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Purveyor's Journal
Purveyor's Journal
October 1, 2012

Gunter Grass Hails Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower In New Poem

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, September 30, 2012 16:22 EDT

Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass, declared persona non-grata by Israel over a poem saying it threatened world peace, has published another work critical of the Jewish state.

In one of a collection of 87 new pieces, Grass hails whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in jail for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets to a British newspaper, in a poem entitled “A Hero in Our Time”.

He describes former nuclear technician Vanunu as a “hero” and a “role model”, according to extracts published by the German news agency DPA.

Earlier this year, Grass, 84, angered Israel after publishing a piece entitled “What Must Be Said”, in which he voiced fears that a nuclear-armed Israel “could wipe out the Iranian people” with a “first strike.”



September 28, 2012

U.S. Plans Support for Syria Opposition as Regime Seen Faltering

By Nicole Gaouette - Sep 27, 2012 10:00 PM ET

Two dozen countries that have concentrated on supporting Syria’s political opposition will meet today amid increasing signs that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is losing control inside the country, along its borders and over its military, a U.S. official said yesterday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host the meeting of foreign ministers on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

The group will discuss an intensifying humanitarian crisis that’s displaced 1 million people internally and sent 294,000 refugees to neighboring countries, with as many as 3,000 more fleeing every day, according to the website of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees.

Clinton will lead discussion about increasing pressure on the Syrian regime, as well as ways to hold regime officials accountable for crimes. The foreign ministers will focus mainly on ways to support the opposition, the U.S. official said.



September 28, 2012

Business Activity in U.S. Shrinks for First Time Since 2009

Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted in September for the first time in three years, adding to signs manufacturing will contribute less to the economic recovery.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer fell 49.7 this month from 53 in August. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.

Uncertainties surrounding domestic fiscal policy and weakening economies in Europe and China may prevent companies from adding to headcount and ramping up production. Slow growth prospects prompted the Federal Reserve to announce more accommodation measures earlier this month in a bid to help spur the three-year-old expansion.

“It’s going to be hard for the economy to do a whole lot until households and businesses know exactly what’s going to happen,” Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The likelihood that we accelerate in any meaningful way is probably low, and that goes specifically to manufacturing.”



September 27, 2012

Abbas To UN: Israeli Policies Leading To 'New Nakba;' Recognize Palestine Before It's Too Late

By Barak Ravid, Chemi Shalev and Reuters

7:28 P.M. Abbas: I call upon you to prevent a new Nakba in the holy land. Support an independent state of Palestine before it is too late.

7:25 P.M. Abbas: There is no homeland for us but Palestine. We shall not except an alternative land.

7:24 P.M. Abbas says we want the General assembly of the UN to consider recognizing Palestine as a non member state.

7:23 P.M. Abbas: Hasn't the time come to undo this injustice? The Palestinian people is saying - we shall not allow a new Nakba.



September 27, 2012

Iranian Leader Softens Anti-Israel Rhetoric in UN Speech

Iran’s president made no overt calls for Israel’s destruction and omitted any mention of his nation’s disputed nuclear program during a United Nations speech that instead offered his vision of a spiritual world.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s address to the annual UN General Assembly yesterday was tame by comparison to his previous appearances before the world body and didn’t prompt walkouts by Western delegations as in the past. The U.S., Israel and Canada boycotted the speech to protest past offensive remarks.

The Iranian leader couched his words as an appeal for peace, asserting that “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus” and other religions aren’t hostile to one another and “are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love,” according to an English translation.

Still, Ahmadinejad denounced what he called a “continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation.” He also criticized intimidation through nuclear weapons and “wrong management of the world” by the “self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil,” an apparent dig at the U.S. and other Western powers.



September 27, 2012

First-Time Jobless Applications Plunge

Source: The Hill

First-time jobless claims fell sharply last week, a positive sign in the job market's slow recovery.

Those filing for unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to a u a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the best showing in more than two months, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week moving average, which is a better indicator of the job market's trend, also dropped, down 4,500 to to 374,000, after rising for six weeks.

The figure is finally back below the 375,000 economists argue reflects a healthier job market and a hiring pace by employers that is fast enough to bring down the unemployment rate, which now sits at 8.1 percent.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/economy/258911-first-time-jobless-applications-plunge

September 27, 2012

Assange Mocks Obama Via Video At U.N. Event

By Brian Winter

UNITED NATIONS | Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:24pm EDT

(Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking via a choppy video feed from his virtual house arrest in London, lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday for supporting freedom of speech in the Middle East while simultaneously "persecuting" his organization for leaking diplomatic cables.

Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy since June to avoid extradition, made the comments at a packed event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Assange mocked Obama for defending free speech in the Arab world in an address to the United Nations on Tuesday, pointing to his own experience as evidence that Obama has "done more to criminalize free speech than any other U.S. president."

"It must have come as a surprise to the Egyptian teenagers who washed American teargas out of their eyes (during the Arab Spring) to hear that the U.S. supported change in the Middle East," Assange said.

"It's time for President Obama to keep his word ... and for the U.S. to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks," he said.


September 26, 2012

Ahmadinejad Tells UN 'Uncivilized Zionists' Continue To Threaten Iran

By Haaretz and Reuters

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the podium on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly in New York, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States will "do what it must" to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran is under threat of military action from "uncivilized Zionists," a clear reference to Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, saying that such threats from big powers are designedto force nations into submission.

"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example ofthis bitter reality," Ahmadinejad said in a 33-minute speech.

Taking place on the Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur, it was the Iranian president's eighth appearance before the 193-nation assembly and his last before his second and final term ends next year.



September 26, 2012

US To Boycott Iran Leader's Speech At UN Summit

Source: Agence France-Presse

(AFP) – 55 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Wednesday slammed "repulsive slurs" against Israel by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said it would boycott his speech at the UN General Assembly.

Ahmadinejad, whose country faces growing pressure over its nuclear program, is one of the most high-profile speakers at the UN summit on Wednesday. He has made a series of comments attacking Israel and the West while in New York.

"Over the past couple of days, we've seen Mr. Ahmadinejad once again use his trip to the UN not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people but to instead spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel," said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman of the US mission to the United Nations,

"It's particularly unfortunate that Mr. Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend," Pelton added.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gHmkqBfUlhY0tIb9hRW6FgGVODLg?docId=CNG.de604054b6d86086cf9ea9d62727675f.81

September 26, 2012

Sales of New U.S. Homes Hover Near a Two-Year High

Source: Bloomberg

Purchases of new U.S. homes hovered in August near a two-year high, adding to signs that the housing market is on the way to recovery.

Sales fell 0.3 percent to a 373,000 annual pace following a revised 374,000 rate in July that was higher than previously estimated and the strongest since April 2010, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 380,000.

Record-low borrowing costs continue to attract buyers, lifting demand for homebuilders, while a drop in the supply of foreclosed homes is easing downward pressure on prices. Federal Reserve policy makers have targeted the housing market with further accommodation measures in order to spur growth and reduce unemployment.

“If you have good credit and you’re not upside-down on your home, it’s a great time to buy a house,” Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. “Folks who have a job and have held onto a job throughout all of the financial crisis and the weak recovery are moving on with their lives.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/sales-of-new-u-s-homes-hover-near-a-two-year-high.html

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