Iran, Venezuela leaders seek 'new world order'
The leaders of Iran and Venezuela hailed what they called their strong strategic relationship on Wednesday, saying they are united in efforts to establish a "new world order" that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and visiting Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, watched as officials from both countries signed 11 agreements promoting cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, trade and public housing.
Iran's state TV quoted both Ahmadinejad and Chavez as calling their relationship a "strategic alliance" that would eliminate the current global order.
Iran has become the closest Middle East ally to Chavez's government as the left-leaning leader has sought to build international alliances to counter what he sees as U.S. economic and political dominance.
Construction begins on 544 West Bank homes
Settlers have begun building new homes at an extraordinary pace since the government lifted its moratorium on West Bank housing starts — almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years.
And many homes are going up in areas that under practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state, a trend that could doom US-brokered peace talks.
"This figure is alarming and is another indicator that Israel is not serious about the peace process, which is supposed to be about ending the occupation," said Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' self-rule government in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has played down the new construction, saying it "has no real effect on the map of a possible (peace) agreement."
Still, the scale of the construction is likely to harden Palestinian demands that a settlement freeze be reimposed as a condition for proceeding with the talks. Efforts by the United States to coax Israel into another building slowdown have so far failed.
One of the new building sites is in Karmei Tzur, a settlement with about 135 families located on the "Palestinian side" of the planned route of Israel's West Bank separation barrier, seen by some in Israel as the basis for drawing Israel's future border.
Nearly 300,000 settlers now live in the West Bank, along with 2.2 million Palestinians. Settlers have covered the territory — captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem — with an increasingly intricate web of established communities and nearly 100 unauthorized hilltop outposts.
The next article reveals how the EU is beginning the process of having direct taxes levied on the citizens of the EU. This is just the beginning. The thought that occurs is this: If 27 nations can be consolidated under a single government and those citizens taxes - is it REALLY a stretch to see this occurring on a world-wide basis?
EU seeks to levy taxes on Europeans to replace national contributions
The EU executive made its case today for a new system of European taxation to streamline and underpin Brussels' budget, replacing the contentious regime of national contributions as the basis for EU funding.
In the opening salvo of what promises to be a bruising, two-year battle to set EU spending up to 2020, the European commission argued for a phased end to, or reduction of, national contributions and the introduction of new budgets based on "own resources", tax revenue directly levied by Brussels.
The new system could involve a dedicated European VAT rate, with the money raised going to Brussels, as well as EU taxes on air travel, carbon emissions, banks or financial market transactions.
"The current system of EU financing has evolved piecemeal into a confusing and opaque mix of contributions from national budgets, corrections and rebates," the commission said. "A fresh look is essential, to re-align EU financing with principles of autonomy, transparency and fairness."
It really is amazing to sit back and view the EU's "progress" - the largest consolidation of nations seen in the world to date - and foreshadowing of what is to come for the entire world. One can watch the EU and get a feel for what is coming soon for all nations. The citizens in these various countries have lost the vast majority of their ability to influence these decisions, much less make a direct vote on these central issues. The different nations within the EU have certainly lost their sovereignty.
To see what is coming for the world - and coming relatively soon - just watch the EU.