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Hello.

International Developments

? US Secretary of State John Kerry organized a meeting of the  “Friends of Syria”, the US and 10 other countries, who will be mapping out arming the rebels. Saudi Arabia “has taken a lead role”.  Update:  The “Friends” agree on “urgent support for the rebels”.

? In Cairo, “hard-line Sunni Muslim leaders command the faithful to respond to recent escalations in Syria by the Shiite forces of Iran and Hezbollah.”  Syrian rebels report new “shipments of heavy weaponry”.

? “Six Lebanese soldiers were killed on Sunday in clashes with supporters of a radical Sunni Musliim sheikh opposed to the powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah”.

? “Aswan tombs attacked” in Egypt.  Antiquities imperiled as political disintegration grows.

? Militant group Ansar al Shariah, reportedly involved in the deadly attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya,  disappeared from Libya shortly after the attack. They’re now back.

? The Pakistan Taliban are now killing mountain climbing tourists, in revenge for drone strikes.

? Turkish police yesterday used water cannon on protesters in Taksim Square in Istanbul, followed by tear gas, rubber bullets and batons.  Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is blaming things on outside agitators.

? “Increasingly brutal tactics are being used in an attempt to break the hunger strike by detainees at Guantanamo Bay”, allegedly including “freezing cold” cells and “‘metal-tipped’ feeding tubes”.

International Finance

? “Austerity has failed. . . . What is being done here in the UK and also in much of the eurozone is worse than a crime . . .. If policymakers listened to the arguments put forward by our opponents, the picture, already dark, would become still darker.”

? “Central [Eurozone] banks must head for the exit and stop trying to spur a global economic recovery, the Bank for International Settlements” says.  The BIS also said, “Central banks cannot repair the balance sheets of households and financial institutions”–and then defended the Austerity which wrecked those balance sheets!

? Protesting “record unemployment“, “Tens of thousands march in Rome against unemployment.”

Money Matters USA

? “Bill Moyers: The United States of ALEC”.

? After being pushed  into defined contribution retirement plans (and away from defined benefit ones), US citizens find their retirement plans “significantly eroded”.  Result: “The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.”

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.