Aug 28

Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a “declaration of war” by Russia.

The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin’s envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.

And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – the ‘real architect’ of the Georgia conflict – and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday

The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia – where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state – came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.

“If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia,” he stated.

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Aug 28

In the Queen’s speech this autumn Gordon Brown’s government will announce a scheme to institute a database of every telephone call, email, and act of online usage by every resident of the UK. It will propose that this information will be gathered, stored, and “made accessible” to the security and law enforcement agencies, local councils, and “other public bodies”.

This fact should be in equal parts incredible and nauseating. It is certainly enraging and despicable. Not even George Orwell in his most febrile moments could have envisaged a world in which every citizen could be so thoroughly monitored every moment of the day, spied upon, eavesdropped, watched, tracked, followed by CCTV cameras, recorded and scrutinised. Our words and web searches, our messages and intimacies, are to be stored and made available to the police, the spooks, the local council – the local council! – and “other public bodies”.

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Aug 27


Tiny thread like cilia on brain cells act as sort of an antennae that directs signals telling stem cells to create new neurons. (Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University)

ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2008) – Yale University scientists today reported evidence suggesting that the tiny cilia found on brain cells of mammals, thought to be vestiges of a primeval past, actually play a critical role in relaying molecular signals that spur creation of neurons in an area of the brain involved in mood, learning and memory.

The cilia found on brain cells of mammals until recently had been viewed as a mysterious remnant of a distant evolutionary past, when the tiny hair-like structures were used by single-celled organisms to navigate a primordial world.

“Many neuroscientists are shocked to learn that cells in the brain have cilia. Thus it was even more exciting to show that cilia have a key function in regulating the birth of new neurons in the brain,” said Matthew Sarkisian, post doctoral fellow in the department of neurobiology and co-first author on the study.

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Aug 27

DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA SAVE YOUR TEARS FOR YOURSELF – While bankers do control the issuance of credit, they cannot control themselves. Bankers are the fatal flaw in their deviously opaque system that has substituted credit for money and debt for savings. The bankers have spread their credit-based system across the world by catering to basic human needs and ambition and greed; and while human needs can be satisfied, ambition and greed cannot-and the bankers’ least of all.

I have a bad feeling about what’s about to happen. The Great Depression is the closest that comes to mind. I, like most, was not alive during the 1930s when it happened. Nonetheless, what once was feared in private is now being discussed in public. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to make high school seem like fun.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THE NEXT ARGENTINA

This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises by University of Maryland‘s Carmen Reinhart and Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff makes for perfect reading when flying between the US and Argentina.

There is perhaps no better analysis than Reinhart and Rogoff’s on the history of sovereign defaults; and, as such, Reinhart and Rogoff’s paper was ideal reading material when traveling between the US and Argentina , for the sovereign defaults that happened in the past to Argentina will soon be happening to the US .

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Aug 27

Russia sought to bolster its diplomatic position in its stand off with the West over Georgia today by dispatching President Dmitry Medvedev to meet his Chinese counterpart.

Mr Medvedev was to meet President Hu Jintao at a Central Asian security summit in Tajikistan in an encounter that is unlikely to yield the sort of criticism that Russia has attracted from Europe and America over its actions in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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Aug 27

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will have to respond militarily to the deployment of elements of a U.S. missile shield in Central Europe.

The deal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland was reached in mid-August, and followed the signing of an agreement on July 8 by the U.S. and Czech foreign ministries to place a U.S. radar in the Czech Republic.

“These missiles are close to our borders and constitute a threat to us,” Medvedev said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television on Tuesday. “This will create additional tension and we will have to respond to it in some way, naturally using military means.”

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Aug 27

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of troubled U.S. banks leaped to the highest level in about five years and bank profits plunged by 86 percent in the second quarter, as slumps in the housing and credit markets continued.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data released Tuesday show 117 banks and thrifts were considered to be in trouble in the second quarter, up from 90 in the prior quarter and the biggest tally since mid-2003.

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Aug 27

For Canadian diplomat Brian McAdam, it wasn’t that he had uncovered the lucrative sale of Canadian visas during his posting at Canada’s Hong Kong consulate.

Both Canadian and Chinese consular staff, he says, were selling visas to members of the Chinese mafia and Communist China’s intelligence service. The price, he heard, ranged from $10,000 to $100,000 per visa.

It wasn’t that reports he sent to his bosses in Canada — details on murderers, money launderers, smugglers and spies trying to enter Canada — were met with silence or mostly destroyed.

It wasn’t dozens of threatening calls — “Stop what you’re doing or you’re going to find yourself dead” — from Triad members during his 1989-1993 stint in Hong Kong.

What finally broke him down, he says, was “the incredible feeling of betrayal from my colleagues. I’d worked with these people for years.”

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Aug 27

Related article: Putin Can’t Afford to Back Down:
“If the Bush administration proceeds with its plan to deploy its Missile Defense System in Poland, Russian Prime Minister Putin will be forced to remove it militarily. He has no other option.”
“By means of a US first strike about 99%+ of Russian nuclear forces would be taken out. Namely, the United States Government believes that with the deployment of a facially successful first strike capability, they can move beyond deterrence and into “compellence.”…
_________________________________________________________________________________

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS:

(Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.)

Thinking about the massive failure of the US media to report truthfully is sobering. The United States, bristling with nuclear weapons and pursuing a policy of world hegemony, has a population that is kept in the dark–indeed brainwashed–about the most important and most dangerous events of our time.

The power of the Israel Lobby is an important component of keeping Americans in the dark. Recently I watched a documentary that demonstrates the control that the Israel Lobby exercises over Americans’ view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The documentary:

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Source: Google Video

Related article: A human rights crime in Gaza By Ex-President Jimmy Carter

As a result of the US media’s one-sided coverage, few Americans are aware that for decades Israel has been ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their homes and lands under protection of America’s veto in the United Nations. Instead, the dispossessed Palestinians are portrayed as mindless terrorists who attack innocent Israel.

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Aug 26

Attempts to isolate and punish Russia for its military actions in Georgia will backfire, given Russia’s economic muscle and key role in mediating international disputes, senior Russian officials said Friday.

Top officials in President George W. Bush’s administration have said Russia’s continued military presence in Georgia could jeopardize its membership in the Group of Eight and its bid to join the World Trade Organization, among other things.

“We are a big economy today,” said Vladislav Reznik, chairman of the State Duma Financial Markets Committee. “Whether they like it or not, we have to be reckoned with.”

Yevgeny Fyodorov, chairman of the Duma’s Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship Committee, was even more blunt.

“It’s a political bluff,” he said. “It’s an absolute certainty that the Americans won’t [impose any sanctions] because they themselves would suffer.”

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Aug 26

The number of unsold homes on the market in the United States is at levels not seen for at least 40 years, and prices are continuing to slide, according to a disheartening new survey.

With participants throughout the financial system saying that the credit crisis cannot end until the US housing market stabilises, the monthly data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) failed to show any unequivocal improvement.

The July figures did show an increase in the number of buyers, lured by the prospect of getting a long-term bargain. However, two out of every five sales are now distressed sales – such as foreclosed homes put on the market by banks – and desperate sellers are continuing to drop their prices.

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Aug 26

It was when “official government-approved” inflation figures were released that I really lost it last week, as that particular rate of inflation is now a staggering 5.6%. This is – as you can probably tell by the look of panic and terror on my face – Terrible, Terrible News (TTN).

And when you look at what John Williams at shadowstats.com calculates as inflation, according to the time-honored method of actually looking at real prices instead of the “qualified estimates” that are used today, you will see that annual inflation in consumer prices is actually running at over 13%! Some of the worst in American history! We’re freaking doomed!

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Aug 26

China has resorted to stealth intervention in the currency markets to amass US dollars, using indirect means to hold down the yuan and ease the pain for its struggling exporters as the global slowdown engulfs the economy.

A study by HSBC’s currency team in Asia has concluded that China’s central bank is in effect forcing commercial banks to build up large dollar reserves, using them as arms-length proxies in a renewed campaign of exchange rate intervention.

Beijing has raised the reserve requirement for banks five times since March, quickening the pace with two half-point rises in late June. Continue reading »

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Aug 26

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s president signed decrees on Tuesday recognizing Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and called on other countries to follow suit.

“This is not an easy decision, but it is the only way to protect people’s lives,”Dmitry Medvedev said in a televised address.

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Aug 26

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) — Merrill Lynch & Co., Wachovia Corp., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the rest of the U.S. finance industry are about to find out how expensive credit has become.

Banks, securities firms and lenders have a record $871 billion of bonds maturing through 2009, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., just as yields are at their most punitive compared with Treasuries. The increase in yields may cost them as much as $23 billion more in annual interest versus a year ago based on Merrill Lynch index data.

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Aug 26

Four people have been arrested after plotting to assassinate Barack Obama.

One of the group said he was “going to shoot Obama”, who is in Denver, Colorado, for the Democratic National Convention, “from a high vantage point using a rifle sighted at 750 yards”.

Police said that one of the suspects “was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative”.

The shooting was planned for Thursday, when Mr Obama is set to accept the nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the November election at the 75,000-seat Invesco stadium.

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Aug 25

(NaturalNews) Nowadays most people sleep in a room that is lit up like a Christmas tree. The alarm clock shows the time in bright red. The cell phone is charging. The Computer is still running. The DVD clock is flickering 12:00. The answering machine has more lights than R2D2.

Are people so afraid of the dark that they prefer this many night lights? Each and every energy source takes a small toll on the sleep pattern of people nearby, bombarding them with various forms of radiation as they sleep. The following are some devices to be wary of:

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Aug 25

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Mint said it must allocate the American Eagle bullion coins among dealers to cope with overwhelming demand as it resumed taking orders for the popular coins on Monday.

“The unprecedented demand for American Eagle gold one-ounce bullion coins necessitates our allocating these coins among the authorized purchasers on a weekly basis until we are able to meet demand,” the U.S. Mint told its authorized American Eagle dealers in a memo dated August 22.

Last week, soaring demand forced the U.S. Mint to suspend temporarily sales of the American Eagles, creating a shortage in the one-ounce version of the coins, which are also available in other weights and denominations.

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Aug 25

(NaturalNews) The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coordinator for a Texas veterans hospital sent an email to facility staff suggesting that they stop diagnosing returning Afghanistan and Iraq veterans with PTSD.

“Given that we are having more and more compensation-seeking veterans, I’d like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out,” wrote psychologist Norma J. Perez in an email to the staff of the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Center in Temple, Texas.

Saying that Veterans Affairs (VA) staffers “really don’t … have the time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD,” Perez suggested that they should instead “consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder.”

Veterans diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder receive significantly less in the way of disability and health care benefits than those diagnosed with PTSD. An estimated 300,000 Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans are currently suffering from either PTSD or severe depression, according to a recent report by the Rand Corp.

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Aug 25


Dmitry Medvedev meeting Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin (AFP Photo / Vladimir Rodionov)

President Medvedev has said that Russia is ready to break off its relations with NATO if necessary. His comments came after a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, at the port of Sochi.

Dmitry Rogozin briefed Medvedev on NATO’s attitude towards the current situation in South Ossetia. In his view they’re applying a double standard as they’re blaming Russia, although Georgia began the conflict. Continue reading »

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Aug 25

A top official warned of widening loan fraud in 2004, but the agency focused its resources elsewhere.


WASHINGTON — Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible.

“It has the potential to be an epidemic,” Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. “We think we can prevent a problem that could have as much impact as the S&L crisis,” he said.

Today, the damage from the global mortgage meltdown has more than matched that of the savings-and-loan bailouts of the 1980s and early 1990s. By some estimates, it has made that costly debacle look like chump change. But it’s also clear that the FBI failed to avert a problem it had accurately forecast.

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Aug 25

The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban’s progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.

By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.

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Aug 25

Regulator, insurer boosts its staff and provisions as it faces its biggest challenge in decades

ATLANTA – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is one of those agencies with a low profile but essential role similar to plumbing or electricity – you don’t notice it until the power’s out or the basement’s flooding.

These days, the FDIC’s folks are busier with the financial equivalent of fixing burst water mains and dead power lines.

Seventy-five years after it was launched during the Great Depression, the bank regulator and insurer is facing its biggest challenge in decades. Many banks in Georgia and across the nation have been battered by the slumping economy and troubled loans to home builders, developers and homeowners.

Hundreds could fail, some industry experts predict. That could force the agency to make good on its promise to insure most customers’ checking and savings deposits up to $100,000 and some retirement accounts up to $250,000, putting pressure on its insurance fund.

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Aug 25

In this Feb. 25, 2005 file photo, Charles Ulrich talks about taxes from his
Charles Ulrich talks about taxes from his Baxter, Minn. home. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON – It took seven years, but Charles Ulrich did something many people dream about, but few succeed at: He beat the IRS in a tax dispute.
Not only that, but tax experts say potentially millions of other taxpayers could benefit from his victory.

The accountant from Baxter, Minn., challenged the method the IRS has used for more than 20 years to tax shares and cash distributed by mutual life insurance firms to their policyholders when they reorganize as public companies.

A federal court recently agreed with his interpretation.

“There’s a tremendous amount of money at stake,” said Robert Willens, a New York City-based tax analyst at Robert Willens LLC. “Tens of thousands of people could be in line for a refund.”

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Aug 25


“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.” Vladimir Putin quoting Russian proverb

If the Bush administration proceeds with its plan to deploy its Missile Defense System in Poland, Russian Prime Minister Putin will be forced to remove it militarily. He has no other option. The proposed system integrates the the entire US nuclear arsenal into one operational-unit a mere 115 miles from the Russian border. It’s no different than Khrushchev’s plan to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba in the 1960s.

Early last year, at a press conference that was censored in the United States, Putin explained his concerns about Bush’s plan:

“Once the missile defense system is put in place it will work automatically with the entire nuclear capability of the United States. It will be an integral part of the US nuclear capability….And, for the first time in history—and I want to emphasize this—there will be elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to respond to that.”

Nuclear weapons specialist, Francis A. Boyle, says the Bush administration’s plans represent the “longstanding US policy of nuclear first-strike against Russia.” In Boyle’s article “US Missiles in Europe: Beyond Deterrence to First Strike Threat” he states:

“By means of a US first strike about 99%+ of Russian nuclear forces would be taken out. Namely, the United States Government believes that with the deployment of a facially successful first strike capability, they can move beyond deterrence and into “compellence.”…This has been analyzed ad nauseam in the professional literature. But especially by one of Harvard’s premier warmongers in chief, Thomas Schelling –winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics granted by the Bank of Sweden– who developed the term “compellence” and distinguished it from “deterrence.” …The USG is breaking out of a “deterrence” posture and moving into a “compellence” posture. (Global Research 6-6-07)

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Aug 24

INSTANBUL/MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – NATO has sent a Polish frigate and a U.S. destroyer through the Bosporus to boost its presence in the Black Sea, where it is delivering humanitarian cargoes to Georgia, a source in the Turkish navy said.

“Two more NATO ships passed through the strait and entered the Black Sea on Friday evening,” the source told RIA Novosti.

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Aug 24

BERLIN, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank on Friday rejected calls that it should sell some of its gold reserves to help boost the slowing German economy, telling Reuters financial and political uncertainty make the reserves even more important than before.

“Gold sales are not a suitable way to sustainably consolidate the public accounts,” the Bundesbank said after a query about trade union proposals that it sell gold to fund some of a 25 billion euro ($37 billion) economic stimulus package.
“National gold reserves have a confidence and stability-building function for the single currency in a monetary union. This function has become even more important given the geopolitical situation and the risks present in financial market developments.”

The Bundesbank is the world’s second-largest holder of gold after the U.S. Federal Reserve, and has sold just 20 tonnes out of total reserves of over 3,000 tonnes in the past five years.

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Aug 24

Source: http://www.foodsafety.gov/~lrd/fr070404.html

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Food and Drug Administration
21 CFR Part 179
[Docket No. 2005N-0272]
RIN 0910-ZA29

Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Proposed rule.
_____________________________________________________________________________

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise its labeling regulations applicable to foods (including dietary supplements) for which irradiation has been approved by FDA.

FDA is proposing that only those irradiated foods in which the irradiation causes a material change in the food, or a material change in the consequences that may result from the use of the food, bear the radura logo and the term “irradiated,” or a derivative thereof, in conjunction with explicit language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use.

For purposes of this rulemaking, we are using the term “material change” to refer to a change in the organoleptic,
nutritional, or functional properties of a food, caused by irradiation, that the consumer could not identify at the point of purchase in the absence of appropriate labeling.

FDA is also proposing to allow a firm to petition FDA for use of an alternate term to “irradiation” (other than “pasteurized”).

In addition, FDA is proposing to permit a firm to use the term “pasteurized” in lieu of “irradiated,” provided it notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term “pasteurized” in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) and the agency does not object to the notification.

This proposed action is in response to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA) and, if finalized, will provide consumers with more useful information than the current
regulation.

Related article:
The Food Irradiation Plot: Why the USDA Wants to Sterilize Fresh Produce and Turn Live Foods into Dead Foods

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Aug 24

Farmers in Baoding face ruin from a man-made drought

THOUSANDS of Chinese farmers face ruin because their water has been cut off to guarantee supplies to the Olympics in Beijing, and officials are now trying to cover up a grotesque scandal of blunders, lies and repression.

In the capital, foreign dignitaries have admired millions of flowers in bloom and lush, well-watered greens around its famous sights. But just 90 minutes south by train, peasants are hacking at the dry earth as their crops wilt, their money runs out and the work of generations gives way to despair, debt and, in a few cases, suicide.

In between these two Chinas stands a cordon of roadblocks and hundreds of security agents deployed to make sure that the one never sees the other.

The water scandal is a parable of what can happen when a demanding global event is awarded to a poor agricultural nation run by a dictatorship; and the irony is that none of it has turned out to be necessary.

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Aug 24

Source: YouTube

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Aug 24

Barack Obama’s new running mate praises Israel In 2007 interview with ‘Shalom TV’


Biden. Pro-Israel
Photo: ‘Meet the Press’, AP

By Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 08.23.08

WASHINGTON – Senator Joe Biden, who was chosen by Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to be his running mate in the upcoming US elections, has previously declared himself to be a Zionist. Calling Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” he also revealed a Jewish connection in an interview last year.

During the interview conducted by the Jewish ‘Shalom TV’ Biden said, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” He also revealed that his son is married to a Jewish woman, of the Berger family from Delaware, and that he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house.

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Aug 23

WASHINGTON — The ongoing disarray among Pakistan’s new civilian leadership, including its refusal to accept a U.S. military training mission for the Pakistani army, has led to intense frustration within the Pentagon and reignited a debate over whether the U.S. should act on its own against extremists operating in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.

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Aug 23

According to conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Sen. John McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann is a ‘dual loyalist,’ ‘neocon warmonger’ involved in activities that ‘none dare call treason.’

Scheunemann’s former employer, Orion Strategies, is a lobbying firm with strong ties to Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration in Georgia.

Since Georgia attempted to retake South Ossetia by force, triggering a sharp, violent rebuke by Russian forces, Sen. McCain has been by far the most strident advocate of US support for the former Soviet state. And his top adviser, says Buchanan, may well be the next Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski.

“He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man,” he wrote.

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Aug 23

President Sarkozy’s resolve to remain steadfast in Afghanistan was tested yesterday as a poll indicated that a majority of French voters want him to pull troops out after the deaths this week of ten soldiers in a Taleban ambush.

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Aug 23

And you know who will pay for all of this.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and U.S. auto-parts makers are seeking $50 billion in government-backed loans, double their initial request, to develop and build more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The U.S. automakers and the suppliers want Congress to appropriate $3.75 billion needed to back $25 billion in U.S. loans approved in last year’s energy bill and add $25 billion in new loans over subsequent years, according to people familiar with the strategy. The industry is also seeking fewer restrictions on how the funding is used, the people said today.

GM and Ford lost $24.1 billion in the second quarter as consumers, battered by record gasoline prices, abandoned the trucks that provide most of U.S. companies’ profit and embraced cars that benefit overseas competitors such as Honda Motor Co. U.S. auto sales may drop to a 15-year low this year and fall even more in 2009, analysts have said.

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Aug 23


Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn

Georgia’s independence-leaning republics are to come under Georgian onslaught, high-ranking Russian military official has revealed.

Russia’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said “We have registered an increase in [Georgia’s] reconnaissance activities and preparations for armed actions in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone,” Ria Novosti reported Friday.

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Aug 23

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) — Columbian Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka, Kansas, was closed by U.S. regulators, the nation’s ninth bank to collapse this year amid bad real-estate loans and writedowns stemming from a drop in home prices.

The bank, with $752 million in assets and $622 million in total deposits, was shuttered by the Kansas state bank commissioner’s office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the FDIC said yesterday in a statement.

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Aug 23

The latest figures from pollster John Zogby show three key states have bolted from Obama, dropping him below the necessary 270 electoral votes.

Florida sent 27 electoral votes to John McCain, and both Colorado (9 votes) and New Hampshire (4 votes) went from Obama to undecided. The final tally has Obama down to 260 electoral votes – 10 shy of the necessary 270 for election.

John McCain has 173 electoral votes. There are 105 votes yet to be decided in 12 states that are too close to call, according to Zogby. Polling was done from Aug. 15-19, 2008. Continue reading »

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Aug 23

For years, the data contained in the weekly Commitment of Traders Report (COT), issued by the CFTC, have indicated that several large COMEX traders have manipulated the price of silver and gold. For an equal number of years, the CFTC has reluctantly responded to public pressure over this issue with blanket denials of any wrongdoing. Many analysts have agreed with the CFTC’s position, conjuring up various ways to explain why a massive short position held by a handful of traders is not manipulative.

The recent widespread shortage of silver for retail purchase coupled with a price collapse appears to have shaken these analysts’ confidence that the COMEX silver market is operating ‘fair and square.’ Well it should, since there is no rational explanation for a significant price decline going hand in hand with product shortages other than collusive manipulation.

For any remaining doubters that COMEX silver and gold pricing is manipulated, the following CFTC data should be considered. This data is taken from a monthly report issued by the CFTC, called the Bank Participation Report. Here’s the link for the report:

http://www.cftc.gov/marketreports/bankparticipation/index.htm The relevant data is found in the July and August futures sections. I will condense it.

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Aug 22

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — A failure of U.S. mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be a catastrophe for the global financial system, said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China’s central bank.

“If the U.S. government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic,” Yu said in e-mailed answers to questions yesterday. “If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system.”

Freddie and Fannie shares touched 20-year lows yesterday on speculation that a government bailout will leave the stocks worthless. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson won approval from the U.S. Congress last month to pump unlimited amounts of capital into the companies in an emergency.

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