- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan 5.8 and 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to: Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Will Erdogan declare war on Cyprus and the European Union?Turkey is ready to send an exploration rig, accompanied by a warship, to claim its rights off Cyprus.(HurriyetDaily).Tension between Turkey and Greek Cyprus is moving toward crisis in the eastern Mediterranean Sea with Ankara’s announcement of plans to send an oil and gas exploration rig to the already unstable area, accompanied by a warship. “We have accomplished all preparatory work. We are ready to finalize the agreement [with Turkish Cyprus] to begin the process and send our platform off the Cyprus coast,” a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News on Sunday.The statement followed news that Texas-based Noble Energy, operating under license from the Greek Cypriot government, had moved its drilling rig into position over the weekend. It is expected to start work soon on a block southeast of the island.The Greek Cypriot initiative pushed Turkey and Turkish Cyprus to announce their own action plan in retaliation. Under the plan, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO, will be licensed by Turkish Cyprus to launch exploration and drilling activities in the disputed area. A senior Energy Ministry official was in Nicosia on Sunday to review the current state of agreement, which will likely be signed within days if the Greek Cypriot administration does not retreat from its position.“We will be very cautious in this process; all our steps will be taken as retaliation and [in response] to Greek Cypriot moves,” the Foreign Ministry official said. Noting that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York this week, the diplomat said Turkey will try all diplomatic channels to avert this crisis. “If we cannot succeed, there will be no room left for us other than to retaliate,” the official said. The Greek Cypriot drilling plan will also kill off the U.N.’s plan to reunify the divided island, Davutoğlu said Sunday. “The Greek Cypriots are intending to sabotage the talks, to change the nature of existing ties by the way of provocation,” he said, warning that such unilateral actions would doom the island to permanent division. “If they claim they have their own area where they can do whatever they want, then, by implication, they accept that the [Northern Cyprus] has its own area as well. This is a shift to a two-state mentality.”If the Greek Cypriots begin drilling, Davutoğlu added, Turkey and northern Cyprus will respond by signing a continental shelf delimitation accord to pave the way for their own exploration and “the two-state prospect will further deepen.”Davutoğlu said he discussed the latest tensions with the U.N. envoy in Cyprus, Alexander Downer, and was planning to hold further talks with Ban in New York this week. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay meanwhile said late Saturday that Turkey will freeze its relations with the European Union if Cyprus takes over the union’s rotating presidency next year before a solution is reached on the divided island. “If the negotiations [on Cyprus] do not end positively and the EU hands over the presidency to southern Cyprus, the main crisis will be between the EU and Turkey. Because then we will freeze our relations with the EU,” the Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.Hmmmm….NATO must remove Turkey from their Group,clearly these actions are against the NATO Charter.Place the rocket shield in Bulgaria or even better in Israel!Read the full story here.
- Related – Turkey blocks Israeli bid for opening NATO office.(HurriyetDaily).Turkey has blocked an Israeli move to open a representation office at NATO headquarters, its foreign minister said Sunday, adding that data collected by a radar system in eastern Turkey would not be shared with Israel.“Israel recently made an attempt to open an office at NATO [headquarters] in Brussels. We said we would veto this attempt and the issue was not even put on the agenda,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in an interview with the CNNTürk news channel.A Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News that Israel made the request under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue program, launched in 1994 with seven Mediterranean countries.Israel attempted to have its request approved earlier this month after Ankara downgraded ties with Tel Aviv over its failure to apologize for a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, the official said, adding that the issue could not even make its way onto NATO’s agenda after Turkey threatened to use its veto.Davutoğlu insisted that information gathered by a U.S.-led radar system, to be stationed in Turkey’s Malatya province as part of a NATO missile-shield project, would be available for use only by alliance members, denying suggestions that intelligence would be shared with Israel.“We will provide support only for systems that belong to NATO and are used solely by members of NATO,” he said.The minister dismissed as “manipulation” a newspaper report that quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that data collected by the radar would be used to help defend Israel, stressing that Washington had assured Ankara that no such official existed.According to a Wall Street Journal report Friday, U.S. officials said they planned to fuse data from radars in Turkey, Israel and other sites to create a comprehensive picture of the missile threat to the region. Turkey, for its part, could also benefit from real-time data from radar the United States already operates in Israel, the report said.Hmmmm…..It is high time for NATO and The US to act against this rising Ahmadinejad style Islamic retoric.Read the full story here.
- The Solyndra Fraud – Fraud against the United States is one of the most serious felony offenses in the federal penal law.(NationalReview).The solar-energy company was a con game.The Solyndra debacle is not just Obama-style crony socialism as usual. It is a criminal fraud. That is the theory that would be guiding any competent prosecutor’s office in the investigation of a scheme that cost victims — in this case, American taxpayers — a fortune.Fraud against the United States is one of the most serious felony offenses in the federal penal law. It is even more serious than another apparent Solyndra violation that has captured congressional attention: the Obama administration’s flouting of a statute designed to protect taxpayers.Homing in on one of the several shocking aspects of the Solyndra scandal, lawmakers noted that, a few months before the “clean energy” enterprise went belly-up last week, the Obama Energy Department signed off on a sweetheart deal. In the event of bankruptcy — the destination to which it was screamingly obvious Solyndra was headed despite the president’s injection of $535 million in federal loans — the cozily connected private investors would be given priority over American taxpayers. In other words, when the busted company’s assets were sold off, Obama pals would recoup some of their losses, while you would be left holding the half-billion-dollar bag.The criminal law, by contrast, is not content to assume the good faith of government officials. It targets anyone — from low-level swindlers to top elective officeholders — who attempts to influence the issuance of government loans by making false statements; who engages in schemes to defraud the United States; or who conspires “to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof, in any manner or for any purpose.” The penalties are steep: Fraud in connection with government loans, for example, can be punished by up to 30 years in the slammer.Although Solyndra was a private company, moreover, it was using its government loans as a springboard to go public. When the sale of securities is involved, federal law criminalizes fraudulent schemes, false statements of material fact, and statements that omit any “material fact necessary in order to make the statements made . . . not misleading.” And we’re not just talking about statements made in required SEC filings. Any statement made to deceive the market can be actionable. In 2003, for example, the Justice Department famously charged Martha Stewart with securities fraud. Among other allegations, prosecutors cited public statements she had made in press releases and at a conference for securities analysts — statements in which she withheld damaging information in an effort to inflate the value of her corporation and its stock.That’s exactly what President Obama did on May 26, 2010, with his Solyndra friends about to launch their initial public offering of stock. The solar-panel company’s California factory was selected as the fitting site for a presidential speech on the virtues of confiscating taxpayer billions to prop up pie-in-the-sky clean-energy businesses.By then, the con game was already well under way. Solyndra had first tried to get Energy Act funding during the Bush administration, but had been rebuffed shortly before President Bush left office. Small wonder: Solyndra, as former hedge-fund manager Bruce Krasting concluded, was “an absolute complete disaster.” Its operating expenses, including supply costs, nearly doubled its revenue in 2009 — and that’s without factoring in capital expenditures and other costs in what, Krasting observes, is a “low margin” industry. The chance that Solyndra would ever become profitable was essentially nonexistent, particularly given that solar-panel competitors backed by China produce energy at drastically lower prices.Yet, as Stiles reports, within six days of Obama’s taking office, an Energy Department official acknowledged that the Solyndra “approval process” was suddenly being considered anew. Hmmmm….Can we start up the Impeachment procedure now?Read the full story here.
- Hamas rejects U.N. bid as it compromises ‘historical Palestine’.(AlArabiya).Hamas on Sunday said it would not back a U.N. membership bid, and warned that no Palestinian leader had a mandate to sacrifice fundamental Palestinian rights.Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, speaking in Gaza, said the group also continued to support the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of “historical Palestine” but would not seek to disrupt the U.N. bid.His comments came as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas heads to New York to submit a formal bid for U.N. membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.Speaking to a meeting of the Palestinian legislative council, Haniya warned that Palestinian rights must be protected.“There is no mandate for any Palestinian leadership to infringe on Palestinian national rights, nor is there a mandate for any Palestinian actor to make historic concessions on Palestinian land or the right of the Palestinians, foremost among them the right of return,” he warned.“Given this position, we reiterate our rejection of this bid,” he added.But the leader of the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip stressed that Hamas would “not place obstacles in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty.”“We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine.”Hamas has made clear it will not throw its support behind Abbas’s move, but has toed a cautious line, choosing not to condemn the plan directly.Speaking during the meeting, senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said the legislative council should approach the U.N. for recognition of a Palestinian state on all of “historical Palestine,” including areas now in Israel.He called on the council to “apply for recognition of a Palestinian state on all the Palestinian territory and confirmation of the right of Palestinians to live within the borders of this state.”“We appeal to the U.N. to invalidate the entity that took the decision to establish itself on the land of another,” Hayya said, in reference to Israel.Hayya called on the international community to “apply pressure to ensure the implementation of international resolutions, particularly those that uphold the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”Abbas is expected to present later this week a formal request for U.N. membership of a Palestinian state on the pre-Six Day War lines, encompassing both Gaza and the West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.The bid is fiercely opposed by Israel and the United States and has divided much of the international community, with Europe and Washington organizing last-minute diplomacy in an attempt to head off a Security Council vote on the measure.Read the full story here.