The Times of Israel is liveblogging Sunday’s developments as they unfold.
“Iran does not hide its intention to continue its murderous aggression even against those with whom it is negotiating. Perhaps there is someone among the great powers who is prepared to capitulate to this reality that Iran is dictating, which includes its unending calls for the destruction of Israel – we will not pay the price for this,” Netanyahu says.
After days of saying Iranian nuclear talks can go either way, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed optimism Sunday that a deal can be reached.
Kerry said he was “hopeful” after his last meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He said a “few tough things” remain in the way of agreement but “we’re getting to some real decisions.”
Kerry spoke with less than two days to go to Monday’s target date for a pact meant to impose long-term verifiable limits on nuclear programs that Tehran could modify to produce weapons. Iran would get tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief in return.
In what could be taken as another sign that a deal is drawing near, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was set to join Iran nuclear talks in Vienna later Sunday, Russian news agencies reported, citing a ministry source.
Leaked Eurogroup Statement Demands Much More From Greece, Keeps "Temporary Grexit" Option | Zero Hedge
[The "iron and clay mixture" will not remain united]
As we reported earlier, not only are all the finmins and premiers currently in Belgium in a state of shock as the frailty of the entire European project is suddenly laid out bare for all to see, split between the "hard money" Northern States led by Germany and the "debt haircut" axis consisting of France, Italy, the IMF and, recently, the US, but so is a generation of Euro fanatics who even as the signs were all too obvious, clung to hope that "this time" an artificial monetary union may survive because, you know, people who underestimate "political capital" and some such.
And while "there is always hope" in the unforgettable words of France's Moscovici, it is once again up to Greece to convince Europe it really wants to stay in the Union. According to Reuters, the Eurogroup is about to release a statement, whose draft it has seen, which will demand much more from the tiny country caught in a state of permanent depression.
To wit: Greece will not be able to start negotiations on a third bailout until it makes changes to its sales tax and pension systems and strengthens the independence of its statistics office, a draft statement of euro zone finance ministers said on Sunday.
The conditions set out in the draft effectively exclude the Eurogroup ministers taking a decision on a next financing package for Greece during their meeting on Sunday because they all have to be passed by the Greek parliament.
"The Eurogroup... came to the conclusion that there is not yet the basis to start the negotiations on a new programme," the draft statement, seen by Reuters, said.
In other words, back to square one in the blame game, where Europe tightens the screws on Greece with even more extreme demands, so that it is Greece that either turns down the proposal (and its sovereignty as well because that's what it boils down to) entirely or requires yet another referendum. In the meantime, with every passing day its bank need an additional €1 billion in bail out funding, money which will likely not come resulting in a matched (and accumulating) haircut to Greek deposits.
All of which, of course, assumes that Europe wants to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Which is a very aggressive assumption if, indeed, as Dow Jones reports the Draft also includes the "Temporary Grexit" clause at Germany's request.
Failing that, Greece can just liquidate its nation, one asset at a time, until it sells some €50 billion worth of sovereign assets to repay Troika debt:
So if we had to summarize the current state of play: Germany and 5 other "northern" states want Greece out, but they generously offer Greece the opportunity to push the "Grexit" button itself (especially since it is only "temporary"). Unless, of course, Greece is willing to cede all of its sovereignty to Germany in which case it can generously stay. Oh, and please remit all Greek left kidneys as part of the deal.
"It's Not Possible To Reach A Deal Today" - EU Summit Canceled As Leaders Scramble To Keep The Dr€am Alive | Zero Hedge
As for what happens today, well as Slovakia FinMin Peter Kazimir said quite simply earlier "it's not possible to reach deal today." What also happens is that all those EU-28members who had hope to meet in Brussels and savor some of that fine Belgium caterer product, were told to stay at home when European Council president Donald Tusk said that he had cancelled a planned meeting of EU heads of state and government this afternoon, even as a summit of euro zone leaders scheduled to continue until talks conclude on Greece. It may go on for a long, long time.
It was a weekend in which, according to traders, Greece facing an "absolutely final" was going to be saved. Instead, it may go down in history as the weekend in which the Eurozone finally split and its long-overdue disintegration began.
After yesterday's dramatic report that Germany, together with 5 other nations, are contemplating a "temporary" 5 year Grexit, it started to become clear that Schauble does indeed want to make an example of Greece (perhaps for France and Madame Frexit, perhaps for the rest of the European periphery where the recovery is so "strong", record youth unemployment still assures landslide anti-austerity and anti-Euro victories) and so he did, when the finmin meeting devolved into a total fiasco which ended in the most acrimonious manner yet, one where not even a statement was forthcoming.
The negotiation spilled over into today, where hours ago leader soundbites made it very clear that nothing would be resolve. Case in point, Finland's FinMin Stubb who said that while he is still hopeful "I think we’re very far away from the types of conditionality that we need. If this was a negotiation from one to 10, I think we’re still standing somewhere between 3 and 4. So making progress but not there yet. No one is blocking a deal, we’re all constructively trying to find a solution in a very difficult situation."
And just as we warned on Friday, when we said the proposed Greek offer would be nowhere near enough, so it was again confirmed: "The conditionality that has been presented by the Greeks is simply not enough at this stage. We need to have clear commitments, clear conditionality and clear proof that those conditions will be implemented at the end of the day."
Then it was Finland Prime Minister Juha Sipila who explained why Finland alongside many other nations including Germany, now are pushing for a Grexit: "proposals made by the Greek government on reforms it plans to undertake in return for a third bailout are not adequate as a starting point for negotiations with international creditors."
And why Greek hatred, focusing on the Germans for so long, now may have a new target: the pragmatic, efficient country of Finladn: "We don’t consider the Greek proposal at all sufficient for starting negotiations. Much must happen in order to advance. The Finnish government is unanimous on its stance on Greece."
Also it is now clear that Tsipras' capitulation was all for nothing.
Even erstwhile Greek supporters Italy were dour: "We continue to work to establish the conditions to start negotiations, which is the real target - it’s not about closing a deal, it’s about starting negotiations,” Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan tells reporters in Brussels. "We think that there are conditions to do that but let’s face it, the main obstacle to moving forward is lack of trust."
Italy's conclusion of what is needed: "I would like to see the Greek government to take concrete actions tomorrow in parliament to implement measures that are needed for Greece in the first place and then to rebuild trust and therefore allow concrete negotiations to move forward. We have lost so much time, we cannot afford to lose more time anymore. We’re talking about a very complicated program. ESM is complicated, it deals with structural reforms across the board, it deals with financing."
Basically, all Europe has left now is hope: hope that Germany will change its mind in the last second and will backtrack on its demands. It got so bad that Luxembourg's foreign minister made a plea for Germany to avoid a Greek exit from the euro, warning Berlin of a catastrophic schism with France if it pushes for Athens to leave the currency union. The comments from Jean Asselborn, released on Sunday, came after Germany argued that Greece could take a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone and have some of its debts written off if Athens fails to improve proposals it has made for a bailout.
"It would be fatal for Germany's reputation in the EU and the world if Berlin does not now seize the chance that there now is with the Greek reform offers," Asselborn told Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
"If Germany pushes for a Grexit, it will provoke a profound conflict with France. That would be a catastrophe for Europe," he added in an advance release of an interview to run in the Sueddeutsche's Monday edition.
So there is still hope, although if one looks at their faces...
So where are we now? Sky News' Ed Conway has prepared a convenient list of "stream of consciousness" bullet points that effecttively summarize the situation:
Here are a few stream-of-consciousness thoughts about where we are, written at lunchtime on Sunday. They may be out-of-date by the time you read them. Then again, in the euro crisis, nothing ever seems to change all that much.
1. Today’s Absolutely Final deadline is no longer final.
There was lots of talk (from the President of the European Council among others) that Sunday’s leaders’ and EU leaders’ summit was the Very Last Opportunity to seal a deal or to throw Greece out of the euro. That seemed to make some sense?—?after all, not only are the Greek banks closed, the entire financial system seems to be about to run out of money. There’s only so long you can run an economy without a fully-functioning banking system.
However, at yesterdays’ eurogroup meeting (that’s the euro finance ministers) it emerged that the decision on a deal may be put off for another few days. Sources said that the financial outflows were not so bad last week, and that the Greek banking system could survive for another few days. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
2. One big problem is trust
The problem is that no-one believes that Greece will actually go through with the reforms?—?especially after all the surprises, disappointments and broken promises of the past few weeks and months. That is why there is talk of waiting until the Greek parliament has actually passed some of these measures before giving the final go-ahead to new bailout talks.
3. The other big problem is domestic politics
Midway through yesterday’s finance minister’s meeting, it emerged that Finland’s government was close to collapse, as the second-biggest party, the True Finns, were dead set against handing any extra cash to Greece. There were also extremely hawkish comments coming from the German and Slovakian teams. It’s a reminder that around the Eurozone many countries are simply sick and tired of handing money to Greece. The largely centrist leaders in Spain and Italy, who face upsurgent anti-euro parties back home, are desperate to prove to the electorate that voting in a party like Syriza is the worst thing they could do. The more Greece suffers (preferably with wall-to-wall coverage across the European broadcast media) the more likely their voters are to think twice about voting for Podemos or Beppe Grillo.
To put it another way, in order to get a deal, politicians will have to risk losing at least some votes (maybe lots of them) back home. And no politicians like that.
4. Crazy ideas are now mainstream
A few years ago it was forbidden to talk about the possibility that a country could leave the euro. That taboo was overcome a few years ago at the Cannes G20. Now some finance ministers are openly discussing how it would be done. The big story out of yesterday’s eurogroup was that Germany has been throwing around an idea of a temporary Grexit?—?that Greece could leave the single currency for five years, restructure its debt and re-join when it is in better health. The problem with such an idea is that “temporary” changes in currency regimes almost always turn out to be permanent. Take the UK leaving the ERM in 1992, or leaving the gold standard in 1931, or the US closing the gold window in 1971. All were described as temporary. Many might have even believed that at the time. Ultimately, they were nothing of the sort.
Anyway, what seems more likely is that this plan is a mischievous attempt at brinksmanship. And, even if it never comes to pass, it is going down brilliantly back home with the German electorate [see point 3].
5. The cancellation of the full EU leaders’ summit is neither a good nor a bad thing
There was originally supposed to be a euro leaders and then a full EU summit today?—?the idea presumably being that if Grexit was indeed likely, the whole of the EU might need to sign off both on that and the consequent humanitarian aid that might be needed. Now the EU summit has been cancelled?—?mainly because after last night’s nine hour marathon of talks it is clear that there will be no straightforward conclusion from the eurogroup, and hence the leaders won’t simply be coming into town to sign a piece of paper and then leave.
6. Best-case scenario: eurofudge
Of course, the pie-in-the-sky best-case scenario involves Greece getting a deal immediately and going home and successfully implementing it. But a more realistic scenario is probably going to involve a characteristic euro fudge.
The euro finance ministers could agree to begin bailout talks on the pre-condition that Greece implements a number of austerity/reform proposals in the next few days. This would be endorsed by the leaders, unanimously. Then, the European Central Bank confirms that because talks are now ongoing (as opposed to frozen) it can loosen conditions on Greece’s banks (though they won’t open for some time either way). The eurogroup confirms the bailout talks are underway in yet another meeting or teleconference later on this week. Note that there is no longer any hope of getting a full bailout signed off?—?the best that can be done is to begin formal negotiations for another bailout. All because the last deal expired a couple of weeks ago.
7. Worst-case scenario: eurodisaster
The worst-case scenario for both sides involves Greece leaving the euro. Quite how this happens is anyone’s guess, though Germany’s eurosabbatical paper yesterday underlined that despite the fact that the EU Treaties don’t have a clause to allow it, Grexit is absolutely feasible. It would begin with a breakdown of today’s talks, with a complete split in the eurogroup and euro leaders’ meeting between those who believe Greece’s departure is good news for the euro (Germany, Finland etc) and those who think it would be a disaster (France, Italy etc).
Rather than coming out and waving a piece of paper saying Greece is heading back to the drachma, the process might be more subtle and imperceptible: Athens might be allowed to print its own euro-denominated instruments; it might be allowed to print scrip; it might simply not be allowed to get extra liquidity from the ECB and be forced to nationalise its banks.
But though it might not begin with one big moment of fanfare, a departure would be messy, would provoke a further default by Greece on its debts to the IMF, the ECB and other euro nations. They would be pursued in the courts for decades for some sort of payback.
Questions would arise over the future of the single currency.
If the remaining members do not commit to big-scale further integration (a single Treasury, fiscal union) they will leave the door open for further departures in the coming years. Markets would plunge, not just in the Eurozone but everywhere around the world. Greece would almost certainly be out of the euro forever, however much the move would be branded initially as temporary.
Good luck Europe, judging by the suddenly surging Bitcoin price, you need it now more than ever.
Earth is facing the prospect of a ‘mini ice age’ this century, with our sun’s activity projected to fall 60 percent in the 2030s, British astrophysicists say, based on the results of new research that they claim allows exact predictions of solar cycles.
Our planet is just 15 years from a new ‘mini ice age’ that could cause extremely cold winters characterized by the freezing of normally ice-free rivers as well as by year-round snow fields in areas that have never witnessed such climate conditions before, a group of astrophysicists claim.
The scientists could draw such a conclusion based on a new model of the sun’s activity that reportedly enables the researchers to make “extremely accurate predictions” of changes in solar activity.
Although, the fact that the sun’s activity varies within a 10-12 year long cycles was first discovered almost two centuries ago, in 1843, all the previously existing explanatory models failed to fully explain the fluctuations with each cycle as well as between the cycles.
Until now, the astrophysicists thought that the variations of the solar activity depended on the dynamo caused by convecting fluid deep inside the sun.
The latest study conducted by a research team from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and led by Professor Valentina Zharkova demonstrated that the variations in the Sun’s activity are caused by two dynamo processes – one deep in the convection zone of the sun and one near its surface.
Later, they also compared their findings concerning the intensity of the Sun’s activity with each year’s data on the average number of sunspots – a strong indicator of solar activity.
As a result, the team managed to create a very accurate model of predicting the solar activity fluctuations.
“Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97 percent,” said Zharkova.
The study findings were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno on July 9 and published in the Royal Astronomical Society papers.
The model demonstrates that solar activity will fall by 60 percent by 2030 as the magnetic waves inside the Sun will become increasingly more desynchronized during the next two cycles, especially during cycle 26, which covers the decade between 2030 and 2040.
“Effectively, when the waves are approximately in phase, they can show strong interaction, or resonance, and we have strong solar activity. When they are out of phase, we have solar minimums. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago,” she added.
The Maunder minimum is a name of a period between 1645 and 1715 characterized by prolonged low solar activity as well as by extremely cold winters in Europe and North America as it also correlates with a climatic period between 1550 and 1850 called the ‘Little Ice Age.’
Russia is looking into the possibility of delivering energy to Greece directly in order to renew the crisis-hit country’s economy, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Sunday.
[Gog-Magog in view?]
As Providence would have it, your humble columnist has been gifted a rare glimpse into a cloistered dress rehearsal for the stage play that is intended to touch off World War III.
On July 9, FBI Director James Comey reported that the agency several stopped potential acts of terrorism in the month before the July 4 holiday. Comey said they suspect that some of the more than 10 individuals arrested during that time were planning to exploit the holiday by committing acts of terror, although he shared no details of the potential plots that were supposedly thwarted, nor information on the identity of any individuals the FBI arrested.
For reasons that will become apparent, I have very good reason to believe that Comey's story is a complete fiction. If any arrests made, they likely involved Islamist wannabe patsies whom the FBI had been instructed to entrap – something at which they have become particularly adept since one Barack Hussein Obama took office.
On July 8 at the New York Stock Exchange, as nervous investors were dealing with plunging Chinese stocks and the Greek debt crisis, the Exchange suddenly and inexplicably halted buying and selling of stocks for 3 ½ hours. They claimed it was a "technical issue," which I suppose was technically accurate if misleading. This and other major disruptions that day (such as the one at United Continental that forced the airline to ground dozens of flights, and another at soon pointed to cyber-attacks, perhaps coordinated ones, as postulated by computer experts and conspiracy theorists alike.
In May of 2013, reported that after a three month period of apparent inactivity, hackers working for China's People's Liberation Army had resumed their attacks on American interests. The Obama administration, which had been treating these attacks as the antics of joyriding teenagers, claimed that "naming and shaming" the groups in the press and via information gleaned from Pentagon investigations might result in China's new leadership reining in the military's elite cyber ninjas (I know; ninjas are Japanese), or "at least urge them to become more subtle," according to the
Now, China does indeed have her own trained cyber warriors; however, this fact only more easily facilitated the Kabuki theater that is the warm-up act for our upcoming dark stage play.
In order to comprehend this at all, one has to realize – – that his job has been to part out the United States like the organs of a clinically-dead trauma patient with a donor card. Whether it was his 2009 "Apology Tour," moving strategic nuclear weapons out of Eastern Europe, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so many have looked at the increasingly dismal aggregate of Obama's policies and said with exasperation that he couldn't have brought about more disadvantageous results for America if he tried.
Well, there's a reason for that: He probably have, because he trying.
I simply don't have the space (or quite honestly, the time or motivation) to reiterate here and now the entire body of my work on who Barack Hussein Obama really is and what his presidency is supposed to accomplish. I will say now that it is so diabolical, it remains outside the ability of most Americans to even conceptualize, let alone deal with it in practical terms if it comes to fruition.
Oh, there are hackers in China carrying out attacks on the U.S., but they're operatives of closeted Muslim convert John Brennan's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They've been utilizing a string of popular Internet cafés owned by none other than Mark Ndesandjo.
Like the other half-brother of whom many know, Malik Obama (who bundles for the Muslim Brotherhood and whose nonprofit was personally fast-tracked by Lois Lerner while she was harassing conservative nonprofit groups), Barack's relationship with Mark has never been reported as "close" – sort of like his non-relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.
But of course know better.
I happen to know a fellow for whom Mark Ndesandjo used to work in China. Apparently, regular patrons of some of his Internet cafés were prevented from patronizing them by armed members of the Chinese military. Peering inside, all they could see was papered-off walls and signs of renovation.
For decades, the U.S. and Israel have been the closest of allies. Enter Obama, and Israel becomes an instant pariah, while Arab Muslim nations are elevated to revered status. It's no secret that Obama despises Israel and the Jewish people, nor is it difficult to understand given his extreme affinity for all things Islam (which no doubt gave rise to his blatant treason against the U.S. manifested in both his domestic and foreign policy). One could argue that Obama having catalyzed the Arab Spring and facilitated the rise of ISIS was his design to ensure Israel's demise.
Back in 2009 and 2010, Israel discovered what are now called the Tamar and Leviathan oil and gas fields, both within 100 miles of their coast. No one in the oil industry is yet sure just how much gas and oil is down there – but it's a lot; anywhere from ten times the current reserves of the entire nation of Saudi Arabia, to more than that.
The key here is that these new reserves in Israel's possession – Israel, the treaty partner of the U.S. – would render oil trade with Arab Muslim nations moot, as Israel could out-supply and undercut the price of oil, thus becoming America's largest oil trading partner. The door could be shut on American money pouring into the coffers of the Islamists and then being used to bring down "The Great Satan" (America) and "the little Satan" (Israel), the Jewish and only democratic state in the region.
Without oil money, all the Arab Muslims have is sand, their fake god, and his perverted doctrine. From the geopolitical perspective, this is a check-mate to the current imbalance of power that Arab Muslim nations hold over America. Additionally, all of that economic power into the hands of Israel is an abomination in the minds of the Islamists who, if one recalls, were allied with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich during World War II.
Look at history and ponder this question: Do Russia and China sit by and allow the archetypal "hated, money-grubbing, conniving Jew" to dominate both of their economies, or do they capture the resources that they desperately need – particularly when they are being offered for the taking by the Manchurian president Obama? is the setting in which wars take place, and with the clearly-telegraphed lack of American will to support Israel, the danger cannot be understated.
Already, some businesses have refused to comply with the Obamacare mandate to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. Priests and pastors are going to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Churches and chapels will refuse to host them. Christian colleges and universities will deny married-couple facilities to homosexuals.
Laws will be passed to outlaw such practices as discrimination, and those laws, which the Christians believe violate eternal law and natural law, will, as Dr. King instructed, be disobeyed.
And the removal of tax exemptions will then be on the table.
If a family disagreed as broadly as we Americans do on issues so fundamental as right and wrong, good and evil, the family would fall apart, the couple would divorce, and the children would go their separate ways.
Something like that is happening in the country.
A secession of the heart has already taken place in America, and a secession, not of states, but of people from one another, caused by divisions on social, moral, cultural, and political views and values, is taking place.
America is disuniting, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote 25 years ago.
And for those who, when young, rejected the views, values and laws of Eisenhower’s America, what makes them think that dissenting Americans in this post-Christian and anti-Christian era will accept their laws, beliefs, values?
Certainly, Americans are no strangers to lawbreaking. What else was our revolution but a rebellion to overthrow the centuries-old rule and law of king and Parliament, and establish our own?
U.S. Supreme Court decisions have been defied, and those who defied them lionized by modernity. Thomas Jefferson freed all imprisoned under the sedition act, including those convicted in court trials presided over by Supreme Court justices. Jefferson then declared the law dead.
Some Americans want to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, who, defying the Dred Scott decision and fugitive slave acts, led slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
New England abolitionists backed the anti-slavery fanatic John Brown, who conducted the raid on Harpers Ferry that got him hanged but helped to precipitate a Civil War. That war was fought over whether 11 Southern states had the same right to break free of Mr. Lincoln’s Union as the 13 colonies did to break free of George III’s England.
Millions of Americans, with untroubled consciences, defied the Volstead Act, imbibed alcohol and brought an end to Prohibition.
In the civil rights era, defying laws mandating segregation and ignoring court orders banning demonstrations became badges of honor.
Rosa Parks is a heroine because she refused to give up her seat on a Birmingham bus, despite the laws segregating public transit that relegated blacks to the “back of the bus.”
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King, defending civil disobedience, cited Augustine — “an unjust law is no law at all” — and Aquinas who defined an unjust law as “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Said King, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
But who decides what is an “unjust law”?
If, for example, one believes that abortion is the killing of an unborn child and same-sex marriage is an abomination that violates “eternal law and natural law,” do those who believe this not have a moral right if not a “moral responsibility to disobey such laws”?
Rosa Parks is celebrated.
But the pizza lady who said her Christian beliefs would not permit her to cater a same-sex wedding was declared a bigot. And the LGBT crowd, crowing over its Supreme Court triumph, is writing legislation to make it a violation of federal civil rights law for that lady to refuse to cater that wedding.
But are people who celebrate the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village as the Mount Sinai moment of their movement really standing on solid ground to demand that we all respect the Obergefell decision as holy writ?
And if cities, states or Congress enact laws that make it a crime not to rent to homosexuals, or to refuse services at celebrations of their unions, would not dissenting Christians stand on the same moral ground as Dr. King if they disobeyed those laws?