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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Please look this video of the Moon

When we opened the blog idea was to warn people about how close is the coming of the Lord Jesus.

I have not much time to write so the best way to do it is to publish the news that my sources of information provide me.

I have always published news that I consider serious, but have not found any that talk about what is happening in the heavens.
Something is not normal and the media do not seems willing to release it under any circumstances.
But I think people deserve the truth and therefore published the following video, I searched the Bible something that could talk about it and the closest I can find is Revelation 6.

There is too many evidence to be ignore, and definitely there will be consequences for our planet.

I think this is the reason why the Moon has shifted.
If you want more info on this PLEASE let me know.
God bless

Look how many suns rise on this video!!!!

Here is the final view of the NBC´s television series The Event...look how Creative !!!!!

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Some Fed officials would consider QE3

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

WASHINGTON – Some Federal Reserve officials are ready to provide more monetary policy easing if the recovery is too sluggish to cut the lofty U.S. unemployment rate and if inflation eases as expected, minutes of their June meeting released on Tuesday show.

Others disagreed and said that if recent increases in inflation do not moderate, the Fed should consider tightening policy sooner than expected.

Fed officials viewed the recovery as having slowed since their April forecasts, and said recent deterioration in market conditions was a particular concern because it could weigh on consumer spending.

The meeting took place June 21-22, before a government report showed employers added a scant 18,000 jobs in June.

Officials noted that investors had become more concerned about risks. They pointed to an escalation of debt problems in Greece and other European countries, as well as uncertainty over U.S. debt repayment.

“Even a short delay in the payment of principal or interest on the Treasury Department’s debt obligations would likely cause severe market disruptions and could also have a lasting effect on U.S. borrowing costs,” the Fed minutes read.
Financial Post


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Obama: No guarantee for Social Security checks

August 3rd is the day after the U.S. government will default on its debts if Democrats and Republicans do not agree to increase the nation's borrowing limit. Both sides say they won't raise the limit without a deal to massively cut the federal deficit. A U.S. default could shake the world economy. The stakes couldn't be higher. Time is growing short.

CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley met the president this morning at the White House on another day of deadlock. The question is whether a deal to cut the federal deficit will include tax increases as Democrats insist or rely only on budget cuts as Republicans demand. The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner started the day with a vow that the house will not raise taxes - period.

"This debt limit increase is his problem," Rep. Boehner said. "And I think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table something that the Congress can pass."

McConnell: No real deficit deal until Obama is gone

The Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell fired a shot that was jarring to many who heard it.

"After years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable," Sen. McConnell said.

The debt limit fight: A primer

Pelley: Speaker Boehner said this morning that the debt ceiling is the President's problem - full stop.

Mr. Obama: This is not a Republican or a Democratic problem. This is a national problem that has to be resolved.

Pelley: But the Republicans don't see it that way. The minority leader, Senator McConnell today said, "In the Senate there will be no solution to entitlements or the debt as long as this President is in office."

Mr. Obama: Well, let me say this, Mr. McConnell said, I think the day I was elected, that his job was to try to see me beat. I think what the American people are looking for is not that kind of partisan politics. What I'm offering is a way for us to finally solve this debt and deficit problem in a serious way, with substantial cuts in discretionary spending. Substantial cuts in defense spending. Substantial changes to entitlements, like Medicare and Social Security, that would stabilize those programs and make them available for the next generation. And what I'm asking in return, from the Republicans, is that people like myself, who can afford it, put a little bit of revenue in, so that we don't end up having to put the entire burden of dealing with this debt on the backs of middle class families, and seniors, and students and poor kids.

Pelley: Every day you bring the leadership into the cabinet room, right next to the Oval Office. But I wonder, isn't the problem that a large number of the members of Congress will not follow your leadership, or the Republican leadership?

Mr. Obama: Well, I actually think that the Democrats are prepared to make compromises, and will follow my leadership. I've said more specifically, that I'm willing to make big changes, to take advantage of this opportunity, and finally solve this problem. And I have to point out that this a problem that Republicans said was their biggest priority.

Pelley: You can deliver the Democrats?

Mr. Obama: I am absolutely positive that Democrats are willing to compromise. That doesn't mean I'm gonna get 100 percent of Democrats, because you don't get 100 percent of anything, around here. And yes, there's gonna be resistance in my party. Traditionally - to any changes in entitlement programs. Doesn't it make sense for a hedge fund manager who made a billion dollars last year-- to at least pay-- a similar rate to the file clerk that works for that hedge fund's manager.

Pelley: The Republicans don't think so.

Mr. Obama: I understand Scott. I guess my point is this, I understand the Republicans don't think so. What I'm saying is - what makes sense. And I think the American people would answer the question and say that makes sense.

Pelley: Can you tell the folks at home that no matter what happens, the Social Security checks are gonna go out on August the third? There are about $20 billion worth of Social Security checks that have to go out the day after the government is supposedly gonna go into default?

Mr. Obama: Well, this is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are veterans' checks, these are folks on disability, and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out each month.

Pelley: Can you guarantee, as president, those checks will go out on August the third?

Mr. Obama: I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.



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New Force Driving Earth's Tectonic Plates

Bringing fresh insight into long-standing debates about how powerful geological forces shape the planet, from earthquake ruptures to mountain formations, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have identified a new mechanism driving Earth's massive tectonic plates.

Scientists who study tectonic motions have known for decades that the ongoing "pull" and "push" movements of the plates are responsible for sculpting continental features around the planet. Volcanoes, for example, are generally located at areas where plates are moving apart or coming together. Scripps scientists Steve Cande and Dave Stegman have now discovered a new force that drives plate tectonics: Plumes of hot magma pushing up from Earth's deep interior. Their research is published in the July 7 issue of the journalNature.

Using analytical methods to track plate motions through Earth's history, Cande and Stegman's research provides evidence that such mantle plume "hot spots," which can last for tens of millions of years and are active today at locations such as Hawaii, Iceland and the Galapagos, may work as an additional tectonic driver, along with push-pull forces.

Their new results describe a clear connection between the arrival of a powerful mantle plume head around 70 million years ago and the rapid motion of the Indian plate that was pushed as a consequence of overlying the plume's location. The arrival of the plume also created immense formations of volcanic rock now called the "Deccan flood basalts" in western India, which erupted just prior to the mass extinction of dinosaurs. The Indian continent has since drifted north and collided with Asia, but the original location of the plume's arrival has remained volcanically active to this day, most recently having formed RĂ©union island near Madagascar.

The team also recognized that this "plume-push" force acted on other tectonic plates, and pushed on Africa as well but in the opposite direction.

"Prior to the plume's arrival, the African plate was slowly drifting but then stops altogether, at the same time the Indian speeds up," explains Stegman, an assistant professor of geophysics in Scripps' Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. "It became clear the motion of the Indian and African plates were synchronized and the RĂ©union hotspot was the common link."

After the force of the plume had waned, the African plate's motion gradually returned to its previous speed while India slowed down.

"There is a dramatic slow down in the northwards motion of the Indian plate around 50 million years ago that has long been attributed to the initial collision of India with the Eurasian plate," said Cande, a professor of marine geophysics in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps. "An implication of our study is that the slow down might just reflect the waning of the mantle plume-the actual collision might have occurred a little later


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US Drought 2011 Rivals the Dust Bowl


25 Percent of the U.S. is suffering under a severe drought that some say will rival that of the ‘Dust Bowl’. The drought conditions began during 2010 and continue to worsen into the summer months of 2011.

The states that are affected the worst are Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Georgia, followed by parts of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

According to The New York Times, last month, the United States Department of Agriculture designated all 254 counties in Texas natural disaster areas, qualifying them for varying levels of federal relief. More than 30 percent of the state’s wheat fields might be lost, adding pressure to a crop in short supply globally.

“Even if weather patterns shift and relief-giving rain comes, losses will surely head past $3 billion in Texas alone, state agricultural officials said. ”

The most widely accepted reason for the severe drought is a weather phenomenon called ‘La Nina’ which has shut off the southern conduit of moisture. ‘La Nina’ is an abnormal cooling of waters in the Pacific Ocean.

The New York Times:
Economists say that adding up the effects of drought is far more complicated than, say, those of a hurricane or tornado, which destroy structures that have set values. With drought, a shattered wheat or corn crop is a loss to one farmer, and it has a specific price tag. But all those individual losses punch a hole in the food supply and drive prices up. That is good news for a farmer who manages to get a crop in. The final net costs down the line are thus dispersed, and mostly passed along.

That means grocery shoppers will feel the effects of the drought at the dinner table, where the cost of staples like meat and bread will most likely rise.

All this is further reason to plan ahead and assure yourself a supply of extra food storage. At the very least, you will have paid less for your food in the long run, all the while having a food ‘safety net’, just in case…
Moder Survival

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Report: Iran missiles can now hit targets at 2,000 km range

Shahin missile, Iran - AP 9.03.2011
Commander of Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh says if attacked Iran can retaliate by targeting American aircraft carriers.

Iran launched two long-range missiles into the Indian Ocean in February, Iranian news agencies reported yesterday, quoting as their source the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said that if Iran is attacked, it can retaliate by targeting American aircraft carriers in the region, which he described as “moving targets.” Hajizadeh said the launch test included firing two missiles from the Semnan province in the north of the country. He said American spy planes were operating in the area, but “curiously didn’t report that.”
Iran has claimed for some time that it has rockets with a range of 2,000 km. but a statement on their actual launch for such a distance is unusual, as is the choice of direction − toward the Indian Ocean.
Israeli missiles expert Uzi Rubin told Haaretz that launching a missile into the ocean at such a distance shows the Iranians’ ability to chart the course of the missiles and pinpoint the landing location. He said this was a breakthrough that would allow the Iranians to go on increasing the range of their missiles, if they so desire.

China's carrier-killer missile undergoing tests

Beijing: China's ambitious new long range ballistic missile with a range of 2,700 km dubbed as carrier-killer is undergoing tests, a top military official has said.

Chen Bingde, chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff acknowledged that China is developing Dongfeng-21D with an ability to strike moving targets - including aircraft carriers - at sea.

"The missile is still undergoing experimental testing and will be used as a defensive weapon when it is successfully developed, not an offensive one," Chen was quoted as saying during his rare interaction with media coinciding after talks with Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff here yesterday.

"It is a high-tech weapon and we face many difficulties in getting funding, advanced technologies and high-quality personnel, which are all underlying reasons why it is hard to develop this," he said about the ballistic missile which has a maximum range of 2,700 kilometers.

The development of the missile caused considerable in US as it was believed to have been developed to target aircraft carriers.

Chen also said the first Chinese aircraft carrier, Varyag a refurbished version of an old Ukrainian ship will be used for research.

"I have nothing more to say about Chinese aircraft carriers, since prominent media outlets have already reported on them so much. Our American friends all know that China bought an old aircraft carrier, the Varyag, from Ukraine. It's very valuable for us to research these things this way," he said.

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Germany digs in heels over Friday summit on Greece

Main Image

(Reuters) - Euro zone plans for a leaders' summit on a second Greek rescue were thrown into doubt by Germany on Wednesday, raising fears markets may exploit a policy vacuum with a new onslaught on the bloc's high debtors.

Berlin stuck to its line that Greece was funded until September so there was no rush to finalize the details of a second package. "There are no concrete plans for a special summit," a German government spokeswoman said.

Others were less sanguine. Italian central bank chief Mario Draghi, soon to take the helm of the European Central Bank, and Ireland's premier both said a definitive plan was needed and quickly -- echoing a strongly-worded attack from Greece's prime minister earlier in the week.

Ratings agency Moody's downgraded Ireland's credit to junk status on Tuesday and said that, like Greece, it would need a second bailout. Minds have been focused even more sharply by a market attack on Italy which, if it required assistance, would overwhelm the euro zone's existing rescue funds.

"Moody's problem is not with Ireland, Ireland's problem is with Europe," Prime Minister Enda Kenny told parliament. "There is no point in having a meeting that won't bring about a conclusion in a comprehensive sense to something that is not going to go away unless it is dealt with."

The European Commission, sharply critical of the role ratings agencies are playing, described Moody's decision as "incomprehensible." The cost of insuring Irish debt against default rose and 10-year bond yields hit 14.19 percent.

Italian and Spanish bonds settled but traders did not expect long-term respite without decisive action.

"We are still pretty bearish on the periphery in general given there are various risk factors in terms of the policymakers' response to the crisis so far," said Michael Leister, a strategist at WestLB. "We're not too convinced they can turn things around in the short term."


The leaders need to pin down how private holders of Greek government bonds can be persuaded to shoulder a portion of the cost of a new package for Greece, and weigh up the potential impact on markets if securing their involvement is declared a debt default by ratings agencies, as expected.

But they appeared to be subsiding into a bout of internal wrangling and risk creating a no-win situation:

If no summit is now held on Friday, it could have a strong negative impact on financial markets. If it is held and no clear decision is taken, the impact could be worse.

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, has informed ambassadors he intends to hold the summit on Friday evening, and most of the 17 euro zone member states back that decision, but Germany is reluctant to fix the date, especially if there is no decision ready to take.

"Markets reacted very badly after euro zone finance ministers could not reach an agreement," an EU diplomat said, referring to a finance ministers' meeting on Monday. "If they cannot agree, we take the fight to the highest level. People are working on a set of conclusions to be agreed."

A senior EU official said the Germans were furious about being "backed into a corner" and were therefore holding firm on not attending on Friday, which would skittle the summit. Diplomats said furious rounds of phone calls were being made.

They said the current intention was for leaders to meet on Friday evening and for finance ministers to gather again on Sunday so the precise details of a plan can be fixed before financial markets open on Monday.


A major concern on leaders' minds will be the results of stress tests on 91 European banks, to be released on July 15, which are expected to show 10 or more banks may have failed.

That could have a further impact on Italy, where bank stocks and the bond market have been hit by growing concerns that the euro zone's third-largest economy could be next in line after Greece, Ireland and Portugal to suffer debt contagion.

Draghi said Italian banks would comfortably pass the stress tests but echoed Kenny's call for a comprehensive EU response to the spreading debt crisis.

"We have to recognize that management of the financial crisis has not gone smoothly with partial and temporary interventions," he said in a speech to the Italian banking association.

"We must now bring certainty to the process by which sovereign debt crises are managed, by clearly defining political objectives, the design of instruments and the amount of resources," he said.

Current proposals on the table for securing the private sector's involvement in Greece focus on the buy-back of Greek government bonds and the swapping of existing Greek debt for longer-dated securities with a lower coupon, which would materially reduce Athens' outstanding obligations.

However, it remains unclear how a buy-back of Greek bonds would be financed. One proposal is to use the 440 billion euro European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which has been used to bail out Ireland and Portugal.

The ECB remains vehemently opposed to any Greek plan that ratings agencies would be likely to see as a default.

ECB policymaker Jens Weidmann, a former adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the EFSF should not be used to buy bonds in the secondary market and it would be unacceptable for the ECB to accept defaulted Greek debt as collateral.

"The money of the (EFSF) bailout should not be used for the purchase of government bonds in the secondary market," he told Die Zeit newspaper. "Containment of the crisis should not mean that we undermine our principles. We must draw a red line."

But Germany's finance ministry said funds from the euro zone's rescue mechanism could in theory already be used by members of the bloc to buy back their own bonds, suggesting a shift in Berlin's stance.

German newspapers ran headlines and editorials on Wednesday calling on leaders to get their act together.

"The fact that some important heads of state have still not realized the entire amplitude of the problem is ... disastrous," a commentator wrote in Die Welt.

One Eurogroup official said Friday's meeting, if it happens, may not deliver on what the market is expecting.
"If there is a meeting on Friday, it is more psychological support than anything else. The heads of state will not decide anything," he said, explaining that there was not enough time between now and then to prepare a meaningful decision.



Irish bonds cut to junk status on bail-out worries

The Dublin government has succumbed to pressure from other eurozone countries and asked for a 'very big' loan
Ireland's beleaguered economy has suffered another blow after its credit rating was cut to junk status on fears that it will need further bail-outs.

The country joins Portugal and Greece to become the third euro-area nation to be reduced to non-investment grade. The downgrade by Moody's came as it emerged European leaders will hold an emergency summit on Friday in an effort to contain fallout from the sovereign debt crisis sweeping the Continent.

Ireland's rating was lowered to Ba1 from Baa3 on Tuesday night. The country, which had a top Aaa rating just over two years ago, lost its investment status after the once booming property market imploded, causing banking collapses requiring huge bail-outs that saw the country's debt surge.

Moody's said that reason for the downgrade was a growing possibility that once the current €85bn European Union/ International Monetary Fund rescue package ends in 2013, Ireland is likely to need further bail-outs before it can return to the bond market.

The European Commission said it "regrets" Moody's decision to downgrade, adding it "contrasts very much with the recent data, which support a return to GDP growth this year, and the determined implementation of the [austerity] programme by Dublin".

Moody's had previously cut Ireland's credit rating two levels on April 15 to the lowest investment grade.

The Telegraph

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EU big bang?

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Uh Oh – Italy Is Coming Apart Like A 20 Dollar Suit

Did anyone really think that Italy would be able to get through this thing without needing a bailout? Just when you thought that things in Europe could get back to normal for a little while, here comes Italy. On Friday, there was a bit of a "mini-panic" as investors started dumping Italian financial assets. European officials are concerned that the sovereign debt crisis that has ravaged Greece, Ireland and Portugal will now put the Italian economy through the wringer. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has called an emergency meeting for Monday morning. He is denying that the meeting is about Italy, but everyone knows that Italy is going to be discussed. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso along with a host of other top officials will also be at this meeting. If it does turn out that Italy needs a bailout, it is going to change the entire game in Europe.

What is going on in Italy right now is potentially far more serious than what has been going on in Greece. Italy is the fourth largest economy in the European Union. If Italy requires a bailout, the rest of Europe might not be able to handle it.

An anonymous European Central Bank source told one German newspaper the following on Sunday....

"The existing rescue fund in Europe is not sufficient to provide a credible defensive wall for Italy"

The source also added that the current bailout fund "was never designed for that".

Italy has already implemented austerity measures.

This was not supposed to happen.

But it is happening.

This latest crisis was precipitated by a substantial sell-off of Italian financial assets on Friday. An article posted by Bloomberg described the pounding that the two largest Italian banks took....

UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), Italy’s biggest banks, fell to the lowest in more than two years in Milan yesterday as contagion from Europe’s debt crisis threatened to spread to the region’s third-largest economy.

UniCredit plunged 7.9 percent, the biggest decline since March 30, 2009, while Intesa dropped 4.6 percent. Both hit lows not seen since the period when markets were emerging from the crisis spawned by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Unfortunately, this is just the continuation of a trend that has been going on for a while.

When you look at them as a group, the stocks of the five largest Italian bankshave lost 27% since the beginning of 2011.

That is not a good sign.

Also, investors are starting to dump Italian government debt. Reuters says that the yield on 10 year Italian bonds is approaching the danger zone....

The spread of the Italian 10-year government bond yield over benchmark German Bunds hit euro lifetime highs around 2.45 percentage points on Friday, raising the Italian yield to 5.28 percent, close to the 5.5-5.7 percent area which some bankers think could start putting heavy pressure on Italy's finances.

The Italian national debt is now up to about 120 percent of GDP. The Italian government would be able to manage it if interest rates were very, very low. But unfortunately they are rising fast and if they get too much higher they are going to become suffocating.

As I have written about previously, government debt becomes very painful once you take low interest rates out of the equation. For example, if Greece could borrow all of the money that it wanted to borrow at zero percent interest, it would not have a debt problem. But now the yield on 2 year Greek bonds is over 30 percent, and there is not a government on the face of the earth that can afford to pay interest that high for long.

Unfortunately for Italy, this could just be the beginning of rising interest rates. Just recently, Moody's warned that it may be forced to downgrade Italy's Aa2 debt rating at some point within the next couple of months.

If things continue to unravel in Italy, all of the credit agencies may downgrade Italy sooner rather than later.

The frightening thing about Italy is that a financial crisis has a way of exposing corruption, and there are very few countries that can match the kind of corruption that goes on in Italy.

As a child, I had the chance to live in Italy. I love Italy. The people are friendly, the weather is great, the architecture is amazing and the food is spectacular. I will always have great affection for Italy and I will always cheer for the Italian national team when the World Cup rolls around.

However, I also know that corruption is deeply ingrained into Italian culture. It is simply a way of life.

Just check out the prime minister of Italy. Silvio Berlusconi is the consummate Italian politician. He is greatly loved by many, but it would take days to detail all of the scandals that he has been linked to.

At this point, Berlusconi has become a parody of himself. Each new sex scandal or financial scandal just adds to his legend. Italy is one of the only nations in Europe where such a corrupt politician could have stayed in office for so long.

Not that the U.S. government is much better. Our government becomes more corrupt with each passing year.

But the point is that if a financial collapse happens in Italy and people start "turning over rocks" it could turn up all sorts of icky stuff.

So what is Europe going to do if Italy needs a bailout?

Well, they are probably going to have to fire up the printing presses because it would probably take a whole lot more euros than they have right now.

The truth is that the EU has now entered a permanent financial crisis. You have a whole bunch of nations that have accumulated unsustainable debts and that cannot print their own currencies. The financial system of the EU as it is currently constructed simply does not work.

Some believe that the sovereign debt crisis will eventually cause the breakup of the EU. Others believe that this crisis will cause it to be reformed and become much more integrated.

In any event, what just about everyone can agree on is that the financial problems of Europe are not going away any time soon. For now, EU officials are keeping all of the balls in the air, but if at some point the juggling act falters, the rest of the world better look out.

A financial crash in Europe would be felt in every nation on earth and it would be absolutely devastating. Let's hope that we still have some more time before it happens.

The economic collapse

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US Federal Reserve faces split if economy fails to pick up

Hedge funds increase bets dollar will decline

The minutes of June's gathering of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – the body that sets interest rates in the US – show that some officials believe fresh stimulus may need to be considered while others estimate that the risk of stoking inflation is now too high for such actions.

The FOMC last month ended its controversial policy of quantitative easing, which saw the central bank buy $600bn (£377bn) of government bonds from banks and insurance companies in an effort to keep long-term interest rates low.

Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, indicated in April that a further bout of QE would risk triggering inflation.

In the minutes of the meeting of June 21-22, released yesterday in Washington DC, the central bank said that "the committee might have to consider providing additional monetary stimulus, especially if economic growth remained too slow to meaningfully reduce the unemployment rate in the medium run".

Hopes that economic growth would accelerate in 2011 have so far been disappointed as the rising petrol and food prices that marked the first five months of the year hit US consumers. That optimism was dampened further last week by the employment report for June that showed the US economy created just 18,000 jobs last month, against expectations of 100,000-plus. Few on Wall Street now think the world's biggest economy expanded at much more than a 2pc pace last quarter.
The Telegraph


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Gunmen blow up Egypt gas pipeline

At least four masked gunmen attacked the station, near the town of Al-Arish, about 30 miles west of the Israeli border, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The attackers ordered the guards on duty to leave and then blew up the terminal, starting a fire that could seen from 12 miles away,

There were no reported casualties. It was the fourth attack on facilities supplying Egyptian gas to Israel this year.

Egypt's gas transport company, Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS, had been finalising repairs on a pipeline that supplies gas to Israel and Egypt, and was expected to complete the work over the weekend,

Egypt has been trying to renegotiate gas prices with Israel and Jordan after President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in February, amid charges of corruption stemming from selling gas to Israel at below market prices, among other things. Israel says it pays market rates.

On July 4, men armed with machineguns forced guards at the same station to flee, then planted explosive charges. Previous attacks on the pipeline on April 27 and on February 5 forced its closure for several weeks.

The Telegraph

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'Israel could be hit with 50 tons of explosives in next war'

Barak - AP - March 24, 2011

Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned lawmakers on Monday that nearly 50 tons of explosives could be dropped on Israel during its next war, but added that the Israel Defense Forces could retaliate by firing back 1,500 tons of ammunition with extreme precision.

The defense minister told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that despite this alarming statistic, Israel could retaliate by shooting 1,500 tons of ammunition with extreme precision.

"There is a significant effort being made by armies in Arab countries to diminish the military capabilities of the Israel Defense Forces by improving their antiaircraft technologies," Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Once Israel has finished equipping itself for every level of weapon interception, Barak added, "it will bring about a significant and positive change for Israel's strategic balance in the region."

Such an endeavor will take an investment of about NIS 7 billion and 20 years of preparation, said Barak, declaring that Israel must increase its defense budget to meet the challenge."

In his address to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Barak also spoke about the Palestinian endeavor to achieve status as an observer state at the United Nations in September.

"[They] are working to achieve a critical mass of states that would support a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders," said Barak, but added, "I doubt they will be able to reach that mass."

The defense minister said he believed it would be in Israel's interest to open negotiations with Palestinians over the coming months, "but if that proves impossible, we will at least aspire to get support from significant states for the UN vote."

The chairman of the committee, MK Shaul Mofaz, denounced Barak's "aspirations" as "unprecedented and seriously grave".

"The political echelon is throwing responsibility for preparing for September on the military echelon, and is abandoning its most basic responsibility," said Mofaz.