Dec 20

- It Cost Ukraine’s Government $4 Billion To Get Re-Elected (ZeroHedge, Dec 20, 2014):

As the world grows used to hearing of reserve depletion among less-developed nations defending their currencies from collapse, we thought the following chart might open a few eyes as to the real driver of attempting to create ‘stability’ by intervention. In the run-up to October’s parliamentary election in Ukraine, the Hryvnia became oddly stable – signaling to the world that the current government had everything under control and should be re-elected. Since the re-election, the Ukrainian currency has re-collapsed to record lows. How did the Ukrainian government ‘ensure’ re-election via ‘stability’? By blowing almost $4bn (a record 23% of reserves) in one month to maintain the currency’s level…

20141219_UAH

Money well spent we are sure…

Charts: Bloomberg

 

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Dec 20

2014

- 2014 Year In Review (Part 1): The Final Throes Of A Geopolitical Game Of Tetris (ZeroHedge, Dec 20, 2014):

Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. I have not seen a year in which so many risks – some truly existential – piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows…”

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Dec 20

obama angry

- Judge Rules Abuse of Executive Orders are Unconstitutional (Armstrong Economics, Dec 20, 2014):

A federal judge, Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania, used a deportation decision to probe the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive order on amnesty, declaring it “unconstitutional.”

It is about time that Executive Orders are challenged in court for they are absolutely unconstitutional since they smack of a dictatorial abuse of power that denies the people the right to decide the fate of their nation.

Indeed, Texas and other states have already initiated lawsuits challenging the order. Nonetheless, the key here is that ANY such Executive Order is unconstitutional violating the entire concept of a Republic where it is at least a pretense that it is a government by the people rather than a king acting on a personal whim. This is what the law should be – not because of the subject-matter, but any issue. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

Rallies staged in over 30 Spanish cities against tough new anti-protest law

- Rallies staged in over 30 Spanish cities against tough new anti-protest law (PHOTOS) (RT, Dec 20, 2014):

More than 30 cities in Spain have expressed their anger over the so-called ‘gag’ legislation that criminalizes social protest and, demonstrators say, curbs the freedom of expression.

The slogan of the movement is “Gag Law, why do they want to shut us up?” and unites several groups of citizens spearheaded by the “We Are Not Criminals” civil platform. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- From Average Joe To Average Jihadi – How A Texas Plumber’s Truck Turned Up In Syria (ZeroHedge, Dec 20, 2014):

A photo posted to Twitter last week by Ansar al-Din Front, an Islamic extremist brigade, clearly shows a Ford truck with a “Mark-1 Plumbing” decal on the door and a militant standing in the bed firing the anti-aircraft gun…

From Average Joe To Average Jihadi - How A Texas Plumbers Truck Turned Up In Syria

As Haaretz reports, the Texas plumber whose truck was photographed in Syria says he has no idea how it ended up thousands of kilometers away in the war-torn country…

Mark Oberholtzer, who has owned and operated Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City for the past 32 years, confirmed it was his truck in the picture. He said he no longer owned the vehicle and had no idea how it ended up in Syria. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- US taxpayer $$$ will fund mass murder and ethnic cleansing in my country, Ukraine (reddit, Dec 19, 2014):

I’m a Ukrainian, and I never thought I would live to see the day when I say this- but the American government just passed a law authorizing it to give lethal aid to the government it itself installed in Ukraine in February to commit ethnic cleansing in Donbass and mass murder of internal dissidents opposed to its policies throughout Ukraine.

Primary source videos showing bloodthirsty brutality of the far-right US-installed Ukrainian regime:

[NSFL] Ukrainian army committing war crimes against civilians

[NSFL] Ethnic cleansing by Ukrainian army

[NSFL] Peaceful left-wing protesters demonstrating against ethnic cleansin burned alive along with their families by Ukrainian government

It’s kind of strange, because in the last five days of the bombing and shelling, we haven’t seen a single militia compound that has actually been hit. Every building that we’ve seen been hit by the Ukrainian mortars have been civilian buildings. We personally seen at least over 40 different civilian buildings bombed, that includes a school, an orphanage – we were in an orphanage the day before yesterday that was hit – and the very many large apartment buildings, like the very big apartment buildings have been hit . Some of the apartment buildings – it’s not like the Ukrainian army miss-aimed or something like this – the same buildings when they are bombed, they hit them very hard. We spoke to one woman who said that in the night a few days ago her apartment building was hit with ten different mortars. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- Defiant North Korea Says Can Prove It Is Not Behind Hack “Without Resorting To Torture Like The CIA” (ZeroHedge, Dec 20, 2014):

Just hours after the FBI announced that, with absolute certainty, it had determined that North Korea was behind the Sony hack, a “theory” that has become the butt of global jokes, we learned, in a far less prominent release, that according to an internal inquiry, FBI evidence if “often mishandled.” According to the NYT, “F.B.I. agents in every region of the country have mishandled, mislabeled and lost evidence, according to a highly critical internal investigation that discovered errors with nearly half the pieces of evidence it reviewed.

The evidence collection and retention system is the backbone of the F.B.I.’s investigative process, and the report said it is beset by problems.

It gets better: according to the report, the F.B.I. was storing more weapons, less money and valuables, and two tons more drugs than its records had indicated. Almost as if the FBI was siphoning off cash, while hoarding guns and blow. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- The Baltic Dry Index Has Never Crashed This Fast Post-Thanksgiving (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

We are sure it’s nothing – since stock markets in China and The US are soaring – but deep, deep down in the heart of the real economies, there is a problem. The Baltic Dry Index has fallen for 21 straight days, tumbling around 40% since Thanksgiving Day.  

Baltic-Dry-Index

This is the biggest collapse in the ‘trade’ indicator (which we should ignore unless it is rising) since records began 28 years ago… Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- Is this speck in the Indian Ocean Britain’s Guantanamo? Chilling questions raised over secretive island as more disturbing allegations emerge over UK’s role in CIA torture (Daily Mail, Dec 20, 2014):

So what are they so desperate to hide on this achingly beautiful outcrop — which the U.S. Navy, seemingly blind to the irony, has renamed ‘The Footprint to Freedom’? It is a question that has acquired fresh urgency with the release last week of the U.S Senate’s bombshell report on the CIA’s use of torture against suspected terrorists.

Given the weight of evidence proving that Diego Garcia was — at the very least — a key staging post in the U.S. rendition and torture programme, it had been widely expected to feature in the dossier, thus exposing Britain’s involvement beyond doubt.

That the island was not mentioned once in almost 500 heavily redacted pages has merely heightened suspicion of an MI6-orchestrated cover-up.

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Dec 20

- Dick Cheney should be in prison, not on ‘Meet the Press’ – Greenwald (RT, Dec 20, 2014):

Journalist Glenn Greenwald said Dick Cheney is able to brag about the success of torture on weekend news shows because the Obama administration has decided to shield torturers rather than prosecute them.

In a wide ranging interview about the CIA torture report, prospects for the 2016 presidential race, US-Cuba relations and the Sony hack, Greenwald told HuffPost Live that the discussion about the torture report is distorted since we are not hearing from the victims of torture themselves.

In an interview on‘Meet the Press,’ former Vice President Dick Cheney claimed that torture “worked” and announced he would “do it again in a minute” if given the opportunity. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- China’s Stocks Worth 50% More Than Rest Of BRICS Combined (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

Thanks to the massive surge of speculative trading account openings, Chinese stocks are up 28% in the last month and a stunning 52% since China unleashed ‘QE-Lite’. This has sent the total market capitalization of China’s stocks soaring relative to the rest of the BRICS. In fact, Chinese stocks are now worth 55% more than Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa combined… the most ever.

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Dec 20

- Just What Is China Buying? (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

Something strange is going on in China. On one hand, as the chart below shows, China’s trade surplus is growing and growing, and just hit record highs. In other words, China is – on paper – receiving record amounts of foreign currencies in exchange for its (mostly) goods exports.

That much is clear in the Chinese (record) trade balance chart below:

China Trade Balance

Yet on the other hand, a chart from Deutsche Bank shows something very peculiar: even as China’s foreign reserves should be rising, they are not only dropping, but just suffered their biggest quarterly drop in the past decade! Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- Victim says witnessed three boys murdered by VIP paedophiles (PressTV, Dec 18. 2014):

Scotland Yard says it is investigating the murders of three boys by what is now known as a ‘VIP sex ring’ suspected to include several high-ranking military officials and politicians.

Detectives say they are looking into accounts of the murders as recited by an abuse victim whom they have described as ‘a credible source’.

According to a shocking account by the abuse victim, who is referred to as ‘Nick’, a Conservative MP had throttled a 12-year-old boy in a depraved sex party at a luxury town house in London sometime in the early 80s.

Nick has told detectives that he had been in the same room at the time and that a group of men had also watched the murder.

On another occasion, Nick claimed a young boy, who was around ten-years-old, was deliberately run down and killed by a car being driven by one of his abusers.

A third boy was allegedly murdered during a depraved orgy at which another Conservative MP was present. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

Former Pope Joseph Ratzinger kissing a young parishioner

- THIS WEEK IN SEX ABUSE OF CHILDREN BY PEDOPHILE CATHOLIC PRIESTS [DECEMBER 20, 2014] (Your Perception Is Not Reality):

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Judge denies shock probation for priest convicted of sex abuse

WLKY Louisville-Dec 19, 2014
A judge denies a shock probation request from a Louisville priest who sexually … A Louisville priest, who sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1970s, will soon …

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N.M. diocese releases list of 17 Arizona priests ‘credibly accused’ of

azcentral.com-Dec 17, 2014
The 17 priests worked in Arizona as recently as 2013 and as far back as 1951. … a ministering priest was found to have “credible allegations of sexual abuse of …

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Priest jailed for sex abuse in boarding school

Irish Times-Dec 18, 2014
Fr Tadhg O’Dalaigh received a five year sentence with two years suspended for the sexual and indecent assault of two boys aged 14 and 16 in the 1970’s and … Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- Shops pocket £300m a year from the gift cards we never use (Daily Mail, Dec 20, 2014):

If you’re thinking of giving someone a voucher for Christmas, take note. High street stores are pocketing more than £300million a year from gift cards that are never used.

Shoppers are caught out by confusing small print and hidden fees that eat into their balance. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

- Putin warns US relations will be damaged ‘for a long time’ if new sanctions are imposed…while announcing he has invited Kim Jong-un to Moscow (Daily Mail, Dec 19, 2014):

Russia’s Foreign Minister has warned his American counterpart that fresh sanctions against Moscow could damage relations between the two countries ‘for a long time’.

Sergei Lavrov made the comments to John Kerry during a phone call amid growing concerns for Russia’s crisis-hit economy.

It came as a spokesman revealed Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un to Moscow for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.

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Dec 20

- India Snowfall Crisis Continues (Ice Age Now, Dec 19, 2014):

Snowfall crisis. For the sixth day, Manali-Kullu powerless and paralysed.

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19 Dec 2014 – Internationally famed Kullu-Manali, a popular tourist destination, has suffered heavily with continued disruption of power supply and telecom services. Roads are blocked by snow and fallen trees/electricity poles and hoteliers face huge cancellations ahead of the Christmas and New Year eve rush. Continue reading »

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Dec 20

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Dec 19

Last Minute Fizzle Fails To Dent Best 3-Day Stock Surge In 3 Years

Last Minute Fizzle Fails To Dent Best 3-Day Stock Surge In 3 Years (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014)

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Dec 19

- Epic Bot Fraud: Up To 50% Of All Publisher Traffic Is From Fake Clicks; Billions In Ad Revenue At Risk (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

One of the more entertaining stories of the day has to do with the crackdown by Instagram to purge millions of fake users, in the process exposing “celebrities” who were such only thanks to the excessive purchasing of followers, but worse, once again revealing that on the margin, the biggest growth for social media services such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on, continues to be from fake accounts originating at shady clickfarm spin offs, whose only job is to collect modest fees in exchange for “following” or “liking” with non-existent accounts that will never engage with the user, or with advertisers.

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