HOUSE LEADERS ABANDON BORDER BILL

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No chance it could be reconciled with a very different version awaiting action

BY ERICA WERNER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Once more, the tea party forced House Speaker John Boehner to blink.

Minutes from a vote on legislation to deal with the immigration surge on the U.S.-Mexico border, and hours from scheduled adjournment for the summer, a conservative revolt left the speaker with no choice but to pull his border bill from the floor.

Most House Republicans were eager to pass the $659 million measure and tell voters back home they acted on the border crisis, which is suddenly registering as a top concern in polls three months before midterm elections.

But a core group of conservative lawmakers, some of the same holdouts who forced the government shutdown last fall, were unpersuaded.

Reluctant to give President Barack Obama any money for a problem they believed to be of his own making, and unconvinced that there would be a political price for inaction, the lawmakers strategized with firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz over pizza and held fast against Boehner’s entreaties.

It wasn’t enough even when Boehner bent to their demands and agreed to hold a separate vote on legislation aimed at reining in Obama’s ability to take executive actions on deportations.

When it came time to vote Thursday on the border spending bill, there was an unexplained pause in the proceedings on the House floor, and suddenly the reading clerk called up an unrelated highway bill instead.

Not long after, Republicans gathered in the basement of the Capitol for an emergency meeting.

Several members raced back from the airport for the conference and had already changed into polo shirts and jeans.

They wanted to move forward, but what would change?

“I’m hoping some people will grow up,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

Boehner took the unusual step of delaying Congress’ summer recess, which had been scheduled to begin on Friday, and House Republicans agreed to meet again in the morning to see if they could find a bill that could pass.

In the Senate, meanwhile, a much different bill to spend $2.7 billion to address the border crisis died on a procedural vote as expected, and senators prepared to adjourn for recess. So even if the House did succeed in passing a bill Friday, there was no prospect for reaching a deal to send a bill to Obama’s desk.

Even so, most House Republicans insisted they wanted to act.

“The American people expect us to do our jobs,” said moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. “We have both a border and humanitarian crisis to deal with, and they expect us to take action, now.”

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, an author of the border measure, said she was expecting changes that would make parts of the legislation more specific, such as detailing who would pay for deploying the National Guard.

“Overall, we all agree we should stay until we get a vote,” she said.

Yet there was no guarantee Boehner would prevail as some conservatives appeared set to remain unmoved to the end.

“I think by doing something, all we’re doing is taking Obama’s nightmare for ourselves,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

The disarray arose over what most view as an urgent humanitarian issue, the stream of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing illegally into South Texas. Most are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where towns are beset by gang violence. They are seeking to reunite with family members and drawn by rumors that once here they would be allowed to stay.

Many Republicans blame Obama administration policies for that perception, particularly a 2-year-old program that has granted work permits and relief from deportation to more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids. The Obama administration disputes that claim.

Conservatives want to repeal Obama’s deportation relief program as part of any border bill. Boehner’s proposed solution to vote separately to block Obama from expanding it – as White House officials have indicated they are contemplating – didn’t go far enough for them.

The House bill “fails to meet this test and therefore must be opposed,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., credited by many lawmakers and aides with causing as much trouble for the bill as Cruz.

“Jeff Sessions is probably held in higher esteem than the Alabama football coach and the Auburn football coach put together,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.

Democrats relished the GOP chaos and openly mocked the apparent influence of Cruz, R-Texas, over the House GOP, referring to him as Speaker Cruz. Meanwhile, House Republicans chafed.

“I think we’ve seen this game before,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who is close to House GOP leaders. “Any time the groups come out and start to score about these issues, then senators get involved and they start having meetings and then they all sit together and sing `Kumbaya’ and stop any progress.”

The events took place as Boehner inaugurated a new leadership team on the very day that outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, unexpectedly defeated in his primary race by a conservative upstart, was stepping down from his post.

Incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., facing his first test as leader, said: “I wouldn’t want to be here if it was easy.”

Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Donna Cassata, Andrew Taylor and David Espo contributed to this report.

THE REAL STATE OF THE ECONOMY

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On edge of something much worse than what we had in 2008 and 2009

By Doug Casey
Doug Casey’s international Man
July 31, 2014

Peter Schiff: Joining our program now is Doug Casey, and if you don’t know Doug, he is a libertarian economist. He is a bestselling financial author. He’s an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder/chairman of Casey Research. They publish a monthly newsletter, Casey International Speculator, and most recently Doug has produced a 30-minute documentary called Meltdown America, which I watched just yesterday on the Internet for free. I would encourage everybody to watch it. It’s a very entertaining half hour.

Doug, welcome to The Peter Schiff Show.

Doug Casey: Thanks, Peter. It’s my pleasure.

Peter: So in particular about your movie, which I thought was well done, the story that was most compelling to me was the interview with the gentlemen from Zimbabwe who had lived there most of his life. He was prosperous, had a business, and then had the foresight to read the writing on the wall, leave everything behind, and flee to Australia. He warned his friends—who made fun of him—and they then ended up having their property seized.

Doug: Yes, it’s an absolutely true story, of course. I’ve spent a lot of time in Zimbabwe and before that in Rhodesia over the years. I think the first time I went there was in 1976. His story is quite accurate about what happened in Zimbabwe, but it’s happened in a number of places in the world, and it’s going to happen in other places in the future. This is because most people don’t realize that as big as their investment risks are today with many markets being overinflated and so forth, their biggest risks are actually political risks. The biggest danger to you is your own government. In his case it was the Zimbabwe government. I guess most of the people listening now are Americans, and actually the US government is like a predator stalking us on the African plains.

Peter: What really is compelling about the story and what people should really take to heart is the attitude that pervades is that, well, it’s not going to happen here. It can’t happen here. People don’t want to think about that worst-case scenario. They want to assume that things are going to be okay, and if somebody is warning about this potential doomsday, that is the person whom they ridicule, who they say, oh, you’re crazy, that’s never going to happen, and, it happens in places like Zimbabwe. But expand on it, because it’s happening in America.

Doug: Well look, I hate to sound like a Cassandra, a gloomy Gus. I hate to say the sky is falling, and I know you do too. But you’ve got to be realistic. I don’t call it America anymore. I call it the US because although America is a fantastic idea, a wonderful idea, America as a concept is rapidly disappearing from the land area called the United States. So yeah, I hate to sound gloomy, because there are lots of reasons for optimism that we can recount. We have more scientists and engineers alive today now than we’ve had in all previous history put together. So that’s cause for optimism. But there is a lot of cause for real pessimism certainly in the short term, in the next decade or so in the US, and it could get worse from there. So you and I are pretty much on the same page economically, and it makes me a little uncomfortable having to be gloomy, but I have to be. I have to assess the facts.

Peter: Yeah, you can’t ignore the facts. So you don’t like to say that the sky is falling, but then if you see it falling, you don’t want to just pretend that you don’t see what you see because that’s worse. I mean, it’s better to warn about the catastrophes. Maybe your warnings could help put into effect policies that might avert the catastrophe, or if you can’t do that, at least help as many people as possible prepare for it in advance so that they don’t get hit by surprise.

Doug: Yes, although I greatly discount the odds of things changing because policies and governments have a momentum of their own. Imagine a village at the bottom of a valley, and that 100 years ago collectivism and statism started out as a small snowball, and now that snowball has turned into a giant avalanche. Now once it gets to the giant avalanche stage, you can’t stop it. So I’m afraid that the village at the bottom of the valley is going to be smashed, so you’ve got to run for high ground. I don’t think we can stop it at this point. The trend is too entrenched, too far in motion, and the fact that 50% of Americans are reliant upon the government for their income alone is a guarantee of bad things to come.

Peter: Yeah, and Doug, you have been an observer, a critic of this trend that has been ongoing in America for a long time. I mean, it’s not like we suddenly find ourselves on the precipice of disaster. We’ve been on that precipice for a long time. It’s kind of amazing that we haven’t fallen over just yet, but it’s been a long time building. Even my dad was in this camp back in the ‘70s, issuing warnings. But what do you see today that might make you think that this is the endgame? I mean there can’t be another couple of decades where you’re going to be sounding the alarm.

Doug: Yeah, that’s a very interesting point, Peter. When do we reach the actual endgame as opposed to just an accelerating downturn? I would say that it started in 2007. I think that’s the endgame because the Fed’s balance sheet—which is the best indicator of how much actual new money they’re creating—has gone from $500 billion to $4.5 trillion just in the last five years, and they’re still creating more. So they’ve shot all their arrows and when the economy turns down again—and I think it is in process of doing that now—there’s nothing they can do. They have already reduced interest rates to near zero, the Chinese and the Japanese aren’t buying any more government debt, and the official number is $500 billion a year of deficit now, so the Federal Reserve is going to be printing up money wholesale. This is a very scary thing, so yeah, I think we actually have reached the actual edge of the precipice.

Peter: And the amazing thing, too, and you point this out is they’re telling us we’ve been in a recovery for five years. This means statistically we’re also getting close to the next recession. Just by the probability, how long the expansion has been, yet we’ve never begun a recession where rates are still at zero. We’ve never begun a recession while they are still stimulating us from the previous recession. And nobody seems to worry about the outcome of entering a recession from the position that we are in right now.

Doug: And the numbers that they crank out to make everybody feel good are almost as phony as the numbers that the Argentine government cranks out. I live in Argentina most of the year and there, the Cristina Fernández government says well, we only have 10% inflation. But everybody knows that it’s 30 to 40%. And here they say we have 1-2% inflation. I would say that inflation is realistically in the 8-10% range here in the US—and it’s going much higher.

Peter: And that makes a lot more sense to me, given what I’m observing in the actual economy. The critics who argue that that’s impossible, that the people who think that inflation is more than 2-3% percent, they say they must be wrong, because that would mean that the economy has not experienced any legitimate economic growth. And to that I would say, absolutely, it hasn’t. The growth is all a fantasy. It’s all a result of the assumption that there is no inflation, when there really is because what we have is inflation masquerading as economic growth. But the bottom line is the economy is really contracting, that’s why the labor force is shrinking, that’s why we’re using less energy, that’s why the people’s standard of living is going down, and real incomes are falling and job opportunities are disappearing. It’s because we’re in a recession and no one wants to admit it.

Doug: You are absolutely right, and from this point it is going to get much more obvious and get much worse. I just wonder what the social consequences are going to be when the economy goes into a free-fall again, maybe by the end of this year. I think certainly next year. I mean it’s an open question whether people will riot.

Peter: You can already see the frustration. I often joke, if this is the Obama recovery, imagine how bad the recession is going to be. And you know, we’re running these deficits. The president is bragging now that the deficit is finally below $1 trillion, that it might be $600-700 billion, but that’s the deficit in the recovery. If we slip into a legitimate or acknowledged recession, where are the deficits going to go, $1.5 trillion, $2 trillion? And how can we possibly finance that when the world is already saturated with the debt that we’ve issued to stimulate us out of prior recessions?

Also, I’ve got to get to gold and silver, something that I know you’ve been advocating for a while. When it comes to gold and silver, I’ve never seen an environment where you have so many central banks embracing inflation as a goal, that they want more inflation, and they somehow think that it’s going to help the economy; and at the same time you have complete complacency on the part of investors to any of the risks associated with inflation that all these central bankers are promising to create.

Doug: As you are well aware, Peter, it was Lenin who said the best way to destroy a country is to debauch its currency. It’s perverse and idiotic what all the central banks around the world are doing at this point. But some are worse than others. The Europeans are out of control. The Japanese are out of control. The Chinese Central Bank and of course the Fed here in the US are out of control. So that’s one reason why I continue accumulating gold. It’s the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability.

Peter: Yeah, and you’ve been a buyer for a long time, a regular buyer and holder of metals. What do you think it’s going to take, though, to convince the skeptics who are so in love with paper and who make fun of the gold bugs for their irrational obsession with this obscure obsolete yellow metal? What do you think it is going to take for the mainstream to start buying into gold and silver, and of course the mining stocks?

Doug: I think it’s going to take a financial and economic collapse. I hate to say it, but I think we are on the edge of something that is much worse than what we had in 2008 and 2009. I look around the world at places where you can put your capital, real estate is overpriced, the stock market is greatly overpriced, the bond market is in a historic bubble, that’s about the best short sale I can think of in the world. So what are you left with? Gold is not a giveaway the way it was in 2001 at $250 an ounce, but it is reasonably priced, so I’m going to continue to buy it. I think there’s going to be a panic into gold, quite frankly.

Peter: You know, Doug, I think it could be just as big a giveaway now. If you look at the cost of production of gold today versus what it was 12 years ago, it costs a lot more to produce gold, and if you look at the amount of money that the central banks have created over the past 12 years and the amount of money that they are threatening to create, I think you could make a case that gold is cheaper now at $1,200 than it was at $300.

Doug: Well, when you look at the cost of mining new gold, there are about 80 million ounces produced every year, and there are perhaps six billion in total existence. Most of the mining companies in the world, the big ones like Barrick and Newmont, it’s not profitable for them to produce gold even at $1,300 an ounce when you consider all the costs of mining. So yes, I wouldn’t argue with you.

Peter: You talk about a bubble in assets like stocks and real estate. The irony of it is, the professional investors who are happily paying ridiculous valuations for stocks, the only bubble that they can identify is the one that doesn’t exist—except in their minds—and that is the bubble that they see in gold.

Doug: Yes, that’s right. The real bubble is in the bond market, and the bond market is much bigger than the stock market, so when the bubble in bonds bursts, it’s going to be very ugly. I’ve got to make a distinction, and I think you will agree with this. I’ve bought gold my whole life. I’ve never sold one ounce because I buy it for safety, for savings, prudence, and insurance. But I’ve also been very involved in gold stocks for many years, and gold stocks are a different animal than gold itself, and I treat them as a speculative vehicle because gold stocks are perhaps the most volatile class of securities in the world. The Vancouver Stock Exchange, which trades about 1,500 supposed gold companies, regularly goes up ten for one and then collapses 95%. As we speak at this time, it’s at a cyclical bottom. So I think it’s an extremely high-potential speculation to get into gold stocks at this time.

(Editor’s note: You may want to check out our Casey International Speculator publication which specializes in finding high-potential speculative opportunities in junior mining companies.)

Peter: Yeah, I agree with you. Of the nations that you travel to, which would you consider to be the most stable, maybe the ones that offer the best not only investment opportunity, but opportunity to live if you want to leave the United States?

Doug: Well, the fact of the matter is that all over the world these governments collude with each other in these clubs they belong to like the United Nations, the IMF, and the OECD, and they are all going in the wrong direction, which is to say more state power, more taxes, and more control. I’ve been to most of the countries in the world, and where I spend most of my time is in Argentina. The people there are used to stupidity from their government and despise their government.

Peter: Well, that’s for sure, Doug. They are prepared for stupidity, unlike Americans who are going to be surprised by it.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out http://www.SchiffRadio.com for more on Peter’s superb radio show. Also, don’t forget to catch our new free documentary Meltdown America, which discusses how to survive an economic collapse with examples from Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Yugoslavia. You won’t want to miss it.

EBOLA OUTBREAK: WHO LAUNCHING $100M PLAN AS DEATH TOLL TOPS 700

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The World Health Organization is launching a $100-million response plan to combat an “unprecedented” outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that has killed 729 people out of 1,323 infected since February, the agency said on Thursday.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan will meet in Conakry, Guinea, on Friday with the presidents of affected West African nations, the United Nations health agency said in a statement.

“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and co-ordination,” said Chan.

The plan identifies the need for “several hundred more personnel” to be deployed in affected countries to ease the strain on overstretched treatment facilities, the WHO said. Clinical doctors and nurses, epidemiologists, and logisticians are urgently needed, it said in an appeal to donor countries

“The plan sets out new needs to respond to the outbreak across the countries and bring up the level of preparedness in neighbouring countries,” WHO spokesman Paul Garwood said. “They need better information and infection-control measures.”

The plan aims to stop transmission of the virus by strengthening disease surveillance, particularly in border areas, protecting health workers from infection and doing a better job of explaining the disease to communities.

Ebola: What you need to know to protect yourself
MAP | The spread of the deadly Ebola virus
Ebola outbreak: U.S. Peace Corps evacuates, Liberia closes schools
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said his agency is stepping up its response to the outbreak and will send an additional 50 health experts to assist with efforts to control the outbreak.

Canada’s Public Health Agency is not taking that step just yet, instead recommending travellers practise special precautions, such as getting extra vaccinations. According to its online travel notice, the risk of infection is low for most travellers.

Meanwhile, the health conditions of a U.S. physician and a missionary who contracted Ebola while helping fight an outbreak of the disease that has claimed more than 700 lives in West Africa have worsened, two relief organizations said on Thursday.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol are in “stable but grave condition” in Liberia as they battle the deadly virus, according to North Carolina-based Christian relief groups Samaritan’s Purse and SIM. Brantly and Writebol were serving in Monrovia, Liberia, as part of a joint team from the two relief organizations.

Public health emergency in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma declared a public health emergency. He vowed to quarantine sick patients at home and have authorities conduct house-to-house searches for others who may have been exposed as the country struggles with families resisting treatment at isolation centres. Some have kept loved ones at home given the high death rates at clinics where Ebola patients are quarantined.

His announcement late Wednesday came as neighbouring Liberia also increased efforts to slow the virulent disease’s spread, shutting down schools and ordering most public servants to stay home from work.

“It could be helpful for the government to have powers to isolate and quarantine people and it’s certainly better than what’s been done so far,” said Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Whether it works, we will have to wait and see.”

Ebola now has been blamed for 729 deaths in four West African countries this year, and has shown no signs of slowing down, particularly in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has also reached Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos, where authorities said on Friday a man had died of the virus.

Ebola outbreak map 31 July 2014
On Thursday, the WHO announced 57 new deaths — 27 in Liberia, 20 in Guinea, nine in Sierra Leone and one in Nigeria.

Among the dead was the chief doctor treating Ebola in Sierra Leone, who was to be buried Thursday.

The government said Dr. Sheik Umar Khan’s death was “an irreparable loss of this son of the soil.” The 39-year-old was a leading doctor on hemorrhagic fevers in a nation with very few medical resources.

In a measure of rising international concern, Britain on Wednesday held a government meeting on Ebola, which it said was a threat it needed to respond to.

But international airlines association IATA said the WHO was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures owing to the outbreak, and there would be a low risk to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

The outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, for which there is no known cure, began in the forests of remote eastern Guinea in February, but Sierra Leone now has the highest number of cases.

Sierra Leone’s Koroma said he would meet with the leaders of Liberia and Guinea in Conakry on Friday to discuss the epidemic and that he was cancelling a visit to Washington for a U.S.-Africa summit next week.

U.S. Peace Corps withdraw

“Sierra Leone is in a great fight.… Failure is not an option,” Koroma said in a speech late on Wednesday, adding that the state of emergency would initially last between 60 and 90 days. “Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary measures.”

Ebola’s symptoms include external bleeding, massive internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea in its final stages. The disease kills up to 90 per cent of those infected, though the fatality rate in the current epidemic is running at around 60 per cent.

Sierra Leone Ebola
Medical personnel work at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, where Dr. Sheik Umar Khan died. (Youssouf Bah/Associated Press)

The president said police and the military would enforce a quarantine on all epicentres of the disease, and would provide support to health officers and NGOs to do their work unhindered, following a number of attacks on health workers by local communities.

House-to-house searches would be implemented to trace Ebola victims and homes where the disease was identified would be quarantined until cleared by medical teams, he said, announcing a ban on all public meetings except those related to Ebola.

Liberia on Wednesday announced the closure of all schools across the country and said it was considering quarantining affected communities.

The U.S. Peace Corps said it was withdrawing 340 volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea after two of them came in contact with a person who later died of the virus.

New airport controls

Sierra Leone, a former British colony, said passengers arriving and departing Lungi International Airport would be subject to new protocols, including body temperature scans.

Two regional airlines, Nigeria’s Arik and Togo’s Asky, have cancelled all flights to Freetown and Monrovia after a U.S. citizen died in Nigeria after contracting the disease in Liberia.

Canada taking steps to guard against spread of Ebola
Ebola epidemic unlikely to spread beyond Africa
More than doctors needed to contain Ebola crisis
Nigeria’s civil aviation authority (NCAA) said on Thursday it had started temperature screening passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola and had suspended pan-African airline Asky for bringing the first case to Lagos.

Patrick Sawyer, the first recorded case of Ebola in Nigeria, took an Asky flight that stopped in Ghana and Togo, raising questions over how a person whose sister had died of the disease three weeks before was able to board an international flight.

Ghana also said it was immediately introducing body temperature screening of all travellers from West African countries at Accra airport and other major entry points, with isolation centres being set up in three towns.

Kyei Faried, deputy director in charge of disease control, told a news conference that authorities had a list of 11 passengers who disembarked from Sawyer’s flight and were monitoring them. The government is considering whether to ban flights from affected countries.

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GROUP WITH ALLEGED LINKS TO ISLAMIC STATE GATHERS IN ISTANBUL

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Groups openly operate in Turkish territory

by TULIN DALOGLU | AL-MONITOR | JULY 31, 2014

There has been much speculation over the past three years about Turkey’s supporting radical Islamist groups in an attempt to end Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, however, has categorically denied these allegations.

Yet the release of a video, allegedly showing a “jihadist” crowd gathering in Istanbul on July 28 for the prayers marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, has sparked controversy. The recording was released by takvahaber.net, described by Turkish media as an online portal close to the Islamic State (IS).

This website was the only source that reported the assembling of this crowd in Omerli, on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. The 26-minute recording includes a long preaching segment. “Let God make us fight the just war of jihad,” the preacher says. “May God help jihadists and those who are patient for victory. May God help their shots hit the mark.”

Although the Turkish parliament was in summer recess, Sezgin Tanrikulu, a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, submitted a written query through the speaker’s office, asking that it be answered by Interior Minister Efkan Ala. Asking the security establishment to confirm first whether this gathering took place in Istanbul and whether this was really a crowd affiliated with IS, Tanrikulu asked whether there were any IS camps within Turkey’s borders.

“Are the allegations true that the IS militants also use this open field for militant training?” Tanrikulu asked. “Have these people asked for any official permission to gather this crowd to mark the end of Ramadan? If so, who gave them this permission? What were the Istanbul security director and the head of gendarmerie in the Istanbul area doing when these people were calling for jihad there?”

He added, “Is it true that both the police department and the gendarmerie units were ordered not to interfere when the group, the extension of a terrorist organization, was calling for jihad in Istanbul? Who gave these orders?”

No Turkish government official has yet said a word about the affair. Speaking to Al-Monitor, Turkish authorities said they were so far dependent on this website’s allegation that this event took place in Istanbul. “Although we cannot provide you any official confirmation that this event took place in Istanbul, it seems quite likely that it was recorded where they claim it was,” one official who asked to remain anonymous told Al-Monitor.

These authorities also note various challenges they face. Although Turkey designates al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization, there is a big question mark whether IS militants are also categorized as “terrorists.” Once the state depicts a group as a terror organization, it activates all its tools to fight against its members. “It is not really clear whether there is any such order here,” this official told Al-Monitor. “What makes everything more complicated is that IS kidnapped Turkey’s Mosul Consulate members, and there are rumors about a tough ransom negotiation to rescue them.” The rumor is that Turkey will pay about $300 million to get its diplomats back.

IS stormed the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on June 11, taking hostage all 49 members of its staff hostage, including Consul General Ozturk Yilmaz.

The same authorities Al-Monitor talked to suggested that IS has actually shown its muscle to the Erdogan government by releasing this video. “The government has already put a gag order on the media not to report anything that could offend the IS. And they release this video footage — all in Turkish, shot in Istanbul, and there is no word from the government yet. They have taken the government hostage as well with this video,” this official told Al-Monitor. “If they don’t act today for the sake of saving these 49 diplomats, it is not clear what they can do next. It is a very delicate and tough decision for the government, but one has to draw the line before it gets too late.”

Put simply, whether the Erdogan government helped the radical Islamic groups fight against the Assad regime could be irrelevant, as these groups already openly operate in Turkish territory. What is relevant today is that these groups are posing a threat to Turkey in terms of potentially recruiting and radicalizing its own population. If IS is not really considered a terrorist organization, the security establishment is quite restricted in how it may act against these militants. Therefore, only the government can determine when it is time to call them one. The media, however, remain restricted in talking about this group until the Turkish diplomats’ fates become clear.

GAZA CRISIS: ISIS PLEDGE TO JOIN THE PALESTINIAN FIGHT AGAINST ‘BARBARIC JEWS’

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Group does not offer “empty” words like other Arab nations who speak and do not act

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by JACK MOORE | INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES | JULY 31, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has told the Palestinian people that it is “only a matter of time” before they reach Palestine to join the fight against “barbaric Jews”.

The Islamic militant group, who last month announced a “Caliphate” straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border and renamed themselves the Islamic State, released the provocative statement on an Isis-affiliated Twitter account.

“It is only matter of time and patience before it [Islamic State] reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees – the trees of the Jews,” the statement read.

The group said it would do “everything within its means” to continue the fight against any obstacle on the way to “Palestine”, alluding to the Middle Eastern territory before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

“As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, then the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its paths towards Palestine,” the group said.

The group and its “Caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have faced criticism from some quarters for not coming to the aid of Palestinian civilians being killed in the Israeli Defense Forces’ Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

OVER 100 PRO-AMNESTY PROTESTERS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARRESTED IN FRONT OF WHITE HOUSE

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Protesters demanded President Obama halt deportations, which were already near all time lows..

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by ADAN SALAZAR | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 31, 2014

Over 100 pro-amnesty supporters were arrested in front of the White House today in what was largely seen as a staged gesture designed to call attention to President Obama’s inaction on the immigration crisis.

“More than 100 faith leaders and immigration activists participated in a demonstration and were arrested at the White House on Thursday to protest the daily deportations of undocumented immigrations,” reports the Huffington Post.

Despite the First Lady of Guatemala negating reports that immigrants were fleeing her country due to violence, in addition to a leaked El Paso Intelligence Center memo debunking the same myth, protesters demanded the U.S. accept the illegals as “refugees” fleeing turmoil and violence and called for an immediate halt to deportations.

“We have come to Washington, DC to tell to President Obama and Congress that kicking out suffering immigrant families and unaccompanied children is not the answer. Immediately stopping the deportations and extending due process to children escaping the violence of drug cartels, gangs and poverty is the just way to respond,” one United Methodist Church Bishop stated at the rally.

Protesters wrongly believe that deportations have suddenly increased on the Obama administration’s watch, even though a recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement report shows that the number of deportations have continued to drop since Obama took office.

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“We are gathered here to make our voices heard,” Rev. John McCollough said, according to ABC News. “We are here to pray for this president, our President Obama, to ask him to lose the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free. Si se puede!”

Predictably, protesters made no distinctions between illegal aliens fleeing Central America genuinely in search of a better life, and the numerous gang members shown to be infiltrating the U.S. to cause trouble or recruit others.

Last week, we highlighted an instance in which six illegal alien gang members aged 16 to 22, killed a homeless man in Maryland after merely arguing with one of them.

RELATED: Border Agents Quitting Over Catch and Release of Known Gang Members

Earlier this week, border agents in Arizona also detailed how immigrant gang members housed in detention facilities have also been recruiting from within shelters. Gangs like the notorious, multi-national MS-13, have been “..known to heavily recruit school aged members between 10 years of age and up,” a University of Maryland report on gangs states.

The demonstration today follows protests on Monday, where illegal aliens were among a crowd of demonstrators protesting outside the White House with little fear of being arrested, detained or deported. An ICE agent indicated to Fox News they were basically under orders not to intervene “Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case.”

With an ebola outbreak threatening to reach pandemic-sized proportions, those concerned with illegal immigration also fear that many of the immigrants, some of who are emigrating from places other than Central America, could also be harboring communicable diseases, which will adversely affect the health of the nation.

RELATED: Infectious Tuberculosis Moving Across U.S. Border, Ice Whistleblower Confirms

Then there are fears that local economies, and indeed the entire United States infrastructure, could become paralyzed after an unprecedented amount of unskilled, uneducated workers floods the system, creating an economic burden not unlike the welfare system collapse scenario envisioned by sociologists Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven.

Infowars was first to report that church groups in South Texas were aiding the illegal immigrant influx by providing incentives like climate-controlled shelters, clothes, food and mobile lavatories for immigrants – a large chunk paid for by local taxpayers.

American volunteers who contracted Ebola in ‘grave’ condition

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The two Americans humanitarian workers who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa are now in grave condition, the organization said in a statement on Thursday.

Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief group based out of Boone, North Carolina, confirmed Thursday that both Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are in “stable but grave condition” after being diagnosed in recent days with the fatal disease.

Dr. Brantly, the 33-year-old medical director of the organization’s Monrovia, Liberia-based Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center, tested positive for the virus on Saturday. The following day, Samaritan’s Purse confirmed that Writebol tested positive as well while treating patients at the same Monrovia facility.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control said in a statement this week that West Africa is in the midst of “the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history,” and that the CDC planned to send 50 additional disease control experts to the region in the coming month.

Meanwhile, Samaritan’s Purse said Dr. Brantly “took a slight turn for the worse,” and is asking for supporters to continue to send their prayers to the families of the physician and the fellow humanitarian.

A dose of an “experimental serum” had arrived in Liberia on Wednesday. Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said Thursday, but “Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol” because it was only enough for one patient.

“However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care,” Graham continued. “The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life.”

There is no cure for the deadly Ebola virus, but companies around the globe have been attempting to develop one as the current outbreak continues to ravage a region in West Africa.

“I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease,” Brantly said in an email to colleagues earlier this week. A spokesperson for Samaritan’s Purse said the doctor began working in Liberia last October and previously was practicing family medicine in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Dr. Brantly has demonstrated once again how Jesus sacrificed for us,” Nancy Writebol’s son, Jeremy, told NBC News this week upon learning the physician refused the single dose sent to Liberia. “We pray for Kent’s full recovery and healing.”

According to the World Health Organization, the latest Ebola outbreak has infected upwards of 1,323 people and killed at least 729.

Confirmed: CIA spied on Senate staff

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The head of the Central Intelligence Agency apologized privately to lawmakers on Tuesday after an internal review revealed that CIA employees had secretly monitored, as alleged, the computer usage of certain Senate staffers.

Director John Brennan’s admission this week that members of his agency “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” among the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee came months after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), the chairperson of that panel, complained on the floor of Congress that her staff had been subjected to covert monitoring as they worked on an official investigation into the CIA’s now defunct detention and interrogation practices. That report — a 6,300-page review of tactics employed by the CIA considered by some to be forms of torture — has yet to be made public.

Dean Boyd, a spokesperson for the CIA, told journalists at McClatchy that an investigation into Sen. Feinstein’s allegations led the agency to determine that some degree of wrongdoing did occur, and an additional review is now being undertaken to examine what action, if any, the agency will take.

In March, Sen. Feinstein told reporters that the CIA general counsel’s office was conducting a review of how her committee “investigated allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program,” and that the probe would assess whether her staffers had at any point removed secret documents from a secure facility outside of Washington, DC while working on that report. On her part, Feinstein said those allegations led her to believe the CIA was secretly monitoring her staff while they worked on the torture report, and said she had “grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the US Constitution.”

“I am deeply dismayed that some members of the Senate have decided to make spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts,” Brennan, the agency’s director, responded at the time. “I am very confident that the appropriate authorities reviewing this matter will determine where wrongdoing, if any, occurred in either the executive branch or legislative branch.”

Speaking to McClatchy, Boyd said that Brennan on Tuesday briefed Feinstein and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, on the findings of the internal review.

“The director . . . apologized to them for such actions by CIA officers as described in the OIG (Office of Inspector General Report),” Boyd said in a statement.

Next, the spokesperson added, the findings will be reviewed by an accountability board chaired by retired Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, which will then “conduct interviews as needed and provide the director with recommendations that, depending on its findings, could include potential disciplinary measures and/or steps to address systemic issues.”

“Recognizing the importance of this matter and the need to resolve it in a way that preserved the crucial equities of both branches, Director Brennan asked the CIA Office of Inspector General to examine the actions of CIA personnel,” Boyd added.

According to McClatchy, though, Feinstein’s staff is still being scrutinized. The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, Jonathan Landay and Ali Watkins reported, is still investigating whether or not the Intelligence Committee staff removed classified documents without authorization.

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice confirmed that, after a careful review, it failed to find sufficient evidence to further carry a criminal investigation into either the CIA’s spying or the allegations of document stealing.