Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization threatened Israel on Tuesday, warning it that any harm to the Al-Aqsa mosque would “open the gates of hell against the Zionist enemy.”
In a statement the organization issued, it stressed its commitment to protecting the dignity of the mosque, which it claimed is being “contaminated by the Zionists”, through the masses of the Islamic nation which has started waking up and meeting its religious commitment towards “Palestine” and towards the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The statement further noted that the Israeli violation of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem was made possible because Israel saw the helplessness of the Muslims for decades, and now the time has come to mobilize the Islamic nation to action and “save” the Al-Aqsa mosque from the “Zionist impurity.”
Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the former mufti of Jerusalem, said in this regard that the area of the Al-Aqsa mosque, including the Al-Buraq Wall (the Arabic term for the Western Wall) belongs only to Muslims, and Jews have no right to it.
Sabri expressed his strong opposition to an agreement that would allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, in an arrangement similar to the one that exists in the Cave of the Patriarchs. There recently have been growing calls to create a partition between two sections of the Temple Mount, one for Jewish use and the other for Muslims.
The Arab statements make no mention of the fact that the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site. The decision to leave the Temple Mount in the hands of the Waqf was made by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.
At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property”.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
In July, the Arab League released a statement warning Israel to stay away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The statement warned the “occupation authorities” against interfering with the mosque. “The city of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and at its head the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is a red line that must not be crossed, and any attack on it will definitely endanger the safety and stability of the entire region,” it stated.
In a surprisingly strong signal, many of the rate setters at the Fed have decided that further stimulus is needed "fairly soon", according to theminutes of their meeting this month.
Many of those on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) - the equivalent of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee - also judged that more quantitative easing could offer "additional support" for the economy.
Economists said the minutes showed that after a summer watching the recovery lose momentum, top officials at the central bank have decided that the potential benefits of further action outweigh the risk of fueling inflation.
After an encouraging first quarter of the year, the world's biggest economy expanded at an annual pace of just 1.5pc in the second as employment growth weakened and consumers retrenched. With Europe's debt crisis far from over, and the US presidential election a matter of weeks away, few private forecasters expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year.
The Congressional Budget Office warned today that the US could plunge back into recession if a series of tax increases and spending cuts are allowed to take effect at the start of the year.
The minutes from the meeting at the start of this month also suggested that the economy slowed far more rapidly in July than most on the FOMC had anticipated, with growth in the manufactuing sector and consumer spending both easing.
The strong hint that the central bank is moving closer to action only sharpens the focus on next week's annual gathering of policymakers at the mountain resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver a speech on August 31 at the gathering he used to launch the second round of quantitative easing in 2010.
However, there was caution from some economists who pointed out that the data has broadly improved since officials last met. The tally of jobs created in July was the strongest in five months, while the most recent surveys suggest consumer confidence has strengthened. Whether it meets the threshold of a "substantial and sustainable" strengthening that the FOMC said would prevent it from taking action remains unclear.
As Fed watchers tonight pored over the minutes, analysts also said that the next meeting of the FOMC on September 13 is likely to be the last one at which they can introduce fresh stimulus before American go to the polls on November 6.
Researchers in England have created a prototype surveillance device that can be used to spy on people inside buildings and behind walls by tracking the frequency changes as Wi-Fi signals generated by wireless routers and access points bounce off people as they move around.
The device, which is about the size of a suitcase and has two antennae and a signal processing unit, works as a "passive radar system" that can "see" through walls, according to PopSci.com. It was able to successfully determine the location, speed, and direction of a person behind a one-foot-thick brick wall, but can not detect people standing or sitting still, the article said.
The UK Ministry of Defence is looking into whether the device--designed by Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty of the University of College London--can be used in "urban warfare" for scanning buildings, PopSci reported.
The U.S. economy will probably tip into recession next year if lawmakers can’t break an impasse over the federal budget, according to a report.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said today that scheduled tax increases and spending cuts in 2013 would reverse the modest economic recovery. Economic output would shrink next year by 0.5 percent, joblessness would climb to about 9 percent with “economic conditions in 2013 that will probably be considered a recession,” the agency said in a biannual report on the budget and economic outlook.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid , center, with Senate Majority Whip U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin and Sen. Patty Murray during a news conference on a middle class tax cut bill.
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Niall Ferguson, a history professor at Harvard University and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, discusses his Newsweek magazine cover story about President Barack Obama's performance. Ferguson, speaking with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers," also talks about the potential impact of a Mitt Romney presidential victory on the economy.
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Peter Orszag, vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup Inc. and a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, talks about Medicare costs and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan's budget plan. Orszag speaks with Tom Keene and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's Surveillance." (Orszag is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. Source: Bloomberg)
“Whether lawmakers allow scheduled policy changes to take effect or alter them will play a crucial role in determining the path of the federal budget over the next decade and the outlook for the economy,” according to the report.
Congressional leaders have said they probably won’t consider until after the election the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire Dec. 31 or $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts that would begin taking effect in January. There is no sign of an agreement to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff, and the CBO report prompted partisan finger-pointing.
The deficit will reach $1.1 trillion this year, about $100 billion less than CBO had projected in March, according to the report. That would be down from last year’s $1.3 trillion, in part because tax revenue has risen by almost 6 percent and spending is down by about 1 percent this year.
Moscow accused on Wednesday the West of inciting armed resistance to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and said violence would not resolve the political crisis in Syria.
“Our Western partners have not done anything to influence the opposition and convince it to start dialogue with the authorities,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.
“They are openly encouraging the opposition to continue armed resistance instead,” the statement said. “It is clear that these methods will not help in finding a political solution to the crisis.”
Since March 2011, the Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The West is pushing for Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that a chance still remains for national reconciliation in Syria, despite the large number of opponents of that process including those outside the country.
IDF chief of staff warns Iran following recent threats which he says show 'underestimation of our capabilities'
IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz on Wednesday conveyed a warning to Iran saying that "whoever will try to harm us will face our devastating might."
Addressing recent statements by Iranian leaders in the backdrop of reports of a possible Israeli strike in Iran, Gantz said, "We are hearing explicit threats over Israel's security and wellbeing of its people – threats that demonstrate an underestimation of our capabilities."
He further added, "Anyone who thinks they can get rid of Israel and hurt our nation will discover the IDF's devastating force. We stand steadfast along our borders in the face of threats. The IDF has the world's best soldiers and commanders."
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi referred to Israel as a "cancerous tumor" and claimed it was in no position to engage in a war with Iran.
Last week, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued threats of their own and predicted that Israel will eventually "disappear off the map."
On Wednesday, The Telegraph quoted Western intelligence sources as saying that Khamenei instructed the Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite unit al-Quds Force to increase terror attacks against the West and its allies in reprisal for their support of Syrian opposition groups.
An Israeli attack on Iran will lead to Israel's "annihilation," a senior Iranian official told the country's state-run TV station Press TV on Monday, ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement summit due to take place in Tehran later this month.
The comment, by former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, came after, last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force said that a possible Israeli airstrike against his country's nuclear facilities is "welcome" because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and "get rid of" the Jewish state "forever."
Hajizadeh said in the event of an Israeli strike, Iran's response would be "swift, decisive and destructive." But he also claims Israeli threats of a strike are just part of a psychological war against Iran.
Speaking to Press TV on Monday, Rezaei, who currently heads Iran's Expediency Council, an advisory panel to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned Israel of going forward with its reported plan to attack.
"If the Zionists commit the folly and attack Iran, they will receive a crushing response from Islamic Republic's armed forces which will lead to their annihilation,” Rezaei told Press TV.
The senior Iranian official also added that what he called warmongering comments coming from Israeli officials were meant to overshadow the NAM conference due to take place in Tehran.
Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to cancel his plans to participate in the same conference, calling the reported visit "a big mistake, even if it is being done out of good intentions."
On Saturday, Egyptian state news agency MENA said that Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi intends to attend the NAM meetings in Iran. His visit will be the first such visit by an Egyptian head of state to Tehran since the Islamic revolution.