Puppet MastersS


Rocket

Iran threatens to 'strike out' at any intervention in Syria


President Bashar al-Assad's regime has friends in the region poised "to strike out" in the event of an intervention into Syria, says a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The warning was particularly sent to "hated" Arab countries.

­"None of Syria's friends or the great front of resistance has yet entered the scene, and in the event that this happens, decisive blows will be struck at the enemy, especially the hated Arab rulers," Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a spokesman of the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fars news agency.

No country in particular was mentioned. Iran remains a key ally of official Damascus, while leaders of such Gulf countries as Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar openly support Syrian rebels.

The hawkish rhetoric heard from Iran comes on top of the exchange over Syria's chemical and biological arsenal, which the Arab country pledged Monday not to use against its own population, but only to combat "foreign aggressors."

Comment: Looks like Israel will get the war it so much desires after all.

With all this warmongering taking place as the world experiences the effects of bizarre weather - including cosmic weather - we are reminded of Victor Clube's assertion that military activity is needed to mask celestial events. See:

Reign of Fire: Meteorites, Wildfires, Planetary Chaos and the Sixth Extinction


Pirates

Best of the Web: Eurozone danger mounts as Spain spins out of control

Spain is battling to avert a fully-fledged sovereign rescue after borrowing costs spiralled out of control, with dangerous knock-on effects in Italy and Eastern Europe.
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© ReutersA worker sweeps outside Madrid's bourse on Monday.

The yields on closely-watched two-year debt surged by 78 basis points to a modern-era high of 6.42pc, leaving it unclear how long the country can continue funding itself. Italy's two-year yields vaulted to 4.6pc.

"We can't keep going like this for another 15 days," said Prof Miguel Angel Bernal from Madrid's Institute of Market Studies. "The European Central Bank has to bring out its heavy artillery."

Andrew Roberts, credit chief at Royal Bank of Scotland, said the dramatic spike in short-term borrowing costs marked a key inflexion point in the crisis, replicating the pattern seen in Greece, Ireland and Portugal as they lost access to market finance. "We are fast approaching the endgame," he said.

Exchange clearer LCH Clearnet raised margin requirements on both Spanish and Italian bonds, a move that will automatically cause further selling by some funds.

Comment: There's the story of a country who got out from under the IMF, ECB and World Bank Rule:
Iceland forgives mortgage debt of its population
Iceland, who was: "Bullied" Over Bank Debt
Iceland where there was a: Peaceful Revolution Ignored by Mainstream Media


Dollar

Rich hide at least $21 trillion in tax havens

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© Ken PyneBarclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorganChase, BOA..
Thanks to lax international tax rules the world's super rich have siphoned at least $21 trillion -- more than 50 percent larger than the entire U.S. economy -- into secretive tax-free havens, according to a study by UK campaign group Tax Justice Network.

The report by James Henry, a former chief economist at international consultancy McKinsey & Co., shows how with the help of private banks the money has flowed into countries such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

"We're basically talking about a black hole in the world economy," Henry told NBCNews.com.

The figure of $21 trillion in off-shore funds is conservative and the true sum could be as high as $32 trillion, Henry said.

According to the study, the world's top 50 private banks managed more than $12.3 trillion in 2010 in off-shore financial assets, up from $7.5 trillion five years earlier.

Telephone

UK Hacking Scandal Spreads, 100-Plus New Claims

Rupert Murdoch
© PANews of the world, Rupert Murdoch leaving News International
London - British police are investigating new tabloids in the country's growing phone hacking scandal, including the Trinity Mirror PLC newspaper group as well as the U.K.'s Express Newspapers, a senior Scotland Yard official said Monday.

More than 100 new allegations of "data intrusion" also are being probed.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers' comments to a judge-led inquiry into media ethics indicated that the scandal, which erupted last year at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World and has involved hundreds of victims, could end up burning the now-defunct tabloid's U.K. competitors as well.

Akers gave as an example payments of tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) allegedly made to the same prison officer by all three newspaper groups.

"Our assessment is that there are reasonable grounds to suspect offenses have been committed and that the majority of these stories reveal very limited material of genuine public interest," Akers told Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is leading a government inquiry into media misbehavior set up in the wake of the scandal.

Separately, prosecutors said they would announce Tuesday whether to levy criminal charges against an unspecified number of people caught up in the investigation.

So far more than 40 journalists and public officials have been arrested as part of the sprawling inquiry. Only a handful, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, have been charged. Brooks has denied any wrongdoing

Airplane

Drone Strikes Kill 14 in North Waziristan

drones espías‎
© hispantv.com
Miranshah: Fourteen people, some of them said to be suspected militants, were killed and a number of others injured in a US drone attack in Shawal Valley of the volatile North Waziristan tribal region on Monday night.

Official and tribal sources said drones fired eight missiles and pounded a house at Dre Nishtar village in mountainous Shawal Valley, about 90 kilometres southwest of Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.

The death toll could rise as, according to sources, some of the injured were said to be in critical condition and medical facilities are not available in the remote forest-covered valley.

Tribal sources said the people had gathered for Iftar-dinner in the courtyard of the house when the drones attacked them. They said most of the victims died on the spot and their bodies were damaged beyond recognition.

Comment: For more information about the use of drones please read:
Celebrating our "Warrior President"
Obama's Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit
Spy in the Sky: Is It Only a Matter of Time Before Drone Technology is Used in Civil Society?
Police State: "Robots R'US": Military-Style Drones on 63 Military Bases In The USA


Question

Batman Massacre: TSA-Style Screenings Now at Movie Theaters?

james holmes
© unknownJames Holmes
In the wake of a massacre at a Batman showing in Colorado, fears are arising that the government will use the shooting to implement TSA-inspired molestations at theaters. What is your opinion? Do you believe this is possible?

Since the Friday shooting at the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, the Twitterverse was filled with postings from people worried about multiplex security patting down folks and searching their bags.

The National Association of Theatre Owners has already announced intentions to collaborate with police on new "security procedures," whatever that means.

You can expect the government to completely overreact to the massacre. Already, people are calling for stricter gun laws, and new screening measures are not far behind.

"I was seriously full on molested by TSA in London coming back from Italy & now we will probably start having it in movie theaters," tweeted a woman named Victoria Lewis.

Bizarro Earth

Philippine Leader Says He Won't Yield in Territorial Dispute with China, Will Bolster Military

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© The Associated Press/Bullit MarquezProtesters burn an effigy depicting Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Uncle Sam to coincide with the president's State of the Nation address Monday, July 23, 2012 at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Aquino III is to deliver his third State of the Nation address Monday with thousands of protesters accusing him of not doing enough especially in alleviating poverty.
Manila, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said Monday that the Philippines won't back down in a South China Sea dispute with China and that his country's military will soon get dozens of new aircraft and ships for maritime defence.

Aquino announced in his annual state of the nation address that more than 40 military aircraft - including attack helicopters and two newly refurbished C-130 cargo planes - and other weapons would be delivered in the next two years to bolster Philippine military muscle amid renewed territorial tensions in the South China Sea.

A second former U.S. Coast Guard cutter is to arrive soon from the United States, following a refurbished cutter that was relaunched by the Philippine navy last year as its largest and most modern warship.

Washington has also provided $30 million to strengthen the Philippine military in addition to helping establish a national coast watch centre to help protect the country's 36,000-kilometre (22,370-mile) coastline, Aquino said.

But he stressed that the Philippines hopes to forge a peaceful solution that will be acceptable to China.

Arrow Up

Egypt Lifts Gaza Blockade to Allow Palestinians Free Entry

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© AFP Photo / Said KhatibPalestinian boys hold a poster of children reading "Rescue Gaza" as another flashes the victory sign near the southern Gaza Strip's Rafah border crossing with Egypt
With an Islamist president in power, Egypt has eased longtime visa restrictions on Palestinians traveling from Gaza, ending its longtime assistance in Israel's siege of the area.

­Cairo lifted visa requirements for Gazans under 40 traveling with a family to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said Monday.

"We were officially informed by the Egyptian side of a decision to allow any Palestinian under the age of 40 to travel through Rafah with his family without a visa, starting today," said Maher Abu Sabha, director of borders within Gaza's Hamas-run government.mary

Bad Guys

'Downing Street Memo' Redux: Is the Intelligence Fix on Iran Already Underway?

Tony Blair selphie
Recent remarks by Sir John Sawers, who heads Britain's MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service that is Britain's CIA counterpart), leave us wondering if Sawers is preparing to "fix" intelligence on Iran, as his immediate predecessor, Sir John Scarlett, did on Iraq.

Scarlett's pre-Iraq war role in creating "dodgy dossiers" hyping the threat of non-existent "weapons of mass destruction" is relatively well known. On July 4, the red warning light for politicization was again flashing brightly in London, as Sawers told British senior civil servants that Iran is "two years away" from becoming a "nuclear weapons state." How did Sawers come up with "two years?"

Handcuffs

Busting the Obama GITMO myth: Ten years caged without trial and still counting

Ramzi Binalshibh
© AP/Janet HamlinAccused Sept. 11 co-conspirator Ramzi Binalshibh is shown while attending his military hearing at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.
New vindictive restrictions on detainees highlights the falsity of Obama defenders regarding closing the camp.

Most of the 168 detainees at Guantanamo have been imprisoned by the U.S. Government for close to a decade without charges and with no end in sight to their captivity. Some now die at Guantanamo, thousands of miles away from their homes and families, without ever having had the chance to contest accusations of guilt. During the Bush years, the plight of these detainees was a major source of political controversy, but under Obama, it is now almost entirely forgotten. On those rare occasions when it is raised, Obama defenders invoke a blatant myth to shield the President from blame: he wanted and tried so very hard to end all of this, but Congress would not let him. Especially now that we're in an Election Year, and in light of very recent developments, it's long overdue to document clearly how misleading that excuse is.