Greeks might be heading down the same path as Cyprus, bank bail-ins. Baltic dry index falls once again. Central banks are now ready to loot the American people and the rest of the private western bank countries. Report shows congress knew about the torture and was briefed regularly. Spain blocks news and creates new law restricting protests. NATO putting approximately 12,000 advisers in Afghanistan. US passed bill to supply Ukraine with deadly weapons. DHS reports millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm.
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Current News – 12.12.2014
- “In the event of a severe Greek government clash with international lenders, interruption of liquidity provision to Greek banks by the ECB could potentially even lead to a Cyprus-style prolonged “bank holiday”. And market fears for potential Euro-exit risks could rise at that point.” Should the parliament fail to elect a president, general elections would need to be held.
- As things stand, the government majority does not suffice to elect a president and avoid elections.
- British construction output suffered an unexpected sharp fall in October, even as growth in preceding months was revised up and handed a slight boost to overall economic growth in the third quarter.
- Construction output fell 2.2 percent in October after rising by the same amount in September, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.
- total housebuilding in October fell 0.8 percent from September.
- The last time Americans were this confident was December 2006 – according to UMich latest survey of consumer sentiment.
- Producer Prices fell 0.2% in November, more than the expected 0.1% drop, for the largest wholesale deflation since October 2011. This leads to a 1.4% YoY PPI, the weakest since March and has fallen for 7 straight months.
- Houston-based Halliburton Co. will cut about 1,000 jobs i
- The Baltic Dry Index on December 11 lost 24 points (or 2.63%) on the previous reporting date (Dec. 10) to settle at 887 points. On 20 May 2008, the index hit its record high since its introduction in 1985, reaching 11,793 points. On 3 February 2012, the index plunged to its record low of 647 points, since 1986.
- The Austrian state audit court says central bank should address concentration risk of storing 80% of its gold reserves with the Bank of England, Standard reports, citing draft audit report. Court advises central bank to diversify storage locations, contract partners.
- Given the “high concentration risk in the Bank of England” advise the examiner to “rapid evaluation of all possibilities of a better dispersion of the storage locations”. Not only the parties to be diversified, but it should also come to the “actual spread of the storage locations”.
- Austria has 280 tons of gold, only a small part of them (17 percent) are kept in Vienna. 80 percent of the reserves are located in London, the main trading for gold, three percent in Switzerland.
- new law in Spain that requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not, Google did the only sensible thing: Google Shut Down Spanish News Operations.
- Spain has narrowly voted in an anti-protest law, which the government argues will ensure public security but opponents say will restrict civil liberties.
- The law, which has been called the ‘gag law’ by opposition groups and the media, was passed in the lower house of parliament on Thursday by 181 votes for to 141 against.
- The Citizens Security Law gives sweeping powers to the authorities. Any unauthorized protests outside buildings that provide basic services to the community will incur a fine of up to €600,000 ($746,000). This covers a huge number of buildings from universities to hospitals.
- There will also be a €600 fine for showing a lack of respect to anyone in uniform, while the photographing or filming of police officers, where they could be put in danger, will incur a €30,000 fine.
- The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.
- British intelligence was in contact with the CIA prior to the publication of the US Senate report on torture published earlier this week. Downing Street confirmed the UK asked for information to be redacted on national security grounds.
- The statement contradicts those made earlier by the British government, which denied any involvement in US torture operations.
- As some lawmakers purport to be stunned over the new CIA “torture report” the fact is Congress knew for years that enhanced interrogation techniques were being used on terrorists and in fact dozens of members were repeatedly briefed on the subject, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
- Back in 2010 Judicial Watch obtained government documents—once marked “Top Secret”—that reveal between 2001 and 2007, the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on its interrogation program. This included so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The dates of all congressional briefings and, in some cases, the members of Congress in attendance as well as the specific subjects discussed are included in the files. Pelosi, who has publicly denied she was briefed by the CIA on the use of these techniques, is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002,
- enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective and that the CIA provided “extensive inaccurate information”
- An undercover cop in Oakland pulled out a gun and pointed it at protesters Wednesday night after they exposed him and a partner as police officers attempting to incite crime.
- The shocking moment was captured by Reuters photographer Noah Berger, who was covering protests spurred by the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.
- Reports indicate that two police officers were posing as protesters, while wearing bandanas over their faces. Others in the group cottoned on to the fact that they were not legitimate demonstrators and began pointing at them and yelling, “Hey, they’re undercover, they’re cops!”
- Witnesses at the scene claimed that the two undercover cops were attempting to rile up the crowd up and get them to vandalize property and loot businesses.
- The 12,000-strong non-combat mission dubbed ‘Resolute Support’ will train, advise and assist Afghanistan’s law-enforcement, security and military personnel.
- The UN Security Council voted Friday to approve a new NATO mission in Afghanistan starting from January 1, 2015.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on December 1 the 12,000-strong non-combat mission dubbed ‘Resolute Support’ will train, advise and assist Afghanista’s law-enforcement, security and military personnel.
- Ukraine says it will dramatically increase the number of its conscripts to a quarter of a million and boost its military budget in 2015 to deal with the ongoing conflict in its eastern provinces.
- “We foresee calling up 40,000 men in 2015 and training 10,500 people who will do their service [as professional soldiers],” Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told parliament on Friday.
- He added that the total number of the armed forces would increase from 232,000 this year to 250,000 next year.
- Currently the amendment to the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives that would bar US funding to neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine is buried and no action has been taken.
- Congressman John Conyers in May introduced an amendment to the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives that would bar US funding to neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine .
- Last night, December 11th, the U.S. Senate voted unanimouslyas the U.S. House had previously voted 98%: to joinUkraine’s war against Russia and against Ukraine’s own ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s southeastern districts, in order to eliminate those resistant Ukrainians and their families.
- The U.S. is now throwing down the gauntlet to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, and daring him to defend openly the ethnic Russians that the U.S.-installed Ukrainian Government is now trying to exterminate in the eastern districts, the places where the present Ukrainian Government is rejected by almost all of the residents.
- Both the House and Senate bills are for not just “arms/military supplies,” but specifically include “lethal weapons.” And they aren’t just to “send,” but to donate them, because the Ukrainian Government is bankrupt and can carry on its extermination campaign only by additional borrowings from the IMF, the U.S., and EU.
- Ukrainian company Ukrinmash, has signed an agreement with the US company Barrett Firearms on supplies of weapons for the needs of the national Security Service and the National Guard,
- U.S. Congress on Dec. 11, which introduces changes to the law on foreign assistance of 1961 and recognizes Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Moldova, as Washington’s main allies outside NATO.
- Barack Obama now has the option of sending Kiev weaponry, primarily anti-tank and armor-piercing equipment. The U.S. government has allotted $350 million for this purpose. the bill also grants the U.S. executive branch the power to “procure and transport emergency fuel reserves” to satisfy Ukraine’s needs, including “reserve gas supplies from Europe.”
- U.S. president the right to introduce sanctions against Gazprom, Rosoboronexport and other Russian companies.
- Putin’s visit to India – 20 high-profile deals struck
- the two sides ended with US$100 billion commercial contracts.
- Norway will not resume military cooperation with Russia which was frozen in March this year till late 2015, the Norwegian Defense Ministry said
- The European Union could consider imposing new sanctions on Libya
- Opposition sources said the State Department halted salaries to thousands of Sunni rebels deployed to fight the regime of President Bashar Assad. They said the funding halt came in wake of the defeat of U.S.-financed militias
- The administration of President Barack Obama has acknowledged that U.S. aid to rebels did not threaten the Assad regime. On Dec. 10, a senior official said the United States determined that the civil war in Syria must be resolved through diplomacy.
- Both chambers of the US legislature passed cybersecurity bill, clearly outlining the power of federal authorities in cyber threats management, as well as updating existing laws in accordance with emerging threats, prompted by the recent Sony hack.
- The US House of Representatives passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 (S. 2519)
- “The cyber bills passed this week are a historic moment in the fight against cyber-attacks,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), head of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said,
- Document says FEMA unsure of damage to grid from magnetic storm
- Millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm that will disrupt the electric grid and cause cascading infrastructure failures, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document.
- DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated in an internal 2012 fact sheet outlining its response plan for severe “space weather” that the actual impact and damage from a future solar storm is not known.
- “An analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the U.S. electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.
- The FEMA fact sheet noted the findings of a 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that monitors sun storms, warning that an extreme solar storm could leave “130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.
- The study said a future solar storm like the great magnetic storm of May 1921 would black out most states east of the Mississippi River along with most states in the Pacific Northwest.
- The long-term loss of electrical power likely would produce catastrophic loss of life.