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Friday, July 1, 2016

Puerto Rico Defaults On $2 Billion In Debt Payments

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As expected, Puerto Rico will default on about $2 billion in debt payments Friday, including $780 million in constitutionally-backed general obligation bonds, as governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has issued an executive order authorizing the suspension of payments. In addition, Garcia Padilla also declared states of emergency at the island's biggest public pension - the Commonwealth's Employee Retirement System - which is more than 99% underfunded, as well as the University of Puerto Rico and other agencies Reuters reports. The default will mark the first time a US territory has failed to pay on its general obligation bonds.

"Under these circumstances, these executive orders protect the limited resources available to the agencies listed in these orders and prevents that these can be seized by creditors, leaving Puerto Ricans without basic services," Garcia Padilla's administration said in a statement.

The suspension of payments comes just as the Senate rushed a bill to President Obama that was signed on Thursday, and the bill will now allow Puerto Rico to access a bankruptcy-like debt restructuring process for its roughly $70 billion in debt. As Bloomberg explains, the next phase will now be for the US appointed control board to begin the restructuring negotiation process. The step allows Garcia Padilla to use cash that would otherwise go to investors to avert cuts to schools, policing and health care that Garcia Padilla said would extract a heavy toll on the island where nearly half of the 3.5 million residents live in poverty.

While creditors will now be left to battle it out in the courts, the default will leave large insurers of Puerto Rico's bonds on the hook for payments. As CNBC reports, Assured Guaranty, Ambac and National, a wholly owned subsidiary of MBIA, collectively have more than $800 million in exposure to the total payments due Friday. Assured Guaranty and MBIA back $196.5 million and $173 million in GO bonds respectively. Ambac's largest exposure are $41.7 million in rum tax bonds and $38.6 million on the Public Building Authority GO-guaranteed securities.

As Bloomberg notes, the prospect of an orderly resolution has seen the S&P Puerto Rico bond index rise for the past 23 days, the longest winning streak since 2012. GOs with an 8% coupon and maturing 2035 traded Thursday at an average 66.8 cents on the dollar according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg provides a breakdown of what is due Friday July 1:

General-obligations: About $816 million of principal and interest. Puerto Rico’s constitution stipulates that the government must repay general obligations before other expenses. Garcia Padilla said on Wednesday that the island won’t pay general obligations because there isn’t enough money to cover essential services and pay investors. The commonwealth has $13 billion of general obligations and a default on the securities would be the first payment failure from a state-level borrower on its direct debt since Arkansas in 1933.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: $420 million of principal and interest. The island’s main electricity provider, called Prepa, will avoid defaulting Friday after it reached an agreement with its creditors. Bondholders and insurers will buy bonds from Prepa in a similar arrangement to how the utility averted defaulting on Jan. 1.

Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority: $220 million of principal and interest. The highway agency repays its debt with gas-tax receipts and toll revenue. The authority is expected to pay investors on July 1 from reserve funds already held by the bond trustee, according to S&P Global Ratings. Future payment are uncertain because Puerto Rico has redirected a portion of the agency’s revenue to the general fund. HTA has $6.4 billion of bonds and notes outstanding.

Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority: $207 million of principal and interest. The bonds are repaid with rents that public agencies pay for their office buildings and are guaranteed by the commonwealth. The authority has about $4 billion of bonds outstanding.

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority: $135 million of principal and interest. Island lawmakers are working on legislation intended to allow the water agency to raise money by issuing debt through a newly created entity. If it can’t, the authority has said it may redirect funds used to pay debt to cover overdue bills to contractors and suppliers. It has $4 billion of bonds outstanding.

Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority: $78 million of principal and interest. Called Prifa, the agency has sold the island’s rum-tax bonds. Bond anticipation notes maturing July 1 are expected to default after Puerto Rico said it would instead use the revenue that normally repays Prifa debt to cover essential services instead. Prifa also defaulted on a Jan. 1 interest payment. It has $1.9 billion of bonds outstanding.

Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority: $20.8 million of principal and interest. The authority has reserve funds with its bond trustee to make the July 1 payment, but those funds could dry up for the next payment due Jan. 1 because Puerto Rico is redirecting its revenue, according to S&P. The agency uses hotel-room tax receipts to repay debt. It has $397.7 million of bonds outstanding.

Puerto Rico Pension-Obligation Bonds: $13.9 million of interest. The taxable debt was sold to bolster the island’s nearly depleted pension fund. The bonds are repaid from contributions that the commonwealth and municipalities make to the retirement system. It has $2.9 billion of bonds outstanding.

Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico: $9.1 million of interest. The bank has restricted withdrawals unless they are used for essential services. The bank defaulted May 1 on nearly $400 million that was due. It has $5.1 billion of debt outstanding.

Puerto Rico Public Finance Corp.: $4 million of principal. Since August the agency has failed to pay investors and was the first Puerto Rico agency to default after the legislature failed to appropriate needed funds. It has $1.1 billion of debt outstanding.

"I want to let the people of Puerto Rico know that although there are still some tough work that we're going to have to do to dig Puerto Rico out of the hole that it's in, this indicates how committed my administration is to making sure that they get the help they need." Obama told reports before signing the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). As for Puerto Rico, the only lesson that the commonwealth has learned is that if it gets too leveraged, it can just discharge the debts through a quasi-bailout and all will be well

Credit to Zero Hedge

Leaders Plan Muslim, Christian, Jewish Interfaith Worship Center in Jerusalem

“A Song of Ascents; of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalms 133:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Photo: emka74 / Shutterstock.com

Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders are planning to open an interfaith place of worship in Jerusalem for one week in September, The Media Line reported.

From Sept. 5-11, a Jerusalem structure currently known as the Alpert Youth Music Center will become “AMEN,” a place of worship for the three Abrahamic faiths sharing “a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.”

The worship center is being created as part of the annual Mekudeshet (“Blessed”) festival, which is part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture initiative.

Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, the religious leader and founder of the Zion synagogue community in Jerusalem, said that this type of joint worship “is very natural for an entire sector of the public. You pray together. It goes back to the most ancient ways people here in this city prayed, and prayed communally, so communicated. Today we live in categories that, frankly, we could do without.”

Sheikh Ihab Balha of the Islamic College in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, who represents the Sufi Muslim community in Jaffa, said that “our reality is that in the State of Israel and with the Palestinians we live in a reality of war and with media that harm people left and right and maximize cleavages and estrangement, and we have leaders that maintain this attitude—it’s clear as light. So we intend creating something religious and true against the lie that everything is a lie and only war exists.”

“We people of faith believe that the distance of politicians and leaders from the world of religious life and we have come to see that it is specifically religion that can bring peace, not contentious negotiations,” he added.

Credit to breakingisraelnews.com
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/70931/muslim-christian-jewish-leaders-plan-interfaith-worship-center-jerusalem/#PbKYkdMZGAg23pHG.99

200,000 Tibetans, Including 62 Buddhist monks, Turned From False Gods to Jesus Christ

Buddhist Convert Becomes Pastor in Tibet

All the revival needed was the first spark of a Tibetan monk. When he converted to Christianity last year, the revival fire exploded. Now, more than 200,000 Tibetans have accepted Jesus into their lives, according to multiple reports.

Asian Access' Joel Handley says he believes much of the faith sweeping the region stems from Christian response to the devastating Nepalese earthquake more than a year ago.

"They haven't seen Buddhists, Hindus or other religious groups helping in the midst of the rubble. Rather, week after week, it is the followers of Jesus who have proved the test of time, sacrificed their own lives to serve and been the hands and feet of Jesus," Handley says.

Asian Access wants to build the Kingdom of God throughout Asia using local leaders, according to their website.

"As we focus on that demographic, we want to develop leaders who are growing in Christlikeness. We focus on urging each leader to nurture their love relationship with God; this produces character and being molded into Christ's image. 

But it's more than simply growing personally. As a result of participating in the A2 Leader Development program, we want graduates to be more Christlike leaders, too. Because they are positive role models, this affects everyone in each leader's leads," their site reads.

The organization works all over the continent and into Eurasia, from Afghanistan to Cambodia to Kasakhstan to Turkmenistan to Vietnam.

"Asian Access just has the privilege of coming alongside key pastors like the ones that have invested in this Tibetan priest's life," Handley says. "We invest deeply, building their capacity so they can reach their communities."

Credit to charismanews.com


Brexit “Another Crack in the Dam”, Says End of Days Rabbi

“Where no wise direction is, a people falleth; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 (The Israel Bible™)

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Brexit-BIN.jpg

Photo: Breaking Israel News

Over the past few days, the internet has been on fire with memes, commentary and conjecture about what Brexit means for the world. Some are concerned with the political and economic consequences. Some opine that it will be good for Israel and some assert the exact opposite.

Breaking Israel News investigated whether there are prophetic implications in the UK’s decision to exit the European Union.

One widely proposed opinion is that Brexit is a perfect expression of God’s Divine justice. The Jewish concept of middah kneged middah (measure for measure) is a theological understanding of the way God dispenses perfect justice. In this case, the European Union has been attempting to dismantle Israel by supporting Israel’s enemies. According to the principle of middah kneged middah, the Godly punishment is that the EU itself is now beginning to unravel.

Others have suggested that, as redemption nears, God is fulfilling the words of Genesis 12:3, settling scores with nations that have mistreated the Jewish people.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse. Genesis 12:3

In that context, the consequences of Brexit can be seen as God beginning to curse the British nation for their historical actions against His Chosen People. For example, as is well-known, in the 1930s and 1940s, the British, who had political dominion over the Land of Israel, cooperated with the Arabs of Palestine against the Jews. Today, the consistent anti-Israel bias of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is well-documented.

The strongest connection being made between Brexit and redemption comes from End of Days expert Rabbi Pinchas Winston who sees Brexit as “yet another crack in the dam” that holds absolute chaos back.

“We know that chaos is an underlying force within Creation, a historical undercurrent. It is the stage on which history is acted out,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News.

“Humans use our free will to bring order to chaos. That’s how we earn reward in the World to Come.” Using free will, humankind once had the potential to bring in messianic era peacefully, Rabbi Winston explained.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston (Photo: Courtesy)

However, the opportunity to do so has passed. Since we failed to use our free will to escort humanity into redemption in a peaceful, orderly way, it is chaos that will introduce the Messianic era.

Rabbi Winston quoted the Talmudic idea that “God made a condition with Creation. If the Jews kept the Torah, chaos will be kept under wraps,” but if not, the world will revert to a state of turbulence, as it was before Creation.

“Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

The worldwide instability that Brexit is expected to introduce is, according to Rabbi Winston another “crack in the dam.” Brexit is an example of how chaos is running amok in the world and “healing won’t come until the Messianic age comes.”

Looking to the situation in the US, Rabbi Winston commented to Breaking Israel News that President Obama is “leaving the world in way more chaos than [former President] Bush did. He has sped up messianism by leaving the world far more chaotic [than when he entered office].”

Finally, 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Pico agreement between the UK and France. This secret agreement gave Britain dominion over the Land of Israel. Asked whether this anniversary is related to Brexit, Rabbi Winston said, “It’s no coincidence. [This anniversary] makes us realize that [Brexit] is part of an ongoing historical process. We don’t believe in random events. In addition, the number 100 is very significant in Kabbalah (Judaism’s mystical tradition).”

Credit to 
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/70878/brexit-another-crack-dam-says-end-days-rabbi/#71osSxc1t4f0KK90.99

The Government Wants To Microchip All Kids, are you ready?

The U.S. government intends to further their control over the lives of Americans by introducing microchipping for children in the near future.

As time goes by, the government seems to want to regulate the lives of Americans more and more. Sometimes these decisions for further regulation actually help the American people, but this is still up for debate depending on who you are, and sometimes, the reasons behind these decisions are dubious and must be called into question.

The latter scenario has been occurring recently as news of the future of tracking people has been spread around.

The concept is simple but the implications behind it are serious: the U.S. government intends to introduce microchipping for children in the near future in an effort to better keep track of them.

Though it’s easy to say that this technology would simply protect children from being kidnapped or getting lost, it goes much deeper than that. Proponents of microchipping, such as mother of three Steffany Rodriguez-Neely, have pointed out that,

“If it’ll save my kid, there’s no stuff that’s too extreme. Microchipping would be an extra layer of protection, if something bad does happen.” She added, “If a small chip the size of a grain of rice could have prevented a tragedy, I think most parents would have said, ‘I think I would have done it.’”

Credit: Mirror Spectrum

Rodriguez-Neely doesn’t seem to take into account what having a microchip could mean for the child once they grow up or what else the microchip might be used for without the parent’s or child’s permission.

Electronics expert Stuart Lipoff attempts to compare microchips in humans to barcodes on products in the store, but also falls short. He told NBC,

“When barcodes first came out in the late 1960s, people were appalled. They were wary of them and did not understand the concept. Today, it is so commonplace, we don’t even notice it. A microchip would work much in the same way.”

There is a significant difference between barcodes that identify and hold information about products and tracking devices that store records inside of people. Some microchips may only work when they are scanned, but others used in pets can also track the location of the pet at all times using GPS, and that’s where the true concern lies.

If parents are able to gain access to their child’s location, there’s a likelihood that this information could be hacked and complete strangers could also track them.

In addition, the children are stripped of their freedom to choose whether they want the chip implanted in them and must live with the decision their parents make for them for the rest of their lives.

One argument in favor of the microchip is the ease with which information about a person can be stored and retrieved, such as important medical records, bank accounts, and much more. However, is the convenience of the chip worth the unforeseen troubles that would accompany the introduction of this device?

The idea behind the microchip conjures up thoughts of science-fiction tales gone awry, but the choice would ultimately, or at least hopefully, be given to citizens. If they embrace it with open arms, microchips could become the norm, but if they reject it, the idea would fade away like many others.

If NBC reporter Melanie Michael, who interviewed several people to uncover facts and opinions about the future of the microchip, is right, then this technology could be introduced “sooner rather than later.”

Credit to trueactivist.com
Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/the-government-wants-to-microchip-all-kids-sooner-rather-than-later/

The stock market it's going to skyrocket because Federal Reserve is Using Major Banks To Prop Up Stocks.