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U.S. Gives Ally Afghanistan Special Security Status

Hillary Clinton, Hamid Karzai
© Reuters/Omar Sobhani
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai hold a joint news conference in Kabul July 7, 2012.
Washington declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally on Saturday, a largely symbolic status reinforcing its message to Afghans that they will not be abandoned as the war winds down.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the decision, made by President Barack Obama, during her unannounced visit to Kabul where she met President Hamid Karzai on the eve of a major donors' conference in Tokyo which will draw pledges for aid.

The status upgrade may help Afghanistan acquire U.S. defense supplies and have greater access to U.S. training as the Afghan army takes more responsibility for the country's security ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of most NATO combat troops.

"Please know that the United States will be your friend and your partner. We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan. Quite the opposite," Clinton told a press briefing with Karzai before jetting off to Tokyo.

Obama's decision meets a pledge he made on a visit to Afghanistan this year to upgrade Kabul to a special security status given to only a limited number of U.S. partners -- including close allies like Israel and Japan -- which are not members of NATO.

Participants at the Tokyo meeting are expected to commit just under $4 billion annually in development aid for Afghanistan at Sunday's meeting, though the central bank has said the country needs at least $6 billion a year to foster economic growth over the next decade.

This is on top of the $4.1 billion committed annually by NATO and its partners for Afghanistan's security forces, pledged at a Chicago summit in May.

U.S. officials with Clinton declined to say how much aid the United States would pledge, which has significantly reduced aid since the peak year of 2010 when more than $6 billion was given, two thirds from Washington.

Dollar

The Biggest Financial Scam In World History

Why Is the Libor Scandal So Important to You?

There have been numerous big banking scandals recently.

But the Libor scandal is the biggest financial scam in world history. See this and this.

The former CEO of Barclays said today that banks across the world were fixing interest rates in the run-up to the financial crisis .


Professor of economics and law Bill Black notes:
It is the largest rigging of prices in the history of the world by many orders of magnitude.

Crusader

A Biblical Threat to National Security

soldiers/Bible
© Associated Press
A military Bible paints war as religious devotion. What could go wrong?

Can a Bible be a "threat to national security"?

For years, the government has employed the risk of "national security" excuse to infringe on a wide range of freedoms - like the right to pass through an airport security checkpoint unmolested, or read library books without Big Brother peeking over your shoulder.

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein is trying to prove that there is more than one way to put the country at risk, and he's found it in a heretofore unlikely place: the Bible.

Well, the Holman Bible. To be more exact, a version of the Bible that, for reasons still undetermined, was authorized with the trademarked official insignia of the U.S. Armed Forces emblazoned on the front cover. There is The Soldier's Bible with the Army's seal, The Marine's Bible with the Marine Corps seal, The Sailor's Bible and The Airman's Bible, both with their respective insignia. The books have been sold for nearly six years throughout Christian bookstores, commissaries and PXs on U.S. military installations - and are still available on Christianbook.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

It's not the King James Version that the Gideons leave behind in hotel rooms drawers. The Holman Bible was commissioned and published by LifeWay Christian Resources, a subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Baptist denomination in the world, in 2003.

In a 1999 press release announcing the edition's progress, Broadman & Holman Publishers called the new version "a fresh, precise translation of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek of the Old and New Testaments." LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. weighed in, saying there was a "serious need for a 21st-century Bible translation in American English that combines accuracy and readability," adding, "the Holman Christian Standard Bible is an accurate, literal rendering with a smoothness and readability that invites memorization, reading aloud and dedicated study."

Bad Guys

Why no sanctions on the United States? A long and bloody record of 'crimes against peace'

President Obama presents former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, May 29, 2012, despite her role in and public defense of the war crimes of the Clinton administration.
© Unknown
President Obama presents former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, May 29, 2012, despite her role in and public defense of the war crimes of the Clinton administration.
July 1 marked the start of a new round of sanctions designed to destroy the economy of Iran, create widespread suffering among the Iranian people, and thereby effect regime change in that country. The ostensible reason for the sanctions is that Iran has a nuclear program, which Washington and its allies allege is leading to the development of nuclear weapons. The Iranian government has denied any such intention, stating that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Iran is far from the first country to suffer from a cutoff or sharp reduction in trade due to sanctions. Over the past several decades, the U.S. - sometimes through the United Nations Security Council, sometimes in coordination with its imperialist allies, sometimes on its own - has imposed sanctions, embargoes and blockades on dozens of countries. Some of the sanctions regimes have lasted for decades, in the case of Cuba a half-century.

The justifications for imposing sanctions have included alleged human rights violations, lack of democracy, military aggression in violation of international law, and engaging in terrorist acts. But a giant asterisk must be attached here, with a notation reading: "Not applicable to the United States, its imperialist allies, surrogates and puppets."

USA

Can The World Survive Washington's Hubris?

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© anunews.net
When President Reagan nominated me as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, he told me that we had to restore the US economy, to rescue it from stagflation, in order to bring the full weight of a powerful economy to bear on the Soviet leadership in order to convince them to negotiate the end of the cold war. Reagan said that there was no reason to live any longer under the threat of nuclear war.

The Reagan administration achieved both goals, only to see these accomplishments discarded by successor administrations. It was Reagan's own vice president and successor, George Herbert Walker Bush, who first violated the Reagan-Gorbachev understandings by incorporating former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire into NATO and taking Western military bases to the Russian frontier.

The process of surrounding Russia with military bases continued unabated through successor US administrations with various "color revolutions" financed by the US National Endowment for Democracy, regarded by many as a front for the CIA. Washington even attempted to install a Washington-controlled government in Ukraine and did succeed in this effort in former Soviet Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. The President of Georgia, a country located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, is a Washington puppet. Recently, he announced that former Soviet Georgia is on schedule to become a NATO member in 2014.

Those old enough to remember know that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was an alliance between Western Europe and the US against the threat of the Red Army overrunning Western Europe. The North Atlantic is a long, long ways from the Black and Caspian Seas. What is the purpose of Georgia being a NATO member except to give Washington a military base on the Russian underbelly?

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Washington--both parties--have Russia and China targeted. Whether the purpose is to destroy both countries or merely to render them unable to oppose Washington's world hegemony is unclear at this time. Regardless of the purpose, nuclear war is the likely outcome.

Eye 1

Psychopathy and the CEO: Top executives have four times the incidence of psychopathy as the rest of us

psychopath
© unknown
Your child could grow up to be a psychopath and that may not be a bad thing.

He or she just might wind up a CEO.

The hallowed halls of business have more than a fair share of successful psychopaths, many of them CEOs and top executives, research shows.

A recent wave of interest in testing children for psychopathy is shining a light on the biology and psychology of psychopaths. University of Pennsylvania criminologist and psychopathy expert Adrian Raine believes medical tests might help determine whether a child will be a psychopath when he or she grows up.

Hourglass

Inquiry into Army's Killing of Civilians on Bloody Sunday to be Launched by Northern Ireland Police

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© AP
Pallbearers carry one of 13 coffins of Bloody Sunday victims after the requiem mass at St Mary's church at Creggan Hill in 1972
Up to 30 officers will investigate 1972 massacre, in what the brother of a victim called a step in the right direction

Northern Ireland's chief constable, Matt Baggott, has confirmed that his officers would be conducting a murder inquiry into the army's killing of 13 civilians on Bloody Sunday 40 years ago.

Up to 30 officers are expected to join the inquiry team, although the head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland was unable to say when the inquiry would begin.

Some of the families of the Bloody Sunday dead have called for members of the Parachute Regiment involved in the 1972 massacre - one of the biggest atrocities of the Troubles - to be arrested and face prosecutions over the shootings.

Dollar

Gloomy jobs report raises pressure on the Fed

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© Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
People wait in line to enter a job fair in New York.
Friday's disappointing June jobs report confirms observers' worst fears about the economic recovery: The employment market is still struggling and failing to put enough Americans back to work.

The dour employment data are also likely to raise pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to bolster the economy, and have negative implications for President Barack Obama's chances of re-election in November.

The Labor Department said non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling just short of forecasts for 90,000 jobs, but improving slightly on a revised reading of 77,000 jobs in May. The private sector expanded by only 84,000, while government jobs declined by 4,000.

Job creation during the month wasn't robust enough to reduce the country's unemployment rate, which held fast at 8.2 percent, extending its three-plus-year run above 8 percent.

"It's not great," Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, told CNBC, referring to the payrolls number. "But the recovery is intact and moving forward, and hopefully [the economy will] gain some strength later in the year."

Comment: The difference between Obama and Romney varies little on any political if at all. Romney has the advantage of not being the current President is the difference at this point. So what may come?
17 Reasons To Be Extremely Concerned About The Second Half Of 2012
21 Signs That This Could Be A Long, Hot, Crazy Summer For The Global Financial System


Star of David

The Secret Wars of the Saudi-Israeli Alliance

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© Unknown
As an old Chinese proverb says, crisis can be used as an opportunity by some.

Tel Aviv, Washington and NATO are taking advantage of the upheavals in the Arab World. Not only are they fighting against the legitimate aspirations of the Arab people, they are manipulating the Arab geo-political landscape as part of their strategy to control Eurasia.

Sectarian Conflicts in Egypt: A Means to Weaken the Egyptian State

Egypt is ruled by a counter-revolutionary military junta. Despite the increasing assertiveness of the Egyptian people, the old regime is still in place. Yet, its foundations are becoming shakier as the Egyptian people become more radical in their demands.

Like in the Mubarak era, the military regime in Cairo is also allowing sectarianism to spread in Egypt in an effort to create divisions within Egyptian society. In early-2011 when Egyptians stormed government buildings they discovered secret papers that showed that the regime was behind the attacks on Egypt's Christian community.

Recently, so-called Salafist extremists have attacked Egyptian minorities including Christians but also Shiite Muslims. Egyptian activists and leaders in the Coptic and Shia community are pointing their fingers at the military junta in Cairo, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The Egyptian military junta, Tel Aviv, and the Al-Sauds are all part of an ominous alliance. This grouping is the backbone of the U.S. imperial structure in the Arab World. They are dependent on Washington. They prevail inasmuch as the U.S. remains dominant in Southwest Asia and North Africa.

The Al-Sauds are now working with Washington in Egypt to establish a supposedly Islamic government. This is being done through political parties that the Al-Sauds have funded and helped organize. The new so-called Salafist movements are primary examples of this. It also appears that the Muslim Brotherhood or at least branches of it have been co-opted.

Target

"It's Final" U.S. Will Strike Iran, Says Debka Saudi Informant

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The triggering event to WWIII could be as early as October, according to Debka-Net-Weekly's intelligence moles. Iran cannot be allowed to sell Iranian oil for any other currency other than the U.S. dollar - a fatal mistake Iraq's Saddam Hussein made in his quest to lead the charge to undermine U.S. dollar hegemony in 2000.

"It is already decided," one Saudi prince told an unnamed European official, according to Debka-Net-Weekly. When asked by the 'European' if America will back out of the hatched plan to strike Iran, the prince said, "Anything can happen, of course. But this time we're sure the American decision to attack is final and we are already making appropriate preparations."

However, according to the source, the prince doesn't know if a strike on Iran will come before or after the elections in November. But, "the question now isn't if the Americans will attack Iran, but when," the prince said.

Comment: Debka is connected to Israeli intelligence, which of course can mean one of two things: either it publishes information from people in a position to know, or it publishes inaccurate reports which suit their propaganda agendas.