Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time For Buffett

Sun has gone down so.... I thought I would get you started with this appetizer:

"Warren Buffett is once again the world’s third-richest person [with] a net worth [of] $54.6 billion. Berkshire Hathaway reported net income of $4.55 billion in the fourth quarter."


Slim again world’s richest, Buffett misses top 3

Look at the jostling around at the top, 'eh?!

Skipping Lunch Today

It is Ramadan.

Buffett Bloodied By Heinz 
May Day: Johnson's Heinz Haul 

"Heinz says deal has cleared hurdle" Associated Press, June 04, 2013

NEW YORK — H.J. Heinz Co. says it has received all necessary regulatory approvals for its acquisition by 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The deal to take the ketchup maker private had been announced in February. The Pittsburgh-based company says it expects the transaction to close around Friday.

3G Capital, which is known for its aggressive cost-cutting, has already announced plans to install one of its partners as the chief executive of Heinz once the deal is complete. Bernardo Hees is currently chief executive of Burger King, which 3G bought in 2010 and took public again last year.

Heinz also makes baked beans, vinegar, and Classico pasta sauce.


The inside trading charges and investigation vanished as fast as a cloud of gas.

Those are your condiments. 

Now onto the main courses of this post (blog editor pulls out chair for female escort):

"Warren Buffett’s message to women: Take credit for your work" by Margaret Collins and Laura Marcinek |  Bloomberg News, May 03, 2013

OMAHA — Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, said women need to pursue more recognition for what they accomplish....

‘‘You can’t put limitations on yourself.’’

Wow, you've come a long way, baby, but it's still your fault. Of course, it's not even sexism; it's the elitist attitude.

The billionaire investor spoke to students Thursday at the University of Nebraska Omaha, answering questions from audience members and those submitted on Twitter. He cited Katharine Graham, former chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Co., as an example of a ‘‘super high-grade’’ woman who didn’t think she deserved praise.

‘‘Her stock went up 40-for-1 while she ran the company, 4,000 percent,’’ Buffett said. ‘‘You’d think that’d make somebody feel pretty confident about themselves. It didn’t. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her autobiography. You think that might make somebody pretty confident about themselves. It never got rid of the feeling in her stomach.’’

The average man would say, ‘‘You’re not giving me enough credit,’’ Buffett said. ‘‘Women have to get over that.’’


Buffett said he counts his first wife and Graham among his female role models. Berkshire is The Washington Post’s biggest shareholder, and Buffett is a former board member....



"Buffett’s firm buys Roanoke, Va., Times newspaper" by JOSH FUNK |  AP Business Writer, May 31, 2013

OMAHA — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is adding The Roanoke (Va.) Times to its growing group of small and mid-size newspapers.

Berkshire said Thursday it will acquire the Times from Landmark Media Enterprises on Friday. It will be Berkshire’s 30th daily newspaper.

Financial terms were not disclosed....

Buffett did not immediately respond to a message Thursday, but earlier this month he told shareholders that Berkshire should earn decent returns of about 10 percent on the newspapers because it is buying them at such cheap prices.


But he said newspaper earnings will keep declining, and the newspapers won’t make much difference to Berkshire’s overall profit because they are a relatively small part of the conglomerate.

Yeah, they are pretty irrelevant these days.

Outsell Inc. media analyst Ken Doctor said Buffett is clearly making a long-term bet on these newspapers, but it’s not entirely clear how Berkshire plans to deal with continued declines in print advertising. ‘‘They’re not announcing many plans,’’ Doctor said. ‘‘The question is what sort of turnaround strategy they’re going to use.’’

Most of Berkshire’s newspapers are overseen by executives at the Omaha World-Herald as part of BH Media Group, but the Buffalo News, which Berkshire has owned for decades, operates separately.

Earlier this year, Berkshire bought the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record from Landmark, so this isn’t the first deal between the two companies. Landmark is a private company controlled by Frank Batten Jr.


Is he in the running for the Globe -- as if it mattered what billionaire pukes owned them. 

Of course, if it is the Red Sox owner that will be a huge conflict of interest.

"Warren Buffett calls stocks a better investment" by Josh Funk |  Associated Press, May 07, 2013

OMAHA — Investor Warren Buffett said even though the stock market is soaring, prices appear reasonable, and stocks would be a better investment than bonds for most people.

Yeah, he knows the Fed is pumping that thing up with printed paper.

Buffett conducted interviews Monday on CNBC and the Fox Business Network cable channels after a weekend full of events in Omaha for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

‘‘Bonds are a terrible investment right now,’’ Buffett said. 

I hear they are not so good for the sellers, either -- and now they want to tie student loans to the rates when they have nowhere to go but up?

Buffett said bond prices are artificially inflated because the Federal Reserve continues to buy $85 billion of bonds a month, and owners of long-term bonds may see big losses when interest rates eventually rise. He said inflation is also likely when the Fed stops buying bonds.

He said the average investor should keep enough cash to be comfortable and invest the rest in equities.

‘‘Stocks are reasonably priced now. They were very cheap a few years ago,’’ Buffett said on CNBC.

But Buffett said most investors pay too much attention when the stock market reaches record highs. He said average investors should pay more attention when stocks hit records in falling prices because that’s a sign they are getting cheaper.

The Fed’s efforts to keep interest rates low have helped the stock market soar, Buffett said, but the improving economy has also played a role.

Also see: Fed is Working For Workers Is it?

Buffett said he remains a fan of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and supports JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon....

Related: Slow Saturday Special: Crime Does Pay For Dimon

It's a criminal Buffett.


"Buffett-owned firm seeking Mass. tax break" by Deirdre Fernandes |  Globe Staff, June 26, 2013

Billionaire Warren Buffett may be an outspoken advocate for higher taxes on wealthy Americans like himself. But his companies are not shy about trying to pay less in taxes.

Richline Group Inc., a subsidiary of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has requested tax breaks from the state in order to invest in an Attleboro jewelry manufacturing plant. Richline has promised to create 100 new jobs and spend $3.6 million to upgrade the plant if it gets a little financial lift from the state.


The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council will vote on the request from Richline and nearly 20 other companies at its Wednesday meeting. The amount of the tax credits will be released at the meeting.

Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world, has grabbed headlines in recent years for his political position on taxes, as much as his financial acumen. A proposal by President Obama to create a minimum 30 percent tax rate for people who earn more than a $1 million a year was famously dubbed the Buffett Rule.

Yeah, he claims to be for that because he knows it will never happen. Easy to say I'm for that when you know it won't happen. Now he's here with hat-in-hand.

But that doesn’t mean that Berkshire Hathaway companies will refuse government incentives when they are available....

Wait until you see what he does with it.


So how much will he be getting?

"1,900 new jobs, $9.5m tax break for Athenahealth; Health data firm, state strike deal" by Todd Wallack and Robert Weisman |  Globe Staff, June 25, 2013

Athenahealth Inc., one of the companies leading efforts to computerize health care records across the country, has promised to add 1,900 workers at its Watertown headquarters in exchange for a state tax break, the biggest economic development deal reached with Massachusetts in years.

The electronic medical records company, which already has nearly 1,100 employees in Watertown, pledged to nearly triple that by 2022 in exchange for $9.5 million in state tax credits under a tentative deal worked out with Massachusetts economic development officials. The state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council is expected to formally sign off on the tax break at its meeting on Wednesday....

“This is a great story.”

For $ome.


To make room for new workers, athenahealth recently agreed to buy the Arsenal on the Charles office complex in Watertown from Harvard University for $168.5 million....

The company, one of the country’s largest makers of software to manage health care records and billing, has boosted its revenue by an average of 30 percent a year since it was founded in 1997 by Todd Park and Jonathan Bush, a first cousin of George W. Bush, the former president.

WOW! WOW! How about that, Massachusetts liberals and Democrats! Try choking that one down!

The deal would create more jobs than all but three other deals done under the state’s flagship incentive program, created two decades ago....

But not all such deals wind up creating all the jobs originally envisioned....

Related: Massachusetts' Lost Decade of Jobs

Hey, those are the breaks in Ma$$achu$hitts.

“This sounds like a case where a company is getting paid for what it was doing anyway,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington group that tracks development incentives.

Meaning it is WASTED TAX DOLLARS! At least it went to the well-connected!

The athenahealth incentive works out to $5,000 per job, less than some other incentives the state has awarded.

Like the Hollywood tax credits ($142,000 per "job").

Under state guidelines, the state can offer companies up to $30,000 per job for the most important projects. And in 2010, the state and the City of Boston combined to offer Liberty Mutual $46.5 million in tax breaks (or $77,500 per job) to help the insurance giant build a skyscraper near its Back Bay headquarters.

Related: The Land of Liberty 

For $ome.

Athenahealth is moving into new areas nationwide. In January, the company inked a $293 million deal to buy Epocrates Inc., a San Mateo, Calif., provider of drug information via mobile devices. It has also added analytical tools to help physicians identify gaps in patient screenings....

Athenahealth, which employs 2,600 worldwide, said it is also adding jobs in Maine, New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, California, and India. 

I'm sorry, what was that last one? Did you men Indiana?

It announced plans on Monday to lease additional office space in Atlanta and create 500 jobs there over the next five years.

“We’re growing in Massachusetts, and growing everywhere,’’ said Dan Haley, vice president for government and regulatory affairs....

No doubt helped by the economy-wrecking, jobs-destroying Obamcare provisions.


RelatedAthenahealth, Buffett firm get breaks

Look what the money will be going for:

"Arsenal Mall may become a tech sector haven" by Robert Weisman and Deirdre Fernandes |  Globe Staff, July 02, 2013

Boylston Properties, a Boston developer, is teaming up with athenahealth Inc. chief executive Jonathan Bush and Wilder Cos. to transform a scruffy stretch of East Watertown, home to a pedestrian collection of stores and medical offices, from “a black hole,” in Bush’s words, into “a cool place to live and play,” with loft apartments, hip restaurants, and boutiques catering to entrepreneurs and technology whiz kids at nearby companies.... 

I guess he doesn't think very highly of the local residents already living there and their pedestrian shops and offices. What an elitist scum, and it shows.

The development plans, which are still being formulated and will require town approval, would benefit athenahealth, Bush’s fast-growing electronic health care records company. The Watertown company recently purchased the neighboring Arsenal on the Charles office complex from Harvard University for $168.5 million.

Last week, the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council granted athenahealth $9.5 million in state tax credits in exchange for a promise to add 1,900 jobs over the coming decade at the Arsenal complex — the biggest economic development deal reached with Massachusetts in years.

Boylston Properties is best known for its redevelopment projects in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood....

This platter I call the Globe is for the rich, folks. It's not for us.


And what is Buffett going to do with his share of the loot?

"Warren Buffett gives $2.6b in stock to charities" Associated Press, July 09, 2013

OMAHA — Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving five charities more than $2.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock as part of his overall plan to give away his fortune gradually. 

Looks good, right?

Buffett announced the annual gifts Monday. The biggest block of Class B shares of Berkshire stock, worth $2 billion, is going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett also gave 1.75 million shares to his own foundation and 1.2 million shares to each of his three children’s foundations....

Sounds great, except it is a way to AVOID PAYING TAXES on it!!!!


Yeah, at taking tax dough and doling it out to family and friends. But the man is a model for the noble corporate ruling class.

Other$ who got "lucky":

"Mass. OK’s $13m in tax aid for firms; Nine Mass. firms to benefit from breaks; MassMutual, others vow to create jobs" by Todd Wallack |  Globe Staff, March 26, 2013 

A Massachusetts economic development board on Tuesday approved $13 million in state and local tax breaks for nine companies, including Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and MathWorks Inc., that promised to create hundreds of jobs and upgrade their facilities.

The largest state tax break, worth $3.75 million, went to MassMutual, which pledged to move 250 insurance jobs from Connecticut to its Springfield headquarters and spend $59 million to renovate the buildings. The life insurance company is already one of the largest employers in Western Massachusetts with about 4,000 employees in the area.


Just being a good corporate citizen worthy of tax breaks, I guess(?).

MathWorks, which makes technical software, won $3 million in state tax credits in exchange for a promise to create 600 jobs, retain about 1,800 more,and invest $113 million in new facilities. Late last year, Boston Scientific Corp. disclosed plans to sell its headquarters in Natick, including three buildings and 35 acres of land, to MathWorks and relocate to Marlborough.

Including MassMutual and MathWorks, nine companies received tax breaks, promising to create more than 1,200 full-time jobs, retain more than 5,900 existing positions, and spend nearly $267 million on construction, equipment, and renovations to support their local operations. The aid includes $9.8 million in state tax credits and $3.2 million in local property tax breaks....



"TJX Cos., the owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores, said Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income rose 8 percent, matching Wall Street predictions. For the quarter ended May 4, TJX earned $452.9 million. Revenue increased to $6.19 billion. Chief executive Carol Meyrowitz credited the company’s flexible business model with helping it grow despite less-than-favorable weather in many of its markets for much of the quarter."

"After Mass. tax break, TJX moves unit to Ohio; Retailer got $21m in aid to add Mass. jobs" by Jenn Abelson |  Globe Staff, April 03, 2013

TJX Cos., the Framingham owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, which last year negotiated about $21 million in tax breaks to add jobs in Massachusetts, has moved its data center to Ohio after receiving economic incentives to build a technology facility in New Albany. 

Translation: They offered TJX MORE TAX LOOT!

The off-price retailer said it expected to create 28 new jobs at the data center in Ohio, according to the 2010 annual financial report from the Village of New Albany.

TJX, which several years ago suffered a massive consumer data breach that compromised as many as 100 million customer accounts, would not say how many positions it transferred out of Massachusetts.

Related: Gonzalez Can't Get Away From the Long Arm of the Law

Also seeSunday Globe Special: Hacking is Good Bu$ine$$

“TJX moved its data center in order to expand capabilities to support our growth as we continue to be a huge net job creator in the Commonwealth and worldwide,” said Sherry Lang, a TJX spokeswoman. “Of the less than 20 associates in the data center, some were relocated, some were retrained, and some were given [severance] packages.”

The company on Tuesday had three job openings listed for New Albany on its corporate website.

TJX, which rang up $25.9 billion in sales in 2012, received a host of state and local incentives to move the data operation to the Midwest, including a seven-year, 55 percent job-creation tax credit valued at up to $175,893 and grants totaling $210,000, said Katie Sabatino, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency.

We gave them $21 million.

The roughly $80 million technology facility is in a business park that has attracted data centers for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and American Electrical Power Co., according to reports in Ohio.

Even as TJX has shown impressive revenue gains in recent years, it has found ways to lower its cost of doing business in Massachusetts....

I'm full up on corporate greed, how about you?

Last year, the state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved about $21 million in state and local tax breaks for TJX, which pledged to create 300 jobs and invest $264 million to expand in Framingham and Marlborough, where it has purchased buildings vacated by Fidelity Investments.


Oh, and into whose pocket did that $21 million go?

"TJX chief executive doubles pay to $22m" by Callum Borchers |  Globe Staff, April 26, 2013

The chief executive of Framingham-based TJX Cos. earned $21.7 million last year, nearly doubling her compensation, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.

The total compensation for Carol Meyrowitz made her one of the highest paid executives in Massachusetts last year, though some companies have yet to disclose how they paid top managers.

Meyrowitz’s large raise during the recently completed 2013 fiscal year “was tied to our very strong performance and in line with prior years,” TJX spokeswoman Sherry Lang said in a statement.

Meyrowitz earned $6 million under the company’s incentive plan, in addition to her $1.4 million base salary. She also received stock and option awards valued at $11.4 million, as well as $2.7 million in deferred compensation and $48,550 in other benefits, including a car allowance and financial planning services....

TJX earned $1.9 billion in its lastest fiscal year, up 27 percent from the previous year, and sales climbed 12 percent to almost $26 billion....

And they are off to a roaring, $452 million start this year.


Also seeTJX chief reflects on keys to long-term success

Number one company, huh, Globe (you can't see my face and heart sink, but it did)? 

They are living in a totally different world, folks. Imho, they are ignorant and indifferent to the sufferings of the rest of us. It's in her face, it's in Barack Obama's, it's in all the faces of people who hold or have power and money. It's the worst addiction of all. 

"Lights, camera, tourism in Shelburne Falls; With a boom in movies being shot in Massachusetts, the state mulls teaming with filmmakers to draw tourists to set locations" by Katie Johnston |  Globe Staff, June 27, 2013

SHELBURNE FALLS — For the second time in a year, this picturesque Western Massachusetts village was recently taken over by Hollywood, with cameras rolling up and down the main drag and movie stars strolling into coffee shops between takes....

Oh, yaaaaay! How much did it co$t us in subsidies? 

See: Massachusetts Lets Hollywood Roll Credits 

No hurray for that! 

I hope it's all worth it, dear fellow citizens of this state.

Shelburne Falls will not be featured in the movie, the exposure could be a boon for the village — as well as for the state’s budding movie industry.

Actually, less movies are being made here than previous years, but don't let that spoil the shined-$hit narrative.

Tourists and day-trippers showed up to catch a glimpse of the stars — and spent money at local restaurants, shops, and other businesses. To extend the economic benefits, the Massachusetts Film Office has proposed creating a tourism package for the village centered around the movie, in collaboration with Warner Bros., the movie’s production company.

The state film office is considering similar promotions for other Massachusetts communities that have achieved fame as film locations. In a way, it is the ultimate product placement.

As long as you don't mind the "the cinch-tight security around the set and surrounding neighborhood. Streets in the area were closed to all but resident traffic, and police stood sentry, quizzing drivers."
 Filming a movie or TV show in the state is an “incredible marketing tool for exposure of the Commonwealth,” said Lisa Strout, director of the film office.

I hope it's worth it, taxpayers.

“We’re so lucky here to have such great-looking towns and landscape,” Strout said. “Such a variety, it’s just ready for a story to be told.”

The film business has boomed in Massachusetts since the state enacted a tax incentive in 2006 that reimburses production companies for up to 25 percent of the cost of filming....

And if they don't use it all they can $ell it to a corporation or rich person so they can lower their taxes!

The tax credit is controversial, however, with studies by the state Department of Revenue raising questions about whether the cost of the credit exceeds the local economic benefits. 

But don't worry; that one lone sentence about the looting of the taxpayers of this state won't stop the glowing agenda-pu$hing by my regional flag$hip new$paper.

But IATSE Local 481, the union that represents costume, set construction, and other film crew trades in New England, said filming on major film and TV productions has increased more than sevenfold since the incentive went into effect — and that has meant jobs for its members.

Related: Uniting With Hollywood

“I don’t have a lot of people going to work in other jurisdictions,” said Chris O’Donnell, business manager at Local 481.

At the Shelburne Falls shoot, about 80 percent of the crew was from Massachusetts, with as many as 150 people working at a time, O’Donnell said. To Mary Vilbon at the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, that’s 150 potential tourists.

“Our hope is that they see how beautiful the region is, they come back with family and friends,” she said.

The marketing project the state film office hopes to launch with “The Judge” could spread the word even further. The idea is to create a package showing the attractions of Shelburne Falls — the Bridge of Flowers, for instance, a blooming walkway on an old trolley bridge spanning the Deerfield River — as well behind-the-scenes footage of the movie shoot.

These packages would be posted on the state tourism site, which plans to launch a film tourism page in the fall, highlighting Massachusetts film locations.

“International tourists are very interested in that sort of thing,” Strout said.

Americans, too, it turns out.... 

Notice how YOU are a SECOND THOUGHT, fellow citizen?

In Shelburne Falls, the filming alone was enough to bring tourists to town. RiverFest, held each year in early June, was more crowded than usual because people wanted to see the movie sets, Vilbon said, although some of them, confused by all the Carlinville signs on buildings and light poles, weren’t sure they were in the right place....

Yeah, that helps tourism.

Some Shelburne Falls business owners were not thrilled about the filming, citing a loss of business when the street was closed and parking spots were occupied by cars with Indiana plates. But, but, but....

MY BOSTON GLOBE is telling me thi$ is ALL GOOD!!

But many received a few hundred dollars from Warner Bros. to make up for the disruption, and some made a little extra by selling bales of straw and funeral flower arrangements to the set decorator.

Oh, now everyone is happy, huh? 

Imagine trying to get home and being stopped because the streets are closed because they are filming a movie. I know I would be f***ing furious!

Betsy Laus, the manager of Mocha Maya’s coffee shop, is not complaining, though. Business has been so brisk, she said, she has hired four new people for the summer to handle the crush.

I'm sorry, folks, but this Globe rerun sucks.

Tourists just do not visit the area as much as they used to, Laus said, and the coffee shop almost closed over the winter. But with two movie shoots in a year, including Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day,” filmed last summer, and the state poised to ramp up its film tourism efforts, things are looking up. 

This is nothing but disgusting, agenda-pushing, public relations propaganda.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Laus said of Hollywood’s love affair with Shelburne Falls. “This was just what we needed to get people to know where we were.”

Can't wait until it end$, if you know what I mean.


It's right up the road, folks, and I saw them advertising for extras in the local paper. I didn't go up there. I don't want to be near these people.

RelatedWater Wizz in Wareham rides Hollywood wave

Why profitable Hollywood needs Massachusetts taxpayers tax loot is beyond me.

Mansfield man sues Sandler’s company

I gue$$ no one will be filming there anymore.

Also seeGroups gets $130m in tax credits

Well, I guess you know why taxes are going up again in Massachusetts. Just throwing around tax loot to people who don't need it while we still face service cuts!

The desert in the dessert:

"Arabs draft resolution decrying Israel’s alleged nuclear arms; Renewed effort will insist nation join treaty pledge" by George Jahn |  Associated Press, July 16, 2013

VIENNA — After a two-year hiatus, Arab nations are relaunching efforts to single out Israel for criticism at a major international conference by preparing a resolution over the country’s alleged nuclear arsenal, suggesting that the Jewish state’s refusal to acknowledge that it has such arms is threatening Middle East peace.

The Arab push was a mainstay of recent annual meetings of the 159-nation International Atomic Energy Agency, where it was usually narrowly voted down by Israel’s allies. It was suspended in 2011 and 2012, in what Arab nations viewed as a concession to keep hopes alive of high-profile talks on banning weapons of mass destruction from the Mideast.

That attempt, cosponsored by the United States, Russia and Britain, was called off late last year. While Syria’s civil war, nuclear tensions with Iran, and other Middle East frictions were cited as the official motive for the cancellation, diplomats then acknowledged that the real reason was the failure to bridge Arab-Israeli differences.

Israel has long said that a full Palestinian-Israeli peace plan must precede any creation of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The Israelis refuse to confirm or deny whether they have nuclear weapons. They describe Iran and its alleged work on nuclear weapons as the real regional menace.

You know, I think the whole world has pretty much had it with the Israelis. You may own the mouthpiece media, but that no longer works now. Too many lies for far too long get tuned out after a while.

Iran denies wanting such arms, while it and the region’s other Muslim nations assert that Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace.


They insist that Israel should declare such weapons and join the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as part of any peace talks.

Agreed. Then we can have inspections of Israeli sites.

The renewed Arab push is reflected in a draft resolution seen by the Associated Press on Monday and endorsed by all 18 Arab members of the IAEA.

An official from one of the Arab delegations confirmed that the supporting nations include Syria, where President Bashar Assad’s government is at odds with some of its Arab neighbors — such as Saudi Arabia — over its war with rebels trying to topple him.

Oh, THIS ISSUE UNITES the Arabs and Muslims, 'eh?

The Arab move underscores the failure of attempts from the outside to persuade the Israelis and the Palestinians to compromise.

If submitted for a vote at the September conference, it will exacerbate international divisions on the issue....

No it won't; it will just make Israel look bad.

The Arab official said the document was formally submitted to IAEA chief Yukiya Amano late Monday for inclusion on the conference agenda. An explanatory note from the Arab group accompanying it and seen by the AP said the resolution was timely because ‘‘Israel alone possesses nuclear capabilities, which are undeclared and not subject to international control, thus constituting a permanent threat to peace and security in the region.’’

The official demanded anonymity, saying he was not authorized to discuss the resolution and related matters because the document remains confidential until it is formally published by the IAEA as an agenda item.

In a separate development Monday, hundreds of protesters staged demonstrations in Israel against a plan to resettle nomadic Bedouin Arabs in the southern Negev desert.

Arab rights groups called the protests. They are fighting a bill that would move thousands of Bedouins into government-recognized villages.

A polite name for strategic hamlets, otherwise known as concentration camps.

Bedouins charge that the plan would confiscate their land and destroy their way of life.

That's how Israel does business, yeah.

Israel says the moves are necessary to provide basic services that many Bedouins lack.

(Even this jaded blog editor is stunned at that load of bulls***)

The largest demonstration was in the southern city of Beersheba. Police say 700 people protested, scuffling with police, and 14 were arrested after a group of protesters blocked a road.

Also, police say eight demonstrators were arrested at a demonstration in northern Israel after protesters threw rocks at police. Three officers were injured.