1. War preparations in full gear - who says Israel and USA have a friction as the massive military presence happens with any UN resolution but with a consent within G8 it seems as Berlusconi clearly said that the war option is the only way.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 28, 2010, 10:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile's military sources report that Washington has posted a third carrier opposite Iran's shores. It is supported by amphibious assault ships and up to 4,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel, bringing the total US strength in these waters to three carriers and 10,000 combat personnel.
The USS Nassau (LHA-4) Amphibious Ready Group 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tasked with supporting the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet area of operations, is cruising around the Bab al-Mandeb Straits where the Gulf of Aden flows into the Red Sea. Its presence there accounts for Tehran announcing Sunday, June 27 that its "aid ship for Gaza" had been called off, for fear an American military boarding party would intercept the vessel and search it. This would be permissible under the latest UN sanctions punishing the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program.
The third US carrier group to reach waters around Iran consists of three vessels:
1. The USS Nassau Amphibious Assault ship is not just an enormous landing craft for the 3,000 Marines aboard; its decks carry 6 vertical take-off AV-HB Harrier attack plans; four AH-1W Super Cobra, twelve CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, as well choppers convertible to fast V-22 Osprey airplanes capable of landing in any conditions.
This vast warship has 1,400 cabinets for sleeping the entire Marine-24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard.
2. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde which carries 800 Marines equipped for instantaneous landing.
3. The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland which carries 400 Marines and 102 commandos trained for special operations behind enemy lines.
debkafile adds: The USS Ashland was the target of an al Qaeda Katyusha rocket attack in 2005 when it was docked in Jordan's Aqaba port next door to the Israeli port of Eilat. One of the rockets exploded in Eilat airport. The ship exited harbor in time to escape harm.
These new arrivals are a massive injection of naval, air and marine muscle to the strength Washington has deployed in the Persian Gulf-Red Sea-Indian Ocean arena in recent months. The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group consisting of twelve warships is cruising in the Arabian Sea opposite Chah Bahar, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards biggest naval base not far from the Iranian-Pakistan border. It is there that most of Iran's special commando units are housed.
Also posted in the Arabian Sea, further to the west, is the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group.
2. The expiring one year finance facility of the ECB puts the markets under big distress as the unseen rise of the CHF shows on a daily basis. They offer unlimited 3 month financing facilities but it seems that the necessary healing of the financial system has failed on both ends of the ocean as the FED wants to keep up zero financing unlimited as well. Which is proof of the structural failure on one hand but also that the cooked balance cheats are bleeding and need subsidies by taxpayers to survive. The problem is that negative interest rates created by central banks, as also the BIS has warned ,will created disaster as it steals money from Mainstreet and diminishes buying power undermining GDP growth on the one hand and forces investors to make pathetic investments in high risk instruments creating dangerous bubbles on the other hand. ınteresting after the FED s anti blogger pamphlet yesterday declaring only Ph Ds in economics know hoe economy works well I think the last century they have proven the opposite rather. On the contrary it is rather a cheap shot to step up against the public disgust and or public consent that they are a useless bunch one could say but I rather suspect since they have a hidden agenda that they obey a master who has different purpose than to serve the public interest.
Spanish Banks Rage at End of ECB Offer
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On Thursday, the clock runs out on the ECB financing program – the largest amount ever lent in a single liquidity operation by the central bank – under the terms of the one-year special liquidity facility launched last summer
One senior bank executive said: “Any central bank has to have the obligation to supply liquidity. But this is not the policy of the ECB. We are fighting them every day on this. It’s absurd.”
Another top director said: “The ECB’s policy is that they don’t want to provide maturity of more than three months. But they have to adapt.”
Banks across the euro zone, but in Spain in particular, have found it hard in recent weeks to secure liquid funding in the commercial markets, with inter-bank funding virtually non-existent.
The 442 billion euro ECB facility, which charges interest at a rate of 1 percent, is not set to be renewed, something that banks in Spain and elsewhere in Europe say ignores current commercial realities.
A special offer of six-day liquidity will tide banks over until the following week’s regular offer of seven-day funds. On Wednesday, the ECB will also be offering unlimited three month liquidity, and further offers of three-month liquidity will keep banks going until at least the end of the year.
3. Alex about to become hurricane and will in any case produce big waves pumping oil to tn the coast - the question rather is how much harm will it do.
Alex to Become Hurricane as Swells Reach Gulf Spill
By Yee Kai Pin and Brian K. Sullivan
June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Alex, the first named system of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, strengthened as it forced the evacuation of some offshore rigs and pushed swells toward a slick left by the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour, was about 505 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, and moving north at 5 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory posted on its website at about 10 p.m. Miami time yesterday.
“Alex is expected to increase in forward speed to the northwest,” the hurricane center said. “Alex is also forecast to strengthen to hurricane force within the next 24 hours.”
The U.S. and Mexican governments issued hurricane watches from south of Baffin Bay in Texas to La Cruz, Mexico, according to the hurricane center. A watch means storm conditions may develop within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch has been issued from Baffin Bay to Port O’Connor, Texas.
“Alex will be a large hurricane,” Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist for Planalytics Inc., a weather adviser to energy interests, said yesterday. “Current projections place the destructive right forward quad of Alex across southeast Texas, possibly up to Corpus Christi.”
The storm’s track keeps it away from a direct hit on an oil slick from a damaged BP Plc well. Large ocean swells are making their way to the site, according to Brian LaMarre, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell, Louisiana.
“A hurricane is like a giant plunger and the waves radiate out,” Joe Bastardi, chief hurricane forecaster at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said yesterday. “Some big swells are coming out and pushing oil to the coast and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.”
The waves may reach as high as 12 feet in the next 36 hours, pushing the oil into the Gulf Coast wetlands, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the U.S. government’s national incident commander, said at a press conference. Allen said he doesn’t think current operations to capture spilled oil will be affected.