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Posts tagged ‘England’

Bolton: Syria Peace Talks ‘Doomed to Failure’.


The international peace talks in Switzerland to discuss a resolve in Syria’s civil war are “doomed to failure,” claimed former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on Fox News on Wednesday.

The talks got off to a rocky start Wednesday, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry argued a solution for Syria’s civil war must include President Bashar al-Assad stepping down from power, according to CBS News. The talks are an attempt to address the three-year civil war in Syria between rebel forces and the regime of President Assad that has claimed as many as 130,000 lives.

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“The notion that these powers were willing to talk about easing Assad out has never been accurate. And yet, that has formed the basis of the Obama administration’s policy,” he said.
Bolton said Russia needed Syria because it was the location of their “only naval base outside the territory of Russia.” He maintained part of the problem was that the Obama administration based their policy of the “illusion” the U.S. and Russia were in agreement on a solution for Syria.

“I think, in fact, you can make a case that the administration’s policy on Syria has been based on illusions for three straight years — the most important of which, right now, is the illusion that the United States and Russia shared a common interest in a peaceful transition of power away from the Assad regime.

“That has never been Russia’s position,” Bolton explained.

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By Wanda Carruthers

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Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating ‘Regional Crisis’.


Image: Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating 'Regional Crisis'Syrian refugees walk among tents at the Karkamis refugee camp near Gaziantep, Turkey.

By Wanda Carruthers

In light of upcoming international peace talks between the opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the numbers of refugees resulting from the war has created a “regional crisis” that demands attention.

“This is a regional crisis that demands a big international engagement,” Miliband, who is also president and CEO of aid agency International Rescue Committee, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a “scale of brutality … that hasn’t been seen for a very long time,” Miliband said.

As a result, millions of people are taking refuge in neighboring countries. He called for the international response to be “massively scaled up.”

Invitations were sent to 40 countries for a one-day meeting this week of foreign ministers for peace talks in Switzerland. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria, will moderate the meeting.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the three-year conflict between Syrian rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Miliband maintained the upcoming peace talks would not end the war, but could bring attention to how the war is waged.

“I think it’s important to say that this peace conference, so called, no one believes it’s going to bring peace tomorrow. But it can address the conduct of the war, in terms of the targeting of civilians, in terms of the starving of the people in Aleppo [Syria],” he said.

Half of the Syrian population has been displaced from their homes into neighboring countries like Lebanon, Turley and Jordan, Miliband explained. He said the majority of those affected are “relatively middle-class people whose lives have been completely shattered.”

“The people caught in the middle are civilians,” he said. “The figures are what make this a potentially toxic crisis.”

“What you’ve got is kids without education. You’ve got parents who’ve lost loved ones. Sons, husbands, who’ve been killed. Who’ve lost everything at home. Who’ve been totally traumatized,” he added.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Return to develop your land, group tells Ndigbo -says Igbo World Union.


 

Igbo-World-Union

A socio – political group, Igbo World Union, IWU, has called on Igbo people living overseas to return home and develop Igbo land.

In an interview with journalists in Umuahia, President-General of the group, Dr. Mishak Nnanta, said his group is ready to partner with any organisation that shares its major objective of the development and unity of Ndigbo.

“We are appealing to well meaning Igbo sons and daughters to return home and help develop Igbo land. IWU is poised to stop the brain drain among our people. Only Ndigbo can develop Igbo land; not the Hausa, Yoruba or Ijaw people.

Igbos are hardworking people and should use our God-given resources to our advantage. Igbo World Union is about culture, tradition, development and bringing Ndigbo to the realities of the present day Nigeria.

 

“We are a new generation; a new generation in thinking, in strategy, in bringing glory and honour to our country, Nigeria.”

Nnanta disclosed that he will soon embark on a campaign abroad to sensitise Ndigbo on the need to return and invest at home.

“In February 2014, I will be away to Germany, Russia, England, USA and other countries to sensitize Ndigbo to remember their roots. We need more development in Igbo land. What sets us apart from other groups is that the unity of Ndigbo and the development of our land is of utmost concern to us. We are set to build a new Igbo.”

He commended the recent visit of the leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that such visits should be on regular basis and extended to other ethnic groups to build bridges of understanding in the country.

The president-general further dismissed reports in a national daily alleging that leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo fought over a gift given to them by President Jonathan.

“Such reports are not true. We have credible people in Ohanaeze Ndigbo like Prof. Anya O. Anya; Chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Eberechi Dick; Chairman of South-East Council of Traditional Rulers; Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, among other eminent personalities who are highly respected.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Economist Wiedemer: US, Global Economy to See ‘Very Slow’ Growth.


Noted economist Robert Wiedemer says the nation’s financial future reveals a split personality of soaring profits and continued employment woes.

“It is two different worlds. One is an asset price bubble, stocks are going up, real estate’s going up, and that actually should encourage people to spend more, buy more, boost the economy,” Wiedemer told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“It’s amazing we’re having this kind of job problem when you have had such a good market and such a good real estate market. It’s obviously very, very out of touch with each other.”

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Wiedemer, author of “Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Meltdown,” made his comments after the release of a federal jobs report Friday revealing that in December, employers added only 74,000 jobs, the slowest growth in three years.

He says the booming stock market won’t last forever — and only as long as the Fed continues to pour newly minted cash into the economy.

“Clearly the stock market is often a fantasy world and ultimately that’s going to change,” he said.

“I don’t really reconcile it other than the Fed is printing a lot of money and that’s boosting up asset prices, but clearly not helping the economy, anything like what they had hoped.”

Wiedemer, managing director of Absolute Investment Management, a macro-focused money management firm, called new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen “Miss Money Printer — even more so than [Ben] Bernanke.

“We’re still printing $900 billion a year. Yes, that’s down from $1 trillion, but $900 billion is more than our entire money supply in 2007,” Wiedemer said.

As far as an ongoing economic rebound that has been predicted — don’t count on it, according to Wiedemer.

“I don’t think that we’re getting a rebound that people are talking about. We saw bad retail sales over Christmas. In fact, it was the first Black Friday weekend that we had no sales growth … actually, a decline from the previous year, and that’s in the last seven years,” he said.

“Even during the recessions, Black Friday grew. And to the jobs numbers, [that’s] a telling sign. Healthcare jobs, which have been rock solid, have been growing for years, [but] we actually lost 1,000 healthcare jobs last month.

“So the economy is going to continue to be very slow in its growth, 2 percent, 2½ max, and again, that’s assuming the inflation adjustments are correct.”

The global economy isn’t going to flourish, either, Wiedemer says.

“The rest of the world’s not doing very well … Japan is slow, Europe’s slow, England, all of those countries are slow growth,” he said.

“Yes, they may have their ups and downs, but, fundamentally, it’s a very, very slow world economy and that’s reflected in the fact that, fundamentally, our jobs are not growing.

“The good jobs are certainly not growing. So I don’t see much growth in the U.S. economy. Perhaps the market can push up a little higher, but we’re stretching it more and more and it’s getting more and more dangerous.”

Wiedemer believes stocks are still a lucrative investment for the individual investor.

“The only investment that really performed well last year … were stocks. Bonds did poorly, commodities didn’t do too well with the exception of natural gas, which was the big winner … but for most normal investing, stocks worked,” he said.

“And I’m not saying they probably won’t be a good place to be in 2014. They could work again. Maybe not as well, but with lots of printing … stocks would do OK, even some high dividend stocks.”

But the longer term prognosis for the economy — five to 10 years — is troublesome, Wiedemer says.

“That’s where the real problem comes. Probably not as much over the next six to 12 months. I’m not saying it couldn’t be bumpy, but as long as they’re printing as much as they are, that’s certainly going to keep things up for a little while longer,” he said.

“Reality has to hit … then I’d be very worried about being locked in stocks.”

Editor’s Note: 
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© 2014 Newsmax

Duck Dynasty Merchandise Flying Off Shelves.


Image: Duck Dynasty Merchandise Flying Off Shelves

By Melissa Clyne

While there has been a widespread media backlash over anti-gay remarks made by “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, it doesn’t look like demand for the hit A&E show’s merchandise is waning.

“Most people who are buying the brand, they are like-minded to Phil anyway,” Hans Wilz of Great Ideas LLC, told USA Today. Wilz’s company helped create Duck Dynasty-scented candles that are sold across the country. “That demographic is not offended by what he said.”

Cracker Barrel initially pulled the show’s products from shelves only to return them days later following a barrage of emails, tweets and phone calls from Duck Dynasty fans threatening to boycott the 625-store chain. Upon resuming sales, Cracker Barrel issuedthe following statement, Forbes reports.

“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

“You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

“We listened.

“Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.

“We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.”

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has not commented on its future with the show, even as T-shirts bearing Robertson’s image, bobbleheads of the family and scads of other merchandise soar in sales.

Forbes reports that Duck Dynasty merchandise, which includes a Catnapper camouflage recliner for $899.95 and a 400-page book of devotional prose that goes for $16.99, will bring in some $400 million in 2013.

This despite Robertson’s inflammatory comments to GQ magazine that lumped homosexuality in as a sin tantamount to bestiality. The network suspended him but fans have voiced their support in droves, taking to Twitter to defend the show’s lead character.

“You can tell that they are Christians and they live it out. praise God,” tweeted one fan from Elverson, Pa.

Robertson, members of his West Monroe, La. family, and fans across the country are not backing down from his remarks.

“I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater. … I have been immoral, drunk, high,” Robertson said. “I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mukasey on NSA Report: Changes Will Hurt Ability to Monitor Threats.


Image: Mukasey on NSA Report: Changes Will Hurt Ability to Monitor Threats

By Melissa Clyne

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey says the recommended changes to National Security Agency surveillance programs by a presidential commission are unnecessary and will only hinder the NSA’s ability to protect the nation.

The five-member panel made up of intelligence and legal experts appointed by President Barack Obama recommended last week that massive phone and internet records collected by the NSA should be held by a private consortium or with the companies from which the information was acquired. If the NSA felt compelled to access the data, it would be required to obtain a court order.

“In other words, if investigators want to check a telephone number they should be required to scurry around to each individual provider — AT&T, Verizon etc. — to run the check, possibly against data bases that are inconsistently arranged, with consequent loss of time and efficiency,” Mukasey writes in op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal.

Calling it “an experiment,” that could seriously damage an important program designed to target terrorist communications and activities, he says there is simply no justification for it because the panel found no violations of privacy rights during its review.

“The panel’s investigation of the National Security Agency found — as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found before them — that the occasional unintentional violations of guidelines were stopped once they were detected,” he writes.

Mukasey also mocks critics of the NSA’s collection of phone and Internet communications who contend the agency could use the information to profile individuals or  or gather sensitive personal information.

“No evidence suggests that any such thing has been proposed or done, and indeed the 22 people at NSA who have access to the data are forbidden to use metadata in any fashion other than to run it against suspect telephone numbers,” he says.

Mukasey also takes issue with the recommendation that U.S. intelligence operations should not target non-U.S. persons outside of the United States based solely on their political or religious views. He says that could in some cases prevent the targeting of groups and individuals who declare as a “religious obligation to kill Americans.”

The president has yet to sign off on any of the recommendations contained in the commission’s report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban.


Image: Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban

By Melissa Clyne

Though he hasn’t announced any plans to run for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, Scott Brown is causing a stir in in the Granite State.

The moderate Republican and former senator from Massachusetts headlined a state GOP holiday party in Nashua that drew supporters and protesters, many of them gun-rights activists who take issue with Brown’s position favoring a federal ban on assault weapons,The Boston Globe reports.

“His coming here is calculated disrespect, just as if he went to Saudi Arabia with pork chops in his suitcase,” protester Jay Simkin told Politico. “If he wants gun control, he should stay in Massachusetts.”

Brown, who also is pro-choice, changed course on the gun control debate after last year’ deadly shootings in Newtown, Conn. His move angered Second Amendment purists.

“If it’s Brown, flush it down,” one protester’s sign read. Others featured scrawled slogans such as “Keep New Hampshire Scott Free” and “Brownbagger go home to Mass.”

Brown has a vacation home in the Granite State, where he is relocating full-time,  sparking speculation that he plans to run for office from his new state.

Republicans there are looking for someone to challenge incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the former governor elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Brown has been coy about his intentions, but polling data collected before the launch of troubled Obamacare showed him trailing Shaheen by four percentage points, according to USA Today. His chances are thought to have risen since national outrage over policy cancellations and skyrocketing premiums.

“I didn’t think she was all that vulnerable,” Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy told USA Today. “I feel a little bit differently about that now. But having said that, Republicans need a candidate and they don’t have one right now.”

In Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unseated Brown in 2012. He won the seat in 2010 in a special election.

A popular governor, Shaheen supported the Affordable Care Act, a decision that is coming back to haunt her in the form of a vicious TV spot skewering her and the president for the failed initiative.

“Obamacare, as you know, is a mess, and it’s really dramatically affecting people’s everyday lives,” Brown said.

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