Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Marc Faber, Gold and a Special Picture of Ben Bernanke
BY ADRIAN ASH - FinancialSense.com
What Marc Faber said in Hong Kong this week…
You always get great presentations from the biggest players in gold and silver at the annual London Bullion Market Association conference.
Being in Hong Kong this year, the world's premier event for the bullion industry also got lots of great insights from genuine Asian insiders – ICBC, Kotak Mahindra, the People's Bank of China no less.
"When the People's Bank speaks it pays to listen," as Tom Kendall of Credit Suisse put it in his conference summary.
"Especially when it talks about gold."
With the Fed Out of "Bullets,"
A Stock Market Crash Will Really Hurt
BY SHAH GILANI, Capital Wave Strategist, Money Morning
Hang onto your hats. It's getting windy out there. Stuff is blowing all over the place.
Oh, that's not wind! That's a giant fan.
Well then, that must be why this "stuff" stinks so bad.
How about the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 1,000 points from multi-year highs reached only a few weeks ago?
On Surviving The Monetary Meltdown
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
After 40 years of boozing on easy money and feasting on fantastical asset price inflations, the global monetary system is approaching catharsis, its arteries clogged and instant cardiac arrest a persistent threat.'Muddling through' is the name of the game today but in the end authorities will have two choices: stop printing money and allow the market to cleanse the system of its dislocations. This would involve defaults (including those of sovereigns) and some pretty nasty asset price corrections. Or, keep printing money and risk complete currency collapse. We think they should go for option one but we fear they will go for option two. In this environment, how can people protect themselves and their property? Our three favourite assets are, in no particular order, gold, gold and gold. After that, there may be silver. We are, in our assessment, in the endgame of this, mankind's latest and so far most ambitious, experiment with unconstrained fiat money. The present crisis is a paper money crisis. Whenever paper money dies, eternal money – gold and silver – stage a comeback. Remember, paper money is always a political tool, gold is market money and apolitical.
What the Fiscal Cliff Means for the Middle Class
by Kenneth Thomas - AngryBearBlog.com
Now that the election is over, it seems like all the politicians and pundits can talk about is the so-called "fiscal cliff." But the chatter around the fiscal cliff is deeply weird, so in this post I will explain what it is and what the issues involved mean for the middle class.
Just what is the fiscal cliff? It is the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to take place on January 1 based on several different laws. Estimates of the consequences run as high as $800 billion next year, or 5.2% of the country's $15.29 trillion gross domestic product in 2011. Yes, that would mean a recession, with obvious consequences for the middle class. But this is only true if we did nothing after January 1, and that's not going to happen.
America's Fiscal Cliff Dwellers
By Simon Johnson - Project-Syndicate.org
WASHINGTON, DC – In early 2012, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used the term "fiscal cliff" to grab the attention of lawmakers and the broader public. Bernanke's point was that Americans should worry about the combination of federal tax increases and spending cuts that are currently scheduled to begin at the end of this year.
But there is not really any kind of "cliff" in the sense that if you stepped over the edge, you would fall fast, land on something hard, and not get up for a long time. In the modern US economy, the scheduled changes constitute more of a fiscal "slope" – meaning that the full effect of the tax increases would not be felt immediately (income withholding takes time to adjust), while the spending cuts would also be phased in (the government has some discretion regarding implementation). This slope offers President Barack Obama a real opportunity to restore the federal government's revenue base to what it was in the mid-1990's.
Fiscal Cliff 2013: Pay Now or Pay Later
BY DAVID ZEILER, Associate Editor, Money Morning
For all the talk about how Congress needs to avoid the fiscal cliff, few have pointed out that the U.S. economy will suffer regardless.
The only question is the timing.
If Congress fails to act and America goes over the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1, 2013, the U.S. economy will, as many have noted, quickly slip into a recession.
But if Congress does somehow agree to avert all or most of the impact of the fiscal cliff, it simply postpones the pain for a few months or years.
Keiser Report: Cameron's Sin City Surge (E367)
In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss UK Prime Minister David Cameron going 'all in' and topless on financial fraud and market manipulation in the City of London where 'circle rating' is rife and more 'Libor like' manipulation is found . . . this time in the natural gas market. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Francine McKenna of retheauditors.com and American Banker magazine, about Jamie Dimon, the most over-rated banker in America, and how much longer JP Morgan can survive the various scandals, frauds and putbacks.
'Shadow Banking' Still Thrives, System Hits $67 Trillion
By: Reuters - CNBC.com
The system of so-called "shadow banking," blamed by some for aggravating the global financial crisis, grew to a new high of $67 trillion globally last year, a top regulatory group said, calling for tighter control of the sector.
A report by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on Sunday appeared to confirm fears among policymakers that shadow banking is set to thrive, beyond the reach of a regulatory net tightening around traditional banks and banking activities.
Global Shadow Banking System Rises To $67 Trillion,
Just Shy Of 100% Of Global GDP
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Earlier today, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), one of the few transnational financial "supervisors" which is about as relevant in the grand scheme of things as the BIS, whose Basel III capitalization requirements will never be adopted for the simple reason that banks can not afford, now or ever, to delever and dispose of assets to the degree required for them to regain "stability" (nearly $4 trillion in Europe alone as we explained months ago), issued a report on Shadow Banking. The report is about 3 years late (Zero Hedge has been following this topic since 2010), and is largely meaningless, coming to the same conclusion as all other historical regulatory observations into shadow banking have done in the recent past, namely that it is too big, too unwieldy, and too risky, but that little if anything can be done about it. Specifically, the FSB finds that the size of the US shadow banking system is estimated to amount to $23 trillion (higher than our internal estimate of about $15 trillion due to the inclusion of various equity-linked products such as ETFs, which hardly fit the narrow definition of a "bank" with its three compulsory transformation vectors), is the largest in the world, followed by the Euro area with a $22 trillion shadow bank system (or 111% of total Euro GDP in 2011, down from 128% at its peak in 2007), and the UK in third, with $9 trillion. Combined total shadow banking, not to be confused with derivatives, which at least from a theoretical level can be said to offset each other (good luck with that when there is even one counterparty failure), is now $67 trillion, $6 trillion higher than previously thought, and virtually the same as global GDP of $70 trillion at the end of 2011.
The U.S. Recovery Has Been Spectacular* *Compared to almost every other rich country
and almost every other financial crisis
By Matthew O'Brien - TheAtlantic.com
We need a real recovery. That's what Mitt Romney said during the campaign, and he was right. Five years since the start of the Great Recession, unemployment is still far too high. It's not for a lack of optimism among policymakers. As Evan Soltas pointed out, the Federal Reserve keeps predicting that prosperity isjust around the corner, only to find it's not. Catchup growth is the new Godot.
Depressed? Well, if it's any consolation, it could be far worse. Just look at Britain. Or the euro zone. Or Japan. The chart to the right from Ryan Avent of The Economist compares how these rich economies have fared since the Great Recession hit. Notice the United States is the only economy of the bunch ahead of where it was in late 2007.
Welcome to the Lousiest Recovery of All Time
by MIKE WHITNEY - CounterPunch.org
Is this the lousiest recovery of all time?
Check it out: The number of people currently on food stamps in the US is at a record-high of 47.1 million. That's more than twice as many recipients than in 2007 when the crisis began. And the percent of Americans living below the poverty line has skyrocketed, too. It's gone from 12.3 percent in 2006 to 16.1 percent today. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 50 million people in America are now living below the poverty line. In other words, if you're poor in America your numbers are growing and things are getting worse. Some recovery, eh?
The Worst Economic Numbers In More Than A Year
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
With everything else that is going on in the world, a lot of people have failed to notice that we are seeing some of the worst economic numbers that we have seen in more than a year. For example, it was announced on Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits have hit their highest level in a year and a half. Hopefully this is just a temporary blip in the data, because initial unemployment claims tend to have a very strong correlation with the overall performance of the economy. We also continue to see poverty statistics rise. According to government statistics released earlier this month, the number of Americans living in poverty and the number of Americans on food stamps are both at all-time record highs. Meanwhile, the Dow and the S&P 500 are both down more than 5 percent since the election and the U.S. government rolled up 22 billion dollars more debt in October 2012 than it did in October 2011. The unfortunate truth is that things are not getting better. The U.S. economy continues to become weaker and more unstable, and there are a whole lot of reasons to be very pessimistic about our economic situation as we move into the winter months.
Europe Seeks More Taxes From US Multinationals
By: Eric Pfanner, The New York Times - CNBC.com
Google reported sales of more than $4 billion in Britain last year. It paid less than $10 million in taxes.
Some tax collectors, lawmakers and competitors of Google in Europe say this is unfair. As governments throughout the region seek to close gaping holes in their budgets, they are taking aim at United States multinational companies, especially Internet giants like Google and Amazon.com, which pay little or no taxes in Europe, despite generating billions of dollars in revenue on the Continent.
Top Economic Advisers Forecast World War
Submitted by George Washington - ZeroHedge.com
Kyle Bass writes:
Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.
Larry Edelson wrote an email to subscribers entitled "What the "Cycles of War" are saying for 2013″, which states:
Since the 1980s, I've been studying the so-called "cycles of war" — the natural rhythms that predispose societies to descend into chaos, into hatred, into civil and even international war.
America's financial war on Europe
In this edition of the show Max interviews Rick Ackerman from rickackerman.com. He talks about the latest on equity, bond and debt markets and "America's financial war on Europe". Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick's Picks and a partner in Blue Fin Financial LLC, a commodity trading advisor.
US PENSION INSURER RUNS RECORD $34B DEFICIT
By MARCY GORDON -
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency that insures pensions for more than 40 million Americans last year ran the widest deficit in its 38-year history.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Friday that its deficit grew to $34 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a $26 billion shortfall in the previous year.
US tax breaks worth $150bn face axe Talks to avert fiscal cliff move into higher gear after summit
By James Politi in Washington - FT.com
Corporate tax breaks worth more than $150bn over a decade could be threatened in US budget negotiations, if lawmakers choose to adopt a flurry of White House proposals to boost revenues from business in order to reach a deal.
Talks to avert the fiscal cliff – a $600bn combination of tax rises and spending cutsthat could tip the US economy into recession if Congress cannot agree to stop them – are moving into higher gear in the wake of the first White House summit on Friday between President Barack Obama and leaders in Congress.
Obama and Pelosi hopeful on budget deal House Democratic leader says deal must include
tax increases for rich
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch.com
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) expressed optimism Sunday that a deal can be reached to avert the "fiscal cliff" automatic spending reductions and tax hikes slated to take effect Jan. 1.
"I am confident we can get our fiscal situation dealt with," Obama told a news conference in Bangkok, where he is starting a three-nation trip.
Pension obligations grew by $12 billion to $119 billion last year. Assets used to cover those obligations increased by only $4 billion to $85 billion.
Keiser Report: 'Crash JP Morgan' -
2nd Anniversary Special (E368)
In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert present the two year anniversary special of their Crash JPM, Buy Silver campaign. They discuss JP Morgan doing everything to protect the Queen of their massive silver short position - a position that has DOUBLED in the past two years according to Rob Kirby of GATA and Kirby Analytics. They also discuss Central Banks pullling on their own little bungee cords by printing money. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to James Turk of Goldmoney.com about the link between liberty and gold and the shooting war to follow the currency war. The also discuss the gold/silver ratio and why silver today is like gold at $600
The Next Housing Bailout? Big Trouble Brewing at the FHA Housing is at the center of the economy. The Federal Housing Administration is at the center of housing. And there's a danger that it could require a historic bailout next year.
By Edward J. Pinto - TheAtlantic.com
There's a growing consensus in America that the long-suffering housing market has reached bottom and is now mounting a recovery. Housing starts surged 15 percent in September to their highest level in four years. New home sales in the same month rose 5.7 percent to their highest level in two years. And the Zillow Home Price Index shows that home prices are up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
FHA lacks reserves to cover losses The mortgage insurance agency has a $16.3-billion shortfall that could force it to tap into the U.S. Treasury for the first time in its history.
By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — As the housing market recovers, one government agency is still paying the price for helping to stabilize it — and taxpayers could get the bill.
The Federal Housing Administration, whose mortgage insurance business skyrocketed during the Great Recession of 2007-09, said Friday that its reserves to cover losses dropped into negative territory for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Geithner to Bailout FHA?
BY BRUCE KRASTING - FinancialSense.com
So two days ago the WSJ runs the story that the FHA is soon to be in default due to a shortfall in its reserve fund. Sure enough, it's now official:
The government's finances are creating a three-ring-circus of events. I'm thinking to myself,"Where's the tent?"
Just a quick thought on the timing of FHA's bad news. This was "known" two months ago (or more). The leak, and the announcement, came a comfortable two weeks past election day. If you believe that's just a coincidence, well, I guess I have nothing to say.
Chicago Teachers Union a co-sponsor
of the Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair
By Posted by John Ruberry - MarathonPundit.blogspot.com
For members of the Chicago Teachers Union there are four Rs: reading, 'riting, 'rithmatc--and radicalism.
According to the US Department of Education, 79 percent of eighth graders at Chicago's public schools are not proficient at their grade-level in reading and 80 percent of them aren't proficient in math at their grade-level.
Thousands Of LAX Workers Set For Walkout On Thanksgiving Eve
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Employees at Los Angeles International Airport were considering plans Friday to walk off the job ahead on what is traditionally the busiest traveling day of the year.
A coalition of Southland labor and community leaders are calling for the protest of alleged violations by LAX contractor Aviation Safeguards (AVSG) after breaking their contract with the airport earlier this year.
Beyond Twinkies: Why More Workers Are Striking
By Mark Koba, CNBC.com
As snack eaters mourn the loss of their beloved Twinkies— Hostess Brands says a worker strike is shutting them down—more employees across the country seem to have an appetite for walking off the job.
Analysts say the reason may be that workers feel they've had enough when it comes to issues over pay, hours and benefits and that it's time to fight back.
"There's nothing to lose when you're up against the wall," said Emily Rosenberg, director of the labor education center at DePaul University."
Who's to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy:
Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs? Try all of the above.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is getting ready to bake its last corn-syrupy snack cake. After failing to win major contract concessions from one of its key labor unions, the beleaguered 82-year-old company has asked a federal bankruptcy court for permission to start liquidating its assets -- or, in real person speak, begin the process of selling off pieces of the company to the highest bidder while laying off most of its 18,500 workers.
The Twinkie That Broke The Economy's Back?
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Can you hear that sound? It is the sound of the air being let out of the economy. Since the election, there has been a massive tsunami of layoffs and business failures. Of course the company that is making the biggest headlines right now is Hostess. On Monday, Hostess will be in a New York bankruptcy courtroom as it begins the process of liquidating itself. Needless to say, Twinkie lovers all over America are horrified. Many are running out to grocery stores and hoarding as many as they can find, and some online sellers are already listing boxes of 10 Twinkies for as much as $10,000 on auction websites such as eBay. Well, there is really no reason to panic. It is very likely that another company will purchase the Twinkie brand and continue to produce them. In fact, it is already being rumored that a Mexican company may have the inside track. But even though the Twinkie may survive, the failure of Hostess is yet another sign of how weak the U.S. economy has become. Approximately 18,500 Hostess workers will be losing their jobs, and even if some of them are rehired by the company that takes over the Twinkie brand, the truth is that those workers will almost certainly be looking at greatly reduced pay and benefits. Sadly, we are seeing this kind of thing happen all over America. Large numbers of once thriving businesses are either shutting down or laying off workers. Overall, the failure of Hostess is not that big of a deal for the U.S. economy. But we may look back someday and remember Hostess as a symbol of the economic problems that were unleashed by the election of 2012. Since November 6th, a wave of pessimism has swept over the economy and we are now seeing some of the worst economic numbers that we have seen in more than a year. Many fear that we may have reached a tipping point and that things are only going to get worse from here. [see list of other companies in article online...]
Relax Twinkie Lovers, Brand Likely to Survive
By AP - CNBC.com
Twinkie lovers, relax.
The tasty cream-filled golden spongecakes are likely to survive, even though their maker will be sold in bankruptcy court.
Hostess Brands, baker of Wonder Bread as well as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's, will be in a New York bankruptcy courtroom Monday to start the process of selling itself.
The company, weighed down by debt, management turmoil, rising labor costs and the changing tastes of America, decided on Friday that it no longer could make it through a conventional Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. Instead, it's asking the court for permission to sell assets and go out of business.
Key Medicare premium to rise 5% Increase is 3X as big as the Social Security COLA for 2013
By Matthew Heimer - MarketWatch.com
The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services today announced a range of premium changes for 2013. Most notably, the monthly premium and deductibles for Medicare Part B, which covers certain doctors' services, outpatient visits and medical supplies, among other things, will each increase by about 5%.
What Ron Paul Gets Wrong
By Ken Blackwell - PatriotPost.us
Congressman Ron Paul has just delivered his valedictory address in the House of Representatives. And he has told TV interviewers that the American Revolution was a wonderful example of secession. He's a much better OB/GYN, I'm sure, than he is a student of America's history. He could be cited for political malpractice.
If the Founding Fathers and the Patriots who fought and won the Revolution were seceding, why is it that none of them ever called it secession? They certainly had the word back then. They invoked the well-known right of revolution. They had read their John Locke and their Montesquieu, to be sure, but they most often listened to sermons advocating independence -- especially those of the New England clergy.
More from the Singularity crowd… When I Saw This "Bionic Skin", All I Could Say Was "Wow"
BY MICHAEL A. ROBINSON, Defense
and Technology Specialist, Money Morning
An entirely new class of human beings is about to roam the Earth.
In fact, scientists have just scored a major breakthrough that brings us much closer to the day of bionics.
Quite simply, bionics is the name I use for biological members of our species who have any number of high-tech "upgrades"-not too much different from what "Steve Austin" famously received in the 70's.
With the technology we have today, these could include neural implants that combat brain disease, sensors embedded in your eyes, and a heart grown from synthetic cells.
"Weak Demand" Does Little to Deter Keystone XL Support
By Daniel J. Graeber - OilPrice.com
The American Petroleum Institute reported that October demand for petroleum products was at its lowest level for any October in 17 years. John Felmy, the group's chief economist, said demand figures were a direct reflection of a sluggish economy. The Federal Reserve chairman said Friday that tight credit was constricting markets while industrial production for last month was knocked down by Hurricane Sandy. API and a group of U.S. lawmakers say the answer may be in the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, but opponents say that may be "a crazy idea."
OPEC Finally Acknowledges the Importance of US Shale Oil
By Joao Peixe - OilPrice.com
Whilst some, most notably the IEA, claim that shale oil will help the US become the largest oil producer in the world, OPEC has never really acknowledged the significance of tight oil in the US until now.
In its recently released World Oil Outlook 2012, it wrote that, "given recent significant increases in North American shale oil and shale gas production, it is now clear that these resources might play an increasingly important role in non-OPEC medium- and long-term supply prospects."
This is a huge admission by OPEC, and one that could influence global oil markets, as previously OPEC has never been keen on new technologies such as fracking.
Wind Energy: Swapping Turbines for Kites
By Brian Westenhaus - OilPrice.com
The ideas to harness wind energy from a kite, or other highflying tethered wind energy collectors are pretty numerous, however most are economically unsustainable even though beautiful, spirit lifting, and fun to watch. Kites are a blast. Can they make power?
The founders of Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH are sending stunt kites into the skies to harness the wind and convert the kinetic energy generated into electricity.
Change in Negotiators Shakes Up US-China Trade Policy
By: Keith Bradsher - The New York Times
The rare congruity of the political calendars in the United States and China, with both countries choosing leaders this month, is about to produce an equally rare replacement of most of each side's senior trade negotiators, with unpredictable results for bilateral economic relations.
One of the few surprises in the carefully scripted Communist Party Congress that ended on Wednesday was that Commerce Minister Chen Deming lost his seat when delegateschose the members of the party's Central Committee for the next five years.
In Leaked Docs, Honeywell Cites Obama Ties
As Key to Anti-Union Strategy An image of Obama from the leaked Honeywell document is captioned "HON has great relationships with Federal officials."
BY MIKE ELK - InTheseTimers.com
In These Times has exclusively obtained a leaked internal Honeywell document outlining an anti-union strategy that includes leveraging Obama administration connections. The documents suggest that the megacorporation is deeply concerned about recent union activity at its factories and the bad press that has resulted (one example cited is a Working In These Times op-ed).
Trevor Potter on Fighting Back
Against Big Money in the 2012 Election
Few understand the ways money moves in and out of our political system than campaign finance reform advocate Trevor Potter. A former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and founding president of the Campaign Legal Center, Potter was Stephen Colbert's chief advisor when Colbert formed his own super PAC and 501 (c)(4) in a clever effort to expose the potential for chicanery behind each. Here, Bill Moyers and Potter discuss how American elections are bought and sold, who covers the cost, and how the rest of us pay the price.
"I can assure you that if someone is spending millions of dollars to elect the candidate, the candidate knows where that money is coming from. There's nothing illegal about telling them, but the voters aren't going to know that," Potter tells Bill. "We're creating opportunities for corruption and candidates being beholden to specific private interests because of funding, yet there's no disclosure to the rest of us."
Egypt's Coptic pope enthroned
amid concern for Christian minority
By Reem Abdellatif - LATimes.com
CAIRO — Amid months of sectarian unease, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church enthroned its new pope Sunday in an ornate, three-hour ceremony attended by top officials from the nation's Islamist-led government.
Tawadros II, 60, was chosen the church's 118th pope this month in long-awaited elections following the death in March of Pope Shenouda III, who was patriarch for four decades. The cathedral of St. Mark, the church's founding saint, erupted in applause when the papal crown was placed on Tawadros' head.
Is Iran Using an Insurance Scam to Cover its Oil Tankers?
By James Burgess - OilPrice.com
An interesting article has today been published by Forbes which investigates the possibility that Iran has set up a false insurance company, offering illegal insurance policies, in order to circumvent the EU sanctions and enable the Persian State to continue exporting its crude.
Very Large Crude Carriers are obliged by international maritime authorities to carry mandatory third-party liability insurance of a value up to $1 billion, known as Protection and Indemnity Coverage. This type of coverage is only offered by large insurance groups (P&I clubs), 90% of which are based in Europe. EU sanctions against Iran have prevented European insurers from dealing with Iranian tankers, and this has severely affected Iran's export, as without cover, its tanker cannot deliver oil. It has lost all of its European customers, and other international customers have drastically reduced their purchases.
Who Started the Israel-Gaza Conflict?
By Robert Wright - TheAtlantic.com
On Monday my Atlantic colleague Jeffrey Goldberg began a post with this sentence: "Rockets are flying from Gaza into Israel at a fast clip, and Israelis, it is said, are divided on the question of how to respond."
That same day I came across this report from Ma'an, a Palestinian news agency:
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions met on Monday in Gaza City to discuss Israeli attacks and threats of a wider operation in the enclave.
Hamas called the meeting to try and avoid further casualties after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in Gaza since Saturday, said Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Talal Abu Tharefa.
The REAL Reason for the Assault In Gaza?
Submitted by George Washington - ZeroHedge.com
We noted yesterday that many speculate that the timing of the war in Gaza is because it is (1) after the U.S. elections and before the Israeli elections or (2) part of the run-up to a war with Iran.
A third reason is also quite possible.
Asia News reported last month:
The debate on U.N. recognition of Palestine will be held in mid-November. This was announced two days ago by Vuk Jeremic, President of the U.N. General Assembly. "The leaders of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) are going to engage in extensive discussions", said Jeremic, "coming to a conclusion as to what they want to do some time in November."
On November 6th – before hostilities escalated in Gaza – Anti War pointed out:
Palestine's upgrade to UN "non-member observer state" status is virtually a foregone conclusion, with an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly expected to vote in favor and only a handful, led by the US and Israel, in opposition.
Newly Re-elected Obama and the Middle East
The re-election of US president Barack Obama has left the people and even observers in the region with an array of questions on how exactly he will be dealing with major issues in the Middle East. A political analyst tells Press TV that in President Barack Obama's second term there will be no major change in US foreign policy especially towards the Middle East. In this edition of the show we examine America's foreign policy in Middle East under President Obama's second term.
The New Middle East Israel and its neighbors
BY ELLIOTT ABRAMS - WeeklyStandard.com
It is now two months until the inauguration in Washington, and it would be nice if the world went into a postelection recess for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays. With Israel facing elections on January 22, there might once have been some hope for a brief respite. Alas, events in the Middle East are heating up and are likely to keep getting hotter this winter and into the spring.
Israeli government websites under mass hacking attack
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government web sites since Wednesday when Israel began its Gaza air strikes, the government said on Sunday.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime.
Typically, there are a few hundred hacking attempts a day on Israeli sites, the ministry said.
Israeli envoy arrives in Egypt for Gaza ceasefire talks Unnamed diplomat in Cairo for truce negotiations, as Israel continues preparations for a possible ground offensive
By Julian Borger, and Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem - The Guardian
An Israeli envoy has arrived in Egypt for possible negotiations on a ceasefire as the barrage on Gaza intensified and the prime minister,Binyamin Netanyahu, threatened to "significantly expand" military operations.
Amid signs of Israeli preparations for an invasion, the US and UK signalled that although they accepted that strikes against Gaza had been justified because of rockets fired by militants inside the Palestinian enclave, their support would lessen if Israel sent in troops and tanks.
Hamas Rejects Ceasefire;
Decision for Ground Invasion Coming Soon
BY DANIEL HALPER - WeeklyStandard.com
The terror group Hamas has reportedly rejected a ceasefire agreement with Israel.
"Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook said on Sunday evening that the terror group rejected two of Israel's ceasefire demands out of hand, sinking talks in Egypt," the Times of Israel reports.
The first demand was that Hamas commit to creating a 1-kilometer buffer zone along the border with Gaza, beyond which people cannot enter. The width of the "no-man's-land" currently varies at different points along the border, and averages about 300 meters.
An Outgunned Hamas Tries to Tap Islamists' Growing Clout
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and MAYY EL SHEIKH - NYTimes.com
CAIRO — Emboldened by the rising power of Islamists around the region, the Palestinian militant group Hamas demanded new Israeli concessions to its security and autonomy before it halts its rocket attacks on Israel, even as the conflict took an increasing toll on Sunday.
After five days of punishing Israeli airstrikes on the Hamas-controlledGaza Strip and no letup in the rocket fire in return, representatives of Israel and Hamas met separately with Egyptian officials in Cairo on Sunday for indirect talks about a truce.
Rockets Fired from Egypt Hit Israel
BY DANIEL HALPER - WeeklyStandard.com
Two major Israeli newspapers are reporting that rockets fired from Egypt have hit Israel.
"Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula launched rockets into Israel Friday night," reports the Jerusalem Post. "The rockets fell near an Israeli village on the southern border, causing some damage, but no injuries."
The Israeli daily Haaretz reports, "Rockets fired from direction of Egypt toward Eshkol Regional Council."
Rockets from Gaza reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem
Despite the Israeli airstrikes, Hamas continue to fire rockets across the border from Gaza.
And as Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Jerusalem, the rockets are penetrating further into Israel than ever before.
Israeli strikes hurt Gaza journalists as cease-fire talks falter
By Edmund Sanders - LATimes.com
GAZA CITY – Overnight hopes for an Egyptian-negotiated cease-fire faded Sunday as clashes resumed between Israeland Hamas and several Palestinian journalists were injured by Israeli airstrikes.
After expressing optimism that a truce was imminent, Gaza militants temporarily suspended their rocket fire Saturday night and early Sunday morning, even as Israeli aircraft continued to hit targets in Gaza. Israel military confirmed there were no rocket attacks in southern Israel overnight.
Clashes in West Bank as anger over Gaza
is directed at Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority blamed for failing to take action and for co-operating with Israeli security forces against protesters
By Rebecca Collard Ramallah - Guardian.co.uk
Fresh clashes erupted in the West Bank on Sunday as Palestinian youths threw rocks at Israeli soldiers, who responded with teargas. But anger in the West Bank has not only been directed at Israel: many also blame the Palestinian Authority for failing to take action over the Gaza offensive and for co-operating with the Israeli security forces against protesters.
Hazem Abu Helal was arrested after joining a protest at the Bet El checkpoint near Ramallah after several female demonstrators were arrested by the Israeli army. "They began shooting a lot of teargas so I moved back to the City Inn Hotel, which is inside the Palestinian controlled area," he said.
Latest updates on the Gaza crisis
Published on Nov 17, 2012 by AlJazeera English
Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from Gaza City and Nicole Johnston reports from Sha'ar Hanegev in Southern Israel.
Israel ready to expand Gaza offensive,
says Binyamin Netanyahu Israeli prime minister says Israel is prepared for 'significant' widening of Gaza operation as bombardment enters fifth day
By Harriet Sherwood, Peter Beaumont and agencies - Guardian.co.uk
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has said it is prepared for a "significant" widening of its Gaza offensive as the bombardment entered its fifth day.
The Palestinian death toll since the conflict began on Wednesday topped 50 after a night of sustained bombing that killed seven civilians, including five children, according to a Gaza health official. Two children died and 12 people were injured when two houses were hit in northern Gaza.