southeast of Corpus Christi and about 1 southwest of Galveston, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Its top wind speed remained at 64 km/h. Erin was moving toward the west-northwest at around 19 km/h and was expected to continue following that track for at least 24 hours. Erin was likely too close to land to gain enough wind speed to become a hurricane, which would require sustained winds of at least 119 km/h, said National Weather Service forecaster Tony Abbott in Brownsville. But the centre said late Wednesday it could strengthen slightly before landfall.
Isolated tornadoes were possible along the middle Texas Gulf Coast on Thursday, the centre said. In the Caribbean, hurricane warnings were issued for the islands of Dominica and St. Lucia by their local governments as Hurricane Dean approached. Hurricane watches were in effect for the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe and its dependencies, Saba and St. Eustaties. At 5 a.m., Dean was centred about 780 kilometres east of Barbados and about 950 kilometres east of Martinique, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west near 39 km/h, and was expected to continue the same path for the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds were near 120 km/h, above the threshold for a hurricane. Dean is a Category 1 hurricane and is expected to strengthen during the next 24 hours, forecasters said. Out in the Gulf, Shell Oil Co. evacuated 188 people from offshore facilities in the path of Tropical Storm Erin. A tropical storm warning was posted for the Texas coast from San Luis Pass, about 80 kilometres southwest of Houston, southward to the border. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours. A tropical storm watch for northern Mexico was cancelled.
As much as 200 millimetres of rain was possible along the middle Texas coast, the hurricane centre said, with a storm surge of just under a metre above normal tide levels north of where the centre makes landfall. The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that four million people could feel the storm's effects. A series of storms this summer poured record rainfall across Texas and parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, with one July storm dropping more than 430 millimetres of rain in 24 hours. Flooding was widespread across all three states. It brought Texas out of drought status for the first time in more than a decade. At least 16 deaths have been blamed on flooding since mid-June. In the Pacific, Flossie was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, a day after sideswiping Hawaii's Big Island with only intermittent rain and moderate winds.
It was a close call: Flossie approached the biggest and southernmost of the Hawaiian Islands with winds as high as 225 kilometres per hour earlier in the week, making it a Category 4 storm. If it had made landfall, the powerful hurricane would have been the first to hit the isles since Iniki slammed Kauai in 1992, killing six people.
The storm that never was, said Karin Funai as she chatted with friends over coffee at the Pahala Town Cafe. This was nothing.Hurricane specialists expect this year's Atlantic hurricane season - June 1 to Nov. 30 -to be busier than average, with as many as 16 tropical storms, nine of them strengthening into hurricanes. Ten tropical storms developed in the Atlantic last year, but only two made landfall in the United States.
Almost 300 dead or missing in N Korea floods AUG 16,07
SEOUL (AFP) - Almost 300 people are dead or missing in floods in North Korea, an aid agency said Thursday, as the communist state painted a grim picture of inundated crops and homes, flooded mines and washed-out roads.The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said 214 were killed and 80 are missing in what it has called the worst floods to hit the impoverished country in a decade.
The acting head of the IFRC delegation in Pyongyang, Terje Lysholm, told AFP by phone that the figures -- the first detailed casualty count -- came from the government.Some 300,000 people are homeless, according to official data, and 11 percent of the grain harvest -- equivalent to some 450,000 tons -- was lost in a country which already needs foreign aid to feed its people.
In the latest unusually detailed report from the reclusive state, an official broadcasting station said main roads, including one linking the capital Pyongyang to the eastern city of Wonsan, were badly damaged.Korean People's Army soldiers are also out in force to stage hectic struggles to restore roads, it said, as quoted by Seoul's Yonhap news agency.Parts of the showpiece capital lost power, and bus and subway services were hit, Kim Sung-Gwan of the electric power ministry told Pyongyang radio.Power equipment in the western provinces of North Hwanghae and South Pyongan was inundated or damaged.Some 46,580 homes of 88,400 families were destroyed or damaged, 400 commercial plants and 20 mines were flooded and landslides cut railways in 43 places, official media said.The IFRC has said at least 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of farmland were inundated but it reported improved weather Thursday.
The situation is better, there is no rain today and the Taedong river level has decreased a lot, Lysholm said, referring to the river which flows through the capital.North Korea faced a food shortfall this year of one million tonnes, or 20 percent of its needs, even before the floods hit. It suffered a famine in the mid- to late 1990s which killed hundreds of thousands.The World Food Programme said it has proposed an emergency programme to feed 500,000 people for a month and is awaiting Pyongyang's response.If the North approves this, the WFP will immediately launch an international appeal for funds to avoid having to cut back on its existing programme, said its regional spokesman Paul Risley.The UN agency currently feeds 750,000 people, mainly children and pregnant or nursing women, and plans to expand this to 1.9 million by next month.Risley told AFP the speed with which Pyongyang publicised damage could indicate the severity of the situation.Political developments may also have increased the government's willingness to work more closely with international organisations, he said, citing the North's commitment to denuclearise and the upcoming inter-Korean summit.But some analysts say the North may have exaggerated damage to secure aid.
North Korea in recent years has tended to exaggerate losses from natural disasters to obtain as much outside aid as possible, Professor Nam Sung-Wook of Korea University told AFP.Lee Young-Hoon, an expert on North Korea at the central bank, could not say if damage had been exaggerated but added that flooding was largely man-made.Since the North reached out to the outside for help following the disasters in the mid-1990s, it has been pretty open about any damage from natural disasters, apparently being conscious of outside aid, he said.Much of the blame for the damage should be put on the disastrous failure in policies, especially in agriculture, Lee said.Because of the silt from deforested mountains and terraced rice paddies, riverbeds are rising every year.Trees are cut both to clear land for agriculture and for fuel in the energy-starved country
COUNTRIES WITH ISRAEL
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou (Russia) shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan,(SAUDIA ARABIA) and the merchants of Tarshish,(ENGLAND) with all the young lions thereof,(USA,CANADA,AUSTRALIA,NEW ZEALAND,EU,ENGLISH SPEAKING shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
Israel and United States sign record-high military aid deal
By Aron Heller AUG 16,07
JERUSALEM (AP) - The United States offered Israel on Thursday an unprecedented $30-billion military aid package, bolstering its closest Mideast ally. The aid deal signed in a ceremony in Jerusalem represents a 25 per cent rise in U.S. military aid to Israel, from a current $2.4 billion each year to $3 billion a year over 10 years.
Nicholas Burns, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Israeli Foreign Minister Director-General Aharon Abramovitz signed the memorandum of understanding on the assistance at a ceremony in Jerusalem. The package was meant in part to offset U.S. plans to offer Saudi Arabia advanced weapons and air systems that would greatly improve the Arab country's air force. Israel has said it has no opposition to the U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia, which comes as the United States strengthens moderate Arabs in facing the growing influence of Iran.
The U.S. administration sees the regional threats to Israel - namely Iran, and the Hezbollah and Hamas militant groups - as threats to the United States as well, Burns said. We look at this region and we see that a secure and strong Israel is in the interest of the United States, Burns said. The chief of Israel's central bank, Stanley Fischer, said the U.S. aid is of critical importance to Israel, whose defence budget constitutes about 10 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product. The aid package to Israel was finalized in June in Washington between U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert has said the increase in military aid to Israel would guarantee its strategic superiority, despite upgrades to Arab countries in the region.
The U.S. has long-standing commitments to Israel and to Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab state to make peace with Israel. Egypt currently gets $1.3 billion a year in military assistance. At the same time, the U.S. is seeking to strengthen other moderate Mideast allies, largely as a counterweight to Iran's growing influence. The United States and Israel accuse Iran of developing nuclear bombs, a charge Tehran denies. Iran, whose leader has repeatedly called for Israel to be to wiped off the map, is viewed by Israel as its main enemy. Shiite Muslim Iran also concerns the Saudis and other Sunni-led Arab allies of the United States. The Bush administration must still receive Congressional approval for the aide deals, but Burns said he believed there would be little opposition in the Senate and House to the Israeli package.
HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
Stocks fall despite Fed’s $7 billion repo
Dow closes below 13,000 amid bad housing news, surge in price of oil
Updated: 4:46 p.m. ET Aug 15, 2007
NEW YORK - Wall Street tumbled again Wednesday after the Federal Reserve added more cash to the banking system but failed to quash investors’ jitters about problems in lending.The market traded nervously, jerking the Dow Jones industrial average above and below the 13,000 mark throughout the day as investors wrestled with reports about potential trouble at Countrywide Financial Corp. and KKR Financial Holdings LLC.By late in the day, investors saw little reason to buy beyond the fact that stocks are at bargain prices right now; but that wasn’t enough for the market to hold any gains, and so the Dow dropped about 170 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also dropped sharply, and is now down for the year.
Central banks worldwide have supplied billions of funds to banks over the past week to make cash available for lending and keep interest rates stable amid signs that credit was drying up. On Wednesday, the Fed said it would accept a repo of $7 billion, in which it buys that amount in securities from dealers, who then deposit the money into commercial banks.Still, the Fed has not indicated that it will free up more cash by making an interest rate cut at its Sept. 18 meeting, a move that many on Wall Street believe could stoke a stock recovery. Inflation has been keeping the central bank from lowering rates; the Labor Department said Wednesday its Consumer Price Index rose a mild 0.1 percent in July, as expected, but energy prices remain high.
Yes, the market would probably move dramatically higher if they made a cut, said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. “But I think it’s more prudent to allow this correction to continue to unfold. After all, we’re in the month of August and coming into September — historically, the weakest months of the year. The market has been in need of a correction.According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 167.45, or 1.29 percent, to 12,861.47, closing below 13,000 for the first time since April 24 and continuing a weeks-long pattern of triple-digit moves. The blue chip index is more than 8 percent below its record close above 14,000 reached in mid-July.Broader stock indicators also fell. The S&P 500 index dropped 19.84, or 1.39 percent, to 1,406.70, and the Nasdaq composite index lost 40.29, or 1.61 percent, to 2,458.83.
Bonds rose, moving in the opposite direction as stocks. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.71 percent from 4.73 percent late Tuesday.The Dow rose as many as 90 points Wednesday, as investors searched for bargains among hard-hit stocks.The most savvy investors are seeing an opportunity with the increase in volatility. Individuals not as used to this are having trouble navigating through it, said James Smothermon, Charles Schwab’s active trading and investing strategist. He said clients have been changing their strategies through tactics like buying insurance on their portfolios and buying put options, or contracts that let an investor sell part of an asset at a set price within a certain time period.But ultimately, investors sold off, focusing on the possibility of problems at lenders like Countrywide Financial. Merrill Lynch issued a sell rating on the stock, kindling worries about the biggest U.S. home lender’s ability to raise cash to secure short-term funds.
Countrywide sank $3.17, or 13 percent, to $21.19.
In another sign that the market’s lending woes are far from over, KKR Financial said it sold about $5.1 billion in residential mortgage loans in a move that will result in a $40 million loss for the specialty finance firm. KKR fell $4.76, or 31 percent, to $10.52.Meanwhile, the housing market outlook remains grim. National Association of Home Builders said its housing market index, which tracks builders’ perceptions of current market conditions and expectations for home sales over the next six months, dropped this month to the lowest reading since January 1991. It was the sixth straight monthly decline.Crude futures rose 95 cents to $73.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after momentarily surpassing $74. The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Dean, strengthening in the Caribbean and heading west, could be a major hurricane by Thursday, while Tropical Storm Erin entered the Gulf of Mexico. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 11.33, or 1.49 percent, to 751.54.Declining issues outnumbered advancers by 5 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where trading volume came to 1.99 billion shares, up from 1.6 billion Tuesday.Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average slid 2.19 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.56 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 0.28 percent, and France’s CAC-40 dropped 0.66 percent.
World stocks plummet yet again AUG 16,07
LONDON (AFP) - Global share prices tumbled again on Thursday, with a brutal round of losses in Asia and Europe as investors took flight on fears of fallout from the US housing market crisis.Traders are worried about a global credit squeeze as more banks and investment funds around the world reveal their exposure to the slumping US subprime or high-risk home loan sector, analysts said.From London to Tokyo, Shanghai to Mumbai and Hong Kong to Sydney, weary traders' screens were awash with red again on Thursday as fears over US housing continued to buffet stock markets.Across Europe, markets nursed more heavy losses after further dramatic falls in Asia that were sparked by yet another overnight slump in New York.All eyes remained on Wall Street where credit market anxiety gripped investors again Wednesday as the fear of the unknown prompted a flight to safe haven assets such as government bonds. US markets reopen at 1330 GMT.
The mood changed again on Wall Street ahead of last night's close, with another sustained run of selling as traders remain somewhat unsure of the extent of the credit squeeze and sub-prime fallout, said CMC Markets trader Adam Neal in London on Thursday.French President Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, called for the Group of Seven most industrialised nations to take steps to improve transparency in world markets in the wake of the US home loan crisis.Markets have buckled under a fresh wave of selling as the growing fallout from turmoil in US credit markets prompted investors to flee to safe havens such as bonds.Australian home loan group RAMS sparked fresh jitters after it failed to roll over five billion US dollars in debt due to worries over the US credit crunch.In early deals on Thursday, London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares slumped as much as 2.3 percent to 5,968.80 points -- the lowest level since October 5, 2006.That was the first time the FTSE has fallen beneath 6,000 points since March 5 earlier this year. The index later stood at 5,984.60 points.
In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index dived 1.91 percent to 7,303.77 points, and the Paris CAC 40 tumbled 2.27 percent to 5,319.15 points.Markets in Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Stockholm all registered steep losses of around 2.0 percent in early trade.There has been no let up in the financial market turmoil with equity markets in the US last night and Asia today all lower underlining the fact that fears and uncertainty remain to the fore, said economist Derek Halpenny at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
In a nerve-wracking day for investors, Seoul reeled from its biggest ever one-day plunge in terms of points, ending down 6.93 percent.And South Korean shares tumbled almost 7.0 percent, posting their biggest ever one-day point decline.Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell below the key 16,000-point level for the first time since November before clawing back to end down 1.99 percent.
Hong Kong shares tumbled 3.3 percent, the Chinese market dived by 2.14 percent and Singapore shed 3.86 percent.A fresh 400-billion-yen (3.4 billion dollars) injection of funds into the banking system by the Bank of Japan failed to calm frayed nerves.
New York stocks had fallen sharply on Wednesday on fresh anxiety about the credit market, despite the US Federal Reserve's seven-billion-dollar cash infusion to support the financial system.The US Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.29 percent to end at 12,859.19 points -- the fifth straight closing loss and the first time since late April it closed below 13,000.Market watchers said that confidence had drained out of the markets, so even though many stocks look cheap there is no obvious trigger on the horizon for a rebound.Meanwhile, crude oil prices fell heavily as traders fretted that the turmoil on global markets could crimp economic growth and demand for energy.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
FEIGLIN TRYS HARD
A celebratory atmosphere was present among Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) supporters in Israel and North America last night after yesterday's Likud primary.
Moshe Feiglin, Manhigut Yehudit's candidate for head of the Likud party, doubled his support in the party over the previous Likud primary for the second consecutive election. If this trend continues, Feiglin will prove victorious at the next Likud primary, and will then run for Prime Minister of the State of Israel.Feiglin received 25% of the vote, and he was happy and encouraged by this result. It proves that a quarter of the Likud wants a leader who believes in G-d... Today the revolution to bring a leadership of faith has begun.Reversing years of defeatist, corrupt and inept leadership in government is not an overnight process. Manhigut Yehudit has a plan and G-d willing authentic Jewish Leadership for the nation of Israel is close at hand. This will be remembered as an emotional day in which Israel started to return to the people, so that it will no longer be controlled by a leftist minority and by politicians on the Right who do their bidding, Feiglin told reporters. We are on a journey toward victory, and this was a big step along the way.
The Manhigut Yehudit website is www.jewishisrael.org - Manhigut Yehudit is the largest faction inside the Likud party, and strives to Turn the State of the Jews into The Jewish State.
Netanyahu wins Likud leadership AUG 15,07
Mr Netanyahu's popularity has soared this year Former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been re-elected as leader of the main right-wing opposition party, Likud. Mr Netanyahu won 73% of the vote. In his victory speech, he vowed to focus Likud's efforts on bringing Israel a new leadership. Recent polls show Mr Netanyahu would be a popular choice for prime minister. Mr Netanyahu was prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and has since held several senior cabinet posts. Party officials released final election results early on Wednesday - showing Mr Netanyahu had far outstripped his main rival, the hardline religious challenger, Moshe Feiglin, who won 23% of the vote. Last year Mr Netanyahu led Likud to a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections.
But BBC correspondents say his popularity has soared in opinion polls since last year's inconclusive war in Lebanon. Israeli general elections are due in 2010 but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's approval ratings have dropped and some commentators anticipate elections as early as next year. Mr Olmert heads the centrist Kadima party. Tonight the internal contest ended, and as of tomorrow, we will focus our efforts on bringing a new leadership to Israel, Mr Netanyahu told supporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. He had appealed to Likud members to vote as he feared a low turnout might play into the hands of Mr Feiglin. Around 40% of Likud's 95,000 members cast ballots across the country. Polling stations were even opened in some Israeli holiday resorts.
NETANYAHU WINS LIKUD PRIMARY - But can Bibi come back?
By Joel C. Rosenberg
(WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2007) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu decisively won the chairmanship of the Likud Party on Tuesday. He's running far ahead in national polls, and now appears well positioned to be elected the next leader of Israel. That said, numerous obstacles still stand in his way. The media hates him, the left hates him, the right sometimes wonders if he has the fire in the belly to fight for Israel's security and to re-energize an increasingly exhausted Zionist movement, and the center remains wary of his mercurial leadership style. What's more, elections aren't scheduled until 2010. Bibi is riding high in the polls now, but will it last?
Can Bibi come back? Honestly, it's too early to say, but given the leadership crisis facing Israel today (Olmert's approval ratings are at a dismal 8%) -- and the existential threats Israel faces from the combined forces of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, armed and aided by Russia -- I for one certainly hope so.
Excerpts from Israeli election coverage.
The Jerusalem Post: Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu was reelected Likud chairman in Tuesday's party primary, defeating the two Likud activists who challenged him -- Moshe Feiglin and Danny Danon -- by a hefty margin. According to the final count, Netanyahu won 73.2 percent of the votes, while Feiglin had 23.4% and Danon 3.4%.
Ynetnews: Re-elected Likud chairman tells Ynet outcome of primary elections proves rival camp has marginal impact on party. In victory speech in Tel Aviv which Feiglin was barred from attending, Netanyahu pledges new leadership for Israel. Surrounded by dozens of supporters and staffers, re-elected Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu looked like an enormous weight had been lifted from his shoulders late Tuesday night.
Haaretz: Netanyahu is expected to consider steps to limit the strength of Feiglin, a religious settler with a platform that calls for barring Arabs from the Knesset, encouraging non-Jews to emigrate and pulling Israel out of the United Nations
Agence France Presse (from early Tuesday, before the polls closed): Former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to be re-elected as head of Israel's right-wing Likud party on Tuesday, is a media-savvy arch-hawk determined to move back to the political centre stage. Netanyahu was expected to sweep to victory during a Likud primary with at least 70 percent of the vote, according to internal opinion polls, in a contest against two other candidates. Fifteen months after leading Likud to its biggest-ever electoral defeat, the 57-year-old politician is determined to use his expected victory in the primary to bury the humiliation and return to the country's leadership. Bibi, as Netanyahu is widely known in Israel, is hoping to ride a wave of dissapointment with the ruling Kadima party over scandals and last year's Lebanon war back to the top of the Israeli political spectrum....Netanyahu is the public's first choice to be Israel's next prime minister -- 36 percent favoured him in a recent opinion poll, compared with eight percent for Olmert and 22 percent for former premier Ehud Barak. The same poll showed that Likud would more than double its seats in the Knesset, winning 26, if new elections were held.
EU clears way for Intel and STMicro to combine flash memory units
The Associated PressPublished: August 13, 2007
BRUSSELS: The European Union cleared the way Monday for Intel and STMicroelectronics of Switzerland to combine troubled units that make a type of flash memory used primarily in cellphones.The chip makers and the private equity firm Francisco Partners will form a new company that will acquire the assets of Intel's and STMicro's NOR flash businesses, a technology that has been steadily losing ground to less expensive NAND flash memory for digital cameras and music players.The European Commission concluded that the joint venture would not cause antitrust problems, saying its market investigation found that strong rivals existed for both types of flash memory and customers would be able to choose from a sufficient number of alternative vendors.Overall revenues for the NOR flash chips were $8.3 billion last year, but the entire segment was unable to turn a profit, according to the research firm iSuppli.The STMicroelectronics and Intel units reported a combined $3.6 billion in sales last year.
Denmark joins international race to claim the Arctic
15.08.2007 - 09:13 CET | By Lisbeth Kirk
Denmark has sent a research team to the Arctic ice pack to seek evidence that the Lomonosov Ridge underwater mountain range is attached to the Danish territory of Greenland.The research team, with specialists from Canada, Denmark and Sweden, set off on Sunday (12 August) from Tromsoe in northern Norway on board the Swedish ice-breaker Oden. They will return to Norway's Svalbard islands on 17 September.Canada, Russia, the US and Norway have also claims in the Arctic region, where the US Geological Survey has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden.The race for the Arctic is also intensifying because global warming is shrinking the polar ice cap, which could some day open for new shipping lanes linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Russia believes the Lomonosov Ridge underwater feature is linked to its Siberian territory and made a submission to the United States as early as 2001 claiming sub-sea rights stretching to the Pole.To back up the claims, members of Russia's parliament watched from a mini-submarine when their country's flag was planted on 2 August four kilometres (2.5 miles) below the North Pole.The meter-high flag is made of titanium so as not to rust, said Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. The move was treated with derision by Canadian foreign minister Peter MacKay who likened it to tactics used in the 15th Century, the BBC reported.Canada itself has just started Arctic sovereignty claims with prime minister Stephen Harper announcing last week plans to build an army training centre and a deep-water port at Nanisivik near the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage to help refuel its military patrol ships.
Ottawa also plans to buy at least six new patrol ships for the area.Washington has sent a coast guard cutter on a mapping mission to the Arctic this week to determine whether part of the area can be considered US territory. It is the third US Arctic mapping cruise since 2003.The North Pole seabed is not currently regarded as part of any single country's territory and is governed instead by complex international agreements.Danish claims for the areas go via Greenland. Although part of the Danish Realm, Greenland is not a part of the European Union.A visit to Greenland by European Commission president Jose Barroso in June was largely focussed on climate change but also included signature of an EU-Greenland partnership deal.
Israel, Syria not interested in war: Barak Wed Aug 15, 6:55 AM ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Neither Israel nor archfoe Syria is interested in a war, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday as he observed military exercises in the occupied Golan Heights. Israel does not want a war and Syria, according to our estimates, does not wish for one either," he said during the exercises on the strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed in 1981.Which is why there is no reason for a start of an armed conflict, he said.He said the war games were taking place in the Golan because the Israeli army's training grounds were located there and in the southern Negev desert.We have not trained enough during the past five years and at present, all (army) units are training to be ready for any test, he said.
Over the past few months, Israeli and Syrian leaders have both said their countries do not want a war, but were preparing for any possibility while each side has accused the other of arming for a conflict.On Tuesday, Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara said that Damascus was not looking for a conflict.Syria does not want a war, Israel knows this well, Shara said. But Syria is preparing, as Israel is looking for any excuse to launch a war.We have to be ready to repel any Israeli aggression, he said.Peace talks between Israel and Syria broke down in 2000 over the fate of the Golan, which overlooks the Sea of Galilee.
Rebuilding European Arms Control - illustration only
by David Mosher And F. Stephen Larrabee
UPI Outside View Commentators
Washington (UPI) Aug 15, 2007
Russia's recent announcement that it intends to formally suspend its compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which limits Russian and NATO conventional forces and heavy weaponry in Europe, has caused consternation in Western capitals. In addition, Russian officials threatened that Moscow may also withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which limits the deployment of intermediate-range missiles.Signed in 1992 after 10 years of painstaking negotiation, the CFE Treaty is regarded as the cornerstone of stability in Europe. The Bush administration has expressed dismay regarding the Russian decision to scrap the agreement. But the administration's own unilateral actions and approach to arms control have contributed to the current dilemma and provided both a motivation as well as a pretext for the Russian action.In effect, the Russians have simply adopted the Bush administration's own unilateralist approach to arms control.Unilateralism was at the heart of the Bush administration's foreign policy when it came to power in 2001. The administration quickly denounced a wide range of international agreements and ongoing negotiations, many of which had been created by years of U.S. leadership.Examples of these agreements include the Kyoto accords on climate change, the International Criminal Court, and negotiations on the Biological Weapons Convention and the fissile material cutoff.The centerpiece of the administration's agenda was scrapping the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so that the United States could develop and deploy missile defenses how and where it wanted. In response, an angry Russia refused to ratify the strategic arms reduction treaty called START II, an accord that was negotiated by Bush's father and would have eliminated all multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Today all that remains of the limits on offensive nuclear forces and missile defenses are the START I and INF treaties, which are now the only accords that permit on-site inspections of nuclear forces and require consultative meetings.START I is set to expire in 2009, and the Bush administration has shown no interest in extending it. The 2002 Moscow treaty will reduce forces below START levels by 2012 but has no inspection provisions and will expire the day after the limits are reached.The rationale for scrapping decades of arms control with Russia was that the Cold War was over and the United States and Russia were no longer enemies. Removing treaties that codified an adversarial relationship was the key to moving forward, the Bush administration argued. The assessment of the emerging U.S.-Russian relationship was correct, but America's largely unilateral approach has complicated the transition and set a precedent that is now coming back to haunt the administration.Arms control, of course, should not be pursued simply for its own sake. Nor should U.S. policymakers shrink from amending -- or even scrapping -- arms agreements that no longer serve American interests. However, as the United States and Russia seek to adapt their military forces to a radically changed post-Cold War security environment, they need to preserve a framework that ensures some predictability and continuity.
Prudently pursued, arms control agreements provide a means for controlling unbridled arms competition, create transparency, and act as a brake on precipitous actions that can negatively affect the security of the other side.Moscow's principal concern appears to be the unpredictability that has been created by unilateral U.S. moves: no limits on defenses, no long-term limits on strategic nuclear forces, and no forum for regular discussion. At the same time, a stronger, more assertive Russia wants to be free of the constraints in the CFE treaty, which limits the number of forces it can deploy on its northern and southern flanks -- the Baltic area and the Caucasus region.Moreover, Moscow's threat to withdraw from the INF treaty suggests that this may be the first step in a broader effort to scrap other arms control agreements that it no longer believes serves its national interests.The problem is that unilateralism begets unilateralism.The U.S. actions have now freed Russia to take unilateral steps of its own. Moreover, the American policy has given Russia a ready-made justification for abrogating agreements that it now finds onerous, following the precedent set by the United States.
However, Moscow's threat to suspend the CFE treaty does not necessarily signal an irrevocable determination to abrogate the treaty. The Russians have left the door open to a possible renegotiation of the agreement.There is still room for creative U.S. diplomacy. While insisting that the Russians honor their commitments under the CFE treaty, Washington should indicate a willingness to discuss further adjustments in the treaty once the Russians have carried out their current obligations. At the same time, the United States should use the occasion to begin to rebuild a more comprehensive arms control framework that provides greater predictability and transparency.Rebuilding such a comprehensive framework will not be easy. But it is vital that the two sides begin the effort before the whole edifice painstakingly constructed over the last three decades collapses, leading to the onset of a new era of unbridled Russian-American arms competition.(David Mosher is a senior policy analyst and F. Stephen Larrabee holds the corporate chair in European security at the RAND Corp., a non-profit research organization.)(United Press International's Outside View commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)Source: United Press International.
NETANYAHU TO WIN ISRAELI LIKUD PARTY
BRUSSELS (AP)--Israel has asked the European Parliament not to provide space this month for a two-day U.N. panel meeting on the rights of Palestinians, saying the U.N. group co-hosting it has an anti-Israel record.Ran Curiel, the Israeli envoy to the European Union, wrote a letter last week to E.U. parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering asking him to prevent the planned Aug. 30-31 conference from taking place at the E.U. assembly's building in Brussels, Israeli officials said.They said Curiel also wrote to a few dozen E.U. parliamentarians to complain about the planned conference, which is to be held under the auspices of the U.N's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.Israel views the committee as a legacy of the 1975 U.N. General Assembly resolution - revoked in 1991 - that equated Zionism with racism.
Curiel called the parliament's decision to allow the conference lamentable and said the assembly had rejected a similar request for a meeting by the U.N. panel a few years ago because the committee has called for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.E.U. parliament officials weren't immediately available for comment.The committee, chaired by Senegal, has 22 members and 26 observers. Cyprus and Malta are the only members who are also E.U. member states, according to the U.N. Web site.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires - 08-13-071005ET - Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Trichet concerned over EU treaty change
13.08.2007 - 09:06 CET | By Honor Mahony
The European Central Bank (ECB) last week sent a letter asking member states to make sure that the bank's independence is maintained in a new EU treaty following a small but potentially significant change to the draft treaty outline.In a letter sent to the current Portuguese EU presidency published 9 August, ECB head Jean-Claude Trichet asked for specific changes that would guarantee that the bank has a special status, separate from other EU institutions such as the parliament and commission.
Because of its specific institutional features, the ECB needs to be differentiated from the union's institutions, said Mr Trichet in his letter sent to Manuel Lobo Atunes, Portuguese Europe minister.This special status was secured in the original draft EU constitution, which fell by the wayside after being rejected by French and Dutch voters two years ago.But the clause did not make it into the outline for a new EU treaty agreed by EU leaders before the summer and set to be finalised by the end of the year.Mr Trichet fears that if the current treaty outline remains the same, with the ECB listed along the commission and parliament as an institution, it will be subject to the same general rules as these institutions which work together and follow certain agreed goals and European values.
This could leave the bank legally open to pressure from EU leaders to follow certain more politcal goals.Maintaining the bank's independence has become more of a public battle ground since French president Nicolas Sarkozy came to power earlier this summer.Mr Sarkozy has made several comments indicating that he would like to curb the bank's independence by calling for greater political influence in monetary policy making.Mr Sarkozy has also repeatedly criticised the strength of the euro as well as what he sees as the bank's too strong emphasis on inflation. Late last month the bank publicly hit back at the French president. The President of the ECB repeats with gravity that any attempt to seek to influence... the ECB in the performance of its tasks' violates Article 108 of the EC Treaty and that therefore such declarations are not acceptable, said a spokesperson on behalf of Mr Trichet.
EU and US central banks consider currency swap
13.08.2007 - 09:21 CET | By Renata Goldirova
Amid fears that US mortgage market problems would prompt a worldwide credit crunch, the European Central Bank, ECB, is expected to continue pumping funds into the eurozone banking market today (13 August). According to the Financial Times, the Frankfurt-based institution may also seek to arrange a currency swap with the US Federal Reserve – a move allowing it to lend dollars to European banks struggling to meet short-term dollar funding needs.The attitude is don't show me anything east of a [New York] 212-area code. If you lend to [those banks], it could be a career-ending experience, one banker said, the FT reports.
An ECB request for a currency swap – reportedly due in the next few days – is seen as a helpful way of dealing with the market turmoil and is likely to be welcomed by the US Federal Reserve. A swap would be a market calming measure and would be logical in the current situation, Chris Furness from economics consultancy 4Cast told the FT. It would also be the first such arrangement between the world's two biggest central banks following the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001. Conditions in the money markets have been extremely difficult since last Thursday (9 August), when French Bank BNP Paribas suspended three investment funds worth two billion euros, citing problems in the US sub-prime mortgage sector. The complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the US securitization market has made it impossible to value certain assets fairly regardless of their quality or credit rating, BNP Paribas said in the statement.
Sub-prime mortgages are loans made to borrowers who would not usually qualify for the normal market interest rates, often due to a poor credit history.They are riskier both for the borrower and lender because of this combination of higher interest rates and weak credit history. New market conditions have prompted banks to seek ways to limit their risks and they have begun charging significantly more for the money they lend to each other.For their part, central banks worldwide have responded by injecting cash into the financial system. The ECB poured €61.05 billion into the eurozone money market on Friday (10 August) to assure orderly conditions in the euro money market.The US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia also injected cash into the system to ensure sufficient liquidity.
European stock markets were in positive territory across the board at the market opening Monday (13 August), in a tentative sign that swift Central Bank intervention has calmed investors' jitters. And the ECB said Monday morning it will continue to closely monitor developments in the market, in another bid to soothe market concerns.
Stargazers enjoy meteor spectacle AUG 13,07
Thousands of people in the northern hemisphere have witnessed a spectacular light show of shooting stars, known as the Perseid meteor shower. The annual event coincided with a new Moon, providing stargazers with the best viewing conditions for years. The shower lasts about two weeks, but reached its peak overnight on Sunday. It was most apparent in the north-east part of the sky near the Perseus constellation prime viewing locations were Western Europe and North America. Dr Robert Massey from the UK's Royal Astronomical Society said that as many as 100 meteors an hour would have been visible where the sky was clearest and darkest.
The annual Perseid showers are caused by small bits of debris, many no bigger than a grain of sand, that enter the Earth's atmosphere when our orbit passes through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet.These particles travel at very high speeds, reaching up to 50km per second (32 miles per second), and burn up in the atmosphere.
This causes the air around them to get extremely hot, which produces the visible streak of light. David Hughes, professor of astronomy at the University of Sheffield said the particles typically burned up at 97 to 193km (60 to 120 miles) above the Earth's surface. The meteors were visible as streaks crossing the paths of stars
We should have been able to see these things - I'm sure - for millennia. The first record of these is about 1,000 years ago, Professor Hughes told the BBC. The Perseids were traditionally known as the tears of St Lawrence because they often appeared around the saint's feast day.
It's a spectacular phenomenon that everyone can enjoy. The great thing is that you don't need any equipment apart from your eyes, Dr Massey said. It's a laid back form of astronomy. You can go outside, look up at the sky and enjoy it.As an added bonus, watchers should have been able to see Mars, which was set to be in view as a bright red dot in the eastern sky after midnight.
Russia Upgrading Missile Defense System AUG 13,07
(RTTNews) - Russian President Vladimir Putin while on a visit to the new early-warning radar station at Lekhtusi near St Petersburg, announced a program to upgrade Russia's missile defense system. Putin said the Lekhtusi station was the first step in the major construction project up to the year 2015. The Lekhtusi station, about 50 km north of St Petersburg, replaces the Soviet Union's Skrunda radar station in Latvia, dismantled in 1998. The station was built in just 18 months and opened in December last year. Another such installation is being built at Armavir, southern Russia.Russia had objected to US plans for a US missile defense system in Eastern Europe, raising serious concerns to its security. Russia subsequently pulled out of the European military pact, warning that it would take measures to counter the U.S. plan. The US, however, insists the missile defense system program is aimed at countering threats from countries such as Iran and North Korea.
David's Comment: The Fire Brigade is Pouring Fuel on the Fire AUG 13,07
I don't claim to be a military expert, in fact I don 't claim to be any kind of expert, but at the same time I am not a blind man. And I am not one who hates the USA as do many in the UK & Europe ( not to mention the Muslims ) nor do I go out of my way to bash the US without good reason. BUT ........ last week's news should have come as instant revelation to anyone with even just half a brain, as to the true motives of the United States.Fire chief George W Bush and his fire station manageress, Condalessa Rice are going out of their way to put out the fire that has been burning here in the Middle East for 3000 plus years. Of course I am referring to the fiery conflict between the Muslims and the Jews. Hardly a day or press conference goes by at the Fire House in Washinton DC that fire chief Bush or his offsiders does not fly in the face of God Himself, and proclaim the future existence of a Palestinian State on Israel's land. Over the last 15 years, since the Oslo Peace Accords we have seen a succession of failed US peace plans - Olso, Tennent, Zinney, etc etc. On the surface it seems that the US is intent on bringing peace to the Middle East at any cost - to Israel, and in defiance of the Lord's plans and purposes for the region.
However this weeks news makes it very clear that the US does not really want peace - she wants to sell weapons. Not guns and bullets for the camel mounted Islamic hordes to attack Israel with, but the very latest super hi-tech jet fighter, missiles and associated 21st century military equipment. Surely I am not the only one who sees that pouring billions of dollars of such equipment into the midst of a 3000 year old family feud is not going to bring a lasting peace, but at some stage a horrifying war. How does supplying the very latest equipment that is only designed for war to both sides of an age old conflict contribute to establishing peace ?
On the contrary it can only encourage those who have them to use them. Who is the US State Department trying to kid. One doesnt have to be a professor to see that providing 15 billion dollars worth of weaponry to Egypt, 20 billion dollars worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, and 30 billion dollars worth of weaponry to Israel is nothing less than pouring fuel on the already burning fire.The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel . Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray for our son Jordan, and all of his fellow soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ... David & Josie
This Week with Rabbi Eckstein
August 9, 2007
Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
Once again in the Middle East there is talk of peace negotiations. Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met earlier this week in Jericho as a prelude to a Middle East peace summit scheduled to take place this fall in the U.S. The aim is to create a Palestinian state that will not only recognize Israel's right to exist, but coexist peacefully with Israel and work alongside it for the betterment of the greater region.It is an immense challenge. Israel has proven her genuine desire for peace, and her willingness to make painful sacrifices for it. Her Arab neighbors have not, and this is the primary reason that previous efforts of the sort that will take place in the U.S. in the fall have not lead to lasting peace. There are many flashpoints for conflict in this part of the world - and here are some of the most prominent:
Syria continues its saber-rattling over the Golan Heights, the 450 square mile area in northeast Israel that is of critical importance to the security of the Jewish State. For nineteen years after the founding of Israel in 1948, Syria used the high elevations of the Golan as staging areas for attacks against Israel. During the 1967 Six Day War, Israel took control of the area, finally stopping the attacks. But Syria has never given up its claims to this relatively small plot of land. Last week, Syrian Prime Minister Bashir Assad declared that his country is determined to retrieve every grain of land in the Golan Heights, and went on to boast, We are stronger than we have been in the past. Syria is also reported to have established a military presence several miles within Lebanon's borders, and continues to transfer weapons from Iran to the Hezbollah terrorist group, as well as bid for control of Lebanon through tactics of assassination and its sponsorship of pro-Syria Lebanese politicians. While there is some difference of opinion about the possibility of Syria going to war with Israel, it is beyond dispute that the situation remains volatile.
Gaza has settled down a bit since Hamas' takeover in June, but it is hardly peaceful. Bloody clashes between Hamas and its rival Palestinian faction, Fatah, are still common. Rockets fired from the area still fall on Israeli cities like Sderot. And Hamas' propaganda campaign continues to teach hatred of Jews and Israel to children and solidify Palestinian opinion against Israel. One recent news story described a summer camp for Palestinian youth where Israel-hatred is a staple of the curriculum. A quote from one Palestinian boy tells the chilling story. Asked what he has learned, the boy replies, They do teach us about Palestine and the Jews who occupied it. Hamas officials are clear about their motives. These kids are Hamas' future army, one said in an interview. We sponsor their academic education in the Islamic University and thus we nurture a leadership and membership for the future. The future envisioned by Hamas obviously includes training more Palestinian children to dedicate themselves to the destruction of Israel - not raising a new generation of leaders who will work toward peaceful coexistence with the Jewish State.
The 13,000 United Nations troops charged with keeping the peace in southern Lebanon seem unable to fulfill their mandate of stopping the flow of weapons into the area. As a result, Hezbollah terrorists continue to rearm and regroup for another possible attack against Israel. In fact, the U.N.'s powerlessness is such that one news story told of U.N. member states seeking Hezbollah's protection for U.N. peacekeeping troops, who are under threat from Sunni Muslim and Al-Qaeda terrorists! The idea of U.N. troops being escorted on their patrols by Hezbollah for protection might be funny if it weren't so tragic - and if a rearmed Hezbollah did not pose such a dire threat to Israel.
It is impossible to discuss these issues without mentioning Iran, the proverbial wizard behind the curtain fueling so much of the instability and anti-Israel, anti-American propaganda and violence in this part of the world. Iranian president Ahmadinejad has not stopped his outrageous threats against Israel or America, and has shown that he will do everything in his power to arm and train Israel's enemies, funding terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon (as well as those fighting U.S. forces in Iraq), and forming a powerful alliance with Syria. The world community is divided on how best to deal with Iran's flouting of international laws prohibiting its development of nuclear weapons. One thing, however, is certain - it must be dealt with in some fashion.
In light of the tense situation in the Middle East, I ask you to please continue your support of Fellowship programs that contribute so much to the well-being and security of the Jewish State. And, please continue your prayers for the peace of Jerusalem, secure in the biblical assurance that, "The Lord … hears the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29).
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Israel to Europe: Hamas-Fatah talks a huge mistake By Adam Entous
Tue Aug 14, 9:58 AM ET
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Tuesday it would be a big mistake for the international community to try to bridge differences between Hamas Islamists and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was responding to calls from Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and British parliamentarians for dialogue with Hamas, whose fighters routed Fatah and seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.I know that it looks tempting and I know that the international community is eager to see a kind of an understanding between Hamas and Fatah, Livni told a news conference with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso.This is wrong. This is a mistake. Big mistake. Huge, Livni said, tapping the table for emphasis.
Israel and the United States have tried to isolate Hamas in Gaza while opening economic and political taps to support Abbas and his Western-backed government in the occupied West Bank.Livni said the international community's role was critical and any compromise with terror, any compromise with these extremists, can lead to undermining the new government in the Palestinian Authority.The idea is that now there is a chance in the dialogue between Israel and the new Palestinian government. We can reach something. It's there, Livni said.Steny Hoyer, the majority leader in the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives, emerged from a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad voicing confidence Fatah would not seek a new unity pact with Hamas.Mr. Fayyad made it very clear that Hamas could not be and would not be a partner in moving forward, Hoyer told reporters.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been under pressure from the Bush administration to take more concrete steps to bolster Abbas before a U.S.-sponsored conference on the long-stalled peace process expected to take place in November.The goal is an agreement on statehood principles.The idea is to reach the widest common denominator between Israel and the Palestinians, Livni said.To bolster Abbas, Olmert has started releasing frozen tax funds, freed some Palestinian prisoners and agreed to hold talks on fundamental issues for establishing a Palestinian state.During their meeting last week, Olmert assured Abbas he would begin to remove some of the roadblocks that restrict Palestinian travel in the West Bank, Palestinian officials said.But senior Abbas aide Saeb Erekat, who had expected to receive a roadblock removal plan from Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak this week, said: They told us they're not ready yet. I'm really disappointed.
Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Friday quoted Barak as saying that he would not carry out Olmert's roadblock plan. Barak was also quoted as dismissing as fantasies any talk of a peace deal with the Palestinians any time soon.Israel says its checkpoints and unmanned roadblocks, usually piles of rubble on roads linking towns or villages in the West Bank, help prevent attacks by militants. Palestinians call them collective punishment. Israel has promised to remove roadblocks in the past. Many of the promised changes were either never made or reversed.
Netanyahu set to be re-elected chief of Israel's Likud by Michael Blum
Tue Aug 14, 7:00 AM ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel's former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to be re-elected on Tuesday as leader of Likud, the hawkish party topping opinion polls a year after its worst electoral defeat. Internal party opinion polls have given Netanyahu a massive lead in the party primary, with at least 70 percent of the vote in the race against Moshe Feiglin, backed by Likud's hardline religious current, and another little-known candidate, Danny Danon.Former foreign minister Silvan Shalom, the only candidate to threaten Netanyahu's leadership, refused last month to take part in the race after Netanyahu decided on the party primary date without consulting him.The biggest threat to Netanyahu in Tuesday's vote is turnout -- as it is taking place in the middle of summer vacation, many of the 100,000 registered members of Likud could stay away, observers say.A decent showing by Feiglin -- a religious hardliner -- could force Netanyahu to give him a senior leadership post, a move that could dent Likud's currently soaring ratings and hurt the party's chances for a comeback should early elections be held.To avoid that scenario, Netanyahu has appealed to Likud voters to cast ballots.Go out and vote as tonight starts the true race for leadership of the government, he said while casting his ballot in Jerusalem. I ask Likud voters to think about the future of the country.
Likud cannot become a marginal party, he said earlier. We don't want an inaccurate representation that suggests we advocate insubordination and messianic ideals.Party members were casting ballots from 0700 GMT until 2000 GMT on Tuesday, with the first unofficial results expected to be released around 2100 GMT.Although Netanyahu's grip on Israel's main right-wing opposition party was never in doubt, the primary was called because under Likud's charter, a new leadership vote must be held if the party loses national elections.During Israel's last parliamentary polls in March 2006, Likud suffered a stinging electoral defeat under Netanyahu's stewardship. It took only 12 seats in the 120-member parliament, the worst result since it won its first legislative election in 1977 and began to dominate national politics.The humiliating reversal came four months after Netanyahu was elected chairman to replace former premier Ariel Sharon, who quit to form the centrist Kadima that won the March poll.
But the fortunes of Likud and Netanyahu have turned around, as the ratings of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Kadima have slid in the wake of last year's inconclusive war in Lebanon and a string of scandals involving senior government officials.Today 57-year-old Bibi, as Netanyahu is known in Israel, is the public's first choice to be Israel's next prime minister -- 36 percent favoured him in a recent opinion poll, compared with eight percent for Olmert and 22 percent for former premier Ehud Barak.
The same poll showed that Likud would more than double its representation in the Knesset if new elections were held, winning 26 seats, more than any other party.
Many Feiglin supporters fear a Feiglin victory AUG 14,07
By Daniel Ben Simon
There were times during yesterday's Likud primary when it seemed that Moshe Feiglin was the only candidate for party chairman, rather than one of three. Benjamin Netanyahu has been depicted as the obvious leader and Danny Danon as a neophyte. Only Feiglin, head of the Likud's far-right Jewish Leadership faction, generated curiosity mingled with concern, not to say fear. Only Feiglin's photograph could be seen yesterday at the entrance to the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, where a polling station was located. Some of his hard-core supporters, mostly ultra-Orthodox or hilltop youth, wandered among the voters and urged them to vote for Feiglin. Not much of the old Likud is left. The largest political movement in Israel, which had 300,000 members at its peak, has become a small party. In Jerusalem, undisputed stronghold of the Likud and especially of Feiglin, the number of members dropped from 24,000 in the last elections to less than 8,000 this year. It is enough to see how many religious voters and settlers have moved over to the Likud to understand what has happened to the party over the past decade. Feiglin has gone from the margins of the party to center stage. The disengagement from Gaza two years ago, and its ramifications, gave Feiglin political power and brought many Likud members closer to his Jewish approach.
The kippa, the beard, the religious devotion, the Jewish identity, the return to Judaism's roots: These are the assets that Feiglin is marketing to his followers. Yesterday morning, before heading to the polls, he prayed near the Temple Mount, as a reminder of the source of his worldview. Feiglin is ideologically close to me because of his Jewish approach, said Rafi Bar-Chen, who used to serve as deputy director general of the party, though he added that he would not actually be voting for Feiglin. Indeed, several people who said that they support Feiglin ideologically are not sure they want him to be the Likud's leader. Feiglin is right, but I'm afraid of him, because I'm afraid of everything extreme, said Haim Frankel, who voted for Netanyahu so as to dwarf Feiglin's achievement at the polls. Another Feiglin supporter, David Lapid, said that he simultaneously wants and fears a Feiglin victory. Feiglin, he added, should be a spiritual leader. Some are upset that Feiglin had the temerity to run for Likud chairman in the first place. It kills me that an empty vessel like that dares run for the Likud leadership, said Shmuel Slavin, a former director general of the Finance Ministry. Who is he anyway? Slavin shouted at Feiglin supporters. What did he ever do in his life? Who is he anyway? A man of intellectual vapidity.
3rd SPP summit shrouded in secrecy
Bush to interrupt Texas vacation to join Mexican, Canadian leaders
August 13, 2007 - By Jerome R. Corsi - WorldNetDaily.com
President Bush will interrupt his summer vacation in Crawford, Texas, next week to attend the third summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, slated for Aug. 20 and 21 in Montebello, Quebec, at the five-star Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort. President Bush to join leaders of Mexico and Canada at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort in Quebec next week for the third summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
Bush will meet with Mexico's President Felipe Calderon and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the event. The meeting has been hidden in a cloud of secrecy until WND obtained from an Access to Information Act request a previously unreleased copy of a government report detailing agenda plans for the third SPP summit. According to WND reports, as many as 10,000 protesters are expected to be in Quebec to oppose the meeting. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada's national police force, and the Sûreté du Québec, the state police, plan to maintain a 25-kilometer protest-free zone around the Montebello resort where the meeting is to be held.
WND has reported that a multinational business agenda is driving this upcoming SPP summit according to the heavily redacted document obtained from the Canadian government. The memo clearly states at center stage in the Montebello SPP summit will be recommendations by the North American Competitiveness Council, regarding promoting North American competitiveness for multinational corporations through integrating and armonizing regulations between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The council, an executive group composed of 10 top multinational corporations from each of the three SPP countries, was constituted under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide guidance to the 20 SPP working groups of U.S., Mexican, and Canadian bureaucrats. WND has also reported that President Bush will discuss at the summit a plan to send U.S. military assistance to Mexico to assist Mexico's military and civilian law enforcement agencies to combat Mexican narco-criminals and drug lords. The leaders at the end of their summit are expected to make a statement on U.S. military aid to Mexico, provided their discussions have reached a point of agreement and conclusion.
At issue are questions of how the U.S. military can limit involvement to equipment and training, and how U.S. and Mexican officials can be certain the corruption common to Mexico's drug war does not subvert their effort or provide sophisticated equipment and technology that ends up in the hands of the drug kingpins. WND has also reported the Montebello SPP summit will create a coordinating body to prepare for the North American response to an outbreak of avian or pandemic influenza. The three leaders also plan to create a coordinating body on emergency management similar to that set up for avian or pandemic flu. WND previously reported on National Security Presidential Directive No. 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 20, which allocate to the office of the president the authority to direct all levels of government in any event the president declares to be a national emergency. WND also has previously reported that under SPP, the military of the U.S. and Canada are turning USNORTHCOM and Canada Command into domestic military command structures, with authority extending to Mexico, even though Mexico has not formally joined with the current U.S. – Canadian USNORTHCOM/Canada Command structure.
WND has also learned the Montebello SPP summit will include discussion of a proposal to provide U.S. military assistance to the government of Mexico to help Mexico's military combat narco-trafficking in Mexico. The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America was declared at the first trilateral meeting held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005. The second SPP summit meeting was held by President Bush, Mexico's President Vicente Fox and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancún Hotel in Cancún, Mexico, on March 31, 2006. The SPP website, maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, lists a 2005 Report to Leaders dated June 2005 and a 2006 Report to Leaders dated August 2006, which document over 250 memoranda of understanding and other agreements that have been signed by the SPP working groups. Most of these SPP memoranda of understanding and other agreements cannot be found on the SPP website or elsewhere on the Internet published in their entirety. No comparable 2007 Report to Leaders has yet been published on the SPP website. WND has applied for press credentials to attend the Montebello SPP summit to report on the proceedings.
Africa: Continent to Sign EU Market-Access Pact First AUG 14,07
Posted to the web 14 August 2007 - Julius Barigaba - Nairobi
With barely five months to the expiry of the current trade arrangement between the European Union and Africa, Pacific and Caribbean countries, the East and Southern Africa region will sign only parts of the new trade pact, the Economic Partnership Agreement.The current rules, contained in the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement, which was signed in 2000, gave preferential market access to the EU to 77 ACP countries.The agreement, which governs trade and development co-operation between the two blocs, expires in December.However, the ESA region has agreed to prioritise negotiations on market access and development to meet the December deadline.The grouping will sign pacts on the two issues and push negotiations on the other EPA issues beyond December.
We are prioritising market access in order to be WTO-compatible. If we sign on market access we will then maintain our preferential access to EU markets, said Emma Mutahunga, a trade policy analyst in Uganda's Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry.The EPA has six areas of concern that are being negotiated - market access, development, fisheries, trade in services, trade related issues and agriculture. Signing part of the EPA clusters is a strategy that the ESA group adopted at a regional negotiation forum in Port Louis, Mauritius, from August 3-5.The strategy will enable the region to maintain its preferential access to the EU markets and, at the same time, remain compatible with World Trade Organisation rules, which require all countries to open up their markets.This means that the next two forums of regional trade experts, as well as the ESA-EC ministerial meeting, will devote more discussion to market access, while the other pending clusters will be put on hold.
According to Mutahunga, once the region wraps up the deal for market access and development, it will then seek to negotiate the remaining clusters in 2008, since they do not impact on WTO rules.At next ESA-EU meeting in September the region is expected to table its strategy to focus the talks on market access, but this could also be a tenable proposition for the EU.Already, the EU has planned a proposal for duty-free quota-free market access for the ESA group, according to Peter Thompson, trade director at the EU Secretariat.The EU wants countries in the region to respond to this proposal before the end of 2007.On market access for goods, the EU has an offer on the table. We have had indications from ESA on their approach, but have yet to see the details. It is something on which we must move forward quickly, said Mr Thompson.Uganda and 15 other countries from the ESA are negotiating the trade agreement with Europe and have two more regional meetings in which to wrap up the negotiations.The negotiations started in 2004; they have to be concluded and the respective blocs have to sign the deal by December 31, or the ESA will lose European market access.
Mr Thompson says the African countries have had the offer since April, to be effective from the date of signing the agreement, with a transition period for sugar and rice, which ends in 2015 and 2010 respectively.The African countries are expected to gradually open their markets for EU products with a phased removal of tariffs. Uganda currently exports products worth about $380 million to Europe annually.But for the signing to take place, Africans say the EU must commit more development resources to the region to enable it to address production, infrastructure and marketing constraints. This is one of the issues that will dominate the remaining rounds of negotiations.During the February ESA-EU ministerial meeting in Brussels, the conclusions on financing adjustment costs such as loss of revenue pointed to the need for the EU to provide 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion) by 2010.These funds are to be available before the EPAs are signed, the Brussels meeting noted.