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  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 02:08 AM
    The second-largest economy in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has just recorded business activity at a decade low, reported Reuters. IHS Markit UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) printed at 50.3 in Nov. from 51.1 in Oct., hitting the lowest level since Aug. 2009 and on the threshold of declaring a contraction in growth. Last year, the manufacturing and services sectors (pretty much covering UAE's non-oil sector) recorded growth of 55.8 but had slid to almost contraction territory by late 2019. New orders plunged into contraction (48.9) in Nov. from 51 in Oct., which has resulted in companies discounting prices to attract new business as the economic slump continued to intensify. "Anecdotal evidence commonly linked the decline to subdued market conditions and weaker customer demand," said David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit. An employment downturn was also initiated in 2019. Job levels dropped in Nov., indicating that last month was one of the fastest decline in the workforce for non-oil companies in nearly a year. Despite UAE's four years of economic deceleration since oil collapsed in 2014, the country is finally experiencing weakness spreading from its oil sector into the broader economy.
    924 replies | 37392 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 02:05 AM
    Washington’s special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday to launch an “accelerated effort” to get Afghans on both sides of the protracted conflict to the negotiation table to plot a roadmap to a post-war Afghanistan.His next stop will be Doha in the Middle East where he will restart talks with the Taliban, according to a U.S. State Department statement. The talks would be the first official round since September when President Donald Trump declared an all but done deal dead after a surge in violence killed 12 people in the capital, including a U.S. soldier. In Kabul on Wednesday, Khalilzad met with several Afghan leaders, including President Ashraf Ghani, who repeated his call for a cease-fire. Hekmat Karzai, chairman of the Kabul-based Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, tweeted photographs of his meeting Wednesday with Khalilzad in Kabul, saying they “spoke about the way forward.” A Taliban official said the group has held informal talks with the Americans, without specifying where or who participated. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks. Khalilzad’s visit comes just days after Trump visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the Thanksgiving holiday, when he hinted at a resumption of peace talks with the Taliban. Trump said the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months. The State Department statement said Khalilzad’s Kabul and Doha talks are a follow-up to President Trump's recent visit and to discuss how best to support accelerated efforts to get all parties to intra-Afghan negotiations.” In Doha, Khalilzad will be pushing for a cease-fire or at least a reduction in violence with an eye to an eventual end to fighting. The Taliban official said the U.S. has been pressing for a cease-fire, even a temporary one during the time of an agreement signing. While there has been no formal announcement of a reduction in violence, Taliban attacks at least in the cities appear to have decreased in recent weeks. The Taliban quickly denied responsibility for Wednesday’s shooting that killed Japanese Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, as well as five Afghans, including the doctor’s bodyguards, the driver and a passenger.
    167 replies | 8883 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 01:39 AM
    Gloucester became Virginia’s 23rd Second Amendment Sanctuary county on December 3. The Gazette-Journal reported that Gloucester’s Colonial Courthouse had a full house, with enough pro-gun supporters to “ much of the court circle outside, standing shoulder to shoulder in support of a resolution designed to make Gloucester County a Second Amendment Sanctuary.” There was a 90 minute discussion over the matter, including input from residents who were overwhelmingly in support of adopting sanctuary status. The discussion was followed by a unanimous vote in favor the Second Amendment Sanctuary declaration. More at: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/05/23rd-virginia-county-declares-second-amendment-sanctuary-status/
    38 replies | 546 view(s)
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    Today, 01:33 AM
    German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has unveiled a new plan to reform the European asylum system. A draft of the proposal leaked to the media shows that all member states of the European Union would be required to take in illegal migrants. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe are opposed to mandatory relocations on the basis that decisions about the granting of residence permits should be kept at the national level. They have noted that by unilaterally imposing migrant quotas on EU member states, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are seeking to force the democratically elected leaders of Europe to submit to their diktat. Indeed, the continuing debate over migration is, at its core, about European federalism and the degree to which the European Union will be allowed to usurp decision-making powers from its 28 member states. Seehofer presented his four-page plan to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) to the new president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels on December 2. She is expected to unveil her migration proposals in February 2020, ahead of Germany's six-month presidency of the European Council which begins in July 2020. The new plan is aimed at replacing the European Union's Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking asylum in the EU to do so in the first European country they reach. Southern European countries — especially Greece and Italy — have complained that, in the context of mass migration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the current system places an unfair and disproportionate burden on them. They say that all EU member states should take equal responsibility for migrants reaching European shores. At the height of Europe's migration crisis in September 2015, some EU member states voted to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece.
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  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:09 AM
    Today, John Schnatter, the iconic founder and former brand spokesman for Papa John's International, announced the filing of a lawsuit in Louisville, Kentucky against the creative advertising firm, Laundry Service, and its parent company, Wasserman Media. The claims stem from a secretly-taped meeting led by Laundry Service in May 2018, some details of which appeared in a salacious news story in Forbes falsely reporting that Mr. Schnatter used a racial slur against African Americans.In truth, during the conference call, Mr. Schnatter actually expressed his disdain for racism and criticized a well-known figure who reportedly used racial slurs. The recording of the call proves Schnatter said that he himself "never used that word," which contrasts sharply with the false narrative reported in Forbes. The complaint also highlights a commercial dispute between Laundry Service and Papa John's International in which Casey Wasserman, the CEO of Laundry Service's parent company, told Papa John's then-CEO Steve Ritchie that he would "bury the founder" if Laundry Service was not paid $6 million. Subsequently, excerpts from the conference call with Laundry Service were leaked to Forbes. The suit filed in court today seeks unspecified damages for three counts, including Breach of Contract, Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Mr. Schnatter has pledged to contribute all net proceeds from this lawsuit to charity. More at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/papa-johns-founder-files-lawsuit-210500866.html
    65 replies | 3796 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:08 AM
    LOL Zerohedge is only as accurate as its sources, in this case its source has been outed as fake news.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:00 AM
    Exactly. He should have just talked about the troops that were already sent and waited to talk about the new 14,000 until it was more than an MSM rumor. Just like he shouldn't have commented on the military pardons without finding out both sides of the issue.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:44 PM
    ...
    1 replies | 24 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:35 PM
    That's the same nonsense from the Wall Street Journal. IT'S FAKE NEWS. The Pentagon on Wednesday denied a report that the United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.The Wall Street Journal reported that the possible deployment would include "dozens" more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, citing unnamed US officials. The paper said President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month. But the Pentagon disputed the accuracy of the report. "To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The U.S. is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East," spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:33 PM
    As the House impeachment of President Donald Trump becomes more of a forgone political conclusion it’s worth considering what terms and conditions Senate Leader Mitch McConnell will extract in order to preserve a Trump Presidency. Most political pundits will not correctly outline the status of the possibilities, because most political pundits are willfully blind to the structure of the McConnell Senate. First, McConnell doesn’t care about holding a majority position in the Senate. Whether he is a majority leader or a minority leader doesn’t matter to McConnell. In fact McConnell’s political skill-set does better in the minority than the majority. The preferred political position for Mitch McConnell is where he has between 45 and 49 republican Senators, and the Democrats hold the Majority with around 55. Of course with Reid’s retirement, this would now be with Majority leader Chuck Schumer holding office. Why does McConnell prefer the minority position? The answer is where you have had to actually follow Mitch McConnell closely to see how he works. When the Majority has around 52 to 55 seats, they need McConnell to give them 8 to 9 votes to overcome the three-fifths (60 vote) threshold for their legislative needs. It is in the process of trade and payment for those 8 to 9 votes where McConnell makes more money, and holds more power, than as a sitting Majority Leader. The 60 vote threshold, and McConnell’s incredible skillset in the minority, is where he shines. Each of the needed votes to achieve sixty is worth buckets of indulgence to the minority leader. This is why McConnell never changed the Senate rules for legislative passage. Except for budget passage (reconciliation); and McConnell being forced by intransigence in the era of Trump resistance to change the judicial vote threshold to 51; McConnell would never consider changing the legislative threshold to a simple majority because it would be removing his favored position. A simple majority vote is adverse to his interests; that’s why he retained it during his reign as majority leader; as did Harry Reid before him. The vote selling to the 60 vote threshold in the Senate is where the UniParty operates; and where the status of maximum financial benefit for the minority exists.
    1 replies | 24 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:20 PM
    The Wall Street Journal isn't MSM and is an oracle of truth? You've got NOTHING. The Pentagon is not telling us we need to go to war, they are saying they are NOT sending more troops which is the opposite of the cases you are referring to. The Wall Street Journal published more fake news and you are clinging to it as if it was written in stone by the finger of GOD in order to feed your TDS addiction.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 PM
    Along with all the true believers of every other kind. The communists are always executed so that "communism" can "succeed".
    6 replies | 93 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:28 PM
    The Wall Street Journal isn't MSM and is an oracle of truth? You've got NOTHING. The Pentagon is not telling us we need to go to war, they are saying they are NOT sending more troops which is the opposite of the cases you are referring to. The Wall Street Journal published more fake news and you are clinging to it as if it was written in stone by the finger of GOD in order to feed your TDS addiction.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:24 PM
    Pakistan has declined to pursue a sprawling case against Chinese sex traffickers due to fears it would harm economic ties with Beijing, the AP reported on Wednesday. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-pulls-back-prosecuting-chinese-145802390.html
    0 replies | 28 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:22 PM
    That's you TDS people's problem. The Truth: "To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The U.S. is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East," spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/us-mulling-14...223950953.html
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:21 PM
    A top Ukrainian presidential aide on Thursday said Ukraine would wall off the rest of the country from occupied territories if Russia failed to agree to a ceasefire and prisoner swap at a summit in Paris next week.If Russia doesn't want to agree to a deal "in this case we will be building a wall and life will go on," Andriy Yermak said at a forum in London. "We will be living unfortunately in a scenario of a frozen conflict." More at: https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-threatens-wall-off-part-102356133.html
    0 replies | 30 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:17 PM
    The Wall Street Journal isn't MSM and is an oracle of truth?
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 PM
    So The Wall Street Journal isn't MSM and is an oracle of truth? The Pentagon says it isn't true so until further information (ACTUAL FACTS) show otherwise it is fake news and Ron jumped the gun.
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:04 PM
    What part of the facts don't you understand? The Pentagon on Wednesday denied a report that the United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.The Wall Street Journal reported that the possible deployment would include "dozens" more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, citing unnamed US officials. The paper said President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month. But the Pentagon disputed the accuracy of the report. "To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The U.S. is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East," spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/us-mulling-14...223950953.html
    24 replies | 120 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:00 PM
    Proposed changes to South Africa's constitution to allow land to be expropriated without payment will be officially published next week, potentially setting the stage for a conflict between the government and commercial farmers and the opposition. Publishing the draft bill, after a special parliamentary committee agreed on Thursday to have the bill gazetted, will give people the first chance to see the proposed changes to the constitution and then have their say. "I have signed the necessary papers to allow them to publish the bill. We are going ahead so everything is on course," said Mathole Motshekga, chairman of the ad-hoc committee overseeing the legislative changes. There are three proposed changes to the text of South Africa's Bill of Rights dealing with property, with the third, an insertion of a new paragraph saying that "national legislation must ... set out specific circumstances where a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil" proving the most problematic. At least three opposition parties, including the largest, the Democratic Alliance, wanted this clause removed entirely or at least for the specific circumstances alluded to become part of the proposed constitutional changes. "We should be absolutely clear under which circumstances there can be nil compensation. It should be spelt out, those conditions, and it should be in the constitution," said Corne Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus, which represents mainly white Afrikaner voters. The ad-hoc committee expects to finalise its process by the end of March 2020, with public input included. If the changes are adopted, it will goes to the national assembly for vote, then to the upper house and finally to the president to sign into law. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/south-africa-moves-step-closer-125944106.html
    101 replies | 3793 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 08:52 PM
    The Mekong River has recently acquired an aquamarine color that may beguile tourists but also indicates a problem caused by upstream dams, experts in Thailand say.The river usually has a yellowish-brown shade due to the sediment it normally carries downstream. But lately it has been running clear, taking on a blue-green hue that is a reflection of the sky. The water levels have also become unusually low, exposing sandbanks that allow the curious to stand in the middle of the river. Low water levels pose an obvious problem for fishermen and farmers, but experts say the decline in sediment exposes a different danger that can result in greater erosion of the river’s banks and bed. The experts and people living along the river blame a large hydroelectric dam upstream in Laos that began operating in October for contributing to both problems, though rainfall has also been sparse. Around 70 million people depend on the Mekong River for water, food, commerce, irrigation and transportation. Critics charge that large-scale development projects such as the Xayaburi dam dangerously disrupt the region's ecology. The dam blocks much sediment from moving further downstream, which accounts for the water becoming clear, said Pravit Kanthaduang, chief of the fishery office at Bueng Khong Long, a district in Thailand's Bueng Kan province. Less sediment means less nutrition for plants and fish in the river, threatening the ecological balance, he said. With less sediment, the water also has more stream power, a phenomenon known as "hungry water," said Chainarong Setthachau of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at Mahasarakham University in Thailand's northeast who has studied changes in the Mekong's ecology for the past two decades. "The current has less sediment, which unleashes energy onto the river banks downstream. This so-called 'hungry water' will cause much more erosion to the banks, uprooting trees and damaging engineering structures in the river," Chainarong said. More at: https://news.yahoo.com/experts-mekong-river-color-worrying-102819857.html
    1 replies | 104 view(s)
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