Saturday, February 06, 2010
NOTICE NOW SINCE THE 2ND STIMULUS VOTE IS COMING UP NEXT WEEK IN AMERICA.THE STOCK MARKET SUDDENLY FALLS 200 POINTS.TALK OF THE EU AND THE EURO COLLAPSING IS RAMPANT.TALKS OF TERRORIST ATTACKS AT THE SUPER BOWL AND ALL OVER AMERICA HEAT UP.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER BANKERS ARE READY TO STEP IN AND SAVE YOU AND THE WORLD FROM DISASTER AGAIN. THESES SO CALLED STIMULUS GREEDY SAVIOURS HAVE COST US $28 TRILLION DOLLARS SO FAR.WHATS ANOTHER $50 TRILLION DOLLARS TO THESE ROBBERS WHILE THE COMMON FOLKS PAY EVERY TAX AND LOSE EVERY RIGHT AND EVERYTHING THEY OWN TO THESE SAVIOR STIMULUS PACKAGE BANKERS WHO BUY UP THE WORLDS PROPERTY.WE ARE ALL BEING SCAMMED AGAIN,REALISE THIS EVERYONE ON EARTH,THIS STIMULUS WILL JUST HOLD OFF THE GREAT COLLAPSE TO COME FOR ANOTHER YEAR OR SO.ITS GONNA HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT.INFLATION,DEPRESSION,THEN THE WORLD COLLAPSE AND A NEW MICROCHIP IMPLANT SYSTEM BROUGHT TOGETHER BY THE EUROPEAN UNION. THE LAWLESS GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD DICTATORSHIPS ARE IN FULL GEAR NOW.
THE YEAR OF TRANSITION-JOHN LOEFFLER
THE EU IMPASSE
BAT YE’OR: NEW EURO-ARAB JUDEOPHOBIA BEARS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WEST WITHIN ITSELF
THIS IS ACT FOR AMERICA - BRIGITTE GABRIEL
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.
Powerful blizzard delivers punch to capital by Carlos Hamann - FEB 6,10
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A blizzard packing strong winds and heavy snowfall pounded the capital and surrounding areas Saturday, killing at least two people and paralyzing parts of the region.The National Weather Service (NWS) put the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area under a rare 24-hour blizzard warning until 10:00 pm Saturday (0300 GMT Sunday).The storm, dubbed Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon by many locals, stretched from Indiana to Pennsylvania and into parts of New York and North Carolina, creating treacherous travel conditions, shutting Washington area airports and leading several states to declare emergencies.The inclement weather was deemed responsible for at least two fatalities -- a father and son who were hit by a tractor-trailer on a road in Virginia when they stopped to help a stranded motorist, local media reported.Forecasters said the Washington region would be hardest-hit, describing travel conditions in the area as hazardous and life-threatening.The NWS forecast up to 30 inches (76 centimeters) of snow in the capital region, which would shatter Washington's 88-year-old record snowfall of 28 inches, in the Great Knickerbocker Storm.
That blizzard, which slammed the region in January 1922 got its name from the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre in Washington which killed nearly 100 people.
The blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions, which includes falling and blowing snow with strong winds... that will lead to whiteout conditions, the NWS said.President Barack Obama, who lived in snowy Chicago for years, mocked Washington-area schools last year for closing due to a few inches of snow and ice.Folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things when it comes to the weather,the newly-sworn in president said at the time.
On Friday he had changed his tune.Even a transplanted Hawaiian to Chicago has sufficient respect for a forecast of up to two feet of snow, said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.By dawn Saturday, about a foot (30 centimeters) of snow was already on the ground, meteorologists said, and the storm showed no signed of abating.All flights were canceled for Saturday at Reagan National Airport, and most planes were grounded at Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International Airports, although all three area airports formally remained open.Late Friday, the national capital was left without bus service as the metropolitan transit authority deemed the roadways impassable.The metro shut down 40 above ground stations, with Metro Acting Deputy General Manager Dave Kubicek saying the service was fast-reaching the point where we risk trains becoming stranded on snow-covered tracks.
The measures effectively meant that Washington's outlying suburbs have been left without public transportation.Most of the inter-urban train service was also canceled. The governors of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware declared states of emergency, a move that puts the National Guard on alert. The National Guard has more than 100 Humvees and five-ton trucks and military ambulances ready to respond" in Maryland, Governor Martin O'Malley said. Nearly 28,000 power outages were reported in the area, electricity companies said. In nearby Delaware, Governor Jack Markell ordered all vehicles off the roads starting at 10:00 pm (0300 GMT Saturday). Until further notice, the emergency declaration allows only emergency vehicles and essential personnel on the roads,a statement from Markell's office said. Desperate last-minute shoppers besieged supermarkets Friday to stock up on provisions, as official warnings blared on radio and television, urging residents to be prepared to stay inside for up to five days. By the early afternoon the normally vibrant Washington was close to a ghost town, with federal employees scurrying home on public transportation. Courts, schools, government offices, even military bases closed early to beat the storm which started to dump snow on the capital and its suburbs by mid-day. Jane Bate, 41, who emigrated to the United States from the Philippines in March, headed out to a local supermarket early Friday after neighbors warned her to prepare for the worst. I got there at 7:00 am and there were really long queues, and the place looked like it had been ransacked,she told AFP.
Snow piles up, paralyzing nation's capital By NAFEESA SYEED, Associated Press Writer – SAT FEB 6,10
WASHINGTON – A blizzard battered the Mid-Atlantic region on Saturday, quickly dumping large amounts of snow on that piled up on roadways and toppled trees onto apartment buildings and cars.Officials urged people to huddle at home for the weekend, out of the way of crews trying to keep up with a storm that forecasters said could be the biggest for the nation's capital in modern history. A father and son were killed in Virginia when a tractor-trailer struck and killed them after they stopped to help another driver.A record 2 1/2 feet or more was predicted for Washington. As of early Saturday, 10 inches of snow was reported at the White House, while parts of Maryland and West Virginia were buried under more than 20 inches. Forecasters expected snowfall rates to increase, up to 2 inches per hours through Saturday morning.Blizzard warnings were issued for the District of Columbia, Baltimore, parts of New Jersey and Delaware and some areas west of the Chesapeake Bay.Things are fairly manageable, but trees are starting to come down, said D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer, whose agency responded to some of the falling trees. No injuries were reported.
Airlines canceled flights, churches called off weekend services and people wondered if they would be stuck at home for several days in a region ill-equipped to deal with so much snow.D.C. traditionally panics when it comes to snow. This time, it may be more justifiable than most times, said Becky Shipp, who was power-walking in Arlington, Va., Friday.I am trying to get a walk in before I am stuck with just the exercise machine in my condo.The region's second snowstorm in less than two months brought heavy, wet snow and strong winds.Several thousand people in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania had lost electricity and more outages were expected as the snow began to bring down power lines. A hospital fire in D.C. sent about three dozen patients scurrying from their rooms to safety in a basement. The blaze started when a snow plow truck caught fire near the building.Authorities blamed the storm for hundreds of accidents. Some area hospitals asked people with four-wheel-drive vehicles to volunteer to pick up doctors and nurses to take them to work.The country band Rascal Flats postponed a concert Saturday in Ohio, but the Atlanta Thrashers-Washington Capitals NHL game went on as planned, and the Capitals extended their team-record winning streak at 13.In Dover, Del., Shanita Foster left a Dollar General store lugging three gallons of water.
That's all we need right now; we've got everything else,said Foster, adding that she was ready with candles in case the power went out.Shoppers jammed aisles and emptied stores of milk, bread, shovels, driveway salt and other supplies. Many scrambling for food and supplies were too late.Our shelves are bare, said Food Lion front-end manager Darlene Baboo in Dover. This is just unreal.Metro, the Washington-area transit system, closed all but the underground rail service and suspended buses in the area that heavily relies on both. Maryland's public transportation also shut down Saturday, including Baltimore's Metro. Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman Jawauna Greene said the underground portion of the Metro could reopen later Saturday but it depended on the weather conditions.We have trees on the overhead wires, trees on train tracks. We can't get anything out, she said.Across the region, transportation officials deployed thousands of trucks and crews and had hundreds of thousands of tons of salt at the ready. Several states exhausted or expected to exhaust their snow removal budgets. Maryland budgeted about $60 million, and had already spent about $50 million, Gov. Martin O'Malley said. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has been in office less than a month, declared his second snow emergency, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments. As of early Saturday, some parts of Virginia had already seen more than 18 inches of snow.
The snow comes less than two months after a Dec. 19 storm dumped more than 16 inches on Washington. Snowfalls of this magnitude — let alone two in one season — are rare in the area. According to the National Weather Service, Washington has gotten more than a foot of snow only 13 times since 1870. The heaviest on record was 28 inches in January 1922. The biggest snowfall for the Washington-Baltimore area is believed to have been in 1772, before official records were kept, when as much as 3 feet fell, which George Washington and Thomas Jefferson penned in their diaries. In Washington, tourists made the best of it Friday, spending their days in museums or venturing out to see the monuments before the snow got too heavy. A group of 13 high school students from Cincinnati was stranded in D.C. when a student government conference they planned to attend was canceled — after they had already arrived. So they went sightseeing. At the Smithsonian's Natural History museum, Caitlin Lavon, 18, and Hannah Koch, 17, took pictures of each other with the jaws of a great white shark in the Ocean Hall. Our parents are all freaking out, sending texts to be careful,Koch said.Being from Ohio, I don't think I've ever seen that much snow at once.Associated Press writers Brett Zongker and Sarah Karush in Washington, Kathleen Miller in Falls Church, Va., David Dishneau in Chantilly, Va., Ben Nuckols in Hanover, Md., Randall Chase in Dover, Del., and Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Va., 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.(TR 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).
BIO HERMAN VAN ROMPUY
ANALYSIS-Disunity, economic woes dog EU image drive 2010-02-05 14:16:25 GMT (Reuters) By Timothy Heritage
BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The European Union's efforts to improve its global image are looking increasingly unconvincing as it struggles to contain a debt crisis in Greece and put down talk that its 16-nation euro currency bloc could break up.When the last of the EU's 27 member states finally accepted the Lisbon reform treaty last year after nearly a decade of disputes and hesitation, EU leaders hailed the start of a bright new era for the world's biggest trading bloc.But two months after the treaty came into force, the EU is dogged by rivalry among member states, differences over economic policy, confusion over who does what and criticism that it has left economic problems to fester for too long.Policymakers in the 16 countries that use the euro are struggling to convince markets about the stability of their euro zone because of fears that other debt-ridden countries such as Spain and Portugal could follow Greece into severe trouble.There has been a lot of rhetoric about the 'European project' (to strengthen the EU) but to a large extent governments have had their heads in the sand and not addressed the tough underlying problems,Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think tank in London, said.There is an insularity and provincialism which is very worrying.The Lisbon treaty creates a full-time president, enhances the role of EU foreign policy chief and hands the European Parliament more power. It is also meant to ease decision-making and strengthen the bloc's global role. But battles for influence continue and Spain has upset some states by seeking the lead as holder of the separate, rotating EU presidency, an organisational role that is held for six months by each country but has less visibility under the treaty.
FEARS OVER EURO AREA
A perceived lack of unity over how to solve Greece's debt problems and prevent them spreading to other countries in the euro area has contributed to the concerns of investors worried about a sovereign default. The euro has hit its lowest level against the dollar since May 2009. Now we are in a (difficult) situation and it is quite clear they don't have a plan for dealing with it,said Juergen Michels, an economist at Citigroup in London.Analysts no longer discount the possibility that a smaller member of the currency bloc such as Greece could be pushed out, though most believe monetary union will survive.Such fears prompted Ewald Nowotny, a member of the European Central Bank's Governing Council, on Friday to dismiss suggestions that the euro zone might break up as absurd. The stakes are high, not only because the fiscal problems could spread, but because the credibility of European economic policymakers is at stake.This is much more than an issue about problems in the periphery. It is a test case of the ability of the (European) Commission and Eurogroup (of finance ministers) to impose the essential fiscal discipline needed to underpin EMU (European monetary union),BNP Paribas said in a research note on Friday.
The EU's credibility problems stretch far beyond its difficulties convincing markets it can solve its economic woes.It suffered a deep blow to its prestige this week when Washington announced that President Barack Obama would not attend an EU-U.S. summit in Madrid in May, and indicated that confusion over who represents the EU at meetings under the Lisbon treaty had been a factor in the decision.This was a bitter disappointment for Spain and the bloc, which represents more than 500 million people, particularly so soon after the EU's pride was hurt at international climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.Although the final deal in Copenhagen was largely based on ideas promoted by the EU, Washington did not invite it to last-minute talks with other powers that sealed the deal and it was aggrieved that its more radical proposals were ignored.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
Supporters of the Lisbon treaty say it is just a matter of time before its positive effects are felt.If we want to see movement that brings new gravity to EU institutions, it'll be in one, two or three years, said Ulrike Guerot of the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.There may be light at the end of the tunnel because the European Parliament is expected next week to approve the new European Commission, the EU executive body that has legislative, regulatory and policy-making powers. The Commission's ability to launch major initiatives has been frozen since November because of delays in confirming it in office, caused largely by obstacles to securing Czech approval for the Lisbon treaty and a long wait for Ireland to back it.But new problems are also emerging. The European Parliament has shown it is ready to flex its muscles under the new treaty, which increases its responsibility for shaping legislation, and this could hold up or water down Commission initiatives.A battle is already looming over plans to create banking watchdogs because some parliamentarians are challenging a deal between Britain and other finance ministers. Tightening financial regulation after the global economic crisis is an EU priority and any delay or failure to do so would deeply undermine the EU's reputation. (Additional reporting by Noah Barkin in Berlin; editing by Dale Hudson)
EU: Rompuying along - ANGLO-SAXON EURO SCEPTICS THE MAIN SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM FEB 5,10
Three headaches obsess Brussels at this moment ( say Eurosceptics) . First comes the spectre of a euro-area crisis. Senior figures say it is a question of when not if external aid is sent to prevent cash-strapped Greece from defaulting on its debts. Second : Under the Lisbon treaty summits are meant to take place in Brussels, hosted by the new permanent president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. But Spain, which holds the rotating EU presidency until June 30th, insisted on inviting Mr Obama to Madrid. He has now made clear he is not coming. A third headache is the EU 2020 reform agenda, a ten-year plan to make Europe dynamic by administrative fiat. The 2020 agenda is to be discussed at an informal summit called by Mr Van Rompuy on February 11th. EU leaders hope to build on the rubble of the 2000 Lisbon agenda, whose stated aim was to make the EU the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010 capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion and respect for the environment.It failed.Lisbon failed because lots of Europeans do not want to live in the most dynamic and competitive economy in the world. They prefer to work fewer hours than Americans or Japanese (about 10% fewer, on average), to take long holidays, and to retire as soon as possible. Among EU leaders it is fashionable to predict that the financial crisis will lead to a revolution in European economic governance. Yet that phrase hides a dearth of new ideas, they say.
Note EU-Digest: The Anglo-Saxons Euro-sceptics and their friends in the press just love to bad-mouth the EU, don't they? The most obvious reason Mr. Obama snubbed the EU Summit has probably all to do with Afghanistan, where the Europeans have been reluctant to support the US with additional troops and to help keeping a corrupt local government propped up. If there is a problem today in the EU, the Anglo-Saxon Euro-Sceptics are probably the main cause of it.
The Planning of War Behind Closed Doors-Brussels, London, Istanbul: A Week Of Western War Councils by Rick Rozoff Global Research, February 5, 2010
The defense chiefs of all 28 NATO nations and an undisclosed number of counterparts from non-Alliance partners gathered in Istanbul, Turkey on February 4 to begin two days of meetings focused on the war in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of military forces from Kosovo in the course of transferring control of security operations to the breakaway province's embryonic army (the Kosovo Security Force) and the transformation efforts required to best conduct the full range of NATO’s agreed missions.
Istanbul was the site of the bloc's 2004 summit which accounted for the largest expansion in its 60-year history - seven new Eastern European nations - and its strengthening military partnerships with thirteen Middle Eastern and African nations under the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James Stavridis and the top commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan - soon to reach over 150,000 - General Stanley McChrystal are also in attendance, as are European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and United Nations High Representative for Afghanistan Kai Eide as well as the defense and interior ministers of Afghanistan.
The meetings follow by a week the International Conference on Afghanistan held in London, which in turn occurred the day after two days of meetings of the NATO Military Committee with the Chiefs of Defense of the military bloc's 28 member states and 35 more from what were described as Troop Contributing Nations; presumably NATO partner nations with troops stationed in the Afghan war theater. In all, the military chiefs of 63 countries.The U.S.'s McChrystal was present there also as were Israeli Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Beforehand the bloc's website reported that The various meetings will focus on the progress made in ongoing operations and the New Strategic Concept for NATO. That 35 top military commanders from non-NATO countries were present to hear plans for the escalation of what is already the largest war in the world is understandable, as their forces are on the ground as part of a 50-nation plus force under NATO military command.
That the same conference discussed the bloc's 21st century new global military doctrine - former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright delivered an address on the topic - raises the question of how many of the 35 partner states' military chiefs may have joined their 28 NATO colleagues for that phase of discussions. That such a high percentage of the world's leading military commanders attended a two-day affair which deliberated on both the war in South Asia and the expansion of the world's only military bloc's activities even further outside the Euro-Atlantic area (when it has already conducted operations in four continents) confirms that the Afghan war serves more than one purpose for the West. It is the laboratory for strengthening military ties with nations on every inhabited continent and for building the nucleus of and foundation for a potential future world army.The London conference on Afghanistan, presented in the West as a benign undertaking tantamount to an economic development or humanitarian aid planning event - the conference's website described it as The international community [coming] together to fully align military and civilian resources behind an Afghan-led political strategy - was preceded by two days of meetings between top military commanders of almost a third of the world's nations at NATO headquarters and followed by two days of meetings by NATO and allied defense chiefs this week. Many of the same people - EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton and the UN's Eide (who formerly occupied comparable posts in Bosnia and Kosovo and was Norway's ambassador to NATO from 2002 to 2006) - attended both the London conference and are attending the Istanbul NATO defense ministers conclave.(Ashton's predecessor's Javier Solana was Secretary General of NATO from 1995 to 1999 before becoming the EU's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy - the title slightly adjusted after the Lisbon Treaty - from 1999 until December of 2009, effecting the transition seamlessly.)By way of reciprocity, the London conference was addressed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen who said, inter alia, with more than 85,000 troops from 44 nations deployed to Afghanistan – and with over 39,000 additional forces arriving over the coming weeks and months - the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force remains NATO’s top priority.(4]
If any further evidence was required that the United Nations is at the service of NATO and not vice versa, that the EU is NATO's civilian valet de chambre, and that all three are subordinated to the United States, the last week's events and the roster of attendees at them should suffice.The chain of command begins in Washington and orders barked out there work their way down to Brussels and New York City.The two organizations based in the Belgium capital, the military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America (NATO's self-definition) and the European military superstate (Irish opposition parties' reference to the effects of the Nice and Lisbon treaties), are afflicted with political echolalia, parroting the U.S. position on conflicts armed and with the potential to become so around the world - Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia-Russia, Georgia-Abkhazia, Georgia-South Ossetia, Russia-Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Yemen, Colombia, Myanmar, Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Israel-Lebanon, Lebanon-Syria, Israel-Palestine, Macedonia, Ivory Coast, Djibouti-Eritrea, Transdniester and all those to come - with truly impressive fidelity in this otherwise inconsistent age.
Condemnations, tirades and threats issued by the U.S. secretary of state and ambassador to the United Nations may as well be presented in triplicate.Permanent Security Council members Russia and China may occasionally - all too occasionally - block hostile Western actions against defenseless third parties in the United Nations, but Washington always walks away with a mandate and the final say in the selection of viceroys to complement U.S. and NATO military forces on the ground in subjugated nations.As a recent example, during the second day of the NATO Military Committee meetings in Brussels and the day before the Afghan conference in London, an international conference on Yemen was also held in London which Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for...in response to the failed bomb attack on an airliner over Detroit on December 25.
That bears repeating. The apprehension in the U.S. of a Nigerian national alleged to have been trained in Yemen led the head of state of the United Kingdom to summon representatives of the Group of Eight (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S.), the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Egypt, Jordan - but not the Arab League - Turkey and the European Union, United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund to bolster Yemen's fight against al Qaeda.... Soon 50,000 non-American NATO troops will be bogged down in Afghanistan because the bloc invoked its Article 5 collective defense provision in 2001...to fight against al-Qaeda.Ever-compliant UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lent legitimacy to this American and British charade, as he did the following day's Afghan conference where he delivered a speech in the presence of 28 NATO and perhaps dozens of its International Security Assistance Force non-member states foreign ministers.Yemen has joined the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq as a target for Western assistance and stabilization.NATO will conduct more planning sessions with scores of military chiefs and defense and foreign ministers and not only for the war in Afghanistan.
Its new Strategic Concept knows no geographical bounds.
1) NATO, February 3, 2010
2) NATO, January 25, 2010
3) Afghanistan: The London Conference
5) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 28, 2010
6) Reuters, January 27, 2010
Rick Rozoff is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Rick Rozoff.
Egyptian sources: Israel is preparing to strike Iran from Sea
http://www.debka.com/ FEB 6,10
Arab voices were fanning Middle East war fever Wednesday night, debkafile's military sources report that not only are Syrian leaders beating war drums - Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem said in Damascus: Israelis, do not test the power of Syria since you know the war will move into your cities - but Egyptian military sources have put out information purporting to outline Israel's preparations to strike Iran.
They report that the Israeli Navy together with the US Fifth Fleet have for some weeks been charting Persian Gulf waters and Iranian shorelines in preparation for attacks by Israeli naval and special operations forces.IDF intelligence and special forces officers, they also say, have been marking out routes for their air and ground forces to drive into Iran and hit its nuclear installations.According to these Egyptian sources, Saudi Arabia has demanded clarifications from Washington about reported US-assisted Israeli preparations to strike Iran and asks why they were not brought to the notice of Riyadh and the Gulf Arab governments.The Saudis added that several Gulf intelligence and naval units had tracked Israeli movements and gathered documentary evidence.Some of this information was leaked in Cairo Wednesday night to Shorouk, a publication which Egyptian intelligence often uses as an outlet for information held to be credible.Shorouk was first out with the story of the Israeli Air Force attack on Iranian arms convoys in Sudan in January 2009.
Temple Institute Not Happy With Rockerfeller Rebuilding The Temple Hoax http://www.wnd.com/ FEB 6,10
A Rockefeller is raising capital to rebuild the Jewish Temple, said the news release published on CNN Money's Internet site and other news sources. The plan would include a united Jewish and Palestinian Arab state. A Jewish group promoting the rebuilding of the Temple was reported to be cooperating. The story spread virally through the evangelical Christian blogosphere.
But it was all part of an elaborate hoax.
The release, filed with MarketWire and republished at CNNMoney.com, claims Supriem David Rockefeller is director of a company, Kinti Holdings group, which is working with a Jewish Temple organization to rebuild the Third Temple. States the release: Kinti Holdings will be raising funds to go towards building the Third Temple in Jerusalem in strict coordinance with The Temple Institute, Rabbi Hiam Richman and The Palestinian National Interest Committee (PNIC) and supporting Husam Bajis for President of Palestine.Richman, international director of the Temple Institute, a Jewish Temple activist group, told WND the release is a scam.The Temple Institute strongly protests the use of its name and that of Rabbi Chaim Richman in a series of fraudulent press releases and advertising claims that are now circulating on the Internet,read the Temple Institute's official response to the release. Continued the Institute's response: The claims made by these men ... are false and malicious, and their apparent intentions are to take advantage of the Temple Institute's sincere supporters and rob them of funds. The Temple Institute advises its friends and supporters to avoid being taken in by this scam.The original Rockefeller press release about rebuilding the Third Temple, however, has been spreading like wildfire on Christian websites and blogs.
The release was filed with MarketWire, a leading newswire service. A spokesman for Marketwire did not immediately return a WND request for comment. Is it not uncommon for newswire services to post releases without first fact-checking the content. CNNMoney.com routinely reprints business press releases. The company that filed the release, Kinti Holdings, has a track record of making strange announcements. On Monday, Kinti filed a release using the Rockefeller name and claiming it is seeking a debt/equity swap with any and all national brand name corporations.Another release claimed the company is partnering with Supriem David Rockefeller and his $500 million worth of entertainment business. The release says Rockefeller is a financial magnate with strong ties to the entertainment industry.Yesterday, hours after a WND request for comment on the Third Temple announcement was sent to the sole e-mail address listed for Kinti, the company posted a statement claiming, Kinti is now conducting Due Diligence of a Major National Brand Name Chain concerning debt for equity and will enter into a mandatory quiet period.The management section of Kinti's website states, All of the previous Officers, Directors and Board of Directors have resigned. Richard Byrd has been appointed the new CEO and the only member of the Board of Directors.The company claims to own a mine in Guyana, South America, but doesn't specify where the mine is other than pointing to a Google Earth map. The site posts a picture of what it claims is a mining permit from Guyana.
Who is Supriem David Rockefeller?
As for Supriem David Rockefeller? A spokesman for the Rockefeller Foundation told WND he doesn't exist. A routine web search for the name brings up scores of conspiracy websites claiming, among other things, that Supriem is a secretive 34-year old heir to the Rockefeller dynasty who is fighting for a New World Order. One site says it found Supriem really is a con artist and convicted thief who goes by different names and lives in Williamson County, Tennessee.
Some outlandish claims about Surpiem include:Supriem has DNA from different races, including Anunnaki, Draco Triple Helix, Elohim and more. He has triple helix blue blood in a chimera state with red blood and more than one DNA sequence, which is what chimera is. His triple helix is the reptilian blood.Supriem has a fortune in the trillions and is seeking to finance a high-speed bullet train.Supriem exerts enormous influence over Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Henry Kissinger, who are working on a counter-New World Order.
Rebuilding Third Temple
While the Third Temple press release may be a hoax, the Temple Institute is anything but. The group is involved in restoring a Jewish presence to the Temple Mount, where current Israeli laws bar Jews from ascending the Mount during most hours of the day while Muslims are granted nearly 24-hour access. The Temple Institute also focuses on preparation for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. The group has been preparing ritual objects suitable for Temple use. Many of the more than 90 ritual items to be used in the Temple have been re-made to the highest standards the Temple Institute.
The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries. The Temple was the center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's presence dwelt. All biblical holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and were the main gathering place for Israelites. According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It's believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times.
Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night on a horse from a sacred mosque – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to the farthest mosque and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated with Jerusalem about 120 years ago. According to research by Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded Jerusalem as being holy. Berkovits points out in his new book, How Dreadful Is this Place! that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God. As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula and that in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron.A guide to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem published in 1925 listed the Mount as Jewish and as the site of Solomon's Temple. The Temple Institute acquired a copy of the official 1925 Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif,which states on page 4,Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord.
Analysis: Israel joining the EU? FEB 6,10
When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stood in the Knesset Wednesday and reiterated what he has said repeatedly during his visit here about his dream for Israel’s joining the EU, everyone in the plenum clapped.They clapped even though they know that this will probably never happen, not only because the EU is not all that interested in our membership, but also because we don’t necessarily want to join that club.Yet Berlusconi offers and we clap. We clap even though there is no blueprint for implementation, but simply because of what the offer represents; the symbolism of the gesture.Israel is not, to put it mildly, Europe’s flavor of the month. It is demonized by some (think Swedish press), accused of war crimes by others (think British legal system), and vilified by still others (think Irish politicians).And yet despite it all, here comes the leader of Italy – not a small, insignificant member of the EU – and says from every podium in Israel that you are like us, we want you.For a nation feeling increasingly isolated, those words are refreshing and duly applauded.
But don’t be confused by the applause. Israel is in no great hurry to join the EU. In fact, Israel has never applied to join the EU, an obvious prerequisite for membership.It’s not because no one has ever given this idea any thought. Back in 2002, when Binyamin Netanyahu was finance minister, he visited Berlusconi and asked him to consider including us in the club.The idea sparked the imagination of some in Jerusalem at the time, and papers were prepared on the issue by the Foreign Ministry. The bottom line was that membership at this time would not be in Israel’s best interest because it would be based on the EU’s four freedoms of movement: of people, merchandise, money and services.Israel, considering its rather tricky security considerations, is not about to agree to the free movement of all Europeans in and out of Israel. Not now, not yet.Those papers, however, were rather technical. But there are other issues, some of them more poetic. For instance, after 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people finally won their hard-fought for independence in 1948, gaining a flag, an anthem, and – finally – political sovereignty.Considering that, Israel will not be so willing – at least not in its relative youth – to forfeit any part of that independence to another body, to place its flag under that of another organization. And, that – to a certain extent – is what EU membership would entail.
Membership in the EU would mean that Israel’s foreign policy would have to align itself with the EU’s, as would its industrial, economic and agricultural policies. If the EU said Israeli farmers could only grow a certain type of red pepper, it would only be able to grow a certain type of red pepper.Or, as Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos put it at the Herzliya Conference on Tuesday, Can anyone imagine Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman working under High Representative Catherine Ashton? Ashton is the EU’s new foreign affairs chief.By the same token, it is extremely difficult to imagine that the Europeans would take us into the club as long as the conflict with the Palestinians and the Arabs rages on. One only has to look at the trouble Israel has had trying to get a relatively mild political upgrade in its relations with EU, a process that was grounded following Operation Cast Lead, to imagine what it would be like to actually apply for full-scale membership.It is almost inconceivable to think that the EU would grant Israel membership as long as there was not a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines, including in the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem. And it is equally inconceivable to think Israel would make those withdrawals just to join this club.So Berlusconi’s words are just that – words. They are nice words, they indicate how strongly he feels about us, but the chances of Israel joining the EU at this point are about as good as the chances of Israel becoming, well, America’s 51st state.
Friday, 5 February 2010-Facing up to the reality of antisemitism
Anti-Jewish hate crime in Britain is a growing problem that the liberal left must condemn as readily as any other form of racism
Mark Gardner guardian.co.uk, Friday 5 February 2010 12.30 GMT CST (Community Security Trust) monitors antisemitism on behalf of the British Jewish community. One of our most important roles is the recording of antisemitic incidents, reported to us by British Jews and others.
In recent weeks, CST's staff have undergone intense training from the Home Office's Victim Support Unit, to ensure that our service as first responders to antisemitic hate crime victims is as good as it can be. The training used real case studies, making some of the intricacies of victims' lives and traumas harrowing for us to hear. It served as a profound reminder that a real person is behind every report and statistic we deal with, and that each victim's reactions depend upon their own histories, personalities and environments. The experts stressed that our obligation is to listen properly and make constructive suggestions, but not to tell victims how they should actually feel about what they have suffered.We can apply this learning in a more general sense to the many challenging questions that arise from today's report from CST regarding antisemitic incident levels in the UK. CST recorded over 900 such incidents across Britain during 2009: an increase of 55% from the previous worst year on record, 2006. On both occasions, Jews in Britain and elsewhere around the world suffered a wave of antisemitic attacks, triggered by reactions to conflicts involving Israel.Whatever you think of Israeli politics, attacking local Jews out of anger at Israel is racism. Most Jews support Israel at a basic, emotional level, although many do not. And among Jews who support Israel in a general sense, there is a vast range of opinions on every political issue or government policy. To treat every Jewish person, or synagogue, or organisation as personifying whatever you despise about Israel is to apply the racist idea of collective guilt.
Historically, antisemites have always sought to justify their behaviour on some premise or other. The rest of society can react to this in various ways: to condemn, to turn a blind eye, or to approve and encourage. Presently, far too many anti-racists fail to condemn. Indeed, the attitude displayed by some to Jewish concerns about antisemitism seems to tally with the description of institutional racism in the Macpherson report:The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people.
Anti-racists must condemn anti-Jewish racism as readily as they would any other type of racism. Anything less and they risk fostering the notion, seductive for a dangerous minority, that antisemitism in the name of anti-Israel hatred is somehow a legitimate form of political protest. On previous occasions when we have tried to discuss the issue of antisemitism on this forum, we have been accused of various things. First, that we are part of some global conspiracy to shut down criticism of Israel. Second, that the figures are fake and exaggerated. Third, that even though the figures are lies, they paradoxically prove that the escalation in antisemitic incidents is the fault of Israel and the fault of Jewish representative bodies. Indeed, the fault of everybody but antisemites.In reply, I could offer numerous facts about how CST's statistics and individual reports (minus identifying details of victims) are discussed in detail with academics, criminologists, police analysts, civil servants, ministers and others. I could go through CST's work with the Association of Chief Police Officers in developing the third party reporting system for victims of hate crime throughout the UK. I could cite how we have worked with Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs to help them set up similar groups to our own. To those with an open mind, I would simply ask that you take the time to read CST's report, available at CST's website. This explains the statistics, provides case studies and also shows the standards by which we deem something to be antisemitic rather than anti-Israel, or criminal but not racist. Anybody who reads the full report will find a complex and nuanced picture of hate crimes against British Jews.
One particular drawback of discussing antisemitism is that it risks causing some Jewish people to be afraid to lead the life that they would otherwise choose. Ignoring the problem, however, will not make it go away. Furthermore, understanding and explaining the problem are the cornerstones upon which Jews and others can build strategies and partnerships to combat it.CST provides many physical and political responses to antisemitism. For example, we have installed shatterproof window film at hundreds of Jewish sites across the country. Consequently, in January 2009, whenarsonists tried to burn down a London synagogue in the middle of the night, they were unable to break a window and gain access to the inside of the building, and the damage caused was limited to the outside of the door.It is, however, important that CST's security measures are augmented by the actions and behaviour of others. Within the Jewish community, we should take care not to allow antisemitism to dominate us. This fightback can begin by opposing antisemitism when it occurs, while consciously appreciating and seizing the vast range of religious, cultural, charitable and political options that exist for the expression of Jewish life and identity in Britain today. Do this, and we will see that not only is antisemitism well worth opposing wherever it rears its ugly head, but also that it most certainly does not define the average day in the life of British Jews.Beyond the Jewish community, politicians, police and prosecutors are increasingly alive to the problem and what it says about the state of Britain today. It is time that those parts of the liberal left that have previously ignored or downplayed the growing problem of antisemitism fulfil their anti-racist credentials and listen to the experiences of an increasing number of British Jews.
RAGING JEW HATRED AMONG MUSLIMS IN GERMANY AND ENGLAND AND ....
By Pamela Geller
Here is a completely clueless piece about the rampant Jew hatred in Berlin. The matter of fact presentation of an allowable amount of Jew hatred is revealing. For example:Others say too much fuss is being made about anti-Semitism within Germany's Muslim communities. While admitting that anti-Jewish sentiments can certainly be found there, Kenan Kolat, chairman of the secular Turkish Community in Germany, says this phenomenon should be placed in a wider context.There never was a Holocaust, they say. The Jews capitalized on the 9/11 aftermath, they say. All Jews are rich - you can find all these prejudices among some Muslims here and it is just a reflection of what you find in society here at large, Kolat told public broadcaster ARD.The ignorant though earnest people working against this scourge will never be able to fight Muslim Jew hatred without understanding its origins. In order to fight it, you have to purge it, expunge Islamic anti-semitism from Islam, the koran, the hadiths, sira.In order to expunge the hate of the Jews from the koran and all Islamic teachings, you have to remove whole swaths of their holy book and wash Muhammad's history of his Jewish massacres and genocidal objectives. In other words, remove the Islam from Islam.The article is nonsensical, of course. They talk about knowledge gaps. They are in Germany, for pete's sake, not the bowels of Mogadishu. They are inGermany.
Berliners fight Anti-Semitism Among Muslims Deutsche Weld
Anti-Jewish sentiments are thought to be deeply rooted in a fifth of the ethnic German population, and some Muslim residents also hold clearly anti-Semitic views. Berlin activists wants to change that.Yasmin Kassar is one of the many activists in Berlin who find anti-Jewish sentiments among young Muslims intolerable. For a year and a half now, the Syrian-German woman has been working to change people's attitudes in Kreuzberg, a neighborhood with a large Muslim population.You can see that whenever the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets worse - like when we had the Gaza conflict towards the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 - anti-Semitic views are articulated here more often by residents with a Muslim background, Kassar told Deutsche Welle. But instead of criticizing the particular aspects of the Israeli government's policies, it's often Jews in general who become the target of verbal - and in rare cases physical - attacks in Berlin.At the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism (KIGA), Yasmin helps to develop programs and concepts to enable multi-ethnic schools to tackle anti-Jewish sentiments with sound arguments. There's a lot of work to be done.According to a recent study conducted by the Emnid polling institute among young Turks living in Germany, a minority has taken a real interest in learning more about Jews, their contributions to German society and what they had to endure in Nazi Germany.
The leader of Germany's opposition Green party, Cem Oezdemir, who has Turkish roots himself, calls it a form of anti-Semitism without Jews.Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Oezdemir is concerned about anti-Semitic Muslims.These young Muslims are often people who don't know any Jews in person, Oezdemir said.Their radical views stem from an over-identification with the Middle East conflict, from parents who are willing to employ all the well-known Jew-related cliches, and from schools that don't know how to tackle the problem in classes full of students with migrant backgrounds.The Berlin project Anti-Semitism in the Context of Migration and Racism (AMIRA) has been tackling the problem since 2007. The organization's Gabriel Freville says he and his colleagues aim to provide social workers on the ground with viable programs and arguments for their discussions with young Muslims about Jewish life in the city and anti-Semitism.It's a question of attitude, of how you approach the youngsters,says Freville.If somebody says 'I hate Jews' it's important not to start moralizing, telling him that he's a bad guy. Instead, you have to try to understand his reasoning and look into the problems behind it.
The Emnid survey found that almost 70 percent of those polled knew nothing or almost nothing about the Holocaust. Seventy-five percent said they had never been to a concentration camp memorial site in Germany, let alone a Jewish museum.Ufuk Topkara is trying to change that. The historian, who also has Turkish roots, shows young Muslims around Berlin's Jewish Museum.
UPDATE: Britain PM condemns rise in anti-Semitic incidents
LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the record number of anti-Semitic incidents across Britain last year is deeply troubling and has called on Britons to exercise greater vigilance.
Antisemitic Incidents 2009
February 5th, 2010 by CST
CST’s report on antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2009, out today, shows a record number of incidents against British Jews: 924 last year, compared to 546 the year before. It is 55% higher than the previous record high of 598 antisemitic incidents in 2006.The full report is here, or there is a summary here. The article below appears in today’sJewish Chronicle.
To fight hate, we must face it
In recent weeks, the Community Security Trust’s London and Manchester staff have undergone intense training courses designed to ensure that our service as first responders to the victims of antisemitic hate crimes is as good as it can be.The training, provided by the Home Office’s Victims Support Unit, used real case studies, making some of the intricacies of victims’ lives and traumas harrowing for us to hear and comprehend. It served as a profound reminder that a real person is behind every report and statistic we deal with, and that each victim’s reactions depend upon their own histories, personalities and environments. The experts also stressed that we must not tell people how to actually feel about their experiences, as each victim’s feelings are so rooted within their own individual circumstance.
Instead, the CST’s responsibility is to ask the right questions at the right times, listen properly to the answers, analyse the situation and offer constructive advice.
I want to apply this learning in a more general sense to the many challenging questions that arise from today’s report regarding antisemitic incident levels. In summary, the CST recorded over 900 such incidents across Britain during 2009: an increase of 55 per cent from the previous the worst year on record, 2006. On both occasions, Jews in Britain (and elsewhere around the world) suffered a wave of antisemitic attack, triggered by conflicts directly involving Israel.Whatever you think of Israeli politics, remember that, historically, antisemites have always justified their behaviour on some premise or other. We have to insist that anti-Jewish racism be as readily condemned as any other type of racism within British society. Anything less and we risk fostering the notion, seductive for some, that antisemitism in the name of anti-Israel hatred is somehow a legitimate form of political protest.I hope that anybody taking the time to read the report will see that the CST is doing its utmost to present these upsetting and complex facts as comprehensively and analytically as possible. Nevertheless, our community will meet these latest statistics with a huge range of emotions and interpretations; with responses ranging from fearing that there is no viable future for the next generation of British Jews, to treating it like water off a duck’s back. The CST will not question the integrity of individual reactions, but we do believe that the significant and sustained increase in antisemitic attacks since the year 2000 demands the serious responses that the CST has provided in partnership with a range of communal organisations, politicians, police and other faith communities during this period.
I am keenly aware that discussing antisemitism may cause some people to be afraid to lead the Jewish life that they would otherwise choose. Ignoring the problem, however, will not make it go away. Furthermore, understanding the situation and publicly explaining it are the cornerstones upon which we build strategies and partnerships to combat the problem. For example, the CST has prioritised the installation of shatterproof window film at hundreds of Jewish sites across the country. Consequently, last January, when arsonists tried to burn down a London synagogue in the middle of the night, they were unable to break the glass. Discussing antisemitism may be discomforting, but it pales against the impact that a fire-gutted British synagogue would have had upon the entire community.The CST provides many physical and political responses to antisemitism, but the community should augment these by strengthening its own psychological approach to the problem. This does not mean tolerating or hiding from antisemitism. Rather, it is to stress that we must not allow antisemitism to dominate us; and therefore we need to encourage amore robust mentality against it. This fightback begins by opposing antisemitism when it occurs, whilst consciously appreciating and seizing the vast range of religious, cultural, charitable and political options for expressing your Jewish life and identity in Britain today. Do this, and you will see that not only is antisemitism well worth opposing wherever it rears its ugly head, but also, it most certainly does not define the average day in the life of British Jews.
Barrasso Calls for UN Climate Chief’s Resignation
John Barrasso Friday, February 5th, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called on Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to resign after revelations of ongoing scientific fraud under Dr. Pachauri’s watch. Senator Barrasso delivered the following statement on the Senate Floor:Every day, new scandals emerge about the so called facts in the UN reports. The integrity of the data and the integrity of the science have been compromised.Concrete action by world leaders is needed. Government delegations of the UN’s general assembly and UN Secretary Moon must pressure Dr. Rajendra Pachauri to step down as head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.It is time to conduct an independent investigation into the conduct of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scientific data behind these policies must be independently verified.
Administration policies relating to climate change will cost millions of Americans their jobs. We need to get this right. To continue to rely on these corrupted U.N. Reports is an endorsement of fraudulent behavior. It is a signal to the American people that ideology is more important than their jobs.
Background:Recent news reports have highlighted Dr. Rajendra Pachauri’s and the United Nation’s involvement in covering up flawed science:In a February 2, 2010, Investor’s Business Daily article, Walter Russell Read, Project Director for Religion and Foreign Policy at the Pew Forum, said After years in which global warming activists had lectured everyone about the overwhelming nature of the scientific evidence, it turned out that the most prestigious agencies in the global warming movement were breaking laws, hiding data and making inflated, bogus claims resting on, in some cases, no scientific basis at all.
- On January 30, 2010, the Times of London reported, Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it.
- On January 24, 2010, the Times of London reported the UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters. Reporter Jonathan Leake wrote, The United Nations climate panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods,and the report had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny.
Senator Barrasso, a member of both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, has continued to call on the international community and the Obama Administration to ensure that our energy policy is based on sound scientific data. Recently, Barrasso sent letters to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to express his concerns regarding a report concluding the organizations eliminated two-thirds of their temperature monitoring stations around the globe in places that are colder, rural or at higher altitudes beginning in 1990 in order to drive up temperature trend averages.
DEBT CRISIS HIT BELGIUM
The Great Unraveling Posted 02/05/2010 07:16 PM ET
Climate Change: Professional global warming alarmists better think about looking for new jobs. It looks like they're in for a long, cold winter — and a frigid spring and summer as well.Those who've been spreading global-warming fears must be waking up each morning and asking themselves: What's going to happen today? A new revelation about the corruption of climate science has become almost a daily event.On Thursday, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported that India was pulling out of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and forming its own agency to study global warming. Why? Because the Indian government feels it can't depend on the IPCC's work.
And why should it? The concerns about the IPCC's accuracy are justified. A day after India's announcement, the Netherlands asked the U.N. to explain why the IPCC had said in its 2007 report that 55% of the country was below sea level when the Dutch themselves have reckoned that only 26% of the nation is that low.This is the same IPCC that said in the same 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 — though there's no scientific study to confirm the claim. It was based on the hunch of one scientist who expressed his opinion to a reporter.The IPCC withdrew the assertion when it became widely known that it was bogus. But if the panel hadn't been called out, we suspect it would have kept mum.Compounding the headaches for warm-mongers is a probe being launched by the British Parliament into the Climate Research Unit e-mail scandal. The inquiry is intended to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.This isn't terribly fresh news, having been announced on Jan. 22 by Parliament. But news that casts doubt on global warming tends to move slowly, if at all, in the U.S. media. If not for the foreign press, the inquiry would be virtually unknown in this country.That 2007 report helped the IPCC win a share of the Nobel Prize. But its work is looking less credible by the day. Can any of its claims be trusted?Its authors — who merely compiled others' work and did no research of their own — sure haven't inspired confidence in their work. In fact, their blunders are quickly pushing the global warming farce toward a grand collapse.
Friday, February 05, 2010
STOCK RESULTS FEB 5,2010
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
HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS FRI FEB 05,2010
09:30 AM +0.30
10:00 AM -39.69
10:30 AM -17.00
11:00 AM -15.34
11:30 AM -35.44
12:00 PM -63.41
12:30 PM -41.79
01:00 PM -58.19
01:30 PM -96.13
02:00 PM -166.19
02:30 PM -118.19
03:00 PM -108.45
03:30 PM -30.38
04:00 PM +10.05 10,012.23
S&P 500 1066.18 +3.07
NASDAQ 2141.12 +15.69
GOLD 1,067.90 +4.90
OIL 71.92 -1.22
TSE 300 11,223.10 +94.40
CDNX 1455.41 +3.23
S&P/TSX/60 656.50 +5.82
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +5 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -168 points at low today.
Dow +28 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,059.10.OIL opens at $73.87 today.
Dow -168 points at low today so far.
Dow +28 points at high today so far.
Dow -168 points at low today.
Dow +28 points at high today.
MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the country's new military doctrine regulating the stance the country takes in conflict situations.The doctrine, which Russia is adopting through 2020, does not include a provision for pre-emptive nuclear strikes, as officials had previously suggested might have been present.The document says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear force in response to a nuclear attack or one of equivalent magnitude.Russia's conventional military forces are in dilapidated shape, increasing Moscow's dependence on its Cold War-era nuclear arsenals.The expansion of Western military alliance NATO is named first in a list of main external threats to the country.
Putin criticizes his party after opposition rally By MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press Writer – FEB 5,10
NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday criticized his party following an unusually large opposition protest, saying it has fed the country with empty promises.Putin's attack on the United Russia party follows last weekend's protest in the Baltic Sea port of Kaliningrad where thousands rallied against the government in the largest anti-Kremlin protest in years.You can't promise everything to everyone at once, Putin told the United Russia leaders who gathered at his suburban residence outside Moscow. You can't turn into a Mr. Promiser who promises things to get to power and doesn't keep the promises.United Russia controls federal parliament as well as local legislatures and serves as a power base for Putin, who has not ruled out a return to the presidency in 2012. Government officials often go out of their way to ban proposed opposition protests.
Putin is the leader of United Russia. The carefully-choreographed arrangement is intended to cast Putin as a supreme leader above the political fray who continues to call the shots even after his eight-year presidency.By criticizing United Russia, Putin apparently sought to keep a distance from the party, which some critics have compared to the Soviet Communist Party.It's evident and right that citizens make complaints, Putin said.A well-organized government is always able to solve any problems while the lack of such authority leads to anarchy.Putin told United Russia leaders that they must offer efficient ways of solving problems and not be afraid to admit and correct its mistakes. Direct contact with citizens is absolutely necessary,he said.Neither he, nor any leaders of the United Russia on Friday made any public reference to Saturday's protest in Kaliningrad, that drew around 10,000 people according to organizers. Police said about 6,000 people showed up.The rally was followed by Sunday's protests in Moscow which drew several hundred participants, and similar demonstrations in St. Petersburg and several other Russian cities. The protests come before municipal elections planned for March in several Russian regions. Clearly worried, the government dispatched top officials to Kaliningrad to check the situation.The protests came before municipal elections planned for March in several Russian regions.Most top federal and regional officials in Russia are United Russia members, and the opposition has accused the party of using its leverage to rig regional elections in October. Independent election observers and opposition parties, including the Communists, protested what they said were mass electoral violations, citing evidence of multiple voting and ballot stuffing.
Putin's successor as president, Dmitry Medvedev, told United Russia in November that it should stop trying to manipulate elections and learn to win fairly.Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this report.
REBUILT 3RD TEMPLE (THE EU DICTATORS TEMPLE)
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
REBUILT 4TH TEMPLE (THE TRUE MESSIAHS TEMPLE)
12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
EZEKIEL 40 TO 48 IS THIS 4TH TEMPLE TO BIG FOR THE MOUNT I BELIEVE TO BE BUILT 25 MILES FROM JERUSALEM.
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU-Will Rockefeller build 3rd Temple?
Internet abuzz with report of biblical proportions ... February 03, 2010
11:55 pm Eastern By Aaron Klein 2010 WorldNetDaily
Temple Mount in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – A Rockefeller is raising capital to rebuild the Jewish Temple, said the news release published on CNN Money's Internet site and other news sources. The plan would include a united Jewish and Palestinian Arab state. A Jewish group promoting the rebuilding of the Temple was reported to be cooperating. The story spread virally through the evangelical Christian blogosphere. But it was all part of an elaborate hoax. The release, filed with MarketWire and republished at CNNMoney.com, claims Supriem David Rockefeller is director of a company, Kinti Holdings group, which is working with a Jewish Temple organization to rebuild the Third Temple.
States the release: Kinti Holdings will be raising funds to go towards building the Third Temple in Jerusalem in strict coordinance with The Temple Institute, Rabbi Hiam Richman and The Palestinian National Interest Committee (PNIC) and supporting Husam Bajis for President of Palestine.Richman, international director of the Temple Institute, a Jewish Temple activist group, told WND the release is a scam.The Temple Institute strongly protests the use of its name and that of Rabbi Chaim Richman in a series of fraudulent press releases and advertising claims that are now circulating on the Internet,read the Temple Institute's official response to the release.
Understanding the future from the past, get Prophecies for the Era of Muslim Terror
Continued the Institute's response: The claims made by these men ... are false and malicious, and their apparent intentions are to take advantage of the Temple Institute's sincere supporters and rob them of funds. The Temple Institute advises its friends and supporters to avoid being taken in by this scam.The original Rockefeller press release about rebuilding the Third Temple, however, has been spreading like wildfire on Christian websites and blogs. The release was filed with MarketWire, a leading newswire service. A spokesman for Marketwire did not immediately return a WND request for comment. Is it not uncommon for newswire services to post releases without first fact-checking the content. CNNMoney.com routinely reprints business press releases. The company that filed the release, Kinti Holdings, has a track record of making strange announcements. On Monday, Kinti filed a release using the Rockefeller name and claiming it is seeking a debt/equity swap with any and all national brand name corporations.Another release claimed the company is partnering with Supriem David Rockefeller and his $500 million worth of entertainment business. The release says Rockefeller is a financial magnate with strong ties to the entertainment industry.Yesterday, hours after a WND request for comment on the Third Temple announcement was sent to the sole e-mail address listed for Kinti, the company posted a statement claiming, Kinti is now conducting Due Diligence of a Major National Brand Name Chain concerning debt for equity and will enter into a mandatory quiet period.
The management section of Kinti's website states, All of the previous Officers, Directors and Board of Directors have resigned. Richard Byrd has been appointed the new CEO and the only member of the Board of Directors.The company claims to own a mine in Guyana, South America, but doesn't specify where the mine is other than pointing to a Google Earth map. The site posts a picture of what it claims is a mining permit from Guyana.
Who is Supriem David Rockefeller? As for Supriem David Rockefeller? A spokesman for the Rockefeller Foundation told WND he doesn't exist. A routine web search for the name brings up scores of conspiracy websites claiming, among other things, that Supriem is a secretive 34-year old heir to the Rockefeller dynasty who is fighting for a New World Order. One site says it found Supriem really is a con artist and convicted thief who goes by different names and lives in Williamson County, Tennessee. Some outlandish claims about Surpiem include:Supriem has DNA from different races, including Anunnaki, Draco Triple Helix, Elohim and more. He has triple helix blue blood in a chimera state with red blood and more than one DNA sequence, which is what chimera is. His triple helix is the reptilian blood.Supriem has a fortune in the trillions and is seeking to finance a high-speed bullet train.
Supriem exerts enormous influence over Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Henry Kissinger, who are working on a counter-New World Order.
Rebuilding Third Temple
While the Third Temple press release may be a hoax, the Temple Institute is anything but. The group is involved in restoring a Jewish presence to the Temple Mount, where current Israeli laws bar Jews from ascending the Mount during most hours of the day while Muslims are granted nearly 24-hour access. The Temple Institute also focuses on preparation for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. The group has been preparing ritual objects suitable for Temple use. Many of the more than 90 ritual items to be used in the Temple have been re-made to the highest standards the Temple Institute.
The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries. The Temple was the center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's presence dwelt. All biblical holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and were the main gathering place for Israelites. According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It's believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night on a horse from a sacred mosque – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to the farthest mosque and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated with Jerusalem about 120 years ago.
According to research by Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded Jerusalem as being holy. Berkovits points out in his new book,How Dreadful Is this Place! that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God. As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula and that in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron.A guide to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem published in 1925 listed the Mount as Jewish and as the site of Solomon's Temple. The Temple Institute acquired a copy of the official 1925 Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which states on page 4,Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord.
Get a Jewish reading of ancient prophecies-Rabbi says Bible predicted what would happen to Israel in diaspora February 04, 2010 12:15 am Eastern 2010 WorldNetDaily
When scientists revealed in 2008 that an analysis of rings on stalagmite from a cave near Jerusalem showed the climate of the region got drier shortly after the Roman dispersion of the Jews in A.D. 70, it was no surprise to Rabbi Menachem Kohen of Brooklyn. In his book, Prophecies for the Era of Muslim Terror: A Torah Perspective on World Events, he had explained the dramatic climate change that took place when the Jews were forced from their homeland. Rabbi Kohen wrote that the land suffered an unprecedented, severe and inexplicable (by anything other than supernatural explanations) drought that lasted from the first century until the 20th – a period of 1,800 years coinciding with the forced dispersion of the Jews. Kohen saw the cataclysm as a miraculous fulfillment of prophecy found in the book of Deuteronomy – especially chapter 28:23-24. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.A year later, University of Wisconsin geologists analyzed the chemical composition of individual rings that formed the stalagmite growing up from the floor of the Soreq Cave near Jerusalem between 200 B.C. and A.D. 1100. Geologists John Valley and Ian Orland concluded the climate was drier in the eastern Mediterranean between 100 A.D. and A.D. 700, with steep drops in rainfall around 100 A.D. and A.D. 400 – a period of waning Roman and Byzantine power in the region.
Researchers from the Geological Survey of Israel and Hebrew University in Jerusalem helped with the study, which appeared in an issue of the journal Quaternary Research. The scientific study was tied to research into global warming. Before the Jews entered Canaan, it was described in the Bible as a land flowing with milk and honey. If you read what Israel's climate and natural landscape was like from the time Joshua crossed the Jordan right up until the time of Jesus, it sounds like a heavily forested land. There were amazing crops raised by the people who inhabited the land when the Jews arrived. For 1,800 years, it hardly ever rained in Israel. This was the barren land discovered by Mark Twain. So-called Palestine was a wasteland – few lived there. Beginning in A.D. 70 and lasting until the early 1900s –about 660,000 days – no rain. A survey of rainfall charts in Israel beginning in the early 1800s leading up to through the 1960s also confirms the severe drought ended when the Jews began to return. The heaviest periods of rainfall during that 150-year period came in and around 1948 and 1967 – the years of Israel's independence and its most stunning military victory.
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.
Snow storm has Mid-Atlantic scrambling for staples By SARAH KARUSH, Associated Press Writer – FEB 5,10
WASHINGTON – Stores ran low on milk, bread and snow shovels and federal workers were sent home early Friday as the second major snow storm in less than two months bore down on a winter-weary Mid-Atlantic.Up to 28 inches of heavy, wet snow accompanied by powerful winds were forecast in Washington, Baltimore and surroundings. That could be a historic snowfall for the nation's capital, where the record stands at 28 inches in January, 1922.Airlines canceled flights across the region and school districts closed for the day ahead of the winter storm forecast from Virginia and West Virginia across Maryland into southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was already snowing hard in Richmond, Va., on Friday morning.Residents in the Washington area scrambled for food and supplies, but many found they were too late.As you see, I'm in front of Whole Foods and half of the food is gone already, Denise Wright said on a shopping trip for staples.Colleen Sport, who just moved to the area from Atlanta, was at the Home Depot in Falls Church, Va.I was looking for salt and shovels and of course they're out, said Sport, 42.Now I'm just hoping to get shelving and work inside.
In Alexandria, Va., James Ivery, 60, and his wife had already bought supplies but were back at a Harris Teeter supermarket Friday morning to get out of the house one last time before the storm. Many shelves and bins were emptied of milk, vegetables, eggs and cold cuts.It just seems like people are panicking. I don't think it's going to be too bad,Ivery said.As long as I got power and satellite service, I'll be fine.
The federal government, the region's largest employer, told workers they could take Friday off as unplanned leave and prepared to shut offices four hours early.Metro, the Washington-area rail system, warned it would likely have to close all but the underground portions of the system during the storm. Trains cannot operate outside when snow accumulations reach 8 inches because the snow cuts off access to the electrified third rail that powers the trains.Across the region, state officials were deploying thousands of trucks and employees and had hundreds of thousands of tons of salt at the ready.This is not a good mix, said Joan Morris, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.Heavy, wet snow with gusting winds is going to make it a very tough storm for us. I expect visibility will be very poor in spots, and we'll have to deal with drifting snow.The National Weather Service warned snow accumulations of 18 inches to 28 inches are expected from Baltimore to northern Virginia and parts of West Virginia.Blizzard warnings were in effect in much of Delaware and southern New Jersey from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, with strong winds and blowing, drifting snow.Philadelphia could get about a foot of snow and 12 to 20 inches are expected in the Pittsburgh area.The combination of wet snow and strong winds could make conditions even more treacherous than the Dec. 19 storm, which dumped more than 16 inches of snow on Washington.
Snowfalls of this magnitude — let alone two in one season — are rare in the area. According to the National Weather Service, Washington has gotten more than a foot of snow only 13 times since 1870. The biggest snowfall is believed to have occurred in 1772, before official records were kept. As much as 3 feet fell in the Washington-Baltimore area during that storm, and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson mentioned the event in their diaries, according to the weather service. Virginia's General Assembly canceled Friday's floor sessions and committee meetings, the first time anyone could remember that the threat of snow had sent the whole legislature home. Officials urged people to stock up on supplies Thursday night and warned of a tough evening commute Friday. Virginia Del. Tim Hugo was hurrying out of a Thursday afternoon committee meeting so he could get home to Fairfax County, a Washington suburb that's supposed to get hit. I'm heading out of here now because I don't want my wife stranded at home with 2 feet of snow in the drive, he said. Southwest Airlines canceled Friday afternoon flights at Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington airports. Amtrak canceled most trains heading south from Washington, D.C. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has been in office less than a month, declared his second snow emergency, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments. The assistance includes deploying National Guard soldiers and emergency response teams.
Between the December storm and several smaller snowfalls, the region's road crews have had plenty of practice in the past two months. Maryland highway officials said they have spent about $50 million so far clearing and treating roads this winter. That's almost twice the $26 million that had been budgeted. The Virginia Department of Transportation said it already spent the $79 million budgeted for statewide snow removal and was tapping into emergency maintenance funds. Once that $25 million reserve is exhausted, the department said it will have to dip into other programs to cover its costs. Associated Press writers Kathleen Miller in Falls Church, Va., Nafeesa Syeed in Alexandria, Va., and Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Va., contributed to this report.
1 killed in Cyclone Oli in French Polynesia
Fri Feb 5, 4:27 am ET
PAPEETE, Tahiti – An official in French Polynesia says swelling ocean waters driven by Cyclone Oli have left at least one person dead on the South Pacific archipelago.
High Commissioner Eric Spitz says waters carried away the 40-year-old man as pounding rain and winds of up to 200 kilometers (120 miles) per hour lashed the Austral Islands, hundreds of kilomteres (miles) south of Tahiti.Officials said late Thursday local time that the storm was moving faster but losing intensity as it headed southeast toward Tubuai. Waves six (20 feet) to eight meters (26 feet) high were anticipated.Hundreds of homes have been damaged in the storm and more than 4,000evacuated as a safety precaution in more populated areas.
Unseasonable cold to hit next week
Thu Feb 4, 1:20 pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Unseasonably cold weather should settle over key heating fuel consuming regions of the United States next week in the wake of heavy snow expected this weekend, weather forecasters predicted Thursday.In the Northeast, the world's biggest heating oil market, and the Midwest, a large natural gas demand center, temperatures are set to drop over the weekend and into next week.Further out, some see weather becoming milder, rebounding toward normal in the following week.Brief periods of cold weather in the wake of this weekend's storm could be followed by a warm-up,said Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics.
Here is a breakdown of the forecasters' predictions for the two regions:
- Planalytics sees temperatures in the eastern U.S. anywhere from 4 to 12 degrees below normal next week, becoming milder after that.
- Weather 2000 predicts temperatures in New York will fall as much as 10 degrees below normal in the coming days, warming slightly to around 4 degrees below usual in the following week.
- MDA EarthSat expects New York will be 10 degrees below normal on Sunday, becoming slightly milder, but still below normal, as the week goes on.
- Telvent DTN (formally Meteorlogix) sees below-normal temperatures on Saturday, continuing into next week.
- Telvent DTN predicts below-normal temperatures from Friday, dropping to as much as 7 degrees below usual on Monday but rebounding toward normal as the week goes on.
- Weather 2000 sees temperatures as much as 13 degrees below normal in the coming days.(Reporting by Edward McAllister)
Stocks fall on mixed jobs report, debt worries By STEPHEN BERNARD, AP Business Writer – FEB 5,10
NEW YORK – Stock indexes fell Friday following mixed news from the Labor Department's monthly employment report.The Dow Jones industrial average dipped below the 10,000 line.Concerns about mounting debt problems for European governments weighed on the market again. Stocks had tumbled around the world Thursday as worries about the global economy deepened, and the Dow and other major indexes were headed for their fourth straight weekly loss.The government's closely watched jobs report said that the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in January to 9.7 percent from 10 percent, even though analysts expected an uptick.At the same time, however, employers cut 20,000 jobs, more than the 5,000 economists expected, according to Thomson Reuters. The two numbers are calculated from different surveys.Timothy Speiss, head of Eisner LLP's Personal Wealth Advisors group, said the improving unemployment rate was a good sign, but investors are well aware that the problems in the economy that have stocks falling in recent weeks are still there.There will be excitement, relief about the number,Speiss said.But we need to keep going.In early afternoon trading, the Dow fell 60.16, or 0.6 percent, to 9,942.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.84, or 0.6 percent, to 1,057.27, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 3.92, or 0.2 percent, to 2,121.51.
Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 517.6 million shares, compared with 501 million traded at the same point Thursday.The Labor Department revised some of its past statistics lower, painting a grimmer picture about how bad the economy was hurt during the recession. The economy has shed 8.4 million jobs since the downturn began in December 2007, compared with a previous estimate of 7.2 million.December job cuts were also revised lower. In the final month of 2009, employers cut 150,000 jobs, not the 85,000 previously reported.Analysts say there were some encouraging signs in the report. The number of average hours worked and hourly pay both improved, as did the number of employers adding temporary workers. The hiring of temporary employees usually precedes companies adding permanent jobs during a recovery.The underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers looking for full-time work and discouraged workers, fell to 16.5 percent from 17.3 percent. Some analysts say that is a better representation of the job market than the unemployment rate.Jobs may not be a plus yet,said John Merrill, chief investment officer at Tanglewood Wealth Management. But, he added: the trend is unmistakable. It's clearly positive.The latest drop in stocks reflects concerns three members of the euro currency bloc — Greece, Spain and Portugal — will have trouble tightening budget controls to manage mounting deficits, helping to derail a recovery in Europe. Trouble mounted in Portugal Friday as opposition parties defeated a government austerity plan.Stocks fell sharply in late January after China said it would rein in loose bank lending standards to cool its economy and avoid speculative bubbles. President Barack Obama's calls for tighter regulations on U.S. banks contributed to the slide.
Overseas markets fell again Friday following the global rout the day before.
Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 2.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 3.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.5 percent, Germany's DAX index dropped 1.5 percent, and France's CAC-40 tumbled 3.4 percent. Demand for safer investments rose as stocks tumbled. The dollar rose again Friday, while Treasury bond prices inched higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite to its price, fell to 3.58 percent from 3.61 percent. Gold prices fell. Oil fell $3.12 to $70.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 0.56, or 0.1 percent, to 590.24.
Oil tumbles again, below $70 a barrel By Chris Kahn, Ap Energy Writer – FEB 5,10
NEW YORK – Oil prices fell Friday for the third straight day, weighed down by a stronger dollar and persistent doubts about the health of the global economy.
Benchmark crude for March delivery lost $3.38, nearly 5 percent, to $69.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell as low as $69.50 a barrel, the lowest since Dec. 15.Energy prices started the year on a high note, surging as economists predicted that China, India and other developing nations would aggressively boost petroleum imports to feed their growing economies.But China has since taken steps to control risky bank lending and cool off its economy. And Greece, Portugal and Spain have pushed the euro lower as they struggle to handle massive budget deficits.The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus other major currencies, jumped Friday to its highest level since July. Oil, which is priced in U.S. currency, tends to fall when the dollar strengthens and makes barrels more expensive for holders of foreign money.Even a surprise drop in the unemployment rate — from 10 percent to 9.7 percent — wasn't enough to encourage investors. Manufacturers and retailers may have added jobs, but the government report showed the economy has a long way to go.Meanwhile, Americans are burning much less fuel than previous years. The Energy Information Administration said this week that U.S. petroleum consumption has dropped for four straight weeks.There's a lot of oil sloshing around out there, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates. If I were to give a fair price for oil it would be closer to $60" a barrel.
Retail gasoline prices increased this week for the first time since the middle of January. The national average added a half penny at $2.664 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.A gallon of regular unleaded is 2.1 cents cheaper than a month ago, but it's 75.7 cents more expensive than the same time last year.In other Nymex trading in March contracts, heating oil dropped 7.8 cents at $1.8576 a gallon, and gasoline fell 7.6 cents to $1.8748 a gallon. Natural gas added 11.1 cents to $5.527 per 1,000 cubic feet.In London, Brent crude gave up $2.28 to $69.85 on the ICE futures exchange.Associated Press writers Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.
Canada's jobless rate falls to 8.3 pct in January
Fri Feb 5, 8:48 am ET
OTTAWA – Canada's unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January as 43,000 part-time jobs were added.Statistics Canada said Friday it's the fourth employment gain in six months.The unemployment slipped from 8.4 percent in December.
European debt fears plague world markets again By Pan Pylas, Ap Business Writer – FEB 5,10
LONDON – European and U.S. stock markets fell sharply again Friday despite a surprise improvement in the U.S. unemployment rate, as investors fretted about the debt crisis enveloping Europe after Portugal's lawmakers defeated the government over its deficit reduction plan.In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 78.39 points, or 1.5 percent, at 5,060.90, while Germany's DAX slid 98.90 points, or 1.8 percent, to 5,434.34. The CAC-40 in France plunged 125.49 points, or 3.4 percent, to 3,615.55.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 70.43 points, or 0.7 percent, at 9,931.75 around midday New York time while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.78 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,056.33.Some stability emerged in the markets — at least the selling tide was stemmed — by the news that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in January to 9.7 percent from 10 percent even as employers shed 20,000 jobs helped shore up investor confidence about the pace of the U.S. recovery.The drop in the U.S. unemployment rate came as a welcome relief to markets battered over the last couple of days by mounting worries about the debt crisis afflicting Europe.
However, that relief proved short-lived.
The stock market's fairly indifferent reaction to the labour market data suggests that the overarching mood remains one of caution, said John Higgins, an analyst at Capital Economics.On a different day, a significant drop in the unemployment rate might have been expected to elicit a more positive response, especially after what has been a fairly tough few weeks, he added.The news that the opposition parties defeated the Portuguese government's austerity plan provided another reminder, if any were needed, that European countries will find it extremely difficult to get a grip on their public finances. Instead, the opposition parties passed their own bill that lets the country's regions rack up even more debt.Already, investors have severe doubts that Greece's new government can deliver the cuts it has promised. The Greek plan, which has been cautiously backed by the European Commission and the European Central Bank, is to get the budget deficit down from around 12.7 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2009 to below 3 percent in 2012.But with strikes looming — customs and tax officials have already begun a 48 hour strike in protest at the planned austerity measures — investors remain skeptical at best.It has been a worry for Greece for weeks but it is now spreading like wildfire, driving equity markets lower, causing further concerns both about medium-term growth prospects and in currency markets,said Kit Juckes, chief economist at ECU Group.
Unsurprisingly, those concerns have dogged the stock markets in Greece, Portugal and Spain all week. Greece's main composite index was down another 3.7 percent, while Portugal's PSI was 1.4 percent lower while Spain's IBEX fell 1 percent.All this uncertainty is hitting the euro hard as investors think a bailout of the periphery countries is becoming more likely by the European Union. There are even fears over the very future of the eurozone itself.The euro fell below $1.36 for the first time since May last year, trading at $1.3595 late afternoon London time — the single currency has been undermined by concerns about credit problems in its peripheral members ever since the issue reared its ugly head in November, while the dollar has attracted support through its supposed safe haven status during times of risk aversion.Commodity and energy prices have also been hit hard by the meltdown in risk assets — benchmark crude for March delivery was down a further 19 cents at $72.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after losing $3.84 Thursday.Earlier in Asia, stock markets responded to the massive falls recorded in the previous session in Europe and the U.S., where the Dow Jones industrial average slid 2.6 percent, its worst performance in nine months.Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 2.9 percent, or 298.89 points, to 10,057.09, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.9 percent, or 55.91, to 2,939.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng buckled 3.3 percent to 19,665.08. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi slid 3.1 percent to 1,567.12, Taiwan's market dived 4.3 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX benchmark dropped 2.3 percent.AP Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.
Portuguese govt defeated on austerity measures By BARRY HATTON, Associated Press Writer – FEB 5,10
LISBON, Portugal – Portuguese opposition parties defeated a government austerity plan on Friday and passed their own bill that lets the country's autonomous regions rack up even more debt. The move raised new questions about European countries' ability to control their swollen budget deficits.The vote was also likely to rattle the world's financial markets, which are already concerned that the financial troubles gripping Greece may spread to other vulnerable eurozone countries such as Portugal and Spain.Portugal's minority Socialist government had fiercely opposed the opposition bill, since it contradicted earlier promises to crack down on ballooning debt. Yet the bill passed 127 to 87, appearing to show that Portugal, western Europe's poorest country, has little appetite for painful austerity measures.Later Friday, some 30,000 civil servants marched through downtown Lisbon to protest a public sector pay freeze — another unpopular debt-reducing measure. Unions say they will also organize strikes.The government's defeat in Parliament came after senior officials spent hours in closed-door meetings trying to hammer out a compromise. The government says the opposition bill punches a euro400 million ($550 million) hole in its budget over the next four years by allowing the regions to go deeper into debt.
Despite the setback, the government has shown no intention of resigning.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Jorge Lacao described the opposition bill as irresponsible, saying it sent an extremely negative signal to international markets.
For (a government) to have credibility in its management of spending, for it to inspire confidence in the country and in international markets, we need to be in charge of budgeting, Lacao said, adding that the government will try to alter the 2010 state budget to nullify the opposition measure.That could bring further political friction, however, as right-of-center parties have previously promised to abstain from the state budget vote next month, ensuring its passage.Portugal's 2009 deficit is expected to hit 9.3 percent of gross domestic product, a national record. The government has pledged to bring the deficit to below 3 percent — the limit for countries using the shared euro currency — by 2013 by cutting government jobs, freezing civil servants' pay and curbing other spending. So far, it has not raised taxes.In addition, Portugal's public debt is expected to climb to 85.4 percent of GDP this year, up from 76.6 percent in 2009, as the government invests in the economy and increases welfare payouts amid rising unemployment.The Socialist government had proposed capping the debts of the Azores and Madeira autonomous regions, which receive money from Lisbon. The regions have resorted to loans to make up what they claim is a shortfall in what they need. Madeira already has debts of euro1.2 billion ($1.6 billion), according to the government.The opposition bill allows them each to add euro50 million ($68 million) of debt annually over the next four years.Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos went on television late Thursday to declare that the opposition bill would have grave consequences for state finances.We couldn't send a worse signal at this juncture,he said, vowing to use all the legal and political means he had to stop the bill from taking force.
After the vote, the Lisbon Stock Exchange closed down 1.4 percent.Greece, meanwhile, is under intense pressure from markets and other European Union governments to get a grip on its deficit, which stands at 12.7 percent of economic output for 2009. Prime Minister George Papandreou's government has pledged to reduce the deficit to 2 percent in 2013 and announced an austerity program that includes higher taxes and salary freezes for civil servants.The program has won the backing of the European Union, although the EU will be keeping a close eye on Greece's figures to ensure it sticks to the plan. A Greek government default would be a serious blow to the shared euro currency, but both Greece and the EU have insisted that Greece will not need a bailout. As in the banking crisis of 2008, the financial markets are looking at who may be next to suffer Greek-like budget difficulties. Portugal and Spain are now in the spotlight as their public finances have deteriorated badly during the last couple of years. Italy, Ireland and Belgium are also on the radar, while non-euro member Britain has been warned that it may lose its triple A credit rating if it doesn't introduce measures to bring its massive budget deficit down. AP Business Writer Pan Pylas in London contributed to this report.
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Markets turn on Portugal as EU trade union opposition grows-European civil unrest is set to rise following a series of tough government measures (Photo: 12543)ANDREW WILLIS Today FEB 5,2010 @ 09:23 CET
There was no let-up in the turmoil caused by European budget deficits on Thursday (4 February), with investors turning their attention to the weak state of Portugal's public finances.The country's stock market plunged nearly five percent, the biggest daily fall since November 2008, and bonds yields rose, even as opposition parties proposed to increase public spending on the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores.Portuguese finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos from the centre-left Socialist party implored members of parliament not to follow through with the opposition regional finance bill, warning it would only add to investor doubts. In a televised address, he said it would send the the worst possible message to financial markets, at a time when Europe's peripheral states are under intense scrutiny.
Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain - occasionally referred to collectively has the PIIGS countries - have drawn extensive heat from markets since the financial crisis began, although a series of hairshirt budgets in Ireland has started to provide some let-up from investors. Greek plans to rein in its budget deficit won European Commission support this week, with Mr Teixeira dos Santos promising that Portuguese plans, expected later this month, would be no less ambitious.Portugal had taken over from Greece as the main victim of the animal spirits of financial markets, said the finance minister, adding that the concerns were not justified.
European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet also sought to soothe fears over the eurozone on Thursday, saying the bloc's average deficit of around six percent compared very flatteringly to other countries such as the US where is close to 10 percent. For his part, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero attempted to convince investors that his Socialist government had a solid grip on the country's budgetary problems. Speaking at a closed-door gathering at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Thursday, he stressed the point that Spain's deficit was a consequence of stimulus spending that had now peaked, and pointed to fresh austerity measures outlined last week.
Despite the panoply of remarks intended to allay market fears, doubts remain over the ability of European governments to push through spending cuts and tax increases without causing social unrest. Spanish unions on Thursday threatened massive protests in response to the government's plans to slash spending in a bid to save €50 billion by 2013. The country's employees are also concerned by the recent proposal from Madrid to increase the age of retirement by two years to 67.The backlash in Greece against government measures also escalated on Thursday, with the country's customs and tax officials launching a 48-hour strike that shut down ports and border crossing points.Greece's largest union, the General Confederation of Greek Workers, which represents private sector employees, also announced plans to hold a one-day strike on 24 February as a sign of solidarity with public sector workers, set to bear the brunt of Athens' tough new measures.
Damning report hits out at EP expenditure
ANDREW WILLIS Today FEB 5,10 @ 16:45 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A damning report by a member of the European Parliament's own budgetary control committee is set to question the very fundamentals of the institution's budgetary discharge procedure, with its author coming under considerable pressure from the institutions's bureau as a result. Still in the process of being finalised, the report's rapporteur - Belgian Green MEP Bart Staes - told EUobserver the document ultimately asks one simple question: Is it correct that parliament should sign off on its own accounts? While the council of ministers, representing member states, also has to approve parliament's expenditure, a gentleman's agreement means scrutiny is kept to a bare minimum. The upcoming document, set to form the basis for committee debate on parliament's 2008 expenditure over the coming weeks, will direct strong criticism towards the legislature's procurement procedure and raises concerns over recent calls to increase money for MEP assistants before a proper review is carried out.The 31-pager will also raise the alarm over the substantial increase in the number of negotiated procedures rather than open tender contracts awarded by parliament throughout 2008, criticising the administration's suggestion prior to the report's drafting that their number is simply difficult to reduce further.As well as this, sources point to the roughly €7 million spent on studies by parliament each year, suggesting there is a huge level of overlap with studies coming out of other institutions such as the European Commission.
The report is likely to be peppered with references to the need to show taxpayers their money is being spent correctly, in order to strengthen public confidence in the institution. Assurances that parliament's 2008 budget of €1.4 billion was spent correctly should stem from rigorous auditing systems, rather than trust alone, it will say. Parliament's internal functioning is largely directed by the institution's secretary general and members of the bureau - a coterie of big-wigs made up of the parliament's president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors. In the past, the bureau has taken a number of decisions with enormous financial consequences, over and above the position of the parliament's MEPs sitting in plenary. Deputies, for example are keen to stop parliament picking up the tab when there is a shortfall in the private pension fund used by numerous MEPs, but the bureau has overruled them in previous years. Parliament's pension fund recorded a staggering €121 million deficit at the end of 2008, with a further €277 million still to be paid to members. This, the report will say, is a clear example of the risks involved with the parliament's current multi-layered governance structure, with the potential to cause serious damage to the institution's reputation. To tackle this multitude of problems, the report will call for increased scrutiny and transparency regarding parliament's finances, with far greater accountability to the wider public so that the list of scandals that has racked the institution in recent years can be avoided in future.
Last year saw one of the worst cases of misspent money come to the public's attention, with former UK MEP Tom Wise sentenced to two years in prison after he admitted to expenses fraud.
Europe to sell helicopters to Taiwan
ANDREW WILLIS Today FEB 5,10 @ 16:44 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU-China relations have been placed under increased strain following news that a European firm is to sell a number of helicopters to Taiwan, the disputed island over which China claims sovereignty. The revelation comes just a day after China hauled the EU to the World Trade Organisation over a long-running shoe tariff dispute.Reports on Friday (5 February) said Taiwan's military is set to buy three helicopters from German manufacturer Eurocopter, a subsidiary of EADS, with an option to buy up to 17 more.Taiwan's defence ministry spokesman Martin Yu said the contract for the EC-225 search-and-rescue helicopters was valued at $111 million. The European deal comes hot on the heels of last week's news that Taiwan will buy roughly $6.4 billion-worth of arms from US companies, prompting Chinese condemnation and threats of sanctions.
Whether Europe will now come in for the same response is yet to be seen. Some analysts suggest Beijing's response may be more muted due to an unwillingness to fight on two diplomatic fronts as the same time. Recent murmurings within the EU over a possible lifting of the bloc's arms embargo with China could also result in a softer response from the Asian powerhouse.
Icelandic PM warns EU over Icesave
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today FEB 5,10 @ 09:24 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The prime minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, has warned the European Commission of the damage that could be caused by making links between the ongoing Icesave banking dispute and the economic support being delivered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Meeting with the commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, and enlargement commissioner Ollie Rehn, in Brussels on Thursday (4 February) she underlined potential unfortunate and damaging effects of any link made by member states between the Icesave issue and the second review of Iceland's economic programme with the IMF,according to a statement from her office, referring to the row between between the north Atlantic nation and the Netherlands and the UK.
After the Icelandic Icesave internet bank collapsed in 2008, depositers in the UK and the Netherlands were compensated by their governments to the tune of €3.8 billion. The Hague and London now are demanding Reykjavik pay them back. The government has agreed to do so, but the terms are considered onerous by a majority of the population. Under the terms of the agreement the loan will be paid back over 15 years with interest, with estimates suggesting every household will have to contribute around €45,000.The president of the country refused to sign the government bill that approved a schedule of payments to the two governments, provoking a referendum on the matter due on 6 March, which analysts and pollsters expect the government to lose.Many Icelanders believed that they were the victims of imperfect EU legislation and that many believed the burden to be unfairly distributed between the three countries involved, Ms Sigurðardóttir told the EU leaders. The prime minister also noted how important the IMF loans and related loans from the Nordic countries and others are for the rebuilding of Iceland's economy.We discussed frankly the Icesave issue and the situation in Iceland, she said.It is extremely important to explain to key players in the EU the situation in which Icelanders find themselves and to explore all possible avenues for solutions and of course everything was on the table.Ms Sigurdardottir also underlined that EU accession procedures should not be held up by the current dispute during a discussion with the two commissioners over the state of play with the country's membership application.
Romania to host new version of US missile shield
VALENTINA POP Today FEB 5,10 @ 09:30 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Romania on Thursday announced it had agreed to the new US anti-missile defence shield envisaged by the Obama administration after scrapping initial plans in Poland and the Czech Republic.In a brief statement, Romanian President Traian Basescu said the country's top security body had accepted Mr Obama's invitation to host parts of the American anti-missile defence shield. Mr Basescu stressed that the system was aimed against threats coming from countries such as Iran, not Russia, in anticipation of potential criticism from Moscow. Previous plans tabled by the George W. Bush administration, which would have put the interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, had been seen as a direct threat to Russia. The Obama administration decided to scrap those plans, an announcement that caused a stir in Warsaw, especially as a result of the timing, made on the very day when the country was remembering the 60th anniversary of the Soviet invasion.Mr Basescu also pointed to the fact that the previous version would not have covered his country's territory in case of an Iranian attack, as the range of the Polish-based shield would have reached its limit somewhere in western Romania. The Romanian Parliament has the last say on the deal, with the new facilities expected to become operational in 2015.
The US has determined that Romania is well-suited for the location of this system to provide protection for European Nato Allies, the US embassy in Bucharest said in a statement.Foreign minister Teodor Baconschi said the plan was first presented to Mr Basescu during a visit by US vice-president Joe Biden to Bucharest in October but was not made public.Romania is already hosting US training facilities for its military, part of a Pentagon shift from large Cold War-era centres in Germany toward smaller and more flexible installations closer to the Middle East. It was also embroiled in a scandal surrounding alleged secret CIA prisons as part of the so-called rendition programme developed by the Bush administration during the war on terror, in which individuals were secretly flown out of countries like Afghanistan to intermediate locations before being released or transferred to the prison in Guantanamo, Cuba.Back in Washington, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said this announcement was a first step in terms of the new anti-missile shield architecture, which would later also include ship-based interceptors in the Black Sea.Mr Crowley also noted that Poland was still in talks for a northern land-based missile site. That development is still under consideration and discussion with Poland,he said.The spokesman insisted as well that the new shield was not aimed at Russia, but against the emerging threat coming to the region from Iran.
France and Germany to unveil 10-year plan
VALENTINA POP 04.02.2010 @ 09:28 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday (4 February) are set to unveil their own economic and political strategy document, the Franco-German Agenda 2020,in an attempt to put some substance in the widely advertised but not always smoothly working partnership between the EU's two major economies.The plan, including 80 separate measures, ranges from economic and fiscal initiatives to common school books and simpler rules for Franco-German marriages. It is set to be published at the end of a joint ministerial council meeting of the two countries, chaired by both Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel in the Elysee palace.The two leaders have in the past disagreed on several issues, especially on economic recovery. Mr Sarkozy supportd an EU-wide stimulus package, while Ms Merkel ibelieves this should be done at the national level. With the Thursday meeting, marking exactly 100 days after the German chancellor's re-election and her first trip abroad – to Paris, Ms Merkel is to signal that the Franco-German partnership is up and running again.We want to see in the coming years how we can take joint initiative on important topics, a source from Ms Merkel's entourage told Deutsche Presse Agentur. The idea of having a full joint ministerial session was aimed at letting the new German ministers get to know their French counterparts, after last year's elections changed Ms Merkel's coalition partner.Mr Sarkozy, for his part, has put the Murat room at disposal for this joint session, the same room where his own ministers usually gather every Wednesday morning, Le Figaro writes.However, Mr Sarkozy's proposal of a Franco-German minister was rejected by Berlin for political and institutional reasons,the French paper notes. Instead, the respective EU affairs ministers in some cases will be able to join meetings of the other cabinet.
The plan itself is centred on six themes, with economic and fiscal policy featuring prominently. A common observatory of economic policies is to be set up, as well as a stronger co-operation in this field. Nothing is foreseen, however, on how to deal with ailing economies in the euro-zone, such as in the Greek and Spanish cases.On the research and education front, the 2020 Agenda aims to double the number of college and doctors' degrees in Franco-German universities. Joint research teams are also planned, as well as a science train travelling through both countries advertising research and science to youngsters.In foreign affairs, Paris pledges to support Berlin's efforts to gain its own permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the decision-making body of the international organisation. Currently, permanent members with veto rights remain the five victors of the Second World War: France, Great Britain, the US, China and Russia. Meanwhile, the name Agenda 2020 is hardly original. The European Commission has already been working since last year on the eponymous ten-year plan to replace the failed Lisbon Strategy that, according to its aims, should have managed by 2010 to make Europe the most competitive economic area in the world.
EU surmounts carbon capture impasse
LEIGH PHILLIPS 04.02.2010 @ 09:16 CET
European Union member states have come to agreement on the division of spoils in the bloc's plan to launch a controversial technology to bury carbon underground or under the sea bed.In 2008, EU countries backed a proposal from the European Parliament on how to support the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) that would see the sale of 300 million carbon permits through the emissions trading scheme funding a dozen pilot projects around the union.CCS is a controversial technology whose boosters say it is the only realistic way to significantly reduce emissions from power plants - particularly very dirty coal-fired ones - and heavy industry. Critics meanwhile describe it as an expensive, energy inefficient distraction from renewable energy and efficiency measures that will not be commercially viable before 2030, long after developed nations' greenhouse gas emissions are supposed to have peaked.
But the months-long divide within the bloc however centred on who would get to hand out the funds from the sale of the carbon permits - estimated to amount to around €3.8 billion at current depressed market prices for a tonne of carbon.In the end, on Tuesday it was decided that it is to be the European Investment Bank that will take care of the distribution of funds, although some member states would have preferred that it be their own treasuries that took the final decision on the divvying up of the cash.Countries also agreed to drop a requirement for matching funds from national revenues. A certain undecided minority proportion of the funds will also be delivered to innovative renewable energy technologies.The pact must be approved by the EU parliament, which, with the initial proposal for CCS funding coming from the chamber, it is likely to do. However, some environmentalists are steadfastly opposed to the technology, calling it a subsidy for the coal industry dressed up as a climate solution.
The Greens in the European Parliament decried the final agreement.
The agreement would see public funds ...pumped into coal-fired power plants at the expense of renewable energy, warned Luxembourg MEP Claude Turmes.Unproven Carbon Capture and Storage is set for another big pay day.The EU will never achieve the necessary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 if it continues to support outdated, dirty fossil fuels.
Cyber-scam artists disrupt emissions trading across EU
LEIGH PHILLIPS 03.02.2010 @ 17:42 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Emissions trading registries in a number of EU countries were shut down on Tuesday (2 February) as a result of a phishing scam tricking traders into giving away their emissions allowances.Although emissions trading was still able to continue via the European Emissions Exchange, registries in nine member states - Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria Germany - closed to prevent any further losses, according to reports in the German press. Other national registries, notably those in Austria, the Netherlands and Norway, were quicker to react and while registration was suspended in these countries as well, they reopened on Tuesday.The European Commission told EUobserver that illegal transactions so far had only been reported in Germany and the Czech Republic. Brussels says that the registries will re-open once they have taken the appropriate measures to deal with the scam, including warning users and resetting passwords.Similar to online banking scams in which an email directs you to a website that is a copy of your own bank's webpage, and then asks for your bank details, these criminals reproduced the sites of the German and Czech registries. The criminals sent emails last Thursday to firms in Europe, Japan and New Zealand, asking them to offer up their registration details. A handful of firms fell for the trap and ended up giving away their CO2 emissions allowances to the crooks, who will now be able to sell them on. Financial Times Deutschland on Wednesday reported that one firm had lost €1.5 million as a result.
The European Commission, like any bank or online shop facing the same situation, is caught between the need to get out the word to firms to prevent them falling for the trap and undermining confidence in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by publicising the fact.We have to be careful not to blow this out of proportion, EU environment spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich told EUobserver.This happens to banks, Visa, Mastercard about once or twice a month. And this is the same sort of thing. I receive these emails all the time. I just delete them.It's not something intrinsic to the ETS. This could happen to anyone.That said, the immediate action we are taking is to see if we can shut down the illegal websites. We will then analyse in detail how this happened and see if there are any fresh guidelines we need to draw up to prevent future such events.The latest ETS scandal follows in the wake of news last week that an unnamed eastern European country was trying to sell on used credits and last December's warning by Europol, the European police agency, that as much as 90 percent of emissions trading was a result of carousel tax fraud costing national coffers around €5 billion euros.
There's an element of Laurel and Hardy-style incompetence to this, but it raises some more serious issues,said Oscar Reyes of Carbon Trade Watch, an environmental NGO critical of the ETS.There has been a spate of emissions trading fraud cases recently, and this is unlikely to be the last of them because the ETS is beset with loopholes.When the EU ETS failed to reduce emissions in its first phase, we were told that it had at least succeeded in establishing a functioning market. Now we're seeing that the rush to carbon trading was a botched job.
FAITH UNDER FIRE-FedEx relents on mandatory leave over cross-Manager says dress code bans Christian emblem February 04, 2010 11:45 pm Eastern 2010 WorldNetDaily
Cross banned by FedEx
A FedEx employee who this week was ordered onto an administrative leave for wearing a Christian cross to work has been told she can return to her job – with her cross.
They called me earlier. I can go back to work tomorrow. I get to wear my cross, Lisa Graves told WND today.Actually I'll find out what's going on [when I go in].She said the company volunteered to pay her for the time she was banished from the office, but the policy still is a concern since the company interpreted it as banning the cross. The case involving Graves developed in the Springfield, Mo., region where the company has several stores. She explained earlier this week to KY3 Television there that she was approached by her supervisor and given the option of hiding the cross or being placed on leave for the dress code violation. A statement released by the company at the time said, Our team member is still employed with the FedEx office and is on leave for not complying with our dress code until she comes into compliance. She signed the code upon hiring and at least three times since, including in the last 30 days. Her administrative leave is attributed to being out of uniform for multiple months. There are personal insignia limitations in the dress code but religious exceptions are given when requested and validated.Graves said she wasn't told about any exceptions,but that she was never granted one.
The company policy states that banned items of jewelry include political and personal insignias. Graves told the television station she had no idea a cross was considered a personal insignia.She's worked in the Springfield office for more than two years, and explained to station reporters she loves her work but loves her Christian beliefs even more. To hide that would be a conscious act of denying Christ and my faith,she told the station. She reported she was told last week by a supervisor she could not keep visible her cross necklace. Then this week she was approached again. I was asked by my immediate supervisor to hide it again and I told them I couldn't do that. I wouldn't do that,she said. It worries me. I have a family. I'm a single mother,she said then. She said the necklace will remain an issue. I can't find peace in putting this away so as to not offend someone else,she said. A company spokeswoman told WND that the company had decided to allow the cross if it was on a shorter chain so that it would be against Graves' throat, rather than in front of her uniform shirt. The spokeswoman also said there was an issue over the type of pants worn, and that was resolved, too. Graves said she hopes that the company is abandoning the policy, not simply making a one-time exception. Graves' case also hearkens back to an almost-identical case that still is ongoing in the United Kingdom.
There, an appeal has been launched over a rule imposed by British Airways on employees allowing Muslims to wear a hijab, Jews to wear skullcaps, Sikhs to wear religious bracelets but banning a Christian woman from wearing a tiny silver cross necklace. Nadia Eweida (Courtesy London Daily Mail) Nadia Eweida is attempting to overturn an employment tribunal's decision that the airline's actions were not religious discrimination. WND previously reported on the case that began in 2006 when Eweida was sent home from work after refusing to remove the cross because BA officials claimed it violated their dress code. According to a recent report from the Christian Institute, a charity committed to upholding the truths of the Bible, Eweida is represented in court by Karon Manghan, Queen's Counsel. Manghan said Eweida wished at the material times to wear a small, plain, silver cross visibly as a manifestation of her beliefs and personal expression of her faith.British Airways, she added, permitted adherents of other religious faiths to express their beliefs through certain visible symbols, such as the Sikh bracelet, the Jewish skull cap and the Muslim hijab.The airline argued that wearing the cross was Eweida's choice, but it was not required of her Christian faith. Ingrid Simler, the legal counselor for the airline, said,Ms. Eweida reflects her religious belief in a way similar to the way people wear symbols for … gay rights – that it reflects their core beliefs but it has nothing to do with religion.Eweida, a Heathrow check-in worker who is a Coptic Christian, later was returned to her position when the airline loosened its regulations. But the appeal followed when the Reading Employment Tribunal concluded the airline was allowed to ban a cross pendant that is visible. The tribunal's opinion said other symbols such as turbans and bangles cannot be concealed and so are allowed.
Lawyer seeks release of US missionaries in Haiti By FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press Writer – FEB 3,10
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A lawyer for 10 U.S. Baptist missionaries who tried to take three dozen children out of the country said Friday he would ask a judge to let his clients go free until their trial on kidnapping charges.The missionaries were taken to a downtown courthouse Friday to appear before an investigative judge in a closed hearing, said Jean-Louis Martens, a senior Haitian judicial official.They were escorted into the building one by one by Haitian police who covered their heads with a blue sheet so that they could not be photographed. None of the Americans responded to reporters' shouted questions.Defense attorney Edwin Coq told reporters he would ask the judge to grant the missionaries provisional release, a type of bail without money posted, until their trial, a date for which has not been established.I hope that they will be released today, Coq said.The investigating judge charged the Americans on Thursday with kidnapping for trying to take 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic on Jan. 29 without documentation.Coq has said that the group's leader, Laura Silsby, knew she couldn't remove the youngsters without proper paperwork, but he characterized the other nine missionaries as unknowingly being caught up in actions they didn't understand.They were naive. They had no idea what was going on and they did not know that they needed official papers to cross the border. But Silsby did, he said.
Silsby waved to reporters Thursday but declined to answer questions as the missionaries were taken back to the holding cells where they have been held since Saturday. She had expressed optimism before the hearing.We expect God's will be done. And we will be released, she said.The missionaries' detention has raised concerns among other countries including France, whose foreign ministry on Friday urged the Haitian government to quickly set up a bilateral commission to look into adoption procedures. French families have taken in 277 Haitian children since the quake.Family members of the detained Americans released a statement late Thursday saying they were concerned about their relatives jailed in a foreign country.
Obviously, we do not know details about what happened and didn't happen on this mission, the statement said.However, we are absolutely convinced that those who were recruited to join this mission traveled to Haiti to help, not hurt, these children.
The Baptist group, most of whose members are from two Idaho churches, had said they were rescuing abandoned children and orphans from a nation that UNICEF says had 380,000 youngsters in that plight even before the quake.But at least two-thirds of the children involved in the case, ranging in age from 2 to 12, have parents, although the parents of some told The Associated Press they gave them up willingly because the missionaries promised the children a better life.Each was charged with one count of kidnapping, which carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison, and one of criminal association, punishable by three to nine years. Coq said the case would be assigned a judge and a verdict could take three months.The magistrate, Mazard Fortil, left without making a statement. Social Affairs Minister Jeanne Bernard Pierre, who earlier harshly criticized the missionaries, declined to comment. The government's communications minister, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, said only that the next court date had not been set.Obviously this is a matter for the Haitian judicial system, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters Friday.We're going to continue to provide support, as we do in every instance like this, to American citizens who have been charged and hope that this matter can be resolved in an expeditious way. But it is something that a sovereign nation is pursuing based on the evidence that it presented.Members of Idaho's congressional delegation said in a statement Thursday that they are working to ensure the missionaries have access to legal help and medical attention. Silsby had begun planning last summer to create an orphanage for Haitian children in the neighboring Dominican Republic. When the earthquake struck she recruited other church members, and the 10 spent a week in Haiti gathering children for their project.
Most of the children came from the ravaged village of Callebas, where people told the AP they handed over their children because they were unable to feed or clothe them after the quake. They said the missionaries promised to educate the children and let relatives visit. Their stories contradicted Silsby's account that the children came from collapsed orphanages or were handed over by distant relatives.
She also said the Americans believed they had obtained in the Dominican Republic all the documents needed to take the children out of Haiti. The Dominican consul in Haiti, Carlos Castillo, told the AP on Thursday that the day the Americans departed for the border, Silsby visited him and said she had a document from Dominican migration officials authorizing her to take the children from Haiti. Castillo said he warned Silsby that if she lacked adoption papers signed by the appropriate Haitian officials her mission would be considered child trafficking.We were very specific,he said.Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee in Washington; Abel Guzman in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Paisley Dodds and Ben Fox in Port-au-Prince contributed to this report.
US commits to recover all bodies from Haiti hotel By MIKE MELIA and MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer – Fri Feb 5, 9:25 am ET
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – An hour before the earthquake struck, 19-year-old Britney Gengel phoned her mother in Massachusetts, bursting with joy: She had found her calling on a college trip to help orphans in Haiti.Now, as recovery crews continue to scour the collapsed Hotel Montana where Britney and 14 other Americans are believed buried in the rubble, Len and Cherylann Gengel are waiting with dread for another call — this time confirming their daughter's fate.It is a living hell on Earth to be in this limbo, Len Gengel said.Gengel's daughter and three other students from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., are believed to have been trapped inside the Montana when the Jan. 12 quake struck, turning the six-story landmark into a tangle of broken concrete in the flash of an eye. Some 100 people are believed buried there.The U.S. is pursuing the cases of about 4,000 Americans unaccounted for in Haiti, according to State Department spokesman Noel Clay. He said that number could drop dramatically because many are Haitians with U.S. citizenship who travel frequently between the two countries and are more difficult to track. So far, the U.S. has confirmed 79 American deaths.The departments of state, defense and health and human services are working together to recover, identify and repatriate remains of American citizens in the absence of functioning local mortuaries and commercial flights out of Haiti, said David Searby, a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy.
The Hotel Montana attracted an international clientele of tourists, aid workers and diplomats with its sweeping views from the hills above Port-au-Prince. None of the capital's ruins has been more thoroughly searched. Crews from the U.S., Brazil, France, Mexico, Canada and Haiti have all combed the debris, which pancaked so dramatically that the roofline comes within inches of the ground.U.S. Army Col. Norberto Cintron, who is in charge of the recovery effort, said it will continue until workers find and identify the remains of all who were lost there. He expects it to take six to eight weeks.My instructions are to try to find everyone that was in this building, Cintron said.We want to make sure we do this in a humane, dignified way, especially for the families.It's a slow process: spray the mass of broken concrete and twisted metal beams to clear the dust that covers everything, including bodies. If there are none, signal a frontloader to lift the debris. If there is the smell of death, work carefully with jackhammers and other tools to search for and extricate the body.A team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is there to identify remains pulled from the hotel, and American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division provide security. Inside the hotel gates, Cintron said 60 to 80 workers from outfits including the Army Corps of Engineers are working on recovering bodies.At the Hotel Montana, about 21 people were pulled out alive and, so far, 28 bodies have been recovered, according to Cintron. It is the site where perhaps the largest number of Americans has yet to be recovered.The engraved wedding ring on the finger of one smashed body pulled out last week helped workers identify her as Sandra Liliana Rivero Gonzalez, a Colombian manager for Delta Airlines. Two other bodies removed on Sunday, a man and a woman, were crushed beyond recognition and put into body bags to be taken away for identification from dental and other medical records.
The families of those victims are the lucky ones amid unspeakable horrors. Bulldozers and frontloaders clearing the mini-mountains of debris that were once downtown Port-au-Prince likely are carrying away human remains. Haiti's government says more than 115,000 bodies have been recovered — most dumped unceremoniously in mass graves outside the capital at Titanyen.Despite the overwhelming scale of the catastrophe, the Haitian official in charge of planning reconstruction, Patrick Delatour, said the government has no issue with Americans dedicating so many resources to the Montana.The Haitian government is not in any position to assign value to those efforts of independent agencies, he said.U.S. citizens who survived the quake were still being evacuated from Haiti: On Friday, three planes carrying 147 evacuees arrived in South Carolina, one of three states designated as repatriation sites. None of those on the Friday flights required hospitalization, although some were checked by doctors, said state Emergency Management Division official Derrec Becker. The evacuees made connecting flights or rented cars to complete their journeys home, Becker said.In the days after the quake, which killed an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people, relatives of the Americans missing at the Montana angrily implored the U.S. government to do more to find their loved ones. Some believe their campaign led to a stepped-up recovery effort. I just don't think the State Department had their act together. They do now. I think it took pressure from family members and congressmen, said Sally Baldwin, of Fort Worth, Texas. Her son Brendan Beck, a 35-year-old civil engineer, was doing development work in Haiti and is believed lost in the Montana. Len Gengel said he took comfort from seeing the recovery effort firsthand during a Jan. 23 visit. In a tearful meeting, Cintron pledged to find Britney, who had arrived in Haiti the day before the quake. Col. Cintron showed me a picture of his two daughters and cried in my arms, promising — promising me he would bring our girls home, said Gengel, a builder from Rutland, Mass.
A rescue worker who searched the rubble of Britney's hotel room told her father it was empty. He said Britney's body would likely be found in a hallway because people run to escape when earthquakes strike. Besides Britney and her classmates, two Lynn University faculty members are also missing. Survivors said the hotel's sudden collapse left them only a few seconds to escape. Hotel employee Laurene Leger was sitting at a desk, planning ahead for Valentine's Day events and the opening of a new bar, when she heard rumbles and felt the earth agitating. She yelled to two colleagues to run, grabbing the hand of one to urge her along as they fled through the business center and the lobby. By then it was over. It couldn't have been more than five seconds, seven. We turned back and all the top stories had crashed into the ground floor, she said. Gengel takes some consolation from the joy that came through in the last call from his daughter. He said Britney signed up for the week-long mission with the aid group Food for the Poor because she wanted to help the less fortunate, and Haiti is the poorest of the poor.Even though she did not speak Creole, she told her mother that communicating with the orphans was not difficult: You just do. You just do.She said she found her calling and that she was going to come back filled with happiness, Len Gengel said.She was happy.
India launches naval exercise off Andamans
PORT BLAIR, India (AFP) – India kicked off Friday a 13-nation naval exercise off its Andaman archipelago it said was aimed at improving disaster management and not an attempt to form a security bloc.The exercises are the biggest naval event off the India-administered island cluster since 2007 when a smaller exercise involving Australia, India, Japan, Singapore and the United States, riled giant neighbour China.Under questioning at a seminar organised to coincide with the drill, India's navy chief denied that the exercise was aimed at intimidating China, with which the country fought a brief border war more than four decades ago.Verma said the drill, codenamed Milan, which means meeting in Hindi, was purely aimed at improving coordination among Indian Ocean navies and not an attempt to form any regional security alliance.It is not a multilateral exercise but more of coming together for disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, Verma, host of the six-day drill, said in local capital Port Blair.The navies of Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand and Vietnam took part.Eight nations sent nine warships while the remaining four were represented by senior naval officials. An unspecified number of Indian vessels are also part of the drill.
China has been eyeing India with suspicion since it announced in 2005 ambitious acquisition plans for its navy and new military hardware that would give it greater clout in the strategic energy corridors of the Indian Ocean.The Indian navy, besides constructing or buying ships, submarines and aircraft, has also been building ties with countries in the region to expand its reach in the Indian Ocean.After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, India's navy played an international role, deploying warships to help devastated Sri Lanka and Indonesia in what analysts said was a bid to project itself as a regional power with offshore military strength.
Australia blocks Iran shipments over weapons fears: PM
Wed Feb 3, 10:12 pm ET
SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia has blocked three cargo shipments to Iran under laws aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Thursday.Defence Minister John Faulkner invoked the rarely used Weapons of Mass Destruction Act to block the shipments, Rudd said.If you look at the threat to regional and global peace which Iran poses in its current nuclear weapons programme, there is no alternative other than robust international action including in areas such as this, Rudd told public broadcaster ABC.We believe that national security, the national security interests of Australia, also demand this course of action, he added.The centre-left leader would not be drawn on the contents of the shipments, saying only that Australia had acted because we believe we must play the role of a responsible international citizen.The Australian newspaper reported that at least one of the banning orders, all made in recent months, blocked a cargo of pumps which could have been used to cool nuclear power plants.If you look at the status of Iran's nuclear weapons programme, and their consistent thumbing of the nose to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international community more broadly... there are no alternatives other than to maintain a hard line, Rudd said.The United States and key allies Wednesday urged Iran to follow up on a surprise statement from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by formally committing to a UN-brokered deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel.
Ahmadinejad's apparent overture was overshadowed by a rocket launch into space, which heightened fears Iran was developing ballistic weapons and was condemned by the White House as a provocative act.The West fears Tehran's uranium enrichment programme is masking efforts to produce atomic weapons, a claim vehemently rejected by the Islamic republic.Iran strongly denies that either its space or atomic energy programmes are intended to build a bomb.