HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Purveyor » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

Journal Archives

Key Us Republican Seeks 'Punitive Action' On Egypt

(AFP) – 22 hours ago

WASHINGTON — A top Republican lawmaker called for "punitive action" Thursday against Egyptian officials for the crackdown on US democracy advocates.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, singled out Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga.

"The Egyptian government's actions cannot be taken lightly and warrant punitive actions against certain Egyptian officials, and reconsideration of US assistance to Egypt," Ros-Lehtinen told a House hearing.

"While the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces bears ultimate responsibility for this strain in relations, the minister of international cooperation should not be exempt from punitive actions."



China Wants Say In World Bank Choice

By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing

China has said that the next World Bank president should be chosen on merit, seeking to challenge a tradition that the bank’s chief be a US citizen, though it did not suggest a candidate.

Robert Zoellick said on Wednesday that he would step down in June at the end of a five-year term as bank president. Speculation has focused on Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, and Larry Summers, former White House chief economic adviser, as potential successors.

Emerging markets have said before that there is no justification for the custom of reserving the bank’s top position for an American. Some wonder whether China, the world’s second-largest economy, might put forward a candidate.

“China hopes that the next president of the World Bank will be selected based on the principle of merit in an open and fair competition,” Liu Weimin, foreign ministry spokesman, said in a news briefing.



Obama’s Re-Election Chances Rise With Signs of Improvement in U.S. Economy

The economy is looking better to the American public and with it President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects.

Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest level in almost four years, providing fresh evidence the job market is on the mend, and reports released yesterday on housing and manufacturing also beat forecasters’ expectations.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed for a fourth straight week to reach the highest level in a year. Sentiment is rising even among those who have yet to benefit from the recovery, as payrolls expand and the unemployment rate drops. Jobless Americans are the most optimistic since April 2008.

“Political independents have a markedly better view of the prospects for better times than they did just a few months ago, and Obama is running much more strongly among independents than he was a few months ago,” Andrew Kohut, president of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in Washington, said. “Reports such as those out yesterday will only reinforce this notion that things are getting better.”



Index of Leading Economic Indicators in U.S. Climbs 0.4% in Expansion Sign

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in January for a fourth month, signaling the world’s largest economy will keep expanding through the first half of 2012.

The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.4 percent after a revised 0.5 percent gain in December that was more than initially reported, the New York-based group said today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase of 0.5 percent.

Faster hiring and a jobless rate at a three-year low may encourage more Americans to boost spending, bolstering growth at factories and helping stabilize housing. A strengthening economy means the U.S. will be able to better weather any fallout from the European debt crisis.

“The U.S. economic recovery is coming along nicely,” Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “There are still some headwinds, but the momentum is gradually building up.”


Iran Seems An Unlikely Culprit For The Attacks On Israeli Diplomats

Let's assume that sections of the military and security apparatus in Iran are responsible for the string of bombings in Georgia, Thailand and India. What would be the motive? The argument that Iran is retaliating for the murder of five civilian nuclear scientists in Iran is not plausible. If Iran wanted to target Israeli interests, it has other means at its disposal. It is hard to imagine that the Iranian government would send Iranian operatives to friendly countries, completely equipped with Iranian money and passports – making the case against them as obvious as possible.

If the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are as professional, highly trained and politically savvy as we have been told repeatedly by Israeli politicians themselves, if they have successfully trained and equipped the cadres of Hezbollah and other movements with paramilitary wings in the region, then why would they launch such a clumsy and self-defeating operation?

And why India, Georgia and Thailand, three countries that Iran has had cordial relations with during a period when Iran is facing increasing sanctions spearheaded by the United States? A few days ago, India agreed a rupee-based oil and gas deal with Iran and resisted US pressures to join the western boycott of the Iranian energy sector. As a net importer of 12% of Iranian oil, India's total trade with Iran amounted to $13.67bn in 2010-2011. What would be the motive for damaging relations with one of Iran's major trading partners and regional heavyweights?

For Iran it doesn't make sense to risk alienating India by launching an assassination attempt in the capital of the country. Similarly, Iran has good economic and political relations with Georgia and Thailand. Why would the leadership in Tehran risk a major crisis with these countries during this sensitive period when IAEA inspectors are moving in and out of Iran to investigate the country's nuclear programme?



Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again

Several small Palestinian villages in the West Bank had been without electricity for decades -- before an Israeli foundation with funding from Europe recently installed solar panels and wind turbines. Now, though, Israel wants to remove the facilities because they are on land under its administration.

The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines. Since then, such facilities have been installed in 16 communities, providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity.

The women here no longer have to make their butter by hand; they can refrigerate the sheep's cheese, which is their livelihood; and their children can do their homework at night. Now they can sit together and watch TV -- and connect to a world that seems far removed from their lives on the edge of the Judaean Desert. It is but a small revolution, achieved at little cost. But it is a good example of successful development aid.

The success, though, could soon be a thing of the past. Israel has threatened to tear them down with five municipalities in recent weeks having received "stop work" orders -- the first step on the road to demolition. The problem is that the facilities are in the so-called Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank and is administered by Israel. Permission from the Israelis is a requirement before construction projects can move ahead -- and permits are almost never given to Palestinians.



Boehner Says US Needs To Do More To Stop Iran

(02-16) 09:03 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

House Speaker John Boehner says the U.S. needs to do more to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Ohio Republican said the Iran Sanctions Act approved by Congress gives President Barack Obama several options for pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear program. He said Obama has used some of those tools but that others are also available.

He did not specify what actions he believes the U.S. should take, but said he agrees with Obama that all options should be considered — a phrase that is often used to threaten military action.



Republicans Use Rare Tactic To Block 2 Obama Rules

(02-16) 10:03 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --

Republicans in Congress are launching bids to nullify Obama administration rules that would speed up union elections and set new air pollution standards for the nation's oldest and dirtiest power plants.

The rarely used tactic requires a simple majority for passage. Both have a chance at clearing the Senate, but a vote would force some Democrats to take a public stand on two volatile issues in an election year.



Netanyahu: Iran Sanctions Not Working

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias signed a search and rescue agreement on Thursday.

While in Nicosia, Netanyahu also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat, saying the sanctions imposed by the international community on the Islamic Republic "are not working."

"Iran is the most irresponsible force in the world. I hope the sanctions will have an effect, but so far they have not. We are dealing with a regime that violates every resolution and has no respect for international standards," the Israeli premier said.

"Iran's race towards nuclear weapons should concern the US and every other country. Nuclear arms in the hands of such a regime is a cause for great concern to the US and Israel."



U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises to Highest Level in Year

Consumer confidence in the U.S. increased for a fourth straight week to reach the highest level in a year as more households believe the economy is improving.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 39.8 in the period ended Feb. 12 from minus 41.7 the previous week. It marked just the third time since April 2008 that the gauge has climbed above minus 40, a reading consistent with recessions or their aftermath. The monthly expectations gauge climbed to minus 7 in February, also a 12-month high.

Sentiment among those without a job was the strongest since April 2008, showing news of payroll gains and fewer job cuts is even lifting the spirits of households that have yet to benefit from the recovery. Higher stock prices so far this year may also be giving confidence a boost, helping offset rising fuel prices.

“Rising incomes, a slower pace of firings in the economy and a modest wealth effect due to the near bull market in equities likely combined to create the conditions that sent economic pessimism to its lowest reading in over a year,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York.


Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »