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Clock Ticks on U.S.'s Fiscal Time Bomb
By DAVID WESSEL - WSJ.com
Pundits and pollsters speculate hourly on the outcome of the next Republican presidential primary. Business executives and investors increasingly focus on whether Congress and the president will defuse the fiscal time bomb they have built—or whether they will be so paralyzed that the bomb will go off at year-end.
Without congressional action before Dec. 31, here's what happens:
A payroll-tax holiday ends, which means a tax increase for workers of as much as 2% of wages.
Income-tax rates revert to pre-George W. Bush levels, rising not only for the rich but for nearly all taxpayers.
Across-the-board cuts in domestic and, particularly, defense spending are triggered.
Goldman maintains its 12 month
gold price forecast of $1,940/oz
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Goldman Sachs is maintaining its outlook for gold prices, forecasting the yellow metal at $1,785 an ounce in three months, $1,840 in six months and $1,940 in 12 months, citing subdued U.S. economic growth and further quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve later this year.
"We acknowledge, however, that continued strong U.S. economic data poses growing risk to our forecast for rising gold prices," they added.
BRICs attack QE and urge Western leaders to be 'responsible'
The world's leading emerging economies have urged Western governments to pursue "responsible" economic policies, as they renewed their attack on the quantitative easing policies adopted by the US and Britain.
By Richard Blackden - Telegraph.co.uk
"It is critical for advanced economies to adopt responsible macro-economic and financial policies, avoid creating excessive liquidity and undertake structural reforms to lift growth," Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa said in a joint statement.
The leaders of the countries met at a one-day summit in the Indian capital New Delhi, and also turned their fire on the pace of reform at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The US has yet to approve changes to voting rights at the IMF that were tabled in 2010 and would give a greater voice to those countries with growing economic muscle in the world.
Why a Brics-built bank to rival the IMF is doomed to fail
Brazil, China and India have little in common apart from opposition to Western control of global financial institutions.
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
Traditionally, the job of head of the World Bank always goes to an American, while that of the International Monetary Fund is invariably filled by a European, usually a French national. For much of the post-war period, this was a reasonable trade-off, reflecting the prevailing balance of geopolitical and economic power in the Western world.
Asia and the Soviet Union didn't count, as these were largely closed economies of limited or marginal significance for world trade. It was only right and proper that governance of the global monetary system should be directed by its two dominant economic blocs.
Keiser Report: Backstage Wall Street (E268)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss multi-camera fraud live from Parliament, push button autocracy from the global central banks and losing granny's 5000 peanut butter money on Wall Street. In the second half of the show Max talks to Josh Brown about his new book, Backstage Wall Street.
Spain Strike Challenges Austerity
By DAVID ROMÁN and JONATHAN HOUSE - WSJ.com
MADRID—A nationwide general strike in Spain on Thursday forced the closure of factories across the country, though activity levels remained largely normal in big cities despite minor incidents of violence
The strike, called by the two largest unions in the country, is the first clear challenge to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's austerity and reform drive. It has drawn support from the Socialist Party, which was in power until December and is the largest opposition in parliament, as well as the much smaller United Left bloc.
Spain to slash spending as economy slumps back into recession
Spain's fragile economy has fallen back into recession and the country faces a year of grinding economic decline as premier Mariano Rajoy slashes spending yet further to meet EU demands.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The Bank of Spain said the "contractionary dynamic" in the economy continued into early 2012 for the second quarter in a row, with an "intensifying" pace of job losses. It expects GDP to fall by 1.5pc this year.
Mr Rajoy said at a meeting in Seoul that he would press ahead later this week with a "very austere budget", ordering 15pc cuts in spending across the ministries.
The conservative leader promised a "fair and just" distribution of pain. Public sector salaries will be frozen rather than cut and there will be no rise in VAT.
Spanish workers hold general strike over labour reforms
Spanish unions are holding a general strike over labour reforms which the government hopes will cut unemployment.
Road, rail and air transport were all affected, with domestic and European flights cut to a fraction of their normal levels.
Unions claimed strong support at car factories and other industrial sites but Mariano Rajoy's conservative government played down the impact.
It plans to unveil measures on Friday to save tens of billions of euros.
The strike is the government's first big challenge since taking office.
For Portugal, Moment of Truth Nears
By CHARLES FORELLE in London
and PATRICIA KOWSMANN in Lisbon - WSJ.com
Politicians in Lisbon and policy makers in Brussels insist that Portugal isn't like Greece. This spring, the country will have to prove it.
The European Central Bank's injection of money into the Continent's banking system has, for now, pulled Italy and Spain away from the edge of the sovereign-debt crisis. But that medicine hasn't soothed Portugal. Though its government-bond yields have improved this week, they remain at elevated levels that suggest distress.
Germany launches strategy to counter ECB largesse
Germany is preparing a raft of measures to safeguard its financial system and prevent excess stimulus from the European Central Bank leaking into an inflationary credit boom.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Frankfurt - Telegraph.co.uk
The plans have major implications for monetary union, dashing hopes in Southern Europe that Germany might accept a few years of mini-boom at home to help lift the whole system off the reefs.
Andreas Dombret, a key board member of the Bundesbank, said the body would be given powers to check "excessive credit growth" and impose "maximum leverage ratios" to nip economic overheating in the bud.
China to Contribute to Europe Rescue Efforts
By MUKESH JAGOTA - WSJ.com
NEW DELHI -- China is keen to contribute to a fund to bail out the euro zone, its trade minister said Wednesday, underscoring the Asian powerhouse's growing interest in playing a bigger role in the global economy as its financial strength grows.
"China will make due contributions" to rescue the European economy, Chen Deming said at a conference of trade ministers from the BRICS group of emerging nations--Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Europe requires a bailout package of $1 trillion, for which the international community needs to pitch in with $500 billion.
A TARP Auction Loss for Treasury
By ANDREW ACKERMAN And JEFFREY SPARSHOTT - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON—The Treasury Department on Thursday said it lost about $50 million in the public offering of its preferred stock in six smaller banks this week, though the department garnered a modest profit when counting dividends and interest paid on the investments over the past three years.
In the first auction of preferred stock purchased through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bailout vehicle launched during the financial crisis, the Treasury recouped about $362 million of the $410.8 million it invested in the six smaller banks, the Treasury said, a loss of about $50 million.
Financial Oligarchy and the
New Robber Barons w/Derivatives Guru Janet Tavakoli
Bashing Buffett…Once Again With Feeling
By Eric Fry - DailyReckoning.com
03/29/12 Laguna Beach, California – "Right now bonds should come with a warning label," opines Warren Buffett in this year's letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. That seems like a reasonable idea, but why stop there? Why not slap a warning label on each one of Buffett's public pronouncements as well?
The warning would go something like this: This pronouncement may or may not express my honest opinions, but it will almost certainly advance a hidden political agenda that enables me to gain access to preferential treatment from elected officials and various agencies of the federal government.
Expanding the debt bubble to a tipping point –
US government debt growing 4 times faster than GDP.
Retail investors largely out of stock market.
The global market is being held together with the veneer of massive debt duct tape. The solution for much of the European debt crisis was to simply add more debt to the current situation. Solve a debt problem with more debt in other words. All this does is delay the inevitable. The hope is that somehow GDP in these countries will grow fast enough to pay off existing debts but theamount of debt is so enormous that it is mathematically impossible without inflating currencies away. Even the US is mired in enormous levels of debt and the pace of debt expanding is by far outpacing GDP growth. This is a major concern especially given the slower pace of GDP growth. Massively increasing debt beyond a serviceable level is always an issue especially when the core problem is solvency. Just look at what happened with US households and the recent debt bubble. Just because you have access to debt does not mean you should expand at an unrelenting pace. I wanted to pull some data showing the constraints of massive debt growth.
Definitive on Derivatives Blowup - Ponzi's Fail in Contraction
de·fin·i·tive [dih-fin-i-tiv] adjective 1. most reliable or complete, as of a text, author, criticism, study, or the like; schemes can go on for a long time under the mask of expansion; these frauds blow up during a contraction of new money being input into them. Such may be the story of credit derivatives as we see a working contraction in the notional value of these instruments as reported by the comptroller of the currency. In simple terms the number of these instruments has gone down to a mere 240 Trillion!.. The premise for this ponzi is the concept of netting whereby risks off offset on paper under the false justification that positions can become risk neutral. In this ponzi scheme the efficacy of the netting process has magically risen from 50% or so to an astounding 92.2%.. This means that the reported risk of 240 Trillion is only 8% of the notional amount. In less insane times the notional risk was reduced to a mere 50% through the netting process. Even with 8% risk not covered by netting the liabilities of JPM and others are far greater than their assets under management. The problem being that JPM's assets are secured by its liabilities and the liabilities of banks tend to be YOUR Savings. With changes to Safe Harbor rules the government is not only facilitating fraud with these netting assumptions but they are also putting your savings at risk by giving the coverage of derivatives priority should there be a dispute. This very issue is being worked out presently with MF Global.
Stocks Hit a Wall—And May Need the Fed After All
By: Jeff Cox - CNBC.com Senior Writer
Stocks have a hit wall since the dour economic warning from Ben Bernanke earlier this week, and the Fed chairman may be one who has to get the market to the other side.
A rally that took the major averages up more than 25 percent since October has fizzled over the past two weeks in part because of an unfettered rise in gasoline prices as well as general concerns that the economic recovery may have seen its biggest advances.
Geithner Wants to Throw
Still More Taxpayer Dollars
Down the Fannie & Freddie Toilet
By Mike Shedlock - GlobalEconomicAnalysis.Blogspot.com
Not satisfied with wasting close to $200 billion of taxpayer dollars bailing out holders of Fannie and Freddie Bonds (notably PIMCO and China), Geithner is back at it with another proposal sure to cost US taxpayers plenty if adopted.
The proposal this time is for taxpayers to pick up 63% of the cost of mortgage principal reductions. Geithner made the offer to Edward J. DeMarco, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's overseer.
Mises on the Basics of Money
Mises Daily: by Daniel James Sanchez
Is money not absurd? Daily we give up perfectly useful goods and services for the sake of little green pieces of paper.
But it is not just the fiat paper money we are familiar with that can seem strange in this regard. Even commodity money can seem weird when you think about it.
Why would people give up goods and services for little disks of silver and gold that they never actually use? Such disks are passed around via innumerable exchanges, perhaps never ultimately providing any ornamental or industrial services. What a bizarre custom!
A Cashless Society May Be Closer
Than Most People Would Ever Dare To Imagine
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Most people think of a cashless society as something that is way off in the distant future. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. The truth is that a cashless society is much closer than most people would ever dare to imagine. To a large degree, the transition to a cashless society is being done voluntarily. Today, only 7 percent of all transactions in the United States are done with cash, and most of those transactions involve very small amounts of money. Just think about it for a moment. Where do you still use cash these days? If you buy a burger or if you purchase something at a flea market you will still use cash, but for any mid-size or large transaction the vast majority of people out there will use another form of payment. Our financial system is dramatically changing, and cash is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We live in a digital world, and national governments and big banks are both encouraging the move away from paper currency and coins. But what would a cashless society mean for our future? Are there any dangers to such a system?
Lindsey Williams spills the Beans - jeff rense - 26 March 2012
FEDS REFUSE TO RELEASE
OBAMA DRAFT DOCS TO SHERIFF JOE
Arizona lawman's team believes registration fraudulent
by JEROME R. CORSI - WND.com
The Selective Service System has declined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's request to see the original copy of Barack Obama's Selective Service registration form.
Arpaio's Cold Case Posse investigating Obama's eligibility announced at a March 1 press conference that it believes there is probable cause that the registration is fraudulent.
LORD MONCKTON: SHERIFF JOE,
POSSE 'RIGHT TO BE WORRIED'
Former Thatcher adviser examined birth certificate evidence in Phoenix
After a visit to Phoenix to get a first-hand look at evidence collected by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his investigative team, former Margaret Thatcher policy adviser Lord Christopher Monckton says he is convinced that the document presented by the White House as Barack Obama's birth certificate is fraudulent.
Monckton, known internationally for his climate-change skepticism, told WND he didn't pay much attention to the controversy surrounding Obama's birth certificate until he watched Arpaio and his team present their preliminary findings at a March 1 news conference. The sheriff's Cold Case Posse has concluded there is probable cause that Obama's birth document and his Selective Service registration are forgeries.
Sheriff Joe Press Conference Arizona Capitol March 27, 2012
Behind-the-Scenes Attempt to Kill
Arizona's Obama Eligibility Bill
Patrick Henningsen - Infowars.com
PHOENIX – Arizona's state legislature is currently pushing through a "Candidate Certification Bill" which will directly address the issue of President Obama's eligibility to hold elected federal office, and ultimately determine his place on the state election ballot come November.
But there exists an effort underway behinds the scenes, which threatens to stall – and eventually kill the legislation.
The bill will require any candidate to sign an affidavit confirming their eligibility documentation, and would impose a penalty for perjury if they were later found to be ineligible.
Sheriff Arpaio: Obama's Records Are Missing
The Obama records which have not been released include; Passport records, Obama kindergarten records, Punahou School records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, University of Chicago scholarly articles, Illinois State Bar Association records, Illinois State Senate records/schedules(said to be lost), Medical records, Obama/Dunham marriage license, Obama/Dunham divorce documents, Soetoro/Dunham marriage license, Adoption records and of course the long-form Certificate of Live Birth.
Congress Passes JOBS Act for Small Business
BY MICHAEL COHN, ACCOUNTING TODAY
Congress approved legislation Tuesday intended to spur investment in small businesses and help them access the capital markets, despite criticisms that it would weaken audit safeguards and investor protections.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act received strong bipartisan support and backing from the Obama administration as a way to improve job creation at small businesses. The measure passed the House for the second time on Tuesday, this time by a vote of 380-41. After the House passed the legislation earlier this month, the Senate took it up and approved an amendment intended to add some protections for investors in so-called "crowdfunding" ventures. The Senate then passed the JOBS Act last week by a vote of 73-26 and sent it back to the House (see Senate Passes JOBS Act for Small Business). The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature.
The ObamaCare Reckoning
Overturning the whole law would be an act of judicial restraint.
Opinion - WSJ.com
After the third and final day of Supreme Court scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act, the bravado of the legal establishment has turned to uncertainty and in some cases outright panic. Everyone who said the decision was an easy fait accompli has been proven wrong by a Court that has treated the constitutional questions that ObamaCare poses with the seriousness they deserve.
This reckoning has also been a marvelous public education. The oral arguments have detailed the multiple ways in which the individual mandate upsets the careful equilibrium of the American political system. The Obama Administration's arguments in favor of the mandate to buy health insurance or pay a penalty stand exposed as a demand for unlimited federal power.
Judge Napolitano Day 1 Analysis
of Supreme Court Health Care Debate
Wall Steet Thinks It Knows the Future of Obamacare—Why?
By Matthew O'Brien - TheAtlantic.com
Nobody except Justice Anthony Kennedy knows what will happen to Obamacare. But Wall Street, whose predictive powers are dubious, thinks it does. The proof is in the healthcare stocks.
The below chart shows Aetna's stock price the past week. Check out the vertical action today. That's a single day increase of over 6.5 percent.
It's not just Aetna. UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Wellpoint are all up between 2 and 5 percent on the day too. What's going on?
ObamaCare and the 2012 Election
Whatever the Supreme Court says, how the president handles health policy will deeply affect his chances in November.
By KARL ROVE
This week's historic Supreme Court hearings on President Obama's health-care overhaul will have huge political ramifications.
The heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the requirement that every American purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Justice Anthony Kennedy—widely considered the "swing vote" on cases that divide the Supreme Court evenly along ideological lines—raised concerns on Tuesday that this individual mandate "changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in the very fundamental way." This might mean the president's signature domestic achievement will be declared unconstitutional. If so, he would face a critical decision.
Obamacare, Common Sense, and the Law
By Clive Crook - TheAtlantic.com
Like everybody else I was surprised that the administration's counsel was so poorly prepared to answer questions he must have known he would be asked. Even so I can sympathize with the fellow because his job was never going to be easy. The best reason to rule Obamacare constitutional--the one that makes the answer seem obvious--is a matter of common sense. But that's a case counsel isn't allowed to make.
Things are looking up for state budgets
By Julie Carr Smyth, AP - Boston.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio—During the darkest days of the Great Recession, Ohio didn't have enough in its rainy day fund to buy even a candy bar. It held a balance of exactly 89 cents.
Today, the emergency fund has swelled to $247 million. A nearly $8 billion state budget gap has been closed. Unemployment has fallen from a high of 10.6 percent to 7.6 percent. And all three credit rating agencies judge Ohio to be stable.
House passes Ryan budget with Medicare overhaul
The Business Journals by Kent Hoover, Washington Bureau Chief
The House may not be able to pass a highway bill, but at least it passed a budget. That's more than the Senate can say.
The House passed the budget plan crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., this afternoon on a largely party-line 228-191 vote. The vote came after the House rejected a Democratic alternative, as well as a plan by Republican conservatives that would have slashed spending even more than Ryan's budget would.
Congress Introduces Bill
to Provide Tax Relief for Mortgage Foreclosure Victims
BY MICHAEL COHN, ACCOUNTING TODAY
A trio of congressional Democrats have introduced a bill that would provide tax relief to homeowners who were wrongly foreclosed upon and receive money from the recent nationwide mortgage foreclosure settlement.
State attorneys general across the country successfully sued five of the major banks that had been accused of using so-called "robosigning" and other dubious methods to expedite illegal foreclosures. The $25 billion settlement, which was announced last month, represents the largest financial recovery obtained by the states' attorneys general since the 1998 Master Tobacco Settlement, was reached with Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial. It will allow hundreds of thousands of distressed homeowners to stay in their homes through enhanced loan modifications and principal reduction, and it will also provide payments to victims of unfair foreclosure practices.
Gerald Celente - The Alex jones Show - 26 March 2012
Best Buy to Close 50 Stores, Cut Costs
By JOAN E. SOLSMAN And MIA LAMAR - WSJ.com
Best Buy Co. outlined a plan to cut $800 million in costs, close 50 stores and eliminate 400 jobs, as online retailers continue to undermine its business model.
The cost-cutting program, which includes $250 million in reductions this fiscal year, will close 50 big-box stores and lower cost of goods sold. The company plans to use information technology to make corporate and support structure more efficient and will cut about 400 positions in those areas.
Best Buy currently has about 1,100 big-box stores.
Netflix Risks Tangle With Cable
By JOHN JANNARONE - WSJ.com
The key to Netflix's future is steady subscriber growth. Could it get some extra juice by hooking up with cable companies?
Recent reports indicated that the DVD and video-streaming company was in discussions with cable operators about offering its content alongside other pay-television channels. While it doesn't appear those talks have any traction, at least yet, it is worth asking why Netflix would even consider such deals.
North Sea Gas Leak Could Cost Billions
By SARAH KENT, GERALDINE AMIEL and BENOIT FAUCON - WSJ.com
LONDON—A major gas leak at the Elgin field in the North Sea could cost its owners billions of dollars in the worst-case scenario, analysts said this week.
The gas leak, which started Sunday, forced Total SA TOT -1.62% —the field's operator and largest shareholder—to shut down operations at the platform. The French oil-and-gas producer hasn't said whether it has determined how to stop the gas leak or to extinguish a flare, which is still burning on the platform.
FBI Taught Agents They Could 'Bend or Suspend the Law'
By Spencer Ackerman - Wired.com
The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes "bend or suspend the law" in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training, warned agents against shaking hands with "Asians" and said Arabs were prone to "Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums."
These are just some of the disturbing results of the FBI's six-month review into how the Bureau trained its counterterrorism agents. That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training. All that has a powerful senator saying that the review represents a "failure to adequately address" the problem.
The FBI has released the memo in question. Read it here.
Big Brother is Watching You – Even Closer
By Bob Bauman - Sovereign-Investor.com
Watch what you say and do. At this very moment, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is building America's largest-ever spy center – and it will be watching you (if they aren't already).
The NSA, the cryptologic intelligence agency of U.S. Department of Defense, is the unit that secretly saddled us with the Constitution-busting ECHELON spy program.
I have recently learned some startling information about what the Bush/Obama Homeland Security Gestapo has in store for us suspect Americans.
Contractors with top-secret clearances are now building the "Utah Data Center" – an ultra-secret project in the desert that is the latest piece of a multifaceted government plan to destroy every last bit of privacy we still have.
The NSA Is Building the Country's
Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
By James Bamford - Wired.com
The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah's Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It's the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as "the principle," marriage to multiple wives.
Japan Admits Nuclear Plant Still Poses Dangers
By HIROKO TABUCHI - NYTimes.com
TOKYO — The damage to the core of at least one of the meltdown-stricken reactors at Fukushima could be far worse than previously thought, raising fresh concerns over the plant's stability and gravely complicating the post-disaster cleanup, a recent internal investigation has shown.
The results of the inquiry, released this week by the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, also cast doubt over the Japanese government's declaration three months ago that the ravaged site is now under control.
'No Country Which Threatens Israel
Can Be Permitted To Have Nuclear Weapons'
By James Fallows - TheAtlantic.com
A reader in Israel strongly disagrees with my argument that there is a "contradiction" in the current Israeli government view of Iran. On the one hand, the Iranian regime is (said to be) irrational and undeterrable -- and therefore might launch a suicidal nuclear attack on Israel. On the other hand, the Iranian regime is (thought to be) cautious and survival-minded, and therefore would not respond to a preemptive Israeli strike with broad retaliation against US or Israeli people and assets. When these views are combined, they mean that an Israeli attack on Iran can seem to be (a) necessary and (b) workable.
The reader writes (emphasis added):
As an Israeli, let me just make it clear to you. At the moment, it may be possible to strike Iran, and that it is possible that the Iranian response to the strike is rational (ie minimal, based on previous experience with Iraq and Syria) or not -- it really doesn't matter. The issue is that the future action of the Iranians cannot be predicted, and add that to the possibility of a future Iranian government having nuclear weapons, and the safety of Israel is certainly unclear. Add to that the possibility of a future Iran proliferating nuclear weapons to terrorist groups and the situation becomes even worse. Thus, in the future, it will be impossible to strike Iran (due to nuclear deterrence) and the possibility exists that the Iranian government in the future may not be rational.
Azerbaijan denies giving Israel air base access
AFP - Google News
BAKU — Azerbaijan on Thursday denied allegations made by a US magazine that it had granted Israel access to its air bases which could assist in potential strikes against its neighbour Iran.
Citing anonymous senior US diplomats and military intelligence officers, the article published in Foreign Policy magazine on Wednesday suggested that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel was "heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran".
The article suggested that access to Azerbaijani airfields near the Iranian border could give Israeli fighter planes logistical advantages in carrying out sorties against nuclear facilities in Iran, which the Jewish state suspects of developing atomic weapons.
U.S. moving minesweepers to waters near Iran
By Barbara Starr - CNN.com
Four Navy minesweepers will be on their way to the Persian Gulf within weeks as part of an effort to boost American military capability in the region amid rising tensions with Iran, a Navy official says.
The minesweepers will be loaded onto cargo ships leaving the United States in late April, according to the Navy official.
The deployments were publicly confirmed by Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, earlier this month in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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