Saturday, February 05, 2011
AKA OBAMAS-BARRY SOETOROS REAL BIRTH CIRTIFICATE-WHO KNOWS
MELANIE PHILLIPS ON ISRAELI TV
The great carbon trading scandal-Carbon allowances, Europe’s main weapon against climate change, have an impact on every household, yet the scheme is open to fraudsters and profiteers.Utility companies and heavy industrial polluters are given permits to emit carbon...By Rowena Mason 7:00AM GMT 30 Jan 2011
Within a few clicks of a computer mouse, stolen goods worth €28m (£24m) had bounced from the Czech Republic to Poland, Estonia and Liechtenstein before disappearing.
Distracting local regulators with a fake bomb scare, thieves behind the heist had made off with 500,000 carbon allowances – intangible products worth around €14 each that are the European Union's main weapon against climate change.Companies, such as those in the utility and heavy manufacturing sectors, are obliged to own allowances for each tonne of carbon dioxide they produce. The bulk are given away free by member state governments, but can then be traded between market participants to penalise heavy polluters and reward the more energy efficient.It sounds complicated and remote from everyday life, but the system has a very obvious impact on everyone living in Europe. It pushes up household bills and the price of manufactured goods in return for the wider social good of falling carbon emissions. The high economic cost to consumers and businesses is why it matters that the €90bn market across 27 European countries works effectively.In the context of such a big industry, €28m is perhaps the equivalent of stolen penny sweets from the corner shop. But part of the reason it has caused so much concern is that this is the fourth time that the carbon market has been hit with a major scandal.
40pc of all waste recycled now 03 Feb 2011
What is carbon trading? 30 Jan 2011
People thought the carousel fraud on carbon was the tin-pot scheme of small-time crooks, but over the past two years it escalated into an organised crime depriving taxpayers of €5bn in revenue. At one point, fraudsters accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with more than 100 people arrested mainly from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland.Another deep controversy hit last March, when it emerged that some governments, in particular Hungary, had started recycling credits, or selling on old ones that had already been used for financial gain. Old credits can be legally sold to the so-called voluntary markets, favoured in places such as Japan, where companies that want to greenwash their image buy credits to show their environmental credentials to customers. But it is fraudulent if the allowances end up back in the official European system, as they did on this occasion.
Then came the first signs of pure carbon credit theft in the middle of last year in a wave of phishing scams, with market participants sent emails trying to persuade them to divulge their passwords.By December, criminals had stolen credits from Romania in a hacking attack, prompting the closure of its national registry, and allowances were also reported missing in Switzerland. Barclays Capital claimed the whole market had descended into fiasco – but still there was no market-wide action to tighten security.With this latest theft from the Czech Republic, the European Commission finally closed the entire spot-trading market indefinitely. But is it too late to restore the credibility of a market that Europol, the cross-border police force, claims has an international reputation for fraud and lax regulation? Andreas Arvanitakis, senior analyst at Point Carbon, says an obvious starting point is improving the security of the computer systems with encryption and more layers of protection. Some of the national registries are less safe than a hotmail account, he says.Each of the allowances has a serial number but sales happen so quickly in a few clicks that they are long gone before they can be traced. A buyer on an exchange could be completely unaware they are handling stolen goods. The big question now is what happens to the victims of this and the eventual owners of the credits. Who pays? Is the buyer left liable? Experts are most worried that the scandals could discourage financial investors trading for fear of buying credits that were stolen or used for money-laundering.
There have been warnings after warnings that regulation of the system is lackadaisical and inept, says one disillusioned broker at a big London company, who used to work in oil.It's totally affected the reputation. You expect it to be properly regulated but Europe seems to run it more like a church raffle than a professional commodities market.What makes it worse is that many predicted the current problems accurately more than a year ago, just after the UK VAT fraud attacks. Henry Derwent, president of the International Emissions Trading Association wrote an open letter urging Europe to take action.Although these problems are not inherent in or specific to the European Union emissions trading system, they threaten to damage its reputation and distract from the scheme's success at a critical moment in time, he said. [We] believe that basic security precautions, identity checks and active regulation, all familiar from financial crime prevention in other markets, could resolve the problems at once.The European Commission admits that around half of Europe's registries are not protected against fraud. Britain is meant to have one of the best and claims to conduct identity checks on everyone who registers as a carbon trader.
However, a cursory glance at the online records of the British register shows a number of unusual traders in the mix. The Sunday Telegraphfound dozens of tiny UK-based companies, whose primary business appears to be anything from selling consumer goods to electronics, sitting on the list of account holders. Many give addresses in suburban residential streets of cities in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Essex and other places not known for their links to the world of high finance. Among them are businesses with unreachable addresses and Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo email accounts for company representatives. Some of them no longer even exist, according to records at Companies House.Some have begun to question whether it would be safer to bring in much stricter regulation akin to the Financial Services Authority's approval of fit and proper people to do business.Trevor Sikorski, head of carbon markets at Barclays Capital, has put forward a radical idea: allow access to accounts only to financially regulated parties or those industrials and utilities who need allowances to comply with the law. While this is not a guarantee of no future problems, it will make such fraud more unlikely and this is certainly what the market's integrity needs, he says.Having a better grip on who is behind each account would make it easier to trace who receives the carbon credits when they are first illegally transferred out of the register. Investors argue that this goes against the free marketeer spirit of trading. But environmental groups counter that people are forgetting the ethical purpose of the market, which is not driven by fundamental human supply and demand but theoretical principles: reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Some, like Friends of the Earth, prefer the concept of a flat tax on carbon, fighting against the idea that millionaire offset investors such as Vincent Tchenguiz and Al Gore, or the proprietary trading desk at Citigroup, are likely to end up with sizeable financial proceeds from a system that adds to household energy bills.However, it's not just speculative profiteering and outright fraud that have caused outrage. There is also concern that industry is going to get huge windfall profits from the sale of carbon allowances accumulated during lower activity in the recession. One of the main problems highlighted by bodies such as the Committee on Climate Change is that there are too many free credits floating around. This means it is often cheaper for companies to just pay and pollute than invest in energy efficiency.Professor Michael Grubb, one of its members, argues that the over-distribution of free allowances by government risks creating windfall profits for some energy-intensive industries and is driving up the price of carbon for the rest of EU business". The number of free allowances is meant to reduce over time. But powerful lobbying efforts by the industrial industries meant more were handed out than needed and now steelmakers and coalburners have already stockpiled huge numbers they can sell for profit .One other serious challenge is the unreliability of offsets, a type of allowance that permits developing countries to profit from reducing their emissions. Low carbon projects, such as wind farms in Africa, are given credits to reward them for not making carbon, which can be sold on to European polluters who need allowances to cover emissions.
Critics argue that many inappropriate projects with dubious green credentials are getting handed out allowances all over the place. For example, a Chinese hydroelectric dam, for which people had to be displaced from their homes and was already planned long before trading came into force, is being showered with the high-value credits. Even high-carbon coal plants can get credits, if they can claim their technology is the most efficient type.The worst offender has been industrial gas credits which were banned by Europe last week from 2013 onwards. These were allowances for destroying dangerous greenhouse gases used as refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons. It costs 7p to eradicate gases equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide and the resulting offsets could be sold on the market for about €11, giving a total return of more than 99pc.Developers found this so lucrative they were creating the gases purely to be destroyed and adding to other dangerous by-products in the atmosphere. In the end, industrial gas credits made up 85pc of the market.
Critics say this is awarding free money to Chinese and Indian developers straight from the utility bills of European consumers with no environmental gain. In fact, Michael Wara of Stanford University estimates it unnecessarily cost billpayers $6bn.
Natasha Hurley, policy adviser at CDM Watch, says: Industrial gas credits have been totally dominating the system and have no environmental integrity. The whole problem with offsetting is that it's difficult to prove. There is a huge challenge to ensure one offset does represent reductions.Turning our backs on it would be counter-productive. But we can't condone what's going on at the moment. We're coming across more problems every day. There are vested interests in India and China fighting against change. And with UN governance a lot is left up to host countries. We're seeing the same problems that hit the financial markets emerging in the carbon market.For all those lobbying for change, there are others worried about what a radical overhaul would do for businesses which must plan how many credits they will need.Miles Austin, director of the Carbon Market and Investors Association, describes the ban on industrial offsets as a politicised decision that kept market participants in the dark. Industrials that need to buy carbon allowances were concerned about the large reduction in available credits and its potential to push up prices.
Political decisions need to be characterised as such. Doing otherwise will reduce the pool of capital that is available, by increasing the risk, and the cost of capital available, he says. The most worrying aspect is the process by which it was done. There are no objective criteria that allow investors to assess it properly. The process is a complete black box.This chaos at the heart of carbon market regulation is the most concerning thing for countries about to embark on trading.As pressure grows at international climate change conventions for the carbon market to go global, the challenge will be how to create a system without the same laissez-faire attitude to verification and monitoring as the current European one.
Friday, February 04, 2011
DOUG AND LAURIE FEB 4,11 6-9PM EST ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND MORE
LAURIE ROTHS SITE
DOUG HAGMANNS SITES
CANADA FREE PRESS-JUDI MCLEOD
Rise of Muslim Brotherhood – creation of Islamic Crescent – history in progress - The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director and Founder 28 January 2011: Obama MIA as Middle East burns…
As prophesied in the Book of Isaiah, the unrest in Egypt is accelerating and morphing into a state of civil war. To anyone seeking clarity about the events in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East), and to grasp an understanding of what will be taking place, one has to look no farther than the book of Isaiah. The events we are seeing today on the cable news channels are setting the stage for future war as prophesied in Psalm 83.Recall Barack Hussein Obama’s Cairo speech on 4 June 2009. Look closely at Obama’s handling, or lack thereof, of this crisis of epic and soon to be biblical proportions. Watch and listen to the words of Obama as he metaphorically bows to the growing fundamental Islamic movement and describes the new relationship as a new beginning.Understand what we are witnessing is not a mere uprising – it is the takeover of a dictatorship by a ruthless Islamic theocratic movement (the Muslim Brotherhood) that has a vast presence and support here in the U.S. I have little doubt that Egypt will be fully destabilized. If not now, soon. Very soon. The domino effect will result in the formation of an Islamic crescent that will set the stage for the Psalm 83 war.But first, the current geopolitical structure and landscape must be altered. The prophesy of Isaiah chapter 19 appears to be on its way to fulfillment.
The following from Isaiah chapter 19 is taken from the King James version of the Christian bible. Please read and reread the following passages. It is my personal belief that we are witnessing history in the making – history that is steeped in prophecy. Events that will usher in a larger war.
1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city, [and] kingdom against kingdom.
3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.
6 And they shall turn the rivers far away; [and] the brooks of defense shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.
7 The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no [more].
8 The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.
9 Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
10 And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices [and] ponds for fish.
11 Surely the princes of Zoan [are] fools, the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I [am] the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
12 Where [are] they? where [are] thy wise [men]? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, [even they that are] the stay of the tribes thereof.
JOEL ROSENBERG IS ON GLENN BECK TONIGHT FROM 5-6PM EST ,WATCH THEN LSTEN TO DOUG AND LAURIE FROM 6-9PM EST.
JOEL ON BECK
KHAMENEI SAYS EGYPTIANS INSPIRED BY THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION: Why the Radicals want EgyptPosted: February 4, 2011 by joelcrosenberg
>> FYI: I’m scheduled to be on the Glenn Beck show on the Fox News Channel at 5pm eastern for the full hour to analyze the crisis in Egypt, the Iranian angle, and the impact on Israel and on Christians in the Middle East. Please join us if you can.
>> Later today, Lord willing, I’ll post a video blog on The Joshua Fund’s website discussing the future of Egypt from the perspective of Bible prophecy, specifically Isaiah 19.
UPDATED: Thirty-two years ago this week, the Islamic Revolution reached its zenith in Iran. The Shah had been forced to flee. His regime had collapsed. And on February 1, 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini landed at Tehran International Airport, welcomed by throngs of Islamic militants thinking he was the Twelfth Imam and shouting, The Holy One has come! The Holy One has come! Khomeini’s expressed mission, however, was not simply to seize control of Iran. He vowed to export the Islamic Revolution.Iran has been funding terrorist and subversive groups ever since.
If Egypt falls into the hands of the Radicals, this will be a disaster of historic proportions. Egypt and Iran would be the Twin Towers of the epicenter, two nations that have collapsed at the hands of the jihadists who are determined to rebuild the Islamic caliphate and usher in the End of Days, even if many in our foreign policy establishment don’t recognize this.In many ways, Egypt and Iran could not be more different. Egypt is ethnically Arab and spiritually Sunni. Iran is ethnically Persian and spiritually Shia. Traditionally, Arabs and Persians have hated each other. So have Sunnis and Shias. But now they are coming together for two common objectives:
1.To surround Israel, destroy the Jews, and capture Jerusalem for Islam.
2.To surround the Arabian peninsula, destroy the apostate House of Saud regime, and capture control of Mecca and Medina.This is why the Iranian regime is so excited by what is happening in Egypt, and determined to help where and how they can. Uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia will spell an irreparable defeat for the United States, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday, adding that the recent wave of unrest sweeping through the Mideast was a result of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, reports Reuters and Haaretz.Speaking with worshippers during Friday prayers in Tehran, Khamenei said that if they [protesters] are able to push this through then what will happen to the U.S. policies in the region will be an irreparable defeat for America….Today’s events in North of Africa, Egypt, Tunisia and certain other countries have another sense for the Iranian nation. They have special meaning. This is the same as Islamic awakening, which is the result of the victory of the big revolution of the Iranian nation, the Supreme Leader was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.The Iranian Foreign Ministry statement called upon people and governments around the world to strongly condemn what it said were Israeli and American interferences aimed at diverting Egyptians’ justice-seeking movement, by creating counter-revolt and using rioters….Iran also warns that any opposition to the movement of the Egyptian people … will bring about the anger and hatred of all Muslims around the world,the statement said.Developing….
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
12 And the ten horns (NATIONS) which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.(SOCIALISM)
13 These have one mind,(SOCIALISM) and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
New recruits bolstering pro-Europeanism, commissioner says
ANDREW WILLIS 03.02.2011 @ 09:25 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Recruits from the EU-10 member states which joined the bloc in 2004 have provided the European Commission with a badly-needed shot in the arm of pro-Europeanism, the institution's top administration official has said. Presenting recruitment data on the new member states on Wednesday (2 February), EU administration commissioner Maros Sefcovic also said women now outnumber men for the first time in the institution's history.We were very much impressed in the commission, not only about the quantity of our new colleagues, but also the quality and about the new pro-European enthusiasm they brought to the commission, the Slovak former diplomat said.And you know that we need it, he added, an apparent reference to the tough challenges the EU has faced in recent years.In the build-up to the biggest-ever enlargement in 2004, rules were agreed to allow for the preferential recruitment of staff from the new member states during a transitional period, which ended on 31st December 2010. A similar arrangement applies until the end of this year for Bulgaria and Romania.Wednesday's final report shows that between 1st May 2004 and the end of 2010, the commission recruited 4,004 officials and temporary agents from the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, well above a target of 3,508.
There was at least one national from each of the 10 countries at director-general or deputy director-general level and 189 heads of unit.Memories of the Communist regimes which dominated central and eastern Europe before the fall of the iron curtain in 1989 meant the new commission recruits were strong supporters of the EU project, said the commissioner.We still know how to appreciate the role of the European Union, Mr Sefcovic said.In a debate in the European parliament last month, the prominent French philosopher Jean-Marc Ferry said many European citizens no longer understood what the purpose of the EU is.The main idea of the EU was peace. That has now gone with the fall of the Berlin Wall ... and the EU lacks legitimacy, he said, adding that a new role was to be found in the taming of financial markets.
The new figures also show that women make up 52.1 percent of commission civil servants, outnumbering their male colleagues for the first time since the institution's establishment in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome.There are five times more women working as senior managers and twice as many as middle mangers than 15 years ago, said Mr Sefcovic.By continuing to hire greater quotas of women, the commissioner aims to have 25 percent of all senior managers and 30 percent of middle managers [A9-13] as women by 2014 when the current commission comes to an end.
Franco-German pact proposes hair-shirt union
LEIGH PHILLIPS 03.02.2011 @ 18:45 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Germany and France are set to present privately-constructed pact the two major EU economies that will deliver a true fiscal union alongside monetary union to the eurozone, but based on the Berlin model of growth. The pair aim to construct a comprehensive solution to the debt crisis that will once and for all tame the beast of market turbulence.The two states will unveil the broad outlines of the plan, which proposes harmonisation of corporate taxation and labour policies, over lunch at Friday's (4 February) European summit in Brussels.In what would be an unprecedented move towards common European spending decisions and labour markets under strict fiscal discipline, the Competitiveness pact as it has been named by its architects, will also seek to eliminate inflation-indexed wage agreements and move toward a common EU retirement age of 67.The latter demand comes hot on the heels of a fearsome battle Paris waged against trade unions and young people last year over an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 62.
Countries would also be forced to amend their constitutions to forbid public deficits exceeding a certain percentage of GDP, similar to Germany's debt break, which limits any new borrowing to 0.35 percent of GDP from 2016.Should other member states agree to such exacting concessions, Germany now appears willing to agree to demands by other member states to boost the effective lending capacity of the €440 billion eurozone bailout fund and to allow the European Financial Stability Facility to expand its remit.As part of the grand bargain, France said on Wednesday that it will introduce its own debt break, a constitutional balanced budget amendment Paris is describing as a golden rule. Proposals along these lines will be presented domestically in the coming weeks.Technical details of the Berlin-Paris concord will only be shown to the rest of the union next month.It is at the March summit that we will propose what we call the global package, which includes a certain number of elements including reinforced competitiveness and a better convergence of economic policies,French finance minister Christine Lagarde told reporters on Thursday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew to Madrid on Thursday to discuss the pact with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.Upon arrival, she told Spain that its current austerity measures were insufficient and that she wanted, for example, to see wage indexing eliminated.Nicolas Sarkozy has also proposed that the heads of the 17 states that use the single currency hold an annual eurozone summit to co-ordinate and assess the state of economic convergence. The pact targets eurozone members and is optional for those such as Sweden or the UK that retain a national currency.UK sources on Thursday said they were not worried about being isolated from a hardcore of European states and were quite relaxed about it.The eurozone can do what it wants to do. Decisions that affect the 27 would still be taken by the Ecofin Council [all 27 finance ministers],a British official sai. It should be remembered that there is quite a lot of Europe outside the Eurozone, not just the UK.Market watchers however were sceptical that France and Germany could convince the rest of the bloc to go along with the pact.It's a distraction that's going to have very little chance of success in terms of agreement to implement it, one contact told EUobserver. It's designed primarily for the consumption of the domestic German electorate, to move the focus away from the EFSF and German tax liability, but must be rightly seen by everyone else as a grand, ambitious set of headline proposals that ultimately won't go anywhere.With its very tough, sovereignty-eroding measures, it's very likely to be opposed by many member states, the source continued, although he believed that though much of the pact would be rejected, what would remain would be that countries that are bailed out would have to adopt constitutional balanced-budget amendments.
What it will probably boil down to is that the quid pro quo for future access to bail-out funds is this constitutional change.He described the move towards fiscal union as more akin to a hair-shirt union, saying it was inappropriate to impose the German model on the rest of the eurozone.After the disaster of the Stability and Growth Pact, this is more of the same thing multiplied, but anything multiplied by zero is still zero.
EU leaders to grapple with divergent energy proposals
VALENTINA POP 03.02.2011 @ 09:48 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A stronger EU mandate for dealing with gas-rich autocracies in the Caspian region, more public funding for renewable energy sources and a north-south energy corridor will be on the agenda of an EU summit on Friday (4 February). But France, Germany and eastern EU members are at odds over what to prioritise.Money and Russia are ultimately the two big issues looming in the discussions of EU leaders on energy security, pipelines and market liberalisation. The EU commission, for instance, would like to have public funding committed for cross-border and green energy projects in the next multi-annual EU budget from 2013 on. Modernising the bloc's power grids, so that wind energy from the North Sea for instance is transported to Spain or Italy, is one of the crucial investments the EU commission is pushing for. The cost is estimated at around €200 billion and Brussels fears that the private sector will not be able to foot more than half of the bill. Germany, the main contributor to the EU budget, sees things differently. According to German government sources, the issue is not so much about money, but about intelligent regulation which would allow the private sector to invest more in this field.
A proposal put forward by EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger, himself a German politician, will be discussed on Friday. But Berlin is keeping its cards close to its chest and prefers to defer the money issue to the broader talks about the next multi-annual EU budget.Germany's confidence in the power of companies to make the necessary investments in the area does not stand the test of experience in Spain and Netherlands, where companies have struggled after the scaling down of subsidies for wind and solar parks in austerity budgets.EU leaders from the eastern member states, many of whom where badly hit by the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis in 2009, are eager to get EU funding for cross-border connecting pipelines, which would allow their countries to help each other out in case of another supply crunch. On Thursday night, the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia and the President of Romania will meet with EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barosso to agree on a North-South gas corridor. This project would link the eastern flank of the EU, which is still heavily dependnt on Russian gas, to the more mixed energy sources of northern and western Europe.The money issue and EU caution over Russia relations could put the brakes on the scheme, however.
The EU's flagship project aimed at reducing reliance on Moscow's gas politics - Nabucco - is currently in its ninth year of existing mostly on paper. Not one km of pipeline has been laid down yet, out of the projected 1,200 km to cross the South Caucasus and Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.Mr Oettinger, in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, expressed annoyance that multi-national consortium behind the project has still not taken key business decisions.
There's a chance now to get to the largest gas fields in the world. The same way our forefathers went to Baku 150 years ago to make oil, there is this window of opportunity now, to seal a gas partnership between the Caspian area and Europe, he said.A stronger negotiation mandate with Caspian countries for the EU is one of the issues to be discussed on Friday.None of the Caspian autocracies are easy business partners for Europe, however. High-level meetings result in fierce criticism by human-rights-oriented NGOs, while the unpredictability and non-transparency of the regimes make it difficult to secure commitments and contracts based on normal European models.
Unrest in Egypt Might Mean Higher Gas Prices
by Chana Ya'ar FEB 3,11
Unrest in Egypt might result in another price hike at the gas pump, according to an article posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).There are a number of reasons for the upward price trend witnessed over the course of the past few weeks,Frank A. Verrastro and Guy Caruso wrote this week. Among the reasons they listed were investor moves to value commodities such as gold and other precious metals, restrictions on supply sources (little action on renewed drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was mentioned) and geopolitical tensions that could impact supply decisions and tanker movements.But in the case of Egypt, they wrote, the primary concerns focus on whether or not the Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea will remain open and operating with business as usual.
To date, we have seen no evidence of work stoppages, strikes or efforts to sabotage either of these key transit areas, Verrastro and Caruso wrote. They added that they believe the Egyptian military will make every effort to ensure that oil and cargo passage remains unimpeded.Still, the perception of trouble could be enough to raise insurance prices and tanker rates, they admit.Egypt is home to the largest oil refinery sector in Africa, producing some 700,000 barrels of crude per day, as well as substantial volumes of natural gas.Israel's southern neighbor exports considerable amounts of the refined product to the Jewish State as well as to other nations, and is a key transit point for oil and gas as the precious commodity is transported north and south.The Suez Canal, a strategic link that connects Mediterranean ports with those in the Middle East and Asia, is seen as a significant oil transit choke point.The 200-mile Suez-Mediterranean (SuMed) pipeline, which runs from Ein Sukhna along the Gulf of Suez to the Sidi Kerir terminal on the Mediterranean, is being seen as an alternative if travel through the Suez Canal is disrupted for any reason.But closure of either or both would result in higher prices for crude and refined petroleum products, especially since other routes would be significantly longer and more costly, requiring travel around the Horn of Africa.
$50 TRILLION IS NOT ENOUGH DEBT.BERNANKE INSISTS THE BANKERS CONTINUE TO GET BAILOUTS OR THE EARTH WILL GO FLAT.THE CHIPMUNKS WILL SING SO LOUD YOU WILL GO DEAF WORLWIDE.GIRAFFS WILL ATTACK NEW YORK.EASTER BUNNYS WILL DESTROY AMERICAN CITIES BY LAYING TRILLIONS OF EGGS FROM THE SKY AND DROPPING THEM.GREMLINS WILL SNEAK UP ON PEOPLE WORLDWIDE AND BITE THEIR ANKLES IF BERNANKE IS NOT ALLOWED TO PUT THE DEBT INTO THE QUADRILLIONS AND KEEP FEEDNG THE NEW WORLD ORDER BANKERS OFF SHORE CASH FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVES PRINTING PRESS OF ENDLESS CASH TO BE PAID FOR BY TAX PAYERS WHO WILL PAY CARBON TAXES AND WHATEVER TAXES THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DREAMS UP TO COVER THESE BANKERS TRACKS AND FUND THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.
Bernanke warns of catastrophe if debt limit not raised By Mark Felsenthal and Pedro da Costa – Thu Feb 3, 10:04 pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday issued a stern warning to Republican lawmakers that delays in raising the United States' $14.3 trillion debt limit could have catastrophic consequences.Beyond a certain point ... the United States would be forced into a position of defaulting on its debt. And the implications of that on our financial system, our fiscal policy and our economy would be catastrophic, he told the National Press Club.Bernanke coupled his warning with a call for the Obama administration and Congress to put in place a credible plan to curb future budget deficits.He also offered a moderately more optimistic assessment of the economy's prospects than in other recent remarks, although he made clear the recovery still needs support from the Fed.Some Republican leaders intend to use the need to raise the statutory debt ceiling as leverage for spending cuts. The Obama administration has said the nation would likely hit the limit between early April and late May.
If Congress does not raise the limit in a timely way, the government could be forced to scale back operations. A failure to lift the limit could raise the specter of a first-ever U.S. debt default and push interest rates up sharply.Financial markets have not yet shown any nervousness over the debt limit, which has typically been raised after political grumbling, and Bernanke said the chances of a default were very remote.Still, his comments echoed dire warnings issued by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other Obama administration officials, who have also said failure to raise the debt ceiling could be catastrophic.The Fed chairman called on lawmakers not to hold the issue hostage to the contentious debate over how best to rein in record budget gaps.I would very much urge Congress not to focus on the debt limit as being the bargaining chip in this discussion, but rather to address directly the spending and tax issues that we have to deal with in order to make progress on this fiscal situation, Bernanke said.
FED MISSING BOTH MANDATE TARGETS
In discussing the recovery, Bernanke provided a modestly more rosy outlook than he has in other recent appearances, citing gains in household spending, improved consumer and business confidence and stepped-up bank lending as signs 2011 may bring stronger growth than 2010.But he made clear Fed officials were not yet satisfied.
Although economic growth will probably increase this year, we expect the unemployment rate to remain stubbornly above, and inflation to remain stubbornly below, the levels that Federal Reserve policymakers have judged to be consistent over the longer term with our mandate, he said.Bernanke's comments on the economy suggest the Fed believes it has plenty of time to let its policies boost growth and pull down a high unemployment rate before it needs to worry about tightening financial conditions to keep inflation in check.We continue to see the Fed as making good on its intent to purchase $600 billion in long-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter, Barclays Capital economist Michael Gapen wrote in a note to clients. We also believe that the chairman has the votes needed to pursue further asset purchases should he think conditions warrant.The hard-hit job market shows some grounds for optimism, but modest growth and cautious hiring suggest that it will be several years before the jobless rate returns to a more normal level, Bernanke said.Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established, he said.
Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, who despite his reputation as an inflation hawk has publicly voiced support for the Fed's bond-buying program, said on Thursday the jobless rate will remain troublingly high through 2012. I do not believe that either unemployment or employment will improve rapidly in 2011, he told an audience at the University of Minnesota, where he headed the economics department before taking the top job at the Fed's smallest regional bank in 2009.And while he said he is optimistic inflation will rise this year, he said he expects it to stay below the central bank's informal 2 percent target. Asked about the potential that Fed policy is fueling bubbles, he said, Nothing in the current policy environment makes me worried about that.Some analysts worry the Fed is underplaying gains in the recovery and is turning a blind eye to inflation pressures that may be building, as evidenced by rising commodity prices around the world.Economic data on Thursday pointed to stronger growth momentum, as the U.S. services sector grew in January at its fastest pace in more than five years, factory orders picked up and claims for jobless benefits fell off sharply.
It seems to me that the chairman seems to be glass half-empty, said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. There are all these inflation concerns that are hitting the long-end of the bond market.Bernanke played down worries that recent commodity price rises pose an inflation threat in the United States.Overall inflation remains quite low, he said, adding that downward pressure on wages and prices was not surprising, given the substantial slack in the economy.He also countered accusations the Fed's easy monetary policy was behind surging prices for food and other raw materials around the globe, saying the increases primarily reflected strong demand in emerging economies.(With additional reporting by Glenn Somerville, Rachelle Younglai and Richard Leong in New York, and Ann Saphir in St. Paul, Minn. Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Dan Grebler, Gary Hill)
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all,(WORLD SOCIALISM) 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 WED MAY 30,2011
09:30 AM -2.25
10:00 AM -1.55
10:30 AM +7.38
11:00 AM -24.71
11:30 AM -13.55
12:00 PM -13.74
12:30 PM -7.61
01:00 PM +1.06
01:30 PM +9.31
02:00 PM +8.70
02:30 PM +8.13
03:00 PM +16.84
03:30 PM +18.50
04:00 PM +29.89 12,092.15
S&P 500 1310.87 +3.77
NASDAQ 2769.30 +15.42
GOLD 134.60 -3.40
OIL 88.79 -1.75
TSE 300 13,791.80 -49.50
CDNX 2370.29 +6.38
S&P/TSX/60 791.49 -2.89
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +14 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -5 points at low today.
Dow +15 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,355.50.OIL opens at $91.52 today.
Dow -36 points at low today so far.
Dow +30 points at high today so far.
Dow -36 points at low today.
Dow +30 points at high today.
GOLD ALLTIME HIGH $1,427.40 (NOT AT CLOSE)
THE JOURNALISTS ARE BEATEN,HIT,ARRESTED AND THREATENED WITH BEHEADINGS IF THEY CONTINUE TO REPORT FROM EGYPT.THE REAL DICTATOR MUBARAK IS SHOWING HIS FRUITS NOW.HE WILL DO ANYTHING TO KEEP CONTROL FREAK OF EGYPTIAN CITIZENS AND HIS POWER.
UFO SIGHTED OVER JERUSALEM
Egypt chaos: Dozens of reporters beaten, arrested By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press -FEB 4,11
CAIRO – Menacing gangs backing President Hosni Mubarak attacked journalists and human rights activists Thursday in an ugly turn in Egypt's crisis as government opponents pushed supporters out of Cairo's main square in a second day of street battles. Organizers called for protesters trying to topple the regime to fill every square in the huge capital on Friday.The new vice president, widely considered the first successor Mubarak has ever designated, fueled anti-foreign sentiment by going on state television and blaming outsiders for fomenting unrest. The government has accused media outlets of being sympathetic to protesters who want the president to quit now rather than serve out his term, as he has vowed to do.The Obama administration, meanwhile, was in talks with top Egyptian officials about the possibility of Mubarak immediately resigning and the formation of an interim government that could prepare the country for free and fair elections later this year, U.S. officials said Thursday. The talks were first reported by The New York Times.The creation of a military-backed caretaker government in Egypt is one of several ideas being discussed as anti-Mubarak protests escalate in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive diplomatic talks that are continuing.Among those options is a proposal for Mubarak to resign immediately and cede power to a transitional government run by Vice President Omar Suleiman.
White House and State Department spokesmen would not discuss details of the discussions U.S. officials are having with the Egyptians.The president has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, said White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor on Thursday night.We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward.Mubarak, 82, told ABC television in an interview that he was fed up and wants to resign. But he said he can't for fear the country would sink into chaos. He said he was very unhappy about the two days of clashes in central Tahrir Square.I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other, he was quoted as saying.The violence that had been concentrated in Tahrir spread around the city of 18 million, with a new wave of arson and looting.Soldiers, mainly protecting government buildings and important institutions, remained passive as they have since replacing police on the streets almost a week ago. Few uniformed police have been seen around the city in that time, and protesters allege some of them have stripped off their uniforms and mixed in with the gangs of marauding thugs.When there are demonstrations of this size, there will be foreigners who come and take advantage and they have an agenda to raise the energy of the protesters, Suleiman said on state television.Pro-government mobs beat foreign journalists with sticks and fists Thursday. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 24 reporters were detained in 24 hours, including representatives of The Washington Post and The New York Times. Twenty-one journalists were assaulted, including two with Fox News.
One Greek journalist was stabbed in the leg with a screwdriver, and a photographer was punched in the face, his equipment smashed. The Arabic news network Al-Arabiya pleaded for the army to protect its offices and journalists, and Al-Jazeera said four of its correspondents were attacked. The BBC's foreign editor said security forces had seized the network's equipment in a hotel to stop it broadcasting.White House spokesman Robert Gibbs denounced reports of systematic targeting of journalists and the State Department described it as a concerted campaign to intimidate.I think we need to be clear that the world is watching the actions that are taking place right now in Egypt, Gibbs said.Human rights activists were also targeted. Military police stormed the offices of an Egyptian rights group as activists were meeting and arrested at least 30, including two from the London-based Amnesty International, Amnesty spokesman Tom Mackey said. New York-based Human Rights Watch said one of its activists was also among those arrested.Amnesty's secretary-general Salil Shetty demanded their immediate release saying they should be allowed to monitor the human rights situation in Egypt at this crucial time without fear of harassment or detention.Mubarak's top ally, the United States, has pressed him to quickly transition to a democratic government but has said his earlier gestures, including forming a new government, were insufficient. The crisis that began on Jan. 25 when protesters launched the biggest challenge ever to Mubarak's 30-year rule has grown perilous. The day after Mubarak went on television late Tuesday and refused to step down, thousands of his supporters attacked anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square, where they had held a peaceful vigil for days.
The Mubarak supporters started fierce battles with firebombs, machetes and chunks of pavement that lasted throughout the night and all day Thursday.After nightfall, the fighting died down with protesters' hold on the square and nearby streets unbroken. Nearly 10,000 remained, some dancing and singing in victory as others — battered and bandaged — lay down exhausted to sleep or drank tea in the center of the rubble-strewn roundabout. Throughout the day, they gained in numbers and got supplies of food and medicine.Thank God, we managed to protect the whole area, said Abdul-Rahman, a taxi driver who was among thousands who stayed in the square through the night, hunkered down against the thousands besieging the entrances. We prevented the pro-Mubarak people from storming the streets leading to the square.He refused to give his full name. At least eight people have been killed and about 900 injured in the two days of fighting around Tahrir.Many of the square's defenders had cotton padding and grubby bandages dangling from their faces, arms and legs. Others had chunks of rock stuck to their hair and clumps of dust in their beards. Many had the trimmed beards of Muslim conservatives, a sign of the Muslim Brotherhood's role in the fight. The Brotherhood is the country's largest opposition group but secular groups have led the protests.Under an onslaught of international condemnation for Wednesday's assault on protesters by pro-Mubarak rioters, the government offered more concessions to the protesters, but that did nothing to calm the fury.
The anti-Mubarak movement has vowed to intensify protests to force the president out by Friday. The Facebook page that started the protest movement said supporters should gather at noon Friday on all Egyptian squares so that we can put the last nail in the regime's coffin, and declare the victory of the Jan. 25 revolution. Friday is the weekend in Egypt and millions attend prayers at noon in thousands of mosques across the city.Last Friday, there were fierce clashes between protesters and police after prayers. The hated police largely disappeared from the streets of Cairo after the clashes for reasons that remain mysterious. Mubarak, his new vice president and prime minister all promised to get to the bottom of their disappearance.The attorney-general indicated that the former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, who was in charge of the police force when they left the streets, is a suspect in the investigation. He ordered an asset freeze and travel ban against el-Adly and the former housing and tourism ministers, who were among the unpopular millionaire businessmen who dominated the government Mubarak dissolved early Saturday.In the capital on Thursday, a new wave of looting and arson began, after easing since the weekend. A fire raged in a major supermarket outside Sheikh Zayed, a suburb of the capital, and looters ransacked the building. A residential building neighboring a 5-star hotel on the Nile River corniche burned blocks away from Tahrir. Other fires erupted in the Cairo district of Shubra, north of the center, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The military and the security forces appeared to be doing little to stop the looting or the Tahrir clashes. In the interview, Suleiman said without elaborating that the police had lost some of its capabilities and that the army was struggling to fill the void.Protesters accuse the regime and the ruling party of organizing a force of paid thugs and police in civilian clothes to attack them Wednesday afternoon, sparking the violence that raged until Thursday night.The prime minister apologized for Wednesday's assault and acknowledged it may have been organized, though he said he didn't know by whom. Suleiman promised that Mubarak's son Gamal would not run in presidential elections in September. Before the protests, Mubarak was widely expected to try to pass his power to his son in a hereditary succession, despite significant public opposition.Suleiman also offered to hold negotiations on the country's future even with the regime's biggest domestic enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood. But he also accused the Brotherhood of inciting the violence.Mubarak's regime has long rejected any talks with the Brotherhood, which calls for an Islamic state in Egypt, and has arrested thousands of its members in the past. The Brotherhood is among the many disparate anti-Mubarak groups organizing the protests, though secular activists have so far dominated the movement. All have rejected any dialogue with the government before Mubarak steps down.
The government's latest concessions would have been stunning just two weeks ago. But on Thursday they were drowned out by the chaos.Hosni Mubarak's every breath is a lie,said Assem Moussa, a 40-year-old businessman among the protesters. All the promises and the concessions are part of the lies. He is trying to deceive the people.Moussa pulled a white cloth out of his pocket, saying, This is my funeral shroud. If I die here, I will die for our freedom.During Thursday's fighting, bands of Mubarak supporters moved through side streets around Tahrir, trading volleys of stone-throwing with the protesters and attacking cars to stop supplies from reaching the protest camp. One band stopped a car, ripped open the trunk and found boxes of juice, water and food, which they took before forcing the driver to flee.Fighting centered on and below a highway overpass 500 yards (meters) north of Tahrir's center that regime supporters had used as high ground to pelt the crowds. Protesters swept over the bridge in stone-throwing battles.At one point, a police truck barreled wildly through the crowds under the bridge, mowing down several people in its path, according to footage aired on Al-Jazeera. Heavy barrages of gunfire were heard from time to time.The morning saw a brief attempt by the military to stop the fighting — its first since the melee started Wednesday. But the troops stood aside when clashes resumed in the afternoon, moving inside their tanks and armored vehicles without intervening.The Mubarak backers seethed with anger at a protest movement that state TV and media have depicted as causing the chaos and paralyzing businesses and livelihoods.You in Tahrir are the reason we can't live a normal life, one screamed as he threw stones in a side street.
The anti-Mubarak youths posted sentries on the roofs and balconies of buildings around the square to raise the alert of any approaching attackers and rain stones on them. Other lookouts in the streets banged metal poles against pedestrian barriers alarm when they sighted incoming Mubarak backers.One sentry waved his arms in the air like an airport runway traffic controller, directing defenders carrying piles of stones as ammunition to a side street to fend off an assault. But then another sentry waved a hand across his chest horizontally in a new signal. The crowd understood: false alarm, and they melted back into the square.An exodus of foreigners, meanwhile, continued for another day with the U.N. evacuating much of its staff. The vice president said 1 million foreign tourists have fled the country, costing $1 billion in lost revenues from one of Egypt's most important industries.
AP correspondents Hadeel al-Shalchi, Sarah El Deeb, Hamza Hendawi, Diaa Hadid, Lee Keath and Michael Weissenstein contributed to this report.
Muslim Brotherhood looks to gains in Egypt protest By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press - Thu Feb 3, 5:00 pm ET
CAIRO – Egypt's wave of protests has brought the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood within sight of a long-sought dream: Not outright power, as some fear, but a recognized and open role in the politics of this top U.S. ally.Vice President Omar Suleiman on Thursday said he had invited the Brotherhood into negotiations over Egypt's future and the transition to democracy — a stunning concession to a group that the regime considers its worst enemy and has cracked down on ferociously in the past years.The Brotherhood has rushed to take a stronger role in the unprecedented protests that erupted 10 days ago, led by more secular young activists demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood's strength was on display in the pitched battles in Wednesday and Thursday against government supporters who attacked the protesters' camp in Cairo's central Tahrir Square.Brothers — distinguishable by their close-cropped beards — dominated the front lines, often lining up to pray for victory or martyrdom, before throwing themselves into the fray, hurling stones, sticks and firebombs at the attackers while shouting God is great.The potential of the Brotherhood gaining greater power has clearly weighed on the United States as it presses Mubarak to bow out. U.S. officials have said they want the transition to democracy to be stable to prevent any group from imposing its ideology.
Israel has been more alarmist in fears of an Islamic militant takeover, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that any government that emerges from Egypt's turmoil must preserve the 1979 peace deal between the two countries.And Egypt's government has been happy to fuel those worries, long warning the U.S. and Egyptians themselves that the Brotherhood aims to take over the country and lead it into Islamic radicalism. Mubarak, in an interview with ABC News, blamed the Brotherhood for the past two days of clashes.The Brotherhood, founded in 1928 and outlawed in 1954, renounced violence decades ago and its strain of conservative Islam falls far short of the radicalism of Afghanistan's Taliban or even the ultrapuritanism that reigns in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia. Though some in al-Qaida have Brotherhood roots, the terror group and other jihadists despise the movement for participating in elections.But the Brotherhood's professed ultimate goal is to turn Egypt into an Islamic state, likely to pressure women to cover up in public, ban alcohol and undoubtedly strain ties with Israel.Brotherhood leaders insist they are not seeking a leadership role in the protests. That reflects a wariness of breaking its fragile alliance with secular activists and prompting a backlash against it.We are very clear: We are out there, but only so far as what fits and meets the requirements of the nation, Mohammed Mursi, a senior Brotherhood leader, told The Associated Press,
We are not wavering, but we are not being reckless either,he said.The Brotherhood's presence among protesters has visibly grown. Their supporters — men in beards and women in veils cloaking their entire faces except their eyes — were checking the ID of people coming into the square and searching them.One secular woman protester, Selma Abu al-Dahab, said Thursday that as she and three others like her dressed in chic clothes without Islamic headscarves entered Tahrir, a bearded young man told them the TV was reporting that there are growing numbers of Islamists in the protest so please congregate to show this is not the case.Diaa Rashwan, a prominent Egyptian expert on Islamic groups, believes that the Brotherhood may be moving to top gear to take full advantage of the situation created by the protests.They are a highly organized group and have been wanting to gain power for a long time, he said. At this point in time, they have gone on a high alert and are mobilizing all their assets. They would be fools not to.The disparate young leftists and secularists who launched the protests and still make up a majority on the streets view the Brotherhood with suspicion. But they also insist that its power and the popular support it would have in a democratic system are exaggerated.The Brotherhood looks big in a nation like ours where politics are basically a one-party system, said Fathi Farid, a 23-year-old blogger with a ponytail. But once we have a nation where everyone is free and the law is above everyone, it will be just one of the players.
The Brotherhood maintains a deliberate ambivalence over its intentions. It says, for example, that it opposes Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and endorses the right to armed resistance against the Jewish nation, but says that it will not actively seek to rescind the agreement since it was adopted by the parliament of the time.We in the Brotherhood are not living in dreamland, Mursi said when asked whether the group would rescind Egypt's peace treaty with Israel if in power. It continues to maintain that its objective is to create a purist Islamic state in Egypt, but says it will not force women to wear the Islamic veil in public. Its stand on whether Egypt's Christian minority should have equal rights with Muslims and women's role in society are less clear.Mursi himself maintained that the Brotherhood was unlikely to win a majority in a free and fair election in Egypt.But this, critics contend, is a Brotherhood tactic to play down its abilities and conceal its real intentions. The Brotherhood has long been seen as the best organized opposition movement in Egypt, despite the ban against it, with a disciplined political network across the country. Much of the Brotherhood's popular support comes from its network of social services, which in some cases offer the public a more efficient service than the government's.
It runs candidates as independents in parliamentary elections, and its best showing came in 2005, when it won 20 percent of the legislature's seats. However, it failed to win a single seat in last year's elections, rigged to ensure that Mubarak's ruling party won all but a small fraction of the 518-member chamber.Thousands of Brotherhood members have been arrested in crackdowns in recent years. That in part was what made Suleiman's offer of negotiations so startling. The vice president, a former intelligence chief and diehard military man, dangled before the group the seat at the table that it has long sought, calling it a valuable opportunity.So far, the Brotherhood and other groups involved in the protests have rejected any talks until Mubarak goes.The military, Egypt's most powerful institution, is known to oppose the Brotherhood but may be willing to tolerate it as a part of the political spectrum, not a dominant force.Ammar Ali Hassan, an expert on Islamist groups, said the past 10 day's turmoil has shown the strengths and limits of the Brotherhood's popular support. In the climate of freedom of the past week, the Brotherhood was seen for what it really is away from the regime's exaggerations of the threat it poses.
Go now EU countries tell Mubarak, as Egypt faces Tiananmen moment
LEIGH PHILLIPS 03.02.2011 @ 10:28 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Germany, France and the UK have told Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak to begin the transition to democracy now, amid pitched battles between government forces and pro-democracy protesters in Cairo's main plaza.UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said that the orderly transition that EU foreign ministers had called for two days before - in conclusions which deliberately left the schedule open - needs to start now. His French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, issued a similar call, saying the process should start without delay.In what appears to a co-ordinated line by the three EU capitals ahead of a summit in Brussels on Friday (4 February), German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle used similar language, saying: People want democratic change and they want it now.The US and Turkey have also taken on a new tone of urgency.
US President Barack Obama demanded immediate action: An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now, he said. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: The [Egyptian] people expect a very different decision from Mubarak [than his pledge to go after elections in September].For her part, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton seemed to be behind the curve at a meeting in the EU parliament on Wednesday.Ms Ashton repeated the non-committal formula from the EU ministerial on Monday, calling for an orderly transition of power and a far-reaching transformation amid heavy criticism from MEPs.Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt compared the events sweeping north Africa and the Middle East to the events of 1989 in China and in Communist Europe.We haven't really taken measure of this historic moment in time and we have failed to analyse the situation properly, he said.The EU should stand 100 percent behind the Egyptian people and its demands. Mubarak should leave his country to democracy.The right also expressed its frustration with the EU's performance.Cypriot Christian Democrat Ioannis Kasoulides said the EU is playing second fiddle to the US, whose statements over the last week ratcheting up pressure on Mr Mubarak have tended to come out before those of the EU by a few hours each time. Spanish conservative MEP Jose Salafranca said the EU was caught wrong-footed and has not learned the lessons of cosying up to the enemies of democracy.
Media outlets on the ground in Egypt in the small hours of Thursday reported heavy gunfire against protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Al Jazeera says that at least five people have been killed and 800 wounded. Earlier on Wednesday, Mubarak loyalists charged into the square on horseback and camel, attacking protesters. Following a series of pitched battles, demonstrators formed barricades to defend themselves.US secretary of state Hilary Clinton telephoned the country's vice-president, Omar Suleiman, to say the events are shocking. The secretary urged that the government of Egypt hold accountable those who were responsible for violent acts,a State Department statement said.
U.S. proposes Mubarak's immediate resignation By Jonathan Wright and Marwa Awad - FEB 4,11
CAIRO (Reuters) – The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak as one of several scenarios for a transition of power, a U.S. official said.The U.S. move comes after 10 days of anti-government protests in Egypt and ahead of a mass Day of Departure rally planned by protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to force Mubarak to quit.The 82-year-old Egyptian leader, speaking in an interview with ABC on Thursday after bloodshed in Cairo that killed 10 people, said he believed his country still needed him.If I resign today, there will be chaos, said Mubarak, who has promised to step down in September. Asked to comment on calls for him to resign, he said: I don't care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country.U.S. officials said on Thursday they were talking to Egyptian officials about a variety of ways to move toward a transition of power, including one in which Mubarak leaves office immediately.That's one scenario, said a senior Obama administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.There are a number of scenarios, but (it is) wrong to suggest we have discussed only one with the Egyptians.
The New York Times earlier said Washington was discussing a proposal for Mubarak to turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military.The White House would not confirm the Times report but said discussions have been under way with Egyptians in an attempt to resolve the crisis.The Times also quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying that what Washington was asking for could not be done, citing clauses in the Egyptian Constitution that bar the vice president from assuming power. Under the constitution, the speaker of parliament would succeed the president.That's my technical answer, the official added. My political answer is they should mind their own business.Moving to defuse an unprecedented challenge to his 30-year-rule, Mubarak appointed Suleiman, a former intelligence chief, as vice-president and offered talks on reforms.But that has failed to satisfy protesters who are hoping to rally thousands of Egyptians on Friday for a fresh demonstration to try to force Mubarak to quit now.Protesters in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, which has become the hub of pro-democracy demonstrations, were hoping to be joined by thousands more for a big demonstration they are calling the Friday of Departure.
Organizers called on people to march from wherever they were toward the square, the state television building and the parliament building -- all within around a mile of one another in the heart of the city.The U.S. State Department said it expected confrontation in what would be the 11th day of protests.An estimated 150 people have died in the protests, at least 10 of them in confrontations which erupted in Tahrir Square on Wednesday when pro-Mubarak supporters attacked the protesters.State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington believed elements close to the government or Mubarak's ruling party were responsible for the violence which erupted on Wednesday. The Interior Ministry has denied it ordered its agents or officers to attack anti-Mubarak protesters.
GOVERNMENT OFFERS TALKS
In a move to try to calm the disorder, Suleiman said on Thursday the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized opposition movement, had been invited to meet with the new government as part of a national dialogue with all parties. An offer to talk to the banned group would have been unthinkable before protests erupted on January 25, indicating progress made by the reformist movement since then. However, the opposition has refused talks until Mubarak goes.The United States, which supplies the Egyptian army -- Mubarak's power base -- with about $1.3 billion in aid annually,is struggling to find a solution to the crisis that does not exacerbate instability in the Arab world's most-populous nation.Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said President Barack Obama has said now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations.The New York Times said the U.S. proposal called for a transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country's electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September.
Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, has been a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. Mubarak had also justified his use of emergency rule as needed to curb Islamist militancy in a country where al Qaeda had its ideological roots.
Mubarak described Obama as a very good man, but when asked by ABC if he felt the United States had betrayed him, he said he told the U.S. president: You don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.The protests were inspired in part by events in Tunisia, where its leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee last month.Oil prices have climbed on fears the unrest could spread to affect oil giant Saudi Arabia or interfere with oil supplies from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.(Reporting by Edmund Blair, Samia Nakhoul, Patrick Werr, Dina Zayed, Marwa Awad, Shaimaa Fayed, Alexander Dziadosz, Yasmine Saleh, Sherine El Madany, Yannis Behrakis, Jonathan Wright, Andrew Hammond, Tom Perry and Alison Williams in Cairo; editing by Sanjeev Miglani and John Chalmers)
Yemen Day of Rage draws tens of thousands By Mohammed Ghobari and Khaled Abdullah – Thu Feb 3, 4:50 pm ET
SANAA (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Yemenis squared off in peaceful protests for and against the government on Thursday during an opposition-led Day of Rage, a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to step down in 2013.The peaceful protests faded out by midday as planned, suggesting Yemenis outside the traditional opposition activist core had not been motivated to transform the rally into a self-sustaining, Egyptian-style mass upheaval.Still, the opposition drew more than 20,000 people in Sanaa, the biggest crowd since a wave of demonstrations hit the Arabian Peninsula state two weeks ago, inspired by protests that toppled Tunisia's ruler and threaten Egypt's president.The people want regime change, anti-government protesters shouted as they gathered near Sanaa University, a main rallying point. No to corruption, no to dictatorship! Saleh, in power for 30 years but eyeing the unrest spreading in the Arab world, indicated on Wednesday he would leave office when his term ends in 2013. He pledged, among a host of other political concessions, that his son would not take over the reins of government.It was Saleh's boldest gambit yet to stave off turmoil in Yemen, an important U.S. ally against al Qaeda, as he sought to avert a showdown with protesters in the impoverished state.
U.S. President Barack Obama, in a telephone call to Saleh on Wednesday, urged the Yemeni leader to follow up on his reform measures with concrete actions, the White House said.Across Yemen, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets including in Taiz, where Saleh once served as military governor, and in southern towns where a separatist movement has grown increasingly active.Yet analysts say only a large showing from traditionally non-aligned Yemenis and disgruntled youths, facing soaring unemployment and meager incomes, would create a watershed moment for farther-reaching unrest in Yemen.Scuffles broke out in the southern port city of Aden when security forces broke up a protest with tear gas, and two people were wounded. Hundreds of security men had deployed across the city, arresting 20, an opposition spokesman said.Yemen's biggest opposition party, the Islamist Islah, welcomed Saleh's initiative but snubbed a presidential appeal to call off protests. But anti-government protesters appeared to lack consensus, with some calling for Saleh to get out while others wanted him to prove he would act on his promises.What the president offered yesterday was just theater. I don't trust him, a protester, Mahmoud Abdullah, said in Sanaa.
ON THE BRINK
In most of the country, protests ended promptly at noon, with demonstrators dispersing quietly ahead of a customary break to chew qat, a narcotic leaf widely consumed in Yemen.Should protests widen, the stakes would be high for Saleh. His country is on the brink of becoming a failed state, as it tries to fight a resurgent al Qaeda wing, quell separatism in the south and cement peace with Shi'ite rebels in the north.The danger for the government is that all these different strands of opposition ... coalesce not necessarily out of any sort of allegiance, but because they have the same political enemy. That becomes very dangerous for Saleh, said Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen analyst at Princeton University.Abubakr al-Qirbi, Yemen's foreign minister, told BBC Radio that serious dialogue was needed now between the ruling and opposition parties. We have never closed the door for their participation, Qirbi said.Asked whether the unrest could be exploited by radical Islamists, he replied: Any instability, not only in Yemen, whether it is in Egypt or Tunisia or in any other country, will play into the hands of extremists and terrorists. This is really why it is important to work with governments and opposition parties to make them realize that the objective of change is to create stability and not to create anarchy.Saleh, a shrewd political survivor, has backed out of previous promises to step aside. Analysts say Wednesday's pledge could be a genuine way to exit gracefully but he may also hope to wait out regional unrest and reassert dominance another day.
Yemen's opposition coalition said it wanted assurances that reforms would be implemented, and demanded better living conditions for Yemenis, about 40 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, while a third suffer from chronic hunger. Yemenis are angry about the situation, but haven't reached the level they have in Egypt, said Barak Barfi, Research Fellow for New America Foundation.The United States relies heavily on Saleh to help combat al Qaeda's Yemen-based arm, which also targets neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.Instability in Yemen would present serious political and security risks for Gulf states. Obama told Saleh during their Wednesday call it was imperative that Yemen take forceful action against al Qaeda, the White House said.(Additional reporting by Erika Solomon in Dubai and Keith Weir in London; writing by Erika Solomon and Cynthia Johnston; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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.
Avalanche warning issued for Adirondacks
– Thu Feb 3, 2:19 pm ET
ALBANY, N.Y. – State environmental officials say heavy snowfall has increased the risk of avalanches on Adirondack Mountain slopes, especially in the High Peaks region.The Department of Environmental Conservation has advised hikers, skiers and snowshoers in the Adirondack back country to take safety precautions, including never traveling alone. They also recommend telling someone where you're going and when you'll return, knowing rescue techniques and carrying safety equipment.
Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls, as well as during thaws.Information on trail conditions and closures can be found on the DEC website.Online:http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html
Rains, flood threat hamper Aussie cyclone relief By KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press - FEB 4,11
CAIRNS, Australia – Drenching rain and the threat of flash flooding hampered recovery efforts Friday following one of Australia's most damaging cyclones, as authorities confirmed the first death from the storm.Cyclone Yasi was downgraded Friday morning to less than hurricane strength after traveling almost 500 miles (800 kilometers) inland since crashing ashore a day earlier along a long stretch of Queensland state's coast.The storm destroyed dozens of homes and ripped roofs and walls from dozens more. It cut power supplies in two regional cities and laid waste to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of banana and sugar cane crops.Police on Friday announced the first death from the cyclone — a 23-year-old man who asphyxiated due to fumes from a diesel-powered generator he was using in a closed room as he sheltered from the storm. Two other men are missing in Cardwell.Residents and officials were amazed that the death toll was not higher. The storm whipped the coast with up to 170 mph (280 kph) winds and sent waves crashing ashore two blocks into seaside communities.Prime Minister Julia Gillard said 4,000 troops were being made available to help with the cleanup operation, and more than 600 police and emergency services workers were fanning out to hard-hit towns with chain saws and heavy machinery to clear downed trees and other debris.
Power was gradually being restored in some areas, and airports in regional centers were reopening. But the work was being hampered by torrential rain in other parts of the disaster zone, a coastal region more than 190 miles (300 kilometers) long that is popular with tourists and forms the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.The Bureau of Meteorology issued flood warnings along the length of the stricken coast, which is in the middle of the annual monsoon season. Further warnings were in place for inland regions in the path of the storm's remnants.Officials urged people in towns still cut off to be patient, and vowed they would work hard to reach all outlying areas.The cyclone has added misery to a state that has been battered for weeks by the nation's worst flooding in decades, which killed 35 people, swamped dozens of towns and caused an estimated $5.6 billion dollars damage.In Cardwell, power and water supplies remained cut and shops and restaurants were shuttered. The main road into town was torn into chunks in places and piles of sand washed ashore by tidal surges blocked it elsewhere. Yachts and leisure cruisers were piled atop each other at the marina, and some washed up on the boardwalk.Diane Robson said she and her husband Michael weathered the storm in their top floor apartment. On Friday, she stood on her balcony looking at her yacht lying in their next door neighbor's yard, where it was flung by the storm.I don't ever want to get back on the boat again." she said I'm too scared.
The couple had about a week's worth of food and bottled water, and said they would stick around to clean up until their supplies ran out.Lisa Smith, whose house in Cardwell had part of its roof torn off, said she was still numb from the disaster, and was beginning to wonder when officials would come to their aid. The couple lived through Cyclone Larry that hit in 2006, and she said it took a long time for help to arrive.A lot of us feel like we're on our own again, she said.I just hope we don't get forgotten.Gillard said that while the most frightening period of the storm was finished, continuing bad weather meant the situation was still dangerous.This is a big cyclone, it's a big area, it's a lot of damage, and the damage is still being created because of the floodwaters, Gillard told reporters in Townsville. It's not the right time for people to let their guard down.Online: Bureau of Meteorology: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/index.shtml
South Dakota reopens highway closed by snow drifts
– Thu Feb 3, 8:27 pm ET
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – South Dakota reopened late Thursday afternoon an interstate where up to 200 vehicles, some with small children inside, were stranded for hours by 5-foot snow drifts, officials said.The vehicles were trapped from late Wednesday through midmorning Thursday on a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 29 near the state's border with North Dakota, officials said.The vehicles were buried by the snow drifts and white-out conditions from high winds, said Pat Culhane, spokesman for the Codington County search and rescue team that aided motorists. No injuries were reported.South Dakota had closed a 75-mile stretch of I-29 from Watertown to the North Dakota border because of the storm and completed its reopening Thursday afternoon, state transportation department spokeswoman Kristi Sandal said.
Cleanup work in the area is continuing.Roberts County Emergency Management Director Jim Pearson was among those stuck in the deep drifting snow.There was very low visibility and it just seemed to compound as it got dark and the winds picked up to over 40 miles per hour with zero visibility, Pearson said in a telephone interview. You could go 20 miles or 10 miles the other way and there would be really nothing.
Pearson had attended an emergency management meeting in Watertown Wednesday to plan for potential spring flooding due to heavy snowfalls and was stranded on a road parallel to the interstate for about 12 hours until late Thursday morning.Pearson had an emergency kit and enough fuel to run his Ford F-150 pickup truck to stay warm.
The Watertown-based Codington team used a Sno-Cat tracked vehicle and four rescue trucks to shuttle to shelter motorists who opted not to stay with their vehicles, Culhane said.The stretch is in a foothill region of South Dakota susceptible to deep snow drifts from high winds, Pearson said.(Reporting by David Bailey and Steve Gorman, Editing by Greg McCune and Jerry Norton)
Bitter cold sets in as US digs out from epic storm
by Mira Oberman – Thu Feb 3, 3:08 pm ET
CHICAGO (AFP) – Bitterly cold temperatures set in Thursday as millions of Americans dug out from a massive storm which dumped snow, ice and sleet over a 3,000 kilometers (2,000 miles) stretch from Texas to Maine.The storm -- one of the largest since the 1950s -- had ground travel nearly to a halt Tuesday and Wednesday, and authorities warned that road conditions remained treacherous even though the storm had dissipated.Motorists should still not travel if it can be avoided, said Colonel Ron Replogle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol as he announced the reopening of Interstate 70, which had been closed all day from one end of the state to the other.
Also, remember that many other roads around the state are still not passable.An Oklahoma news crew captured the dramatic rescue of eight people whose truck skidded off a highway bridge into a frozen river near Tulsa Thursday morning.Six people had managed to climb onto the roof of the truck and the other two were able to stay out of the frigid water which seeped inside. But three of them nonetheless died from exposure and the conditions of the others was unknown, News on Six reported.
Officials also warned people to be careful of slippery sidewalks and not to strain themselves while shoveling, noting that 40 people died of heart attacks in the aftermath of a 1999 blizzard in Chicago.Do not underestimate the task at hand, the National Weather Service said.Illinois officials were investigating seven storm-related deaths, including a man stuck in his car who was dead by the time rescuers arrived and another who suffered a heart attack shoveling snow.An Ohio state trooper and his wife were found dead in their garage, apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to use a generator to power their home, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
At least a dozen other storm-related deaths were reported, including a homeless man who set himself on fire trying to keep warm in Long Island and a 20-year-old Oklahoma woman killed while being pulled on a sled by a pick-up truck that crashed into metal pole.The storm, which affected around 100 million people, was epic in scope. Blizzard, winter storm, freezing rain and wind chill warnings were issued for more than 30 of the 50 US states.In all, more than 18,500 flights were canceled across the country, according to FlightAware.States of emergency were declared in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Oklahoma and the National Guard was called out to help rescue stranded motorists.Snow drifts topped 10 feet (3.05 meters) in some areas with snowfalls between 10 and 27 inches (25 to 69 centimeters) in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Massachusetts, and New York.In Chicago -- which clocked its third biggest snowfall on record as near-hurricane force winds sucked moisture off Lake Michigan -- firefighters used snowmobiles to navigate the streets and help rescue hundreds of people trapped in their cars on Lakeshore Drive.Despite being known for scoffing at the wintry weather that cripples other cities, Chicago declared its first snow day in 12 years Wednesday and announced that schools would remain shuttered Thursday.
Neighbors banded together to dig out cars and clear sidewalks as a festive mood settled on the snowbound city. It's a big storm, but I'm a Chicago boy, I'm used to it,John Falk, 62, told AFP as he dug through the heavy snow coating his walkway. Where there was less snow, there was ice, lots of it.New York City was coated with more than a half inch (1.3 cm) of ice, turning sidewalks into skating rinks. Melting sun later sent ice crashing onto pedestrians.I was walking underneath a tree, and bits of ice chunks were falling, Amelia Priddis, a Londoner on holiday told The New York Times.You can't dodge it. You just have to hope it doesn't hit you hard.Hundreds of thousands of people lost power in Illinois, Ohio and Indiana after strong winds knocked down trees and power lines, with utilities not promising power to parts of Ohio until late Friday. Texas was forced to seek help from Mexico's state electricity company after rolling power outages due to the unusually cold temperatures Wednesday and utility companies warned of more outages Thursday as a new storm coated power lines with ice.Another layer of danger loomed, as a blast of frigid air from Canada followed the storm.Weather maps showed that only the west coast and southern east coast were above freezing and wind chill advisories were issued for Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.(A DAYS WAGES FOR A LOAF OF BREAD)
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Food costs at records as U.N. warns of volatile era By Svetlana Kovalyova and Christopher Doering – Thu Feb 3, 8:28 pm ET
MILAN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global food prices tracked by a U.N. agency hit their highest level on record in January, a problem set to worsen after a massive snowstorm in the United States and floods in Australia.The United Nations said on Thursday its Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index rose for the seventh month in a row to reach 231 in January, topping the peak of 224.1 last seen in June 2008. It is the highest level the index has reached since records began in 1990.
These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come, FAO economist and grains expert Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement.Wheat underscored the problem affecting commodity prices around the world, settling on Thursday slightly lower after hitting a 2- year high earlier in the day. Corn and soybeans, which also have been hovering near long-term highs, also declined.Global food inflation is a mounting worry for world leaders. It has contributed to political unrest in countries with high poverty rates and unemployment, as evidenced in the toppling of Tunisia's president in January. That unrest has spilled into Egypt, Yemen and Jordan.
In response, some countries are increasing food imports and have built stockpiles to meet their domestic needs. Among them is Algeria, wary after food riots in early January. It has made huge wheat purchases to avoid shortages, and on Thursday it announced plans to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency in a bid to avert spreading protests.In Central America, Honduras has frozen prices on many basic foodstuffs despite complaints from farmers. El Salvador is increasing anti-poverty programs by 30 percent, and Guatemala is considering slashing import tariffs on wheat and is handing out food and cash vouchers to landless peasants.World Bank President Robert Zoellick in a Reuters interview urged world leaders to wake up to the dangers of rising food inflation, a problem said he sees no relief from.We are going to be facing a broader trend of increasing commodity prices, including food commodity prices, he said.
SUPPLY THE KEY
Catastrophic storms and droughts have slammed the world's leading agriculture countries in recent months, including flooding and a massive cyclone in Australia and a powerful winter storm that swept across the United States.Dubbed Stormageddon, one of the biggest snowstorm in decades dumped up to 20 inches of snow in some parts of the U.S. grain belt this week, paralyzing the shipment of grain and livestock.A deep-freeze forecast for the Midwest, the bread basket of the United States, threatens the region's winter wheat because it may lack sufficient insulating moisture to withstand the cold.Sugar prices also have surged to three-decade highs on fears of damage Cyclone Yasi would bring to the Australian cane crop. Prices for Malaysian palm oil, a cooking staple in the developing world, hit 3-year highs on flooding.Big companies have had to adjust to higher raw material costs. Kellogg Co, the world's largest breakfast cereal company, said on Thursday it has boosted prices on many of its products to offset rising costs for ingredients such as grains and sugar.Today's announcement by the Food and Agriculture Organization should ring alarm bells in capitals around the world, said Gawain Kripke, a policy and research director for Oxfam America, an international development group.Governments must avoid repeating the mistakes of the past when countries reacted to spiraling prices by banning exports and hoarding food. This will only make the situation worse and it is the world's poorest people who will pay the price, he said.Janis Huebner, economist at Germany's DekaBank said inflation partly fueled by increasing food prices could in turn trigger interest rate rises in several countries this year.
This could mean a slowing down of growth in the countries which raise their interest rates, he said.This could involve Asian countries and other regions, this would somewhat brake growth but I do not expect a hard landing.
Some countries, particularly where food prices loom large in household budgets, have been building up food stocks to contain prices -- and to limit the political and social fallout. During the last food price crisis, the World Bank estimated that some 870 million people in developing countries were hungry or malnourished. The FAO estimates that number has increased to 925 million.2008 should have been a wake-up call, but I'm not yet sure all the countries in the world that we need to support this have woken up to it, the World Bank's Zoellick said.Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy, last week bought 820,000 tons of rice, lifting rice prices, while suspending import duties on rice, soybeans and wheat.Algeria last week bought almost 1 million tons of wheat, bringing its purchases to at least 1.75 million since the start of January, and ordered a speeding up of grain imports.On a day of bloody confrontation in Egypt, where protesters are demanding an end to the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, the U.N. World Food Programme's Executive Director Josette Sheeran said the world was now in an era where it had to be very serious about food supply.
If people don't have enough to eat they only have three options: they can revolt, they can migrate or they can die. We need a better action plan, she said. (Additional reporting by Jonathan Saul in London, Martinne Geller in New York, Lesley Wroughton and Christopher Doering in Washington and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; editing by Jonathan Thatcher, Keiron Henderson, Russell Blinch and Xavier Briand)
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,(JORDAN) and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, PALESTINIANS,JORDAN) and the Hagarenes;(EGYPT)
7 Gebal,(HEZZBALLOH,LEBANON) and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA,ARABS,SINAI) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south( EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) and the king of the north (RUSSIA AND MUSLIM HORDES OF EZEK 38+39) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.(JORDAN)
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Barghouti's Insults from Prison, PA Political Commentary
by Chana Ya'ar FEB 04,11
The International Conference for Palestinian Prisoners in Morocco has publicized as a political commentary a letter of insults to the State of Israel it received last month from terrorist murderer Marwan Barghouti.Barghouti is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for masterminding and organizing suicide bombings that resulted in the murders of innocent civilians.The terrorist, who was serving as the head of the Fatah military group, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades when he was arrested in 2002, is currently a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament, albeit serving from prison. Barghouti, who has been re-elected in absentia since 2006, is often called upon by PA media to comment on the entity's relationship with Israel.In the letter, published January 24 in the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) he referred to the Jewish State as the worst and most abominable enemy known to humanity and modern history.He referred to the PA Arabs as the great Palestinian nation, initiator of revolutions and Intifadas,advocating they continue on the path of resistance -- a euphemism for terrorism.The national independence of nations is seized through sacrifice, resistance, resolve and struggle, Barghouti wrote.National independence is seized; one does not wait for it.
The terrorist also encouraged a full boycott of all Israeli products, writing, We must continue to act to isolate Israel further on the international, official and population level and on all levels and in all spheres, as well as continuing the campaign to boycott all Israeli goods, not limiting it to settlement goods exclusively.In an October 2010 poll asking PA Arabs who they would vote for in a presidential election, Barghouti received nearly as many votes (19.1 percent) as current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (20.2 percent). The survey conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) organization also found that Barghouti garnered more votes (65 percent) than Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (31 percent).
Report: Terror Organizations Have Difficulties Obtaining Weapons
by Elad Benari FEB 04,11
Terrorist organizations in the areas of Judea and Samaria controlled by the Palestinian Authority are having trouble obtaining weapons, the IDF said on Thursday.
According to information obtained by Israel’s defense establishment, due to the lack of weapons, the price of an M-16 rifle in Judea and Samaria today is 60 to 70 thousand NIS per unit.The problem is that this situation encourages criminal elements in Israel to invest in stealing weapons and selling them to terrorists, said sources in the IDF who added that most of the weapons in the hands of terrorists are ones that have been stolen, mostly by gangs that specialize in doing this. However, some of the weapons stolen from Jewish communities in Judea and Samara were captured by the IDF, and the Palestinian Authority has returned to the IDF many of the weapons it has found in the hands of captured terrorists.Anyone who wants to commit a terrorist attack has to work very hard to acquire weapons, said a senior defense official on Thursday.The weapons in the PA are under tight security, even more than inside Israel. There are no personal weapons inside homes there. All the guns are locked in secure areas. Security forces take the weapons along when they are on duty and return them at the end of their shift.The IDF sources pointed out that Hamas in Judea and Samaria is suffering from financial difficulties which make it difficult for it to operate. They added that this is thanks in part to joint activities with the PA which target Hamas funds.We know clearly about terrorist attacks that are not carried out due to financial constraints, said a senior military source.(IsraelNationalNews.com)
PA Factions Use Social Networks in their War Against Each Other
by Elad Benari FEB 04,11
In the wake of the riots in Egypt, which were largely organized through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it turns out that Facebook is also an important tool in the war between the factions in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Fatah.Gaza-based youths recently began an online campaign through the social networks, with the purpose of organizing demonstrations against the Hamas extremist regime in Gaza, similar to the demonstrations that have taken place in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen.The Fatah organization, which rules in the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria and which has long been at war with Hamas, claimed that 8,000 people have joined the online group so far and that the revolution in Gaza could begin any moment.Hamas, in response, launched its own campaign on its website, calling for Arab citizens in Fatah-controlled areas to begin a revolution to overthrow PA President Mahmoud Abbas.The war between the two sides escalated after Hamas violently took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Reconciliation attempts have been made several times, the last meeting having taken place last November in Syria.
Meanwhile, sources in Israel’s defense establishment said on Thursday that the Hamas leadership is being cautious and is closely monitoring the developments in Egypt, while avoiding, at this stage, taking a public stance in favor of either party involved in the conflict. The sources said that Hamas is interested in toppling the regime in Egypt, but fears that should Mubarak’s regime survive, it will later take revenge on Hamas.The sources added that Hamas has adopted strict security measures along the Philadelphi Route (the route located along the border between Gaza and Egypt which was abandoned by Israel in 2005 during the disengagement from Gaza). These include having local media outlets affiliated with Hamas closely tracking violent incidents in Rafah and El-Arish. Hamas has made it clear that there is no fear of a shortage of food and fuel in Gaza and that the smuggling of goods through the underground tunnels will continue (this despite reports earlier this week that the tunnels have been shut down due to the riots in Egypt).Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Hamas is assisting its members who have escaped from Egyptian prisons in returning to the Strip. Israel fears that Gaza-based terrorists will seek to exploit the events in Egypt in order to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Egypt through the Sinai Peninsula; however, it seems as though at the moment Hamas leaders are being careful not to make it appear as though they are trying to exploit the situation in Egypt in order to promote terrorism. But Israeli sources believe that Hamas providing help to its escaped prisoners is proof that it is waiting for an opportunity to commit acts of terrorism.(IsraelNationalNews.com)
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:3
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Obama's Commitment to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty?
by Chana Ya'ar FEB 3,11
The United States recognizes that the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty has been of tremendous value to the United States and to the region -- but will it hold, and will America feel any commitment towards pushing for its enforcement? A briefing at the State Department on Thursday left troubling questions on the issue.Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, warned Wednesday in an address to the Knesset that it was possible that the upheaval in Egypt could lead to the formation of a new Gaza-like gateway to Iran.Journalists at a State Department briefing in Washington Thursday asked spokesman P.J. Crowley if the U.S. shared Israel's concern on the matter -- but hit a brick wall.We would hope that the next government of Egypt will play a constructive role in the peace process and will recognize the importance of having a peaceful relationship with Israel, he responded dryly.
In contrast to the urgency with which Crowley repeatedly stressed that this transition, this process for fundamental change needs to begin now, the spokesman had little to say about the threat to the stability of the region, and Israel's security.We are doing an aggressive, active outreach to a broad range of figures, he told the reporters. We have always done that. We're going to continue to do that. We've been very active in the last few days... We have not had contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, but added, we will meet with figures. If we meet with anyone along those lines, we'll let you know.A question posed to the spokesman about America's commitment to backing Israel's security in discussions with a new Egyptian government elicited a noncommittal response that reflected the Obama administration's ambivalence on the issue.Well, obviously, when a new government is formed, it will have to review its policies with regard -- its foreign policy, which would include its policy with its immediate neighbor, Israel, Crowley began.It has been of tremendous value to the United States, to the region, that Egypt made peace with Israel 30 years ago -- or more than 30 years ago. It's been of enormous value that Jordan has made peace with Israel.We want to see that same kind of relationship with other states in the region, he added coyly.
Egypt has been a leader in the peace process. It has been an anchor in the peace process. We would value and welcome Egypt continuing to play that role. We hope that the new government will follow that policy.However, Crowley would not say whether the U.S. would make its relations with Egypt contingent upon a commitment to abide by the treaty it signed with Israel three decades ago.There is a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, he reiterated.It is of tremendous value to both of those countries and to the region. And we would hope that that would continue to be respected, just as it has been for more than three decades.(IsraelNationalNews.com)