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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Prophecy of distress coming to India aiport

Israel hikes missile range over Iran fears

TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Israel is reported to be seeking to extend the range of its Jericho- 3 ballistic missile, which could be used for pre-emptive military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Amid persistent concerns that Israel may launch unilateral attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a hawk on the issue, warned Monday that a nuclear Iran will pose a direct threat to Israel.

The Haaretz daily reported Tuesday the Israeli government stepped up its diplomatic campaign for tougher action to force Tehran to abandon its contentious nuclear program.

"Israeli ambassadors in Western countries have been instructed to inform high-ranking politicians that the window of opportunity for imposing effective sanctions on Iran is closing," the newspaper said.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2011/11/01/Israel-hikes-missile-range-over-Iran-fears/UPI-78611320173149/#ixzz1cZ5uzkDw

Japan Faces $510 Billion Losses From Yen Sales, JPMorgan Says

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s government faces almost 40 trillion yen ($512 billion) in losses from intervening in the foreign-exchange markets to stem the yen’s advance, according to estimates by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Valuation losses on Japan’s foreign-exchange reserves minus yen liabilities totaled 35.3 trillion yen at the end of 2010, according to Finance Ministry data. The losses may swell further as the yen is projected to climb to 72 versus the dollar by September 2012, said Tohru Sasaki, head of Japan rates and foreign-exchange research at JPMorgan Chase in Tokyo.

“It’s difficult to change the trend of the currency market” with intervention, said Sasaki, who used to work in the foreign-exchange division of the Bank of Japan, at a forum in Tokyo yesterday. “Even if the action can stem the currency’s gains temporarily, the yen will eventually appreciate.”

Japan on Oct. 31 intervened in foreign-exchange markets to weaken the yen for the third time this year after the currency gained to a postwar record. Finance Minister Jun Azumi said he will continue to intervene until he’s “satisfied.”

Japan may have spent a record amount to stem the yen’s gains, according to the BOJ’s projection of deposits held by financial institutions at the central bank. It estimated that deposits climbed 7.7 trillion yen to a total 37.2 trillion yen, according to a statement released yesterday. The figure suggests that the government sold approximately 8 trillion yen, said Yuichi Takahashi, a market economist at Totan Research Co. in Tokyo.

Weaker Dollar

If investors’ risk aversion subsides, it wouldn’t be surprising if the dollar were to weaken another 10 percent on a trade-weighted basis, Sasaki said. The U.S., which holds the world’s largest current-account deficit, is in an “unprecedented” situation, where it keeps interest rates near zero even though it needs to attract funds from overseas by offering higher yields, he said.

JPMorgan predicts the yen will end the year at 75 per dollar, and rise to 74 by March and 72 by September 2012. The Japanese currency will be at 77 by year-end, 77 by March and 80 by September, according to the median estimates of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents of such an attack.

Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a move.

Although more than a million Israelis have had to seek shelter during a week of rockets raining down on the south, political leaders have diverted their attention to arguing over a possible war with Iran. Leading ministers were publicly dropping hints on Tuesday that Israeli could attack Iran, although a member of the forum of eight senior ministers said no such decision had been taken.

Senior ministers and diplomats said the International Atomic Energy Agency's report, due to be released on November 8, will have a decisive effect on the decisions Israel makes.

The commotion regarding Iran was sparked by journalist Nahum Barnea's column in Yedioth Ahronoth last Friday. Barnea's concerned tone and his editors' decision to run the column under the main headline ("Atomic Pressure" ) repositioned the debate on Iran from closed rooms to the media's front pages.

Reporters could suddenly ask the prime minister and defense minister whether they intend to attack Iran in the near future and the political scene went haywire.

Western intelligence officials agree that Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear program. Intelligence services now say it will take Iran two or three years to get the bomb once it decides to (it hasn't made the decision yet ).

According to Western experts' analyses, an attack on Iran in winter is almost impossible, because the thick clouds would obstruct the Israel Air Force's performance.

Netanyahu did not rule out the possibility of the need for a military action on Iran this week. During his Knesset address on Monday, Netanyahu warned of Iran's increased power and influence. "One of those regional powers is Iran, which is continuing its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would constitute a grave threat to the Middle East and the entire world, and of course it is a direct and grave threat on us," he said.


Italy a bigger threat to UK than Greece

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday, Lord Turner said that while the direct exposure of British banks to Italy was not large, the country's financial crisis, if it got worse, would be more damaging to the UK than those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

"Italy is the most concerning. That is the most important thing for us to focus on," he said.

The Italian government is currently looking at ways to cut the country's public sector debt of close to €2 trillion (£1.8bn) as well as sales of state assets.

Speaking on Tuesday, a senior Italian banker told The Telegraph that he thought it was "highly unlikely" Italy's problems would ever get as bad as those in Greece, where the government on Monday called for a referendum to vote on a multi-billion euro bailout package.

Lord Turner's comments will add to fears about the strength of the British financial system to stand up to a new crisis.

Speaking at the same hearing, he told MPs that investors should no longer think of bank shares as "high return" investments and that the days of large payouts were over.

"An investment in banks should not be a high-risk, high-return investment. The banks have adjusted this but not enough," he said.

On Monday, Robert Jenkins, a former City banker and a member of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, said that banks should stop using return on equity to measure their performance as it led them to seek high returns without accounting for risk.

The Telegraph

Greece on brink of collapse in euro crisis

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Uncertainty in Greece raised fresh fears that the single currency crisis will spread. European stock markets plunged and the Italian government’s borrowing costs hit record highs as investors warned that efforts to save the euro were “unravelling”.

George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, faced calls by members of his own government to step down amid fears that Greeks will vote against the bail-out package and the deep cuts in public spending its sponsors are demanding. As Greek politics grew ever more chaotic, there were strong political protests as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of Mr Papandreou.

A No vote could mean Greece is forced to withdraw from the single currency, raising doubts about the euro’s value and wiping trillions off the value of shares and loans across the continent.

The renewed global turmoil overshadowed the release of better than expected economic figures in Britain. The economy grew by 0.5 per cent over the summer, almost double the increase expected by economists. Growth is expected to slow and possibly even slip back into recession because of the eurozone crisis.

At a Cabinet meeting, Mr Cameron told ministers to “roll up their sleeves” and do more to implement plans to boost growth.
Yesterday, at least two members of Mr Papandreou’s Pasok party threatened to defect, which could cost him his parliamentary majority. The collapse of the Papandreou government could mean elections next month, raising fresh doubts about the bail-out deal and delaying any final approval still further.

Opposition parties accused the government of trying to politicise the military leadership amid threats to Mr Papandreou’s position. Greece was run by a military junta between 1967 and 1974. Local reports said the government had been panicked by residents posting portraits of top generals in parts of Athens.

The Greek crisis is likely to dominate tomorrow’s G20 meetings of world leaders after markets panicked. The FTSE 100 index of British shares fell yesterday by more than two per cent, the French stock market was down 5.4 per cent, the German market dropped by five per cent and Italian shares by almost 7 per cent.

David Cameron and other world leaders are understood to have learned of the referendum call from news reports on Monday night. Senior Government sources described the Greek move as “extraordinarily reckless”.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, told MPs that the referendum had added to “instability”, harming the UK. The White House urged European leaders to urgently introduce reforms to cut their debts as President Barack Obama prepared to fly to France this evening for talks with French and German leaders.

The Telegraph

New suspected nuclear complex exposed in Syria

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories following Pakistan's successful nuclear test in 1998.

Satellite image of suspected nuke site in Al-Hasakah (Photo: AP)

The complex, in the city of Al-Hasakah, now appears to be a cotton-spinning plant, and investigators have found no sign that it was ever used for nuclear production. But given that Israeli warplanes destroyed a suspected plutonium production reactor in Syria in 2007, the unlikely coincidence in design suggests that Syria may have been pursuing two routes to an atomic bomb: uranium as well as plutonium.

Details of the Syria-Khan connection were provided to the AP by a senior diplomat with knowledge of IAEA investigations and a former UN investigator. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The Syrian government did not respond to a request for comment. It has repeatedly denied pursuing nuclear weapons but also has stymied an investigation into the site bombed by Israel. It has not responded to an IAEA request to visit the Al-Hasakah complex, the officials said.

The IAEA's examination of Syria's programs has slowed as world powers focus on a popular uprising in the country and the violent crackdown by the government of President Bashar Assad.

Syria never has been seen as being close to development of a nuclear bomb. There also is no indication that Damascus continues to work on a secret nuclear program. If the facility in Al-Hasakah was indeed intended for uranium production, those plans appear to have been abandoned and the path to a plutonium weapon ended with the Israeli bombing.

But Mark Hibbs, an analyst at the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has spoken to IAEA officials about the Al-Hasakah complex, said it is important to learn more details about the buildings.

"What is at stake here is the nuclear history of that facility," Hibbs said. "People want to know what did they intend to do there and Syria has provided no information."

"A nuclear weapon would give Syria at least a kind of parity with Israel and some status within the region," says Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

For years, there has been speculation about ties between the Syrian government and Khan.

A hero to many in Pakistan for developing the country's nuclear bomb, Khan is considered the world's most prolific nuclear merchant. He supplied Iran with the basics of what is now an established uranium enrichment program that has churned out enough material to make several nuclear weapons. Libya also bought equipment and a warhead design from Khan for a secret nuclear program that it renounced in 2003.