IAEA chief: Syria tried to secretly build nuclear reactor
The head of the UN atomic watchdog, Yukiya Amano, on Thursday said for the first time that Syria tried in the past to secretly build a nuclear reactor, which was destroyed by Israeli warplanes five years ago, The Associated Press reported. The IAEA carried out an agreed inspection of another Syrian plant earlier in April as part of a long-stalled probe into suspected covert nuclear activity.
Muslim Brotherhood Urges Protests In Syria
The banned Muslim Brotherhood has called on Syrians to take to the streets to protest against the regime ahead of Friday prayers. The declaration is the first time that the Brotherhood, whose leadership is in exile, have called directly for demonstrations since pro-democracy demonstrations against President Bashar al Assad's autocratic rule erupted six weeks ago.
European governments will discuss the situation on Friday
A push for the UN Security Council to condemn the crackdown was blocked by Russia, China and Lebanon on Wednesday night.
Fayyad: PA Already Moving to Make Jerusalem its Capital
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad used his weekly address to tell listeners the PA would be making unilateral moves to establish Jerusalem as the capital for a PA stat
Telling listeners the last two years [during which the PA adamantly refused to sit down and discuss peace with Israel -Ed.] had focused on resistance to Israeli "occupation" of eastern Jerusalem, Fayyad said that now it was time to focus instead on turning the city into a capital for a PA state.
U.S. dollar's dizzying drop wreaks economic havoc
The U.S. dollar’s long decline has turned into a sudden plunge, throwing currency markets into a frenzy that is complicating life for policy makers and executives the world over. The U.S. dollar is in the midst of what Nomura Securities International analyst Jens Nordvig called a “violent … weakening move,” as a confluence of factors drive investors to seek short-term gains outside the United States.
America's Fiscal High Noon
According to the unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, what’s referred to as “Bear Raid II” — phase III of an economic terrorist attack against the United States — is poised to fatally hit the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. dollar, causing the collapse of America’s economy.
It was a threat former Secretary of State James A. Baker III underscored on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on April 10, noting if the dollar was replaced as the global reserve currency, it would be catastrophic for America.
Yet red flags galore signal that the train has already left the station.
US South drought Causes Massive Crop Losses
A devastating drought intensified across Texas over the last week, with high winds and heat causing "massive crop losses," and weather experts said Thursday that little relief was in sight. Ranchers were struggling to feed and water cattle, and farmers were left to watch their crops shrivel into the dusty soil. Some experts estimated that producers were giving up on up to 70 percent of the state's wheat acreage.
Fuchs said the drought in Texas was one of the worst in decades. The dramatically lower-than-normal amount of moisture in the soil has caused widespread crop failures, including to the state's hard red winter wheat crop.
Texas is a key production area for wheat. The losses there and in parts of the U.S. Plains hit by drought will aggravate already short supplies around the world.
Soaring crude prices putting squeeze on U.S. GDP
As crude prices soar, oil dependence is once again proving a glaring vulnerability for the U.S. economy and, ultimately, the global recession. “That’s the single biggest risk to the U.S. and the global recovery at this point, the risk that oil prices are not done with us yet,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “And they could rise further.”
On Thursday, crude futures neared $113 a barrel, up more than 40% since November and up more than 30% in the last three months alone. The current price was last hit in April 2008.
US at risk of war with China, Russia
The US is at the risk of a war with Russia and China as its main objective behind engineering the Libyan war and Syrian unrest is to remove the two world powers out of the Mediterranean, a former US official warns.
“Washington is all for invading against Libya and is putting more and more pressure to intervene in Syria because we want to … clear China and Russia out of the Mediterranean,” Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to US Treasury in Panama City said in an interview with Press TV.
“Once Russia and China come to the conclusion that the Americans simply cannot be dealt with it in any rational way and are determined to somehow subdue them and do them damage, all kinds of escalations can result. This is the real danger and we’re risking a major war,” the former senior US official cautioned.
Iran's growing clout
The fast-paced political earthquakes in the Middle East that we have been witnessing in recent weeks have one common denominator -- President Obama's influence in the region has shrunk to somewhere between a pittance and zero, while Iran's has been bolstered across the board.
By his inability to shape events, Obama created a political vacuum that Iran's theocratic rulers are filling at an accelerating pace
Abbas completely distanced himself from Obama by cutting a reconciliation deal with Hamas, another terrorist surrogate of Iran. Riding high, Tehran immediately blessed the Fatah-Hamas "unity' agreement, brokered by Cairo's new power elite, as "the first achievement of the Egyptian revolution." Hamas immediately vowed there would be ''no recognition, no negotiations'' with Israel with Hamas sharing power.
Barak reiterates: Israel won't talk to Palestinian government that includes Hamas
Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued an official response on Thursday to the announcement of Palestinian reconciliation, saying there was "no chance that we will talk with this government, if they try to create it."
"Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization that fires rockets on citizens and recently fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus of students," Barak said. "This is an organization with whom there is nothing to discuss, and therefore we will have no discourse with them."
Earlier in the day, Barak had said that Israel should negotiate with the planned Fatah-Hamas Palestinian unity government only and if it renounces terror activities and recognizes Israel.
In his official statement, the defense minister also demanded that Israel's international friends also refuse to speak with a unity government which includes Hamas, unless the group "undergoes a deep and fundamental change."
The Palestinian announcement was met with skepticism, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warning that a reconciliation deal could result in a Hamas takeover of the currently PA-ruled West Bank.
Lieberman told Army Radio of his fears that Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, would eventually take over the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank as well, making use of Hamas activists freed by Fatah as part of the new agreement.
President Shimon Peres also commented on the burgeoning Palestinian reconciliation agreement on Thursday, saying he felt the deal was a mistake that could prevent the formation of an independent Palestinian state.