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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ventura:"Remember Your Oath!"

Europe is out of savings.....

NATO Provokes Syria to War

Europe Has Three Days, Not Three Months, to Avoid 'Fiasco': Soros

Multibillionaire financier George Soros said Monday Europe's leaders have three days to agree on how to fix the euro zone crisis ahead of this week's summit of world leaders -- a dramatically shorter timetable than the "three months' window" he said at the beginning of June that Europe's leaders had to fix their problems.

Unless that is resolved in the next three days, then I am afraid the summit could turn out to be a fiasco. That could actually be fatal," Soros said on CNBC Monday morning. Soros, who is quickly becoming an éminence grise on the topic of the euro zone financial crisis, was making an appearance following the publication of an editorial in the Financial Times, where he warned the negotiating stance of German chancellor Angela Merkel going into this summit "threatens to turn the June summit into a fiasco."

In his Financial Times piece, Soros, the notable hedge fund manager -- who last month delivered an explanation of the euro zone crisis to an Italian economics conference that went viral -- suggested the best way to proceed involves some kind of German guarantee of the peripheral countries' debt "in return for Italy and Spain undertaking specified structural reforms." The idea is to have some austerity combined with a German safety net for the debt of weak economies, stabilizing the economic crisis in the Continent so as to hopefully spur growth. It is a pro-unification framework that "will be the prelude to the establishment of a full political union and the introduction of euro bonds," Soros notes in his article.

Monday, that sympathy became strong criticism, with Soros writing in the Financial Times piece that "the main obstacle is in German politics, which is mired in a “can’t do” mode" and that the current policy path espoused by that country "will make Germany the centre of an empire and put the “periphery” into a permanently subordinated position."

International Business Times

Russian Nuclear bombers test U.S. air defenses in Arctic war games

Russian strategic nuclear bombers threatened U.S. airspace near Alaska earlier this month and F-15 jets responded by intercepting the aircraft taking part in large-scale arctic war games, according to defense officials.

The Russian war games began the same day President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a frosty summit meeting in Mexico June 18.

U.S. officials said the arctic exercises over the Russian Far East and Pacific appeared to be a further sign of Russia’s hardening posture toward the United States.

The Obama administration made no protest of the bomber intrusions, according to the officials, in line with its conciliatory “reset” policy of seeking warmer ties with Moscow.

About 30 strategic nuclear bombers and support aircraft took part in the war games that continued through June 25. The aircraft included Tu-95MS Bear H and Tu-160 Blackjack nuclear-capable bombers, along with Il-76 refueling tankers, A-50 airborne warning and control aircraft, and Su-27 and MiG-31 jet fighters. Some 200 troops also took part in the Russian Strategic Aviation forces exercise.

A spokesman for the joint U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense command in Colorado Springs, which monitors air defense intrusions, had no immediate comment. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment.

U.S. and Canadian F-15 and F-16 jets were involved in the intercepts that took place near the Air Identification Zone surrounding Alaskan airspace over the northern Pacific.

The exercises are part of increasingly aggressive Russian military activities in the arctic region in both the eastern and western hemispheres, which have created security worries among governments in northern Europe and Canada.

One official said the failure to publicize the threatening bomber maneuvers might have been related to Obama’s overheard promise in March to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev of “more flexibility.”

According to the defense officials, the arctic bomber exercises are part of Russian efforts to assert control over vast areas of the arctic circle that are said to contain large mineral and oil deposits.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska North American Aerospace Defense commander, said the Russian exercises should be a concern.

“The Russians continue to exercise our air defense identification zone, which shows Mr. Putin loves to let President Obama know that they still have global capability,” McInerney said in an interview. “So much for reset.”

McInerney also said the Obama administration kept the encounter between the bombers and U.S. fighters secret because “they obviously don’t want the world to know that the exercise was done deliberately to coincide with the Obama-Putin summit.”

Obama and Putin met in Los Cabos, Mexico June 18 in what aides described later as a “businesslike” encounter. The two leaders, however, were shown in video and photos as unsmiling and displaying a cool demeanor toward each other.

Russia’s government and military have threatened preemptive military attacks on future U.S. missile defense sites in Europe as part of a Russian propaganda campaign against those defenses. Moscow views U.S. and NATO missile defenses as threatening its strategic missiles.

Defense officials said Russian bomber exercises highlight Moscow’s targeting of the U.S. missile defense base at Fort Greely, Alaska, one of two major ground-based interceptor bases that are part of a limited integrated missile defense system against North Korean and possibly future Chinese or Russian missiles.

Additionally, the bomber exercises raised concerns that Russia was simulating cruise missile strikes aimed at disrupting U.S. oil pipelines in Alaska. Currently, the state’s Trans-Alaska pipeline delivers more than 11 percent of U.S. oil.

The Russian bombers involved in the exercises are equipped with long-range precision-guided cruise missiles, including nuclear and conventional missiles.

A similar bomber exercise in 2007 involved Bear H and Blackjack bombers that conducted simulated cruise missile attacks on the United States. Those bombers operated from strategic bomber bases at Anadyr, Vorkuta, and Tiksi.

Military reference books state that Bear H bombers are deployed with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead.

Russian Air Force Lt. Col. Vladimir Deryabin, a Defense Ministry spokesman, told Russian state-controlled news agencies that the main purpose of the war games was to provide practice for strategic, fighter, and special aviation aircrews. The first phase involved the dispersal of aviation groups to air bases in the northern and eastern region. A second phase deployed aircraft that flew in groups with fighter cover, he said.

Deryabin said that the mission of the exercise was to “practice destruction of enemy air defenses and strategic facilities,” according to a June 25 dispatch by the Russian news agency Interfax.

State Department documents made public by Wikileaks have revealed that Russian offensive military exercises in the arctic during the past several years have been aimed at Moscow’s efforts to “emerge as the dominant arctic power by default.”

Such exercises have alarmed Norway’s government since many of the exercises took place near Norway’s coast.

International discussions on Russian military exercises in the arctic have been highlighted by Moscow’s failure to provide pre-flight notification of bomber exercise flights.

It could not be learned if the Russians notified the United States of the recent bomber exercises near Alaska.

Canada has complained that earlier Russian bomber flights were conducted without Russia notifying the Canadian government.

A classified 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy Moscow said Russia in May 2009 outlined its policy toward the arctic for 2020 and beyond, and said Moscow adopted a “cold peace” policy against Europe and the United States. It stated that the region will be used for strategic resources and that Moscow is seeking to claim exclusive control over an emerging northern sea route passage.

“The Arctic region, both within Russia’s legally clarified borders and in areas beyond, likely holds vast untapped resources of oil and gas,” the cable states. “While many Russian analysts are skeptical that any of these resources will be economically exploitable in the near future, the Russian leadership wants to secure sovereignty over these ‘strategic’ resources.”

As part of the arctic military expansion, Russia announced May 30 it was re-opening arctic air bases that had been closed after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Russian officials have said the strategic air bases will be used for arctic operations and include airfields in the far north at Naryan-Mar, on Novaya Zemlya, and Franz Josef Land.

Naryan-Mar is a mainland strategic air base and Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land are islands.

Additionally, Russia has announced it is setting up an 8,000-troop Arctic Brigade that will be deployed on the Kola Peninsula, near Finland and Norway.

In 2010, Adm. James A. Winnefeld, then-commander of the Colorado-based U.S. North Command, said in an interview that Russia has continued to fly its strategic nuclear bombers near U.S. airspace as part of Moscow’s efforts to maintain what he termed the illusion of power.

“In some cases, this is about the illusion of power, where power is not quite there,” Winnefeld said from the Colorado Springs-based command known as Northcom. “They are trying to show the world that they are a powerful nation, and we’re not giving them the satisfaction.”

Washington Free Beacon

Is this 1931 all over again? Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, Niall Ferguson and more think so

File photo

Is the world about to repeat the economic catastrophe of 1931?
A growing chorus of economists of all stripes thinks so.

Sound familiar? asks economist Paul Krugman.

“Suddenly normally calm economists are talking about 1931, the year everything fell apart,” writes Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

“The parallels between Europe in the 1930s and Europe today are stark, striking, and increasingly frightening, write Bradford DeLong and Barry Eichengreen in the new preface to Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression 1929-1939.

“We see unemployment, youth unemployment especially, soaring to unprecedented heights. Financial instability and distress are widespread. There is growing political support for extremist parties of the far left and right.”

In May 1931, Austrian bank Creditanstalt, founded in Vienna by the Rothschild banking dynasty, suffered a run. Its collapse after a merger with an insolvent rival sparked a crisis that left Germany and central Europe strewn with failed banks, caused defaults in Europe and Latin America, knocked the pound off the gold standard, and forced the New York Federal Reserve by October to raise its discount rate by 2 percentage points.

“Austria’s troubles shouldn’t have been big enough to have large effects on the world economy, but in practice they created a panic that spread around the world. Sound familiar?” wrote Krugman.

The ominous clouds on the horizon are uniting economic pundits who normally find little common ground.

In their piece for the Financial Times entitled Berlin Is Ignoring the Lessons of the 1930s, historian Niall Ferguson and economist Nouriel Roubini argue that a silent run on the banks in the eurozone periphery has been going on for two years now. Greeks have withdrawn more than €700m from their banks in the past month.

Their solution to the crisis would be a program of bank recapitalization in the periphery and the core funded by the European Financial Stability Facility and its successor, the European Stability Mechanism.

As well, an EU-wide system of deposit insurance needs to be created to avoid a run on eurozone banks – which the pair see as a certainty if Greece exits the euro.

“The EU was created to avoid repeating the disasters of the 1930s. It is time Europe’s leaders – and especially Germany’s – understood how perilously close they are to doing just that,” they wrote.

Financial Post

Celente: The 2nd American Revolution STARTS NOW!

North Korea facing worst drought in 100 years

The state-run KCNA news agency said temperatures have been as much as eight degrees higher than usual for May and June and, combined with historically low levels of precipitation, have left rice paddies dried and cracked.

The maize crop stands a mere 15 inches tall in many places in North and South Hwanghae provinces, instead of the 60 inches that it should be by now, farmers said.

Nearly 50,000 acres in western parts of the country - known as the breadbasket of North Korea - have been affected by the drought, which will worsen an already acute food shortage. In September, the United Nations World Food Programme warned that 3.5 million people were at risk of malnutrition and starvation in North Korea, which has a total population of 24 million.

And while the nation appears to have weathered that potential crisis, a shortage of summer crops this year will lead to more shortages in the bitterly cold winter.

No such shortages are evident in Pyongyang, however, where the elite of the regime is moving into gleaming new multi-storey apartments, complete with schools, medical facilities, restaurants and a People's Theatre, all enclosed within a lush green park.

The Changjon Street complex was opened last week to a cacophony of cheering and speeches. It is part of North Korea's wider ambitions to be recognised as a "strong and prosperous" nation in the 100th anniversary year of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung, and simultaneously boost the standing of his grandson and heir to the regime, Kim Jong-un.

According to KCNA, the entire complex was completed in 12 months by "builders, shock troops and helpers who performed shining labour feats."

"Changjon Street represents the will of the dear respected Kim Jong-un to build a thriving nation, as well as the determination of the people of the DPRK to bring about a rosier future," Kim Song-dok, vice-chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, told KCNA.

The Telegraph

Clinton: US pleased so far by new Egypt president

She is happy with the guy that chants "our new capital is Jerusalem"
Maybe if he chants that the new egyptian capital will be chattanooga tennessee she will be more happier.....

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration is pleased so far with commitments made by Egypt's Islamist president-elect, Mohammed Morsi, but will reserve judgment on his government until it is up and running.

Speaking to reporters in Finland on Wednesday, Clinton said the US was pleased that the new leader has pledged to respect Egypt's international obligations, which Washington believes covers its1979 peace treaty with Israel. She also said the Egyptian military, which is supposed to turn over power to the president on Saturday, deserved praise for "facilitating" a free, fair and credible election.

However, she said the US would judge Egypt's new leadership on its actions and called for it to respect principles of democracy and pluralism.

"We expect the transition to continue as has been promised by the (military) and we expect president-elect Morsi, as he forms a government, to demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity that is manifest by representatives of the women of Egypt, of the Coptic Christian community, of the secular non-religious community and, of course, young people," she said.

"We hope that full democracy is understood to be more than one election," she added. "One election does not a democracy make. That's just the beginning of the hard work and the hard work requires pluralism, respecting the rights of minorities, independent judiciary, independent media."

'Much work lies ahead'

The secretary also said, "We know a lot of work lies ahead. They have to write a constitution, they have to look at how they are going to deal with the judicial decision about the parliament and seating a new parliament."

"We are going to work with the leaders in support of that transition," she said, adding that "we have heard some very positive statements so far, including about respecting international obligations which would, in our view, cover the peace treaty with Israel, but we'll have to wait and judge by what is actually done."

Clinton sidestepped a question on whether she would visit Egypt soon to convey the US message to Morsi in person.

US officials have said the administration is willing to send a senior official to Cairo once Morsi is inaugurated and the military cedes the absolute power that it wields currently.

Meanwhile, the online version of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported Wednesday that Clinton is scheduled to visit Cairo on Saturday.

According to "sources in Cairo's airport," Clinton will arrive on a private plane along with other American officials for a meeting with Morsi and a number of senior Egyptian officials.

Al-Ahram said the meetings will focus on the future of the relations between Washington and Cairo, the Israel Egypt peace treaty and Egypt's Coptic community.

Ynet News

Forget Europe, It’s US That Poses Bigger Threat: O’Neill

Troubles in the U.S., particularly relating to the weak employment picture, pose a bigger threat to markets than the European debt crisis, Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O'Neill told CNBC.

Despite all the focus on weakness in Greece,Spain and elsewhere, the chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management said he is more concerned about elevated weekly jobless claims as a sign that the American economy remains fragile.

"The markets are right to be concerned with these (European) issues. But just as importantly to the (Standard Poor's 500) in my opinion is what's going on with weaker job claims and the growing evidence that some of the momentum in the U.S. has been lost," O'Neill told "Squawk Box." "I'm not sure that the European thing is that important to non-European markets going forward."

Weekly jobless claims for the most recent reporting period stood at 377,000 in the U.S., near the 400,000 mark that is often considered a dividing line for progress in reducing unemployment.

The government's monthly nonfarm payroll report for May showed the economy created just 69,000 jobs.

Those numbers are of bigger concern than what's happening in the ailing euro zone countries, O'Neill said.

Moreover, he said countries closer to the debt crisis — Holland and Switzerland, to name two — are "doing just fine." O'Neill attributed the depth of the euro zone impact to a lack of confidence from corporate America, one of several factors that will contribute to "continued choppiness through the summer" for the stock market.


High alert on Syrian border as Turkey warns of retaliation

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned Syria that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been given instructions to treat any approaching Syrian military unit as a threat, a sign that the Syrian crisis sparked a bilateral conflict between the two neighbors after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet in the Mediterranean.

Noting that the attack has resulted in a new phase in Turkish-Syrian relations, Erdoğan said it is now clear “[Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad’s regime has become a clear and present danger to Turkey’s security.” “The rules of engagement of the Turkish Armed Forces have changed,” Erdoğan told a meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Parliament. “Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria, posing a security risk or danger, will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target.”

“However valuable Turkey’s friendship is, its wrath is just as strong. Don’t take our common sense and cautious approach as a sign of passivity,” he said.

Hours after Erdoğan’s speech, military vehicles were seen carrying reinforcements to the Syrian border in a sign of escalating tensions along the border. The Cihan news agency reported that some 15 military vehicles, including tanks and long-range artillery vehicles, had been dispatched to the border from Diyarbakır through Mardin.

Turkey has long criticized the Syrian regime for its deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests, but the dispute took a new turn when Syrian forces shot down an unarmed Turkish jet which Ankara said was on a solo mission to test domestic radar systems. Syria described its shooting down of the Turkish F-4 jet as an act of self defense and, while Turkey said the incident would “not go unpunished,” it emphasized that it does not intend to go to war with Syria.

Tensions are already high along the Turkish-Syrian border as Syrian opposition forces and more than 30,000 refugees are given shelter near the border. In April, a clash between opposition fighters and the Syrian army at the border spilled over to the Turkish side, and bullets fired by the Syrian side injured two Turkish nationals at a Syrian refugee camp.

The government’s active support for the Syrian opposition has drawn criticism from some opposition parties, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) saying Syria’s shooting down of the Turkish jet was a response to the Turkish government’s policies.

However, Erdoğan defended his government’s support for the Syrian opposition, saying Turkey would remain in solidarity with its brothers in Syria until a new regime is in place. “We will offer all possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” said Erdoğan.

Responding to criticism following the jet incident, he said no one should make statements that may hurt the Turkey’s national interests, adding that Turkish political parties should avoid making statements that portray the act of Assad’s regime as innocent and that they should side with their government on this “national issue.”

“The plane that was downed was not the plane of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or of the AK Party. It was Turkey’s plane, shot down in international airspace,” an angry Erdoğan said. “Our military jet was not downed by mistake but was targeted by a hostile and deliberate act,” said Erdoğan, adding there are circles both inside and outside Turkey that were trying to distort the facts.

Stating that the downing of the jet by Syria has nothing to do with a violation of Syria’s airspace, Erdoğan noted that Turkey’s airspace has been violated by other countries 114 times since Jan. 1 of this year. “Syrian helicopters also violated our air space five times recently. We warned them to leave. Syria’s position is also clear evidence that our jet was hit in a hostile act. Syria attacked a second rescue plane with harassing fire, and this is proof that the act was deliberate,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said on Monday that Syrian forces fired on a Turkish military transport plane involved in searching for the F-4 jet, but that the second aircraft was not brought down. He claimed that Turkey’s reconnaissance jet was in international airspace when it was hit and subsequently crashed in Syrian territorial waters only because the pilot lost control of the plane following the attack. Syria, on the other hand, says the plane was flying fast and low, just a kilometer off the Syrian coast, when it was shot down and that the shooting of the plane was not a hostile act because the Turkish identity of the plane was not known.

Underlining that Syria did not issue a warning to the Turkish jet, Erdoğan said: “The Syrian stance is a hostile one. A short violation cannot justify an unfair, unlawful and conscienceless attack.”

“I want to underline the fact that Turkey will use all its rights stemming from international law and take the necessary steps with determination,” said Erdoğan, adding that Turkey will not fall into the traps of warmongers but will not remain silent over the downing of its military jet in international waters, either.

While the incident has further strained relations between the two neighbors, Turkey continues to engage in diplomacy, taking the issue to international platforms, including NATO and the UN.

NATO envoys, at Turkey’s request, convened on Tuesday to discuss the jet incident, and Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen vowed solidarity with Ankara in remarks to the press after the talks. EU foreign ministers on Monday condemned Syria’s downing of the Turkish jet but said the bloc will not support military action in the troubled country.

The United States has also expressed support for Turkey and promised to work with Ankara to hold Syria accountable for what US officials believe was a deliberate act.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States stood in solidarity with Turkey while it investigated last Friday’s lost jet and determined its response. “We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable,” Carney told reporters on board Air Force One as President Barack Obama flew to New Hampshire.

At a Pentagon briefing on Monday, officials said they believed the downing was deliberate. “We don’t have the tick-tock of the decision-making process that led to this aircraft being shot down,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby. “The fact is that it was shot down. We believe it was a deliberate act.” Pentagon spokesman George Little added, “And the Syrian regime needs to answer for it.”

Todays Zaman

Angela Merkel rules out eurobonds for 'as long as I live'

The German Chancellor's comments were met with applause as she briefed MPs from the Free Democrats party, her junior coalition partner, at a private meeting on Tuesday.

One official told AP that the crowd "reacted with applause to hearing that the Chancellor does not want a joint debt liability," while one participant reportedly shouted: "We wish you a long life!"

Several eurozone leaders, including French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have called for the 17-nation bloc to draw-up plans to issue jointly-guaranteed debt in order to reduce borrowing costs for struggling eurozone nations.

Yields on benchmark 10-year government debt are currently at 6.8pc in Spain, and 6.15pc in Italy. Long term borrowing costs above 6pc are widely viewed as unsustainable in the long term.

Ms Merkel this week played down expectations of a major shift in policy from Germany at the EU summit, which starts on Thursday, and repeated that eurozone bonds would be "economically wrong and counterproductive".

The Telegraph