Is The Economy Really Collapsing? – Episode 213

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youtube_is_economy_collapsing_economic_collapse2 The central bankers/Government officials have been using propaganda to convince the masses that the economy is recovering. With real estate mortgages plunging, traffic to new homes falling, major furniture manufactures going out of business and the FED continually pumping in 85 billion a month into the system we know for a fact the economy is doomed. The peace deal with Iran is not making much progress and what we know is that the central bankers/US do not want peace with Iran, they want Iran back on the US dollar as the reserve currency, so we know they will create a false flag event to get what they always wanted.

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Current News


Economy

Fitch Downgrades Chicago, Worse Than Detroit?

There are many other cities that will be downgraded in the future.  Most cities do not have cash on hand to last more than 8 days and many are spending more than they are taking in. These cities will eventually follow the path of Detroit.

  • Is Chicago worse than Detroit? That might be hard for many to believe, but while Detroit may be well known for its fiscal problems, it might be better off than many of its fellow US cities, like Chicago, according to a new report from Moody’s Investor Service. To boot, Fitch downgraded Chicago on Friday.
  • The City of Chicago has the most pension debt in the nation, with its liabilities equaling 678 percent of its revenues as of 2011, with Cook County (which contains Chicago and some suburbs) coming in next, with pension liabilities that equal nearly 382 percent of its revenue.
  • “A lot of the problems that are more on the severe side are driven by governments not making the required payments into the pension plans,” says Tom Aaron, analyst at Moody’s and one of the report’s authors.
  • This makes sense considering that Friday saw Fitch Ratings cut Chicago’s bond ratings due to the city’s poor economy and its lack of a solution to its union pension obligations.
  • The credit ratings agency said it downgraded $8 billion in Chicago’s unlimited tax general obligation (ULTGO) bonds to A from AA-.
  • Fitch also cut $497.3 million sales tax bonds to A- from AA-, and downgraded $200 million commercial paper notes.
  • “The city has been unsuccessful in its attempts to negotiate a solution with labor unions and lobby the state legislature, which ultimately controls the benefit formula,” Fitch said in a statement.
  • The company also stated that while the city has good prospects for long-term economic stability, if not growth, but high unemployment and the recovery of its property tax base remain a continuing problem.
  • “The downgrade reflects the lack of meaningful solutions to both the near- and long-term (pension) burden,” says Fitch. There’s also the poor American economic landscape – “high unemployment persists and property tax base recovery has been elusive.”

Source: unitedcpm.com

Homebuilders’ Cancellation Rate Surges To Highest Since December 2008

  • Despite ongoing optimism that the housing recovery can withstand fire, brimstone, rising rates, and collapsing confidence (in spite of the fact that indications from most top-down data are to the contrary), investors in US homebuilders may need to adjust this morning. If DR Horton is any indication of a broad trend (and empirical comparisons with its peers show that it is) then the firm’s huge miss in its cancellation rate (31.0% vs an expectation of 25.5%) in Q3 should be food for thought. The surge in cancellation was the largest MoM since mid-2008 and jumped to its highest since December 2008.

 

 

  • Does make one wonder if the lagged response to the surge in rates and collapse in applications is now catching up…

 

 

 Former Top Fed Trader Confesses to What QE Is Really All About

This revelation should not come as surprise to anyone. We all know by now that QE does not help the everyday person, does not create jobs and does not spur economic growth.  What it actually does is make the 1% wealthier, it is needed to purchase Treasury bonds which are being dumped by other countries, it is needed to purchase the toxic real estate on the banks books, it is needed to create the stock market bubble, real estate bubble, student loan bubble and treasury bubble etc. It is used to rob the American people of every last dime they have.

  • Andrew Huszar, who managed the Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion agency mortgage-backed security purchase program, from 2009 to 2010,has an op-ed in today’s WSJ confessing to his evil doings:
  • I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.[…]
  • Trading for the first round of QE ended on March 31, 2010. The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank’s bond purchases had been an absolute coup for Wall Street. The banks hadn’t just benefited from the lower cost of making loans. They’d also enjoyed huge capital gains on the rising values of their securities holdings and fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed’s QE transactions. Wall Street had experienced its most profitable year ever in 2009, and 2010 was starting off in much the same way.
  • You’d think the Fed would have finally stopped to question the wisdom of QE. Think again. Only a few months later—after a 14% drop in the U.S. stock market and renewed weakening in the banking sector—the Fed announced a new round of bond buying: QE2. Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, immediately called the decision “clueless.”
  • That was when I realized the Fed had lost any remaining ability to think independently from Wall Street.
  • Where are we today? The Fed keeps buying roughly $85 billion in bonds a month, chronically delaying so much as a minor QE taper. Over five years, its bond purchases have come to more than $4 trillion. Amazingly, in a supposedly free-market nation, QE has become the largest financial-markets intervention by any government in world history

Source: economicpolicyjournal.com

ISDA Proposes To “Suspend” Default Reality When Big Banks Fail

Internation Swaps and Derivative Assoc

  • With global financial company stock prices soaring, analysts proclaiming holding bank shares is a win-win on rates, NIM, growth, and “fortress balance sheets”, and a European stress-test forthcoming that will ‘prove’ how great banks really are; the question one is forced to ask, given the ruling below, is “Why is ISDA so worried about derivatives-based systemic risk?”
  • As DailyLead reports,
  • …regulators from the U.S., U.K., Germany and Switzerland have asked ISDA to include a short-term suspension of early-termination rights in its master agreement when it comes to bank resolutions. Many derivatives market participants oppose the move.
  • The regulators say the suspension, preferably no more than 48 hours, gives resolution officials time to switch derivatives contracts to a third party or bridging entity, when necessary.
  • We are sure that creditors will be ‘fine’ with this.. and that banks will not use this loophole to hive off all their ‘assets’ into a derivative vehicle protected ‘temporarily’ from the effects of a bankruptcy…
  • So the question is – what are they so worried about?
  • ISDA Statement on Letter from Major Resolution Authorities
  • NEW YORK, November 6, 2013 – The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) today issued the following statement:
  • ISDA supports efforts to create a more robust financial system and reduce systemic risk.  Toward that end, we have, over the course of 2013, discussed with policymakers and OTC derivatives market participants issues related to the early termination of OTC derivatives contracts following the commencement of an insolvency or resolution action. We have developed and shared papers that explore several alternatives for achieving a suspension of early termination rights in such situations.
  • “One of those alternatives, which is supported by a number of key global policymakers and regulatory authorities, would be to amend ISDA derivatives documentation to include a standard provision in which counterparties agree to a short-term suspension.  Developing such a provision that could be used by counterparties will continue to be a primary focus of our efforts in this important area of regulatory reform.  We are committed to working with supervisors and regulators around the world to achieve an appropriate solution that will contribute to safe, efficient markets.”

Source: zerohedge.com


Rights

What’s in a Name? White House Redefines ‘Enrollee’

  • The Obama administration is redefining the word “enrollee” in a bid to boost the numbers of people it says are signing on to Obamacare.
  • Insurance companies normally use the word to describe those who have signed up and received a member’s card, but the White House is defining those “enrolled” as individuals who “have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid, The Washington Post reports.
  • Payment for Jan. 1 coverage isn’t due until Dec. 15.
  • Pressed this week for enrollment figures, the administration changed the definition of “enrollee,” hoping it could help in the public relations battle.
  • The change, though, is politically contentious, the Post reported.
  • “In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace,” an unidentified administration official said.
  • Different definitions lead to different enrollment estimates. In the District of Columbia, for instance, health-insurance plans reported that five people had signed up for a plan in the first month. The city’s exchange, put the number at 321, saying that 164 of these had already requested a payment invoice, while the other applications were in their shopping carts, according to the Post.
  • Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that about 50,000 individuals — a fraction of the administration’s 500,000 target — had enrolled in private health plans through HealthCare.gov site running in 36 states.
  • States operating their own exchanges enrolled an additional 49,000, but not all states had released figures, Politico reported, citing Avalere Healthcare, a consulting company.
  • The HealthCare.gov site needs to be properly functioning by Nov. 30 to give Americans waiting to enroll by the Dec. 15 deadline sufficient time to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage, The Hill reported.

Source: newsmax.com

NEW OBAMACARE MENTAL HEALTH REGS TIED TO GUN CONTROL

  • Though President Obama said he was “sorry” that more than 4.2 million Americans have had their health insurance policies cancelled due to his signature health law, that did not stop him from instituting additional regulations and mandates for services in ObamaCare, this time for mental health and substance abuse.
  • On Friday, the Obama administration announced new rules that place mental health and substance abuse services on par with medical and surgical benefits.
  • The rules, which will apply to almost all forms of health insurance, will likely have far-reaching consequences, states the New York Times, as they are critical to Obama’s program for preventing gun violence, i.e., his belief that more availability of mental health treatment will reduce gun violence. In issuing the new health insurance regulations, the administration said it will have acted on all 23 executive actions that Obama announced earlier this year to reduce gun crime following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December.
  • Despite Obama’s belief that if Americans are taxed enough to pay for mental health and substance abuse services for all there will be less gun violence, mental health experts have stated that such a law would not have prevented the Newtown shooting or other similar shootings.
  • In October, psychiatrist J. Michael Bostwick, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic noted that the vast majority of people who perform mass shootings are not mentally ill; that the majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous; and that taking guns away from the mentally ill will not eliminate mass shootings.
  • According to the Washington Times, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, standing alongside former first lady Rosalynn Carter, said in Atlanta that the new rules were the end result of a generation-long effort to ensure that millions of Americans with behavioral problems get the same care as physically ill patients.
  • “For way too long, the health care system has openly discriminated against people with behavioral health problems,” Sebelius said.
  • The new regulations state that, in addition to mandated coverage for mental health and substance abuse services, insurers must provide transparency, particularly when a claim for behavioral health coverage is denied. Intensive mental health outpatient and residential treatment are to be considered equivalent to similar types of treatment for physical illnesses.
  • Given that Americans are being forced to purchase health insurance at higher costs already due to mandates for essential benefits such as contraception, as well as for pre-existing conditions, costs are likely to increase even further with mandated benefits of mental health services and substance abuse treatment – whether Americans need these services or not.
  • How mental health providers who participate in health insurance plans will be required to provide information to the government regarding the behavioral practices of their patients, as well as ownership of guns will likely become an additional issue.

 

Source: breitbart.com


Police State

Hagel Says Cuts to Pay and Benefits are Needed

  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Tuesday that troops and their families will be asked to sacrifice on pay and benefits to preserve readiness in an era of tighter budgets.
  • Hagel listed politically-charged changes to compensation and personnel policy as one of his top six priorities in reforming the military following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the department gears up to meet new challenges.
  • “This may be the most difficult” to achieve among his six priorities, Hagel said of proposals to trim pay increases, overhaul TRICARE and review retirement benefits while adapting to cuts in personnel.
  • “Without serious attempts to achieve significant savings in this area, which consumes roughly half of the DoD budget and is increasing every year, we risk becoming an unbalanced force,” Hagel said.
  • The alternative was to have a military that is “well-compensated, but poorly trained and equipped, with limited readiness and capability,” Hagel said in a keynote address to a Global Security Forum 2013 sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Hagel acknowledged the need to get approval for changes to compensation and personnel policy from members of Congress, who would be reluctant to justify military pay cuts to voters back home.
  • At a CSIS panel on defense budgets following Hagel’s address, Jim Dyer, former staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, said he saw “no movement on pay, or to address TRICARE costs” in the current political environment.
  • “Congress is not there on this yet,” Dyer said. “They’re too determined not to hurt the troops,” or their own chances for re-election, Dyer said.
  • In his 35-minute speech , Hagel said his  strategic vision for the department’s future constantly had to be balanced against the uncertainty of funding. The overall goal, given the political gridlock in Congress, involved a tradeoff on shrinking the size of the military to maintain investments in new weapons and cyberwarfare capabilities, Hagel said.
  • “Destructive technologies and weapons that were once the province of advanced militaries are being sought by non-state actors and other nations,” Hagel said. “This will require our continued investment in cutting-edge defensive space and cyber technologies, and capabilities like missile defense, as well as offensive technologies and capabilities to deter aggressors and respond if we must.”.
  • The degree of difficulty in the task increased exponentially under the budget cuts, Hagel said. The Defense Department is “currently facing sequester-level cuts on the order of $500 billion over 10 years. This is in addition to the ten-year, $487 billion reduction in DoD’s budget that is already underway.”
  • “These cuts are too fast, too much, too abrupt, and too irresponsible,” Hagel said. “DoD took a $37 billion sequester cut during the past fiscal year, and we could be forced to absorb a $52 billion sequester cut this fiscal year.”
  • Yet, Hagel said he remained committed to his six priorities “for our budget and strategic planning efforts going forward” — institutional reform, force planning, readiness, investments in emerging capabilities, balancing capacity and capability, and balancing personnel responsibilities with a sustainable compensation policy.
  • Hagel also echoed the themes of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who reached a consensus on foreign policy that combined the soft power of diplomacy and development with the hard power of the military to achieve what they termed “smart power.” Hagel said
  • “We will need to place more of an emphasis on civilian instruments of power,” Hagel said.

Source: military.com


War

N. Korea prefers China’s yuan over U.S. dollar to evade sanctions: Yonhap

  • The Chinese yuan is becoming more popular in North Korea than the U.S. dollar as transactions through China’s currency make it easier to evade international sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported from Beijing on Monday.
  • “In the first nine months of this year, the value of the U.S. dollar was averaged at 7,500 won to 8,500 won, while the value of the Chinese yuan was averaged at 1,250 won to 1,350 won,” a South Korean diplomat was quoted as saying.
  • Although North Korea officially bans its people from using foreign currencies such as the yuan or the dollar, their use is rampant in the black market, the diplomat said, noting that it is not uncommon for people in Pyongyang to pay for taxi fares in yuan instead of won.
  • “North Korean people and companies are increasingly using the yuan instead of the dollar because such yuan transactions make it difficult for them to be exposed to the international sanctions,” the diplomat was quoted as saying.

Source: globalpost.com

 Lavrov to confirm Russian air defense system, surface missiles for Egypt, Russian Navy facilities at Alexandria

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu start a two-day visit to Cairo Wednesday, Nov. 13, to wind up a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry for the Egyptian army and the Russian Navy’s access to port facilities on the Mediterranean.
  • DEBKAfile’s military sources, which first revealed the coming transactions in the last week of October, now amplify that report by disclosing that Moscow has agreed to equip Egypt with a sophisticated combined double-layered system which covers both its defensive and offensive requirements.
  • 1. The first layer will provide a shield against attack by stealth aircraft, drones and cruise missiles for all of Egypt’s airspace, including the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and its coastal waters, up to the central Mediterranean. Our military sources add that part of the system will be positioned in eastern Egypt for the protection of key Saudi cities as well.
  • 2. The second layer will be built around sophisticated surface missiles with ranges that cover all points in the Middle East including Iran. Moscow and Cairo are keeping the types of missiles secret.
  • Saudi Arabia is putting up the estimated $4 billion to pay for the transaction.
  • The Russian delegation will include the first deputy director of the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation, Andrei Boitsov, and officials from state-arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
  • Egyptian officials continued Tuesday to deny reports that a Russian naval base would be established in an Egyptian port as “illogical,” saying it would “undermine the country’s independence and sovereignty.”
  • However, according to our sources, planning is already underway for the deployment of some 1,500 Russian military personnel in Egypt to have the new missiles up and running and local personnel trained in their use by mid-2014. A similar number of Russian naval and marine servicemen have been assigned to setting up the naval base, most probably in Alexandria.
  • We have learned that the visiting Russian ministers and Egypt’s rulers will also discuss permission for Russian warships to dock in Egypt’s Red Sea waters opposite the Saudi coast.
  • Several thousand Russian military personnel will therefore soon be deployed in Egypt, 42 years after the entire body of Russian “military advisers” was expelled from the country by President Anwar Sadat.
  • The visit to Egypt by Lavrov and Gen. Shoigu was heralded at the port of Alexandria by the arrival of the Soviet Pacific Fleet flagship, the guided missile cruiser Varyag. Egyptian Navy commanders greeted the ship with unusual honor, including a gun salute. Varyag will remain in the Egyptian port for the duration of the Russian ministers’ stay.
  • When US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo on Nov. 3, he tried to induce Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to call off the arms deal with Russia by offering to restore in full the $1.3 billion US military aid package which the Obama administration left hanging after the coup which deposed Mohamed Morsi as president in July.
  • Gen. El-Sisi replied that Cairo does not intend severing its military ties with Washington and would prefer to continue to receive American airplanes and tanks, but will also be glad to take delivery of advanced Russian weapons which the US has withheld from Egypt.

Source: debka.com

Pressed by its NATO allies, Turkey may back out of China missile deal

  • The government of Turkey is facing increasing pressure from its key NATO allies, especially the United States, and may abandon its earlier decision to buy a Chinese-made missile defense system that would have cost $3.44 billion.
  • China’s HQ-9 missile defense system.
  • Such a move was strongly indicated last week when Turkey’s Defense Industry Executive Committee [SSIK] announced an extension of the deadline for open bids to Jan. 31, 2014.
  • The announcement signaled that the decision to abandon the Chinese deal might have been reached and that a new round of bidding would start from the beginning.
  • On Sept. 26, Turkey shocked the global arms trade and international security communities by announcing the decision to purchase China’s HQ-9 [Red Flag-9] missile defense system.

Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”: Australia Central to American War Plans Against China

  • A lengthy report released last week by the US-based think tank, the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), provides a detailed assessment of Australia’s central strategic role in the Pentagon’s preparations for war with China. The report’s title itself—“Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-US Alliance”highlights the critical geographical importance of the Australian continent for US naval and air operations in Indian and Pacific oceans in any war against China.
  • The CBSA bills itself as independent and non-partisan, but is closely connected to the American military establishment, receiving the bulk of its funds through Department of Defense research projects. It was prominently involved in drawing up the Pentagon’s AirSea Battle strategy for war against China—a devastating missile and air attack on the Chinese mainland aimed at destroying its communications and military infrastructure, supplemented by an economic blockade to cut off vital Chinese imports of energy and raw materials from Africa and the Middle East.
  • The US military build-up in the Indo-Pacific region is an integral component of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia”an all-sided diplomatic, economic and strategic offensive aimed at undermining Chinese influence throughout the region and encircling China militarily. Australia’s importance was underscored when Obama chose to formally announce the “pivot” or “rebalance” in the Australian parliament in November 2011, and signed an agreement to station US Marines in the northern city of Darwin and open up Australian naval and air bases to American forces.
  • While the Australian and US governments speak of the American build-up in Asia in benign terms and deny any targeting of China, the CBSA report explicitly identifies China as the chief potential enemy. Other US think tanks have laid out the general strategy behind Obama’s “pivot”, but the CBSA report is the first to focus exclusively on Australia’s military importance. As it explains, “Australia has moved from ‘down under’ to ‘top centre’ in terms of geopolitical import. For the first time since World War II, Australian and American areas of strategic priority overlap. The strength of this rekindled convergence suggests that the US-Australia relationship may well prove to be the most special relationship of the 21st century.”
  • The CBSA later states: “The United States’ decision to rebalance towards Asia has had a sizeable impact on the Australia-US alliance… Australia’s strategic geography, well-trained armed forces, and highly regarded intelligence complex renders it an increasingly invaluable partner to the United States. Much as Washington’s close alliance with London provided the United States with a strategic vantage point over Europe throughout the troubled 20th century, America’s strong ties with Australia provide it with the means to preserve US influence and military reach across the Indo-Pacific.”
  • The report pinpoints the vital functions that US imperialism will require of Australia and its military forces in any conflict with China, including specific details of bases, infrastructure, and complementary Australian weaponry needed to support American operations in the Indo-Pacific. These are grouped under four headings:
  • Supportive sanctuary: “As American forward bases in the western Pacific become increasingly vulnerable to Chinese missile threats, the Australian continent, with its solid infrastructure and local technical expertise, could fulfil an important role as logistical hub and bastion for the alliance,” the report states.
  • The CBSA notes the lack of regional US bases other than Guam in the western Pacific and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Australia, it states, represents “something of a geographic ‘sweet spot’”—outside the reach of Chinese missile forces but relatively close to potential theatres of action in the South China Sea and “choke points” through the Indonesian archipelago: the Malacca, Sunda and Lombok straits. The report identifies air bases in northern Australia and the Stirling naval base near Perth in Western Australia as critical for US air and nuclear submarine operations. Such bases, however, would need to be significantly upgraded to support “high tempo” use in times of war.
  • Indo-Pacific Watch Tower: The report notes the very close collaboration of the US and Australia in intelligence/surveillance throughout the Indo-Pacific. This includes the use of long-range, over the horizon radar “allowing Australia to monitor key maritime chokepoints and sea lanes to its north,” and electronic spying from bases such as Pine Gap, as well as agreement to establish a space surveillance radar in Western Australia. The CBSA writes approvingly of “Australia’s signals intelligence expertise,” which, as Edward Snowden has exposed, is a vital component of the NSA’s vast global spying operations, and adds that it could become “the foundation of a first-class cyber warfare capability.” The previous Labor government established an Australian Cyber Security Centre earlier this year.
  • Green Water Warden: “Australia’s relative proximity to the southern Indonesian archipelago, when combined with the diversity and high level of jointness of its armed forces, mean it could play a vital role policing the Lombok and Sunda Straits,” the report states. It discusses in detail the types of warplanes, warships and weaponry needed to defeat China’s forces and effectively cut off its essential imports of energy and raw materials from Africa and the Middle East. It speaks openly of the military advantages of deploying “forces on Indonesian soil or within Indonesian waters” and points to the need to overcome “Indonesia’s history of non-alignment and continued attachment to neutrality.”
  • Peripheral Launchpad: In the event that a war with China extends into the Indian Ocean, the CBSA suggests that the Australian military “could make a useful contribution by leading or participating in operations against isolated Chinese naval task forces in the Eastern and Southern parts of the Indian Ocean.” The report makes a complaint, which runs like a thread through the document, that Australian air and naval forces lack the range necessary to carry out long-distance missions. It again raises the call made repeatedly by US officials, including the former US ambassador to Canberra Jeffrey Bleich, for Australia to purchase American nuclear submarines, rather than construct its own diesel-powered vessels.
  • Far from being simply a military document, the CBSA report deals with the differences that have emerged in the Australian political and strategic circles over commitment to the Obama administration’s “pivot.” It points obliquely to the fundamental dilemma facing Australian imperialism, which relies heavily on trade with China, but depends on the US military alliance to prosecute its own neo-colonial interests in the Asia-Pacific.
  • All the various tendencies identified by the CBSA in “Australia’s ongoing strategic debate” support the US alliance. What the report terms “alliance minimalists,” such as strategic analyst Hugh White, have emphasised the dangers of war and economic retribution by China if Australia too closely associates with the “pivot.” The “alliance maximalists” are personified by Ross Babbage of the Kokoda Foundation, who advocates an Australian military that can “rip an arm off any major Asian power that seeks to attack Australia.” The “incrementalists”—most commentators and politicians—lie somewhere in between. While the classifications employed are rather artificial and misleading, the CBSA report is further evidence that Washington is following, and intervening in, the political debate in Canberra very closely.
  • The CBSA’s attitude is made abundantly clear by its critical attitude to both the “alliance minimalists” and “incrementalists.” Moreover, the report regards the “debate” as all but over. “Australia has already crossed this strategic Rubicon [of aligning against China], providing the US Marine Corps access to Darwin and sharing intelligence, communications and space surveillance facilities at Pine Gap and Exmouth,” it states. The fact that “Washington’s prime area of strategic concern is [now] located on Australia’s very doorstep” means shared security concerns and “a strategic consensus in Australia” that it must “emerge as more of a maritime power.” This necessitates additional defence spending. The report concludes by outlining the need for “a greater budgetary effort” to purchase long-range warplanes and submarines and vastly expand military infrastructure.
  • The CBSA report makes for chilling reading. Its detailed analysis of basing arrangements, missile ranges, submarine transit times, aircraft types and infrastructure requirements, as well as the tactics and strategy of battle, underlines the advanced character of the US preparations for conflict with China. The Pentagon is drawing up war plans not for decades into the future, but for the years immediately ahead. Moreover, while the report deals only with a conventional war with China, the authors are well aware of the danger that it will expand into nuclear war.
  • The report’s candid discussion of US war with China stands in stark contrast to the virtual silence in the Australian media and political establishment, which serves a definite purpose: to chloroform workers and youth about the dangers that they face and prevent the emergence of a powerful anti-war movement in Australia, Asia and internationally, which these war preparations will sooner or later produce.

Source: globalresearch.ca

‘Not our fault’: Iran denies scuttling nuclear talks

We need to remember, the central bankers/US government are creating this illusion that they want peace with Iran.  The central bankers/US government/Israel have been trying to get into Iran for over 30 years and now they don’t care. What we will see instead is a false flag and to enable the central bankers/US government/Israel to strike Iran.

  • Tehran has pointed the finger at the West, denying the accusation that Iran was to blame for the inconclusive Geneva nuclear talks, which failed to produce a much-anticipated interim agreement.
  • The denial comes from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who addressed the words of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • “The P5+1 was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians… But Iran couldn’t take it,” Kerry said in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
  • He was speaking to refute reports of a discord among the negotiators following the moves by France, which, according to some media reports, threw a wrench in the cogs of the Geneva talks.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, November 11, 2013. (AFP Photo / Jason Reed)U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, November 11, 2013. (AFP Photo / Jason Reed)
  • Tehran dismissed Kerry’s allegations on Tuesday, saying he was spinning the public.
  • “Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night? and publicly commented against it Friday morning?” Zarif asked on Twitter.
  • He added that putting the blame on Iran may “further erode confidence” by Tehran in the West’s genuine intention to defuse the tension.
  • “We are committed to constructive engagement. Interaction on equal footing key to achieve shared objectives,” Zarif assured.
  • The marathon talks last weekend, while praised by parties involved as constructive and comprehensive, ended without a much-anticipated deal. They are to resume on November 20, albeit at a lower then ministerial level.
  • Ties restored
  • Despite the lack of a breakthrough, the last days saw a latest string of moves which may help mend the rifts between Tehran and Western powers.
  • Iran agreed on Monday to exchange charges d’affaires with Britain, two years after a protest at the UK Embassy in Tehran ended in its ransacking and closure.
  • Britain’s Foreign Office said it has appointed Ajay Sharma, once deputy head of the British mission in Tehran in 2007 and 2008, and who now heads the Iranian department of the ministry, to the post.
  • “I am very much looking forward to renewing direct UK contact with the Iranian government and society,” Sharma said in a statement. “This is very much in the interests of both our countries.”
  • Iran’s charge d’affaires will be Mohammad Hassan Habibollah.
  • Watchdog granted access
  • Another move promising an eventual resolution of the nuclear dispute is the adoption of a roadmap which gives the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a better access to Iranian nuclear objects.
  • The deal signed on Monday during the visit of the UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano to Tehran covers the next three months and includes a number of inspections. The IAEA will be given access to the Gchine uranium mine, one of Iran’s sources of nuclear fuel, and 16 locations, where Iran plans to construct nuclear power plants in the future.
  • They will also visit the Arak research reactor, which is currently under construction, and the nearby plant that produces heavy water for it.
  • The reactor, which can be used to produce plutonium, was lately trumpeted by Israel as a major threat to its national security. Tel Aviv threatened that it would bomb the site before allowing it to be loaded with fuel.
  • France also pointed to the Arak reactor as a major stumbling block, which prevented the much-expected signing of an intermediate deal between Iran and the P5+1 group in Geneva last weekend.
  • Kerry to defend Iran rapprochement
  • This week’s pointing of fingers comes just days before Kerry is set to face a grilling at the US Senate, which is considering issuing tougher sanctions against Iran. The White House requested that lawmakers not proceed with the bill, saying it would undermine its diplomatic effort with Tehran.
  • “It is our feeling that additional sanctions right now will have the potential to derail the diplomatic agreement and would give Iran the opportunity to actually achieve sanctions relief by dividing the international coalition,” a senior administration official told Reuters ahead of Kerry’s appearance before the lawmakers on Wednesday.
  • The Republican-dominated Congress had passed its version of the bill in July, but the Senate’s Banking Committee agreed for a delay. Senator Tim Johnson, the committee’s chairman, will not make a decision on how to proceed until after that closed-door meeting, a committee aide said.
  • The Obama administration is likely to face tough time convincing the lawmakers against the sanctions, especially with Israel ramping up lobbying effort on the Hill in the wake of the Geneva
  • “We no longer have the luxury or the option to refrain from enacting additional sanctions against Iran,” Abraham Foxman, national director of the powerful pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League said on Monday.
  • British Foreign Secretary William Hague (AFP Photo / Suzanne Plankett)British Foreign Secretary William Hague (AFP Photo / Suzanne Plankett)
  • The possibility of sanctions was also reiterated across the Atlantic, as British Foreign Secretary William Hague was reporting the latest development to the Parliament.
  • “It’s very important for the Iranian authorities to understand that the pressure will be there for greater sanctions, for an intensification of sanctions, unless an agreement is reached on these matters,” Hague told MPs.
  • Sanctions relief
  • Iran and the P5+1 group are soon to continue talks and hopefully produce an interim agreement in a matter of months, Kerry said. The deal is expected to involve some concessions from Tehran on its nuclear stance in exchange for relief of sanctions.
  • The US and its allies approved economic sanctions last year, damaging Iranian oil exports and virtually cutting it from the US- and UK-dominated global financial system.
  • A possible thaw in relations came after Hassan Rouhani was elected as Iran’s new president in June. Not unlike Obama, his policy is facing resistance from conservatives at home. So far however he received public backing of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
  • A picture obtained from Iran’s ISNA news agency shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (AFP Photo / Borna Ghasemi)A picture obtained from Iran’s ISNA news agency shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (AFP Photo / Borna Ghasemi)
  • This may change however if the negotiations fail to produce a tangible result. Last year, which Iran lived under the sanctions, the country’s GDP shrank by 1.9 percent and will shrink a further 1.5 percent this year, according to latest IMF forecast.
  • While the conflict has lost some of its antagonism, much remains to be settled before a final agreement is reached. Tehran insists that its sovereign right to develop a peaceful nuclear program is non-negotiable and demands a formal acknowledgement.
  • Having an independent domestic nuclear industry is a matter of national pride for Iran, and a goal it has been pursuing despite substantial international pressure.

Source: rt.com

West to turn down Syria’s chemical weapons transport equipment request – report

The central bankers/US government do not want to help with the disposal of the CW, they rather have something go wrong to make the UN agreement null and void. Without helping Syria there is more of a chance of the CW falling into the wrong hands, or they could go missing.  Remember CNN has intel that Assad has hid some chemical weapons, which will be used as a false flag.

  • Syria’s request for military transport equipment to move chemical weapons materials out of the country will be reportedly turned down by the West as the desired hardware could potentially be used against the rebels, according to a media report.
  • Syria’s President Bashar Assad’s administration submitted a list of transport equipment it believes it will need to safely move the chemical weapons materials via road convoys from Damascus to the coast through the conflict zone, where it can then be transported out of the country, diplomats told Reuters.
  • Two of the Western governments referred to the submission as a “long shopping list,” arguing that it will be denied since the equipment could be used to help Assad forces in the civil war.
  • “There is no way that the regime will be supplied with equipment that could be used by the army to kill more innocent Syrians,” Reuters quoted one diplomat, whose government could block any consensus of the international watchdog responsible for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). “It’s not going to happen.”
  • According to the sources, Syria requested dozens of armored vehicles, generators and field kitchens to transport 1,300 tonnes of chemicals to the Mediterranean port of Latakia to comply with the UN deal to eliminate chemical weapons in the country.
  • Syria also asked for new communications links between Damascus and the coastal towns, arguing that it needed secured roads to move the chemical materials, as the rebels threaten the area in between the capital and the Mediterranean coast.
  • A second diplomat from another Western power confirmed to Reuters that Syria “will not get it from us and I don’t think the UN, or EU which has applied sanctions, will do so either.”
  • Western powers expressed confidence that Syria is able to transport chemical materials without the additional equipment.
  • One of the sources clarified that the West might review a revised list for possible approval, to include equipment such as flatbed trucks with the condition that they will be moved out of Syria along with the chemical weapons.
  • The Syrian foreign ministry has not made a comment so far and it remains unclear whether the decision will affect the timetable for chemical weapons destruction. If refused by the OPCW, Syria could potentially turn to Russia with the request.
  • Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to hand over his country’s chemical arms for destruction under the terms of a US-Russian agreement brokered in September.
  • At the end of October, the OPCW said that Syria’s entire declared stock of chemical weapons had been placed under seal. The organization admitted that Damascus has complied with the watchdog’s requirement for the complete elimination of chemical weapons and production units in Syria before November 1.
  • Major sponsors of the agreement would like to see most of the chemical materials out of the country by December, according to a draft agreement seen by Reuters.
  • The next interim deadline is November 15, which is supposed to produce a detailed plan for how Syria will remove or destroy the toxins, chemical weapons and “precursor” materials that can be used to make poisons, by a target finish date of mid-2014.
  • The location of where the chemical weapons that cannot be destroyed in Syria might be relocated to is still being debated, with Albania remaining as one of the possibilities.

Source: rt.com

 White House warns Congress opposing Iran deal could lead to war

The central bankers/US Government are now setting up the next false flag event. They know the American people and congress are not going vote for war. They are putting this out there to let everyone know that there are only two options, peace talks or war. So under the illusion of peace this will be a perfect false flag to start the war and have the American people and Congress on-board with the war agenda.

  • The White House Tuesday warned lawmakers mulling tougher sanctions on Iran that thwarting U.S. diplomacy could leave President Barack Obama little option but to use military force against Tehran’s nuclear program.
  • “The American people do not want a march to war,” spokesman Jay Carney said, in a significant stiffening of U.S. rhetoric towards opponents of a proposed interim agreement with Tehran on Capitol Hill.
  • Carney warned that if Obama’s efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis diplomatically failed, or were blocked, he would be left with few other options, among them, a military one.
  • Officials had earlier warned that the kind of new sanctions being mulled by bipartisan senators on Capitol Hill could alienate Iran’s negotiating team and embolden hardliners in Iran that oppose dialogue between President Hassan Rouhani’s envoys and the United States.
  • “The American people justifiably and understandably prefer a peaceful solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and this agreement, if it’s achieved, has the potential to do that,” Carney said.
  • “The alternative is military action.”

Source:naharnet.com

Obama extends state of emergency against Iran for another year

  • US President Barack Obama has announced Tuesday he decided to extend the state of emergency against Iran for another year.
  • According to the US President, the decision was made as “our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal”.
  • “This is a routine renewal of the policy and is not new or connected in any way to the Geneva discussion,” an Obama administration official said, referring to the recent nuclear talks between world powers and Iran in Switzerland. “The previous order did not expire — we must renew it to prevent it from expiring.”
  • The United States ended diplomatic ties with Iran on April 7, 1980. This occurred after militants seized control of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 and took dozens of embassy workers hostage.
  • There have been tensions for years between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.
  • The United States and allies have long believed Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. Iran, however, says it only wants to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
  • The question whether it should be cancelled is being discussed in Washington on a daily basis.
  • Progress toward reaching an agreement over the nuclear program has been made in recent months after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, seen as more moderate and pragmatic than his predecessor.

Source: voiceofrussia.com

 

Germany warns US facilities could be targeted in wake of NSA leaks

  • Officials in Germany have cautioned authorities to prepare for possible attacks against United States facilities overseas as revelations continue to emerge about America’s secretive National Security Agency.
  • As leaked classified documents continue to disclose the covert operations of the NSA, a domestic intelligence warning obtained by Germany’s Der Spiegel suggests the revelations made possible by former contractor Edward Snowden’s leaked files are inspiring potentially violent protests.
  • Der Spiegel, an outlet which has worked closely with Snowden and some of the leaked documents since earlier this year, announced on Monday that it had received a domestic intelligence memo from Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – the contents of which cautioned officials that “an emotional response from certain segments of the population cannot be ruled out.”
  • According to the magazine, the government office said that a “potential threat” had emerged following the information disclosed by the NSA leaks, adding that “security measures aimed at protecting US facilities in Germany should be increased.”
  • Anti-American sentiment has spread across the globe in recent weeks as Snowden’s leaks continue to expose evidence of questionable surveillance operations conducted by the NSA – including recent revelations in which the agency was linked to violating the privacy of German citizens and even the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel.
  • A poll published in the wake of those revelations by public broadcaster ARD suggested that only 35 percent of German citizens still see the US as a reliable partner. At the dawn of US President Barack Obama’s first term as president, more than three-quarters of Germans polled in a similar survey said they trusted America.
  • Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) called for the head of the NSA to leave office. Snowden’s leaks have caused much embarrassment in Washington since June, and former friends of the US have demanded answers after being told through leaked documents that they’ve been subjected to surveillance.
  • “The head of the NSA, the president of the United States, the Congressional Intelligence Committees [and] all of these contractors we pay that were responsible for performing the background checks” should be considered for “wholesale housecleaning,” McCain told Der Spiegel in an interview published over the weekend.
  • Friends spy on friends. We all know that, but there have been certain boundaries,” added McCain. “Those boundaries were probably, to some degree, there because we didn’t have the capabilities we have now. But when you go to the point where you invade someone’s privacy…one of the most foremost leaders in the world, Angela Merkel, then it was a mistake.
  • According to Der Spiegel, the head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution demanded “urgent clarification” with regards to the heightened security alert, but had not received a reply from federal authorities as of Tuesday.