cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


deals being cut all over the place

1. US puts its faith in Pakistan's military - a recipe for failure as surely intended

ISLAMABAD - Abdullah Abdullah, who this week withdrew from the presidential election runoff in Afghanistan, thereby handing victory to the incumbent, Hamid Karzai, did so under pressure from the United States, Asia Times Online has learned.

In exchange for the pullout of the non-Pashtun Abdullah, Pakistan's military has agreed to actively mediate between Washington and the Taliban over a reconciliation plan that will allow the US to exit from Afghanistan, as it is doing in Iraq, with a semblance of success.

A senior Pakistani diplomat involved in backchannel negotiations on Pakistan, Afghanistan and US relations told Asia Times Online on the condition of anonymity that the deal over Abdullah, whom Islamabad considers to be pro-India, was made during the three-day visit to Pakistan last week of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

read more @ asia times

2. Europe, Japan and US to trigger major debt crisis

The world may face another crisis of confidence, this time in the governments of continental Europe, Great Britain, Japan, and the USA. According to Christophe Bernard, managing director of one of the largest Swiss banks, Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), these countries risk suffering a defeat in restructuring their external debt. This could happen because their debt burden could grow to up to 20-30% of their budgets. Market participants interviewed by RBK Daily believe that this scenario is likely, but hope that regulators in these countries will not make it happen.

Christophe Bernard thinks that there are a number of global risks that seem unlikely now, but could come true in the next two to three years. Giving his speech at the Russian CFO Summit organized by Adam Smith Institute on 27-30 October 2009 in Moscow, he mentioned that last summer bankruptcy of Leman Brothers seemed unbelievable.

Christophe Bernard is worried that external debt of the leading developed countries can grow from 10 percent (on average) to 20-30 percent of their budget. This will cause inability of the governments to service their foreign currency debts at the current interest rates. As a result, leading countries of the European Union, Japan, Great Britain and then the USA will not be able to restructure their debt burden and will lose trust of both creditors and investors. Bernard told in an interview to RBK Daily that the new crisis of confidence will be channeled not towards certain banks and companies, but entire governments. This scenario is scary, and the governments of these countries are trying to avoid excessive growth of their debt burden.

read more @ pravda

3. Sweden gives all clear to Baltic Sea gas pipeline

The Swedish government on Thursday gave its permission for German firm Nord Stream AG to lay down pipelines for transporting natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Swedish economic zone of the Baltic Sea....Nord Stream is a Russian-led consortium planning to build the pipeline to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany. For the project to begin construction it requires the approval of Russia, Finland, Denmark and Germany.

read more @ the local

4. Thailand upset over Cambodian appointment of exiled Thai tycoon

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was officially appointed as adviser of his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen and the Royal Government of Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni, a statement of the Royal Government announced on Wednesday. ... The Cambodian leader repeated an earlier invitation to Thaksin to stay in Cambodia and rejected Thai claims that Phnom Penh would have to extradite the tycoon.

...Thaksin was toppled from power in 2006 and he has been living in self-exile in foreign countries since then to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.

...Ties between Cambodia and Thailand have been soured since June 2008 amid a border conflict over land surrounding an 11th century temple. But relations have cooled further since Hun Sen made his first invitation to Thaksin last month.

read more @ chinaview

5. Morocco orders departure of Swedish diplomat

RABAT - Morocco ordered on Wednesday the immediate departure of a Swedish diplomat accused of handing official Moroccan documents to Western Sahara-linked "separatists", the foreign ministry said.

Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri summoned Swedish ambassador Michael Odevald to tell him of "a serious breach in diplomatic practice and an unacceptable professional error committed by an advisor at Sweden's embassy in Rabat, Mrs Anna Block-Mazoyer," a statement said.

Block-Mazoyer "gave an official document that was given by the foreign and cooperation ministry to the Swedish embassy in Rabat as part of a diplomatic process to separatist elements linked to Algeria and the Polisario Front."

"This document then turned up in the hands of enemies of the kingdom's territorial integrity," it said...."These are bilateral issues, it has nothing to do with the EU presidency as far as I know," spokeswoman Cecilia Julin said in Stockholm.

...UN-backed talks on the territory's future are currently stalled. Four rounds of negotiations on the territory held in Manhasset, a suburb of New York, could not bridge the gap between Morocco and the Polisario Front. An informal bid to unblock negotiations took place on August 10 in Vienna.

read more @ middle east online

6. CIA spy 'left out to dry'

WASHINGTON - A CIA spy sentenced to five years in an Italian prison for her role in a US government-backed kidnapping plot admitted Wednesday she "broke the law" but felt abandoned by her superiors.

Sabrina DeSousa told ABC television that she and 22 other Americans sentenced in absentia for the CIA's kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003 "broke the law," but that everything she did was "approved back in Washington." "And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this," she said, adding that she felt "abandoned and betrayed."

Earlier in the day, an Italian judge convicted 23 Americans and two Italian secret agents in the high-profile "extraordinary rendition" case, prompting statements of "disappointment" from the US capital.

laDUH!! read more @ middle east online

7. South Sudan cries foul over dishonest census

The list of countries released by the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Sudan where Sudanese in Diaspora can register as voters and also participate in the forthcoming presidential election includes Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, the UK, Belgium (for all Western Europe) and USA.

Nonetheless, the South has questioned what it deems deliberate exclusion of the nine states that border Sudan especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo where many South Sudanese refugees live. The leaders of South Sudan have threatened to boycott next year’s presidential elections if the North is not fair in its census.

The decision of Northern Sudan to exclude countries where southern Sudanese are populated has been questioned by foreign mediators. Observers say that the action by NEC was a ploy by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) northern partner National Congress Party of President Omar Al Bashir to rig the elections by isolating the South.

that is rather outrageous. read more @

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