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Archive for February 18th, 2012

Greek cabinet tackles austerity, rescue hopes rise

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/more-needed-yet-elusive-greek-bailout-deal-005931736.html;_ylt=AkMlhwQqqjB3a4GMc3efm4Os0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsYnRhaHM4BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDN2E0ZWU3YTAtMzdlMC0zMTZkLTk1NjEtMzFhYjBlYWJiZTA5BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzMwMTljMDYwLTU5Y2MtMTFlMS05ZmVlLTM3Yzk5MWRiZTI3ZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

By David Stamp and George Georgiopoulos | Reuters – 4 mins 57 secs ago

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s cabinet tackled on Saturday how to implement austerity demanded by the EU and IMF as a 130-billion-euro ($171-billion) rescue seemed within reach, while the euro zone considered modifying a deal with private creditors to help Athensreduce its huge debts.

After months of often acrimonious negotiations, Greek hopes were rising that euro zone finance ministers Monday will endorse the rescue which Athens needs to avoid bankruptcy next month when major debt repayments fall due.

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademossaid the cabinet would discuss implementing the bailout package which demands pay, pension and job cuts on top measures that have already hit many Greeks’ living standards.

The cabinet is due to approve measures that already provoked rioting on the streets of Athens last Sunday before they go into a supplementary budget due to be put to parliament next week.

“The Greek people have done everything they can and we are determined to make good on our commitments,” Public Order Minister Christos Papoutsis told reporters as he arrived. Many EU officials remain deeply skeptical of Athens’s will to reform.

Also on the agenda is the future of the old Athens airport, a prime seafront site that lies derelict more than a decade after the new airport opened, symbolizing the wasted opportunities which have helped to reduce Greece to its knees.

Friday German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Papademos all voiced optimism about a Greek accord during a three-way conference call, Monti’s office said in a statement.

However, Jean-Claude Juncker, who will chair Monday’s meeting of the Eurogroup in Brussels, made clear that urgent work was still needed to get a program to reduce Greece’s crippling debts back on track.

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Euro zone crisis in graphics http://r.reuters.com/hyb65p

Interactive timeline http://link.reuters.com/pys56s

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MISSING THE TARGET

At stake is a target of lowering the debt from the equivalent of 160 percent of annual Greek economic output now to a more manageable 120 percent by 2020.

“All the discussions I will have … until Sunday night will try to move the figure nearer to the target,” Juncker told reporters.

At the moment, EU and IMF officials believe that target – which assumes that Greece will run a budget surplus next year, excluding the massive cost of its debts – will be missed.

Under the main scenario of an analysis by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greek debt will fall to only 129 percent of gross domestic product in 2020, one official said.

The euro zone is therefore looking at modifying a deal negotiated over many months with private creditors under which they would accept a cut of around 70 percent in the real value of their Greek bondholdings.

Senior euro zone finance officials meet Sunday to discuss the analysis and find ways to bring the debt closer to the 120 percent target before the finance ministers gather Monday.

“If you do a number of things you can bring the 129 close to 120,” one euro zone official familiar with the document said.

These might include changes to interest accrued on privately held bonds, but the EU and its national institutions might also play their part, the official said.

Interest rates on EU loans to Greece could be cut, and those national central banks in the euro zone which hold Greek bonds might accept similar terms to the private creditors on some of their holdings.

The national central banks own an estimated 12 billion euros of Greek debt. The European Central Bank has refused to take part in the complex deal for the private creditors – involving swapping old bonds for new ones with a lower face value, lower interest rates and longer maturities – and would need to approve the national central bank decision.

Officials also are considering a cut in the cash “sweetener” which would be offered to the private creditors in return for accepting the cut in the value of their bond holdings

ROCK-BOTTOM MORALE

With Greek morale at rock bottom, the national mood darkened yet further after armed thieves looted a museum Friday in Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. They stole bronze and pottery artifacts weeks after the National Gallery was burgled.

A Greek newspaper suggested the state could no longer look after the nation’s immense cultural heritage properly. “The Greek state has gone bankrupt, let’s face it,” the daily Kathimerini said.

“If the state cannot guard the country’s great cultural heritage for financial or other reasons it must find other ways to do it,” the conservative daily said.

“It could, for example, turn to large foundations and ask them to assume the cost of security at the country’s important museums in the next two to three difficult years.”

Critics say years have been wasted arguing and dithering over major national decisions. This is symbolized by the old Athens airport, which is supposed to be rebuilt as a Monte Carlo-style development of housing, tourist facilities and a marina, but remains a wasteland.

Athens opened a new airport in 2001, well in time for the 2004 Olympic games, but longstanding plans to privatize it have also yet to materialize.

(Additional reporting by Dina Kyriakidou, Angeliki Koutantou and Harry Papachristou and Jan Strupczweski in Brussels; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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Egypt trial on U.S. democracy activists set for February 26

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-trial-u-democracy-activists-set-february-26-121625255.html;_ylt=AsDfB988WdpcfsQU8ia.m1ms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsN2ZhbWt2BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDNDY2NDZkYzktZjNhMy0zY2I4LTkwODEtYWRlNTE1MmZlMWQ4BHBvcwMyBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzljMzQzOTIwLTVhMmEtMTFlMS1iZmY2LTNmOGJiNmE2NDU2YQ–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Reuters – 1 hr 6 mins ago

Note By Admin: Remember that in all the Arab nation uprising observed during the last one ad a half years, either MI6, CIA, black ops and Xe forces along with SAS covert troops have been noticed masquerading as activists and inciters to provoke and create strategically timed revolts in each of the nations.

Not to mention for those of you who have kept abreast with updates from Project Camelot where an interview was conducted by Kerry Lynn Cassidy with Aaron McCollum, he mentioned that the Powers that Be were planning such strategies to hide the ‘ethereal’ like experiences created by this massive Gulf of Aden Stargate anomaly which has united over 300 maritime navy and battle ready ships from the navies of all the powerful nations in the world including USA, China, India, Israel, Iran, Russia all united and keeping a 15 nautical mile boundary of observance on this anomaly while at the same time benevolent ET ships are decloaking to reveal their enormous size when they appear into this dimension to observe and supervise our world. Also to be noted is that there is an underwater base right beneath the Stargate anomaly. Remember a stargate is way bigger and more massive and complex compared to a portal and is usually a naturally occurring vortex of coalescent energy.

It cannot be manufactured unless there are extremely powerful negatively oriented and purely service to self beings with tremendous 4D technologies to create one and operate and maintain it.

Either way both versions attract an lot of attention from off worlders for various reasons and they draw up huge amounts of energy which is now being facilitated and provided by the Great Central Sun of our Galaxy and the super massive black hole at its centre. Also a ring of quasars are right at the event horizon periphery of this black hole emanating bands of radiation to help all DNA based lifeforms existing on our world to ascend. Then there are the photon bands into which we are increasingly entering more towards their maximum intensity central sub-bands.

The ETs and Dark Illuminati humans operating this Underwater Base below the Gulf of Aden are trying to assimilate various regressively oriented ET races’ DNA strands with that of Earth humans to create a perfect assimilation and synthesis of the perfect Super Soldier that can always be controlled for whatever ends they are required for.

A lot is happenign on this world now and a lot is yet to be explained. Sounds confusing, it is and wait there will be some more later.

Oh and one more thing, even if you are a billionaire you can’t fly anywhere near that anomaly cause you will just be shot down with EMF oriented scalar weapons. Infact your pilot won’t even know what hit the navigations systems before the plane drops like a stone into the surrounding ocean and due to the Earth’s concavity, you need to be at least within 15kms or near the ships to witness what is on the horizon, otherwise the object falls off below it making it not visible.

Also naturally occurring star gates are not messed around with by good ETs because they know that these gates themselves are sentient and activate at the right time to help the beings on the planet ascend and the other point is they cannot be controlled.

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court will start the trial on February 26 of activists from mostly American civil society groupsaccused of working illegally in Egypt, in a case which has strained U.S.-Egyptian ties.

A judicial source told Reuters that the 43 accused, including around 20 Americans, would go on trial next Sunday, charged with working in the country without proper legal registration.

The state new agency MENA said the hearing would take place at North Cairo Criminal Court.

Investigators swooped down on the offices of civil society groupson December 29, confiscating computers and other equipment and seizing cash and documents.

The American defendants have been banned from leaving Egypt and some have taken refuge in the U.S. embassy. Among those accused is Sam LaHood, Egypt director of the International Republican Institute and the son of the U.S. transportation secretary.

“The date of the first hearing in the case of foreign funding involving foreign civil societyorganizations has been set for February 26,” a judicial source told Reuters.

The American groups raided were the IRI and the National Democratic Institute, both democracy-building groups loosely affiliated with the U.S. political parties, as well as the human rights group Freedom House, and the International Center for Journalists.

Egyptian Minister of Planning Faiza Abul Naga has linked U.S. funding of civil society initiatives to an American plot to undermine Egypt. The democracy groups’ leaders denied their activists had done anything improper or illegal.

The spat is one of the worst in more than 30 years of close U.S.-Egyptian ties and has complicated Washington’s efforts to establish relations with the military council that took power from Hosni Mubarak after his overthrow in a popular revolt a year ago.

A delegation of U.S. lawmakers is scheduled to arrive to Egypt Monday headed by Senator John McCain who has said he hoped Egyptian officials understood the situation was unacceptable to the United States.

(Reporting by Marwa Awad: Writing by Shaimaa Fayed)

 

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Saturn’s Two Largest Moons Line Up in New Photo

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/saturns-two-largest-moons-line-photo-123004531.html;_ylt=AsTeQH5sJ3xMr1eBY2fKRlSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNpMGo5M3RrBG1pdAMEcGtnAzNmMWZiNTFiLWQ2Y2QtM2FiZC1iM2ZjLWIwYWE5NWYxNmE0MwRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbG5fTGF0ZXN0TmV3c19nYWwEdmVyAzQ5NDgyMDMwLTVhMmMtMTFlMS1iZjVkLTFmZmIyODYxYTc4MQ–;_ylv=3

By SPACE.com Staff
Space.com | SPACE.com – 52 mins ago

Saturn’s two biggest moons hang together in a stunning new photo from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

The image shows the heavily cratered Rhea in the foreground, while the hazy orb of the huge moon Titan looms in the distance. Cassini snapped the new Saturn moon photo in visible green light on Dec. 10, 2011, and it was released to the public on Monday (Feb. 13).

Cassini was about 808,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Rhea and 1.2 million miles (2 million km) from Titan when it took the picture, researchers said.

Titan is the largest of Saturn’s many satellites; at 3,200 miles (5,150 km) wide, it’s nearly 1.5 times bigger than Earth’s moon. The only moon in our solar system larger than Titan is Ganymede, which orbits Jupiter.

Titan has a thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere that shrouds the frigid body in a soupy brown shroud. Complex organic molecules — the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it — swirl about in this atmosphere.

The huge moon also has a hydrocarbon-based weather system, with methane rain falling from the sky and pooling in liquid-methane lakes. Astrobiologists speculate that Titan may be one of the best places in the solar system to search for life beyond Earth.

Rhea is Saturn’s second-largest moon, but it’s a shrimp compared to Titan, measuring just 949 miles (1528 km) across. As the new photo shows, Rhea’s icy surface is battered and pocked with many craters.

Like Titan, Rhea has an atmosphere. But Rhea’s is very different; it’s much wispier and composed primarily of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Researchers think the oxygen comes from Rhea’s surface ice, liberated from water molecules that get blasted apart by charged particles streaming from Saturn’s magnetosphere. The source of the carbon dioxide, however, is more mysterious.

Cassini launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. It has been studying the ringed planet and its many moons ever since, and will continue to do so for years to come. Last year, NASA extended the probe’s mission to at least 2017.

Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcomand on Facebook.

 

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A year on, Morocco’s democracy movement founders

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/moroccos-democracy-movement-founders-113855263.html;_ylt=Am4j2RGFmuTQ_wwlLaPx5bOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNhajJzdmI5BG1pdAMEcGtnAzFmZmE4MDdhLWY1NzUtM2MwYi1iMDc4LWNiZDIzMGFkMmU2NwRwb3MDOARzZWMDbG5fQVBfZ2FsBHZlcgNlOTcyZjMyMC01YTI1LTExZTEtYmY2Yi04NzgzNjU3NmQ0Nzg-;_ylv=3

By PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – 1 hr 40 mins ago

RABAT, Morocco (AP)Morocco‘s pro-democracy February 20 movement spearheaded the country’s version of the Arab Springand sent the centuries-old monarchy scrambling to reform. Now, a year after its birth, the youth-led group appears to have lost its way.

And while the movement struggles for relevance, Morocco’s problems are far from solved: Social discontent and clashes between police and unemployed graduates are on the rise as the economy suffers from the effects of Europe‘s financial crisis.

Like the Occupy movements in the United States, Morocco’s pro-democracy groups now need to find out if they can keep the fight going.

On Sunday, the movement will try with countrywide anniversary demonstrations to rekindle some of the fire that at its peak in March put 800,000 people from all walks of life on the streets calling for an end to corruption, greater democracy and social justice.

The protesters shook the cities of Morocco and achieved some of the things they wanted, bringing their country a new constitutionand free elections.

Since that time, however, the numbers at the weeklydemonstrations have plummeted to a few thousand in the larger cities as ordinary people abandoned the movement, apparently satisfied with King Mohammed VI‘s reforms, including granting more powers to elected officials — or scared away by a tougher response to the protests.

Elections on Nov. 25 were won by a moderate Islamist opposition party promising many of the things once shouted at demonstrations.

Moroccan authorities have trumpeted their “third way” of dealing with the Arab Spring, steering between revolution and repression in favor of reforms with stability. Social unrest has continued though, including violent clashes between police and unemployed graduates calling for government sector jobs.

The youth-led movement has had a hard time harnessing that simmering anger.

“The problem with February 20 is that it is elitist and doesn’t have a rapport with the people,” saidMouad Belghouat, a 25-year-old rapper with February 20 whose songs excoriating the palace and social inequalities in the country became the soundtrack for the movement. The movement’s demands weren’t all realized, he said, “so we continue to go into the streets.”

Belghouat, who goes by the named El-Haqed, or the Enraged, was jailed for four months for getting into a fight with a regime supporter in the gritty, low income suburb of Casablanca where he lives. His supporters say the charges were trumped up.

“You can’t talk to people about parliamentary monarchy, they think the king is sacred, so you have to talk to them about unemployment and those stealing the wealth of the country,” he said, explaining that he and his friends in the movement now go to neighborhoods and have discussions to raise people’s consciousness.

It also helps that his rap songs appeal to the young, unemployed and disenfranchised youth that swell the crumbling slums surrounding Casablanca, Tangiers and other large cities.

The movement’s protests always had an artistic side to them, with street theater often accompanying the colorful marches through the streets.

In one Casablanca protest, a man with the mask of a hated adviser of the king dangled a baguette on a fishing rod above the grasping hands of three ragged figures representing the people.

There is no denying that in the initial months of the protests, February 20 achieved more than generations of party politics had accomplished in opening up Morocco.

“It succeeded in breaking a taboo, it brought out into the open calls against corruption and the domination of certain figures on the economy,” said Omar Bendoro, a political analyst at Rabat University. Close associates of the king from wealthy families are perceived to dominate the economy.

After years of repression, people are no longer afraid to make their discontent known, whether about lack of water, electricity or civil rights, he added.

“Social problems have always existed, but now the people explode because there is a chance that the powers-that-be will take them seriously,” Bendoro said.

The king, due either to the street rallies or fears of Egyptian- or Tunisian-style revolutions, agreed in March to amend the constitution, bowing to longtime demands from political parties.

Under the new constitution the prime minister has more powers and comes from the party that won the most votes, rather than whomever the king felt like choosing under the old system. Ultimate power, however, still rests with the monarch and his court of close advisers.

Even as the concessions, including raising public sector wages, blunted popular anger, activists say there was a second, darker, prong to the official response — one that targeted the movement itself.

Starting in May, demonstrations began to be attacked by riot police and hired thugs, and some activists started receiving late night visits from security officers.

“There were two levels at work, the institutional and the non-institutional, which was the intimidation, beatings and propaganda — particularly propaganda about the Islamists,” said activist Abadila Maaelaynine.

State media said the demonstrators were being infiltrated by radical communists and hardline Islamists from the banned Adl wal Ihsane (Justice and Charity) movement, which did have a big presence in the demonstrations.

The accusations stuck, further cooling public ardor for the movement, and soon the demonstrations became more of a weekly — later monthly — traffic nuisance than a real vehicle of political change.

“We failed to become more innovative in what we were doing and it’s time to admit that,” said Zeinab Belmkaddem, a young activist with the movement, which is now looking to start a political party and build up a lasting network tied to the people.

“We don’t want to just stay in the streets, we tried that for a year — been there done that — that’s it, but at the end of the day what happened is that others took advantage and that’s what happened with the PJD,” she said bitterly, referring to the Islamist party that won elections.

The party has been a clear beneficiary of the movement.

“The process of democratization in the country is moving in a good direction,” said Mustapha Khalfi, once the editor of the PJD’s newspaper and now the minister of communication and government spokesman. “Moroccan society has the feeling that what is happening in politics has an impact on daily life and most importantly when they participate it can make a difference.”

Khalfi is quick to praise the February 20 movement for its early efforts, but noted that it has since lost momentum and popularity and it is the new government that is now looking to satisfy people’s demands for jobs.

Activists, however, question whether the limited powers given to the new government will be enough to enact the deep reforms that the people crave — especially as daily frustrations mount.

“Now the people are waiting to see what they can do,” said the rapper Belghouat. “They will be disappointed.”

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Syrian forces fire on anti-Assad crowd in capital

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/chinese-envoy-meet-syrian-leader-u-n-condemnation-011432194.html;_ylt=Av1812XJ_k8gLm9NCAGS0SOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNmbjVja3RuBG1pdAMEcGtnAzAxNDFhYzQwLTYyZGUtM2FhYi04YzdlLTQyNmJjMjE2NDZiMgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fUmV1dGVyc19nYWwEdmVyAzgzYmIyZmUwLTVhMjgtMTFlMS1iYTU1LTZjMWQxM2Q0ZTJmYQ–;_ylv=3

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Angus MacSwan | Reuters – 1 hr 19 mins ago

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian security forces fired live ammunition to break up a protest against President Bashar al-Assadin Damascus on Saturday, killing at least one person, opposition activists said.

A Chinese envoy met the Syrian leader earlier in the day and urged all sides to end 11 months of bloodshed, while backing a government plan for elections.

The shooting broke out at the funerals of three youths killed on Friday in an anti-Assad protest that was one of the biggest in the capital since a nationwide uprising started.

“They started firing at the crowd right after the burial. People are running and trying to take cover in the alleyways,” said a witness, speaking to Reuters in Amman by telephone.

The opposition Syrian Revolution Coordination Union said the gunfire near the cemetery had killed one mourner and wounded four, including a woman who was hit in the head.

Up to 30,000 demonstrators had taken to the streets in the Mezze district of Damascus, witnesses said.

Footage of the funeral broadcast live on the Internet showed women ululating to honor the victims. Mourners shouted: “We sacrifice our blood, our soul for you martyrs. One, one, one, the Syrian people are one”.

Assad described the turmoil racking Syria as a ploy to split the country.

“What Syria is facing is fundamentally an effort to divide it and affect its geopolitical place and historic role in the region,” he was quoted by Syrian state television as saying after meeting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun.

CHINESE SUPPORT

Zhai, speaking hours before the shooting at the funerals, said Chinabacked Assad’s plan for a referendum on February 26 followed by multi-party elections to resolve the crisis. The opposition and the West have dismissed the plan as sham.

The Chinese envoy appealed for an end to violence from all sides, including the government and opposition forces. His comments nevertheless amounted to a show of support against world condemnation of Assad’s crackdown on the popular uprising.

China supports the path of reform taking place in Syria and the important steps that have been taken in this respect,” he said.

China’s state news agency Xinhua highlighted Zhai’s comments that China was “deeply concerned by the escalating crisis”. The Syrian TV report quoted him as saying: “The Chinese experience shows a nation cannot develop without stability.”

Beijing and Moscow have been Assad’s most important international defenders during the crackdown which has killed several thousand people and divided world powers. The United Nations, the United States, Europe, Turkey and Arab powers want Assad to step down and have condemned the ferocious repression.

Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on February 4 calling on Assad to quit and also voted against a similar, non-binding General Assembly resolution on Thursday.

BOMBING THE OPPOSITION

Syrian government forces meanwhile renewed their bombardment of the opposition stronghold of Homs on Saturday.

A blanket of snow covered Homs, on the highway between Damascus and the commercial hub Aleppo, as Syrian troops pounded mainly Sunni Muslim rebel districts with rockets and artillery.

The troops were close to Baba Amro, a southern neighborhood that has been target of the heaviest barrages since the armored offensive began two weeks ago, activists said.

“Troops have closed in on Baba Amro and the bombardment is mad, but I don’t know if they are willing to storm the neighborhood while it is snowing,” activist Mohammad al-Homsi said from Homs.

“There is no electricity and communications between districts are cut, so we are unable to get a death toll… there is no fuel in most of the city.”

The military has also opened a new offensive in Hama, a city with a bloody history of resistance to Assad’s late father. The Assad clan are Alawites, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, in a majority Sunni country.

Assad, who succeeded his father Hafez when he died in 2000 after 30 years in power, says he is fighting foreign-backed terrorists.

The uprising began with civilian protests in March, but now includes a parallel armed struggle led by the loosely organized Free Syria Army, made up of army deserters and local insurgents.

Syria’s other significant ally is Iran, itself at odds with the West. An Iranian destroyer and a supply ship sailed through the Suez canal this week and are believed to be on their way to the Syrian coast, a source in the canal authority said.

The West is concerned that the conflict is sliding towards a civil war that could spread across the region’s patchwork of ethnic, religious and political rivalries.

But it has ruled out Libya-style military intervention, instead imposing sanctions and urging a fragmented opposition, which includes activists inside Syria, armed rebels and politicians in exile, to present a common front against Assad.

Tunisia, which is hosting a meeting on Syria next week, said on Friday Arab countries would encourage the opposition to unite before they would recognize them as a government-in-waiting.

(Additional reporting by Mohammed Abbas in Beirut; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Tens of thousands back Putin at Russia rallies

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/pro-putin-rallies-russia-campaign-heats-074424677.html;_ylt=AixE97_3c3CqDdPG.0QCJeus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNibjVwNTluBG1pdAMEcGtnAzg5NmJiZWI1LTUxZGQtMzc3MC05NDFlLTkxOGM2YjMyODg2MQRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbG5fQUZQX2dhbAR2ZXIDNGYyZDhkZGEtNWEyOS0xMWUxLWJiYmItMmU1OGI4ZTJhMTY5;_ylv=3

By Marina Koreneva | AFP – 12 hrs ago

Tens of thousands of Vladimir Putin’s supporters backed his bid for the presidency in rallies across Russia on Saturday, trying to outdo mass nationwide protests staged by his opponents.

At least 50,000 people attended rallies in European Russia, Siberia and the Far East supporting Putin’s candidacy for a historic third Kremlin term in March 4 polls, AFP correspondents and police reports said.

Russians are taking to the streets with increasing regularity ahead of the election as the opposition and camp seek to outdo each other with competing rallies.

Brandishing slogans like “Yes To Changes! No To Revolution!” and “Putin — We Are With You For A Strong Russia!”, at least 10,000 people attended a rally in his support in the former imperial capital of Saint Petersburg

“For me, Putin is stability. In these years I have personally lived better. I am given my pay on time. I have started to be proud of the country,” Putin supporter Anatoly Stepanov, 42, told an AFP correspondent.

Participants were warmed in temperatures of minus eight degrees Celsius by hot tea and Russian pies sold for nominal prices. “Look at those who are against Putin, they are not the people,” grumbled pensioner Anna Patrusheva, 58.

The opposition has accused the authorities of using the state’s resources or even employing financial incentives to encourage people to show up for the Putin rallies.

Several buses were visible on the fringes of the rally that had brought people in from outlying Saint Petersburg regions.

Pro-Putin rallies took place in almost all of Russia’s biggest cities, the main exceptions being Moscowand the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk where the Russian premier was busy attending an economic forum.

According to a police count quoted by Russian news agencies, 12,000 people turned out for the biggest rally in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk seven time zones away under the slogan “We Have Something to Protect!”.

Rallies mustering at least 10,000 people also took place in cities including Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Novosibirsk in Siberia, while several thousand came for events in the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

The RIA Novosti news agency said police arrested the over-zealous organiser of the pro-Putin rally in the industrial town of Ivanovo outside Moscow after its turnout of 6,000 was double the figure announced to the authorities.

The demonstrations come ahead of a giant pre-election rally on February 23 in Moscow called by the Putin campaign under the slogan “We Protect the Country!” that organisers hope will muster 200,000 people.

The opposition Novaya Gazeta reported on Friday that factory workers from as far away as Krasnoyarsk would be flown into Moscow to boost numbers.

A page has already been set up on Russian social networking site VKontakte promising that participants from outside Moscow will get transport, an “attractive programme” and two hot meals a day.

The rally is to be followed by a rival action in the capital on February 26 by the opposition, which is counting on tens of thousands to turn out to form a human chain around the capital’s inner ring road.

Putin is still widely expected to win the presidential elections, possibly even in the first round, with his four registered opponents failing to provide a significant challenge.

But analysts say the protest movement could give Putin a rough ride going forward as he embarks on a new six-year Kremlin term amid growing expectations of change.

 

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Syria forces ‘fire on Damascus funeral ‘

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-forces-fire-damascus-funeral-105633509.html;_ylt=Aqn.6D0Is3G.bA5xvKzaZSis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNiN2RiYTNqBG1pdAMEcGtnAzgwZTM4ODllLTA3MDAtMzVkOC1iMDNhLWM5YmQ4ZDBkNWZjYwRwb3MDMgRzZWMDbG5fQUZQX2dhbAR2ZXIDZGM0ZTNmMjMtNWEyOS0xMWUxLWFkZjctYzQ5NWJmN2E1ZTA3;_ylv=3

AFP – 13 hrs ago

Syrian security forces fired on a huge crowd gathered for the funerals Saturday of demonstrators killed in rare protests in the capital after a senior Chinese envoy issued a plea for the bloodshed to end.

Following Damascus talks with President Bashar al-Assad, Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun called on all sides in Syria to stop the violence and for planned elections, which have been denounced by the opposition, to go ahead peacefully, state media said.

The Damascus funerals were for four people, two of them teenagers, who were killed when security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the capital’s west central Mazzeh district, which houses many government offices and embassies, a human rights group and activists said.

“The forces of Assad are shooting on those taking part in the funerals and firing tear gas to disperse them,” Mohammad Chami, of the Local Coordination Committees which organise protests on the ground, said when contacted by AFP on Skype.

He said it was “sustained gunfire.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were casualties among the “thousands” attending the funerals without specifying their number or severity.

Activists described Friday’s demonstrations in Damascus as “unprecedented,” saying there were 49 in all, and called for a “day of defiance” in the capital on Sunday to galvanise support.

“It’s the first time that the protests have spread to well-to-do neighbourhoods,” said Moaz Shami of the LCC.

In a message to Damascus residents on their “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page, activists said: “The blood of the martyrs exhorts you to disobedience.”

Security forces also kept up their pounding of the flashpoint central city of Homs as the Chinese envoy visited.

Rockets crashed into strongholds of resistance at the rate of four a minute on Friday, according to one activist, who warned that the city — Syria’s third largest — faces a humanitarian crisis.

Thirteen of the 30 people killed on Friday were in the Homs district of Baba Amr, the Syrian Observatory said.

After his talks with Assad, Zhai, whose government has twice joined Moscow in blocking UN Security Council condemnation of the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown, said it was vital that “calm be restored as quickly as possibly,” state television reported.

“The position of China is to call on the government, the opposition and the rebels to halt acts of violence immediately,” the Chinese envoy said.

“We hope that the referendum on a new constitution as well as the forthcoming parliamentary elections pass off calmly,” he added.

“China supports the reforms under way in Syria and the significant measures taken by the country in this field.”

Assad for his part said the events in Syria were “aimed at dividing the country and delivering a blow to its geopolitical position and historical role in the region,” the official SANA news agency reported.

He said he was determined to “advance the political reform process according to a precise plan and timetable.”

On Thursday, Syrian opposition groups rejected a newly drafted constitution that could end nearly five decades of single-party rule, and urged voters to boycott a February 26 referendum on the charter.

One of them, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, told AFP “it is impossible for us to take part in this referendum before a stop to the violence and killings” which rights groups say has killed more than 6,000 people since March last year.

Zhai’s meeting with Assad followed talks with his counterpart, Faisal Meqdad, late on Friday after which he said the international community must respect Syria’s sovereignty.

“The sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected by all sides and by the international community,” SANA quoted him as saying.

On Thursday, before heading to Damascus, Zhai said Beijing opposed armed intervention and forced “regime change” in Syria.

China and Russia have faced a barrage of criticism for blocking action by the UN Security Council, including from Arab nations with which Beijing normally has good ties.

“China condemns all acts of violence against innocent civilians” and “does not approve of armed intervention or forcing so-called ‘regime change,'” Zhai was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

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India rated world’s most optimistic market

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/photos/revealed-world-s-10-most-optimistic-markets-1329302582-slideshow/

Consumer confidence in India remains high for the eighth consecutive quarter, latest Nielsen report reveals.

india

India remains the world’s most optimistic market for the eighth consecutive quarter (or for two years in a row) with a one point consumer confidence index increase to 122. “The top spot globally reminds us of the inherent strength of the Indian economy, the savings mindset of the Indian consumer, and the positivity of consumer sentiment which has likely been helped by the recent cooling of inflationary pressure,” said Justin Sargent, Managing Director, Nielsen India. Click on NEXT to view the other 9 most optimistic markets…

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Iran warships ‘enter the Mediterranean’

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-warships-enter-mediterranean-092951653.html;_ylt=AoP4.EwCQ3PWv0SQPpTyLCGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNibGJ1bTVsBG1pdAMEcGtnAzU0NWE5MGIwLTY1N2QtM2I3NC05NWNjLTEyNGFhOWMxOTBiMgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fQUZQX2dhbAR2ZXIDOTc2Yjk0ZTAtNWEyNy0xMWUxLWIzNmUtZjQ0MGIwYzZmODJk;_ylv=3

By Mohammad Davari | AFP – 1 hr 25 mins ago

Iranian warships entered the Mediterranean Sea after crossing the Suez Canal on Saturday to show Tehran‘s “might” to regional countries, the navy commander said, amid simmering tensions withIsrael.

“The strategic navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has passed through the Suez Canal for the second time since the (1979) Islamic Revolution,” Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in remarks quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

He did not say how many vessels had crossed the canal, or what missions they were planning to carry out in the Mediterranean, but said the flotilla had previously docked in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Two Iranian ships, the destroyer Shahid Qandi and supply vessel Kharg, had docked in the Red Sea port on February 4, according to Iranian media.

Sayari said the naval deployment to the Mediterranean would show “the might” of the Islamic republic to regional countries, and also convey Tehran’s “message of peace and friendship.”

The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, fuelled by the longstanding dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme and rising speculation that Israel might launch pre-emptive strikes against Iranian facilities.

Israeli officials are also accusing Tehran of orchestrating anti-Israeli bombings in India and Georgia as well as blasts in Thailand. Iran denies the allegations.

The first Iranian presence in the Mediterranean in February 2011 provoked strong reactions from Israel and the United States, with the Jewish state putting its navy on alert.

During the 2011 deployment, two Iranian vessels, a destroyer and a supply ship, sailed past the coast of Israel and docked at the Syrian port of Latakia before returning to Iran via the Red Sea.

Israeli leaders denounced the move as a “provocation” and a “powerplay.”

Iran’s navy has been boosting its presence in international waters in the past two years, deploying vessels to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden on missions to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.

And Iran sent submarines to the Red Sea last June to “collect data,” its first such mission in distant waters, while its naval commanders say they plan on deploying ships close to US territorial waters in the future.

Iranian naval forces are composed of small units, including speedboats equipped with missiles, which operate in the Gulf and are under the command of the Revolutionary Guards.

The navy, using small frigates, destroyers, and three Russian-made Kilo class submarines, oversees high seas missions in the Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden.

It now permanently has at least two vessels in those areas to escort merchant ships, and has been involved in more than 100 confrontations with armed pirates, according to the navy commander in December.

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Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/italy-police-seize-6-trillion-fake-u-t-144806353.html;_ylt=AvhtJn.ZeMbZWHHPr6Q6RHSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsc2wwYWgwBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDYTI3Njg2ZDgtOGFjOC0zM2EwLWE3MGEtYzgxMWU5N2IxMDFlBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzAyNmExNzYwLTU5YjctMTFlMS1iZWVmLTcyMjdlOWE3MGZkNg–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

By Elisa Forte and Gavin Jones | Reuters – 14 hrs ago

POTENZA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion worth of fake U.S. Treasury bonds and other securities in Switzerland, and arrested eight Italians accused of international fraud and other financial crimes.

The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian, Swiss and U.S. authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said.

It began as a investigation into mafia loan-sharking, but gradually expanded as prosecutors used telephone and computer intercepts to unearth evidence of illegal activity surrounding Treasury bonds.

The fake securities, worth more than a third of U.S. national debt, were seized in January from a Swiss trust company where they were held in three large trunks.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome thanked the Italian authorities and said the forgeries were “an attempt to defraud several Swiss banks”. It said U.S. experts had helped to identify the bonds as fakes.

Potenza’s prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo said an international network “in many countries” was behind the forgeries.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera said on its website that the criminal network was believed to be interested in acquiring plutonium, citing sources at the prosecutors’ office.

VERSAILLES

Police videos showed images of the trunks, with “Federal Reserve System, Treaty of Versailles” stamped on the side in large, golden letters.

Bond certificates marked “Chicago, Illinois, Federal Reserve Bank” and other securities, some for one billion dollars, were also shown.

U.S. bond traders took a light-hearted view of the news.

“If there’s that much less supply now, Treasuries should be rallying,” joked Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

A trader at Citigroup said he had swapped jokes with colleagues about the seizure, which would not move markets.

“It’s kind of like fake inflation I guess, if you take it to the max, but I don’t think it means that much.”

Prosecutors said the forgers had hoped to use the fake bonds as collateral to secure loans.

The eight men arrested are accused of counterfeiting bonds, credit card forgery, and loan-sharking in the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio and Basilicata, police said.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office said Zurich state prosecutors had worked on the investigation at the request of the Italian prosecutor. The Swiss handed over their findings in July last year.

In 2009, Italian financial police seized $742 billion of fake U.S. bearer bonds in the of Chiasso, on the Swiss-Italian border.

(Additional reporting by Steve Scherer and Emily Flitter; Editing by Andrew Roche)

(In 11th paragraph, corrects company name of strategist to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, instead ofMorgan Stanley)

Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Fake U.S. Treasury bonds are displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Chief prosecutor of Potenza Colangelo talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Chief prosecutor of Potenza Giovanni Colangelo (C) talks during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion of fake U.S. Treasury bonds in Switzerland, and issued arrest warrants for eight people accused of international fraud and other financial crimes. The operation, co-ordinated by prosecutors from the southern Italian city of Potenza, was carried out by Italian and Swiss authorities after a year-long investigation, an Italian police source said. REUTERS/Tony Veceless 

A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. A trunk containing fake U.S. Treasury bonds is displayed during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza

  1. Italian Carabinieri display fake U.S. Treasury bonds during a news conference in the southern Italian city of Potenza February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Vece

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, Global Research, Press Releases, Rated R, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

The Olympics – Guts and the gory

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.video.yahoo.com/blogs/vw/olympics-gory-075611209.html

By Tisha Srivastav | Video Wall – Fri 17 Feb, 2012 3:12 PM IST

Note by Admin: This is the same company responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took place in the capital city Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh one of the central and largest states in the country of India.

It occurred on the night of December 2nd, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant.

A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. Methyl isocyanate (MIC), a heavier-than-air gas, leaked from Tank 610 allowing 30 metric tons of the existing 42 tons to escape into the atmosphere in a matter of 45 to 60 minutes. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. As many as 25,000 deaths have been attributed to the disaster in recent estimates.

The company Dow chemicals responsible for the operations at large washed its hands off through legislation and legal affairs.

Remember far greater tragedies have befallen on the people of this world outside of the western nations and more so happen increasingly but go unrecognised, unreported and unnoticed because your MNCs are not liable for compensation to their actions outside the purview of your jurisdictions and also because rich people with fair skin and very high standards of living don’t really like seeing poor and darker looking people pop on their news channels.

9/11 was nothing compared to what some of us have experienced for several centuries on end from the start of imperialism by the western colonial powers.

No doubt it reeks of racism and intolerance and outright callous belligerent contempt for other nations and their free indigenous people to even state that the staged attacks of 9/11 were the most prominent and diabolical of all insidious and sinister conspiracy schemes to forge a New World Order.

That is just western bullshit fed to make the rest of the world sympathise for you people shooting yourselves in your own foot.

I for one was very happy with the events that transpired on the September 11, 2001 because for the first time you people understood what it feels like to get screwed in your own backyard by an unnecessary and arrogant external threat without any of you being able to escape or just ride off into the sunset.

You understood what it was like to be at the receiving end of fear and sorrow and death and tragedy and destruction and to realise with humility that you cannot escape the fruits of your own actions and that all those souls that your twisted soul group at large [mostly conceived as an inbreeding with the lower vibrational Pleaidians and regressive warrior like Orion groups] have troubled and tortured, you will now wail in the haunting cries of their memories and experiences.

Some of your New Age and spiritual researchers and fomenters actually have the ba**s to say that you will lead the entire world into a New Golden Age and through the path of Ascension. Yeah right!

Just step aside once your nation crumbles within the next 5 years and let the rest of us who have ever so been tolerant and patient with your antics step in to create true peace and harmony in along time upon this world, forever.

Remember you cannot escape Karma.

http://www.netphotograph.com/pablo/bhopal/

Check the above link to know through pictures what happened there. This was one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes.

File:Bhopal-Union Carbide 1 crop memorial.jpg

 

 

 

Image Credit: The RootAn image that may evoke a thousand questions or silent rage or a ‘get on with it, the games  are bigger than  one part-time sponsor.’

But what if both were possible? Getting on with the game and yet having something to say during the Games ?

In the down with Dow rage, are the now ex-Olympic Ethics Commissioner, the politicians and NRIs in UK and marginally less, Indian activists and families of those who have directly suffered.

And individuals like graphic designer Nitesh Mohanty who made this disturbing image. The Dow logo being  dropped has been the only symbolic concession.

This is what he has to say.’International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge rejected India’s calls to terminate DOW Chemicals‘ sponsorship deal for the 2012 London Games. DOW may not have created the tragedy but it cannot, from an ethical perspective, absolve itself from cleaning up the toxic mess as part of its inherited legacy. Bhopal might have long stopped being the bonfire it used to be in people’s mind, but the embers still glow. The terrifying image of the dead child’s swollen head rising from the rubble shot by Raghu Rai is a grim reminder of the industrial catastrophe. The IOC would have blood on its unifying rings that represent the five continents of the world which willingly accept healthy competition. Let the Games Begin! The world will not shed their tears for Bhopal. ‘

Vir Sanghvi offers a useful reality check and some pro-active possibilities  here for protesting when the Indian contingent enters the opening ceremony this summer. He also says, ‘The furore over Dow Chemicals sponsorship of the London Olympics and the suggestion that Indian athletes should now boycott the Games to register our protest, reveals an utter and complete lack of conscience on the part of the British organisers of the Olympics and a complete lack of imagination on the part of Indian activists.’ What he suggests is don’t sulk, but shame them imaginatively.  Is an ideal middle possible with our distinctly uncomfortable athletes at this mix of sport and politics. Busy training for the Games with hopes of Olympic glory. There has been no substantial debate in the political arena on the lethal mix that sport and real life issues can be.Bhopal is a bad memory in the nation’s psyche and the Olympics are the near future. Where then is space for the politics of the forgotten ? Tell us what you think?

the politicians and NRIs in UK

Posted in India Forgotten, Pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Olympics – Guts and the gory