The Financial Times…
As the bloodshed and violence rages on in Syria, Israeli leaders are watching events across the border with a blend of worry, hope and frustration.
One fear is that the regime of Bashar al-Assad will try to draw Israel into the struggle, possibly as part of a last-ditch manoeuvre to divide and confuse the opposition. An obvious flashpoint is the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory occupied by Israel and one of the main points of contention between the two countries.
JERUSALEM – President Obama has been engaged in secret, back-channel talks with Iran in which he informed Tehran’s leaders he is completely opposed to any Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to informed Middle Eastern officials.
The officials told WND the behind-the-scenes talks aim to secure a guarantee from Iran that it will not retaliate against the U.S. in the event of any Israeli military strike, the officials said.
“For years, American manufacturers have faced one of the highest tax rates in the world. We want to reduce that by over 20%. We want to drop the rate, particularly, for high-tech manufacturers like you, Mr. President, even further than the 20%,” Vice President Joe Biden said at a manufacturing plant in Davenport, Iowa this week.
“We want to create a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn’t be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home,” Biden said at a campaign event.
A Palestinian protester hurling stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police on Land Day at the Qalandia checkpoint, March 30, 2012
Clashes erupted on Friday in the north of Jerusalem between Israel Defense Force soldiers and some 250 Palestinian protesters marking Land Day. Protesters at the Qalandiyah checkpoint hurled rocks at soldiers, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.
At the border crossing near Rachel’s Tomb, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, about 300 protesters hurled stones at security forces and even threw Molotov cocktails. The crossing, frequented by tourists and pilgrims, was closed to the public. One protester was apparently wounded when he was hit by a tear gas grenade, and was evacuated to hospital.
Dept. Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an “indefinite delivery” of an “indefinite quantity” of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK.
U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal.
President Shimon Peres of Israel
Foreign Policy Magazine…
In 2009, the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Baku, Donald Lu, sent a cable to the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom titled “Azerbaijan’s discreet symbiosis with Israel.” The memo, later released by WikiLeaks, quotes Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev as describing his country’s relationship with the Jewish state as an iceberg: “nine-tenths of it is below the surface.”
TEL AVIV – Israel is concerned that elements of the so-called Global March to Jerusalem slated for Friday will attempt to storm the Jewish state’s borders to provoke a confrontation amid reports Iranian-backed jihad groups are involved in planning the event.
U.S. endorsers of the Global March include President Obama’s controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.; Cornel West, a longtime friend of Obama who served as an adviser to the president’s 2008 campaign; and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink.
At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel’s 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end. The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least, we can sound the all clear: It won’t happen this year. Until further notice, Israel Air Force Flight 007 will not be taking off.
The Washington Free Beacon…
House Speaker John Boehner joined a growing chorus of critics concerned over President Obama’s secret promise of concessions to Russia on missile defense after the November elections.
The administration came under fire from an independent, and a senior Pentagon official was sharply questioned at a House hearing.
In a letter to the president, House Speaker John Boehner said he was “alarmed” by the message sent to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin through Medvedev.
Economic Collapse Blog…
The U.S. dollar has probably been the closest thing to a true global currency that the world has ever seen. For decades, the use of the U.S. dollar has been absolutely dominant in international trade. This has had tremendous benefits for the U.S. financial system and for U.S. consumers, and it has given the U.S. government tremendous power and influence around the globe. Today, more than 60 percent of all foreign currency reserves in the world are in U.S. dollars. But there are big changes on the horizon. The mainstream media in the United States has been strangely silent about this, but some of the biggest economies on earth have been making agreements with each other to move away from using the U.S. dollar in international trade. There are also some oil producing nations which have begun selling oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, which is a major threat to the petrodollar system which has been in place for nearly four decades. And big international institutions such as the UN and the IMF have even been issuing official reports about the need to move away form the U.S. dollar and toward a new global reserve currency. So the reign of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency is definitely being threatened, and the coming shift in international trade is going to have massive implications for the U.S. economy.