With commentary by me.. (Because the media is a huge part of the matrix..)
“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.”
― Bruce Coville
"The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people."
Putin says no to US request to turn over Snowden (Source link on yahoo.com)
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly rejected U.S. pleas to turn over National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday, saying he is free to travel wherever he wants and insisting that Russian security agencies haven't contacted him.
Snowden is in the transit zone of a Moscow airport and has not passed through Russian immigration, Putin said, meaning he is not technically in Russia.
After arriving Sunday on a flight from Hong Kong, Snowden registered for a Havana-bound flight from Moscow on Monday en route to Venezuela and then possible asylum in Ecuador, but he didn't board the plane.
Snowden's whereabouts since then have been a mystery, and Putin's comments were the first time Russia has made clear it knows where he is.
Speculation has been rife that Russian security agencies might want to keep Snowden in Russia for a more thorough debriefing, but Putin denied that.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, June 25, 2 …
"Our special services never worked with Mr. Snowden and aren't working with him today," Putin said at a news conference during a visit to Finland.
Putin said that because there is no extradition agreement with the U.S., it couldn't meet the U.S. request.
"Mr. Snowden is a free man, and the sooner he chooses his final destination the better it is for us and for him," Putin said. "I hope it will not affect the business-like character of our relations with the U.S. and I hope that our partners will understand that."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that though the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, it wants Moscow to comply with common law practices between countries where fugitives are concerned. (Common #law as defined only by the U.S. #government)
Putin's staunch refusal to consider deporting Snowden shows the Russian president's readiness to further challenge Washington at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are already strained over Syria and a Russian ban on adoptions by Americans.
FILE - In this June 21, 2013 file photo, a banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee w …
A Kremlin decision to provide even temporary shelter and safe transit to Snowden would embarrass Washington. And despite Putin's denial, security experts believe the Russian special services wouldn't miss the chance to question a man who is believed to hold reams of classified U.S. documents and can shed light on how the U.S. intelligence agencies collect information.
Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Global Arms Trade and editor of National Defense Magazine, said Snowden would be of particular interest because little is known about digital espionage.
"The security services would be happy to enter into contact with Mr. Snowden," Korotchenko said.
Russia also relished using Snowden's revelations to try to turn the tables on U.S. criticism of Russia's rights record.
Putin compared Snowden to WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who has been provided asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, saying that both men were labeled criminals but consider themselves rights activists and champions of freedom of information. ( Yeah & they are just that.. U.S. government going after them essentially for spying when all they did is show the TRUTH to the American people about the U.S. government being the "King of spies when it comes to their own citizens (serfs))
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, June 25, 2 …
"Ask yourself a question: should people like that be extradited so that they put them in prison or not?" he said. "In any case, I would prefer not to deal with such issues. It's like shearing a piglet: a lot of squealing and little wool." (Be careful peeps.. Dissent is no longer "ok" in USA)
In an apparent reference to claims that Moscow could have played a role in Snowden's exit from Hong Kong, he said that his arrival was a "complete surprise" and dismissed accusations against Russia as "ravings and sheer nonsense."
"He doesn't need a visa or any other documents, and as a transit passenger he has the right to buy a ticket and fly wherever he wants," Putin said.
Russian news media had reported that Snowden remained in a transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, which is separate from the regular departure zones. He has not been seen by any of the journalists that have been roaming the airport in search of him.
Legally, an arriving air passenger only crosses the border after clearing immigration checks.
Light shines through a cabin window on seat 17A, the empty seat that an Aeroflot official said was b …
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the U.S. push for Snowden's extradition earlier Tuesday, but wouldn't specify his whereabouts, saying only that he hasn't crossed the Russian border.
"We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violating U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable," Lavrov said. "There are no legal grounds for such conduct by U.S. officials." (Rule of law huh? Yeah sure except when it gets in U.S. governments way)
U.S. and Ecuadorean officials had said they believed Snowden was still in Russia.
Kerry called for "calm and reasonableness."
"We would hope that Russia would not side with someone who is 'a fugitive' from justice,' " Kerry said at a news conference in Saudi Arabia.
**CORRECTS DIRECTION OF PRESIDENT ** Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, left, greets passersby from …
The U.S. has revoked Snowden's passport.
A representative of WikiLeaks has been traveling with Snowden, and the organization is believed to be assisting him in arranging asylum. Assange, the group's founder, said Monday that Snowden was only passing through Russia and had applied for asylum in Ecuador, Iceland and possibly other countries.
A high-ranking Ecuadorean official told The Associated Press that Russia and Ecuador were discussing where Snowden could go, saying the process could take days. He also said Ecuador's ambassador to Moscow had not seen or spoken to Snowden. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, hailed Snowden on Monday as "a man attempting to bring light and transparency to facts that affect everyone's fundamental liberties."
"We're following all the appropriate legal channels and working with various other countries to make sure that the rule of law is observed," President Barack Obama told reporters.
Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino speaks to reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday June 24, 2 …
The Kremlin has previously said Russia would be ready to consider Snowden's request for asylum.
Snowden is a former CIA employee who later was hired as a contractor for the NSA. In that job, he gained access to documents that he gave to newspapers the Guardian and The Washington Post to expose what he contends are privacy violations by an authoritarian government.
Snowden also told the South China Morning Post newspaper in Hong Kong that "the NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data." He is believed to have more than 200 additional sensitive documents in laptops he is carrying.
Some observers said in addition to the sensitive data, Snowden's revelations have provided the Kremlin with propaganda arguments to counter the U.S. criticism of Russia's crackdown on opposition and civil activists under Putin.
"They would use Snowden to demonstrate that the U.S. government doesn't sympathize with the ideals of freedom of information, conceals key information from the public and stands ready to open criminal proceedings against those who oppose it," Konstantin Remchukov, the editor of independent daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta, said on Ekho Moskvy radio.
Putin has accused the U.S. State Department of instigating protests in Moscow against his re-election for a third term in March and has taken an anti-American posture that plays well with his core support base of industrial workers and state employees.
Huuhtanen reported from Naantali, Finland. Michael Weissenstein and Gonzalo Solano contributed to this story from Quito, Ecuador.
(But wait, there's MORE! (government controlled media bullshit)
Reports Reflect Fed's Message Of Stronger Economy (Source link)
by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 25, 2013 4:18 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. housing recovery is strengthening. Factories are fielding more orders. And Americans' confidence in the economy has reached its highest point in 5½ years.
That brightening picture, captured in four reports Tuesday, suggests that the economy could accelerate in the second half of the year. It underscores the message last week from the Federal Reserve, which plans to slow its bond-buying program this year and end it next year if the economy continues to strengthen. The Fed's bond purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates low. (but but.. have they "encouraged BORROWING & SPENDING?!)
Investors (Investors my a$$.. try Primary Dealers & TBTF banks (good ole boys club), that's who's excited) appeared to welcome the flurry of positive data. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100 points to close at 14,760, and broader stock indexes also ended the day up. Those gains made up only a fraction of the markets' losses since Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that the Fed will likely scale back its economic stimulus within months — a move that would send long-term rates up.
But the rising confidence of U.S. consumers shows that most Americans are focused on a better job market, said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at Standard & Poor's.
"Maybe households agree with the Fed: the economy is improving," Bovino said.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped this month to 81.4, the highest reading since January 2008. The New York-based research group said consumers appear more encouraged by economic conditions and more optimistic about where the economy and job market are likely headed over the next six months. (Be sure NOT to mention that a number of 90 or higher USED to be considered normal / good "Despite the recent gains, the confidence index remains well below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy")
Last month, U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs, which almost exactly matched the average increase of the previous 12 months. Steady job growth has gradually reduced the unemployment rate to 7.6 percent from a peak of 10 percent in 2009. And rising home and stock prices since the recession ended four years ago have "made many Americans feel wealthier". (Yet another "phrase that I'm SICK of seeing.. WTF does "feeling wealthier" have to do with anything?!)
The combination has kept consumers spending this year despite higher Social Security taxes and steep government spending cuts that took effect this year.
The survey was completed June 13, so it didn't reflect the past week's plunge in stock prices. The market turmoil might lower July's consumer confidence. Still, many economists say they doubt that any drop in confidence would be dramatic. (Yet they are NEVER called out when WRONG are they?)
For most Americans, the biggest investment is their home. And a steady rise in prices is allowing them [to]recover much of the wealth they lost during and immediately after the Great Recession. (You people are f'ing stupid.. Home value going up a few bucks doesn't put FOOD on the table!)
U.S. home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April compared with a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. That was the biggest year-over-year gain since March 2006. (So WTF does this mean? That bubble economics is making a comeback?)
For a fourth straight month, prices rose from a year earlier in all 20 cities in the index. Twelve cities posted double-digit price gains.
More buyers and a limited supply of available homes have lifted prices in most cities. Higher prices have, in turn, fueled further sales and encouraged builders to ramp up construction. A more sustainable housing recovery is contributing to economic growth and creating more jobs.
Sales of new homes rose in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000, the Commerce Department said. That was the fastest pace since July 2008. Though sales of new homes remain below the 700,000 annual rate that most economists consider healthy, the pace has jumped 29 percent from a year ago.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes in May surpassed the 5 million mark for the first time since November 2009.
At a news conference last week, Bernanke noted that the strength in housing was a key reason the Fed had raised its outlook for growth next year and is moving toward slowing its pace of bond buying. (Unless #they decide not to..)
The Fed's bond purchases have helped fuel the housing gains by keeping mortgage rates down. (But but.. has it "encouraged BORROWING & SPENDING?!) As recently as early last month, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.35 percent, just above the record low of 3.31 percent. The average remains historically low at 3.93 percent.
Many investors worry that many consumer and business loan rates, which have already started to rise, will jump once the Fed scales back its bond purchases. More expensive loans could slow the housing recovery and sap the economy's momentum at a critical moment. (Perhaps LESS central planning / government control of the entire economy would be a better way to go?)
Even so, Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo, said the reports point to underlying strength that should enable the economy to withstand jittery financial markets.
"The economy is strong enough now that it can handle a couple of rough days on Wall Street," Vitner said.
The weakest part of the economy this year has been manufacturing, which has been held back by a recession in Europe and tepid growth in other overseas markets. But factory activity may start to rebound, according to a report from the Commerce Department. The department said orders for durable goods rose 3.6 percent.
Most of the increase was due to commercial aircraft orders, which tend to fluctuate sharply from month to month. Still, businesses also ordered more computers, communications equipment, machinery and metals.
As a result, a category of orders that's viewed as a proxy for business investment plans — which excludes the volatile sectors of transportation and defense — rose 1.1 percent. That matched similar gains in April and March. This category hadn't risen for three straight months since 2011.
Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said he still thinks economic growth is slowing in the April-June quarter to an annual rate below 2 percent. That would be down from a 2.4 percent annual rate from January through March.
But Ashworth said the pickup in orders should help drive a stronger economy in the July-September quarter. He said growth could exceed an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the final three months of the year.