Saturday, March 21, 2009
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.
JOHN BOLTON ON JOHN LOEFFLER - NEW WORLD ORDER LINGO TO WATCH FOR IN NEWS
FAMILY SECURITY MATTERS
BIBLE PROPHESIES ONE GOVERNMENT-ONE CURRENCY
The Coming War on Sovereignty
John Bolton March 2009
Barack Obama’s nascent presidency has brought forth the customary flood of policy proposals from the great and good, all hoping to influence his administration. One noteworthy offering is a short report with a distinguished provenance entitled A Plan for Action,1 which features a revealingly immodest subtitle: A New Era of International Cooperation for a Changed World: 2009, 2010, and Beyond.In presentation and tone, A Plan for Action is determinedly uncontroversial; indeed, it looks and reads more like a corporate brochure than a foreign-policy paper. The text is the work of three academics—Bruce Jones of NYU, Carlos Pascual of the Brookings Institution, and Stephen John Stedman of Stanford. Its findings and recommendations, they claim, rose from a series of meetings with foreign-policy eminences here and abroad, including former Secretaries of State of both parties as well as defense officials from the Clinton and first Bush administrations. The participation of these notables is what gives A Plan for Action its bona fides, though one should doubt how much the document actually reflects their ideas. There is no question, however, that the ideas advanced in A Plan for Action have become mainstays in the liberal vision of the future of American foreign policy.That is what makes A Plan for Action especially interesting, and especially worrisome. If it is what it appears to be—a blueprint for the Obama administration’s effort to construct a foreign policy different from George W. Bush’s—then the nation’s governing elite is in the process of taking a sharp, indeed radical, turn away from the principles and practices of representative self-government that have been at the core of the American experiment since the nation’s founding. The pivot point is a shifting understanding of American sovereignty.
While the term sovereignty has acquired many, often inconsistent, definitions, Americans have historically understood it to mean our collective right to govern ourselves within our Constitutional framework. Today’s liberal elite, by contrast, sees sovereignty as something much more abstract and less tangible, and thus a prize of less value to individual citizens than it once might have been. They argue that the model accepted by European countries in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which assigned to individual nation-states the right and responsibility to manage their own affairs within their own borders, is in the process of being superseded by new structures more appropriate to the 21st century.In this regard, they usually cite the European Union (EU) as the new model, with its 27 member nations falling under the aegis of a centralized financial system administered in Brussels. On issue after issue, from climate change to trade, American liberals increasingly look to Europe’s example of transnational consensus as the proper model for the United States. That is particularly true when it comes to national security, as John Kerry revealed when, during his presidential bid in 2004, he said that American policy had to pass a global test in order to secure its legitimacy.This is not a view with which the broader American population has shown much comfort. Traditionally, Americans have resisted the notion that their government’s actions had to pass muster with other governments, often with widely differing values and interests. It is the foreign-policy establishment’s unease with this long-held American conviction that is the motivating factor behind A Plan for Action, which represents a bold attempt to argue that any such set of beliefs has simply been overtaken by events.To this end, the authors provide a brief for what they call responsible sovereignty. They define it as the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as to one’s own citizens, and they believe that its application can form the basis for a cooperative international order. At first glance, the phrase responsible sovereignty may seem unremarkable, given the paucity of advocates for irresponsible sovereignty. But despite the Plan’s mainstream provenance, the conception is a dramatic overhaul of sovereignty itself.
Global leaders,the Plan insists, increasingly recognize that alone they are unable to protect their interests and their citizens—national security has become interdependent with global security. The United States must therefore commit to a rule-based international system that rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might, or else resign [our]selves to an ad-hoc international system. Mere traditional sovereignty is insufficient in the new era we have entered, an era in which we must contend with the realities of a now transnational world. This rule-based international system will create the conditions for global governance.The Plan suggests that the transition to this new system must begin immediately because of the terrible damage done by the Bush administration. In the Plan’s narrative, Bush disdained diplomacy, uniformly preferring the use of force, regime change, preemptive attacks, and general swagger in its conduct of foreign affairs. The Plan, by contrast, rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might. Its implementation will lead to the successful resolution of dispute after dispute and usher in a new and unprecedented period of worldwide comity.As the Obama years begin, we certainly do need a lively debate on the utility of diplomacy, but it would be better if that debate were not conducted on the false premise offered by A Plan for Action. In reality, in the overwhelming majority of cases, foreign-policy thinkers on both sides of the ideological divide believe diplomacy is the solution to the difficulties that arise in the international system. That is how the Bush administration conducted itself as well.The difference arises in the consideration of a tiny number of cases—cases that prove entirely resistant to diplomatic efforts, in which divergent national interests prove implacably resistant to reconciliation. If diplomacy does not and cannot work, the continued application of it to a problematic situation is akin to subjecting a cancer patient to a regimen of chemotherapy that shows no results whatever. The result may look like treatment, but it is, in fact, only making the patient sicker and offering no possibility of improvement.
Diplomacy is like all other human activity. It has costs and it has benefits. Whether to engage in diplomacy on a given matter requires a judicious assessment of both costs and benefits. This is an exercise about which reasonable people can disagree. If diplomacy is to work, it must be preceded by an effort to determine its parameters—when it might be best to begin, how to achieve one’s aims, and what the purpose of the process might be. At the cold war’s outset, for example, Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, frequently observed that he was prepared to negotiate with the Soviets only when America could do so from a position of strength.Time is one of the most important variables in a diplomatic dance, because it often imposes a cost on one side and a benefit to its adversary. Nations can use the time granted by a diplomatic process to obscure their objectives, build alliances, prepare operationally for war, and, especially today, accelerate their efforts to build weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles that might carry them. There are concrete economic factors that must be considered as well in the act of seeking to engage an adversary in the diplomatic realm—the act of providing humanitarian assistance as an act of good will, for example, the suspension of economic sanctions, or even resuming normal trade relations during negotiations.Obviously, the United States and, indeed, all rational nations are entirely comfortable paying substantial costs when they appear to be wise investments that will lead to the achievement of a larger objective. Alas, such happy conclusions are far from inevitable, and failing to understand the truth of this uncomfortable and inarguable reality has led nations to prolong negotiations long after the last glimmer of progress has been snuffed out. For too many diplomats, there is no off switch for diplomacy, no moment at which the only sensible thing to do is rise from the table and go home.Has one ever heard of a diplomat working to fashion an exit strategy from a failed negotiation? One hasn’t. One should.
Diplomacy is a tool, not a policy. It is a technique, not an end in itself. Urging, however earnestly, that we engage with our enemies tells us nothing about what happens after concluding the initial pleasantries at the negotiating table. Just opening the conversation is often significant, especially for those who are legitimized merely by being present. But without more, the meaning and potency of the photo op will quickly fade.That is why effective diplomacy must be one aspect of a larger strategic spectrum that includes ugly and public confrontations. Without the threat of painful sanctions, harsh condemnations, and even the use of force, diplomacy risks becoming a sucker’s game, in which one side will sit forever in naïve hope of reaching a settlement while the other side acts at will.Diplomacy is an end in itself in A Plan for Action. So, too, is multilateralism. The multilateralism the Plan celebrates and advocates is, of course, set in sharp contrast to the portrait it draws of a Bush administration flush with unilateralist cowboys intent on overturning existing international treaties and institutions just for the sport of it. Defining unilateralism is straightforward: the word refers to a state acting on its own in international affairs.2 It is a critical conceptual mistake, however, to pose multilateralism simply as its opposite.Consider, for example, the various roles of the United Nations, the North American Treaty Organization, and the Proliferation Security Initiative. The UN, the Holy Grail of multilateralism, is an organization of 192 members with responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security lodged in its Security Council. NATO is a defense alliance of 26 states, all of which are Western democracies. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), created in 2003 by the Bush administration, now includes 90-plus diverse countries dedicated to stopping international trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.
Each organization is clearly multilateral, but their roles are so wildly different that the word ceases to have any meaning. For example, if the United States confronted a serious threat, it would be acting multilaterally if it took the matter either to NATO or the UN. Both options would be multilateral, but widely divergent in diplomatic and political content, and quite likely in military significance as well. They would be comparable related in the same way a steak knife is comparable to a plastic butter knife.The PSI offers an even starker contrast, for unlike either the UN or NATO, it has no secretary general, no Secretariat, no headquarters, and no regularly scheduled meetings. One British diplomat described the initiative as an activity, not an organization.In fact, the model of the Proliferation Security Initiative is the ideal one for multilateral activity in the future, precisely because it transcends the traditional structures of international organizations, which have, time and again, proved inefficient and ineffective.Multilateralism is, in other words, merely a word that describes international action taken by a group of nations acting in concert. For the authors of A Plan for Action, however, multilateralism has an almost spiritual aspect, representing a harmony that transcends barriers and oceans.Harmony is designed to stifle any discordant notes, and so is the multilateralism envisioned by an American foreign policy guided by responsible sovereignty. It is one in which the group of nations, of which the United States is but a single player among many, initiates policies and activities that would likely be designed to constrain the freedom of action of the United States in pursuit of that harmony—not only in its activities abroad, but also in its activities within the 50 states.
There is a precedent for this in the conduct of the European Union, whose 27 nations now possess a common currency in the form of the euro and an immensely complex series of trade and labor policies intended to cut across sovereign lines. The EU is the model A Plan for Action proffers for the responsible sovereignty regime its authors wish to import to the United States. EU bureaucrats based in Brussels have been reshaping the priorities and needs of EU member states for a decade now, and proposing a system based on the design of the EU suggests a desire to subject the United States to a kind of international oversight not only when it comes to foreign policy but also on matters properly understood as U.S. domestic policy.That very approach has been on display at the United Nations for years in an effort to standardize international conduct that has come to be known as norming.In theory, there is good reason to create international standards—for measurement, for example, or for conduct on the high seas. But norming goes far beyond such prosaic concerns. The UN has, for example, repeatedly voted in different committees to condemn the death penalty, in a clear effort to put pressure on the United States to follow suit. Similar votes have been taken on abortion rights and restricting the private ownership of firearms.Such issues have been, and likely will again be, the subjects of intense democratic debate within the United States, and properly so. There is no need to internationalize them to make the debate more fruitful. What is common to these and many other issues is that the losers in our domestic debate are often the proponents of internationalizing the controversies. They think that if they can change the political actors, they can change the political outcome. Unsuccessful in our domestic political arena, they seek to redefine the arena in which these matters will be adjudicated—moving, in effect, from unilateral, democratic U.S. decision-making to a multilateral, bureaucratic, and elitist environment. For almost any domestic issue one can imagine, there are likely to be nongovernmental organizations roaming the international arena desperately trying to turn their priorities into norming issues.This is what responsible sovereignty would look like. For the authors and signatories of A Plan of Action, sovereignty is simply an abstraction, a historical concept about as important today as the sovereigns from whose absolute rights the term originally derived. That is not the understanding of the U.S. Constitution, which locates the basis of its legitimacy in we the people, who constitute the sovereign authority of the nation.Sharing sovereignty with someone or something else is thus not abstract for Americans. Doing so by definition will diminish the sovereign power of the American people over their government and their own lives, the very purpose for which the Constitution was written. This is something Americans have been reluctant to do. Now their reluctance may have to take the form of more concerted action against responsible sovereignty if its onward march is to be halted or reversed. Our Founders would clearly understand the need.
EUROPEAN UNION DESTROYING DEMOCRACY, WRECKING LIVES
Campaigners from throughout Europe and across the political spectrum unite in defence of citizens’ democratic rights .Public meeting Freedom and Democracy, not EU Dictatorship, Euston, London, Sat 4 April 2009
Trade unionists, as well as independent politicians and campaigners from Ireland, Germany and even Nigeria will be among the guest speakers at a public meeting to be held in Euston, London, on Saturday 4th April, organised by the cross-party Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) to protest against what they see as the growing dictatorship of the European Union. German campaigner against the Lisbon Treaty/EU Constitution, Henry Nitzsche, an independent member of the Bundestag, and veteran Eurosceptic Sir Teddy Taylor, a Conservative MP for over 30 years, will join labour movement activist Brian Denny of the Rail & Maritime Union
(RMT), representing Trade Unions against the EU Constitution (TUAEC), Frank Keoghan of the Irish People’s Movement, and Dele Oguntimoju of the Nigerian Movement for National Reformation in denouncing the profoundly undemocratic nature of the EU. The meeting has been organized by the CIB in response to the recent ComRes opinion poll which showed that the overwhelming majority of the British people want the chance to vote in a national referendum on whether or not the UK stays in the European Union. In the same poll, three quarters of voters said they thought that UK politicians on the whole don’t do enough to stand up for British interests in Europe. CIB spokesman Andy Smith said: The tide is turning decisively against the European Union. Despite the millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that Gordon Brown’s government and the bureaucrats in Brussels have spent on trying to persuade the British people to love the EU, all we really want is to leave it! Poll after poll shows that Britons are overwhelmingly hostile to the EU, they know that Brussels is responsible for taking away our democratic rights and that the UK’s membership of the EU costs us dearly in terms of cuts to our public services, higher taxation, and the destruction of British jobs. There is widespread recognition nowadays that we would be better off out.
He added that the Campaign for an Independent Britain had organised this major public meeting because we believe it is important to provide as many opportunities as possible for Eurosceptics to gather together and network, and to learn new insights into the EU dictatorship from their various different perspectives. We also felt it was extremely important to hear from people from Europe and Africa, so that we can try to understand the motivations of those people who share the British Eurosceptic view. Euroscepticism is often seen as purely British – English in fact – and one of the aims of our meeting on 4th April is to create a broadly-based, cross-party event at which participants from throughout the EU (and beyond) and from right across the political spectrum, can meet together to plan the next phrase of our joint campaign.
The EU wants to extend its powers even further through the Lisbon Treaty – but CIB is fighting hard to block this latest power gab. That’s why we’ve called this meeting: Freedom and democracy, not EU dictatorship. Anyone interested in attending should go to the CIB website, www.eurosceptic.org.uk.-ENDS Press contact: Andy Smith, Press Officer, Campaign for an Independent Britain, tel: 07737 271676, email: email@example.com
TESTING THE FAITH Suit claims recognition of God violates law,Brief challenges plan to stop acknowledging prayer March 21, 2009 12:15 am Eastern 2009 WorldNetDaily
A court should reject arguments from those who seek relentless extirpation of any reference to religion in public life, according to a brief submitted in opposition to a Wisconsin lawsuit that challenges the National Day of Prayer. The lawsuit was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which asserted the law that sets the first Thursday in May as National Day of Prayer should be declared in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The case pending in a Wisconsin court now, however, has drawn the attention of the American Center for Law and Justice, the ACLJ, which submitted a friend-of-the-court brief asking for the case to be dismissed.The ACLJ's filing includes a list 60 pages long of presidential and other proclamations recognizing America's need for a day of prayer and said the concept was adopted even as the U.S. was being created as a nation. At the end of the years 1777, 1781 and 1782 the Continental Congress recommended that the states set apart a day for prayer and thanksgiving. At the Constitutional Convention itself, Benjamin Franklin urged that prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business,the ACLJ argued. It was George Washington who offered the first presidential proclamation urging a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.He said it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience,the filing argued.
This is another twisted legal attempt to remove prayer from public life, said the ACLJ's director, Jay Sekulow. The fact is that a day set aside for prayer for the country is a time-honored tradition woven into the very fabric of our nation. From the time of our Founding Fathers to the present day, such proclamations and observances reflects the nation's rich history. The courts have been clear on this issue: there is no constitutional crisis here. We're hopeful that the court will take the only action appropriate in this case and dismiss this lawsuit,he said. The brief said the U.S. Supreme Court already has addressed the dispute, too. In Marsh v. Chambers,the United States Supreme Court conducted a searching examination of the nation's history when considering a challenge to the Nebraska state legislature's practice of opening its session with prayer by a paid chaplain. Upholding the practice, the court held that historical evidence sheds light not only on what the draftsmen intended the Establishment Clause to mean, but also on how they thought that Clause applied to the practice authorized by the First Congress – their actions reveal their intent.In its brief filed with the court in Madison, Wis., the ACLJ represents itself and 31 members of the 111th Congress, including Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., who chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Other members of Congress represented are Robert B. Aderholt, Michele Bachmann, Roscoe G. Bartlett, John A. Boehner, John Boozman, Eric Cantor, K. Michael Conaway, Mary Fallin, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Louie Gohmert, Wally Herger, Peter Hoekstra, Walter B. Jones, Jim Jordan, Doug Lamborn, Thaddeus G. McCotter, Patrick T. McHenry, Mike McIntyre, Jeff Miller, Sue Wilkins Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Mike Pence, Joseph R. Pitts, Heath Shuler, Adrian Smith, Lamar Smith and Joe Wilson. Even the drafter of the First Amendment, James Madison, issued four proclamations in the early 1800's calling the nation to a day of prayer,the ACLJ noted.
The ACLJ contends that the strategy to purge all religious observances and references from American public life must not be indulged.The ACLJ's brief can be read here. WND columnist Jonathan Falwell addressed the concerns in a column. The problem with this lawsuit, as I see it, is that America has a rich history of honoring God. From our nation's very first inaugural address by George Washington – in which he requested that the Bible be opened to Deuteronomy chapter 28 – we see the tradition of publicly paying tribute to God,he wrote. George Washington understood that this nation is a gift from the Sovereign God, and he recognized the need for the nation to honor Him. It is the duty of all nations,Washington said,to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God and to obey His will,Falwell wrote. We must fight to preserve our history, my friends, because there are those who want to ignore and destroy it,he said.
Pope condemns sorcery, urges Angolans to convert By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer MAR 21,09
LUANDA, Angola — Tens of thousands of Angola's Catholics lined the streets of the capital on Saturday for a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, who urged the country's faithful to reach out and convert people who believe in witchcraft.In today's Angola, he said at Mass in the capital, Catholics should offer the message of Christ to the many who live in the fear of spirits, of evil powers by whom they feel threatened.He also gave a message of hope to young people, including some wounded and maimed during Angola's long civil war, when he addressed a crowd of some 30,000 people at drum concert later.I think of the many tears you shed for the loss of relatives, he told the crowd at a soccer stadium where he watched a drum concert by young men with the painted faces, and dancers in colorful costumes. The civil war started with Angola's 1975 independence from Portugal and ended in 2002.The 81-year-old pontiff, wearing white robes, looked tired and moved slowly in the tropical heat during the youth appearance in late afternoon.In the morning, Benedict attracted thousands onto the streets every time his motorcade passed and delighted the crowds by speaking in Portuguese.Drawing on the more than 500 years of Roman Catholicism in Angola, he called Christianity a bridge between the local peoples and the Portuguese settlers. The country's history as a Portuguese colony gave the country Christian roots. Eighty percent of the 16 million people are Christian, about 65 percent Catholic.
The pope began his day addressing Catholic clergymen and nuns, telling them to be missionaries to those Angolans living in fear of spirits, of malign and threatening powers. In their bewilderment they end up even condemning street children and the elderly as alleged sorcerers.In Africa, some churchgoing Catholics also follow traditional animist religions and consult medicine men and diviners who are denounced by the church. People accused of sorcery or of being possessed by evil powers sometimes are killed by fearful mobs.Local media have reported that police last year rescued 40 children who had been held by two religious sects after being accused by their own families of witchcraft.Benedict counseled Catholics to live peacefully with animists and other nonbelievers and urged Angolans to be the new missionaries to bring people who believe in sorcery to Christ.Benedict spoke at a Mass at the capital's blue-domed St. Paul's Church, where light streamed through stained glass windows onto veiled nuns and priests and bishops resplendent in white and lilac robes.
The pope lovingly caressed the faces of children and sketched the cross on their foreheads.Security was unusually tight, with military sharpshooters atop buildings in the capital. The National Police said they have deployed 10,000 officers. Security agents blocked cell phones in the church, apparently by sending a signal.This is a very emotional day for me, my first time to get a Papal blessing, said Sister Iliria Olivera, from Oaxaca in Mexico, among hundreds of foreign missionaries in the church. Olivera for nine years has been working with her Sisters of the Divine Pastor, teaching children and running a maternal health clinic outside Luanda.On Friday, Benedict lamented what he called strains on the traditional African family, condemning sexual violence against women and chiding countries that have approved abortion.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who is traveling with the pope, told journalists at a briefing Saturday that Benedict in that speech was referring to abortion when used as a means of population control.Earlier in the weeklong trip, the pope's first to Africa, Benedict drew criticism from aid agencies and some European governments when he said that condoms were not the answer to Africa's severe AIDS epidemic, suggesting that sexual behavior was the issue. Among the young people in the stadium Saturday was Valdomero Dias, who said he understood the pope's message as leader of the church. But abstinence is very difficult for young people,said Dias, a 27-year-old bachelor who helps run the scouting movement.
Amnesty International on Saturday called on the pope to use his influence to halt the threat of forced evictions for residents of Luanda to make rise for high-rise apartments and office buildings. Many have been given cheap houses in faraway satellite towns that have no running water or electricity. Amnesty said that between 2003 and 2006, thousands of people were forcibly evicted from land belonging to the Catholic Church in three Luanda districts. Asked at the press briefing about Amnesty's allegations, Lombardi referred the question to an Angolan bishop, Monsignor Jose Manuel Imbamba. The prelate denied that anyone had been evicted or houses destroyed.We help the poor, we don't send them away,Imbamba said. AP correspondent Michelle Faul and reporter Casimiro Siona contributed to this report.
THE MEDIA IS SO BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL ITS REDICULAS USING THE TERMS CHILDREN AND SCHO0LYARD IN THIS STORY TO GIVE THE PALESTINIAN MURDERERS FAVOUR.......SICK MEDIA.JERUSALEM WILL BE ISRAELS CAPITAL FOREVER WORLD AND DON'T FORGET IT. NO MATTER HOW THE MEDIA IS HATING AND BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL,GOD RULES AND ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM WILL NEVER BE SEPARATED AFTER JESUS THE TRUE MESSIAH AND GOD OF ISRAEL AND THE WORLD RETURNS TO RULE FROM JERUSALEM FOREVER,THEN IT WILL BE THE WORLD JEWISH CAPITAL.
Israel police ban Arab culture day in Jerusalem By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer MAR 21,09
JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities broke up a series of Palestinian cultural events in Jerusalem on Saturday, disrupting a children's march and bursting balloons at a schoolyard celebration in a crackdown that underscored the emotional battle over control of the disputed holy city.Elsewhere in Jerusalem, hundreds of Israelis gathered outside the residence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to mark the 1,000th day in captivity of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The demonstration took place at a protest tent set up by the soldier's family, and many in the crowd quietly waved yellow glow sticks in a show of solidarity.Palestinian activists called for Saturday's celebrations to mark the Arab League's designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009. The 23-nation group chooses a different city for the honor each year.
But Israel said the events violated a ban on Palestinian political activity in Jerusalem. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the crackdown.Announcing the ban on Saturday's events, Israel's internal security minister, Avi Dichter, accused Abbas' Palestinian Authority of being behind the activities. Israel does not allow the Palestinian government to have a presence in Jerusalem, saying it undercuts Israel's claim to the city.At one event, teenage girls at an east Jerusalem Catholic school released a few dozen balloons in the red, white, green and black colors of the Palestinian flag over the walled Old City. Israeli military police and soldiers quickly moved into the schoolyard and popped the remaining balloons, students said.
Zein, an 18-year-old student, said the police popped them with their hands and told them they weren't allowed to release them into the air. She asked not to use her last name, fearing further problems with the police.An Israeli intelligence official at the school who refused to give his name said the balloons were burst because they are Palestinian.Police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said 12 people were detained. Police also broke up attempts by Palestinian school children to march into the Old City.The dispute over Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been the most sensitive issue in peace talks.Israel says the entire city of Jerusalem is its undivided capital. Palestinians want east Jerusalem — captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and site of key Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites — as the capital of a future state.Israel annexed the eastern part of the city after the 1967 war, and today, some 180,000 Jewish Israelis live in east Jerusalem neighborhoods. The annexation is not internationally recognized.Speaking in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Abbas said Israel's policies in Jerusalem were undermining the chances for peace.The policy of discrimination, suppression, stealing the land, destruction of neighborhoods, and homes, the policy of falsifying the past, destroying the present and stealing the future should all stop if peace is to have a real opportunity in this land,he said.He urged the incoming Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to resume stalled peace negotiations on all issues of dispute, including Jerusalem. The conservative Netanyahu rejects any division of the holy city.Olmert had hoped to arrange a prisoner swap with Hamas that would bring home the captured soldier, Sgt. Gilad Schalit, before he leaves office. Netanyahu is putting together a coalition government following elections last month and has two more weeks to complete the task.
But earlier this week, Olmert said Hamas' demands were excessive, strongly signaling he would turn over the matter to Netanyahu. Hamas is seeking the release of some 450 imprisoned militants, including dozens convicted of killing Israelis, in exchange for Schalit.Schalit's father, Noam, urged Olmert to continue his efforts. We want Gilad Schalit back home immediately — immediately, not in another 1,000 days, not even in another 100 days,he told the crowd Saturday night. Schalit's family set up the protest tent two weeks ago to push for a last-minute deal. In a country where military service is mandatory, the case has gripped the nation's attention, and thousands of people have stopped by the tent to support the family. The family planned to return home to northern Israel later Saturday, but his father said their struggle would go on. This hasn't ended, dear Gilad,he said.
Canada bars Galloway over Hamas support Sat Mar 21, 6:55 am ET
OTTAWA, (AFP) – George Galloway has been blocked from visiting Canada because of his support of Hamas, which is banned here, the Canadian immigration minister's office said.I'm sure Galloway has a large Rolodex of friends in regimes elsewhere in the world willing to roll out the red carpet for him, Alykhan Velshi, spokesman for Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, told AFP.Canada, however, won't be one of them, he said in an email.Galloway was to give a speech in Toronto at the end of the month, but has been denied entry over his opposition to Canadian troops in Afghanistan, said the Sun.In a comment piece published in the Guardian on Saturday, Galloway described the ban as absurd, hypocritical, and in vain because his allies in the country were seeking a judicial review.And there are other ways I can address those Canadians who wish to hear me, he wrote.From coast to coast, minister Kenney notwithstanding, I will be heard -- one way or another.Velshi said Galloway was deemed inadmissible to Canada due to national security concerns.It was an operational decision" by border security officials based on a number of factors, not only those mentioned in the Sun piece,he said.Such a decision could be overturned by ministerial order, but it is not warranted in this case, he said.We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to a street-corner Cromwell who brags about giving financial support to Hamas, a terrorist organization banned in Canada,Velshi said.
Opposition New Democratic Party MP Olivia Chow however accused the government of censorship for not allowing Galloway to tout his anti-war messages in Canada.Denying him entry to this country is an affront to freedom of speech and shows the Canadian government is frightened of an open debate on an unpopular war, she said in a statement.This week, Galloway traveled to Gaza at the head of a humanitarian convoy. He praised the Palestinian resistance and condemned Israel's 22-day offensive launched in December, in which 1,300 Palestinians died, as genocidal aggression.The MP also donated thousands of dollars and dozens of vehicles to the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).
Chef: Norovirus may be cause of Fat Duck illnesses By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer – Fri Mar 20, 12:15 pm ET
LONDON – Chef Heston Blumenthal and health officials say a virus may have caused an outbreak of illness among diners at England's Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant.
The restaurant was closed for more than two weeks starting Feb. 24 after scores of diners were struck by bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Initial reports said 40 diners had fallen ill, but the Health Protection Agency said Friday that 529 people have now reported becoming sick after eating at the Fat Duck.Blumenthal was quoted by Australia's Hospitality magazine as saying several members of staff and customers had tested positive for norovirus, an easily transmitted bug known as winter vomiting disease.It is categorically not food poisoning, we know that, Blumenthal was quoted as saying.The Health Protection Agency said it was still conducting tests to determine the cause of the outbreak but confirmed that norovirus infection had been detected in six members of staff and eight diners.The agency said restaurant staff had continued to work while ill with the virus, in contravention of public health guidelines.The agency ruled last week that it was safe to reopen the restaurant in Bray, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of London. It said it had given the restaurant advice on how to deal with staff illness.The Fat Duck reopened on March 12, and Blumenthal said diners were not staying away as a result of the illnesses.
It's affected the restaurant big time because (we) had to cancel 800 people because of the closure but in terms of the business and people wanting to come in then no, he was quoted as saying.Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in Britain. Outbreaks sicken up to 1 million people in the U.K. every year, though they are usually confined to hospitals, nursing homes and schools.The virus spreads via contact with an infected person, food, water, or contaminated surfaces. It can also survive for days in the environment.The Fat Duck, one of only three British restaurants awarded the Michelin food guide's top three-star rating, was named the best place in the world to eat by Restaurant magazine in 2005.The 42-year-old self-taught chef is known for elaborate culinary concoctions such as snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream.
AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng contributed to this report.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
EU expanding its sphere of influence,Russia says
VALENTINA POP Today MAR 21,09 @ 16:17 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Eastern Partnership is an EU attempt to expand its sphere of influence in the quest for hydrocarbons, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said, in Moscow's first major broadside against the new policy. We are accused of having spheres of influence. But what is the Eastern Partnership, if not an attempt to extend the EU's sphere of influence, including to Belarus, the minister said on Saturday (21 March) at the Brussels Forum, a high-level symposium.He added that the Czech EU presidency and the European Commission are putting undue pressure on Belarus by suggesting it might be marginalised if it follows Russia in recognising the independence of Georgian breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia.Is this promoting democracy or is it blackmail? It's about pulling countries from the positions they want to take as sovereign states,Mr Lavrov said.The EU on Friday formally launched the Eastern Partnership, a €600 million policy to forge closer political and trade links with six former Soviet countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Azerbaijan and Georgia are important for the EU's pursuit of alternative gas and oil import routes from the Caspian Sea region. Belarus also hosts a major gas pipeline system.The invitation of Belarus leader Lukashenko to an Eastern Partnership launch summit in May and the pace of EU-Belarus rapprochement in the partnership process continue to hang in the balance, however. Czech foreign minister Karl Schwarzenberg in February said it would be "difficult" to make progress if Minsk takes the Russian line on Georgia. Mr Lavrov's choice of words on Saturday was piquant, with former-Communist EU members often accusing Moscow of blackmailing its neighbours or thinking in terms of Cold War-era spheres.He said Russia has special relations with eastern European countries because of hundreds of years of common history and Russia's open labour market.
Sweden, the co-author of the Eastern Partnership project together with Poland, rejected Mr Lavrov's position as completely unacceptable.The Eastern Partnership is not about spheres of influence. The difference is that these countries themselves opted to join,Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt told EUobserver at the Brussels Forum. The EU's position on Georgia is not blackmail but is about upholding the principles of the EU and international law, which Russia should also be respecting, he added.
Appeasement won't work
The Lavrov speech should dispel the idea that Russia will agree to a formula of more EU, less NATO for its former vassals, according to EU and NATO-aspirant Georgia. Mr Lavrov just confirmed that whatever choices Eastern European countries make, be it NATO or EU, they are not acceptable to Russia. Moscow continues to see the Euro-atlantic aspirations of these countries as an attempt to leave its sphere of influence,Georgian minister for reintegration Temuri Yakobashvili told this website.
The fact that Russia sees the European Partnership as a zero-sum game proves wrong those who believe that giving up NATO aspirations would solve the problems with Moscow. Appeasing Russia will not work.Ukraine, home to a large ethnic-Russian minority hostile to NATO expansion, is taking a more nuanced approach. There is a difference, NATO has a huge legacy from the bipolar world of the Cold war, which the EU does not have,Ukraine deputy premier Hryhoriy Nemyria said. The strategic priority of our country is integration in the EU. This is the way to modernise our country and we welcome the Eastern Partnership policy, because it uses de facto the same instruments as for EU candidates. We know it's not about membership, but membership is also not completely ruled out for the future.
BILDERBERGS EXCITE POLITICOS
LOU DOBBS LEFT WING CONSPIRACY
ENVIROMENTALISTS ARE FRAUDS,SCAMMERS (CULT RELIGIONISTS)
Czech president attacks Al Gore’s climate campaign
Jan. 31, 2009
Czech President Vaclav Klaus took aim at climate change campaigner Al Gore on Saturday in Davos in a frontal attack on the science of global warming. I don’t think that there is any global warming,said the 67-year-old liberal, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. I don’t see the statistical data for that. Referring to the former US vice president, who attended Davos this year, he added:I’m very sorry that some people like Al Gore are not ready to listen to the competing theories. I do listen to them.Environmentalism and the global warming alarmism is challenging our freedom. Al Gore is an important person in this movement.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, he said that he was more worried about the reaction to the perceived dangers than the consequences.I’m afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world,he said. I’m more afraid of the consequences of the crisis than the crisis itself. Klaus makes no secret of his climate change scepticism — he is also a fierce critic of the European Union — and has branded the world’s top panel of climate experts, the UN’s IPCC, a smug monopoly.
New York: Albany County Staging Attack on Ammunition Sales
National Rifle Association of America Press release March 20, 2009
At Monday night’s meeting of the Albany County Legislature, Legislators PhillipSteck (D), Douglas Bullock (D) and Wanda Willingham (D) introduced Local Law A, a proposal that would regulate the purchase of ammunition in Albany County. Local Law A would require that a valid firearms license be shown when purchasing ammunition. The law would also mandate that retailers keep a record of ammunition sales, including the type, caliber, and quantity of the ammunition, make, model and serial number of the firearm it is for, as well as the purchaser’s name and address. As if that is not enough, Local Law A would also create a secondary method of gun registration for both long guns and handguns. Local Law A has been sent to the Law Committee. Congress has tried ammunition registration in the past, only to discover that it was not only ineffective for law enforcement, but also completely unmanageable due to the sheer volume of transactions. Ammunition registration creates huge record keeping requirements and provides no useful benefits for law enforcement; which is why it was repealed under the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. Please contact the members of the Law Committee and the County Legislators TODAY and respectfully voice your opposition to Local Law A. Contact information for the members of the Law Committee can be found below. County Legislators can be reached by phone at (518) 447-7168 or fax (518) 447-5695.For more contact information, please visit http://www.albanycounty.com/departments/legislature/legislator.asp?id=165 .
George L. Infante - District 01
9 McDonald Road
Albany, NY 12209
Home: (518) 449-5822
Christopher T. Higgins - District 06
88 Dove Street
Albany, NY 12210
Donald W. Rahm - District 09
271 South Main Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
Phone: (518) 489-2277
Phillip G. Steck - District 15
12 Paul Holly Drive
Loudonville, NY 12211
Phone: (518) 463-7786
Robert J. Beston - District 16
1406 6th Avenue
Watervliet, NY 12189
Home: (518) 272-1038
Shawn M. Morse - District 18
PO Box 402
Cohoes, NY 12047
William M. Hoblock - District 26
20 DeLucia Terrace
Loudonville, New York 12211
Home: (518) 465-2906
Patrice Lockart - District 27
12 Peach Tree Lane
Albany, NY 12205
Bryan M. Clenahan - District 30
30 Woodlake Road
Albany, NY 12203
Telephone: (518) 464-7601
BORN IN THE USA? Taitz to FBI: Investigate tampering at Supremes 305 million Americans need to know if foreign national is usurping presidency March 21, 2009
12:15 am Eastern By Bob Unruh 2009 WorldNetDaily
A California attorney battling on a number of fronts to obtain documentation of Barack Obama's eligibility to be president is asking the FBI and U.S. Secret Service to investigate suspected tampering at the U.S. Supreme Court. Orly Taitz, who is pursuing nearly half a dozen causes through her Defend Our Freedoms Foundation, says the issue of Obama's eligibility to meet the Constitution's demand for a natural born president has been before the Supreme Court at least four times. But she wonders whether the justices actually were given the pleadings to review. I believe … that there was tampering with documents and records by employees of the Supreme Court and the justices never saw those briefs,she alleges in a letter to the FBI's Robert Mueller, the Secret Service's Mark Sullivan and Attorney General Eric Holder. Three hundred five million American citizens … need to know whether a foreign national is usurping the position of the president and the commander in chief,she wrote.
Taitz raises questions about forgery of court records, tampering with court records, cyber crime, erasing of court records from the docket, fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and other related crimes.Specifically, she points to the handling of her own case, Lightfoot v. Bowen, which was submitted to the Supreme Court on an emergency basis. Although it was scheduled for a conference, no hearing ever was held. Join one third of a million people who are seeking the truth on whether Obama meets the Constitution's natural born citizenship clause. Taitz notes that references to the case were erased from the docket of the Supreme Court on Jan. 21, shortly after Obama, the defendant, met with eight of the nine justices behind closed doors. It happened just two days before her case was scheduled to be reviewed in conference.
Secondly, Taitz notes that in her conversation with Justice Antonin Scalia at a book-signing in Los Angeles several weeks ago, he appeared to have no knowledge of the cases that had been submitted. She said she mentioned her case and those brought by Cort Wrotnowski, Philip Berg and Leo Donofrio. In the presence of several attorneys, law students and Secret Service agents Justice Scalia kept saying that he didn't know anything … even though all of the plaintiffs have received notification that all of those cases were reviewed by all nine justices,she said. Taitz said she's also concerned that the Supreme Court docket was somehow modified. Did somebody from outside break and enter into the computer system of the Supreme Court or was it done by one of the overzealous employees who wanted to keep Obama in the White House?" she asked.I demand to see the printout of entries of both internal docket seen by justices and the external docket seen by the public to verify if those were identical at all times, particularly between January 20th and January 23rd,she said. She also raised the possibility that justices' signatures may have been stamped on documentation.
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts
Her allegations, she said, were part of what she submitted to Chief Justice John Roberts when she met him at the University of Idaho a week ago. Due to the … great urgency of the matter in relation to the national security of the United States … I demand immediate investigation of this matter,Taitz wrote. Taitz also is developing a Quo Warranto case that has been submitted to Holder. Essentially, the case demands to know what authority Obama is using to act as president. An online constitutional resource says Quo Warranto affords the only judicial remedy for violations of the Constitution by public officials and agents.As WND reported, Taitz already has submitted a motion to the Supreme Court for re-hearing of Lightfoot v. Bowen, a case she is working on through Defend Our Freedoms alleging some of her documentation may have been withheld from the justices by a court clerk. WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama's status as a natural born citizen. The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, some suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time. Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are garbage, here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama's eligibility:
New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn't properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut's secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of people filing a suit in California, in a case handled by the United States Justice Foundation, that asks the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office. The case was dismissed by Judge Michael P. Kenny.Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama's vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama's eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama's citizenship. His case was denied.In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama's citizenship. The case was denied.In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama's birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia's secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama's eligibility include: In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.
5,000 evacuated after hazardous acid spill in Pa. MAR 21,09
WIND GAP, Pa. – Evacuation orders for about 5,000 people in northeastern Pennsylvania remain in effect even as authorities say the leak of a hazardous chemical has been contained.Authorities say a tanker truck carrying more than 16 tons of hydrofluoric acid overturned early Saturday near Wind Gap, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia.
Northampton County spokesman John Conklin says the driver was treated for injuries and released. There were no other immediate reports of injuries.Conklin says hazardous materials teams managed to stop the slowly dripping liquid. He says not enough of the chemical leaked to create a toxic cloud.Hydrofluoric acid in low doses can irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Inhalation can be fatal.
Development bank urges G20 to remember Africa Fri Mar 20, 12:21 pm ET
GENEVA (AFP) – African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka on Friday urged the Group of 20 not to forget Africa when it meets next month to seek ways to stimulate the ailing global economy.We will be concerned if in the course of the G20 process... to resolve the financial issues, and associated economic issues, development is not included in the agenda, he said.We cannot imagine a stimulus to the world economy (that) ignores Africa, he added, pointing out that the continent is home to some 900 million people.We think we are part of the solution to the crisis, and should therefore be integrated into international discussions on the issue, he added.South Africa is the only African country within the G20 industrialised and emerging market economies whose leaders are to meet in London on April 2.However, the chairmen of the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the African Union Commission are also due to attend.Kaberuka said the economic crisis is also taking a toll on African nations, with the continent's gross domestic product growth to slow to 3.5 percent from 5.4 percent posted in 2008.The crisis is reaching us and is hitting very hard, he added.The Rwandan said he supported World Bank chief Robert Zoellick's proposal to create a fund to help the most vulnerable countries, with the value of the fund to be set at 0.75 percent of the total value of economic rescue packages around the world.
Such a measure would generate by our calculations 15 billion dollars, he said.He also called on donors to honour their pledges in development aid, notably on doubling aid and on improving efficiency.
EU pledges new IMF money but no new stimulus funds By AOIFE WHITE, AP Business Writer – Fri Mar 20, 2:27 pm ET
BRUSSELS – European Union nations have already spent enough to try to boost sluggish demand, the bloc's leaders said Friday, calling instead for better financial regulation to restore market confidence and fix the ailing world economy.They also raised new red flags against protectionism after French carmaker Renault SA said it was moving jobs out of low-wage Slovenia and into recession-hit France, and urged more funding for the International Monetary Fund to help countries hard hit by the crisis.Stimulus spending, market confidence, financial regulation and free trade will be key issues at a Group of 20 summit of the world's leading rich and developing economies next month in London.The plan EU leaders outlined Friday stands in stark contrast to President Barack Obama's heavy stimulus spending and could make for tough negotiations at the April 2 summit on how best to resolve the global economic crisis.
Getting lending flowing again to businesses and households means more rules and oversight for the financial system and a stronger role and more resources for the IMF, the EU leaders said at a summit that ended Friday.Leaders of the EU's 27 nations insisted it was too soon to inject extra billions of euros (dollars) into their own economies to fight a recession that has sent industrial output diving and the EU's jobless rate soaring.Europe is doing all that was necessary to restore growth, EU leaders said in a joint statement.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said solving the banking crisis was the biggest task facing the world right now.This is a global banking crisis that's spread right across the world, Brown told reporters at the talks in Brussels.To solve that problem you've got to get countries working together.
His cure for the world economy was restructuring the banking sector to curb corporate bonuses and clamp down on taxes and the shadow banking system that helped create an investment bubble.At the same time, Brown said the EU must urge all nations to counter plunging world trade by making finance available to exporters and importers and shunning protectionist trade barriers.The EU's concrete promises were few. Nations backed doubling IMF lending to $500 billion, saying they stood ready to provide some euro75 billion ($100 billion) if needed.EU leaders also raised an emergency bailout fund for EU members that don't use the euro from euro25 billion to euro50 billion ($67.7 billion) — a move to assure eastern European countries who could face problems balancing their books this year.The only real money they laid on the table was some euro5 billion ($6.7 billion) in unused EU farm subsidies that they will spend on energy links, green power and broadband Internet instead of returning it to governments.They repeated their usual call for Europe to stay true to the great economic project of leveling national barriers to create a single market, saying this was central to making the recession in Europe shorter and less severe.But that sounded hollow, after France's Renault SA announced Friday it would move excess production from a car plant in Slovenia to a French site and create 400 French jobs in the process.France was forced under EU pressure to drop a demand that carmakers getting state handouts should bring jobs home from eastern Europe. EU regulators immediately sounded alarm bells about Renault's decision, saying they would "verify" if it was acting legally.EU leaders delayed a decision until at least July about how much aid they will offer to poor, mostly African nations, to entice them to sign a new global climate change pact at the end of the year. The United Nations, environmental and aid groups say delaying the move threatens efforts to combat global warming.Associated Press writers Constant Brand, Raf Casert, Robert Wielaard, Holly Fox, Barbara Schaeder and Claudia Kemmer contributed to this report.
Confusion reigns over possible eurozone bailout plan
ANDREW WILLIS 20.03.2009 @ 14:57 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Friday (20 March) was the scene of some confusion as to whether member states have agreed the bones of a eurozone bailout plan.A senior German politician, Otto Bernhardt, member of the German chancellor's CDU party, told Reuters early on Friday that eurozone finance ministers agreed at a recent meeting the main components of a eurozone bailout plan that would see richer countries contribute to a special reserve fund to which struggling eurozone members could apply.However, German finance minister Peer Steinbrück was somewhat cryptic when asked about the funds existence at a press conference later in the day. I can't confirm such a meeting or such conclusions, adding that no eurozone member currently had difficulties in meeting debt payments. In the unlikely case that it did happen, the eurozone would be ready for action,he said.Mr Bernhardt told Reuters that the fund has already been set up with the European Central Bank and is ready to help eurozone countries at a moments notice, continuing that we won't let anyone go bust.We are in a position to act within 24 hours. The ECB would take immediate action,he said.The ECB can make an unlimited amount of money available.Ireland, which Mr Bernhardt said was in the worst situation of all immediately denied the existence of such a plan.Finance ministers didn't discuss anything to do with a rescue package for members of the euro zone Irish foreign minister Micheal Martin told Irish radio on Friday morning.A German spokesperson said there is no such plan and that Mr Bernhardt said he had been misinterpreted. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: I am not aware of this kind of decision.
But Mr Bernhardt was quite precise in the details he gave to Reuters, speaking of a quid pro quo arrangement on corporate tax, something that has also been previously reported in Irish newspapers.We would look very closely at past sins, Mr Bernhardt said.We will not tolerate there being low-tax countries like Ireland for example. We will insist on a minimum corporate taxation rate.Germany has long been irritated by Ireland's low corporate tax rate, standing at 12 percent.However, sweetners to business formed the backbone of Ireland's Celtic Tiger years attracting huge amounts of foreign investment and Brian Cowen's government wants to continue to use it to get the country – hit by a falling property market and plummeting exports - out of the financial doldrums.In a speech delivered to Microsoft's headquarters in Brussels on Thursday (19 March), Mr Cowen said the government plans highly favourable business supports, tax regime and infrastructural supports,in a bid to turn Ireland into a smart economy.
Talk of a eurozone bailout have cropped up persistently in recent weeks.Earlier this month at a breakfast meeting at the European Policy Centre think-tank, economy commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the EU did have plan to help struggling eurozone states but refused to elaborate on the details. It is not clever to talk in public about this solution.Last month, Mr Steinbrueck said that richer eurozone countries may have to come to the aid of single currency nations that are having problems. The euro-region treaties do not foresee any help for insolvent states, but in reality the others would have to rescue those running into difficulty,he said on 17 February.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank on Friday denied the existence of a rescue fund.
The reported information is for the ECB untrue, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt-based central bank said, reports Bloomberg news agency. The euro dropped after the comment was published.
THE FED BREAKS THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA GIVES THE MONEY TO THE BANKERS WORLDWIDE TO GOBBLE UP PROPERTY AND THE FED JUST GETS MORE PROPERTY TILL THEY COUNTROL THE COUNTRY THEN EVENTUALLY THE WORLD.OVIOUSLY THE BIG MONEY IS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AS THE BIBLE SAYS THEY HAVE THE DICTATORIAL WORLD DOMINATION.
2 corporate credit unions taken over by government,Regulators take over 2 big wholesale credit unions, seek to stabilize corporate credit unions
Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer Friday March 20, 2009, 9:59 pm EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators on Friday seized control of two large institutions that provide wholesale financing for U.S. credit unions, a move they say was needed to stabilize the credit union system.The National Credit Union Administration said it has taken over and put into conservatorship the two corporate credit unions, U.S. Central Federal Credit Union, based in Lenexa, Kan., and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, in San Dimas, Calif. U.S. Central has about $34 billion in assets while Western Corporate, known as WesCorp, has an estimated $23 billion in assets.A conservatorship enables the government to operate a financial institution. Corporate credit unions provide financing and investment services to the much larger population of retail credit unions. Some of the 28 corporate credit unions in the U.S. have sustained steep losses on paper from the depressed value of the mortgage-linked securities they hold.The NCUA, which oversees some 7,800 federally insured credit unions, said it will continue to take any and all steps necessary to preserve a well-functioning system of corporate credit unions and to protect the assets of (retail credit unions) and their members during the ... financial market dislocation.The financial services provided by the two corporate credit unions will continue uninterrupted and there will be no direct impact on the 90 million members of retail credit unions nationwide, the NCUA said in a news release.
It said retail credit unions, which are cooperatives owned by their members, remain financially strong -- with net worth exceeding 10 percent of assets, and sustained growth in assets and membership despite the deep recession.The NCUA staff recently completed a stress test of the mortgage- and other asset-backed securities held by all corporate credit unions, including U.S. Central and WesCorp, and found that an unacceptably high concentration of risk was contained in those two institutions, the agency said Friday. Securities held by the two have continued to lose value since late January, reducing their available cash and worsening a loss of confidence on the part of their member credit unions, the NCUA said.In January, the NCUA injected $1 billion of capital into U.S. Central. At the same time, the agency moved to guarantee tens of billions of dollars in uninsured deposits at corporate credit unions overall, the latest in a series of actions to shore them up in the face of financial stress.
The NCUA said it would automatically guarantee uninsured deposits at all corporate credit unions through February and then on a voluntary basis through Dec. 31, 2010.
The agency's insurance fund is financed by fees paid by credit unions. As is the case with banks and thrifts, regular deposit accounts in federally insured credit unions are covered up to $250,000.In December, the agency made more than $40 billion available to support several corporate credit unions with a new borrowing from the Treasury Department and provided another $2 billion to help struggling homeowners.The NCUA also has proposed restructuring the corporate credit union system with an eye to enhancing its stability.U.S. Central has said it expected to report a substantial loss for 2008, due to around $1.2 billion in charges for impairments in its holdings of mortgage-backed securities.
Up to three million march in French mass protest
ELITSA VUCHEVA 20.03.2009 @ 09:15 CET
In a record turn-out, as many as three million people hit the streets in France on Thursday (19 March) to protest against the government's economic policies in response to the global crisis, according to union estimates. The numbers were closer to 1.2 million, say the police. The country's airports, trains, schools and public transport were disrupted by the mass demonstration - the second general strike faced by France in two months.The event mobilised more people than the similar one in January when between one and two million people protested in France's cities.The country's eight main trade unions, who had called for the protests, demanded that the government react.I cannot believe the government will stay immobile in the face of a phenomenon of this size, Bernard Thibault of the General Labour Confederation said on state television France 2.If things continue like this, the marches will get bigger, Bernard van Craeynest, the leader of trade union CFE-CGC, was reported as saying by Le Monde.Representatives of the opposition were also participating in the protests.
It is important that the government changes its economic, social and fiscal policy, Paris' Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe said.For his part, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon defended his government's actions and ruled out any new economic recovery plan in France at this stage, saying it should first be clear what the effects of the €26 billion plan announced in December are.Mobilisation [in the streets] will not solve the problems of the world crisis,Mr Fillon said.
The French protests come as unemployment reached eight percent in the country, and new figures published on Friday by the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) say the number of jobless people will reach 8.8 percent by the end of the first half of 2009.The institute also forecasts a prolongation of the recession in the first half of this year in France, saying GDP will shrink by up to 1.5 percent in the first quarter alone – its worst drop since 1975.Meanwhile, strikes have been taking place in other EU countries as well, including Italy. A major demonstration is also to be organised by unions, NGOs and charities on 28 March in London, ahead of the G20 meeting on 2 April, to call on global leaders to put people first,Le Figaro reports.EU premiers and presidents, gathered for a two-day summit ending on Friday in Brussels, are expected to declare in a final document that the rapid increase of unemployment is central to our concerns.The Czech Republic, currently at the helm of the EU's six-month rotating presidency, has also called a social affairs summit in Prague on 7 May, aiming to tackle the social consequences of the economic crisis.On Thursday, John Monks, secretary-general of the European Trade Union Confederation's (ETUC), called on the EU to be ambitious and adopt a new social deal at this summit.
Friday, March 20, 2009
ELITSA VUCHEVA Today MAR 20,09 @ 17:15 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday (20 March) said that choosing a new commission president in June would undo his good work on Lisbon treaty ratification, while defending France from fresh accusations of economic nationalism. If in June a legislative decision is taken, it will be based on the treaty of Nice,Mr Sarkozy told journalists after a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels, amid expectations that Ireland will not hold a second referendum on the Lisbon treaty before the EU elections in June.The current Nice treaty on which the EU is based foresees a reduction in the number of commissioners in the composition of the next commission. But if the Lisbon treaty is eventually agreed, the number of commissioners remains the same, following a political agreement by EU leaders last year.If we do [elect the next president] based on Nice, we will need to say who will not have a commissioner, the French president said. It will then be a very interesting debate that I am looking forward to. That will help us a lot in Ireland, he added ironically.We can say that we take the post away from them [Ireland] for example. That will help a lot, I will personally be very happy after all the efforts I've done to unblock the situation.EU leaders agreed during their last meeting in December that the next commission president would be chosen at the June EU summit, a few weeks after the European Parliament elections.Agreeing the commission chief later in the year is set to delay the appointment of the whole of the new commission, which is supposed to come into office at the beginning of November.Mr Sarkozy gave a clearer backing for current commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to keep the post than he had done earlier this month.
I have always enjoyed working with Mr Barroso ...I have very positive and warm feelings [towards him],the French president said. I would not be embarrassed to support him, on the contrary.Speaking to press on Friday, Irish premier Brian Cowen said he was also in favour of a second term for the [current] president of the European commission.I would like a decision on that to be taken as soon as possible after the European elections,he added.On Thursday, a gathering of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), home to both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr Sarkozy's political parties, agreed to back the Portuguese politician.The UK's centre-left premier Gordon Brown and Spain's socialist prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero have also in the past expressed support for Mr Barroso. And Mr Barroso has himself on several occasions indicated his interest for a second mandate.
France does not steal jobs
During his press conference, the French leader rejected accusations that French carmaker Renault is planning to cut jobs in Slovenia in order to create new ones in France.Earlier on Friday, French Industry Minister Luc Chatel told Europe 1 radio that: Renault will ...repatriate the production of a vehicle up to now made outside France to the Flins plant. That will be extra output for that factory.The move highly surprised EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. If this is the case, it is illegal aid,she told the BBC.But Mr Sarkozy explained Renault would in fact be creating new jobs in France, not closing factories in Slovenia.If you consider that any job created in France is a result of nationalism or protectionism, very well, he said in response to a question from a Czech journalist.It is not because we are one of Europe's biggest countries that one should consider that a factory [open] on our territory is a theft from the others. Be reasonable ...You, Czech Republic, you also have countries around you that are less rich. When you create a job, do you steal it from Slovakia next door?
THE EU IS STARTING TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE US NOW.THE EU IS STARTING TO BE THE DICTATOR OF THE WORLD LIKE THE BIBLE SAYS AND FROM THIS DICTATORSHIP COMES THE ULTIMATE DECIEVER DICTAOR,THE FUTURE EU PERMANANT PRESIDENT.THE GODLESS OF ALL GODLESS,LEFT OF ALL LEFT,LIBERAL AND DEMOCRAT WORST IN HISTORY.
EU pledges extra €75bn to fight crisis
By Tony Barber in Brussels March 20 2009 10:14
The European Union on Friday raised its flag in the battle against the global economic crisis by pledging €75bn ($102bn) in new contributions to the International Monetary Fund and vowing to forge a deal with the US on stricter financial market regulation.Concluding a two-day summit in Brussels, EU leaders also sought to strengthen market confidence in central and eastern European economies by doubling the size of a EU balance of payments facility fund for non-eurozone countries to €50bn.
Lex: G20 - Mar-20Leaked documents outline regulation proposals - Mar-20In depth: G20 - Mar-05Focus on regulation, says Merkel - Mar-19Britain heads for EU rift over regulation - Mar-19Tony Barber: EU needs a permanent president - Mar-19The leaders took their decisions two weeks before the EU, US, China and other advanced and emerging countries convene in London on April 2 for a landmark G20 summit on reforming the world’s financial system.José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, said the US and Europe were finding common ground ahead of the summit and that, if obstacles arose, they might come from countries such as China.While I recognise there are differences of legal and financial culture between the so-called Anglo-Saxon and continental European models, what I see as a trend is convergence, and not at all that there’s some big fight,Mr Barroso said.The main problem will come from other countries, like China, for example, that don’t have the culture of a common setting of rules,Mr Barroso said.But Gordon Brown, UK prime minister, told reporters: The idea that China doesn’t want a positive outcome from the G20 discussions is wrong.Germany and France see a deal on stricter financial regulation as a priority for the G20 summit. They suspect that the UK, though in favour of tougher rules, will align itself with the US because of the importance of London and New York as world financial centres.
Mr Barroso, however, said the US had been as determined as the EU to use the global crisis as an opportunity to make Switzerland and other countries with bank secrecy rules open up their systems.He rejected suggestions that EU policymakers, who are preparing tougher measures against tax havens, hedge funds, private equity groups and executive pay, were cracking down on easy targets that had not been the fundamental causes of the crisis.For more than 30 years the Commission was trying to get co-operation from non-cooperative jurisdictions. And now they’ve moved. Was that an easy target? he said, referring to tax havens such as Andorra, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.He said it was important to rein back excessive executive pay, because it’s a question of ethics and we need ethics back in the system.The EU’s €75bn pledge to the IMF is intended to make sure that, with contributions from countries such as China and Japan, the IMF’s total resources for fighting global instability will be doubled to $500bn.Apart from increasing its balance of payments facility, the EU launched an eastern partnership initiative under which the bloc aims to strengthen ties with six ex-Soviet states between the EU’s eastern frontier and Russia. The six countries, from Armenia to Ukraine, will receive €600m up to 2013.EU leaders also found a compromise on a Commission proposal, blocked for three months, to spend €5bn on energy and broadband infrastructure programmes across Europe. Germany lifted its objections on condition the money is spent by the end of 2010.About €200m of the funds will go to the Nabucco pipeline project, aimed at bringing gas from the Caspian Sea and central Asia to Europe through routes avoiding Russia.The Financial Times Limited 2009
What the Pros Say: US Is Now Bankrupt Sectors:Financial Services | BanksBy: CNBC.com | 19 Mar 2009 | 09:56 AM ET
Global stocks traded higher, as did the dollar against the euro, Thursday after the Federal Reserve's surprise announcement it would buy $300 billion in US Treasurys in order to help the ailing economy.But experts tell CNBC they have concerns over the Fed's latest move and that the current national balance sheet is a disaster.
US is Already Bankrupt
Technically, the U.S. is already bankrupt because it has a debt that is almost four times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of hyperinflation.
Fed to Buy Treasurys is Not a Good Sign
Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley does not view the Fed's plan to buy $300 billion worth of long-dated government debt as a constructive sign for prospects going forward.
Fed's Move Unlikely to Help Economy
The Fed pumping money into Treasurys won't help, says Martin Weiss, president of Weiss Research. He also discusses what can be done to turn the US economy around.
The US Stuck in Zero-Rate Mode?
America is arrogant to deny their similarity to Japan's economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that the US economy is in a zero-interest rate mode, like Japan.
Quantitative Easing & the Fed's Balance Sheet
Thomas Lam, vice president and senior treasury economist at UOB, says the Fed's latest moves such as to buy long-dated Treasurys will stretch its balance sheet and pump more liquidity into economy.
The Fed's Recent Moves are Right
This decision to purchase long-term assets, mortgages, long-term treasury securities, is the right thing to do. The Fed would clearly rather err on the side of inflation rather then depression,said Dennis Gartman from the Gartman Letter. He also touches on the housing market in the US as well as the TALF.
Tackling US Economy
Housing problems need to be tackled before the U.S. economy can pick up, according to Adam Carr, senior economist at ICAP.
2010: Real Peak of the Crisis
We are going to see real problems in 2010 when the Fed and all the other governments which issued stimulus packages are going to try to reabsorb some of that liquidity, Nicu Harajchi, CEO & Founder of N1 Asset Management, said Thursday. He considers whether the Fed's latest move will work.
Fed's Actions Bode Well for Asia
The Fed's bold moves to support the U.S. economy is good news for Asia, believes Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide.
Redirecting China's Foreign Investments
China is unlikely to unload their dollar-denominated reserve as such a move will only hurt themselves at this point, says Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide. He tells CNBC how its foreign investment strategy may change.
China Needs Internal Demand
China needs to change its structure to an internal demand driven economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that China is hugely dependent on external demand as a major source of economic growth.
ECB in Splendid Isolation
The ECB should be out there pumping money into the system, says Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS. He tells CNBC that the central bank is sitting in splendid isolation.
More Pain Ahead for Europe
There is no cause for optimism in the medium term, despite the better-than-expected data from the ZEW survey, says Par Magnusson, senior analyst at Danske Bank.
UK Due for Inflation Spike?
The UK economy is facing higher inflation down the road, Andy Hartwill from Quasar told CNBC, as Britain posted its highest ever budget deficit Thursday.
Deflation Will Hit Mid-Year
Deflation is a near-term risk that may hit global economies in the middle of the year, warns Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS.
Preventing Runaway Inflation
When liquidity floodgates open, global central banks will have to sterilize very aggressively and in time to prevent runaway inflation. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide tells CNBC how this can be resolved quickly.2009 CNBC.com
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.
Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning MAR 19,09
NUKU'ALOFA (AFP) – A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.The quake, which hit shortly after dawn, was centred 210 kilometres (130 miles) south-southeast of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.A 5.3-magnitude aftershock was also recorded in the same region just over two hours after the initial quake.A resident of Nuku'alofa said there was no sign of significant damage or of a tsunami after the shallow quake, which struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles).
Several earthquakes have been felt in Tonga recently and an undersea volcano has been erupting off the coast of the main island Tongatapu, although it was not considered to be a threat to people in the area.The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning for Tonga, Niue, the Kermadec Islands, American Samoa and Fiji, but lifted it nearly two hours after Friday's quake struck.The centre said in its warning that a tsunami had been generated that could have been destructive along coastlines of the region near the earthquake epicentre.In Fiji, about 750 kilometres (470 miles) west of Tonga, the authorities warned people in coastal areas to move to higher ground while schools along the coast were closed and government workers sent home.
Many heeded the warning to evacuate to higher ground, but police complained others in the capital Suva gathered at sea walls looking for signs of an approaching tsunami.
The warning was lifted after there were no reports of any significant rise in sea levels.The warning centre said only a minor rise of around four centimetres (1.5 inches) was recorded by sea level gauges in the South Pacific nation of Niue.
Nuku'alofa resident Mary Fonua said no significant damage was apparent after the quake, which lasted for about a minute.There was a lot of rattling and shaking. It went on for about 30 seconds and I went outside and the house was shaking for about another 30 seconds,she said. Electricity and phone services were not disrupted.
Caroline Holden, a seismologist with New Zealand's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, said it was surprising there had not been any significant damage in Tonga from the quake.I think the critical point in earthquakes is buildings, so where there are not many high rise buildings you don't expect much damage or injuries.But 200 kilometres is very close for that type of magnitude and that kind of shallow depth,she added.She added a tsunami warning would be expected for such a large earthquake.With a magnitude of nearly eight and very shallow, you would send out a warning.You would not take any risks.The quake occurred near fault lines in the Pacific Ring of Fire where continental plates in the earth's crust collide and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. An undersea earthquake off Sumatra, Indonesia, in December 2004 set off a tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean. In the South Pacific, at least 52 people were killed by a tsunami in the Solomon Islands in April 2007 after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.
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.
Melting snow threatens spring flooding in north By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer – Thu Mar 19, 5:13 pm ET
WASHINGTON – Spring flooding threatens the upper Midwest, parts of the Great Lakes region and the Northeast, government forecasters warned Thursday. The Red River of the North along the Minnesota-North Dakota border faces the nation's greatest threat of spring flooding, the federal Climate Prediction Center said in its spring weather outlook.Warnings have already been posted along Red River, the only area in the 48 contiguous states listed as a high flood threat in the new national outlook.We are looking at a situation with all the ingredients for near-record flooding in the upper Midwest, said Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service. Sudden snowpack melts due to warm temperatures or a heavy rain could further complicate the flooding on the northern plains.
Facing above average flood threats are:
Much of northern Minnesota, central North Dakota and northern South Dakota.A region extending across northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and the southern two-thirds of Michigan.New York's Mohawk River Valley and along the northern border of Massachusetts.The melt from heavy winter snowfalls is expected to provide the excess moisture in the flood areas.The flood risk is reported to be below average in central Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Mid-Atlantic states, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and along the Mexican border and West Coast.The only parts of the country expected to receive unusually heavy rainfall or snow this spring are Hawaii and Alaska, the National Weather Service reported.Below-normal rainfall is likely in southern Florida and a region of the West including Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, most of Washington, Montana and Colorado as well as northern California and Nevada.
The rest of the country has about even chances of wet, dry or normal weather.
The temperature outlook is for cooler than normal in Hawaii, the southern two-thirds of Alaska, Washington, Montana and the northern parts of Oregon and Idaho.The outlook is for warmer-than-normal spring temperatures in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern Utah and Colorado.The current La Nina will likely have some effect on this spring as it continues to weaken. Although La Nina tends to have a smaller influence on U.S. weather during the warmer months, lingering effects are not uncommon in spring,said Ed O'Lenic, long-range forecaster with the Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.La Nina is a periodic cooling of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean which can alter the weather patterns across the United States.On the Net: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.noaa.gov
Netanyahu to ask for more time to form govt: Likud Thu Mar 19, 3:37 pm ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is to ask President Shimon Peres for more time in which to form a government, officials within his right-wing Likud party said on Thursday.Netanyahu will seek a two-week extension from Peres on Sunday, they told AFP on condition of anonymity.He would use the time to try to convince the centre-left Labour party headed by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak to join his coalition, they added.Netanyahu was tasked on February 20 with forming a government after February 10 snap elections and has an initial deadline of March 20 but can seek a two-week extension to April 3.Barak on Wednesday urged his Labour party to consider joining a government led by the hawkish Netanyahu.In a stark about-face from a declaration 10 days earlier, Barak asked Labour's secretary general to hold a party vote to decide whether to join the next government.He returned to the theme in a series of radio and television interviews on Thursday, asserting that in the superior interests of the state he would try to persuade Labour to join a Netanyahu government to counteract the effect of the extreme right.According to Israeli news reports, Netanyahu has offered Barak the chance to stay on as defence minister.The former chief of staff declared earlier this month that he would not join a Netanyahu government after the Likud leader reached a deal with the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, under which its controversial leader Avigdor Lieberman would become foreign minister.
Netanyahu wants to avoid a repetition of the scenario in 1996, when he became the nation's youngest prime minister only to watch his right-wing government collapse ahead of time because far-right parties quit over deals he struck with the Palestinians under US pressure.Although outgoing Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima party won 28 seats in the February 10 election -- one more than Netanyahu's Likud -- the former premier was tasked with forming the next government because he is believed to have a better chance of forging a majority in the 120-seat parliament.
Sarkozy pledges to help free captive Israel soldier Thu Mar 19, 1:50 pm ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to pursue efforts to secure the release of captured Israeli-French soldier Gilad Shalit, in a letter on Thursday to his parents.France demands the release of Gilad and will pursue relentlessly its persuasive efforts among all who speak, or can speak, to the kidnappers of your son, Sarkozy said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.Allow me to express anew my solidarity in the face of this ordeal, as well as my admiration for... your dignity, Sarkozy added.Shalit, who marks 1,000 days in captivity on Saturday, was seized by Gaza militants, including the Islamist Hamas, in a cross-border raid in June 2006.His family has held vigil in a tent pitched outside the Jerusalem home of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to press for his release since March 8.On Tuesday the outgoing cabinet rejected a final offer from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, for a long-mooted prisoner exchange that would involve Shalit.
Solve water problems before peace deal: Abbas Thu Mar 19, 12:09 pm ET
ISTANBUL (AFP) – Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas accused Israel on Thursday of forcing Palestinians to live in chronic water scarcity and declared a rightful share of water should not be tied to a peace deal.In a message read at the World Water Forum in Istanbul, the Palestinian Authority president said Israel's unilateral control over rivers and aquifers meant scarce water resources were not being shared equitably as required by international law.Palestinians had four times less water per capita than Israelis living in Israel, a consumption level that fell far below the World Health Organization's guidelines for minimum daily access to water, Abbas said.
The reason for this disparity has nothing to do with lifestyle between Palestinians and Israelis -- for when it comes to water all human beings have the same needs -- but due to Israel's control and inequitable distribution to the Palestinians,Abbas said.It is with dismay that I see 9,000 Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley utilise one-quarter of the water that the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank utilises,he said.It is also with dismany that we witnessed Israel's systematic de-development and destruction of Gaza's water infrastructure, where today only 10-20 percent of the water there is drinkable.
Abbas said the situation is not only unjust, but unnecessary.
Palestinians should not be forced to wait until a peace agreement is reached before (they are) allowed (their) rightful share of the transboundary water resources. Water is an essential human necessity that should not be subject to the dictates of a single party or used as a tool of control.The statement was read at a press conference by Shaddad Attili, head of the Palestinian Water Authority.Attili said Israel uses 90 percent of transboundary water resources, and Israelis have per-capita water consumption of 348 litres (76 gallons) per day; the Palestinians are alloted the remaining 10 percent, and have daily consumption of 78 litres (17.6 gallons) per day, compared to WHO recommendations of at least 100 litres (22 gallons) a day.
Abbas also said the Palestinian Authority, upon gaining statehood, would become party to a 1997 UN pact on water supplies that cross international boundaries.This document -- the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses -- requires a country that controls an aquifer or watershed that straddles an international boundary to ensure other parties have equitable use of the water.Only 16 countries have ratified the convention so far; 35 are needed before it becomes international law. France this month announced its intention to ratify.In the Palestinian-Israeli case, the struggle over water supplies pertains to the basin of the Jordan River and a coastal aquifer that stretches underneath Gaza.The World Water Forum has gathered more than 27,000 policymakers, corporate executives, water specialists and activists in a broad conference focused on the globe's worsening problems of freshwater. The seven-day event winds up on Sunday.
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
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.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
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.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
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.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
WORLD MARKET RESULTS
SPECIAL CONFERENCE MAR 23-24,2009,ALL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WILL BE THERE,ALL THE EU MEMBERS WILL BE THERE,AND THE G-20 WILL BE THERE.THIS SAME GROUP OF EU,BANKERS,G-20 WILL ALSO BE IN LONDON IN APRIL TO LAY PLANS FOR THE NEW WORLD ORDER,ESPECIALLY THE G-20.https://futurefinance.wsj.com/index.php
HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS FRI MAR 20,2009
09:30 AM +7.32
10:00 AM +15.29
10:30 AM +33.05
11:00 AM +40.70
11:30 AM -3.27
12:00 PM +13.38
12:30 PM +19.91
01:00 PM -39.35
01:30 PM -70.33
02:00 PM -107.05
02:30 PM -110.48
03:00 PM -104.42
03:30 PM -85.15
04:00 PM -122.42 7278.38
S&P 500 768.54 -15.50
NASDAQ 1457.27 -26.21
GOLD 952.40 -6.40
OIL 51.06 -0.55
TSE 300 8506.35 -184.14
CDNX 901.80 -1.77
S&P/TSX/60 516.80 -12.16
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
TSX Advances 1,041,declines 524,unchanged 258,Volume 3,119,402,353.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 473,Declines 288,Unchanged 345,Volume 224,104,521.
Dow +34 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -34 points at low today.
Dow +40 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $947.60.OIL opens at $50.85 today.
Citigroup sells $3 BILLION in security backed by credit card payments.
Nissan,Ford sells $4 BILLION in bonds backed by Auto loans.
Quadruple experation today.
Xerox -11%,slashes Q1 forecast on lower demand.
Simon Property group issues common stock & Senior notes.
Simon Property's equity offering priced at $31.50/share.
COMMODITIES:THE BULL CASE
-Basics of demand returning.
-Commodities,Commodity stocks helped by:
-Power Shares DB commodity Index.
-iShares S&P commodity-Indexed trust.
-24 Commodities,heavy in Energy.
-ishares Silver Trust.
Dow -70 points at low today so far.
Dow +58 points at high today so far.
DAY TODAY PERFORMANCE - 12:30PM STATS
NYSE Advances 1,390,declines 2,004,unchanged 102,New Highs 3,New Lows 30.
NASDAQ Advances 1,059,declines 1,464,unchanged 154,New highs 6,New Lows 16.
TSX Advances 663,declines 614,unchanged 283,Volume 1,451,883,592.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 281,Declines 284,Unchanged 275,Volume 83,098,599.
Dow -145 points at low today.
Dow +58 points at high today.
Dow -1.65% today Volume 672,952,635.
Nasdaq -1.77% today Volume 2,147,483,648.
S&P 500 -1.98% today Volume N/A
STOCKS FALL FOR 2ND DAY,RISE FOR THE WEEK 0.7%.
Crude Oil surged 10% this week.
Only 2 S&P 500 sectors trading higher today.
Today is a quadruple witching option expiration day.
Dow still on pace for 1st back to back weekly gains in almost 11 months.
Citigroup working with WSH on constructive compensation system.
Dow trims 142 point intraday decline.
S&P posts best 2 week gain since 1974.
Major Averages down for only 3rd time in 9 sessions.
Bank Stocks went up from MON-WED afternoon,then weakened THUR-FRI.
Materials & Energy STOCKS,the reflation trades was fabulous until 12 oclock today when
we seen it tunble to the downside.
RECORD LOWS DOW
-Sept 30,1996 5,882.17
-Oct 30,1996 5,993.23
-Nov 6,1996 6,177.71
-Dec 16,1996 6,268.35
-Apr 15,1997 6,587.16
-Apr 21,1997 6,660.21
-Apr 28,1997 6,783.02
-May 1,1997 6,976.48
-May 7,1997 7,085.65
RECORD LOWS S&P 500
-Sept 5,1996 649.44
-Sept 6,1996 655.68
-Sept 11,1996 667.28
-Sept 12,1996 671.13
-Oct 1,1996 689.08
-Oct 28,1996 697.26
-Nov 4,1996 706.73
-Nov 5,1996 714.14
-Dec 17,1996 726.04
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE,WEEKENDER
CANADAS WEEK ENDING STATS
TSX Advances 655,Declines 819,Unchanged 286 Volume 3,173,449,154.
TSX Venture Advances 403,Declines 337,Unchanged 318 Volume 165,400,080.
THERE CALLING TO GET RID OF THE DOLLAR AND IS GOLD A SAFE BET,PROPHECY COMING TO PASS AS A MICROCHIP IMPLANT WILL GO WITH THE NEW WORLD CURRENCY AND THEN THE WORLD CURRENCY WILL BE DUMPED AND THE MICROCHIP IMPLANT SYSTEM WILL BE MADE MANDATORY OR DEATH.
DITCH THE DOLLAR VIDEO
U.N. panel says world should ditch dollar Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:16am EDT Ditch the dollar? By Jeremy Gaunt, European Investment Correspondent.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A U.N. panel will next week recommend that the world ditch the dollar as its reserve currency in favor of a shared basket of currencies, a member of the panel said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on the dollar.Currency specialist Avinash Persaud, a member of the panel of experts, told a Reuters Funds Summit in Luxembourg that the proposal was to create something like the old Ecu, or European currency unit, that was a hard-traded, weighted basket.Persaud, chairman of consultants Intelligence Capital and a former currency chief at JPMorgan, said the recommendation would be one of a number delivered to the United Nations on March 25 by the U.N. Commission of Experts on International Financial Reform.It is a good moment to move to a shared reserve currency, he said.Central banks hold their reserves in a variety of currencies and gold, but the dollar has dominated as the most convincing store of value -- though its rate has wavered in recent years as the United States ran up huge twin budget and external deficits.Some analysts said news of the U.N. panel's recommendation extended dollar losses because it fed into concerns about the future of the greenback as the main global reserve currency, raising the chances of central bank sales of dollar holdings.Speculation that major central banks would begin rebalancing their FX reserves has risen since the intensification of the dollar's slide between 2002 and mid-2008,CMC Markets said in a note.Russia is also planning to propose the creation of a new reserve currency, to be issued by international financial institutions, at the April G20 meeting, according to the text of its proposals published on Monday.It has significantly reduced the dollar's share in its own reserves in recent years.
Persaud said that the United States was concerned that holding the reserve currency made it impossible to run policy, while the rest of world was also unhappy with the generally declining dollar.There is a moment that can be grasped for change, he said.
Today the Americans complain that when the world wants to save, it means a deficit. A shared (reserve) would reduce the possibility of global imbalances.Persaud said the panel had been looking at using something like an expanded Special Drawing Right, originally created by the International Monetary Fund in 1969 but now used mainly as an accounting unit within similar organizations.The SDR and the old Ecu are essentially combinations of currencies, weighted to a constituent's economic clout, which can be valued against other currencies and indeed against those inside the basket.Persaud said there were two main reasons why policymakers might consider such a move, one being the current desire for a change from the dollar.The other reason, he said, was the success of the euro, which incorporated a number of currencies but roughly speaking held on to the stability of the old German deutschemark compared with, say, the Greek drachma.Persaud has long argued that the dollar would give way to the Chinese yuan as a global reserve currency within decades.A shared reserve currency might negate this move, he said, but he believed that China would still like to take on the role.(To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click here; for the MacroScope Blog click on blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Hub click on blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)(editing by Patrick Graham)
Is Gold Really the Safest Investment? TIME MAGAZINE By Ari J. Officer Wednesday, Mar. 18,09
Related Gold is on the move. As the price of gold threatens to push permanently above $1,000 per ounce, it raises questions about why gold is becoming such a hot commodity and whether it truly is a safe harbor.There is no question that gold's price run-up is purely speculative. Since the beginning of 2009, the number of outstanding shares in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), the most popular exchange-traded gold fund, has climbed about 33%. Demand for gold has increased significantly.But why? At such high prices, gold ceases to have much practical use. There is no theoretical rationale why anyone should even want to invest in it. Gold has value only because we believe it is valuable. It is a collective hallucination. (Read What Sells in a Recession: Canned Goods and Condoms.)There is something else we use every day that, like gold, has no inherent value: cash. Of course, there's a major difference between gold and cash: unlike the dollar, the nondollar value of gold won't be significantly impacted by the U.S. government — only its price in dollars via the government's impact on the dollar.
And currency explains why gold has not yet made a clear jump above the historic high set a year ago — in U.S. dollars, that is. The dollar has appreciated enormously during the global economic slowdown. All else being equal, this lowers the price of gold for U.S. investors buying with dollars.Independent of the dollar, gold has actually increased considerably in value. Indeed, the prices of gold in euros, British pounds and Canadian dollars set their record highs, by a large margin, in 2009.The supply of gold is also a factor in pricing. Many investors holding gold reserves have faced losses in their other assets, which would have led them to sell their gold. Ordinary people, too, have motive to sell their gold jewelry during a recession, which should increase the supply of gold on the open market and impede a price hike.As a parallel, much of oil's decline in prices since the summer was spurred by speculators unwinding their positions, as they needed to liquidate to cover losses. But gold prices have not followed oil prices downhill. It is clear that new money has entered the gold market. Many who sold their stocks and other assets have reallocated into the gold market, instead of leaving it to cover losses.In the face of appreciation of the dollar and a financial meltdown, dollar-denominated gold has still managed to hang in there, near its high. Speculation remains rampant.But the speculation in the gold market is nothing like speculation in other markets. Unlike oil, gold is not consumed, and even when it is used in products like jewelry, it is recoverable and thus maintains its value as the gold that went into it. In other words, the total supply of gold is increasing with gold mining.
Most speculation is motivated by the desire for profit. It seems that recent interest in gold is instead motivated by the desire to maintain value. After all, the price of gold in dollars has not shown a steady return. As the government continues to enact costly but what many believe to be inadequate solutions to the financial crisis, investors fear the worst for the future of the economy and the the dollar. Thus, the price of gold has become a measure of confidence in the government to handle the crisis.Traditionally, gold has been a store of value when citizens do not trust their government politically or economically. In Asia, ordinary people —not investors by any means — historically have held tremendous amounts of gold in jewelry. Now that same concept has extended to more-sophisticated investors, who hold gold not in jewelry but in bars and derivative contracts.Gold, then, can be considered a currency, unique in that it is not directly tied to any country's economy. With a global recession that is bound to continue to shake up the purchasing power of all foreign currencies, gold is safer from political and economic instability than cash.
So is it time to put all your money into gold? That depends on your appetite for risk. The sheer amount of speculation in gold and uncertainty in the foreign-exchange market will keep gold prices as volatile and unpredictable (i.e., risky) as ever. Like any financial market, the gold market is susceptible to manipulation.But having a small percentage of your assets in gold could serve as a hedge against an exacerbated crisis. At the very least, hold on to your jewelry.
London police fear violent protests at G-20 economic meeting
ReutersPublished: March 19, 2009
LONDON: The British police are preparing to deal with violent protests as anarchists threaten to bring chaos to the Group of 20 summit meeting in London.All leave for police officers in the capital has been called off and businesses are being advised to cancel unnecessary meetings because protesters have vowed to target the financial district as the world leaders gather to discuss the financial crisis.Previous world economic summit meetings and conferences have been targeted by anarchists, anti-globalization protesters and other groups. The police say they fear that the gathering April 2 in London, set against anger at the economic downturn, could provoke more violence.Environmentalists, antiwar campaigners and protesters have already indicated that they would demonstrate April 1 as politicians and officials begin arriving in London.A movement called Storm the Banks is circulating on the Internet indicating that anti-capitalist protesters are planning to focus their attention on the Bank of England during what some protesters have dubbed Financial Fools Day.During a Group of Eight meeting in Scotland in July 2005, four British Islamists carried out suicide bombings on trains and a bus in London that killed 52 people.At the moment, we are not aware of any specific threat to this event, a police spokeswoman said. What we will be doing is an intelligence-led deployment, so there will be officers where we are anticipating demonstrations.
Businesses leaders are trying to make sure their companies are aware of what to expect during demonstrations.There will be concern from business over the two days of protest, but the vast majority of firms will have robust security arrangements in place,said Helen Hill, policy director at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Canceling unnecessary meetings may have to be considered, but people shouldn't feel as though they can't travel in London to conduct important business.
Third world must commit to reductions to get EU climate cash
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today MAR 20,09 @ 00:23 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - European Union leaders are adamant that the developing world must commit to carbon reductions if the EU is to stump up cash for making the adaptation measures to deal with climate change, the Danish prime minister said on Thursday (19 March).Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, described as quite optimistic the state of climate discussions between EU member states currently taking place in Brussels at the bloc's spring summit. The EU premiers and presidents are attempting to hammer out a common position to take to the upcoming United Nations climate change conference at the end of the year.The Danish prime minister said the EU wants to see carbon reduction commitments from the third world before it offers up funds for climate finance (Photo: The Council of the European Union)However, he told reporters that it was still too early for the EU to commit to any funds for the developing world for climate finance.The prime minister said that the leaders will consider the issue again on Friday morning and that afterward: We expect to send a clear signal the the EU will take on a fare share of the burden and has to assist developing countries in support of adaptation and mitigation measures.Then at a later state develop some concrete figures [in terms of EU funds] - but then we must have concessions from these countries.The Danish leader made the comments days after Yvo de Boer, the UN's climate change chief, accused EU leaders of welching on promises made at last year's Bali climate conference.Speaking to the BBC on the eve of the EU summit, Mr de Boer said: Quite frankly the language from [EU] ministers re-writes some of the fundamental agreements we made in Bali.I don't think it's constructive to enter into a negotiation by trying to change the fundamental principles on which you've just agreed the negotiation will be based,he said, adding that the EU needed to put some figures on the table before applying pressure to developing countries to commit to carbon reductions.
Mr Rasmussen told journalists that the UN official was wrong: I don't agree with de Boer. The EU really is in the driver's seat. But we now need clear moves from our other partners.Pressed whether the EU would commit to sums to take to the Copenhagen negotiations by the summer, the Danish leader said: It's premature to make any predictions about a timetable.If there's progress in international negotiations, then we'll see.He did say nevertheless that whatever figures are eventually decided upon, it will be fresh cash rather than previously announced funds.The member states have already committed to new and additional funds at Bali,he insisted.
Poland appears to be the most resistant of the member states to committing to a negotiating position, something conceded by Mr Rasmussen.It is well known that Poland has a very particular view on climate, he explained, but went on to say that he thought Warsaw would commit to firm figures at some point. We have to be able to unite all the points of view.Polish leader Donald Tusk however suggested during the summit that it could be quite a long time yet before the the bloc agrees to any funding commitments, insisting that the EU mandate for Copenhagen climate talks must be taken at EU leaders' level (where Poland has a veto).It doesn't matter to us whether its the June European Council or the first summit under the Swedish [EU] presidency,he said.[A successful outcome in Copenhagen] will be possible if EU member states know what is the mechanism for contributing for this fund and accept it.He said he rejected what he called a simplistic mechanism. You pay as much as you emit.
EU leaders reject more stimulus despite glum stats By RAF CASERT, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 8:26 pm
BRUSSELS – European Union nations on Thursday rejected new spending projects to boost their recession-hit economies, standing firm against massive street protests demanding subsidies and U.S. suggestions to stoke growth with more aid.Despite a million people marching in France and more bad company news hitting Europe's industrial engine in Germany, EU leaders at a summit in Brussels said now was not the time to throw more money at the crisis — at least not until the effects of a first euro200 billion package set in.We are unanimous in our views and we all agreed we are going to be prudent, said the summit host, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso claims that the bloc is spending 3.3percent of gross domestic product this year and next year on efforts to improve the economy and sagging employment.That includes unemployment benefits and job programs — the cornerstones of Europe's vaunted welfare state. Barroso says those are making the difference in Europe, while less regulated economies like the United States have to spend much to start weaving a tighter social safety net.The cautious European approach on government spending stood in contrast to the announcement Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Reserve will launch a bold $1.2 trillion effort to increase the amount of money in the economy by lowering rates on mortgages and other consumer debt.
Topolanek said that among the 27 leaders at the summit table we heard expressions like not being dictated to by the United States or by those who want more fiscal stimulus.European governments already resisted a push from the U.S. for more spending at a summit of Group of 20 finance ministers last week. Thursday's stand underlined their position going into an April 2 summit of G-20 national leaders in London.You cannot solve everything by using taxpayers' money. The huge deficit of the United States is a problem because it takes away resources for credit markets all over the world,said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who will take over the EU presidency in July.German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy argue that excessive public debt threatens global stability and countries must move swiftly to pay off debt when they can.Despite taking no immediate action, the EU leaders sought to prepare themselves in case of bad news later this year.
Barroso said he expects EU nations to double a bailout fund for member states in trouble to euro50 billion ($68 billion). Hungary and Latvia have already received euro9.6 billion from the fund, which raises money by selling bonds.Germany opposes a much higher threshold for the emergency fund, arguing it would tempt countries into seeking bailouts when there is no real need. Many member states from central Europe that joined only five years ago are scared, however, that their currencies could plummet further and rating agencies could downgrade them — making it more expensive for them to borrow money.The EU leaders did agree on a euro5 billion energy package likely to include gas pipelines and plans to bury climate-damaging carbon, Barroso said. He did not detail which projects won approval, though a final list was expected at the summit's close Friday. Again, Merkel had led opposition, warning of higher budget deficits despite the benefits for Europe's environmental credibility.The EU wants to be at the vanguard of U.N.-sponsored global warming talks in Copenhagen later this year.EU leaders are seeking agreement Friday on how much aid to give to poor nations in exchange for support for a global climate change pact. Environmental groups say the EU should contribute around euro35 billion ($47 billion) a year by 2020to poorer nations to help them cut emissions.The heavy impact of recession is hitting a growing number of Europeans. About 18 million people are believed to be unemployed in the EU, about 7.6 percent of the overall working population.
When Sarkozy came to Brussels on Thursday, he had to leave his prime minister behind to deal with a wave of protests and strikes demanding more action to counter the recession and unemployment. More than 1 million people marched in cities and towns around France, and a few hundred youths showered police with bottles and stones at a big protest in Paris. Meanwhile, news came that France's economy is shrinking at its fastest pace in over 30 years. In Germany, companies piled on more bad results. Chemicals producer Altana AG said it was caught in the maelstrom of the global crisis, with profits in 2008 down 25 percent.Associated Press Writers Constant Brand, Aoife White, Angela Charlton and Holly Fox contributed to this article.
$750 billion green investment could revive economy: U.N.
Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:24am EDT By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - Investments of $750 billion could create a Green New Deal to revive the world economy and protect the environment, perhaps aided by a tax on oil, the head of the U.N. environment agency said on Thursday.Achim Steiner said spending should focus on five environmental sectors including improved energy efficiency for buildings and solar or wind power to create jobs, curb poverty and fight climate change.The opportunity must not be lost, Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), told Reuters of a UNEP study that will be put to world leaders meeting in London on April 2 to work out how to spur the ailing economy.The UNEP report said investments of one percent of global gross domestic product, or about $750 billion, could bankroll a Global Green New Deal inspired by the New Deal of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that helped end the depression of the 1930s.
Investments should be split between more energy efficient buildings, renewable energies, better transport, improved agriculture and measures to safeguard nature -- such as fresh water, forests or coral reefs, it said.Thursday's study adds details of spending after UNEP called for a Green New Deal late last year.Steiner also said that the world urgently needed funds to jump start a U.N. deal to fight global warming, due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December to succeed the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.He floated the possibility of taxing oil in rich nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to help a new pact become the cornerstone of a greener economy.If, for argument's sake, you were to put a five-year levy in OECD countries of $5 a barrel, you would generate $100 billion per annum. It translates into roughly 3 cents per liter,he said.
It would be almost, if not totally, unnoticed by the consumer,he said, especially since oil prices have fallen from more than $140 a barrel at mid-2008 peaks to about $40.A barrel of oil contains 158 liters and OECD consumption is about 20 billion barrels a year, he said. This is just one example, there may be many others, of funding, he said.I am concerned about the prospect of a meaningful deal in Copenhagen if there is not a significant financial package on the table, he said. Cash would encourage poor nations to step up actions to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.The argument that we cannot afford this does not, on any serious analysis, hold much water -- especially given the cost to the global economy of failure to act on climate change,he said.Carbon markets, which could also be a source of funds to help fight climate change, were unlikely to contribute enough cash in early years of a new climate deal, he said.Steiner said there were promising signs that economic stimulus packages by many nations, ranging from the United States to China, were being tailored to help a shift toward greener growth and away from dependence on fossil fuels.The U.N. Climate Panel says that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are a prime cause of warming that will cause more heatwaves, droughts, rising sea levels and more powerful storms.-- For Reuters latest environment blogs click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/(Editing by Jon Boyle)
EU leaders agree on €5bln energy projects
VALENTINA POP Today MAR 20,09 @ 00:43 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – EU leaders on Thursday night put an end to a three-month long haggle over energy, broadband and agricultural projects worth €5 billion, finally agreeing the terms and the conditions for spending the funds, part of the EU's economic recovery plan.We have reached an agreement in principle on the allocation of this infrastructure recovery plan – gas, oil, energy infrastructure, broadband and rural development. We'll be carrying out projects in 2009 and 2010, with finance mechanisms that are sufficiently transparent,Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told a press conference after the first day of the meeting of heads of state and government.The deal could only be reached by accepting a demand by Germany that the funding would only run for two years. A sunset clause is to be attached under which all other projects that are not ready to go by the end of 2010 are not eligible for funding.Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso was visibly relieved to see an agreement following months of criticism from member states over the idea of the fund and the amounts allocated to each member state. Initially, the commission had proposed to use €5 billion of unspent money from 2008, but the idea was abandoned after protests from big EU donors like Germany who under EU law get the unspent community money back to the national budget.
Top-up to €50 billion for Eastern Europeans
EU leaders are set to discuss on Friday morning the possibility to double the rescue fund for Eastern European countries, currently at €24.5 billion, and which has already been tapped by Hungary and Latvia as part of their EU-IMF bailouts. New EU member state Romania has also applied for joint funding, the figure floated so far being €20 billion. Ukraine, which has received an IMF-only loan, has been actively pleading for the EU fund to be opened up for the bloc's neighbours as well, and not just its members, as it is currently the case. Both Mr Topolanek and Mr Barroso said money could be made available to whomever needs it, as the EU would also support a doubling of the IMF funds – a position agreed by EU leaders in the view of the G20 summit in London.Another item on the Friday agenda is climate change in preparation for the UN conference in Copenhagen, aimed at striking a new global deal on reducing CO2 emissions.
The otherwise technical press conference was interrupted by a question from a French female journalist saying that I see six men sitting behind the podium. Is that what Europe is like? Mr Topolanek promptly answered, in Czech: What did you expect - Martians? His remark was followed by Czech finance minister Miroslav Kalousek who added:I am a bit of a feminist myself.
Canada inflation surges unexpectedly By Louise Egan Louise Egan – Thu Mar 19, 7:58 am ET
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada's annual inflation rate surged unexpectedly in February on higher food and shelter costs, but the Bank of Canada is expected to ignore the price pressures as it ponders whether to cut interest rates to fresh historic lows.
Statistics Canada said annual inflation jumped to 1.4 percent from 1.1 percent in January despite declines in gasoline and vehicles prices compared with a year earlier.
Compared with January, gasoline prices spiked and automobile prices stabilized, leading to the first month-on-month rise in the consumer price index since last September. The CPI jumped 0.7 percent from January, more than double the 0.3 percent rise analysts had forecast.The Canadian dollar briefly strengthened after the report before falling back.Economists said the rise in inflation would likely be short-lived and would do little to take the central bank's focus away from an economy in full recession.The CPI numbers are higher than expected, but ultimately, with the slack that's developing in the Canadian economy, we do think that prices will ultimately trend lower,said Charmaine Buskas, senior economists strategist at TD Securities.It doesn't really change the view that the Bank of Canada is probably going to be looking at different measures to support the economy,she said.The Bank of Canada, which targets 2 percent inflation, cut its benchmark interest rate earlier this month to an all-time low of 0.5 percent and has signaled it may move beyond rate cuts to other forms of easing to pull the economy out of a recession.
It could cut rates one more time on April 21.
Governor Mark Carney has promised to lay out a framework in an April 23 report for possible credit and quantitative easing", which could involve printing money to purchase securities outright in the market and thereby driving down longer-term interest rates.Core inflation, which reflects underlying price trends by stripping out eight volatile items such as gasoline, vegetables and mortgage interest costs, held steady at 1.9 percent year-on-year. Core CPI spiked 0.5 percent on the month versus a forecast of a 0.2 percent increase, Statscan said.Core inflation is still below where (the central bank) expect it and the bigger focus is still on the weak outlook. It might temper the doves a little bit but the big picture is that inflation is still below target and the bank is still looking at an extremely weak economy for the first half of this year,said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.The central bank said this month it now expects core inflation to stay lower than it had predicted in January, when it saw the rate reaching a low of 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter before rising again.The bank projected a period of falling prices in the second and third quarters, rising throughout 2010 and reaching the 2 percent target in the first half of 2011.(Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan, John McCrank and Euan Rocha in Toronto)(Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)
EU defends recovery plan
ELITSA VUCHEVA 19.03.2009 @ 17:29 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The recovery plan agreed by the EU last year is sufficient to fight the economic crisis despite what its critics say, the European Commission and the EU Czech Presidency said ahead of an EU summit.I think that at the moment, we have gone as far as we can in preparing the European Economic Recovery Plan, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said at a press conference after meeting with European trade union and business leaders in Brussels on Thursday (19 March).The debate with the groups - in Brussels parlance, the social partners - is designed to prepare for a special social affairs summit in Prague on 7 May and comes hours ahead of a regular EU leaders' meeting in the EU capital on Thursday and Friday. There is a crisis of confidence and I think if we came on with some kind of permanent action, activism, that wouldn't install confidence. We have to implement what's been decided now and assess the impact thereof.The EU committed €200 billion in a recovery plan last year (around 1.5 percent of GDP). But it says that in reality, it is to spend about €400 billion (around 3.3 percent of GDP) in 2009 and 2010, including non-discretionary public spending or "automatic stabilisers," such as unemployment benefits.
Mr Topolanek's comments come as the EU faces increasing pressure to boost its plan.
American Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman earlier this week said it would need to spend around €500 billion this year and up to a trillion in total over the next three years to get the economy going again.Speaking at the same press conference as Mr Topolanek, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso argued that the existing European rescue package should be given a chance.Let's implement it and then of course let's keep it under review,he said.If the message we send to our public is that our plan is not enough, that will not create confidence. We believe it's a very important effort the one that we've already decided. Let's concentrate on it and let's not all the time be ashamed of what we have in Europe,he added.He stressed the EU's social provisions are much stronger than any other part of the world,such as the US or Asia.
Social deal needed
The Prague job summit will aim to tackle the social consequences of the economic crisis, notably the soaring unemployment levels in the EU, which, across the bloc, hit 7.6 percent in January.Representatives of both EU trade unions and businesses on Thursday said they expected the Prague event to be a success.Expectations from this summit will be high, John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said, calling on the EU to be ambitious and adopt a new social deal.The EU already has successfully done ... a bank rescue in a co-ordinated way. It's done a recovery plan and I think now it needs a new social deal as a third phase that needs to be worked up.In France, a general strike on Thursday in protest at the government's handling of the economic situation saw hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets, according to first estimates.
Oil prices reach new high for 2009 as dollar falls By CHRIS KAHN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 5:16 pm ET
NEW YORK – A weakened dollar and evidence that OPEC has significantly slowed production sent oil prices soaring to new highs for the year Thursday.I think we'll see higher oil prices for a while, said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.There's an expectation that the market has bottomed out.Benchmark crude for April delivery surged $3.47, or 7 percent, to settle at $51.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices hit $52.25 earlier in the day, a price last seen on Dec. 1.Crude prices have increased 11.6 percent since OPEC ministers met in Vienna on Sunday. The group said it would not cut production again immediately, but there is growing consensus that the millions of barrels taken off the market already each day are starting to balance a supply and demand picture that has been skewed for months.With the April contract set to expire Friday, most of the trading had shifted to the contract for May delivery, where prices jumped $3.14 to settle at $52.04 a barrel.Gas prices increased 1.3 cents a gallon overnight to a new national average of $1.933 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices are 2.7 cents a gallon cheaper than a month ago and $1.346 a gallon cheaper than last year.Analysts rushed to buy crude after the Federal Reserve announced late Wednesday it would buy long-term government bonds, a measure that's expected to jolt the economy with lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt.The Fed also said a $1 trillion program to jump-start consumer and small business lending could be expanded to include other financial assets.
The announcements sent the dollar into a tailspin. The U.S. dollar dropped against other major currencies almost immediately, at one point falling to levels not seen since January. The dollar has fallen about 5 percent against the euro over the past couple days.Because oil is bought and sold in dollars, a weak U.S. currency makes crude cheaper globally.The government is basically printing money to buy back all this paper, and it devalues the dollar,said Phil Flynn, analyst at Alaron Trading Corp.Flynn said the rise in oil shouldn't be taken as a sign that the economy in on the mend. The Fed is using all of its powers to prop up American businesses, and this is one of their last shots, Flynn said.If this doesn't work, they're out of bullets.
A government report that said jobless claims set a new record for the eighth straight week. The Labor Department said continuing claims for unemployment insurance jumped 185,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.47 million, another record-high and more than the roughly 5.33 million that economists expected.Initial claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 646,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 658,000, however. That was better than analysts' expectations.Job cuts are part of the reason for a severe drop-off in miles driven by Americans, a growing number whom no longer commute to work.The Federal Highway Administration said Thursday that motorists logged seven billion fewer miles in January, 3.1 percent less than the same period in 2008.The dour economic news did little to dissuade investors as prices topped $50.47 a barrel, the previous high for 2009.Part of the reason is that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries appears to be pushing through the production cuts it promised to make last year, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements. Member states agreed last year to squeeze global oil supplies, trimming 4.2 million barrels per day. Crude exports from OPEC countries have been shrinking during the past few months. They're expected to drop 770,000 barrels a day in the four weeks leading to April 4, according to an Oil Movements report. While the recession kept oil near five-year lows, tighter supplies in the spring and summer should buoy crude prices in the next three months, the report said. Cameron Hanover analyst Peter Beutel said a new high at closing Thursday, along with OPEC production cuts, the federal stimulus package and other bullish factors are working together to be more important at this moment than the recession and its impact on demand.
It means things are better than they've been in a while, Beutel said.
Also surging were natural gas prices after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles fell slightly more than expected last week. The Energy Information Administration report said inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states fell by 30 billion cubic feet to about 1.65 trillion cubic feet for the week ended March 13. In other Nymex trading, gasoline for April delivery jumped 7.16 cents to settle at $1.4373 a gallon, while heating oil rose 9.2 cents to settle at $1.36 a gallon. Natural gas for April delivery jumped 49 cents to settle at $4.174 per 1,000 cubic feet. In London, Brent prices rose $3.01 to settle at $50.67 on the ICE Futures exchange.Associated Press writers Ernest Scheyder in New York, George Jahn in Vienna, Austria and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
Dublin remains coy over Lisbon referendum date
ANDREW WILLIS 19.03.2009 @ 21:16 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Irish minister for foreign affairs, Micheal Martin, refused on Thursday (19 March) to rule out the possibility of an early referendum on the Lisbon treaty, saying only that the government will stick to the timeline agreed at a summit of EU leaders last December. The government has not formally made a decision on the date of the referendum,he said. Under the December deal, Irish prime minister Brian Cowan agreed to hold a second referendum on the treaty before the term of the current European commission expires in October in exchange for legal guarantees in the sensitive areas of taxation, neutrality and social affairs. It is generally thought the Irish government will hold the referendum in September or October, but Dublin is keeping quiet on details of the date.The Czech EU presidency is currently drafting the guarantees, which need to be agreed by a summer summit of EU leaders on 18-19 June at the latest. Mr Martin denied rumours of a rift between the two governments saying: the relationship with the Czech presidency is going well.
Irish citizens rejected the Lisbon treaty last June by 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent. But recent opinion polls show a swing in favour of the treaty, with a number of Irish politicians arguing in favour of holding a referendum as early as May or June.Mr Martin warned that opinion polls are just opinion polls, adding that the government is not complacent about achieving a Yes vote second time round.He acknowledged that the economic downturn has changed the debate in Ireland and that there is a greater appreciation of the benefits of EU and eurozone membership. The European Central Bank is underpinning our banking system,he said, explaining that the country would be significantly worse off without the euro. One likely reason for Dublin's reluctance to rule out a referendum before the summer is a desire to keep the No side guessing and deny them a concrete timeline in which to campaign.
Centre-right backs Barroso for second term
HONOR MAHONY 19.03.2009 @ 23:33 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Centre-right politicians in the European Union have backed Jose Manuel Barroso to have a second five-year term as head of the European Commission.A gathering of the European People's Party (EPP), home to both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy's political parties, on Thursday (19 March) agreed to give its political blessing to the Portuguese politician, who has often indicated his interest in a second term.[Mr] Barroso has a broad appeal in all the main political families and is by far the best candidate for this position taking into account his successful term as Commission President and his wide political experience at the national level, said the President of the EPP, Wilfried Martens.The EPP, currently the biggest political family in Europe, said that if it maintains its dominance after the June EU elections, then the commission president should continue to be a centre-right politician.The commission president is chosen by member states, usually a strife-torn process carried out behind closed doors.At the end of last year, EU leaders agreed they would decide on the next commission president at their June summit, shortly after the European elections.For long, Mr Barroso's second term seemed almost a given - he has also received the backing of the UK's centre-left Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy cast doubt on Mr Barroso's chances by refusing to fully endorse him earlier this month, in contrast to previous public backing. He also suggested the commission president should only be decided upon after Ireland re-votes on the Lisbon treaty, set for the autumn.The u-turn is thought to have come about due to Paris' dissatisfaction at the way the commission is dealing with the current economic crisis.Neither Mr Sarkozy or French Prime Minister Francois Fillon attended the EPP meeting on Thursday.For its part, the European Parliament said it is in favour of EU leaders choosing the president in June so it can vote on the nominee in mid July.What counts is that we hold elections on 15 July and that the president reflects the results of the parliamentary elections. Mr Barroso has done a good job,said parliament chief Hans-Gert Poettering on Thursday.The commission's current term formally expires at the end of October.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
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 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.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
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.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Report: Iranian defector tipped Syrian nuke plans By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 5:27 pm ET
GENEVA – An Iranian defector told the West that Iran was financing North Korean moves to transform Syria into a nuclear weapons power, leading to the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a secret reactor, a report said Thursday.The report, written by Hans Ruehle, former chief of the planning staff of the German Defense Ministry, details an Iranian connection and fills in gaps about Israel's Sept. 6, 2007, raid that knocked out Syria's nearly completed Al Kibar reactor.Ali Reza Asghari, a retired general in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and a former deputy defense minister, changed sides in February 2007 and provided considerable information to the West on Iran's own nuclear program, Ruehle said in his article in the Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung.
The biggest surprise, however, was his assertion that Iran was financing a secret nuclear project of Syria and North Korea,he said.No one in the American intelligence scene had heard anything of it. And the Israelis who were immediately informed also were completely unaware.In Washington, however, a U.S. counterproliferation official denied that Iran funded the Syrian site.There is strong reason to believe that only two countries were involved in building the Syrian covert nuclear reactor at Al Kibar — Syria and North Korea,said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ruehle, who did not identify the sources of his information, regularly publishes and comments on security and nuclear proliferation in different European newspapers and broadcasts, and he has held prominent roles in German and NATO institutions.He said U.S. and Israeli intelligence had detected North Korean ship deliveries of construction supplies to Syria that started in 2002, and American satellites spotted the construction as early as 2003.But they regarded the work as nothing unusual, in part because the Syrians had banned radio and telephones from the site and handled communications solely by messengers — medieval but effective,Ruehle said.Intensive investigation followed by U.S. and Israeli intelligence services until Israel sent a 12-man commando unit in two helicopters to the site in August 2007 to take photographs and soil samples, he said.The analysis was conclusive that it was a North Korean-type reactor,a gas graphite model, Ruehle said.Other sources have suggested that the reactor might have been large enough to make about one nuclear weapon's worth of plutonium a year.Just before the Israeli commando raid, a North Korean ship was intercepted en route to Syria with nuclear fuel rods, underscoring the need for fast action, he said.On the morning of Sept. 6, 2007, seven Israeli F-15 fighter bombers took off to the north. They flew along the Mediterranean coast, brushed past Turkey and pressed on into Syria. Fifty kilometers (30 miles) from their target they fired 22 rockets at the three identified objects inside the Kibar complex.The Syrians were completely surprised. By the time their air defense systems were ready, the Israeli planes were well out of range. The mission was successful, the reactor destroyed,Ruehle said.
Israel estimates that Iran had paid North Korea between $1 billion and $2 billion for the project, Ruehle said.Israel has refused from the beginning to comment on, confirm or deny the strike, but after a delay of several months Washington presented intelligence purporting to show the target was a reactor being built with North Korean help.Iranian officials were not available for comment Thursday because of a national holiday. In general, Iran has been silent about the Syrian facility bombed by Israel. Syrian officials could not be reached for comment. But Syria has denied the facility was a nuclear plant, saying it was an unused military building. It also has denied any nuclear cooperation with North Korea or Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this year said U.N. inspectors had found processed uranium traces in samples taken from the site. Syria has suggested the traces came from Israel ordnance used to hit the site, but the IAEA said the composition of the uranium made that unlikely. Israel has denied it was the source of the uranium. Syria has told diplomats that it built a missile facility over the ruins of the site.
Associated Press Writer Pamela Hess in Washington contributed to this report. (This version CORRECTS spelling to Kibar in 2nd graf.)
US makes demands on Palestinian unity government Thu Mar 19, 6:50 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Thursday that Hamas must be committed to non-violence and meet other international demands before Washington can recognize a Palestinian unity government with the radical group's members.The statement referred to the quartet of the United States, United Nations, Russia and the European Union, which have mapped out the conditions for pursuing Palestinian-Israeli peace.The quartet has repeatedly called for Palestinian unity in support of a government committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations,the State Department said.We understand this to be the position of Egypt and of the Arab League as well,the State Department statement said.
However, Hamas rejects the conditions.
The statement came following key talks in Washington this week involving Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Middle East envoy George Mitchell and senior diplomat Jeffrey Feltman.The Egyptian government said Suleiman was in Washington to seek a softer stance on the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, so that it can participate in an internationally-recognized Palestinian unity government.However, the State Department statement poured cold water on the idea.Media reports that Mr. Suleiman was here to press the United States to be more flexible on its position that any unity government must adhere to previous PLO commitments are unfounded,it said.The Palestine Liberation Organization signed agreements that gave birth to the Palestinian Authority, the US-backed group with which Israel conducts negotiations.The negotiations in Cairo between the rival Palestinian groups were suspended because of disagreements over setting up a national unity government, but they are due to resume in a few days.
Pope tells Muslims that religion rejects violence By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 3:03 pm ET
YAOUNDE, Cameroon – Religion must reject violence, Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim leaders Thursday before celebrating an open-air Mass in front of thousands and delivering a message of hope for Africa's expanding, vibrant Catholic flock.In Cameroon's capital of Yaounde, a clapping, swaying crowd of 40,000 welcomed Benedict to a sports stadium — his first occasion as pope to be among a great crowd of faithful on the continent that is witnessing the church's biggest growth.In his homily, Benedict expressed compassion for African children being kidnapped and forced to fight by rebel groups trying to carve up parts of Africa.God loves you, he has not forgotten you,he said in a message to these children.Child soldiers have been used by rebels in eastern Congo and by Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. An estimated 3,500 children are still with armed groups in Congo alone.Earlier, the pope met with 22 representatives of Cameroon's sizable Muslim minority and noted that religion is the basis of human civilization. He also returned to one of the key themes of his papacy, saying there is no incompatibility between faith and reason.Genuine religion ... stands at the base of any authentically human culture, he said. It rejects all forms of violence and totalitarianism: not only on principles of faith but also of right reason.
The pope said religion and reason mutually reinforce one another and urged Catholics and Muslims to work together to build a civilization of love.Christians and Muslims largely coexist without problems in Cameroon, unlike in neighboring Nigeria, where religious strife has often exploded into violence.May the enthusiastic cooperation of Muslims, Catholics and other Christians in Cameroon be a beacon to other African nations of the enormous potential of an inter-religious commitment to peace, justice and the common good,Benedict said.The pope has often spoken of the need for religion to shun violence, but has refrained from pointing any finger at specific faiths since a 2006 speech in which he linked Islam to violence.After an angry reaction from the Islamic world, Benedict expressed regret for any offense caused by his remarks and has since met several times with Muslim leaders from several countries. He is scheduled to visit a mosque in Jordan next month.Thursday's meeting with Muslims at the Apostolic Nunciature, where Benedict has been staying on his first African pilgrimage as pope, was closed to the press.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the atmosphere was cordial and friendly and that the Muslim representatives issued a warm greeting to the pope.Muslims make up about 22 percent of Cameroon's population, Catholics and Animists account for 27 percent each and Protestants make up 18 percent of the West African nation's people.
Benedict arrived in Amadou Ahidjo stadium for Mass in a bulletproof, glass-topped popemobile and was driven all around the running track, bringing the huge crowd to its feet. Thousands more ringed the stadium outside.The crowd inside clapped and swayed to traditional music and songs. Many wore flowing robes with writing in French that celebrated the pope's visit. Some young people wore jerseys of the European clubs where some of Cameroon's soccer heroes play.In his homily, Benedict urged Africans to hope against all hope for their future, to reject materialism and to hold onto traditional values. The pope drew loud cheers when his speech turned to orphans, poor and abused children and to those forced to join paramilitary forces that are terrorizing some countries.The Vatican later released a document suggesting that Christians in Africa can be agents of change to fight problems ranging from corruption to the thirst for power. The document also said outside forces in complicity with Africans were fueling wars to sell arms and exploit the continent's natural resources. Since stepping off the papal plane Tuesday, attention to Benedict's pilgrimage has been largely focused on the Vatican's refusal to advocate condoms as a way to help stop the spread of AIDS, which is ravaging Africa in a pandemic that affects millions. Benedict's declaration on the plane that distributing condoms increases the AIDS problem has drawn international criticism from governments and organizations that fight the disease.In one of his appearances Thursday, Benedict visited a center for the sick and infirm to express his compassion for those suffering from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The pope did not mention the Vatican stance against condoms.
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.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city,(JERUSALEM) and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.(200 MILES) (THE SIZE OF ISRAEL)
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.
2ND WAVE CHINA AND KINGS OF THE EAST MARCH TO ISRAEL
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THIS IS THE ATATURK DAM IN TURKEY,THEY CROSS OVER).
DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) 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)
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(IRAQ-SYRIA)
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
NKorea may launch several missiles: US general by Dan De Luce MAR 19,09
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US military is prepared for the possibility that North Korea may launch several missiles to coincide with its scheduled rocket launch next month, a US general has said.When the North Korean regime last tried to test a long-range missile in 2006, at about the same time they also launched six other missiles,said General Walter Sharp, commander of US forces in South Korea, on Thursday.And we are watching very closely to see what else they will do between the fourth and the eighth April, and that we're prepared for that,Sharp told a Senate hearing, referring to the scheduled North Korean rocket launch.His comments came amid growing tension on the Korean peninsula as the Pyongyang regime presses ahead with plans to launch a communications satellite that Washington and its allies suspect is likely a test of a long-range ballistic missile.Echoing previous comments by top military officers, Sharp and the commander for the Pacific region, Admiral Timothy Keating, said they were confident that any North Korean missile threatening US targets could be shot down with anti-missile weaponry.Asked by Senator Joe Lieberman what the probability was of shooting down a ballistic missile aimed at the United States, Keating said: We have a high probability, senator.North Korea has resisted pressure to call off the launch and warned that any attempt to shoot it down would be regarded as an act of war.Japan, which has been developing a missile defense system with the United States, has warned it is considering re-positioning land- and sea-based interceptor missiles, ready to shoot down any missile headed for its territory.The US military commanders said that they had enough missile defense weapons, including Patriot missiles, to defend against the potential North Korean threat but said they could use more.
Pyongyang had more than 800 missiles and the United States had 64 Patriot missiles on the Korean peninsula, while South Korea had just purchased an additional 24 Patriots, Sharp said.Could we use more? Yes,he said.The general added that the military was working to ensure the Patriot missiles were positioned to be able to defend our most critical war-fighting assets.But it does leave other areas uncovered, and we could -- both we and the Republic of Korea -- could use more, and we're working hard at that.
It remained unclear whether North Korea was planning to launch a ballistic missile or a satellite, Keating told the Senate Armed Services Committee.I don't believe the intelligence community has information that would specifically rule out either option. It is a missile body that could be used for either,the admiral said.North Korea state media said Friday the national parliament will convene one day after the period set aside for the rocket launch. It is set to re-elect leader Kim Jong-Il to his post as chairman of the National Defense Commission, the country's most powerful body.North Korea scheduled its 1998 missile launch for five days before the new assembly convened, in an apparent attempt to extract the maximum political mileage from the event.
China may up patrols amid South China Sea disputes By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 19, 2:50 am ET
BEIJING – China plans to boost patrols in the South China Sea to deal with the growing threat of illegal fishing and sharpening territorial disputes, a Chinese official was quoted as saying by state media Thursday.The report in the China Daily newspaper follows China's dispatch last week of a converted naval vessel to patrol fishing grounds surrounding the disputed Paracel Islands, about 400 miles (640 kilometers) south of Hong Kong.Fisheries department director Wu Zhuang was quoted as saying that additional patrols were needed to handle new challenges and complications in overseeing the 1.16 million square miles (3 million square kilometers) of ocean China claims in the South China Sea.Faced with a growing amount of illegal fishing and other countries' unfounded territorial claims of islands ... it has become necessary to step up the fishery administration's patrols to protect China's rights and interests,Wu said.Last week's dispatch of the converted naval vessel China Yuzheng 311 was given unusually heavy coverage in Chinese media, an apparent high-profile response to reassertions of sovereignty claims to islands in the area by the Philippines and Malaysia, two of the six nations that say all or some of the South China Sea archipelagos belong to them.That also followed a confrontation between a U.S. Navy survey vessel and Chinese boats earlier this month about 75 miles (120 miles) off China's southern island province of Hainan, in which the U.S. boat said it was harassed, threatened, and its way blocked by a pair of Chinese-flagged fishing trawlers.
The sides traded diplomatic protests over the scrape, with the U.S. saying it was within its rights and China claiming the American boat was operating illegally within its exclusive economic zone.Wu was quoted as saying that additional boats would be added to the fisheries administration fleet, possibly including converted naval vessels as well as newly built vessels.An administration staffer who answered the phone at Wu's office said the director was not accepting interviews. The man, who like many Chinese bureaucrats identified himself only by his surname, Zhu, said he could not confirm the China Daily report and had no knowledge of any plans to boost patrols.Territorial conflicts in the South China Sea have occasionally broken out into armed confrontation, although China and the other claimants have sought to resolve differences peacefully under a 2002 code of conduct.Along with rich fishing grounds, the area is believed to have large oil and natural gas reserves. Island groups also straddle busy sea lanes that are a crucial conduit for oil and other resources fueling China's fast-expanding economy.Last week, China protested a new Philippine law affirming sovereignty over parts of two island groups, the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal. Beijing said it has indisputable sovereignty over the territories and called the Philippine claim illegal and invalid.Chinese state media also took notice of a recent visit by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to the region's disputed Swallow Reef to demonstrate Malaysian sovereignty over it, although there has been no formal response from Beijing.Brunei, China, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim territory in the South China Sea.
IS AMERICA ALREADY A POLICE STATE
Is America Already a Police State?
Nathan Coe GNN March 20, 2009
After writing two recent articles covering the emerging global revolt, neither of which examined the coinciding emergence and growth of the global police state, particularly in America, I felt it was necessary to briefly evaluate the elite’s repressive response to the coming insurrection of their long-coveted slaves. This article will focus on the developing police state in the United States. An analysis of international police state developments is beyond the scope of this article and a subject deserving another article of its own, if not an entire series.
In the last eight years we have seen a slew of police state legislation, to the point that it has often been hard to keep up. By now, most take the Department of Homeland Security for granted, but the implications of its emergence should not be ignored. We’ve all, of course, heard of the PATRIOT Act, though by now it is in the back of our minds, having been normalized in the discourse of the mainstream, corporate media. A few remember the continuity of government measures implemented during 9/11 (though few are aware that they were never revoked and instead left in place indefinitely). Many haven’t forgotten the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003. Still, many Americans have lost track of the legislative developments, or assumed that the end of the Bush era meant the end of the era of police state preparations, which it obviously did not.With many controversial PATRIOT Act provisions set to expire later this year, conservative GOP members of the House are mobilizing to reauthorize them.
You Can Be Declared An Enemy Combatant
Where to start? There’s the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, which grants the president the power to identify American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants and detain them indefinitely without charge, as Heather Wokusch reports. The vague criteria for being labeled an enemy combatant (taking part in hostilities against the United States) don’t help either,writes Wokusch. Senator Patrick Leahy called the legislation flagrantly unconstitutional.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country and to imprison people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.According to the ACLU’s MCA fact sheet:This law removes the Constitutional due process right of habeas corpus for persons the president designates as unlawful enemy combatants. It allows our government to continue to hold hundreds of prisoners more than four years without charges, with no end in sight.
Perhaps more disturbing still is The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007(H.R. 1955). As Jessica Lee reports for The Indypendent,Many observers fear that the proposed law will be used against U.S.-based groups engaged in legal but unpopular political activism, ranging from political Islamists to animal-rights and environmental campaigners to radical right-wing organizations. There is concern, too, that the bill will undermine academic integrity and is the latest salvo in a decade-long government grab for power at the expense of civil liberties.
Scott Thill reports for AlterNet:
H.R. 1955 defines homegrown terrorism and violent radicalization nebulously; the former is merely the use, planned use or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives,while the latter means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious or social change.Ideologically based violence, in turn, is defined as the use, planned use or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious or social beliefs.Sounds fair enough, until you start crunching the language and come to the realization that practically anyone, on any given day, could fit the description. Which is vague on purpose, as one realizes the farther one digs.
Detention Facilities & the Rapid Development of New Programs
These developments are particularly disturbing when taken in the context of the detention facilities being constructed in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who contracted Halliburton subsidiary KBR for the job. These detention facilities are being created under the auspices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) component of DHS. The two expressed intents for these new camps is to deal with an immigration crisis, and to house domestic terrorists and their supporters. This must be understood within the context of the Mayday 2006 immigrant uprising as well as the Green Scare, in which earth and animal liberation activists are being defined as, and charged as, domestic terrorists.As Peter Dale Scott reports for The Center for Research on Globalization:For those who follow covert government operations abroad and at home, the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 readiness exercise in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary refugees, in the context of uncontrolled population movements over the Mexican border into the United States. North’s activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters,says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of its activities in Vietnam. They’ve already done this on a smaller scale, with the special registration detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.
Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for suspension of the Constitution and declaration of martial law. The martial law portions of the plan were outlined in a memo by Giuffrida’s deputy, John Brinkerhoff.
In 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 188, one of a series of directives that authorized continued planning for COG by a private parallel government.Scott also writes that the contract calls for preparing for an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs in the event of other emergencies, such as a natural disaster.The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when.Just exactly does the rapid development of new programs mean? What sort of new programs? These detention facilities also fit into ICE’s Operation Endgame, for which other detention facilities exist, such as the Northwest Detention Center, run by the GEO Group. As one anti-ICE activist wrote:ICE has regional detention centers around the country (and in Cuba) and contracts the maintenance of the detention facilities with prison and detention corporations. The largest of such corporations are GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America. GEO Group runs the infamous Guantanamo Bay. Wells Fargo is one of GEO Group’s largest shareholders. Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Cheney’s Halliburton, also has ties to GEO Group. These for-profit companies, with dozens of facilities around the world, benefit from tearing apart families and locking up people. The more individuals in a detention center, the more profits for the corporation.Under ICE, the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) is executing Operation Endgame, a plan to round up and deport all undocumented people (12 million people) by 2012.
On top of these developments, Michel Chossudovsky of The Center for Research on Globalization recently reported that a bill entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress in January. It calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations.He continues:The stated purpose of the national emergency centers is to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster.In actuality, what we are dealing with are FEMA internment camps. HR 645 states that the camps can be used to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.There has been virtually no press coverage of HR 645. These civilian facilities on US military bases are to be established in cooperation with the US Military. Modeled on Guantanamo, what we are dealing with is the militarization of FEMA internment facilities. Once a person is arrested and interned in a FEMA camp located on a military base, that person would in all likelihood, under a national emergency, fall under the de facto jurisdiction of the Military: civilian justice and law enforcement including habeas corpus would no longer apply. HR 645 bears a direct relationship to the economic crisis and the likelihood of mass protests across America. It constitutes a further move to militarize civilian law enforcement, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act.The proposed internment camps should be seen in relation to the broader process of militarization of civilian institutions. The construction of internment camps predates the introduction of HR 645 (Establishment of Emergency Centers) in January 2009. There are, according to various (unconfirmed) reports, some 800 FEMA prison camps in different regions of the U.S. Moreover, since the 1980s, the US military has developed tactics, techniques and procedures to suppress civilian dissent, to be used in the eventuality of mass protests (United States Army Field Manual 19-15 under Operation Garden Plot, entitled Civil Disturbances was issued in 1985).
Domestic Troop Deployments, Civil Unrest, & Obama’s Police State
The Bush era is over, officially, but many mistakenly believe that Bush-era police state activity is as well, which is it not (nor did it begin with Bush in the first place). Many of the actions undertaken by George W. Bush to empower himself and the police state remain active tools in the Obama administration, and how Obama himself will approach them remains to be seen. Many remain hopeful, yet at least as many are disillusioned by the actions of Obama thus far, and no longer cling to a messianic view our new president. But as a wise man once said, you don’t stab someone with a nine-inch blade, pull it out three inches, and call it progress (or in this case, hope and change).Even as the glorious age of Obama and the thousand years of peace it will bring unfolds before us like a lotus flower made of rainbow starlight, new blossoms of repression continue to emerge from the decomposing muck of the Bush administration. As Marjorie Cohn reports, newly revealed Bush-era memos reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the president with power to override the Constitution. She continues:The memos provide legal rationales for the president to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of US citizens; lock up US citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state.Memos and legislation aside, one of the more disturbing developments in the emerging and already present American police state is the deployment of troops, as of October 1st of last year, on American soil, with the expressed purpose of quelling domestic revolt. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which is now deployed within the United States, has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle,according to Gina Cavallaro of the Army Times.As the Army Times initially reported, this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
As Bill Van Auken reports, for the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest.Spencer S. Hsu and Ann Scott Tyson of The Washington Post report that the U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 under the guise of assisting state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.
Bill Van Auken writes:
In the 2007 Pentagon spending bill it inserted a measure to amend the Posse Comitatus Act to clear the way for the domestic deployment of the military in the event of natural disaster, terrorist attack or other conditions in which the president determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.The provision granted the president sweeping new powers to impose martial law by declaring a public emergency for virtually any reason, allowing him to deploy troops anywhere in the US and to take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of state governors in order to suppress public disorder.The provision was subsequently repealed by Congress as part of the 2008 military appropriations legislation, but the intent remains. Given the sweeping powers claimed by the White House in the name of the commander in chief in a global war on terror—powers to suspend habeas corpus, carry out wholesale domestic spying and conduct torture—there is no reason to believe it would respect legal restrictions against the use of military force at home.Not only are these domestically deployed troops being trained in the use of crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them and may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control, but according to the Army Times, they are also working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.In other words, the Army is now in the clear-cutting business! The ACLU has demanded information from the U.S. government regarding reports that an active military unit has been deployed inside the U.S. to help with civil unrest and crowd control – matters traditionally handled by civilian authorities,filing a FOIA request.
Then, on top of these domestic deployments, there is the report entitled Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development from the U.S. War College’s Strategic Studies Institute. As Jim Meyers of Newsmax.com reports, the report discusses the use of American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening economic crisis and warns that the U.S. military must prepare for a violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States that could be provoked by unforeseen economic collapse or loss of functioning political and legal order.John Crudele reports for the New York Post that the Pentagon is ready to handle unforeseen economic collapse and the rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US.Mike Sunnucks reports for the Phoenix Business Journal that the new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.Nathan Freier, recently retired Army lieutenant colonel, War College professor, and author of the report, writes:Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order … An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home.
DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.As Jim Meyers reports, the 130-year-old Posse Comitatus Act restricts the military’s role in domestic law enforcement. But a 1994 Defense Department Directive allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage.
This is the Endgame
Even the elite are on edge. Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has warned of riots within the United States. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has also warned of riots and unrest.Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: Letters of Warning to a Young Patriot, and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries, has identified a series of key steps would-be dictators take to close down a more or less open society, a blueprint for turning representative republics into outright fascist dictatorships. These steps were present in the development every fascist state in modern history, and every society that displayed all of them eventually became a fascist dictatorship. All are now present in America.
No discussion of the emerging American police state would be complete without a mention of last year’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The RNC 8 are being charged with Conspiracy to Riot in the Furtherance of Terrorism, and are literally being held accountable for the actions of other individuals. For more on the conventions, check out the documentaries Ground Noise & Static and Terrorizing Dissent, both available online.Recent years have also seen the emergence of the Green Scare, targeting earth and animal liberationists and labeling them as terrorists under such draconian legislation as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). While environmental activists are receiving higher sentences than al Qaeda operatives, the FBI also arrested four animal rights activists on terrorism charges under AETA, for chalking, leafleting, and wearing masks while protesting. More recently, the feds arrested 2 animal rights activists in Utah and are charging them as terrorists under AETA for releasing mink. The industries of exploitation, in other words, are actively co-conspiring with the government to create legislation designed to maintain the status quo and protect their right to exploit and torture animals for profit.Even MTV ran warnings of the impending police state, and it appears that YouTube has censored and removed them. I was able to find one version still on YouTube that has not (yet) been removed:That corporate pimps and whores like MTV are warning of such things, and that YouTube is censoring it, speaks to the gravity of the situation. The elite are fracturing and factionalizing.Taken all together, these developments point towards the presence and continual emergence of an American police state. But this is only the United States. All over the world, similar developments are taking place. In virtually all developed countries, the surveillance state is steadily on the rise. In America, there is also the North American Union (NAU) and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), which aim to establish a common market and dissolve trade and security barriers (as opposed to the free movement of human beings) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Stephen Lendman describes the SPP as a tri-national agreement, below the radar, for greater economic, political, and security integration with secret business and government working groups devising binding policies with no public knowledge or legislative debate.In short,he continues,it’s a military-backed corporate coup d’etat against the sovereignty of three nations, their populations and legislative bodies. It’s a dagger through the heart of democratic freedom in all three, yet the public is largely unaware of what’s happening.We would be mistaken to believe that these tendencies towards fascism are the result of specific individuals and administrations, just as we would be mistaken to believe that the State will ever sanction any form of dissent and resistance that truly threatens their status quo. The exigencies of centralized authority and power are systemic, rather than personal. The beauty of Obama is that the higher people put their hopes in him, the greater will be their ultimate feeling of betrayal and disappointment. This, perhaps, will spur the populous towards true direct action and self-liberation.
It Is Time
To answer the question posited in the title of this article: my conclusion is that—considering the developments reviewed in this article—yes, America is already a police state. For now, it remains one that prefers to pacify the population through the use of coerced consent and propaganda, but it will remain so only so long as the populous allows themselves to continue to be enslaved and exploited, their land bases destroyed for the profit of the few. In the end, they will resort to killing us. Mark my words. They have done it in the past, and they continue to do it elsewhere today. Soon, they will do it in America.As the global resistance continues to unfold, so will the repressive responses of the State apparatus. We can expect escalated attacks against our communities of resistance as we escalate our revolt against this culture of death and destruction.We must develop relationships based upon affinity and communities capable of withstanding the onslaught of the repressive mechanisms of the State and transnational capital. We must develop the networks and connections necessary to survive the endgame of the elite’s psychotic obsession with total authority, power, and control. We must free ourselves from the mechanisms of dependency that keep us suckling at the teat of systemic global ecocide. We must establish autonomous communities of active resistance and stand in firm defiance against the destruction of our world and the precariousness of our lives. The best time was yesterday. The second best time is now.