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Monday, April 22, 2013

Merkel To Europe: "Prepare To Cede Sovereignty"

The liquidity tsunami that started in September of 2012 in the Marriner Eccles building and continued with the BOJ's own epic QEasing expansion three weeks ago, has so far provided the impetus for Europe to kick the can of its inevitable dissolution for a few more months, yet slowly but surely the market is starting to read through the artificial levels implied by Italian and Spanish bonds, driven by recycled ECB funding via bank and repo conduits and of course Japanese carry cash, and rumblings of a return to crisis conditions are back.

And as always happens, once the crisis talk is back, so is discussion of a fiscal union. Sure enough, earlier today Germany's Angela Merkel once again reminded everyone just what the stakes are in order to achieve a truly stable, and sustainable European union: nothing short of ceding sovereignty to Germany. And with that we are back to square one, because that has always been the trade off - want a unified, fiscally and monetarily, Europe? You can get it: just bow down to Merkel.

From Reuters:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that euro zone members must be prepared to cede control over certain policy domains to European institutions if the bloc is truly to overcome its debt crisis and win back foreign investors.

Speaking at an event hosted by Deutsche Bank in Berlin alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Merkel also defended her approach to the crisis against critics who argue she has put too much emphasis on austerity, saying Europe must find a way to deliver both growth and solid finances.

The comments came two months before European leaders are due to gather in Brussels to discuss moving towards a so-called "fiscal union".

The punchline:

"We seem to find common solutions when we are staring over the abyss," Merkel said. "But as soon as the pressure eases, people say they want to go their own way.

"We need to be ready to accept that Europe has the last word in certain areas. Otherwise we won't be able to continue to build Europe," she added.

Two conclusions here: Europe will be "staring over the abyss" very soon once again, and where Merkel says "Europe" she means Germany.

This is confirmed by the immediate denial of precisely this, adding "it would be "dangerous" if other countries in Europe felt Germany was imposing its own economic model across the entire bloc."

Oh, ok then.

So just what is Germany's vision for "Europe":

"We don't always need to give up national practices but we need to be compatible," Merkel said. "It is chaos right now."

"We need to be prepared to break with the past in order to leap forward. I'm ready to do this," she said.

So... just give up national practices sometimes. And yes, Merkel is of course ready to head the asset-stripmined continent. The question is who else in Europe is willing to hand over their liberties to the next iteration of the German Reich?

Zero Hedge

U.S. Expert Says N.Korea May Conduct More Nuclear Tests

North Korea could conduct its fourth nuclear test in weeks or months, said Dr. Siegfried Hecker from Stanford University, the last U.S. expert to visit the Yongbyon uranium enrichment facility, according to Radio Free Asia on Friday.

He made the comments during a seminar at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation held in Austria on Thursday and also discussed the North’s technological capabilities.

The North "would likely need several more tests to be able to make one small enough for a missile and have sufficient confidence that you can put a nuclear weapon on a warhead," he speculated.

Hecker visited the previously secret uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon at the invitation of North Korea in 2010.

The North's "nuclear arms still are probably primitive" and its technology is not yet developed enough to mount nuclear weapons atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, he said.

The most serious possible threat would be delivery of a nuclear bomb by boat. "That would be the simplest delivery mechanism. However, it is very difficult to pull that off," he added.

Chosun Ilbo

Catholic rebel group begins criticizing new pope

A rebel Catholic group at the heart of major controversies that plagued former Pope Benedict has begun criticizing his successor Pope Francis for the popular approach he has taken since his election last month... While Benedict criticized some reforms of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, Francis praised it on Tuesday as "a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit" that remained to be fully implemented although some wanted to turn back the clock. 

Benedict's wooing of the SSPX, part of a his wider plan to bring back many Catholic traditions sidelined after Vatican II, triggered several controversies during his eight-year papacy. 

His 2007 decision to allow wider use of the old Latin Mass met with a mixed reaction among Catholics and Jewish groups said it revived an old Latin prayer they considered anti-Semitic... Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, the top doctrinal official in Rome, told Germany's Catholic news agency KNA last month that all priests accept the [Vatican II] reforms as valid. "Whoever does not recognize this is not a Catholic," he declared.

(Reuters) - A rebel Catholic group at the heart of major controversies that plagued former Pope Benedict has begun criticizing his successor Pope Francis for the popular approach he has taken since his election last month.

In a letter to supporters this week, the head of the ultra- traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) asked whether the new pontiff's focus on serving people could be only "man-centered philanthropy" rather than true religious leadership.

Bishop Bernard Fellay's sharp criticisms of the Vatican attracted attention during Benedict's papacy because the now retired head of the Roman Catholic Church wanted to reintegrate the once-excommunicated group fully into the Roman fold.

Francis, the former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, has upset many Catholic traditionalists by eschewing Vatican pomp, presenting himself as a humble servant of the poor and showing little interest in returning to centuries-old traditions.

In his letter, Fellay urged Francis "not to allow souls to perish because they no longer learn sound doctrine", by which he meant the ultra-traditionalist views the SSPX advocates.

"What good is it to devote oneself to serving people if it hides from them what is essential?" asked Fellay, whose group claims 500 priests and a million followers around the world.

Aiding the poor has always been a concern for the Church, he said, "but if it becomes merely man-centered philanthropy, then the Church is no longer carrying out its mission".

Fellay, who had long hoped that Benedict would give in and reintegrate his group without conditions, had avoided public comment on his successor until now.

Soon after his election, the SSPX head for South America, Rev Christian Bouchacourt, denounced Francis's simple style as humiliating and undignified for the Church.


Economy is out of the news...

They have turned the university city into a large prison And we who have already seen 35-40 people die in one terror attack day after day....

Jews sitting in the Land of Israel today are nodding, perhaps scratching their heads, and saying to themselves, perhaps to their family members, maybe even to their friends: Three people were killed in Boston, and the Americans have lost their minds. They have turned the university city, with its millions of residents, into a large prison, turned routine life into complete chaos. And all because of three casualties.

And we, who have already seen 35-40 people die in one terror attack, sometimes day after day, and dozens and hundreds of people injured, what shall we say?

One again we nod and conclude: The Americans have lost their minds, even if they did eventually succeed in their pursuit. The two terrorists were caught, one died and the other is on his way to hell. Fine, so what does it have to do with us? Boston is thousands of miles away, and terrorism there is an "internal affair." So what do we have to do with it?

1. Well, we could say that the terror and manhunt in Boston concern us in the State of Israel as well. What can we learn from it, if we want to learn anything? That with the Americans there are no shortcuts. When they want to achieve something, to create facts on the ground, they have no problem recruiting thousands and tens of thousands of people for the mission, bringing life in a city of millions to a halt, raising hell. Even God won't stand in their way when it comes to a matter that seems important to them.

An example from the past: The Americans decided to get their hands on Panama's ruler, Noriega, who they saw as one of the biggest drug dealers. They say that 3,000 innocent Panamanian citizens were killed on the American way to capture the drugged ruler.

And here is a tiny example from the near past, which we can learn something from too: The Americans declared at the time that they do not recognize Ariel, and certainly not its university. They announced that students from Ariel would not be invited to listen to Obama's speech in Jerusalem. This led to an uproar: Who are they to make decisions for us? We'll show them! Well, were any students from Ariel present at Obama's speech?

And another tiny example from the near past: Some 200,000 people signed a petition calling for Jonathan Pollard's release. A total of 200,000 signatures! If we wanted to be rude, we would write right here and now that as part of economizing at the White House, they are using this signature paper for different needs. As far as they are concerned, new Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein can go on and on about this painful issue in his festive speeches. From the American perspective, any mention of Pollard as a national hero is just another nail in his coffin. It turns out that when America says "no," it means "no" – and there's nothing we can do about it.

War of life and death

2. The entire world, and certainly the great America, must take the next world war with the utmost seriousness: The Islamic, radical, fanatical half of the world against the Western, free half of the world which simply seeks a comfortable life. It is a war between hundreds of millions of Muslims, who conquer countries, especially in Europe, and try to impose their way of life and hallucinatory beliefs on millions of other people. These are Muslims who have the spirit of al-Qaeda, not necessarily the organizational setting, breathing down their necks in the face of and against hundreds of millions of people, including in Israel, who pursue and strive for peace and quiet.

The war between the first half of the world and the second half of the world is in its midst, but as always, the Western half of the world is still enjoying its beauty sleep and is late waking up. Shots are being fired on its streets, its citizens are being killed, while it thinks that this is a gang war or a scene from a Hollywood film.

It will be too pretentious on our part to suggest that the free world set up a sort of joint NATO headquarters on the war on terror, establish an intelligence network that will forcibly infiltrate the other half of the world – thwarting, preventing, damaging.

As far as we are concerned, not just as Israelis but also as free Western citizens, it's a war of life and death. And as far as we are concerned, the difficult event in Boston is just the beginning: The Americans have shown us once again that when it comes to a matter they consider as fundamental, they do as they please. They go all the way. When will they wake up, sober up and use their power and brains to lower the flames of terror in the other, hostile, destructive part of the world?

Russian Navy warships dock in southern Iran

A group of Russian Navy warships has docked at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas after a long journey from the Pacific Ocean, Press TV reported.

The fleet, comprised of Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine destroyer and the logistic battleships Peresvet and Admiral Novelskoy with a crew of 712, docked at the Iranian port on Sunday.

The Admiral Panteleyev is an Udaloy-class destroyer (large anti-submarine ship) of the Russian Navy which was deployed in 2009 as part of operations to combat piracy off the Somalian coast.

The Russian warship entered the Iranian naval zone with the purpose of strengthening relations between Tehran and Moscow and promoting bilateral naval cooperation to maintain maritime security.

Commanders of the Russian fleet are expected to hold talks with top Iranian naval officials.


Gasoline Prices in Europe they are killing the economy....

Gasoline Prices in Europe: Country Rankings

Meteorite Falls in Argentina 2013 video

Chinese cases of bird flu rise to 102 with 20 dead

BEIJING, April 22 (UPI) -- The number of H7N9 bird flu patients in China has risen to 102, with 20 dead from the virus, the World Health Organization said.

China officially confirmed the occurrence of humans infected with H7N9 late last month.

Since then, through Sunday, 102, people have been infected resulting in 20 deaths and 82 patients being treated in hospitals. Twelve people had been discharged from hospitals as of Saturday, leaving 70 still hospitalized, CNN reported.

Those affected are mostly in eastern China, with 33 cases and 11 deaths in Shanghai, 24 cases and three deaths in Jiangsu Province, 38 cases and five deaths in Zhejiang Province, and three cases and one death in Anhui Province. Beijing has reported one case and Henan Province has had three cases.

Officials are concerned the disease can pass from person to person, but there have been no signs of this happening, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"Right now it is still an animal virus that rarely infects humans," said Dr. Michael O'Leary, the head of the WHO's office in Beijing.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 40 percent of patients with H7N9 had not come into contact with poultry.

The government suspended the sale of wild birds Thursday to try to halt the spread of the virus.

Xinhua reported a large number of birds have been slaughtered.

O'Leary warned the mass killing of poultry was premature.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/04/22/Chinese-cases-of-bird-flu-rise-to-102-20-dead/UPI-60861366629256/#ixzz2RCQeb8vP