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GOLD, SILVER, CURRENCIES
Gold Price "Will Probably Test $1400" as Crimea Moves to Quit Ukraine
BY ADRIAN ASH - FinancialSense.com
Gold price trading in London kept bullion prices in a 2-day range between $1330 and $1340 per ounce Thursday morning, while Ukraine's Crimea crisis continued to dominate headlines ahead of tomorrow's much-awaited US jobs data.
Trading some 1.5% below Monday's new 4-month high, the gold price fell for Euro investors, dipping beneath €970 as the single currency rose after ECB chief Mario Draghi reaffirmed a commitment to ultra-low rates.
The Real Value of Gold
Published on Mar 4, 2014
GATA's Bill Murphy discusses the real value of gold with Peter Schiff
Ukraine as the USDollar Waterloo
By: Jim Willie CB - GoldSeek.com
The desperation of the Anglo-American leadership, guided by the steady corrupt banker hands, has never been more acutely high, nor obvious in full view. The entire Ukraine situation is a travesty. It includes Langley agents killing police and street demonstrators from rooftops, the confirmation coming from the Estonian Embassy (translation of scripts). It includes thefts of official Ukrainian Govt funds, again sent to the Swiss hill sanctuary. It includes sanctions delivered by a US Paper Tiger, sure to cause horrific backlash. It involves the last gasp attempt to obstruct the Gazprom energy pipelines, which will inevitably corner the European market in monopoly. It involves subterfuge with the NATO card (aka Narcotics And Treachery Outlaws) with missiles placed on the Russian borders. Look for NATO members to find a back door to exit the spurious treaty. It involves playing with nitro-glycerine in the Petro-Dollar room. It involves putting tremendous risk for much more clear isolation of the United States. The more the USGovt pushes, the more the US will be isolated. Remember that Nazis steal from their enemy states, de-fraud from their allied states, and force themselves into an isolated state. In Ukraine, the United States has over-played its weak hand. Already, a secret document was leaked in London that the UKGovt would not support the US-led sanctions against Russia.
The Dollar's Long Term Decline
By: Axel G. Merk -GoldSeek.com
The cleanest of the dirty shirts doesn't necessarily preserve your purchasing power. Sure, the U.S. dollar has beaten the Russian Ruble and some others of late, but when it comes to real competition, the U.S. dollar has taken a back seat. The U.S. dollar's long-term decline may be firmly in place and investors may want to buckle up to get ready for the ride.
Two years ago, in the midst of the Eurozone debt crisis, the euro beat the greenback and last year the euro was the best performing major currency. Over the years, we have written extensively about what may be the most misunderstood currency. However before we discuss why the euro may be doomed to soar higher, we should zoom in on the fact that the Federal Reserve might have the best printing press of them all:
Economist John Williams: Financial Collapse if Russia Sells U.S. Dollar Holdings
Published on Mar 4, 2014
John Williams of Shadowstats.com says, "Don't look for the U.S. dollar as the safe haven." Williams contends, "Historically, the dollar has been the safe haven in a political or financial crisis, but that hasn't been the case for four or five years now. Instead, what you have seen is a flight to other traditional safe havens such as gold and the Swiss Franc. The dollar has lost its magic. Nobody wants to hold it." What about the Russians dumping the dollar in retaliation for U.S. sanctions because of the Ukraine invasion? Williams says, "So, if the Russians follow through and convince the rest of the world that they are going to do it and it looks like China may join them, a lot of countries will want to dump dollars and get out ahead of the crowd."
On the overall economy, Williams says, "It is rolling over, and the numbers are starting to show we are starting into a new recession.
Ending Currency Manipulation—Just Follow the Money
by ROBERT E. SCOTT - EPI.org
Growing trade deficits have cost US workers millions of jobs over the past two decades, (these were good jobs in manufacturing industries). Currency manipulation by more than 20 countries, of which China is by far the largest, is the single most important reason why U.S. trade deficits have not decisively reversed. Currency manipulation lowers the value of foreign currencies, relative to the U.S. dollar, which acts like a subsidy to their exports, and a tax on U.S. exports to China and every other country where the U.S. competes with the exports of currency manipulators.
In an era of fiscal austerity, ending global currency manipulation is the best way to reduce trade deficits, create jobs, and rebuild the U.S. economy, as shown in Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs. Eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S. trade deficit by between $200 billion and $500 billion in three years. This would increase annual U.S. GDP by between $288 billion and $720 billion and create 2.3 million to 5.8 million jobs. About 40 percent of the jobs gained would be in manufacturing.
The deflationary effects of the crashing Kress cycle
By: Clif Droke - GoldSeek.com
Stocks came under selling pressure on Monday in the wake of renewed concerns over geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe. An escalation of tension between Russia and the Ukraine led to a plunge in Russia's stock market, which in turn had a spillover effect on U.S. equities.
Russia is currently the focus of Wall Street's worries right now. One of the better proxies for Russia's stock market is the Market Vectors Russia ETF Trust (RSX), which lost nearly 7% in value on Monday. RSX made a 4-year low today which underscores the political and economic troubles facing that region of the globe.
ECONOMICS, FINANCE, THE FED, BANKING, INTERNATIONAL
Putin targets the stock markets
ALERT: Putin Now Directly Threatening Economic Attack On The U.S. By Gregory Mannarino
Russia wants IMF to move ahead on reforms without U.S.
BY ANNA YUKHANANOV AND LIDIA KELLY, WASHINGTON/MOSCOW
(Reuters) - Russian officials are pushing for the International Monetary Fund to move ahead with planned reforms without the United States, which could mean the loss of the U.S. veto over major decisions at the global lender, sources said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov brought up the idea at a meeting of top finance officials from the Group of 20 nations in Sydney late last month, two G20 sources told Reuters this week.
The failure of the U.S. Congress to approve IMF funding has held up reforms agreed in 2010 that would double the Fund's resources and give more say to emerging markets like China.
Keiser Report: EU Membership Market (E571)
Published on Mar 6, 2014
Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss an EU membership market on which the more than 50% euroskeptic populations of France, Spain, Greece and UK can dump their membership burdens on to those in Ukraine and beyond who want it. They also discuss the 'sick joke' that is home ownership in Troika occupied Greece. In the second half, Max interviews Dmitry Orlov of cluborlov.blogspot.com about his opinions on Ukraine and about the failed EU trade deal that led to the crisis and what the future holds for the economy.
Trade Promotion Authority for the TPP and TTIP is a vital step for our economy
By Stephen DeMaura - DailyCaller.com
For decades, free trade has been a boon to the American economy, injecting capital into our markets and spurring job creation. But amidst negotiations for two major trade deals, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), there are a select few who are seeking to obstruct any progress on expanding free trade and growing our economy. The most recent example comes in the form of an op-ed written by Brian O'Shaughnessy in the Daily Caller, which, while well-intentioned, mischaracterizes just about every aspect of the debate.
O'Shaughnessy argues that free trade is harming the American people, but his reasoning does not stand up to the facts. He goes to great length to besmirch free trade, but conveniently forgoes any mention of how intertwined it is with the American economy. Just imagine the impact in the marketplace if our country reverted to isolationist policies that restricted U.S.-based employers from freely and easily engaging in commerce with foreign allies. Free trade is the lifeblood of our economy — more than 38 million jobs in the United States depend on trade, roughly one in five jobs.
Not so fast! Other side of the trade coin regarding TPP and TIPP...
TPP and TTIP, Two Different Trade Agreements, Both Will Have the Same Disastrous Results
By PATRICK KELLEN - EconomyInCrisis.com
In 2005, four nations formed a trade alliance which has come to be known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei were the original signatory nations; now, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam want to join in and form an agreement that would encompass fully 40% of the world's economy. However, an astute observer might wonder what nations like Peru and Brunei are doing in an agreement with the United States and Australia, nations with vastly different standards and living levels.
The fact is, though the agreement is supposed to be kept secret from us, enough details have leaked out to give us a basic idea of what is going on. And what is going on? Very little trade and a lot of legislating through the executive branch, something that is supposed to be unconstitutional. The vast majority of the TPP deals with Internet freedoms, intellectual property, regulations and other subjects that have no business being part of a trade deal.
Popular sentiment is hardening against free trade
Christopher Caldwell, FT.com via TradeReform.org
"An educated consumer," the New York haberdasher Sy Syms used to boast in his television commercials, "is our best customer." The same is not true of trade pacts. Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement 20 years ago, voters have come to understand them better and like them less. True, 54 per cent of Americans see trade as an "opportunity for growth", according to a recent Gallup poll. But 38 per cent see it as a "threat to the economy", and they are dug in. Many blame globalisation for the 60,000 plants closed, by some estimates, and the 5m manufacturing jobs lost since Nafta was passed. The White House – negotiating theTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 12 nations – finds itself failing on both fronts.
Moscow assets fall as Crimea votes to join Russia, Obama orders visa bans
BY ZLATA GARASYUTA AND LIDIA KELLY, MOSCOW
(Reuters) - Moscow stocks fell on Thursday for the second day this week after Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and the United States ordered an asset freeze and visa bans against those involved in Russia's military intervention in the Ukrainian region.
At 1338 GMT (8:35 ET), the dollar-denominated RTS index was down 2.8 percent to 1,148 points .IRTS, deepening further losses seen after the Crimean parliament's unanimous vote to annex the region to Russia.
HEALTH CARE, MEDICINE, AHCCA (OBAMACARE)
Peter Roskam Calls for Inspector General to Track Obamacare Money
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) will introduce a bill Thursday to keep track of the $1.8 trillion that will be spent on Obamacare in the next 10 years, Fox News reports.
"ObamaCare as a program goes across all sorts of federal agencies and commissions, and there is nobody that is really tasked with singularly tracking the entire program," the Illinois congressman told Fox News.
Study: ObamaCare not reaching uninsured
By Jonathan Easley - TheHill.com
ObamaCare isn't achieving its primary goal of extending coverage to the uninsured, according to a new study.
The survey released Thursday by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm found that only 27 percent of people who have selected a plan on the new exchanges didn't previously have coverage.
The Obama administration says 4 million people have selected a plan since the exchanges launched on Oct. 1, but has not said how many of them already had an insurance plan.
Poll: Record high say Obamacare hurts them
BY BRIAN HUGHES - WashingtonExaminer.com
A new poll released Thursday found that an all-time high number of Americans believe Obamacare has hurt them.
According to Gallup, 23 percent of those surveyed said that President Obama's signature domestic achievement had hurt them, the highest such figure since the pollster began asking Americans the question in 2012. It's an increase of 4 percent from recent Gallup polls taken in late 2013 and early 2014.
Obama Won't Rule Out More Changes To ObamaCare
Published on Mar 6, 2014
Health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans, surveys say
By Amy Goldstein - WashingtonPost.com
The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway so far in signing up Americans who lack health insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal.
A pair of surveys released on Thursday suggest that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one — and that about half of uninsured adults has looked for information on the online exchanges or plans to look.
Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill
By Elise Viebeck - TheHill.com
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is headed to Capitol Hill next week to testify about President Obama's 2015 budget, giving Republicans another chance to grill her about the latest ObamaCare delay.
Sebelius will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday to discuss Obama's proposal, which allocated $77.1 billion in discretionary spending for HHS and contained cuts to post-acute care, drugmakers and wealthier seniors on Medicare.
DOMESTIC NEWS, REAL ESTATE, EDUCATION, JOBS
What The Home-Price Slowdown Really Looks Like
Trulia Contributor - Forbes.com
The current slowdown of housing prices has been sharpest in markets that crashed during the bust and bounced back last year. And although asking-price gains have been slowing since last spring, price increases remain high by historical standards.
Trulia's Price and Rent Monitor Report is the earliest leading indicator of how asking home prices and rents are trending nationally and locally. They adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what's really happening to asking home prices and rents. Because asking prices lead sales prices by approximately two or more months, the Monitors reveal trends before other price indexes do. With that, here's the scoop on where prices and rents are headed.
Ending Currency Manipulation Would Create Jobs in Every State, Netting Up to 5.8 Million Jobs
By Robert E. Scott - EPI.org
Growing trade deficits have cost U.S. workers millions of jobs over the past two decades, most of them good jobs in manufacturing industries. Currency manipulation by more than 20 countries, of which China is by far the largest, is the single most important cause of large U.S. trade deficits. Currency manipulation lowers the value of foreign currencies, relative to the dollar, which acts like a subsidy to their exports, and a tax on U.S. exports to China and to every other country where the U.S. competes with the exports of currency manipulators.
Ending currency manipulation would create jobs in every state, as shown in the map below. Nine of the top 10 states that would gain the most jobs (as a share of total employment) are in the Midwest. This includes six heavy manufacturing states: Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio. Other states in the top ten are South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho.
Disney Interactive lays off 700 workers, adios social gaming
The entertainment giant cuts one quarter of its staff after social gaming proves to be a bust. However, Disney is not alone.
by Dara Kerr - CNET.com
After dismal earnings, Disney announced Thursday that it's laying off one quarter of its gaming and Internet division -- that's about 700 people, according to the Associated Press.
The cuts are in the company's Interactive unit and will most likely affect people who work on Disney's social games, according to the AP. The layoffs also come with discontinued games like Sorority Life and Tap Tap Revenge.
A Pension Tax Trap Complication For U.S. Expatriates
By David J. Wasserstrum - Forbes.com
Expatriates working abroad often participate in a funded foreign pension plan of a foreign company. In order to avoid double taxation, these individuals should beware of the tax treatment of both contributions to, and distributions from, these foreign plans. To select the most tax effective approaches, one needs to know the general rules, the availability of foreign tax credits, and treaty provisions which may exist between the US and a foreign government.
While a foreign pension plan usually provides favorable tax treatment within its national jurisdiction, the general rule is that it is not a qualified retirement plan ("QRP") under the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") for US income tax purposes and thus, any contributions are not deductible by the employer or employee on their US tax returns. In contrast, the IRC provides numerous tax benefits for participants in US QRPs, including an exclusion or deduction from gross income for contributions, investment in a tax-exempt trust, and favorable distribution rules, such as a tax free rollover.
The U.S. Economy's Big Baby Problem
Where did all the infants go?
By DEREK THOMPSON - TheAtlantic.com
Last September, the U.S. government announced that our birthrate fell to "another record low" in 2012, following a long, steady slide since the Baby Boom after World War II.
It goes without saying that, morally speaking, there's nothing wrong with this. It's natural, in a way. All over the world, birthrates tend to fall along with economic development, for numerous reasons including (a) the move away from a labor-intensive small-farm economy and (b) women's ascendance in the workforce, which uses time that used to be devoted to child-rearing. Families in richer countries tend to have fewer kids. In places like Japan and Western Europe, national populations are actually peaking.
The Zero Dark Inc.
By Katrina Brooker - Newsweek.com
"What's a burpee?"
It's 6 a.m. on a freezing morning in Alexandria, Va., a few miles south of Washington, D.C. A group of electrical engineers, computer scientists and math Ph.D.'s from Seagate Technology, the hard drive manufacturing giant, are gathered around a pile of sandbags, looking nervously at a man dressed in black who's just ordered them to do 100 burpees. These people are among Seagate's top talent - the product engineers, managers, programmers, the folks who figure out how to get more terabytes into our computers. The mystified executive who asked the question is slight, bespectacled; he seems like he would definitely be more comfortable pondering the wiring of a hard drive than the proper execution of a burpee. Whatever that might be.
UAW, VW Colluding to Block Autoworkers from Defending Anti-Union Vote
Vote defeated VW unionization in right-to-work Tennessee
BY: Bill McMorris - FreeBeacon.com
Big Labor and Big Business are working together to block autoworkers from defending a vote that defeated unionization in right-to-work Tennessee.
Employees at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant that rejected UAW representation by wide margins in February filed a motion before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) disputing union challenges to the outcome.
NRA executive slams media as dishonest, liars
By Caroline May - DailyCaller.com
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre took on the media and Washington politicians in a fiery address at the Conservative Political Action Committee Thursday afternoon.
"Rather than expose government dishonesty and scandal like they used to, the media elite white-wash it all. Move on they tell us, there is nothing to see here, don't worry about it, move on. One of America's greatest threats is a national news media that fails to provide a level playing field for the truth."
Obama's $4 Trillion Budget Includes Millions for Gun Control
March 6, 2014
By Sara Noble - IndependentSentinel.com
You must have heard about the $4 trillion fy2015 budget but did you know that it includes millions in taxpayer dollars for gun control? The president who allows dangerous people to come across our borders, who handles foreign affairs from a 6th grade classroom or a golf course, and who supports radical and violent groups like the occupiers, wants to disarm us while all this is going on.
His dreamy wish-list budget includes $182 million of our money for gun control.
It includes increased funding for ATF, the FBI's NICS program, safety research, et al, all aimed at gun violence. Good so far?
POLITICS, OP/ED, GOV WATCH, GLOBALISM, RELIGION
House to Vote on Bill to Stop 'Imperial Presidency' Next Week
McMorris Rodgers: 'He may have his pen and his phone, but we have the Constitution'
BY: Elizabeth Harrington - FreeBeacon.com
House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) laid out their plans to counter President Barack Obama's executive overreach, in a conference call Thursday.
The House will continue its efforts to push back against the "imperial presidency" next week, by voting on additional legislation that would allow Congress to challenge executive moves in federal court.
Is Ben Carson the Republican Who Can Defeat Hillary Clinton?
Carson's draft committee is raising more cash than Clinton's, driven by what supporters say is the certain math involved in nominating a black Republican.
By Alex Seitz-Wald - NationalJournal.com
It's hard to miss the gospel of Ben Carson here at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, held annually just outside of Washington.
Every eager conservative activist who rides the free shuttle to the event will have to watch a video on the bus's screens of a descendant of John Philip Sousa explaining why Carson is the "the only candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton" in 2016. And the first 2,000 people who check into their hotel rooms here will find Carson on their room keys. He's on the CPAC straw poll, and his fans downstairs at the exhibition hall will tell you why he's a mathematical shoo-in for the presidency.
Observers: Regional Democracies Must Address Unrest in Venezuela
Steps must be taken to defend democratic norms, human rights
BY: Daniel Wiser - FreeBeacon.com
Latin American observers are calling on regional democracies to address the ongoing unrest in Venezuela and take steps to defend democratic norms and human rights.
The Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council, composed of representatives from all 35 countries in the Americas, scheduled a closed meeting on Thursday in Washington, D.C., at the request of Panama to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. At least 18 people have died in protests against President Nicolas Maduro and the country's rampant crime, inflation, and shortages.
Ukraine Crimea Crisis: China Takes Ambiguous Stance in US-Russia Standoff
By Umberto Bacchi - IBTimes.com
China appears to be sitting on the fence regarding the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine and the crisis in its southern region of Crimea.
As the Crimean parliament voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia instead, the US and China held talks and agreed any solution to the crisis must respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the White House has said.
* * * * *
Russia Today Anchor Resigns On Air, Says Network 'Whitewashes Actions of Putin'
"I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why after this newscast I'm resigning."
By Jeff Dunetz - TruthRevolt.org
An American news anchor working in the Washington DC bureau of the Russian Government owned Russia Today network stunned viewers on Wednesday with an on-air resignation after blasting the network's coverage of Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine invasion.
Liz Wahl ended her Wednesday 5pm broadcast with this statement:
Last night RT made international headlines when one of our anchors went on the record and said the Russian intervention in Crimea was wrong. And indeed as a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges especially me personally coming from a family whose grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces. I have family on the opposite side, on my mother's side that sees the daily grind of poverty and I'm very lucky to have grown up here in the United States. I'm the daughter of a veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. And that is why personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian Government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast I'm resigning.
'Startling Russian Fiction' Used to Justify Actions in Ukraine, U.S. Says
By Anna Dolgov - TheMoscowTimes.com
The U.S. State Department joined media pundits and social networks in lambasting Moscow's public statements about Ukraine, by calling them the most "startling Russian fiction" in about 150 years.
"As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote: 'The formula "two plus two equals five" is not without its attractions,'" the State Department said Wednesday in an online statement, referring to a quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella "Notes from the Underground," published in 1864.
The State Department followed up with a list of "President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims about Ukraine."
Ukraine's Ousted President reported dead from heart attack
Viktor Yanukovych reportedly died while in exile in Russia
By Staff Writer
(INTELLIHUB) — Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reportedly died this week. Multiple news sources in Ukraine cited a Facebook posting made by Mikhail Lebed who broke the news.
According to him, he received the information about the death from a friend who works at a hospital in the city of Rostov, Russia.
"Yanykovych was brought there at around 11 PM on March 3 after suffering a heart attack, and an hour later he died," Lebed said.
Obama And Putin Are Trapped In A Macho Game Of "Chicken" And The Whole World Could Pay The Price
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
The U.S. government and the Russian government have both been forced into positions where neither one of them can afford to back down. If Barack Obama backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being "weak" and for having been beaten by Vladimir Putin once again. If Putin backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being "weak" and for abandoning the Russians that live in Crimea. In essence, Obama and Putin find themselves trapped in a macho game of "chicken" and critics on both sides stand ready to pounce on the one who backs down. But this is not just an innocent game of "chicken" from a fifties movie. This is the real deal, and if nobody backs down the entire world will pay the price.
Liberal-Progressive Foreign Policy Fallacy
by Thomas E. Brewton
Liberal-progressives are so involved in self-admiration and congratulating themselves on their moral superiority that they fail to note that much of the rest of the world does not share their views about acceptable international conduct.
Nor does much of the rest of the world aspire, as apparently does Obama, to a socialistic world government under which diplomatic tea parties will amicably settles all international conflicts.
First Ukraine – Then Georgia
by John Little - OmegaShock.com
The US and the EU got the pot boiling with Ukraine. They organized and mobilized the protesters. They put up the barricades and lit them with burning tires. But, the pro-Russian government chose a softly-softly approach and sent in unarmed riot police.
They upped the ante with stones and molotov cocktails. And still, the Yanukovych government didn't take the bait. The police stayed unarmed, although sustaining heavier casualties. The standoff continued.
Ukrainian Protesters March on White House
Demand greater action to stop Putin
BY: Adam Kredo - FreeBeacon.com
Hundreds of Ukrainians protested in front of the White House Thursday afternoon to demand that the Obama administration take a tougher stand against Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Ukrainian territory.
Scores of protesters waved Ukrainian flags and chanted songs by the White House's front gate as they urged Obama to intervene on behalf of their brethren abroad. Some held signs that read, "Hitler 1938—Putin 2014."
Guess Who's on Putin's American Payroll
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
Russia is paying public affairs experts and lobbyists to push the Russian government's line in the United States, NBC News reports.
Public relations firm Ketchum, for example, has received more than $4.5 million in the most recent six-month reporting period for the work it has done on behalf of Russia. That work includes preparing and disseminating the website ModernRussia.com, managing one of Russia's Twitter accounts, and representing the interests of Gazprom Export, a Russian natural gas exporting subsidy, which is controlled by the Russian government.
House overwhelmingly approves $1 billion Ukraine loan package
BY SUSAN FERRECHIO - WashingtonExaminer.com
In an increasingly rare show of bipartisan accord, House Republicansand Democrats voted Thursday to authorize a $1 billion loan package for embattled Ukraine, where Russian forces have taken control of the Crimean peninsula.
In a 385-23 vote, lawmakers approved legislation that would enablePresident Obama to use existing funds to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine that would help it escape financial dependency on Russia.
Obama Orders Sanctions Against Those Involved in Russian Move in Ukraine
By Steve Holland and Lesley Wroughton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the freezing of U.S. assets and a ban on travel into the United States of those involved in the Russian military intervention into Ukraine's Crimea region.
Obama signed an executive order aimed at punishing those Russians and Ukrainians responsible for the Russian move into Crimea, which has triggered the worst crisis in U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War.
US and EU impose sanctions and warn Russia to relent in Ukraine standoff
By Dan Roberts in Washington and Ian Traynor in Brussels - TheGuardian.com
Barack Obama and his EU allies unveiled a co-ordinated set of sanctions on Thursday to punish Russia for occupying the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, imposing visa restrictions on individuals and sharpening rhetoric in what has rapidly degenerated into the worst east-west crisis since the end of the cold war.
President Obama spoke for an hour on Thursday afternoon with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. According the White House, the US president told Putin that newly-announced sanctions, introduced in co-ordination with the UK, were a response to Russia's "violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
Crimea Moves to Join Russia, U.S. and EU Sanction Moscow
Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - Truthdig.com
Ukraine stood in danger of breaking apart Thursday after Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia, triggering Kiev's fury and firming the threat of harsh sanctions on Moscow by the European Union.
Europe's worst security crisis in the post-Cold War era escalated when lawmakers on the predominantly Russian-speakingBlack Sea peninsula of two million set a March 16 regional "referendum" on switching to Kremlin rule.
Ukraine's Crimea Raises Tension by Setting Secession Vote
Western Diplomats Convene in Rome in Bid to Resolve Ukrainian Crisis
By LUKAS I. ALPERT in Moscow and MARGARET COKER in Simferopol, Ukraine - WSJ.com
Crimea's Moscow-backed government voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and accelerated a snap referendum to ratify the move, a dramatic escalation of tension that pushed the West closer to imposing sanctions if Russian troops don't withdraw.
The scheduling of the vote for March 16 means that Crimea could be absorbed into Russia in a matter of weeks. It also means the referendum could be held while the region is under de facto Russian occupation—with no opportunity for a free and fair campaign.
Crimea Votes To Join Russia - Ukraine Crisis Accelerates
By Brandon Smith - Alt-Market.com
Now that the split is official, the big question is - how will the Svoboda opposition in power in Western Ukraine respond? With blockades? With violence? With NATO back-up? Or, will they simply leave Crimea alone and allow the break-up to continue peacefully?
Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum on the decision in 10 days' time in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.
U.S. President Barack Obama led European Union and Ukrainian criticism of the proposed vote, saying it would violate international law.
ENERGY, CLIMATE, NATURAL DISASTERS
In Ukraine Crisis, Russia's Natural Gas Tactics Could Backfire
By Kenneth Rapoza Contributor - Forbes.com
Russia could conceivably use natural gas as a means to force Ukraine and its allies in Brussels to see things Moscow's way, but a halt of of gas flows does not appear to be imminent…yet.
This week, Russia's state-owned natural gas company, Gazprom , said it would renege on a deal to provide gas to Ukraine at a steep market discount. Ukraine has been getting Gazprom gas for around $268.50 per thousand cubic meters instead of around $420. The goodwill came with a price. Ukraine's president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a trade deal with the European Union in favor of developing closer ties with Russia. Exactly what those ties were remain unclear, but cheaper gas was one of them. Russia also threw in a $15 billion aid package. But since Yanukovych left Kiev and pro-Western Arseniy Yatsenyuk took over in the interim, the two countries appear more like enemies than friendly neighbors.
Can the United States Rule the (Energy) World?
By Daniel J. Graeber - OilPrice.com
Geopolitical crises in Eastern Europe have been met with calls in the United States to use energy as a foreign policy tool. With U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking the industry to make a stronger case, however, it's domestic policies that may inhibit energy hegemony.
"The industry could do a lot better job talking about the drivers for, and what the implications would be, of exports," Moniz told an audience at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.
Iraq Oil Exports Pick up Pace
By James Burgess - OilPrice.com
New production coming online may allow Iraq to claim the mantle as the fastest growing oil exporter in the world. For 2014, Iraq may post one of the biggest supply additions in its history, fueling optimism both the country's trajectory and about global oil supplies.
The violence in Anbar province over the last few months has largely gone unnoticed in Iraq's huge southern oil fields, where BP and ExxonMobil are hoping to boost production. In February, Iraq's oil sales reached 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd), a 500,000 bpd increase from January. Analysts think that Iraq could average 2.9 million bpd for all of 2014, up from 2.4 million bpd last year. Iraq had originally set a goal of 4 million bpd in production for this year, with 3.4 million of that total meant to be exported. Despite the lift in output, that target appears too ambitious for this year.
The Face Behind Bitcoin
By Leah McGrath Goodman - Newsweek.com
Satoshi Nakamoto stands at the end of his sunbaked driveway looking timorous. And annoyed.
He's wearing a rumpled T-shirt, old blue jeans and white gym socks, without shoes, like he has left the house in a hurry. His hair is unkempt, and he has the thousand-mile stare of someone who has gone weeks without sleep.
He stands not with defiance, but with the slackness of a person who has waged battle for a long time and now faces a grave loss.
Two police officers from the Temple City, Calif., sheriff's department flank him, looking puzzled. "So, what is it you want to ask this man about?" one of them asks me. "He thinks if he talks to you he's going to get into trouble.
So-Called Bitcoin Creator Says He'd Never Heard Of Bitcoin Until Three Weeks Ago
By Andy Greenberg Forbes Staff
When Newsweek announced Thursday morning that it had found Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin community was immediately skeptical. It turns out their doubts may have been well founded.
Less than twelve hours after the publication of the Newsweek piece, the Associated Press reports that Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto denies having anything to do with Bitcoin, despite sharing the name of the Satoshi Nakamoto who created Bitcoin in 2008 before disappearing from the Internet several years later. In fact, Dorian Nakamoto tells the AP that he only heard of Bitcoin for the first time three weeks ago, when his 31-year-old son Eric Nakamoto passed on a Newsweek reporter's questions about whether he'd created the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto: It Doesn't Matter Who He Is
By Alistair Charlton - IBTimes.com
Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of virtual currency bitcoin, has been unmasked as a 64-year-old Japanese-American man who lives in a modest California house and enjoys collecting model trains - and the internet isn't too happy about it.
A feature published by Newsweek (owned by IBT Media, parent company of IBTimes UK) claims Nakamoto's name is really his and, despite being described by family members as something of a genius, his only comments regarding bitcoin are: "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
Third cryptocurrency exchange becomes hacking victim, loses Bitcoin
Summary: Following Mt. Gox and Flexcoin, Poloniex has admitted to losing over 10 percent of customer funds due to cyberattacks.
By Charlie Osborne - ZDNet.com
Yet another cryptocurrency has come forward and admitted that security and system problems have led to customer funds being pinched by hackers.
Poloniex, a Bitcoin trading post similar to Mt. Gox, has lost 12.3 percent of the Bitcoin stored in hot wallets on the website. However, in stark contrast to how Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles handled his company's Bitcoin losses, the owner of Poloniex, Tristan D'Agosta -- a.k.a. Busoni -- admitted to the loss and asked users how they would like to be compensated.
TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE, PRIVACY, SUPERNATURAL, FUTURISM
Defining how a no-holds-barred Russia-Ukraine cyberwar would play out
From hacktivist defacements to Russian suppression of Ukrainian defense systems, a full-fledged cyber campaign could cause enormous collateral damage
By Gregg Keizer - Computerworld.com
Computerworld - With some opening shots in a cyber component to the war of nerves in the Ukraine already fired, security analysts today pondered what a full-fledged cyberwar in the region would look like.
"The propaganda war is already in full force," said Richard Stiennon, principal at security consulting firm IT-Harvest and a former analyst with Gartner, in an interview. "Pictures of people fleeing the Ukraine, that kind of thing, the usual stuff. But when it escalates to block access, that's when the big cyber guns will come out."
Hack of Russian Defense Firm Called 'Cyberwar'
Via slashdot. By: Kevin Fogarty - Truthdig.com
A group of Russian hacktivists has taken a page from the playbook written by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, protesting aggressive political policies by releasing 1,000 documents allegedly stolen from the agency that oversees the export of Russian weapons to foreign countries.
The group, which calls itself the Russian Cyber Command, uploaded about 500MB of documents allegedly stolen from the servers of the Rosoboronexport State Corporation to protest "Putin's Empire" and the "Russian Government['s] delusional attempts to start WWIII," according to a March 6 story on SoftPedia.
Facebook's shot at WhatsApp data gets both companies an FTC complaint
Two consumer privacy groups say there's a risk that users will be deceived.
by Casey Johnston - ArsTechnica.com
The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook's $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp based on privacy concerns, according to a document released Thursday. EPIC and CDD's problems with the acquisition center around the fact that WhatsApp staked its reputation on—that it's a company keeping a reasonable distance from its customers' data. Now that it will fall under the aegis of Facebook, its users stand to lose those privacy guarantees, even though WhatsApp told its users nothing would change.
Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
Will ship four updates for Windows XP in second-to-last round of patches for the aged OS
By Gregg Keizer - Computerworld.com
Computerworld - Microsoft today announced it will deliver five security updates to customers next week, two tagged as "critical," including one that will quash the open vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) that hackers have been exploiting since January.
Four of the five updates will affect Windows XP, the nearly-13-year-old operating system that Microsoft plans to retire from patch support on April 8. After next week's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has just one more chance to fix flaws in the aged OS before it pulls the plug.
Why Copyrighted Coffee May Cripple the Internet of Things
BY MARCUS WOHLSEN - Wired.com
With its single-serving coffee pods, Green Mountain Coffee has transformed the business of brew. Pop a capsule into one of the company's Keurig machines, and the machine will instantly churn out your daily caffeine dose.
But Green Mountain doesn't want copycats taking the business it pioneered away. That's why CEO Brian Kelley says its new coffee makers will include technology that prevents people from using pods from other companies. The approach has been compared to DRM restrictions that limit the sharing of digital music and video online. But more than just curbing your coffee choices, Green Mountain's protections portend the kind of closed system that could gut the early promise of the Internet of Things — a promise that hinges on a broad network of digital, connected devices remaking the everyday world.
Apple iPhone 6: Corning Glass Exec Slates Sapphire Crystal Display Option
Tony Tripeny Offers Six Reasons Why Gorilla Glass is a Better Choice
By Akash KJ - IBTimes.com
For a long time now, there have been rumors that Apple's iPhone 6 would ship with a display that uses Sapphire Crystal as a protective material.
However, a senior vice president at US company Corning Glass has launched a massive attack against the world's second hardest material, explaining why it might not be the best option for smartphone displays.
'Snowden Phone' Offers Advanced Call, Text and Web Encryption
By Alistair Charlton - IBTimes.com
Known as the Snowden Phone, a US company has created what it claims to be a smartphone designed specifically to protect the user's privacy and prevent call monitoring.
Developed by US-based FreedomPop in response to growing concern over government surveillance in the wake of NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the Snowden Phone has software that encrypts calls and text messages over FreedomPop's VoIP (voice over IP) network.
Steve Quayle and Sheila Zilinsky on Xenogenesis - Changing Men Into Monsters
Published on Feb 21, 2014
Weekend Vigilante Sheila Zilinsky is joined by Steve Quayle on his new book Xenogenesis-Changing Men Into Monsters and a discussion about the transhumanism movement
13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor
UK schoolboy Jamie Edwards becomes the youngest person to build a working nuclear fusion reactor thanks to the backing of his school.
by Amanda Kooser - CNET.com
Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an "amateur nuclear scientist." That's precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest "fusioneer" in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.
Last year, Edwards made a presentation requesting funding to build a nuclear fusion reactor, and his school, Penwortham Priory Academy, granted him a $3,350 budget to make the project happen. Let's just take a moment to savor the sheer awesomeness of that. How many schools do you know would give money to a teenager to dabble in nuclear science?
This Gigantic 3-D Printer Can Create an Entire Table
BY JOSEPH FLAHERTY - Wired.com
Growing up under communist rule in East Germany, Lukas Oehmigen didn't have much in the way of worldly possessions, but he did develop an intense interest in DIY. When art school beckoned he turned his attention to the world of 3-D printing and developed a giant-sized fabricator that can print objects larger than a La-Z-Boy recliner.
Its aluminum frame is just over five feet in every dimension and the build area is a robust 45x39x47 inches. Oehmigen named the original prototype "Le Big Rep" in honor of Pulp Fiction, though his new 440-pound, $39,000 printer has been anglicized to the simpler BigRep.
Massive Dinosaur Soft Tissue Discovery In China – Includes Skin And Feathers!
By Michael Snyder - TheTruthWins.com
A fossil bed in China that is being called "Jurassic Park" has yielded perhaps the greatest dinosaur soft tissue discovery of all time. According to media reports, "nearly-complete skeletons" have been discovered that even include skin and feathers. But of course if these dinosaurs are really "160 million years old", that should be absolutely impossible. Needless to say, this shocking discovery is once again going to have paleontologists scrambling to find a way to prop up the popular myths that they have been promoting. What they have been telling us simply does not fit the facts. The truth is that this latest find is even more evidence that dinosaurs are far, far younger than we have traditionally been taught.
FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS, GLOBAL CONFLICT, WARS
Everyone is lying about Ukraine - Truthloader
Published on Mar 6, 2014
Russia has invaded Crimea, the US has imposed sanctions, the UK does everything the US tells it to, the EU probably will too. Vladimir Putin's still pretending he's only sent troops in to protect ethnic Russians, the West is still pretending it's fighting for democratic freedom. There's a bunch of Neo-Nazis and oligarchs in the Ukrainian government in Kiev and the Russians want the old guy back in. Everyone's lying because it's all about gas and oil from the Caspian basin and whether or not our big corporations get their hands on it or Russia's state-owned Gazprom. We're being had off again. Who'd have thought it?
Why There Will Be War in Ukraine
By Sergei Markov - TheMoscowTimes.com
The current crisis is not about Crimea. It is about the rights of Russian-speakers throughout Ukraine whom the Kremlin wants to protect from violence and discrimination. Russia does not want a military intervention in Crimea and does not want to take Crimea from Ukraine.
There is a political solution to this crisis. First, create a coalition government in Kiev composed of all parties, including those from the east and south of the country. The current government is dominated by anti-Russian extremists from western Ukraine.
North Korean Tyrant Kim Jong-Un To Execute 33 Christians
by ROBERT WILDE - Breitbart.com
Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has called for the execution of 33 people for reportedly working as accomplices to South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook and planning to help him create 500 underground churches.
The North Korean tyrant has asserted himself by ruthlessly and brutally murdering all whom he deems a threat to his power. In August, Kim Jong-un executed by firing squad his ex-girlfriend/singer Hyon. She and eleven others in her orchestra were executed with machine guns while the families of the victims watched in horror. Also, Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of his own uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in December for allegedly being a "traitor to the nation for all ages, and a despicable political careerist and trickster, human scum and worse than a dog."
Ukraine Crisis: Obama Orders 12 F-16 Fighter Jets and 300 US Troops to Poland
By Jack Moore - IBTimes.com
The United States is to send 12 F-16 fighter jets and 300 service personnel to Poland for a training exercise next week in response to the Ukraine crisis, according to Poland's defence ministry.
Tomasz Siemoniak, Poland's Minister of National Defence, said that the exercise was originally planned to be smaller but Poland requested that it be strengthened after Russia invaded and took control of the Crimea region.
Russia Scuttles Old Ship to Block Ukrainian Vessels Accessing The Black Sea, Report Says
The Moscow Times
Russian Black Sea fleet has scuttled one of its old ships at the mouth of a Crimean bay used by a Ukrainian navy base, effectively blocking vessels from accessing the Black Sea, a news report said.
The ship, a decommissioned Kara-class cruiser named the Ochakov, had been gathering rust since it was docked at a Russian naval junkyard in 2011. On Wednesday, the Russians towed it to the channel leading out of the bay, known as Donuzlav Lake, before sinking it, The LA Times reported.
Crimea votes to join Russia — U.S. Destroyer heads back to sea
The Crimean parliament voted unanimously to join the Russian federation on Thursday, setting a referendum on the decision for March 16
by E.O.R Eyes Open Report
The Crimean parliament voted unanimously to join the Russian federation on Thursday, setting a referendum on the decision for March 16.
According to the vice premier of Crimea thereferendum will decidedwhether or not to nationalize state property, adopt the Russian Ruble as Crimean currency and force Ukrainian troops to surrender or leave the country. Local voters will also be given a vote to remain a part of Ukraine but as an autonomous republic, as laid out in the peninsulas post-Soviet Union constitution.
"This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev," Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the Crimean parliament, told the Associated Press Thursday. "We will decide our future ourselves."
Is Crimean independence or annexation a good outcome for Russia?
BY HELENA YAKOVLEV-GOLANI AND NADIYA KRAVETS - WashingtonPost.com
Today the quasi-legitimate parliament of Crimea declared its desire to join Russia and once again moved the referendum on the status of the peninsula to March 16 of this year. The Ukrainian parliament, on the other, has registered a bill on Ukraine's NATO membership and declared Crimea's prime minister and the parliamentary speaker outside the law. Officially, Moscow has not declared a war and it is unlikely that it ever will. What does that mean for the future of Crimea? We envision three possibilities – status quo, annexation, and independence – and consider their repercussions for domestic, regional and international politics. We argue that either independence or annexation could entail potentially serious long-term political and economic consequences for Russia.
Obama warns Russia against Crimean referendum
BY MEGHASHYAM MALI - WashingtonExaminer.com
President Obama on Thursday delivered a stern warning to Russia and said allowing the Crimean region to hold a referendum on leavingUkraine would be a violation of international law.
"The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law," Obama said in a brief statement from the White House. "Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine.
"In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders," he added.
Crimea votes to join Russia, Obama orders sanctions
BY ALISSA DE CARBONNEL AND LUKE BAKER, SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine/BRUSSELS
(Reuters) - Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum in 10 days' time in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian region that drew a sharp riposte from U.S. President Barack Obama.
Obama ordered sanctions on those responsible for Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine, including bans on travel to the United States and freezing of their U.S. assets.
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