US Lawmakers Urge Electronic Banking System SWIFT to Drop Iranian Banks, ‘This Is As Serious As It Gets’ in Economic Terms
By Roberta Rampton – “U.S. Senators agreed on Thursday to a plan that would pressure a global electronic platform used by the world’s banks to stop providing services to Iranian banks blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury.
The proposed measure is part of a package of new sanctions passed by the Senate Banking Committee that lawmakers hope will further crimp revenues that they say Tehran is using to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies seeking nuclear arms.
If accepted, the provision would push the White House to press SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, to shut out Iran’s central bank and its other financial institutions from the infrastructure used for moving money between banks around the world.” Read more.
Jim Sinclair: ‘This is as serious as it gets in nuclear and economic terms’ – “Iran is to be dropped out of the Swift system in Belgium. That means Iran could neither send or receive bank money wires. That would slam Iran’s economy. This is economic war at the highest level of conflict. This could start a greater move of central banks with fears of the West to increase and retrieve their gold positions. It certainly puts cash reserves held by central banks (which are computer entries anyway) into serious question as to security. This is as serious as it gets in nuclear and economic terms. The only weapon that can be effective against Iran’s nuclear industry is Western nuclear deep penetration bunker busters. Hold tight to your insurance investment positions.” Source – SGT Report.
Former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman on Senate Resolution: “… the Senators are right. The clock is ticking. Iran has to do the right thing and abolish it’s nuclear program, otherwise military action against Iran will be inevitable and I assure you, Megan, that if the US does not do it — and I hope they do — Israel will, because I would rather have the world … condemn a living Israel than console a dead Israel. We will not wait for that to happen.”
“NIAMEY, Niger — Top United Nations officials say 10 million people need help amid a food crisis in West Africa’s Sahel region.
U.N. Development and Humanitarian chiefs Helen Clark and Valerie Amos called Saturday for greater humanitarian response to the crisis that effects eight countries, including Niger.
During a visit, they commended Niger’s government for its agricultural projects that are building more resilience to nutrition crises.
The U.N. has previously said that more than 1 million children in the affected countries are expected to face life-threatening malnutrition this year.” Read more.
Here’s an update on this story …
By Yereth Rosen – “ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Preliminary tests appear to rule out radiation from Japan’s tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant as the cause of mysterious deaths and illness that struck scores of Alaska seals last year, federal officials said on Friday.
Preliminary tests of tissue samples from animals that fell victim to the lesion-causing disease found that radiation levels were normal and within ‘the typical background range for Alaska,’ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.
More than 60 dead and 75 sickened seals, most of them ringed seals, were found on the northern and western coasts of Alaska last summer and fall. Some walruses were also afflicted by the disease, with a smaller number found dead.
The affected animals have bleeding lesions on their flippers and other body parts, patchy loss of hair, labored breathing and lethargy, according to NOAA, which in December declared the problem an ‘unusual mortality event.’
The findings that appear to clear the Fukushima plant of blame are only preliminary, Juneau-based NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle said, and more analysis will be conducted. Tests on healthy animals also found normal levels of radiation.
‘Part of the reason it doesn’t rule it out is we need to do more in-depth tests for Cesium 137 and Cesium 134,’ Speegle said.” Read more.
By CASEY GROVE, Anchorage Daily News – “A lava dome is growing at Cleveland Volcano as its current slow eruption continues, a sign that the restless Aleutian volcano could pop at any moment, the Alaska Volcano Observatory says.
Satellite images show the lava dome has expanded from about 50 meters to 60 meters across in the past week. The hardening lava still only occupies a small part of the roughly 200-meter crater, the observatory says.
The 5,676-foot volcano makes up the western half of Chuginadak Island about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. If Cleveland’s eruption turns explosive — perhaps blasting ash up thousands of feet, into trans-Pacific flight paths — it could disable the engines of airplanes that fly through it.
The explosiveness is characteristic of Alaska volcanos, scientists say.
Lava extruding inside Cleveland Volcano is thick and pasty, ‘like peanut butter,’ volcanologist Steve McNutt said.
‘The lava’s so viscous, it doesn’t flow like you’re used to seeing in pictures of Hawaii, where it’s fluid and runny,’ McNutt said. ‘So it piles up and makes a round, dome-like lava flow.’
The molten rock flows out of vents inside the volcano’s crater and piles up, McNutt said. When the dome grows so big that it covers those vents, gas builds up behind it, he said.
Then, when the pressure is high enough: ka-boom.” Read more.