S&P Cuts Credit Ratings for Nine Euro Nations: Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia
“Standard & Poor’s cut the credit ratings of nine European countries on Friday in a widely-anticipated move. Rumors that the downgrades were imminent had been circulating in various reports throughout the day.
S&P lowered its long-term rating on Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain by two notches, and cut its rating on Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia by one notch.
‘Today’s rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policy makers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the euro zone,’ S&P said in a press release announcing the downgrade.
The credit-rating agency affirmed the current long-term ratings for Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
U.S. stocks slumped earlier amid buzz about the possible downgrades, though finished well off their lows. European shares closed lower.
In December, S&P placed the ratings of 15 euro zone countries on credit watch negative — including those of top-rated Germany and France, the region’s two biggest economies — and said ‘systemic stresses’ were building up as credit conditions tighten in the 17-nation bloc.” Read more.
By Pamela Geller – “It is almost every day now. Jihadi attacks in America. This past week there were three attempted jihad attacks. And what does the media consider the problem? Racistislamophobicantimuslimbigots, of course.
On Saturday, a Muslim named Sami Osmakac was arrested in Florida on charges of plotting to go jihad on nightclubs and the Tampa, Florida, sheriff’s headquarters. ‘We all have to die,’ Osmakac said, ‘so why not die the Islamic way?’
Osmakac is from Kosovo, making his jihad another thank-you for U.S. involvement in Bosnia. And the U.S. still supports an independent Kosovo state, a militant Islamic state, in the heart of Europe. That is our policy. America refuses to own up to the terrible mistake we made in Europe — worse still, we continue to prosecute the Christian Serbs.
Media reports said that Osmakac, a devout Muslim, was ‘self-radicalized.’ You have to wonder if Western dhimmis stay up nights thinking up new terms for jihad. Pathetic. Soon after his arrest, video emerged that showed how pious and violent Sami Osmakac really was, as he attacked and bloodied Christian street preachers. The pious Osmakac, who was completely the aggressor, then cried victim to the police, saying that he had been ‘insulted,’ the same fictitious narrative that we are bombarded with daily by Islamic groups and Muslim Brotherhood organizations like the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The police, in what has become standard practice in dealing with Islamic supremacists, treated the perpetrator and the victim with equal contempt, actually charging the bloodied Christian with battery. This was in the same town, Tampa, that classified what was obviously an honor killing of a Muslim woman, Fatima Abdallah, as a ‘suicide.’
Even worse, after the terrorism arrest, Hassan Shibly, director of the Florida chapter of CAIR, cried ‘entrapment.’ This is, of course, typical of jihadis, but what is really outrageous is that Read more…
Auchtung! Germany Attempts to Silence Criticism of Islam While Surveys Show Most Germans Increasingly Concerned About Muslim Immigration
You read that right. Germany is officially going out of its way to protect an ideology that inspired Hitler and the ‘final solution’ ..-
According to Manfred Murck, director of the Hamburg branch of the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), his organization is studying whether German citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam on the Internet are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of ‘breaching’ the German constitution.
The BfV’s move marks a significant setback for the exercise of free speech in Germany and comes amid a months-long smear campaign led by a triple alliance of leftwing German multicultural elites, sundry Muslim groups and members of the mainstream media, who have been relentless in their efforts to discredit the so-called counter-jihad movement (also known as the ‘Islamophobes’) in Germany.
Opinion polls show that growing numbers of ordinary German citizens are worried about the consequences of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged mass immigration from Muslim countries.
Germans are especially concerned about the Read more…
France Downgraded by S&P Losing Triple-A Status, Austria at Risk, Greece May Undergoing Full-Scale Default as Banks Fail to Reach Deal
The channels did not provide further details.
S&P warned in December that it could downgrade the credit ratings of several euro zone nations if European leaders failed to find a lasting solution to the debt crisis at a meeting of EU leaders that month.
Several euro zone countries including France face an ‘imminent’ downgrade by ratings agency S&P, Reuters and Dow Jones news agencies reported, sending the euro to a session low against the dollar and European stocks down. US stocks also tumbled.
The reports said Germany and the Netherlands were not among the countries facing a downgrade later on Friday, but gave no further details.
According to Dow Jones sources, France was among the countries set to be downgraded.
‘Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close,’ Reuters cited a source as saying.” Read more.
Eurozone nations face S&P downgrade – “Eurozone governments are bracing for new debt-crisis turbulence after Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, told them it would downgrade two of the eurozone’s six triple A nations. One official told the Financial Times that France and Austria were due to be downgraded but this was not confirmed by either the agencies or the governments… In Athens, talks over restructuring Greece’s debt broke down, raising the prospect that Greece could become the first developed country in more than 60 years to undergo a full-scale default on its debt.” Read more.
Banks say no deal on Greek debt – “THE group of major banks negotiating on a write-down of Greek sovereign debt say they have not reached a deal on its debt, including any new write-down. ‘There has been no agreement on any Greek deal or a specific ‘haircut’,’ said Charles Dallara, the head of the Institute of International Finance which is representing the banks in EU negotiations. ‘We remain open to a dialogue in search of a voluntary agreement. There is no agreement on any element of a deal.’” Source – The Australian.
Exports to Europe – the biggest market for South Africa’s ostrich meat – have crashed since the EU banned the import of the low-cholesterol meat to stop the virus spreading.
Some farmers have been able to salvage their business through exporting ostrich feathers to South America – they are used in the colourful Rio Carnival.
Oudtshoorn, a town about 450km (279 miles) from Cape Town, is the heartland of the country’s ostrich industry.
Highgate Ostrich Show Farm is empty, apart from a few workers cleaning the yard there is no-one else in sight.
This is uncharacteristic of the popular tourist farm which is always abuzz with activity.
Hundreds of local and international visitors would normally be queuing to ride trained ostriches, buy luxury ostrich products such as leather and feathers or simply to spend time feeding the birds.
But for the first time in its 80 years, there are no ostriches for visitors to see – they have all been culled.
‘When the virus was discovered on our farm a few months ago the authorities came and took away all our birds,’ Arenhold Hooper tells me.
His ostriches were among 40,000 ostriches killed in the area, believed to either have the virus or have come into contact with infected birds.
All the meat was thrown away.” Read more.
By Femi Adi – “JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia confirmed yesterday that a bird-flu virus killed a 23-year-old pigeon fancier Saturday in Jakarta, prompting the government to step up preventive measures at hospitals.
Three hospitals dedicated to handling the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in the city of 9.6 m illion people were ordered to provide stand-by rooms for suspected patients, Dien Emmawati, head of Jakarta’s Health Agency, said by phone yesterday. More ambulances for bird-flu patients will also be added, she said.
The virus has killed more than 80 percent of people infected in the country since it was first reported in 2005, health-ministry data show. The strain was first recorded in humans in Hong Kong in 1997 and has since spread through Asia, Europe and Africa, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of birds and raising concerns of a global outbreak.
‘I hope people realize the danger of bird flu is still lurking in Jakarta,’ Emmawati said.
Avian flu has the potential to cause a deadly pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Since 2003, more than 500 people have been infected with the H5N1 strain worldwide and about 60 percent have died, according to the Atlanta-based agency.” Read more.
India: Death of many crows and ducks create panic in Jajpur – “The mysterious epidemic that has claimed many crows and hens in some areas of Odisha recently has now spread to Jajpur district , with about 150 crow and ducks deaths in Jajpur Road over last two days , triggering panic among residents who have been advised by experts not to touch the carcasses. ‘Recently many crows have died due to the deadly bird flu disease or H5N1 virus in areas of Jharkhand, bordering Odisha for which we are taking proper steps after crows started dying in Jajpur Road’, said Dr Kailash Chandra Mohanty the chief district veterinary officer (CDVO) of Jajpur on Thursday.” Read more.
Bird Flu back in Bhutan – “The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed that H5N1, the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, has been signalled the Bhutanese village of Tsimasham, in the Chhukha district. The outbreak was first noticed on the 30th of December, when 87 chickens succumbed at backyard poultry farm near a national highway. On the 5th and 6th of January the authorities started culling birds from the stricken and neighbouring farms, after the Bhutan national laboratory of animal health confirmed the outbreak.” Read more.