• Zippyjuan

    by Published on 03-14-2015 12:15 PM

    Always blame some outside power for your own failings and demand even more dictatorial powers to deal with them.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latin-am...er-u-s-n321226

    CARACAS — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday asked parliament for decree powers in response to new U.S. sanctions, in a move opposition critics slammed as a power-grab.

    If as expected the government-controlled National Assembly approves his request for an "Enabling Law," it would be the second time the 52-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez has gained these expanded powers since winning election in 2013.

    "I've come to ask for an Enabling Law to confront the aggression of the most powerful
    ...
    by Published on 02-19-2015 08:35 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/wo...ware.html?_r=0

    Could be $900 million worth taken over several years.

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — In late 2013, an A.T.M. in Kiev started dispensing cash at seemingly random times of day. No one had put in a card or touched a button. Cameras showed that the piles of money had been swept up by customers who appeared lucky to be there at the right moment.

    But when a Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, was called to Ukraine to investigate, it discovered that the errant machine was the least of the bank’s problems.

    The bank’s internal computers, used by employees who process daily transfers and conduct bookkeeping, had been penetrated by malware that allowed cybercriminals
    ...
    by Published on 01-30-2015 07:15 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/bu...sion.html?_r=0

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve kept its options open on Wednesday, signaling that it would not raise short-term interest rates any earlier than June, while leaving unresolved how much longer it might be willing to wait before lifting its benchmark rate from near zero, where the central bank has held it for more than six years.

    Treating the recent turmoil in markets as essentially meaningless noise, the Fed issued its most upbeat assessment of economic conditions since the recession, after its first policy-making meeting of the year, in a statement that noted solid economic growth and strong job growth.

    But the optimistic tone was tempered by the Fed’s acknowledgment
    ...
    by Published on 01-07-2015 10:20 AM

    One enters- one might leave. This week Lithuania joined the Euro but Greece is back on the table as possibly leaving. Their economy is growing again and they have their budget in a much better state but the disagreement is over conditions of loans Euro countries made to Greece to bail them out. Greece wants more concessions on those loans. Others, Germany in particular who financed most of them- says they have been given enough concessions. It is a major issue in upcoming Greek elections later this month.

    (Reuters) - The German government believes that the euro zone would now be able to cope with a Greece exit if that proved to be necessary, Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Saturday, citing unnamed government sources.

    Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and
    ...
    by Published on 01-01-2015 11:35 AM
    Article Preview

    http://news.yahoo.com/putin-foe-arri...061609972.html

    http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/...ry.html#page=1

    MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.

    Police allowed a few thousand protesters to gather just outside Red Square for about two hours — a show of relative restraint for Russian authorities, who have little tolerance for dissent — before moving in to break up the unsanctioned rally by pushing the demonstrators toward subway entrances.

    The rally came hours after anti-corruption ...
    by Published on 11-27-2014 07:08 AM

    I got off work at midnight but will be cooking tomorrow (today- I am going to sleep soon). Instead of turkey I am doing a duck.
    by Published on 11-24-2014 07:01 AM

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...nato/19438589/

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants.

    The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces.

    However, the agreements come after U.S. officials said President Barack Obama had approved new guidelines allowing American troops to engage
    ...
    by Published on 11-10-2014 08:01 AM

    Those who were not around for the Cold War may not appreciate what a huge symbol the Berlin Wall had during that time.

    When I was in Berlin, the wall was still up. I traveled by train. When it reached the West/ East German border, the crew all got off expect for the engineer who took it across the line. Then an East German Crew took over and checked everybody's travel documents and tickets again. The process repeated at the East Germany/ Berlin border where a West German crew took over again. Visiting the Berlin Wall from the West side, I came across a place where a small crew was making some repairs. There were three workers and each was being watched closely by their own personal armed guard standing right behind them. There was also a group of people on the other side ...
    by Published on 11-05-2014 04:40 PM

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mi...stom_click=rss

    The Democratic Party, however, failed miserably to mobilize millennial voters, a crucial voting bloc that it has come to rely on recently for electoral victory.

    Voters aged 18-29 made up only 13 percent of the total votes cast in the 2014 midterm elections, according to CNN exit polling data. Of this 13 percent, 54 percent went to the Democrats, while only 43 percent went to Republican candidates.

    The problem with these statistics is that that they are either slightly better than what Democrats got in the 2010 midterms or well below what they got in 2012, when President Obama ran for re-election against former Republican ...
    by Published on 11-01-2014 08:14 PM

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/mexican-jud...ry?id=26615258

    Release was not based on whether they thought he deliberately or accidentally brought weapons into Mexico which is a violation of their law but on "humanitarian" reasons- he suffers from PTSD and reportedly tried to kill himself in jail.

    U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, jailed in Mexico on gun charges since March, was ordered released by a judge in Mexico on Friday, according to documents released by the court.

    The California native, 26, was arrested on March 31 after he says he got lost and crossed the Mexican border with three firearms in his pickup truck. Tahmooressi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

    The
    ...
    by Published on 10-08-2014 06:35 AM

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...0HR1GW20141002

    (Reuters) - The head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee risks a unprecedented demotion after announcing the 2014 winner next week, part of wider changes that could both tilt the award to the right and dim chances for future U.S. presidents to win.

    The Nobel season of the world's most coveted awards, each worth $1.1 million, opens on Monday with the medicine or physiology prize followed by physics, chemistry, peace and economics. The date for the literature prize has not been set.

    Pope Francis, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ex-U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden and Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who helps rape victims, are among bookmakers' favorites from a record
    ...
    by Published on 05-23-2014 01:40 PM

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-2...result/5473548

    New EU rules want countries to try to include all economic activity- legal and illegal.

    Drug trafficking, prostitution revenue set to boost Italy's GDP result
    Posted Fri 23 May 2014, 1:35pm AEST

    Italy has announced it will start including estimated revenues from prostitution and illegal drug sales in official gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

    The country's National Institute of Statistics says starting next year, the GDP result will also include estimates on the value of the black market in cigarettes and alcohol.

    The move has been driven by new European Union rules requiring nations to include all activities that produce income in their national accounts, regardless of their legality.

    The institute says the procedure would be it will be "very difficult for the obvious reason that these illegal activities are not reported".
    by Published on 04-04-2014 09:26 AM

    Economic warfare. When the former Ukranian leader moved to closer ties with Russia, they promised him cheaper energy prices. Now he is gone, they are going to raise prices to Ukraine by 70% and are demanding immediate payment for money owed already. Crimean energy supplies must go through Ukraine territory so not likely they would cut supplies to Ukraine altogether.

    Russian supplier of natural gas hikes prices to Ukraine by 70%

    Russian gas giant Gazprom on Thursday urged Ukraine to pay its debt, and announced a 70 per cent rise in the charge for future supplies.

    Ukraine relies on Russia for the greater part of its energy consumption. Russia earlier this month cancelled a discount to Ukraine, a few weeks after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country and an interim government stepped in.

    Gazprom said in a statement on Thursday that Ukraine "must take urgent steps to clear the debt that has accumulated." Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller met with Oleksiy Kobolev, head of Ukrainian state-owned Naftogaz, in Moscow on Thursday.

    Two days ago Gazprom announced a 44 per cent hike in the natural gas price for Ukraine starting from April 1 to $385.5 US per 1,000 cubic metres. This latest rise takes the price to $485 US per 1,000 cubic metres. ​

    Miller, who then met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said that his company is scrapping the remaining discount to Ukraine and will be charging it 70 per cent more starting this month, Russian news agencies reported.
    Continued: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/gazp...bill-1.2597075
    by Published on 02-08-2014 04:37 PM

    http://my.earthlink.net/article/top?...3-7528f9867419

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder is applying a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department, announcing Saturday that same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

    The Justice Department runs a number of benefits programs, and Holder says same-sex couples will qualify for them. They include the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and benefits to surviving spouses of public safety officers who suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in the line of duty.

    "In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder said in prepared remarks to the Human Rights Campaign in New York. The advocacy group works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.

    Just as in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the stakes in the current generation over same-sex marriage rights "could not be higher," said Holder.
    More at link.
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