• Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 07:06 PM
    The Proud Boys have lost another online platform, though this time it's not for the far-right group's hate speech and support for violence. YouTube has terminated Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes' account following "multiple third-party claims" of copyright violations. The company didn't name the specific violations in a statement to CNET, but it did say that it pulls the accounts of "repeat offenders." Multiple internet giants have kicked out the Proud Boys in recent months. Twitter was one of the first, clamping down in August after a violent protest in Portland, Oregon earlier that month. Facebook followed in October after Proud Boys members attacked protesters in New York City, while PayPal kicked out the organization in November. YouTube was aiming at McInnes specifically, though, and was focused on where his content came from than the nature of the content itself. More at: https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/10/youtube-bans-proud-boys-gavin-mcinnes/?yptr=yahoo
    7 replies | 216 view(s)
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    Today, 07:03 PM
    Syria's army on Monday announced the demobilisation of officers who have completed five years of compulsory service, the second such move in recent months as fighting abates in the civil war.The decree ends the drawn-out deployment of conscripts and reservists of the rank of officer "who will have completed five years of service" as of January 1, 2019, state news agency SANA reported. The latest order comes after the army in May sent those conscripted in 2010, the year before the conflict erupted, back to their homes. Before the war started, men 18 and older had to serve between 18 months and two years in the armed forces, after which they remained part of the reserves. But when the conflict broke out, anyone enlisted remained deployed on active duty. The 300,000-strong army was nearly halved by deaths, injuries and defections as the violence tore apart the country. More at: https://www.yahoo.com/news/syria-announces-fresh-demobilisation-army-conscripts-152630814.html
    82 replies | 2488 view(s)
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    Today, 06:29 PM
    OPEC and its non-OPEC partners are set to officially sign a cooperation agreement in March of next year, the UAE’s energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said, according to Reuters. The agreement will be officially signed in March in Saudi Arabia, the oil minister said, and will seek to align OPEC with non-OPEC oil producers, most importantly Russia, on matters likely to include achieving market balance—specifically production quotas. The term “market balance” is the new phrase OPEC is using instead of referencing specific oil prices, after OPEC in October steered its members away from any words that may put it at odds with proposed U.S. legislation called the NOPEC Act. OPEC and a group of non-OPEC members reached an agreement on Friday to cut production starting in January 2019. OPEC’s portion of the production cuts was 800,000 bpd, with Saudi Arabia’s accounting for 500,000 bpd of that. The non-OPEC countries agreed to 400,000 bpd of the production cut, with Russia accounting for approximately 230,000 bpd of the 400,000. Russia, for its part, said it would take “months” for that level of cut to be achieved. Likewise, OPEC’s production cuts are unlikely to shrink by 800,000 bpd immediately on January 1st, and will more than likely take months as well. More at: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/OPEC-Non-OPEC-Deal-To-Be-Forged-In-March.html
    639 replies | 20936 view(s)
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    Today, 06:12 PM
    The European Court of Justice issued a ruling on Dec. 10 that the United Kingdom can unilaterally revoke its notification of the intention to leave the European Union. The British government can withdraw its decision to invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty and keep the country in the European Union as long as the withdrawal agreement has not entered into force, or as long as the Article 50 procedure and its extensions are continuing. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/uk-london-can-revoke-brexit-process-ecj-rules
    24 replies | 362 view(s)
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    Today, 06:08 PM
    Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's My Step Alliance has won parliamentary elections, securing 70.4 percent of the vote and gaining a significant majority of 88 seats in the country's 132-seat parliament, RFE/RL reported Dec. 10. The former ruling Republican Party received only 4.7 percent of the vote and thus failed to enter parliament. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/armenia-pashinian-alliance-dominates-parliamentary-elections
    27 replies | 980 view(s)
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    Today, 06:07 PM
    The Japanese government has issued instructions that effectively exclude Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from any public procurement, the South China Morning Post reported Dec. 10. With this decision, Japan follows the example of other countries, including the United States, Australia and New Zealand, that have blocked the two Chinese companies from supplying 5G, or fifth generation, infrastructure technology over concerns that China could exploit it for intelligence purposes. Canada and the United Kingdom are currently discussing equipment bans while Germany opposes excluding any manufacturers from its planned 5G network construction. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/japan-government-excludes-huawei-zte-5g-procurement
    0 replies | 15 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 06:06 PM
    Swordsmyth replied to a thread Mexico. in World News & Affairs
    Mexico's new government will begin discussions to approve a law intended to circumvent a Dec. 7 Supreme Court ruling that blocked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from implementing salary caps for federal officials, El Economista reported Dec. 10. Lopez Obrador has attempted to amend the country's federal wage legislation to cap government salaries at 108,000 pesos ($5,300) a month. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/mexico-government-discuss-salary-cap-federal-officials-after-supreme-court-ruling
    47 replies | 1495 view(s)
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    Today, 06:04 PM
    Swordsmyth replied to a thread Mexico. in World News & Affairs
    Mexico's Finance Minister Carlos Urzua has implemented a hiring freeze of government employees as part of the new government's planned austerity measures under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, El Financiero reported Dec. 10. The suspension will be temporary until a new set of hiring guidelines can be issued. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/mexico-finance-minister-implements-hiring-freeze-federal-government
    47 replies | 1495 view(s)
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    Today, 05:46 PM
    President Obama appointed 329 people to federal judgeships during his eight-year administration, including one Patty Shwartz, who wrote the majority opinion in a Second Amendment lawsuit upholding New Jersey’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds. She wrote: Today we address whether one of New Jersey’s responses to the rise in active and mass shooting incidents in the United States — a law that limits the amount of ammunition that may be held in a single firearm magazine to no more than ten rounds — violates the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. We conclude that it does not. Dissenting in the case was a freshly minted circuit court judge nominated by President Trump: Stephanos Bibas (shown). Bibas is a brilliant legal mind who is not only the 15th-most-cited law professor by the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and numerous state high courts, but also the fifth-most-cited professor of criminal law and procedure by professors teaching in law schools around the country. Bibas assumed office on November 20, 2017 and chose the case the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc. v. the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to take Shwartz to task over her frivolous treatment of the Second Amendment as a second-class right not entitled to a full and robust defense against anti-gun outfits such as Everytown for Gun Safety, which defended New Jersey’s attorney general in the case.
    5 replies | 136 view(s)
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    Today, 05:38 PM
    A mass prisoner swap between Yemeni rebels and the government, a key issue at UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, has been finalised, both sides said Monday.Brokered by UN special envoy Martin Griffiths earlier this month, it is one of the main points at talks between the government and Huthi rebels in Sweden this week. Griffiths told reporters Monday the prisoner swap was well underway, adding that he hoped it "will be very very considerable in terms of the numbers that we hope to get released within a few weeks". Haid Haig, head of the governmental delegation tasked with the swap, told AFP the deal would be fully implemented by the end of January. "We agreed ... the deal would be complete within 48 days," Haig said. Asked when he expected the exchange to be complete, he replied: "In theory, in January." Haig said the list of names should be "mutually handed over by end of day today." An advisor to the Huthi rebels in Sweden confirmed the list of names would be completed by Monday. "There might be an announcement of dates," he told AFP on condition of anonymity. Between 1,500 and 2,000 members of pro-government forces and between 1,000 and 1,500 rebels would be released, according to Haig.
    488 replies | 30820 view(s)
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    Today, 05:25 PM
    The United States said on Monday it had sanctioned three North Korean officials, including a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for serious human rights abuses and censorship.The U.S. Treasury named the men as Ryong Hae Choe, an aide close to Kim who leads the Workers' Party of Korea Organization and Guidance Department; State Security Minister Kyong Thaek Jong; and Propaganda and Agitation Department head Kwang Ho Pak. It was not clear whether the decision to sanction the three men was related to U.S.-North Korean nuclear diplomacy, which has made little obvious progress since Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June. The sanctions, which freeze any assets the officials may have under U.S. jurisdiction and generally bar them from transactions with anyone in the United States, were announced as the U.S. State Department released a six-monthly report on North Korean abuses. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/u-imposes-sanctions-three-north-korean-officials-180224559.html
    1 replies | 25 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 05:16 PM
    There is one hiding around every corner.
    12 replies | 111 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 05:13 PM
    #MeToo is childish and cowardly.
    12 replies | 111 view(s)
  • 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
    0 replies | 27 view(s)
  • 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.
    24 replies | 362 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 | 19100 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 | 32 view(s)
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    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 | 152 view(s)
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    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
    24 replies | 362 view(s)
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    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 | 627 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 | 1145 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 | 736 view(s)
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    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 | 1145 view(s)
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    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
    639 replies | 20936 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
    488 replies | 30820 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.
    47 replies | 1495 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 | 193 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 02:37 PM
    ^^^THIS^^^ Nobody here would have picked him but he is an improvement over Kennedy.
    7 replies | 125 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    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 | 193 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 | 6752 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.

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Groucho Marx

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