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CB’s Trying to Keep Gold from Rising Violently
By Jim Sinclair - InvestorMind Blog
Today legendary trader and investor Jim Sinclair told King World News that central banks are trying to keep the price of gold from rising violently. Sinclair also believes we are entering a period where currencies will lose their ability to function as money and instead will act more like casino chips, while gold ascends. Here is what Sinclair had to say about the ongoing financial crisis: "What needs to be understood by our listeners, Eric, is when a haircut takes place, what you give with one hand, you take with another. Now the problem becomes the problem of a bank’s asset having been reduced and the bank’s ability to function reduced and the bank’s abilities to positively pass tests of liquidity have been reduced. And the psychology of the stability of a system has been reduced."
Modestly positive outlook for gold in near term
By Ross Norman - CommodityOnline.com
After a rollicking start to the year in which it has gained 12.4% YTD, gold is starting to flat-line, rocking higher and lower respectively on Euro-friendly reports from Greece and dollar positive economic news.
The approval of austerity measures on Sunday by the Greek government has prompted a modest bout of Euro strength, the corollary to which has been modestly firmer gold prices. But the gold price rise is relatively muted which cynics might point to as a surefire indicator that Papademos may have difficulty in persuading his people to take it on the nose yet again - others might suggest it was just a ruse to secure a second bout of aid. In short, if the gold price is saying anything, it is saying "we don't believe you". After three days of intense rioting in Athens, many will agree.
The largest national holders of gold
have retained their reserves, but should they sell?
LONDON (Commodity Online): The vast array of macro insecurities has provided a fertile backdrop for gold, particularly when concerns escalated over the US debt ceiling last year and the Fed pushed out the guidance for the first interest rate hike this year. However, broad risk reduction and the need for liquidity have still been able to pressure prices lower. One underlying positive for the market has been the continued appetite for net buying from the official sector globally amid the sovereign debt issues, said Barclays Capital in a research note.
Monetary Inflation versus "Price Inflation"
By: Steve Saville, The Speculative Investor - GoldSeek.com
In our 11th January 2012 commentary we argued that a certain 'technical analyst' was wrong to extrapolate gold's recent price action into a forecast of imminent deflation. We did so by pointing out that a) the year-over-year (YOY) rate of growth in US True Money Supply (TMS) was about 14% at the time, b) December-2011 was the 36th consecutive month in which the YOY rate of TMS growth was 10% or more, and c) if the YOY rate of TMS growth remained above 10% for two more months then it would be the longest period of double-digit money-supply growth in US history. That is, we pointed out that far from being in 'danger' of experiencing a serious bout of deflation, the US was in the midst of a record-breaking period of monetary inflation.
Is Western Democracy Real or a Facade?
By Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org
The United States government and its NATO puppets have been killing Muslim men, women and children for a decade in the name of bringing them democracy. But is the West itself a democracy?
Skeptics point out that President George W. Bush was put in office by the Supreme Court and that a number of other elections have been decided by electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail. Others note that elected officials represent the special interests that fund their campaigns and not the voters. The bailout of the banks arranged by Bush’s Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs chairman, Henry Paulson, and Washington’s failure to indict any banksters for the fraud that contributed to the financial crisis, are evidence in support of the view that the US government represents money and not the voters.
European End Game
The striking similarity between today’s eurozone situation and the end of Bretton Woods.
BY HANS-WERNER SINN - International-Economy.com
The financial community claims nearly unani- mously and somewhat vociferously that the euro- zone is suffering from a confidence crisis that can only be solved by wielding a "big bazooka." If the rescue fund is large enough, goes the argument, markets will be assuaged, interest spreads will shrink, and the distressed countries will manage to refinance their public debt. But as popular as this
view may be, it is far too optimistic. Of course markets are jittery, and the risk of self-reinforcing run-
away processes is real. However, markets have every reason to be ner- vous. There is not just the self-inflicted instability of mutually infecting speculators, but a fundamental distortion of prices for goods, labor, and capital that would need a currency realignment that is impossible within a currency union. Whoever offers his guarantee for the funds powering the big bazooka should know that such a guarantee will be drawn even- tually, given that the debtor countries lack the competitiveness to be able to redeem their debt.
Greek economy spirals down as EU forces final catharsis
A Greek default and traumatic ejection from the euro moved a step closer last night after eurozone finance ministers cancelled a crucial meeting, accusing Athens of failing to flesh out austerity cuts.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The escalating brinkmanship came as fresh data showed that Greece's economy contracted by 6.8pc last year and at an accelerating 7pc rate in the last quarter, far worse than expected by the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "troika".
The country appears to be in a self-feeding downward spiral that is playing havoc with budget targets, leaving Greece with a Sisyphean task of ever deeper cuts.
Eurozone meeting on Greece
called off after Athens fails to meet key demands in time
By Associated Press - WashingtonPost.com
BRUSSELS — Two steps forward, one step back. So goes the frenzied effort across Europe to bail out Greece and save it from a potentially devastating default on its debts.
A meeting of the finance chiefs of the 17 euro countries to discuss Greece’s second multibillion bailout planned for Wednesday was called off Tuesday evening after Athens failed to deliver in time on several demands made by its partners in the currency union.
Misery in Athens
'New Poor' Grows from Greek Middle Class
Aid workers and soup kitchens in Athens are struggling to provide for the city's "new poor." Since the economic crisis has taken hold, poverty has taken hold among Greece's middle class. And suicide rates have nearly doubled.
By Johannes Korge and Ferry Batzoglou - Spiegel.de
If this crisis has reached Piraeus, then it's done a good job of hiding itself. Even on this cold February night, the luxury cars are lined up outside the chic, waterfront fish restaurants in this port suburb of Athens. But Leonidas Koutikas knows where to look. Not even 50 meters off the main promenade, around two corners, misery is everywhere. Koutikas finds a family of five living behind a tangled tent that has been attached to the wall of an apartment building.
The World from Berlin
'Greece Cannot Be Ruled Against the Will of its People'
Greece may now have passed the austerity measures demanded from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, but the country's political system is showing signs of stress. Additional pressure from Europe isn't helping. German commentators warn that political radicalization cannot be ruled out.
One can perhaps understand the European Union's lack of trust when it comes to pledges emanating from Greece. Despite multiple promises of political reform and fiscal austerity, progress has been slow in some areas (privatization of government held assets, for example) and virtually non-existent in others (such as the collection of billions in back taxes).
The Global Future of Europe’s Crisis
Kemal Derviş - Project-Syndicate.org
WASHINGTON, DC – It is now clear that the eurozone crisis will continue well into 2012, despite early February’s recovery in stock markets. Negotiations between Greece and the banks over Greek sovereign debt may yet be concluded, but sufficiently wide participation by banks in the deal remains very much in doubt. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has raised the issue of official-sector debt reduction, possibly even by the European Central Bank, sending the message that a "haircut" for private bondholders will not be enough to return Greece to financial sustainability.
The Coming World Government
By David Jones - NewDawnMagazine.com
By ADRIAN SALBUCHI—
Lucid and aware people observing world events unfold over the past decade or so – say, since September 11, 2001 – will have surely asked themselves what on Earth is going on here? We see ever-growing violence, war, outright lies, invasions, false flags, social upheavals, poverty, ruin and the death of millions… The world’s become a pretty dangerous and pitiful place to live in, and it only gets worse…
Which leads us to the obvious question: Why? Why is all this happening? Can we explain it away as Man’s wicked nature? Or his folly and ignorance? Perhaps just a series of bad mistakes and wrong turns on key issues?
ROTHSCHILDS WANT IRAN’S BANKS
By Pete Papaherakles - AmericanFreePress.net
Could gaining control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) be one of the main reasons that Iran is being targeted by Western and Israeli powers? As tensions are building up for an unthinkable war with Iran, it is worth exploring Iran’s banking system compared to its U.S., British and Israeli counterparts.
Some researchers are pointing out that Iran is one of only three countries left in the world whose central bank is not under Rothschild control. Before 9-11 there were reportedly seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. By 2003, however, Afghanistan and Iraq were swallowed up by the Rothschild octopus, and by 2011 Sudan and Libya were also gone. In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war.
Canada housing bubble ready to burst
Cash in as yet another housing bubble bursts
By Associate Editor David Stevenson - MoneyWeek.com
Canada is one of the few Western economies to have rebounded strongly from the Great Recession.
Indeed, in some ways it’s as if it never happened. Annual output has surged above the previous peak in 2008. The trade surplus in December rose to a three-year high. And all the jobs that were lost during the downturn have been recovered.
What’s more, Canada has managed to pull this off without spending money like mad. This year’s government budget deficit (the shortfall of tax revenues against state spending) will only be about 2.5% of GDP.
Volcker Rule Faces Harsh Critics as Effective Date Nears
Cheyenne Hopkins, Silla Brush
and Phil Mattingly - WashingtonPost.com
Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The world’s largest banks demanded a wish list of changes to a proposed U.S. ban on proprietary trading, seeking to escalate the lobbying effort against the Volcker rule five months before it takes effect.
In scores of comment letters filed yesterday, bankers and their trade associations said the so-called Volcker rule would increase risk, raise investor costs, hurt U.S. competitiveness and be vulnerable to legal challenge.
"The proposal, if implemented in its current form, will overly restrain our customer-facing market-making business and our risk-mitigating hedging activities to the detriment of our customers," Colm Kelleher, co-president of Morgan Stanley’s institutional securities group, and Jim Rosenthal, the firm’s chief operating officer, wrote in a letter posted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s website. "Moreover, we believe that the proposal, if implemented as is, would have severe negative consequence for the markets and the U.S. financial system."
Regulators weigh massive public input on 'Volcker rule'
The SEC has received about 15,000 comments on the proposed 'Volcker rule,' which would stop banks from using their own money to trade for profit rather than fulfilling a client's order.
By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
Regulators are confronting some 15,000 public letters attempting to influence the final shape of one of the most controversial elements of the 2010 financial reform bill.
Five regulatory agencies have until July to complete a new rule that would ban proprietary trading at Wall Street firms, a move that some believe would make the U.S. financial system safer. The rule named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker would stop banks from using their own money to trade for profit rather than fulfilling a client's order.
Obama’s budget calls for pay raises;
federal workforce size would remain flat
By Ed O’Keefe - WashingtonPost.com
President Obama wants to give raises to people collecting federal paychecks, but in his new budget proposal, troops would get a larger pay boost than civilian employees.
The White House budget plan released Monday would increase federal civilian pay by a modest 0.5 percent, a bump that would end a two-year cost-of-living pay freeze. Uniformed military personnel would receive a 1.7 percent raise in 2013, the increase indicated by law, according to the proposal.
'Modest' raise in Obama's proposed budget
doesn't satisfy workforce
By Joe Davidson - WashingtonPost.com
President Obama won’t please many folks with the federal employee provisions in the fiscal year 2013 budget plan he released Monday.
The president wants to end the two-year freeze on basic pay rates and give workers a small, 0.5 percent bump next year. But employee contributions for retirement benefits would rise 0.4 percent in each of the next three years.
To federal workers, this is giving with one hand while taking away with the other.
"The end result of these proposals is essentially another year of the federal pay freeze," the Federal Managers Associationsaid in a release.
Consumers holding back, especially on cars
By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Retail sales rose in January, but were dragged down by an unexpected decline in auto sales, according to government data released Tuesday.
Overall retail sales were up 0.4% compared to December, the Commerce Department reported. That's only half the gain forecast by economists surveyed by Briefing.com.
The biggest problem was a 1.1% decline in auto sales in the government report. Excluding auto sales, retail sales rose 0.7% in the latest report.
Do the Long-Term Unemployed Deserve Special Treatment?
There's no debate that long-term unemployment is an economic and social crisis. But what we can or should do for these millions of workers is an open question.
By Marty Nemko - TheAtlantic.com
More than 5 million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, up from 1.2 million in 2007. Today, half of the unemployed take 10 months or longer to land a job. The toll on them, their families, and society is enormous. This week's "Working it Out" question is: Should anything be done to help the long-term unemployed? If so, what would be your #1 recommendation?
Work is so core to people's identity, and the lack of money from six months' unemployment can result in losses of even basics such as health care and housing. Consider the record 3.2 million homes that have been foreclosed in the last three years. And we're not talking just about the uneducated. A Pew Trust study(p. 6, fig. 6) found that 21% of unemployed workers with a bachelor's degree have been out of work for a year, only 2 percentage points more than that of high school dropouts!
USPS: The Cursed Carriers
Mises Daily: by Brian Anderson
From the original conception of the United States Postal Service in the 1700s to the technologically advanced market of today, the words that enumerated to Congress the power to "establish Post Offices and post Roads" have never been more than a waste of ink.
In Uncle Sam, the Monopoly Man, William C. Wooldridge explains well the historical patterns of failure within the United States Postal Service (USPS):
More than a decade before Parson Weems immortalized the cherry tree, the United States Post Office was losing money. For most of the years since Postmaster General Thomas Osborne reported the first deficit to President George Washington, it has continued to lose money, receiving all the while less critical attention than the cherry tree it antedates. Yet the stars in their courses do not ineluctably dictate a government postal monopoly.
Home-schooling demographics change, expand
By Alesha Williams Boyd and Sergio Bichao, USA TODAY
DUNELLEN, N.J. – There was a time when Heather Kirchner thought mothers who home-schooled their children were only the types "who wore long skirts and praised Jesus and all that."
That was before the New Jersey resident decided to home-school her own daughter, Anya.
Kirchner favors jeans, and like the two dozen other families that are part of the year-old Homeschool Village Co-op in Central Jersey, she doesn't consider herself to be particularly religious. "I was definitely not ready to hand over to anybody my 5-year-old, my baby," she says. "I would hate to miss this. They grow too quickly."
What Obama's 2013 Budget Means for Entrepreneurs
by Kent Hoover - Portfolio.com
The president's fiscal 2013 plan calls for tax increases for many business owners and less money for Small Business Development Centers. But the budget does contain a few nuggets specifically aimed at encouraging would-be entrepreneurs.
President Barack Obama today released his budget proposal for next year, which calls for a $901 billion federal deficit. That’s less than this year’s projected deficit of $1.33 trillion, but it falls far short of the president’s promise in 2009 to cut the annual federal deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Polls show business owners are concerned that continued large deficits will lead to higher taxes and higher interest rates. Obama’s budget proposal doesn’t do much to ease those concerns.
Roses Are in the Red: Why Local Florists Are Fading
Local flower shops are in peril, thanks to the Internet, grocery stores, and the recession
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
A question for the gentlemen* out there: When you leave work today and stop off to buy your special someone a Valentine's Day bouquet of flowers, will you:
A) Make the trip to your local florist and plunk down some unfathomable sum for a dozen perfect roses?
B) Pop into the grocery store and grab a decent enough looking bunch along with a bottle of wine?
C) Hope you find one of those street vendors selling bouquets that look like they fell off the back of a truck?
D) None of the above, because you had a little foresight and called 1-800 FLOWERS a week ago?
If you're like a growing number of Americans over the past few recession-racked years, chance are you answered anything but A. After all, few people wants to go out of their way to spend an extravagant amount on a gift that will be dead within days. And therein lies the problem for the mom and pop florists who have been selling us our Valentine's Day roses for years, and now find their business model drooping.
ObamaCare Architect: Premiums to Soar
By Arnold Ahlert - PatriotPost.us
Once again for the Obama administration, lofty promises are giving way to hard reality. On September 22, 2010, in an informal discussion regarding the healthcare bill, the president contended that "as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise. And that means, by the way, that the deficit is going to be lower than it would be otherwise." That was then. Over the weekend it was revealed that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, the chief architect of ObamaCare, backtracked on the analysis he performed two years ago. He told officials in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado the price of insurance premiums will "dramatically increase" under the reforms.
By Cal Thomas - PatriotPost.us
"Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" -- Thomas Jefferson
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." -- Patrick Henry
Liberty is always tenuous. Those who enjoy it seem to be a minority in the world. That's why liberty must not only be preserved by those who currently benefit from it; it must also be fought for and constantly renewed for future generations, because there are always those who wish to restrict or eliminate our freedoms.
Arbitraging Fed Policies with Rental Housing Cash Flows
BY DANIEL AMERMAN CFA - FinancialSense.com
By forcing interest rates to record low levels, the Federal Reserve has effectively vaporized most interest income along with most of the ability to benefit from compound interest, with devastating results for many retirees, retirement investors and pension funds.
However, in the process of creating artificially low interest rates for an entire economy, the Fed has also opened up unusually profitable opportunities for individual investors with certain types of investments. Record-low interest rate levels are the most powerful of six different factors that are currently working together to increase owner cash flows from the purchase (or refinancing) of investment real estate in the United States.
Towns go dark with post office closings
By Cezary Podkul and Emily Stephenson
(Reuters) - Postal officials were blunt in December when they stood before 120 residents in Dedham, Iowa, to tell them why their town's post office has to close. The Internet, officials said, was killing the U.S. Postal Service.
"Well, I have no Internet," resident Judy Ankenbauer said at the meeting. Like many of Dedham's 280 residents, Ankenbauer said she still relies on the post office to buy stamps and send letters and packages.
Mortgage delinquencies rose in late 2011
By Nancy Rivera Brooks - LATimes.com
More people were late with their home-loan payments in the last three months of 2011, the second quarter in a row that defaults increased.
Credit data giant TransUnion said serious mortgage delinquencies, loans on which borrowers were at least 60 days behind on payments, rose to 6.01% in the fourth quarter from 5.88% in the previous quarter.
The increases in those two quarters followed nearly two years of decline.
"To see that, quarter over quarter, fewer homeowners were able to make their mortgage payments is not welcome news," said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit.
FHA a beneficiary in mortgage settlement
By Brady Dennis - WashingtonPost.com
The landmark $25 billion settlement with banks last week over fraudulent foreclosure practices might aid more than struggling homeowners. Part of the proceeds also will help plug a projected shortfall in the reserves of the Federal Housing Administration.
Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said in a conference call with reporters Monday that the financial firms involved in the settlement agreed to provide up to $1 billion to shore up the capital reserve fund of the FHA, which provides mortgage insurance on loans made by approved lenders throughout the country.
Faulty reasoning keeps Fannie and Freddie
out of foreclosure deal
The chief regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is adamantly opposed to principal forgiveness, a key element of the foreclosure settlement. But analyses show he's wrong.
By Michael Hiltzik - LATimes.com
You can love or you can hate the recent $25-billion federal-state mortgage foreclosure settlement, but there's no getting around one simple fact: There's a huge, gaping hole right in the middle of it.
The hole is that if your home loan has been bought from your lender by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you're not eligible for the mortgage relief encompassed by the deal.
Since Fannie and Freddie control well more than half of all outstanding mortgages, this shortcoming looks to be what engineers would call "non-trivial."
Pew report: One in eight voting registrations inaccurate
By Michael Muskal - LATimes.com
One out of eight voting registrations is inaccurate, and about a quarter of those people eligible to cast a ballot are not even registered, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Center on the States.
The report describes a voting system in confusion, with about 1.8 million dead people listed on the rolls, some 2.8 million with active registrations in more than one state and 12 million with serious enough errors to make it unlikely that mail, from any political party or election board, can reach the right destination. In all, some 24 million registrations contain significant errors.
A Warning Sign For The World
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Any financial system that is based on debt is doomed to fail. Today, we are living in the greatest debt bubble that the world has ever seen, and if all of a sudden people could not use credit to buy things our economy would immediately ground to a halt. Unfortunately, no debt bubble can last forever. When this current debt bubble finally bursts, faith in the financial system is going to disappear, credit is going to freeze up and there is going to be a massive wave of bank failures. Right now, Greece is a warning sign for the world. Nobody wants to lend money to Greece, the Greek banking system is dying, one out of every four businesses has already shut down, unemployment is soaring and the Greek economy has now been in recession for five years in a row. Sadly, the economic implosion in Greece is rapidly accelerating. The Greek economy shrunk at a 7 percent annual rate during the 4th quarter of 2011. That wasn't supposed to happen. Things were supposed to be getting better in Greece by now. But instead the Greek depression is getting even worse, and very soon the rest of the world is going to be going through what Greece is currently experiencing.
Insanity! Is Barack Obama
Going To Unilaterally Slash The Size
Of The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal By Another 80 Percent?
Barack Obama wants to disarm America. There simply is no other way to explain his reckless behavior. On Tuesday it came out that the Obama administration is considering plans to unilaterally slash the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal by up to 80 percent. From a military standpoint, this is utter insanity. Early in his presidency, Barack Obamasigned a treaty with Russia that restricts both nations to a maximum of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. But now Obama wants to cut the size of the U.S. arsenal down to as low as 300, without requiring the Russians to do anything. In addition, we don't even have a treaty with the Chinese, and we have no idea how many deployed nuclear warheads they have. For all we know, it could be in the thousands. Unfortunately, very few people are speaking up about this. Most Americans just assume that we have such a massive nuclear arsenal that nobody would ever dare to mess with us. Well, that was true back in the 1980s, but that is not true today. If Barack Obama does unilaterally slash the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal by 80 percent, that would make another world war much more likely. If we are sitting there with far fewer nukes than Russia and China have, they will not fear us nearly as much.
NRC: Michigan nuclear plant cited for safety violations
By Jim Barnett, CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A nuclear power plant in Covert, Michigan, has been cited for three safety violations, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, joining two other U.S. nuclear plants in getting extra scrutiny from inspectors.
The worst of the violations stems from a September 25, 2011, incident at the Palisades Power Plant in which half of the control room indicators were lost because of an electrical fault "caused by personnel at the site," the NRC announced in a news release.
The Invincible Military Industrial Complex
Leon Panetta’s dream is Eisenhower’s nightmare
By Veronique de Rugy - Reason.com
During his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned the American people that one of the greatest threats to freedom came not from enemies abroad but from “the conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry,” which over time would lose sight of defending the United States and become devoted only to its own perpetuation. Today, writes Contributing Editor Veronique de Rugy, we are living Ike’s nightmare. Defense spending is not just one of the most sacrosanct parts of the budget but also one of the largest and most inscrutable. Adjusting for inflation, military spending has grown for an unprecedented 13 consecutive years and is now higher than at any time since World War II.
A Clarion Call for Emerging Markets
By Eswar Prasad - Project-Syndicate.org
ITHACA – With 2012 underway, it is worth reflecting on how a decade of strong economic growth in emerging markets led to last year’s resounding political transformations. From the dramatic events in the Middle East, to the groundswell of support for the anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare in India, leaders in emerging markets are getting a clear message from the streets that growth is not everything. They ignore this message at their peril.
Emerging-market economies delivered solid growth during the 2000’s, and even survived the global financial crisis without a growth collapse. But the specter of rising corruption is compromising the legitimacy of their economic gains and eroding support for further reforms needed to sustain their growth momentum.
India walks tightrope as U.S. toughens Iran sanctions
By Simon Denyer - WashingtonPost.com
NEW DELHI — A bomb attack Monday on an Israeli diplomat’s car in New Delhi underlines the tough balancing act that India has to perform as it attempts to manage its relations with the United States and Israel, and with Iran.
Despite Iran’s denial that it was involved, the incident complicates an equation that India has managed adroitly for years. As U.S. pressure mounts on Iran, the government in New Delhi finds itself in an increasingly uncomfortable position: Its dependence on Iranian oil and unwillingness to join U.S.-led sanctions against Iran put it at odds with Washington over a top U.S. national security priority.
Israeli attack on Iran would be complex operation
By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY
If Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, the strike would probably take the form of a complex air assault involving scores of planes that would have to penetrate Iranian air defenses and attack up to a couple of dozen targets simultaneously, analysts say.
"This would be way more sophisticated than anything that's ever been done before," said Charles Wald, a retired Air Force general who led the coalition air campaign in Afghanistan that helped topple the Taliban.
By contrast, Israel's strike on Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981 and an attack in Syria in 2007 were simpler operations that required Israel to hit a single above-ground target. Neither country had sophisticated air defense capabilities.
U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions
By Warda Al-Jawahiry
(Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned a different carrier -- USS John C. Stennis -- not to return to the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world's seaborne oil trade, if Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its energy sector.
Tuesday aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln -- part of the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet -- sailed through the strait of Hormuz with the Cape St George destroyer cruising behind.
U.S. concerned about spike in Iran-Israel ‘shadow war’
By Guy Taylor-The Washington Times
The "shadow war" between Israel and Iran is escalating, Middle East analysts say, as a wave of terrorist incidents in far-flung corners of world unsettles U.S. officials.
Monday’s bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car in New Delhi, a foiled attack the same day on Israeli officials in Tiblisi, Georgia, and an explosion involving a suspected Iranian bomb maker in Bangkok on Tuesday are just the latest examples.
Iranian patrol boats shadow US aircraft carrier
as it passes through Strait of Hormuz
By Associated Press - WashingtonPost.com
ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN — Iranian patrol boats and aircraft shadowed a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group as it transited the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.
The passage ended a Gulf mission that displayed Western naval power amid heightened tensions with Tehran, which has threatened to choke off vital oil shipping lanes.
Iran’s measure of desperation
By Jackson Diehl - WashingtonPost.com
If Iran or its proxies were responsible for the attack on an Israeli diplomat in the Indian capital of New Delhi Monday, it will be another indication that the Iranian leadership is willing to take desperate risks in striking back against its enemies.
Last year, many analysts refused to believe at first that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard would have tried to sponsor a bombing in a Washington restaurant to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, using a Mexican drug gang. Yet the evidence was convincing.
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