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Showing posts from February 2, 2013

Report shows UN admitting solar activity may play significant role in global warming

The Earth has been getting warmer -- but how much of that heat is due to greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural causes?

A leaked report by a United Nations’ group dedicated to climate studies says that heat from the sun may play a larger role than previously thought.

“[Results] do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate,” reads a draft copy of a major, upcoming report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The man who leaked the report, StopGreenSuicide blogger Alec Rawls, told that the U.N.’s statements on solar activity were his main motivation for leaking the document.

'The main premises and conclusions of the IPCC story line have been undercut by the IPCC itself.'

- StopGreenSuicide blogger Alec Rawls

“The public needs to know now how the main premises and con…

The True Cost of National Security

The Pentagon and the White House focus on the core Defense budget, but that’s not the half of it

By David Cay Johnston

February 02, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - Soon, we will get the president’s proposed fiscal 2014 spending plan. Much attention will focus on Social Security and Medicare, which have been flashpoints lately. Meanwhile, if coverage in years past is any guide, we can expect stories from many news outlets that will significantly understate a third huge slice of spending—the real costs of military and other national defense spending.

Chuck Hagel, on the griddle now as President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, famously called the Defense Department “bloated,” in a 2011 interview with Financial Times. But budget stories then and now tend to report on the base budget from the Department of Defense, leaving readers with the impression that that is the full cost of fulfilling the Constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defence.”

It isn’t. From t…

All That Pivots is Gold

By Pepe Escobar

February 02, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - To quote the immortal line in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, as filmed by John Huston, "Let's talk about the black bird" - let's talk about a mysterious bird made out of gold. Oh yes, because this is a film noir worthy of Dashiell Hammett - involving the Pentagon, Beijing, shadow wars, pivoting and a lot of gold.

Let's start with Beijing's official position; "We don't have enough gold". That leads to China's current, frenetic buying spree - which particularly in Hong Kong anyone can follow live, in real time. China is already the top gold producing and the top gold importing nation in the world.

Gold accounts for roughly 70% of reserves held by the US and Germany - and more or less the same for France and Italy. Russia - also on a buying spree - is slightly over 10%. But China's percentage of gold among its whopping US$3.2 trillion reserves is only 2%…

Containing China by “Fighting Al-Qaeda” in Africa

By Ben Schreiner

Harnessing Asia's growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests.
- Hillary Clinton

February 02, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - France’s military intervention into Mali may at first glance appear to have little to do with the U.S. “pivot” to Asia. But as a French mission supposedly meant to bolster a U.N. sanctioned and African-led intervention has gone from “a question of weeks” to “the total re-conquest of Mali,” what may have begun as a French affair has now become a Western intervention. And this in turn has drawn wider strategic interests into the conflict. Strategic interests, it is becoming clearer, shaped by the imperatives of the U.S. Asia pivot.

Widening Intervention

The geopolitical posturing over the crisis in Mali, coming as France's intervention fans out across the region, is no more evident than in the public statements coming from both London and Washington.

As British Prime Minister David Cameron decl…

Iranian Envoy, Omani Ambassador Stress Expansion of Tehran-Muscat Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Envoy to Oman Ali Akbar Sibouyeh and Omani Minister of Information Abdul Munim bin Mansour al-Hasani explored avenues for the further expansion of the relations between Tehran and Muscat.
During the meeting, Sibouyeh said that the two countries enjoy excellent ties due to the determination of the two sides' leaders for the expansion of ties.

He described the close ties between Iran and Oman as a role model for the other countries, and called for stronger cooperation in exchanging information.

The Omani minister, for his part, pointed to two countries' age-old relations and cultural commonalities, and said, "The two countries' ties have been a role model in political aspects and it is necessary to promote ties in such other areas as culture and information as such a move can underlie the further development of political and economic ties."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on Wed…

Japanese Envoy Hails Iran's Role in Securing Peace, Stability in Region

TEHRAN (FNA)- Japanese Ambassador to Tehran Koji Haneda underlined Iran's important role in maintaining peace and stability in the region, and announced Tokyo's enthusiasm for the further expansion of bilateral ties with Tehran. "The Islamic Republic of Iran plays an influential role in securing peace and stability in the region and Japan is interested in the further development and expansion of the relations between the two countries more than ever," Haneda said in a meeting with member of the Iranian parliament's Training and Research Commission Gholam Ali Haddad Adel on Saturday.

He also stressed the importance of the expansion of the relations between the two countries' parliaments.

During the meeting, Haddad Adel pointed to the good and friendly relations between Tehran and Tokyo, and said, "The two Iranian and Japanese nations' rich civilizations and their approach to the strengthening of tranquility and stability in the Asian continent is a p…