This is a regular feature of Feverseason.com whereby I collect interesting newsy tidbits which I feel have End- times Biblical significance. I hope that this helps to keep you abreast of what’s going on in the world!
Iran Warns of ‘Third World War’
A senior Iranian official on Wednesday warned of an impending “third world war” that will be sparked by terrorists, according to regional reports.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of Iran’s powerful Expediency Council, warned in comments that the “outbreak of World War III” is coming in the near future, according to a report by Iran’s Fars News Agency.
“The threat of the outbreak of the third world war by the terrorists is serious,” Rafsanjani was quoted as saying in a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who was in Tehran this week for a meeting with Iranian officials.
Rafsanjani blamed the United States and NATO for fostering the conditions that will lead to World War III.
“The U.S. and the NATO had invaded Afghanistan to uproot terrorism and narcotics, but we saw that terrorism expanded in the form of the ISIL, Boko Haram and Al-Nusra Front to remote parts of the world from Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying.
Rafsanjani went on to demand that the United States and other Western countries “stop their support for the terrorist groups” in the region.
Iran and the United States are on opposite sides of multiple ethnic wars in the region, including in Syria and Yemen. However, the United States and Iran have found themselves allies in the war to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq.
Italy’s Gentiloni welcomed Rafsanjani’s comments, according to Fars.
“In my meetings with Iranian and Italian officials I will mention this and I hope that your proposal will be a starting point in inflicting a historical defeat on the terrorists in different human societies,” he was quoted as saying.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also has warned of the threat posed by terrorism, though he has not directly acknowledged Iran’s role in fostering much of it.
“Terrorism and insecurity is an epidemic disease which doesn’t belong to a special region, and efforts should be made to encounter extremism and violence to prevent its spread and we shouldn’t allow any innocent person, regardless of his/her nationality and religion, to become a victim of the terrorist groups,” Rouhani was quoted as saying following his own meeting with Gentiloni.
Netanyahu: Iran Nuke Deal ‘Will Bring War’
BY: Washington Free Beacon
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rallied more than 10,000 Jewish leaders and activists to reject a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran that the Israeli leader believes “will bring war” to the region and provide the Islamic Republic with a nuclear weapon within 10 to 15 years.
Netanyahu, who spoke Tuesday afternoon on a conference call organized by the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA), urged those on the call to do all they can to defeat the deal and stop the Obama administration from enacting it.
“This deal will bring war,” Netanyahu warned. “It will spark a nuclear arms race in the region. And it would feed Iran’s terrorism and aggression that would make war, perhaps the most horrific war of all, far more likely.”
“Oppose this dangerous deal,” Netanyahu urged the audience as he outlined what were described as fatal flaws in the agreement, which will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief while temporarily halting its nuclear enrichment program.
Netanyahu also sought to “dispel some of the misinformation” and “disinformation about the deal and Israel’s position.”
His comments appeared to be a veiled reference to an aggressive campaign by the White House and senior Obama administration officials to discredit the deal’s opponents, particularly American-Jewish and Israeli leaders.
In recent weeks, the White House has been criticized for referring to opponents of the deal as shady moneymen and lobbyists associated with the Iraq war.
Netanyahu explained that rather than inhibit and constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the deal provides Iran with two plausible pathways to a nuclear weapon.
“The nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. It actually paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” he said. “Worse, it gives Iran two paths to the bomb.”
“Iran can get to the bomb by keeping the deal or Iran can get to the bomb by violating the deal,” Netanyahu said.
If Iran upholds the deal—a prospect that many critics view as unlikely—it is permitted to keep its “vast and deeply sophisticated” nuclear infrastructure in tact, according to Netanyahu.
Within 10 to 15 years after the deal is implemented, Iran’s nuclear endeavors will receive “full international legitimacy” by global powers, he warned.
By that time, “Iran will be able to produce the enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons” and be able to do so “very quickly,” Netanyahu said.
“After 15 years, Iran’s breakout time will be virtually zero, just a few days,” the prime minister warned.
In addition, “the deal makes it far easier for Iran to build dozens, even hundreds of nuclear weapons” in the next decade, he added.
“We’re told this deal buys us time, but 10 to 15 years is no time at all,” Netanyahu said. “By keeping the deal Iran can get in a decade or so not just to one bomb, but to many bombs.”
Iran will arrive at the same place if it violates the deal, Netanyahu said, pushing back against claims by the Obama administration that the U.S. intelligence community could detect Iranian violations.
“It has to be said honestly, for years, none of us discovered the massive underground facilities Iran was building at Fordow and Natanz,” the country’s underground nuclear sites.
“I can tell you from experience, it’s very precarious to bet the deals’ success on intelligence,” Netanyahu said.
The international inspections regime agreed to under the deal also does little to stop Iran’s nuclear pursuit, according to Netanyahu.
It has come to light in recent days that Iran struck several secret side agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding future inspections of its nuclear sites. The United States is not permitted to know the details of such deals and also is barred from sending its own inspectors into Iran.
Netanyahu expressed particular concern about a portion of the deal that permits Iran to have 24-day notice before inspectors enter any of its nuclear sites.
“The inspectors must first share with Iran the critical intelligence that led them to suspect these sites in the first place,” Netanyahu said. “That’s actually astounding.”
“Twenty-four days is more than enough time to clean up a site of all traces of illicit activity,” he said. “It’s like police giving a drug dealer three-and-a-half weeks notice before raiding his lab. You can flush a lot of nuclear meth down the toilet in 24 days.”
The deal also is likely to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, rather than prevent one, Netanyahu said.
“The deal that was supposed to end nuclear proliferation will actually trigger nuclear proliferation,” he said. “It will trigger an arms race in the Middle East, the most volatile region on the planet. That’s a real nightmare.”
Iran also will use the billions of dollars it receives in sanctions relief to “fund its aggression in the region and its terrorism around the world,” Netanyahu warned. “As a result of this deal there will be more terrorism, there will be more attacks, and more people will die.”
If Iran uses just 10 percent of the half-a-trillion dollars it receives under the deal to fund terrorism, it “would turn any terror group sponsored by Iran into a terror superpower.”
Netanyahu went on to say that he will not remain silent, despite pressure from the White House and the deal’s supporters.
“The days when the Jewish people could not or would not speak up for themselves, those days are over,” he said. “Today we can speak out. Today we must speak out. And we must do so together.”
Democrats Under Pressure to Stay Silent on Iran Deal
As Congress heads into its long August recess, the White House and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are lobbying Democrats hard in anticipation of a September vote on the Iran nuclear deal. But both sides have given those Democrats who are set to oppose them a second option; they are asking them to at least delay announcing their decision until they get back.
The calculation for asking Democrats to delay their announcements is defensive: Neither side wants the other to establish momentum that would precipitate a cascade of commitments over the coming weeks
President Barack Obama and other top officials have been in near constant communication with House and Senate Democrats, through group and one-on-one interactions, to urge them to support the P5+1 deal with Iran and vote against the resolution of disapproval put forth Tuesday by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce. Bob Corker, Royce’s opposite number in the Senate, could introduce a companion version of the disapproval measure as early as later this week.
Members of Congress and their staffers tell us that the White House has asked Democrats who are expected to oppose the deal to hold off on announcing their position until September, when Congress will be focused on the agreement. On the other side, AIPAC and its lobbyists are now asking members who are leaning toward supporting the agreement to likewise hold off on their announcements until after the recess.
One pro-Israel lobbyist told us that AIPAC is asking members who might support the nuclear deal to wait until after the Congressional recess for more information. Between now and Labor Day, Congress may learn much more about the side agreements reached between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran over how inspectors will gain access to suspected sites and verify information about the history of Iran’s nuclear program.
There are about two dozen Congressional Democrats who are being targeted heavily by both sides — either party leaders or prominent figures in the pro-Israel community who thought to have influence over other the thinking of their colleagues. Chief among them are Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Jewish Democratic lawmakers such as Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
In an interview, Blumenthal declined to talk about his private conversations with the Obama administration or AIPAC, but he told us he won’t be swayed by either the White House’s political pressure or the $40 million lobbying campaign sponsored by AIPAC and other groups opposed to the deal.
“I’m going to be spending all of August talking to my constituents because I want to understand what they are thinking,” he said. “My overriding and single concern is what is the right thing to do for our nation.”
Royce told us he is asking his Democratic colleagues to consider a bipartisan letter most of them signed earlier this year that laid out four conditions for a good agreement. Royce said on every single one of those conditions, from resolving outstanding questions about the history of Iran’s nuclear issues to calling for “anytime, anywhere” inspections of suspected sites, the deal reached in Vienna last month does not meet the standards.
Royce also told us the second case he is making is to look at Iran’s foreign meddling today in Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. “As Iran continues with this aggression I think it potentially will impact the decisions of members of the House of Representatives,” he said.
The White House so far has been able to get some important Democrats to come out in favor of the deal before the recess, despite AIPAC’s entreaties. These include Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Adam Schiff, her fellow Californian and counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee. Another lawmaker who came out in favor of the deal is Michigan Democrat Dan Kildee, who has advocated loudly for the release of Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American Marine who was detained by Iran in 2011, and whose family claims he was tortured.
The other side has had some success as well. On Tuesday, Representative Nita Lowey of New York, the party’s top appropriator, came out against the deal, saying, “In my judgment, sufficient safeguards are not in place to address the risks associated with the agreement.” Lowey is a close associate of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who is promising to deliver enough Democratic votes to prevent an override of a presidential veto of the disapproval measure. Also joining the no votes is Democrat Steve Israel, a New Yorker and member of House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
The Republicans’ resolution of disapproval is likely to pass the House and Senate, but not likely to muster the two-thirds of votes needed in both chambers to override the expected presidential veto. Congressional aides and representatives of outside interest groups had different predictions about whether AIPAC, which is publicly and forcefully against the deal, would actually move to punish Democrats after the fact, if and when the effort to kill the deal fails.
It’s no coincidence that Democrats who have already announced their intention to support the deal, such as Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, are in what are considered safe seats and have a long record of supporting Israel. AIPAC would be hard pressed to muster a credible primary challenge to Levin. Feinstein is not expected to run for re-election in 2018 and is likewise free to disregard any possible blowback, although she would likely have been for the deal in any case.
This is a rare case in which the political calculations of opposing sides result in the same conclusion — to urge a delay in making a decision. Both sides believe their arguments will grow stronger in the weeks ahead. Besides, waiting until September also gives members a chance to ponder whose retribution they fear more: the president’s or the pro-Israel lobby’s?
The International Monetary Fund has thrown the Greek bailout into jeopardy once again after it emerged that staff at the IMF are currently unwilling to take part in the new rescue deal.
Leaked minutes of the fund’s latest board meeting, which took place on Wednesday, showed staff “cannot reach agreement at this stage” on whether to take part in the new €86bn (£60bn) bailout for Greece. The document said there were doubts over the capacity of the Athens Government to implement economic reforms, as well as the over the sustainability of the country’s sovereign debt pile, which is now projected to hit 200 per cent of GDP.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, only sanctioned a new Greek deal earlier this month on the condition that the IMF takes part.
If the fund fails to sign up, the rescue package might not win the approval of the German Parliament, potentially throwing Greece’s future in the single currency into doubt again.
The new bailout deal is supposed to be concluded by late August.
Earlier this month the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras caved in to the demands of Greece’s eurozone creditors at the 11th hour by agreeing to impose more public sector austerity in order to secure some breathing space for the country’s struggling banking system and to secure the cash Athens needs to avoid a default.
But the decision split his anti-austerity Syriza party, with more than 30 of Mr Tsipras’s own MPs rejecting tax-raising legislation in the Athens Parliament.
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Moody’s says Puerto Rico has Defaulted
CNBC by Everett Rasenfeld August 3,2015
“Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today (the first business day after the Saturday deadline),” GDB President Melba Acosta-Febo said in a statement. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth’s liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained.”
Still, Acosta-Febo revealed that PFC was able to make a partial payment of interest for its outstanding bonds.
“The partial payment was made from funds remaining from prior legislative appropriations in respect of the outstanding promissory notes securing the PFC bonds. In accordance with the terms of these bonds, which stipulate that these obligations are payable solely from funds specifically appropriated by the Legislature, PFC applied these funds—totaling approximately $628,000—to the August 1 payment,” Acosta-Febo added.
Puerto Rico owed several debt payments on August 1, including $58 million on the Public Finance Corporation bonds.
“Moody’s views this event as a default,” Emily Raimes, vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said in a statement, adding that payment of “debt service on these bonds is subject to appropriation, and the lack of appropriation means there is not a legal requirement to pay the debt, nor any legal recourse for bondholders.
“This event is consistent with our belief that Puerto Rico does not have the resources to make all of its forthcoming debt payments. This is a first in what we believe will be broad defaults on commonwealth debt,” she added.
Standard and Poor’s separately classified the lack of payment as a default, lowering the Public Finance Corporation debt to a “D” rating from “CC.”
“We believe the default signals severe liquidity distress, whereby Puerto Rico must now choose among which financial obligations it can honor, and presages other possible defaults as liquidity becomes further constrained during the next few months,” S&P said in a statement Monday.
Separately, a regulatory filing indicated that Puerto Rico had temporarily suspended monthly deposits to its general obligation redemption fund, Reuters reported Monday afternoon.
Oppenheimer Funds—one of the largest holders of Puerto Rican debt—said it was “disappointed” by the partial payment.
“As we have stated, we will vigorously defend the terms of the bond indentures. We have been managing investment in Puerto Rico for more than 20 years, and remain steadfast in serving the long-term interests of our shareholders,” Oppenheimer said in a statement Monday.
—CNBC’s Kate Kelly and Reuters contributed to this report.
What is happening to the heroic Naval officer from the Chattanooga shooting?
There are multiple reports circulating that the Navy Lt. Commander, Timothy White is to be prosecuted for firing his personal weapon in defense of his own life as well as those of defenseless US Marines at the Tennessee recruiting center shooting. I submit that if such a prosecution plan develops that this action may well result in a huge backlash not only of military personnel but also of freedom loving Americans who have just about had their fill of an Administration who refuses to name the terrorist Jihadist enemy and whose legal immigration is even now continuing to allow Muslims to enter our country. Feverseason will continue to research and report more on this as the story develops.