Actually, the United States Has Defaulted Before
The financial world has changed dramatically in the intervening decades. T-bill rates hover near zero compared to the 9-10 percent range of the late 1970s; that means a temporary delay in payments would be less costly for creditors. Treasurys IT systems are, one hopes, more reliable that 1970s vintage word processors. And one should take care not to make too much of a single data point. But its the only data point we have on a U.S. default. Not surprisingly it shows that even small, temporary default is a bad idea. Our leaders shouldnt come close to risking it. P.S. Some observers believe the United States also defaulted in 1933 when it abrogated the gold clause. The United States made its payments on time in dollars, but eliminated the option to take payment in gold. For a quick overview of this and related issues, see this blog post by Catherine Rampell and the associated comments.
United States and Afghanistan; hope of an agreement
The real drama during Fridays round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers will be at Azteca Stadium, the former smoggy fortress where Mexico has yet to win a match in final round qualifying for Brazil 2014. Scoreless ties against the Jamaica, the United States and Costa Rica may have left Mexicos bid on the skids but they started looking positively bountiful once El Tri lost in Mexico City last month, 2-1 to Honduras. Soon enough, Chepo De La Torre was out and Victor Manuel Vucetich was tasked with pulling this rickety old van out of the ditch. So here it is: if Vucetichs team cannot beat Panama this Friday at what promises to be a very nervous Estadio Azteca, that just might be it. They could miss the World Cup for the first time since 1990 (when player eligibility shenanigans saw Mexico booted from World Cup qualifying efforts). Its not going to be easy. Panama hasnt been what we all thought in the final round. But any team with real defensive commitment (check) and a determined, talented, bulldog of a goal scorer (check Blas Perez) has a chance. The Panamanians most definitely have a chance to navigate a draw, and then go hunting for the final, telling points in the finale in Central America against the United States. (Make that, injured and potentially less motivated United States.) (MORE: Why you might WANT Mexico at the World Cup) Panama will certainly dig in Friday at Estadio Azteca, looking to create through Perez on the counter and on restarts, and they will be awfully tough to beat. Veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa says it can be done, noting a freshness and a new vibe thanks to the recent managerial comeuppance. Here is his interview with FIFA.com . To get you further up to speed on the Mexican pinch should we coin something like the Mexican Mess? Or perhaps go with El Tri Trauma? Gee, this is rather fun, isnt it? here is Kyle McCarthys swell analysis on the roster choices ahead for the qualifiers Friday and then next week at Costa Rica. (MORE: The tantalizing scenario developing between U.S., Mexico) Remember, by the way, Mexico is probably targeting noting better than fourth place; the United States and Costa Rica have qualified, and Honduras has a much better pathway to the third and final automatic berth for Brazil out of CONCACAF.
chemical weapons stockpile, including these projectiles of liquid mustard agent, were housed at an army depot in Utah. STORY HIGHLIGHTS The United States still has more than 3,000 tons of chemical weapons It agreed to destroy all of its stockpile in the 1990s It expects the remaining 10% to be eliminated in another decade Syria has a year to get rid of its estimated 1,000 tons of chemical weapons Watch Drew Griffin’s report on the Utah project tonight on The Situation Room at 5 p.m. ET . Tooele, Utah (CNN) — Syria has been given a year to eliminate its chemical weapons arsenal, or face the threat of a U.S. military strike. Yet it may come as a surprise that the United States has still not destroyed all of its massive supply of deadly nerve agents. In fact, neither has Russia. Both Washington and Moscow signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of the 1990s, which forbid the use, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. And both countries missed the convention’s extended deadline last year to destroy all of their chemical weapons. This fact was highlighted during Friday’s ceremony awarding the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , which is helping to eliminate the Syrian army’s stockpiles of poison gas. “Certain states have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012, for destroying their chemical weapons,” the Nobel committee noted in its official announcement of the coveted peace prize.
The United States is still getting rid of its chemical weapons
The United States is insisting it cannot agree to a deal unless it is granted the right to try US citizens who break the law in Afghanistan at home in the United States. A senior US administration official said the sides had agreed on language in the draft deal that covers the issue of immunity and “that can be put to his Loya Jirga for their consideration.” “We need to say that if the issue of jurisdiction cannot be resolved, then unfortunately there cannot be a bilateral security agreement,” Kerry told a news conference. Karzai said the talks had focused on protecting Afghan sovereignty and that major differences had been resolved, including a US request to run independent counter-terrorism missions on Afghan territory. Such operations carried out by the United States have long infuriated the Afghan president, who had been demanding Washington agree to share intelligence instead. Karzai said the U.S. snatching of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander was an example of the kind of action that Afghanistan wanted to avoid. “This is an issue that we have raised in earnest with the United States in the past few days as we have all previous occasions of such arrests in which the Afghan laws were disregarded,” Karzai said, referring to the capture of commander Latif Mehsud. “Therefore our discussion today in particular has been focused on making sure that through the bilateral security agreement such violations are not repeated.” Kerry attributed the complaint to a misunderstanding. “We followed the normal procedures that the United States follows, we did what we are supposed to do,” he said. In view of the negotiations, which have taken place between the two countries, following are some observations: * Agreement on discussion of issues that effect the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan is a positive signal. * Agreement on the need to further consider steps for resolution of differences is a welcome development. Understanding between the two countries is primary to establishment of a framework for peace and stability in Afghanistan. The international community is closely watching what transpires as a result of these efforts. * The United States will want its military troops to have legal protection through immunity by the Afghan law. The Afghan tribal leaders will want an upper hand by demanding that in case of a breach, the Afghan government may be authorized to decide on the fate of a soldier.