Austerity not enough to save Greece – leaked IMF documents

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Even if Greece accepted all of the austerity measures demanded by its main creditors, the Troika, it still would not be able to make ends meet by 2030, according to IMF estimates revealed in a set of documents obtained by a German newspaper.

The most optimistic scenario shows that Greece would face an unsustainable debt in 2030 even if it agreed to the package of tax increases and spending cuts proposed by the European commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF in exchange fora five-month €15.5bn loan from its creditors.

These prospects were outlined in six documents that were part of the “final” proposal offered to Greece by the three main creditors on Friday. The papers were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and seen by The Guardian.

The estimates provide support for Greece’s decision not to accept the bailout deal. They prove that for Greece to survive economically, it needs real debt relief measures, not austerity reforms.

According to the IMF, Greece would be unable to sustain a debt level of 118% of GDP. In 2012, the organization said that 110% of GDP is the highest debt threshold the country could take on.

Currently the country’s debt level amounts to 175% of GDP, and that percentage could easily rise if the country were to slip into recession.

The documents stressed that even if Greece posted stellar economic growth for 15 years, the debt level would still be higher than 110% of GDP, adding that Greece had no chance of meeting that target.

Even if the economy managed to maintain a growth rate of 4% a year for the next five years, the national debt level would only decline to 124%.

“It is clear that the policy slippages and uncertainties of the last months have made the achievement of the 2012 targets impossible under any scenario,” one of six secret documents, titled the Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis for Greece, stated.

There are also mentions of much needed “significant concessions,” but no specifics are revealed.

The files were reportedly sent to all German MPs for review and approval, but were never voted on since Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected the proposal and called for a referendum.

Other documents reveal further details about the proposed deal. For example, there is a description of how Greece would eventually gain access to €15 billion. The plan was to consist of five separate tranches beginning as soon as June. They were said to cover Greece’s immediate financing needs, with 93% of the money going towards paying the cost of maturing debt.

Other details were about reforms Greece should be forced to implement if it were to accept the proposal. The debate over pension reforms was particularly heated. The documents show that the three creditors wanted substantial reform, including changes to early retirement penalties and the phasing out the solidarity grant (EKAS).

Late on Tuesday evening, Greece became the first developed country to default on its international obligations, after the IMF confirmed that it had failed to receive the €1.5 billion debt payment from Athens that was due by the end of June 30.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement that Greece had asked for a payment extension earlier on Tuesday and that the Fund’s board would consider it “in due course.”

This was largely expected by the markets. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had warned earlier that Greece would not be able to make its IMF debt payment on time.

It is still unclear how the Greek debt saga will play out, as the Europgroup, made up of eurozone finance ministers, prepares to meet on Wednesday to discuss new proposals from the Greek government.

Cuba, US to open embassies on/after July 20 at end of 50-year stalemate

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The US and Cuba could open embassies in each other’s capitals as early as July 20, Cuba’s foreign ministry has said, citing a letter from US President Barack Obama. The message comes following the decision to restore diplomatic relations.

The United States severed political ties with Cuba in 1961 after imposing an embargo on the island nation just 90 miles south of Florida a year before. Tourism to Cuba for Americans has been banned since that time. Though Cuba is still under communist rule, the Cold War mentality that has defined the relationship between the two countries over the last 50 years at last seems to be thawing.

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief of the US interests section in Cuba, met Cuba’s Interim Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina in Havana on Wednesday and delivered a letter from President Obama to Cuban President Raul Castro, which said the embassies will open on or after July 20.

Since the late 1970s, Cuba and the United States have had a type of diplomatic mission in each other’s capitals called “interests,” which do not have the same status as full embassies.

Speaking in the White House’s Rose Garden, shortly after 11 am local time, President Obama said the US policy of sanctions and isolation has not helped the cause of democracy in Cuba.

We don’t have to be imprisoned by the past. If something isn’t working, we can and will change,” Obama said. “The best way for America to support our values is through engagement.”

Washington severed relations with Cuba after revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro overthrew the US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Noting that he was born in 1961, Obama quoted President Eisenhower’s hope that ties with Cuba would be renewed someday.

It took a while, but I believe that time has come,” Obama said.

This comes as a major step in the Obama administration’s push for a full diplomatic thaw, which began with the US and Cuba announcing on December 17, 2014 that they would move to mend previously hostile relations. Since then, the United States has loosened travel restrictions and allowed some new economic ties.

Obama met with Raul Castro during a summit meeting in Panama in April, the first time that the leaders of their respective countries had met in more than 50 years.

In June, the US removed Cuba from its “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list, which was a major obstacle in way of the renewal of cordial relations.

The Obama administration has long supported engagement with the island country, and insists that the embargo has been ineffective.

Massive train full of military equipment seen heading into “hostile” Salt Lake City, Utah ahead of Jade Helm 2015

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BY ALEX THOMAS

BUILDUP CONTINUES AHEAD OF JADE HELM 2015

(INTELLIHUB) — In the last three months we have seen dozens upon dozens of suspicious military equipment movements throughout the country coupled with numerous urban military training drills with a strong domestic focus.

Now, even more evidence of some sort of buildup ahead of Jade Helm 2015 has surfaced with video footage taken in Utah showing yet another massive train full of military equipment.

Interestingly, the train was heading into a major city in one of the states that Jade Helm has listed as “hostile.”

The train convoy, carrying “all kinds of equipment” including military police vehicles was seen just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The locals who took the footage noted that they had never seen this type of military equipment movement in the past.

This footage is yet another example of what many have called an “unprecedented buildup” seen throughout the country in the last three months.

In the first two months after the fears over Jade Helm began to spread across the internet the sheer amount of urban military training as well as suspicious military equipment movements was off the charts and included:

  • On March 13th, Intellihub founder Shepard Ambellas detailed photos and documentationof nearly 40 U.S. Army soldiers, wielding training rifles and dressed in full combat gear, participating in an urban warfare style training drill just outside the Texarkana Regional Airport perimeter.
  • In the middle of April, a report out of Big Spring, Texas revealed that a train full of military equipment and over a dozen helicopters had arrived in the town ahead of Jade Helm 2015.
  • Photographs taken in Corona, California a few days later added to the Jade Helm speculation after they showed a MRAP full of what looked to be U.S. Marines driving down the 1-15 freeway. “In broad daylight with not a care in the world”
  • On April 24th a shocking report on Intellihub News detailed armed troops seen confronting angry protesters in a “professional news package”of riot control training released by the military
  • “A massive buildup, a lot of movement and its undeniable at this point,” read the headlineon April 25th after a convoy was seen in Oroville, California that stretched as far as the eye could see.
  • Moving into May, photographs taken in Indiana showed a massive military convoy heading down the freeway. The photos, taken by a concerned citizen, show the convoy heading west on I-70 for reasons unknown.
  • Two days later, video footage, this time out of Texarkana, Arkansas, highlighted a convoy of Humvees driving down the highway as well as a trainload of military vehicles that was seen shortly after.
  • In mid May, Intellihub reporter Alex Thomas published a detailed report that confirmed that the military was indeed training to take on the American people, this time in the form of domestic house to house raids.
  • The next day a new report, also by Alex Thomas, proved that Marines were actually practicing for the internment of American citizens.
  • On May 18th, a train full of hundreds of military Humvees was spotted, further revealing the increased military buildup across the country leading into Jade Helm 2015. The train was heading towards Cleveland for unknown reasons although a possible connection to planned upcoming protests had been mentioned.
  • This past week a massive military war game simulation called Raider Focus was announced. The war game will include the largest military convoy seen on the roads of Colorado since World War II.
  • On may 23th, Intellihub News reported on pictures sent to ANP that show a 1/4 mile long military train convoy near the Colorado Wyoming border.
  • Finally, a report published this week detailed a stunning propaganda move by the military involving a New Jersey school and the worship of the military on the streets of America. “As parents, teachers, and students looked on with joy, Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force landed helicopters on the baseball diamond of a New Jersey school.”

The above list only covers April and May, with over a dozen more reports being released in June that can be read here and here.

While many believe that the buildup surrounding Jade Helm means that a martial law scenario will happen sometime this summer, the most likely reason for the buildup and increased urban military training is to prepare for a somewhat near future event (not necessarily this summer) where the President will order the military to use force against Americans.

One of the main questions that remain is why all of a sudden has there been such a big need to increase training and move so much military equipment across the country?

Surveillance Court: NSA May Resume Illegal Bulk Data Collection

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A US court has ruled that the National Security Agency can temporarily restart their once-secret bulk data collection program after the law it was based on expired on June 1st.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has allowed the NSA to resume its bulk collection of phone metadata after the expiration of the Patriot Act at the start of the month. Section 215 of that act had formed the basis for the collection of phone call metadata — the numbers, times and locations of calls, but not the content of conversations.

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Congress passed the USA Freedom Act June 2, which eliminated the basis for the bulk collection program and said that the expired Section 215 could not be used for phone record collection after more than six months.

“This application presents the question whether the recently-enacted USA Freedom Act… ended the bulk collection of telephone metadata,” the June 29 ruling states. “The short answer is yes. But in doing so, Congress deliberately carved out a 180-day period following the date of enactment in which such collection was specifically authorized. For this reason, the Court approves the application in this case.”

However, the American Civil Liberties Union has said it will seek an injunction from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That court had ruled in May that the surveillance program was illegal, even when Section 215 was in force.

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A US court has ruled that the National Security Agency can temporarily restart their once-secret bulk data collection program after the law it was based on expired on June 1st.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has allowed the NSA to resume its bulk collection of phone metadata after the expiration of the Patriot Act at the start of the month. Section 215 of that act had formed the basis for the collection of phone call metadata — the numbers, times and locations of calls, but not the content of conversations.

Congress passed the USA Freedom Act June 2, which eliminated the basis for the bulk collection program and said that the expired Section 215 could not be used for phone record collection after more than six months.

“This application presents the question whether the recently-enacted USA Freedom Act… ended the bulk collection of telephone metadata,” the June 29 ruling states. “The short answer is yes. But in doing so, Congress deliberately carved out a 180-day period following the date of enactment in which such collection was specifically authorized. For this reason, the Court approves the application in this case.”

However, the American Civil Liberties Union has said it will seek an injunction from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That court had ruled in May that the surveillance program was illegal, even when Section 215 was in force.

FISA Court Judge Michael Mosman has therefore struck down the Second Circuit’s decision.

“Second Circuit rulings are not binding on the FISC, and this Court respectfully disagrees with that Court’s analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the USA FREEDOM Act,” the ruling said.

The transition period is intended to allow the migration to a new system under which user data is kept by the phone companies, not the NSA. The NSA would still be able to access them, but would have to obtain a warrant and show probable cause.

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However, the USA Freedom Act doesn’t actually include language authorizing the bulk collection during the supposed transition period, so, taken together with the contradictory rulings there is some dispute over the legality of the bulk surveillance grace period.

Critics point to the unexpected congressional deadlock over the reauthorization of the bill for creating the odd situation of reviving a program already headed for the chopping block instead of just smoothly phasing it out.

“[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s gamble on a clean reauthorization of [parts of the Patriot Act] without reform and his further attempts to weaken the privacy protections contained in the USA Freedom Act has caused this ridiculous situation in which the bulk metadata program is being reanimated in order to be shut down for good,” Amie Stepanovich, an attorney with the digital-rights group Access, told The Guardian.

When the Second Circuit ruled previously that the program was illegal, it did not seek an injunction, deciding it was better to wait and see what Congress would do as the Patriot Act expired.

The ACLU now says it will be asking for that injunction, in light of the reboot of bulk metadata collection.

“Neither the statute nor the Constitution permits the government to subject millions of innocent people to this kind of intrusive surveillance,” ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer told the New York Times. “We intend to ask the court to prohibit the surveillance and to order the N.S.A to purge the records it’s already collected.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been one of the most outspoken critics of the bulk metadata program.

“I see no reason for the Executive Branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months,” Wyden said in a statement. “This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans’ rights for fourteen years without making our country any safer. It is disappointing that the administration is seeking to resurrect this unnecessary and invasive program after it has already been shut down.”

Judge Mosman’s ruling maintains that, since Congress passed the USA Freedom Act while fully aware of how the bulk collection program was operating, the law implicitly authorizes that collection to continue during the 180-day period mentioned.

“Congress could have prohibited bulk data collection” effective immediately, he wrote. “Instead, after lengthy public debate, and with crystal-clear knowledge of the fact of ongoing bulk collection of call detail records,” it decided to stipulate a 180-day transitional period during which bulk collection could continue, Mosman wrote.

Justice Department Spokesperson Wyn Hornbuckle said in a statement that the Obama White House agrees with this latest ruling.

Students SHOCKED When They See Which Candidate Lives in Multimillion Dollar Mansions

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Students Consider Changing Their Vote in 2016 After Learning Hillary Lives in Multimillion Dollar Mansions

BY BETHANY SALGADO

Last year, Hillary Clinton claimed she and her husband were “dead broke.” She paints a picture of being the average man’s Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. She pretends she understands what it’s like to live a modest, even border-line poverty, lifestyle.

So why would the average American doubt her claims that she can lower taxes for the poor and have the upper class make up the difference? Why wouldn’t someone believe that she is a champion for the underdog?

The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform recently proved to the American public that Hillary isn’t all she’s cracked up to be. Young people in the nation’s capital were asked to match the presidential candidate with the mansion he or she has lived in. They automatically went for the Republican candidates like Trump, Rubio, and Bush.

Boy, were they wrong!