Paper Money, Train Wreck And The Need For Gold & Silver
By GE Christenson - GoldSilverWorlds.com
The author explores in this article how the current financial system will soon turn into a train wreck. The long term bull market in paper based financial assets has ended but our politicians are undertaking truly heroic actions to keep this paper based money system going. Mathematically it's impossible in the meanwhile to continue this way. So in either situation, there will be a painful resolution and whichever scenario plays out, there is only asset class that will offer protection: gold and silver.
Gold And The Cold War
Darryl Schoon - GoldSilverWorlds.com
De Toqueville's amazing prediction in 1835 about the destinies of Russia and the Anglo-Americans was every bit the equal to those made by his illustrious French predecessor, Michel de Nostradame.
"There are now two great nations in the world, which starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans… Each seems called by some secret design of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world." in "Democracy in America", Alexis de Toqueville, 1835
In the 1830s, Russiawas a czarist empire and the UShad fought its war of independence from Englandonly 60 years before. The idea of Russia and the Anglo-Americans ..starting from different points advancing toward the same goal.. called by some secret design of Providence..to [each] hold .. the destinies of half the world was an extraordinary prediction, especially in 1835.
Facing the Fiscal Cliff
Solves 77% of the Deficit Problem in One Move
BY MARTIN HUTCHINSON, Global Investing Strategist, Money Morning
With the election over, Wall Street is now obsessing over the possibility that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations may end in stalemate.
Well I have news for them: a stalemate would be good for the U.S. economy, and any deal that does not preserve most of the fiscal cliff is not worth having.
By ending Social Security tax relief, the Bush tax cuts and cutting spending on both defense and domestic programs, the "fiscal cliff" cuts a deficit projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) at $10 trillion over the next 10 years down to $2.3 trillion.
Senate works on financial cliff options
By Lori Montgomery and Zachary A. Goldfarb - WashingtonPost.com
As congressional leaders prepare to meet Friday morning at the White House to discuss the looming fiscal cliff, much of Washington is focused on the potential for compromise between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
But what if, after two years of trying, that pair still can't get a deal to solve the nation's budget problems? Then there's hope in the Senate, where people in both parties are hard at work on Plan B.
Economy Has Green Shoots
From China to U.S. as Data Surprise
By Simon Kennedy - Bloomberg.com
The U.S. and China, the world's traditional twin sources of growth, are planting seeds to lift the world economy from its midyear slowdown.
Among the green shoots indicating faster expansion: strongerhousing demand and hiring in the U.S. and accelerating factory output and retail sales in China. Responsible for a third of the world economy, the two countries are now providing ballast internationally as Europe and Japan stagnate.
Fed debates future asset purchases
Members debate what should replace expiring 'Operation Twist'
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve officials faced off in October about whether the central bank needed to buy more assets once its "Operation Twist" program finishes at the end of the year, according to minutes released Wednesday.
While a "number" of Fed officials, according to the minutes, think the Fed will likely need to buy more assets once its Twist stimulus program wraps up in December, "several" other members questioned whether they were needed.
The Most Important Tax Break
Is the One That Nobody Talks About
If you really want to raise revenues, the Holy Grail isn't capping tax deductions, as Romney proposed, or raising the top marginal rate, as Obama proposed. It's taxing investment income like ordinary income.
By James Kwak - TheAtlantic.com
Suddenly, Republicans are all about increasing tax revenues from rich people. In the last weeks of the campaign, Mitt Romney talked about capping itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers (which, unfortunately for his arithmetic, would not nearly have compensated for the lower tax rates he proposed). John Boehner has told his caucus that they have to be willing to accept increased tax revenues (but out of the other side of his mouth says that tax rates cannot be increased). Glenn Hubbard, in the Financial Times, also suggests increasing revenues by closing loopholes: "Tax deductions should be scaled back, especially in the areas of mortgage interest, charitable giving and employer-provided health insurance."
Save the Payroll Tax Holiday
It's the most important part of the "fiscal cliff"—
and nobody's talking about it.
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
The most important element of the "fiscal cliff" is the one politicians seem least interested in doing anything about: the expiration of a payroll tax holiday that's given a nice lift to the economy at no cost to anyone. A sensible Congress would be coming together on extending and even expanding the payroll tax holiday, even while continuing to argue about the other unrelated elements of the cliff. Instead, the ongoing controversy over high-end Bush tax cuts is crowding the agenda and may end up blocking what should be a no-brainer policy initiative.
UNION BOSS TRUMKA: FISCAL CLIFF A 'MANUFACTURED CRISIS'
by TONY LEE - Breitbart.com
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka believes the so-called fiscal cliff is just a "manufactured crisis" that does not really exist.
"There is no fiscal cliff!" Trumka will say in a Washington, D.C. speech with liberal leaders and groups on Thursday. "What we're facing is an obstacle course within a manufactured crisis that was hastily thrown together in response to inflated rhetoric about our federal deficit."
Euro zone double dips back into recession
By William L. Watts - MarketWatch.com
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) — Europe's long-running debt crisis dragged the 17-nation euro zone back into recession in the third quarter, data showed Thursday, offering a negative counterpoint to growing optimism among U.S. and global investors over prospects for the global economy.
Third-quarter euro-zone gross domestic product shrank 0.1% compared to the second quarter, the European Union statistics agency Eurostat said. That's equal to an annualized contraction of around 0.4%.
1930s medicine pushes Europe
back into double-dip recession
The eurozone has relapsed into double-dip recession as the austerity shock in the Mediterranean region spreads to the core countries of the north.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The Dutch economy shrank by 1.1pc in the third quarter amid a deep housing slump, and even Austria has begun to succumb. Finland's economy has shrunk by 1pc over the last year.
"Recession comes as no surprise and it is going to get worse next year," said Desmond Supple from Nomura. "Europe has imposed dusted-off policies from the 1930s and they are driving peripheral countries towards depression," he said.
Like it or not, Beijing and Berlin must pay
If the world is to return to growth, countries with a surplus need to bear a bigger burden
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
With the eurozone officially back in overall recession, an air of deep gloom has once again settled over prospects for the global economy. It's more than four years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but still the world is struggling to emerge convincingly from its shadow.
Europe's crippling banking and sovereign debt crisis has shown signs of easing in recent months, but in the real economy things seem to be getting steadily worse. Greece is already ruined beyond redemption, with others chasing hard. Even the mighty Germany is again feeling the chill winds of recession blowing at its door.
Financial Watchdogs Move to Rein In Money Funds
By SCOTT PATTERSON - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON—The $2.6 trillion money-market-fund industry might not be free much longer of the postcrisis strictures that the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman tried, and failed, to impose earlier this year.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a board of top U.S. regulators established by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, approved several recommendations to overhaul money-market funds in an open meeting Tuesday. The aim of the council's push is to prevent runs on money-market funds during a financial crisis, as happened in 2008 when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection.
US regulators outline money fund reforms
By Shahien Nasiripour in Washington
and Dan McCrum in New York - FT.com
US regulators have proposed three options for fundamental reform of the $2.6tn money market fund industry in an effort to minimise the alleged systemic risk it poses.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, the collection of US regulators headed by Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, on Tuesday sought public comment on proposals that would force the industry to adopt floating share prices, hold capital to guard against losses, or restrict investors' ability to exit the funds.
Money market funds come under attack
By Burton Malkiel - FT.com
Money market funds have been an unambiguous benefit to both individual and institutional investors, as well as to non-financial corporations and municipalities in need of short-run financing.
But now the very existence of the $2.6tn money fund industry is under attack. Both present Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and former chairman Paul Volcker have called for stronger oversight of money funds because of their destabilising potential. And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently urged the Financial Stability Oversight Council to push forward new rules to rein in the industry as essential for financial stability.
This Is The Government: Your Legal Right
To Redeem Your Money Market Account
Has Been Denied - The Sequel
Submitted by Tyler Durden- ZeroHedge.com (07/19/2012)
Two years ago, in January 2010, Zero Hedge wrote "This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied" which became one of our most read stories of the year. The reason? Perhaps something to do with an implicit attempt at capital controls by the government on one of the primary forms of cash aggregation available: $2.7 trillion in US money market funds. The proximal catalyst back then were new proposed regulations seeking to pull one of these three core pillars (these being no volatility, instantaneous liquidity, and redeemability) from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal would give money market fund managers the option to "suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets." In other words: an attempt to prevent money market runs (the same thing that crushed Lehman when the Reserve Fund broke the buck).
Time to think the unthinkable and start printing again
By Martin Wolf - FT.com (September 29, 2011)
It is the policy that dare not speak its name: the printing press. The time has come to employ this nuclear option on a grand scale. The alternative is likely to be a lost decade. The waste is more than unnecessary; it is cruel. Sadists seem to revel in that cruelty. Sane people should reject it. It is wrong, intellectually and morally.
A recession looms close in the UK and other high-income countries, less than four years after the start of the last one. This would be a disaster for those who would lose their jobs or the young, who would find their hopes of work further postponed.
Thinking through the unthinkable
By Martin Wolf - FT.com (November 8, 2011)
Will the eurozone survive? The leaders of France and Germany have now raised this question, for the case of Greece. If policymakers had understood two decades ago what they know now, they would never have launched the single currency. Only fear of the consequences of a break-up is now keeping it together. The question is whether that will be enough. I suspect the answer is, no.
Efforts to bring the crisis under control have failed, so far. True, the eurozone's leadership has disposed of George Papandreou's disruptive desire for democratic legitimacy. But financial stress is entrenched in Italy and Spain (see chart). With a real interest rate of about 4.5 per cent and economic growth of 1.5 per cent (its average from 2000 to 2007, inclusive), Italy's primary fiscal surplus (before interest rates) needs to be close to 4 per cent of gross domestic product, indefinitely. But the debt ratio is too high. So the primary surplus has to be far bigger, the growth rate far higher, or the interest rate lower. Under Silvio Berlusconi, none of the necessary changes is going to happen. Would another leader fix things? I wonder.
Barack Obama can live without Churchill's bust, but not UK cash
SelectUSA is one of President Barack Obama's more snappily titled creations. Established early last year, the organisation's brief is to drum up foreign investment in the US.
By Richard Blackden, New York - Telegraph.co.uk
Its staff are a busy bunch. This week they organised a summit for business leaders in Moscow. December will see them in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. January brings a trip to Paris to persuade the French to invest, while there is a visit to Hanover in the spring to tap the Germans for cash.
It is the sort of globe-trotting itinerary that will inflame critics who believe such efforts are a waste of taxpayers' money.
Why Financial Repression Will Fail
BY RON HERA - FinancialSense.com
Excessive leverage and risk in the financial system, e.g., using customer funds to speculate, never ends well. Stock market crashes, bank and investment firm failures or economic recessions are all potential consequences. Following the failure of the United States to regulate over the counter (OTC) derivatives and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, U.S. banks became the largest financial business entities in history. The U.S. real estate bubble, sub-prime lending and mortgage backed securities (MBS), along with unregulated OTC derivatives, then lead to bank insolvencies, a historic stock market crash and a near collapse of the global financial system.
Ron Paul's farewell speech
by Chris Cillizza - WashingtonPost.com
The Texas Congressman — and three-time presidential candidate — said goodbye in farewell remarks on the House floor Wednesday.
He spoke for a LONG time — 48 minutes — but those who follow the man they call "Dr. Paul" likely consumed (and re-consumed) every word.
Given Paul's surprising influence on the GOP in recent years — particularly on fiscal matters — and the likelihood that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (his son) will run for president, it's worth checking out. (And yes, there are gold standard and raw milk references.)
FEDERALIST SOCIETY LAUNCHES ANNUAL CONFERENCE TODAY
by BEN SHAPIRO - Breitbart.com
Beginning today and extending through November 17, the Federalist Society will be holding its annual National Lawyers Convention. The Federalist Society is most famous as the largest constitutionalist legal organization in the United States; it was the breeding ground for several conservative justices (and one supposed conservative, Chief Justice John Roberts). The theme of the convention: "The Future of US Constitutional Law in the Supreme Court."
It is slated to be a star-studded event. Justice Samuel Alito gives the keynote speech this evening; other heavy hitters include Peter Thiel, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (TX), Senator Mike Lee (UT), Gov. Rick Scott (FL), and Justice Antonin Scalia, among others.
Breitbart News had a chance to speak with Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society.
What Does It Mean that Residents
in All 50 States Have Filed Petitions to Secede?
By George Washington - ZeroHedge.com
….Conservatives – such as Judge Napolitano and Ron Paul - say that the states have the right to secede. And Texas governor Rick Perry said that Texas has a right to secede (although he counsels against it at the current time).
On the other hand, most liberals say that the Civil War ended the state's right to secede. Huffington Post is covering the wave of secession petitions … to ridicule them.
Daily Kos suggests that "secessionists can secede by renouncing their citizenship".
As the Daily Caller notes, liberals have launched their own counter-petitions:
Will Texas Nullify Both NDAA and TSA?
Posted by Tenth Amendment - TenthAmendmentCenter.com
The Texas legislature will take up two bills designed to protect basic civil liberties in the Lone Star State during the 2013 legislative session.
On Monday morning, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longwood) prefiled The Texas Travel Freedom Act (House Bill 80). If passed, the law would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch "the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing," without probable cause in the process of determining whether to grant someone access to a public venue or means of public transportation.
A Change Is Coming – 2013 & Onwards – Part I
BY JULIAN PHILLIPS - FinancialSense.com
As we get closer to the end of 2012 we start to look forward to 2013 and beyond. Hopes and dreams must always be tempered by the stark spotlight of today's realities. Nothing can happen unless it is based on today's present world structures, events and leaders in politics, and money. The first major point we have to recognize is the structures we see around us, within which everything is bound together, together with the current leaders and their will for the future –these things will shape the years ahead.
Bernanke Warns On Housing
By Douglas A. McIntyre - 247WallSt.com
Whatever good news has been released about the housing market recently has not changed the outlook of Ben Bernanke and his worry over an eventual recovery of the sector. Bernanke believes that the breadth of the underwater mortgage problem and overall weakness of the economy could retard any real recovery.
At a speech at the Operation HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit, the Fed chief said:
To be sure, the housing sector is far from being out of the woods. Construction activity, sales, and prices remain much lower than they were before the crisis. About 20 percent of mortgage borrowers remain underwater–that is, they owe more than their homes are worth. Despite marked improvements in overall credit quality, 7 percent of mortgages are either more than 90 days overdue or in the process of foreclosure. And, although the number of homes in foreclosure has edged down since cresting in 2010, that number remains in excess of 2 million, three times the historical norm. Meanwhile, the national homeownership rate has slipped nearly 4 percentage points from its 2004 high of 69 percent, and it now stands at a 15-year low. So, although there are good reasons to be encouraged by the recent direction of the housing market, we should not be satisfied with the progress we have seen so far.
Bernanke Comments: Tighter Lending Standards Hurts Housing
By JON C. OGG - 247WallSt.com
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was speaking at the Operation HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit in Atlanta, Georgia today. His speech was titled "Challenges in Housing and Mortgage Markets" and the focus was on the housing sector.
Bernanke said, "For the first time in a number of years, the housing sector is improving, adding to growth and jobs. But the housing revival still faces significant obstacles, and the benefits of that revival remain quite uneven. Strengthening and broadening the housing recovery remain a critical challenge for policymakers, lenders, and community leaders. The degree to which that challenge is met will help determine the strength and sustainability of the economic recovery and the extent to which its benefits are broadly felt."
The Secret Building Boom of the Obama Years
By Nick Turse, TomDispatch
A billion dollars from the federal government: that kind of money could go a long way toward revitalizing a country's aging infrastructure. It could provide housing or better water and sewer systems. It could enhance a transportation network or develop an urban waterfront. It could provide local jobs. It could do any or all of these things. And, in fact, it did. It just happened to be in the Middle East, not the United States.
Texas Instruments to switch focus
from cellphones, cut 1,700 jobs
The company's wireless division
just recorded its third quarter of losses
By Martyn Williams - ComputerWorld.com
IDG News Service - Texas Instruments will lay off 1,700 employees as it refocuses its efforts away from the wireless sector -- including cellphones and tablets -- and toward embedded systems, the company announced Wednesday.
The news comes less than a month after TI said its wireless business recorded its third-straight quarter of losses.
Three Weeks After Sandy, Setbacks for Small Firms
By Emily Maltby - WSJ.com
Now three weeks after superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast, most affected regions have electricity and cleanup crews are helping to get things back to normal.
Yet scores of small-business owners are dealing with the most difficult environment they've ever faced and many aren't sure they'll ever get their firms back to pre-Sandy conditions. On Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie acknowledged the devastation and human suffering along the state's coast and said he will ask the federal government for money to remodel the state's beaches in a manner that would protect seaside towns from future tidal surges.
Post office reports record loss of $15.9B for year
WASHINGTON (AP) — The struggling U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in payments to avert bankruptcy.
The financial losses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 were more than triple the $5.1 billion loss in the previous year. Having reached its borrowing limit, the mail agency is operating with little cash on hand, putting it at risk in the event of an unexpectedly large downturn in the economy.
Postal Service posts record $16 billion loss for 2012
By Aaron Smith - CNN.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The U.S. Postal Service announced a record loss of $15.9 billion for the fiscal year 2012, which it blamed primarily on a mandate to set aside billions of dollars for a retirement heath fund.
The Postal Service said that its loss includes $11.1 billion in defaulted payments it owes to "prefund" health benefits for future retirees. Postal officials have complained for years about these prepayments, which are required by Congress, to pay for future retirees. The Postal Service also points out that other federal agencies don't have similar mandates for prefunding.
Jobless claims soar after Hurricane Sandy
Storm damage boosts requests for benefits
by 78,000 to 439,000
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits last week jumped to an 18-month high, largely a side-effect of the superstorm that battered parts of the East Coast.
First-time jobless claims soared by 78,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, the Labor Department said. A government spokesman said applications surged in the parts of the country that lay in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Why the U.S. Job Market Remains Terribly Bleak
By John Goodman - Forbes.com
Full time work is about to get scarcer. The reason? By hiring part-time workers who put in less than 30 hours per week, employers can avoid a mandate dictated by the new health reform law: either provide expensive health insurance or pay a fine equal to $2,000 per worker. Avoiding the mandate becomes even more attractive for low-wage employees, since they can get highly subsidized insurance in the newly created health insurance exchanges. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Spikes,
Nearly 50 Million Americans Affected
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – As President Barack Obama is set to begin his second term, new statistics on America's poverty rate indicate that nearly 50 million Americans, more than 16 percent of the population, are struggling to survive.
New figures released by the Census Bureau this week found a spike in poverty numbers last year, going from 49 million in 2010 to 49.7 million last year. The numbers may come as a surprise to Congress, which estimated in September that the poverty rate would drop to 46.2 million. One of the most startling findings showed that almost 20 percent of American children continue to live in poverty.
Hostess says liquidation decision expected Friday
NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess Brands Inc. said it likely won't make an announcement until Friday morning on whether it will move to liquidate its business, after the company had set a Thursday deadline for striking employees to return to work.
The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread had warned employees that would file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell off assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by 5 p.m. EST Thursday. That would result in the loss of about 18,000 jobs.
Denny's to charge 5% 'Obamacare surcharge'
and cut employee hours to deal with cost of legislation
By JAMES NYE - DailyMail.co.uk
President Obama's election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power - but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.
Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny's and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers' bills and will reduce his employees' hours.
Report Suggests Closing 353 US Coal Plants
which are Too Uneconomical to Run
By Joao Peixe - OilPrice.com
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a nonprofit science advocacy group based in the United States, has written a report that analyses America's coal power plants and determines that 353 of them, across 31 states, should be considered for closing due to their inability to remain economically competitive with emerging, cleaner sources of energy.
The report, named 'Ripe for Retirement', suggests that 18% of all US coal-fired power plants, will not be competitive with natural gas or wind energy.
Public Health Proposal
Considers Mandatory 'Smokers License'
WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A public health proposal suggests that tobacco smokers should be required to apply and pay for a "smoker's license" in order to continue buying cigarettes.
In this week's PLOS Medicine medical journal, two leading tobacco control advocates debate the merits of the smoker's license. Simon Chapman, a professor at the University of Sydney, proposes that users would have to apply and pay for a mandatory license in the form of a smartcard that would be shown when buying cigarettes.
Stores Bring Black Friday to the Web
Shoppers Skip the 3 a.m. Wake-Up Call and Frigid Queues; Retailers Open Earlier and Match Store and Internet Specials
By ANN ZIMMERMAN, SHELLY BANJO and DANA MATTIOLI - WSJ.com
As retailers gear up for the traditional shop-fest known as Black Friday, they are focusing on the mobs that line up outside stores and—increasingly—on the masses that shop online from home.
Chain stores prefer impulse-purchase-prone store shoppers. Yet sales growth during the busy Thanksgiving weekend more often is coming from Internet shoppers like Melanie Cortese.
Wal-Mart workers plan Black Friday walkout
By Emily Jane Fox - CNN.com
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world's largest retail store.
The walkout builds on an October strike that started at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles and spread to stores in 12 other cities. More than 100 workers joined in the October actions.
Canada Targets Unemployed US Oil Workers
By Jen Alic - OilPrice.com
Canada is predicting a doubling of oil production by the end of this decade. This means it will have to secure its workforce to the tune of tens of thousands of new laborers. So if you want a job in the energy sector, try your northern neighbor.
Since 2010 alone, Canadian officials say that some 35,000 US laborers have obtained permits to work in Canada, and there are plans in the works to make permits even easier to obtain. In the meantime, Canadian head hunters are stepping up their efforts at recruitment—taking advantage of the number of jobless in the US.
As CIA Chief Scandal Looms,
Lawmakers Consider Tightening E-Mail Privacy
BY DAVID KRAVETS - Wired.com
Recent intrusions by the FBI into e-mail correspondence between former CIA Director David Petraeus and his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, have raised a lot of questions and concerns about the government's ability to access private e-mails.
The current law covering access to e-mail gives the government the right to snoop without a court order on email that's older than 180 days, but requires a court order for missives that are newer than this, a fact that privacy activists have been trying to change for years.
OBAMA SIGNS A 'SECRET DIRECTIVE'
FOR MILITARY CYBERSECURITY OPERATIONS
By Liz Klimas - TheBlaze.com
Just as the Senate failed to pass legislation to protect the U.S. electrical grid and other critical industries from cyberattacks, it has emerged that President Barack Obama signed a "secret directive," as reported by the Washington Post, establishing guidelines for the military to take cybersecurity action on both an offensive and defensive front.
The Washington Post quotes sources, unauthorized to go on the record but who have seen the classified information, who said the directive will help officials make quick decisions in the event of a threat:
Now the CIA Is Investigating Petraeus
BY SPENCER ACKERMAN AND NOAH SHACHTMAN - Wired.com
Anyone who thought the multifaceted scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus was winding down can think again. Now the CIA is investigating its own former leader — while some agency veterans are whispering that they never liked him in the first place. And on top of all of that, the FBI agent who started the entire affair is distancing himself from it.
It's not even a week since Petraeus resigned from CIA after an FBI investigation discovered he had an affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. That investigation reportedly cleared Petraeus of disclosing any classified information, which would be the major national-security concern about a CIA director's affair. But the CIA confirms that its inspector general is taking its own, open-ended look into Petraeus' conduct.
China's new leader Xi Jinping warns Communist Party
faces 'severe challenges'
Xi Jinping has stepped forward as China's new paramount leader with a remarkable speech that shattered Communist party convention.
By Malcolm Moore, Great Hall of the People, Beijing
and Tom Phillips - Telegraph.co.uk
The 59-year-old son of one of the Party's revolutionary heroes walked out, just before noon on Thursday, onto a red-carpeted dais in the Great Hall of the People, fulfilling a destiny that some had predicted since his youth.
He was anointed the head of the Communist party and the head of the military as Hu Jintao relinquished all his roles, and will be rubber-stamped as China's president next March at the annual meeting of the country's parliament.
Israel Warns of Escalation After Tel Aviv Missile Firing
By Alisa Odenheimer and Gwen Ackerman - Bloomberg.com
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak signaled that Israel is ready to escalate its military operations against Gaza after at least one long-range missile was fired at Tel Aviv by Palestinian militants.
The missile attack and the volume of fire in general toward Israel "is an escalation and there will be a price to pay," Barak said on Channel 2 television yesterday. It was the first such attack on Israel's commercial hub since Iraqi missiles in 1991 during the Gulf War.
Gaza conflict: Benjamin Netanyahu
threatens to broaden confrontation with Hamas
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, threatened to broaden the confrontation with Hamas, giving a defiant justification of his government's attacks on the Gaza strip.
By Phoebe Greenwood, Gaza, Damien McElroy in Kiryat Malachi,
and Richard Spencer - Telegraph.co.uk
Defending a bombardment which has so far killed not only militants but five Palestinian children, Mr Netanyahu, in a typically combative press conference said: "In the past 24 hours, Israel has made it clear that it will not tolerate rocket and missile attacks on its civilians. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organisations in Gaza got the message.
"If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people."
ISRAEL CALLS UP 30,000 SOLDIERS
AS ARMY ANNOUNCES 'EXPANDING THE CAMPAIGN'
by BEN SHAPIRO - Breitbart.com
As rockets bombarded Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and as sirens wailed in Tel Aviv, Israel massed troops on the borders of the Gaza Strip in anticipation of a large-scale military action. The rocket aimed at Tel Aviv has been reported to have hit a suburb of Tel Aviv; Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter said, however, that the rocket landed in the sea.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said today that Gaza is about to experience an "unprecedented attack." Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said, "We are in the process of expanding the campaign. The defense minister approved a few minutes ago, based on the army's request, the recruitment of another 30,000 soldiers. We will determine how many of them will be called in. All options are on the table."
First three Gaza missiles hit Tel Aviv.
Israel drafts 30,000 reservists
Palestinian missiles reached the Tel Aviv conurbation, Gush Dan, Thursday night, Nov. 15. shortly after a long-range missile exploded in Rishon Lezion southeast of Tel Aviv and sirens sounded in outlying towns of Holon, Ness Ziona, Gan Raveh and Beer Yacov. None report casualties or damage. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered 30,000 army reservists drafted. The IDF spokesmen earlier reported units of the elite paratroop and Givati Brigades were mustering outside the Gaza Strip on the second day of Israel's counter-terror operation Pillar of Cloud.
Egypt's Islamist president condemns shelling of Gaza
By CATRINA STEWART - Independent.co.uk
Egypt's Islamist president today denounced Israel's shelling of Gaza as an "unacceptable aggression," ordering his prime minister to visit the Hamas-governed enclave in what could emerge as the first major test for the country's leader.
In the worst outbreak of violence in the territory since the Gaza war nearly four years ago, President Mohammed Morsi has been quick to censure Israel, recalling the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, issuing a letter of protest to the Israeli envoy in Cairo, and calling an emergency meeting of the Arab League for Saturday.
Gaza conflict: Israel mobilises troops as rockets hit Tel Aviv
Israel has mobilised troops on its border with Gaza after rockets fired from the territory came close to hitting its commercial capital, Tel Aviv.
By Phoebe Greenwood, Gaza, Damien McElory in Kiryat Malachi,
and Richard Spencer - Telegraph.co.uk
At least a dozen trucks carrying tanks and armoured vehicles were seen moving toward the border area, while buses ferried soldiers, as Israeliforces moved closer to a ground war against the radical Islamist group Hamas.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, also approved the call-up of 30,000 reservists as the confrontation intensified.
Israeli deaths escalate Gaza conflict
Palestinian rocket killings likely to harden anti-Hamas resolve
Israeli deaths escalate Gaza conflict
By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem and Tom Burgis in London - FT.com
The escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip reached a new peak on Thursday, when a rocket fired from the coastal enclave struck a house in Kiryat Malachi, killing at least three Israeli civilians.
The rocket fire came as Israel pounded targets inside the Gaza Strip from the air, sea and land, continuing a bombardment that has so far claimed the lives of at least 13 Palestinians, including at least three civilians.
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