The Perfect Economic Storm Is Now Forming And It Will Collapse The Economy – Episode 316

youtube_perfect_economic_storm_economic_collapse2Cyprus has now extended the capital controls until the end of spring 2014. Real estate is imploding and many of the big investors are dumping their real estate holdings. The US government is now looking to change the definition of manufacturing to manipulate the data further. The US economy is now imploding on itself and the US government has setup the perfect economic storm which will collapse the economy. The Ukraine is now joining Russia, President Obama has modified the Ukrainian executive order and included sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials.  The central bankers/US government captured the oil tanker which is Egyptian owned and seized the oil.  Weapons are now being shipped to Iraq. Al-Qaida sounds a call for its terrorist followers to strike the United States and other Western nations with car bombs

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Current News – 03.17.2014


Economy

Cyprus domestic capital controls to be lifted by end of spring, says Georgiades

  • Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told the country’s national broadcaster on Monday that he expects all domestic capital controls to be lifted by the end of spring.
  • Georgiades said that there would be further steps at the end of the month and later in spring following a February decree that eased domestic capital restrictions as part of an incremental relaxation of currency controls first imposed to prevent a run on its banks in March 2013.
  • The February 21 Finance Ministry decree scrapped the compulsory automatic renewal of fixed term deposits and increased the allowance on domestic cash transfers for both companies and individuals.
  • A ban on cashing in cheques and a 300 euro cash withdrawal limit daily remained in force. The daily withdrawal allowance is cumulative from March 27, 2013.

Source: ekathimerini.com

Quiznos Follows Sbarro to Bankruptcy Citing Growing Competition

Office Depot (ODP, Fortune 500) is also expected to shed some of the excess stores created by its recent purchase of OfficeMax. And there is a possible tie-up betweenMen’s Wearhouse (MW) and Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) that will also probably lead to store closings.

Homebuilder Confidence Misses Expectations Again As Outlook Plunges To 10-Month Lows

  • Despite last month’s epic collapse in the NAHB Confidence index, the ‘recovery’ bounce this month missed expectations significantly making the 6th miss in the last 7 months (we assume that means its been winter-stormy for the last 7 months). Holding at levels seen in May 2013, future sales expectations dropped once again to 10 month lows as hope fades (or they expect more bad weather). The West (crushed by warm dry pleasant weather) continues to plummet but the NorthEast dropped to levekls not seen since Auguest 2012.and the outlook tumbles (must be expecting bad weather)
  • The West plunged and The NorthEast dropped to multi-year lows…

Source: zerohedge.com

  • Blackstone’s acquisition pace has declined 70 percent from its peak last year, when the private equity firm was spending more than $100 million a week on properties, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for the New York-based firm. After investing $8 billion since April 2012 to buy 43,000 homes in 14 cities, the company has narrowed most of its purchasing to Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
  • President Barack Obama credited the investors for helping put a floor under the plunging housing market and consumer advocates such as the National Community Reinvestment Coalition later blamed them for soaring prices in some cities.
  • While institutional purchases nationwide fell to a 22-month low in January, corporate investors were more active in the Atlanta region, buying 25 percent of homes sold, according to data firm RealtyTrac. That helped drive up Atlanta prices 37 percent since the March 2012 trough.
  • Now read this fantastic article from real estate analyst Mark Hanson, who points out that homes are much less affordable now that they were at the peak of the most recent housing bubble.
  • Never fear serfs, now that homes have once again become unaffordable, the banks are bringing back subrpime loans so that Blackstone can sell back to the muppets.
  • Ah, crony capitalism at its finest.

Empire Manufacturing Misses For 7th Month Of Last 8; Outlook Plunges

  • Since July of last year, the Empire Fed manufacturing index has only beaten expectations once as March data once again fell below consensus (5.61 vs 6.5 est.) – hardly confirming the weakness is weather-driven. The underlying sub-indices were ugly with the most worrisome being the outlook – despite some optimism for capex, the general business conditions 6-months ahead fell by the most since Oct 2011 to its lowest since July 2013 – which once again suggest this weakness is anything but weather-driven. The number of employees fell as inventories rose but the margin-compressing divide between prices paid and prices received is concerning.
  • And hope is fading:

Source: zerohedge.com

Industrial Production Beats, Recovers February’s Big Miss On More Auto Inventory Stacking

  • Hardly surprising given February’s biggest miss in 10 months that March’s data would rebound and so it did from an initial -0.3% in Feb, March rose +0.6% (well above +0.2% expectations)  – 2.7% above last year’s levels. This 0.6% rise is above even the most exuberant “economists” estimates. Utilities fell 0.2% (as weather warmed up) but what was most notable is the 7.4% surge in motor vehicles (the biggest in at least 6 months) – which are already sitting at record levels of absolute inventories and the highest inventory-to-sales since the financial crisis.
  • The indexes for consumer durables and consumer non-energy nondurables moved up 2.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, in February, while the index for consumer energy products decreased 0.8 percent
  • Within consumer durables, the production of automotive products jumped 4.6 percent to reverse most of a similarly sized decrease in January, and the output of home electronics increased 0.7 percent. These gains in February were partly offset by a decrease of 1.7 percent in the production of appliances, furniture, and carpeting as well as a decline of 0.1 percent in the output of miscellaneous goods.
  • Within consumer non-energy nondurables, the indexes for foods and tobacco, for chemical products, and for paper products each rose about 1 percent, while the output of clothing moved down 0.7 percent.
  • Of course, this IP number is largely irrelevant because in 11 days the Fed will revise the entire data series:
  • The Federal Reserve Board plans to issue its annual revision to the index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity utilization at noon on March 28, 2014. The revised indexes for IP will incorporate data from the U.S. Geological Survey regarding metallic and nonmetallic minerals (except fuels) for 2012. The update will also include revisions to the monthly indicators (either product data or input data) and to seasonal factors for each industry. In addition, the estimation methods for some series may be changed. Any modifications to the methods for estimating the output of an industry will affect the index from 1972 to the present.

Source: zerohedge.com

How To Create A Manufacturing Renaissance – Change The Definition

  • With US manufacturing jobs down almost 40% from their 1980s peak, proclaiming the last few years marginal increase a “manufacturing renaissance” is more statistical noise, smoke, and mirrors than fact. That is a problem for an administration (and entire genre of Keynesian dreamers) that rely on this sector to prove how effective they have been with stimulus (and not just pulling demand so colossally forward that the future is bleak). How to fix this apparent dilemma between policy talking points and factual data? Easy – as WSJ reports, change the definition of “manufacturing.”
  •  
  • U.S. Agencies Consider Redefining Manufacturing
  • Should a company be called a manufacturer if it doesn’t make what it sells? The answer isn’t as obvious as it seems.
  • Some refer to companies like these as “factoryless goods producers”—firms that handle every part of making their products except the actual fabrication. As industries have gone global, this model has proliferated from furniture making to electronics: Think of Apple Inc. and its iPhones. Now, there is a move afoot among U.S. government agencies to count these companies as manufacturers, which is a surprisingly fraught issue.
  • The upshot would be an overnight increase in the apparent size of the U.S. industrial sector without adding a single assembly line. It would also change its geography, as places like Silicon Valley would suddenly look much more like a manufacturing hot spot. Backers of the change say this would give a truer picture of the nation’s productive capability, because these firms still do most other functions of manufacturing, from designing goods to overseeing their production and distribution.
  • But critics like Miles Free, director of industry research and technology at the Precision Machined Products Association, a trade group for small U.S. producers, say the change in wording would gloss over the erosion of domestic manufacturing. We think it would be bad for policy makers to say, ‘Look at these numbers, we have great manufacturing,’ ” he said, when the production in many cases is actually taking place on the other side of the world.
  • Of course, this “change” already has precedent with the unbelievable addition of goodwill and R&D into the GDP figures to boost their appearance…

Source: zerohedge.com

New doomsday poll: 99.9% risk of 2014 crash

  • What’s ahead is even bigger: A black swan. Unpredictable. A macroeconomic catastrophe in China, Russia? Something politically dramatic, like the fall of the Berlin Wall? Oil wars? What do you see? Dismiss? Comment: Will 2014 continue the bull? Correction? Bear? The “big one” predicted for last year? Finally coming? Our poll resembles the one we reported on from 2004 to 2008, summarized shortly before the collapse.
  • To help you, here are highlights we reported over the last year. Read, comment, what do you see ahead? A critical mass of macroeconomic triggers that could accelerate a downturn, recession, something we’ll deny, never hear, till too late:
  • Gary Shilling: 42% decline in S&P … and global recession
  • “With a global recession depressing corporate revenues, unsustainable profit margins and currency translation losses spawned by a robust dollar.” In early January Shilling saw “S&P 500 operating earnings … a quarter below Wall Street consensus. Throw in a bear market P/E low of 10 and the S&P 500 Index drops to 800, a 42% decline.”
  • Bill Gross: Credit supernova dead ahead
  • In February, Gross warned of a “credit supernova.” Pimco has $2 trillion at risk if the Fed’s cheap money explodes, brings down the economy. Worse, “investment banking, which only a decade ago promoted small-business development … now is dominated by leveraged speculation and the Ponzi finance.”
  • Nouriel Roubini: Global collapse, prepare for perfect storm
  • Roubini on Slate: “Sooner or later, another ugly fight” over debt, and markets get “spooked.” Any one trend “would be enough to stall the global economy, tip it into recession.”

Source: marketwatch.com


Rights

Your tax dollars at work: Tuition now so high that students rely on food shelters, charity

  • The promise of the public university has long been that students could receive an affordable education, subsidized by the taxpayers. But with out of control tuition costs and mounting loan debt, students everywhere are now so poor that they resort to food shelters to keep from starving to death, according to the Associated Press.
  • Food banks affiliated with the College and University Food Bank Alliance have appeared on over 50 campuses, according to Nate Smith-Tyge, who directs the food bank at Michigan State University.
  • “The food pantry allows us to have something extra in case you get hungry,” said Greeshma Johnson, a Stony Brook student, in a statement. “Every year, tuition gets a little higher.”
  • Other students rely on their attendance at university events where food is provided free of charge. For many, “free pizza night” at the inaugural events of certain student clubs saves a costly trip to the grocery store.

Source: dailycaller.com

 

Campaign urges parents to ‘just ask’ about guns

  • A new campaign urges parents to ask questions about gun ownership before sending their child to someone else’s home for a play date or sleepover.
  • Washington Cease Fire and ParentMap announced the “Just Ask” campaign Wednesday, calling it the most aggressive anti-gun campaign in their history.
  • Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington Cease Fire, said the six-figure campaign will include 200 King County bus ads to start in March and full-page ads in ParentMap magazine featuring a young girl in a pink tutu reaching for a handgun.
  • “We’ve got a board member whose 12-year-old daughter found a gun in a neighbor’s house and she ended up dying because of it,” Fascitelli said. “If you’re a parent, you certainly have a right to get all the information on your side to protect the safety of your child.”
  • Gun rights activists call the campaign part of a nationwide effort to demonize guns and gun ownership.
  • The second part of their campaign is to tell people, ‘Don’t send kids to people’s houses that have guns,'” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. “They want to demonize gun owners so their kids can’t play with our kids.”
  • Gottlieb said both sides can agree that guns should be kept away from children.
  • “We’re all for child safety and most gun owners take very great precaution when it comes to child safety,” he said. “Gun owners are extremely cognizant of the fact that children and guns don’t necessarily mix.”
  • Alayne Sulkin, publisher and editor of ParentMap, said parents should not be afraid to ask neighbors if they keep a gun in the home. A mother of three, she said she has had the conversation before.
  • “You have to just ask,” she said. “I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I have to just ask ‘do you have a weapon in your home?’ That’s OK if you do; I just need to know that it’s safely stored.”

Source: mynorthwest.com

Top Ten Reasons It Makes Sense Not to Enroll in Obamacare

  • By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • 1) The Obamacare health insurance policies cost significantly more – likely more than the penalty (tax). Most people can expect to see their premiums double.
  • 2) The Obamacare health-insurance policies limit your choice of doctors.
  • 3) The Obamacare health-insurance policies limit your choice of hospitals. For example, several major state-of-the-art, internationally known cancer treatment centers are excluded.
  • 4) Your out-of-pocket costs will skyrocket, with the new Obamacare health-insurance policies doubling and tripling the deductibles you must pay before coverage will kick in.
  • 5) Your medical privacy is lost when you enroll, and your medical information becomes controlled by government agencies.
  • 6) Your personal financial and health information may be seriously compromised by the security flaws in the Healthcare.gov website.
  • 7) You are at risk of identity theft by providing your personal information to the “Obamacare navigators,” a significant number of whom have been found to have criminal backgrounds.
  • 8) Enrolling in the Obamacare health exchange may lead to compromises of your Second Amendment rights, as medical databases collect information on gun ownership.
  • 9) Obamacare enrollees are finding it difficult or impossible to cancel their plan if they find a better option.
  • 10) Obamacare policies are basically “managed care” with limitations on your options – and financial incentives for your doctor to restrict your care.

Source: economicpolicyjournal.com


War

US agrees deal to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2014

  • The United States seems to have agreed a deal with the Afghan government that will result in leaving an unidentified number of troops behind after the end of 2014, media say.

Source: voiceofrussia.com

US, Germany inspectors to fly over Russia amid Ukraine tensions

  • American and German inspectors will make observation flights over Russia and Belarus within the framework of the international treaty on Open Skies. The mission is set to verify the true position of Russian troops and military equipment.
  • Starting from March 17, military inspectors from the United States and Germany will perform flights over European Russia and Belarus to check the real whereabouts of Russian troops followingaccusations from Ukraine that Russia is consolidating military forces close to its borders. The inspection will continue through March 21.
  • “The flights will be performed on the Swedish observation plane SAAB-340,” head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center, Sergey Ryzhkov, told Itar-Tass.

Source: rt.com

Yatsenyuk takes Scythian gold to US as money-back guarantee

  • Verkhovna Rada-appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk secretly took Scythian (sithian) gold to the US. This sensational news was circulated through social networks by Director of Moscow’s Lev Gumilev Centre Pavel Zarifullin.
  • Zarifullin is convinced that during his recent visit to the US, acting Ukrainian prime minister took along $20bln worth of national cultural values.
  • Referring to sources that he does not reveal, the author writes that these values might become guarantees for an International Monetary Fund’s loan.
  • To check the authenticity of this information, historians are urging the new Ukrainian authorities to draw up an open inventory in Kiev museums’ depots. The Scythian gold is not so much valued as a precious metal as a historical relic.

Source: voiceofrussia.com

About 93% of Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia – exit poll

Meanwhile: Lower house of Russia’s parliament, will quickly approve all laws on Crimea’s accession to Russia. “We’ll approve all laws as soon as reasonably possible,” Mironov said. “All will happen strictly and quickly. Our Crimean brothers should not doubt,” he said.

  • About 93 percent of voters in the Crimean referendum have answered ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic joining Russia and only 7 percent of the vote participants want the region to remain part of Ukraine, according to first exit polls.
  • Polling stations closed in Crimea after the referendum where residents were to decide on the future status of the region.

Source: rt.com

  • In a telephone call with Putin, “President Obama emphasized that the Crimean ‘referendum,’ which violates the Ukrainian constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognized by the United States and the international community,” the White House said in a statement.
  • Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin sees no controversy in western politicians casting doubts on the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum.

Source: voiceofrussia.com

EU imposes sanctions on Russia over Crimea

Meanwhile: US President Barack Obama has ordered that sanctions be applied against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, the White House stating that “the actions and policies” of the Russian government with respect to Ukraine “undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.”

  • EU issues travel bans and asset freezes for 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for Crimea referendum.
  • European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions against 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for a contested independence referendum in Crimea, officials have said.
  • Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said in a tweet on Monday that the 21 would be targeted by travel bans and asset freezes, with “more EU measures in few days”.

Source: aljazeera.com

Source: zerohedge.com

Russia Hints It May Force Ukraine Into Default, “May Ask Ukraine For Its $20 Billion Share For Ex-Soviet Debt”

  • Rook to G8, check.
  • RUSSIA MAY ASK UKRAINE TO PAY ITS $20B SHARE FOR EX-SOVIET DEBT
  • Pidgeon playing checkers response time.
  • This should come as no surprise as we warned of at least $3b in bonds that are due very soon…
  • the Ukraine owes $3 billion to Russia in bonds that have been issued under UK law. One of the stipulations of the bonds is that if the Ukraine’s debt-to-GDP ratio should exceed 60%, the bonds will become immediately callable.
  • Once the Ukraine gets funding from the IMF,  this is of course going to happen right away – its debt-to-GDP ratio will then most definitely exceed 60%, so the first $3 billion of any aid the Ukraine receives in the form of loans will right away flow into Russia’s coffers.
  • Of course there may be litigation first, but as Greek bondholders have found out, all those who held bonds issued under UK law were actually paid in full, while everybody else had to accept the ‘PSI’ and could basically go pound sand.

Source: zerohedge.com

Putin Responds To US, European Sanctions: Signs Order Recognizing Crimea As Sovereign State

  • So much for de-escalating:
  • RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SIGNS ORDER ON RECOGNITION OF CRIMEA AS SOVEREIGN STATE – RIA
  • Surely to precede Putin’s own executive order recognizing Crimea as the latest member of the Russian Federation. And as for those “crippling” sanctions, via the FT, here is the locals reall think and why the Russian stock market is soaring as we reported earlier.
  • Moscow investment banker on US sanctions: “It’s as innocuous as we’d hoped”
  • — Courtney Weaver (@courtneymoscow) March 17, 2014
  • One also wonders: how long un

Source: zerohedge.com

Obama Declares a National Emergency: Crimea Self-Determination Constitutes a “Threat To US National Security”

  • In his March 6 Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” Obama declares that support for Crimean self-determination constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.” 
  • Obama and the lawyers who drafted his executive order did not notice that the way the order is drafted it applies to Obama, to the unelected coup government in Kiev, and to the Washington and EU regimes. The order says that any person “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly . . . actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is subject to having his assets frozen.

Source: globalresearch.ca

U.S. Navy SEALs Take Control of Diverted Oil Tanker

  • United States Navy commandos seized a diverted oil tanker in the Mediterranean waters southeast of Cyprus on Monday morning, thwarting an attempt by a breakaway Libyan militia to sell its contents on the black market, the Pentagon said. No one was hurt in the operation, the Pentagon said in a statement.
  • The diverted tanker, called the Morning Glory, had sailed into the Libyan port of Sidra under a North Korean flag but North Korea disavowed the ship and denied having provided any authorization. News reports have said it was operated by a company based in Alexandria, Egypt, and that after leaving Libyan waters it appeared to have sailed the Mediterranean in search of a buyer for its oil.
  • But in addition to depriving the Libyan government of critical revenue, Mr. Jathran has also irked American and international concerns that have stakes in the Libyan oil industry. The willingness of the United States military to stop illicit exports appears to even out the balance of power between the government in Tripoli and Mr. Jathran’s militia in the east. While Tripoli has been unable to force Mr. Jathran to reopen the ports, he appears unable to sell the oil on his own either, returning the two sides to a stalemate.

Source: nytimes.com

Libya rebels ready to talk if Tripoli cancels offensive

  • The Libyan rebels, who control three oil export ports, say they are ready to negotiate with the central government if Tripoli’s plans for a military offensive are scrapped.
  • Abd-Rabbo al-Barassi, the head of the self-declared Barqa government in the eastern part of the OPEC member country, said on Saturday that talks could begin if the government withdrew troops dispatched to central Libya to face them.

Source: presstv.ir

The Implosion of Libya

  • Libya is imploding. Its oil exports have fallen from 1.4 million barrels a day in 2011 to 235,000 barrels a day. Militias hold 8,000 people in prisons, many of whom say they have been tortured. Some 40,000 people from the town of Tawergha south of Misrata were driven from their homes which have been destroyed. “The longer Libyan authorities tolerate the militias acting with impunity, the more entrenched they become, and the less willing to step down” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Putting off repeated deadlines to disarm and disband militias only prolongs the havoc they are creating throughout the country.”
  • Unfortunately, the militias are getting stronger not weaker.
  • Western and regional governments share responsibility for much that has happened in Libya, but so too should the media. The Libyan uprising was reported as a simple-minded clash between good and evil. Gaddafi and his regime were demonised and his opponents treated with a naïve lack of scepticism and enquiry. The foreign media have dealt with the subsequent collapse of the Libyan state since 2011 mostly by ignoring it, though politicians have stopped referring to Libya as an exemplar of successful foreign intervention.

Source: counterpunch.org

  • The United States has reported accelerated arms deliveries to Iraq.
  • The U.S. embassy said Washington was speeding up weapons and ammunition shipments to Iraq amid the Sunni revolt in the Anbar province. The embassy cited the export of thousands of light weapons.
  • The U.S. recently delivered 100 Hellfire missiles to Iraq.
  • “Since mid-January, more than 11 million rounds of ammunition, thousands of machine guns, sniper rifles, M-16s and M-4 rifles, thousands of flares, grenades and other weapons have been delivered to the ISF [Iraqi security forces],” the U.S. embassy said.
  • In a statement on March 16, the U.S. embassy said the deliveries included 100 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The statement said the Hellfires reflected a critical assessment by Iraqi and U.S. officials.
  • “Additional deliveries are scheduled in coming weeks, pursuant to the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program with attendant transparency and accountability measures,” the embassy said.
  • The Hellfires were meant to equip Iraq’s new fleet of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. Officials said Baghdad would lease six Apaches in a project supervised by the U.S. Army.
  • “The United States looks forward to working closely with Iraqi leaders
  • and military commanders to determine and address additional critical
  • equipment needs over the coming weeks.” the embassy said.
  • The U.S. military’s Central Command has been discussing Iraqi
  • participation in regional exercises

Source: worldtribune.com

U.S. reports spreading Al Qaida ‘footprint’ in N. Africa, Levant

  •  The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Al Qaida was expanding in North Africa.
  • Officials said Al Qaida has formed groups throughout North Africa and the Sahel regime. They cited the new Al Murabitoun, which has been operating in Algeria and Niger over the last year.
  • “This newly formed group poses a growing threat to Western interests in North Africa, based on the network’s record of sophisticated attacks against Western mineral and energy interests in Niger and Algeria in 2013,” Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn, referring to Al Murabitoun, said.
  • Al Murabitoun was formed in August 2013 through a merger between two factions of Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Source: worldtribune.com


Cyber Attacks

NERC drill finds U.S. grid preparedness insufficient

  • The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reported that its recent GridEx II exercise has highlighted the fact that nearly all the utilities which took part in the two-day drill last November – a drill aiming to test the preparedness of the U.S. power grid to withstand cyber and physical attacks – admitted that their planning for such attacks was insufficient.NERC’s president, Gerry Cauley, said that protecting utilities against cyber and physical attacks should be considered in the context of measures taken to protect the grid from other threats. He noted that utilities are already hardening their systems against storms like Hurricane Sandy, while working to determine their vulnerability to solar activity that changes the earth’s magnetic field.
  • The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reported that its recent GridEx II exercise has highlighted the fact that nearly all the utilities which took part in the two-day drill last November – a drill aiming to test the preparedness of the U.S. power grid to withstand cyber and physical attacks – admitted that their planning for such attacks was insufficient.
  • More than 2,000 companies and organizations from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico participated in the exercise, and all said the drill showed them their vulnerabilities and how important communication among utilities was if such an attack occurred.
  • The New York Times reports that the NERC report offered few details. The organizers said it would make little sense to publicize the grid’s shortcomings beyond the organizations involved with it on a daily basis, and that NERC was communicating with the utilities individually about their performances.

Source: homelandsecuritynewswire.com

  • Millions of U.S. government computers, including those at military and intelligence agencies,  will still be running Windows XP after April 8 even though Microsoft Corp. will no longer be providing security patches for the operating system, The Washington Postreported. 
  • Such computers — comprising an estimated 10 percent of inventory — could be susceptible to being hacked, jeopardizing other computers in their network, including those running current operating systems.
  • Windows XP came on stream in 2001, and Microsoft has been saying for six years that it would end free support in April 2014.
  • The Department of Homeland Security and the White House Office of Management and Budget alerted agencies in April 2012 that they needed to urgently transition from Windows XP. 
  • Iranian and Chinese hackers have previously penetrated computers running Windows XP. Cyber attackers tend to lie in wait for vulnerable “end-of-life” operating systems to gain access to entire networks, the Post reported. 
Source: newsmax.com

False Flag

Iranian Nuke Sites Hit with ‘Sabotage’

  • Iranian officials in panic, urge vigilance over ‘enemy’ plots
  • Iranian officials revealed on Monday that several “new acts of sabotage” had taken place at its controversial Arak nuclear reactor facility and that other so-called “enemy plots” had been carried out at separate key nuclear sites.
  • Iranian security forces told the country’s state-run press early Monday that these “new acts of sabotage” had been discovered at the Arak heavy water reactor, which has been jointly built with aid from Russia.
  • “Intelligence inspections of the nuclear facilities indicated that some pumps of the second circuitry of Arak’s IR40 project had undergone mechanical operations in a bid to disrupt the routine work of the power plant,” Asqar Zare’an, the AEOI’s deputy chief for nuclear protection and security, was quoted as saying over the weekend.
  • It is unclear how these faulty pumps made their way into the reactor and Iranian authorities have yet to name the contractor who imported them.
  • Iran’s security forces claim to have immediately “foiled” the attack and disrupted the so-called “sabotage.”
Source: freebeacon.com

Al-Qaida Magazine Calls for Car Bombs in US

  • Al-Qaida sounds a call for its terrorist followers to strike the United States and other Western nations with car bombs — and even suggests times and targets — in the Spring issue of its magazine, Inspire.
  • The magazine manifesto suggests U.S. targets such as Washington, D.C., New York, northern Virginia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as locations in Great Britain, France and “other crusader countries.”
  • The article suggests terrorists aim for places that are heavily populated: sporting events, election campaigns, and festivals.
  • Christmas and New Year’s are suggested as good times for attack. In Europe, the article suggests attacking the Bastille Military Day Parade in Paris and soccer stadiums in England “when huge crowds leave the stadium and celebrate around the entrances and [the English Football Association’s] FA Cup matches.”
  • “The important thing is that you target people and not buildings,” the article says.
  • Washington and New York have “symbolic importance,” the article says, because D.C. is the seat of the federal government and New York is the former capital and currently the country’s financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center.
  • Northern Virginia is suggested because “almost all the military bases are based in this state, apart from the Air Force which is based in Chicago.” The area also is home to many government agencies, the Department of Defense and CIA and “attracts a load of tourists,” the magazine said.
  • Chicago is the second-largest financial center in the United States and is a major transportation hub. Los Angeles is the second-largest city and is home to Hollywood. Celebrities often visit restaurants in the area on weekends, the article says.
  • A letter from the editor in the front of the magazine reads in part:
  • “The American government was unable to protect its citizens from pressure cooker bombs in backpacks, I wonder if they are ready to stop car bombs!
  • “Therefore, as our responsibility to the Muslim Ummah in general and Muslims living in America in particular, Inspire Magazine humbly presents to you a simple improvised home recipe of Shahzad’s car bomb.
  • “And the good news is … you can prepare it in the kitchen of your mom too.”

Source: newsmax.com


Other News


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