End-Game Is On:
Getting Out in Time!
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
July 12, 2010Since my Summer 1956 forecast of a deep recession to strike suddenly, somewhere during the February-March interval of 1957, I have never published a forecast for the U.S. economy which did not occur as I had foreseen. The reason for this distinction, is that all my putative rivals in such matters have relied on statistical monetarist trend-lines which are inherently incompetent by the very nature of the method adopted.
Such was the outcome of my series of forecasts for the U.S.A. over the course of the 1960s, leading into what I had forecast as the probable breakdown of the Bretton Woods system during an interval of the late 1960s and very early 1970s. This was the case for my sundry forecasts during the course of the 1980s, and for 1992, 1996-98, 2001, 2004, and for the close of the month of July 2007. Thus, I never predict as the silly statisticians do; I leave such foolish trifles to the race-track and Wall Street gamblers; I forecast intervals of crisis which require remedial decisions, as I do here and now.
I explain what this is all about....
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
July 15 (EIRNS)RealtyTrac's home foreclosure report for the second quarter of 2010 says that 270,000 homes were repossessed by banks during the quarter, 35% more than in the second quarter of 2009. This figure does not include "short sales" of homes (which might be called "self-repossessions," having the like effect that a family loses its home); so, homes were being lost at an annual rate of more than 1.5 million in that quarter.
Ignoring President Obama's now all-but-forgotten "Home Affordable Mortgage Plan" of the past 16 monthsa colossal failureforeclosure actions of all kinds hit 1.65 million properties in the first half of 2010 (895,000 properties in the second quarter); this was 8% more than in first half of 2009.
This disaster is the direct result of Rep. "Bailout Barney" Frank's deliberate sabotage, in late 2007, of Lyndon LaRouche's proposed Homeowners and Bank Protection Act, which was demanded by cities, state legislatures, and state officials across the country.
July 14 (EIRNS)Oakland, Calif., already one of the most troubled cities in America, headed deeper into the abyss last night, when 80 police officers were laid off, after talks between the city and its police union broke down on the issue of job security. The union, after making concessions on wages and benefits, asked the city for a three-year moratorium on police layoffs. City officials said that any guarantee beyond one year was "financially irresponsible."
The union replied that it was disappointed by the city's decision, after some members gave back salary and half their scheduled pay raise to keep officers on the job. "Losing four officers last year was a shock to us all [a reference to the March 21, 2009 slayings of four officers], and we haven't really recovered from that yet," said Dominique Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Patrol Officers Association. "And now, we're losing another 80 officers, this year, not by the hand of a gun, but by the hand of a pen." The city said it still hopes to work with the union to support ballot measures in November that will help the city rehire the 80 officers and avoid another 112 layoffs on Jan. 1, 2011.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts had earlier warned that if the layoffs went ahead, police would no longer respond to non-emergency calls. Instead, people calling about non-life-threatening situations will be directed to an online system called "cop-logic" to file a police report. Among the 44 crimes in that category are burglary, theft, embezzlement, extortion, vandalism, identity theft, and illegal dumping.
Oakland, a city of 404,000, with a highly diverse population, consistently ranks among the top 20 most dangerous cities for crime, in the United States. In November 2008, Congressional Quarterly ranked Oakland at fifth in a nationwide ranking of violent crime, based on statistics for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. The historic crime rate dovetails with an official unemployment rate of 17.5%, and a poverty rate that is 15% of families, and 18% for individuals, all numbers which likely understate the reality.
LPAC-TV will be traveling to Oakland, soon, for onsite interviews to document the reality in that city.
July 13 (EIRNS)The current disintegration of the U.S. hospital system exposes the killer intent behind President Obama's health-care measures, as he brags about "reform." The physical means don't exist to take care of people. The delivery system for health care in the U.S. is being downsized and closed at a crisis ratehospitals, clinics, equipment, staff, and public health capacity. Two breaking events, in New York City and Washington, D.C., illustrate this.
In New York City on July 2, the North General Hospital of Harlem officially declared bankruptcy. This 190-bed facility has been a mainstay of this Manhattan community since first built in 1979. Instead of a full-service institution, it is now to operate as a nursing home, and a "critical access" clinic. This downgrade was hailed as a good thing by Mayor Benito Bloomberg, who joined with California Gov. Arnie Schwarzenegger in 2006, to promote "Building America's Future" with this kind of Mussolini-style infrastructure scam.
Washington, D.C. is in the process of a default-takeover of the 184-bed Greater Southeast Hospital, the only full-service hospital in the low-income section of the national capital. On July 9, Greater Southeast went over to the District, in a single-bidder auction, after its owner, Specialty Hospitals of America, defaulted, owing the District $55 million, and multi-millions to vendors of all kinds. The City Council is meeting today to decide how to cope with trying to run a hospital. Specialty acquired Greater Southeast in 2007, in a PPP sweetheart deal, in which the District committed $79 million to fix up the hospital, for Specialty to run it, which they did, into the ground.
The Southeast Hospital scandal came about in the wake of the shutdown in 2001 of D.C. General Hospital, a full-service, 450-bed institution, under a stinking real estate scam. Lyndon LaRouche led an international mobilization to stop the shutdown of D.C. General, and expose the demented thinking and criminality behind such an action.
Nationwide, the particulars vary, but the pattern is the same of loss of medical facilities and capacity. In Manhattan, two months ago, the St. Vincent Hospital was closed.
At the same time, clinics are closing. Up until now, clinics were touted over the past 15 years, as "replacements" for full-service hospitals, and from 2001-08, under the Bush Administration, the numbers of clinics and "CA" hospitals (critical access facilities, where you are received then shipped out), increased. Now clinics and all kinds of health care centers are shutting or downsizing. The following are indicative.
* Sacramento County, Calif: Over the last 12 months, six clinics were reduced to three, with two of them to close within 30 days. The one remaining will have staff doctors cut by 50%, and shortened hours. The County Board of Supervisors has cut at least $3 million from the programs, slashing funding for conditions ranging from mental-health services, to urgent gynecology and Hepatitis C. Lawsuits against the county have been filed by local indigent residents, the Loaves & Fishes charity.
* Buffalo, New York: Planned clinic closures this Fall at the Buffalo General Hospitalpart of the Kaleida Health Hospital Systemsinclude the Wettlaufer Eye Clinic, which dates back to 1876, as well as the dental and oral surgery program. The Wound Care Center at Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Circle already has closed. The entire hospital is set to close in 2011. Later this Summer, the Fillmore outpatient urology services will be partly shifted to Buffalo General Hospital. The Women's and Children's Hospital may be shut as well.
* Knoxville, Tennessee: The 19-year-old Interfaith Health Clinic in Knoxville will be closing because two grants comprising 30% of its budget have run out. The clinic, which also supplies dental work to the indigent, has already cut 11 of 38 staff and hours.
* New Jersey: Programs at 58 health-care centers serving 136,000 patients statewide are at risk of cancellation or cutbacks, under a proposal for cutting $7.5 million. A fight is underway in the capital. On June 28, the legislature reinstated funding, taking money from a state employee prescription plan "that has grown less than expected." On July 2, nearly 100 Democratic Party state legislators held a press conference, challenging Gov. Chris Christie (R) not to veto their funding resolution.
Global Economic News
July 13 (EIRNS)The United States and Great Britain have been stripped of their triple-A sovereign credit rating by a Chinese credit rating agency. The Chinese Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. has downgraded the sovereign credit ratings of several major Western economies, downgrading the U.S. rating to AA, and the U.K. and France to AA-. Belgium, Spain, and Italy were rated A-. China is at AA+ along with Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada.
In keeping with a recent statement by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who called on credit-rating agencies to use methods "not affected by ideology," Dagong uses criteria that give greater weight to "wealth-creating capacity" and foreign reserves, according to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in today's Daily Telegraph.
Guan Jianzhong, the chairman of Dagong, said, "The reason for the global financial crisis and debt crisis in Europe is that the current international credit-rating system does not correctly reveal the debtor's repayment ability."
United States News Digest
July 18 (EIRNS)The White House tried to buy off Democratic Party Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff of Colorado with a job offer, but Romanoff is still pushing for the policy that the White House hatesthe restoration of Glass-Steagall. During a campaign appearance on July 15, Romanoff told the Canon City Daily Record that he takes no money from Wall Street banks; he considers it a conflict of interest for his Democratic opponent Sen. Michael Bennet to take Wall Street money, and sit on the banking committee that is supposed to regulate the financial industry; and that he would have demanded a restoration of Glass-Steagall.
Asked what he would have done if he were in the Senate instead of Bennet, Romanoff said: "I would have strengthened the bill to separate commercial and investment banking activity. Once upon a time there was a law called the Glass-Steagall Act that used to separate those two kinds of activities. That wall came down in 1999; I would have put it back up. Congress didn't do that either."
July 18 (EIRNS)According to Democratic Party sources close to the Obama White House, the President and his crew of Chicago advisors are totally obsessed with the right-wing propaganda assaults on them, and read every word that comes out, and watch every snipe that appears on Fox TV. "They are so fixated on these right-wing attacks, and particularly on the Tea Party, that they are totally clueless about what is actually going on with the American people. They don't want to realize that it is their policiesthe health-care swindle, the bailout, the job losses, and the worse-than-useless financial reformsthat have turned the vast majority of Americans into Obama-haters." It has nothing to do with the so-called Tea Party or with the right wing of the Republican Party. "But you can't tell Obama or his Chicago advisors that."
The source added that this is one more piece of evidence that LaRouche's psychological diagnosis of Obama as "Hitler in the bunker" is right on the mark.
Typical of the media promotion of the Obama White House obsessions, today's Washington Post runs a column by Dana Milbank, promoting the Tea Party, and highlighting the Mason City, Iowa billboard, recently taken down, featuring pictures of Lenin, Hitler, and Obama. This hype is driving Obama and his White House inner circle deeper into the pit, the source observed. "Obama and his top aides think that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the Fox News crew are running the country. They are stark-raving paranoid and totally misfocused." Of course, he added, the White House also reads much of what is written or spoken by Lyndon LaRouche, and that also, drives them up the wall.
July 18 (EIRNS)All ten Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee headed by Max Baucus (D-N.D.) sent a letter on July 14, a week after Obama's recess appointment of health-care czar Sir Donald Berwick, a knight of the British Empire, demanding hearings on the appointment, even though he already has the job for the next 18 months. According to a report by Fox News, the Republican leadership of the Senate may block any other appointments because of Obama's use of the recess tool (popularly used by Bush and Cheney to appoint neo-con fanatics who could not pass Senate confirmation) in the case of Berwick.
Berwick's support for the Nazi policies of Obama's operatives like E-Z Kill Emanuel and Peter Orszag is recognized by the population, if not by the corrupt members of Congress, who oppose him with vague statements. A July 17 letter to the Chicago Daily Herald says, "Seniors should not be the only ones really frightened [by Berwick's support for rationing], parents with special needs children should also be up in arms over Berwick's recess appointment. Although Dr. Berwick is a pediatrician, he has not seen a patient in years. A defender of Britain's health-care rationing system, Dr. Berwick served as a consultant to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Britain's system uses an end-of-life pathway to death, which many British doctors say leads to premature death (emphasis added). Dr. Berwick has said that 'most people who have serious pain do not need advanced methods. They just need the morphine and counseling that have been around for years.'"
July 16 (EIRNS)That is the question asked by one Michael Snyder, the editor of a blog called "The Economic Collapse." Snyder, in a column posted last night, reports that a billboard in Stockton, California, is perfectly clear on that question: "Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops." The Stockton Police Officers Association plans to spend $20,000 on 20 more such billboards, because the city is considering a plan to lay off 53 officers to help close a $23 million deficit in its budget. But law enforcement in Stockton has already been slashed. A spokesman for the department told the local Fox-TV affiliate July 14 that "We absolutely do not have any narcotics officers, narcotics sergeants working any kind of investigative narcotics type cases at this time."
The Fox-TV report quotes city residents expressing near panic at the likely consequences of no drug investigations, and the police concur. "Drugs are a breeding ground for many other activities," the spokesman said, "and if these are going more and more unchecked, one would have to speculate that you're going to see a rise across the board in those types of criminal activities."
July 16 (EIRNS)Obama and his Fiscal Commission are a more serious threat to Social Security than was George W. Bush's attempted privatization of Social Security in 2005, according to Social Security Works, a coalition of liberal and senior groups, reports The Hill. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (popularly known as the "Catfood Commission,") is largely working behind the scenes, whereas Bush's proposal was defeated after a public debate (one in which the LaRouche movement played a leading role).
"The American people wound up rejecting [Bush's plan], but it was democracy at work. He was putting his proposal out there, and the Democrats were solidly against it, as was most of the country," says Nancy Altman, codirector of Social Security Works. "The problem here is ... that if something is done, it will be by stealth." Altman points out that although the commission is holding monthly public meetings, it has divided itself into smaller groups, which talk policy behind closed doors.
July 13 (EIRNS)With the states facing shutdown crises last month, and stimulus cash running short, a nervous House of Representatives tacked an amendment onto the "must pass" Defense Appropriations Bill, adding $10 billion in aid for educationenough to save 300,000 teachers' jobs. They designated the money to come from Obama's so-called education "reform" program. Keeping teachers in the classrooms and off the unemployment lines would seem to be a beneficial reform, but rather than see funding for his pet "Race to the Top" brainwashing program reallocated, Nero threatened to veto the entire Defense bill. After a defiant House passed it, anyway, with only 15 Democrats defecting to Pelosi/Obama's threats, Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) told Politico that he thought "[Obama's] veto threat helped us pass the amendment."
July 12 (EIRNS)Patients are being hit with unexpected bills, because hospitals are not "admitting" them, even for extended stays, says an article in today's Bloomberg News. Patients under "observation" are accountable for a 20% co-pay; when they are admitted, Medicare takes over 100% of the bill. The hospitals, under pressure from the cost-cutting ghouls at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), are not classifying patients as "admitted," simply saying they are "under observation." Of course, that leaves the hospital to try and collect the 20% from the recovering patient.
Medicare has sent a letter to the American Hospital Association "investigating" why this is happening (your tax dollars at work), but, quite simply, hospitals are afraid of being "challenged" (accused of fraud) by CMS ghouls. Of course, CMS spokeswoman Marilyn Tavenner is crying crocodile tears, saying that this shouldn't be happening.
Observation status is normally limited to a 48-hour period; between 2006 and 2008 its usage doubled.
Ibero-American News Digest
July 14 (EIRNS)City of London financial oligarchs and others of their ilk, are howling over Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's just-concluded state visit to China, where she pointedly announced that the two governments agreed on two key issues that are anathema to the British Empire: Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, and China's assertion of a One-China policy.
Nor were the financial predators pleased by the Argentine President's statements hinting atbut never quite mentioning by namethe need for a global Glass-Steagall standard, when she attacked the global financial deregulation which had led to the unbridled growth of investment banks, hedge funds, and financial derivatives which created "a kind of parallel international system which no oneabsolutely no onecontrols and which introduces toxicity into many economies."
During a July 12 press conference following her meeting with her Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Fernández de Kirchner reported that she had received China's support "for our sovereign claim to the Malvinas, and we offered them our [support] for the One-China [policy] which has been their traditional diplomatic stance." Also noteworthy, she said, was the "similarity" in the economic policies adopted by both China and Argentina to deal with the global financial crisis. In the midst of economic crisis, she added, the United Nations had reported that first China, and then Argentina, had embraced "heterodox" policies that "generated growth."
In Argentina's case, Fernández explained, this is due to the fact that her government "doesn't have a monetarist conception of the economy, but rather one based on job creation and technological renovation."
The centerpiece of the agreements signed by the two governments is a $10 billion deal by which China will issue credit for the renovation of Argentina's dilapidated railroad system. Additional agreements expand cooperation in the areas of agro-industry, trade, nuclear energy, infrastructure development, and manufacturing and mining, among others. The memorandum of understanding the two Presidents signed emphasizes that all investment and development projects will be designed to encourage each other's "productive capacities."
As for what both leaders agreed are the most important issues of this century, Fernández pointed to food sovereignty and energy, noting China's interest in Argentina's nuclear sector. The China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) has expressed interest in helping to build Argentina's fourth nuclear plant, Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido reported yesterday, after meeting with CNNC's president. A CNNC delegation will travel to Buenos Aires in August.
Argentina has a great deal to offer China in terms of agricultural know-how and technology, Fernández stated, exclaiming that "what an associated Argentina and China can do together, makes us a showcase to the world."
July 17 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche today responded to the recent raft of slanders against him appearing in the Venezuelan press, especially on websites such as Aporrea associated with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, by commenting that these are long-discredited ridiculous fables. "They only serve as conclusive evidence of Chávez's insanity, or that somebody is trying to manipulate him into this behavior. Chávez should consider the absurdity of the fables being retailed, and their origin," LaRouche counseled.
The slanders surfaced in the wake of the July 12 arrest of Alejandro Peña by Venezuela's SERBIN (Bolivarian Intelligence Service), for purported links to terrorist plans to overthrow the Chávez government. Peña was associated with LaRouche until 1998, and was then recruited as an enemy of the LaRouche organization, based on his long-standing profile of psychological and political instability, and deployed as an expendable pawn among right-wing networks in Ibero-America.
Although more than a dozen yearsand an absolute political chasmseparate LaRouche from Peña, the absurd claim is that there is a current, ongoing link.
"I know that Chávez knows that these are lies," LaRouche noted. "His retailing them at this point means either that he is being played for a fool by an enemy operation, or that he is clinically insane."
July 17 (EIRNS)On July 16, Cuban leader Fidel Castro spoke for over an hour to a meeting in Havana of some 115 ambassadors of Cuba's diplomatic corps, and warned of the danger of nuclear war being unleashed around the Iran and North Korea crises.
"There is a grave danger of aggression against Iran or North Korea," he said. "All responses have already been programmed. It's only a question of seconds.... Today, it is not possible to draw up plans that would not be computerized."
This is the fifth time in ten days that Castro has spoken out publicly about the danger of warin his first public appearances since his serious illness nearly four years. On July 13, he spoke to economists at the World Economy Research Center, and urged them to draw up plans for economic reconstruction after nuclear war. And on July 12, he was on a nationally televised program warning that, "If there is a massive attack against Iran, North Korea is not going to wait for aggression against that country. Therefore, another war would be unleashed in that zone, also nuclear in character."
In each case, however, Castro has pointed to the United States and Israel as the source of the threatened aggressionwith nary a mention of the British, who are in fact the architects of the long-war policy that their stooge Barack Obama is executing.
Western European News Digest
July 14 (EIRNS)German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leading a delegation of half her Cabinet and leading business leaderstwo planeloads fullto Russia, China, and Kazakhstan, for five days, beginning today. Traveling with her are representatives of 25 companies, including the CEOs of Volkswagen, Siemens, and Airbus, proposing that German industry aid in Russia's modernization.
Already, ten economic cooperation deals were signed at the German-Russian summit in Yekaterinburg, the centerpiece of which is a set of railway deals totalling investments of close to EU3 billion: Russian Railways and Siemens struck a deal that will provide Russia with 240 modern trains worth EU2.2 billion, and in 2011, Russia will receive from Siemens, Desiro commuter trains. They will run to airports in Moscow and other large cities, and will be the primary mode of transportation at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Furthermore, Siemens and Synara will supply 220 electric freight locomotives made at the plant in Verkhnyaya Pyshma near Yekaterinburg.
Germany and Russia also agreed to accelerate the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline along the Baltic Sea bed, and Germany's Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Russia's Vnesheconombank signed a contract for more than EU100 million to help Russia to set up more small to medium-size companies. More contracts for German machine producers are expected, as Russia wants to rely on Germany as a strategic partner for its industrial modernization program.
July 16 (EIRNS)Former Italian Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, a Euro-fanatic, attacked the German Constitutional Court today as a "serious obstacle" in the way of the European superstate. "In perspective, the serious obstacle is the German Constitutional Court, which objects to further concessions of sovereignty in favor of European institutions." Padoa-Schioppa praises German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who decided in favor of bailouts, "despite some of her illustrious advisors." He says that those who do not believe in the euro "do not understand that the world is no longer made of markets and nation-states." An Anglophile former director of the Bank of Italy, Padoa-Schioppa repeatedly attacked the Treaty of Westphalia in a 2006 book, claiming that nation-states are at the origin of wars.
July 15 (EIRNS)Job losses in core branches of German industry continue at an unabated pace. As the Federal Office of Statistics in Wiesbaden said today, the month of May, for the first time ever, saw employment in productive industry at 4.9 million. For a leading industrial nation with 82 million citizens, this is a fairly ridiculous situation, just showing how much the nation, which, as of 20 years ago, still had about 9.5 million jobs, has been deindustrialized. Compared to May 2009, there are 300,000 fewer jobs. The biggest job losses occurred especially in the machine-building sector, with 4.4%; in the electro-technical sector, with 4.6%; in the metal-processing industry, with 5.7%.
The situation in eastern Germany is particularly worrisome: There, 15% of those who were employed in productive industry, lost their jobs in 2009, which corresponds to the drastic drop in the production of machines and other industrial components by 13.5%.
PARIS, July 12 (EIRNS)This morning, dairy farmers from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy, Germany, and Spain will demonstrate against the proposals of the EU's "High Level Group on Milk (HLG) established "last October with the purpose of discussing mid-term and long-term arrangements for the dairy sector given the expiring of dairy quotas on 1 April 2015." The demonstration was called by the European Milk Board (EMB) and FUGEA (European Coordination Via Campesina).
Created in 2009 by then-EU Agriculture Commissioner and free-trade maniac Mariann Fischer-Böl, the HLG, after meeting with all the main players in the dairy market, proposes to replace the current EU and state market support mechanisms (considered unbridled competition) with private regulation schemes. The latter rely on a combination of hypothetical good will of giant food cartels offering a supposedly fair price to small dairy farmers, and the creation of financial "futures" derivatives markets "to protect" farmers!
Reached for comment, a prominent leader of the French independent milk producers' organization APLI told EIR that the HLG proposals will only further the certain death of the industry. Since April 2009, he said, in France alone, over 1,000 dairy farmers each month have closed their businesses.
July 13 (EIRNS)At a private dinner organized by well-known TV anchorman Bruno Vespa (rumored to be the illegitimate son of Mussolini) a few days ago, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, central banker Mario Draghi, opposition figure Pierferdinando Casini, and others, met to plot what some media have now called the "de-Tremontization" of the Italian government. Berlusconi, who is under political blackmail, would get backing from Casini's UDC party, in exchange for dumping Tremonti (and his policies). As the dinner was leaked to the media, Tremonti and his allies in the Lega Nord party immediately issued an ultimatum to Berlusconi: If you go that way, the Lega will open a government crisis, and we will have early elections.
Berlusconi is under heavy political blackmail, because: 1. Former ally Gianfranco Fini has formed an internal faction in Berlusconi's PDL, which claims to have enough Parliament votes to steal the majority. 2. Leading figures of Berlusconi's praetorian guard are being investigated as part of a secret, illegal freemasonic political/business ring. In particular the national coordinator of the PDL, Denis Verdini, is accused, together with former P2 member Flavio Carboni, of manipulating government contracts for wind power, and conspiring to appoint their friends to key government posts.
Independent of the political motivation of the scandals targeting Berlusconi, Italy's Prime Minister is also a cause of his own troubles. When Berlusconi appointed Verdini as national coordinator of PDL a few years ago, well-informed sources told EIR that Verdini was a known member of the pro-British (as opposed to pro-U.S.) faction of the freemasonry in Florence. All the intricacies of the situation notwithstanding, "that dinner was aimed at launching the de-Tremontization of the government," the daily Il Riformista wrote today.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
July 17 (EIRNS)Goods can now be transported from Russia's western borders to the Pacific Ocean in 11 days at a speed of more than 1,000 kilometers per day. This was announced by Alexei Mironov, the head of Russian Railways Central Transport Control Directorate, at the second UIC (International Union of Railways) Global Rail Conference.
"Customs documentation procedures for freight have been simplified, and a range of other measures have been taken to simplify the procedure for crossing borders. A simplified procedure has been put in place for declaring cargo transported in containers, which has reduced the standing time of containers on the border from three to five days to a few hours. The application of modern information technologies enables us to control the movement of carriages and containers in real time," Mironov said. Mironov said work on introducing progressive combined transport technologies in Russia, in particular of flat wagons carrying trailers or full road trains, needs to be stepped up. He noted that the Russian Railways company has gained specific experience from test runs of flat cars carrying trailers, and that this rolling stock has been developed and tested.
Mironov said that the cooperation between Germany, Russia, and China was particularly important in developing the transcontinental trade route. In addition he noted that the North-South International Transport Corridor, stretching through Russia from Scandinavia to ports in Iran and India, has reduced delivery time compared to sea routes by between one-third and one-half. On her recent visit to Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel witnessed the signing of an agreement between Siemens and Russian Railways, in which Siemens agreed to produce 1,200 electric carriages for the Russian suburban rail system, some of the production being located in Russia itself. In addition, agreements were signed involving German assistance in modernizing the Russian rail hubs.
July 20 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche's July 12 release, "End-game Is On: Getting Out in Time!" has been issued in Russian and posted to EIR's Russian website. Meanwhile, the Russian VVP magazine article on "End-Game," leading with LaRouche's statement at the State Duma in 1995 about a derivatives vs. physical economy discontinuity marking the end of the system, was a "Top 5" Russian blog entry last week, visited over 110,000 times (~ 20,000 different users) on author Alexei Perochinny's "Alexsword" blog, in addition to the 20,000 print circulation of VVP, and more readers at many other locations where it was reposted. That article appear in the current InDepth section of EIR, with a short critical commentary by LaRouche.
Southwest Asia News Digest
July 18 (EIRNS)Insurgents are increasing their attacks on NATO forces, government officials, police, and civilians in Afghanistan, even as some 40 nations are sending their foreign ministers to the biggest "aid" conference to be held in Kabul since the 1970s. Today, a suicide bomber penetrated the purported new "ring of steel" around the Afghan capital to kill 4 and injure over 45 residents in a Kabul street frequently used by NATO convoys. In just two days, on July 20, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and the foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbor nations will arrive in Kabul. Another 30 or so international representatives, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will also attend.
Security will be very tight for the conference itself, but this utterly fails to address the ever-rising violence across the nation. A report released today by the Kabul-based Afghanistan NGO Security Office, which monitors trends in violence for aid organizations, showed a 50% rise in Taliban attacks in the country over the last year, to over 1,300, and an almost 25% increase in attacks on civiliansby both sides. Most of the insurgent attacks are by roadside bombings, which are deadly to both troops and civilians.
Al Jazeera quoted Haroun Mir, co-founder and deputy director of Afghanistan's Centre for Research and Policy Studies, in Kabul today, saying that there is a huge risk that the July 20 conference could be disrupted by another suicide attack. "There is a high level of infiltration by the Taliban inside the Afghan security forces," Mir told Al Jazeera. "In a number of attacks, Afghan officers were involved in helping the Taliban and other terrorist networks in executing these attacks. This is something the Afghan security forces are unable to prevent."
Lyndon LaRouche today said that the security situation surrounding the Kabul conference is of grave concern to him, particularly given the fact that Hillary Clinton is personally leading the American delegation.
Also today, bombings killed at least 50 people in the area west of Baghdad, Iraq. The biggest target was a group of paramilitary Sunni Awakening fighters, who were lined up to get months-delayed paychecks outside a military base. Attacks on the Awakening fighters have increased sharply as U.S. forces have been drawn down in Iraq. A big role in fighting al-Qaeda forces in Iraq has been attributed to Awakening; now many of them are quitting due to rising casualties.
A senior U.S. intelligence source reported today that the boost in insurgent attacks in both Afghanistan and Iraq can be directly linked to an accelerated flow of money from fundamentalist networks in the Sunni Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia. Until and unless the United States seriously cracks down on the Saudi funding of Wahhabi fundamentalists, including the madrassas churning out tens of thousands of fundamentalist graduates every year, in the Gulf, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, no success can be expected.
July 18 (EIRNS)A just-released 2001 covertly recorded video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gone viral on the Internet, and could have serious diplomatic ramifications, especially in light of President Barack Obama's recent ass-kissing of the Israeli PM in the Oval Office.
During a 2001 visit to the family of a recently slain victim of a Palestinian shooting, Netanyahu uncorked on the United States and on former President Bill Clinton, and boasted that he had killed the Oslo Accords. Netanyahu boasted, on camera, that he had lied, repeatedly, to then President Clinton, during his 1996-99 first term as Prime Minister, and had successfully and willfully killed the Oslo Accords. He ridiculed the United States, and described as "absurd" the claim that 80% of the American people support Israel. He also boasted that he had ordered the Israeli Defense Force to crush the Palestinian Authority, through brutal military operations, that would bend the PA to Israel's willall the while lying to Washington about how he was implementing the Oslo Accords.
Ha'aretz columnist Gideon Levy denounced Netanyahu as a "con artist" and described the video comments as "outrageous, proving that Bibi was totally unrepentant."
Given Obama's shameless performance with Bibi at their recent White House summit, it remains to be seen what, if any, impact the video will have on the President. But, in his recent trip to Washington, Netanyahu had approached former President Bill Clinton, and asked him to travel to Gaza to negotiate with Hamas for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. News reports from Egypt on July 17 indicated that Cairo is mediating negotiations to set up Clinton's travel to Gaza, perhaps with Jimmy Carter, to sit down and meet with Hamas leaders there.
The question arises as to whether the leaking of the video is part of a larger move, coming from within Israel, to dump Netanyahu. It is known that a growing faction within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment is worried that Bibi's behavior is going to thoroughly break up the U.S.-Israeli security partnership, which has grown significantly under Obama. Obama has made good on a 2007 U.S.-Israeli agreement to provide Israel with $30 billion worth of military hardware over the next ten years, gratis.
July 16 (EIRNS)The British-directed narco-terrorists who are key in their Afghanistan drug trade, are targeting Iran, Turkey, and Syria, which three countries have been cooperating economically, strategically, and politically on an unprecedented scale. Turkey, in particular, has taken regional leadership in this regard and has been the target of attacks by the Kurdish narcoterrorists.
In Iran, two suicide bombers killed 27 people and wounded over 169 in the city of Zahedan, which is in Sistan Baluchistan province in Iran's southeastern region bordering Pakistan. The Baluchi separatist group Jundollah claimed responsibility, in revenge for Tehran's execution of its leader, Abolmalek Rigi, last month.
While some Iranian political figures have attacked the United States for being behind the attacks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks "in the strongest possible terms." "This attack, along with the recent attacks in Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Algeria, underscores the global community's need to work together to combat terrorist organizations that threaten the lives of innocent civilians all around the world," Clinton said in a statement.
The real controllers are the British, through their sponsorship and control of the Afghan narcotics production and trade.
The Rigi clan, which controls Jundollah, set up by the British with the help of the Saudis, is a key player in trafficking opium and heroin from Afghanistan through Iran. Once the narcotics are brought into Iran, they go on to Europe by two routes. One is through the Iranian ports of Chah Bahar or Bandar Abbas and onto Her Majesty's "Hong Kong of the Middle East," Dubai. The other route goes through Iran and into Turkey, where the narcoterrorist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) takes over and traffics the drugs into western Europe, while using the proceeds in their campaign of terror against Turkey, Syria, and Iran.
For the last several weeks, the PKK has launched attacks in Turkey from bases inside northern Iraq. According to the Turkish daily Today's Zaman, Turkey has been receiving unprecedented cooperation from both Syria and Iran, after Turkey convinced them that international powers are using the PKK against all three countries.
The Kurdish provincial government in northern Iraq has been cooperating with the Turkish authorities as well. In the past weeks, Syria has been conducting security operations, and has arrested over 400 terrorists, with 160 extradited to Turkey. Similarly, Iran has captured and killed numbers of Kurdish terrorists, and has extradited 19 to Turkey.
Asia News Digest
July 16 (EIRNS)By launching five satellites in space this week, India has now created a "critical constellation" of ten active remote sensing satellites in space, which gives it a clear edge in the region for monitoring borders and movements across them. Called the "cartosats," these satellites are also capable of mapping and infrastructure development from their high perch. Asked by the media about the latest cartosats' applications in surveillance, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said, "Depending on the user's imagination, [they] can be used for surveillance and intelligence [gathering]."
A combination of four cartosats (1, 2, 2A, and 2B), hovering 630 km (almost 400 miles) above Earth, allows India to keep areas under close and prolonged surveillance. Multiple satellites ensure that a particular geographical area can be revisited every 48 hours. Three of the cartosats now in orbit have a spatial resolution of less than one meter (0.8 m for Cartosat-2B), which means that they can observe and photograph objects smaller than a car. Cartosats use panchromatic cameras to take black and white pictures of Earth.
Going around in a 630-km high polar, sun-synchronous orbit, Cartosat-2B carries a 64GB solid-state recorder which stores images which can be later transmitted to the ground station when the satellite comes within the visibility range.
July 15 (EIRNS)China is currently buying "unprecedented" amounts of uranium to ensure supplies for its fast-expanding nuclear power sector, the China Daily reported from Beijing. China now has 13 nuclear plants under construction and, as Xu Yuming, executive director of the China Nuclear Energy Association, announced in Beijing July 6, is planning to build at least 60 new reactors by 2020.
China could buy some 5,000 metric tons of uranium in 2010, over twice its usual consumption, in order to build stockpiles for new reactors, Thomas Neff, a physicist and uranium-industry analyst at MIT, said in a telephone interview. "They are essentially stockpiling in anticipation of new reactor build," Neff said. "They are stockpiling like crazy."
The World Nuclear Association reports that Chinese demand for uranium may rise to 20,000 tons a year by 2020, more than a third of the 50,572 tons mined globally last year.
Cameco Corp. of Canada, the world's second-largest uranium producer, also confirms China's big uranium purchases, PTI reported from Beijing July 13. Senior Vice President George Assie told a conference call that Chinese utilities have bought some 3,600 metric tons of uranium this year on the spot market. "The stockpile there is for a very specific reason and that is to feed the reactors under construction," Assie said. On June 24, Cameco signed an agreement with China Nuclear Energy Corporation to supply some 10,000 tons of uranium over the next decade.
July 15 (EIRNS)The Pentagon confirmed that the joint military exercises with South Korea will be held both in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea, whenever they are held. Exact timing and other details about the exercise will be made jointly by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and their counterparts, when the U.S. team visits Seoul next week.
Making the announcement, with traditional Pentagon bluster, spokesman Geoff Morrell said, "But this is a matter of our ability to exercise in open seas, in international waters. Those determinations are made by us and us alone." The Chinese have loudly and continuously objected to any exercises being held in the Yellow Sea, especially using the nuclear-armed carrier, the USS George Washington. However, Korean sources indicate that any carrier portion of the exercise, or other sensitive deployment, will not be carried out in the Yellow Sea, but farther away from Chinese vital waters.
Also on July 14, U.S. and North Korean lower-level officers held military talks in Panmunjom to discuss arrangements for further high-level discussion on the sinking of the Cheonan. The talks lasted for 90 minutes. No details were disclosed, but military officers from the U.S.-led United Nations Command (UNC) and North Korea have agreed "in principle" to hold general-level talks, an official at the UNC said.
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