Tag Archive: Iron Dome


A Patriot surface-to-air missile battery is positioned in the coastal city of Haifa north of Israel on August 29, 2013

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AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system to bolster its security as the West weighed military strikes on neighbouring Syria.

But he echoed President Shimon Peres in insisting that Israel is not involved in Syria’s civil war but will respond with all its might if attacked.

“We have decided to deploy Iron Dome and other interceptors,” Netanyahu said, in a statement released by his office, ahead of holding security talks at the defence ministry.

“We are not involved in the war in Syria. But I repeat: if anyone tries to harm Israeli citizens, Tsahal (the Israeli army) will respond with force,” Netanyahu said in other remarks broadcast by Israeli television.

His comments come as Britain and the United States laid out their case for punitive strikes on Syria over an alleged chemical attack last week that rights groups say killed hundreds.

Earlier Peres said Israel will hit back if its security is at stake.

“Israel was not, and is not, involved in the Syrian fighting but if anyone tries to harm us we will respond with all our might,” Peres was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

“Israel has a strong army, modern and powerful, and a more advanced defence system than ever before,” he added.

Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said his forces were “ready for all scenarios,” but added: “I hope we will not have to send them into action.”

Peres said the situation in Syria, where a civil war that erupted in March 2011 has killed more than 100,000 people, “is not a local incident but a crime against humanity.”

Israeli media and officials sought to calm the public on Thursday, as queues for gas masks lengthened.

There are fears that it the United States and its allies launch military strikes on Syria, forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could retaliate against Israel, Washington’s key ally in the region.

“Keep calm and carry on” was the title of a front-page analysis in the Jerusalem Post, echoing a slogan designed by the British government in World War II.

Read More Here

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Netanyahu: ‘Low probability’ Israel will be drawn into Syria fighting

With US-led strike expected early next week, IDF scales back leave for units in north, hospitals told to be ready for any emergencies, but leaders say Israelis have nothing to fear

August 29, 2013, 8:21 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video released following a meeting with defense officials Thursday. (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video released following a meeting with defense officials Thursday. (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)

Israeli authorities went out of their way on Thursday to calm fears of a regional war, even as military sources said they anticipated US-led intervention in Syria early next week..

“There is no need to change our routine at this time,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a YouTube video released Thursday (Hebrew link) of him speaking at the start of a meeting with defense officials at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. “Israel is prepared,” he said.

Responding to reports of heightened IDF mobilization, including the deployment of additional missile-defense batteries to the north, Netanyahu suggested the steps were taken as a precaution.

“Despite the low probability that Israel will become involved in what is happening in Syria, we decided to deploy the Iron Dome batteries and other interception systems,” he said.

Netanyahu, who was meeting with security chiefs in Tel Aviv late into Thursday, added: “We are not involved in the civil war in Syria, but let me reiterate, if someone tries to harm Israel’s citizens, the IDF will respond with immense power.”

IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz made similar comments Thursday night, telling Israelis they could go about their daily lives as usual, and that the army was “ready for any scenario.”

An Iron Dome battery outside Haifa (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

An Iron Dome battery outside Haifa (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

Some reports also surfaced Thursday that the IDF had frozen all leave for units deployed in the north, though other sources said there had only been a reduction in weekend leaves.

Read More Here

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Reblogged  from : TIME WORLD

 

 

 

An Israeli soldier walks by an 'Iron Dome' short-range missile defense system positioned near the northern city of Haifa on Jan. 31, 2013 in Israel. The Iron Dome missile defense system is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.
Oren Ziv / Getty Images

An Israeli soldier walks by an ‘Iron Dome’ short-range missile defense system positioned near the northern city of Haifa on Jan. 31, 2013 in Israel. The Iron Dome missile defense system is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.

Israeli warplanes struck several targets inside Syria overnight Tuesday, including a biological weapons research center that was reportedly flattened out of concern that it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian president Bashar Assad, Western intelligence officials tell TIME.

So far only two airstrikes have been publicly reported, amid a flurry of conflicting initial reports. Syria officially complained of the destruction of the Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamarya northwest of Damascus. And a variety of news organizations reported that Israeli jets hit a convoy carrying advanced anti-aircraft defense systems toward Lebanon’s Bakaa Valley, presumably for delivery to Hizballah, the militant Shi’ite group closely allied with the Assad regime. If they had been deployed, those SA-17 ground-to-air missiles would intimidated Israeli pilots who now operate over Lebanese airspace with impunity, forcing them to higher altitudes and other operational precautions.

(PHOTOS: Aleppo’s River of Death)

A Western intelligence official indicated to TIME that at least one to two additional targets were hit the same night, without offering details. Officials also said that Israel had a “green light” from Washington to launch yet more such strikes.

Hizballah is not Israel’s only concern – or perhaps even the most worrying. Details of the Israeli strikes make clear the risk posed by fundamentalist militants sprinkled among the variegated rebel forces fighting to depose Assad.   The jihadists are overwhelmingly home-grown Sunni militants but also include foreigners drawn to the fight from across the Muslim world. Loosely organized into several fighting groups, some fighters embrace the almost nihilist ideology associated with al-Qaeda. But jihadist groups are less vulnerable to the same levers that have proved effective against Syria and other states –  such as threats to its territory — or even the frank interests of an organization like Hizballah, which as a political party plays a major role in Lebanon’s government.

“If we succeeded all these years to deter the Syrians and all the other surrounding countries that possess weapons of mass destruction [from making] use of it, it’s because we knew how to deliver the message, that the price would be very high,” Amnon Sofrin, a retired brigadier and former senior Mossad official, told reporters this week. “What kind of threat can you put in the face of a terror organization?”

Read Full Article Here

Obama Promised More Money To Israel And They Can Kill More Palestinians On The Next Operation If They Do A Cease Fire Now

Window into Palestine

 

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr announced ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. There was no signed agreement. The ceasefire is essentially “quiet in exchange for quiet,” as one Israeli diplomatic source put it.
In the announcement, Clinton reiterated the US’s position that “all rocket attacks must end” and said the US would be working with Egypt in the coming days on the next steps in the process. She said improvement of conditions for the people of Gaza and providing security for the people of Israel would be sought in any long-term agreement and there was “no substitute for a just and lasting peace.”
Amr explained the ceasefire would go into effect at 9 pm Cairo Time. Egypt would “assume responsibility to the Palestinian cause and finding a just solution for it.” Egypt will also work for Palestinian unity and an end to division among Palestinian factions.
The blockade or siege of Gaza was not part the terms of the ceasefire. Hamas leaders had pushed for that to be included in the ceasefire. Both Egyptian and Hamas leaders had included that in the ceasefire proposal sent to Israel yesterday. Israel rejected that along with a demand that targeted assassinations of people like Hamas leaders end. The bombing of Gaza re-intensified until less than twenty-four hours later there was this announced ceasefire.
As the New York Times reported, Clinton flew to Egypt yesterday to “consult with Egyptian officials in contact with Hamas” and, after this meeting, the demand for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza was entirely absent from the announcement and unmentioned as something that would be specifically addressed in the days ahead.
The statement from President Barack Obama’s administration that was given to the press indicated the administration would “use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.” President Obama would also seek ”additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs.” According to Haaretz, this was part of conversations that led Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide to give a ceasefire “a chance” to possibly help “stabilize” the situation “before exerting more force.”
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released in March of this year detailed, “The Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency’s FY2013 request for joint U.S.-Israeli co-development is $99.8 million which is $6 million below the President’s FY2012 request. However, according to one source, ‘Though the administration’s request for missile defense monies has dropped somewhat in recent years—from $121.7m. in 2011 to $106.1m. in 2012 to 2013’s $99.8m.—during each of those cycles, Congress has consistently increased the final allocation.” In July, Obama approved $70 million more in aid for Iron Dome.
Essentially, the Obama administration is providing Israel with an incentive to restore nothing more than the status quo. The status quo is what is fueling the cycles of violence. The blockade, arbitrary detention and the policies of apartheid, including issues over water and food distribution, freedom of movement, etc, should be understood as part of what creates an environment where Palestinians are moved to respond to Israel with violence.
“Each firing of an interceptor missile costs the Israeli government tens of thousands of dollars, according to the defense ministry,” Voice of America reported.
Those interceptor missiles being used to prevent Israel from suffering the consequences of its policies toward Palestinians are being funded with US taxpayer dollars. Israel’s failure or refusal to end these policies ensures there will be more interceptor missiles and more maintenance necessary for the Iron Dome. That means the US has to invest tens of millions more dollars. That may be acceptable to Israel because it can weather hundreds if not thousands of projectile attacks and get used to it, but it should not be acceptable to Americans.
Funding for Iron Dome should not be seen as part of the solution to the conflict in the short-term or long-term because it gives Israel a mechanism for continuing the collective punishment and systemic abuse of the human rights of an entire population of people.
Hopefully, Egypt and Turkey can play a significant role in fostering a long-term agreement that addresses the blockade and other policies. There will be many stories of despair, pain and suffering as they try to recover from the complete decimation of homes, infrastructure and numerous civilian buildings. Even though ceasefire has been announced, Israel continued to bomb Gaza right up until the time it was to go into effect.
Egypt, Turkey and other Arab countries will need to make up for the United States’ complicity because right now the US is not concerned about their plight. Official statements are virtually indistinguishable from statements from Israeli officials. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak even said this latest operation in Gaza would not have been possible without US support. The US wants what Israel wants and Israel does not want Gaza to become anything other than the open-air prison it is now because then they would not have control.
Update
Full text of the agreement:
Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
1: (no title given for this section)
A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.
2: Implementation mechanisms:
A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.
B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.

Politics and Legislation

 

We Take Care of Our Own: Eric Holder and the End of Rights

Historians of the future, if they are not imprisoned for saying so, will trace the end of America’s democratic experiment to the fearful days immediately after 9/11, what Bruce Springsteen called the days of the empty sky, when frightened, small men named Bush and Cheney made the first decisions to abandon the Constitution in the name of freedom and created a new version of the security state with the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, secret prisons and sanctioned torture by the U.S. government. They proceeded carefully, making sure that lawyers in their employ sanctioned each dark act, much as kings in old Europe used the church to justify their own actions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-van-buren/anwar-al-awlaki-killing_b_1322528.html

 

Politicians Won’t Return Ponzi Payoffs

Michael Winship, Moyers & Co.:

“On Tuesday, Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford was convicted in a Houston federal court on 13 out of 14 criminal counts of fraud…. But what most of this week’s stories failed to mention was the large amount of his clients’ cash that was spent on campaign contributions, greasing the corrupt nexus of money and politics for personal gain. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to candidates,  Barack Obama, John McCain, John Boehner and Harry Reid; including Ponzi Payoffs; as well as national fundraising committees for the Republican and Democratic parties.”

http://www.truth-out.org/politicians-wont-return-ponzi-payoffs/1331400527

 

Confusion Surrounds Federal Review of Southern Leg of Keystone XL

Lisa Song, InsideClimate News:

“TransCanada’s decision last week to build the southern half of the rejected Keystone XL has raised a tricky question about who will regulate the project review … The process could be stickier at the federal level. The U.S. State Department was the lead agency on the original Keystone XL because it crossed an international boundary. But so far, no agency has stepped forward to take responsibility for the Gulf Coast Project.”

http://www.truth-out.org/confusion-surrounds-federal-review-southern-leg-keystone-xl/1331398833

 

A Field of Hawks

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group:

“Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran. No other conclusion can be drawn from parsing the candidates’ public remarks. Paul, of course, is basically an isolationist who believes it is none of our business if Iran wants to build nuclear weapons…. But Paul has about as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as I do.”

http://www.truth-out.org/field-hawks/1331398935

 

No Apocalypse Yet
Will Putin do what the oligarchs fear?

By ISRAEL SHAMIR

If he wants to survive politically, he will have to implement the national agenda, confront the oligarchs, curb the creative class, provide support to those who supported him.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30776.htm

 

Obama Signs Anti-protest Trespass Bill

By RT

US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events – essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30774.htm

 

‘War on Terror is War on Liberty’
Farage demands that the UK break treaty with US

By Nigel Farage: EU MP

“No British court has ever been allowed to examine the evidence against Mr Tappin and I believe this Treaty, signed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, needs to be amended and the British government needs to stand up for its own people.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30764.htm

 

Economy

Not So Fast On That Whole Economic Recovery Thing

Not so fast. Those that are publicly declaring that an economic recovery has arrived are ignoring a whole host of numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is in absolutely horrendous shape. The truth is that the health of an economy should not be measured by how well the stock market is doing. Rather, the truth health of an economy should be evaluated by looking at numbers for things like jobs, housing, poverty and debt. Some of the latest economic statistics indicate that unemployment is getting a little bit worse, that the housing market continues to deteriorate, that poverty in America continues to soar and that our debt problem is worse than ever.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/not-so-fast-on-that-whole-economic-recovery-thing

 

TEXT-Moody’s: Greek sovereign credit rating remains at C

Moody’s Investors Service says that it considers Greece

to have defaulted per Moody’s default definitions further to the conclusion of an exchange of EUR177 billion of Greece’s debt that is governed by Greek law for bonds issued by the Greek government, GDP-linked securities, European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) notes. Foreign-law bonds are eligible for the same offer, and Moody’s expects a similar debt exchange to proceed with these bondholders, as well as the holders of state-owned enterprise debt that has been guaranteed by the state, in the coming weeks. The respective securities will enter our default statistics at the tender expiration date, which is was Thursday 8 March for the Greek law bonds and is currently expected to be 23 March for foreign law bonds. Greece’s government bond rating remains unchanged at C, the lowest rating on Moody’s rating scale.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/idUSWNA217120120309

 

Security: UK ‘must plan for euro collapse’

Ministers should draw up plans to deal with a break-up of the eurozone “as a matter of urgency”, a committee of MPs and peers has warned.

The joint committee on the government’s National Security Strategy (NSS) said the full or partial collapse of the single currency was “plausible”.

It said political unrest and a rise in economic migrant numbers could result.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17295461

 

Wall Street up on jobs data, brushes off Greek default

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks advanced on Friday as investors brushed off the technical default by Greece and focused instead on another strong monthly jobs report.

Trading was choppy in late afternoon trade after the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said Greece has triggered an insurance payment on credit default contracts.

Investors took the Greek news largely in stride because the event was widely expected. Still, it is a declaration of default following the biggest sovereign debt-restructuring deal in history, and the specter of trouble in other euro-zone countries remains.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-futures-edge-lower-focus-092318186.html;_ylt=Ar1tpMPx1ZCXLOapElzdCaqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTNyMnNyMmVwBG1pdANGUCBUb3AgU3RvcnkgTGVmdARwa2cDNGYxODJlZGQtM2NlOC0zZDJlLThlY2MtMTUxYWU5NzcwZTQ4BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3OTQ0YjMwLTZhMzAtMTFlMS1hZmZmLTEzMTljMGYwZTE4NA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Bernanke Is Giving Us the Recovery He Wants, Not the Recovery We Need

With the latest round of monetary stimulus, the Federal Reserve is boldly going where it has already been. Big, big news from the Federal Reserve. They are considering doing something they are already doing, but calling it something else.

This “new” operation, carried out under the rather gross-sounding moniker of “sterilized quantitative easing,” is just another way to reduce long-term interest rates. The specifics aren’t terribly important — although if you want all the gory details about bond-buying and reverse repos, check out Jon Hilsenrath — but the result should be identical to the so-called “Operation Twist” the Fed did last fall.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bernanke-giving-us-recovery-wants-170846352.html;_ylt=AnYAn2zURi8MrFLRZ_Hep_SiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTRiOGw4a3B0BG1pdANGUCBDb21tZW50YXJ5IGFuZCBBbmFseXNpcwRwa2cDMmQ2YTVlYjMtZGYwYy0zZGU0LWFmNjktMjFkN2EwODU4NTBiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwNNZWRpYVNlY3Rpb25MaXN0BHZlcgNmNmIyODFiMC02OTQxLTExZTEtYmZmYy01NTAxNmVjYTk3MGQ-;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

UPDATE 6-Oil up on jobs data even as dollar rallies

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose a third straight day on Friday as data showing rising U.S. employment countered any pressure from a stronger dollar and faded euphoria after Greece’s debt swap deal.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 227,000 in February, above expectations and marking the third straight month that gains topped 200,000, though the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-oil-jobs-data-even-170225610.html;_ylt=ArtF491iXjMK0Eqas1EzJrWiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bGRlZWpmBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnAzBlMGE5M2UyLTAwMDEtMzJmMy05M2ExLTA1NDk4MDM2ZDllMwRwb3MDMgRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDZTA2MzljYTAtNmEwOS0xMWUxLWFlZmYtYjcyZGRjMWIwZDU2;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

PRECIOUS-Gold turns higher on US jobs data, oil gains

By Frank Tang and Amanda Cooper

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Gold rose above
$1,700 an ounce in heavy trade on Friday, reversing early sharp losses as the metal took heart from gains in crude oil and U.S. equities’ after an encouraging U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.
Bullion, which has taken to following riskier assets, rose in the face of a dollar rally and fading hopes of further U.S. monetary stimulus after U.S. employment grew strongly for a third straight month.
Also lifting the metal was Greece’s averting an immediate default after its bond swap offer to private creditors. Technical buying also helped after prices rebounded off its key 200-day moving average.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/precious-gold-turns-higher-us-165030879.html;_ylt=AmeSDy3YM97ycn01LvBnaVaiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0OTRtMzFzBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2EzYTkxNGFlLTdjMGMtM2ZmOS04ZDE2LTJjYmQ4ZWQwMzI2YgRwb3MDMwRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYTczNjQ0YTAtNmExMy0xMWUxLWI5ZmYtYjAxMDViZmYwZjJj;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Public-Sector Banks: From Black Sheep to Global Leaders

Once the black sheep of high finance, government owned banks can reassure depositors about the safety of their savings and can help maintain a focus on productive investment in a world in which effective financial regulation remains more of an aspiration than a reality.

http://www.truth-out.org/public-sector-banks-black-sheep-global-leaders/1331147316

 

Welcome to the One Percent Recovery

Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0:

“As the one percent reap 93 percent of the income gains from the recovery, we’re rapidly returning to pre-New Deal levels of inequality … It’s important to remember that a series of choices were made during the New Deal to react to runaway inequality, including changes to progressive taxation, financial regulation, monetary policy, labor unionization, and the provisioning of public goods and guaranteed social insurance. A battle will be fought over the next decade on all these fronts.”

http://www.truth-out.org/welcome-1-percent-recovery/1331396893

 

Jeffrey Sachs’ Reform Candidacy for World Bank President

Staff, Center for Economic and Policy Research:

“Economist and health expert Jeffrey Sachs’ reported candidacy for World Bank president is welcome news for the two-and-a-half billion people around the world living in poverty, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. ‘If Sachs were to get the job, he would be the first World Bank president with this kind of experience and knowledge of economic development … All of the others have been bankers, politicians, or political appointees.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/mark-weisbrot-jeffrey-sachs-reform-candidacy-world-bank-president/1331311919

 

China posts Feb. trade deficit

For the first time in a year, China recorded a trade deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars in February, as import growth far outpaced exports.

Exports rose 18.4 percent from a year earlier to 114.47 billion U.S. dollars in February, while imports were up 39.6 percent to 145.96 billion U.S. dollars, customs data showed Saturday.

The fast trade expansion was fueled by the lower comparative base for last February, when the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday cut working days from the month and skewed trade data, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said. The week-long holiday fell in January this year.

After seasonal adjustments, the annual growth of exports slowed to 4 percent in February while that of imports was cut down to 9.4 percent.

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2012-03/10/content_24859840.htm

Life in America on Two Dollars a Day
Or Why American Poverty Will Soon Match That of the Third World

By CanSpeccy

The latest poverty statistics that show the number of American families with an income of less than two dollars per person per day more than doubled between 1996 and 201.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30765.htm

 

China to export yuan to BRICS:

China is reportedly to begin extending loans in yuan to BRICS countries in another step towards internationalizing the national currency and diversifying from the US dollar.

http://rt.com/business/news/china-us-dollar-currency-129/

 

Iceland calls its former PM to account for financial crash:

Geir Haarde, whose trial began this week, could face up to two years in jail if convicted over country’s 2008 economic collapse

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/09/iceland-former-pm-financial-crash

 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Set to Default on $5.27 Million GO Bond Payments:

The city, carrying a debt load of more than five times its general-fund budget, will miss $5.27 million in bond payments due March 15 on $51.5 million of bonds issued in 1997.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/harrisburg-pennsylvania-set-to-default-on-5-27-million-go-bond-payments.html

 

Wars and Rumors of War

 

The Kazakhstan Massacre: Killing Hope to Benefit US Geopolitical Interests

Steve Horn and Allen Ruff, Truthout: “December 16, 2011, should have been, at minimum, a fairly bright day for the people of Kazakhstan marking the country’s Independence Day and 20th birthday. But rather than being a moment of celebration, it became a day of brutal repression and death, a bloody scene in the regional center of Zhanaozen paralleling those that occurred at the hands of US-supported dictatorial regimes during the uprisings now commonly referred to as the Arab Spring.”

http://www.truth-out.org/kazakhstan-massacre-killing-hope-benefit-us-geopolitical-interests/1331142602

 

Russia says 15,000 foreign “terrorists” in Syria

(Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is battling al Qaeda-backed “terrorists” including at least 15,000 foreign fighters who will seize towns across Syria if government troops withdraw, a Russian diplomat said on Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/08/us-syria-russia-idUSBRE82714E20120308

 

After a Decade, Afghan Forces Don’t Trust Americans

Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi, McClatchy Newspapers:

“Afghan soldiers and police say the recent burning of Qurans by U.S. personnel has seriously undermined their trust in their American counterparts, suggesting that the decade-long campaign to win hearts and minds has not only failed but also threatens the Obama administration’s exit strategy. ‘We are tired of the Americans here,’ said Mohammad Aziz, 20, a Kabul police officer. ‘We don’t want them to stay because they keep insulting our religion.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/after-decade-afghan-forces-dont-trust-americans/1331392048

 

Fresh barrage of Gaza rockets strike Israel’s south

Iron Dome intercepts a number of rockets over Be’er Sheva on Saturday morning; 12 Palestinians reportedly killed in IAF strikes in Gaza since Friday.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/fresh-barrage-of-gaza-rockets-strike-israel-s-south-1.417622

 

Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran: Leader

TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says that U.S. President Barack Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran.

The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday.

“Two days ago, we heard that the U.S. president said, ‘We do not think of war against Iran.’ Well, this is good. This is a logical remark. This is an exit from delusion. In addition, he said, ‘We will bring the Iranian people to their knees through sanctions.’ This is a delusion. The exit from delusion in the first part is good, but remaining in delusion in the second part will harm them. When one’s calculations are based on delusion, it is obvious that the planning he makes based on those calculations will end in failure,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/96228-obama-has-partially-left-his-delusions-about-iran-leader

 

The Bloody Road to Damascus
The Triple Alliance’s War on a Sovereign State

By James Petras

There is clear and overwhelming evidence that the uprising to overthrow President Assad of Syria is a violent, power grab led by foreign-supported fighters.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30769.htm

 

10 Myths about Iran Driving the Insane Push for War
And Why They’re Dead Wrong

By Jasmin Ramsey

Israeli officials and GOP candidates spout nonsense about Iran. Here’s the truth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30772.htm

 

Weapons Financed By US Kill Unarmed Palestinians and U.S. Citizens.

By David Elkins

“U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make the U.S. complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30767.htm

 

Kofi Annan’s calls for talks spark anger:

Syrian opposition activists have angrily rejected calls by Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, for dialogue with the government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17312040

 

Assad Tells Kofi Annan He’s Open To ‘Honest Effort To Find Solution’:

 

Assad warned the envoy that dialogue was unlikely to succeed while “armed terrorist groups” remained.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/10/syria-crisis-assad-annan-kofi-homs-idlib-_n_1336534.html?ref=uk

 

Russia threatens to veto U.S. resolution on Syria:

Russia will not support a new U.S.-drafted resolution on Syria because it fails to urge both the government and the rebels to halt violence, said a top Russian diplomat.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2978397.ece

 

No military solution in Syria: EU ministers:

As Qatar called in Cairo for the dispatch of Arab and international peacekeeping troops to Syria, Juppe joined his counterparts in saying that for the EU “military action is not on the agenda.”

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/syria-politics.fml

 

US officials: Loyal army, inner circle back Assad:

Despite the Obama administration’s predictions that the Syrian government’s days are numbered, recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest President Bashar Assad commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and an elite class that still supports his rule.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20145482/us-officials-syrian-regime-holding-under-fire

 

Controversy surrounds CNN footage from Syrian activist:

Video footage broadcast by CNN purporting to depict Syrian government violence was staged by the journalist reporting on camera, recent reports have claimed.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/controversy-surrounds-cnn-footage-from-syrian-activist-.aspx?pageID=238&nid=15628&NewsCatID=359

 

If Iran attacked it will launch 11,000 missiles at Israel, US: envoy:

Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon says Iran has prepared itself to launch about 11,000 missiles at Israel and U.S. bases in the region if they do a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Lebanese media reported.

http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1556104

 

Environmental

 

The Problem With the Environment Is Not Too Many People

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout:

“We’ve all heard the claim repeatedly: humans pollute, so if we just reduce the number of people – both the number being born and the number immigrating from point A to point B – the despoiling will cease and Eden will be restored. If only it could be so simple…. ‘Too Many People?’ is a clear and convincing challenge to the idea of population control as political necessity.”

http://www.truth-out.org/problem-environment-not-too-many-people/1331163575

 

Fracking Likely Caused Series of Ohio Quakes, Officials Say

Michael Muskal and Neela Banerjee , News Report:

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources issued new regulations for transporting and disposing of brine wastewater, a fracking byproduct, making for the nation’s toughest disposal regulations, state officials said. Though the quake damage was minor – the largest was a 4.0 magnitude – environmental groups questioned whether the state’s safety rules were strong enough to protect the area from disasters they attributed to hydraulic fracturing.

http://www.nationofchange.org/fracking-likely-caused-series-ohio-quakes-officials-say-1331394148

 

Misc

 

New York Times CEO Robinson’s Exit Compensation Package Tops $23 Million

Janet Robinson, the New York Times Co. chief executive officer who was pushed out in December, received an exit package, including stock options and retirement benefits, of $23.7 million.

Robinson gets pension and supplemental retirement income valued at $11.4 million, performance awards of $5.39 million, restricted stock units worth $1.07 million and stock options worth $694,164, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. She will also earn $4.5 million in consulting fees for this year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/new-york-times-s-robinson-s-exit-package-tops-23-million.html

 

NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush”

Thomas Drake on life inside the National Security Agency and the price of truth telling

Thomas Drake, the whistle-blower whom the Obama administration tried and failed to prosecute for leaking information about waste, fraud and abuse at the National Security Agency, now works at an Apple store in Maryland. In an interview with Salon, Drake laughed about the time he confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at his store while Holder perused the gadgetry on display with his security detail around him. When Drake started asking Holder questions about his case, America’s chief law enforcement officer turned and fled the store.

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/07/nsa_whistle_blower_obama_worse_than_bush/singleton/

 

Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated on Friday to demand democratic reforms, stepping up pressure on the U.S.-allied government with the biggest protest yet in a year of unrest.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-bahrain-protest-idUSBRE8280TI20120309

 

Three Ways to Beat Corporate Giants

Jim Shultz, Op-Ed:

From insurance companies lording over our health care to global conglomerates taking control of our water, corporate giants wield more and more influence over our lives and our environment. So how do we fight back? How do we take on corporate power and actually win? The Democracy Center recently published a new citizen’s resource that looks up close at the strategies that people and communities are using worldwide to successfully tackle corporate giants.

http://www.nationofchange.org/three-ways-beat-corporate-giants-1331390970

 

Don’t Look Away from Bahrain’s Revolution

By Ala’a Shehabi

Over the past year, as cameras turned away, the Bahraini regime carried out some of the worst atrocities in its history.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30773.htm

 

Bahraini forces kill 21-year-old protester in capital Manama:

Activists say the protester, named Fadhel Mirza, was killed on Saturday when regime forces attacked a group of demonstrators struggling to reach Pearl Square.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/230916.html

 

CyberSpace

 

Stratfor: Blood On Their Hands
And it gets worse.

By Khadija Sharife

With their emails, Stratfor appears to advocate for a world where polluters and murderers, circumvent accountability by obtaining information to pre-empt – and in the process destroy – their opposition.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30777.htm

 

The Crime of Truth:
Obama’s Persecution of the Peacemaker

By Chris Floyd

Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison for the unforgiveable crime of telling the truth to people who don’t want to hear it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30771.htm

 

The Dirty War on WikiLeaks

By John Pilger

Media smears suggest Swedish complicity in a Washington-driven push to punish Julian Assange.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30770.htm