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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Journal Archives

Obama Monitors for Gasoline, Diesel Fraud in 360 U.S. Cities

Source: Bloomberg

By Roger Runningen and Mark Drajem - Mon Mar 12 13:41:08 GMT 2012

The Obama administration is monitoring gasoline and diesel fuel prices in 360 U.S. cities to guard against fraud or price manipulation, according to a White House report released today.

President Barack Obama said at a press conference March 6 that he asked Attorney General Eric Holder to reconstitute a special task force to ensure the government is watching for “potential speculation in the oil markets.” The extent of the gasoline and diesel price monitoring is in today’s report, which also says the administration has made progress weaning the U.S. from foreign oil imports.

“Today’s high gas prices are a painful reminder that there’s much more work to do free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil and take control of our energy future,” Obama said in a statement released with the report.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures markets, has also taken steps to close loopholes that allowed financial trades to evade scrutiny by trading in unregulated or overseas markets, according to the report.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-12/obama-monitors-for-gasoline-diesel-fraud-in-360-u-s-cities.html

Clinton Clashes With Russian Counterpart Lavrov at UN Over Stance on Syria

Source: Bloomberg

By Flavia Krause-Jackson - Mon Mar 12 15:34:53 GMT 2012

Russia came under renewed attack at the United Nations today over its protection of Syria after President Bashar al-Assad rejected peace proposals by UN envoy Kofi Annan and persevered in a deadly crackdown on protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, addressed the UN Security Council today with clashing views on how to tackle a year-old uprising. While the U.S. administration has said Assad must go, Russia has vetoed two draft resolutions in the past five months seeking to hold Assad accountable and support a political transition.

“We believe that now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach,” Clinton told the UN decision-making body. “We do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people.”

Speaking just before her, Lavrov criticized what Russia sees as “risky recipes of geopolitical engineering” put forward at the UN. He was critical of “making hasty demands for regime change, imposing unilateral sanctions designed to trigger economic difficulties and social tensions in the country.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-12/russia-faces-new-pressure-on-syria-at-un-as-clinton-meets-lavrov-for-talks.html

Apartheid Is A Crime, Not An Analogy – OpEd

March 10, 2012

By Joe Catron

As Israeli Apartheid Week unfolds around the world, apologists for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people scramble to defend their chosen regime’s system of racism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation, against the charge of apartheid.

“The apartheid analogy is fatally flawed,” the Jerusalem Connection’s Shelley Neese writes. The David Project’s David Bernstein says, “The apartheid analogy is specious and absurd.” The Anti-Defamation League has even circulated an old report: “The Apartheid Analogy: Wrong for Israel.”

These commentators are right, but not for the reasons they claim. An apartheid ‘analogy’ is fatally flawed, specious, absurd, and wrong for Israel because apartheid is not an analogy, but a crime as well-defined in law as embezzlement or kidnapping.

The most relevant statute, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, perhaps muddies the waters by stating that “the term ‘the crime of apartheid’ … shall include similar practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa.”



Arab League Condemns Gaza 'Massacre'; EU Concerned About Latest Gaza Violence

(AFP) – 34 minutes ago

CAIRO — The Arab League on Saturday condemned Israeli air strikes on Gaza that killed 15 Palestinians, calling it a "massacre" and urging an international tough stance against the Jewish state.

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo slammed Israel's "dangerous escalation on the blockaded Gaza Strip which led to 15 deaths, left dozens injured and destroyed property and houses."

The 22-member Arab body called on the international community to "take a firm stance to dissuade Israel from its continued massacres and violations of the rights of the Palestinian people."

It also said "Israel bears the responsibility, as an occupying force, to end the illegitimate blockade on Gaza and to protect the Palestinian people."



EU Concerned About Latest Gaza Violence

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, March 10, 2012 11:16 EST

The European Union on Saturday expressed concern at the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in three years which left 14 Palestinians dead, calling on both sides to restore calm.

A statement from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc “is following with concern the recent escalation of violence in Gaza and in the south of Israel”.

“I very much deplore the loss of civilian life. It is essential to avoid further escalation and I urge all sides to re-establish calm.”

Medics said Saturday that Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed 14 Palestinians, including a militant group chief, after Palestinian militants fired at least 90 rockets and mortar rounds into southern Israel, according to an army spokeswoman.



Gaza Death Toll Hits 15 in Worst Israel, Palestinian Clashes Since October

By Gwen Ackerman and Saud Abu Ramadan - Sat Mar 10 16:00:19 GMT 2012

Israeli airstrikes killed at least 15 Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and rocket fire wounded at least four Israelis as the worst violence in months escalated into a second day.

“The Israeli military will strike anyone who plans to hurt Israeli citizens,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today in an e-mailed statement.

Gaza health official Adham Abu Selmeya reported 15 dead, all of them members of militant groups, and 25 wounded. An Israeli army spokeswoman, speaking anonymously in accordance with regulations, said four Israelis were wounded, one seriously.

The latest round of bloodshed started with an Israeli air strike on a vehicle in Gaza yesterday that killed two Palestinians the army said were planning an attack from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai Peninsula. An attack from Sinai on the Israeli resort of Eilat killed eight in August.



Guest Lineups For The Sunday TV News Shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum; Govs. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., and Martin O'Malley, D-Md.; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

CBS'"Face the Nation" — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; Robert Gibbs, adviser to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign;

CNN's "State of the Union" — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

"Fox News Sunday" — Gingrich; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Ohio Finds Gas-Drilling Injection Well Led To Earthquakes, Imposes Tough New Regulations


By JULIE CARR SMYTH | Associated Press | 22 minutes ago in

A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, Ohio oil and gas regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new regulations for drillers.

Among the new regulations: Well operators must submit more comprehensive geological data when requesting a drill site, and the chemical makeup of all drilling wastewater must be tracked electronically.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced the tough new brine injection regulations because of the report's findings on the well in Youngstown, which it said were based on "a number of coincidental circumstances."

For one, investigators said, the well began operations just three months ahead of the first quake.

Read more: http://www.newser.com/article/d9td2shg2/ohio-finds-gas-drilling-injection-well-led-to-earthquakes-imposes-tough-new-regulations.html

U.S. Military Could Hit Iran Harder Than Israel: Panetta

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, March 8, 2012 20:02 EST

WASHINGTON — A US military attack on Iran would do more damage than a strike carried out by Israeli forces, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday in an interview.

The United States and Israel disagree about the imminence of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and Panetta’s comments underscored the US administration’s stance that Israel should hold off on any unilateral action.

“If they (Israelis) decided to do it, there’s no question that it would have an impact, but I think it’s also clear that if the United States did it, we would have a hell of a bigger impact,” Panetta told the National Journal.

President Barack Obama and top officials have repeatedly said they have not ruled out military force if diplomacy and sanctions fail to resolve the crisis over Iran’s suspect nuclear program.



Russia Opposes ‘Unbalanced’ New UN Draft On Syria

Source: Agence France-Presse

Russia said Friday it opposed an “unbalanced” UN draft resolution on the Syria crisis because it did not contain a call for a simultaneous halt in violence by the government and rebels.

“We cannot agree with the draft resolution in the form it is being presented in today. The text of the resolution under discussion is unbalanced,” Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.

“Its main problem is the absence of a simultaneous call on all sides to take practical steps in the context of ceasing fire,” Gatilov was quoted as saying.

Gatilov said Russia was receiving reports that the UN Security Council intended to put the US-backed resolution up for a vote at a meeting on Monday.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/09/russia-opposes-unbalanced-new-un-draft-on-syria/

Netanyahu Controls Obama’s Fate (warning: By Dick Morris & Eileen McGann)

OP NOTE: While I normally wouldn't post tripe from Morris & McGann, I heard him spouting this crap yesterday on the radio. I think it is important to understand, in this case, what they are pushing for. Sorry if the post offends anyone.

If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to seal President Obama's fate, all he has to do is to attack Iran. It is clear from Obama's AIPAC speech that the president will continue to talk about diplomacy and sanctions for the remainder of his term and will take no military action against Iran. If Israel attacks Iran, she will achieve three things:

a. Israel will buy time by delaying the Iranian nuclear program by one to three years.

b. Those extra years will give the effective sanctions, only now being imposed, time to work.

c. The resulting increase in the price of oil - and its impact on the American economy - will doom Obama's re-election chances, assuring that a pro-Israeli Republican Administration takes power.


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