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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One giant step closer to 3rd world chaos

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Libya: Britain could arm rebels, David Cameron admits

Britain could arm the Libyan rebels to avert a lasting stalemate in the country, according to David Cameron.

The Prime Minister's admission came as William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, warned ministers to "prepare for the long haul" in Libya and a defence minister said the conflict "may go on for considerably longer".

The military intervention against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces is in its sixth week, but the rebels aiming to oust the Libyan dictator have failed to make significant progress against him.

That failure has put pressure on Britain and other Western countries to do more to help the rebels. Britain has already sent them telecoms equipment and body armour and deployed a team of military officers to advise them.

Mr Cameron made his remarks about arms in a letter to Bill Cash, the senior Conservative MP who first raised the prospect of arming the rebels last month.

The Prime Minister wrote: "We do not rule out supplying lethal equipment, but we have not taken a decision to do so and there remain legal and practical questions which need to be carefully considered."

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Putin Who gave NATO right to kill Gaddafi

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Armed gang explodes gas pipeline to Israel, Egypt officials say

Sinai gas pipeline - AP - 6/2/2011

An explosion rocked a natural gas terminal near Egypt's border with Israel on Wednesday sending flames shooting into the air and forcing the shutdown of the country's export pipeline, said security officials. The pipeline supplies gas to Israel and Jordan.

"An unknown armed gang attacked the gas pipeline," a security source told Reuters, adding that the flow of gas to Israel and Jordan had been hit.

Authorities closed the main source of gas supplying the pipeline and are working to extinguish the fire," the source said, adding there was a tower of flame at the scene.

It was the second attack in the past month on the al-Sabil terminal near the town of El-Arish just 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Israel. On March 27 gunmen planted explosives at the terminal, which failed to detonate.

The valves controlling the flow of gas from the main terminal in Port Said on the Mediterranean coast were shut down to stifle the flames, which sent residents scurrying from their homes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

An earlier attack on the same pipeline, located south of the North Sinai town of el-Arish, was staged on Feb. 5 during an 18-day-uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power on Feb. 11.

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Food prices set to hit record

Global food prices may rise 4.4% to a record by the end of the year, driven by demand for meat, oilseeds and grains used to make ethanol, adding to costs that mean inflation is accelerating from the U.S. to China.

The United Nations’ Food Price Index may climb to 240 points from 229.84 last month, said William Adams, a fund manager at Zurich-based Resilience AG, which has US$22.2-million of assets. Global corn stockpiles are shrinking the most in seven years, inventories of nine edible oils will drop to the lowest since 1974 and U.S. beef stocks will be the smallest since 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

“The stockpiles are being severely depleted,” said Mr. Adams, who correctly forecast gains in heating oil and gasoline prices last year. “Eventually it gets to the consumer. The U.S. government isn’t subsidizing pork chops like it is ethanol.”

The cost of living in the U.S. rose at its fastest pace since December 2009 in the 12 months ended in March. Chinese consumer prices rose last month by the most since 2008. The People’s Bank of China raised borrowing costs four times since October and the European Central Bank increased rates on April 7 for the first time since 2008. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said April 16 that the world is “one shock away” from a crisis in food supply and prices.

Finantial Post


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Russia calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya

MOSCOW - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and an immediate cease-fire in Libya, the ministry said Sunday.

Lavrov called for a cease-fire during a telephone conversation with Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi on Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov said the most important thing now was to stop the suffering of civilians, so "it is necessary to unconditionally comply with the relevant resolutions made by the UN Security Council and ensure an immediate cease-fire," the ministry said.

Moscow is confident that those measures would help "create conditions for a truce," the ministry said.

The Libyan prime minister stressed the desire of Libyan officials to find a political solution to the conflict, the ministry said, adding that "he expressed interest in Russia to contribute to the search for a peaceful settlement."

In turn, Lavrov said Russia stands prepared to work with international organizations, including the African Union and the United Nations, to alleviate the humanitarian situation and promote a peace settlement in the Northern African country.

Meanwhile, Al-Mahmoudi said Libyan leadership is ready to fully observe UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

Resolution 1970 imposed an arms embargo against Libya and slapped sanctions on members of Gaddafi's inner circle. Resolution 1973 authorized a no-fly zone over Libya.

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