Saturday, 31 May 2014


Israel Eyes Becoming A Cashless Society
May 30, 2014 | Yossi Aloni 
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A special committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Harel Locker, has recommended a three-phase plan to all but do away with cash transactions in Israel.

The motivation for examining a cash-less economy is combating money laundering and other tax-evasion tactics, thereby maximizing potential tax collection and greatly expanding the tax base. This is important considering the enormous strain put on Israel’s national budget by the army, healthcare system and other public services.

The committee estimated that the black market represents over 20 percent of Israel’s GDP, and cash is the facilitating factor. Cash enables tax evasion, money laundering and even financing terrorism.

“According to estimates by the Tax Authority, about one-fifth of economic activity in Israel is not reported, ie. it is a black market,” said Locker. “As a result of this black market, Israel loses tax revenues in the neighborhood of 40–50 billion shekels ($11-$14 billion) annually. This is an amount equal to the individual annual budgets of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.”

What the committee would like to see happen, pending government approval, is greater restriction on the use of cash, limiting the use of checks as a means of payment and exchange for cash, and promotion of the use of electronic (and therefore verifiable) means of payment.

The following guidelines were set out by the committee for the short-term:

•Limit business transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 7,500 ($2,150) immediately, and reduce that further to NIS 5,000 ($1,433) one year from the date of legislation;

•Limit private transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 15,000 ($4,300);

•Any violation of these limits would be a criminal offense warranting a stiff fine.

In conjunction with these new restrictions, Israeli banks would be required to provide all account holders with debit cards to further promote electronic payments.

The committee found that Israelis are already prone to choose electronic payments methods, and so hopes the shift to a cashless society would be a good fit for the Israeli economy.



Is It The Bilderberg Conference – Or Conspiracy?
May 30, 2014 | Tom Harper
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Conspiracy theorists may chuckle when they learn a debate entitled “Does Privacy Exist?” is to feature at this year’s Bilderberg conference, the notoriously secretive gathering of the world’s most powerful bankers, politicians and business people.

There may be a further shaking of heads when they discover one of the participants at the heavily fortified, five-star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), which was embarrassed by the mass-surveillance revelations leaked by Edward Snowden.

In fairness to the Bilderberg, the organisers of this year’s conference – which started on Thursday – have made efforts to be more transparent by publishing a list of all the prime ministers, chief executives and military chiefs in attendance, as well as the topics up for discussion.

Chancellor George Osborne and his Labour counterpart, Ed Balls, are among the hand-picked group of British politicians who will visit Copenhagen to hob-nob with the global elite behind closed doors.

Other guests from the political sphere include the former “Third Man” of New Labour, Lord Mandelson, the current International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, and the veteran American foreign policy expert, Henry Kissinger.

Billionaire captains of industry who landed invitations include the heads of Shell, BP, Airbus, HSBC, Saab, AXA, Google, and Linkedin. They will sit alongside key global powerbrokers such as Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and senior officials from the European Central Bank.

The chairmen from Goldman Sachs and Lazards will perhaps reflect on how their investment banks “advised” Whitehall over the controversial flotation of Royal Mail, which left the UK taxpayer £1bn out of pocket.

Keeping a discreet eye over the exchanges will be the intelligence chiefs such as Mr Alexander from the United States and Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, who was pictured on Facebook in his swimming trunks in 2009.

Items on the agenda include “The future of democracy and the middle-class trap”, “The new architecture of the Middle East” and the major geopolitical crisis of the moment: “Ukraine”. The secretive nature of the Bilderberg Conference has triggered suspicions that the event is used to shape global policy at the expense of democratic oversight. The idea of the euro was said to have been spawned at one meeting in the Nineties.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, asked a series of parliamentary questions about Bilderberg last year when the conference was held at a five-star hotel near Watford. He told The Independent: “I don’t regard the Bilderberg as a great threat but we would all like to know what is going on with these things. Secrecy inspires concern.”

Despite its new efforts at transparency, the conference is still acutely sensitive about radical infiltration. On Tuesday night, three journalists – self-styled “InfoWarriors” – were arrested by Danish police after they tried to ambush the organizers outside the Marriott.


Friday, 30 May 2014


Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan set up new alliance

Associated Press 
From left: Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, pose for a photo after they agreed to create the Eurasian Economic Union, an alliance intended to further boost economic and trade ties between the ex-Soviet neighbors in Astana, Kazakhstan, Thursday, May 29, 2014. The new alliance is the development of the Customs Union including the same nations. In addition to free trade, it coordinates the members' financial systems and regulates industrial and agricultural policies along with their labor markets and transport systems. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service, Pool)
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MOSCOW (AP) — The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Thursday created an economic union that intends to boost cooperation between the ex-Soviet neighbors, a pact which was at the source of the crisis in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Eurasian Economic Union — which Moscow had pushed Ukraine to join, helping spark the worst crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War — takes the countries' cooperation to a "new level" while respecting their sovereignty.
"We are creating a powerful and attractive center of economic development, a major regional market bringing together over 170 million people," Putin said during talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana. He added that the pact would allow the countries to exploit their economic potential and strengthen their positions in global markets.
With a combined annual economic output of $2.2 trillion a year, the alliance's economic size would be close to that of Britain and well below that of the U.S.'s $17 trillion.
The union is the development of the existing Customs Union including the same nations. In addition to free trade, it coordinates the members' financial systems and regulates industrial and agricultural policies along with their labor markets and transport systems. The deal stops short of introducing a single currency and delays the creation of a common energy market.
The signing followed years of tense negotiations, and many differences have remained.
Moscow will host the top executive body of the new alliance. Its high court will be based in Belarus, and the top financial regulator will be located in Kazakhstan.
Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has depended on cheap Russian energy and other subsidies to keep his nation's Soviet-style economy afloat, said before the signing he wasn't fully happy with the deal, but hailed it reflected a mutually acceptable compromise.
Kazakhstan, led by autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev, is the second largest country by territory and economy among the ex-Soviet nations. Nazarbayev has maneuvered between Russia and the West during more than two decades in power. But Russia has little leverage over Kazakhstan, whose energy riches and booming economy make it an equal partner.
Nazarbayev said the new pact is based on consensus and well-balanced. He voiced hope that the new alliance "will become a powerful incentive for modernizing our economies and helping making them global leaders."
Armenian President Serge Sarkisian said his nation will be ready to join the union as early as next month after completing final preparations. Kyrgyzstan said it hopes to join the Customs Union, the precursor to the new alliance, before the year's end.
Russia tried to have Ukraine join the integration project and spike an association agreement with the European Union. But Ukraine's pro-Russia president, who spurned the deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow, was chased from power in February following months of protests. Russia then annexed Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, and a pro-Russia mutiny has engulfed eastern Ukraine, where rebels have seized government buildings and fought government troops.
The United States and the EU have responded to the Russian annexation of Crimea by slashing travel bans and asset freezes on members of Putin's entourage, and threatened to introduce further sanctions if Russia further tries to destabilize Ukraine.
Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire candy magnate who won Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday, vowed to integrate more closely into Europe. Ukraine's foreign minister told journalists Thursday that the country hopes to meet with EU officials before June 27 to determine when Ukraine would be able to sign an association agreement with the 28-member bloc.
In Astana, Lukashenko, known for his blunt statements, said that "sooner or later the Ukrainian leadership will understand where the nation's happiness lies."
Moscow's annexation of Crimea, which it explained by the need to protect ethnic Russians, has spooked many of its neighbors, including Kazakhstan, which has a significant Russian minority.
The Kremlin has sought to assuage such fears, and Lukashenko used Russia's desire to sign the pact to bargain for some last-minute economic advantages. Russia has agreed to allow Belarus to keep a greater share of revenues from selling oil products made from Russian crude, a deal that would add $1.5 billion to Belarusian state coffers this year.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


New post on Now The End Begins

Israel To Approve 3 Step Plan Towards Becoming World’s First Cashless Society

by NTEB News Desk

This would be the world's first cashless society when fully implemented

A special committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Harel Locker, has recommended a three-phase plan to all but do away with cash transactions in Israel. Every year, amounts totally nearly 20% of the national budget of Israel is lost due to tax evasion and money laundering, and they want to reclaim as much of that as they can. 
"Cash and cash equivalents are the fuel of the black economy," said Locker, whose committee was appointed by prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Reuters today reports that Locker headed a government panel that issued its interim recommendations on turning Israel into a cashless society on Monday. These include limiting businesses initially to cash or cash-equivalent transactions of 7,500 shekels - down from 20,000 shekels currently - and no more than 5,000 shekels after a year. Private citizens will be allowed cash deals of 15,000 shekels. The new rules would also limit the use of checks.

As part of the move to reduce the use of cash, the panel recommended that banks issue debit cards. Banks now only issue credit cards, and Locker said costs would come down with debit cards since there is no credit involved.
He expressed confidence that most citizens will comply with the new rules, since violating them would be a crime and most transactions by ordinary people are for less than 5,000 shekels.
The following guidelines were set out by the committee for the short-term:
  • Limit business transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 7,500 ($2,150) immediately, and reduce that further to NIS 5,000 ($1,433) one year from the date of legislation;
  • Limit private transactions done in cash or by check to NIS 15,000 ($4,300);
  • Any violation of these limits would be a criminal offense warranting a stiff fine.
The new law would go into effect by the end of 2014.


New post on Now The End Begins

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Enlightens Pope Francis About Jesus

by NTEB News Desk

The king of the Jews

Jerusalem, Israel - Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.
Like many things in the Middle East, where the pope is on the last leg of a three-day visit, modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.
A Jew, Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the Roman-ruled region of Judea, now the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He grew up in Nazareth and ministered in Galilee, both in northern Israel, and died in Jerusalem, a city revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and to which Israelis and Palestinians lay claim.
Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.
Israeli linguistics professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann told Reuters that both Netanyahu, son of a distinguished Jewish historian, and the pope, the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, had a point.
"Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker," he said about the largely defunct Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. "But he would have also known Hebrew because there were extant religious writings in Hebrew." Zuckermann said that during Jesus' time, Hebrew was spoken by the lower classes - "the kind of people he ministered to". source - Yahoo News

Monday, 26 May 2014


BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Pope Francis plunged Sunday into Mideast politics during his Holy Land pilgrimage, calling the current stalemate in peace efforts "unacceptab...
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Israel's premier said late Saturday that the attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, which left three dead and one badly wounded, was the result of anti-Jewish and Israeli s...
Read the full story

Saturday, 24 May 2014


The Irony of the New Tolerance: It Doesn't Tolerate Christians

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  • John stonestreet
May 22, 2014|7:26 am
When it comes to same-sex "marriage," our culture just like our president, has definitely evolved. After all, it was only in 2008 that a strong majority in California-yes, California-passed Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
But when our president changed his mind a few months before the 2012 election, the cultural floodgates opened, particularly in the American workplace. Later that summer, Chick-fil-A faced angry boycotts when CEO Dan Cathy's views and donations in favor of traditional marriage became public knowledge.
The workplace pressure has only continued. Christian bakers and photographers who do not want to participate in what they consider to be a sin have been fined and faced being shut down. Attempts to protect their religious liberty, such as Arizona's State Bill 1062, have been crushed through threats of economic boycotts and media shaming.
More high-profile voices have also faced this smash-mouth, brass-knuckle treatment. Just weeks ago Brendan Eich, the accomplished founder and CEO of search-engine company Mozilla, was forced to resign when he was "outed" for donating all of $1,000 to Proposition 8 eight years ago.
We've all heard what A&E tried to do to Duck Dynasty when Phil Robertson indelicately expressed his disapproval of the "gay lifestyle." And more recently, the Home and Garden TV network canned the Benham brothers, David and Jason, for their supposed "anti-gay" and "anti-choice" beliefs. Apparently one cannot even host a home-improvement show if one does not also parrot the new sexual orthodoxy.
And then there's the case of Miami Dolphins football player Don Jones. When the Dolphins selected gay athlete and cause celebre Michael Sam in the seventh round of the NFL draft, the celebratory kiss with his boyfriend was shown repeatedly on television. Jones reacted by tweeting "OMG" and "Horrible." The Dolphins immediately suspended him and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. Sensitivity training? Re-education? What is this, Communist China?
In every case, the message to those who disagree with all this sexual "tolerance" is clear: If you want to keep your job, shut up.
Apparently the sexual left cannot tolerate even the slightest dissent. As Kirsten Powers wrote this week in USA Today, "Welcome to the Dark Ages, Part II. We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences."
It amazes me that the media and the homosexual movement, who fought for so hard for equality, apparently don't see the rich irony of putting the economic screws to alternative voices.
As Powers notes, "They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card."
Facing such a McCarthy-esque onslaught, what are we Christians to do? Well, let's keep speaking about marriage and God's plan for human flourishing, despite the obvious and growing threats to our livelihoods. We owe it to our neighbors, and to the Lord.
As we do that we'll need to be the Body of Christ, supporting one another in practical ways against the attacks of an increasingly intolerant culture.
But as maddening and frustrating as this growing intolerance is, we need to speak winsomely whenever possible, making the issue about Him, not about us. We may not win in the court of public opinion, but that's okay. As the Apostle Peter said, "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."
From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship