Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Obama defends record on economy..... Well tries to

(Reuters) - Barack Obama stoutly defended his economic record on Tuesday after a stream of bad news - and an uncharacteristic verbal misstep of his own - rallied Republican hopes that they can defeat him in November.

Acknowledging there is still a "long way to go" to repair the damage done by a recession he inherited, Obama insisted the American economy was on the right track despite recent signals that the country's recovery might be fading.

"What we have been able to do over the last 3-1/2 years, after a decade in which we had been moving in the wrong direction, is to begin to point towards a trajectory where here in this country, everybody is getting a fair shot," he told supporters at the first of a string of fundraising events. Read More

Chart: It only took Obama 1 Term, Image what he could do with 2

Tunis declares curfew after 'Islamist' rioting

Tunisia has declared an overnight curfew on eight regions, including the capital, an interior ministry official says, in the wake of serious rioting.

The eight-hour curfew was introduced after several violent attacks in protest at an art exhibition.

The government has blamed ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists for the violence, in which police stations were set on fire.

But the Salafists have denied being involved in the rampage. Source

Euro inches down before Italian debt sale, Greek vote

TOKYO, June 13 (Reuters) - The euro edged lower on Wednesday, tethered to a familiar range with many investors sticking to the sidelines ahead of an Italian bond sale the next day and a weekend vote in Greece that could determine the future of the euro zone.

Spanish bond yields hit a euro-era peak after the decision to lend the country's ailing lenders 100 billion euro fuelled fears that Madrid will struggle to access debt markets as its own debts rise.

Further undermining confidence in the euro, Austria's finance minister said Italy may need a financial rescue because of its high borrowing costs and added the euro zone's stretched funds may be insufficient to help its third-largest economy.

Against this backdrop, the euro edged 0.2 percent lower to $1.2481, b ang in the middle of its 2-year low hit on June 1 at 1.2288 and a three-week high reached on Monday at 1.2672.

"The euro is going to drift around $1.25 before the weekend," said Sumino Kamei, senior currency analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

"It's also possible that even on Monday we may still know very little about who'll be in government in Greece. That's why we have to brace ourselves for more uncertainty ahead." Read More

Syria accuses US of encouraging killings‎

DAMASCUS Syria on Tuesday accused Washington of encouraging more massacres in the strife-torn country and of meddling in its internal affairs even as a top UN official said Syria is now in a full-scale civil war as President Bashar Al Assad’s military loses control of territory around the country.

“The US administration is pushing forth with its flagrant interference in Syria’s internal affairs and its backing of armed terrorist groups,” the foreign ministry said.

“US statements distort the truth and what is happening on the ground while encouraging armed terrorist groups to carry out more massacres... not only in Al Haffe but throughout the country,” it added.

The foreign ministry said US officials had made “exacerbating statements” against Damascus in parallel with “the escalation of violence by terrorists on the ground”.

At the United Nations, asked whether he believed Syria is in a civil war, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said: “Yes I think we can say that.

“Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory, several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control.”

“I think there is a massive increase in the level of violence, so massive indeed that in a way it indicates some change of nature” in the conflict, added Ladsous.

“Now we have confirmed reports of not only of the use of tanks and artillery but also attack helicopters,” Ladsous said.

“This is becoming large scale because the opposition also resists.” Read More

Moscow ready to host conference on Syria

Moscow, June 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Moscow is ready to host an international conference on Syria to discuss peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

In order to help settle Syria's ongoing political crisis, Russia has proposed a UN conference that will gather together the countries that have influence on Syria's disparate forces.

Lavrov said Russia's initiative to hold an international conference on Syria should become "the sole format of supporting the efforts of fulfilling resolutions of the UN Security Council, which approved a peace plan by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan".

Moscow believes an international conference on Syria should be held under the aegis of the UN and should bring together the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria's neighbours -- Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and also Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the League of Arab States and the European Union.

In the efforts to settle the Syrian crisis, "the most topical task that remains today is to assist the fulfillment of the plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council and remove problems impeding these efforts," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. Read More

Germany's central bank has shot down EU proposals for a European banking union, ....Unless There is Political Union

Germany's central bank has shot down EU proposals for a European banking union, warning categorically that eurozone liabilities cannot be shared without a fundamental shift towards fiscal and political union.

Andreas Dombret, a key board member of the Bundesbank, said the grand plan by Brussels is premature and unworkable as constructed. "A banking union is a sensible way forward as long as liability and control are aligned. What I mean is you don't give somebody your credit card if you don't know what he or she is going to do with it."

Mr Dombret said a pan-EMU deposit-guarantee scheme and a debt resolution fund would require "a genuine, democratically legitimated fiscal union" and a new treaty.

The Bundebank's vice-president Sabine Lautenschlaeger hammered home the point in what is a clearly co-ordinated push to check the plan. "The result would be a pooling of the governments' liabilities through the back door," she said.

"Whoever is footing the bill must also have a right of control, particularly when it comes to the large sums that are seen in banking crises," she added, alluding to rulings by German courts that unquantifiable EU liabilities breach Germany's constitution.

Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed the tough line at a party conference yesterday, insisting that Germany will not accept variants of debt pooling or eurobonds until Europe has created a machinery of joint government. Read More

Note: Why have they Stopped calling it United states of Europe?

George Soros said recently

“Europe is likely to become “a German empire … it would be a German empire with the periphery as the hinterland,”

Yemen Says Militants Are Driven From 2 Cities

SANA, Yemen — The Yemeni government said Tuesday that the army had driven out militants linked to Al Qaeda from two of their strongholds in southern Yemen, a region that has become a focal point of American concerns about terrorism.

The taking of the southern cities of Jaar and Zinjibar by government troops represented an important victory for Yemen’s new president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has ratcheted up the fight against the militants since he took office in February.

But the militants still control large parts of southern Yemen and it is unclear how long government forces will be able to retain the two cities.

While the government has made claims of military success against the militants in the past that have not held up, the new claim was corroborated by area residents and the militants themselves. Read More

Why Berlin Is Balking on a Bailout

ALTHOUGH Europe may seem far away from the economic life of the average American, the fate of the euro zone weighs heavily on the United States economy. Pension funds have invested in bonds issued by southern European states, while banks and insurance companies have underwritten a sizable fraction of the credit-default swaps protecting investors against default.

It’s no wonder, then, that President Obama is urging Germany to share in the debt of the euro zone’s southern nations. But in doing so, he and others overlook several critical facts.

For one thing, such a bailout is illegal under the Maastricht Treaty, which governs the euro zone. Because the treaty is law in each member state, a bailout would be rejected by Germany’s Constitutional Court.

Moreover, a bailout doesn’t make economic sense, and would likely make the situation worse. Read More

Clashes In Warsaw As Russia Play Poland



At least 10 football fans have been injured during violent clashes at the Euro 2012 match between Russia and Poland in Warsaw.


TV footage showed fans running away from exploding fireworks and flares on the Polish city's streets.

Several people were seen lying injured and bleeding on the ground, with one appearing to be seriously hurt.

Police said 10 people were injured; seven Poles, two Russians and one German. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF COSTA RICA - 13th June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck OFF THE COAST OF COSTA RICA at a depth of 23.4 km (14.5 miles), the quake hit at 00:00:09 UTC Wednesday 13th June 2012
The epicenter was 64 km (39 miles) Southwest of Rivas, Nicaragua
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE - 12th June 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles), the quake hit at 21:58:12 UTC Tuesday 12th June 2012
The epicenter was 74 km (45 miles) East of Rodos, Dodecanese Islands, Greece
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 12th June 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck SULAWESI, INDONESIA at a depth of 83.2 km (51.7 miles), the quake hit at 19:54:17 UTC Tuesday 12th June 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) South of Gorontalo, Sulawesi, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

US: Russia sending Syria attack helicopters (Is a full blown war on the horizon?)

The Obama administration said Tuesday that Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and warned that the Arab country's 15-month conflict could become even deadlier.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. was "concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria."

She said the shipment "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."

Clinton's comments at a public appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres augured poorly for a peaceful solution to Syria's conflict. Officials from around the world are warning that the violence risks becoming an all-out civil war, with Middle East power brokers from Iran to Turkey possibly being drawn into the fighting. more

RIOT POLICE HAVE FIRED RUBBER BULLETS AND TEAR GAS AT POLISH FANS WHO HAVE ATTACKED THEM WITH BOTTLES IN WARSAW

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 12th June 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES at a depth of 621.6 km (386.3 miles), the quake hit at 19:03:36 UTC Tuesday 12th June 2012
The epicenter was 106 km (65 miles) Southwest of Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 12th June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck TONGA at a depth of 26.5 km (16.5 miles), the quake hit at 19:01:06 UTC Tuesday 12th June 2012
The epicenter was 175 km (108 miles) ENE of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Euro 2012 Violent Clashes Ahead Of Russia Poland Match



At least 10 football fans have been injured following violent clashes before tonight's Euro 2012 match between Russia and Poland in Warsaw.

In TV footage fans can be seen running away from exploding fireworks or flares on the city streets in Poland.

Several people were seen lying injured and bleeding on the ground, with one of them appearing to be seriously hurt.

Police said 10 people were injured; seven Poles, two Russians and one German.

Violence also broke out by the stadium with Poland and Russia fans fighting and hurling stones at each other.

Russia fans also clashed with police on a bridge near the National Stadium and police were later seen making arrests. Read More

Russia: Helicopters Help Firefighters at Arms Depot Blast Site

Helicopters from Russia's Emergencies Ministry joined firefighting teams on Tuesday at the site of a blaze at a military stores site at the Buzulsky region of Orenburg Province, the Emergencies Ministry said.

"Helicopters are currently putting out the fire," Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Tatyana Samoilova said.

So far, helicopters have made five drops of water and one drop each have been made by Il-76 and Be-200 waterbomber aircraft, according to the Volga Region Emergencies Ministry.

“The explosions at the arsenal have practically stopped," the local military district press office said early on Tuesday afternoon. "The site is smouldering, and only the packaging and paper from the shells is actually on fire. There is not danger to the nearby settlements.”

One person was wounded and two are still missing after the site caught fire on Monday at 3.15 p.m. Moscow time, triggering a series of explosions, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“One serviceman received a minor shrapnel injury and was hospitalized. His life and health are not in danger,” a Defense Ministry spokesman said. Read More

Shark bites man at Port Campbell‎, Australia

AN OCEAN Grove surfer will have a tall tale to tell after surviving a brush with a 1.5 metre shark yesterday.

The 42-year-old was surfing with friends at Port Campbell yesterday morning when he was attacked by the shark.

He felt something brush against him in the water and turned to find the shark latched onto his foot.

Incredibly, he managed to free himself from the shark, with the unknown species leaving just a 7cm gash to the man's right foot.

It's not the first time people have been attacked by sharks along the coastline, but according to Life Saving Victoria, it is a rare occurrence.

"There's plenty of sharks down there but the incidence of shark attack is very rarely reported," club development general manager Paul Shannon said. Read More