Thursday, May 5, 2011
Hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with his British counterpart David Cameron and on the eve of his planned meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday, foreign sources said that both heads of state have threatened to support the Palestinians' statehood bid in the UN if there is no progress in peace talks.
The Guardian quoted a diplomatic source as saying Cameron told Netanyahu that Britain would consider supporting a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians if Israel fails to join substantive peace talks to create a two-state solution.
"Britain's clear and absolute preference is for a negotiation to take place between Israel and the Palestinians which leads to a two state solution which everyone endorses. But at this point Britain is not ruling anything out. The more Israel engages seriously in a meaningful peace process the less likely it is that this question of unilateral declaration would arise," the source said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his state would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state if there was no progress in peace talks, L'Express reported on Wednesday.
"If the peace process resumed in the summer, France will say that the main parties much talk without pushing forward the schedule," Sarkozy told the French weekly. "If, conversely, the peace process remains stalled in September, France will take responsibility on the central question of recognizing a Palestinian state."
He added that Europe, the largest donor to the Palestinians, "will not remain a political dwarf in this matter." Peace "will not happen if the US does not get more involved, but the Americans will not succeed alone," Sarkozy explained.
Sarkozy also welcomed reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, saying that "nothing is possible" in the peace process without it.
During a Wednesday-night meeting with Netanyahu, Cameron pledged a commitment to Israeli security – but did not promise to reject the Fatah- Hamas unity deal.
The Israeli leader entered the meeting at 10 Downing Street hoping to hear those words from Cameron.
Netanyahu believes that a Palestinian government that is aligned with Hamas, an organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction, is a threat to Israel’s security.
Although Fatah and Hamas signed a unity agreement in Cairo on Wednesday, Cameron did not even mention it at the start of their meeting.
“Britain is a good friend of Israel, and our support for Israel and Israel’s security is unshakable. We are strong friends of Israel,” he said.
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An Expanded Explanation of Deceit
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The Original Download
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According to the National Weather Service, 226 tornadoes were recorded from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, and that's a record for a 24-hour period.
From Wednesday to Friday, 312 tornadoes may have formed.
The previous record for a single weather event was April 3-4, 1974, when 148 twisters were recorded.
Read the details in the preliminary report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy will now be able to address the United Nations no differently from US President Barack Obama, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez or Russia's Dimitri Medvedev.
In order to win the vote, the EU had to agree to changes to the global organisation that transforms the UN from an assembly of nation states into a body that also offers representation rights to regional blocs as well, including potentially the African Union, the Arab League and the South American Union.
The EU on Tuesday was given almost all the rights in the global chamber that fully-fledged states enjoy after the General Assembly backed 180 to two a resolution giving the bloc, which until this week only maintained observer status at the UN, the union the right to speak, the right to make proposals and submit amendments, the right of reply, the right to raise points of order and the right to circulate documents.
There will also be additional seats put in the chamber for the EU's foreign policy chief, High Representative Catherine Ashton and her officials.
Ashton and her team have lobbied heavily over the last six months, according to her representatives, with a major offensive in the last 48 hours by the high representative herself in New York, to push through the changes after the EU was dealt a surprise defeat last September when other regional blocs voted against a similar resolution.
She declared herself "delighted" at the win, which, she said: "will in future enable EU representatives to present and promote the EU's positions in the UN."
Last year, two groups in the chamber resisted the move. The first, some of Brussels' closest allies in the world, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, consulted with each other and agreed to abstain on the original motion, according to one Commonwealth diplomat, as they were annoyed by the "presumption" of the EU, who had delivered the resolution for consideration the night before the vote.
After half a year of consultations, the Commonwealth allies appear to have had their procedural concerns dealt with.
But the second group, led by Caricom, the Carribean's regional integration bloc inspired by the EU, felt that it was unfair that Brussels should win additional rights but not themselves or other similar bodies, from the Gulf Co-operation Council to the Pacific Islands Forum.
In order to win over these refuseniks, the EU had to back an amendment to the resolution, put forward by Hungary - currently at the helm of the bloc's six-month rotating presidency - that gives these other blocs the same rights Brussels has won, should they ask for them.
"Following the request on behalf of a regional organisation which has observer status in the general assembly and whose member states have agreed arrangements that allow that organisation's representatives to speak on behalf of the organisation and its member states, then the general assembly may adopt modalities for the participation of that regional organisation's representatives," read the amendment.
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Four of the five people shot to death in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, including the al-Qaida leader himself, were unarmed and never fired a shot, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday — an account that differs markedly from the Obama administration's original claims that the Navy SEALs came under heavy small-arms fire in a prolonged firefight.
According to the officials' account, as the first SEAL team moved into the compound, they took small-arms fire from the guest house in the compound. The SEALs returned fire, killing bin Laden's courier and the courier's wife, who died in the crossfire.
The second SEAL team entered the first floor of the main residence and could see a man standing in the dark with one hand behind his back. Fearing he was hiding a weapon, the SEALs shot and killed the lone man, who turned out to be unarmed.
As the U.S. commandos moved through the house, they found several stashes of weapons and barricades, as if the residents were prepared for a violent and lengthy standoff — which never materialized.
The SEALs then made their way up a staircase, where they ran into one of bin Laden's sons on the way down. The Americans immediately shot and killed the son, who was also unarmed.
Once on the third floor, the commandos threw open the door to bin Laden's bedroom. One of bin Laden's wives rushed toward the NAVY SEAL in the door, who shot her in the leg.
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Turkey, which aspires to be the top mediator between 'the east and the west' and between the Arabs and themselves, suddenly finds that its circle of friends has grown.
It is impossible to catch one's breath after all of this celebrating. From the marriage of the prince to the assassination of the Saudi to the anticipated wedding ceremony that is due to take place today in Cairo, the sensory overload of the last few days threatens to conceal the real problems.
Like in any celebration, the bridesmaid tries to attract attention by getting close to the cameras and within earshot of the merry-makers. This was how Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu managed to secure a spot next to Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshal so that he could witness the festivities, alongside Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa, the Egyptian prime minister, his intelligence chief, and his foreign minister during the signing of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement.
Turkey, which aspires to be the top mediator between "the east and the west" and between the Arabs and themselves, suddenly finds that its circle of friends has grown. In a dramatic move, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made clear that "the best way is for Qadhafi to leave power immediately." Erdogan said that the congress which was formed in Benghazi is the only acceptable interlocutor from Ankara's standpoint. This is the same Turkey that until last weekend was convinced that it could sell its compromise plan until it realized that there was nobody to sell it to.
Erdogan, who was in a feisty mood, is also furious with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Instead of adopting Turkey's recommendation to undertake massive reforms, Assad opted to dispatch tanks and helicopters against protesters, hundreds of whom have been killed.
How long will it be before Erdogan demands that Assad take leave of his chair? Does this warning also apply to Iran, with which Turkey signed a series of economic agreements?
Meanwhile, Turkey is left with just one festive event - the one which is due to take place today in Cairo and which will consummate the inevitable process of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. It was a process to which Turkey was an active party, persuading and cajoling both sides as well as Assad to lend their support to the deal. Davutoglu even took the trouble to mention that he had spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During the conversation, the Turkish foreign minister suggested to her that Washington support the reconciliation deal. The only thing he did not mention was Clinton's response.
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The CME has announced three margin increases for silver in the past week. We find this to be absolutely ridiculous and an open attack on the silver market. An increase in margins mean investors will have to put larger sums to hold positions, which of course will inevitably force many investors to liquidate positions causing a sell off and downward pressure on the silver price. Doing three margin increases in such a short time period is unheard of! Once again, short term volatility is not from market fundamentals, but from outside groups changing the rules in the middle of the game.
FutureMoneyTrends believes this manipulation by the CME Group has created a physical buying opportunity. Even though silver could still go down from outside market forces, we believe in the end the price suppression works in our favor since holding silver down is like trying to swim to the bottom of the ocean with a very large beach ball between your hands. Eventually, we are going to see the silver market explode to the upside.
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Osama Bin Laden to Cause U.S. Hyperinflation
NIA is very pleased that Osama Bin Laden has been neutralized and is no longer a threat to American citizens. During a White House press event yesterday, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was answering reporters questions and made the comment that al Qaeda "is becoming increasingly bankrupt". Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan got this backwards. The United States is becoming increasingly bankrupt as a result of al Qaeda.
Although America has been safe since 9/11, we need to look at what the cost has been. The U.S. military is currently spending just as much as all other militaries around the world combined. If the U.S. experiences hyperinflation as a result of our military spending, we will no longer be able to protect ourselves from terrorism in the future. The U.S. is currently spending about $1 trillion annually on maintaining a military empire around the world. This is unsustainable, as we are relying on borrowing and printing money to fund this, and Americans are now paying the price with massive inflation in food and energy prices.
The U.S. military captured Bin Laden in Pakistan using a special team comprised of about two dozen navy seals. In other words, the trillions we have spent fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were all for nothing. We could have captured Bin Laden without our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have much smaller annual budget deficits and a much lower national debt today, with a much stronger U.S. dollar.
NIA believes that with the capture of Bin Laden, now is the time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. There is also no reason for the U.S. to be supporting the war in Libya, when Libya presents no threat to the U.S. In recent U.S. led NATO strikes in Libya, we killed Muammar Gadhafi's son and several of his grandchildren who were under the age of 12. There was absolutely no reason for us to take the lives of Gadhafi's innocent young grandchildren. Yes, Libya did kill some of their own citizens who were protesting the government, but it is possible that U.S. led NATO forces have now killed more innocent civilians in Libya than the Libyan government. Syria has been killing a lot more anti-government protesters than Libya. If our military is currently occupying Libya, it only makes sense for the U.S. military to invade Syria as well, but NIA believes there is no reason for us to attack either. We can't police the entire world when we simply don't collect enough tax revenues to fund it.
We hate to say it, but if the U.S. experiences hyperinflation within the next few years, it will be what Bin Laden wanted. If the incomes and savings of Americans no longer have enough purchasing power to put food on the table and heat homes, many more Americans will die from hyperinflation than were killed on 9/11. Yes, we finally got him, but we had to borrow and print trillions of dollars over nearly a decade and there are no signs of our military spending slowing down. The success of killing Bin Laden could potentially be used as an excuse to increase military spending to all new record highs. The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar is crashing to new all time lows on a daily basis. This is not an "orderly" collapse. The dollar is falling off of a cliff and a worldwide rush out of the dollar could be imminent. A weak U.S. dollar as a result of our massive budget deficits, largely from military spending, is the worst possible thing for the homeland security of our country.
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