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Fri, 24 Mar 2023
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Obama cancels public speech in Rio square: embassy

© Agence France-Presse
A Brazilian army armoured personnel carrier takes position at one corner of Marechal Floriano Square, in the heart of Cinelandia, in front of the Municipal Theatre (background), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. President Barack Obama has cancelled a public speech he was scheduled to deliver Sunday in the Rio square during his upcoming visit to Brazil, the US embassy in Brasilia said.
President Barack Obama has cancelled a public speech he was scheduled to deliver Sunday in a Rio square during his upcoming visit to Brazil, the US embassy in Brasilia said.

The speech in the historic plaza known as Cinelandia, in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, "is cancelled," an embassy spokeswoman told AFP.

Obama instead will deliver remarks at Rio's Municipal Theatre, the official said, without specifying whether it would be open to the public or exclusively for invited guests.

No explanation for the change of venue was given by the embassy. Brazilian authorities have laid out a heavy security presence for Obama's two-day visit to South America's largest nation, and police in Rio had closed numerous streets from midnight Thursday in preparation.

On Thursday, members of an advance US security team were seen inspecting the surroundings of Cinelandia, where anti-US banners could be seen hanging from a road-side fence.


US Cost of Living Hits Record, Passing Pre-Crisis High

One would think that after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Americans could at least catch a break for a while with deflationary forces keeping the cost of living relatively low. That's not the case.

A special index created by the Labor Department to measure the actual cost of living for Americans hit a record high in February, according to data released Thursday, surpassing the old high in July 2008. The Chained Consumer Price Index, released along with the more widely-watched CPI, increased 0.5 percent to 127.4, from 126.8 in January. In July 2008, just as the housing crisis was tightening its grip, the Chained Consumer Price Index hit its previous record of 126.9.

"The Federal Reserve continues to focus on the rate of change in inflation," said Peter Bookvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak. "Sure, it's moving at a slower pace, but the absolute cost of living is now back at a record high in a country that has seven million less jobs."

The regular CPI, which has already been at a record for a while, increased 0.5 percent, the fastest pace in 1-1/2 years. However, the Fed's preferred measure, CPI excluding food and energy, increased by just 0.2 percent.

"This speaks to the need for the Fed to include food and energy when they look at inflation rather than regard them as transient costs," said Stephen Weiss of Short Hills Capital. "Perhaps the best way to look at this is to calculate a moving average over a certain period of time in order to smooth out the peaks and valleys."

Bad Guys

Israel says holding missing Palestinian

© Associated Press
Dirar Abu Sisi
State says 42-year old Palestinian engineer abducted in Ukraine being interrogated in prison.

Israel admitted for the first time Sunday that it is holding a 42-year old Palestinian engineer who went missing in Ukraine over a month ago. The state said it had detained Dirar Abu Sisi in order to interrogate him.

The admission came after the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court decided to partially lift a gag order imposed on the case since it was made public by foreign news agencies.

On March 10 the UN accused Israel of having kidnapped Abu Sisi. A spokeswoman for Ukraine's Interior Ministry, Viktoria Kushnir, said he went missing "under unknown circumstances" in the early hours of Feb. 19 after boarding a train in the eastern city of Kharkiv bound for the capital Kiev.

Abu Sisi's Ukrainian wife, Veronika, 32, claimed that the Israeli secret service Mossad carried out the abduction in order to sabotage a key electric power plant in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip where he worked as a senior manager.


Palin warns: 'China is preparing to launch a military offensive' as she continues her own charm offensive in India

The former Governor of Alaska and reality TV star Sarah Palin has suggested China is preparing itself to launch a military offensive.

She questioned why the Far East country was stockpiling ballistic missiles, submarines and 'new-age, ultramodern aircraft' seemed unjustified when it did not face an outside threat.

'What's with the military buildup?' She said. 'China's military growth can't just be for defensive purposes.'

Speaking to an audience of business leaders and socialites on a rare foreign trip to India, she added she has not ruled out a Presidential run in 2012 and stressed the importance of shared free-market values.

In her New Delhi appearance she warned: 'We're going to need each other, especially as these other regions rise' in an apparent reference to China.

Comment: Reading between the lines: My brief will be to start a war with China.

Heart - Black

The New Robber Barons: All Politicians "In the Hands of the Super Wealthy," Sachs Says

The cataclysm in Japan pushed it off the front page, but last Friday was a landmark day in America as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a controversial bill restricting the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

There's been a lot of talk, here and elsewhere, about whether the standoff in Wisconsin was about pure economics or partisan politics. (See: Wisconsin Lt. Gov: This Is About Balancing the Budget, Not Political Payback)

"It's pretty clear there's an agenda nationwide: Republican governors backed by the Koch Brothers [and] extreme right wing money want to crush the unions," says Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs. "The public is against it, but public opinion doesn't count much in this country these days."


Keiser Report: Mad Mob vs Midwest Mubaraks

This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, report on the rathole to the Walker palace and a secret silver investor. In the second half of the show, Max talks to media historian and critical theorist, Michael Betancourt, about agnotologic capitalism and the aura of the digital.

Comment: Readers are encouraged to read this article to understand the truth about smoking

Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco


Real ID Mandatory State Compliance by May 11, 2011?

Real ID

In what could only be described as a Masterpiece in Incrementalism, the long awaited Real ID System is now mandating that states be in compliance by May 11, 2011.
The REAL ID Act of 2005 requires state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards to meet federal standards by a certain date in order to be accepted for federal purposes. What is that date? All 56 U.S. jurisdictions received an initial extension through Dec. 31, 2009, from the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In December 2009, the secretary issued a statement to waive that deadline. States must now be in full-compliance by May 11, 2011. What is the penalty for non-compliance? Residents in non-compliant states will not be able to use their driver's license to board commercial aircraft, gain access to federal facilities or enter nuclear power plants. - National Conference of State Legislatures
Of particular interest are the latest entries on the NCSL website, which are detailed below.


"Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?" Farrakhan Blasts Obama For Calling For Qaddafi to Step Down

Farrakhan goes on a rant on Chicago radio about Obama calling for Qaddafi to step down, this is from yesterday


White House wants new copyright law crackdown

Joe Biden, Victoria Espinel
© Whitehouse.gov
Victoria Espinel, the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, with Vice President Joe Biden during an event last year.
The White House today proposed sweeping revisions to U.S. copyright law, including making "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony and allowing FBI agents to wiretap suspected infringers.

In a 20-page white paper (PDF), the Obama administration called on the U.S. Congress to fix "deficiencies that could hinder enforcement" of intellectual property laws.

The report was prepared by Victoria Espinel, the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator who received Senate confirmation in December 2009, and represents a broad tightening of many forms of intellectual property law including ones that deal with counterfeit pharmaceuticals and overseas royalties for copyright holders. (See CNET's report last month previewing today's white paper.)


Qureshi demands govt to solve Davis' release mystery

 Shah Mahmood Qureshi
© unknown
Shah Mahmood Qureshi
While asking the government to come clean about the mysterious release of US national Raymond Davis, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday said that a few "rotten fish" cannot be allowed to pollute the whole pond and determine nation's fate.

"It is now time for honest, clean and visionary leaders to come forward and to remove the real rotten eggs from the party", Qureshi said in a defiant tone while speaking at "Meet the Press" programme of Lahore Press Club.

He held what he called "a few rotten fish" within the government responsible for the present mess the country was in, demanding cleansing of political parties and removal of rotten eggs from the PPP. "A very small group is bent upon damaging the whole democratic system", he said.

Despite reporters' insistence to expose those "rotten fish" and "rotten eggs" he was talking about, Qureshi confined himself to saying that "I am not carrying these in my pocket to show them to you". He said he was not here to point fingers at some body. He told the reporters that there existed a group within the PPP which lacked vision and futuristic approach. When asked if he saw any political change in near future, he said people wanted visible change in government's attitude and its style of governance.

Citing his recent visits to various parts of the country, he said that PPP workers were in a state of despair owing to wrong policies of their government. "Many told me that it was becoming highly difficult for them to defend their party's government at Mohallah and street level on different issues", he averred, adding that workers were annoyed with the government and party may suffer great loss in coming elections.