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Medium to long term outlook for Gold remains bullish
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Medium to long term outlook for Gold remains Bullish, said Adrian Day, the president of Adrian Day Asset Management, although he would not be surprised by a short-term correction after a rally in the third quarter.
"August and September are traditionally strong months for gold, while there is usually a pullback in October, before resumption in November picking up at the end of the year," said the Fund manager.
"So such a price retreat in the immediate term will not cause too much concern, though we are taking some gains in the gold stocks before this correction. We fully expect new highs by early next year, if not this," Adrian added.
Gold inches up, long-term prospects seen promising
Services report comes in better than expected; volumes thin
By Claudia Assis and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures found firmer footing on Wednesday, closing higher after a wobbly start to the day and a brief dip after a positive U.S. services report.
Gold for December delivery rose, to settle at $1,779.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded as high as $1,784 an ounce.
Silver - The People's Metal
BY RYAN JORDAN - FinancialSense.com
Throughout Western history, silver has been at the center of the world economy, the driver of empires, and an asset that has probably cost just as much if not more blood and treasure to extract than gold. Today, as the world faces sobering realities ranging from debt crises to concerns about resource growth, silver is once again slowly coming onto people's radar screens, and for good reason.
Fed Confused Reality Doesn't Conform To Its Economic Models, Shocked Its Models Predict "Explosive Inflation"
by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Below are several excerpts only the brains of those practicing the world's most useless profession (and we are very generous with that assessment) could possibly come up with, in attempting to explain the shocking outcome of reality continuously refusing to comply with their exhaustive and comprehensive Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DGSE - don't worry: it sounds complicated - it must be very serious and important, and be thus very credible and good at predicting stuff; it is neither) models.
No recovery until 2018, IMF warns
Fund's chief economist Olivier Blanchard says global economy will take a decade to recover from the financial crisis
By Phillip Inman - The Guardian
The International Monetary Fund's chief economist has warned that theglobal economy will take a decade to recover from the financial crisis as the latest snapshot of the UK economy suggested that growth in the third quarter will be at best anaemic.
Olivier Blanchard said he feared the eurozone crisis, debt problems in Japan and the US, and a slowdown in China meant that the world economy would not be in good shape until at least 2018. "It's not yet a lost decade," he said. "But it will surely take at least a decade from the beginning of the crisis for the world economy to get back to decent shape.
This Pattern Joins the Mounting Evidence for Recession 2013
BY DAVID ZEILER, Associate Editor, Money Morning
Don't worry about scanning headlines every day to determine the U.S. economy's chances of entering a recession in 2013.
We already know the answer.
Such indicators as gross domestic product (GDP), consumer spending, durable goods and exports all point to an economy not in a slow recovery, but on the verge of a 2013 recession.
That's because the trend lines, rather than showing gradual improvement, are moving in the opposite direction. The economy, after spending months with its head just barely above water, is about to go under.
The War Between Credit and Resources
BY GREGOR MACDONALD - FinancialSense.com
The Federal Reserve is probably not ready to take the aggressive plunge into Nominal GDP Targeting, but it likely will.
Such a policy, which received wider attention during Ben Bernanke's Congressional questioning last year and was also highlighted this year in a paper delivered at the Jackson Hole conference (Woodford, opens to PDF), has not caught any visible traction with Washington policy makers possibly because it's seen as either too radical, or simply too new.
Keiser Report: Debt Erasers (E348)
In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the nine scariest words in the English language - "I'm from JP Morgan and I'm here to help you." They also discuss deferred prosecution agreements and celebrities and bloggers shilling for banksters in California's mortgage contract-asset seizure market. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Jaromil about bitcoin as a digital charm bracelet and the revolution in accounting science - triple entry accounting.
The ECB - EUR22 Trillion Is Missing
by Mark J. Grant - ZeroHedge.com
"To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another." -John Burroughs
Yesterday I published the assets/liabilities of the European Central Bank as provided by them. I provided some analysis that I thought was relevant as I also asked all of you to look at the numbers yourself. To be quite open; I was stunned by the data they provided and shocked by the implications. I had not seen the data in any other source or commented about by anyone and the subject, while admittedly complex, and perhaps made more complex by design, is a huge wake-up call for anyone investing in Europe.
The ECB lists, as of the end of the 1st quarter of 2012, 16.304 trillion Euros ($ 21.032 trillion) in assets and 17.334 trillion Euros ($22.631 trillion) in liabilities.
Spain Denies Bailout Story, Gartman:
"Everyone Needs to Own Gold"
BY BEN TRAYNOR - FinancialSense.com
Spot market old prices rallied to $1781 per ounce ahead of Wednesday's US session, recovering from slight losses earlier in the day to stay in line with recent trading, while stock markets were broadly flat and the Euro reversed earlier gains, as analysts speculated on when and whether Spain will request a bailout.
Silver prices rose briefly above $34.90 an ounce before easing back, while other commodity prices fell and UK and German bonds gained.
"We do not, at this stage, believe that another significant up move [for gold], that is to say to the $1900 level, will be seen before further consolidation has occurred," says Axel Rudolph, senior technical analyst at Commerzbank.
Spain fears harsh rescue terms from AAA Nordic parliaments
Senior officials from Germany and other parts of the eurozone's AAA core have warned Spain privately that angry parliaments are likely to impose stringent conditions on any further rescue loans.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Fear of escalating demands by Germany, Finland and Holland is a key reason why Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy continues to drag his feet on a full sovereign bail-out.
Spain's refusal to act has frozen the eurozone rescue machinery and begun to rattle markets. The European Central Bank will not buy Spanish bonds until the country requests aid from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and signs a "Memorandum" giving up fiscal sovereignty.
And The Declining Influence Of The United States
By Simon Johnson - BaselineScenario.com
It is axiomatic among most of our Washington elite that the United States cannot lose its preeminent global role, at least not in the foreseeable future. This assumption is implicit in all our economic policy discussions, including how politicians on both sides regard the leading international role of the United States dollar. In this view, the United States is likely to remain the world's financial safe haven for international investors, irrespective of what we say and do.
Reggie Middleton on Apple's "iBubble,"
and the JP Morgan/Bear Stearns Lawsuit
The Woman Who Took the Fall for JPMorgan Chase
By SUSAN DOMINUS - NYTimes.com
In February of 2011, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive ofﬁcer ofJPMorgan Chase, approached the podium of one of the ballrooms at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Key Biscayne, Fla., where 300 senior executives from around the world were attending the bank's annual off-site conference. By that time, the cold fear of the financial crisis was cordoned off in the near-distant past, replaced by a dawning recognition that the ensuing changes in business — the comparatively trifling risk limits, the dwindling bonuses, the elevated stress levels — might actually be permanent. That day, Dimon took the opportunity, according to a bank employee in attendance, to try to inspire his team, to rouse them from the industrywide sense of malaise. Yes, there were challenges, Dimon said, but it was the job of leadership to be strong. They should be prudent, but step up — be bold. He looked out into the audience, where Ina Drew, the 54-year-old chief investment officer, was sitting at one of the tables. "Ina," he said, singling her out, "is bold."
Shorting U.S. Bonds Is Still Trade of the Decade
Still Short Bonds
By Doug Kass - TheStreet.com
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth." -- Jean de La Bruyère
I maintain the view that shorting the U.S. fixed-income market is still the trade of the decade.
And, despite the known headwinds of slowing domestic and non-U.S. economic growth and the threat of the fiscal cliff, I now believe that the potential exists for bonds to experience pricing pressure (and an increase in bond yields) over the near term.
This view runs counter to consensus expectations after the Fed has recently embarked on QE3 and to my skeptical view on its impact on the real U.S. economy but consider the following factors:
Taxmageddon Will Hit 88%, Spur Recession
By Merrill Goozner - FiscalTimes.com
If the lame duck Congress and President Obama drive over the fiscal cliff on New Year's eve without passing new tax legislation or extending a host of expiring tax breaks, the average American household would get slapped with a $3,500 tax hike next year, according to a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center. Nearly 7 out of every 8 households will pay higher taxes.
Allowing the tax breaks to expire would theoretically raise $536 billion for the federal government next year, the analysis said, which is sharply higher than Congressional Budget Office projections that only looked at the fiscal year that began Monday. However, most economists believe a fiscal shock of that magnitude would immediately throw the economy into recession, which would sharply reduce actual collections.
Big firms that avoid taxes are moochers, small companies say
By Jose Pagliery - Money.CNN.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When big companies offshore profits to dodge taxes, small business owners say they are left footing the bill -- and they're not happy about it.
A U.S. Senate panel recently reviewed how Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard shaved billions off their taxes in recent years by moving profits offshore.
Microsoft avoided paying nearly $7 billion by transferring almost half of its U.S. revenue to a subsidiary in Puerto Rico and moving patents to foreign subsidiaries.
Romney signals limits on tax breaks
By Jeanne Sahadi - Money.CNN.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- With just a month to go before Election Day, Mitt Romney has finally started to talk about more specific ways he could pay for his proposed tax cuts.
In an interview with a Denver TV station earlier this week, Romney offered what a campaign spokeswoman called an "illustrative example" for how to help pay for his plan, which would slash income tax rates by 20%.
Romney said limits could be put on how much a tax filer claims initemized deductions. "As an option, you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction. ... And higher income people might have a lower number."
Gerald Celente - Goldseek Radio - September 28, 2012
Wake Up America,
We Are Being Distracted
From the Real Issues by MSM Lackeys
By Graham Summers - ZeroHedge.com
It's time to wake up, America.
The mainstream media is attempting once again to draw the public's opinion towards issues that are ultimately fringe issues that impact a small percentage of us in order to ignore the large-scale major issues that affect all of us.
When I saw mainstream media, I am referring to any major media outlet, including satirical quasi-political shows such as the Daily Show. All of these shows, op-eds, media appearances are in fact one colossal game meant to draw our attention away from what matters to items that don't really matter all that much.
Fed Policy Is Working - Moral Hazard Is Back
BY JOHN RUBINO - FinancialSense.com
A near-death experience isn't something one gets over right away. So it's no surprise that the US leveraged speculating community was a tad more cautious than usual for a while. Real estate investors, for instance, still bought houses, but only on very favorable terms where rental income would clearly exceed expenses. And investment banks still repackaged loans into asset backed securities, but on a very small scale, since there weren't that many willing/able buyers for exotica that was "toxic" so recently.
Can Money Buy Jobs? Central Bankers Think So
By SUZANNE MCGEE, The Fiscal Times
The unprecedented action initiated by the Federal Reserve last month – its open-ended third round of quantitative easing – has been highly controversial in many quarters. So much so that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tackled the issue head-on at the Economic Club of Indiana yesterday.
In a speech titled "Five Questions about the Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy," Bernanke tried to counter claims that the Fed's commitment to low interest rates means that the federal government gets to borrow more cheaply and rack up an even higher level of debt, or that the Fed is "monetizing" that debt through its securities purchases. "Using monetary policy to try to influence the political debate on the budget would be highly inappropriate," Bernanke told his audience. (He added that it also probably wouldn't work.)
Romney lands punches against subdued Obama in first debate
By Cameron Joseph - TheHill.com
Mitt Romney came out firing on President Obama in the opening minutes of the presidential debate, drawing sharp contrasts with the president's economic plan and accusing him of misleading the public on Romney's own plan.
Romney peppered his attacks with memorable phrases, claiming Obama's policies were "trickle-down government" and that the president was instituting an "economy tax" on the middle class.
First Presidential Debate:
Questions That are Unlikely to Be Asked
By Robert Reich - Truthdig.com
Governor Romney: You've said that you have used every legal method to reduce your tax liability. You've also said that as president you would close tax loopholes in order to help finance a major across-the-board tax cut. What specific tax loopholes have you used that you would close? A followup: Would you close the loophole that allows private-equity managers to treat their income as capital gains, subject to a 15 percent tax, even when they risk no capital of their own?
President Obama: You have spoken eloquently of the need to reduce the influence of big money in politics. What specific measures will you advance if you are reelected to accomplish this goal?
Romney tells Obama: 'I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut'
By Bernie Becker - TheHill.com
Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, stressed at Wednesday's debate that his tax plan would not add to the deficit or hit the middle class after facing repeated claims to the contrary from President Obama.
The former Massachusetts governor maintained that he would pay for his plan to cut tax rates by ending tax preferences for the highest earners, and said that under no circumstances would he increase the tax burden on the middle class.
Romney Floats a Cap on Tax Breaks...Is It for Real?
By JOSH BOAK, The Fiscal Times
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney finally dangled some possible specifics about how he could slash all marginal tax rates by 20 percent and not blow-up the deficit—cap deductions at $17,000.
Tax policy experts will suss out competing models of how this idea to broaden the base would impact government revenues and deficits that have pushed the outstanding national debt to the size of the $16 trillion U.S. gross domestic product.
Mitt Romney plan leaves 72M uninsured
By BRETT NORMAN | Politico.com
Mitt Romney's health care plan wouldn't just insure fewer people than "Obamacare" — it would make the uninsured problem worse than it would have been if the law had never passed, according to a comparison of the two plans by a research group with a history of pro-"Obamacare" studies.
The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health care research foundation, found that under Romney's health care plan, the uninsured population would soar to 72 million by 2022 — 12 million higher than if nothing had been done at all.
Obama: Seniors at 'mercy of insurance companies'
under Romney's plan
By Sam Baker - TheHill.com
President Obama hit Mitt Romney's Medicare plan hard during Wednesday night's debate, arguing that seniors would be "stuck" with private insurance.
Romney, as he has throughout the campaign, sought to set the initial terms of the Medicare debate by attacking Obama for cuts included in his healthcare law.
"I can't understand how you can cut Medicare $716 billion for current recipients," Romney said of the health law's cuts.
15-member 'board' mentioned in debates... pay attention!
Rolling Back the Obamacare Banana Republic
By Michelle Malkin - Creators.com
A rising chorus of repeal-mongers, outraged at the Obama administration's federal health care power grab, took over Washington this week. Nope, it's not the tea party. It's Democrats Against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Yes, Democrats.
What's IPAB? A Beltway acronym for subverting the deliberative process.
The 15-member panel of government-appointed bureaucrats was slipped into Section 3403 of the Obamacare law against the objection of more than 100 House members on both sides of the aisle. IPAB's experts would wield unprecedented authority over Medicare spending — and in time, over an expanding jurisdiction of private health care payment rates — behind closed doors.
Obama's Electoral College Ph.D.
By E.J. Dionne, Jr. - Truthdig.com
If we elected the president by popular vote, we would have heard some different spin going into the debates. With the presidential election looking closer in the national polls than it does in the swing states, the pressure on Mitt Romney from his party and the pundits alike would have been rather less demanding.
In one sense, this is surprising. Our antiquated Electoral College actually gives Republicans an advantage. By guaranteeing every state three electors regardless of population, the system offers outsized influence to smaller, mostly Republican rural states.
Why is Obama Winning?
By Harold James - Project-Syndicate.org
PRINCETON – James Carville, Bill Clinton's chief campaign strategist in 1992, famously expressed a bit of established insider wisdom about winning elections: "It's the economy, stupid." Incumbents win if the economic outlook is rosy, and are vulnerable – as George H. W. Bush was – when times are hard. Indeed, throughout Europe – in France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom – governments have been turned out of office in the face of a crisis that they have seemed unable to address.
By this standard, President Barack Obama should now be in a hopeless situation. According to United States Census data, household income fell in 2011for the fourth consecutive year. Unemployment remains persistently high, despite the $787 billion stimulus package in 2009, and house prices, though recovering slowly, remain far below their pre-2008 peak.
POLL: 85% OF MIDDLE CLASS SAY
THEY'RE WORSE OFF THAN 10 YEARS AGO
by BEN SHAPIRO - Breitbart.com
Barack Obama portrays himself as the great defender of the middle class. But the American public seems to agree with Vice President Joe Biden that under Obama's watch, the middle class has been "buried." According to a new poll, 85 percent of self-described middle class people say it's tougher now than it was 10 years ago for middle class people simply to maintain their standard of living. 62 percent of those people say blame lies largely with Congress; another 54 percent blame banks; 47 percent blame corporations; 44 percent blame Bush; 39 percent blame foreign competition. Surprisingly, just 34 percent blame the Obama administration.
ISM Shows Higher Prices, Slower Employment Growth
By 24/7 Wall St. - DailyFinance.com
The Institute for Supply Management, or the ISM, managed to show that the nonmanufacturing sector posted its 33rd consecutive month of growth. The ISM's Report on Business showed a reading of 55.1% for the month of September. This is above the 53.7% recorded in August and above expectations. Dow Jones was calling for only 53.1% and Bloomberg was calling for 53.1%.
The Business Activity Index came in at 59.9%, 4.3 percentage points higher than the 55.6% reported in August. The New Orders Index came in at 57.7%, an increase of 4 percentage points from August.
U.S. economy may be nipping at apartment sector
By Ilaina Jonas
NEW YORK | Wed Oct 3, 2012 12:22am EDT
(Reuters) - The U.S. apartment sector posted its smallest vacancy decline in nearly two years, raising the possibility that the strongest commercial real estate category may be succumbing to the sluggish economy, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.
For nearly two years apartment landlords have been able to boost rents and fill their buildings as Americans, either burned by the housing bust or unable to get a mortgage, turned to renting instead of owning a home.
How the Fiscal Cliff Could Kill the Housing Recovery
By BRIANNA EHLEY - FiscalTimes.com
Just when it looked like the much-battered housing market was making a comeback, industry home-sale monitor Clear Capital predicts that the market will begin to lose its momentum if Congress does nothing to avert the fiscal cliff, according to a report by The Oregonian's Elliot Njus.
"Confidence is key to turning the recovery's near term sprint into a marathon," Alex Villacorta, Clear Capital's director of research, told the newspaper. "The sooner businesses and consumers are reassured, the more likely they are to build, purchase, or loan on a house." And by reassured, he means hearing from congressional leaders and the White House that the economy won't get clobbered by a mix of $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts in early January.
A Nation of Takers? Behind the Entitlement Explosion
By MERRILL GOOZNER, The Fiscal Times
At some point in tonight's debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney will be asked about his views on the 47 percent – the beneficiaries of government programs he dismissed as potential supporters during a private talk to wealthy campaign donors during the spring primary season.
As he has done many times since those surreptitiously recorded comments became public, he will express empathy for those who need a helping hand. But he will probably also defend the basic belief behind the comments: that America cannot thrive if it continues down the path toward becoming an "entitlement society," where a growing share of the population depends on government largesse.
Ferrari seized in food stamp fraud case
(Reuters) - Federal investigators uncovered two grocery store owners who trafficked in more than $1 million in food stamps apiece and seized four luxury cars, including a Ferrari, from one of them, the Agriculture Department's watchdog agency said on Wednesday.
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the owner of two grocery stores was ordered to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison after trading food stamps for cash and other goods, the department's inspector general said in a report.
TSA to install molecular body scanners
TSA is introducing the new full body scanner system to the American airports. The scanners will be capable of detecting every tiny trace of any substance of your body to find gunpowder or any bomb making materials. However the devices can also trace the level of adrenaline in the body. RT's Kristine Frazao has more on the subject.
Stocks Up, Bonds Up, USD Up, Gold Up; Oil Plungapalooza
by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
It wouldn't be the new normal markets if something freaky did not happen. WTI crude was crushed lower (back under $88) and now down almost 10% from pre-QEternity on supply build (totally ignoring the Iran and Syria-Turkey SNAFUs). HPQ stunned investors back to reality and fell 13% to nine-year lows. AAPL did it again - same 310ET time, same velocity of liftathon - which dragged indices up off what could have been a red close. Equities entirely disengaged from risk-assets soon after the US equity open this morning and never looked back as Treasury yields pushed higher into the open and slid lower all day, the USD rose quietly all day long, and gold drifted sideways to modestly higher on the day. VIX limped lower on the day but on the week stocks are up around 1%, Treasury yields down 1-2bps, USD unchanged, and gold/silver marginally higher (with WTI -4.6%). Healthcare and Financials are up around 1.75% on the week with Materials and Energy down 0.6%. Gold and Stocks are recoupled.
Latest Cyber-Attack Disrupts Iran's Internet Access
By Charles Kennedy - OilPrice.com
Iran has been the target of a number of cyber-attacks this year, and even though it increased the level of its cyber security following the Stuxnet virus in 2010, which successfully attacked and disrupted the centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility, the occasional worm does get through and cause havoc.
On Wednesday Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, told the Iranian Labour News Agency that a new cyber-attack had effectively targeted Iran's infrastructure and communications companies, severely disrupting the internet across the whole country.
Earth's magnetic field overdue
for a chaos-causing (possibly life-altering) flip
By Chris Wickham, Reuters - NationalPost.com
LONDON — The discovery by NASA rover Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars – the most Earth-like planet in the solar system – should intensify interest in what the future could hold for mankind.
The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly solar radiation and helps some animals migrate, and it may be a lot more fragile and febrile than one might think.
Scientists say earth's magnetic field is weakening and could all but disappear in as little as 500 years as a precursor to flipping upside down.
Why Oil Prices Are Entering a "New Normal"
BY DR. KENT MOORS, Global Energy Strategist, Money Morning
One of the things I have learned from almost four decades of doing this is that oil and gas specialists know a great deal about what they do for a living.
However, few of these specialists really understand enough about what the person to the right or left of them does. This tends to breed tunnel vision.
And these days it has become a serious problem.
That's because what is now hitting the oil and gas markets requires a more expansive and integrative understanding of what is actually taking place.
The truth is energy markets are evolving.
We are entering a period in energy and oil prices that I have begun calling the "New Normal."
Alert! Petrodollar Threat, On The Edge Of Global War.
By Gregory Mannarino
The Devastating Economic Impact
of Constantly High Oil Prices
By Gail Tverberg - OilPrice.com
As U.S. retail gasoline prices once again near $4.00 a gallon, does this pose a threat to the economy and President Obama's prospects for re-election? My answer is no.
He looks at a variety of data to come to this conclusion: Fuel economy of cars sold in since October 2007; longer term vehicle miles travelled; monthly car and light truck sales since 2006; and consumer sentiment by month.
I don't agree with Hamilton's analysis. As I see it, increasingly high oil prices weaken an economy because they reduce discretionary spending and indirectly cause people to be laid-off from work. They have many other adverse effects as well–they tend to raise food prices, with similar effect. The laid-off workers require unemployment compensation payments, and the same time they are contributing less tax revenue. All of this creates a huge imbalance between revenue collected by governments and expenditures paid out. If oil prices rise again, it will tend to make the imbalance worse.
$1 billion dollar project underway to drill into Earth's mantle
October 2, 2012 – EARTH - Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples. It could help answer some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth itself, with almost all of the sea floor and continents that make up the Earth´s surface originating from the mantle. Geologists involved in the project are already comparing it to the Apollo Moon missions in terms of the value of the samples it could yield. However, in order to reach those samples, the team of international scientists must first find a way to grind their way through ultra-hard rocks with 10 km-long (6.2 miles) drill pipes — a technical challenge that one of the project co-leaders Damon Teagle, from the UK's University of Southampton calls, "the most challenging endeavor in the history of Earth science." 'A ship flying in space:' Earth seen through the eyes of an astronaut. "It will be the equivalent of dangling a steel string the width of a human hair in the deep end of a swimming pool and inserting it into a thimble 1/10 mm wide. Their task will be all the more difficult for being conducted out in the middle of the ocean.
OBAMA PLANS MAJOR AIRSTRIKE ON LIBYAN TARGETS
by BEN SHAPIRO - Breitbart.com
Today, a Defense Department official confirmed to Breitbart News that there is advance planning for a "substantial air package" against targets in Libya. Military sources suggest that this means that flight missions against Libyan targets will include manned flights, not merely drones.
The New York Times reported yesterday that the Obama administration is preparing an operation to "kill or capture militants" involved in the Benghazi attack resulting in the murder of our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. According to the Times, the Joint Special Operations Command is putting together "so-called target packages of detailed information about the suspects." These files are a coordinated project with the CIA and the Pentagon.
NATO calls Syria's attack into Turkey
a 'flagrant breach' of international law
By Carlo Muñoz - TheHill.com
NATO members convened an emergency meeting of alliance leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to pull Turkey from the brink of war with neighboring Syria.
Ankara demanded the NATO sit-down after Syrian troops shelled targets in neighboring Turkey with Ankara responding with their own bombardment inside Syria, across the countries' shared border, according to recent news reports.
Russia warns NATO to stay away from Syria
Moscow sends message to West, Gulf Arabs not to intervene militarily in Syria; report: Assad tours Aleppo, orders city "cleansed."
By REUTERS - JPost.com
MOSCOW - Russia told NATO and world powers on Tuesday they should not seek ways to intervene in the Syrian war or set up buffer zones between rebels and government forces.
The statements from Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov was one of Moscow's most specific warnings yet to the West and Gulf Arab leaders to keep out of the 18-month-old conflict.
"In our contacts with partners in NATO and in the region, we are calling on them not to seek pretexts for carrying out a military scenario or to introduce initiatives such as humanitarian corridors or buffer zones," Gatilov said, according to the Interfax news agency.
Turkey strikes back at Syria after mortar kills five
By Seyhmus Cakan and Kadir Celikcan - FiscalTimes.com
AKCAKALE, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkish artillery hit targets inside Syria on Wednesday after a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory killed five Turkish civilians, while NATO called for an immediate end to Syria's "aggressive acts".
In the most serious cross-border escalation of the 18-month uprising in Syria, Turkey hit back at what it called "the last straw" when a mortar hit a residential neighborhood of the southern border town of Akcakale.
NATO said it stood by member-nation Turkey and urged Syria to put an end to "flagrant violations of international law".
Israel versus America versus Iran
By Shlomo Ben-Ami - Project-Syndicate.org
TEL AVIV – Israel's concern about the specter of a nuclear Iran has now degenerated into a crisis of confidence concerning the United States. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has embarked on a campaign to force President Barack Obama to set a red line that Iran must not cross, lest it risk unleashing an American military response. Implicit threats of a unilateral Israeli attack, together with conspicuous meddling in the US presidential election campaign, have compounded Netanyahu's effort to twist Obama's arm.
Paul Craig Roberts: The Israel - Iran Conflict
is Not About Nukes, but Water!
'Psychological war' behind Iran's economic problems,
Ahmadinejad says as currency hits record low
By Yeganeh Torbati and Marcus George, Reuters - NationalPost.com
DUBAI — The Iranian currency fell to a record low on Tuesday as the Islamic republic struggles under the impact of Western economic sanctions and nervous citizens rushed to change their savings into hard currency.
The Iranian government blamed speculators for the rial's collapse and ordered the security services to take action against them.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected criticism of his policies and insisted the country could ride out the sanctions, imposed because of Iran's nuclear program, after the rial lost about a third of its value in a week.
Iran currency crisis sparks Tehran street clashes
Police use teargas and batons on demonstrators and Tehran bazaar closes as value of rial plunges
By Saeed Kamali Dehghan - The Guardian
Hundreds of demonstrators in the Iranian capital clashed with riot police on Wednesday, during protests against the crisis over the country's currency. Police used batons and teargas to try to disperse the crowds.
The day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appealed to the market to restore calm, the Grand Bazaar – the heartbeat of Tehran's economy – went on strike, with various businesses shutting down and owners gathering in scattered groups chanting anti-government slogans in reaction to the plummeting value of the rial, which has hit an all-time low this week.
Hyperinflation Has Arrived In Iran
by Steve H. Hanke via Cato-at-Liberty - ZeroHedge.com
Since the U.S. and E.U. first enacted sanctions against Iran, in 2010, the value of the Iranian rial (IRR) has plummeted, imposing untold misery on the Iranian people. When a currency collapses, you can be certain that other economic metrics are moving in a negative direction, too. Indeed, using new data from Iran's foreign-exchange black market, I estimate that Iran's monthly inflation rate has reached 69.6%. With a monthly inflation rate this high (over 50%), Iran is undoubtedly experiencing hyperinflation.
Iran unrest could undercut Romney critique
By JOSH GERSTEIN | Politico.com
Reports of violent clashes in Iran due to the precipitous drop in value of the country's currency could upset GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's efforts to paint President Barack Obama's Iran policy as ineffectual.
Tehran's central bazaar was reported to have been closed Wednesday and riot police were patrolling the streets as public and merchant frustration boiled over, apparently directed at economic woes caused by international sanctions intensified by the Obama Administration. At least one protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad Wednesday was broken up by tear gas, news agencies reported.
The Real Reason the U.S. Fears Iranian Nukes
by Alexander Reed Kelly - Truthdig.com
Iran wouldn't be stupid enough to attack the United States or Israel with a nuclear bomb, Glenn Greenwald suggests in The Guardian. If it had such a weapon, it would be for the purpose of deterring American aggression.
That's intolerable to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, "one of the U.S.'s most reliable and bloodthirsty warmongers," Greenwald writes. At a talk in North Augusta, S.C., this week, Graham unwittingly revealed a rarely advertised reason American officials want to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of one of the most formidable states in the Middle East:
"They have two goals: one, regime survival. The best way for the regime surviving, in their mind, is having a nuclear weapon, because when you have a nuclear weapon, nobody attacks you."
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