Story 1: When Will The Chinese People Overthrow The Communist Party of China? — Massive Censorship By Controlling The Internet — Videos

Posted on December 26, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Chinese, Communications, Computers, Computers, Crisis, Cult, Documentary, Elections, Employment, Energy, External Hard Drives, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, Health Care, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Media Streamers, Mobile Phones, Natural Gas, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Photos, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Reviews, Security, Speech, Spying, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Technology, Television, Television, Terrorism, Torture, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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How Does China’s Government Work?

Why China And Taiwan Hate Each Other

China’s Internet Censorship Explained

Taiwan Declares It’s Been a Country the WHOLE TIME | China Uncensored

Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China

What is China censoring online? | CNBC Explains

 

China internet: ‘I know we’re being suppressed but it doesn’t affect me’

How China Is Changing Your Internet | The New York Times

Tension Is Rising Between the U.S. and China Over Taiwan. Here’s What You Need to Know

Here’s Why China’s Territorial Disputes May Lead to War

Videographic: What does China want? | The Economist

Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

Xi Jinping ‘most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong’ – BBC News

[中南海]Chinese Presidential Residence – White House of China

Xi Jinping Biography | Xi Jinping daughter | Xi Jinping net worth | Xi Jinping pronunciation

How Xi Jinping Went From Feeding Pigs to Ruling China

China’s Communist party enshrines Xi Jinping ideology in constitution

China’s Future MEGAPROJECTS (2016-2050’s)

China hands down harshest sentence yet in crackdown on activists

By Christian Shepherd

Reuters 

China sentenced a prominent rights activist to eight years in jail for subversion on Tuesday, his lawyer said, the harshest sentence passed in a government crackdown on activism that began more than two years ago.

In a separate case, a rights lawyer avoided criminal punishment despite being found guilty of inciting subversion, because he admitted his crimes, the Chinese court trying him said.

Wu Gan, a blogger better known by his online name “Super Vulgar Butcher”, plans to appeal against the eight-year sentence handed down by the Tianjin Municipality’s No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, his lawyer, Yan Xin, told Reuters.

The harshness of the sentence prompted the German embassy in Beijing to issue a statement expressing disappointment.

Wu regularly championed sensitive cases of government abuses of power, both online and in street protests. He was detained in May 2015 and charged with subversion.

The activist criticized China’s political system online and used performance art to create disturbances, as well as insulting people and spreading false information, according to a statement from the court posted on its website.

“He carried out a string of criminal actions to subvert state power and overthrow the socialist system and seriously harmed state security and social stability,” the court said.

Before his arrest, Wu used his platform to cast doubt on the official version of events in an incident in early May 2015, in which a police officer shot a petitioner in a train station in northern Heilongjiang province.

Wu’s refusal to bow to pressure or admit guilt likely explains his harsh sentence, said Kit Chan, Hong Kong-based director of China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

“Wu Gan is being punished for his non-conformity,” she said.

His sentence is the most severe in what rights groups have called an unprecedented attack on China’s rights activists and lawyers, known as the 709 crackdown, which began in full force on July 9, 2015.

The hardline approach to rights activism has shown no sign of softening as Chinese President Xi Jinping enters his second five-year term in office.

In the other case concluded on Tuesday, rights lawyer Xie Yang received no punishment after being found guilty of inciting subversion and disrupting court order, the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court said on social media.

The court released a video of the proceedings, in which Xie said he accepted the outcome and would not appeal. He also thanked authorities and said he will be a law-abiding citizen.

Xie had worked on numerous cases deemed sensitive by Chinese authorities, such as defending supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. In May, he confessed to the charges against him in what rights groups called a scripted “sham” trial.

In January, Xie’s wife and lawyer released detailed accounts of torture suffered by Xie at the hands of the authorities, which were widely reported on in the international media.

Chinese state media branded those reports “fake news” and said the accounts were concocted as a means of gaining attention. Xie’s lawyer told Reuters he stands by the account.

“In both cases these have been serious concerns about violations of due process of law,” the German embassy in Beijing said in a statement.

The decision to hand down both sentences the day after Christmas, when there would likely be less attention from diplomats and international observers, “reeks of cynical political calculation”, said Patrick Poon, Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International.

Asked about the verdicts, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing that Amnesty is biased when it comes to China and should not be believed, adding that China abides by the rule of law.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/china-hands-down-harshest-sentence-yet-multi-rights-023955698.html

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Lying Lunatic Leftist Watermelon (Green On The Outside and Red on The Insider) Obama’s EPA Proposes Rules Are Illegal and Challenged By States — Your Electrical Bills Are Going To Skyrocket — Wind and Solar 5 Times More Expensive and Subsidized! — Progressives War on Jobs, Free Enterprise Market Capitlalism and American Workers — Pull The Plug On Progressives! — Videos

Posted on January 2, 2016. Filed under: Articles, Blogroll, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Fraud, Macroeconomics, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, Private Sector, Public Sector, Radio, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Obama’s 1010 Plan No Pressure — Really?

EPIC GREEN FAIL!!!!

Obama: My Plan Makes Electricity Rates Skyrocket

President Obama/EPA New Energy Rules

States sue EPA over costly impact of regulations

Senator Blunt Discusses Harmful Effects Of EPA’s Clean Power Plan 8/4/15

EPA Regulatory Overreach – Impacts on American Competitiveness

McKinley Discusses Impacts of EPA Power Plant Rule

Wayne’s Story: New EPA Regulations Jeopardize Kansas Jobs

Wilbur Ross on Trump, EPA rules

Murray Energy CEO sues over new EPA rules

Attorney General Ken Paxton Announces Fight Against EPA’s Carbon Rul

EPA’s Proposed 111(d) Rule for Existing Power Plants: Legal and Cost Issues

ECO:nomics: How Much Will EPA Carbon Rules Affect Global Emissions?

‘One one-hundredth of a degree?’ EPA’s McCarthy admits Obama regs have no measurable climate impact

James Delingpole: Great Britain, the Green Movement, and the End of the World

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

The Truth about CO2

Is CO2 a pollutant?

Trees Are the Answer

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

“Slap in the Face” Award: The White House/EPA Attack On Coal

Obama plot to black out 40 percent of US power supply

EPA Rule Calling For Power Plant Carbon Emissions To Be Cut By 30% By 2030 – Cavuto

Neil Cavuto & Bob Murray: Here Come Skyrocketing Electric Rates – Really

‘Clean Coal’ Fails to Capture World’s Attention

16 States Plan to Fight Obama’s New EPA Demands

EPA Proposes Methane Reduce Plan

EPA to Introduce New Rules to Cut Methane Emissions

U.S. Green Groups Urge Methane Rules For Oil And Gas Industry

Obama’s Anti-Coal Agenda Will Raise Consumer Prices and Unemployment

Whitfield: Obama’s Assault on Coal Will Lead to An 80 Percent Electricity Rate Hike

Krauthammer: Obama shuts down coal industry, kills jobs, raises electric rates – offers algae

Obama Plans to make Green Energy Affordable by Making Gasoline and Coal Unaffordable

Obama’s War on Jobs

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

Dr David Evans: Global Warming is Manmade? (1 of 2)

Dr David Evans: Global Warming is Manmade? (2 of 2)

George Carlin on Global Warming

George Carlin – Death

Obama’s climate agenda on trial

By Devin Henry

 

A slate of major environmental rules rolled out by the Obama administration in 2015 will face serious challenges in the new year, as opponents look to beat back the president’s ambitious policies — a core piece of his legacy.

In the lead-up to the landmark Paris climate talks in December — an event that yielded a first-of-its-kind global agreement to cut carbon emissions — the Obama administration released a series of sweeping new environmental rules, each garnering both condemnation and deep-pocketed opposition from interest looking to torpedo the regulations in 2016.

As Obama enters the final year of his presidency, much of his focus on environmental issues will be implementing and preserving the work he’s already done. If 2015 was the year he pushed his environmental agenda forward, 2016 could be the year he looks to preserve it.

Here are some of the biggest regulations Obama finalized or proposed last year, and how they’ll be litigated in 2016.

Clean Power Plan

The most notable environmental rule issued in 2015 was the climate rule for power plants, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation designed to cut carbon emissions from the power sector.

The rule is the centerpiece of Obama’s climate change agenda, and the biggest promise he took with him to the United Nations climate talks. It’s designed to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Environmentalists hailed the rule, but it has met with scorching opposition from Republicans, commodity groups, businesses and utilities. Opponents have argued that, while the rule will cut carbon emissions, it will do so at the expense of jobs and American energy bills, which could go up as states shift to cleaner energy mixes.

Dozens of opponents sued against the rule the day in October that it hit the Federal Register, arguing the EPA went beyond its legal authority in assigning states carbon reduction targets.

“EPA’s rule is flatly illegal and one of the most aggressive executive branch power grabs we’ve seen in a long time,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “The EPA cannot do what it intends to do legally.”

The EPA defended the rule as one with “strong scientific and legal foundations” and has sought to protect it from the lawsuits. Opponents want federal judges to issue a stay on the rule and, with legal filings on the matter due on Dec. 23, the first judicial skirmish over the rule is set for early 2016.

Clean Water Rule

A federal court dealt a blow to another EPA rule in 2015 when it blocked implementation of a new rule setting regulatory authority over small waterways.
The so-called “Waters of the United States” rule looks to clarify which streams, wetlands and other smaller waterways the federal government has regulatory authority over.

But opponents of the rule — Republicans, red states and the agriculture industry among them — argue the rule is overly-broad and an unjust expansion of federal power. They sued against the regulation, and two federal courts issued separate injunctions against it in 2015, ruling that opponents have a strong case and could win when their challenges move forward.

The EPA and Army Corps. of Engineers have maintained that the rule is legal and plans to fight the lawsuits against it. The stay didn’t overturn the rule: the courts need to go through the process of making a full ruling on it, and the appeals process could eventually bring the water rule to the Supreme Court.

Ozone

When the Obama administration finalized a new standard for acceptable concentrations of surface-level ozone particles, neither industrial groups nor public health and environmental coalitions were pleased.

Businesses and manufacturers sued over the new 70-parts-per-billion standard in December, arguing that the new standard would be hard to implement and lead to billions of dollars in compliance costs.

“The EPA’s ozone regulation, which could be one of the most expensive in history, is unworkable and overly burdensome for manufacturers and America’s job creators,” said Linda Kelly, the senior vice president and general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers.

Greens and health officials defended the EPA’s ability to issue the new rule, which came out in October. But they filed lawsuits of their own, arguing regulators should have finalized a standard even stricter than the one they landed on.

“This standard leaves kids, seniors and asthmatics without the protection doctors say they need from this dangerous pollutant,” Earthjustice attorney David Baron said. “The EPA has a duty to set standards that assure our air is safe to breathe. We say they violated that duty here.”

Even before the ozone rule was released, both sides said they expected to sue over the final standard, citing their dueling lawsuits against the EPA the last time it updated the rule, in 2008.

Neither side succeeded then, and the rule stood.

Beyond legal challenges, the power plant, water and ozone rules could all face challenges from congressional Republicans, as well.

While legislative measures stopping the rules are dead with Obama in office, Republicans showed last year that they were willing to try using the appropriations process to block them anyway.

Key Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have said they plan to exhaust their legislative options for blocking the regulations even with Obama in office. But McConnell acknowledged in October that lawmakers’ hands are likely tied for now, despite passing a since-vetoed Congressional Review Act resolution against the power plan.

“Our options to stop [the Clean Power Plan] are quite limited,” McConnell said then. “We do have the possibility of a CRA. The weakness of that, obviously, is that even though we can pass it through here with a simple majority, [Obama is] likely to veto it.”

Methane emissions

The Obama administration led off 2015 promising to take action on methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling sites.

The EPA proposed rules in August to require drillers use new technologies to track and block accidental and purposeful leaks when producing and transmitting oil and gas. The proposal kicked up a potential fight with the gas industry.

Greens have said a strong methane rule is one of the last major climate initiatives Obama can effectively push through during his final term in office. Methane has about 25 times the global warming power of carbon dioxide, and a push to cut down on leaks will compliment Obama’s work on carbon emissions elsewhere, they say.

Drillers, though, are skeptical of the rule, saying they are already taking steps to cut methane leaks on their own. They support EPA’s opt-in programs for cutting methane emissions, but warn that actual regulations could “undermine American competitiveness” in the oil and gas sector.

“EPA’s proposal for additional methane regulations on oil and gas wells and transmission are duplicative and costly,” Howard Feldman, the senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said in December. “They could also undermine the progress our industry has made lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

Republicans, too, have opposed new methane rules, with House Natural Resources Committee chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) calling the proposal “another unprecedented attack” on oil and gas interests.

The agency hopes to finalize the rule by the spring.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+many+overstay+visas+bersin+

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When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

Posted on July 11, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, Bomb, Bunker Busters, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Dirty Bomb, Documentary, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Entertainment, Ethic Cleansing, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Missiles, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Music, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Obamacare, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Space, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 502  July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501  July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500  July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499  July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498  July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493 June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492 June 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 491 June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488 June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485 June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484 June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483 June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481 June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Story 1: When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

Divine – Walk Like A Man (1985) HQ

Walk Like a Man – The Four Seasons

“Walk Like A Man”

oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
Walk like a manOh how you tried
To cut me down to size
by telling dirty lies to my friends
But my own father
Said give her up, don’t bother
The world isn’t coming to an endHe said walk like a man
Talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman’s worth
Crawling on the earth
So walk like a man my sonoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-ooFine eyed baby
I don’t mean maybe
We’re gonna get along somehow
Soon you’ll be crying
On ‘count of all you’re lying
Oh yeah, just look who’s laughing nowI’m gonna walk like a man
Fast as I can
Walk like a man from you
I’ll tell the world
Forget about it girl
And walk like a man from youoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo

Walk Like a Man Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Lyrics

July 2015 Breaking News USA ready to attack Iranian nuclear facilities with awe-inspiring plan B

30,000 Pound Bunker Buster Bomb designed to detour Iran Nuclear Threat

As negotiations with Iran continue towards a nuclear arms agreement, the United States still holds a trump card. The 30,000 Pound Boeing GBU-57 Bunker Buster bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon in U.S. inventory, designed to destroy nuclear weapons bunkers in Iran and North Korea. The bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), is 30,000 pounds (13,608 kg.) and has been improved with “adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and hi-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex.”

“Hopefully we never have to use it, but if we had to, it would work.”

The existence of a bomb that has the capability of destroying the underground facility from the air could also give the West extra bargaining power in nuclear negotiations with the Iran.

US officials believe the improved MOP will serve to convince Israel to hold off on unilaterally attacking Iran and give Washington more time to diplomatically neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.

US military chiefs openly admitted the weapon was built to attack the fortified nuclear facilities of “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea. Although the Pentagon insists that it is not aimed at a specific threat, unnamed officials within the ministry have repeatedly claimed the bomb is being tailor-made to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo.

Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal will continue over weekend

U.S.’s Kerry says not in rush to get Iran nuclear deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Deadlocked Over Arms

Weapons of War: Pentagon Upgrades Biggest ‘Bunker Buster’ Bomb

Bunkers & Bunker Busting Bombs

MOP Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57A-B Penetrator bunker buster bomb Iran United States

World War 3 Pentagon unveils 30,000 pound M O P Bunker Buster Bomb against Iran May 03, 2013

Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) 37,000 LB Bombs To The USAF – GBU-57

Israel Air Force Refuels Mid-air

Only on AP: US Tankers Refuel for IS Fight

WATCH OUT IRAN Israeli Air Force unveils Refueling aircraft for possible Airstrike

Israel To Buy 25 More F-35 Lockheed Stealth Fighters: Sources

December 2014 Breaking News USA F35 Israel to buy second squadron of stealth F35 jets

News Wrap: As deadline looms, Kerry says Iran nuclear talks not ‘open-ended’

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons In Concert Live

Frankie Valli And 4 Seasons Live on Ice 2008

The Coasters – Yakety Yak – ORIGINAL MONO VERSION

Yakety Yak – The Coasters with lyrics

Where Have all the Flowers Gone: Eve of Destruction

Iran Made Illegal Purchases of Nuclear Weapons Technology Last Month

1:48 AM, JUL 10, 2015 • BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL AND EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI

The question is not whether Iran can be trusted to uphold the nuclear deal now being negotiated in Vienna (it can’t), but whether the Obama administration and its P5+1 partners can be trusted to punish Iran when it violates the agreement?

Experience shows that unless Iran violates the deal egregiously, the temptation will be to ignore it. For instance, Iran got away with selling more oil than it should have under the interim agreement. More ominously, Tehran repeatedly pushed the envelope on technical aspects of the agreement—such as caps on its uranium stockpile—and got away with it. The Obama administration and other Western powers have so much invested in their diplomatic efforts that they’ll deny such violations ever occurred.

More evidence of Iranian violations has now surfaced. Two reports regarding Iran’s attempts to illicitly and clandestinely procure technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs have recently been published. They show that Iran’s procurement continues apace, if not faster than before the Joint Plan of Action was signed in November 2013. But fear of potentially embarrassing negotiators and derailing negotiations has made some states reluctant to report Tehran’s illegal efforts. If these countries have hesitated to expose Iran during the negotiations, it is more likely they will refrain from reporting after a deal is struck.

The first report was released last month by the U.N. panel of experts in charge of reporting compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iran. The panel noted that U.N. member states had not reported significant violations of U.N. sanctions and speculated as to why: either Iran was complying, or countries did not wish to interfere with negotiations.

Paddle, pedal, jog or Segway through North America’s largest urban parkland—Edmonton’s river valley.

Promoted by Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Related Stories

More by Benjamin Weinthal

The second report, released last week by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, is less ambiguous. The agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, confirmed to us that Iran continues to seek illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs.

Iran has had a long history of trying to obtain nuclear technology from German companies, particularly by seeking ways to transport merchandise in circumvention of international sanctions. Since November 2013, Tehran has sought industry computers, high-speed cameras, cable fiber, and pumps for its nuclear and missile program. It appears that Iran’s readiness to negotiate does not reflect any substantive policy change. Rather, it is a diplomatic tactic retreat forced by economic distress, not a strategic rethinking of its priorities.

Iran’s cheating should give Western negotiators additional resolve to impose ironclad guarantees in the agreement. They should compel Iran to reveal its past activities, including its post-JPOA procurement efforts, and impose tough, intrusive, “anytime, anywhere” inspections before sanctions are suspended, let alone lifted.

Instead, the lack of reporting to the U.N. despite evidence of cheating suggests a lack of resolve on the part of Western nations, and their willingness to downplay all but the most egregious violations. This does not bode well for the future. If Western powers are reluctant to penalize Iran for trying to evade sanctions because they’re afraid of spoiling the negotiations, what will happen in the future when Western powers have even more invested in preserving an agreement?

Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/iran-made-illegal-purchases-nuclear-weapons-technology-last-month_988067.html

Massive Ordnance Penetrator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator
USAF MOP test release crop.jpg

GBU-57 MOP prototype
Type Bunker buster” bomb
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Boeing[1]
Specifications
Weight 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg)
Length 20.5 feet (6.2 m)
Diameter 31.5 inches (0.80 m)

The GBU-57A/BMassive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a U.S. Air Force, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (13,608 kg) “bunker busterbomb.[2] This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker busters previously available, the 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) GBU-28 and GBU-37.

Development

In 2002, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were working on the development of a 30,000-lb (13,600 kg) earth-penetrating weapon, said to be known as “Big BLU“. But funding and technical difficulties resulted in the development work being abandoned. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysis of sites that had been attacked with bunker-buster bombs revealed poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction.[citation needed]This renewed interest in the development of a super-large bunker-buster, and the MOP project was initiated by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to fulfill a long-standing Air Force requirement.[3]

The U.S. Air Force has not officially recognized specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons, the so-called “Big BLU” collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) bomb. Development of the MOP was performed at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida with design and testing work performed by Boeing. It is intended that the bomb will be deployed on the B-2 bomber, and will be guided by the use of GPS.[4][5]

Northrop Grumman announced a $2.5-million stealth-bomber refit contract on 19 July 2007. Each of the U.S. Air Force’s B-2s is to be able to carry two 14-ton MOPs.[6][7]

The initial explosive test of MOP took place on 14 March 2007 in a tunnel belonging to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

On 6 October 2009, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had requested and obtained permission from the U.S. Congress to shift funding in order to accelerate the project.[8][9] It was later announced by the U.S. military that “funding delays and enhancements to the planned test schedule” meant the bomb would not be deployable until December 2010, six months later than the original availability date.[10]

The project has had at least one successful Flight Test MOP launch.[11] The final testing will be completed in 2012.[3]

The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6 million to further develop and improve the weapon.[12]

Recent development

On 7 April 2011, the USAF ordered eight MOPs plus supporting equipment for $28 million.[13]

On 14 November 2011, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the Massive Ordnance Penetrator and that the deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need”.[14] The Air Force now has received delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011.[15] And as of March 2012, there is an “operational stockpile” at Whiteman Air Force Base.[16]

In 2012, the Pentagon requested $82 million to develop greater penetration power for the existing weapon.[1] A 2013 report stated that the development had been a success,[17] and B-2 integration testing began that year.[18]

Next-generation Penetrator Munition

On 25 June 2010, USAF Lt. Gen. Phillip Breedlove said that the Next-generation Penetrator Munition should be about a third the size of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator so it could be carried by affordable aircraft.[19] In December 2010, the USAF had a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Next Generation Penetrator (NGP).[20]

Global Strike Command has indicated that one of the objectives for the Next-Generation Bomber is for it to carry a weapon with the effects of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This would either be with the same weapon or a smaller weapon that uses rocket power to reach sufficient speed to match the penetrating power of the larger weapon.[21]

One of the current limitations of the MOP is that it lacks a void-sensing fuze and will therefore detonate after it has come to a stop, even if it passed by the target area.[22]

Specifications

  • Length: 20.5 feet (6.2 m)[23]
  • Diameter: 31.5 inches (0.8 m)[23]
  • Weight: 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms)
  • Warhead: 5,300 pounds (2,404.0 kilograms) high explosive
  • Penetration: 200 ft (61 m)[6]

See also

Specific large bombs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator

  • April 2, 2015
  • 1950s
Nov. 24, 2014

Kerry Announces Extension to Iran Talks Video by Reuters/ Photo by Roland Schlager/European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. and Allies Extend Iran Nuclear Talks by 7 Months

A yearlong effort to reach an enduring accord with Iran to dismantle large parts of its nuclear infrastructure fell short, forcing the United States and its allies to declare a seven-month extension, but with no clear indication of how they plan to bridge fundamental differences.

Nov. 20, 2014

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, Catherine Ashton, who is representing the European Union, and Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna. Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Negotiators Scrambling as Deadline Looms in Nuclear Talks

As six world powers and Iran race to meet a Monday deadline for an agreement that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the United States stakes out an ambitious goal for what an accord should accomplish.

American officials say the agreement should slow the Iranian nuclear program enough that it would take Iran at least a year to make enough material for a nuclear bomb if it decided to ignore the accord.

It has become increasingly unlikely that any accord announced on Monday would be a complete one. And whatever deal is reached, it may not matter if Iranian hard-liners have their way. In Iran, the final decision on a nuclear deal lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

Nov. 3, 2014

Under a proposed deal, Russia will convert uranium into specialized fuel rods for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.Majid Asgaripour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost

Iran tentatively agrees to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia for conversion into specialized fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran’s only commercial reactor. The agreement is potentially a major breakthrough in talks that have until now been deadlocked.

A key question remains about the negotiations that American officials have been loath to discuss in public: In a final deal, would Iran be required to publicly admit its past activities, or merely provide a mechanism for monitoring its actions in the future?

Aug. 27, 2014

Iran’s nuclear reactor in Arak, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran, is being redesigned.Hamid Foroutan/Iranian Students News Agency, via Associated Press

Iran Altering Arak Reactor in Bid for Nuclear Deal

Atomic power engineers in Iran start redesigning a partly constructed reactor in Arak to limit the amount of plutonium it produces, Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, says, expressing hope that the change will help alleviate Western objections that the plutonium can be used in weapons.

July 18, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks Extended, Diplomats Say

Iran, the United States and the five other countries agree to a four-month extension of the negotiations, giving them more time to try to bridge a major difference over whether the country will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to senior Western diplomats involved in the talks.

July 14, 2014

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accuses the West of trying to sabotage a reactor being built near Arak.Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran Outlines Nuclear Deal; Accepts Limit

As the deadline for the talks approaches on Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says the country could accept a freeze on its capacity to produce nuclear fuel at current levels for several years, provided it could eventually produce fuel unhindered.

The proposal will effectively extend a limited series of concessions Iran made last November as part of a temporary deal to get negotiations started on a permanent accord. In return, Iran wants step-by-step relief from sanctions that have substantially weakened its economy.

May 24, 2014

Iran Is Providing Information on Its Detonators, Report Says

The I.A.E.A. releases a report stating that Iran is beginning to turn over information related to its nuclear detonators. The agency says that Iran has provided “additional information and explanations,” including documents, to substantiate its claim that it had tested the detonators for “a civilian application.”

Jan. 12, 2014

From left, Foreign Ministers Laurent Fabius of France and William Hague of Britain, and Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan, in Paris. Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Negotiators Put Final Touches on Iran Accord

Iran and a group of six world powers complete a deal that will temporarily freeze much of Tehran’s nuclear program starting Jan. 20, in exchange for limited relief from Western economic sanctions.

The agreement faced opposition from Iranian hard-liners and Israeli leaders, as well as heavy criticism from some American lawmakers, who have threatened to approve further sanctions despite President Obama’s promise of a veto.

Nov. 24, 2013

The negotiators in Geneva early Sunday morning. President Obama hailed the agreement. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Deal With Iran Halts Nuclear Program

The United States and five other world powers announce a landmark accord that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement.

The aim of the accord, which is to last six months, is to give international negotiators time to pursue a more comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could only be used for peaceful purposes.

Nov. 14, 2013

Obama Calls for Patience in Iran Talks

I.A.E.A. inspectors release a report stating that for the first time in years, they saw evidence that the Iranians have put the brakes on their nuclear expansion.

President Obama makes an appeal to Congress to give breathing space to his efforts to forge a nuclear deal with Iran.

Nov. 11, 2013
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Iran is in a much different position now to negotiate on its nuclear program than it was four years ago when President Obama first broached the subject.

Iran Says It Agrees to ‘Road Map’ With U.N. on Nuclear Inspections

The I.A.E.A. says that Iran has agreed to resolve all outstanding issues with the agency, and will permit “managed access” by international inspectors to two key nuclear facilities. But the promise does not extend to the Parchin military site, which inspectors have been trying to see for months.

Marathon talks between major powers and Iran fail to ease sanctions on the country and produce a deal to freeze its nuclear program.

Oct. 16, 2013
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Iran Talks Called Substantive

Iran and a group of six world powers say that they have engaged in “substantive” and “forward-looking” discussions on the disputed Iranian nuclear program and that they will reconvene on November 7.

The account of the two days of talks in Geneva came in a rare joint statement from Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief for the European Union, who is the lead negotiator with Iran.

Sept. 27, 2013
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First Direct US-Iran Talk Since 1979

President Obama says he has spoken by phone with President Hassan Rouhani, the first direct contact between the leaders of Iran and the United States since 1979. Mr. Obama, speaking in the White House briefing room, said the two leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program and said he was persuaded there was a basis for an agreement.

Moments before Mr. Obama’s announcement, Mr. Rouhani’s Twitter account posted this now-deleted message: “In a phone conversation b/w #Iranian & #US Presidents just now: @HassanRouhani: “Have a Nice Day!” @BarackObama: “Thank you. Khodahafez.”

Sept. 24, 2013
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Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran in First U.N. Appearance

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, turns himself into a high-speed salesman offering a flurry of speeches, tweets, televised interviews and carefully curated private meetings, intended to end Iran’s economic isolation.

At the United Nations General Assembly, he preaches tolerance and understanding, decries as a form of violence the Western sanctions imposed on his country and says nuclear weapons have no place in its future. He takes aim at Israel’s nuclear arsenal in a public – while the country’s leaders caution over what they deem as an empty charm offensive.

Sept. 19, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new leader, received a private letter from President Obama about easing tensions between the countries.Vahid Salemi/Associated Press

Iran Said to Seek a Nuclear Accord to End Sanctions

Seizing on a perceived flexibility in a letter from President Obama to President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s leaders are focused on getting quick relief from crippling sanctions, a top adviser to the Iranian leadership says.

The adviser says that Mr. Obama’s letter, delivered about three weeks ago, promised relief from sanctions if Tehran demonstrated a willingness to “cooperate with the international community, keep your commitments and remove ambiguities.”

Aug. 28, 2013

Iran Slows Its Gathering of Enriched Uranium, Report Says

I.A.E.A. inspectors say that Iran is slowing its accumulation of enriched uranium that can be quickly turned into fuel for an atomic bomb. The report’s disclosure is significant politically because it delays the day when Iran could breach what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel last fall called a “red line” beyond which Iran would not be allowed to pass — the point at which it has enough purified uranium to quickly make a single nuclear weapon.

June 15, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has been elected the next president of Iran.

Iran Elects New President

Voters overwhelmingly elect Hassan Rouhani, 64, a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.

The diplomat sheik played a key role in Iran’s voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment in 2004, which Western powers responded to by asking for more concessions from Iran.

Mr. Rouhani replaces his predecessors’ foreign minister with Mohammad Javad Zarif, an American-educated diplomat known for his understanding of the West, and makes him responsible for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Rouhani also removes a hard-line nuclear scientists as head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, and replaces him with the former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi. In September, Iran’s longtime ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency will be replaced as well.

June 2013

U.S. Adds to Its List of Sanctions Against Iran

The Obama administration escalates sanctions against Iran for the fourth time in a week, blacklisting what it describes as a global network of front companies controlled by Iran’s top leaders, accusing them of hiding assets and generating billions of dollars worth of revenue to help Tehran evade sanctions.

The White House also accuses Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of personally directing an effort to bypass them.

The United States also blacklists Iranian petrochemical companies, its automotive industry and more than 50 Iranian officials, and threatens to sanction foreign banks that trade or hold Iran’s national currency, the rial.

May 22, 2013

Iran Is Seen Advancing Nuclear Bid

The I.A.E.A. says Iran has made significant progress across the board in its nuclear program, while negotiations with the West dragged on this spring. But it said that it has not gone past the “red line” that Israel’s leaders have declared could trigger military action.

In its last report before the Iranian elections next month, the agency also gives details that point to an emerging production strategy by the Iranians. One strategy involves speeding ahead with another potential route to a bomb: producing plutonium. The report indicates that Iran is making significant progress at its Arak complex, where it has built a heavy-water facility and is expected to have a reactor running by the end of next year.

May 9, 2013

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Those Aiding Iran

The United States expands its roster of those violating Iran sanctions, blacklisting four Iranian companies and one individual suspected of helping the country enrich nuclear fuel. It also singles out two other companies, including a Venezuelan-Iranian bank, accused of helping Iran evade other Western-imposed prohibitions on oil sales and financial dealings.

The penalties came a day after the Senate introduced legislation that could effectively deny the Iran government access to an estimated $100 billion worth of its own money parked in overseas banks, a step that proponents said could significantly damage Iran’s financial stability.

April 23, 2013

Fearing Price Increases, Iranians Hoard Goods

Iranians rush to supermarkets to buy cooking oil, red meat and other staples, stockpiling the goods over new fears of price spikes from a change in the official exchange rate that could severely reduce the already weakened purchasing power of the rial, the national currency.

Prices of staples are set to increase by as much as 60 percent because of the currency change.

Economists say the result is from a combination of severe Western sanctions and what many call the government’s economic mismanagement.

April 18, 2013

Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon. Next week he will travel to the Middle East to finalize the arms sale.Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near

The Defense Department is expecting to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports to help them counter any future threat from Iran.

Israeli Officials Stress Readiness for Lone Strike on Iran

In an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, saying Israel has “different vulnerabilities and different capabilities” than the United States. “We have to make our own calculations, when we lose the capacity to defend ourselves by ourselves.”

Israeli defense and military officials have been issuing explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

April 12, 2013

US Blacklists an Iranian and Businesses Over Violation of Sanctions

The United States blacklists an affluent Iranian business executive, Babak Morteza Zanjani, and what it describes as his multibillion-dollar money laundering network, accusing them of selling oil for Iran in violation of the Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

On March 14, The Treasury Department, which administers the government’s Iran sanctions, blacklisted a Greek shipping tycoon, Dimitris Cambis, over what it called his scheme to acquire a fleet of oil tankers on Iran’s behalf and disguise their ownership to ship Iranian oil.

April 9, 2013

Family members of slain nuclear scientists stood with Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, far right, a nuclear official. Arash Khamoushi/Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, via Associated Press

After Talks End, Iran Announces an Expansion of Nuclear Fuel Production

Iran’s president announces an expansion of the country’s uranium production and claims other atomic energy advances, striking a pugnacious tone in the aftermath of diplomatic talks thatended in an impasse with the big powers on April 6 in Kazakhstan.

April 8, 2013
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A look, provided by the United States Navy, at how its laser attack weapon works. The video is silent.

Navy Deploying Laser Weapon Prototype Near Iran

The U.S. announces that the Navy will deploy a laser weapon prototype in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed American warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, someday potentially, rockets.

The laser will not be operational until next year. It has been shown in tests to disable patrol boats and blind or destroy surveillance drones.

March 14, 2013

President Obama traveled to Israel on March 20, in a symbolic two-day visit to the country, the first of his presidency.

Iran Nuclear Weapon to Take Year or More, Obama Says

President Obama tells an Israeli television station that his administration believes it would take Iran “over a year or so” to develop a nuclear weapon.

Mr. Obama’s estimated timeline contrasts with Mr. Netanyahu’s stated belief that Israel and its Western allies are likely to have to intervene by the spring or summer, when, he says, Iran’s scientists will have enriched enough uranium to become a nuclear threat.

Feb. 26, 2013

Defiant Mood at Talks

Iran meets with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Kazakhstan, but talks end with no specific agreement over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium, in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.

The six powers also agreed that Iran could keep a small amount of 20 percent enriched uranium — which can be converted to bomb grade with modest additional processing — for use in a reactor to produce medical isotopes.

Iranian oil sales have been reduced by half as a result of the international pressure on the country, and restrictions on financial transactions and transportation have created many difficulties for its leaders.

Feb. 23, 2013

New Deposits of Uranium

The state news agency IRNA quotes a report by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, saying that it had found significant new deposits of raw uranium and identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.

Iran’s raw uranium reserves now total around 4,400 tons, including discoveries over the past 18 months, IRNA quoted the report as saying.

A few weeks earlier, Ayatollah Khamenei said that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons but added that if Iran ever decided to build them, no “global power” could stop it.

Feb. 6, 2013

Speaking to air force commanders in Tehran on Feb. 6, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran “will not negotiate under pressure.” Khamenei Official Web site, via European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. Bolsters Sanctions

A new round of American sanctions take effect which state that any country that buys Iranian oil must put the purchase money into a local bank account. Iran cannot repatriate the money and can use it only to buy goods within that country. Violators risk severe penalties in doing business with the United States. Oil exports from Iran have already dropped by a million barrels a day.

A week earlier, Iran announces that it would deploy a new generation of centrifuges, four to six times as powerful as the current generation.

October 2012

Iran’s Currency Tumbles

After months of harsh, American-led sanctions, Iran’s currency, the rial, plunges 40 percent. The currency lost about half its value in 2012.

Most of that decline comes in a frenzy of speculative selling by Iranians worried that rapid inflation could render their money worthless. The government responds with a crackdown in which some money traders are arrested.

The depressed value of the rial forces Iranians to carry ever-fatter wads of bank notes to buy everyday items. But the sanctions also present a new complication to Iran’s banking authorities: they may not be able to print enough money.

Meanwhile, the European Union toughens sanctions against Iran, banning trade in industries like finance, metals and natural gas, and making other business transactions far more cumbersome.

Sept. 27, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations, displaying his red line for Iran’s nuclear program. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Israel’s ‘Red Line’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tells the United Nations that Iran’s capability to enrich uranium must be stopped before the spring or early summer, arguing that by that time Iran will be in a position to make a short, perhaps undetectable, sprint to manufacture its first nuclear weapon.

August 2012

New Work at Nuclear Site

The United Nations atomic agency reports that Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges needed to complete a deep-underground site under a mountain near Qum for the production of nuclear fuel.

The I.A.E.A. also says that Iran may have sought to cleanse another site where the agency has said it suspects that the country has conducted explosive experiments that could be relevant to the production of a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, the United States imposes more punishing sanctions against Iran, aimed at its oil and petrochemical sectors, as well as its shipping trade, intensifying existing sanctions intended to choke off the revenue that Iran reaps from its two largest export industries.

July 1, 2012

The Neptune, an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, is part of a fleet of about 65 Iranian tankers serving as floating storage facilities for Iranian oil, each one given a nautical makeover to conceal its origin and make a buyer easier to find. Thomas Erdbrink

Embargo on Iranian Oil

A European Union embargo on Iranian oil takes effect, playing a large role in severely restricting Iran’s ability to sell its most important export.

In retaliation, Iran announces legislation intended to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital Persian Gulf shipping lane, and tests missiles in a desert drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States.

In January 2013, Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, acknowledged for the first time that petroleum exports and sales had fallen by at least 40 percent in the previous year, costing the country $4 billion to $8 billion each month.

May 24, 2012

Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Baghdad. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Talks With West Falter

After a brief spurt of optimism, talks between Iran and six world powers on its disputed nuclear program fail to produce a breakthrough in Baghdad. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany wanted a freeze on Iranian production of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, which is considered a short step from bomb grade. The Iranians wanted an easing of the onerous economic sanctions imposed by the West and a recognition of what they call their right to enrich. The countries agree to meet again in June, but talks were further slowed after a new regimen of harsh economic sanctions and a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency that said Iran had made ”no progress” toward providing access to restricted sites it suspects of being used to test potential triggers for nuclear warheads.

March 2012

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surveying the centrifuges at Iran’s underground complex at Natanz in March 2007.Office of the Iranian President

New Centrifuges at Natanz

Iran says it is building about3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz plant.

Meanwhile, I.A.E.A. inspectors are still trying to gain access to the Parchin site, 20 miles south of Tehran, to ascertain whether tests have been carried out there on nuclear bomb triggers.

But satellites images show that the site has been extensively cleaned by the Iranians.

Jan. 11, 2012
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Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency supplied this photo of what it said was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s car after the bombing.Meghdad Madadi/Fars News Agency, via Associated Press

Bomb Kills Nuclear Scientist

A bomber on a motorcycle kills Mostafa Ahmadi Rosha, a scientist from the Natanz site, and his bodyguard. Iran blames Israel and the United States. The Americans deny the accusation, but Israel is more circumspect.

Dec. 4, 2011

Iran displayed the drone for propaganda purposes, with photographs of ayatollahs who led Iran’s revolution behind it and a desecrated version of the American flag. Revolutionary Guards, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A Blow to U.S., as Drone Crashes

A stealth C.I.A. drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, crashes near the Iranian town of Kashmar, 140 miles from the Afghan border. It is part of a stepped-up surveillance program that has frequently sent the United States’ most hard-to-detect drone into Iran to map suspected nuclear sites.

Iran asserts that its military downed the aircraft, but American officials say the drone was lost because of a malfunction.

Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Natanz Plant Recovers

After a dip in enriched uranium production in 2010 because of the cyberattacks, Iranian production recovers. While the United States and Israel never acknowledged responsibility for the cyberprogram, Olympic Games, some experts argue that it set the Iranians back a year or two. Others say that estimate overstates the effect.

With the program still running, intelligence agencies in the United States and Israel seek out new targets that could further slow Iran’s progress.

November 2011

A poster of an Iranian gas field is a backdrop to passers-by in Asaluyeh. Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

West Expands Sanctions, and U.N. Offers Evidence on Nuclear Work

Major Western powers take significant steps to cut Iran off from the international financial system, announcing coordinated sanctions aimed at its central bank and commercial banks. The United States also imposes sanctions on companies involved in Iran’s nuclear industry, as well as on its petrochemical and oil industries.

The United Nations atomic agency releases evidence that it says make a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” at its Parchin military base and that the project may still be under way.

Nov. 29, 2010

One of the two cars bombed in Tehran. Reuters

Bombings Strike Scientists in Iran

Unidentified attackers riding motorcycles bomb two of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, killing one and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel are again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The scientist who was killed, Majid Shahriari, reportedly managed a ”major project” for the country’s Atomic Energy Organization. His wounded colleague, Fereydoon Abbasi, is believed to be even more important; he is on the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions list for ties to the Iranian nuclear effort.

July 15, 2010

The Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, with his 7-year-old son, greeting family members in Tehran.Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris, for The New York Times

Iranian Scientist Defects to U.S., Then Reconsiders

Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who American officials say defected to the United States in 2009, provided information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and then developed second thoughts, returning to Iran. (After a hero’s welcome, he was imprisoned on treason charges and tortured, according to reports from Iran.)

The bizarre episode was the latest in a tale that has featured a mysterious disappearance from a hotel room in Saudi Arabia, rumors of a trove of new intelligence about Iran’s nuclear plants and a series of contradictory YouTube videos. It immediately set off a renewed propaganda war between Iran and the United States.

June 2010

Ambassadors to the United Nations, from right: Susan E. Rice of the United States, Mark Lyall Grant of Britain and Ruhakana Rugunda of Uganda voted to affirm a Security Council resolution on Iran while Turkey’s ambassador, Ertugrul Apakan, voted against it. Mario Tama/Getty Images

U.N. Approves New Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council levels its fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions curtail military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program.

The Security Council also requires countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran if they suspect banned cargo. In addition, Iran is barred from investing in other countries’ nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and related technologies, and the Security Council sets up a committee to monitor enforcement.

Summer 2010

Computer Worms Leak Online; 1,000 Centrifuges Destroyed

The United States and Israel realize that copies of the computer sabotage program introduced in Natanz are available on the Internet, where they are replicating quickly. In a few weeks, articles appear in the news media about a mysterious new computer worm carried on USB keys that exploits a hole in the Windows operating system. The worm is named Stuxnet.

President Obama decides not to kill the program, and a subsequent attack takes out nearly 1,000 Iranian centrifuges, nearly a fifth of those operating.

February 2010

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.Herwig Prammer/Reuters

Work on Warhead

The United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declare for the first time that they have extensive evidence of “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear warhead.

The report also concludes that some Iranian weapons-related activity apparently continued “beyond 2004,” contradicting an American intelligence assessment published in 2008 that concluded that work on a bomb was suspended at the end of 2003.

January 2010

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2011. Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Leaked Gates Memo on U.S. Policy

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warns in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability.

When the memo becomes public in April, Mr. Gates issues a statement saying that he wishes to dispel any perception among allies that the administration had failed to adequately think through how to deal with Iran.

September 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and President Obama, in Pittsburgh, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear fuel plant.Doug Mills/The New York Times

Warning on Nuclear ‘Deception’

American, British and French officials declassify some of their most closely held intelligence and describe a multiyear Iranian effort, tracked by spies and satellites, to build a secret uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain.

The new plant, which Iran strongly denies is intended to be kept secret or used for making weapons, is months from completion and does nothing to shorten intelligence estimates of how long it would take Iran to produce a bomb. American intelligence officials say it will take at least a year, perhaps five, for Iran to develop the full ability to make a nuclear weapon.

April 8, 2009

U.S. Joins Regular Iran Talks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces that the United States will participate in talks with Iran involving five other nations: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

July 19, 2008

The negotiators Saeed Jalili of Iran, left, and William J. Burns, third from right, in Geneva. Pool photo by Denis Balibouse

Talks End in Deadlock

International talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions end in deadlock despite the Bush administration’s decision to reverse policy and send William J. Burns, a senior American official, to the table for the first time.

Iran responds with a written document that fails to address the main issue: international demands that it stop enriching uranium. Iranian diplomats reiterate before the talks that they consider the issue nonnegotiable.

2008

U.S. – Israel Cyberattacks Begin

President George W. Bush rejects a secret request by Israel for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wants for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program. The Bush administration is alarmed by the Israeli idea to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz and decides to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Mr. Bush will hand off the major covert program to President Obama.

The United States works with Israel to begin cyberattacks, code-named Olympic Games, on computer systems at the Natanz plant. A year later, the program is introduced undetected into a controller computer at Natanz. Centrifuges begin crashing and engineers have no clue that the plant is under attack.

December 2006

First Round of U.N. Sanctions

The Security Council unanimously approves sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions ban the import and export of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment and reprocessing and in the production of ballistic missiles.

Aug. 26, 2006

The heavy-water plant in Arak, south of Tehran.Iran/Reuters

Iran Opens a Heavy-Water Reactor

Just days before Iran is supposed to suspend enrichment of uranium or face the prospect of sanctions, President Ahmadinejad formally kicks off a heavy-water production plant in Arak, 120 miles southwest of Tehran, which would put Iran on the path to obtaining plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear weapons.

In November, Iran seeks international assistance to ensure safe operation for a 40-megawatt reactor it is building. Citing broader doubts about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the United Nations atomic agency, the United States and European countries oppose offering help.

January 2006

A satellite image of Natanz in 2007.GeoEye/SIME, via Associated Press

Natanz Production Is Restarted

Iran resumes uranium enrichment at Natanz after negotiations with European and American officials collapse.

The I.A.E.A. approves a resolution to report Iran’s nuclear program to the Security Council, citing “the absence of confidence” among the atomic agency’s members “that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

Aug. 3, 2005

President Ahmadinejad offended Israel in his speech on the rule of law at a United Nations conference in 2012. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Ahmadinejad Elected President

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known only as a secular conservative and a former mayor of Tehran, becomes president. He becomes a divisive figure in world affairs, cheering on the development of Iran’s nuclear program despite orders from the United Nations Security Council to halt it, calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map’’ and describing the Holocaust as “a myth.”

Mid-July, 2005

With Laptop Files, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims

Senior American intelligence officials present the International Atomic Energy Agency with the contents of what they say is a stolen Iranian laptop containing more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments — studies for crucial features of a nuclear warhead.

Intelligence reports reveal that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a little-known Iranian scientist, leads elements of Iran’s weaponization program known as Project 110 and Project 111.

But doubts about the intelligence persist among some experts, in part because American officials, citing the need to protect their source, have largely refused to provide details of the origins of the laptop beyond saying that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a source in Iran who they said had received it from a second person, now believed to be dead.

Nov. 7, 2004

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi talking to reporters in Tehran ahead of nuclear talks in Paris. Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency

Violation and New Agreement

Iran violates the agreement, charging that the Europeans reneged on their promises of economic and political incentives. After 22 hours of negotiations, an Iranian delegation and senior officials from France, Germany, Britain and the European Union come to a preliminary agreement to immediately suspend Iran’s production of enriched uranium. The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, praises the so-called Paris Agreement but emphasizes that any suspension will be temporary.

In a few weeks, the I.A.E.A verifies Iran’s suspension of its enrichment activities, with one exception: its request to use up to 20 sets of centrifuge components for research and development.

2003

An Iranian missile displayed by the Revolutionary Guards under a portrait of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in September 2003. Henghameh Fahimi/Agence France-Presse

Nuclear Program Is Suspended

Possibly in response to the American invasion of Iraq, which was originally justified by the Bush administration on the grounds that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Ayatollah Khamenei orders a suspension of work on what appear to be weapons-related technologies, although he allows uranium enrichment efforts to continue.

Inspectors with the United Nations atomic agency find traces of highly enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, and Iran concedes to demands, after talks with Britain, France and Germany, to accept stricter international inspections of its nuclear sites and to suspend production of enriched uranium.

2002

Discovery of Secret Plants

Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian dissident group also known as the M.E.K., obtains and shares documents revealing a clandestine nuclear program previously unknown to the United Nations.

The program includes a vast uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak. In December, satellite photographs of Natanz and Arak appear widely in the news media. The United States accuses Tehran of an “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” but takes relatively little action because it is focused on the approaching invasion of Iraq the next year.

Iran agrees to inspections by the I.A.E.A. It also signs an accord with Russia to speed up completion of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

May 1999

Mohammad Khatami in 2009. Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Proposal for Nuclear-Free Mideast

President Mohammad Khatami of Iran goes to Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Iranian leader since 1979 to visit the Arab world.

He issues a joint statement with King Fahd expressing concerns about Israel’s nuclear weapons program and support for ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons. In 2003, Iran supports such a proposal initiated by Syria.

July 1996

President Bill Clinton addressing reporters in July 1996. Joe Marquette/Associated Press

Sanctions Against Iran and Libya

With growing intelligence estimates that Iran may secretly be trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Bill Clinton signs a bill imposing sanctions on foreign companies with investments in Iran and Libya. Such rules are already in place for American companies.

Jan. 8, 1995

A Russian engineer checking equipment at the Bushehr nuclear plant in April 2007.Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran and Russia Sign Nuclear Contract

Iran announces that it will sign an $800 million contract with Russia to complete construction on one of two light water reactors at the Bushehr nuclear plant within four years. After many delays, the project was completed in 2010.

The United States has been persuading countries like Argentina, India, Spain, Germany and France to prohibit the sale of nuclear technology to Iran’s civilian program.

June 4, 1989

The body of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was displayed to hundreds of thousands of Iranians at his funeral.Agence France-Presse

New Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s nominal president for eight years, becomes supreme leader after Ayatollah Khomeini dies.

Late 1980s

The Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan in Islamabad in 1988.B.K.Bangash/Associated Press

Help From Pakistani Scientist

In the late 1980s, Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, sells Iran, North Korea and Libya his uranium enrichment technology, and in Libya’s case, a bomb design. The transactions do not become public until years later.

In 2005, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency is on the verge of reviewing Tehran’s nuclear program when Iranian officials admit to a 1987 meetingwith Dr. Khan’s representatives. But Tehran tells the agency that it turned down the chance to buy the equipment required to build the core of a bomb.

1984

Iraqi gunners used a Soviet 130-milllimeter field gun to shell the Iranian cities of Abadan and Khurramshahr.United Press International

Nuclear Program Restarts

The Iran-Iraq war, from 1980 to 1988, changes Iran’s thinking about the nuclear program. With Saddam Hussein pursuing a nuclear program in Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini secretly decides to restart Iran’s program and seeks the assistance of German partners to complete the construction at Bushehr, which was damaged by bombs during the war.

Feb. 11, 1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini descending from the Air France plane that returned him to Tehran after 15 years in exile.United Press International

Khomeini Comes to Power

Prime Minister Bakhtiar is overthrown by followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an exiled cleric, after bloody clashes in Tehran.

The new leader is uninterested in the nuclear program and ends the shah’s effort. Many nuclear experts flee the country.

Any nuclear cooperation between Iran and the United States breaks down completely with the American Embassy hostage crisis from November 1979 until January 1981.

Jan. 16, 1979

The deposed shah, with Empress Farah and two of their children, in the Bahamas in 1979, where they dodged questions from photographers. Associated Press

Shah Flees

The shah is overthrown and flees the country, in what becomes known as the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar takes over and cancels the $6.2 billion contract for the construction of two nuclear power plants at the Bushehr complex.

The United States retracts a deal it had made with Iran a year earlier and stops supplying enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor.

1973

The Bushehr nuclear plant on Aug. 21, 2010, as its first fuel rod was loaded. Getty Images

Creation of Atomic Energy Body

The shah creates the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which conducts training for its personnel and nuclear deals with countries including the United States, France, West Germany, Namibia and South Africa. By training engineers in Iran and abroad, the country gains a solid understanding of nuclear technologies and capabilities.

A year later, Kraftwerk Union, a West German company, agrees to construct two light water reactors to produce nuclear energy at the Bushehr complex, 470 miles south of Tehran. Construction begins in 1974 but the contract is not signed until 1976.

By the late 1970s, the United States becomes worried that Iran may harbor nuclear weapon ambitions.

July 1, 1968

Iran Signs Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

With the American-provided research reactor running, starting in 1967, Iran becomes one of 51 nations to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing to never become a nuclear-weapon state.

1950s

Nuclear Program Begins

Iran begins a civilian nuclear program in the 1950s, led by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who reaches a deal through the Eisenhower administration’s Atoms for Peace program. Under the agreement, the United States agrees to provide a nuclear research reactor in Tehran and power plants.

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Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East — Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

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Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East —  Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video

marco rubio cartoonrubiorubio immigrationrubio cartoon immigrationrubio cartoon 2marco-rubio immigration Rubio puppet
rubio-immigration-cartoon

Sen. Marco Rubio announces presidential run

Sen. Marco Rubio Announces 2016 Presidential Bid • 4/13/15 •

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Rubio jumps into White House race with jab at Hillary Clinton

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday entered the race for the White House, telling donors on a conference call that he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the Republican Party into battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio told the donors, according to The Associated Press.

Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.

“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call.

“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”

Rubio is expected to officially launch his candidacy Monday evening in Miami against the backdrop of the Freedom Tower, a setting that will give him a chance to tout his heritage as the son of Cuban parents who fled to America in the 1950s.

The Florida senator, who is serving in only his first term, is entering an increasingly crowded GOP field that already includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A host of other candidates are waiting in the wings, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

It had long been thought that Rubio would not run for the White House against Bush, given their personal history and shared base of support in the Florida Republican Party.

But much like Obama in 2008, Rubio appears willing to gamble his political future on the notion that his party will be looking for a fresh face, particularly given the GOP’s difficulty in attracting minority voters in the last two presidential elections.

If elected, Rubio would become the first Hispanic president in American history.

Rubio told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday that he believes he’s “absolutely” the best candidate for the Oval Office.

“I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction,” he said.

Rubio is trying to generate buzz for his presidential campaign the day after Clinton jumped into the race with an online video where she declared her desire to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.”

While Clinton’s rollout could overshadow Rubio’s, it could also play to his advantage by allowing him to draw a contrast with the former secretary of State, who has been a presence on the national stage for nearly three decades.

Thus far in the race, Rubio is polling outside the top tier of Republicans hopefuls.

But Rubio, a staunch conservative who was deemed a rising star after his election victory in 2010, is very well liked among Republican voters. Recent numbers from Democratic Public Policy Polling found that 55 percent had a favorable view of him, the highest of any potential GOP candidate.

Still, in order to win the nomination, Rubio will have to assure conservatives who were turned off by his involvement in the Senate’s failed immigration reform effort in 2013.

Rubio helped write a bill with Democrats that passed the Senate but died in the House after an outpouring of conservative opposition.

He has tried to make amends for his role crafting that bill, telling activists in February that he’s “learned” from the experience that securing the border must come first.

“You can’t just tell people you’re going to secure the border. … You have to do that, they have to see it, they have to see it working, and then they’re going to have a reasonable conversation with you about the other parts, but they’re not going to even want to talk about that until that’s done first,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Rubio is expected to make foreign policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign, and has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Following his campaign launch, Rubio will return to Washington for Senate business, including a high-profile Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran.

On Friday, he’ll head to New Hampshire for a full day of campaigning in the critical primary state.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/238595-report-rubio-announces-candidacy

Mitt Romney warms to Marco Rubio as young senator cultivates relationship

By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker

Sen. Marco Rubio has been cultivating a relationship with Mitt Romney and his intimates, landing some of the 2012 Republican nominee’s top advisers and donors and persistently courting others as he readies an expected 2016 presidential campaign.

In a crowded field of contenders, the imprimatur of Romney could help clear Rubio’s path into the top tier. Since Romney announced in January that he would not run for the White House again, he and Rubio have had at least two lengthy phone calls in which Romney encouraged and mentored the 43-year-old Florida senator about the political landscape, according to a Romney associate.

[ Rubio is the ‘upside’ candidate of 2016 ]

Rubio and Romney have built a warm and trusting rapport, in contrast to the frostiness that exists between Romney and the two current GOP front-runners, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When Romney said in January that it was time to turn to the “next generation of Republican leaders,” it was widely interpreted as a swipe at Bush and a boost to a fresher face, such as Rubio.

In one-on-one meetings and communications with members of Romney’s inner circle, Rubio has impressed them with what they see as his compelling personal story, his depth and positions on policies, and his respect for Romney and his legacy in the Republican Party.

For Rubio, winning over key elements of the Romney ­coalition could give him a stronger foundation for a competitive campaign. But the support from Romney’s team alone would not guarantee Rubio success against Bush’s well-funded juggernaut or Walker’s grass-roots appeal.

Rubio has signed up two prominent former Romney officials in recent weeks. Rich Beeson, Romney’s 2012 national political director, has been tapped as Rubio’s likely deputy campaign manager, while Jim Merrill, Romney’s longtime New Hampshire strategist, is on board to play the same role for Rubio.

“For me, his substance, his skill and his story really stuck out,” Merrill said. “I always said if Mitt had decided to run again, I’d be with him. But when he decided not to go, I took a careful look at the field, and Marco represents the next generation of Republican leadership.”

Rubio’s courtship has been particularly intense with Spencer Zwick, who served as national finance chairman of Romney’s $1 billion campaign and is seen as the keeper of the Romney flame. Zwick said in an interview that the senator solicits advice from him regularly in phone calls, e-mails and text messages.

Rubio asks Zwick about how to assemble a campaign infrastructure and win the nomination, about lessons learned from Romney’s 2012 loss. Both fathers of young children, the two men talk about their families, too.

Zwick said he remains unaffiliated in the 2016 sweepstakes, but heaped praise on Rubio.

“Have you watched him speak?” Zwick asked. “This guy gives a message about the American dream that is compelling. People can say, ‘Oh, it’s the same speech every time,’ but you know what? Ronald Reagan did that, too, and it happened to work.”

Zwick called Rubio “an astute politician and a genuine person,” saying he “is universally well-liked by donors.”

Still, Bush has established himself early as the 2016 field’s fundraising dynamo, signing up many of Romney’s biggest bundlers, especially in New York and Florida, where he threatens to squeeze Rubio out.

A handful of former senior Romney aides and advisers have fanned out to work for an array of likely candidates besides Rubio, including Bush, Walker, former Texas governor Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The biggest Romney fundraiser helping Rubio is Wayne Berman, a fixture in GOP fundraising circles and a co-chairman of Romney’s 2012 national finance committee. Many Romney loyalists — including friends and associates from Bain Capital, the Mormon Church or the Salt Lake City Olympics — have stayed unaffiliated and are looking for signals of Romney’s preference.

Romney is unlikely to endorse a candidate anytime soon and has invited most of the GOP 2016 field to his annual policy summit with top donors and business leaders in June in Park City, Utah, where Romney has a home.

Rubio also has roots in the Mountain West. Although he was born into the Catholic Church, Rubio lived for several years of his childhood in Las Vegas and, during that time, was baptized in the Mormon Church. In his teen years, he and his family returned to Florida and rejoined the Catholic Church, although many of Rubio’s cousins remain affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some Romney loyalists harbor bad feelings about several candidates. Privately, they say Bush was not as active in his support as they expected in 2012 and that they think he tried to muscle Romney out of the 2016 race in January.

They hold a grudge against Walker for sharply criticizing Romney in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” for doing “a lousy job” connecting with voters. And many Romney insiders were steamed at Christie for his high-profile embrace of President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in the final week of the campaign.

By contrast, Romney’s allies almost universally praise Rubio, who was vetted as a possible vice-presidential pick and worked on Romney’s behalf during the campaign. They singled out his prime-time speech — introducing Romney — at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“He was an exceptional surrogate,” said Matt Waldrip, a former Romney finance aide and Zwick associate. “When he went to events, people showed up. He packed the house, whether fundraising or otherwise. He did whatever we asked him to,
clearly interested in helping the cause and helping the ticket.”

On Tuesday, Rubio met at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for an hour with Lanhee Chen, Romney’s former policy director, who remains an adviser and friend. Chen said he was impressed by Rubio’s preparation for the meeting, which focused on foreign and domestic policy, as well as his depth on the issues.

“Senator Rubio has spent the last several years developing thoughtful conservative policy solutions, and he has a personal story that makes those solutions even more compelling,” Chen said.

Rubio’s camp has been in touch with other Romney associates, includingPeter Flaherty, a former Boston prosecutor who for years was Romney’s chief liaison to conservative movement leaders. Those talks have been informal, and Flaherty, like Chen and Zwick, remains uncommitted to a 2016 candidate.

“It’s elbow grease,” said one Romney confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Rubio’s outreach. “Marco’s actually picking up the phone and calling people, saying, ‘Listen, I want to introduce myself and tell you who I am and what I stand for.’ It’s good politics.”

Terry Sullivan — who ran Romney’s South Carolina primary campaign in 2008 and for years has been a top Rubio adviser — has been helping him facilitate his outreach into Romney’s world. Sullivan is executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and is his likely campaign manager. Rubio’s Senate chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, was a Florida-based adviser to Romney’s campaign in 2012.

Rubio is expected to formally launch his presidential bid next month, although aides stressed this week that no final decision has been made on the timing or venue. His advisers are preparing for a long and steady race, with a focus on laying the groundwork in the early-voting states.

Although he has been overshadowed recently by Bush and Walker, Rubio has generated some buzz among Republican insiders. His speeches at recent donor conclaves, including at the Club for Growth last month in Palm Beach, Fla., drew rave reviews.

Rubio has said he can raise the funds needed to mount a serious presidential bid. Norman Braman, a billionaire South Florida auto dealer, is expected to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and his anticipated super PAC.

Rubio has his own national donor network, which he began cultivating in his upstart 2010 Senate campaign. The group includes donors who participate in the political network organized by industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose California meeting Rubio addressed in January.

But Rubio is making inroads elsewhere, too. He dined alone last week in Washington with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Romney in 2012.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who was Romney’s liaison on Capitol Hill in 2012, recently explained why so many Republican insiders find Rubio appealing.

“I often have a vision of Marco in the cloakroom of the Senate, when not much is going on, trying to watch his son’s football games on his smartphone,” he said.

Blunt then used a descriptor that few would have applied to Romney: “humanizing.”

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Michael D. Evans — Showdown With Nuclear Iran

Posted on March 10, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Dirty Bomb, Education, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, history, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Raves, Religion, Resources, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Video, War, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tom Cotton: Senate must approve any Iran deal

Megyn Kelly Hammers Tom Cotton Over Iran Letter: ‘What’s The Point?’

Sen. Cotton On Iran: ‘If Congress Doesn’t Approve A Deal, Congress Won’t Accept A Deal’

Senator Tom Cotton on Iran Negotiations

Joe Biden blasts Republicans over letter to Iran leaders

President Obama mocks Republican letter to Iran over nuclear talks

News Wrap: GOP senators write open letter to Iran over nuclear deal

Nuclear Showdown in Iran Book Trailer

Iranium – The Islamic Republic’s Race to Obtain Nuclear Weapons

Iran – The Greatest Threat to Western Civilization

Mike Evans Interview at the 700 Club

Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)

JOHN BOLTON: “ISRAEL HAS 0 DAYS TO STRIKE IRAN” 8-17-2010

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The Ukraine Ceasefire Is A Failure — Will NATO Be Forced To Intervene? — Videos

Posted on February 22, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Blogroll, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Missiles, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Story 2: The Ukraine Ceasefire Is A Failure — Will NATO Be Forced To Intervene? — Videos

ceasefire-cartooncartoon ceasefire ukraine160085_600

_80980240_ukraine_ceasefire_lines_12.02.2015_624map2015-02-15_wor_7022384_I132-Russian-Tanks-Enter-Ukraine-600x399 easternukraineIslamic-States-Libya-affiliate-beheads-21-Coptic-Christians-from-Egyptukraine-ceaseFire-2-2-15-WEBukraine-maprussian_language_map_ukraine_73363841_ukraine_crimea_russia_map3_624easternukraineships-russia-s-black-sea-fleet-during-naval-parade-sevastopol-crimea-july-2014-photodpa_6-russia-will-add-80-new-warships-to-black-sea-fleetSoviet_and_Russian_Black_Sea_Fleet

eu-gas Europe_SourcesOfGas_ByCountry_2009_2012.png_web europe-russia-gas gas russian dependence Gas-graphic-1 map new routes russia_pipelines_416_1 russia_ukraine_belarus_baltic_republics_pipelines_map ukraine pipelines UKRAINEgasMAP

BBC News Ukraine crisis BBC meets last few Donetsk residents

Kerry says arming Ukrainian forces has not been ruled out

Conversation: Arming Ukraine with Lethal Weapons has Risks

Former U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz discusses Ukraine ceasefire

Ceasefire appears to be failing in Ukraine

Ceasefire appears to be failing in Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels now control key town

Shaky ceasefire in Ukraine

East Ukraine Opinion: Soldiers and residents in Artemivsk doubt ceasefire will last

Ukraine: Fighting continues despite truce

Fierce fighting is said to be continuing in the key Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, as the new ceasefire appears to be failing.

Rebels say they have taken most of the town, but the government says it is still in its control.

Gas Pipeline Blast Caught On Video, Hit By Shell In Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine and Natural Gas

Ukraine promised not to steal Russian gas from Europe

Russia halts plans for natural gas pipleine to Europe

Russia Expands Its Natural Gas Infrastructure (Agenda)

Caspian pipeline politics of Europe, Russia and China

Russia supplies more then 25 percent of Europe’s hydrocarbon needs. Ever since the natural gas cutoffs in 2006 and 2009, the European countries have been searched for ways to reduce their dependency on Russian oil and natural gas. In this context, the crisis in Ukraine has sparked a new drive for the search for alternative sources of energy. One project that is of particular interest, but underappreciated in the media, is the Trans-Caspian pipeline. If realized it would significantly change the energy map of Europe in the long term.

Fulcrium – Like it or not, Russian natural gas is here to stay – panel on European Energy Security

The LBS GES Energy Security panel addressed geo-political issues and challenges decision-makers face in the pursuit of European energy supply security in the wake of the Ukraine Crisis. Bottom line: The EU will remain dependent on Russian natural gas for decades to come irrespective of sanctions, source of supply diversification, and renewables agendas ! Likewise Moscow is dependent on the EU for 60% of Gazprom’s revenues. Like it or not, the EU and Russia are highly co-dependent as far as Russian natural gas is concerned.

Days after this debate took place, Russian President Vladimir Putin shelved the $40bn South Stream project designed to bypass Ukraine as the key transit state for Russian gas to Europe. And in a further twist, on 16 December 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Bulgaria to enter into dialogue with Moscow to revive the South Stream project. Perhaps this is a signal of a softening EU stance in order to rebuild economic ties with Russia, more out of a necessity to safeguard Germany’s and Bulgaria’s interests. Other countries which stood to gain from South Stream, including Serbia and Hungary, also want to rescue the project. Russia supplies about 25 percent of EU gas needs; half of that flows via Ukrainian transit pipelines. The EU’s most powerful economy, Germany, is still highly dependent on Russian natural gas, importing 30% of it’s annual gas consumption from Russia.

Panel Chair: Raju Patel, Chief Executive, Fulcrium

Panellists:

Vladimir Drebentsov, Vice President, BP Russia / Head of Russia & CIS Economics, BP Plc

Dr Tatiana Mitrova, Head of Oil and Gas Department in the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ERI RAS), Board Director – E.ON Russia

Andrew Risk, Senior Associate – Political Risk, GPW + Co

David Buchan, Senior Research Fellow, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Impact on world energy markets of Ukraine Crisis

The Effect of the Ukrainian Crisis on the Economy | Made in Germany

Psaki. Minsk Ceasefire. 19 Feb 2015 (Ukraine)

Ukraine: EU says ceasefire agreement not a failure

Military Forces Pull Out Of Besieged Ukrainian Town – Feb 19, 2015

Putin Tells Kiev to Let Troops Surrender as Ukraine Ceasefire Unravels

NATO Slams Russian Role in Ukraine Conflict: Stoltenberg says Kremlin must end insurgent support

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

WW3 NEWS UPDATE: The Strategic Role of UKRAINE in WW3

The Road to World War 3: Oil Prices, Ukraine, Russia, America, Collapse U.S. Dollar

Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum

The Role of Russia and NATO in Ukraine’s Civil War

Paul Craig Roberts: The Real Story Behind Oil Prices

The Road to World War 3: Ukraine, Russia and American Imperialism

 

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 414-421

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 360-368

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Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Posted on February 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Communications, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Missiles, Money, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Rifles, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Civil-War-In-Ukrainemap ukraineRussian_language_map_Ukraineukraine-map

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

A previous cease-fire last year between Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels barely took hold, eventually collapsing altogether. What are the chances the new agreement will last? Gwen Ifill talks to Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

Can Russia-Ukraine Cease-Fire Hold Without U.S. Help?

Ukraine Russia ceasefire agreed

Minsk Deal Reaction: Participants emerge after night-long peace talks

Minsk deal provides hope for peace in eastern Ukraine but leaders warn ‘major obstacles’ remain

How This Cease-Fire Between Russia And Ukraine Is Different

New Ukraine Peace Deal Met With Distrust

Skepticism in Ukraine, after a peace deal is hammered out between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Under the agreement Ukraine will trade broad autonomy for the east to get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015. (Feb. 12)

Putin briefs press after marathon Minsk talks on Ukraine peace deal

Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving a press conference after 14-hour talks with the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine on the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk, Belarus

Russia vs Ukraine – War & Peace 2015

The European Union may impose further sanctions if a ceasefire deal sealed in Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said after an EU summit in Brussels tonight.

Fresh from brokering a deal in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel told a news conference that EU leaders had asked the European Commission to prepare further sanctions in case the ceasefire did not hold.

“We hold open the possibility, if these new agreements are not implemented, that we must take further measures,” she said, adding that existing sanctions could only be lifted when the grounds that led to them are removed.The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia had committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a joint declaration distributed by the Kremlin.

“The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,” Mr Poroshenko told journalists.

Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande had joined Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on yesterday evening and continued into this morning. As the fighting escalated, the US began openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from “Russian aggression”, raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.

US President Barack Obama said he has yet to make up his mind on the question of sending weapons.

He spoke by phone to Mr Putin on Tuesday, and the White House said he warned the Russian leader that the costs would rise if Russia kept aiding the separatists.

The White House released a statement today welcoming the ceasefire, saying that the move represents a “potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

As the French and German leaders’ peace initiative was announced, pro-Russian rebels appeared determined to drive home their advantage ahead of a deal.

Armoured columns of Russian-speaking soldiers with no insignia have been advancing for days around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

On the Russian side of the border, Russia has begun military exercises in 12 regions involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported this morning, citing a Defence Ministry official.

World War 3 : The Beast to arm Ukraine as the Russian Bear mobilizes 100,000 troops (Feb 02, 2015)

US ‘should send Ukraine arms’

Ukraine Conflict Reignites U.S. Considers Sending Arms | NBC Nightly News

The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression

Obama on Ukraine: A diplomatic path for now

Last Hope for Minsk Peace Talks: Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France leaders to meet in Belarus

Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine Gas prices rise in London Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point

Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.

This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

Gas Battle: Ukraine Vs Russia – An Animated History

WW3 RUSSIA Set To CUT OFF All GAS SUPPLIES to UKRAINE

 

‘Ukraine gas poker with Russia not over’

Published on Oct 31, 2014

Moscow and Kiev have sealed a gas agreement after several hours of tense talks in Brussels. Previous rounds in recent weeks had failed. The deal on supplies and transit to Europe has allayed EU fears of staying in the cold this winter. Geopolitical analyst William Enghdal says the deal won’t solve anything in the longterm.

 

 

Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday

The peace deal reached Thursday for Ukraine, if it holds, would be a partial win for both Moscow and Kiev: Ukraine retains the separatist eastern regions and regains control of its border with Russia, while Russia holds strong leverage to keep Ukraine from ever becoming part of NATO.

But neither side came away from the marathon talks unscathed.

There’s no sign Russia will soon escape the Western sanctions that have driven its economy down sharply, and Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.

But the complicated calculus of whether any side came out truly ahead can’t be determined unless a single, straightforward term is fulfilled: halting the shooting and artillery salvos that have killed more than 5,300 people since April. That is supposed to happen on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.

A cease-fire called in September never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month. Questions remain about whether either side possesses the will or discipline to ensure a truce this time.

The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.

But that “will probably go nowhere if there isn’t a huge political will to beef up the OSCE, pull in many more monitors, give them clear support,” said analyst Judy Dempsey, an associate of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.

The OSCE mission head, Ertugrul Apakan, said Thursday that he expected it would expand by the end of the month to about 500 observers, up from about 310 currently, the Interfax news agency reported.

Under the terms of the deal reached after 16 hours of talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140 kilometers) wide, depending on the weapon caliber.

Then come the knotty and volatile political questions.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters the deal envisages special status for Ukraine’s separatist regions, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, maintained there was no consensus on any sort of autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine.

In addition, the agreement foresees the regions being able to form their own police forces and to trade freely with Russia, both of which would bring a degree of division and uncertainty within Ukraine that could be leverage to keep the country out of NATO.

Those measures would require constitutional reform, certain to be a highly fraught process.

“Anything that has to go through the Ukrainian parliament has a huge question mark attached to it,” said Eugene Rumer of the Carnegie center. “It is going to be the subject of a huge and very fierce debate in Kiev.”

Only after such reform is passed would Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia be restored, according to the pact.

Aside from the political resolution of the east’s status, Ukraine also faces severe challenges with its troubled economy, which is close to bankruptcy. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ukraine a new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros). The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it was ready to commit up to $2 billion to help Ukraine with reforms, to fight corruption and for other purposes.

Despite the uncertainties, the agreement’s initiators saw it as a step forward.

“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk together with French President Francois Hollande.

“But the concrete steps, of course, have to be taken. And we will still face major obstacles. But, on balance, I can say what we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing.”

As for Putin, he told reporters: “It was not the best night of my life.”

“But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” the Russian leader said.

Battles continued Thursday even as the talks went on, and Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.

In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, residents who have seen their city pounded daily by artillery since late May were skeptical of the deal.

“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” said resident Tatyana Griedzheva. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”

A previous cease-fire in September was violated repeatedly as Ukrainian forces and the rebels both tried to gain more ground.

Poroshenko stressed that the pact contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russian fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies that.

Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

“I have no illusions. We have no illusions. A great, great deal of work is still necessary. But there is a real chance to make things better,” she said.

In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.

The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.

“The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The urgency felt by all sides was underlined by the extraordinary length of the talks, which began Wednesday evening and continued uninterrupted through the night as crowds of reporters waited anxiously in a marble-floored, chandeliered convention hall in Minsk.

While the four leaders hailed the agreement, Russia and Ukraine still disagreed on how to end the fighting around Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leaders-minsk-crucial-ukraine-peace-talks-28908311

 

 

Russia–Ukraine gas disputes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.[1]

A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting that which was intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation,[2][3] but later Naftohaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on 1 January 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory.[4] On 4 January 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine.[5]

In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia.[6][7] In September 2009 officials from both countries stated they felt the situation was under control and that there would be no more conflicts over the topic,[8][9] at least until the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections.[10] However, in October 2009, another disagreement arose about the amount of gas Ukraine would import from Russia in 2010. Ukraine intended to import less gas in 2010 as a result of reduced industry needs because of its economic recession; however, Gazprom insisted that Ukraine fulfill its contractual obligations and purchase the previously agreed upon quantities of gas.[11]

On June 8, 2010, a Stockholm court of arbitration ruled Naftohaz of Ukraine must return 12.1 billion cubic metres (430 billion cubic feet) of gas to RosUkrEnergo, aSwiss-based company in which Gazprom controls a 50% stake. Russia accused Ukrainian side of siphoning gas from pipelines passing through Ukraine in 2009.[12][13] Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials stated the return “would not be quick”.[14]

Russia plans to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018.[15][16]

Historical background

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, oil import prices to Ukraine reached world market levels in 1993. However, gas import prices and transit fees remained below European levels for Russian exports to Europe through pipelines in Ukraine; these were set in bilateral negotiations.[17] At the same time Ukraine remained the main transit corridor for Russia’s gas export. In 2004–2005, 80% of Russian gas exports to the European Union were made through Ukrainian Territory.[18][19]Two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses Ukraine.[20]

Ukraine’s own annual gas consumption in 2004–2005 was around 80 billion cubic metres (2.8 trillion cubic feet), of which around 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet) were produced domestically, 36 billion cubic metres (1.3 trillion cubic feet) were bought from Turkmenistan, and 17 billion cubic metres (600 billion cubic feet) were received from Russia in exchange for transport of Russian natural gas. The remaining 8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) were purchased from Russia.[21] The gas trading system differed substantially from the gas sale to the European Union and caused problems in the form of large-scale deliveries of relatively cheap Russian gas causing an increase of energy-intensive industries and supporting Ukraine’s status as one of the world’s least energy-efficientcountries and largest gas importers, the accumulation of Ukrainian debts and non-payment of same, unsanctioned diversion of gas and alleged theft from the transit system, and Russian pressure on Ukraine to hand over infrastructure in return for relief of debts accumulated over natural gas transactions.[17]

Gas trading was conducted under a framework of bilateral intergovernmental agreements which provided for sales, transit volumes, gas prices, gas storage, and other issues such as the establishment of production joint ventures.[citation needed] Commercial agreements were negotiated between the relevant companies within the guidelines and dictates of that framework and supplemented by annual agreements specifying exact prices and volumes for the following year.[citation needed] Gas sales prices and transit tariffs were determined in relationship to each other.[17] Commercial agreements and trade relations have been non-transparent and trade has been conducted via intermediaries such as Itera, EuralTransGaz, and RosUkrEnergo. RosUkrEnergo’s involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian gas trade has been controversial. There are allegations that the company is controlled by Semion Mogilevich and its beneficiaries include strategically placed officials in the Russian and Ukrainian gas industries and governmental structures related to the energy sector.[20][22] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made accusations that RosUkrEnergo is owned by a business ally of Ukraine’s ex-president, Viktor Yushchenko.[23] The Ukrainian investigation into RosUkrEnergo, during Yulia Tymoshenko‘s first term as Prime Minister, was closed after she was fired by Yushchenko in September 2005.[24]

According to a contract between Gazprom and Naftohaz signed on 21 June 2002, payment for the transfer of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian pipelinesystem had been made in exchange for no more than 15% of the gas pumped through Ukrainian territory to be taken in lieu of cash.[citation needed] This contract was supposed to be valid until the end of 2013.[citation needed] On 9 August 2004, the two companies signed an addendum to the contract, according to which the amount of gas given as a payment was calculated based on a tariff of US$1.09 for the transportation of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas over a distance of 100 kilometres (62 mi); the addendum further stated the price of the natural gas supplied to Ukraine was to be $50 per 1,000 cubic meters (approximately $1.40 per million Btu).[25]This price was constant notwithstanding the gas prices in the European markets.[26] According to the addendum the price was not subject to change until the end of 2009.[25] Gazprom argued that this addendum was only applicable provided that the two countries sign an annual intergovernmental protocol that has higher legal status for specifying the terms of gas transit.[27] According to Gazprom, the addendum becomes void as the annual protocol had not been signed for 2006 under the required terms.[28] Russia claimed that Gazprom’s subsidies to the Ukrainian economy amounted to billions of dollars.[29]

According to the agreement of 2006, RosUkrEnergo was to receive no more than 20 percent of the total delivered gas, which in 2007 was 15 billion cubic metres (530 billion cubic feet) of 73 billion cubic metres (2.6 trillion cubic feet).[citation needed]

Disputes of the 1990s

Initial disputes concerning gas debts and non-payment appeared immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[citation needed] As a result of disputes over non-payments by Ukraine, Russia suspended natural gas exports several times between 1992 and 1994. This led to the illicit diversion of Russian natural gas exports from transit pipelines by Ukrainian companies and institutions in September 1993 and November 1994.[citation needed] The siphoning of gas was acknowledged by Ukraine, while accusations of other diversions were disputed.[17] In September 1993, at a summit conference in Massandra, Crimea, Russian President Boris Yeltsin offered to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to forgive Ukrainian debts in return for control of the Black Sea Fleet and Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal.[30][citation needed]After a strong negative reaction from politicians in Kiev, the idea was abandoned.[17] An intergovernmental agreement was drafted on gas issues, including a clause stating Ukraine would permit Gazprom to participate in the privatization of Ukrainian enterprises in gas and other sectors.[citation needed] In March 1994, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister agreed with Russia that Gazprom could acquire a 51% stake in the pipeline system. In early 1995, Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a joint company, Gaztransit, to operate Ukraine’s natural gas transit infrastructure in exchange for the cancellation of a substantial portion of Ukraine’s debts to Russia. These agreements were never implemented, and in November 1995, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted a law prohibiting the privatization of oil and gas assets.[17]

In 1998, Gazprom and Naftohaz made a contract under which Gazprom would pay for the transit of volumes of gas, which established a link between gas prices and transit tariffs,[citation needed] but this contract did not resolve the issue of already incurred gas debts.[17] In 1998, Gazprom alleged that Ukraine had illegally diverted gas meant for export to other European countries and suspended exports of oil and electricity to Ukraine in 1999.[citation needed] Gazprom also claimed that Ukraine’s gas debt had reached $2.8 billion.[18] In 2001, Deputy Prime Minister Oleh Dubyna acknowledged that in 2000 alone 8–7 billion cubic metres (280–250 billion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas had been siphoned off from export pipelines.[17] The debt issue was settled on 4 October 2001, by the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on Additional Measures Regarding the Provision of Transit of Russian Natural Gas on the Territory of Ukraine (the 2001 Transit Agreement).[18]

Dispute of 2005–2006

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a meeting on 29 December 2005, with Alexei Kudrin (Russian Finance Minister), Viktor Khristenko(Russian Energy Minister), Alexander Medvedev (Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom board), Ivan Plachkov(Ukrainian Energy Minister) and Alexey Ivchenko (CEO of Naftohaz), in which the dispute was discussed.

In 2005, negotiations over gas prices for 2006 started. Gazprom insisted on a new price of $160 per 1,000 cubic meters.[citation needed] The Government of Ukraine agreed, with the stipulation that price increases were to be gradual, in return for increased gas transit fees and changing the method of payment for transit from payment in kind to cash.[31][verification needed] In May 2005, it was revealed that 7.8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of gas which Gazprom had deposited in Ukrainian storage reservoirs during the previous winter had not been made available to the company.[citation needed] It remained unclear if the gas was missing, had disappeared due to technical problems, or had been stolen.[32] This issue was resolved in July 2005 by agreement between Gazprom, Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo, according to which Naftohaz received 2.55 billion cubic metres (90 billion cubic feet) of gas as partial settlement of the Russian gas transit over 2005 services and 5.25 billion cubic metres (185 billion cubic feet) was sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo who has to receive it from Naftohaz.[33] However, the negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz over gas prices and a new gas supply agreement failed.[34] On 1 January 2006, Gazprom started reducing the pressure in the pipelines from Russia to Ukraine.[34]

Although Russia cut off supplies only to Ukraine, a number of European countries saw a drop in their supplies as well.[3] TheEuropean Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and several affected member states warned that blocking of gas deliveries was unacceptable.[citation needed] Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, expressed the opinion that all Post-Soviet states should pay market prices for their energy needs in order to improve the efficiency of their economies.[35]

The supply was restored on 4 January 2006, after the preliminary agreement between Ukraine and Gazprom was settled.[36] The five-year contract was signed, although with prices set for only six months. According to the contract, the gas was sold not directly to Naftohaz, but to the intermediary Russian-Swiss company RosUkrEnergo. The price of natural gas sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo rose to $230 per 1,000 cubic metres, which, after mixing it in a proportion of one-third Russian gas to two-thirds cheaper supplies from Central Asia, was resold to Ukraine at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic metres.[37][38] The parties also agreed to raise the tariff for transit from US$1.09 to US$1.60 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km; this applied not only to the transit of Russian gas to Europe, but also Turkmen gas through Russia to Ukraine.[citation needed] On 11 January 2006, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko confirmed that the conflict had been concluded.[citation needed]

One possible reason for this conflict is the more pro-NATO and European Union-style approach of the new “orange” government of Ukraine.[citation needed] Russia disagreed, stating they did not want to subsidize former Soviet republics.[39]

Dispute of 2007–2008

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko at a meeting of the Russian–Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission at the Kremlin on 12 February 2008, at which the gas dispute was discussed.

On 2 October 2007, Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid debt of $1.3 billion.[40] This dispute appeared to be settled on 8 October 2007.[41] On 5 January 2008, Gazprom warned Ukraine that it would reduce its gas supplies on 11 January if $1.5 billion in gas debts were not paid.[42] Presidents Putin and Yushchenko announced on 12 February 2008, an agreement on the gas issue.[43] Ukraine would begin paying off its debts for natural gas consumed in November–December 2007 and the price of $179.5 would be preserved in 2008.[44][44] The presidents also decided to replace RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo with two new intermediaries, creating them as joint ventures of Gazprom and Naftohaz.[45]

At the end of February 2008, Gazprom threatened to reduce the supply of natural gas to Ukraine beginning on 3 March 2008, unless the pre-payment for 2008 was paid.[46][47] The Ukrainian government said it paid for the natural gas which was consumed in 2007, but refused to pay the bill for 2008.[48] A Gazprom spokesman claimed that the bill for 1.9 billion cubic metres (67 billion cubic feet) of gas deliveries to Ukraine valued around $600 million remained unpaid. Ukraine disagreed as that debt accumulated in recent months when Russia used its own gas to make up for a shortfall in less expensive Central Asian gas.[49] On 3 March, Gazprom cut its shipments to Ukraine by 25% and an additional 25% the next day, claiming that the $1.5 billion debt still was not paid, although Ukrainian officials stated it had indeed been paid.[50] Gas supplies were restored on 5 March after Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Naftohaz CEO Oleh Dubyna agreed during negotiations by phone on a settlement. On 6 March, the Ukrainian cabinet refused to execute the gas agreements made by presidents Yushchenko and Putin. The Ukrainian cabinet did not want to pay in advance for 2008, and it opposed the creation of a Naftohaz–Gazprom venture that would sell gas in Ukraine.[51] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated that Ukraine did not need any additional joint ventures, and as of 1 March 2008, UkrGazEnergo is no longer operating in Ukraine’s domestic gas market.[52]

Dispute of 2008–2009

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko (12 February 2008)

The gas crisis of 2009 began with a failure to reach an agreement on gas prices and supplies for 2009. Ukraine owed a debt of $2.4 billion to Gazprom for gas already consumed, and Gazprom requested payment before the commencement of a new supply contract.[53] In December 2008, despite Ukraine’s repayment of more than $1 billion of its debt, Gazprom maintained its position, intending to cut the supply of natural gas to Ukraine on 1 January 2009, if Ukraine did not fully repay the remainder of $1.67 billion debt in natural gas supplies and an additional $450 million in fines levied by Gazprom.[54][55][56] On 30 December, Naftohaz paid $1.522 billion,[57] of the outstanding debt, but the two parties were not able to agree on the price for 2009. Ukraine proposed a price of $201, and later increased their proposed price to $235, while Gazprom demanded $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.[58] Negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz were interrupted on 31 December.[59]

On 1 January 2009, exports to Ukraine of 90 million cubic meters of natural gas per day were halted completely at 10:00 MSK. Exports intended for transhipment to the EU continued at a volume of 300 million cubic meters per day.[60] President Yushchenko requested that the European Union become involved in the settlement of this dispute in a letter to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.[61] A Ukrainian delegation including Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Yeliseyev, the President’s Representative for Energy Issues Bohdan Sokolovsky, and Deputy Head of Naftohaz Vadym Chuprun visited the Czech Republic as the first stop on a tour of a number EU member states to hold consultations on the gas crisis.[62][63]

On 2 January 2009, Hungary, Romania, and Poland reported that pressure in their pipelines had dropped. Bulgaria also reported that their natural gas supply was dropping, affecting the shipment of natural gas to Turkey, Greece, andMacedonia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom Government announced that it was preparing to enter its gas reserves after gas pressure had dropped from the continent.[64][65][66] On 4 January 2009, both RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom filed lawsuits against Ukraine and Naftohaz respectively with the Stockholm Tribunal of the Arbitration Institute.[67][68] Ukraine also filed lawsuits with the tribunal.[69] According to Naftohaz, RosUkrEnergo owes the company $40 million for services in transportation of natural gas.[70] On 5 January 2009, Kiev’s economic court banned Naftohaz from transshipping Russian natural gas in 2009 at the price of $1.60 per 1,600 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. The court declared contracts made by Naftohaz for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine void because the contracts were signed by Naftohaz without authorization from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.[71] On 30 March 2010, the Stockholm tribunal ordered Naftohaz to pay RosUkrEnergo around $200 million as a penalty for various breaches of supply, transit, and storage contracts.[72] On 8 June 2010, the tribunal ordered Naftohaz to return 11 billion cubic metres (390 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to RosUkrEnergo. The tribunal further ordered that RosUkrEnergo would receive from Naftohaz a further 1.1 billion cubic metres (39 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in lieu of RosUkrEnergo’s damages for breach of contract.[72][73]

On 5 January 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to reduce natural gas exports to Europe via transshipment through Ukraine by quantities equivalent to the amounts of gas which Ukraine had allegedly siphoned from the pipelines since deliveries ended on 1 January 2009.[74] On 7 January, all Russian natural gas exports via Ukraine were halted amid accusations between the two parties.[75][76][77] Several countries reported a major fall in supplies of Russian gas starting on 7 January; Bulgaria, Moldova, and Slovakia were among the most affected by these supply drops.[6][78][79]

Talks between Naftohaz and Gazprom resumed overnight on 8 January 2009.[75][80][81] Ukraine agreed to guarantee the unfettered transport of natural gas on the condition that Gazprom would guarantee and supply technical gas for Ukraine’s gas transit system to function; this was denied by Russia.[82] The supplies to Europe were not restored although the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia agreed to the deployment of an international monitoring group to the gas metering stations between Russia and Ukraine.[83][84][85][86] Naftohaz blocked the transit of gas, blaming a lack of pressure in the pipeline system and saying the design of the Soviet-built pipeline meant it could not ship gas entering through the Sudzha metering station governing gas leaving through the Orlivka metering station without cutting off the Donetsk region, Luhansk region, and portions of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine.[87][88][89] Naftohaz suggested a technically more feasible alternative through the Valuyki and Pisarevka metering stations but was refused.[90][91][92]

Signing of the deal reached at theMoscow summit on 19 January 2009, byOleh Dubyna and Alexei Miller (with Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Putin standing in the background)

On 17 January 2009, Russia held an international gas conference in Moscow. The EU was represented by the Presidency, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Říman, and the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, so that the European Union could speak with one voice.[93][94][95] Ukraine was represented by the Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.[96] The conference did not achieve any solution to the crisis, and the negotiations continued bilaterally between Prime Ministers Putin and Tymoshenko. Early on 18 January 2009, after five hours of talks, Putin and Tymoshenko reached a deal to restore gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine.[97][98] Both parties agreed that Ukraine would start paying European prices for its natural gas, less a 20% discount for 2009, and that Ukraine would pay the full European market price starting in 2010. In return for the discounts for 2009, Ukraine agreed to keep its transit fee for Russian gas unchanged in 2009. The two sides also agreed not to use intermediaries.[99][99] On 19 January 2009,Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and the head of Naftohaz Oleh Dubyna signed an agreement on natural gas supply to Ukraine for the period of 2009-2019.[100][101][102] Gas supplies restarted on 20 January 2009, and were fully restored on 21 January.[103]

According to the EU Commission and Presidency, the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine, causing Russia and Ukraine to no longer be regarded as reliable partners.[89][91][95] According to reports, due to the gas crisis Gazprom lost more than $1.1 billion in revenue for the unsupplied gas.[104] Ukraine also incurred losses as a result of the temporary closure of its steel and chemical industries due to the lack of gas. Ukraine also lost $100 million of potential revenue in transit fees from natural gas.[104]

There were also accusations of illegal siphoning of natural gas by Ukraine; however, these accusations were not confirmed.[105][106] The issue of technical gas used to fuel compressor stations and to maintain gas pressure in the pipeline network remained unclear.[107][108] Some sources asserted that the responsibility for providing the technical gas falls to Ukraine,[109] while others say that this is the responsibility of Gazprom.[110]

There were several theories as to alleged political motives behind the gas disputes, including Russia exerting pressure on Ukrainian politicians or attempting to subvert EU and NATO expansions to include Ukraine.[111][112][113] Others suggested that Ukraine’s actions were being orchestrated by the United States.[86] Both sides tried to win sympathy for their arguments fighting a PR war.[114][115]

In August 2009, it was agreed that loans worth $1.7 billion would be given to Ukraine to help it provide stable supplies of Russian gas to Europe by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in return for reforms in Ukraine’s gas sector.[1]

On 28 December 2009, the Slovakian government announced that Russia warned it would stop oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over a transit price dispute with Ukraine.[116] However, the next day, Ukraine’s Naftohaz issued a statement confirming that Russia agreed to a 30% increase in the transit fees through Ukraine. The alleged rise in the tariff would be from $7.8 to $9.50 (or €6.6) per tonne of oil going through Ukraine in 2010. Additionally, unlike previous payments, new payments would be made in Euros as this was one of Ukraine’s demands. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on the volume of oil to be transported through Ukraine. The overall amount of oil to be transported to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary through Ukraine in 2010 will be 15 million tonnes—a decrease from 17.1 million tonnes in 2008.[117]

2010 natural gas agreement

Prologue

After meeting her Russian counterpart Putin, Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko declared on 3 September 2009, “Both sides, Russia and Ukraine, have agreed that at Christmas, there won’t be [any halt in gas supplies], as usually happens when there are crises in the gas sector. Everything will be quite calm on the basis of the current agreements”.[118] Tymoshenko also said that the Ukrainian and Russian premiers had agreed that sanctions would not be imposed on Ukraine for the country buying less gas than expected and that the price of Russian gas transit across Ukraine may grow 65% till 70% in 2010.[119] A week before Gazprom had said it expected gas transit fees via Ukraine to rise by up to 59% in 2010.[8]

On 8 October 2009 Tymoshenko announced that Ukrainian 2010 natural gas imports will be significantly less than in previous years “because we have less need for natural gas”. Because of its economic recession the industries require far less gas. In response to Tymoshenko Gazprom Chief Executive Alexey Miller stated that Ukraine should stick to the January (2009) contract for 2010.[11]

On 16 November 2009 Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission Andris Piebalgs stated that Russia and the European Union do not expect another gas conflict with Ukraine. According to him there were no gas price negotiations or questions other than that of gas payments.[120]

On 20 November 2009, the gas deal of 18 January 2009, was altered after a meeting between Tymoshenko and Putin in Yalta; meaning Ukraine would not be fined for buying less gas then the old contract stipulated, this was done in view of the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis.[121] On 24 November 2009 Gazprom and Naftohaz signed these supplements to the contract of 19 January 2009 on the purchase and sale of natural gas; according to the supplements, the annual contracted amount of gas to be supplied to Ukraine in 2010 has been set at 33.75 billion cubic metres (1.192 trillion cubic feet), instead of the 52 billion cubic metres (1.8 trillion cubic feet) contracted earlier. The documents signed by the sides also stipulated that there will be no fines related to the amount of gas consumed by Naftohaz in 2009.[122] Over the first ten months of 2009 Naftohaz has purchased 18.85 billion cubic metres (666 billion cubic feet) of gas with the contracted volume being 31.7 billion cubic metres (1.12 trillion cubic feet).[123]

On 15 December 2009, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko stated he expects no problems with Ukraine over gas supplies at New Year.[124]

Agreement

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko were in Moscow late March 2010 to negotiate lower gas prices; neither clearly explained what Ukraine was prepared to offer in return.[125] Following these talks Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was prepared to discuss the revision of the price for natural gas it sells to Ukraine.[126]

Signing of the deal reached at the Kharkivsummit on 21 April 2010 by Dimitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovych

On 21 April 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement[127] in which Russia agreed to a 30 percent drop in the price of natural gas sold to Ukraine. Russia agreed to this in exchange for permission to extend Russia’s lease of a major naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port ofSevastopol for an additional 25 years with an additional five-year renewal option (to 2042-47).[128] As of June 2010 Ukraine pays Gazprom around $234/mcm (thousand cubic meter).[129]

This agreement was subject to approval by both the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments.[128] They did ratify the agreement on 27 April 2010.[130] The Ukrainian parliament ratified it after several eggs were thrown towards thespeaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, by deputies and other incidents.[131][132][133] Opposition members in Ukraine and Russia expressed doubts the agreement would be fulfilled by the Ukrainian side.[130][134]

Yanukovych has defended the agreement as a tool to help stabilise the state budget.[135] Opposition members in Ukraine described the agreement as a sell out of national interests.[135]

Dispute of 2013–2014

Crimean crises

Further information: 2014 Crimean crisis

In February 2014, Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz sued Chornomornaftogaz for delayed debt payments of 11.614 billion UAH (almost €1 billion) in the Economic Court of the Crimean Autonomous Republic.[136]

In March 2014, Crimean authorities announced that they would nationalize the company.[137] Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev said that Russia’sGazprom would be its new owner.[138] A group of Gazprom representatives, including its head of business development, has been working at the Chornomornaftogaz head office since mid-March 2014.[139] On April 1, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said that Gazprom would finance an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea.[140]

On 11 April 2014 the U.S. Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had added Chornomornaftagaz to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as part of the third round of U.S. sanctions.[141] Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official who explained that the United States wanted to make it impossible for Gazprom to “have dealings with Chornomorneftegaz”, and if that were to happen, Gazprom itself could face sanctions.[140]

The European Union followed suit on May 13, 2014, the first time its sanctions list has included a company (in addition to Chornomorneftegaz, a Crimean oil supplier called Feodosia was also included).[142][143]

June 2014 gas supplies to Ukraine cut off

In an attempt at energy independence, Naftogaz signed a pipeline access deal with Slovakia‘s Eustream on April 28, 2014. Eustream and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz, owned by Naftogaz, agreed to allow Ukraine to use a never used (but aging, at 20 years old) pipeline on Slovakia’s eastern border with Uzhhorod inwestern Ukraine. The deal would provide Ukraine with 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas beginning in autumn of 2014 with the aim of increasing that amount to 10 billion cubic meters in 2015.[142]

On 1 April 2014 Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s natural gas discount as agreed in the 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan because its debt to the company had risen to $1.7 billion since 2013.[144][145] Later that month the price “automatically” jumped to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters because the Russian government annulled an export-duty exemption for Gazprom in place since the 2010 Kharkiv Pact (this agreement was denounced by Russia on 31 March 2014[146]).[147][148] On 16 June 2014 Gazprom stated that Ukraine’s debt to the company was $4.5 billion.[147] On 30 May 2014 Ukraine paid $786 million to Gazprom.[149]

After intermediary (that had started in May 2014[147]) trilateral talks between EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Ukraine and Russia failed on 15 June 2014 the latter halted (after a deadline of 10 a.m. Moscow time passed without it receiving payment[147]) its natural gas supplies to Ukraine the next day.[144]Unilaterally Gazprom decided that Ukraine had to pay upfront for its natural gas.[150] The company assured that its supplies to other European countries would continue.[150] Ukraine vowed to “provide reliable supply of gas to consumers in Ukraine and we will provide reliable transit to the European Union”.[147] At the time about 15 percent of European Union’s demand depended on Russian natural gas piped through Ukraine.[147]

After trilateral months of talks between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia a deal was reached on 30 October 2014 in which Ukraine agreed to pay (in advance) $378 per 1,000 cubic metres to the end of 2014, and $365 in the first quarter (ending on 31 March) of 2015.[151] Of its debts to Gazprom Ukraine agreed to pay of $1.45bn immediately, and $1.65bn by the end of 2014.[151] It was agreed that the European Union will be acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and would help to meet outstanding debts (using funds from existing accords with the European Union and IMF).[151] The total package was worth $4.6bn.[151] According to European Union officials the deal secured that there would be no natural gas supply disruptions in other European countries.[151]

See also

Part of a series on the
History of Ukraine
Coat of arms of Ukraine
Ukraine portal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Decline and Fall of Network Television News — Leaning Left and Falling Viewers and Ratings — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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Evening-News-Audience-Continues-a-30-Year-Decline1

Story 1: The Decline and Fall of Network Television News — Leaning Left and Falling Viewers and Ratings — Videos

Network – Mad as Hell Scene

Network (1976) – Ned Beatty – “The World is a Business”

Paddy Chayefsky on “Network”

Nobody cares about you (George Carlin)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi6XV8yBFoU]

New England Patriots Cialis Commercial Parody ‘Deflate gate’ NFL Investigating Patriots

‘Deflate-gate’: NFL Investigating Patriots

The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs that were used in their AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts. (Jan. 20)

Patriots’ QB Tom Brady Says He Didn’t Deflate the Footballs

CBS Evening News 22 January 2015

Former NFL QB Explains Deflated Footballs

The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in the AFC championship game. Former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen says the footballs give quarterbacks a better grip and faster throws. (Jan. 23)

SportsCenter | Science behind New England Patriots deflated footballs

The Declining Influence Of TV News

Ken Auletta: Writer Liberation and the Decline of Broadcast

 

Pew study finds Americans more polarized than ever

A major study by the Pew Research Center finds the increasing polarization in the U.S. is not just in our politics. American adults are less likely to compromise and often decide where to live, who to marry and who their friends should be based on what they already believe. Michael Dimock of the Pew Research Center and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report join Gwen Ifill to assess the data.

 

Major TV Networks’ News Viewership Declining

Mainstream media blends the lines of news and entertainment

“Apparently” This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

It’s the Individual that’s finished.

Network

Network (1976) (Trailer)

The NFL Doesn’t Want to Know How Deflate-gate Happened

By Andrew C. McCarthy

As Brendan’s post reports, at this afternoon’s press conference, Tom Brady flatly denied altering the footballs “in any way,” which I presume includes causing anyone else associated with the Patriots to alter them. Let me add a few points.

The major takeaway of the press conference is that, according to Brady, no one from the NFL has interviewed him. This is simply mind-boggling. Because of the way footballs are handled pregame, the quarterback would be the most essential source of information in the event irregularities occur. Brady is thus the first person the NFL should have spoken with if the league really wanted to get to the bottom of what happened.

One now has to be suspicious that the league would rather not know at this point. Why? Because we are just ten days from the Super Bowl and there is very strong evidence of cheating. If the league quickly learns who is responsible, it would have to suspend the cheater(s) from the big game or be mercilessly ridiculed for turning a blind eye. The NFL obviously does not want to suspend star players or coaches from its showcase event.

But now, the league will be mercilessly ridiculed anyway. There are very few people who handle the balls or might influence how they are handled between the time they are chosen and the time they are used in a game: the starting QB, the equipment manager, the ball boy(s), the referees, and the coaches. That means a competent investigation to get to the bottom of this growing controversy could be completed in a few hours – meaning, it should have been done by now. Plus, if you need to talk to the QB, you do it before he has to start ramping up his prep for the Super Bowl – meaning, between Monday and Wednesday of this week. You don’t wait until now, when he is turning his focus to the game.

If the NFL wanted to interview Tom Brady, it would have been done already. Football turns out to be a lot like politics: Officials avoid information because if they learn something bad has been done, they are expected to do something about it.

This is an extraordinarily foolish way to handle things. The NFL has run out of feet to shoot itself in this year, and this controversy is worse because it actually affects the integrity of the game. Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick claim they simply don’t know what happened, but almost everyone who knows football says that is impossible. Either way, because no explanation has been forthcoming from the Pats, there is a media feeding frenzy at the worst time: when over 5,000 international media figures are descending to cover the Super Bowl, which is as much a cultural phenomenon as a sporting event. Deflate-gate will now surely overwhelm coverage of the game, and the league’s incompetent (at best) handling of the investigation will invite endless reminders of its earlier black eyes this season.

A lot of this seems so unnecessary. Before we rehearse the really damaging facts, let’s cover one that is not well understood and that should have undercut the significance of the ball deflation.

Everyone agrees that, after the Colts raised concerns about the balls just before halftime, the balls were reexamined at halftime, and new balls were substituted for the under-inflated ones. That is, the second half was unquestionably played on the up and up . . . and in it the Patriots outscored the Colts 35-0 28-0. So whatever happened with the balls did not affect the outcome of the game – the right team made it to the Super Bowl.

Other than that, though, the story is bad. The refs examined the balls before the game – 12 from the Pats and 12 from the Colts – and found them to fit the specifications, weighing between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds [of air per square inch].

Right before halftime, a member of the Colts intercepted a Brady pass and noticed the ball was soft – something the Colts already had suspicions about based on (a) a prior game with the Pats in which they intercepted a couple of passes and detected under-inflated balls, and (b) similar suspicions about the Pats harbored by the Baltimore Ravens, who apparently shared those suspicions with the Colts after losing a tight playoff game to the Pats two weeks ago.

After the interception before halftime, the Colts’ sideline informed their general manager, who informed league officials. Based on the complaint, the refs re-examined all 24 balls at halftime. The Colts’ balls were all still within the specs, but 11 of the 12 Pats’ balls were under-inflated by up to two pounds per square inch – i.e., about 10.5 pounds. It was unseasonably mild for Foxboro, Mass., in January – about 51 degrees. Between that and the fact that the Colts’ footballs were unchanged, there seems to be no weather-related explanation for a drop in air pressure in the Pats’ footballs.

There are thus only two apparent possibilities, neither of which is good for the Pats: Either (a) the Pats supplied under-inflated balls and the refs did not competently examine them prior to the game; or (b) the Pats, who had control of their chosen footballs after the pregame examination by the refs, deflated the balls before or during the first-half.

Because the league has not done much of an investigation or released much information, we do not know how thorough the refs’ examination process is. I am also not in a position to say how noticeable the difference between 10.5 and 12.5 pounds is. The refs – football lifers – handle the balls on every play, and they obviously did not notice during the first-half. I saw Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino interviewed on Fox News earlier this week, and upon being presented with two footballs, one fully and one under-inflated, he indicated it was hard to tell the difference. But he also said, after squeezing and throwing them a few times, that the under-inflated one was somewhat easier to grip.

I still think the best case scenario for the Pats is that, based on years of experience, the equipment managers know Brady prefers a ball at the very bottom of the 12.5 to 13.5 pound range (as he said today at his press conference). It would not surprise me if, without there needing to be any discussion, the process is for equipment managers to bring Brady only balls that are at or slightly under 12.5 pounds. Those balls no doubt deflate a bit in the four or five days he breaks them in at practice, so by the time he selects a dozen for the game, they are likely to be under 12.5 pounds – perhaps markedly under, but maybe not enough that you could tell unless you examined very closely.

I’m sure Brady and the equipment manager do not measure the air pressure at that point; Brady just picks the ones he wants. Then, as he said at the press conference, he is done with the process and doesn’t deal with the balls again until game-time. That’s what allows him to say both that he doesn’t know what happened after he chose game balls and that he did not deflate those balls.

The equipment manager brings the balls to the refs for pregame inspection a couple of hours before game-time. So it would be important to know how thorough the refs’ inspection is. If the balls were not up to spec because of the Pats’ routine manner of handling them, and then the refs failed to do a careful enough examination to make sure they were up to spec, that could explain why they were under-inflated when checked at halftime. That is, it is not necessarily true that someone deflated them after the refs’ examination.

Of course, if the refs did do a competent pregame examination, then someone on the Pats has to have deflated the footballs.

One more interesting tidbit that could be relevant. Turns out that it is largely because of Tom Brady that the NFL changed its protocols in order to allow each team to supply game balls for its own use. It used to be that the home teams were responsible for supplying all the game balls. But nine years ago, Brady and Broncos star QB Peyton Manning successfully petitioned the competition committee to change the rules. The rationale was that every QB likes the ball to be broken in differently, and since there is some leeway in the rules about inflation (i.e., the 12.5 to 13.5 range), the league should accommodate the slightly different size and contour preferences of different QBs.

Personally, I would have thought the range allowing a pound of difference simply reflected that air pressure can change depending on climate conditions and how the ball is handled – just like it does with your car’s tires. I seriously doubt the rule was written with the thought that players on opposing teams would not be using the same ball. That would be inconceivable in, say, baseball, in which players for both teams pitch and hit balls that are exactly the same.

Tom Brady indicated at today’s press conference that he did not think the balls used made much difference – he did not, he said, notice any difference between the first-half balls that were under-inflated and the second-half balls that were inflated to league specifications. Maybe . . . but sounds remarkably blasé coming from a guy who previously pushed the league to change its rules so he could always have footballs that conformed to his unique preferences.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397011/nfl-doesnt-want-know-how-deflate-gate-happened-andrew-c-mccarthy

State of the News Media 2014

Overview

In many ways, 2013 and early 2014 brought a level of energy to the news industry not seen for a long time. Even as challenges of the past several years continue and new ones emerge, the activities this year have created a new sense of optimism – or perhaps hope – for the future of American journalism.

Digital players have exploded onto the news scene, bringing technological knowhow and new money and luring top talent. BuzzFeed, once scoffed at for content viewed as “click bait,” now has a news staff of 170, including top names like Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Schoofs, and is the kind of place that ProPublica’s Paul Steiger says he would want to work at if he were young again. Mashable now has a news staff of 70 and enticed former New York Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts to become its chief content officer. And in January of this year, Ezra Klein left the Washington Post for Vox media, which will become the new home for his explanatory journalism concept. Many of these companies are already successful digital brands – built around an innate understanding of technology – and are using revenues from other parts of the operation to get the news operations off the ground.

Other kinds of new revenue are flowing into news operations as well. A new breed of entrepreneurs – like Jeff Bezos, John Henry and Pierre Omidyar — are investing their own money in the industry, in some cases creating wholly new entities and in others looking to bring new life to long-standing ones. Among their best credentials – beyond deep pockets – is that they are tech industry insiders and news media outsiders.  Philanthropic money has grown as well, in many cases focused on smaller outlets seeking to fill the gap in news coverage left by legacy cutbacks. As recently as March 2014, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation announced a $10 million grant to New York Public Radio to help build its digital capabilities, an expressed need among nonprofits.

The year also brought more evidence than ever that news is a part of the explosion of social media and mobile devices, and in a way that could offer opportunity to reach more people with news than ever before. Half of Facebook users get news there even though they did not go there looking for it. And the Facebook users who get news at the highest rates are 18-to-29-year-olds. The same is true for the growth area of online video. Half of those who watch some kind of online video watch news videos. Again, young people constitute the greatest portion of these viewers.

Accompanying this momentum is the question of what it adds up to within the full scope of news that consumers receive. Here the events of the last year get put in some perspective. Our first-ever accounting found roughly 5,000 full-time professional jobs at nearly 500 digital news outlets, most of which were created in the past half dozen years. But the vast majority of bodies producing original reporting still comes from the newspaper industry. But those newspaper jobs are far from secure. Full-time professional newsroom employment declined another 6.4% in 2012 with more losses expected for 2013. Gannett alone is estimated to have cut 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co.  announced 700 (not all of them in the newsroom).

The new money from philanthropists, venture capitalists and other individuals and non-media businesses, while promising, amounts to only a sliver of the money supporting professional journalism. Traditional advertising from print and television still accounts for more than half of the total revenue supporting news, even though print ad revenues are in rapid decline. While seeing some small gains in new revenue streams like digital subscriptions and conferences, total newspaper advertising revenue in 2013 was down 49% from 2003. (That 2013 number also includes some niche and non-daily publications.) Television ad revenue, while stable for now, faces an uncertain future as video becomes more accessible online. What’s more, most of the new revenue streams driving the momentum are not earned from the news product itself.

There were a number of other events over the last year for which the impact on citizens is mixed or unclear. Local television, which remains the primary place American adults turn to for news, saw its audience increase for the first time in five years. At the same time, though, there were fewer stations producing original news compared with 2012, primarily the result of television acquisitions that left fewer companies in control of more stations.  At this point, fully a quarter of the 952 U.S. television stations that air newscasts do not produce their news programs. Additional stations have sharing arrangements where much of their content is produced outside their own newsroom. The impact on the consumer seems to vary from market to market, with some markets increasing potential reach by airing news on stations that never had it – even if that newscast is the same one that airs on another local station. In other markets the news has contracted, as news organizations have reduced staff or content production for cost efficiency.     

In digital news, the overlap between public relations and news noted in last year’s State of the News Media report became even more pronounced. One of the greatest areas of revenue experimentation now involves website content that is paid for by commercial advertisers – but often written by journalists on staff – and placed on a news publishers’ page in a way that sometimes makes it indistinguishable from a news story. Following the lead of early adapters like The Atlantic and Mashable, native advertising, as it is called by the industry, caught on rapidly in 2013. The New York Times, The Washington Post and most recently The Wall Street Journal have now begun or announced plans to begin devoting staff to this kind of advertising, often as a part of a new “custom content division.” eMarketer predicts that native ads spending will reach $2.85 billion by 2014.

Many of these publishers initially expressed caution over such ads, with Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker even describing it as a “Faustian pact.” In the end, though, many publishers eventually came down with a conclusion similar to Baker’s, who said that he was  “confident that our readers will appreciate what is sponsor-generated content and what is content from our global staff,” according to a statement released by The Journal. That may be the case, and it could also be the case that stories created for and paid for by advertisers do not bother consumers as long as they are a good read. At this point, though, there is little if any public data that speak to consumer response one way or the other.

And despite evidence of news consumption by Facebook users—half of whom report getting news across at least six topic areas—recent Pew Research data finds these consumers to have rather low levels of engagement with news sites. Another question looming over developments in social media is whether the self-selective process combined with algorithmic feeds are narrowing the kinds of information Americans are exposed to.

One of the biggest stories of the year, the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shined light on yet another area of challenge for journalism in the digital age: easy access to web-based content. It threatens the security of journalists’ communications and their ability to get sources to share information with them, the ultimate impact of which could be the stories that don’t get reported on and delivered to consumers.

A year ago, the State of the News Media report struck a somber note, citing evidence of continued declines in the mainstream media that were impacting both content and audience satisfaction. As indicated above and throughout this report, many of these issues still exist, some have deepened and new ones have emerged. Still, the level of new activity this past year is creating a perception that something important, perhaps even game-changing, is going on. If the developments in 2013 are at this point only a drop in the bucket, it feels like a heavier drop than most. The momentum behind them is real, if the full impact on citizens and our news system remains unclear.

This year’s Annual Report, our 11th edition, set out to examine these shifts—in revenue, in jobs, in technology, in content, in consumer behavior. It is structured a bit differently than in the past – to account for the widening of the industry, the growing influence of technology and new ways of sharing of our data. This year’s report includes four original research reports and two graphical presentations, along with key findings and a searchable database of all the statistics gathered in past years. From these reports, six major trends emerge:

1) Thirty of the largest digital-only news organizations account for about 3,000 jobs and one area of investment is global coverage.  Vice Media has 35 overseas bureaus; The Huffington Post hopes to grow to 15 countries from 11 this year; BuzzFeed hired a foreign editor to oversee its expansion into places like Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo. The two-year-old business-oriented Quartz has reporters in London, Bangkok and Hong Kong, and its editorial staff speaks 19 languages. This comes amid pullbacks in global coverage form mainstream media. The amount of airtime network evening newscasts devoted to overseas reporting in 2013 was less than half of what it was in the late 1980s. International reporters working for U.S. newspaper have declined 24% from 2003 to 2010. As the new digital native outlets continue to add staff, the country may be seeing the first real build-up of international reporting in decades – save for a few start- ups like Global Post.

2) So far, the impact of new money flowing into the industry may be more about fostering new ways of reporting and reaching audience than about building a new, sustainable revenue structure.  The news industry in the U.S. brings in a little over $60 billion of revenue annually, according to estimates in our report. Advertising, at least for now, accounts for roughly two-thirds of this pie, most of which remains tied to legacy forms. Audience revenue accounts for about a quarter and is growing both in total dollars and in share. But this revenue may also be coming from a smaller—or at least flat—pool of contributors. New kinds of earned revenue streams like event hosting and web consulting account for about 7%, while investment from sources such as venture capital and philanthropy amount to only about 1% of the total.  One part of the equation worth exploring is what kind of savings occurs at digital news startups free of the legacy infrastructure, but taking on the newer costs of technology development and maintenance.

3) Social and mobile developments are doing more than bringing consumers into the process – they are also changing the dynamics of the process itself. New survey data released here find that half (50%) of social network users share or repost news stories, images or videos while nearly as many (46%) discuss news issues or events on social network sites. And with broader mobile adoption, citizens are playing important eyewitness roles around news events such as the Boston bombing and the Ukrainian uprising. Roughly one-in-ten social network users have posted news videos they took themselves, according to the data.  And 11% of all online news consumers have submitted their own content (including videos, photos, articles or opinion pieces) to news websites or blogs. Just as powerful, though, are the shifts in how news functions in these spaces.  On social sites and even many of the new digital-only sites, news is mixed in with all other kinds of content – people bump into it when they are there doing other things. This bumping into means there may be opportunity for news to reach people who might otherwise have missed it, but less of that may be in the hands of news organizations. Only about a third of people who get news on Facebook follow a news organization or individual journalist. Instead, stories get shared from friends in their networks. And few Facebook visitors, according to a separate Pew Research study of traffic to top news sites, end up also coming to a site directly.  For news providers, this means that a single digital strategy – both in terms of capturing audience and building a viable revenue base – will not be enough.

4) New ways of storytelling bring both promise and challenge. One area of expansion in 2013 was online news video. Ad revenue tied to digital videos over all (no firm calculates a figure specifically for news videos) grew 44% from 2012 to 2013 and is expected to continue to increase. For now, though, its scale is still small, accounting for just 10% of all digital ad revenue in the U.S. YouTube alone already accounts for 20% of these revenues and Facebook has now entered the digital video ad market and, based on its rapid growth in display ad revenue, is expected to quickly account for a significant portion of these dollars. In terms of audience appeal, one-third of U.S. adults watch online news videos, but that growth has slowed considerably. After a 27% increase from 2007 to 2009, the next four years saw just 9% growth. Again, large distributors of video content like YouTube and Facebook already account for a hefty portion of video watching on the web.  Nonetheless, some news providers are making significant investments in digital video. The Huffington Post celebrated the one year anniversary of HuffPost Live, Texas Tribune held a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the purchase of equipment to stream live video coverage of the 2014 Texas governor’s race, and the multimedia company Vice in early 2014 launched a new multimedia portal just for news stories.

5) Local television, which reaches about nine in ten U.S. adults, experienced massive change in 2013, change that stayed under the radar of most. Nearly 300 full-power local TV stations changed hands in 2013 at a price of more than $8 billion. The number of stations sold was up 205% over 2012 and the value up 367%, with big owners getting even bigger. If all the pending sales go through, Sinclair Broadcasting alone will own or provide service to 167 stations in 77 markets, reaching almost 40% of the U.S. population. Sinclair’s CEO, David Smith, at the UBS conference in December 2013 expressed an interest in growing even more: “I’d like to have 80% of the country if I could get it. I’d like to have 90%.” Much of what is driving these purchases is the growth in fees that local stations are able to charge cable companies for re-airing their content – known by the industry as retransmissions fees. Both Meredith (which owns 13 stations) and Scripps (which owns 19) said they saw their retransmission revenues roughly triple in the last three years.  In terms of programming, a clear result is more stations in the same market being operated jointly and sharing more content. As of early 2014, joint service agreements exist in almost half of the 210 local TV markets nationwide, up from 55 in 2011. And fewer stations are producing their own newscasts. The ultimate impact on the consumer is complicated to assess, but the economics benefit to the owner is indisputable.

6) Dramatic changes under way in the makeup of the American population will undoubtedly have an impact on news in the U.S, and in one of the fastest growing demographic groups – Hispanics – we are already seeing shifts. The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown 50% from 2000 to 2012–to 53 million people. Most of that growth has come from births in the U.S. rather than the arrival of new immigrants, reversing a trend from previous decades. As a result, a growing share of the Hispanic population is American-born and a growing number speak English proficiently.  In response to these trends, more general-market media companies—like ABC, NBC, Fox and The Huffington Post—have started Hispanic news operations. Since 2010, six national Hispanic outlets have been launched, all of which are either owned in full or in partnership by a general-market media company. Not all of them have been successes, however.  Earlier this year, NBC Latino—a website-only outlet—closed, after only 16 months, and CNN Latino, which had both a web and on-air presence, was shut down just a year after its launch. At the same time, Fusion, a joint effort by ABC and Univision, initially described the channel as aimed at Hispanic millennials but later switched to aiming it at millennials more broadly—currently the largest and most diverse generational group in the U.S. As demographic shifts within the U.S. continue, so too will their impact on the news ecosystem.

http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/state-of-the-news-media-2014-overview/

Key Indicators in Media & News

Audience

Cable

1 cable tv viewership

In 2013, the cable news audience, by nearly all measures, declined. The combined median prime-time viewership of the three major news channels—CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007. The Nielsen Media Research data show that the biggest decline came at MSNBC, which lost nearly a quarter (24%) of its prime-time audience. CNN, under new management, ended its fourth year in third place, with a 13% decline in prime time. Fox, while down 6%, still drew more viewers (1.75 million) than its two competitors combined (619,500 at MSNBC and 543,000 at CNN).
The daytime audience for cable news was more stable, holding flat at about 2 million viewers across the three news channels. CNN (up 12%) and Fox (up 2%) actually experienced growth here. That was counterbalanced by more deep loses at MSNBC (down 15.5%).

Local TV

After years in decline, local television news showed new signs of life in 2013. Viewership increased in every key time slot. Local morning news (5 to 7 a.m. Eastern Time or equivalent) gained 6.3%, early evening newscasts followed with a 3.3% increase and late night news programs were flat (up 0.1%). This follows declines every year across all time slots from 2008 to 2012, with the exception of a small uptick in 2011. The jump in viewership in the key timeslots was due largely to significant increases in the November sweeps period when morning news was up 12%, early evening grew by 8% and late night increased by 6%.

2 local news viewership in key time slots

The 2013 picture was more mixed for Fox broadcast affiliates. Morning newscasts gained 9% more audience on average, continuing the steady growth of previous years. However, late-night viewership continued to decline, although the loss in 2013 was small, just 1.2%. Over the past six years, these programs have lost more than 25% of their viewers, while one of the worst performing traditional time slots, the 11 p.m. newscasts, have lost 17.3% since 2007.

Local news in nontraditional time slots are expanding their audience. The nontraditional early-morning news slots continued to grow. At 4:30 a.m., viewership increased 13% to 2.9 million. Viewership at 4 a.m. increased by 21% on average, to 257,000, following a 19% increase in 2012. Newscasts at midday and following the network news at 7 p.m. added viewers after having lost audience the year before. Midday newscasts saw a 5% increase of their audience and viewership also grew 2% for 7 p.m. newscasts. Though audiences in these time slots are growing, the programs attract far fewer viewers than some of the most popular hours for local TV. Late-night news programs, for instance, averaged 24.3 million viewers in 2013.

Network

3 network evening news audience

In the evening, an average of 22.6 million viewers tuned into one of the three commercial broadcast news programs on ABC, CBS or NBC, a 2.3% increase over the average viewership for 2012, according to Pew Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. The ABC World News increased 2.2% to 7.7 million viewers on average and CBS Evening News increased 6.5% to 6.5 million viewers. NBC Nightly News, the ratings leader, was the only evening news program to decrease, dipping 0.7% to 8.4 million viewers on average.

Morning news saw a 6.7% increase in average viewership compared with 2012, to 13.4 million. For years, NBC’s Today show led in viewership and ratings, but ABC’s Good Morning America took the throne in 2012 and grew its margin of victory in 2013. ABC’s Good Morning America increased 11% to 5.5 million viewers on average, CBS This Morning increased 17.9% to 3.2 million viewers and NBC’s Today show decreased 3.7% to 4.7 million.

Newspapers

Newspapers increased their total circulation by 3% daily and 1.6% Sunday, according to an analysis by the Newspaper Association of America’s John Murray. But that result is influenced by liberalized reporting rules by the Association for Audited Media and includes both paying visitors to digital platforms and distribution of Sunday insert packages to nonsubscribers.

Print now accounts for only 71.2% of daily circulation and 74.9% of Sunday, according to Murray. And Murray’s analysis of 15 of the largest newspapers shows that those papers now have just 54.9% of their total circulation in print.

News Magazines

4 news magazines newsstand sales

According to the Alliance for Audited Media, sales of newsstand copies for news magazines, the measure most accepted by the industry, fell 2% on average, following years of declining numbers. In 2013, though, the decrease was smaller than the total industry decline in newsstand sales (10%). The Economist was the hardest hit, losing 16% of its newsstand sales, after a 17% decline in 2012. The Atlantic and The Week were also hit (down 12% and 7% respectively). The New Yorker enjoyed a 16% increase, one of the highest reported in past years. Time posted some significant gains too, up 6% from the year before. Since 2008, when Pew Research started tracking these figures, the news magazines have lost 43% of their single-copy sales on average.

Subscriptions were flat, as they have been in years past. But these are normally kept from declining through discounts or special offers.

Audio

Traditional radio continues to reach the vast majority of Americans 12 and older, 91% in 2013 (roughly unchanged from 2012), but online listening is where the growth is. According to Edison Media research, fully 33% of Americans reported listening to online radio “in the last week” in 2013, up from 29% in 2013. In addition, online radio listening in cars (long a stronghold of AM/FM radio) rose to 21%, from 17% in 2012.

Another form of nontraditional radio, podcasting, has largely leveled off. The number of Americans who have “ever” listened to an audio podcast was down slightly from 29% in 2012 to 27% in 2013.

The other main non-AM/FM audio platform, satellite radio, saw moderate growth in subscribers in 2013. By the end of 2013, Sirius XM had 25.6 million subscribers in the U.S., up from 23.9 million at year end 2012.

Alternative Weeklies

Circulation for the top 20 alternative weekly newspapers declined again in 2013, but at a slower pace than in previous years: 6% in 2013, compared to 8% in 2012.

Digital

The vast majority of Americans now get news in some digital format. In 2013, 82% of Americans said they got news on a desktop or laptop and 54% said they got news on a mobile device. Beyond that, 35% reported that they get news in this way “frequently” on their desktop or laptop, and 21% on a mobile device (cellphone or tablet).

Digital Natives

Commercial

While commercial digital native sites remain a relatively small part of the economics of the news industry, their digital audience figures compete with those of much larger legacy news organizations. In April, May, and June of 2013, for example The Huffington Post averaged 45 million unique monthly visitors, putting it second only to Yahoo among the top news sites. Buzzfeed.com also fared well with 17 million monthly unique visitors, putting it at roughly the same as The Washington Post with 19 million monthly unique visitors.

Nonprofit

Audiences of noncommercial digital native news organizations vary widely and can be hard to determine because of syndication and partnership arrangements with other news outlets. On the national level, for example, ProPublica, an investigative journalism nonprofit site founded in 2007, had 544,799 unique visitors to its site in October 2012, according to a Knight Foundation report. While that is a 176% increase over October 2010, it probably misses a fair amount as the organization syndicates its content to various news organizations.

There are also regionally oriented outlets like the New England Center for Investigative Reporting with far fewer visitors per month: 2,362 unique visitors in October 2012, according to self-reported data in the Knight report. Still, that was up 87% from October 2010.

At the local level, MinnPost attracted 268,955 unique visitors in October 2012, according to the report, while The Lens, which focuses on New Orleans and Gulf Coast news, reported just 20,177 unique visitors in October 2012 (though again a huge increase – 375% – over October 2010). The variation in these data speaks to both the diversity in the scope of noncommercial digital start-ups as well as the degree to which collaboration and syndicated content may mean that site visits is not the best way to assess total audience.

Economics

Cable

5 cable news revenues

The year 2013 was a relatively weak one for economic growth among the cable news outlets. Fox News was projected to increase its total revenue, according to research firm SNL Kagan, by 5% to $1.89 billion. CNN was projected to increase just 2% to $1.11 billion, and MSNBC was projected to decline by 2% to $475 million. Both CNN and MSNBC experienced advertising revenue losses year over year.

Revenue from license fees, which cable channels charge to providers in exchange for the right to carry their programming, continued to grow in 2013, according to projections, becoming a larger part of the revenue pie for the news channels. For CNN, license fee revenue now accounts for 64% of its total intake. For Fox, it is 58%. And for MSNBC, it makes up 51% of total revenue.

Local TV

Local TV stations make the vast majority of their revenue from on-air advertising, which typically follows a cyclical pattern of increases in election years and decrease in non-election years. In 2013, total local TV ad revenue was expected to decline 2.5% from election-year 2012, according to BIA/Kelsey, amounting to $19.7 billion. But this is less of a decline than in 2011, when advertising revenues dropped by about 8% from the year before, and in 2009, when the decline was 22%.

To calculate ad revenue going just to news-producing stations (i.e. stations that include news programming,) we have to go back one year to 2012, the most recent year that BIA has final station-level data. For that year, news-producing stations took in $17.3 billion in total ad revenue, compared with $20.2 billion in the industry over all.

This year, Pew Research also estimated what portion of the $17.3 billion in ad revenues at these news-producing stations is connected to the news programming. Local TV news directors, in an annual survey by Bob Papper, attributed 48.6% of 2012 stations’ revenues to news. That would amount to $8.4 billion in all. Other sources of revenues for the local TV industry have been growing. Retransmission payments have been increasing rapidly in the past decade, according to data from the investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. In 2011, the last year for which there were final data, retransmission revenues equaled almost $1.5 billion, more than 70 times higher than they had been in 2003 ($20 million). And VSS projects that revenue will more than double—to about $3.7 billion—by 2016. In 2013 alone, 21st Century Fox— created after the split-up of News Corp. — doubled its retransmission revenues. And Nexstar, which owns 108 local stations, reported a 66% increase in its retransmission fee revenues for the fourth quarter 2013, which now account for about 23% of its total revenues.

Digital revenues for the local TV market were forecast to grow 23% in 2013, following 17% growth the previous year, according to Borrell Associates. But, the typical local TV station makes only about 4% of its total revenue from online and mobile ads, according to Borrell Associates.

Newspapers (updated April 22, 2014)

The Newspaper Association of America has stopped compiling quarterly reports on advertising revenue. According to its annual numbers, which were released in April 2014, overall revenue for newspapers in 2013 was $37.6 billion, a decrease of 2.6% from 2012. Within that total, combined print and digital ad revenue decreased by 7%—to $20.7 billion. While daily and Sunday print ad revenue dropped 8.6%, digital advertising edged up by 1.5%. That is a slowdown from the 3.7% digital ad growth rate in 2012.

The news was better with circulation revenue which was up 3.7% in 2013, slightly lower than the growth rate in 2012, 4.6%.  Many companies continue to add digital subscriptions and raise rates for a combination of print and digital access. The biggest paywall gains tend to come in the first year with revenues flattening in following years. Many companies are also building other revenue sources like digital marketing services for local businesses, contract printing or events and newsletters. Direct marketing revenue increased by 2.4% in 2013 while new and other revenue increased 5%, in 2013, according to the NAA, but both only constituted a fraction of the total revenue picture.

News Magazines

For a third year in a row, news magazines faced a difficult print advertising environment. Combined ad pages (considered a better measure than ad revenue) for the five magazines studied in this report were down 13% in 2013, following a decline of 12.5% in 2012, and about three times the rate of decline in 2011, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Again, hardest hit was The Week, which suffered a 20% drop in ad pages. The Atlantic fell 17%, The Economist 16%, and Time about 11%, while The New Yorker managed to keep its ad pages losses in single digits (7%). For print magazines, the number of ad pages sold across the industry over all was down in 2013 (4.1%), after a steep decline in 2012 (8.2%).

Network TV

According to Kantar Media, ad revenue for network television evening news programs increased 2% in the first three quarters of 2013 to $401 million. ABC’s World News decreased 3% to $130 million, the CBS Evening News saw an 11% increase to $116 million and NBC Nightly News remained steady at $155 million. Revenue for network television morning shows increased 7% in the first three quarters of 2013. At ABC’s Good Morning America revenues increased 12% to $260 million and CBS This Morning fell 2% to $108 million. At NBC’s Today show, revenue increased 6% to $504 million.

Digital

6 top 5 companies make more than half of total display ad revenue

Total digital ad spending rose to $42.6 billion in 2013, a 15.7% increase over 2012. But the bigger news was that display made up almost as much of that total as search (which is not a source of revenue for news organizations.) In 2013 display ads accounted for about 42% of the total, or $17.7 billion, according to eMarketer, and are projected to outpace search by 2015.

While the ascent of display is a good thing for news organizations, the dominance of large tech companies remains an issue. In 2012 the top five display advertising companies made 47% of all display ad revenue on the web; in 2013 that proportion increased to 51%. And while Google had been on top, Facebook overtook the search giant in 2013, taking in 17.9% of all display ad revenue to Google’s 16.9%.

Commercial

Much of the for-profit digital news landscape is occupied by private or unincorporated concerns that do not disclose detailed financial figures. But based on publicly available estimates and reports, Pew Research analysts identified a minimum of roughly $500 million in annual ad revenue from a range of digital news sites. Even that estimate does not include outlets that had been identified, but for whom no revenue estimates were found. That $500 million figure would account for roughly 1% of all known news ad revenue across U.S. media sectors. While the actual figure is almost certainly higher, even if it were doubled, it would still account for a small fraction of all news revenue in the U.S.

Nonprofit

7 majority of outlets raise 5000 or less in 2011

About one-fifth of nonprofits (21%) surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2012 said they generated $50,000 or less in annual revenue in 2011, the latest year for which data were available, and 26% took in between $50,001 and $250,000. Foundations have been prominent sources of funding, particularly in the form of start-up grants. For many outlets, this initial funding has been difficult to replace. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents (61%) began with a start-up grant that accounted for at least one-third of their original funding, and a majority of those grants were for $100,000 or more. Yet less than a third of those outlets had the funding renewed. As with the audience for digital native noncommercial sites, discussed above, the economics for these sites also vary, but a 2013 report by the Pew Research Center finds on average total income is quite small and heavily reliant on foundations.

Audio

Traditional AM/FM radio remains heavily reliant on “spot” advertising (ads aired during radio broadcasts) for its revenue, which saw virtually no year-over-year change in the third quarter of 2013 (the most current data available) compared with the third quarter of 2012. Digital and off-air advertising saw increases of 15% and 3% respectively, but is just a drop in the network advertising bucket.

Sirius XM, the only satellite radio provider in the U.S., grew its revenue in 2013 as well. In 2013, Sirius XM had $3.8 billion in revenue, up from $3.4 billion in 2012, an 11.7% increase. This follows several years of growth in subscriber revenue after the merger of the two companies (Sirius and XM) in 2007.

News Investment

Local TV

8 very early morning news add more stations

Staffing levels in the local TV sector were expected to be stable in 2013, according to the yearly Hofstra University survey. A majority of news directors expected no change in staff size in 2013, while just a third said they anticipated adding more staff, about the same as the year before. And only 2.5% said they expected to have to cut staff, fewer than the year before.

The average amount of weekday local TV news programming declined by six minutes in 2012, the last year for which data exist, to five hours and 24 minutes, according to the same survey. This follows four straight years of increases in the hours of news, but still puts the average hours at 5.4 in 2012, up 46% from what is was in 2003 (3.7 hours). And weekend programming continued to add time: up 11% on Saturday and 6% on Sunday on average.

One area seeing more news is in the very early 4:30 a.m. time slot. The number of stations airing news at 4:30 a.m. increased 159% in 2013 to 634, up from 245 in 2012, according to Nielsen data. Those stations cut across 207 markets, up from 113 in 2012.

Cable

Under Jeff Zucker, CNN, already a sizable global news operation, was projected to increase its spending more than either Fox or MSNBC in 2013. SNL Kagan estimated that CNN would grow its news investment by 11% to $757 million in 2013, compared to Fox’s increase of 4% (to $848.5 million) and MSNBC’s scale-back by 4% (to $272 million).

CNN still maintains by far the largest bureau system among the three major news channels with 33 around the world, though the organization laid off at least 40 journalists in late 2013 and lists one fewer domestic bureau than it had the previous year. (Fox lists two fewer bureaus than it did a year earlier, and no updated information was available from NBC News.)

Newspapers

During 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, full-time professional newsroom employment at newspaper organizations fell by 2,600 jobs, or 6.4%. The total of 38,000 jobs is down 33.2% from its 1989 peak of 56,900, according to the annual census of the American Society of News Editors. Most of that loss was in the last six years. When the organization’s census for 2013 is released, more job losses are likely.

According to various sources, including media accounts, several major companies eliminated hundreds of newspaper jobs in 2013—including two companies that began investing more heavily in local television stations. Gannett is estimated to have cut about 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co. announced about 700 cuts, not all of them in the newsroom. Media reports put newsroom layoffs at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland at about 50 and at The Oregonian in Portland at about 35 in 2013.

In one eye-catching cutback, The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire 28-person photography department in 2013, but hired back four photographers in December. Even Aaron Kushner, a California publisher who attracted considerable attention for hiring scores of journalists and investing heavily in print journalism, implemented about 70 layoffs at The Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside early in 2014.

Digital Native

Commercial

One of the noteworthy developments in 2013 (and early 2014) was the growth of editorial jobs in the expanding world of big commercial digital native news outlets. Rapidly growing Buzzfeed added approximately 170 editorial jobs last year, Gawker’s editorial staff grew to 132, almost double what it was two years earlier. Mashable lured former New York Times editor Jim Roberts to oversee its robust investment in news coverage while Yahoo News hired several high profile Times journalists to build up its original content. Henry Blodget’s Business Insider hired 15 new people to grow its editorial staff to 70. The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, is building its growing staff at the fledgling First Look Media around Glenn Greenwald, while Ezra Klein’s Project X at Vox Media is signing up former Washington Post staffers at a brisk clip. Vice Media, which has expanded from a Montreal punk magazine to a worldwide news operation, now has more than 1,100 total global employees (that includes all staff positions), and as of the deadline for this report, had hired nearly 50 U.S. new employees in 2014 alone.

Not all of the news was good. AOL’s network of Patch hyperlocal sites at one time employed about 1,000 reporters and editors but that had been cut back to fewer than 100 by early 2014, signaling the failure of the most ambitious effort to create a universe of digital community news sites under one roof.

News Magazines

In January 2013, Time magazine cut six positions as part of broader wave of layoffs (500 jobs) at Time Inc., the publishing division that houses Time magazine. Those cuts were part of a mandate from Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes to shave $100 million from the publishing division’s annual costs. In late 2013, soon after Nancy Gibbs replaced Rick Stengel as Time’s managing editor (becoming the first women to hold that position), Time announced 11 new hires and three promotions. However, in February 2014 Time Inc. proceeded with another round of reductions, reportedly 500 jobs, as part of a restructuring plan to spin off from its parent company, Time Warner.

Audio

News in traditional radio is a hard category to define, one measure being the number of stations that carry news content only. While the number of all-news radio stations in the U.S. remains small, 37 in 2012, according to the latest data available, that number was unchanged from 2011.

Ownership

Local TV

9 total value of local tv acquisitions

Local TV station sales exploded in 2013. Nearly 300 TV stations were sold, up 205% from 2012, according to BIA/Kelsey. Likewise, the total value of these transactions was up, a 367% increase in 2013 from 2012, reaching $8.8 billion.

Sinclair, which already owned more local stations than any other company, purchased 63 more in 2013, the most notable of which were seven stations from Allbritton Communications and 22 from Fisher Communications. Sinclair now operates 167 television stations in 77 markets. The Tribune Co. acquired Local TV Holdings for $2.73 billion (a total of 19 stations) and Gannett purchased Belo, adding 17 stations, in a $2.2 billion transaction. BIA/Kelsey attributes this growth to strong political advertising revenues from the previous year, retransmission consent revenues and continued historically low interest rates.

Network

The only major development in the ownership and executive level positions at the three network news divisions in 2013 was the joint venture between Disney/ABC with Univision to create a new cable channel, Fusion. They each own 50% of the channel.

Cable

A process that began in 2012 was completed in mid-2013 when News Corp.—parent of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network—formally spit in two. The movie and TV division containing the news channels was renamed Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. with Rupert Murdoch continuing as chief executive.

In August of 2013, Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network launched a new channel aimed squarely at U.S. audiences—Al Jazeera America. It occupies the same space on the dial held by Current TV.

Newspapers

Within days in August of 2013, two venerable newspapers changed hands. Multi-millionaire and Red Sox owner John Henry bought The Boston Globe and another Massachusetts newspaper, The Worchester Telegram & Gazette, from The New York Times for $70 million. And, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post for $250 million. In other transactions, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquired several more newspapers, The News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and Tulsa World, among them. A. H. Belo sold one its four newspapers – The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and plans to sell The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. That will leave just its flagship Dallas Morning News and the nearby Denton Record-Chronicle. Tribune Co., on the other hand, pulled eight of its papers off the market in 2013, after failing to fetch an attractive offer. Tribune now plans to spin them off into a separate company.

Commercial Digital Natives

Unlike other sectors studied here most commercial digital native sites are privately held companies and in 2013 saw little movement. One notable development, though, was AOL’s dropping of the hyperlocal news network Patch. Patch was founded by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in 2007, at first independent of AOL but then acquired by it in 2009.

In 2009 and 2010, AOL hired 900 employees, Armstrong said, with half of them going to Patch. By early 2011, Patch sites were up and running in about 800 cities and towns across the U.S. Despite this aggressive growth, and plans being made to hire for 1,000 Patch sites by the end of 2011, Armstrong drew back, saying in early 2012, “We don’t have a massive number of Patches on a run-rate profitability, and some of them have bounced in and bounced out.”

Despite the early growth at Patch and investment by AOL the company’s business model quickly came under criticism. In May, 2012 Starboard Value (an investment firm that owned 5.3% of Patch at the time) released a report calling Patch’s business model unsustainable. The report offered some rare estimates of Patch’s finances, which showed that the company had lost $147 million in 2011 and only brought in $13 million in advertising revenue.

Over the course of 2013, Patch suffered more losses. In August 2013 AOL announced the closing of 400 of the 900 Patch sites that existed at the time. Finally, in early 2014, AOL dropped Patch entirely and sold majority ownership of the remaining sites to Hale Global.

News Magazines

In March 2013, Time Warner announced that it would spin off Time Inc. into a separate publicly traded company. In March of 2014, these plans seem to be in full effect as Time Inc. prepares to separate from Time Warner. In the meantime, Time Inc. has been integrating American Express Publishing, which it bought last year.

http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/state-of-the-news-media-2014-key-indicators-in-media-and-news/

How Americans Get TV News at Home

TV News ViewingEven at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.

Almost three out of four U.S. adults (71%) watch local television news and 65% view network newscasts over the course of a month, according to Nielsen data from February 2013. While 38% of adults watch some cable news during the month, cable viewers—particularly the most engaged viewers—spend far more time with that platform than broadcast viewers do with local or network news.1

On average, the cable news audience devotes twice as much time to that news source as local and network news viewers spend on those platforms.  And the heaviest cable users are far more immersed in that coverage—watching for more than an hour a day—than the most loyal viewers of broadcast television news.  Even those adults who are the heaviest viewers of local and network news spend more time watching cable than those broadcast outlets.

Time Spent with TV NewsThe data in this study was prepared specifically for the Pew Research Center by Nielsen, the primary source of ratings and viewership information for the television industry. This comparison of in-home network and local television, cable and internet news consumption offers a unique look at how people get news across different platforms in a rapidly changing media environment. It is based on Nielsen’s national panel of metered homes and reflects viewership in the month of February 2013, which largely coincides with the first television “sweeps” period of the year. (See Methodology)

The numbers in this report dovetail with other data about television news viewership. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey of news consumption habits shows that local television remains the most popular way of accessing news. And Pew Research’s annual State of the News Media reportshows that the nightly network newscasts draw far larger audiences than the prime-time cable news shows.

But the deeper level of viewer engagement with cable news may help to explain why cable television—despite a more limited audience—seems to have an outsized ability to influence the national debate and news agenda. Previous Pew Research Center data have shown that in prime time—when the audience is the largest—cable talk shows tend to hammer away at a somewhat narrow news agenda that magnifies the day’s more polarizing and ideological issues. The Nielsen data make it clear that cable’s audience is staying for a healthy helping of that content.

In one finding that may seem counterintuitive in an era of profound political polarization, significant portions of the Fox News and MSNBC audiences spend time watching both channels. More than a third (34%) of those who watch the liberal MSNBC in their homes also tune in to the conservative Fox News Channel. The reverse is true for roughly a quarter (28%) of Fox News viewers. Even larger proportions of Fox News and MSNBC viewers, roughly half, also spend time watching CNN, which tends to be more ideologically balanced in prime time. (The channel’s new version of Crossfire, which debuted on Sept. 9, follows its formula of delivering opinion from both the left and right.)

Some of the key findings from this initial analysis include:

  • While the largest portion of Americans watch local and network TV news at home, those who tune into cable news do so for an average of 25 minutes a day. That is more than twice as much time as local and network TV viewers spend getting news on those platforms.
  • Even heavy viewers of local TV news and network news spend more time watching cable news than they do watching these respective platforms. The heaviest local news viewers spend, on average, 11 more minutes watching cable news than local news. The heaviest network news viewers spend about one more minute watching cable news than they do network news.
  • Across all three platforms, there is a very large gap between the heaviest news consumers and everyone else. The top third of network news viewers in terms of time spent, for example, average almost 32 minutes a day watching network news. The next third spends about one-sixth as much time, or five minutes, watching network news.
  • There is no news junkie like a cable junkie. The most dedicated cable news viewers average 72 minutes, more than an hour, of home viewing a day. That compares with about 32 minutes for the heaviest network news viewers and 22 minutes for the most engaged local news audience. There is, however, a precipitous drop—to only three minutes a day—for the second most dedicated group of cable watchers.
  • There is widespread news consumption across different platforms, particularly with broadcast news. Fully 90% of network news viewers also watch local news and 82% of local news viewers also tune in to network news. The result is that more than half (58%) of U.S. adults watch both network and local news.

How Many Watch TV News and When

Emerging digital technology has changed news consumption choices and habits, and in a report released last fall, Pew Research Center found that local television has experienced viewership declines in the last several years, most acutely among young people. Additionally, Pew Research has documented significant declines in Americans’ reliance on newspaper and radio over time.

At the same time, the Nielsen data provide a reminder of the central role television still plays in news consumption in the comfort of home. Almost three-quarters of Americans, (71%) watch local TV news and almost two-thirds, (65%) watch network news over the course of a month. And more than one-third (38%) of Americans watch news on cable television.

Although broadcast television may have a wider reach, cable news handily wins the competition for the time and attention of news consumers at home. People who watch cable news do so for an average of about 25 minutes a day, compared with the slightly more than 12 minutes a day local television and network news viewers spend on those platforms. Some of this is no doubt due to cable news’ role as an around-the-clock, news-on-demand operation.

On every television platform, viewership is largest in the evening and nighttime hours. The number of viewers watching cable news is quite stable between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., begins to grow modestly in the late afternoon and then peaks between 8-11 p.m.

The local news audience is highest during the late 11 p.m. newscast, with about 15% more viewers than the slots from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The early morning newscasts, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., generate about 60% of the viewership that the late night program does.

Heavy vs. Light TV News Viewers

Average Time News Consumers Spend on Various PlatformsA deeper analysis of television news watchers reveals major differences in the amount of time they spend on that activity. To illustrate this, the audience data were sliced into thirds based on the time spent watching each platform, and Nielsen averaged the viewing time for each of the three groups of viewers.

Overall, people in the top category for each platform—the heaviest users in terms of time spent—are far more engaged than those in tiers two and three. That is particularly true for cable. The heaviest users of cable news devote, on average, one hour and 12 minutes (72 minutes) a day to that platform. Viewing time drops off dramatically for the bottom two-thirds of cable news viewers. Those in the middle tier average slightly more than three minutes of viewing time and those at the bottom catch a glimpse for less than a minute.

Similarly, for local TV news, the top tier of viewers averages almost 22 minutes a day, compared with six and a half minutes a day for those in the middle tier and one minute for those on the bottom rung. At the network news level, the most engaged viewers watch for almost 32 minutes day. But that drops off to slightly more than five minutes for the next tier and less than one minute for the lightest viewers.

News Viewing is Dominated by the Very Engaged

According to the numbers, people who are heavy users of any type of television news tend to be heavy viewers of other platforms. But the heaviest viewers of cable news far outpace heavy viewers of local and network news, racking up almost 50 more minutes a day, on average, than the most dedicated local news viewers and approximately 40 more minutes than the top tier of network news viewers.

Even the heavy viewers of local and network news spend more time watching cable news than they do watching network and local news.

The most devoted local news viewers spend an average of about 22 minutes a day on local news compared with about 32 on cable. (They also spend almost 24 minutes a day watching network news.) The heaviest network news users spend about a half minute more (32 minutes) watching cable than network.

The heaviest cable news users also spend more time watching local news (almost 14 minutes) and network news (almost 17 minutes) than the average viewer does (around 12 minutes). But that time is low compared with the 72 minutes they spend watching cable news in the home.

Crossing Over: Many People Get News from More Than One Source

The Nielsen data clearly indicate that those who watch television news on one platform are likely to watch it on another—particularly when it comes to broadcast news. The greatest overlap occurs between local and network newscasts, which often are on the same channel. Fully 90% of network news viewers also watch local news and 82% of local news viewers also tune in to network news.

Cross-Platform News Consumption

The crossover is not as great from broadcast news (network and local) to cable. Slightly less than half—about 44%—of both network and of local news viewers also watch cable news.

Similarly, cable news viewers, while a smaller group overall, are heavy consumers of local and network news. Indeed, cable viewers exhibit the heaviest news consumption habits of any group measured here. Three out of four cable viewers (76%) also watch some network news and even more (82%) watch some local news.

Overall, more than half of adult Americans watch more than one form of television news. The biggest cross platform viewing involves the broadcast platforms, with 58% of the adult population watching both local and network news. Slightly more than half as many, 31%, watch local television and cable news, followed by the 29% of the population that watches both network and cable television news.

Hand Me the Remote: Viewers Flip Among Cable News Channels

Many Americans Consume News on Two PlatformsThe three major cable news competitors differ somewhat in their viewership levels, with CNN reaching 20% of U.S. adults, Fox News reaching 18% and MSNBC reaching 14%. CNN’s viewership lead is supported by years of datashowing it has a wider reach than its competitors, but weaker “appointment” viewership, meaning it is less successful in getting viewers to tune in regularly for scheduled programs, especially in prime time. That helps explain why CNN consistently trails Fox News Channel in the rating wars since Fox News has a clear lead over competitors in its prime-time programming.

Cable News Cross-PlatformOne of the most striking findings in this analysis is the degree to which viewers of one of the three cable news channels also view the competition. While the formats of the three major cable news channels are quite similar, there are significant ideological differences, most pronounced in prime time.

In the evening, Fox News boasts a lineup of conservative talk show hosts while MSNBC features a team of liberal ones. CNN, the original cable news outlet, has built its brand around national and global reporting of breaking news events. It also airs opinion in prime time, but includes commentators from both the right and the left.

The perception is that because of their distinct identities—and particularly because of the divergent ideological leanings of Fox News and MSNBC—the cable news channels appeal to different, politically segmented audiences. However the data show something different.

  • More than one-quarter (28%) of the people who watch Fox News also tune in to MSNBC. An even higher number (34%) of MSNBC viewers turn on Fox News.
  • There is even more crossover viewing when it comes to CNN. Slightly more than half (54%) of MSNBC viewers watch CNN, while 44% of Fox News viewers tune in to CNN. Healthy segments of the CNN audience also watch Fox News (39%) and MSNBC (38%).
  • Overall, 5% of the adult American population watches both MSNBC and Fox News. That is slightly lower than the percentage who watches both CNN and Fox (8%) or CNN and MSNBC (also 8%).
  • Despite some crossover, there are also viewers who watch only one of the three cable channels. Here, Fox News Channel narrowly has the largest singularly dedicated audience. About one- quarter of American adults, (24%) watch only Fox News, 23% watch only CNN and 15% watch only MSNBC.

Online News Consumption at Home

Cable News Websites Cross-PlatformAccording to the February 2013 data used in this study, about 38% of Americans access news online at home via a desktop or laptop computer. Nielsen’s online numbers—based on those who access news websites—do not measure those getting news at home from a smartphone or tablet device. This data also reflect the fact that those getting online news at home generally spend very small amounts of time on that task. On average, that amounts to 90 seconds per day getting news online.

Looking at the data by intensity of use, the heaviest online news users spent only about four minutes a day on that activity. Medium online news searchers spent about 18 seconds per day at that task, while light users spent less than six seconds.

Overlap Among Cable News Sites

Some of the most popular news websites are affiliated with the three major cable news channels. Though all three are consistently among the top 10 most trafficked news websites, their audiences are fairly small as a percentage of U.S. adults.

Nbcnews.com (formerly MSNBC.com) is one of the most trafficked news sites on the web, but it still only reaches about 9% of adults in America, according to Nielsen. About 6% of the public gets news on cnn.com each day. In addition, 5% of Americans get news from foxnews.com.

When it comes to news consumers visiting multiple sites, 37% of those who visit foxnews.com also go to nbcnews.com, while 22% of those who visit nbcnews.com view foxnews.com.  In addition, 28% of those who visited foxnews.com and 21% of those who visited nbcnews.com also go to cnn.com. Among cnn.com users, 26% also went to foxnews.com and 33% also went to nbcnews.com.

For the most part, there is more crossover news consumption on the television side of the three competitive cable news outlets than there is on their digital properties.

 

http://www.journalism.org/2013/10/11/how-americans-get-tv-news-at-home/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400-402

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Daniel Yergin — The Quest: The Global Race for Energy, Security and Power and The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, Power — Videos

Posted on December 26, 2014. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Nuclear Power, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Resources, Reviews, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Daniel Yergin on America’s New Energy Reality

Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin on the next energy revolution

The Evolution of the Canadian Oilsands – An Interview with Daniel Yergin

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

An Energy Briefing with Daniel Yergin: Understanding Energy Solutions

Daniel Yergin | Charlie Rose

Daniel Yergin: The Global Quest for Energy

BookTV: After Words: Daniel Yergin, “The Quest”

Fireside Chat with Dan Yergin

World Business: P2P Interview Dan Yergin 28/11/08

 

 

Conversations with History: Energy Security and the Remaking of the Modern World with Daniel Yergin

The Prize (Part 1 of 8) – “Our Plan”

The Prize (Part 2 of 8) – “Empires of Oil”

The Prize (Part 3 of 8) – “Black Giant”

The Prize (Part 4 of 8) – “War and Oil”

The Prize (Part 5 of 8) – “Crude Diplomacy”

The Prize (Part 6 of 8) – “Power to the Producers”

The Prize (Part 7 of 8) – “The Tinderbox”

The Prize (Part 8 of 8) – “New Order of Oil”

 

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Obama Panics Over Soaring Gas Prices And Plummeting Popularity–Now Favors All Forms of Energy Including Oil and Natural Gas And Pipelines!–Unbelieveable–Videos

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Energy, Natural Gas, Oil, Raves, Resources, Strategy, Taxes, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

http://news.investors.com/article/604303/201203141303/oil-abundant-in-the-united-states.htm

Myth: The World is Running Out of Oil (Peak Oil) 

Eagle Ford & Bakken Shale Oil: The New Rush For Black Gold 

Oil Shale, Enough Oil for Over 150 Years! 

Unlocking the Bakken: North Dakota’s Future in Meeting World Energy Needs

http://news.investors.com/article/604030/201203121828/poll-shows-drilling-support-obama-defensive.htm

#ObamaGap Between Words & Actions on Energy 

Hoeven:President Obama’s Cushing Visit Highlights His Continuing Obstruction of KXL 

Senator Blumenthal calls for action against excessive oil speculation that inflates gas prices.

Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing 

Speculation and Watered Down Regulation 

Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets 

How Wall St Speculation Drives Up Gas Prices 

What are futures? – MoneyWeek investment tutorial 

What are ‘contango’ and ‘backwardation’?

Contango & backwardation in commodity forward markets 

President to Announce Support for Part of Keystone Pipeline

Obama To Fast-Track Permit For Keystone Oil Pipeline

Bill Johnson: Pres Obama’s Energy Policies are Failing America

Senator: Obama blocking Keystone didn’t send wrong message to Wall Street 

Limbaugh: As Gas Prices Rise, Obama Pushes His Green Energy Money Laundering Operation

Democrats Have No Plan to Bring Down Rising Gas Prices, But They Do Have a Plan to Make Them Go Up 

(3.22.12) Obama Defends Handling of Keystone Pipeline 

Fox News Blames Obama For Gas Prices 

Background Articles and Videos

Scarce Oil? U.S. Has 60 Times More Than Obama Claims

By JOHN MERLINE, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

“…U.S. Awash In Oil

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.

http://news.investors.com/article/604303/201203141303/oil-abundant-in-the-united-states.htm

Poll: Public Anger Over Gasoline Prices Hurting Obama

    By SEAN HIGGINS, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

“…”Most Americans do not give President Obama good grades for handling rising gasoline prices. Only 24% give him an A or B; 46% give him a D or F,” said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducted the poll.

Just 8% gave him an excellent grade on the issue; 32% said his actions are unacceptable.

Americans back drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 54%-38%, drilling in American territorial waters, 66%-25%, and hydraulic fracturing shale rock for crude in the Mountain West and elsewhere, 67%-22%.

Such numbers clearly have the White House worried. It conceded as much in a statement Monday: “Today’s high gas prices are a painful reminder that there’s much more work to do to free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil and take control of our energy future.”

The administration did note that domestic oil and natural gas production are at an eight-year high. Republicans counter that this is the Bush administration’s work. Just last week the administration successfully lobbied Senate Democrats to filibuster a bill that would have opened the Keystone XL pipeline to America. That was the second time the White House has killed it. …”

http://news.investors.com/article/604030/201203121828/poll-shows-drilling-support-obama-defensive.htm

US sees lower 2011 oil use, becomes net exporter

03.01.2012                     |

                    US oil demand in all of 2011 dropped 1.8%, or by 345,000 bpd, from 2010 to a two-year low of 18.835 million bpd, government data released Wednesday show. US oil output climbed 7.4% to 5.877 million bpd, the highest level since 1999.

By DAVID BIRD

“…US oil demand in all of 2011 dropped 1.8%, or by 345,000 bpd, from 2010 to a two-year low of 18.835 million bpd, government data released Wednesday show.
Demand dropped for the fifth of the past six years, and followed a 2.2% drop a year ago, data from the Energy Information Administration show.
Demand for gasoline, the most widely used petroleum product in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation, fell 2.9%, to a 10-year low of 8.736 million bpd.

The drop came as the nationwide average retail price of regular gasoline for all of 2011 set a record at $3.521/gal, up 26.6% from the prior year, EIA data show.
US oil output climbed 7.4% to 5.877 million bpd, the highest level since 1999.

Production rose for a third straight year, which is the longest string of annual increases since the early 1980s. …”

http://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/Article/2988223/US-sees-lower-2011-oil-use-becomes-net-exporter.html

US Oil Use Down 1.2% in 2011

“…U.S. oil demand fell 1.2 percent to 18.9 million barrels a day last year, trade group American Petroleum Institute said Friday.

Early data from the federal Energy Information Administration issued Jan. 10 showed a 1.6 percent, or 310,000 barrels a day, drop to 18.87 million barrels a day. The International Energy Agency, the oil-market watchdog for the major industrialized nations, such as the U.S., that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, this week estimated a decline of 1.8 percent, or 340,000 barrels a day, in U.S. demand, to 18.84 million barrels a day.

The API said its estimate for 2011 showed that, except for 2008, the drop in demand was the most in the last decade. December 2011 U.S. petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, were down 5.9 percent from a year earlier, to a 15-year low of 18.6 million barrels a day.

Demand for gasoline, the most widely used U.S. petroleum product, fell 4.3 percent in December from a year ago, to 8.531 million barrels a day. Annual demand was 2.1 percent lower, at 8.803 million barrels a day.

“The weakness in gasoline demand in 2011 reflected the overall weakness in consumer spending,” said John Felmy, API chief economist. Despite the decline in demand for refined products, supplies remained ample, with gasoline production for the year averaging a record high of 9.1 million barrels a day, up 0.5 percent from 2010. Distillate production, at 4.5 million barrels a day, was up 6.1 percent for the year. Refinery inputs fell by 1.5 percent in 2011 compared with 2010.

Demand for distillate fuel–diesel fuel and heating oil–rose 3.2 percent in 2011, to 3.921 million barrels a day. Within that figure, demand for ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel rose 5.3 percent. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel accounts for 90 percent of distillate demand.

Total petroleum imports dropped 5.6 percent in 2011, API said. Although up slightly in December, crude-oil imports for the year fell by 3.4 percent. Imports of refined products dropped 14 percent for the year and were down more than 33 percent for December.

Total petroleum exports–almost all of which were product exports–jumped 25.5 percent in 2011 compared with 2010. …”

http://peakoil.com/consumption/us-oil-use-down-1-2-in-2011/

Obama’s Oil Lies & His Contempt for the USA pt1

Obama’s Oil Lies & His Contempt for the USA pt2.

Obama’s Oil Lies & His Contempt for the USA pt3

Obama’s Oil Lies & His Contempt for the USA pt4

Obama’s Oil Lies & His Contempt for the USA pt5

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America Goes To War, Obama Goes On Vacation–America’s Unconstitional and Undeclared Preventive War For Libya’s Oil and Natural Gas For France, Great Britain and Italy–United (Nations) We Stand Or Fall With The Warfare and Welfare Economy and State!–Videos

Posted on March 24, 2011. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Monetary Policy, Money, Talk Radio, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATED March 26, 2011 

Weekly Address: The Military Mission in Libya

Libya, Serbia, Iraq… Libya: Become US President, Declare War!

 

Obama Authorizes U.S. Military Action Against Libya

 

Scowcroft: Avoiding Mission Creep in Libya

 

Libya is going to be more than a no-fly zone operation

“A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn’t preventive war, that is war.

~President Dwight D. Eisenhower, news conference, August 11,  1954

 

 

Why Is Obama Encouraging Brazil to Drill for Oil, But He Won’t Do the Same Here?

 

Obama – Drill in Brazil, but Not Here

 

OBAMA / LYBIA / WHAT IS NEXT!

 

END WAR: AJ Explains U.S. Government Backing Libyan Al-Qaeda, A Globalist Tool Used Against Soviets

 

SA@TAC – Obama’s Libyan War

 

LIBYA – CAMERON AND SARKOZY BEATING THE DRUMS OF WAR


 

Italy and Libya, a tale of money, oil and colonial scars

 

Hillary Clinton and Obama had ‘Extensive Contacts’ with UK in BP’s Lockerbie Release Deal

Madsen: Lockerbie Bomber released to bailout British banks

 

 

Lockerbie Justice Takes Backseat?

 

Iran’s Insidious Role In The United Kingdom’s Politics

 

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 1

 

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 2

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 3

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 4

 

Lockerbie Bomber Truth 1/2

 

Lockerbie Bomber Truth 2/2

 

Lockerbie Bombing Evidence Newsnight Scotland pt 1

 

END WAR: Ron Paul Repeats No-Fly-Zone Is An Act Of War Requiring Congressional Approval

 

Ron Paul To Introduce A Bill That Says The President Can’t Impose A NO-Fly Zone Over Libya!

 

Don’t tread on me

Last weekend the President of the United States in his capacity as  Commander in Chief ordered the launching of 122 cruise missiles and dozens of military fighter aircraft and naval warships to attack the Libyan military command and control installations.

America is now at war with Libya or more precisely, the  Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The goal is the killing of Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and securing oil and natural gas resources for European countries and allies of the United States including Italy, France, Germany and Great Britain.

President Obama follows the lead of former President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in initiating yet another preventive war on an Islamic tribal nation.

THE BEST DEFENSE: Preventive War

 

Europe and in particular  Italy, France, and Great Britain needed an uninterrupted supply of oil and natural gas from Libya.

A civil war in Libya might eventually lead to the destruction of BP’s  oil refineries in Libya and in turn the disruption of the flow of oil and natural gas from Libya to Europe.

The United States is now backing rebels many of them allied with the Liberation Islamic Fighting Group–al Qaeda.

President Obama now has the United States providing air support for the rebels including the Moslem Bortherhood, Islamic Jihidists and  al Qaeda and intervening in a civil war among over 140 clans or  tribes of Libya.

What is next?

Singing the Libyan national anthem at a White House dinner to honor the freedom fighters or Islamic Jidhadists?

Allahu Akbar (God is Great)

Gives new meaning to the term green energy.

Andrew McCarthy: “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America”

CNN: Libya, a nation of tribes

Navigating Libya’s tribal maze

Great Britain, France and Italy all need oil and natural gas.

The cover story for the so-called “kinetic military action” or no-fly-zone is humanitarian aid and intervention to prevent a genocide in Libya by  Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI.

The progressive radical socialist in America are allied with the Islamic jihadists.

Whatever Libya’s role in the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing, the Iranian government contracted for the death of American citizens and soldiers as payback for the accidental shooting down of an Iran Air Flight 655  by the United States naval cruiser Vincennes that was in Iranian territorial waters.

 

Iran’s Insidious Role In The United Kingdom’s Politics.

 

U.S. cruiser downs Iranian airliner — July 3, 1988

 

(1/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(2/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(3/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(4/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

 

Where is Congress?

Where is mainstream media?

Banging on the war drums.

Neo-Libs Rejoice As UN Declares War On Libya

The warfare and welfare economy and state needs another war to create another bubble or boom.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt Chapter 2 – “The Broken Window”

 

War is the ultimate broken windows stimulus policy.

The fight for oil and political power resulted in the deaths of 290 people on civilian jet airliner Iran Air Flight 655 on July 18, 1988 and the deaths of 259 people on civilian jet airliner Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 people in Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.  

Time for the American people to put a stop to this madness of the government interventionists both at home and abroad.

Time to have another drink with Bob:

Let Libyans Fight Their Own Battles…

 

Obama Hates US…

 

DRILL! DRILL!! DRILL!!!

 

Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon’s new map for war and peace 

 

Libya Erupts in Now-Contiguous North African Democratization Wave – Wikistrat CoreGap

 

The Most Persistent Economic Fallacy of All Time!

 

The Precautionary Principle Who Benefits?

 

 

Background Articles and Videos

Inside al Qaeda

 

Libya frees al Qaeda linked group

The Neoconservative Media by the Southern Avenger

The Iran problem with Hanson and Baer

 

On the NRO Libya Editorial, I Respectfully Dissent  

 

By Andrew C. McCarthy

 

“…Contrary to the editors’ claim, a military campaign to pick a winner between Qaddafi (for whom we were vouching for up until a few weeks ago) and the “rebels” (who include anti-American jihadists) would not be “commensurate with our interests.” It could not be, for such campaigns, as the editorial concedes, have “costs and risks.” Our interests are calculated by weighing those costs and risks against the anticipated benefits. To justify the use of military force, the benefits have to be clear and substantial, and their pursuit must be supported by the public. The fate of Libya is just not that important. Qaddafi is a creep, but he hasn’t done anything to us since our government absolved him seven years ago. If he falls, no one will weep. But that doesn’t make it worth a single American life to move him out so the “rebels” can move in.

Arab League members have been lushly armed by the U.S. for years. Why don’t we suggest that they band together to drive Qaddafi out, just like they have banded together several times to try to wipe out Israel? Why don’t we let our great NATO ally Turkey take a time-out from trying to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas to deal with its own backyard?

To borrow General McChrystal’s words about Afghanistan, Libya is not our war. The editors observe that “waiting for U.N. or even NATO approval is a formula for inaction,” but there are very good reasons for inaction. Putting aside Security Council authoritarians like China and Russia, who have their own reasons for protecting Qaddafi, many other countries see the potentially catastrophic downsides of getting involved and say, “No thanks.” Why do we need to be the ones to take on the empirically thankless task of stepping in between warring Muslims who are united only by their disdain for America and the West? 

It is not easy to explain to our troops and their loved ones why the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have devolved into increasingly pointless nation-building exercises, continue to be worth their sacrifice. But at least in those missions, there were clear U.S. national security reasons for the initial invasions. At least in those missions, we are still killing and capturing some terrorists who might otherwise attack the U.S. In Libya, there are no similar U.S. interests. Yet NR is not only undertaking to support a forcible intervention; the editors lay the groundwork for supporting “other options” to be considered once Qaddafi’s offensive has been checked. Intended of not, that leaves the door ajar to yet another long-term, troop-intensive occupation, the editors’ protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. And is it not worth at least a mention that among the “costs and risks” of military intervention in a Muslim country is that, regardless of how well-meaning we are, mainstream Islam construes sharia to require attacks against Western forces that attack Muslim countries? By intervening — even if some Muslim countries are asking us to intervene, history tells us — we would guarantee intensified calls by influential Islamic clerics for jihad against us. …”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/262377/nro-libya-editorial-i-respectfully-dissent-andrew-c-mccarthy

Our Blood and Treasure, for Britain and France

“…Britain is so desperate for drilling rights in Libya that it engineered the release and repatriation of the Libyan bomber of Pan American Flight 103, ignoring international outrage. France is one of the major importers of Libyan oil, and France accepted trivial compensation for a Libyan mid-air bombing of one its flights, UTA 772. The incident, like Pan Am 103, was settled by Gaddafi’s government paying monetary compensation to the victims’ families.

After tolerating the murder of its citizens in order to get access to Libya’s easily refined oil, Britain and France saw in Libya’s uprising the handwriting on the wall. Gaddafi might end up on the scrap heap of history, and what Britain and France needed was a new Libyan partner.

With Britain and France ostensibly standing up for the “democratic” opposition and the media bringing the visual horror of Gaddafi’s words and deeds to the world, the Obama administration could not continue to sit on the sidelines. Yet the media has been beating the drums over the “democratic” opposition, but there has been no real analysis of what the opposition will bring to the political process, if they do win.

In the meantime, Hillary Clinton’s earlier warning that no-fly zones are ineffectual because they don’t stop troops and tanks has been superseded in this conflict by the French. Their air force has been doing more than just keeping Libyan planes out of the air. They shot up Libyan tanks and armor, carving out seemingly new rules of engagement without objection, until the Arab League began to complain.

If the Arab League wanted to stop Gaddafi, they didn’t have to wait until his forces were near victorious, nor did they really need the West to carry out the attacks. Egypt and Saudi Arabia alone could have defeated Gaddafi, but ultimately they had no desire to do so. What they had was the desire to rhetorically enter the fray and to posture appropriately for the international community when it appeared Gaddafi would win. After all, the continual fall of Arab tyrants and despots threatens the Arab League itself, an organization comprised of despots and tyrants.

Obama has dragged us into yet another endless war in the Islamic world, a war where the military mission is clear, as it was in the early days of Iraq, and where the strategy and endgame are totally undefined. Britain’s and France’s strategic interests in this conflict are unambiguous. America’s? They are no clearer than they are in Zimbabwe and a host of other places where people are wantonly oppressed and killed by tyrants. …”

http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-bloggers/2693532/posts

Preventive War

A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power[1] by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance to shift in the direction of the adversary. Preventive war is distinct from preemptive war, which is first strike when an attack is imminent.[1] Preventive war undertaken without the approval of the United Nations is illegal under the modern framework of international law,[2] though Robert Delahunty and John Yoo from the George W. Bush administration maintained in their discussion of the Bush Doctrine that these standards are unrealistic.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preventive_war

Bush Doctrine

The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of former United States president George W. Bush. The phrase was first used by Charles Krauthammer in June 2001 [1] to describe the Bush Administration’s unilateral withdrawals from the ABM treaty and the Kyoto Protocol. The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to secure itself against countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups, which was used to justify the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.[2]

Different pundits would attribute different meanings to “the Bush Doctrine”, as it came to describe other elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a potential or perceived threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate; a policy of spreading democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a willingness to unilaterally pursue U.S. military interests.[3][4][5] Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002.[6]

The phrase “Bush Doctrine” was rarely used by members of the Bush administration. The expression was used at least once, though by Vice President Dick Cheney, in a June 2003 speech in which he said, “If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush Doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.”[7] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine

Oil and Gas in Libya
– Overview

“…Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya had proved oil reserves of 41.464 billion barrels at the end of 2007 or 3.34 % of the world’s reserves.

Oil exploration in Libya began in 1955, with the key national Petroleum Law No. 25 enacted in April of that year (a new petroleum law is currently under development). Libya’s first oil fields were discovered in 1959 (at Amal and Zelten — now known as Nasser), and oil exports began in 1961.

Libya is Africa’s major oil producer and one of Europe’s biggest North African oil suppliers. Supplies from North Africa to Europe destinations have the advantage of being both timely and cost effective. According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya produced an average of 1847.7 thousand barrels of crude oil per day in 2007, 2.2% of the world total and a change of 0.5 % compared to 2006. Libya’s economy is based on oil and exports contribute between 75% and 90% of State revenues.

Foreign involvement in Libya was severely reduced as a result of the sanctions and embargoes emplaced upon it, especially between the years of 1992 and 1999. Access to oil industry equipment and technology was restricted and Libya is reliant on foreign investment to keep the industry active.

Libya has very low production costs and the oilfields are close to the refineries and markets of Europe. In addition, despite almost half a century of exploration, Libya remains largely unexplored with vast oil and gas potential. The under-exploration of Libya reflects the impact of sanctions formerly imposed on the country.

According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya had 2007 proved natural gas reserves of 1.49 trillion cubic metres, 0.84% of the world total, while producing 15.2 billion cubic metres, 0.51% of the world total, in the same period.NOC controls the whole of the downstream sector together with its numerous subsidiaries and overseas arms, Umm Jawwaby Oil Services and OilInvest with its two subsidiaries of Gatoil and Tamoil

The Umm Jawwaby Oil Services acts as the Libyan National Oil Company’s procurement arm based in London. Libya is a direct producer and distributor in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Egypt. In Italy, Tamoil Italia, which is based in Milan and has approximately 2,100 service stations, controls about 5% of the country’s retail market for oil products and lubricants. …”

http://www.mbendi.com/indy/oilg/af/lb/p0005.htm

 USS Vincennes (CG-49)

“…The fourth USS Vincennes (CG-49) is a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser. In 1988, the ship shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 civilian passengers on board, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children.

The ship was launched 14 April 1984 and sponsored by Marilyn Quayle, wife of Indiana Senator Dan Quayle. The Vincennes was named for the Battle of Vincennes during the Revolutionary War, while the previous Vincennes heavy cruiser and Vincennes light cruiser were named for the city of Vincennes, Indiana. She was commissioned at Pascagoula 6 July 1985, Captain George N. Gee in command. The ship normally carries guided missiles, rapid-fire cannons, and two Seahawk LAMPS helicopters for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, personnel transfers, and other purposes.

As of 2008, the Vincennes is mothballed and slated for scrapping. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Vincennes_(CG-49)

Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655)

“…Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when it was destroyed by the U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children,[1] ranking it seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities.[2] It was the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. Vincennes was traversing the Strait of Hormuz, inside Iranian territorial waters, and at the time of the attack IR655 was within Iranian airspace.[3]

According to the US government, the crew identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter. The Iranian government maintains that the Vincennes knowingly shot down the civilian aircraft. The event generated a great deal of controversy and criticism of the U.S. Some analysts have blamed U.S. military commanders and the captain of the Vincennes for reckless and aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment.[4][5]

In 1996, the United States and Iran reached “an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims” relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice.[6] As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay US$61.8 million, an average of $213,103.45 per passenger, in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims. However, the United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.[7]

As of summer 2009 Iran Air was still using flight number IR655 on the Tehran–Dubai route.[8] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

Pan Am Flight 103

“…Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways’ third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Wednesday 21 December 1988, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 747–121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas—was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members.[1] Eleven people in Lockerbie, in southern Scotland, were also killed as large sections of the plane fell in the town and destroyed several houses, bringing total fatalities to 270. As a result, the news media has named the event the Lockerbie bombing.

On 24 February 2011, resigned justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil revealed that Muamar Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing.[2] …”

“…Based on a 1995 investigation by journalists Paul Foot and John Ashton, a number of alternate explanations of the plot to commit the Lockerbie bombing were listed by The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham in 1999.[122] Following the Lockerbie verdict in 2001 and the appeal in 2002, attempts have been made to re-open the case amid allegations that Libya was framed. One theory suggests the bomb on the plane was detonated by radio. Another theory suggests the CIA prevented the suitcase containing the bomb from being searched. Iran’s involvement is alleged, either in association with a Palestine militant group, or that it was involved in loading the bomb while the plane was at Heathrow. The US Defense Intelligence Agency alleges that Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur (Ayatollah Mohtashemi), a member of the Iranian government, paid US$ 10 million for the bombing:

Ayatollah Mohtashemi: (…) and was the one who paid the same amount to bomb Pan Am Flight 103 in retaliation for the US shoot-down of the Iranian Airbus.[123]

Other theories implicate Libya and Abu Nidal, and apartheid South Africa. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103

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Nuclear Renaissance–Videos

Posted on March 14, 2011. Filed under: Biology, Blogroll, Chemistry, Physics, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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60 Minutes: Vive Les Nukes (Part One)

 

The Future of Nuclear Power in the US

 

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Survivior of BP Drilling Rig Accident Tells What Happened On Mark Levin Show–Contain The Spill–Shutting Down Other Rigs In Gulf o Mexico Makes No Sense–Keep On Drilling For Energy Independence–Day One–May 1, 2010–Days Late, Dollars Short–Failed To Activate Existing Spill Plans!

Posted on May 3, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, College, Communications, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Science, Security, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

Updated January 25, 2015

Deepwater Horizon Blowout Animation

The blowout preventer that was intended to shut off the flow of high-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico during the disaster on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010, failed to seal the well because drill pipe buckled for reasons the offshore drilling industry remains largely unaware of.

Blow Out Preventer (BOP)

Oil Disaster (Deepwater Horizon): The Rig That Blew Up

White House Response to Oil Spill

Mark Levin Show – PART 1- caller “James” survived the Deepwater Horizon explosion’

Mark Levin Show – PART 2- caller “James” survived the Deepwater Horizon explosion

White House Spins Oil Spill Response

Fox News Sunday – Gulf Oil Spill,New York Bomb And Florida Race

US oil spill explained

These Boots Are Meant To Walk Over You–Obama and Progressive Radical Socialist Salazar and Gibbs On Federal Government Boot On The Neck/Throat of British Petroleum/BP and American People!

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 NOAA

Coast Guard: Oil Rig Burning Since Tuesday Sinks

Press Briefing on Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

Floating,Deepwater oil & gas rig

Extreme Oil Drilling

Obama Extends Offshore Drilling

Barack Obama on Offshore Oil Drilling

Obama On Offshore Drilling

Pros and Cons of Obama’s Drilling Plan

Obama to Announce More Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ts00-Yi1gc&feature=channel

Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf of Mexico

Background Articles and Videos

Despite plan, not a single fire boom on hand on Gulf Coast at time of oil spill

By Ben Raines

“…If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.

The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand.

But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.

When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today.

At federal officials’ behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore. …”

“…In the days after the rig sank, U.S Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the government had all the assets it needed. She did not discuss why officials waited more than a week to conduct a test burn. (Watch video footage of the test burn.)

At the time, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet — who helped craft the 1994 plan — told the Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. “The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away.”

Gouguet speculated that burning could have captured 95 percent of the oil as it spilled from the well.

Bohleber said that his company was bringing several fire booms from South America, and he believed the National Response Center discovered that it had one in storage.

Each boom costs a few hundred thousand dollars, Bohleber said, declining to give a specific price.

Made of flame-retardant fabric, each boom has two pumps that push water through its 500-foot length. Two boats tow the U-shaped boom through an oil slick, gathering up about 75,000 gallons of oil at a time. That oil is dragged away from the larger spill, ignited and burns within an hour, he said.

The boom can be used as long as waves are below 3 feet, Bohleber said. ..”

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/fire_boom_oil_spill_raines.html

Oil Rig Explosion Injures Workers and Causes Raging Fire off Louisiana Coast

“…Transocean vice president Adrian Rose said today crews were performing routine work and that there was no sign of trouble before the explosion. The rig was under contract to BP PLC.

Officials said today that, so far, environmental impact from the accident seems to be minimal.

According to the Transocean website, the Deepwater Horizon is 396 feet long and 256 feet wide and is located in 5,000 feet of water. Last September, the Deepwater Horizon broke a world record when it burrowed down more than 35,000 feet at another BP site in the Gulf of Mexico.

//

Floating Platform Tilted in Water

The oil platform has tilted about 70 degrees, leading authorities to fear it may topple into the water. The Coast Guard told ABC News it does not have an estimate for when the raging fire might die down.

Oil platforms are actually semi-submersible rigs that are floated over drilling sites. They have pontoons and a column that submerge when flooded with sea water, but the structure does not touch the sea floor. The platforms sit low in the water and are moored with giant anchors.

Transocean is a behemoth in the drilling world. The company calls itself the “world’s largest offshore drilling contractor” and says it has a fleet of over 140 drilling platforms. …”

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/oil-rig-explosion-drilling-rig-off-louisiana-coast/story?id=10437155

Deepwater Horizon

“…Deepwater Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible drilling rig (oil rig) built in 2001. The purpose of this rig was to drill oil wells deep underwater, moving from location to location, as needed. Once the drilling was complete, pumping production was handled by other equipment.

Deepwater Horizon was owned by Transocean and leased to BP through September 2013. In September 2009, she drilled the deepest oil well in history. Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010, as the result of an explosion two days earlier.

History

Designed originally for R&B Falcon, Deepwater Horizon was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Construction started in December 1998 and she was delivered in February 2001 after the acquisition of R&B Falcon by Transocean. She was the second rig constructed of a class of two, although the Deepwater Nautilus, her predecessor, is not dynamically positioned. Since arriving in the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon was under contract to BP Exploration. Her work included wells in the Atlantis and Thunder Horse fields, a 2006 discovery in the Kaskida field [2] and the 2009 Tiber oilfield.[3] On September 2, 2009, Deepwater Horizon drilled on the Tiber oilfield the deepest oil and gas well ever drilled with a vertical depth of 35,050 feet (10,680 m) and measured depth of 35,055 feet (10,685 m), of which 4,132 feet (1,259 m) was water.[3][4][5]

In 2002, the rig was upgraded with “e-drill”, a drill monitoring system where technicians based in Houston, Texas receive real-time drilling data from the rig and transmit maintenance and troubleshooting information.[6]

Before the accident, Deepwater Horizon worked on BP’s Mississippi Canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo prospect.[2] The rig was last located 50 miles (80 km) off the southeast coast of Louisiana.[7] In October 2009, BP extended the contract for Deepwater Horizon by three years, to begin in September 2010.[8] The lease contract was worth US$544 million, a rate of $496,800 per day.[9]

Description

Deepwater Horizon was a fifth generation, RBS-8D design, ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, column-stabilized, semi-submersible drilling rig. This type of rig does the initial drilling, then other rigs are used to produce oil from the completed wells.[7] The rig was 396 feet (121 m) long and 256 feet (78 m) wide and according to Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, was “one of the largest, deep water, off-shore drilling rigs.”[10] She could operate in waters up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) deep, and had a maximum drill depth of 30,000 feet (9,100 m).[10][11] The rig could accommodate up to 130 crew members.[11] The semi-submersible rig was floated to the drilling location; she had pontoons and four columns that partially submerged when the rig was ballasted down to drilling air gap. The rig was not supported by the sea floor but her pontoons sat under the water.[12]

Explosion

The rig was in the final phases of drilling a well in which casing is cemented in place, reinforcing the well.[7] On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the rig and she caught fire. Eleven people were missing after the incident. Seven workers were airlifted to the Naval air station in New Orleans and were then taken to the hospital.[1] Support ships sprayed the rig with water in an unsuccessful bid to douse the flames. Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010, in water approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m) deep, and has been located resting on the seafloor approximately 1,300 feet (400 m) northwest of the well.[7][13][14] The oil slick being spread from the Deepwater Horizon accident threatens fisheries, tourism and the habitat of hundreds of bird species.[15]

…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon

Worst offshore disaster ever that left 167 dead

PIPER ALPHA DISASTER – Part 1

PIPER ALPHA DISASTER – Part 2

PIPER ALPHA DISASTER – Part 3

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