Thursday, July 24, 2008

EU threatens to make U.S. diplomats get visas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
The European Commission will propose forcing U.S. diplomats to get visas to travel to the European Union from January 2009 unless Washington moves toward granting citizens of all EU states visa-free entry.
"Citizens of 12 EU member states continue to require a visa when traveling to the United States," a statement said.

"Therefore, the Commission will propose retaliatory measures e.g. temporary restoration of the visa requirement for U.S. nationals holding diplomatic and service/official passports as from January 1, 2009 if no progress is achieved."

Read more: EU threatens to make US

Friday, July 18, 2008

Brown has no authority to ratify the EU Constitution : William Hague

"Gordon Brown has no democratic or moral authority to sign Britain up to the renamed EU Constitution. This move is a total breach of trust with the British people and a flagrant breach of his solemn election promise to the British people. It is a sign of how arrogant and out of touch this Labour Government has become that they are totally uninterested in what the British people want on Europe. "
It also means that the Government are joining in the ugly bullying of the Irish people, who have clearly rejected this Treaty. Trying to push ahead with the EU Treaty shows an utter lack of respect for the Irish voters' democratic decision."
As long as the Irish decision is not reversed the EU Treaty will not be in force at the next general election. A new Conservative Government would then take back the instruments of ratification and put the Treaty to a referendum, recommending a 'no' vote. That is the honourable and democratic thing to do."
Read more: William Hague: Brown has no
Rt Hon William Hague MP17/07/2008

Britain ratifies beleaguered EU

LONDON (AFP) — Britain has formally ratified the European Union's beleaguered new reform treaty, whose future was plunged into doubt when Irish voters rejected it last month, a spokesman said Thursday.

The final stage in approving the Lisbon Treaty was completed when the "instruments of ratification" were filed in Rome, some four weeks after it was passed by parliament in London.

"The documents were lodged in Rome yesterday," said a Foreign Office spokesman, referring to the official papers, sealed and bound in blue leather, which were handed to the Italian foreign ministry...
Read more:
Britain ratifies beleaguered EU
EU Lisbon treaty officially ratified by UK

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It’s worse than we feared and there’s more pain to come, but it will pass

Gerard Baker

The spectacle of customers queueing outside a small California bank on Monday to withdraw their deposits was unsettling enough for an American public already traumatised by a year-long financial crisis.

But there were two things about the collapse of IndyMac, a lender based in Pasadena, just outside Los Angeles, that were especially troubling.

The first was that, as the federal authorities moved in to rescue the failed lender, they revealed that they had for some time been compiling a lengthy list of banks around the country that, because of their mounting difficulties, had been placed on a kind of death watch.

The scarier thing was that IndyMac was not even on the list.
Read more: It’s worse than we feared and

Global stocks dive on scepticism over US mortgage rescues

LONDON (AFP) - World equity markets and the dollar fell heavily on Tuesday on scepticism that a dramatic weekend US government rescue of two mortgage giants would contain crisis in American finance.

European equities sank after more steep losses on Wall Street and in Asia, despite an exceptional US rescue on Sunday to increase...

"Asian equities slumped following disclosures by many banks of bond holdings in US agencies, with financials leading the move lower.

"Concerns in the US as to whether more banks are going to collapse has added to the market malaise which...

The dollar, meanwhile, plummeted to a fresh historic low against the European single currency. A strong euro, which hit a record high 1.6038 dollars, makes eurozone exports more expensive for importers paying in dollars.

Major banks were hit by worries about their exposure to debt securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...
Read more:
Global stocks dive on scepticism over US mortgage rescues (AFP)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

U.S. bank shares plummet amid stability fears

The shares of major U.S. banks plunged on Monday amid fears about the sector's stability following Friday's seizure by regulators of IndyMac Bancorp Inc as withdrawals by panicked depositors led to the third- largest U.S. banking failure.

"It's the cockroach theory. You don't just have one bank failure -- when you have a big bank go under, there's always more than one," said James Ellman, president of hedge fund Seacliff Capital

Read all: US bank shares plummet amid

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NINETY-FIVE per cent of readers would vote to leave the European Union if a referendum was held on Britain’s membership.

The staggering figure comes in the wake of Gordon Brown’s refusal to hold a referendum on the hated Lisbon Treaty - despite promising to at the last general election.

UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage said...“Over the last few years we have seen how the EU are prepared to bypass the democratic will of the people by ignoring the results of referendums.

“Our own government was so scared of the result here that they refused to allow us to have a say on our future."It's clear that if we want to remain a sovereign nation then the only way is out: It's time we governed ourselves again."

One MyExpress member said:
In 1973 we joined the EEC to TRADE only
Read more: 95% SAY QUIT THE EU

Friday, July 11, 2008

Israel hints at pre-emptive attack on Iran

By Rupert Cornwell in WashingtonFriday, 11 July 2008

The sabre-rattling over Iran's nuclear progamme has grown louder as a defiant Tehran claimed to have conducted missile tests for a second day running, the US warned that it would defend its interests and its allies in the region, and Israel hinted it was ready to stage a preventive attack to destroy Iranian nuclear installations...

Read more:

Israel hints at pre-emptive
Iran fires more test missiles
Iranians test-fire missile capable of hitting Israel


Iran and Israel build up their bluffing game

All fired up Iranian missiles not a hit with Israel

Real or not, Iranian missile fire must stop: US

Missiles with a message

Petrol hits $1.75, recession tipped

The latest surge in petrol prices have also boosted fears the Australian economy could be sliding towards recession...
Read more: Petrol hits $1.75, recession tipped

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

EU needs stronger defense capabilities

France says Europe needs stronger defense capabilities, with more helicopters, transport aircraft and space-based surveillance.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says that over the next decade, the EU must become strong enough to run two long-term peacekeeping missions at the same time along with other, smaller missions.
Kouchner says Europe also needs to build its abilities to safeguard its sea lanes.
Kouchner was speaking Monday at a conference on strengthening ties between the 27-nation EU and NATO.
Read more:
France: EU needs stronger defense capabilities
France urges Europe to strengthen Nato
France determined to build European defence: Kouchner

European Union Told They Are Subject To Sharia Law

In a brazen attempt to stifle free speech in the West, a Jordanian court recently summoned twelve European citizens to answer criminal charges of blasphemy and inciting hatred.

Among those sought by the court is Geert Wilders, the Dutch liberal politician who made the anti-Islamist film, Fitna. Released last March, the Dutch MP’s production caused an uproar in Islamic countries, since it equated Islam with violence. Now a Middle Eastern court would like to prosecute Wilders for the “crime.” (Ironically, a Dutch court dropped charges against him for inciting hatred against Muslims with his film the day before the Jordanian court issued its subpoena.)

The Jordanian court’s move is only the most ambitious attempt to silence debate about Islam. Until now, the preferred strategy has been to file civil lawsuits in western courts to intimidate critics. The latest version of what may be called the legal jihad is even more disturbing.

This new campaign of intimidation against the West is being mounted by a Jordanian organization calling itself “Messenger of Allah Unite Us”, which is made up of “… media outlets, professional associations, parliamentarians and thousands of volunteers...
Read more: European Union Told They Are Subject To Sharia Law

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gloomy times ahead for world economy


In recent weeks inflation has worsened, complicating the already difficult problems caused by financial turmoil, the onset of recession and the decline in stock markets. The world economy and developing countries are in f...

THOSE who had harboured some hope that the global financial crisis is over and that the world economy would suffer a mere hiccup saw these hopes dashed last week.
The news is bad. The financial problems besetting banks and investment institutions are still expressing themselves with no end in sight.
Read full article: Gloomy times ahead for world

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New war brewing: U.S., Israel take dangerous steps

GENEVA -- The U.S., Israel and Iran are playing a very dangerous game of chicken that soon could result in a new Mideast war.
Read more: New war brewing
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Iran Will Close Strait of Hormuz If Attacked, Fars Reports
By Ladane Nasseri
July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Iran will close the Strait of Hormuz, through which the bulk of Middle East oil is shipped, if the country is attacked, state-run Fars news agency reported, citing a military commander.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Another protocol for Ireland or opening up the Lisbon Treaty for ...

Written by Daniela Schwarzer
Friday, 04 July 2008
The European Council on June 19/20, 2008 did not indicate a way out of the EU crisis which resurfaced with the Irish „No“ to the Lisbon Treaty on June 12, 2008. Nevertheless, one or two likely options are being sketched on the horizon...
The process of EU reform, which had started with the European Convention, led to the Constitutional Treaty adopted by the EU governments, which failed in referenda in France and the Netherlands but got renegotiated and slimmed down to be re-baptized Lisbon Treaty, has lost dynamic and credibility. So it would be wrong to expect overwhelming external dynamics to get Ireland moving on the Lisbon Treaty.

Read more: Another protocol for Ireland or opening up the Lisbon Treaty for ...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The options for a Europe without a script

Can a country be excluded from membership of the European Union? The answer is no. Does a non-ratification of a treaty by a single member state prevent a treaty from entering into force?...
My own hunch is that they will try to find a way to enforce the Lisbon treaty without the non-ratifiers....
As a first step, they will try to offer the No-sayers a quit-and-rejoin deal. It would be the least divisive option of all, but unfortunately, it may also be one of the least realistic. It would obviously require their consent, which is far from assured. In Ireland's case it may require a referendum to get out and another one to get back in.

If this is not possible, there are several other options involving varying degrees of involuntary separation.
Read more: The options for a Europe without a script

US extends job losses, more pain ahead and Related Business News

US employers cut workers for a sixth straight month in June for the longest such streak since 2002 and the vast service sector unexpectedly contracted, underscoring the economy's frailty.

The Labour Department said that 62,000 non-farm jobs were lost last month, bringing jobs shed for the year to 438,000 as a housing market crash chilled growth.

The unemployment rate, which shot up sharply in May, held steady at 5.5 per cent.
Read more:
US extends job losses, more pain ahead
Oil prices blaze past record $US146
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General Motors 'may face bankruptcy'

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Third Temple preparations begin with priestly garb

On Monday, the Temple Institute started preparing to build a Third Temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah, the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa mosque, by inaugurating a workshop that manufactures priestly garments...

On Monday, the Temple Institute started preparing to build a Third Temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah, the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa mosque, by inaugurating a workshop that manufactures priestly garments.

Read more:
Third Temple preparations begin with priestly garb
Jews inch towards their Temple

EU opens bidding for Galileo satnav network

The 30-satellite network is meant to challenge the dominance of the US-built Global Positioning System (GPS), which is widely used in navigation devices in vehicles and ships.
The EU aims to have it up in space by 2013.
Galileo’s 3.4-billion euro (5.4-billion dollar) budget has been divided into six segments with contracts for satellites, launchers, computer programmes, ground stations, control stations and the system’s operation.
Read more: EU opens bidding for Galileo satnav network

Sarkozy: ‘Irish will vote again, there will be no EU Treaty Mk III'

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, held a strictly off-the-record lunch briefing for international Brussels-based correspondents on Tuesday at the Elysée...
The French strategy during their six month EU Presidency, which began on July 1, is to isolate Ireland after last month's referendum rejection of the Lisbon European Union Treaty...
"There will be no Treaty Part III," he said.
The Irish do not count...
The Irish either will be asked to vote again, in a rerun of Ireland's second referendum on the Nice Treaty in 2002 - or Ireland's people will be bypassed...
Any means necessary to get an Irish Yes, is what the French President is getting at here. There is no other answer.
The gloves are off.
Read full article: Sarkozy: ‘Irish will vote again, there will be no EU Treaty Mk III'

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Polish president deals blow to EU treaty

WARSAW, Poland—Ratifying the European Union's reform treaty after Irish voters rejected it last month would be "pointless," Poland's president was quoted as saying Tuesday.
Poland's parliament overwhelmingly approved the treaty—which lays out how to run the expanded European Union more efficiently—in April but it needs the president's signature. All 27 EU nations must ratify the treaty for it to take effect; so far, 18 have approved it.
Asked whether he will sign the treaty to give it Poland's approval, President Lech Kaczynski was quoted by the Dziennik daily newspaper as saying: "Right now, it's pointless."

Read more: Polish president deals blow to EU treaty

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

World economy near tipping point: BIS

THE global economy may be close to a "tipping point" that could see it enter a slowdown so severe that it transforms the current period of rising inflation into a period of falling prices, the Bank for International Settlements said today.
In its annual report, the central bank for central banks said the impact of rising food and energy prices on real disposable incomes, combined with the reduced ability of financial institutions to make loans and high household debt levels may lead to a slowdown in global growth that "could prove to be much greater and longer-lasting than would be required to keep inflation under control."
"Over time, this could potentially even lead to deflation," it said.
"The risk is that headline inflation will rise significantly more in the coming months as food and energy prices remain elevated, some second-round effects on wages materialise and unsustainable subsidies in emerging market countries are reduced," Mr Knight said.
The BIS said the US economy is most at risk from problems in the financial system. But it added that there are "suspicions that a number of other countries with low household savings rates might be similarly, if less significantly, affected."
And it warned that while the US dollar's depreciation against other major currencies has so far been "remarkably orderly," that might not continue to be the case. "Foreign investors in US dollar assets have seen big losses," it said. "While unlikely...a sudden rush for the exits cannot be ruled out completely."
Read more: World economy near tipping
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