In The News Today

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

JB Slear sends us this excellent illustration of the economic reason why tapering is not possible.

Rather than tapering look for expansion of stimulation.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Money talks and when these chemicals are delivered, nobody walks.

Germany Sold Syria Chemicals, Government Admits
Reuters  |  Posted: 09/18/2013 11:47 am EDT  |  Updated: 09/18/2013 12:22 pm EDT

BERLIN, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Germany exported 111 tonnes of chemicals to Syria between 2002 and 2006 that could be used in the production of sarin gas, according to a government document published on Wednesday.

But the government rejected a suggestion from an opposition lawmaker that Germany might thereby have inadvertently contributed to the Aug. 21 sarin attack in Syria, which the West blames on President Bashar al-Assad.

The chemicals – sodium fluoride, hydrofluoric acid and ammonium hydrogen fluoride – are classified as "dual use" under European Union law, meaning they can be used for either civil or military purposes. They require special export permits.

In a written response to a parliamentary question from Germany’s Left Party, the economy ministry said the chemicals sold between 2002 and 2003, in 2005 and 2006 had a total value of 174,000 euros ($232,300) and were sold for civilian use.

"Permits were granted after careful consideration of all possible risks, including of the goods’ misuse or transfer into chemical weapons use. In all cases their planned civil use was considered to be plausible," the ministry stated.

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Russia Calls U.N. Chemical Report on Syria Biased

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and RICK GLADSTONE

Published: September 18, 2013

MOSCOW — Russia sharply criticized the new United Nations report on Syria’s chemical arms use on Wednesday as biased and incomplete, hardening the Kremlin’s defense of the Syrian government even while pressing ahead with a plan to disarm its arsenal of the internationally banned weapons.

The Russians also escalated their critiques of Western governments’ interpretations of the report, which offered the first independent confirmation of a large chemical weapons assault on Aug. 21 on the outskirts of Syria’s capital, Damascus, that asphyxiated hundreds of civilians.

Although the report did not assign blame for that assault to either side in Syria’s civil war, analyses of some of the evidence it presented point directly at elite military forces loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. The United States, Britain, France and human rights and nonproliferation groups also say that the report’s detailed annexes on the types of weapons used, the large volume of poison gas they carried, and their trajectories lead to the conclusion that the forces of Mr. Assad were culpable.

The Russian criticism came as the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members began a second day of talks on a draft resolution aimed at ensuring that the Syrian government honors its commitment to identify and surrender all chemical munitions for destruction, steps it officially agreed to take under a deal negotiated Saturday by Russia and the United States that averted a punitive American missile strike on Syria.

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