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Purveyor

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Obama On Airstrikes: Israel Has To Guard Against Hezbollah

By REUTERS05/04/2013 22:25SAN JOSE - US President Barack Obama said on Saturday that Israel has the right to guard against the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah a day after Israel allegedly attacked a Hezbollah-bound missile shipment in Syria.

Obama, in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo as part of a three-day Latin America tour that ended in Costa Rica, would not comment on whether the airstrikes had in fact taken place.

"I'll let the Israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes that they've taken," he said.

But Obama, who visited Israel in March, made clear such strikes would be justified.

MORE...

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Obama-on-airstrikes-Israel-has-to-guard-against-Hezbollah-312041

'Israel May Be Behind Syrian Chemical Weapons Use'

A former senior official in the Bush administration said on Thursday the use of chemical weapons in Syria might have been a "false flag operation" of Israel, meant to implicate Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria... or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey," retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, told Cenk Uygur in an interview with Current TV.

Given this "flimsy evidence," Wilkerson doesn't believe a red line has been crossed in Syria, and that the US should not base its intervention in the war-torn country based on such evidence.

Wilkerson criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu harshly, saying there is a "geostratigically, geopolitical inept regime in Tel Aviv right now."

MORE...

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israel-may-be-behind-Syrian-chemical-weapons-use-312051

jpost title, not mine!

Hezbollah: We Will Defend Syria Against Israel, US

Hezbollah is ready to protect Syria against Israel and the US, a Hezbollah official was quoted by the Lebanese Daily Star as saying on Saturday.

"Hezbollah is ready to prevent Syria falling under the control of Tel Aviv and Washington," Ibrahim Amin Sayyed said at a memorial service in Baalbek.

Sayyed maintained the organization is not intervening in the Syrian conflict, but rather "it is an intervention in the conflict against America and Israel."

"We are present in Syria at the political and the strategic levels and for the defense of the great cause ," he added, noting Hezbollah does not work against the needs and demands of the Syrian people.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Hezbollah-We-will-defend-Syria-against-Israel-US-312024

7 American Service Members Killed In Attacks In Afghanistan

KABUL - Seven U.S. service members were killed on Saturday in one of the deadliest days for Americans in Afghanistan in recent months and the latest of attacks against international troops since the Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive.

The renewed violence came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged at a news conference that regular payments his government has received from CIA for more than a decade would continue. Karzai also said that talks on a U.S.-Afghan bilateral security agreement to govern future American military presence in the country had been delayed because of conditions the Afghans were placing on the deal.

The U.S.-led coalition reported that five international troops were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, and coalition spokesman Capt. Luca Carniel confirmed that all five were American.

The coalition did not disclose the location of the roadside bombing, however, Javeed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, said the coalition patrol hit the bomb in Maiwand district of the province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.

Later, the coalition reported that a soldier with the Afghan National Army turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks. Such attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against their fellow colleagues or international troops have eroded confidence in the Afghan forces as they work to take over from foreign forces.



Read more:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Afghan+president+says+assurances+that+payments+will+continue/8338518/story.html#ixzz2SM73nndn

US Beef Prices Set New High As Spring Barbecue Season Heats Up

CHICAGO May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale beef prices rose to an all-time high on Friday as the delayed spring grilling season is heating up and as supermarkets buy meat for the May 27 U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend, commonly seen as the unofficial start of the summer cookout season, analysts said.

The cold soggy start to spring put outdoor cookouts on hold throughout most of April, but temperatures are seen climbing in the coming weeks, prompting grocers to stock up for a seasonal bump in sales of steaks, burgers and other cookout favorites.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday reported the wholesale price for choice beef, commonly called the cutout, at $201.68 per 100 lbs (cwt), eclipsing the previous record of $201.18 set on Oct 16, 2003.

"You're now finally getting the seasonal rally occurring for beef that's about three-weeks late getting started," said Chicago-based Linn Group analyst John Ginzel.

MORE...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/03/livestock-cattle-beef-cme-idUSL2N0DK1XP20130503

Surging U.S. Oil Production Pushes Reserves To Highest Levels In 30 Years

Source: Agence France-Presse

Surging oil production has put the United States on track toward greater energy independence, pushing US reserves to their highest levels in 30 years.

But analysts say bottlenecks in the distribution system are keeping oil from reaching markets.

US oil stocks reached 395.3 million barrels last week, a level not seen since US authorities began publishing weekly figures in 1982. The Energy Department’s monthly figures show it to be the highest since April 1981.

--CLIP
With the emergence of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to extract oil and gas from new sources, US oil production has increased from five million barrels a day to 6.5 million barrels in 2012, and the US Energy Information Administration anticipates production will hit 8.2 million barrels a day in 2014.



Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/04/surging-u-s-oil-production-pushes-reserves-to-highest-levels-in-30-years/

Hezbollah: We Will Defend Syria Against Israel, US

Source: Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah is ready to protect Syria against Israel and the US, a Hezbollah official was quoted by the Lebanese Daily Star as saying on Saturday.

"Hezbollah is ready to prevent Syria falling under the control of Tel Aviv and Washington," Ibrahim Amin Sayyed said at a memorial service in Baalbek.

Sayyed maintained the organization is not intervening in the Syrian conflict, but rather "it is an intervention in the conflict against America and Israel."

"We are present in Syria at the political and the strategic levels and for the defense of the great cause ," he added, noting Hezbollah does not work against the needs and demands of the Syrian people.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Hezbollah-We-will-defend-Syria-against-Israel-US-312024

Obama Doesn't Foresee Ground Troops In Syria

Source: Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- President Barack Obama says he doesn't foresee sending U.S. ground troops into Syria.

Obama was asked at a news conference in Costa Rica what he might do if more evidence of Syrian use of chemical weapons emerges.

Obama says that as commander in chief he doesn't like to rule things out, but he doesn't foresee a scenario in which American boots on the ground would be good for the U.S. or good for Syria.

He says leaders he's consulted in the region agree.



Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/03/3379327/obama-doesnt-foresee-ground-troops.html

Calif. Wildfire Threatens 4,000 Homes As Flames Spread

Source: USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — A fast-growing wildfire along the Pacific Coast Highway northwest of Los Angeles nearly doubled in size Friday and was threatening more than 4,000 homes as crews battled strong winds, tinder-dry conditions and record-breaking temperatures.

The Springs Fire had burned more than 18,000 acres of rugged, brush-covered terrain by late afternoon and was 20% contained, the state's fire agency reported. Forecasters said that 45-mph wind gusts would taper off and that cooling may begin by evening.

At midday, the temperature hit a record 96 in Camarillo, where the blaze began, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles.

Thousands of residents had already evacuated the Ventura County fire, including 118 families ordered from a premier Navy base because of heavy smoke after flames jumped the scenic highway Friday morning.



Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/03/california-wildfires/2131801/

Northeast Gas Poised to Surge on Pipeline Limits: Energy Markets

Natural gas prices in the U.S. Northeast are poised to reach five-year seasonal highs this summer because increasing demand from power plants may be too much for pipelines to handle.

Regional costs may average $5 to $5.50 per million British thermal units, with the potential to jump to $7 to $8, Chris Kostas, senior power and gas analyst for Energy Security Analysis Inc., a market research and advisory company in Andover, Massachusetts, said in a May 1 interview. Average prices for summer delivery at Algonquin City Gates, which includes Boston, were less than $5 from 2009 to 2012 after jumping to more than $10 in 2008.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP), Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) and Williams Cos., which own the region’s main interstate pipelines, say their systems are running at or near capacity. New England electricity customers were on the verge of rolling blackouts last June and again in February amid equipment failures and limited gas supply during periods of high demand, according to Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“Boston is in the hot seat with their lack of offtake or access to other sources,” Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview yesterday. “We can certainly be paying the highest prices since the 2008 commodity bubble.”

MORE...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-03/northeast-gas-poised-to-surge-on-pipeline-limits-energy-markets.html
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