Wednesday, May 27, 2015
By Matti Bernhardt
The Abdeen Court of Urgent Matters in Cairo, Egypt, stated on Monday that it has no legal authority to consider a lawsuit demanding the designation of Israel as a ‘terrorist state’ Egyptian media reported.
The decision come after an NGO called the Nedal Center for Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF) filed the case against the President, the Foreign Minister, and the Minster of Defense to issue a decree labelling Israel a ‘terrorist state’.
“Israel is an icon of terror in the region. This view does not need endorsement by an Egyptian court or anyone else to state it as a fact,” the Hamas terrorist organization said on Tuesday according to Turkish media.
“Israel’s crimes are committed before all media outlets and before the entire world,” they claimed.
The case also called for banning the sale of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Liberation newspaper in Egypt over “blasphemy against Prophet Mohamed.”
Credit to jewishpress.com
The Red Dragon Is Unhappy With Petrus Romanus Ordering Chinese Catholics’ To Pledge Allegiance To Vatican
Pope Francis on Wednesday called on Chinese Catholics to remain their allegiance to Vatican and to stay with the Church in Rome, in a move that is expected a rebuke from the communist Chinese regime.
The Holy Father’s appeal comes ahead of Sunday’s feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, celebrated throughout the world on May 24. The day is also as a day of prayer for Chinese Catholics, which was established in 2007 by Benedict XVI, said official News.va.
Pope Francis said in his weekly general audience in the Saint Peter’s square, “Ask Mary to help Catholics in China to be ever more credible witnesses of this merciful love in the midst of their people, and to live spiritually united to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.”
Pope Francis also noted that the statue at the Shrine of Sheshan depicts Mary holding the Child Jesus in the air with his arms outstretched “in a gesture of love and mercy.” The Vatican state has no diplomatic ties with Chine since 1951 since Mao Zedong gained control of the country.
The Vatican state has no diplomatic ties with Chine since 1951 since Mao Zedong gained control of the country. However, Pope Francis called for the normalization of diplomatic relations with China when he visited South Korea in August, reported Agance France Presse. But the pontiff has set conditions, including allowing Chinese Catholics the right to exercise their religion freely. He also called on Beijing to allow the Vatican to appoint bishops there. -
Credit to Gospelherald.com
See more at: http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/55637/20150521/pope-francis-calls-on-chinese-catholics-to-pledge-allegiance-with-vatican.htm#sthash.ULIML2dB.dpuf
The Lt. General Speaks Out
Revelations From the Lt. General
The Establishment’s Need for Foreign Troops
The Nature and Course of the Coming Civil War
Credit to Common Sense
On Tuesday, Greece postponed a scheduled Eurogroup meeting in Brussels without offering a reason as officials conducted “preparatory” discussions and held an evening teleconference with creditors. Face-to-face meetings will take place today with just 9 days to go until June 5 when Athens will miss a payment to the IMF, triggering an unprecedented default the repercussions of which no one can accurately predict.
Also on Tuesday, Greek FinMin Yanis Varoufakis allegedly told Greek reporters that one measure under consideration to help stem the outflow of deposits from Greek banks was a levy on ATM withdrawals designed to encourage the use of credit cards over cash, a rather ironic suggestion coming from a government crippled by debt. The Finance Ministry was quick to deny that such a levy was being considered because after all, one way to ensure that ATM lines will get quite a bit longer is to suggest that depositors will soon be subject to a levy on withdrawals. Unfortunately, it appears as though the move to dispel the ATM tax “rumor” came too late because according to Kathimerini, deposit flight accelerated meaningfully on Tuesday. Here’s more:
Statements suggesting the imposition of capital control measures over the upcoming long weekend, and Tuesday’s reference by the Finance Ministry to the possible imposition of a levy on cash machine withdrawals – later withdrawn – sent many to the ATM. At the same time, bank officials point to widespread concerns about the possibility of a rift between Greece and its creditors over the government’s failure to repay a scheduled installment to the International Monetary Fund next week.Credit sector professionals reported that deposit outflows on Tuesday alone came to 300 million euros, against about 100 million euros per day in recent days. They said that while this amount is quite high, the situation is under control as citizens are remaining calm on the positive messages from Greek officials.On Wednesday the ECB board is expected to decide on a fresh extension of the ELA mechanism following the addition of another 200 million euros last week to a total of 80.2 billion euros. Although pressure by certain ECB council members for a tougher stance toward Greece has grown, sources agree that the ECB will probably avoid making any decisions that could trigger any major developments.
Or perhaps not, because as it turns out, the ECB did not in fact raise the cap on the emergency liquidity lifeline that’s keeping the Greek banking sector afloat, opting instead to keep the ceiling unchanged at €80.2 billion which leaves banks with about €3 billion in remaining liquidity.
Ironically, the ECB cited “very limited deposit withdrawals over past week” as the reason for its decision suggesting that either Greek bank officials are lying about the severity of the outflow or Mario Draghi is deliberately tightening the screws in an effort to help creditors extract concessions from PM Alexis Tsipras. The prevailing assumption had been that the central bank would continue to incrementally raise the ELA cap (the average weekly increase had been around €1.5 billion before last week’s €200 million hike) until Greek banks exhausted their available collateral, said to amount to around an additional €13 billion. That would have allowed banks to offset deposit outflows through the end of July. Now, that assumption looks to be questionable. As a reminder, here’s what the cash situation looks like:
Meanwhile, some officials have now thrown in the towel, with Bloomberg reporting that a deal will not be reached by the end of this month as Greece is “nowhere close” to striking a compromise that’s acceptable to the IMF and the EU:
- GREECE SAID LIKELY TO MISS MAY DEAL DEADLINE AS TALKS STALL
- GREECE SAID TO BE NOWHERE CLOSE TO AGREEMENT WITH CREDITORS
This will come as no surprise to regular readers who will recall that the IMF and the European Commission are now keen to send a strong message in terms of granting no concessions in talks with Greece after anti-austerity parties staged an electoral coup in Spain in Sunday's regional and municipal vote. By making an example of Greece, the troika can effectively discourage other democratically elected governments from pursuing similar mandates and indeed, we're now seeing commentary that suggests giving in to Greece's demands would be worse than Grexit.
Via Bloomberg (note that this is a Portuguese daily interviewing a German official):
The risk of contagion from Greece exiting the euro area is smaller than it was a few years ago, Christoph Schmidt, head of the German government’s council of economic advisers, is cited as saying in an interview done last week with Diario Economico.Fearing a Greek exit to the point of accepting all the conditions that the Greek government demands would be a lot worse than an exit, paper cites Schmidt as saying.
And BlackRock has a similar message to the Greeks:
A Greek exit from the euro area is less disastrous than making concessions, Het Financieele Dagblad reports citing an interview with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.Says that if concessions are made, other countries may also demand them.As an investor, he would be reassured by a decisive Europe.Says it’s unacceptable Alexis Tsipras wants to reverse earlier agreements on reforms.
It's now abundantly clear that the IMF, Brussels, and Berlin will accept nothing less than a wholesale abandonment of Syriza's anti-austerity platform if Tsipras intends to walk away with a deal. Short of that, Syriza will be left to fight for their political life amid what will surely be a catastrophic economic collapse should the country be forced to revert to a parallel currency.
Either way, Greece's creditors will have achieved their goal of using financial leverage to suppress the anti-austerity germ — for now.
Credit to Zero Hedge
James Fanell, the former director of the US Pacific Fleet's intelligence and information, predicted China will eventually have about 415 warships including four aircraft carriers and 100 submarines in the near future while attending a two-day conference held by the US Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute in Newport, Rhode Island last week, reports the Defense News.
The event was held to discuss the PLA Navy's shipbuilding progress and challenges. It concluded that the PLA Navy is making achievements and will continue to grow. Most experts and scholars attending the conference agreed that the PLA Navy has devoted more resources to develop new vessels including destroyers, frigates and submarines armed with with the capability to hit and destroy enemy warships.
"Both surface vessels and subs seem to be largely focused on anti-surface warfare," said Andrew Erickson, one of the experts attending the event. "That doesn't mean they're not working to progress in new directions, but it doesn't seem to have borne as much fruit that we can easily see." A lot of the anti-ship missiles equipped by the Chinese warships or submarines have ranges far in excess of similar missiles in service with the US Navy.
With such a large number of long-range surface-to-surface missiles in hand, the PLA Navy is altering politics and strategies throughout the Asian theater. "The PLA Navy will continue to expand for the next 15 years," said Fanell. He added that the PLA Navy's active defense in the near seas are going to grow while far seas operations will increase. At the same time, Fanell believes that more goodwill deployments will take place.
Along with continued improvements in modular construction, the use of robotics and virtual 3D manufacturing, and a growing preference for indigenous designs of improving quality, Fanell said that the PLA Navy can certainly increase the number of surge deployments and ballistic missile submarine patrols. More carrier strike groups will be established as well. To accomplish this task, China needs about 415 warships by year of 2030.
Fanell said those 415 warships include 99 submarines, four aircraft carriers, 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships, three missile craft, and 102 destroyers and frigates. China's Type 052D guided-missile destroyer may not be as good as the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, but Fanell believes that it is good enough for the PLA Navy since it is fitted with a vertical launch system, the YJ-18 anti-ship missile and an active array radar system.
Credit to China Times