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Federal Orchestrated Debt Tops $15 Trillion:
A Time Bomb Of Another $12.8 Trillion Lies In Wait ~
Total $27.8 Trillion.
BY VOLUBRJOTR - PoliticalVelCraft.org
The Treasury Department said Wednesday that federal debt now tops $15 trillion — a staggering figure that has risen precipitously over the last decade.
The exact debt total stood at $15.034 trillion as of the end of business Tuesday, an increase of $56 billion over Monday’s tally.
All told, federal debt has risen $4.41 trillion since President Obama took office, and is nearly triple the size of the debt in 2001, when PresidentGeorge W. Bush landed in the White House.
Congress earlier this year raised the debt ceiling, which cleared the way for Wednesday’s new record figure, but tasked a special committee with finding ways to at least slow the staggering pace of growth.
Under this summer’s debt deal, the government can only sustain a total debt of $15.194 trillion.
[Beware of the Ruskies and the global elite. They will tell you exactly what they will do to the rest of us, and then proceed to do it. The Russians still want to 'bury US' and the globalists just want to own and control it all, but they need a few intelligent, well-trained slaves to maintain the life style. China and Russia could team up in mutual hatred of America - they both want what we've got left; who would be able to stop them (hint: it's a biblical question)? Watch this video very carefully...]
Six Principles of Global Manipulation
JPMorgan Joins Goldman
Keeping Italy Derivatives Risk in Dark
By Christine Harper and Michael J. Moore - Bloomberg.com
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), among the world’s biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally.
Just don’t ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS.
As concerns mount that those countries may not be creditworthy, investors are being kept in the dark about how much risk U.S. banks face from a default. Firms including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan don’t provide a full picture of potential losses and gains in such a scenario, giving only net numbers or excluding some derivatives altogether.
We're In The Middle Of A Run On Europe—
And It’s Gonna Get Worse
Specifically, a run on European debt.
By Gonzalo Lira
So this morning, I woke up—hung over and alone, except of course for the Nympho Twins and the Thai hooker they insistedwe hire last night—and was confronted with some bond market action that was . . . absurd.
Actually, kind of scary.
Yeah, Italian bonds are back to yielding over 7%, Greek debt is ludicrous (28.85%? Really?) as it has been for the last year, Portuguese 10-years are at 11.29%, the Irish at 8.20%, Spain at 6.33%—numbers that more or less fit where we are supposed to be insofar as the PIIGS are concerned, following the whole Greek Drama and Italian Farce, right?
Debt Diets & Riots: Euro Lose/Lose?
U.S. Banks Face Europe Contagion Risk: Fitch
By Dakin Campbell - Bloomberg.com
U.S. banks face a "serious risk" that their creditworthiness will deteriorate if Europe’s debt crisis deepens and spreads beyond the five most-troubled nations, Fitch Ratings said.
"Unless the euro zone debt crisis is resolved in a timely and orderly manner, the broad credit outlook for the U.S. banking industry could worsen," the New York-based rating company said yesterday in a statement. Even as U.S. banks have "manageable" exposure to stressed European markets, "further contagion poses a serious risk," Fitch said, without explaining what it meant by contagion.
U.S. Stocks Drop
After Fitch Warns of Debt Contagion;
Crude Oil Tops $102
By Michael P. Regan and Rita Nazareth - Bloomberg.com
U.S. stocks fell, erasing yesterday’s gains in benchmark indexes, asFitch Ratings said further contagion from Europe’s debt crisis would pose a risk to American banks. The euro weakened, while oil climbed to a five- month high above $102 a barrel.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 1.7 percent to 1,236.91 at 4 p.m. in New York. Most stocks in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated. The euro slipped 0.6 percent to $1.3460 after losing as much as 0.8 percent. Credit-default swaps insuring Italian and Spanish debt retreated from records and Italy’s 10-year yield fell as the European Central Bank bought the nations’ debt. Oil rallied as Enbridge Inc. (ENB) planned to reverse the direction of a pipeline, potentially alleviating a bottleneck that had reduced prices.
Latin showdown with Germany over ECB
Germany is facing a moment of strategic truth. The sacred union with France that has held together through thick and thin for half a century is in growing danger as contagion spreads North, engulfing the French bond market.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.yk
For EU veterans, the drama has has echoes of 1993 when the Bundesbank ditched orthodoxy to rescue France, after first cutting Britain and Italy adrift in the Exchange Rate Mechanism. But this time the stakes are much higher.
On that occasion, Chancellor Helmut Kohl pulled rank, more of less ordering his bankers to obey. "We must always bow three times before the Tricoleur", as he famously put it.
France and Germany clash over ECB crisis role
By Nicholas Vinocur and James Mackenzie
(Reuters) - France and Germany, Europe's two central powers, have stepped up their war of words over whether the European Central Bank should intervene more forcefully to halt the euro zone's debt crisis after modest bond purchases failed to calm markets.
Facing rising borrowing costs as its 'AAA' credit rating comes under threat, France urged stronger ECB action, adding to mounting global pressure spelled out by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Bond market turmoil is spreading across Europe. Italian 10-year bond yields have risen above 7 percent, unaffordable in the long term. Yields on bonds issued by France, the Netherlands and Austria -- which along withGermany form the core of the euro zone -- have also climbed.
Angela Merkel in bold unity bid to save the euro
Angela Merkel said she would "give up a piece of national sovereignty" to save the euro, amid explosive rows between Germany and its neighbours over bail-outs, fiscal policy and financial taxes.
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
The German Chancellor’s bid for unity, made at a summit with Ireland, was lost on a day of division and deadlock which led to Europe’s core economies being punished by the bond markets yet again.
Italian borrowing costs were pushed to 7.1pc, back into the "bail-out zone", despite radical intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB). Spanish 10-year bond yields at 6.4pc were dangerously close to the danger area, while French bonds remained at record peaks above German bunds.
Jump in euro-zone interest rates hits France
By Howard Schneider and Anthony Faiola - WashingtonPost.com
Borrowing costs for European governments jumped across the board Tuesday, and new data confirmed that the region’s economy is slowing, evidence on two key fronts that leaders of the euro area have yet to contain its stubborn financial crisis.
The rise in interest rates hit Spain, Italy and — perhaps most worrisome — France. French borrowing costs outstripped German costs, which serve as a regional benchmark, by the most since the adoption of the euro more than a decade ago.
Marc Faber - Bloomberg TV - 14 Nov 2011
Spain Set to Purge Banks of Property Hangover
By Charles Penty and Emma Ross-Thomas - Bloomberg.com
Spanish banks face deeper losses on 176 billion euros ($243 billion) of soured real-estate assets as Mariano Rajoy, the favorite to win national elections on Nov. 20, pledges to enforce a cleanup.
"You have to remove any kind of shadow of doubt over the valuation that you have of these assets in your balance sheet," Luis de Guindos, named by newspapers as a contender for finance minister in a newPeople’s Party government formed by Rajoy, said in an interview. De Guindos said he favored stricter rules on how banks account for depreciated land values.
Why we cannot keep trying to breath life into the euro corpse
The world economy is on the brink of recession because those countries which have a natural tendency to spend don't have the money, while those who do have the money don't want to spend it.
By Roger Bootle - Telegraph.co.uk
Because the congenital spenders are also the countries which have built up the most debt, this is also the key to the debt crisis.
At the root of this dual disaster lie two fixed exchange rate systems.
The first is the informal system under which various emerging market currencies are managed against the American dollar. This links the world's biggest congenital spender and deficit country with a series of high growth, and relatively low-spending surplus countries led by China.
The exchange rate aspect is crucial because, if they were free, the currencies of the surplus bloc would rise. This would boost net exports for the US, thus increasing incomes and reducing deficits.
Gadhafi’s Gold-money Plan Would Have Devastated Dollar
By Alex Newman - SilverBearCafe.com
It remains unclear exactly why or how the Gadhafi regime went from "a model" and an "important ally" to the next target for regime change in a period of just a few years. But after claims of "genocide" as the justification for NATO intervention were disputed by experts, several other theories have been floated.
Oil, of course, has been mentioned frequently - Libya is Africa‘s largest oil producer. But one possible reason in particular for Gadhafi's fall from grace has gained significant traction among analysts and segments of the non-Western media: central banking and the global monetary system.
This Will Be The Decade Of Silver -
Interview With Eric Sprott
Patrick MontesDeOca: Mr. Sprott, can you please give us the current situation in terms of price in the silver market? What you might see in the short term as it unfolds in the next six to twelve months, what is your forecast?
Eric Sprott: Sure, I take a longer term view than six to twelve months. I’ve been involved in silver for about probably almost ten years now and of course the price of silver has done wonderful things in that time period even though recently it has come under a lot of pressure. My thesis being that even though the last decade has been the decade of gold, this decade will be the decade of silver. I can only imagine that it will go back to its historical relationship to gold of 16 to one in term of price. And as an example of 16 to one, with gold at $1600 it would suggest that the silver price should be $100. And most of the data that I look at certainly as it pertains to day to day markets, and I don’t mean the Comex, we're not talking about that, we're talking about the physical market for silver, and we have data points that suggest that buying for silver by the public is almost on a ratio of dollars of silver being bought to dollars of gold being bought. We can see that the U.S. Mint’s data that comes out every month, and pretty much every day, so for example, the amount of silver coins being bought through the mint’s service - they sold 50 times the number of silver to gold coins. This month it’s actually running around 70 to one. This really means people are putting as many dollars into silver as they are into gold. But there is nowhere near the amount of silver to invest in as there is gold.
US Federal Prosecutions For Financial Fraud
In the Obama Administration Fall to 20 Year Lows
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
The declines in US Federal prosecutions for financial fraud that began under G.W. Bush have followed that down trend that in the first three years of the Obama Administration. That might make more sense if Obama had not been elected as areform president in response to one of the greatest financial frauds in American history.
In the first three years of the Obama Administration, federal prosecutions have been running at new highs. Over half of the prosecutions involve illegal immigration.Another 17% are drug related.
Illegal immigrants and drug dealers have the reputation for being notoriously cheap in providing campaign contributions.
Prosecutions for financial fraud however have dropped to the lowest levels in over 20 years.
China’s Longer-Term Treasury Holdings Rise
By Daniel Kruger - Bloomberg.com
China, the largest foreign lender to the U.S., boosted its longer-term Treasury holdings in September by the most since March 2010 as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis helped fuel a push for safer assets.
China bought $20.7 billion of U.S. government notes and bonds, raising its total long-term holdings to $1.14 trillion, according to Treasury data released yesterday. The nation’s amount of bills fell 68 percent to $4.4 billion. Overall, China’s position in Treasuries climbed 1 percent to $1.15 trillion, the largest monthly increase since October 2010.
Where you stand on China depends on where you sit
By Chris Oliver, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hedge-fund managers in Asia are more upbeat towards China than their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe, according to industry insiders, who see a growing correlation between China outlooks and where clients are based.
Funds in Hong Kong and other Asian cities tend to see prospects for a Chinese hard landing — often regarded as annual gross domestic product growth cooling to less than 5% — as less probable than a moderation in its growth rate to around the 8% level, consistent with a "soft landing," according to brokers in Hong Kong.
The Coup Continues
'We Have Allowed Our Elected Officials
To Cede Our National Sovereignty To Bankers'
By Andy Sutton - SilverBearCafe.com
Early last December, I wrote a piece entitled 'Crisis or Coup?' in which the anatomy of the 2008 financial crisis was analyzed in further detail and some conclusions drawn. These conclusions were drawn based on facts and actions, not opinions. It was obvious at the time that the USFed and our own government were acting not in the best interests of the people, but rather in the best interests of banks and large corporations. Crony capitalism, as it has often been called - where profits are kept and losses are written off or passed on to the 'Plebeians' of a particular society - ramped into high gear in the US. Remember the fact that the absurd financial structure that is in place was the 'solution' to a crisis, which had the fingerprints of the solution providers all over it.
Dylan Ratigan Outraged
Over Congressional Insider trading Story
Judge Napolitano Grills Congressman
On Insider Trading Scandal
Debt Supercommittee Opponents
Dig in With Deadline for Accord a Week Away
By Heidi Przybyla and Laura Litvan - Bloomberg.com
With a week remaining before the deadline to find a way to cut the U.S. deficit, the anti-tax and entitlement-protecting camps of Congress’s supercommittee are hardening their positions.
Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling, the panel’s Republican co-chairman, said today his party won’t go beyond its offer to increase tax revenue by $300 billion to cut the debt until Democrats offer a plan to address the long-term growth in federal spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare.
Drop in US inflation strengthens hand of the Fed's doves
US inflation dropped for the first time in four months in October, strengthening the hand of those at the Federal Reserve eager to add fresh stimulus to the economy.
By Richard Blackden - Telegraph.co.uk
The consumer price index declined 0.1pc in the month after gaining 0.3pc in September, according to figures from the Labor Department released yesterday. An almost 4pc decline in the price of petrol accounted for much of the overall fall.
The Fed has publicly promised to keep interest rates at a record low level until at least the middle of 2013. But a battle is raging between officials at the central bank who want to take more measures to shore up the recovery and those anxious any extra steps will only stoke inflation.
What Inflation Means to You:
Inside the Consumer Price Index
Doug Short - SilverBearCafe.com
The Fed justified the previous round of quantitative easing "to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate" (full text). In effect, the Fed has been trying to increase inflation, operating at the macro level. But what does an increase in inflation mean at the micro level - specifically to your household?
Let's do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart below illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U, which I'll refer to hereafter as the CPI.
U.S. Savings-Rate Drop Shrieks Disaster
By Jeff Nielson - SilverBearCafe.com
By now, most readers should be familiar with the way the mainstream propaganda machine "spins" the news. When the U.S. savings rate experienced a short, sharp jump higher in response to the Crash of '08, media talking-heads saluted a "new generation of thrifty Americans", whose savings would finance future economic expansion.
Now, with that savings rate having suddenly plummeted again, the propagandists are crowing about how this means "more consumer spending". What's truly remarkable about these media pundits is that they will argue either side of the same issue - and yet manage to be wrong both times.
As New Graduates Return to Nest, Economy Also Feels the Pain
By CATHERINE RAMPELL - NYTimes.com
Like most of her friends, Hollis Romanelli graduated from college last May and promptly moved back in with her parents. As a result, she didn't pay rent — or a broker’s fee or renters’ insurance, for that matter. She also didn’t buy a bed, desk, couch, doormat, mop or new crockery set. Nor did she pay the cable company to send a worker to set up her TV and Internet, or a handyman to hang a newly framed diploma. She didn't even buy drinks and snacks for a housewarming party. In other words, Ms. Romanelli, 22, saved a lot of money. But she deprived the economy of a lot of potential activity, too.
Crisis of Generations
My Budget 360 - SilverBearCafe.com
Younger Americans moving back home in large numbers. Student loan default rates surging largely due to for-profit college expansion.
The United States has over 4,000 college institutions many which have been raising tuition and fees far faster than the overall rate of inflation. Combine this with a younger and poorer population and you have a recipe for massive debt serfdom.
As the recession drags painfully on, being the deepest and longest economic contraction since the Great Depressionmany people are questioning once deeply held mantras ofeconomic prophesy. A home never goes down in value. You can't go wrong with a college education.
McDonalds: Illuminati Exposed Part 2
Is this food 'real'... or totally 'dead' and dangerous?
* * * * *
Pension guaranty agency sees deficit swell
By Michael A. Fletcher - WashingtonPost.com
The federal agency that guarantees private-sector pensions saw its deficit swell to $26 billion in the past year — the largest in its 37-year history. The agency guarantees the pensions of 44 million workers.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. reported the growing deficit in its latest annual report, released Tuesday. The disclosure adds new urgency to the agency’s efforts to persuade Congress to change its premium structure in ways that could triple pension guarantee costs for businesses whose retirement funds have the greatest risk of running out of money.
F.H.A. Audit Sees Possible Bailout Need
By ANNIE LOWREY - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — Chances are nearly 50 percent that the Federal Housing Administration will need a bailout next year if the housing market deteriorates further, the agency’s independent auditor said ina report released Tuesday.
The F.H.A., which offers private lenders guarantees against homeowner default, has just $2.6 billion in cash reserves, the report found, down from $4.7 billion last year.
The agency’s woes stem from the national foreclosure crisis. In the last three years, the F.H.A. has paid $37 billion in insurance claims against defaulting homeowners, shrinking its cash cushion.
How Fannie and Freddie
Learned to Stop Worrying
About Home Ownership and Love Taxpayers
After a massive effort to expand the number of Americans who own a home, the agencies are now directed to pursue profit and minimize losses
By Daniel Indiviglio - TheAtlantic.com
During the housing boom, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were all about boosting home ownership. Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner wrote an entire book, Reckless Endangerment, about how Fannie built a culture around increasing mortgage availability as a cover for loosening credit standards and pursuing short-term profits. Years later, as millions of Americans struggle to make mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure, the companies have done a 180. They will help troubled borrowers to keep their homes only if doing so is in their self-interest. This might seem particularly strange, considering that the government now owns the companies, but it shouldn't: they're now focused on protecting taxpayers.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
Executives' Bonuses Draw Rebuke From Lawmakers
Want to save this for later? Add it to your Queue!
Gingrich Said to Be Paid at Least $1.6 Million by Freddie Mac
By Clea Benson and John McCormick - Bloomberg.com
Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.
The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.
AMERICA’S MIDDLE-CLASS NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE DECLINE
Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows
By SABRINA TAVERNISE - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.
The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country’s 117 biggest metropolitan areas.
U.S. 54.5 MPG Fuel-Economy Standard
May Cost $157 Billion
By Angela Greiling Keane - Bloomberg.com
A proposed U.S. rule requiring automakers to double average fuel economy of vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 may cost $157 billion, two agencies said in a draft.
The standard would add an average of $2,000 to the price of each new passenger vehicle sold by 2025, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency said in a proposed rule posted today on NHTSA’s website. Benefits of $419 billion to $515 billion in fuel savings would offset the costs, the highway agency wrote.
Keiser Report: Corporations Fear OWS (E210)
Occupy Wall Street:
Michael Bloomberg under fire from the left
By TIM MAK - Politico.com
Left-leaning bloggers erupted in outrage Tuesday morning as they awoke to news that Mayor Bloomberg had cleared the Occupy Wall Street demonstration site in Zuccotti Park overnight.
Liberal activists decried the move online, and accused the mayor of silencing the press and violating the right to peaceful assembly.
"Bloomberg’s NY is no place for the 1st amendment. Bloomberg serves Wall Street, now and forever. And Wall Street cannot handle free speech," tweeted liberal actor Alec Baldwin.
Demonstrators complained that the early Tuesday morning raid involved beatings and violence.
Occupy Cal Makes Occupy History at Berkeley
After their tents were pulled by the university, UC Berkeley students turned the school's celebration of a '60s icon into massive Occupy meeting
By Tina Dupuy - TheAtlantic.com
Mario Savio was a UC Berkeley student in the '60s and a key member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He's become an activist icon; Mario Savio Youth Activist awards are given out by his memorial fund. By the '90s, the steps of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus where he gave his now famous "put your bodies upon the gears" speech were renamed the Mario Savio Steps. It was there last Wednesday that police raided an hours-old Occupy Cal protest and pounded student activists with batons. Yes, the chancellor of the university that celebrates Savio in its brochures, Robert J. Birgeneau, waited mere minutes before setting in motion a response that saw students beaten on the very steps bearing Savio's name ... just for setting up tents.
As the massive Occupy crackdown unfolded nationally, students facing yet another tuition hike -- in a UC system that has seen its tuition triple in 10 years -- took note and took to organizing.
OWS Exposed! [from a conservative view point]
The 84 year old face of Occupy Seattle
Dorli Rainey becomes unlikely face of the Occupy movement
Dorli Rainey, an 84-year-old woman in Seattle, has become a face of the national Occupy Wall Street movement after she was hit with pepper spray during a march.
A graphic photo of the former teacher after she was hit with the chemical irritant went viral, becoming one of the most striking images from the protests that have taken place in cities across the globe.
"It's a gruesome picture, I'm really not that bad looking," Rainey said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.
The photograph shows Rainey, wearing a scarf and jacket, being helped by two people. One man is cradling her head in his arms as they walk away from the area.
U.S. Sheriffs Rise Up Against Federal Government:
Sheriff Threatens Feds With SWAT Team ~
Grass Roots Take Charge!
BY VOLUBRJOTR - PoliticalVelCraft,org
Sheriff Threatens Feds With SWAT Team
As more people became dissatisfied with federal government controls and land grabs, it was inevitable that local law enforcement would eventually see the bigger picture. At the northern California fairgrounds of Yreka last month, seven California sheriffs and another from Oregon gathered with a large group of citizens to say that they are finally going to do something about it.
"A giant has been awakened," said Plumas County, Calif. Sheriff Greg Hagwood, "and they didn’t count on that," speaking of the federal bureaucracy.
With exposure of the Emergency Management Center in San Luis Obispo a few decades ago, California began to offer the rest of the nation some evidence of the psychological conditioning aimed from the federal level at state, county and city law enforcement.
Censoring the Internet:
It's Not Just for China Any More!
By James Fallows - TheAtlantic.com
For the record, like nearly everyone else who has thought about the importance of a freely operating Internet to the cultural, political, and economic vibrancy of the United States, I take a dim view of the Orwellian-named "Stop Online Piracy Act" being considered in Congressional hearings today.
For more of the reasons why opponents of the bill have declared today "American Censorship Day," go to the ACD site, or Fight for the Future, or Mozilla's site. And for a how-to of Internet censorship a la Chinoise, there is this Atlantic piece from three years ago, still basically true to the operations of the Great Firewall. In the NYT Rebecca MacKinnon makes the Great Firewall-SOPA connection.
China's Economy on the Brink of Collapse
By Jane Lin & Alex Wu - SilverBearCafe.com
China's economy is on a dangerous track and may soon experience a crisis worse than the European debt crisis, Chinese economists say.
Since the Chinese regime implemented a series of "tightening" policies to curb the real estate market, home prices have been falling across China. Meanwhile, land sales - the main source of local governments' revenues - have also dropped sharply.
In late October, several developers in Shanghai abruptly lowered home prices in new developments by 20 to 40 percent. Soon after, price cutting spread to Beijing, Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province, and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. Recent homebuyers, unhappy about the sudden devaluation of their investments, staged protests with many demanding refunds.
Hyundai Motor’s New Union Leader
Demands End of Overnight Shift
By Rose Kim - Bloomberg.com
Hyundai Motor Co. (005380)'s new labor union chief said workers will demand that South Korea’s biggest carmaker end overnight shifts and improve medical benefits.
The union will also insist on a review of the carmaker's overseas expansion plans, said Moon Yong Moon, who beat incumbent Lee Kyung Hoon in this month’s election to lead the roughly 45,000-member union for a two-year term. He said the union would "fight for its rights," when asked whether the organization may strike.
Obama's 'lazy' remark catches fire with GOP
By JONATHAN ALLEN & ALEX ISENSTADT - Politico.com
A video clip of President Barack Obama calling America "a little bit lazy" is quickly becoming a focus of Republican campaigns, and GOP operatives say it will get plenty of play not only on the presidential battlefield but also in down-ballot congressional races.
Obama was talking about America’s pursuit of foreign investment, but the context may not matter as much as the punch line.
"Can you believe that? That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy?" Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said in a campaign ad released Wednesday. "That’s pathetic."
Rival Mitt Romney struck in less expensive fashion on Tuesday: "Sometimes, I just don’t think that President Obama understands America," he said at a campaign event.
After Bullet Hits White House, a Manhunt and Arrest
By CHARLIE SAVAGE and MARK LANDLER - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man suspected of firing a semiautomatic rifle at the White House on Friday night, and the Secret Service reported finding that at least one bullet had struck the presidential residence.
The suspect, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, was arrested at a hotel near Indiana, Pa., about 12:35 p.m. by the Pennsylvania State Police, acting on information from Secret Service agents in Pittsburgh, the Secret Service said.
"Ortega-Hernandez is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police," the statement said.
Germany's New Old Problem:
The Rise of Neo-Nazi Violence
The factors that can lead to the rise of far-right movements appear increasingly common in Germany today, where residents worry about immigration and eurozone crises
By Heather Horn - TheAtlantic.com
When German authorities last week connected neo-Nazis to several murders of foreigners in Germany between 2000 and 2007, it shocked the country and its leaders. Chancellor Angela Merkel struck early and hard, calling the attacks "shameful" for Germany, pledging action. Meanwhile, of course, the European debt crisis isn't going away, and Merkel has fought to stay on-message, encouraging Germans to stick with other European countries on the bailouts.
It's possible, though, that these two topics might not be as separate as they seem.
U.S. Expands Military Ties to Australia, Irritating China
By JACKIE CALMES - NYTimes.com
CANBERRA, Australia — President Obama announced Wednesday that the United States planned to deploy 2,500 Marines in Australia to shore up alliances in Asia, but the move prompted a sharp response from Beijing, which accused Mr. Obama of escalating military tensions in the region.
The agreement with Australia amounts to the first long-term expansion of the American military’s presence in the Pacific since the end of the Vietnam War. It comes despite budget cuts facing the Pentagon and an increasingly worried reaction from Chinese leaders, who have argued that the United States is seeking to encircleChina militarily and economically.
U.S. troops headed to Australia, irking China
By David Nakamura - WashingtonPost.com
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — The Obama administration announced plans Wednesday to establish a permanent military presence in Australia, part of the president’s high-profileforeign policy shift toward Asia that is intended to counterbalance China’s growing power.
The move to send 250 Marines to bases here for six-month tours starting next summer, eventually rotating 2,500 troops through the country, is the first step toward the administration’s larger goal of repositioning the United States as a leader on economics and security in the fast-developing Asia-Pacific region. The pivot appears to be aimed at rethinking Washington’s global commitments at a time when the White House is attempting to draw down troop numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan and when budget cuts threaten to curtail defense spending.
China uneasy over US troop deal in Australia
Beijing fears a policy of encirclement as Barack Obama announces plans to station 250 troops in northern Australia from next year
By Alison Rourke in Sydney
and Jonathan Watts in Beijing - Guardian.co.uk
Strains between China and the United States look set to overshadow a key Asian summit later this week after Barack Obama unveiled plans to station troops in Australia and step up Washington's commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Amid growing tensions over the oil-rich South China Sea, China's foreign ministry questioned the need for the US to strengthen military alliances, and the state media accused Washington of making a grab for assets.
Iran says missile base blast was not caused by Israeli intelligence
Tehran dismisses reports that Mossad or US was behind the explosion that killed the architect of country's missile programme
By Saeed Kamali Dehghan - Guardian.co.uk
Iran has insisted that an explosion that killed the architect of its missile programme was not carried out by Israel or the US, despite widespread reports that it was the work of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad.
On Saturday a huge blast at the Alghadir missile base at Bid Ganeh, 30 miles to the west of Tehran, killed 17 of the country's elite revolutionary guards, including Major General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, a senior commander described as the pioneer of the regime's missile programme.
A senior Iranian military official on Wednesday denied reports that Israel was linked to the blast. Speaking at a ceremony commemorating those killed on Saturday, Iran's armed forces joint chief of staff, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, said in quotes carried by the semi-official Fars news agency: "The recent incident and blast is not related to Israel or America."
Arab call to work with the west for diplomatic solution
Britain and France preferred partners in a Libya-style 'contact group' to co-ordinate policy, but no question of military action
By Ian Black, Middle East editor - Guardian.co.uk
Britain is being urged to help set up an international "contact group" to co-ordinate western and Arab policy towards the crisis in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is defying mounting outrage over the violent suppression of mass unrest.
It has emerged that King Abdullah of Jordan raised the idea, borrowed from the recent Libyan uprising, in talks with David Cameron on Tuesday.
Those discussions are just part of the feverish diplomatic activity focused on the escalating situation this week.
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