• Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 04:58 PM
    A Russian media outlet linked to an indicted "troll farm" has filed a lawsuit against Facebook after an April 3 ban from the social media platform for allegedly violating Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS). The Federal Agency of News (FAN) has accused Facebook of acting in concert with the US Justice Department (DOJ) to "rid the platform of Russian language accounts," and says it was inappropriately linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) - as the two companies shared a building between 2014 and 2015. FAN's US-focused website, USAReally.com, has also been blocked on Facebook, Google and Twitter - which the company says is part of a "witch hunt" against Russians. "They say we are trolls -- let them prove it," said FAN General Director Evgeny Zubarev in a Moscow interview last week. Zubarev is a former crime reporter who runs the self-described "pro-Russian" news outlet which filed suit against Facebook on November 20. Representatives of Facebook didn’t respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit and Zubarev’s statements. In April, Facebook removed almost 300 sites controlled by Internet Research Agency, the alleged troll farm. The chief security officer at the time, Alex Stamos, said then that IRA repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate people who use Facebook, including before, during and after the 2016 US presidential elections. “It’s why we don’t want them on Facebook,” Stamos wrote. The legal fight and accompanying accusations of a “witch hunt” -- FAN’s new English-language portal, USAReally.com, also has been blocked on Facebook, Twitter and Google, among others -- are feeding into a narrative in Moscow of a U.S. crackdown on free speech. FAN says it has a monthly readership of almost 9 million. -Bloomberg Facebook cited TOS violations when it deleted the accounts of FAN and more than 270 Russian-language accounts in April, which FAN argues was done under pressure to comply with the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. FAN alleges in its complaint that Facebook violated the free speech protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by unfairly censoring users, including Russian news organizations engaging in the dissemination of information. “Our point is that the internet is a forum and Facebook is using its market power to shut down free speech, and is acting like a government regulator,” said Dennis Boyle, FAN’s legal counsel in the U.S. Boyle traveled to St. Petersburg earlier this year to vet the organization after the case was referred to him by Russian attorneys. -Bloomberg
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  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 04:26 PM
    Just a few hours after the embattled U.K. prime minister announced to the House of Commons she would defer the critical Brexit vote - facing certain and humiliating defeat - and return to Brussels to seek “assurances” from European Union leaders, the fate of any upcoming votes to ratify the deal is now in limbo. As ITV's Richard Peston reported, "it appears that UK PM May could keep the current talks with EU going well past January 21st "perhaps right up to Brexit day 29 March, and avoid any parliamentary Brexit vote," effectively eliminating a popular vote of disapproval for her process. I may have got this wrong. Looking at European Union Withdrawal Act it seems that @theresa_may could keep the current talks with EU going well passed 21 Jan, perhaps right up to Brexit day 29 March, and avoid any parliamentary Brexit vote. @YvetteCooperMP understandably concerned https://t.co/1kgnGmXBxJ — Robert Peston (@Peston) December 10, 2018 That, as Bloomberg notes, raises the prospect that May will be back in Parliament in January with virtually the same deal, relying on tanking markets, a crashing pound and frightening no-deal preparations - including even more doomsday rhetoric from the Bank of England - to convince lawmakers to back her. Sadly for May, the parliamentary arithmetic won’t have changed, as only an election can do that. And an election is out of the question as May will almost certainly lose her job, potentially resetting the Brexit process back to square one (or perhaps minus one). Meanwhile, with the Brexit vote in parliament indefinitely postponed, the UK Parliament will debate the vote delay for three hours on Tuesday according to House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, assuring even more drama and chaos. The debate was demanded by opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said May has shown “disregard for Parliament and the rights of this house” by making a “unilateral” decision to delay vote on her Brexit deal. While the debate won’t be binding on May’s government, contributions "will reflect anger" at May avoiding what was predicted to be a heavy defeat of her deal in House of Commons, according to Bloomberg. Even so, Corbyn won't table a "no confidence" motion against Theresa May's government until there's been a formal vote on the withdrawal agreement, effectively trapping May in a no way out situation. And while the domestic chaos hit previously unseen levels, in Brussels European Council President Donald Tusk called a leaders’ meeting on Brexit for Thursday, but made it clear that the EU "will not renegotiate the deal" even as he tweeted that "we are ready to discuss how to facilitate ratification." Amusingly, it's not just Europe that refuses to renegotiate the deal: Irish PM Leo Varadkar was also on the tape re-iterating that the deal cannot be renegotiated.
    22 replies | 347 view(s)
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    Today, 04:12 PM
    As the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou threatens to unravel the tenuous trade truce between the US and China, one American company isn't sticking around to find out whether a more permanent solution to the trade war can be hammered out by the March "hard deadline." GoPro revealed Monday morning that it would move production of most of its cameras bound for the US market out of China by the summer of 2019 to "mitigate the impact" of its products being hit by US tariffs - a sign the company expects President Trump to move ahead with imposing tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods early next year. According to a company press release, GoPro believes that a "diversified" approach to manufacturing could benefit its business regardless of whether more tariffs are implemented. GoPro added that, since it uses production facilities provided by a local partner, it expects to make this move "at a relatively low cost." GoPro today announced that it plans to move most of its US-bound camera production out of China by the summer of 2019 to mitigate the potential impact of inclusion on any new tariff lists. International-bound camera production will remain in China. "Today's geopolitical business environment requires agility, and we're proactively addressing tariff concerns by moving most of our US-bound camera production out of China," said Brian McGee, Executive Vice President and CFO of GoPro. "We believe this diversified approach to production can benefit our business regardless of tariff implications." McGee added, "It's important to note that we own our own production equipment while our manufacturing partner provides the facilities, so we expect to make this move at a relatively low cost." So, GoPro will continue manufacturing cameras for the Chinese market in China, while building cameras for the US market in the US. If anything, this would appear to validate Trump's argument that tariffs would lead to more domestically consumed products being manufacturing within the US. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/gopro-shares-climb-camera-maker-moves-most-us-bound-production-out-china
    680 replies | 19086 view(s)
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    Today, 04:09 PM
    India’s central bank governor Urjit Patel unexpectedly announced his resignation on Monday following a tense stand-off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over the bank’s independence. In a statement on the Reserve Bank of India’s website, Patel said that "on account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately." He stepped down from a position he held since September 2016, when he was selected to replace Raghuram Rajan. The Oxford-trained Patel, who had tried to stay away from the spotlight, was initially seen playing along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he backed a ban on high-value currency notes in November 2016. Since then, he has waged a war to get India’s struggling banking system in order and punish errant borrowers who have stopped servicing their debt even though they have the ability to pay. His exit comes at a time when India, which is closing in on Italy to become home to banks with the worst bad-loan ratio among major economies, is delivering a bitter pill to resuscitate its banking sector. Earlier this year, the RBI introduced new rules forcing lenders to declare a delinquent borrower even if payments were overdue by a day. That was aimed at easing mounting bad loans, particularly from the power sector. Patel also moved in to ring-fence weak state-run banks. Currently, a total of 12 banks -- 11 in the public sector and one in the private sector-- are under the so-called prompt corrective action framework that places curbs on lending, expanding branch network and dividend distribution. The government wanted the RBI to relax the rules so banks can lend more easily and keep the economic engines firing ahead of a general election next year. But the RBI wants these banks to be slowly nursed back to health. According to the central bank, it needs to be independent so that loan losses of banks aren’t s India's government wanted the RBI to relax the rules so banks can lend more easily and keep the economic engines firing ahead of a general election next year. But the RBI wants these banks to be slowly nursed back to health. According to the central bank, it needs to be independent so that loan losses of banks aren’t swept under the rug by compromising supervisory and regulatory standards. That independence came under threat last month, when the government sought greater oversight on the central bank’s functioning and a review of its economic capital framework. Patel has also disagreed with the government’s demand for more share of profits from the RBI’s operations. A transfer of more dividend helps the government meet its budget gap aim.
    0 replies | 2 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 04:03 PM
    After the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reported record prints for virtually every notable labor market series for August, followed by a modest slowdown in September, there was another push higher across most labor market indicators in October. According to the BLS, after a downward revision in the September job openings from 7.009MM to 6.960MM, in October this number surged by 119K to 7.079 million, the second highest number of job openings on record. With prior revision, this will be not only the 4th consecutive month of job openings printing above 7 million, but more importantly, the 8th consecutive month in which there were more job openings then unemployed workers: considering that according to the payrolls report there were 5.975MM unemployed workers in October, there is now just over 1.1 million more job openings than unemployed workers currently, (how accurate, or politically-biased the BLS data is, is another matter entirely). In other words, in an economy in which there was a perfect match between worker skills and employer needs, there would be zero unemployed people at this moment (of course, that is not the case.) According to the BLS, rhe number of job openings increased in information (+45,000), real estate and rental and leasing (+38,000), educational services (+20,000), and state and local government education (+17,000). The number of job openings decreased in state and local government, excluding education (-38,000) and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-33,000). Job openings were little changed in all four regions. Adding to the exuberant labor picture, while job openings remained above total unemployment, the number of total hires also remained surprisingly high, surging by 196K in October, and printing at 5.892 million, just shy of the all time high of 5.906 million reached in August. Hires increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+90,000) and durable goods manufacturing (+43,000), but decreased in mining and logging (-11,000). According to the historical correlation between the number of hires and the 12 month cumulative job change (per the Establishment Survey), either the pace of hiring needs to drop, or else the number of new jobs will rise significantly in the coming months. Yet while both job openings and hires showed continued strength in the labor market, by one metric the job market may have peaked: the so-called "take this jobs and shove it" indicator - which shows worker confidence that they can leave their current job and find a better paying job elsewhere - dipped for a second consecutive month, declining by 50K in October, after dropping 84K in September from an all time high of 3.648 million, suggesting the workers on the margin are somewhat less reluctant to quit their jobs and look elsewhere. Quits increased in health care and social assistance (+33,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+30,000), and educational services (+12,000). The number of quits decreased in other services (-39,000). Quits decreased in the Northeast region.
    5 replies | 145 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 04:00 PM
    After being greeted by jeers from the House of Commons, May has confirmed that she will be cancelling the vote and returning to Brussels to try and work out a more agreeable arrangement for the Irish backstop that will address the concerns of Brexiteers. The jeers grew louder when May brought up the possibility that a defeat for her deal could mean no Brexit. Continuing its downward moment from earlier in the day, the pound is moving lower on May's comments. Headlines are rolling in: U.K.'S MAY CONFIRMS SHE'S PULLING BREXIT VOTE IN PARLIAMENT MAY: CHALLENGE OF IRISH BORDER MUST BE MET WITH REAL SOLUTIONS MAY: DETERMINED TO DO ALL I CAN TO GET THIS DEAL OVER THE LINE MAY: WILL DO ALL POSSIBLE FOR `FURTHER ASSURANCES' ON BACKSTOP
    22 replies | 347 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 PM
    We previously wrote about China going after its own business executives and the arrest of Huawei CFO breaking “the truce” with the U.S. Right on cue, it did not take long for the Chinese to respond to the arrest of the CFO in Canada. Today a Chinese court granted Qualcomm injunction against Apple (AAPL US), banning sale of Iphones. CNBC writes; The court has banned the import and sale of nearly all iPhone models in China, according to a statement Monday from Qualcomm. Apple is already disputing the scope of the ban, saying it only applies to iPhones that run on an older operating system The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China granted the two preliminary injunctions against four Apple subsidiaries in China. It relates to two Qualcomm patents that enable users to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photos and to manage applications using a touch screen when viewing and navigating apps on their phones. iPhones are currently sold with the operating system iOS 12 This is probably one of the first shots the Chinese are taking against U.S. and Apple. One can argue that Qualcomm is also a U.S. company, but in this instance it is all about appearance. Markets and potentially President Trump cares more about the prized U.S. company Apple than about some supplier like Qualcomm. Also, Apple supply chain is more than any other U.S. tech company exposed to China. Making hedging and taking out production out of China more difficult. Ben Thompson from Stratechery makes an excellent point; Taiwanese manufacturers may own the factories in China, but Apple very much controls every part of those factories. That’s the thing, though: there is always a tradeoff. Because Apple demands so much control, hedging will for them be more difficult than nearly any other company. This was the opening salvo from the Chinese side. If it continues, China could go after Apple’s supply-chain. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/china-going-after-apple
    24 replies | 615 view(s)
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    Today, 03:52 PM
    France is investigating Russia over the yellow vest riots. Sorry, Macron, please look in the mirror. Please consider France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest Riots. France opened a probe into possible Russian interference behind the country’s Yellow Vest protests, after reports that social-media accounts linked to Moscow have increasingly targeted the movement. According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy, about 600 Twitter accounts known to promote Kremlin views have begun focusing on France, boosting their use of the hashtag giletsjaunes, the French name for the Yellow Vest movement. French security services are looking at the situation, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday in a radio interview with RTL. “An investigation is now underway,” Le Drian said. “I will not make comments before the investigation has brought conclusions.” The Twitter accounts monitored by the alliance usually feature U.S. or British news. But the French protests “have been at or near the top” of their activity for at least a week, according to Bret Schafer, the alliance’s Washington-based social media analyst. “That’s a pretty strong indication that there is interest in amplifying the conflict” for audiences outside France. Damn. Maybe it's me. Or ZeroHedge. Or the Washington Post. Or anyone else writing about events in France. Even Trump! As noted yesterday, 4th Weekend of French Riots, Trump Blames Climate Change, Others Blame Facebook. Then again, perhaps media interest is up due to four weeks of rioting in Paris. Could that possibly be it?
    78 replies | 1130 view(s)
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    Today, 03:48 PM
    Since the former Boston mafia kingpin was brutally murdered inside his cell less than 48 hours after arriving at a new maximum security prison in West Virginia, Whitey Bulger and the circumstances that left him vulnerable to such a brutal assault have led to suspicions that his murder might have been unofficially sanctioned by the bureau of prisons and - maybe - the FBI itself. Bulger, as we noted at the time, was rumored to be cooperating with a new task force created by a Massachusetts Congressman to investigate corruption in the FBI's witness protection program. While the BOP and FBI have so far released few details about the circumstances that led to Bulger's transfer, more information could soon be forthcoming. Because Bulger's former attorney, Hank Brennan, is suing the federal government for wrongful death and negligence to try and learn more about why the frail gangster in failing health was sent to a new prison and mixed in with the general population. Mr. Brennan says he is preparing to sue the government on behalf of Bulger’s estate for wrongful death and negligence to find out why authorities sent the frail, notorious gangster to the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in West Virginia, and put him in with the general population. "It’s important for the family and the public to know why the prisons decided to wheel an 89-year-old man with a history of heart attacks into one of the most dangerous prisons in the country," said Mr. Brennan, who hasn’t publicly disclosed his final conversations with Bulger previously. Mr. Brennan represented Bulger starting in 2011, when he was captured after evading arrest for 16 years. He helped defend the gangster at the 2013 trial in which Bulger was found guilty of presiding over a sprawling and lucrative web of murder, extortion, money-laundering and drug-dealing from the 1970s to the mid-1990s. Brennan said it's important for the public to learn the truth about Bulger's death. Brennan pointed out several suspicious developments in the days before Bulger's death. For example, during his last conversation with Bulger, the aging gangster said he was being transferred for medical reasons. But the BOP told WSJ that Bulger was being transferred for making threats against prison staff. "It’s important for the family and the public to know why the prisons decided to wheel an 89-year-old man with a history of heart attacks into one of the most dangerous prisons in the country," said Mr. Brennan, who hasn’t publicly disclosed his final conversations with Bulger previously. A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said that Bulger was transferred from the Florida prison because of a threat he made against a staff member, an allegation Mr. Brennan disputes, and that the transfer to Hazelton was made in accordance with the bureau’s policy. The spokesperson declined to comment on any medical issues or the threat of a lawsuit. The Bureau previously said that it had sent a team of experts to the Hazelton complex “to assess operational activities and correctional security practices and measures to determine any relevant facts that may have contributed to the incident."
    25 replies | 723 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 03:46 PM
    In his first public comments in more than a week, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that his administration will show "no mercy" towards "Yellow Vest" protesters who have committed violence over the last four weeks of demonstrations across the country, while also announcing a series of economic measures in an attempt to restore calm. "When violence is unleashed, freedom ends," said Macron - while acknowledging that there is a "deep anger" at the French government that is justified - yet which should not devolve into violence. Macron added that he shares some responsibility for the situation - which began as a climate change-linked fuel tax and quickly transformed into a general anti-government protest. To combat future violence, Macron will use "all means' to restore calm, and has called for an "economic and social state of emergency," according to AP. Economic relief Macron - whose approval rating is at an all time low, says he has asked his government to increase wages by 100 euros per month beginning in January as part of a series of new measures to be released in detail on Tuesday. He also announced that overtime hours won't be subject to payroll tax, and that his administration will scrap a tax hike on poor and low-income retirees. Furthermore, Mcron asked companies to pay end-of-year bonuses which won't be taxed, and will suspend a CSG levy on pensions below 2,000 euros per month. Macron also said that immigration "must be debated" as well, as anti-immigrant sentiment has spread throughout Europe. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-10/macron-says-no-mercy-violent-yellow-vest-protesters
    78 replies | 1130 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    Saudi Arabia could reduce its daily crude oil shipments abroad by as much as 1 million barrels next month, Reuters reports, quoting unnamed sources close to Riyadh. According to them, the move would be motivated by weaker demand due to seasonal patterns in consumption and Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the new production cut agreed last week in Vienna. In total, the sources said, Riyadh will likely export an average 7.3 million bpd in January. This compares with less than 8 million bpd this month, also a decline from November, when the Kingdom exported 8.3 million bpd. Saudi Arabia will once again shoulder the greatest burden of the OPEC-wide cuts, cutting 500,000 bpd from its December production levels, which stand at an average 10.7 million bpd, the same as in October. The cartel and its partners agreed to cut production from October levels, by 2.5 percent for every OPEC member besides Libya, Iran, and Venezuela. More at: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Saudi-Arabia-To-Cut-Oil-Exports-By-1-Million-Bpd-Next-Month.html
    638 replies | 20913 view(s)
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    Today, 03:18 PM
    A rally was held outside the office of the United Nations in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Monday to protest against measures of the Saudi-led coalition to hold and prevent ships carrying oil products from docking at Yemen’s ports, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reports as the warring parties in the nearly four-year-long conflict hold UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden. More at: https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Houthis-Accuse-Saudi-Coalition-Of-Blocking-Oil-Ships-From-Yemens-Ports.html
    486 replies | 30793 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 03:12 PM
    Swordsmyth replied to a thread Mexico. in World News & Affairs
    Mexico's new government detailed plans Sunday to build an $8 billion oil refinery in the home state of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and to renovate six others as the oil-producing country attempts to lower its dependence on imported fuel.Speaking from the Dos Bocas port in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco, Lopez Obrador blasted the neglect that has fallen on Mexico's oil infrastructure and the idea that Mexico is better off buying fuel from abroad. "How do we respond to that absurdity that we are dedicated to selling crude oil and buying gasoline, as if we sold oranges and bought orange juice?" he asked the crowd. Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, plans to direct 75 billion pesos ($3.65 billion) of savings from a government austerity program into the state oil company, Pemex, which has struggled to come up with extra funds for expansion amid mounting pension obligations, high tax rates, rampant fuel theft and declining output. Pemex is producing less than 1.8 billion barrels a day of crude, putting Mexico on track for its 14th consecutive year of declines in oil output. President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the industry in 1938, kicking out 17 foreign oil companies that Mexicans believed to be looting the country's wealth. But Mexico's constitution was amended in 2013 to allow greater private investment in oil and gas. Lopez Obrador dismissed the energy sector opening as a failure, saying that foreign investment over four years has amounted to just 2.5 percent of what Pemex invested during the same time period. "The foreign investment didn't come," he declared. He also hinted that the planned refinery expansions would be taken on by Mexican companies, saying: "We're going to place our trust in Mexican entrepreneurialism." Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said Mexico will import 80 percent of its gasoline needs this year because the country's refineries work, on average, at 38 percent of capacity due to a lack of maintenance and investment. She said the refinery overhaul should enable Pemex to meet 70 percent of Mexico's gasoline needs.
    44 replies | 1482 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 02:40 PM
    It is more complicated but I can understand how a simple mind like yours only thinks of clear cutting when logging is mentioned.
    19 replies | 177 view(s)
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    Today, 02:37 PM
    ^^^THIS^^^ Nobody here would have picked him but he is an improvement over Kennedy.
    7 replies | 98 view(s)
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    Today, 02:33 PM
    More logging and brush clearing is the short version. Get out of the way and it will happen because it will be profitable. Government is getting in the way of proper management and subsidizing stupid behavior, if government would stop those things the problem would largely take care of itself.
    19 replies | 177 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:57 PM
    The same rumors with no proof that the Turks have been spreading, I remain distrustful of both sides and I become more uninterested with every passing day that no proof is released. Yemen remains the best of the real reasons that we should cut loose from the Saudis and the Turks are little better.
    245 replies | 6736 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:53 PM
    And they are wrong. The real problem which they also deal with is government stupidity that encourages bad behavior and interferes with proper forest/brush management.
    19 replies | 177 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:48 PM
    Perhaps they have suspects in mind that have a shop vac.
    12 replies | 116 view(s)
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    19 replies | 177 view(s)
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    12 replies | 116 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:44 PM
    They don't consider black men to be men either.
    46 replies | 615 view(s)
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    Today, 01:41 PM
    I assume that they will break and enter into the suspects home and swap it for a regular vacuum.
    12 replies | 116 view(s)
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    Today, 01:38 PM
    Link added.
    11 replies | 193 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:32 PM
    Maybe we should get government out of the insurance business and out of the way of sane forest/brush management.
    19 replies | 177 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:31 PM
    In exchange for being free of their communist Senators, Reps and Electors it would be a bargain and it would certainly be preferable to the no strings bailout that they will undoubtedly get anyway.
    19 replies | 177 view(s)
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    Today, 01:28 PM
    I think the government is not competent when it comes to medicine and is extremely susceptible to corruption. Government involvement would guarantee political interference and a motivation to never find a cure in order to keep a reason for the bureaucrats involved to keep their budget.
    29 replies | 1888 view(s)
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    Today, 02:31 AM
    With only two days of debate left before Theresa May's planned vote on her supremely unpopular Brexit plan, May's government has never looked more vulnerable. Over the weekend, a handful of senior ministers have threatened to resign en masse if May doesn't return to Brussels to try and "handbag" her EU rivals into offering a better deal (one that doesn't create the possibility that the UK could be trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely, with no say over the rules by which it must abide), according to the Telegraph. Though May has resolutely insisted that the vote will be held as scheduled on Tuesday following the end of a five-day period of debate, the revelations from her attorney general's legal advice - released by No. 10 last week under duress after May was found to be 'in contempt' of an earlier vote calling for a "full report" on the AG's advice - confirmed the worst fears of Tory Brexiteers, and have caused even more conservatives to come out against the deal (the public count was 108 so far, likely enough to sink May's deal, assuming the DUP, SNP and the majority of Labour MPs also vote against). Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt, who opted to stay on and try to change May's deal from the inside, is said to be weighing a resignation in the next 48 hours if May doesn't attempt to win a better deal. In what amounted to a very public rebuke of May's position, Will Quince resigned Sunday as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defence, saying in a Telegraph editorial that "I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond." And though a few senior ministers have insisted on cable news that May's deal could still pass (Brexit Minister Kwasi Kwarteng argued as much during a Sunday interview), former foreign secretary Boris Johnson raised the stakes should the deal be met with defeat by telling the BBC that May must reject the "unacceptable" agreement with the EU (suggesting that she try withholding UK payments tot he bloc) or hinting that he could stage a challenge for the conservative leadership, according to Bloomberg. Specifically, Johnson demanded that May extricate the UK from the "backstop mess", which remains the primary objection for the EU. Meanwhile, Labour MP Jon Trickett said Sunday that Labour is ready to form a minority government during the chaotic aftermath of a failed vote on May's deal - something that could open the door to another general election (one that the conservatives fear could lead to Labour winning an outright majority and Corbyn replacing May as prime minister). "We are ready to form a minority government should that be necessary - and it could happen on Wednesday morning - and to begin to reset the negotiation and take the country forward in a much better direction." With Jeremy Corbyn and Johnson breathing down her neck, May is reportedly seriously considering a return to Brussels on Monday - the same day that the ECJ is expected to declare that the UK could unilaterally declare an end to the Brexit process - to try and "handbag" her former partners into a better deal, according to the Sunday Times. Top EU bureaucrats including Donald Tusk and Jean Claude Juncker have repeatedly insisted that no changes can be made to the current deal, and it's unlikely that any changes to the accompanying political statement setting out a framework for future trade talks would be enough to placate angry Brexiteers.
    22 replies | 347 view(s)
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    Today, 01:50 AM
    The Israeli government discussed Sunday its readiness to accept a new wave of immigrants amid an increase of antisemitism in France, Ynet reported. Following the outcome of a government meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the creation of a national program to encourage the repatriation to Israel of Jewish refugees from France. According to local media, this blueprint program will also be introduced to an inter-governmental commission on integration. More at: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201812101070541076-israel-france-migration/
    3 replies | 68 view(s)
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    Today, 01:40 AM
    Earlier this week, the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force held a sting to catch alleged sex traffickers and made multiple arrests in the process. During the sting, a high-ranking Air Force Colonel was ensnared by federal agents.The undercover sex bust unfolded Tuesday night at a Cobb County hotel at which Lt. Col. Willie Newson, 47, was arrested. According to authorities, Newson thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl at the hotel. He was actually meeting undercover agents pretending to be a child. Georgia Department of Defense spokeswoman Desiree Bamba told AJC.com that Newson is on the command staff of Maj. Gen. Jesse T. Simmons Jr., who is the commander of the Georgia Air National Guard. Newson also was formerly the commander of the 165th Communication Flight of the 165th Airlift Wing, according to the official. “Lt. Col. Newson’s alleged actions do not reflect the values we uphold in the Georgia National Guard,” she said. As WSB-TV reports, the “undercover officer that Newson spoke with gave him the opportunity to stop communicating several times.” However, Newson continued to pursue who he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The Air Force Colonel was using a popular dating app to pursue the child. On Tuesday, Newson was arrested on multiple charges stemming from the child exploitation charges. After he was taken into custody, he immediately bailed himself out for $20,000. He is currently on leave pending the outcome of the case. “It’s upsetting to the safety of our kids, the safety of this community as a whole,” Mark Samuels, who manages the hotel where the bust took place.
    8 replies | 162 view(s)
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    Sure it does. The folks with solid red deserve it. If you can point me to one who doesn't, then I'll try to help them out.
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Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Robert Heinlein

Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

Groucho Marx

I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

Linus, from the Peanuts comic

You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

Alexis de Torqueville

Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

A Zero Hedge comment


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  1. lilymc lilymc is offline


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