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Only ten days to save the Euro?
By Ben Traynor - CommodityOnline.com
The signs are growing that the European Central Bank may be preparing to take drastic action within the next fortnight. It is now being widely reported that there 'only ten days left to save the Euro'. Even Metro – the free newspaper found discarded by commuters on British trains and buses each morning – made it their front page splash today.
The FT's Wolfgang Munchau was pushing this meme earlier in the week – but it was European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn that really got it going with these comments yesterday:
"We are now entering the critical period of ten days to complete and conclude the crisis response of the European Union...There is no one single Silver bullet that will get us out of this crisis."
The Fed’s European "Rescue":
Another back-door US Bank / Goldman bailout?
By Nomi Prins, author, journalist
In the wake of chopping its Central Bank swap rates today, the Fed has been called a bunch of names: a hero for slugging the big bailout bat in the ninth inning, and a villain for printing money to help Europe at the expense of the US. Neither depiction is right.
The Fed is merely continuing its unfettered brand of bailout-economics, promoted with heightened intensity recently by President Obama and Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner in the wake of Germany not playing bailout-ball. Recall, a couple years ago, it was a uniquely American brand of BIG bailouts that the Fed adopted in creating $7.7 trillion of bank subsidies that ran the gamut from back-door AIG bailouts (some of which went to US / some to European banks that deal with those same US banks), to the purchasing of mortgage-backed–securities, to near zero-rate loans (for banks).
Central Bank Chief Hints at Stepping Up Euro Support
By JACK EWING - NYTimes.com
FRANKFURT — Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, laid the groundwork for a more aggressive response to the debt crisis Thursday, suggesting that the bank could increase its support for the European economy if political leaders took more radical steps to enforce spending discipline among members.
In the run-up to a meeting of European leaders late next week, Mr. Draghi’s remarks seemed to be part of a larger effort by the bank and the region’s biggest economic powers — Germany and France — to lay the foundation for a broader rescue without seeming to compromise their principles.
European Central Bank head
hints at more action if euro countries curb spending
By Anthony Faiola - WashingtonPost.com
LONDON — The head of the European Central Bank signaled Thursday that the institution might be willing to take more-aggressive steps to stem the region’s debt crisis, but only if the17 nations that share the euro unite behind a plan that could tame years of runaway spending.
While falling well short of a pledge to attack Europe’s debt turbulence with the same rigor the Federal Reserve used against the U.S. financial crisis three years ago, the statements Thursday open the door for a potentially critical shift in policy that could provide a long-elusive fix to the region’s fiscal woes.
IMF May Get G-20 Help to Counter Europe Crisis
By Sandrine Rastello and Raymond Colitt - WashingtonPost.com
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said Group of 20 nations are prepared to boost the fund’s resources as the European debt crisis threatens the global recovery.
"If circumstances require, the G-20 will commit the resources that are necessary for the IMF to play its systemic role," she said during a joint press conference with Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega in Brasilia today. "That gives you a range that is almost without a cap, without a limitation."
Euro Crisis and the Transformation of European Democracy
As non-democratic market forces overtake popular will, the continent may have to fundamentally alter how it governs
By Heather Horn - TheAtlantic.com
With the financial crisis, the debt crisis, and the worldwide coverage of Occupy Wall Street, capitalism has been under fire publicly for quite some time in Europe. Since the debt crisis started to show real potential for damaging the euro zone, both the euro and the European Union have had their futures dissected as well. The question has been this: can the European federal project survive the debt crisis? But now, that question is being repeated with a more melodramatic substitution: can democracy survive the debt crisis?
At first across-the-pond glance, this public hand-wringing seems to suggest that the continent should be sedated until it can pull itself together. Why is "democracy" -- the entire concept and practice -- being brought into this?
Uncoordinated Coordinated Action
By Eric Fry - DailyReckoning.com
12/01/11 Laguna Beach, California – "I don’t care what the other kids are doing," my mother used to say, "you’re not doing it!… If the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you?"
Until yesterday, I always thought her question was rhetorical. But now I realize the correct answer should have been "Yes"
All the major central banks of the world jumped off a cliff yesterday…and the European Central Bank (ECB) jumped right after them.
Almost everyone watching the event unfold hailed this "coordinated central bank intervention" as a powerful and courageous step toward "ending the crisis."
But central bank intervention never ends a crisis; it merely pretends to. When the world’s major central banks jumped off a cliff yesterday into "Hyperinflation Gulch," they did not begin soaring toward resolution; they began plummeting toward demolition.
Wall Street Pushed Federal Reserve for Europe Action
[Google title for free article pass]
By SUSAN PULLIAM - WSJ.com $$
Wall Street executives, in a private meeting with a top Federal Reserve official in late September, recommended a coordinated effort by central banks to remedy the European financial crisis, according to Fed documents received in an open-records request.
The meeting, led by Louis Bacon, founder of hedge fund Moore Capital Management, preceded a joint action Wednesday by the world's major central banks, which banded together to provide liquidity to the markets through cheap U.S. dollar loans.
Ben Bernanke Beats Deflationists
Into Submission With His Money Stick
BY JEFF BERWICK - FinancialSense.com
We've got a new slogan for deflationists. Deflationists: Wrong Since the Advent of Fiat Currency.
It's been the never-ending, battle royale of the economic world ever since the looming end to this financial system became starkly clear in 2008. Will the western governments, almost all completely incapable of paying the gargantuan debts enabled by democracy, central banking and fiat currency, allow the system to collapse (deflation) or worm their way out of it via inflation, until we live in a hyperinflationary apocalypse?
The Corruption Continues…
By Bill Bonner - DailyReckoning.com
12/01/11 Baltimore, Maryland – Is the Great Correction still underway? Yes it is! The Wall Street Journal reports:
Consumers continued to cut debt levels in the third quarter, largely as they pulled back from the housing market again, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday.
For the most recent quarter, overall debt loads for households fell 0.6% from the prior quarter, for a drop of around $60 billion to $11.66 trillion. The bank said mortgage balances recorded on consumer credit reports fell by 1.3%, or $114 billion, while home equity lines increase by 2.3%. The retreat in mortgage borrowings was the primary driver of the overall drop in consumer borrowing.
Stocks Get by With a Little Help From Our Fed
By Lawrence Kudlow - PatriotPost.us
It's often said that help comes to those who help themselves. But Europe can't seem to help itself. So on Wednesday, the U.S. Fed came to the rescue. And that rescue triggered a global stock market rally, including a near 500-point gain in the United States.
Basically, the Fed is making it cheaper for Europe to borrow dollars. And this dollar backstop symbolically shows that the Fed, the European Central Bank and other big central banks are not going to permit a 2008-type credit freeze and financial meltdown.
Senate panel weighs congressional insider-trading ban
By Kimberly Kindy - WashingtonPost.com
Senators said at a hearing Thursday that Congress should quickly pass a bill that clearly prohibits its members and their staffs from trading stock based on nonpublic information they gather on Capitol Hill.
In a two-hour hearing before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, members and witnesses said swift action was necessary because the public’s faith in Congress is at "an all-time low."
Banks Act, Stocks Surge and Skeptics See a Pattern
By CHRISTINE HAUSER - NYTimes.com
A move announced by central bankers on Wednesday to contain theEuropean debt crisis resulted in euphoria in global stock markets, but it also prompted skeptics to wonder: will this time be different?
As the crisis has worsened over the last 18 months, pronouncements of plans to fix the euro zone debt problems have led to more than a half-dozen rallies that just as quickly withered as the proposals fell short of hopes.
Wednesday’s rally was among the biggest yet, with the three main indexes on Wall Street rising 4 percent or more, and the Dow Jones industrial average rising 490.05 points, its largest gain since March 23, 2009. Still, some analysts warned that the central banks’ action addressed only some symptoms of the euro financial crisis, so this rally, too, could evaporate.
Bank Funds Won’t Cover MF Global Shortfall, Trustee Says
By Silla Brush and Robert Schmidt - Bloomberg.com
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- MF Global Inc., the futures brokerage that collapsed on Oct. 31, will have a shortfall in customer funds even if all the money in customer accounts at U.S. depository institutions is recovered, the trustee overseeing the firm’s bankruptcy said.
James W. Giddens, the trustee, has said there may be as much as $1.2 billion in missing funds. MF Global Inc. was a subsidiary of MF Global Holdings Ltd., the New York-based firm run by Jon S. Corzine that failed after making $6.3 billion in wrong-way bets on European sovereign debt.
More charges coming in insider trading probe
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Katya Wachtel
(Reuters) - A year after four hedge funds were raided as part of a sweeping probe into insider trading, agents are ready to arrest as many as three people who worked at the raided funds, sources familiar with the investigation said.
These arrests are expected to take place in the coming weeks, and some of the people will plead guilty to charges of insider trading, the sources said.
The sources declined to be named because the impending arrests have not yet been made public.
Congressional Insider Trading:
Will Someone Please Guard the Damn Guardians?
By Megan McArdle - TheAtlantic.com
Presumably thanks to the 60 Minutes story that ran a few weeks ago, Congress is finally looking at passing a bill aimed at Congressional insider trading.
Unfortunately, insider trading expert and first-class blogger Professor Bainbridge says that the version they've taken up is, to quote him "bizarre and toothless":
Read literally, the bill prohibits insider trading by members of Congress only if the member not only personally trades on the basis of such information but also tips the information to "another person" with intent to aid that other person to use the information to trade for personal profit.
The Y-T-D Performance of Various Assets:
Gold, Silver, US Stocks, Bonds, and AAPL
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
And the winner is gold, at least for now with one month left in the year.
I included AAPL because it is the poster child for the stock rally and is often touted by shills for Wall Street and the hedge funds as a superior investment amongst stocks on chat boards and 'news programs.'
It should be noted that recently the US 30 Year Bond has greatly outperformed the US 10 Year Note because of the Fed's 'Operation Twist.' It has still underperformed gold in the short term at about 19% unless you wish to compare some derivative of the bond like zero coupons or a fund rather than the bond plus accrued interest. The discrepancy there between the bond and the derivatives is most likely an indication of speculation based on the Fed's actions.
What 50 years of market experience speaks of gold
The Gold Report: Ian, you have been involved in the markets for 50 years. How much of today's market is a repeat of a cycle you've seen before and how much is unique?
Ian McAvity: Cyclical and secular trends haven't really changed, but each one has slightly different characteristics. From 1982 to 2000, there was a powerful secular uptrend in the S&P 500. Since 2000, there's been a secular bear trend, sideways or downtrend not dissimilar to 1966–1982 or 1932–1949 that may run through 2016 or 2018
Putting a Gleam in Your IRA
By Terry Coxon, Casey Research - GoldSeek.com
You likely have seen invitations to open a "Gold IRA" or something with a similar name. Perhaps you should, but before you do, think about why an Individual Retirement Account might or might not be a good place to hold gold. That may tell you something about the best way to introduce gold into your IRA.
Gold isn't the only investment that raises the "Does it belong in an IRA?" question. Every investment does. And for every investment, the answer is, "It depends." It depends on the nature of the other assets in your overall portfolio. It depends on how big the IRA is compared to your total holdings. And it depends on your judgment as to which investments are likely to be the most profitable..
Iran identifies fresh gold reserves worth $3.6 billion
Amidst continuing political standoffs with the West, Iran said it identified gold reserves of nearly sixty tons lying across the nation.
TEHRAN (BullionStreet): Amidst continuing political standoffs with the West, Iran said it identified gold reserves of nearly sixty tons lying across the nation.
According to Geological Survey of Iran (GSI), Sixty tons of gold reserves, valued at around $3.6 billion, have been explored at different points across the country.
The GSI said the total proven and probable gold reserves of Iran stand currently at 320 tons.
Venezuela deploys troop to safeguard repatriated gold
Venezuela deployed troops to safeguard the first batch of repatriated gold, now sits in country's central bank vaults here.
CARACAS (BullionStreet): Venezuela deployed troops to safeguard the first batch of repatriated gold, now kept in central bank vaults here.
According to central bank spokesman the ecurity operation involving 500 men, armored vehicles and aircraft.
He said 500 heavily armed men, as well as aircraft, armored vehicles and tanks, were involved in safeguarding the shipment.
Each box of gold weighs 500 kilograms and is worth about $30 million, spokesman said adding that the nation will bring the rest back little by little.
'Silver, still a safe place to retain our value'
By Vitaly Indinko - CommodityOnline.com
Today's investing horizon can seem like a sea of roiling turmoil. Not too long ago, many of us were considering how we'd spend our early retirement. The boom times of the middle of the decade seemed prosperous for all. Recently however we're more concerned with just staying above the dangerous waters that seem to be rising around us. In this kind of environment, many of us are considering the merits of investments like Silver bullion.
As a commodity, silver bullion has some very appealing qualities for a period of uncertainty like this. For those of us concerned about inflation, commodities can provide a level of protection that cash cannot. If we're worried about inflation devouring our net worth, a precious metal like silver can provide a safe place to retain our value. This safety is one of the key reasons precious metals are so popular right now.
Mass. AG hits big banks with foreclosure lawsuit
By Tim McLaughlin and Aruna Viswanatha
(Reuters) - The Massachusetts attorney general has filed a lawsuit against five large U.S. banks accusing them of deceptive foreclosure practices, a signal of ebbing confidence that a multi-state agreement can be worked out.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Thursday she filed the lawsuit partly because it has been taking too long to hammer out a nationwide settlement.
For more than a year, state and federal officials have been negotiating a deal in which banks would pay billions of dollars in fines - to go toward housing relief - in exchange for legal protection against future suits.
Anticipating a Correction in the Global Monetary System
By Bill Bonner - DailyReckoning.com
12/01/11 Baltimore, Maryland – Whoa! The Dow rose almost 500 points yesterday. Whoopee! Hallelujah!
It was like the Second Coming on Wall Street. As if He walked across the East River…and announced it Himself:
"The fix is in."
But it was not the sacred that spoke yesterday. It was the profane. The world’s central banks, to be precise. They got together. More like a meeting of mobsters than a gathering of the gods. They made it clear.
You want money? You want cash? You want something you can take to the bank? Well, you’ve got it!
"A move by the world’s central banks to lower the cost of borrowing exhilarated investors Wednesday," the Associated Press reports, "sending the Dow Jones industrial average soaring 490 points and easing fears of a global credit crisis similar to the one that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers."
A Call to Abolish the FEC
The federal commission has failed at the task of enforcing campaign finance rules and should be replaced
by Adam Skaggs - TheAtlantic.com
The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are as far apart on the political spectrum as possible, but both cry foulat the capture of government by special interests. Left and right alike agree that elected officials shouldn't finance their campaigns with contributions from the industries they regulate.
But even stanching the flow of favor-seeking dollars to our representatives won't address the potential corruption that flows from soft money spent by supposedly "independent" groups. To safeguard our democracy, we need strong rules that will bring transparency and accountability to this outside spending -- and an oversight agency that can, and will, enforce them.
"In retrospect, I wish we had put more people in handcuffs."
Eliot Spitzer was a law enforcement official so tough on corporate malfeasance that the US Chamber of Commerce helped coin a new term "Spitzerism" to describe what he was doing. As New York Attorney General, Spitzer pioneered a strategy of using state resources to enforce laws that were typically within Federal jurisdiction. He pursued standard consumer rights cases that most state attorneys general find as their bread and butter, but he also went after white collar crimes and Wall Street conflicts of interest that came to light after the bursting of the internet bubble.
Since a scandalous fall from grace as New York Governor, Spitzer has picked up his aggressive law enforcement chops as a writer and spokesman for law and order. He has become one of the most outspoken opponents of the Federal Reserve and the generally lax Federal regulatory environment. He was on our show yesterday, talking about the power of the banks, the Fed’s secret loans, MF Global, and Citigroup.
Detroit gambles on lottery to avoid bankruptcy
Lawmakers Hope To Make Money With Detroit-Only Lottery
DETROIT (WWJ) - Would a city-run lottery in Detroit solve the city’s financial problems? One state lawmaker thinks so.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports that state Rep. Dr. Jimmy Womack, D-Detroit, is drafting legislation to start a "Detroit only" lottery. He plans to meet with the state lottery commission next week.
The idea is the brainchild of Councilman Kwame Kenyatta, and it comes in the midst of a Detroit financial crisis that has created the threat of massive layoffs, service cuts, and even potential insolvency.
Unemployment aid applications up for 2nd straight week
By Christopher S. Rugaber - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying forunemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was mostly unchanged at slightly below 400,000.
The average fell to a seven-month low two weeks ago. Weekly applications had been declining for two months.
18 Crazy Facts Which Show
That No Nation On Earth Is More Doped Up
On Prescription Drugs Than America Is
Anyone that comes to visit America may notice that most of us walk around like a bunch of zombies. Well, the truth is that this is because about half of us are completely doped up on prescription drugs. In America, we don't just take pills if we are sick. In this day and age, the pharmaceutical companies have come up with a pill for just about everything. If we are feeling a little sad, we are told to just pop a pill. If we are feeling a little bit of pain, we are told to just pop a pill. If our children like to run around and play, we are told that giving them the right pills will settle them down. Every single year, prescription drug use in America increases, and there are dozens of different pharmaceutical companies that are making billions of dollars off of our "legal" addiction to drugs. The funny thing is that many of these "legal" drugs are only just the slightest bit different from many of the "illegal" drugs that are being sold out on the streets. But because they have "government approval", the big pharmaceutical companies can relentlessly peddle them to the American public. Many of these drugs are very damaging to our health, many of them are very damaging to our ability to think and many of them are extremely addictive.
Diabetes breakthrough stalled in safety debate
By Julie Steenhuysen
(Reuters) - It's a dream of medical science that looks tantalizingly within reach: the artificial pancreas, a potential breakthrough treatment for the scourge of type 1 diabetes.
Meant to mimic the function of a real pancreas, the artificial version is a complex device that combines a pager-sized continuous glucose monitor and sensor that tracks blood sugar with a pump that automatically delivers the correct dose of insulin at just the right time.
That technology could make a major difference to the three million Americans with the disease who must vigilantly monitor their blood sugar, even at night, and risk deadly consequences if they are slow to notice a dangerous change.
Sebelius: Health a national security issue
By Bruce Smith - AP - TheSunNews.com
CHARLESTON -- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that America’s health is a matter of national security and that she’s optimistic the Supreme Court will uphold the nation’s health care reform law.
During a visit to the South Carolina coast, Sebelius spoke with a black nurses group and then was to attend a conference on improving access to health care.
The nation’s health "really is an issue of national security," she told the nurses group, adding that a healthy, productive work force "is an essential part of our prosperity."
Social Security teeters over tax cut plan
Obama stimulus ploy would hasten day when system dodders
By Donald Lambro and Donald Lambro - The Washington Times
Congress is working on extending the employee Social Security payroll tax cut for one more year and possibly cut it for employers, too. But no one’s talking about how much revenue this will drain from a fund that’s already turned "cash negative."
President Obama was campaigning in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, bashing Republicans for opposing all of his tax increases, and pointing out that if the temporary payroll tax cut is killed, it would mean a 2 percent tax hike for tens of millions of workers. In fact, Republicans have signaled they have every intention of extending the tax cut, although they want to offset its substantial deficit costs with budget cuts elsewhere in the government.
How Google Doodles Are Made
By DINO GRANDONI1 - TheAtlantic.com
Google Doodles have become the best success story of corporate branding in recent years: they're addictingly fun, go viral instantly, and create some positive press for a company that otherwise gets criticized for its privacy shenanigans. Which is probably why The Daily today decided to take a look at the lucky four Doodlers employed by Google to rebrand its six-letter logo again and again. Like many Googlers, Doodle artist Jennifer Hom is the obsessive type. "We’re constantly coming up with new ideas for doodles," she says. “I dream about Doodles in my sleep." (The latest Doodle she dreamt up was of the fence-painting scene in Tom Sawyer, pictured above, up today for Mark Twain's birthday.) And while the Doodles themselves are all fun and games (sometimes literally), making them isn't:
Is the NLRB Going to Drop Its Case Against Boeing?
Damon W. Root - Reason.com
The Associated Press reports that Boeing is close to striking a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with its unionized employees in Washington state that will likely put a stop to the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial prosecution of the company for opening a new production facility in right-to-work South Carolina. As the AP story notes:
If the deal is finalized, it would appear to leave in place the work at a new $750 million Boeing plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state where the company opened a new production line for its 787 airplane....
The new agreement guarantees that a different aircraft — the 737 Max — would be assembled at union facilities in Renton, Wash., said Tom Wroblewski, president of Machinists Union District 751.
Boeing pact sidesteps NLRB suit
Relocation rights fight to go unsettled?
By Tim Devaney - The Washington Times
Boeing’s abrupt labor deal with its leading union sidesteps any resolution that may have come from a court battle over the powers of the National Labor Relations Board.
While happy that the case is winding down, business groups are disappointed that the NLRB’s lawsuit against the aerospace giant could fizzle and leave the door open for the agency to continue the practice of relocating companies that it thinks violate labor laws.
Boeing, union reach tentative deal to end labor dispute
By Michael A. Fletcher - WashingtonPost.com
The union representing Boeing workers has agreed to a tentative deal that would effectively end the politically charged dispute between the giant airline manufacturer and the National Labor Relations Board.
The agreement, reached Wednesday, would extend the union’s labor contract by four years. The deal offers wage and pension increases to workers, while guaranteeing a period of labor peace long sought by Boeing.
The deal also includes a Boeing commitment to assemble the new 737 MAX in a union shop in Renton, Wash., guaranteeing the kind of job security sought by the union.
Obama Administration Sends Weapons Contract
to Foreign Company with Ties to Iran
What the heck? It's only our national security.
Posted by Ben Howe - RedState.com
Late Thursday night, American company Hawker Beechcraft was informed by the U.S. Air Force that they were not going to be allowed to compete for an American military aircraft contract.
The Air Force has notified Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that its Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from competition to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion, the company said.
The company had been working with the Air Force for two years and spent over $100 million to ensure compliance with the requirements for the plane and says the craft (Beechcraft AT-6) met all requirements as shown through a demonstration actually led by the Air National Guard.
Senate OKs sanctions on Iran’s central bank
Terrorism deal sets up Obama showdown
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
Saying they were fed up with Chinese and Russian stalling on sanctions, senators on Thursday voted to punish both Iran’s central bank and foreign institutions that do business with it — moving further than the Obama administration has been willing to go.
Minutes earlier, senators also struck a last-minute deal that guarantees habeas-corpus rights to American citizens held as terrorism suspects, though it preserved new language giving the military first crack at detaining them if they are suspected of being part of al Qaeda.
China's Superior Economic Model
The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history.
By ANDY STERN - WSJ OPINION
Andy Grove, the founder and chairman of Intel, provocatively wrote in Businessweek last year that, "Our fundamental economic beliefs, which we have elevated from a conviction based on observation to an unquestioned truism, is that the free market is the best of all economic systems—the freer the better. Our generation has seen the decisive victory of free-market principles over planned economies. So we stick with this belief largely oblivious to emerging evidence that while free markets beat planned economies, there may be room for a modification that is even better."
The past few weeks have proven Mr. Grove's point, as our relations with China, and that country's impact on America's future, came to the forefront of American politics. Our inert Senate, while preparing for the super committee to fail, crossed the normally insurmountable political divide to pass legislation to address China's currency manipulation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama all weighed in with their views—ranging from warnings that China must "end unfair discrimination" (Mrs. Clinton) to complaints that the U.S. has "been played like a fiddle" (Mr. Romney) and that China needs to stop "gaming" the international system (Mr. Obama).
Familiarity with Putin breeding contempt
By Marc Bennetts - Special to The Washington Times
MOSCOW — Popular support for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putinand his ruling party is falling as voters prepare for Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
"Opposition to Putin is huge, and it’s growing rapidly," said Moscow-based journalist Alexei Korolyov.
"Every day, there are more and more people asking themselves, 'Why did I go for this guy 10 years ago?' And you hear people say this everywhere, not only in Moscow or St. Petersburg."
The Real Reasons Why Canada is Withdrawing from Kyoto
Written by James Burgess - OilPrice.com
The Kyoto Protocol was drawn up at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with the aim of fighting global warming. It was first adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and has since earned 191 state signatures. All who sign it legally agree to reduce, before 2012, their carbon emission by 6% from their 1990 emission level. It is currently the only legally binding accord that forces countries to reduce their carbon gas emissions, but it isn’t perfect. In fact many of the largest polluting countries such as the US, India, China and Brazil aren’t included in the agreement.
Canada are now using this excuse to justify their own withdrawal from the treaty as Environment Minister Peter Kent has stated that "their (the other countries) exclusion is part of the reason Canada is looking to withdraw from the accord."
NATO attack threatens war on militants: Pakistan
By Chris Allbritton and Zeeshan Haider
(Reuters) - Pakistan, enraged by a NATO cross-border attack that killed 24 soldiers, could end support for the U.S.-led war on militancy if its sovereignty is violated again, the foreign minister said, warning that "enough is enough."
The South Asian nation has already shown its anger over the weekend strike by pulling out of an international conference in Germany next week on Afghanistan, depriving the talks of a central player in efforts to bring peace to its neighbor.
"Enough is enough. The government will not tolerate any incident of spilling even a single drop of any civilian or soldier's blood," The News newspaper on Thursday quoted Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar as telling a Senate committee on foreign affairs.
Al-Qaeda holding American hostage in Pakistan
Al-Qaeda says it kidnapped Warren Weinstein in Pakistan
Al-Qaeda says it has 70-year-old US aid expert Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped by armed men in the Pakistani city of Lahore nearly four months ago.
In a video, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said he would be freed if the US stopped air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, among other demands.
Mr Weinstein is a former USAID worker who has lived in Pakistan for five years.
US officials have not said publicly who they believed was holding him.
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