Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Gold crash on Fed tightening
and euro salvation looks premature Until the rising reserve powers of Asia, Russia and the Gulf regain trust in the shattered credibility of the world's two great fiat currencies - if they ever do - gold is unlikely to crash far or remain in the doldrums for long. `Peak gold' cements the price floor in any case.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard -
It has been an unsettling experience for late-comers who joined the gold rush near all-time highs of $1923 an ounce last September. The slide has become deeply threatening since the US Federal Reserve took quantitative easing (QE3) off the table six weeks ago - or appeared to do so - and signaled the start of a new tightening cycle. Spot gold ended the pre-Easter week at $1636.
"The game has changed," says Dennis Gartman, apostle of the long rally who now scornfully tells gold bugs that he is just a "mercenary", not a member of their cult. "They genuflect in gold's direction; we merely acknowledge that it exists as a trading vehicle and nothing more. There are times to be bullish, and times to be bearish … to every season, as Ecclesiastes tells us."
What's the central bank endgame in gold?
By: Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer, GATA - GoldSeek.com
"If the naked short position in gold on behalf of the Federal Reserve through its intermediaries is so big that it can drive down the bullion markets with mere paper (and I believe that it is), then what is the likely strategic endgame that these evil people have in mind?
"They obviously know that they are fighting a losing battle against market forces, as Russia, India, and China have no intention of reducing their acquisition of real metal while unloading U.S. treasuries and dollar reserves (though they do that on the sly to avoid crashing the markets). So these guys must have an endgame strategy. But what is it?
What Happens to Gold
if We Enter a Recession or Depression?
By Jeff Clark, Casey Research - GoldSeek.com
Mayan prophecies aside, many of the senior Casey Research staff believe that economic, monetary, and fiscal pressures could come to a head this year. The massive buildup of global debt, continued reckless deficit spending, and the lack of sound political leadership to reverse either trend point to a potentially ugly tipping point. What happens to our investments if we enter another recession or – gulp – a depression?
Here's an updated snapshot of the gold price during each recession since 1955.
Gold QE3 Scares
By: Adam Hamilton, Zeal Intelligence - GoldSeek.com
Sellers hammered gold again this week on news from the Fed. The minutes from its latest FOMC meeting convinced traders the odds for a third round of quantitative easing are waning. This was the latest in a long line of QE3 scares that have become the bane of gold's existence. But they are merely a distraction from the Fed's ongoing massive monetary inflation behind the scenes, which is very bullish for gold.
Gold has suffered much from QE3 scares. This week's FOMC minutes drove it 3.4% lower in 2 trading days. On the last day of February, gold plummeted 5.1% after the Fed Chairman's testimony to Congress made QE3 look less likely. Gold hadn't seen such a huge down day since December 2008 during the epic stock panic! Surrounding an FOMC meeting in mid-December 2011, gold plunged 8.0% in 3 days.
Jim Rogers: Buy more gold at $1500/oz
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Jim Rogers has stated that he not only remains optimistic on gold's bullishness but will continue to buy more gold on price weakness. Jim Rogers, the Chairman of Rogers Holdings, was the co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros and is also the creator of the widely tracked Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI)
But even though he is bullish on gold, Rogers admits that short term outlook does not look promising. "I expect the price to decline and when that happens I will buy more", Bloomberg quoted Rogers at a conference in Bucharest on Wednesday. He stated that he will continue to accumulate gold at price levels of $1600/oz bit will buy even more if prices drop to $1500/oz.
Silver has upside potential
and to average $51/oz in 2013, $37.50 in 2012
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): BNP Paribas said that silver has upside potential. "Our positive price profile for silver relies on two assumptions--a higher gold price and higher risk appetite," as per a research note from precious-metals strategist Anne-Laure Tremblay.
"The combination of both is itself dependent on further monetary accommodation, in particular from the U.S. We expect silver to average US$37.50/oz in 2012 and US$51.00/oz in 2013. But when the gold price ends its multi-year rally, the silver price will become very vulnerable to a large correction," the bank added.
The creeping cost of consumer inflation
brought to you by a lower US dollar –
Americans squeezed as inflation
filters into the cost of daily life.
The uncertain employment market of low wage work.
Posted by MyBudget360.com
There are unintended consequences when policy aims at depreciating a currency in favor of bolstering an ailing banking system. TheFederal Reserve has been on a multi-decade mission to lower the value of the US dollar. The primary purpose of this mission is to inflate banks into solvency as they try to work their way out of the massive financial crisis. The amount of troubled real estate loans is still impressive when we look at the temporary sanctuary being provided by the Federal Reserve on their overloaded balance sheet. This luxury is not afforded to your common household and consequently many Americans are now facing higher and higher costs in items like energy even though demand is slightly lower. This occurs for a variety of reasons but a main driver is the declining purchasing power of the US dollar. This permeates over into the employment market that is largely being driven by lower wage positions. Inflation is creeping back into the economy.
The suffocation of unsustainable global debt –
Total global debt is now over $190 trillion
and more than three times global GDP.
Contagion with European Union.
Posted by MyBudget360
The biggest market in the world is the European Union and debt problems are still rippling through the global markets. It is apparent with the financial crisis that the global markets are tied together by large banks and interconnected trade. A problem in the largest market should be unsettling and the unemployment rate in the European Union is now at a 15 year high. The global debt problem was never really solved but papered over with extensions and banking trickery. The US has dealt with much of the debt issues by suspending major accounting rules and stuffing bad loans into the Federal Reserve like a Christmas stocking. The European Union is facing some challenges ahead and all eyes will be watching given the impact of contagion impacts. Greece was only a tiny sliver of the debt issues compared to the major debt restructuring that will be necessary for a large economy like Spain.
The Big Easing
By Daniel Gros - Project-Syndicate.org
BRUSSELS – More than three years after the financial crisis that erupted in 2008, who is doing more to bring about economic recovery, Europe or the United States? The US Federal Reserve has completed two rounds of so-called "quantitative easing," whereas the European Central Bank has fired two shots from its big gun, the so-called long-term refinancing operation (LTRO), providing more than €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in low-cost financing to eurozone banks for three years.
For some time, it was argued that the Fed had done more to stimulate the economy, because, using 2007 as the benchmark, it had expanded its balance sheet proportionally more than the ECB had done. But the ECB has now caught up. Its balance sheet amounts to roughly €2.8 trillion, or close to 30% of eurozone GDP, compared to the Fed's balance sheet of roughly 20% of US GDP.
Keiser Report: Anti-Bank Currency (E272)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss getting Zhou Tonged and Jamie Dimon-ed in financial markets. They also discuss bucket shop derivatives, a debit card repo scam and a compound of morons and regulatory flatulence. In the second half of the show Max talks to Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation about bitcoin in the virtual world and about pseudo abundance and artificial scarcity in the real world.
Dollar Dims on Fed Speculation
BY MATTHEW WALTER - WSJ.com $$
NEW YORK—The outlook for further actions from the Federal Reserve and other major central banks will likely drive currency markets this week, following Friday's weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report.
Better U.S. economic data this year had led investors to reduce expectations for more stimulus from the Fed. However, the 120,000 jobs added in March came in below economists' forecasts, reviving speculation that the Fed could implement a new round of quantitative easing to boost the economy. Another round of outright bond buying by the Fed would tend to weaken the dollar by increasing the supply of money circulating.
Black Markets In Gold And Cigarettes Are Exploding In Greece
By Joe Weisenthal - BusinessInsider.com
Two separate stories in Greek newspaper Ekathimerini appear to show a common theme in terms of what's happening to the Greek economy as the state becomes more and more desperate for revenue at a time when the private sector is more and more desperate to avoid paying it.
The black market for cigarettes is exploding:
Sales of smuggled cigarettes have more than trebled in Greece, amounting to an estimated 3.5 billion euros per year, or 15 percent of the legal market, as the worsening of the economic recession and repeated price hikes for tobacco products have frustrated smokers.
Spain Will Exit The Eurozone First—This Year
By Gonzalo Lira
In the LiraSPG Scenario "When The Euro Breaks", I discussed what would happen to the euro and the eurozone when those countries — unable to continue under their massive debt burdens — began exiting the European monetary union.
One of the assumptions I made was that one of the smaller nations of the eurozone would leave the monetary union first, thereby encouraging one of the bigger nations to follow their example and leave as well. I postulated that the small country would likely be Greece, and that the large country would probably be Spain.
[UK] Workers to be offered
under new plans Workers will be offered a new type of guaranteed pension to replace gold-plated final salary schemes under radical plans being drawn up by ministers.
By Robert Winnett - Telegraph.co.uk
Steve Webb, the pensions minister, says today that private sector workers could be offered a guaranteed pension pot on retirement — or a retirement income that is fixed if they agree to work longer.
The new schemes would replace final-salary pensions, which have now been abandoned by the vast majority of private companies and are only typically available in the public sector.
Austerity cold shower reality check
Former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet gives an exclusive interview to RT emphasizing the fact that developed countries must stick to sound policies of not spending more than they earn, which has little to do with austerity measures.
China doomsayer sees crash coming
By Chris Oliver, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China's consumption boom is drawing to a close, according to one economist's contrarian view, which calls for no growth — or even a contraction — in the Chinese economy and the advent of an era of deflation and weaker spending.
Investments leveraged to the rise of the Chinese consumer, ranging from Australian miners to luxury-handbag makers and even iPhones are due for a reality check, according to Jim Walker, founder and managing director of the Hong Kong-based economic research company Asianomics.
Economic Hit Men: Paid Professionals
who Cheat Countries Out of Trillions
On the Thursday, April 5 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex talks with John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Perkins spent the 1970s working as an economic planner for an international consulting firm. In his book he describes how the globalists force the economic hegemony of the banksters, the IMF and World Bank on victim nations in the third world. "Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars," Perkins writes. He is also the author of The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World and Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded -- and What We Need to Do to Remake Them.
Stock Futures Plunge Following Weak Jobs Report
By Lu Wang - Bloomberg.com
U.S. stock futures fell, signaling more Standard & Poor's 500 Index losses following the biggest weekly retreat of the year, after American employers added fewer jobs than forecast in March.
S&P 500 (SPX) futures expiring in June slumped 1.3 percent to 1,372.70 at 7:07 a.m. Tokyo time following the benchmark index's 0.7 percent weekly loss. Dow Jones Industrial Averagefutures dropped 143 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,835. Nasdaq-100 Index futures retreated 1.2 percent to 2,721.50. U.S. stock exchanges were shut for Good Friday on April 6, when the employment report was released.
FDA for Derivatives Won't Defuse Wall Street's Bombs
By William D. Cohan - Bloomberg.com
Given the role that Wall Street's reckless use of derivatives played in causing the Great Recession, I can understand the desire for new ways to regulate financial instruments.
For example, on March 31 Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times advocated creating a federal agency to test new financial products in the same way the Food and Drug Administration tests pharmaceuticals before they are allowed onto the market -- "an agency that examined new financial instruments and ensured that they were safe and benefited society, not just bankers." The idea was not her own, although she thought it a good one. Morgenson properly credited an academic paper by two University of Chicago professors -- Eric A. Posner, who teaches law, and Glen Weyl, an assistant professor in economics -- who had a Bloomberg View op-ed article on the subject the following day.
Spring brings signs of hope and renewal —
except in the housing market
By Barry Ritholtz - WashingtonPost.com
Ahhh, winter is finally over. Each year about this time, flowers push up through the soil, trees begin to bud — and the stories about a real estate recovery appear.
Am I skeptic? But of course. To understand why, let's consider a few questions:
What is shadow inventory?
This is important, as lowering the total inventory of houses for sale is how prices stabilize and sales volume moves higher.
Most buyers are familiar with ordinary inventory — houses listed for sale with real estate agents or by owners. Unfortunately, shadow inventory adds to the backlog. It includes bank-owned real estate, distressed houses not yet for sale, short sales and delinquencies that have not yet defaulted. Foreclosure properties are also in the shadow inventory.
Misguided Faith in an Economic Recovery
By Joel Bowman - dailyreckoning.com
04/05/12 Buenos Aires, Argentina – We watched last night the rows of cars below our balcony, snaking their way out of the pollution and congestion of South America's second largest metropolis, out into the peace and calm of the surrounding campos and estancias.
The usual rabble and riff-raff have left for the long weekend. The city is empty. And quiet.
Still, there is reckoning to be done…
Markets continue with what Eric Fry yesterday dubbed the "everything off" trade. "Investors are dumping everything with a ticker symbol," observed Mr. Fry. "US stocks, foreign stocks, government bonds, corporate bonds, precious metals, crude oil and almost every other commodity"…everything is "off."
It's All About Jobs
By: John Mauldin - GoldSeek.com
....Just Trying to Keep Up
March saw "only" 120,000 jobs created. Expectations were for 200,000 new jobs. It wasn't all that long ago that any positive number would have been seen as good, but with the last six months averaging 200,000 jobs, this was disappointing. It gives force to the worry that once again we could see the employment numbers get soft during the spring and summer. And adding to interest in the topic, the employment numbers will take on a decidedly political tone this summer, as every poll shows that jobs and the economy is the #1 thing on voter's minds. This will be underscored only four days before the presidential election on Tuesday, November 6, as the jobs report for October is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 2. Think that one won't be analyzed more than usual? I keep writing that the current release is adjusted so often that it is hard to see more than a trend in the actual monthly releases, but that will not keep pundits from using the release to support their candidate with all the spin they can muster.
Job Gains in U.S. Trail Most-Pessimistic Forecasts: Economy
By Timothy R. Homan - Bloomberg.com
Hiring by American employers trailed forecasts in March, casting doubt on the vigor of the more than two-year-old economic expansion.
The 120,000 increase in payrolls reported by the Labor Department in Washington today was the smallest in five months and less than the most pessimistic estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent as people left the labor force.
Introducing the 24/7 Wall St. Wire
The US economy added only 120,000 jobs in March–a huge disappointment. Most consensus forecasts were for 210,000. There had been a concern that improved hiring over the last five months would need to pause.
Unemployment stayed at 8.2%. The most damage done to employee count was a drop in retail jobs.
The BLS reports
Employment rose in manufacturing, food services and drinking places, and health care, but was down in retail trade.
What the 'End of Retail' Means for Young Workers
By Karl Smith - TheAtlantic.com
Quickly tying together a bunch of threads: My general take is that neither GDP nor the Employment-Population Ratio is a stat we should care about for its own sake. By that same token, in-and-of-itself, I don't consider declines in unemployment from people leaving the workforce to better or worse than declines from people becoming unemployed.
There are lots of reasons, but fundamentally because these are a function of choices people make about their lives.
When lots of people chose to work, GDP will increase, the population-employment ratio will rise, and declines in unemployment will be dominated by folks becoming employed. When lots of people choose to retire, stay in school longer or stay home to raise a family the trends will reverse.
The Jobless Go Begging in Washington State
ARK - Truthdig.com
Thousands of jobless workers in Washington state will lose their unemployment checks starting later this month when the federal government begins withdrawing emergency benefits because overall state unemployment has dropped below 8.5 percent.
The problem is that the system ignores individual workers' needs among the roughly 175,000 people collecting unemployment checks.
Older workers face challenges in D.C. job market
By Stefanie Dazio - WashingtonPost.com
Frances China needed to learn how to use a computer.
So the 57-year-old woman from Northwest Washington turned to the best option she had: her grandson Jilani. The 11-year-old helped her create a PowerPoint presentation and learn about the machinations of Microsoft Office.
In the process, Jilani demonstrated the stark skills gap facing older workers like his nana. "He's my tutor," China said.
The divide between China and her grandson underscores the challenges facing older unemployed workers in the District and elsewhere as they try to find a place in an economy that has been slow to create jobs in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
The phony economic deception machine –
JP Morgan Chase CEO earns $23 million in 2011
while 2.7 million foreclosures are filed in the US.
GDP at record levels but employment figures
down by 5.3 million from their peak.
Posted by MyBudget360.com
The US economic and political system is doing an excellent job sealing off opportunities for millions that aspire to be part of the middle class. Many are starting to realize that the system is rigged in favor of large financial institutions and those with political connections. The idea of raw success based on talent can be thrown out the window with the corporate welfare generosity leveled at the too big to fail financial institutions. Many Americans are being told that forced austerity is a necessary part of rebalancing yet the CEO of JP Morgan Chase just received $23 million in 2011 while tens of thousands of foreclosures riddled Chase's balance sheet. Earned success? If we examine real GDP the facts show the US economy is as large as it has ever been but we are running it with over 5,300,000+ fewer workers. The system is designed to extract economic rents from the public and drive them into a few select sectors. The working and middle class are feeling this change deeply as noted by the over 5 million fewer workers that we have.
Man Knocked Out, Stripped Naked
And Robbed Of Everything
As Crowd Of Onlookers Laugh Hysterically
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
How would you feel if a group of young thugs punched you in the face, knocked you to the ground, stripped you naked and took off with your car keys, your watch, your money and your cell phone? Well, that is exactly what happened to one man in Baltimore recently and it was all caught on camera. Perhaps the most frightening thing about this incident is that nobody from the crowd of onlookers helped this man. Instead, most of them appear to have been too busy laughing hysterically at what was happening to him. Sadly, this kind of behavior is becoming all too common on the streets of America. The hearts of our young people are growing very cold, and in a lot of major U.S. cities it is simply not safe to go strolling around after the sun goes down anymore. The man in the video that you are about to see is lucky to have gotten away alive. When he was punched in the face he fell directly backward and in the video you can hear the sound of his skull loudly hitting the pavement. But instead of checking to see if he needed medical help, the crowd around the man descended on him like a bunch of crazed looters. This incident happened on St. Patrick's Day, but it is only now that the media is starting to take notice of this video.
Is There a Fiscal Crisis in the United States?
By SIMON JOHNSON - NYTimes.com
There are two competing narratives about the federal government budget in the political mainstream today.
The first is that we are, or soon will be, in crisis, because of runaway government spending. To avoid this crisis, we should cut spending by a great deal and as soon as possible.
The second view is that all talk of a fiscal crisis is essentially a hoax; we have a jobs crisis, and we should spend as much as necessary to get us out of the deep recession. From this perspective, we should fix the budget once the economy is back on an even keel.
Food Banks Fear They Will Fall Short
in Efforts to Feed the Nation's Hungry
Press Release - MarketWatch.com
CHICAGO, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Higher Food and Gas Prices and Decline in Government Food Donations Cited
Higher food costs and rising gas prices could prove to be damaging to the nation's food banks and their ability to provide adequate emergency food to the nearly 49 million Americans who are currently living at risk of hunger, Feeding America, the network of the nation's largest food banks, announced today.
Although recent reports indicate that the economy is beginning to improve and that the unemployment rate is also beginning to shrink, Feeding America's food banks continue to face significant struggles as America recovers from the worst economic recession in decades.
4% solution for retirement doesn't fit all Need to consider age, gender, risk tolerance, and more
By Robert Powell, MarketWatch
BOSTON (MarketWatch) — The 4% withdrawal strategy, a strategy used to produce income in retirement by many financial advisers and do-it-yourselfers, is, to put it bluntly, oversimplistic. So say the authors of a new white paper from Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management Institute.
"We find this rule to be overly simplistic," said the authors of Merrill's white paper. "Sustainable spending rates depends critically on a (person's) age, gender, and risk tolerance."
Obama's Own War on Women
By Ken Blackwell - PatriotPost.us
Editor's note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison
Anti-war presidential candidate Gene McCarthy once described reporters as being like blackbirds on the telephone lines: One lands, they all land; one flies off, they all fly off.
We're seeing those media blackbirds again. They're going on and on about conservatives and their so-called war on women. It seems if you don't think religious institutions -- hospitals, soup kitchens, universities -- should be forced to provide coverage for drugs that can cause abortions, then you are making "war" on women.
Lake Tahoe may challenge Denver for 2022 winter Olympics
Denver Business Journal by Eric Young
California and Nevada officials say they will work together to lure the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to Lake Tahoe, which straddles the state line.
That could put the Tahoe region in competition with Denver, which also is exploring the idea of mounting a bid for the 2022 games.
At the Denver Business Journal's "State of the Cities" forum in February, Denver MayorMichael Hancock called the Olympics a "huge opportunity for us. We've got to be smart and thoughtful about it, and that's what the exploratory process is all about."
Selling You on Facebook
Many popular Facebook apps are obtaining sensitive information about users — and users' friends — so don't be surprised if details about your religious, political and even sexual preferences start popping up in unexpected places.
By JULIA ANGWIN and JEREMY SINGER-VINE
Not so long ago, there was a familiar product called software. It was sold in stores, in shrink-wrapped boxes. When you bought it, all that you gave away was your credit card number or a stack of bills.
Now there are "apps" — stylish, discrete chunks of software that live online or in your smartphone. To "buy" an app, all you have to do is click a button. Sometimes they cost a few dollars, but many apps are free, at least in monetary terms. You often pay in another way. Apps are gateways, and when you buy an app, there is a strong chance that you are supplying its developers with one of the most coveted commodities in today's economy: personal data.
Senator Al Franken: 'privacy is a casualty'
of Google and Facebook's success
By Nilay Patel - BusinessInsider.com
"YOU ARE NOT THEIR CLIENT. YOU ARE THEIR PRODUCT."
Franken opened by talking about his opposition to both the NBC / Comcast merger and the failed AT&T / T-Mobile deal, but he was most blunt about the privacy threat facing internet users every day. Consumers are "out on a limb when it comes to legal protections" for personal information, said Franken, who lamented that the protections citizens have against government intrusion against privacy don't apply to corporations.
I'M TALKING TO YOU - Bill Whittle
At current spending rates, there will be no U.S. Economy by 2027. That's not Bill's opinion: that's the opinion of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, using the Obama Administration's own numbers, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner doesn't even bother to deny it.
Strip-Search Case Reflects Death of American Privacy
By Noah Feldman - Bloomberg.com
To be the swing voter, you have to be willing to swing. In the last three weeks, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has shown how it's done.
First he wrote the majority opinion in a landmark 5-4 case establishing a constitutional right to an adequate lawyer in plea-bargaining negotiations. Liberals were enthused. Yet in his tough questioning during the Obamacare arguments, he shook up the conventional wisdom that mandatory coverage would be upheld comfortably. Liberals were not enthused. Then, as a coda, he wrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 case allowing jails to strip-search anyone being put into the general prison population -- even without suspicion, and even after the most trivial misdemeanor arrest. The same liberals who loved him in March are prepared to loathe him in April.
US government the best money can buy?
Money's influence in politics is well known, and whether on Wall Street or K Street, people with money influence lawmakers. Many Americans are tired of the business as usual practices and it is evident with the rise of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Should laws be passed based on how much money you can throw at Congress? Francis Megahy, a filmmaker, joins us to discuss whether the US government is the best money can buy.
Agenda21 – Wildlands Plan is in full swing in California –
42 Roads to close in El Dorado National Forest
The PPJ Gazette
PRESS RELEASE Court Order Prohibits Motorized Vehicle Travel
on 42 Popular OHV Routes
Release Date: Apr 4, 2012 Placerville, CA
Forty-two off-highway-vehicle routes that cross meadows in the Eldorado National Forest may be closed to motor vehicle travel this recreation season while the Forest Service completes an environmental analysis, announced Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy.
The potential travel prohibitions are the result of a February 2012 court order by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton. The order said the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act in 2008 when it designated "open for public motor vehicle use" portions of 42 routes that cross meadows. Judge Karlton ordered the Forest Service to "set aside" the decision that designated these segments as open and to reconsider the decision.
The Persian Knot
By Joschka Fischer - Project-Syndicate.org
BERLIN – The negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, over Iran's nuclear program are entering a new, and probably decisive, stage. The negotiations have been going on for almost a decade, with long interruptions, and whether a breakthrough will come this time is anyone's guess. But the situation has never been as serious as it is today, and peace hangs in the balance.
After the recent visits by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington, DC, and by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Tehran, a foggy situation is nonetheless becoming clearer. It appears that US President Barack Obama has won time by drawing a line in the sand – the start of an explicit Iranian nuclear-weapons program – and by assuring Israel of America's readiness for military action should negotiations fail.
Peace Plan for Syria Near Collapse Syria demands guarantees from rebels
before withdrawing from cities
By Alice Fordham - WashingtonPost.com
BEIRUT — A U.N.-brokered peace plan for Syria appeared close to collapse Sunday as the government demanded a written guarantee that the rebels will lay down their arms before authorities withdraw troops from cities and towns.
The statement cast serious doubt on hopes that the peace plan — the only initiative backed by Syrian allies China, Russia and Iran as well as the United Nations, the Arab League and Syria — could quell the violence stemming from a government crackdown on a year-long uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.