withdrawals

IRAN SAYS IT WILL DROP OUT OF NUCLEAR DEAL IF US WITHDRAWS

 

Iran will abandon the nuclear deal it reached with six major powers if the United States decides to withdraw from it, its foreign minister told Qatar’s al Jazeera TV in New York.

A collapse of the 2015 deal, which US President Donald Trump has called “an embarrassment” but which is supported by the other major powers that negotiated it with Iran, could trigger a regional arms race and worsen tensions in the Middle East.

“If Washington decides to pull out of the nuclear deal, Iran will withdraw too,” Al Jazeera TV wrote on its Twitter feed, quoting the minister.

Washington will be in a better position if it remains committed to the deal.”

US President Donald Trump is considering whether the accord serves US security interests as he faces a mid-October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact.

Iranian authorities had repeatedly said that Tehran would not be the first to violate the agreement under which Tehran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in return for a loosening of the economic sanctions that had crippled its economy.

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GROUP OF NFL PLAYERS (NIGGERS) STILL EN ROUTE TO ISRAEL DESPITE SOME WITHDRAWALS

The Israel tour arranged for a group of NFL players will go ahead as planned starting from Monday despite the publicized pull-outs of several of its original participants.

Three of the NFL players who were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Monday as part of a campaign to showcase the country’s “true face” to the world pulled out of the trip, explaining that they do not want to be “used” by the Israeli government.

 

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett led the boycott, being joined by brother Martellus, who won the Super Bowl with New England last week, and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, which arranged the trip in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry, is going ahead with the tour, which includes visits to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Christian sites.

Bennett’s decision came on the heels of an open letter by renowned musicians, artists and social justice advocates released Thursday asking the NFL players “to consider withdrawing from the delegation given Israel’s track record of human rights abuses.”

Bennett wrote the following via Twitter and Instagram on Friday night: “I was excited to see this remarkable and historic part of the world with my own eyes. I was not aware until reading this article about the trip in the Times of Israel that my itinerary was being constructed by the Israeli government for the purposes of making me, in the words of a government official, an ‘influencer and opinion-former’ who would then be ‘an ambassador of good will.’ I will not be used in such a manner. When I do go to Israel – and I do plan to go – it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.”

Bennett further cited boxing legend Muhammad Ali and that Ali “stood strongly with the Palestinian people” and wrote “I cannot do that by going on this kind of trip to Israel” and that he was making the decision “to be in accord with my own values and my own conscience.”

The letter to NFL players Thursday urged them “to consider the political ramifications of attending the trip, drawing connections between the struggles faced by Black and Brown communities in the US, and Palestinian, Eritrean and Sudanese communities in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

The letter was signed by entertainer and activists Harry Belafonte, activist Angela Davis, actor Danny Glover and former sprinter John Carlos, among others, and co-signed by organizations that included the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

Other players listed as part of the delegation are Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Michael Kendricks, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell, San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams, Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett and former linebacker Kirk Morrison.

The trip is also scheduled to include a meet-and-greet event on February 18th in Jerusalem (NOT an exhibition game, as had initially been reported) featuring the NFL delegation and players from the American Football in Israel federation and the Kraft Family Israel Football League.

Fines, Withdrawals, Job Cuts. It Was an Ugly Day for Global Banks (GOOD!!!)

Even before the opening bell in New York, Thursday looked like a grim day for some of the giants of global banking.

But few expected the barrage of bad news that soon hit on both sides of the Atlantic — a rat-a-tat-tat of job cuts, scandal and financial worry that sent bank shares tumbling and left many investors wondering just where or when the pain would end.

It began in Germany, where long-struggling Commerzbank AG unveiled yet another plan to regain its footing, this time by cutting one in five of its employees. In Washington, came still more blistering attacks on John Stumpf, whose grip atop embattled Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, remains tenuous amid the uproar over a scandal involving unauthorized accounts.

And then, back in Germany, came the bombshell: revelations that some hedge funds were moving to reduce their financial exposure to Deutsche Bank, now the biggest worry in global finance. Before Stumpf left the U.S. House chambers after more than four hours of grilling, news broke his bank would be hit with more penalties after improperly repossessing cars owned by U.S. soldiers.

As Deutsche Bank Anxiety Grows, Some Clients Cut Their Exposure

“While each has unique challenges, the overwhelming thing that has happened to the banks is they’re forgetting their purpose, while complexity is increasing opportunity for errors,” said Jon Lukomnik, executive director of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute in New York.

Eight years after the financial crisis, the global banking industry is groping for a way forward. Global regulators have sought to make banks look more like boring utilities, but that road has proven steep. Emboldened by an international populist groundswell, they continue to dole out fines and penalties, and firms are scrambling for ways to make money as trading volumes decline and capital requirements become more stringent.

The 38-company Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index has tumbled 24 percent this year, while the KBW Bank Index of 24 U.S. lenders has slid 4.6 percent, led by Wells Fargo’s 18 percent decline.

Stumpf Berated Again as Lawmakers Renew Calls That He Quit

Commerzbank Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke announced plans Thursday toeliminate 9,600 jobs, leaving it no bigger than it was before its 2008 acquisition of Dresdner Bank. The Frankfurt-based bank has lost about 39 percent of its market value this year.

“Germany is still overbanked, and it’s tough to have Germany as your home base when you want to compete with French, Spanish or American peers that operate in less fragmented home markets,” said Klaus Fleischer, a professor of finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich.

Wells Fargo Troubles Mount With Penalty for Soldiers’ Loans

Wells Fargo agreed to pay more than $24 million to the Justice Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to settle allegations that it improperly repossessed cars owned by members of the military.

“I don’t personally see how you survive,” Representative Denny Heck, a Washington Democrat, told Stumpf Thursday as the 63-year-old CEO testified before the House Financial Services Committee.

Lawmakers called for Stumpf to be fired, for Wells Fargo’s board to be replaced and for the bank to be broken up.

Commerzbank Plans to Cut Jobs, Suspend Dividend in CEO Overhaul

“Your problem is coming,” Representative Mike Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, told Stumpf at the hearings. “You think today is tough? It’s coming. When the prosecutors get ahold of you, you’re going to have a lot of fun.”

As the hearing was under way, news broke that some of Deutsche Bank’s clients were said to be reducing their collateral on trades, sending its New York-listed shares down as much as 9.1 percent. Earlier this week, CEO John Cryan was forced to shoot down speculation the bank needs more capital and may require a bailout, as its shares touch record lows and a U.S. litigation settlement looms.

“Our trading clients are amongst the world’s most sophisticated investors,” Michael Golden, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are confident that the vast majority of them have a full understanding of our stable financial position, the current macroeconomic environment, the litigation process in the U.S. and the progress we are making with our strategy.”