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


islamic banking, meetings, deals

1. deal to boost Islamic banking

A NEW agreement that is set to boost the growth of Islamic banking was inked between Singapore and Bahrain on Monday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the 16th World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) plenary session in Bahrain on Monday morning, designed to improve supervisory cooperation and information-sharing between the two organisations.

MAS managing director Heng Swee Keat said at the event that Singapore, as an international financial centre, was looking to develop Islamic finance by leveraging on its existing strengths in banking, insurance, asset management and capital markets.

...In the wake of the of the Dubai's debt woes, neighbouring Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are likely to pick up much of its Islamic banking business. The Islamic financing industry is currently worth an estimated US$1 trillion and, like conventional banking, it is thought to be back on a growth trajectory following the ebbing of the global credit crisis.

read more @ straits times

2. Obama, Turkey's Erdogan to meet today

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House Monday for talks on topics of mutual interest. Obama, Erdogan and Vice President Joe Biden were to meet in a closed door session then participate in a working lunch, the White House said. In the afternoon, Obama and Biden were to meet with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, in the Oval office. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in the evening will host a holiday reception for congressional members.

source: upi asia

3. Brussels gives CIA the power to search UK bank records

THE CIA is to be given broad access to the bank records of millions of Britons under a European Union plan to fight terrorism.

The Brussels agreement, which will come into force in two months’ time, requires the 27 EU member states to grant requests for banking information made by the United States under its terrorist finance tracking programme.

In a little noticed information note released last week, the EU said it had agreed that Europeans would be compelled to release the information to the CIA “as a matter of urgency”. The records will be kept in a US database for five years before being deleted.

Critics say the system is “lopsided” because there is no reciprocal arrangement under which the UK authorities can easily access the bank accounts of US citizens in America.

...US counter-terrorism officials say the data-mining programme aims to trace the transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al-Qaeda.

They say it helped to thwart a plot by an Islamist terror cell in Britain to blow up seven aircraft flying from London to the United States in 2006. The terrorist finance tracking programme mines thousands of transactions by sifting through records from the nerve centre of the global banking industry, a Belgian co-operative known as Swift. This routes about £3 billion between banks and other financial institutions each day. According to the EU information note, the United States can request “general data sets” under the scheme based on broad categories including “relevant message types, geography and perceived terrorism threats”.

The scheme is run out of the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The covert spying operation remained secret until 2006.

in other words they've already been doing it? - ed.

4. Iran not invited to GCC summit

KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah yesterday said Iran will not be invited to the upcoming GCC summit in Kuwait on Dec 14-15. Speaking at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit, the minister underlined deep relations and bonds between Kuwait and Egypt and the significance of coordination between both countries in all domains.

...Abul Gheit also hailed the signing of memos of understanding between Egypt and Kuwait as "strategic". He said he had called on HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, and delivered a message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Sheikh Nawaf. He said his talks with the Kuwaiti leaders centered around several regional issues of mutual concern, chiefly Palestine, the Horn of Africa and Somalia. He reiterated Egypt's unwavering support for the GCC member countries against looming threats.

read more @ kuwait times

5. commander warns about enemies 'soft war' against Iran

"Enemies have been mobilized for a soft war against the Islamic Iran and they are seeking to promote (national and individual) underestimation in the country to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees," Deputy Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces for Information and Operation Brigadier General Mohammad Baqeri said at a forum dubbed as 'Soft Security in the Islamic Republic of Iran'.

Baqeri also stressed that in soft warfare enemy tries to affect the thoughts of the other side to gain victory and attains its goals by invading the values and patterns of behavior and changing them. ..."Today, the main priority of the country is to confront (enemy's) soft warfare which is aimed at creating doubt, discord and pessimism among the mass of people," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

..."In soft war, enemy seeks to create doubt, pessimism and discord by spreading rumors and lies and using certain excuses through advanced cultural and communication means," Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

read more @ fars news agency

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