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Articles Posted by Lorianne

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  • Will Puerto Rico Cause An Inadvertent “Black Swan” Derivatives Melt-Down?

    07/05/2015 11:55:20 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 24 replies
    IRD ^ | 30 June 2015 | ?
    I really had not been paying much attention to the Puerto Rico debt situation. After all, $72 billion in debt that might go bad – big deal. The Fed can print up $72 billion in credit lines with the push of a button. But a friend of mine happened to mention to me today (Monday) that MBIA’s stock was down over 23% and Assured Guaranty’s stock was down over 13%. That woke me up. Companies like MBI and AMBAC underwrite credit “enhancement” guarantees on these massive cesspools of debt – and the associated derivatives that are “wrapped around” the debt...
  • Panic Sets in Among Hardy Hedge Fund Investors Remaining in Greece

    07/05/2015 7:30:40 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 21 replies
    New York Times ^ | 28 June 2015 | Landon Thomas Jr.
    For investors around the world looking at Greece, there was but one question Sunday: What is going to happen when the markets open? On Sunday night, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said in a televised address that Greece’s banks and stock market would be closed on Monday, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse. But the question of what happens when the markets do open is particularly acute for the hedge fund investors — including luminaries like David Einhorn and John Paulson — who have collectively poured more than 10 billion euros, or $11 billion, into Greek government bonds,...
  • Visit Jordan before Isis does

    07/03/2015 2:52:48 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 01 July 2015 | George Richards
    On a dusty hill in the suburbs of Amman, the capital of Jordan, I visited the late King Hussein's magnificent automobile collection, opened to the public as a museum. Amid rows of gleaming motorcycles, I passed a brightly-coloured Japanese racer and a low-riding American chopper, and my eyes fell on one dark model that stood behind them. This, a placard told me, was a Brough Superior, British-made and once common in Jordan as a motorcycle used for military purposes. Jordan is an island of peace and stability in a sea of turmoil. There is almost nowhere in the region that...
  • Hamas provided ISIS with weapons to carry out Sinai attacks, Israeli general says

    07/03/2015 12:02:14 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    Haaretz ^ | 02 July 2015 | Gili Cohen
    Hamas helped the ISIS-affiliated group in Sinai to carry out the latest attacks against Egyptian troops and supplied them with weapons and other support, an Israeli general told Al-Jazeera on Thursday. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered condolences over the attacks that claimed the lives of dozens of people. Israel has "clear information that Hamas is supporting the Wilayat Sinai, which belongs to Daesh," Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, claimed, referring to the Islamic State group in one of its acronyms. He added that Hamas provided the Islamist group weapons and logistical support,...
  • Records show Clinton withheld emails about oil, terrorism

    07/01/2015 7:17:59 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Washington Examiner ^ | 27 June 2015 | Sarah Westwood
    Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated. Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public. For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were "well aware" of which "major oil companies and international banks" supported them during the rebellion, information they would "factor into decisions" about about...
  • John Batchelor interviews Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal +Bill Roggio, Long War Journal & FDD.

    06/30/2015 9:13:46 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | 29 June 2015 | John Batchelor
    Discussion about Al Nusra Front, Korsan Group and other groups the same as Al Qaida ... also Tunisian attack. Audio approx. 30 minutes (first half of show)
  • Upto 5000 jihadists could come to Europe says Nigel Farage

    06/29/2015 1:35:07 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    You Tube ^ | 28 June 2015 | Interview of Nigel Farage
    Video 7:39
  • The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

    06/29/2015 11:47:48 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 46 replies
    Slate ^ | 25 June 2015 | Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie
    Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to...
  • Mayor de Blasio Poised to Hire Nearly 1,300 Police Officers

    06/28/2015 12:41:47 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    New York Times ^ | 22 June 2015 | Michael M. Grynbaum, Matt Flegehheimer
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a sharp shift from his initial objections, is poised to hire nearly 1,300 additional officers for the New York Police Department, a surprising addition in a $78.5 billion budget deal announced by city leaders on Monday night. The mayor, who has pledged to improve police-community relations, has long been hesitant to hire more officers, saying he felt comfortable with the city’s near-record-low level of crime. But his administration has come under intense pressure in recent weeks after a notable increase in homicides and shootings compared with the same period last year.
  • Will 'Obamatrade' Kill Another 1 Million [USA] Factory Jobs?

    06/28/2015 12:24:57 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    The Street ^ | 15 June 2015 | Simon Constable Follow
    The Trans Pacific Partnership, or Obamatrade as it's known to opponents, might be bad news for America's beleaguered manufacturing workers. It's hard to come to any other conclusion after reading a recent working paper from the FEDERAL RESERVE that studied the effects of liberalizing trade with China in the past decade. The authors conclude that the U.S. lost 1 million factory jobs in just eight years through 2007. The Trans Pacific Partnership could mean more of the same. By far the likeliest outcome will be "another trade-related disaster for U.S. domestic manufacturing," says Alan Tonelson, an international trade and manufacturing...
  • 'It's time to hold physical cash,' says one of Britain's most senior fund managers

    06/23/2015 6:46:51 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 20 June 2015 | Andrew Oxlade
    It may be time to put money under the mattress. High profile fund managers explain how to prepare for a 'systemic event' ___ Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4bn of investors’ money across a handful of bond funds for Fidelity, including the flagship Moneybuilder Income fund, is concerned that a “systemic event” could rock markets, possibly similar in magnitude to the financial crisis of 2008, which began in Britain with a run on Northern Rock. “Systemic risk is in the system and as an investor you have to be aware of that,” he told Telegraph Money. • Get a...
  • San Francisco vs America in Housing Bubble 2

    06/23/2015 6:36:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Wolf Street ^ | 21 June 2015 | Wolf Richter
    Everybody called it “Housing Bubble” after it imploded. Crazy things had been encouraged to happen to drive home prices into the stratosphere. Risks homebuyers and lenders took were enormous. Shady dealings everywhere. Everybody loved it. Governments at all levels incited it because tax revenues soar during housing bubbles. The housing industry did whatever it took to get there. Lenders got rich funding it. The Fed was looking down upon its creation with a divine sense of satisfaction. Then…. But that’s like so 2008. What’s going on today isn’t a housing bubble, of course. Nationwide, home prices are now finally close...
  • 13 Senate Dems vote with GOP to advance trade bill

    06/23/2015 3:01:28 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 29 replies
    Politico ^ | 23 June 2015 | Seung Min Kim
    Thirteen Senate Democrats on Tuesday helped advance fast-track trade powers for President Barack Obama after overcoming their own concerns about whether a related aid bill for workers would pass the Republican-controlled Congress. The final tally on the procedural vote for granting Obama trade promotion authority was 60-37. Five Republicans — including two running for president — broke with the GOP and voted against advancing the bill. Republicans who voted against advancing the fast-track bill were: • Susan Collins, Maine • Ted Cruz, Texas • Rand Paul, Kentucky • Jeff Sessions, Alabama • Richard Shelby, Alabama Those were the same senators...
  • Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’

    06/19/2015 3:26:50 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 31 replies
    National Post (Canada) ^ | 03 June 2015 | Sarah Boesveld
    OTTAWA — When he cut off his right arm with a “very sharp power tool,” a man who now calls himself One Hand Jason let everyone believe it was an accident. But he had for months tried different means of cutting and crushing the limb that never quite felt like his own, training himself on first aid so he wouldn’t bleed to death, even practicing on animal parts sourced from a butcher. “My goal was to get the job done with no hope of reconstruction or re-attachment, and I wanted some method that I could actually bring myself to do,”...
  • Why Is HSBC Leaving Brazil and Turkey?

    06/14/2015 1:24:54 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | 11 June 2015 | Daniel Altman
    Because they have economies with flattening income inequality. And that's bad for business. ___ he world’s local bank is about to get a little less local. HSBC is going on a cost-cutting tear, trimming branches in major markets and selling off entire operations in emerging ones. The bank’s leadership says they’re narrowing its business to improve profitability, but there’s a much bigger message — and possibly an important twist — in its new approach. To understand HSBC’s decision, it helps to think about its business model. Retail banks that serve consumers and businesses make their money primarily through loans and...
  • Dallas police HQ shooting: Suspect James Boulware killed during standoff

    06/14/2015 12:27:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 20 replies
    CNN ^ | 13 June 2015 | Jason Hanna and Joe Sutton,
    A man unleashed a barrage of gunfire on Dallas' police headquarters and planted explosives outside the building early Saturday -- narrowly failing to wound anyone -- leading to a chase to a suburb that ended with SWAT officers killing him in his parked van at a restaurant parking lot. Police shot him through the windshield of the armored van about an hour before dawn after he made more threats, sometime after they chased him to the lot outside the Jack in the Box restaurant in the suburb of Hutchins, authorities said. But police didn't confirm his death until the early...
  • [Space] Station Astronaut Snaps Super Sharp View of the Great Pyramids from Space

    06/14/2015 11:46:21 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 39 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 13 June 2015 | Ken Kremer
    On his last full day in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronaut Terry Virts at last captured a truly iconic shot of one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” – the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Virts snapped the exquisitely sharp view of the Egyptian pyramids at Giza on June 10 looking out from the stations windows, just hours before entering the Soyuz return spaceship and closing the hatches behind him for his planned plummet back to Earth. He proudly posted the spectacular photo on his twitter social media account from space while serving as...
  • France Moves to Make ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Illegal by Government Decree

    06/13/2015 4:22:26 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 25 replies
    21st Century Wire ^ | 19 March 2015
    Political elites and super-bureaucrats are worried. It’s becoming harder to control consensus reality. A history stitched together by lies and cover-ups, political assassinations, slight-of-hand false flag deceptions, secret societies, dual loyalties and stolen fortunes – this has been the exclusive privilege of organized crime and the ruling elite for centuries. Putting aside history’s ‘big ticket’ items though, the real reason for this authoritarian trend is much more fundamental. By knocking out their intellectual competition, political elites and their media moguls hope to minimalize, and thus eliminate any alternative analysis and opinion by applying the completely open-ended and arbitrary label of...
  • [EU] Parliament postpones EU-U.S. trade vote

    06/11/2015 1:19:19 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Politico ^ | 10 June 2015 | Hans von der Burchard, Maïa de la Baume, Jacopo Barigazzi
    STRASBOURG — The European Parliament has postponed a vote to endorse the EU’s negotiating position on a free trade deal with the United States after divisions within the second-biggest bloc in the assembly laid bare the depth of disquiet in Europe about controversial investor protection clauses. Parliamentary leaders had hoped to agree on a resolution Wednesday backing the European Commission in the talks — and trumpeted the recent approval of a fragile compromise in its International Trade Committee (INTA) as a sign that negotiations could at last move forward. Although Parliament’s approval is not essential at this stage, it is...
  • Bond crash across the world as deflation trade goes horribly wrong

    06/11/2015 1:13:21 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 10 June 2015 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    Markets ignored clear warnings in Europe and America that the money supply is catching fire, signalling a surge of inflation later this year ___ The global deflation trade is unwinding with a vengeance. Yields on 10-year Bunds blew through 1pc today, spearheading a violent repricing of credit across the world. The scale is starting to match the 'taper tantrum' of mid-2013 when the US Federal Reserve issued its first gentle warning that quantitative easing would not last forever, and that the long-feared inflexion point was nearing in the international monetary cycle. Paper losses over the last three months have reached...
  • Islamic State used US-made anti-tank missiles near Palmyra

    06/10/2015 8:30:53 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 9 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 09 June 2015 | Caleb Weiss
    In a new video released by the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur in Arabic. During the video, at least one US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile is seen being used against Syrian regime troops near the city. The Islamic State took full control of the city after a weeklong offensive two weeks ago. At least 462 civilians, 241 government troops, and 150 Islamic State fighters were killed in the fighting in and around Palmyra since May 13, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The jihadist group...
  • Berlin becomes first German city to make rent cap a reality

    06/10/2015 7:25:15 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 16 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 01 June 2015 | Ruby Russell
    Capital pioneers law prohibiting landlords from charging new tenants more than 10% above local average __ Berlin has become the first city in Germany in which rent-control legislation has come into force in a bid to put the brakes on some of the fastest rising rents in Europe. From Monday, landlords in the capital will be barred from increasing rents by more than 10% above the local average. Such controls were already in place for existing tenants but have now been extended to new contracts. “The rent ceiling is very important for Berlin because the difference between the rent paid...
  • Nigel Farage Eastbourne Conference 6 June 2015

    06/10/2015 4:15:39 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    You Tube ^ | 06 June 2015 | Nigel Farage speech
    Audio-video 23:43
  • John Batchlor interviews Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn, FDD on the ISIS kill number, other things.

    06/09/2015 1:29:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | 08 June 2015 | John Batchelor inteview Long War Journal journalists
    Podcast: audio First 1/3 of hour show.
  • Islamic Front no answer for Syria conflict

    06/07/2015 7:17:40 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 7 replies
    AL Monitor ^ | 2014 ?
    ALEPPO, Syria — Another extraordinary week in Syria, which has seen the fortunes of the once powerful Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) take a sharp turn for the worse, sparking a bloody and bitter interfactional war among Islamist groups for supremacy over rebel territories in the north. So what prompted the allies of yesterday to commit "jihadist fratricide" today? What of the timing of these unprecedented, coordinated attacks across many fronts on ISIS positions, effectively catching them by surprise in a sucker punch that unseated them from many former strongholds? Make no mistake, this is not a “resurgence”...
  • US claims 10,000 Islamic State fighters killed since start of air campaign

    06/06/2015 7:09:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 33 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 03 June 2015 | Bill Roggio
    US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that “more than 10,000″ Islamic State fighters and commanders have been killed since the air campaign in Iraq began in August 2014 and subsequently in Syria in September 2014. If true, US intelligence estimates on the strength of the Islamic State are grossly underestimated.
  • From Head To Toe, A Look At Quirks Of American Pharoah

    06/06/2015 6:43:02 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 19 replies
    CBS New York ^ | 04 June 2015
    Like Any Great Athlete, Triple Crown Hopeful Has His Peculiarities ___ Like a lot of athletes, American Pharoah has his quirks. The brown colt is easy to pick out on the racetrack: he’s the one with the shortest tail. American Pharoah will try to become horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978 when he runs in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. California Chrome failed in his bid last year. Trainer Bob Baffert describes the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner as “a really kind, sweet horse.” That’s an unusual temperament among racehorses, most of which are...
  • The Al Nusrah Front’s ‘inherited jihad’

    06/06/2015 2:17:06 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 05 June 2015 | Thomas Joscelyn
    To achieve success, Al Nusrah will have to continue to fend off multiple adversaries, including the Islamic State. Much of the second part of Al Jazeera’s interview was spent discussing Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization. Mansur gave Julani ample room to explore the differences between the two sides. In so doing, Julani said that scholars they trust have deemed the Islamic State to be “kharijite,” that is, similar to an early sect of Islamic extremists. Julani accuses the Islamic State of killing 700 members of Al Nusrah in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor alone. And, he argues, while the...
  • Supreme Court had defeat to struggling homeowners

    06/02/2015 6:15:32 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Market Watch ^ | 01 June 2015 | Ruth Mantell
    Underwater homeowners who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection are still on the hook for secondary loans tied to their properties, the Supreme Court said Monday. In a nine-to-zero decision, the court said in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett that borrowers whose homes are completely underwater — debtors owe more on a mortgage than the home is worth — cannot void or “strip off” a junior lien when they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A junior lien, such as a home-equity loan, is taken after a first mortgage, and uses a home as collateral. In the case, two borrowers...
  • Easy Access to Money Keeps U.S. Oil Pumping

    06/02/2015 6:06:43 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Nasdaq ^ | 31 May 2015
    Wall Street's generous supply of funds to U.S. oil drillers helped create the American energy boom. Now that same access to easy money is keeping them going, despite oil prices that are languishing around $60 a barrel. The flow of money into oil has allowed U.S. companies to avoid liquidity problems and kept American crude production from falling sharply. Even though more than half of the rigs that were drilling new wells in September have been banished to storage yards, in mid-May nearly 9.6 million barrels of oil a day were pumped across the country, the highest level since 1970,...
  • John Batchelor interviews Thomas Joscelyn + Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD

    06/02/2015 7:26:37 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | 01 June 2015 | John Batchelor inteview Long War Journal journalists
    Podcast. Audio, first part of podcast. News from activity in Syraq and beyond
  • Kos [Greece] shows there is no escape from the Mediterranean] migrant crisis

    05/31/2015 1:05:37 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 11 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 30 May 2015
    Photographs of British visitors to Kos walking, eyes averted, past asylum seekers who recently staggered off overloaded dinghies, have gone around the world, along with quotes underlining the revulsion felt by both tourists and sympathetic British journalists for the kind of “riff-raff” happy to ruin another person’s package holiday. “The harbourside has become an unofficial washing line, with clothes and grubby looking-scarves laid out along the shoreline”, according to the Daily Mail. Given the trouble that the holidaying British have traditionally taken, since Byron’s day, to embrace the local culture, perhaps their dismay is understandable. Maybe, if the migrants were...
  • Holding Your Breath in India

    05/31/2015 10:17:42 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 41 replies
    New York Times ^ | 29 May 2015 | Gardiner Harris
    New Delhi __ FOR weeks the breathing of my 8-year-old son, Bram, had become more labored, his medicinal inhaler increasingly vital. And then, one terrifying night nine months after we moved to this megacity, Bram’s inhaler stopped working and his gasping became panicked. My wife called a friend, who recommended a private hospital miles away. I carried Bram to the car while my wife brought his older brother. India’s traffic is among the world’s most chaotic, and New Delhi’s streets are crammed with trucks at night, when road signs become largely ornamental. We undertook one of the most frightening journeys...
  • Inside Q1’s Punk GDP Numbers—–Why Bubble Vision Doesn’t Get It

    05/31/2015 9:22:22 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Conta Corner ^ | David Stockman
    Promptly upon release of today’s GDP update, Steve Liesman and his Wall Street economist pals spent 10 minutes bloviating about why the negative print should be completely ignored. Herein is an essay on why it is they who should be given the heave-ho. According to Liesman & Co the GDP shrinkage reported by the BEA for Q1 was all a mistake due to winter, strikes and unseasonal seasonals. So don’t sweat the small stuff, they brayed to what remains of the CNBC audience, the US economy actually continues bounding along at a 2.5% growth rate, as it has for the...
  • The Tiny House Powered Only by Wind and Sun

    05/28/2015 11:12:12 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 37 replies
    Atlantic, the ^ | 27 May 2015 | Olga Khazan
    At last, a micro-cottage for people who don’t want to figure out electrical wiring and plumbing ___ theory, I support the tiny-house lifestyle. I would enjoy the opportunity to live on a lonesome plain somewhere, with only the stars and many insects for company. I’m sure I could find a way to de-clutter my life such that the floor of my room/house was not always covered by 100 pairs of yoga pants. I would emerge from the experience a stronger, more reflective person who, if tiny-house documentaries are to be believed, is also an expert in knitting and roof repair....
  • The [Australian] property boom is on borrowed time

    05/28/2015 11:02:29 AM PDT · by Lorianne
    Business Spectator ^ | 26 May 2015 | Callam Pickering |
    The stage is set for Australian property to finally feel the pain so evident across other sectors of the economy. A series of headwinds -- combined with tighter lending standards -- ensures that the investor property boom is now on borrowed time. Yesterday, Westpac decided to cut the lucrative interest rate discounts offered to new housing investors -- following similar action from its major rivals last week -- as regulatory pressure from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority begins to take effect. The implication of this shift in regulatory policy will be modest at first but could soon snowball into a...
  • 40% of Workers Now Have 'Contingent' Jobs, Says U.S. Government

    05/28/2015 10:52:19 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 14 replies
    Forbes ^ | 25 May 2015 | Elaine Pofeldt
    Tucked away in the pages of a new report by the U.S. General Accounting Office is a startling statistic: 40.4% of the U.S. workforce is now made up of contingent workers—that is, people who don’t have what we traditionally consider secure jobs. There is currently a lot of debate about how contingent workers should be defined. To arrive at the 40.4 %, which the workforce reached in 2010, the report counts the following types of workers as having the alternative work arrangements considered contingent. (The government did some rounding to arrive at its final number, so the numbers below add...
  • Cantwell Delivers Howler to Explain Vote on Trade Bill, Pointed Stenography Ensues

    05/25/2015 12:52:39 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    THE//INTERCEPT ^ | 22 May 2015 | Dan Froomkin
    Sen. Maria Cantwell engaged in a very public maneuver on the Senate floor Thursday, withholding her vote in favor of the big trade bill until she got assurances that there would be a vote on renewing the Export-Import Bank. Afterward, explaining the fervency of her support for the Ex-Im Bank, she told such a howler that even the Capitol press corps, not empowered to actually call a senator a liar, made sure to offer readers the opportunity to reach that conclusion on their own. The Democrat from Washington state, where Boeing is the single largest employer, said her support for...
  • Did China Just Launch World's Biggest Spending Plan?

    05/25/2015 7:14:47 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 11 replies
    Forbes ^ | 24 May 2015 | Gordon Chang
    Beijing has just initiated a round of accelerated government spending, and it will, in all probability, end up as the biggest such effort today. Wednesday, the Chinese central government announced both the allocation of 1.13 trillion yuan ($185.8 billion) for upgrading internet infrastructure and the creation of a 124.3 billion yuan fund for affordable housing. These expenditures follow Monday’s authorization of six new rail lines costing 250 billion yuan. This month, as Xinhua News Agency reports, Beijing has unveiled a “pro-growth measure” at the rate of one every two days. April was a banner month for Beijing’s spenders as well....
  • Opinion Journal: 'War Is Interested in You'

    05/22/2015 1:47:18 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Opinion Jounal ^ | 22 May 2015 | Mary Kissel interviews authro Bret Stephens
    Global View Columnist Bret Stephens on President Obama's reaction to the fall of Ramadi and Palmyra. Video 3:28
  • Al Nusrah Front and allies claim victory at Al Mastoumah, Idlib

    05/19/2015 4:11:30 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 19 May 2015 | Caleb Weiss
    The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its allies in the Jaysh al Fateh coalition are claiming to have completely overrun the Assad regime’s forces at the Al Mastoumah military camp in Idlib. The camp was one of the last remaining regime strongholds in the northwestern province. The jihadists have been promoting the victory on Twitter and other social media. On Al Nusrah’s official Twitter feed for its Idlib operations, the jihadist group said that it and its Jaysh al Fateh allies have fully “liberated” the camp. In other tweets, it said that the regime forces...
  • As the UK has discovered, there is no postindustrial promised land

    05/19/2015 10:31:18 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 24 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | 18 May 2015 | Eamonn Fingleton
    In the 1950s, every region of Britain had industrial clout. Then came postindustrialism, a disastrous intellectual fad that has proved to be no substitute for advanced manufacturing ___ Anyone puzzled by Scotland’s increasing disaffection should take a look at a book called British Enterprise. Written by Alexander Howard and Ernest Newman, and published in 1952, the immediate afterglow of the festival of Britain, it consisted of short descriptions of each of more than 100 then world-beating British manufacturing companies. It strikingly illustrates how much more geographically balanced the British economy was in those days. In common with latter­day Germany, every...
  • John Batchelor interviews Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn, FDD re Syria/Iraq and Ramadi.

    05/19/2015 9:41:46 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | 18 May 2015 | John Batchelor
    Podast interview of publishers of the Long War Journal re Iraq/Syria, Ramadi, our own military seemingly not knowing what is going on, etc. First half of show. Around 18 minutes
  • 'Paddle in Seattle' Arctic oil drilling protest

    05/18/2015 7:53:11 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    BBC ^ | 17 May 2015
    Hundreds of people in kayaks and small boats have staged a protest in the north-western US port city of Seattle against oil drilling in the Arctic by the Shell energy giant. Paddle in Seattle was held by activists who said the firm's drilling would damage the environment. It comes after the first of Shell's two massive oil rigs arrived at the port. The firm wants to move them in the coming months to explore for oil off Alaska's northern coast. Earlier this week, Shell won conditional approval from the US Department of Interior for oil exploration in the Arctic. The...
  • How the Clintons Worked the Angles in Haiti

    05/17/2015 4:34:46 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 21 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 10 May 2015 | Mary Anastasia O’Grady
    Within two weeks of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the word had already gone out from the State Department that Bill Clinton would be in charge of U.S. reconstruction efforts. “That means,” one individual told me and I reported in a Jan. 25, 2010 column, “if you don’t have Clinton connections, you won’t be in the game.” The “game,” as my source called it, meant securing hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development and grants from multilateral institutions like the InterAmerican Development Bank, which gets the bulk of its funding from...
  • The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s.

    05/16/2015 12:55:40 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 04 April 2015 | Liz Sly
    When Abu Hamza, a former Syrian rebel, agreed to join the Islamic State, he did so assuming he would become a part of the group’s promised Islamist utopia, which has lured foreign jihadists from around the globe. Instead, he found himself being supervised by an Iraqi emir and receiving orders from shadowy Iraqis who moved in and out of the battlefield in Syria. When Abu Hamza disagreed with fellow commanders at an Islamic State meeting last year, he said, he was placed under arrest on the orders of a masked Iraqi man who had sat silently through the proceedings, listening...
  • The U.S. economy has left behind 20 million Americans

    05/15/2015 8:00:05 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 16 replies
    Market Watch ^ | 13 May 2015 | Howard Gold
    About 10% of adults of working age have at best marginal ties with the economy ___ Last month, when Baltimore was burning after a young African-American man died in police custody (six officers were subsequently charged), I did a Google search to find what David Simon thought about it. Simon, a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, was the creator and show runner of “The Wire,” which ran for five seasons on HBO and which Entertainment Weekly called the greatest television show ever. It was a brilliant narrative of the struggle for survival in a violent, drug-riddled Baltimore neighborhood much...
  • Greece pays IMF [interest on] loan but another [w/IMF bailout], bigger one looms next week

    05/15/2015 12:11:45 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    With Greece’s cash flow problems growing by the day and negotiations with its creditors on the ropes, Athens managed to make a $222-million (U.S.) repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. But another, much larger repayment looms next week that Greece will struggle to manage. The country once more faces the possibility of having to default on its debt, which could set off a chain of events jeopardizing its membership in Europe’s joint currency. The country’s left-wing government has been locked in troubled negotiations with its creditors and the institutions overseeing its bailout – the IMF, European Central Bank...
  • Your attention span is now less than that of goldfish, Microsoft says

    05/15/2015 11:52:55 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 23 replies
    Ottawa Citizen ^ | 12 May 2015 | Vito Piliei
    People now have shorter attention spans than goldfish — and our always-on portable devices may be to blame, a new study suggests. The study from Microsoft Corp. draws on surveys of more than 2,000 Canadians who played games online in order to determine the impact that pocket-sized devices and the increased availability of digital media and information are having on everyday life. Researchers also did in-lab monitoring, using electroencephalograms (EEGs) to monitor brain activity of 112 people. Among the findings of the 54-page study was that, thanks to our desire to always be connected, people can multi-task like never before....
  • You Can’t Read the TPP, But These Huge Corporations Can

    05/15/2015 11:49:40 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Intercept, the ^ | 12 May 2015 | Alleen Brown
    The Senate today is holding a key procedural vote that would allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be “fast-tracked.” So who can read the text of the TPP? Not you, it’s classified. Even members of Congress can only look at it one section at a time in the Capitol’s basement, without most of their staff or the ability to keep notes. But there’s an exception: if you’re part of one of 28 U.S. government-appointed trade advisory committees providing advice to the U.S. negotiators. The committees with the most access to what’s going on in the negotiations are 16 “Industry Trade Advisory...