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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Israeli military cancels all Passover leaves and Turkish Prime Minister arrived in Tehran

Turkish Prime Minister visiting Islamic Republic, meets with Iranian foreign minister; slams bellicose language directed against Tehran

Friends with Benefits: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for a two-day visit. The focus of the visit: Iran's nuclear program and bilateral ties.

Upon his arrival he was welcomed by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi who chose the visit to announce that long-stalled talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed.

Salehi told the official IRNA news agency that the next round of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group comprising the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany would take place on April 13.

Erdogan arrived in Tehran from South Korea, where he had attended a nuclear security summit with other world leaders including US President Barack Obama.

At a media conference with Salehi, Erdogan dodged a question about whether he was carrying a message from Obama for Iran's leaders.

"During a meeting in South Korea, there were discussions with them (the P5+1 nations) about the talks taking place in Turkey, and there were steps in that regard and now we are waiting for their response," he replied instead.

Erdogan also slammed the bellicose language directed against Iran, saying: "Military threats against a country that seeks to master peaceful nuclear technology are not acceptable."

Salehi likewise did not directly respond to an earlier AFP question about Erdogan communicating any message from Obama, saying: "So far we've only talked about bilateral issues."

No sanctions from Turkey

Obama warned in Seoul on Monday at the start of the nuclear summit that "time is short" for a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran.

"Iran must act with the seriousness and sense of urgency that this moment demands," he said.

Erdogan, who was accompanied by several key ministers and intelligence and military officials, was to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his visit, Iranian officials said.

Turkey relies on Iran for 30 percent of its oil imports, and has refused to go along with sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, saying it will observe only UN-mandated restrictions on Iran.

However, Turkey is also a NATO member, and it has agreed to deploy parts of an anti-missile shield that could be used against Iran, a point that has generated friction in the past with its neighbor.

The two countries are heavyweight players in the Middle East.

They hold different positions on several issues, notably on Syria. Ankara wants to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down as part of a solution to the crisis there, while Tehran is giving Assad political and material support.


Hyperdimensions - Chuck Missler

Pentagon wants more money for Israel's Iron Dome

WASHINGTON – The US Defense Department will ask Congress for additional funding for Israel's Iron Dome defense system, Ynet learned Tuesday.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement that short-range rocket defense system has been critical in recent weeks, when nearly 300 rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza.

The Iron Dome system intercepted more than 80% of its targets.

Little said the Pentagon and Israel have discussed US support for buying additional Iron Dome systems and will ask Congress for money.

The Iron Dome system received $205 million in 2011. The current budget has no money for the program.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak welcomed the statement, which he said reflects US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's willingness to assist Israel is purchasing additional barratries.

"The American decision is further reflects that depth of Israel-US defense relations and it's a badge of honor to Israel's military industries, which developed Iron Dome.

"I welcome the American administration's decision to aid in bolstering Israel's security," he said.


Over 10,800,000 Guns Sold in the USA in 2011

The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,000

The rate of private gun ownership in the United States is 88.8 firearms per 100 people

The defence forces of the United States are reported to have 3,054,553 firearms

Police in the United States are reported to have 897,400 firearms

So the civilians have 270 millons against almost 4 millon of the goverment forces that means it´s going to be hard for the elite....

Obamacare: Government Takeover of Our Lives!

As The ECB Crosses The Inflationary Rubicon Has Mario Draghi Lost All Control?

Having been heralded around the world for solving Europe's crisis, ECB head Mario Draghi confidently states (as does every other central banker in the world) that "should the inflation outlook worsen, we would immediately take preventive steps". However, a recent analysis by Tornell and Westermann at VOX suggests the ECB has hit its limit with regard to its anti-inflationary fighting measures. 

The ECB appears to have lost control over standard measures of tightening: short-term interest rates (since short-term lending to banks has dropped to practically zero), increase inminimum reserve requirements (practically impossible withouit crushing the banks that they have propped up due to the sharp asymmetries - the recent cut from 2% to 1% minimum reserves saw a remarkable EUR104bn drop), and finallyasset sales (the quantity of 'sensitive' or encumbered assets on the ECB's books has reached such a scale - due to LTRO, SMP, and ELA programs - leaving the 'sellable' non-sensitive assets at a level below excess deposits for the first time in ECB history). 

As the authors note, while this does not immediately produce an inflation flare, the lack of maneuvering space will induce an inflationary bias to ECB monetary policy as Draghi will find it increasingly expensive at the margin to hit the anti-inflationary brakes. "This bias puts the Eurozone at risk of de-anchoring long-run inflationary expectations. The danger is not inflation today, but the de-anchoring of expectations about future inflation." As we have noted many times before, the ECB (and for that matter most central banks in the world) need Goldilocks.

Standard monetary 'instruments' to control inflationary concerns (or the ECB's ability to absorb an excessive increase in liquidity) have hit a limit:

Short-term interest rates will be ineffective since ECB lending to MFIs is now minimal:

Increasing the minimum reserve requirement will crush banks capital - especially damaging for low-excess deposit countries where systemic bank runs would likely occur:

And finally asset sales is very limited since the unencumbered (or non-sensitive) ECB assets - that are practically saleable - have crossed below the excess deposits level for the first time - standing at just 26% of the balance sheet (simply out the ECB would not have enough non-sensitive assets to sell in order to cover a withdrawal of excess deposits by banks):

In summary, the intersections in Figures 1 and 3 make clear that the ECB has lost its ability to implement standard anti-inflationary policies.

Zero Hedge

A national ID card that "protects voting rights"

Non of the information will be visible, but everything it's going to be in there
Bottom line SLAVE!!!!

In December, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened under the Voting Rights Act to stay a South Carolina voter ID law.

Controversy rages over similar laws in Georgia and Texas. Many expect Justice Department action against the Texas law. (The Georgia law was approved in 2005 by the Bush administration Justice Department.)

The argument against voter ID goes as follows:

The most common form of ID in the United States is a driver's license. Nonwhite registered voters are somewhat less likely than whites to have driver's licenses. In South Carolina, for example, the gap is nearly 20%.Therefore, voter ID will have a discriminatory effect.

But then we're left with a question: What happens when those minority South Carolinians need social services? How do they identify themselves then? Then, of course, they rely on a Social Security number. But Social Security numbers are notoriously prone to theft, fraud and tampering.

The IRS counted more than 400,000 cases of theft of Social Security numbers in the 18 months from mid-2009 to the end of 2011. Surely that is only the tip of the iceberg. You don't sustain a population of 10 million to 12 million illegal aliens without lots and lots of fake Social Security numbers.

In other words, the U.S. has created two forms of de facto ID: one (Social Security) that is universal, but not reliable; another (state-issued driver's licenses) that is reliable, but not universal.

Obvious question: Why can't we have a system of personal identification that is universal and reliable?

Modern technology enables the design of just such a card while also protecting and even enhancing personal privacy.

Imagine you are a 22 year old who wants to buy a case of beer. (Or a 66 year old who wants to buy a discount movie ticket.) You present your driver's license that shows on its face your date of birth, and the cashier computes whether you qualify. But that card actually discloses more information than the cashier requires. The cashier is asking a "yes" or "no" question: 21 or older? 65 or older?

Or imagine that you are an employer who wants to check a job applicant's eligibility for work. Again, the card the employer will see presents more information than required. The employer doesn't care whether you are a citizen or a permanent resident or where you were born or when you became a resident alien. He just wants a "yes" or "no" to the question: Eligible to work?

Same thing at the polls. The poll watchers don't need to know whether today is your birthday. They don't need to know your height or weight. They just need to know: Are you who you say you are? And are you eligible to cast a ballot?

On its face, it would carry only your name and image. That's all most people need most of the time to confirm your identity; for example, when checking the name on your airline ticket against the person bearing the ticket.

But none of the other information that now appears on your driver's license needs to appear there. Not the address. Not the date of birth. No the height or weight.

Information beyond face and name would be encrypted inside the card and would be divulged only to specific scanners. Liquor store owners would have machines that could read only the answer to the "21 or older?" question. Employers would have machines that could read only the "eligible to work?" question. Voting places would read only "eligible to vote?"

Departments of Motor Vehicles in each of the states could encrypt motorist information onto the card. If you moved to another state, you would not need a new card. A visit to the DMV in the new state would wipe out the obsolete motorist information and substitute the new.

Police might have more sophisticated scanners that could read more exactly your address or date of birth or citizenship status.

The card would have encrypted information useful to prevent social service fraud; for example, the number of children you have so you can't enroll for more benefits than for which you qualify.

The card might also carry encrypted medical information useful in case of emergency such as blood type and allergies to medicines.

None of this information would be visible to the casual observer. None would be available except to those with a right and need to access it.

The card need not be compulsory. Even in France, supposedly the homeland of Big Government statism, the national ID card is noncompulsory. But the card would add so much convenience to life that most people would want it: one ultrasecure document that smoothed your way through the modern world -- and guaranteed no-questions asked about your rights to vote, work, drive and purchase alcohol.


Why cash is losing its currency

It's what the wallet was invented for, to carry cash. After all, there was a time when we needed cash everywhere we went, from filling stations to pay phones. Even the tooth fairy dealt only in cash.

But money isn't just physical anymore. It's not only the pennies in your piggy bank, or that raggedy dollar bill.

Money is also digital - it's zeros and ones stored in a computer, prompting some economists to predict the old-fashioned greenback may soon be a goner.

"There will be a time - I don't know when, I can't give you a date - when physical money is just going to cease to exist," said economist Robert Reich.

Economists like Reich say the demise of cash has been happening ever since our financial fortunes could first be told by a piece of plastic with a magnetic strip.

That was half a century ago - and now? "95 percent of the transactions in America, or more, have nothing to do with physical pieces of paper or coins," Reich said.

Think about it. Parking meters, taxis, tolls, even Girl Scout cookies don't require cash anymore, all proof (argue some) that cash's days are numbered.

"Everyone thinks cash is so simple and so easy and so fast and so secure. It's NONE of those things," said author David Wolman. In his new book, "The End of Money," he argues the biggest knock against cash is that it's costly.

"It's really expensive to move it, store it, secure it, inspect it, shred it, redesign it, re-supply it, and round and round we go!" Wolman said.

It already costs the U.S. government almost TWICE as much to make a penny and a nickel, than they're actually WORTH.

But that's only one cost. Wolman says cash is also the currency of crime - drug deals, bribes, and bank robberies.

And there's something else: It's not particularly clean.

"I'm right there with you," Wolman agreed. "It's pretty gross!

The filth factor alone, he says, should make cash a no-no at food establishments, like his neighborhood ice cream shop, Salt 'n Straw in Portland, Ore.

Owner Kim Malek isn't about to turn cash down - not yet anyway. But she's happier when people pay with their smart phones instead.

"It makes paying fun, which you don't hear very often," Malek laughed.


World oil import bill heading for record $2T

PARIS – Oil consumer nations are set to pay a record $2 trillion this year for oil imports if crude prices do not fall, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday, undermining economic recovery.

Crude hit $128 a barrel this month, only $20 short of its 2008 peak, and is up more than 15 percent since January, largely because of sanctions against oil producer Iran.

“For the first time the world will pay $2 trillion of oil import bills,” the IEA’s chief economist Fatih Birol told Reuters.

Birol said the bill for importing nations had risen from $1.8 trillion in 2011 and $1.7 trillion in 2008.

If crude were to stay at current levels for the rest of the year – about $125 a barrel for Brent and $107 for U.S. crude – oil import bills would cost 3.4 percent of GDP, up from 3.1 percent in 2011, Birol said.

He said the European Union was the hardest-hit of industrialised regions on oil import costs because, when converted into euros, the average EU oil price this year was running higher than in 2008.

Dollar-denominated oil costs mean European consumers pay more when the euro weakens against the dollar. The euro has fallen from $1.49 in May at its peak in 2011 to $1.33 now.

At current prices the bloc will pay $500 billion in 2012 up from $470 billion last year, Birol said. The EU also faced a 2012 gas bill of $120 billion, $20 billion higher than last year.

The cost of oil imports to the United States in an election year would reach a record $426 billion this year, up from $380 in 2011.

China would have to pay $250 billion this year, up $50 billion on 2011.

“If China’s economy slows down as a result of high oil prices then it will have an impact on China but also the rest of the world,” said Birol, noting that the world’s second biggest oil consumer had helped pull the world out of the 2008 recession.

Japan’s bill would swell to $119 billion, up from $178 billion, and India’s net import costs will rise to $118 billion, up from $105 billion, Birol said.

Financial Post

Guatemalan Volcanoes Increase Activity

Guatemalan volcanoes Santiaguito and Fuego increased their activity in the last hours and the authorities recommended on Monday took all the necessary precautions with the surrounding air traffic.

The dispersion of ash in various directions and changes in wind pattern led to the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) to warn about the civil aviation.

An Insivumeh report that Santiaguito volcano recorded 33 explosions in 24 hours, with a range of up to 800 meters above the crater, leaving ashes scattered in the southwest and southeast.

Santiaguito volcano is located in Quetzaltenango district, and its height is 2,550 meters above sea level.

The Insivumeh reported white and blue plume up to 100 meters above the crater, with displacement to the southwest, in the case of Fuego volcano, whose height is 3,763 meters above sea level and is located between the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla (center south).

Prensa Latina

Bernanke Claims That The Fed Has Averted A Second Great Depression By Bailing Out The Too Big To Fail Banks

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke claims that the Federal Reserve averted a second Great Depression by bailing out the big Wall Street banks during the last financial crisis, and he says that if a similar financial crisis comes along that the correct "policy response" will be to do the exact same thing again.  This was the theme of the lecture that Bernanke delivered to students at George Washington University on Tuesday.  In previous lectures Bernanke has defended the existence of the Fed and detailed the history of Fed activities, but on Tuesday he addressed things that have happened since he has been at the helm of the Fed.  And according to Bernanke, he has been doing a great job.  Bernanke told the students that the "threat of a second Great Depression was very real" and that the Federal Reserve did exactly what needed to be done to fix the financial system.  Unfortunately, the truth is that all Bernanke did was kick the can a bit farther down the road.  You can't fix a debt problem with more debt, and the debt bubble we are living in today is far larger than it was in 2008.  Will Bernanke still be trying to portray himself as a hero when this house of cards finally falls apart?
During his lecture to the students on Tuesday, Bernanke stated the following....
"I think the view is increasingly gaining acceptance that without the forceful policy response that stabilized the financial system in 2008 and early 2009, we could have had a much worse outcome in the economy."
So what did that "forceful policy response" entail?
Well, on slide 24 of his presentation to the students Bernanke tells us....
• On October 10, 2008, G‐7 countries agreed to
work together to stabilize the global financial
system. They agreed to
– prevent the failure of systemically important
financial institutions
– ensure financial institutions’ access to funding and
– restore depositor confidence
– work to normalize credit markets
Please note that not all financial institutions got bailed out.
In fact, hundreds of small and mid-size U.S. banks failed during the financial crisis.
It was only the "systemically important financial institutions" that got bailed out.
So who decided which financial institutions were important enough to be bailed out?
The Federal Reserve made those decisions. There were no Congressional votes and no input from the public.  The Federal Reserve determined who the winners and the losers would be in secret and without any public debate.
Sure sounds "democratic", eh?
But we are told to trust them because they are supposedly the experts.
So once the Federal Reserve bailed out the "too big to fail" banks, what was the outcome?
On page 25 of his presentation to the students Bernanke claimed that the bailouts successfully prevented the global financial system from collapsing....
• The international policy response averted the collapse of the global financial system.
But it wasn't just big Wall Street banks that got bailed out.  Bernanke says that AIG was also bailed out because the insurance company was deemed to be too "interconnected with many other parts of the global financial system" to be allowed to fail....
Because AIG was interconnected with many other parts of the global financial system, its failure would have had a massive effect on other financial firms and markets.
Once again, we see that it is the Federal Reserve who picks the winners and the losers.
AIG got bailed out and was then able to pay 100 cents on the dollar of what it owed to Goldman Sachs.
That sure worked out well for Goldman Sachs.
In all, the Federal Reserve issued a grand total of more than 16 trillion dollars in secret loans during the financial crisis.
The big Wall Street banks got showered with cash while hundreds of smaller banks were allowed to die like dogs.
The fact that the Fed greatly favors the big Wall Street banks has allowed them to grow massively in size and in power.
Back in 1970, the 5 biggest U.S. banks held 17 percent of all U.S. banking industry assets.
Today, the 5 biggest U.S. banks hold 52 percent of all U.S. banking industry assets.
The "too big to fail" banks just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Yet during his presentation to the students, Bernanke tried to talk out of both sides of his mouth by claiming that it is not a good thing for some banks to be "too big to fail"....
"But clearly, it is something fundamentally wrong with a system in which some companies are 'too big to fail.'"
So who is to blame for them being so big?
Well, the Federal Reserve is probably the biggest culprit.
Thanks Bernanke.
The big Wall Street banks are bigger than ever and they are also more unstable than ever.
According to the Comptroller of the Currency, the biggest U.S. banks have exposure to derivatives that is absolutely mind blowing.  Just check out these numbers which have just been released....
JPMorgan Chase - $70.1 Trillion
Citibank - $52.1 Trillion
Bank of America - $50.1 Trillion
Goldman Sachs - $44.2 Trillion
So what is going to happen when that bubble pops?
Is Bernanke going to zap tens of trillions of dollars into existence to bail out that gigantic mess?
Meanwhile, the debt bubble that we are all living in just keeps exploding in size.
Total student loan debt in the United States is over 1 trillion dollars at this point.  Consumer debt is rising.  Millions of mortgages are past due.
The American people are not in better financial condition than they were during the last financial crisis.  In fact, they are significantly worse off.
All over America, state and local governments are also drowning in debt.  In fact, there have been several very notable municipal bankruptcies lately.
And the U.S. government is racking up debt at a pace that is almost unimaginable.
When the last financial crisis began, the U.S. national debt was about 10 trillion dollars.
Today, it has risen to 15.5 trillion dollars.
So Bernanke did not fix anything.
The best that can be said is that he kicked the can down the road a little bit and made our long-term financial problems a lot worse at the same time.
Bernanke can create money out of thin air and loan it to his friends all he wants, but he is not going to be able to prevent this house of cards from crashing down indefinitely.
So grab a bucket of popcorn and get ready.  The next few years are going to be fascinating to watch.

Spain to slash spending as economy slumps back into recession

The Bank of Spain said the “contractionary dynamic” in the economy continued into early 2012 for the second quarter in a row, with an “intensifying” pace of job losses. It expects GDP to fall by 1.5pc this year.

Mr Rajoy said at a meeting in Seoul that he would press ahead later this week with a “very austere budget”, ordering 15pc cuts in spending across the ministries.

The conservative leader promised a “fair and just” distribution of pain. Public sector salaries will be frozen rather than cut and there will be no rise in VAT.

It is unclear how he can slash the budget deficit from 8.5pc of GDP last year to 5.3pc to meet the compromise target agreed with Brussels after a bruising confrontation.

“It is frankly impossible, given that it would aggravate the recession and this would crush state revenues,” said Jesús Fernández-Villaverde from the University of Pennsylvania.

Fresh data from Spain’s treasury showed the deficit for January and February was worse than for the same period last year, even stripping out “one-off” costs stemming from excesses by the regional juntas.

The lack of progress is grist to the mill of critics who argue that drastic “pro-cyclical” cuts can prove self-defeating, as Greece has discovered.

Spain’s unemployment rate is already 22.8pc, rising to more than 51pc for youths, the highest since records began.

While the Spanish have so far accepted austerity with stoicism, serious protest is emerging and the main trade unions have called a general strike for Thursday.

“The strike takes us closer to Greece and farther from Germany,” said Miguel Martin, head of the Spanish banking federation (AEB), calling the move “absolutely pointless”. He added that Spain’s banks had lost a record €2bn (£1.67bn) in the final quarter of last year as the property bust deepened. “The banks are taking the full brunt of the crisis, and are not yet saved,” he said.

El Pais reported that the European Commission is prodding Spain to tap the EU’s bail-out fund to help restructure the banking system and head off a serious credit crunch.

EU officials said the Spanish government’s plan for €52bn in extra provisions from the banks will not be enough if the crisis continues. Madrid denied that there had been no “formal request” from Brussels.

Spanish lenders have increased their dependence on loans from the European Central Bank to a record €152bn, using the money to roll over debts or buy Spanish government bonds – concentrating risk further.

The Madrid bourse fell 1pc on Tuesday, the sixth day of declines, dropping to its lowest level this year.

Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds have crept back into the danger zone – decoupling from Italian yields – on fears that Spain’s crisis will prove intractable despite ECB largesse. They settled back slightly to 5.36pc on Tuesday.

Officials in Germany said Spain is reaping the bitter fruit of its own actions in unilaterally tearing up its original budget targets and picking a fight with the EU.

“The yields are the proof. They are paying the price,” said a top member of the Bundestag’s finance committee.

Fitch Ratings said the upward revision in last year’s deficit from 6pc to 8.5pc of GDP had damaged Spain’s “fiscal credibility” but the agency did not blame the new government of Mr Rajoy for the failings.

Fitch said the 3pc deficit target for 2013 imposed by Brussels was “unrealistic”.

The Telegraph

Boy beaten near Paris Jewish school

A 12-year-old boy was beaten outside his Jewish school in Paris by youths reciting anti-Semitic slogans, school officials say, amid continued high security and tensions in France.

The school's human resources director, Katia Normal, said Tuesday that the child was hit and punched in the back of his head on Monday afternoon as he left school in the capital's southeast, but did not suffer serious injuries.

Emotions have been running high, especially within the half-million-strong Jewish community, since a gunman shot a rabbi and his two sons, 3 and 5 years old, and the 8-year-old daughter of the principal of a school in the southern city of Toulouse on March 19.

Speaking after the attack, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe expressed his "dismay" after "the hateful anti-Semitic attack."

"I have learned with dismay the hateful anti-Semitic attack," said the Mayor in a statement on Tuesday. He said he reiterated his "determination to fight tirelessly against anti-Semitism".

Both the school shooting and the beating took place at Ozar Hatorah network Jewish schools.

Normal said the aggressors in Monday's incident were two boys a couple of years older than the victim, and they recited anti-Semitic slogans.

The attack happened about 100 meters from the entrance and therefore out of sight of police officers who had been guarding the school since President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered security increased at Jewish and Muslim schools and synagogues after last week's shooting.

An official with the Paris police said the school reported Monday's incident but did not elaborate on what happened because it involves a minor.

Jean-Paul Amoyelle, president of the Ozar Hatorah network in France, told The Associated Press that a feeling of solidarity existed for the network's schools after the Toulouse shootings.

"Now I fear that this has provoked a hostile reaction, shown by the attitude of these boys who called him 'dirty' Jew and beat him up," he said. "We have to be vigilant, because this could lead to more aggression."

France is deep in an election campaign that has touched on questions about French identity. Jews are shaken by last week's killings, and France's large Islamic community — estimated at 5 million — fears a backlash because the killer was Muslim.


IDF gears up for Global March to Jerusalem

The IDF is gearing up to a possible storming of Israeli borders as part of the Global March to Jerusalem set for Friday, March 30. Israel has issued a clear warning to Arab states and the Palestinian Authority against allowing the march.

Soldiers deployed along Israel's borders have been instructed to increase their level of alert. IDF preparations are based on the "Summer Seeds" operation which was meant to tackle any flare-up following last year's Palestinian statehood bid. Israel feared major Arab and Palestinian riots at the time.

The troops will have at their disposal the crowd-dispersal means purchased to handle the UN bid.

Several battalions have also been secured as auxiliary forces if a need for them arises.

Since last year's violent Nakba Day and Naksa Day events, the IDF's Engineering Corps has performed upgrades along Israel's border with Syria. The old fence has been replaced and potholes have been dug along the border.

The forces will be instructed to prevent any violation of Israeli sovereignty with minimum harm to protesters, should they approach the border. Security officials have coordinated efforts with the Palestinian security forces in order to prevent any spillage into Israel.

Over the weekend, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that Israel sent a warning to the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority following the Nakba and Naksa day events. Israel demanded that they not to allow marches on its borders which could escalate the situation in the region.

The Jordanian government spokesman said in response that "Jordan has not received any official message from Israel on the prevention of the Global March to Jerusalem" adding that the government cannot prevent people from expressing demands so long as they are conveyed in an non-violent matter.

Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood movement stressed that the march will not be violent and that its men will not attempt to cross the borders.

Over the weekend, Global March participants from Asia held a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Turkey demanding to "free Palestine from the Israeli occupation." An Iranian artist said that the Palestinian issue is the most important issue for mankind.

A Turkish activist said that "we are reminded of what the Ayatollah Khamenei said; that were every Muslim to throw a bucket of water at the Israeli entity, it would sink." The activist called on all Muslims to follow Khamenei's path in order to free Palestine.

Arab media have been reporting that the first group from the Asian convoy arrived in Damascus on Saturday in order to take part in the protest.

Activists involved with the organization of the march said that another group will arrive in Syria via land from 15 Asian countries. It was further reported that a marches will begin in Syria in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Israel's Higher Arab Monitoring Committee is planning on holding the annual Land Day events this weekend. Organizers have decided that the Palestinian flag will be the only flag to be flown and it will be flown at all events.

They have decided that this year's events which will take place on Friday will be commemorated under the heading "Save the lands and prevent Judaization of Jerusalem." Thousands are set to take part in the main parade in Dir Hana in the lower Galilee.

Monitoring Committee chairman Muhammad Zidan told Ynet that "the subject of lands was very sensitive and important and we must continue in our struggle against land expropriation in the sector.

"Land Day reminds us of the martyrs who have fallen and are deserved to be remembered." Zidan added: "We have demanded that the police not enter Arab towns on Land Day so that order will be maintained without rioting."

A protest march is set to set out from the Jaffa port on Saturday and according to organizers, some 6,000 people are expected to take part.

Ynet News