World powers and Iran have reached tentative agreement on sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, among the most contentious issues in a long-term nuclear agreement that negotiators hope to clinch over the next several days, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The annex, one of five meant to accompany the agreement, outlines which US and international sanctions will be lifted and how quickly. Diplomats said senior officials of the seven-nation talks, which include US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, still had to sign off on the package.
Still, the word of significant progress indicated the sides were moving closer to a comprehensive accord that would set a decade of restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for tens of billions of dollars’ in economic benefits for the Iranians.
After months of intense negotiations, global powers and Iran go into a key weekend of talks Saturday amid signs they may be inching towards a historic nuclear deal to end a 13-year standoff.
While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned there was still “no guarantee” of success, he said the world had “never been closer” to reaching an accord with his country.
In a rare move, Zarif offered the promise of greater cooperation to tackle other global problems, such as the rise of the Islamic State group, should the deal be sealed.
The IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis report on Greece that came out this week has caused a big stir. We now know that the Fund’s analysts confirm what Syriza has been saying ever since they came to power 5 months ago: Greece needs debt relief, lots of it, and fast.
We also know that Europe tried to silence the report. But what’s most interesting is that this has been going on for months, as per Reuters. Ergo, the IMF has known about the -preliminary- analysis for months, and kept silent, while at the same time ‘negotiating’ with Greece on austerity and bailouts.
That is to say, it already knew back then that the bailout executed in 2010 would push Greece even further into debt. Which is the exact opposite of what the bailout was supposed to do.
The 2010 bailout was the one that allowed private French, Dutch and German banks to transfer their liabilities to the Greek public sector, and indirectly to the entire eurozone‘s public sector. There was no debt restructuring in that deal.
The reason why all Troika negotiators should face very serious scrutiny is that they have willingly kept information behind that should have been crucial in any negotiation with Greece. The reason is obvious: it would have cost Europe’s taxpayers many billions of euros.
But that should never be a reason to cheat and lie. Because once you do that, you’re tarnished for life. So in an even slightly ideal world, they should all resign. Everybody who’s been at that table for the Troika side.
Will the euro-fanatics please stop lying to the people of Greece? And while they’re at it, will they please stop lying to the rest of us as well? Can they stop pretending that life outside the euro — for the Greeks or any other European country — would be a fate worse than death? Can they stop claiming that if the Greeks go back to the drachma, they will be condemned to a miserable existence on the dark backwaters of European life, a small, forgotten and isolated country with no factories, no inward investment and no hope? Those dishonest threats are being leveled this week at the people of Greece, as they gear up for the weekend’s big referendum on more austerity.
The bully boys of Brussels, Frankfurt and elsewhere are warning the Greek people that if they don’t do as they’re told, and submit to yet more economic leeches, they may end up outside the euro … at which point, of course, life would stop. Bah.
Take a look at the chart. It compares the economic performance of Greece inside the euro with European rivals that don’t use the euro. Those other countries cover a wide range of situations, of course – from rich and stable Denmark, to former Soviet Union countries, to Greece’s neighbor Turkey, which isn’t even in the EU. But they all have one thing in common.
This currency that Greece is fighting so hard to be part of is in fact strangling it. The reason for this lies in the structure of the EMU. Which makes it impossible for individual countries to adapt to changing circumstances. And circumstances always change. As a country, you need flexibility, you need to be able to adapt to world events.
In the eurozone, there’s only one nation that counts in the end: Germany. The eurozone has effectively made it possible for Angela Merkel to save her domestic banks from losses by unloading them upon the Greeks. This would not have been possible had Greece not been a member of the eurozone.
Look, it’s simple, the euro is finished. It won’t survive the unmitigated scandal that Greece has become. Greece is not the victim of its own profligacy, it’s the victim of a structure that makes it possible to unload the losses of the big countries’ failing financial systems onto the shoulders of the smaller. There’s no way Greece could win.
The damned lies and liars and statistics that come with all this are merely the cherry on the euro cake. It’s done. Stick a fork in it.
The smaller, poorer, countries in the eurozone need to get out while they can, and as fast as they can, or they will find themselves saddled with ever more losses of the richer nations as the euro falls apart. The structure guarantees it.
Eurosceptic parties at the extreme left and right of the political spectrum are exploiting the Greek referendum set for Sunday to bash the euro currency and advance their own agendas.
The hard-left government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called on Greeks to vote 'No,' rejecting the bailout terms of more austerity from Greece's creditors.
Some leftist anti-austerity politicians around Europe have spoken up to support Tsipras and several plan to travel to Athens for Sunday's vote.
Nichi Vendola, leader of Italy's opposition Left, Ecology and Liberty party, has vowed to "show our solidarity with the Greek people as they confront... the social butchery ordered by Brussels and blessed by Berlin", which he calls incompatible with founding European principles of unity.
In Spain, radical leftist party Podemos -- which has expressed its support for Tsipras while stopping short of publically backing a 'No' vote -- will send its head of international relations, Pablo Bustinduy, to Athens.
"The problem isn't Greek, it's European... Some people are seeking to use the Greek people to show it is not possible to implement alternative policies in Europe, and specifically in southern Europe," said Inigo Errejon, the party's number two official.
Meanwhile Europe's right-wing flank, a surprising political bedfellow, has also hailed the Greek leftist government's plebiscite which it sees as the first step in member states clawing back sovereignty from Brussels.
"I say 'Go Tsipras,' even if I do not agree with his political vision, his economic policies, his deceit," said Renato Brunetta, an official from Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party.
Desperate Greeks Dumpster Dive for Food as Crisis Means “Americans May Face Severe Food Shortages” Too - Freedom Outpost
It wouldn't take much for these events to come home to America… and plenty of fuel for a further crisis is in the works.
Record numbers of struggling Americans are already on SNAP food stamps and welfare; tens of millions are out of work and with a bleak job outlook; the federal government has advertised and encouraged people to join those on the dole.
Millions of aging Americans have nothing else but social security and medicare benefits (which they earned, but which are meager) and pension money that has been swindled away behind the scenes in a complex and toxic investment scheme. Low interest rates imposed by the Fed are bringing everything to a grinding halt, and there will be no switching gears without a bumpy ride.
Of course, it is worse in Greece, but that's only because the music has stopped for them. Attempting to pay Europe's central banksters while forcing austerity on the people and hoping for the best was an impossible conundrum. It only left a ticking time bomb….
As a result, many people have now been out of work for in Greece, and large sectors of the population have been unable to cope with the burdens that financial woes have saddled upon them. With the latest flash point, Greeks have rushed to ATMs, grocery stores and gas stations to make last minute desperate attempts to brace for collapse.
Now, with the crisis becoming critical once again, far too many are being forced to dumpster dive to scavenge for food just to stay alive. Natural News reports:
The massive debt crisis may force Greece to leave the Euro, a move that could lead to a wave of exits by other countries frustrated with the strong armed banking tactics of the European Central Bank and blighted horizon under the Euro.
If you become stuck in a boring July 4 hot air speech, distract yourself with this question: Are the values that Western civilization allegedly represents still extant? You don’t need to get heavy into philosophy. See if you can find any of the professed values reflected in current events.
For example, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks was granted asylum by Ecuador in order to protect Assange from persecution by Washington. Washington is determined to persecute Assange, because he did his job as a journalist and published leaked information that revealed US government crimes and machinations against other countries including US allies. Assange did what the New York Times did in 1971 when the newspaper published the Pentagon Papers leaked by Daniel Ellsberg.
Assange has now spent three years inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington has instructed its UK vassal state not to honor Assange’s grant of asylum and allow him free passage to Ecuador. What is happening to Assange is precisely what happened to Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who was granted political asylum by the United States in 1956 and spent 15 years inside the US embassy in Budapest because the Soviet government instructed its Hungarian vassal state not to honor the grant of asylum. The Anglo-American world has morphed into the Soviet world.
Currently the US is attempting to overthrow the government in Ecuador in order to return the country to Washington’s control. If Washington succeeds in establishing a vassal state in Ecuador, Assange’s asylum will be revoked, and he will end up in Washington’s hands.
Perhaps recognizing the threat to Assange, France’s Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, raised the possibility of political asylum for Assange in France. Assange responded to the opening and asked President Hollande for asylum and was immediately refused.
Clearly, what was considered in 1971 to be heroic action in defense of democracy and a free press by Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times has been transformed four decades later into a crime against the state. A civilization that can lose such important values in four decades is clearly in retreat from the values it professes. Today the professed values serve only as a cloak behind which the West hides its crimes.
Or consider the Greek referendum on Sunday, the day after July 4th. When the Greek government announced that it would let the Greek people decide their own fate, Western political leaders and media denounced the Greek government for practicing democracy. As far as Europe’s leaders are concerned, foreign elites, not the Greek people, have sovereignty over Greece.
One criticism of the Soviet Union was that it lacked a free press. Today the entire West lacks a free press. In 2014 Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor with the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a book, Bought Journalists, in which he revealed that most prominent European journalists are paid agents of the CIA.
In the run-up to Sunday’s referendum we see these agents at work in Greece. The Greek polling firm, Greek Public Opinion, has released a statement accusing Greek newspapers of attempting to influence the referendum vote by publishing the firm’s unreleased, incomplete and fragmentary findings of the public’s leanings. The Greek newspapers falsely reported that 74.2% of Greek voters preferred to remain in the Eurozone no matter how great the sacrifices imposed on them and that the Greek government’s stand against the imposition of yet more austerity on the Greek people would be voted down by the Greek people themselves. The newspapers reported that the poll found that Greeks were going to vote to accept the EU austerity package by 47.1% to 39.3%. The polling firm has threatened to take legal action. http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150703/1024156209.html
What is amazing is that apparently about half of the long-suffering Greek people themselves do not understand that austerity has failed and that more is not the answer. Western peoples are too propagandized for democracy to properly function. More often than not, people vote in favor of the interest groups that are looting and pillaging them. Thomas Frank pointed this out several years ago in his book, What’s The Matter With Kansas.
Western media, aided and abetted by foreign agents in the Greek media and NGOs, might succeed in causing the Greek people to vote against their economic, social, and political interests on Sunday.
A “yes” vote on Sunday would comprise an abandonment of sovereignty for serfdom. Other debtor nations will be expected to follow.
Americans themselves are far along on the same path. What is happening to Greeks has been happening to Americans. The financial crisis was used to focus Federal Reserve policy on the needs of the small handful of “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the American people. It has been years since Americans received any interest on their savings.
The complete cut-off of interest income has harmed retirees and raised the specter of them running out of money before they run out of life. Without interest income to supplement Social Security, retirees have had to draw down their savings.
As savings are drawn down, future income streams diminish. They can do less to cushion a son or daughter’s loss of job due to their job being moved offshore. They can do less to help a grandchild buried under student debt and unable to find a job in the jobless economy.
As part of its policy of replacing truth with propaganda, about 20 years ago the government ceased counting long-term discouraged workers among the unemployed. When the long-term unemployed are included, the rate of unemployment in the US in June was 23.1%.
A 23.1% rate of unemployment is what the government, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, the financial media, and the Ivy League economists who shill for the One Percent call recovery.
If Greeks are unable to discern their own interests when they vote Sunday, Americans have no right to say anything about it as Americans have proven over and over that they are incapable of knowing their own interests.
Prison Planet.com » Video: Man Gets 8 MONTHS in Federal Prison For Driving Away From Internal Checkpoint
A man from Florida has been sentenced to eight months in prison after he calmly refused to answer questions at an internal border patrol checkpoint, and drove away.
The incident, which occurred in October last year, was captured on video, from both CCTV, and a dashcam within Michael Sophin’s car.
The footage shows Mr Sophin approaching a checkpoint approximately 20 miles from the border of Mexico on I-10 near Sierra Blanca, Texas. When the Border Patrol Agent asked Sophin if he is an American citizen, he replied with a dry comment.
“You know, I was going to tell you that I wasn’t going to take any questions today, and then I realized that… if Obama is letting everybody in the country, what difference does it make?” Sophin said.
The agent wasn’t playing games and replied that it “makes all the difference.”
At that point, Sophin refused to cooperate any further, calmly stating “I don’t want to answer any questions, O.K.? Thanks. Have a good night” as he drove away, at regular speed, from the checkpoint.
The agent is heard yelling “Hey, you’re not free to go!” as Sophin drives away.
Agents drove after Sophin and eventually flagged him down and ordered him out of his vehicle at gunpoint.
Sophin was arrested and taken back to the checkpoint, where his vehicle was searched without a warrant or probable cause.
In addition to Sophin’s legally owned firearms, and shooting accessories, the agents found what they described as “anti-government propaganda”. The two items given this description were a copy of The New American Magazine, a freedom and Constitution oriented publication owned by The John Birch Society, and a copy of a book called “Freedom”, written by journalist and activist Adam Kokesh.
Sophin was thrown in jail in El Paso for a whole 18 DAYS before he was released on bond.
Sophin was thrown in jail in El Paso for a whole 18 DAYS before he was released on bond.
He was first charged with “High speed flight from immigration checkpoint”, a felony which carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison. However, this charge was dropped as it became clear that Sophin never broke the speed limit, only agents chasing him were guilty of that.
So, with one charge dismissed, the state tried a fresh approach, by charging Sophin with “Assault on a Federal Agent.”
Sophin’s firearms were also confiscated by the BATF, under the agency’s asset forfeiture program.
Eventually, when the case came to trial, Sophin was sentenced to eight months in federal prison with credit for time served. He is currently out on bond pending appeal.
During the trial, a juror explained why the decision was made to convict Sophin, despite the clear evidence that no crime was committed. “He should have to answer questions just like the rest of us,” the juror said. In other words, because he decided to stand up for his Constitutional rights, Sophin had to be made an example of.
The website Photography is Not A Crime contacted both The New American and Adam Kokesh to get their thoughts on the case and the description of their literature by the state as “anti-government propaganda” – here’s what they had to say.
The Reverend Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) spoke to Newsmax over the weekend about the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, and what he had to say might surprise some folks.
The Reverend Owens is calling on American Christians to oppose the court’s decision using civil disobedience, saying that sometimes “you do something to get arrested to call attention to the injustice.”
"I was in the civil rights movement, so I know how to do it. When we sat at the counters at restaurants, we knew we were going to be arrested. You do things to get arrested, to call attention to it. So many people were silent. The church people were absolutely silent on this issue. A few leaders spoke out, but the masses of the church people were silent."
The Reverend Owens added that he believed many people were unwilling to speak out against the President because "The whites didn't want to come out against Obama since he endorsed it so strongly and they didn't want to be called bigots — and the blacks didn't want to say they were betraying a black man. I came out very powerfully against Mr. Obama when he stood for same-sex marriage."
Owens continued, "I absolutely would not do a gay marriage. Absolutely. I think of our children. What it's going to do to our children. What kind of world are they going to grow up in? I've said for two years that we're going to have to have civil disobedience. They were very cunning in the way they did it," Reverend Owens said speaking about LGBT activists.
It is an understanding and interpretation of the law that is older than the New Testament. It is at least as old as the Ten Commandments. It is the understanding that Law is not Law if it contradicts the Law of God. In fact, the word “tyranny,” derives from a word in the Greek that means a godless law. So, when we see the Church has abandoned the Law of God, then society soon follows suit. However, one Alabama lawyer could not remain silent as tyranny rules the day.
An attorney who works for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has penned a letter to government officials throughout the state, urging them to take a stand for Christ in light last week’s Supreme Court ruling declaring that same-sex “marriage” must be legalized in all 50 states.
“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous,” Win Johnson wrote in a letter sent to Gov. Robert Bentley and other civil magistrates.
It is a point that all Christians in our day seems to have forgotten, almost without exception. We have become an Americanized Church. We believe in the red, white, and blue as much as the risen Christ. And though I love our country, we have to return to the understanding of our forefathers. Jesus is the ruler of the nations.
“Don’t use the Nazi war-crimes trial defense: ‘My superiors (or the courts) told me to do it.’ You’re not standing for the rule of law when you capitulate to a law that defies God and exposes people to the wicked,” Johnson continued. “You’re just a coward making excuses!”
Will the governing officials show that they are true men and women of virtue? Will they show that they have their office as a means to better the lives and protect the people of their state? Will they be no more than spineless naysayers who whine while capitulating to the wicked? It seems that Win has called these governing authorities to the mat.
“On Judgment Day, you won’t stand in front of the media, the advocates of ‘equality,’ or even the federal courts,” Johnson warned. “You’ll stand before the King of Kings, the Judge and Ruler over the Kings of the Earth, Jesus Christ. His law is not subject to the vote of man, and He, as the good and loving author of that law, does not exempt any nation from it.”