HEADLINE Economic, Financial & Global News...
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Gold Bears "Wrong" About Dollar
Spain Raises Debt, China Cuts Both Rates & Euro Exposure
BY ADRIAN ASH - FinancialSense.com
Wholesale market gold prices eased back from an earlier rally Thursday lunchtime in London, trading at $1623 per ounce as the Euro currency slipped from a 1-week high $1.26 after new data showed US jobless claims continuing to fall.
The Bank of England left UK monetary policy unchanged at its scheduled monthly meeting, but the People's Bank of China surprised analysts by cutting interest rates for the first time since early 2009.
European stock markets bounced further from their 3-year lows, and Brent crude oil – the European benchmark – rallied after slipping once more near 16-month lows at $100 per barrel.
Ben Bernanke says Fed ready to act if crisis intensifies
The US central bank is prepared to take action if the "significant risks" posed by the eurozone crisis threaten the country's recovery, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said.
By Philip Aldrick - Telegraph.co.uk
Addressing the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, he said: "The situation in Europe poses significant risks to the US financial system and economy and must be monitored closely... As always, the Federal Reserve remains prepared to take action as needed to protect the US financial system and economy in the event that financial stresses escalate."
However, he stopped short of suggesting the Fed would consider acting pre-emptively to avert a crisis, dousing speculation caused by vice chairman Janet Yellen, who on Wednesday made the case for further monetary stimulus to insure against the risk of a downturn.
How the U.S. Can Escape the Pending Economic Black Hole
By Julian Morris - RealClearMarkets.com
It has been remarked that bond yields have recently priced in a "Lehman type" event, yet no such event has occurred. But that is to misconstrue both what happened in 2008 and what is going on now. The reality is that the world faces a potential vortex in the coming months, and markets are beginning to price that in. While it is nearly impossible for Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy to avoid their fate, policies in other countries could reduce the chances of this vortex materializing.
We all know what happened in 2008. Lehman made some bad bets that caused it to become insolvent and in the subsequent panic, banks stopped lending to one another causing a short-term liquidity crisis. That crisis was quickly solved by governments supplying needed financing and things rapidly returned to normal. Except, of course, that is not at all what happened.
Time to start throwing money at euro crisis
Is irrational resistance to bailout crumbling?
By Darrell Delamaide
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Watching European officials muddle through the euro crisis, we don't know, as longtime CBS anchor Dan Rather used to say, "whether to wind the watch or to bark at the moon."
As European officials discuss a number of new and expensive emergency measures, a rational person might ask what has been gained by rejecting a bigger bailout for so long while a bad situation worsens. It's inevitable, anyway.
Nothing was gained, of course. The operative word in that statement is "rational," and that's what is missing from the equation.
Keiser Report: Planet Ponzi (E298)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss shamed, naive and unsustainable ponzis and the UK's Metropolitan Police's Total War on Economic Crime (or at least that committed by the bottom 99%). In the second half of the show Max talks to Mitch Feierstein, hedge fund manager and author of Planet Ponzi, about global ponzi schemes, asymmetric hedging and whether or not hedge funds do any 'good.'
Spain too big for EU rescue fund as China recoils
As Spain edges closer to a full sovereign rescue, economists have begun to doubt whether the EU bail-out machinery can raise such large sums funds at viable cost on global capital markets.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegrpaph.co.uk
While the International Monetary Fund thinks Spanish banks require €40bn or so in fresh capital, any loan package may have to be much larger to restore shattered confidence in the country.
Megan Greene from Roubini Global Economics says Spain's banks will need up to €250bn, a claim that no longer looks extreme. New troubles are emerging daily. The Bank of Spain said on Thursday that Catalunya Caixa and Novagalicia will need a total of €9bn in new state funds.
Merkel speaks out for two-speed Europe
BY HONOR MAHONY - EUObserver.com
BRUSSELS - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will use the gathering of EU leaders at the end of the month to push ahead with plans for a political union, including more sweeping powers to Brussels.
"We do not just need a currency union but also a so-called fiscal union - more common budget policy," she told Germany's ARD television early Thursday (7 June).
She emphasised that a political union was also necessary: "That means that step-by-step in the future we have to give up more powers to Europe and grant Europe more oversight possibilities."
Has Merkel Just "Blinked" and Saved the Euro Project?
BY CHRISTOPHER QUIGLEY - FinancialSense.com
Things have become so serious that President Obama has intervened and has asked British Prime Minister David Cameron to travel to Berlin today and put an ultimatum to Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel: "act before it is too late".
It looks like following such pressure that she has finally blinked and altered her former "stone walling" policy. It looks like Spain will be granted a bank bailout without giving up the type of sovereign authority demanded of Ireland and Portugal and Greece. According to news reports:
Only Germany can avoid a disaster...
The Accidental Empire
By George Soros - ProjectSyndicate.org
NEW YORK – It is now clear that the main cause of the euro crisis is the member states' surrender of their right to print money to the European Central Bank. They did not understand just what that surrender entailed – and neither did the European authorities.
When the euro was introduced, regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital, and the ECB discounted all eurozone government bonds on equal terms. Commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate weaker countries' bonds to earn a few extra basis points, which caused interest rates to converge across the eurozone. Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, undertook structural reforms and became more competitive. Other countries enjoyed housing and consumption booms on the back of cheap credit, making them less competitive.
Any way you slice it, Germany wins
Germany holds all the cards in the euro power struggle: It prospers even as countries around it collapse, and that means it will likely end up with even more control over the eurozone after this is all over.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- The faster Europe realizes that Germany holds most, if not all, of the cards when it comes to ending the eurozone debt crisis, the faster a lasting solution can be found. With positive economic growth, low unemployment and fantastically low interest rates, Germany is simply in no rush to implement reforms that have been proposed by its economically weaker neighbors, as they would negatively impact Germany's ability to borrow cheaply and expand exports.
EU sees dramatic surge in investment from China
BY PHILIP EBELS - EUObserver.com
BRUSSELS - In what has been called "a definite turning point," China's direct investment in Europe over the last couple of years has multiplied by a factor 10, according to a new study.
EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed the news, saying that "we need the money."
"Our dataset shows a profound post-2008 surge," says the new study, presented on Thursday (7 June) in Brussels by consultancy firm Rhodium Group. "From €700 million yearly 2004-2008, to roughly €2.3 billion in 2009 and 2010, to €7.4 billion in 2011."
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts -
UN is a showcase for US propaganda
Fed advances Basel bank capital proposal
By Dave Clarke
(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve released a proposal to enact an international agreement on higher capital standards for banks, known as Basel III, that largely rejects pleas by the U.S. banking industry to soften parts of the new standards.
U.S. banks have pushed the Fed to allow them to more heavily count mortgage servicing rights and the unrealized gains and losses of certain securities toward their capital requirements than allowed by Basel III, but the U.S. central bank's draft rule closely follows the international agreement.
Fed's Rosengren warns on growing economic risks
(Reuters) - Risks to the world's economic and financial outlook are growing again and affecting the behavior of households and businesses, a top U.S. Federal Reserve official said on Thursday.
Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, stood by his call last week for more easing at a banking conference in Copenhagen, saying that inflation would likely "undershoot" forecasts this year.
"That gives us some flexibility to think about additional monetary policy accommodation," he said.
Bernanke signals no imminent steps to aid economy
AP - NYPost.com
WASHINGTON — Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve is prepared to take further steps to lift the U.S. economy if it weakens. But he didn't signal any imminent action in testimony before a congressional panel Thursday.
Bernanke said the European debt crisis poses significant risks to the U.S. financial markets. And he noted that U.S. unemployment remains high and the outlook for inflation subdued.
"As always, the Federal Reserve remains prepared to take action as needed to protect the U.S. financial system and economy in the event that financial stresses escalate," Bernanke told the congressional Joint Economic Committee.
Fed ready to act if stresses mount: Bernanke
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve stands ready to act to protect the financial system and the economy in the event that stresses from the European crisis escalate, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday.
"The situation in Europe poses significant risks to the U.S. financial system and economy and must be monitored closely," Bernanke said in testimony prepared for delivery to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
He called on European leaders to do much more to stem the crisis.
The Globalist Want You Dead!
It's Worse Than You Think:
Halftime Between Two Lost Decades
The recovery feels extraordinarily slow because we face an extraordinary three-part crisis: a financial shock compounded by a global slowdown and a demographic time bomb.
Time to think big.
By Jack A. Goldstone - TheAtlantic.com
The global economy is in a synchronized swoon. Brazil's economy practically stalled out in the first quarter, all of China's manufacturing figures indicate much lower growth than last year, Britain remains in recession, Spain's banking system needs a rescue and may collapse, and the U.S. -- which had been the last remaining bright spot in the global economy -- suddenly has started sputtering. The number of jobs created in May was not just half as many as expected; the figures for the previous two months were sharply revised lower as well. And for good measure, GDP growth for the first quarter was revised downward too.
Secret talks under way about 'fiscal cliff'
By MANU RAJU - Politico.com
A growing number of lawmakers are alarmed that Congress's do-nothing posture ahead of the year-end fiscal cliff could provoke a massive voter backlash and economic catastrophe if they don't start laying the groundwork right now to cut a deal.
So behind the scenes, there's a scramble taking shape.
A dozen senators ranging from Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn to Delaware Democrat Chris Coons have begun to organize closed-door briefings with leading economic experts to prod Congress into action. Some lawmakers like Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) are quietly pushing to have a major tax and budget package ready by September so a bill can be introduced immediately after the November elections and passed by Christmas. Others like Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have taken matters into their own hands by privately preparing bills they hope will shape the post-election debate.
The next bank-bailout blame game
By Nicole Gelinas - NYPost.com
Twenty-three months after President Obama gave us Wall Street "reform," the results are in — and they're not pretty. The Dodd-Frank law didn't end "too big to fail"; it just gave Washington someone new to blame for the next blowup-and-bailout, namely the hapless regulators.
And senators who should care about Wall Street's health — such as New York's Chuck Schumer and New Jersey's Bob Menendez — are already leading the rush to blame.
Yesterday, the Democrat-led Senate Banking Committee hauled four big-bank watchdogs to Capitol Hill to find out how JPMorgan Chase lost at least $2 billion gambling taxpayer-guaranteed deposits on derivatives.
FDIC State Profiles [map and stats]
First Quarter 2012
Effective January 2007, FDIC State Profiles have been reformatted as a quarterly data sheet summation of banking and economic conditions in each state. To retrieve a state profile, select a state from either the map or list below.
Americans think "Born in the USA"
could be next national anthem
60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: June Edition
Welcome to the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll for June. June is known for the "longest day" both literally with the summer solstice and figuratively with the commemoration of one of the pivotal days of the 20th century: June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day.
It is when the school year ends and the graduation parties begin and it is also known for beautiful brides, weddings and celebrations of all kinds. Speaking of D-Day, the U.S. (Continental) Army was founded on June 14, 1775, by resolution of the Continental Congress. A ragtag group of patriots had recently surprised the British with a fierce fight at Bunker Hill. A day after the resolution, George Washington was named general and commander-in-chief and was sent to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to take charge of the Army. Think of what that modest force had become on D-Day and think of what they still mean to the relative peace and stability of the world.
Judge Napolitano "Obamas Secret Kill List"
The Real "War on Women"
The politics of division continue to haunt Obama's White House.
By THOMAS SOWELL - The American Spectator.org
Among the people who are disappointed with President Obama, none has more reason to be disappointed than those who thought he was going to be "a uniter, rather than a divider" and that he would "bring us all together."
It was a noble hope, but one with no factual foundation. Barack Obama had been a divider all his adult life, especially as a community organizer, and he had repeatedly sought out and allied himself with other dividers, the most blatant of whom was the man whose church he attend for 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.
Irrepressible Culture Wars, Past and Present
Many young evangelicals today shun conflict --
a posture at odds with evangelical history.
By MARK TOOLEY - The American Spectator.org
A new generation of evangelical elites is imploring evangelicals to step back from the culture wars. Mostly they want to escape polarizing strong stances on same-sex marriage and abortion, and perhaps also contentious church-state issues, like the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.
Purportedly the evangelical church is failing to reach young, upwardly mobile professionals because evangelicals, who now broadly comprise perhaps one third of all Americans, are seen as reactionary and hateful. On their college campuses, at their coffee shops, and in their yoga classes, among other venues, some outspoken hip young evangelicals want a new public image for their faith.
Contingency plans set on US healthcare
By Anna Fifield in Washington - FT.com
The Obama administration has prepared contingency plans in case the Supreme Court strikes down part or all of its signature healthcare reform law later this month, Kathleen Sebelius, health secretary, said on Thursday.
The much-anticipated ruling, expected before the end of June, will have huge political implications in a presidential election year, with a victory for the administration giving President Barack Obama a boost as he campaigns for a second term.
But if the court overturns the "individual mandate" requiring almost all Americans to buy medical insurance, or scraps the entire law, that could give a boost to Republican arguments that the Obama administration has exceeded its power and should be ejected from the White House.
Data on jobs may cause Obama to lose his
By John Crudele - NYPost.com
If the next couple of employment reports are as bad as last Friday's, the Democrats will be the ones trying to prove President Obama was born in Kenya.
They then could get a new candidate.
Before you think I'm just spouting the Republican Party line, I'll remind you that I voted for Obama in the last election.
There is, of course, really no chance that the Democrats will choose a candidate to replace the president — no matter how vigorously Hillary Clinton throws her arms in the air and shouts, "Pick me, it's my turn."
There is, as I have reported, a very good chance that none of the next five monthly jobs reports — culminating with the October announcement coming the Friday before the Nov. 6 election — will be good enough to win many votes.
Is Congress Nearing A Deal On Student Loans?
By SAHIL KAPUR - TalkingPointsMemo.com
After weeks of deadlock, Congress appears to be narrowing its differences on how to avert a hike in student loan interest rates on July 1.
The public manner of negotiations suggests that a deal may not be imminent. But the back-and-forth reveals that both parties feel enough election-year pressure not to be seen on the wrong side of the cause.
The latest development came late Thursday afternoon when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wrote a letter responding to GOP leaders' proposal on how to fund the $6 billion cost of a one-year freeze.
Democrats Failed in Wisconsin
Because They Failed Wisconsin
By Robert Scheer - Truthdig.com
On, Wisconsin! Or so it was meant to be with a union-led recall in the home state of Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette Sr., the populist governor and senator who once shaped the cry for anti-corporate social justice in this nation. After La Follette there was the Wisconsinite William Proxmire, the great conscience of the U.S. Senate, followed by the equally impressive Russ Feingold, who, despite being exactly correct in warning of the consequences of unfettered banking greed, was turned out by Wisconsin voters in 2010. Perhaps if the original McCain-Feingold legislation—gutted by the Supreme Court—was still the law of the land on campaign finance, the Democrats and their union base would have survived Tuesday's election.
Country for Sale
By Richard Reeves - Truthdig.com
The word "takeaway" was first used in 1961, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. And then it was about Chinese restaurants. Now it is about everything, including elections.
"Three Takeaways From the Recall Vote" was the headline over the election analysis of Sean Trende, the senior election analyst of Real Clear Politics.
On Politico.com, the headline over Glenn Thrush's analysis was, "Only One Takeaway From Wisconsin: Money Shouts."
Trende, a great name for a political writer, began his piece on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's surviving a recall election by saying that the results don't tell us much about 2012. He argued that special elections are poor predictors of general elections, particularly presidential elections. This one, he said, was about one governor, one state, one issue—that is, Walker's attempt to reduce the pay and benefits of unionized state employees. He cited exit polling that indicated most voters believe that recalls should be used only in cases of corruption.
Dems now believe Obama could loose
Between the Lines: By Mark Halperin
By Mark Halperin; Elizabeth Dias - Time.com
With five months until Election Day, Barack Obama faces a grim new reality: Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose ... Last week's anemic job-creation and economic-growth data was sandwiched between two Bill Clinton specials: in one television interview, the 42nd President lauded Romney's business record as "sterling"; in another, he veered from the Obama line on the extension of Bush-era tax cuts ... The failure to unseat Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker in a recall election was another bad sign for Democrats since it will rev up conservatives nationwide, including the kind of millionaires who gave big bucks to Walker's effort ... Veteran Democratic strategists from previous presidential bids and on Capitol Hill now wonder if the Obama re-election crew is working with the right message ... The White House remains on a rough political trajectory, with a potentially adverse Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care law looming, additional bad economic news from Europe coming and more worrisome polling pending ... Another danger for the President: the media freak show. Stalking that circus' center ring is Matt Drudge, whose caustic website continues to help drive the news cycle with an emphasis on negative, mocking items about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives. The latest sign of Drudge's potency: Ed Klein, the author of the virulently anti-Obama book The Amateur, was barred from major TV appearances and mostly ignored by the mainstream media, but the book's prominence on Drudge's website propelled it to the No. 1 slot on the New York Times nonfiction list.
Noonan: What's Changed After Wisconsin
The Obama administration suddenly looks like a house of cards.
By Peggy Noonan - WSJ.com
What happened in Wisconsin signals a shift in political mood and assumption. Public employee unions were beaten back and defeated in a state with a long progressive tradition. The unions and their allies put everything they had into "one of their most aggressive grass-roots campaigns ever," as the Washington Post's Paul Whoriskey and Dan Balz reported in a day-after piece. Fifty thousand volunteers made phone calls and knocked on 1.4 million doors to get out the vote against Gov. Scott Walker. Mr. Walker's supporters, less deeply organized on the ground, had a considerable advantage in money.
But organization and money aren't the headline. The shift in mood and assumption is. The vote was a blow to the power and prestige not only of the unions but of the blue-state budgetary model, which for two generations has been: Public-employee unions with their manpower, money and clout, get what they want. If you move against them, you will be crushed.
The end of government unions...
What Wisconsin means
By Charles Krauthammer - WashingtonPost.com
Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers. The abject failure of the unions to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — the first such failure in U.S. history — marks the Icarus moment of government-union power. Wax wings melted, there's nowhere to go but down.
The ultimate significance of Walker's union reforms has been largely misunderstood. At first, the issue was curtailing outrageous union benefits, far beyond those of the ordinary Wisconsin taxpayer. That became a nonissue when the unions quickly realized that trying to defend the indefensible would render them toxic for the real fight to come.
Bill Clinton and the Reagan Consensus
Obama's failure, Scott Walker's success: Clinton's support of Reaganomics.
By JEFFREY LORD - The American Spectator.org
"I thought Bill Clinton was a great President. The first two years were really bad. Then he changed the tune and became even more Reagan than Reagan. He did the '97 Capital Gains Tax Act, he did welfare reform, he appointed Greenspan twice, he pushed NAFTA through Congress, how wonderful was that. "He cut Government spending as a share of GDP by 3½%. He left us with surpluses. This man did a fantastic job for the country. He was a very good President." -- Economist and Reagan aide Arthur Laffer, father of "The Laffer Curve"
Clinton aides: Bill screwed up
By JOHN F. HARRIS and ALEXANDER BURNS | Politico.com
Bill Clinton's off-message musings in recent days on Mitt Romney, taxes and the state of the economy prompted a series of urgent and agitated calls between senior aides to both Clinton and President Barack Obama.
In the past, these kinds of complaints have often prompted Clinton lieutenants to kindly suggest that the Obama team can go to hell: a former president can, should and will say what he wants.
Paul Craig Roberts:
Will Washington Foment War Between China and India? 1/2
Paul Craig Roberts:
Will Washington Foment War Between China and India? 2/2
NAPOLITANO: Big Brother's all-seeing eye
Use of military surveillance drones
overhead would be un-American
By Andrew P. Napolitano - WashingtonTimes.com
F or the past few weeks, I have been writing in this column about the government's use of drones and challenging their constitutionality onFox News Channel, where I work. I once asked on air what Thomas Jefferson would have done if - had they existed at the time - King George III had sent drones to peer inside the bedroom windows ofMonticello. I suspect Jefferson and his household would have trained their muskets on the drones and taken them down. I offer this historical anachronism as a hypothetical only, not as someone who is urging the use of violence against the government.
Nevertheless, what Jeffersonians are among us today? When drones take pictures of us on our private property and in our homes and the government uses the photos as it wishes, what will we do about it?Jefferson understood that when the government assaults our privacy and dignity, it is the moral equivalent of violence against us. Folks who hear about this, who either laugh or groan, cannot find it humorous or boring that their every move will be monitored and photographed by the government.
FAQ: LinkedIn breach --
what members (and others) need to know
Tackling user questions on what's known so far on what happened to stolen LinkedIn data, and what can be done about it
By Jaikumar Vijayan - Computerworld.com
Computerworld - Hackers have apparently accessed close to 6.5 million hashed passwords from a LinkedIn database and posted them and data associated with them online. So far, researchers say, about 60% of the unique passwords in the dump have been cracked and there are signs that the rest will soon be as well.
Here's some information for LinkedIn users specifically, and all Internet users in general.
EHarmony Passwords Stolen By LinkedIn Hackers
By Joanna Stern - ABCNews
The same hackers responsible for the theft of over 6.4 million LinkedIn passwords also acquired passwords from the popular dating site eHarmony.
"After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected," eHarmony's Becky Teroka wrote on the company blog yesterday evening. According to the Los Angeles Times, 1.5 million passwords were stolen. That's significantly less than the 6.4 million LinkedIn passwords, but still a considerable amount of eHarmony's 20 million users.
Facebook Deletes Account, Demands My Passport
Facebook has deleted my account for no reason and is demanding my passport. Social networking websites routinely censor alternative media. Another fantastic reason to sign up at Planet Infowars -
'Big Bang Machine' Suffers Interference From Moon's Gravity
By CARL FRANZEN - TalkingPointsMemo.com
The world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator is no match for the moon.
That's the observation of one of the scientists working on it, Dr. Pauline Gagnon, a physics professor at the University of Indiana Bloomington, who recently posted a blog entry describing a spatial surprise she encountered last weekend while running one of the six major ongoing experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile-around underground accelerator located near Geneva, Switzerland, which has been nicknamed the "Big Bang machine," because it is designed to simulate the conditions of the early universe.
Crisis escalates to dangerous levels
Syrians Bar U.N. Monitors From a Massacre Inquiry
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and RICK GLADSTONE - NYTimes.com
ANTAKYA, Turkey — The Syrian conflict escalated to a dangerous new level on Thursday when government troops and their civilian supporters blocked unarmed United Nations monitors from investigating a massacre of farm families, prompting sharp denunciations of Damascus from diplomats who have struggled vainly to find a workable, consensus solution to the crisis.
The monitors were thwarted from reaching the tiny hamlet of Qubeir, just west of Hama, to check on what activists say was the slaying of as many as 78 people, half of them women and children, who were shot, garroted and in some cases burned alive. The monitors themselves were fired upon, United Nations officials said.
Annan: 'All-out civil war' looms in Syria
UN envoy, confirming massacres, says 'first responsibility' to stop violence lies with government.
Kofi Annan, the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy to Syria, has admitted that his peace plan is failing and that the country's future will consist of "brutal suppression, massacres, sectarian violence and even all-out civil war" if it continues on its current path.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Annan confirmed that massacres of civilians have taken place in the towns of Houla and al-Qubayr. While not assigning blame for the mass killings, the former UN secretary general said that the government, not the armed opposition, had the "first responsibility" to halt violence.
"I must be frank and confirm that the [six-point peace] plan is not being implemented," he said.
Attendees Ramp Up Push for Syrian Intervention
Fresh from Bilderberg 2012, top diplomats across the spectrum are now predictably ramping up the push for intervention in Syria. The shadowy group's officially-leaked agenda discussed 'the Future of Democracy, Russia, China and the Middle East,' while the attendance of Bassma Kodmani, a top representative of the Syrian National Council and operative for the Ford Foundation and other Western institutes, make clear that the war/kinetic action in Syria is all but imminent.
2012 Bilderberg attendee Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli ambassasdor the United States, is the latest, now prominently "blaming" the U.S. for allowing the Syrian massacre to continue unabated. The Times of Israel reports:
The real block [on Syrian intervention], he told Army Radio, is the US government. "The Obama administration is not looking for another major Middle East crisis before November."
After new Syria massacre,
U.N. urges 'substantial pressure' on Assad
By Colum Lynch, Liz Sly and Joby Warrick - WashingtonPost.com
UNITED NATIONS — With Syria lurching closer to sectarian warfare, world leaders on Thursday sought to apply new pressure on a government that they said showed no sign of honoring cease-fire agreements or halting the slaughter of noncombatants, but they remained divided on how to revive a peace process that U.N. officials conceded was in ruins.
As new details emerged of the latest massacre of civilians, U.N. officials spoke for the first time of unspecified "consequences" for the Syrian government. Yet the refusal by Russia and China to embrace new economic sanctions meant that the world body was left without a clear path forward.
Israel orders the construction of
hundreds of new houses in the West Bank
PM Netanyahu announces the expansion of Beit El with the construction of 300 new homes. Construction minister announces 551 new flats in other West Bank settlements. Previously, Knesset rejected the legalisation of outposts on private Palestinian land, which triggers anger among settlers who vow to resist.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of hundreds of new homes at the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the West Bank. More will follow in other settlements.
The Hagmann & Hagmann Report
with STEVE QUAYLE 6/3/2012
ZOMBIES AND THE COMING APOCALYPSE
Zombie Bullets In High Demand Following Flesh-Eating Attacks
DETROIT (WWJ) – Worried about a zombie attack? Buy zombie bullets.
Talk about zombies and a possible zombie apocalypse has increased due to recent gory accounts of drug-induced, flesh-eating attacks in the news.
Stores across the U.S., including in Metro Detroit, are getting in on the undead action by selling Zombie Bullets, made by Hornady Manufacturing.
In promoting the product on their website, Hornady suggests, "Be PREPARED – supply yourself for the Zombie Apocalypse with Zombie Max ammunition from Hornady! Loaded with PROVEN Z-Max bullets… MAKE DEAD PERMANENT!"
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