President Obama reflected on the growth of America in 2014 stating that the increase in 11 million more jobs, affordability of better healthcare, the lowering of oil and gas in light of increased oil/gas production he said of his hopes for an increasing economy:
‘The steps that we took early on to rescue our economy and rebuild it on a new foundation helped make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s. All told, over a 57-month streak, our businesses have created nearly 11 million new jobs. Almost all the job growth that we’ve seen have been in full-time positions. Much of the recent pickup in job growth has been in higher-paying industries. And in a hopeful sign for middle-class families, wages are on the rise again.’
Speaking on manufacturing and the increased oil and gas production rate the President said :
‘American manufacturing have helped fuel its best stretch of job growth also since the 1990s. America is now the number-one producer of oil, the number-one producer of natural gas. We’re saving drivers about 70 cents a gallon at the pump over last Christmas. And effectively today, our rescue of the auto industry is officially over. We’ve now repaid taxpayers every dime and more of what my administration committed, and the American auto industry is on track for its strongest year since 2005.’
After the FBI tying North Korea to a alleged cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, and its involvement for the film “The Interview” and following also it’s decision to withdraw its release this Christmas following continued further threats, President Barack Obama has vowed a US response but he also added that Sony had “made a mistake” in refusing to release a controversial satire depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
On Friday US authorities linked North Korea to the hack, which saw sensitive studio information publicly released.
The film centres around two journalists who’s intention is to kill the North Korean leader. Many cinemas made the decision not to show the film, following the cyber-attacks on Sony and some people are calling for it to be made released and made available on the internet. Sony withdrew the film following threats.
“We will respond,” Mr Obama said on Friday to reporters declining to be any more specific, “We will respond proportionately and in a space, time and manner that we choose…” adding “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States.”
The US leader said it could have significant economic and social impacts if both public and private cyber-systems were under attack and therefore important to protect these systems. On the question of Sony’s potential self-censorship he said “Americans cannot change their patterns of behaviour due to the possibility of a terrorist attack,” he said. “That’s not who we are, that’s not what America is about.”
In the UK, Phillip Hammond the foreign secretary said he was “deeply concerned at the findings of the US investigation, which seems to provide further evidence of North Korea’s blatant disregard for international norms and obligations”.
The BBC website asks ‘ What is the FBI evidence?’
The current news from the BBC Internet News service concerning Syria
A BBC correspondent there describes almost constant blasts, in the fiercest attack in the 11-month uprising.
In an attempt to deflect Tehran‘s nuclear development program the European Union has today joined the United States in a new round of measures and imposed sanctions on Iran‘s oil imports to Europe. It however has not imposed a complete ban on oil imports.
In response to this a Iranian politician responded by renewing a threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, which is a oil export route vital to the global economy, and another said Tehran will cut off it’s crude shipments to the EU immediately which would greatly affect ailing European economies such as Greece, Italy, which depend heavily on Iranian oil.
All this follows after a U.S. aircraft carrier, accompanied by French and British warships, made a symbolically loaded voyage into the Gulf, defying Iranian hostility,
The expected EU sanctions are likely to prove angering to Iran in an already tense region.
It is believed by some political analysts and observers, that Iran, which denies accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons could be in a position to make them next year. Israel has also warned it could use force to prevent that Iran from any such development program
This row over Tehran’s plans is an increasingly pressing for world leaders, not least U.S. President Barack Obama as he is campaigning for a re-election in November. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has voiced skepticism about the chances of Iran being persuaded by non-military tactics, called the EU sanctions a “step in the right direction” but said Iran was still developing atomic weapons.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said of the new sanctions: “I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations … I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table … last year … or to come forward with its own ideas.”
Iran has said lately that it is willing to hold talks with Western powers, though there have been mixed signals on whether conditions imposed by either side make new negotiations likely.