The new economic sanctions were announced Monday, following demands from the Congress to increase pressure on Tehran in reply to the State’s unwillingness to compromise with the West’s demands to pull out its nuclear development program. The latest sanctions are aimed to weaken Iran’s economy by devaluing its currency, so that the country will have to seriously consider abandoning their nuclear developments, which Iran claims are peaceful. The new sanctions will stop large transactions involving the Iranian currency in foreign banks. It is expected to further lessen the value of rial, which has already slid by two-thirds since June 2011. Foreign financial institutions that do business in Iran’s currency outside of Iran, will be banned from keeping large amounts of the money, and also from conducting derivative or swaps deals based on the rial’s value. “The idea here is to make the rial essentially unusable outside of Iran,” a senior administration official said following the announcement. According to the Iranian parliament’s deputy speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar, the authorities can stabilize the rial. “The government has no lack of currency and can inject it into the market for a long time,” he is quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying. The rial was trading at about 37,500 to the US dollar in the free market on Tuesday, having slid from around 34,200 at the close on Monday, Reuters reports referring to a foreign exchange trader in Tehran. Other traders, who preferred to remain unnamed, spoke of 38,000 or even 40,000 marks. New sanctions will also strike Iran’s auto industry, which is seen by the US as a cover to supply the nuclear infrastructure. The new sanctions that will come into effect on July 1, are being imposed just a month before the presidential election in Iran, due on July 14. The US did something similar in 2009, when it presented the world with a package of sanctions just weeks before the previous presidential election in Iran. “This is a significant step up in the force and reach of our sanctions, but there is more to come,” LA Times quotes a senior Obama administration official who preferred to remain anonymous. According to the Los Angeles Times, US experts do not believe that the new sanctions will influence the election, which will see eight conservative candidates running for the top post. BBC News reports that all eight approved candidates are “considered hardline conservatives”. All reformist candidates, including former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, have been barred from the race by Iran’s supervisory electoral body. …
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Iranian voters have been treated to their first-ever televised electoral debate between the presidential hopefuls.
The eight leaders in the running took part in a question and answer session during which all aspects of Iranian society were touched on. The favourite at this stage is Saad Jalili, currently steering Iran through international nuclear negiotiations.
The debate also gave reformers a rare opportunity to get their messages across.
“The most important thing in economics is to avoid authoritarism and individualism,” observed Hassan Rohani during the debate.
There will be notable absentees, like former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, or the current president’s protegée, Esfandiar Mashaei.
Ahead of the June 14th poll the Americans announced they would be partially lifting their economic and financial embargo of Iran to allow people access to “software, services and equipment for personal communication,” perhaps mindful of the “people power” that brought thousands into the streets after the last election.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Two Kampala-based dailies, the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper, and two radio stations – KFM Radio and Ddembe FM – that broadcast from the headquarters of the company that owns the Daily Monitor, Monitor Publications Limited (MPL), resumed operating yesterday after being closed and occupied by the police for 11 days. The resumption of operations was the result of negotiations between MPL representatives and government officials that began on 26 May. The police will nonetheless continue to have (…) …
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In an e-mail message to supporters and a video posted online early Wednesday morning former presidential candidate and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (Minnesota), announced she would not seek a fifth term in Congress in 2014. “Be assured, my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress,” Bachmann says in the nearly nine-minute video. “I’ve always, in the past, defeated candidates who are capable, qualified and well-funded.” But at a time when an ethics cloud hangs over her, she also noted, “This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff.”
The former presidential candidate insisted that she never considered holding public office to be an “occupation.” Looking ahead, “my future is full, limitless and my passions for America will remain. And I want you to be assured that is no future option or opportunity — be it directly in the political arena or otherwise that I won’t be giving serious consideration — if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations.”
Bachman’s decision came as a surprise to political Washington. But the White House, getting rid of a longtime nemesis, refused to comment. Press secretary Jay Carney merely said, during President Obama’s morning briefings Michele Bachman was not mentioned at all. “Of course, we wish her well”, Carney added laconically.
Michele Bachmann’s decision not to seek reelection could spare her from an ongoing Congressional ethics investigation, but that doesn’t mean her legal challenges are over. The allegations revolve around a stolen list of home-schooling parents in Iowa. She and her aides deny involvement. If members of Congress resign or don’t run again, the ethics committee loses jurisdiction or interest. But expect the Bachmann case to continue, because the FBI and Federal Election Commission are also looking into whether she misused campaign funds in her failed 2012 presidential bid. This is the latest example of how running for president can make, but more often break, a political career.
In her video, Bachmann explains that she is stepping aside because “in my opinion, well, eight years is long enough for an individual to serve as representative for a specific congressional district.” Maybe so. But it’s certainly not for lack of campaign cash. Bachmann had more than $1.8 million in her campaign war chest as of March 31, according to FEC filings – a huge sum. Her challenger, Democrat Jim Graves, reports just $36,000 cash on hand at this early stage. During the 2012 campaign, Bachmann raised more money than any other candidate for the US House of Representatives. She topped $20 million for the cycle, according to the Campaign Finance Institute. For perspective, the next biggest fundraiser, Allen West, brought in $17 million, followed by Tammy Duckworth with $4.5 million.
“While her presidential bid initially excited Tea Party supporters, Mrs. Bachmann would later find herself upstaged by conservative opponents like Mr. Cain and Mr. Santorum, and she was prone to misstatements, including saying the vaccine against the human papillomavirus was linked to ‘mental retardation,’” writes The New York on Wednesday. “But her campaign was not without impact. Her victory in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll in the summer of 2011 forced Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican governor of Minnesota, to drop out of the contest early, after he did poorly in his neighboring state. … Ms. Bachmann had been a largely obscure member of Congress from Minnesota before the emergence of the Tea Party in 2010. She seized on the movement to brand herself a national voice of conservatives and become the leader of the ‘Tea Party Caucus’ in the House.”
Copyright © 2013 euronews
http://www.youtube.com/v/P7zrofzLhmU?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Visit link: The Alex Jones Show:(VIDEO Commercial Free) Monday, May 27 2013: Memorial Day Best Of