Fears of a new global crash as debts and dollar’s value rise

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As Greece puts the finishing touches to its latest round of cuts, some economists are increasingly alarmed about the signals from the world economy

BY HEATHER STEWART

Greek ministers are spending this weekend, almost five grinding years since Athens was first bailed out, wrangling over the details of the spending cuts and economic reforms they have drawn up to appease their creditors.

As the recriminations fly between Europe’s capitals, campaigners are warning that the global community has failed to learn the lessons of the Greek debt crisis – or even of Argentina’s default in 2001, the consequences of which are still being contested furiously in courts on both sides of the Atlantic.

As Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates, boosting the value of the dollar, while the plunging price of crude puts intense pressure on the finances of oil-exporting countries, there are growing fears of a new debt crisis in the making.

Ann Pettifor of Prime Economics, who foreshadowed the credit crunch in her 2003 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis, says: “We’re going to have another financial crisis. Brazil’s already in great trouble with the strength of the dollar; I dread to think what’s happening in South Africa; then there’s Malaysia. We’re back to where we were, and that for me is really frightening.”

Since the aftershocks of the global financial crisis of 2008 died away, the world’s policymakers have spent countless hours rewriting the banking rulebook and rethinking monetary policy. But next to nothing has been done about the question of what to do about countries that can’t repay their debts, or how to stop them getting into trouble in the first place.

Brazil’s already in great trouble with the strength of the dollar; I dread to think what’s happening in South Africa

Ann Pettifor

Developing countries are using the UN to demand a change in the way sovereign defaults are dealt with. Led by Bolivian ambassador to the UN Sacha Sergio Llorenti, they are calling for a bankruptcy process akin to the Chapter 11 procedure for companies to be applied to governments.

Unctad, the UN’s Geneva-based trade and investment arm, has been working for several years to draw up a “roadmap” for sovereign debt resolution. It recommends a series of principles, including a moratorium on repayments while a solution is negotiated; the imposition of currency controls to prevent capital fleeing the troubled country; and continued lending by the IMF to prevent the kind of existential financial threat that roils world markets and causes severe economic hardship.

If a new set of rules could be established, Unctad believes, “they should help prevent financial meltdown in countries facing difficulties servicing their external obligations, which often results in a loss of market confidence, currency collapse and drastic interest rates hikes, inflicting serious damage on public and private balance sheets and leading to large losses in output and employment and a sharp increase in poverty”.

It calls for a once-and-for-all write-off, instead of the piecemeal Greek-style approach involving harsh terms and conditions that knock the economy off course and can ultimately make the debt even harder to repay. The threat of a genuine default of this kind could also help to constrain reckless lending by the private sector in the first place.

However, when these proposals were put to the UN general assembly last September, a number of developed countries, including the UK and the US, voted against it, claiming the UN was the wrong forum to discuss the proposal, which is anathema to powerful financial institutions.

Pettifor shares some of the UK and US’s scepticism. “The problem for me is that the UN has no leverage here,” she says. “It can make these moralistic pronouncements but ultimately it’s the IMF and the governments that make the decisions.”

Nevertheless, Llorenti has been touring the world’s capitals making the case for change, and hopes to bring the issue back for fresh discussions next month.

And while the debate rages, developing countries have been taking advantage of rock-bottom interest rates and the cheap money created by quantitative easing to stack up billions in new debt.

Using recently released World Bank data, the Jubilee Debt Campaign calculates that in 2013 alone – the latest period for which figures are available – borrowing by developing countries was up 40% to $17.3bn.

Brazil’s economy is likely to be seriously tested as the greenback rises; Turkey, Malaysia and Chile have large dollar-denominated debts and sliding currencies; and a string of African countries face sharp rises in debt repayments. Ghana and Zambia have already had to turn to the IMF to ask for help. It’s as if, as Pettifor warns, “absolutely nothing has changed since the crisis”.

Canada: Three Muslims charged with sexual assault of 14-year-old girl *(THESE MUSLIM SAVAGES ARE EVERYWHERE, SITTING NEXT TO YOUR CHILDREN ON A BUS, IN STORES, YOU NAME IT. WAKE UP AMERICA!)*

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I have predicted that these Muslim “grooming gangs” would not be limited to Britain, and now here is one in Canada. Not a day goes by in the UK, where islamization is much further along, that these monstrous news stories emerge of sexploitation of non-Muslims by Islamic supremacists. The Brits have 20 years on us, but Obama is working hard to catch up. Expect a lot more of these cases to start popping up in North America — for example, the conviction in Tenneseee a few years ago of three Muslim men:

A Tennessee federal jury split its verdict Friday against nine people accused of operating a sex trafficking ring across three states run mostly by Somali refugee gang members, convicting three men and acquitting six. (FOX)

They won’t be acquitting them for long. Juries in the US have no idea what they are dealing with. The sharia is an ideology that asserts that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims. They think that non-Muslim teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought. That is the sharia.

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“Three men charged with sexual assault of 14-year-old Calgary girl,” by Melissa Ramsay, Global News, March 23, 2015 (thanks to Creeping):

CALGARY – Police have charged three men with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl last year.

Investigators say the assaults occurred while the victim was spending time with the suspects at a southwest home on May 14th, 2014.

It’s alleged the 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by each of the men at separate times.

The allegations were brought forward to police in August of 2014, at which point officers launched an investigation to determine who the offenders were.

Police have charged 22-year-old Abas Ahmed Ibrahim (also known as Maxboy or Moe), 21-year-old Omar Kromah (also known as Nef) and 24-year-old Zakariya Mohamed Abdow (also known as Slickthug or Slimthug) with sexual assault, sexual interference with a child under 16 and invitation to sexual touching.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information about this case to call police.

Anyone who has had sexual contact with the three men is urged to contact a doctor and seek testing for sexually transmitted infections.

- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/canada-three-muslims-charged-with-sexual-assault-of-14-year-old-girl.html/#sthash.DnNxLYc5.dpuf

Obama-backed rebels in Yemen loot secret U.S. files about spy operations

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Why is the Obama administration deliberately leaking our most sensitive documents to our worst enemies? Where were the burn bags, etc.? This isn’t incompetence. It’s treason. How many spies and key people will be targeted for assassination with this treasure trove of US intel in the hands of the enemy?

The only safe secrets are Benghazi, his treacherous nuke deal, his perfidy in the Israeli elections, the IRS scandals, spying on Americans  ….

Over the weekend, US Special Forces, “the world’s most talented, capable and toughest special operations forces got the heck out of Dodge” — on orders from above, of course.

According to WaPo, the Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen. It’s in the hands of the enemy

Not a few months ago, Obama touted Yemen as his “success story.”

“Iran-backed rebels in Yemen loot secret U.S. files about spy operations,” The LA Times,  March 25, 2015 (thanks to Todd)

Houthis in Sana, Yemen

Houthi fighters chant slogans during the funeral procession for people killed last week in suicide bombings in Sana, Yemen. (Hani Mohammed / Associated Press)

By Brian Bennett and Zaid al-Alayaa contact the reporter

Iran-backed rebels seize secret files about U.S. counter-terrorism operations in Yemen

An intelligence loss hampers U.S. efforts to target Al Qaeda’s most powerful franchise in Yemen

Secret files held by Yemeni security forces that contain details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of confidential informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism strikes, U.S. officials say.

U.S. intelligence officials believe additional files were handed directly to Iranian advisors by Yemeni officials who have sided with the Houthi militias that seized control of Sana, the capital, in September, which led the U.S.-backed president to flee to Aden.

For American intelligence networks in Yemen, the damage has been severe. Until recently, U.S. forces deployed in Yemen had worked closely with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government to track and kill Al Qaeda operatives, and President Obama had hailed Yemen last fall as a model for counter-terrorism operations elsewhere.

But the identities of local agents were considered compromised after Houthi leaders in Sana took over the offices of Yemen’s National Security Bureau, which had worked closely with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operations.

Yemeni intelligence officers still loyal to Hadi’s besieged government burned some secret files, one official said. But they couldn’t destroy all of them before the Houthi fighters, whose leaders have received some weapons and training from Iran, moved in.

The loss of the intelligence networks, in addition to the escalating conflict, contributed to the Obama administration’s decision to halt drone strikes in Yemen for two months, to vacate the U.S. Embassy in Sana last month and to evacuate U.S. special operations and intelligence teams from a Yemeni air base over the weekend.

The Houthis claimed Wednesday that they had captured that air base, Al Anad, as new fighting broke out in and around the southern seaport of Aden, the country’s financial hub, where Hadi had taken refuge. Over the weekend, the Houthis seized the central city of Taizz.

A Houthi-controlled TV channel announced a $20-million bounty for Hadi’s capture, and his Aden compound was hit by airstrikes.

Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said Hadi was overseeing the city’s defense from an undisclosed safe location. The Associated Press reported that he had fled the country on a boat.

Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said that U.S. diplomats “were in touch” with Hadi early Wednesday and that he later “voluntarily” left his residence. She said she could not confirm whether he was still in the country, calling conditions there “incredibly volatile.”

As the turmoil deepened, Yemen appeared to be descending into a civil war that could ignite a wider regional struggle.

Yemen port city of Aden seethes with separatist fervor

Yemen port city of Aden seethes with separatist fervor

Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Yemen to bolster the positions of the Yemeni government against the rapid advance of the Shiite militias, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. said Wednesday.

The objective of the airstrikes is to “defend the legitimate government” of Yemen and prevent the takeover of Yemen by Houthi militias, Ambassador Adel al Jubeir told reporters at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Saudi Arabia reportedly moved troops, armored vehicles and artillery to secure its border with Yemen, which sits alongside key shipping routes.

After suicide bombers killed 137 worshipers at two Shiite mosques in Sana on Friday, a previously unknown group that said it was allied with Islamic State claimed responsibility. That stirred fear that the extremist group had expanded to Yemen, adding a new threat to the quickly fragmenting country.

- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/backed-rebels-in-yemen-loot-secret-u-s-files-about-spy-operations.html/#sthash.KRt0Md6p.dpuf

Australia says it stopped 200 jihadists from leaving country *(WHY STOP THE SAVAGES FROM LEAVING? LET THEM GO AND MAKE SURE THEY NEVER COME BACK!)*

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Why stop them? Let them go, let them fight, let them die — just don’t let them back in the country.

What is wrong with everyone? This is not complicated. This is war. What does Australia need with these savages?

“Australia says it stopped 200 suspected jihadists from leaving country,” By AP, March  2015

Counterterror squads have prevented 200 citizens from flying on suspicion that they were headed for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria

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Counterterrorism squads have prevented 200 suspected jihadists from departing Australian airports for the Middle East including at least three teenage boys this month.

Officials had previously announced that two Sydney-born brothers, aged 16 and 17, had been intercepted at Sydney International Airport on March 8 attempting to board a flight for Turkey without their parents’ knowledge. The siblings were returned to their families and were to be charged.

Within a week, a 17-year-old boy was intercepted at the same airport on suspicion that he was headed for a Middle Eastern battle, Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said Wednesday.

The boy had also been returned to his family, but remained under investigation, Dutton said.

Since counterterrorism units were attached to eight Australian airports in August, 85,000 travellers had been questioned and 200 people had been prevented from flying on suspicion that they were headed for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria to fight with groups including Islamic State, Dutton said.

Experts disagree about why Islamic State had been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government was investing more on border security and on countering extremism.

“It is absolutely critical that the people of Australia appreciate that the death cult is reaching out to vulnerable and impressionable young people,” he said, referring the Islamic State movement.” The death cult is reaching out, seeking effectively to brainwash people online.”

- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/australia-says-it-stopped-200-jihadists-from-leaving-country.html/#sthash.0rnyv3Ev.dpuf

State Dept’s Psaki: Trading 5 Taliban for deserter Bergdahl “absolutely” worth it

Three of the Taliban Five swapped for the deserter and traitor Bergdahl have already returned to the jihad. So for the Obama administration, yes, the swap was “absolutely” worth it. Watch here how Psaki pretends that this desertion charge comes after a year of investigation, as if Obama had no way of knowing that Bergdahl was a deserter when he brought him home and praised him at the White House.

She is lying. AP reported: “A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.” This official said that the evidence that Bergdahl had deserted was “incontrovertible.”

- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/state-depts-psaki-trading-5-taliban-for-deserter-bergdahl-absolutely-worth-it.html/#sthash.Q0OoBft2.dpuf

Norway: Unwelcome Extremist | Focus on Europe *(ARE THESE PEOPLE STUPID? SEND THE SAVAGE BACK!)*

Published on Mar 26, 2015

In Norway, an Iraqi Islamist is keeping the entire country on tenterhooks. The man, who calls himself Mullah Krekar, was granted asylum in Norway in 1991, but in the meantime has been held responsible for terrorist attacks by an Islamist group in northern Iraq. Now he’s about to be confined to a small village in northern Norway.

Saudi Arabia moves heavy arms to border with chaos-stricken Yemen

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Saudi Arabia is deploying a significant task force to the border with neighboring Yemen, where Houthi Shiite rebels allegedly forced the president to leave the country. President Hadi has been asking the UN to approve the use of foreign forces in Yemen.

The situation in Yemen remains murky, with Houthi militants claiming capture of the southern seaport of Aden, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s stronghold. The fighters say the city of Aden is now under their control and they’re arresting the president’s supporters there.

The rebels claim Hadi has fled the country, and announced a 20 million riyal ($100,000) reward for Hadi’s capture, Lebanese-based Al-Manar TV reported, citing the rebels’ representatives. While two of the president’s aides have said he remains in Aden and has no intention of leaving the country, later reports claim he has left Yemen.

Yemen’s president has left the country on a boat from Aden, officials told AP. Hadi is now traveling by sea to the neighboring country of Djibouti, Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s secretary told RIA Novosti.

Local residents informed Reuters that Houthi fighters have overrun Al-Anad airbase and entered Aden, arresting the defense minister.

Elements of the Yemeni army who have sided with the rebel fighters have seized control of the Aden international airport, according to Al Mayadeen TV. The airport representatives told AP it was closed with flights canceled for security reasons and the worsening situation in the city.

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The objective of the Saudi Arabian troops remains uncertain and even the US, Riyadh’s major ally, is not sure what the House of Saud has on its mind regarding the long-lasting political turmoil of its southern neighbor.

The opinions of US officials contacted by Reuters on the issue are divided. Two said that the concentration of artillery systems and armor on the Saudi border with Yemen have defensive purposes, while other government sources were not so sure.

A US source that described the concentration of Saudi troops as “significant” made a guess that Riyadh might be getting ready to strike the Houthis if they attempt to seize the residence of Yemen’s legitimate president. It cannot be excluded that Saudi Arabia might use its Air Force to strike rebels near Aden.

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Hadi has been seeking support from the United Nations Security Council for military action against Houthi militias by “willing countries,” Reuters reports.

The president wants the UNSC to adopt a resolution authorizing “willing countries that wish to help Yemen to provide immediate support for the legitimate authority by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter the Houthi aggression.”

Hadi has also asked the League of Arab States to immediately interfere in the situation in Yemen, Al Arabiya TV reported, citing a statement by Yemen’s foreign minister, Riad Yassin. A “joint Arab slant” is needed to coordinate and decide on an “immediate military intervention,” Yassin said.

The Arab League’s foreign ministers will meet Thursday to discuss possible military involvement, Reuters reported, referring to the League’s deputy chairman.

Meanwhile, the militants in Yemen have called for all neighboring states to “keep the peace” and “side with the people of Yemen,” an official representative of the Ansar Allah armed group said, as cited by Tass.

Read more

US evacuates ‘special forces’ in Yemen as rebels seize third largest city

Some Yemeni military officers don’t like the idea of foreign intervention.

“We express our total and utter rejection of any external interference in Yemeni affairs under any pretext and in any form and from any side,” Reuters cited statement of a group of officers calling themselves Higher Committee to Preserve the Armed Forces and Security.

“All members of the armed forces and security and all the sons of the proud people of Yemen with all its components will confront with all their strength and heroism any attempt to harm the pure soil of the homeland, its independence or its sovereignty or to threaten its unity and territorial integrity,” the military group announced on a website.

In late February, Yemen’s Shiite rebel leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi accused Saudi Arabia of attempting to divide Yemen along sectarian lines.

“Our elder sister, the Saudi kingdom, doesn’t respect the Yemenis and wants to impose here in Yemen the sequence of events and divisions that happened in Libya,” al-Houthi said, as cited by the AP.

A brief war between Houthis and Riyadh resulted in deaths of about 200 Saudis four years ago.

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There were plans for an observer mission or a local ceasefire with the Houthi rebels, but due to the fact that Saudi Arabia borders Yemen and Yemen is now posing a security threat to Saudi Arabia, the US is more likely to advocate any sort of intervention in Yemen,” Middle East researcher Danny Makki told RT.

As the US is fighting Al-Qaeda militants within Yemen, “now the problem is that the Al-Qaeda militants that Americans are fighting are actually fighting the Houthi rebels, who America is un-allied to,” Makki added, saying that such a situation results in a “geopolitical war of mirrors.”

READ MORE: ‘No Arab, GCC country has time or capacity to save situation in Yemen’

Sunni Saudi Arabia believes that Shiite Houthi rebels are supported by Riyadh’s arch-enemy Iran. The kingdom’s richest oil deposits are in the Eastern Province bordering Yemen and inhabited by Shiites. Given that the power in Saudi Arabia’s neighbor Iraq is also in the hands of Shiites, Sunni Riyadh could find itself between rock and a hard place and in a state of proxy war with Tehran.

The porous 1,800km border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, used by local tribes for illegal trade and contraband, has always been a headache for Riyadh. In 2004, Saudi Arabia even initiated construction of the so-called ‘Saudi–Yemen barrier’ with control towers and electronic detection equipment. Although the multi-billion project was only partially implemented, talks about construction’s renewal reappeared on many occasions and came up with a bang after Houthi rebels’ success in seizing power in Yemen.

In August 2014, Houthi rebels swept down from their stronghold in the mountains, demanding economic and political reforms. In September they seized key state installations in the capital, Sanaa.

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After Hadi left the capital, Houthis continued advancing to the south of the country, seizing cities one by one. All Western embassies were evacuated from Yemen.

READ MORE: Marines ‘smashed’ weapons before evacuating US embassy in Yemen

When last weekend Shiite rebels seized Yemen’s third largest city Taiz, the US announced the evacuation of remaining special forces involved in a drone campaign against Al-Qaeda.

READ MORE: Dozens dead in Yemen mosques bombings, ISIS ‘claims’ responsibility (GRAHIC IMAGES)

Last Friday a suicide bomber attack on two mosques in Sanaa became one of the worst terror acts in Yemen’s history. At least 126 people were killed and some 250 more were wounded in the bombings. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bomb attack, according to their statement cited by Reuters.