Tuesday, June 2, 2015

7 Quakes Hit Off Oregon Coast, Greece Faces Moment Of Truth

7 earthquakes hit off Oregon coast in less than a day

Scientists say seven earthquakes that shook off the coast of Oregon are considered an "earthquake swarm," but they are not a signal that a bigger quake is about to happen.

● Seventh earthquake off Oregon coast occurred Monday night
● Seventh earthquake in 24-hour period
● Monday afternoon quake was largest at magnitude 5.9
The biggest quake of the day hit around 1:11 p.m.
A series of sizeable earthquakes struck off the coast of Oregon on Monday morning, but officials say no tsunamis were triggered.

Quake times and recorded magnitude

  • 11:52 p.m. Sunday: 5.8M
  • After midnight Monday: 4.3M
  • 4:46 a.m. Monday: 5.5M
  • 7:46 a.m. Monday: 4.4M
  • 1:11 p.m. Monday: 5.9M
  • 7:50 p.m. Monday: 3.9M
  • 8:11 p.m. Monday: 4.2M
Both were about six miles deep, which is relatively shallow, Caruso said.
The deeper the quake, the less likely people will feel it.
For example, the magnitude 7.8 quake that recently struck Japan did little damage because it was 420 miles deep.
UPDATE: There have now been 7 earthquakes in the area. The two latest ones hit just before and just after 8 p.m.
‪#‎BREAKING‬ Another earthquake hits off the Oregon coast, ringing in at a 5.9 magnitude according to preliminary reports. >> kiro.tv/OregonQuakes
This makes the fifth recorded quake off the coast in a under a day. The quakes were not big enough to trigger tsunamis. 

Tuesday was an interesting day for negotiations between Athens and creditors. Recall that after venting his frustrations in a lengthy op-ed over the weekend, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras submitted what he called a “realistic plan for an agreement” ahead of an emergency meeting in Berlin between French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ECB chief Mario Draghi, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. 
That meeting ended without any indication of concrete progress suggesting the group was either not impressed with what Tsipras had proposed or simply didn’t care and spent their time discussing a final, take it or leave it deal to send to Athens.
By Tuesday morning it was clear that the troika was well on the way to drafting their own proposal. Fed up with Greece, the institutions had apparently decided to simply draft an agreement on their terms and place on X on the line where Tsipras needed to sign if he wanted to avert a default in three days. 
The troika acknowledged that the deal they were crafting would be a tough sell to the radical members of Syriza and thus would be difficult for Tsipras to get through parliament, setting up what we have predicted all along: an imminent government reshuffle. 
The fact that the draft deal will contain language that forces Tsipras to concede at least a portion of Syriza’s campaign promises was later confirmed when Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem was quoted as saying creditors would “not meet Greece halfway.” 
Reuters is out with the latest, which serves as further confirmation that Tsipras will now be forced into concessions and the troika will have succeeded in using financial leverage to effect what will almost invariably be a government shakeup in Athens. 

Greece's creditors on Tuesday drafted the broad lines of an agreement to put to the leftist government in Athens in a bid to conclude four months of acrimonious negotiations and release aid before the cash-strapped country runs out of money…

"It covers all key policy areas and reflects the discussions of recent weeks. It will be discussed with (Greek Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras tomorrow," a senior EU official said.

Another official said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande would put the plan to Tsipras by telephone within hours to try to secure his acceptance…

Tsipras, who has vowed not to surrender to more austerity, tried to pre-empt a take-it-or-leave-it offer by the creditors, sending what he called a comprehensive reform proposal to Brussels on Monday before they could complete their version.

Euro zone officials branded the Greek text insufficient and said it was not formally on the table.

The Greek leader faces a backlash from his own supporters if he has to accept cuts in pensions and job protection to avert a default and keep Greece in the euro zone.

Despite defiant rhetoric and face-saving efforts, he seems likely to have to swallow painful pension and labor reforms, facing the choice between putting them to parliament at the risk of a revolt in his Syriza party, or calling a snap referendum.

Reuters also suggests that Greece will likely not make a €300 million payment due to the IMF on Friday if Tsipras does not accept the proposal:

A Greek government official said Athens would make a 300 million euro ($329.58 million) repayment to the IMF on Friday as due if there was an agreement with the creditors, hinting it might otherwise withhold the money without saying so explicitly.

"If we judge that a deal has been sealed, then we will make the June 5 payment normally," the official said, adding that the money would be transferred even if a preliminary agreement had not yet been approved by Eurogroup finance ministers.

It appears we will know within the next 48 hours the extent to which Tsipras was forced by creditors to abandon Greek voters in order to save them from economic catastrophe. 

[The video in this link is worth watching - 3 minutes]

 Congress approved sweeping changes Tuesday to surveillance laws enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks, eliminating the National Security Agency's disputed bulk phone-records collection program and replacing it with a more restrictive measure to keep the records in phone companies' hands.
Two days after Congress let the phone-records and several other anti-terror programs expire, the Senate's 67-32 vote sent the legislation to President Barack Obama, who said he would sign it promptly.
"This legislation will strengthen civil liberty safeguards and provide greater public confidence in these programs," Obama said in a statement. The bill signing could happen late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but officials said it could take at least several days to restart the collection.
The legislation will revive most of the programs the Senate had allowed to lapse in a dizzying collision of presidential politics and national security policy. But the authorization will undergo major changes, the legacy of agency contractor Edward Snowden's explosive revelations two years ago about domestic spying by the government.
In an unusual shifting of alliances, the legislation passed with the support of Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, but over the strong opposition of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell failed to persuade the Senate to extend the current law unchanged, and came up short in a last-ditch effort Tuesday to amend the House version, as nearly a dozen of his own Republicans abandoned him in a series of votes.
The legislation remakes the most controversial aspect of the USA Patriot Act — the once-secret bulk collection program that allows the National Security Agency to sweep up Americans' phone records and comb through them for ties to international terrorists. Over six months the NSA would lose the power to collect and store those records, but the government still could gain court orders to obtain data connected to specific numbers from the phone companies, which typically store them for 18 months.
It would also continue other post-9/11 surveillance provisions that lapsed Sunday night, and which are considered more effective than the phone-data collection program. These include the FBI's authority to gather business records in terrorism and espionage investigations and to more easily eavesdrop on suspects who are discarding cellphones to avoid surveillance.

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is quietly working behind the scenes to build a coalition of major U.S. corporations to back President Barack Obama's goal of hashing out a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the upcoming United Nations summit in Paris.
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a letter  that outlines how, by the end of June, Obama is looking to build a coalition of businesses to show support for UN climate talks. After that, the White House will then try to grow this group of businesses to 250 in the run up to the Paris talks this November.
The way the letter is written, it's likely being circulated by someone or some group on behalf of the White House. The source could not disclose who was circulating the letter on the White House's behalf, but did confirm the business they work for was approached to support the Paris climate talks.
According to the letter, the White House is asking U.S. businesses "to show support [for] the climate change discussions to take place in late November in Paris." The letter further states that Jarrett and her staffer Robert Diamond are "working to garner business support through outreach to a number of corporations … with the goal of securing 12 to 15 'anchor partners' by the end of June."
The letter specifically mentions Cargill, PepsiWalmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Google, FedEx and UPS as examples of some of the companies Obama is trying to enlist in his climate coalition.
Each company that joins, however, would be required to sign onto a pledge stating their support for global carbon dioxide emissions reductions. The so-called "American Business Act On Climate Pledge" reads as follows:

 Valerie Jarrett Secretly Lobbying Big Corporations To Support UN Climate Talks
The letter says the White House will announce this climate-conscious business coalition during the summer.
UN delegates are expected to hash out a successor agreement to the now-expired Kyoto Protocol when they meet in Paris this year. Obama has said he wants to stake his presidential legacy crafting an international agreement to fight global warming before he leaves office.

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