Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Links

1--China Slams US Over Russian Sanctions; Warns "Will Escalate Tensions", zero hedge

2---The West Prepares: These Are All NATO Aircraft Deployments In Response To The Ukraine Crisis, zero hedge

3--Japanese Manufacturing PMI Collapses At Fastest Pace On Record; Drops To 14 Month Lows, zero hedge

4--Ukraine's leading presidential candidate visited Israel in secret, asked for public support,  Haaretz   

Petro Poroshenko asked Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to publicly support his country’s territorial integrity.
The leading candidate for the Ukrainian presidency, former Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko, visited Israel over the weekend and met with President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Poroshenko told Lieberman he expected Israel to clearly declare support for maintaining the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which Israel has refrained from doing since the beginning of...

"Poroshenko arrived in Israel secretly last Thursday for a very low-profile, private visit of a few days. He did not make his arrival public, and both the President’s Office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry kept quiet about the visit. It was not until after his return to Ukraine on Monday night that Poroshenko reported on his visit."

5--Hooray for Leahy: Top US senator to withhold Egypt military aid over 'sham trial' of Islamists, RT

"It's an appalling abuse of the justice system, which is fundamental to any democracy. Nobody, nobody, can justify this. It does not show democracy. It shows a dictatorship run amok. It is a total violation of human rights," he said. ...

US Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that handles foreign aid, says he will not approve funding for the military in Egypt, where 683 Muslim Brotherhood members were summarily sentenced to death on Monday.

The statement made by the longest-serving US senator is another complication in Washington’s relationship with Cairo. Since the ouster last year of democratically-elected President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military and allies, the Obama administration has walked a fine line between touting the democratic process while still ultimately maintaining strong allegiances with Egypt, a main ally in the region.

Last week, the Pentagon said it would send 10 Apache attack helicopters and $650 million to Egypt’s military regime, which has brutally suppressed dissent among Islamist supporters of Morsi and other groups. The Apaches do not need congressional approval, aides on Capitol Hill said, according to Reuters.

"I'm not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military," Leahy said from the Senate floor on Tuesday. "I'm not prepared to do that until we see convincing evidence the government is committed to the rule of law."

6---Putin: Washington behind Ukraine events all along, though flying low, RT

The US has been behind the Ukrainian crisis from the beginning, but was initially flying low, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that if sanctions continue, Russia will have to reconsider who has access to key sectors of its economy.
“I think what is happening now shows us who really was mastering the process from the beginning. But in the beginning, the United States preferred to remain in the shadow,” Putin said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
Putin stated that since the US has taken a lead role in resolving the political crisis in Ukraine, it is “telling that they originally were behind this process, but now they just have emerged as leaders” of it.
The "Maidan cookies" policy paves the way to a broader crisis, Putin warned, referring to US officials showing up in central Kiev and encouraging protesters during demonstrations.
“It is necessary to understand that the situation is serious and try to find serious approaches to the solution,” he said.
Putin said that he has called on Kiev to start an all-Ukrainian dialogue, adding that other countries should not be blamed for the crisis. ...

We would very much wish not to resort to any measures in response," he told reporters. "But if something like that continues, we will of course have to think about who is working in the key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy sector, and how."
At the same time, the US and EU sanctions will not harm the Eurasian integration process, which is meant to lead to the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, based on a Customs Union and common economic space among Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, he said.

7--US in secret talks with Hezbollah – Israeli reports, RT-

Sources in Washington, DC have told reporters at Israel’s DEBKAfile that secret discussions involving the White House and Hezbollah have recently taken place in the island nation of Cyprus.
According to the news site’s unnamed sources, officials working within the administration of United States President Barack Obama have reached out to members of the militant Lebanese group that’s designated as a terrorist organization by the US — unbeknownst to the media until the site published reports of the meeting on Tuesday this week.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, DEBKAfile reported, considers himself to be a key figure with regards to potentially resolving the bloody civil war in Syria that has pitted President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime against anti-government rebels for three years now.

The actions of Hezbollah, DEBKAfile said, are “credited with turning the Syrian army’s fortunes around from near defeat in 2013 to partial triumph in key areas of Syria this year. “
Nasrallah is able to boast that his movement’s commitment to the Syrian conflict is its central mission and will remain so until rebel and Al-Qaeda forces are finally vanquished,” the site reported.

8---Kerry backtracks on Israel ‘apartheid’ remark, wishes he ‘chose a different word’, RT

I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one,” Kerry said in a statement published on the US Department of State's website on Tuesday.

“I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe,” he affirmed.

Kerry’s original controversy-inducing comment was delivered last Friday during a closed-door conference of the influential Trilateral Commission, and echoed like thunder across the political spectrum.

The Secretary of State said: “A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens – or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

“Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”

9--US economic “recovery” dominated by low-wage jobs, wsws
   A disproportionate number of jobs created during the so-called economic “recovery” pay less than about $13 per hour, according to a report issued Monday by the National Employment Law Project.
While US businesses have on the whole added 1.85 million low-wage jobs over the past six years, they have eliminated 1.83 million medium-wage (paying between $13 and $20 per hour) and high-wage (between $20 and $32) jobs, according to the report.
These figures are an expression of the restructuring of class relations that has taken place in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, which the ruling class used to undertake an unmitigated assault on workers’ wages and living standards 

10---This will end badly, zero hedge

The leaders of the Developed World have chipped away at the solidity that would ordinarily justify confidence in their leadership, markets and currencies, such that confidence can be lost at any moment. If confidence in a sound system is unfairly lost, then countertrend forces can act to stem the panic and restore stability. But a justified loss of confidence in an unsound system would generate much more damage and be, for a period of time and price, unstoppable. That result is what governments have risked by their poor policies, their lack of attention to the risks posed by the inventions of the modern financial system, and their neglect of the fiscal balance sheet. Since this combination is relatively new, particularly the enormity of Developed World debt and obligations, as well as the complexity and extraordinarily high leverage of the financial system (especially given the size of derivatives books), there is no way to tell exactly how it all will end. Badly, we guess.

A catalyzing force for the next crisis might be a failure of confidence in one or more of those major governments or in China. ...
Those who think the scenario above is an exaggeration should ask themselves the following question: After decades of advancements in human knowledge and purported innovations in the global financial system, why did 2008 turn into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? The answer is that the system was unsound, largely due to excessive leverage and the complexity of financial instruments.

11--Isolated Russia Makes Friends: To Hold Military Drill With China; Strikes Multi-Billion Deals Qatar And Iran, zero hedge

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