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The United Nations and the Afghan government have released a new joint survey showing that opium production in the restive country has almost doubled so far in 2017 compared to last year.
According to the survey, the opium production rose by 87 percent and stands at a record level of 9,000 metric tons (9,921 US tons) so far this year, compared to 4,800 metric tons (5,291 US tons) in 2016.
Nearly half of Americans favor mandatory military service for the country’s youth, according to a recent poll from Gallup.
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According to a recent estimate published by the Federal Association for Assistance for the Homeless, the number of homeless people living on Germany’s streets has risen by 33% in a matter of just a couple of years, to 52,000. Meanwhile, as The Local notes, the number of Germans who can’t afford their own home and have been forced to rely on the generosity of family and friends for a place to sleep every night has also risen a staggering 26%, to over 400,000 people.
In 2016 an estimated 52,000 people were living on German streets, an increase of a third on the 39,000 people who were living rough in 2014.
The report also claims that the overall number of people in Germany who don’t have their own home has risen sharply, from 335,000 in 2014 to 422,000 last year.
Most of the people who don’t have their own homes live in collective accommodation or have to rely on the charity of partners or family.
As Venezuela teeters right on the brink of complete financial collapse, Bloomberg reports that Russia has agreed to restructure roughly $3.2 billion in outstanding obligations. While details of the restructuring agreement are scarce, both sides reported that the deal spreads payments out over 10 years with minimal cash service required over the next six years.
Russia signed an agreement to restructure $3.15 billion of debt owed by Venezuela, throwing a lifeline to a crisis-wracked ally that’s struggling to repay creditors.
The deal spreads the loan payments out over a decade, with “minimal” payments over the first six years, the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement. The pact doesn’t cover obligations of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to its Russian counterpart Rosneft PJSC, however.
Zimbabwe’s army has taken President Robert Mugabe and his wife into custody, triggering speculation of a military coup, though the military’s supporters have called it a “bloodless correction.” It wasn’t clear exactly where the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife were, but army Major Gen. Sibusiso Moyo said they were being held by the military.
Unlike the Mugabes, many foreign leaders in recent history have been ousted from power and detained as the result of interventions by foreign armies or other external circumstances. Those include Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was captured by American forces in 2003, and Panama’s Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally ousted by an American invasion in 1989. More recently, Lebanese leaders and citizens insist their prime minister, Saad Hariri, has been detained by Saudi Arabia in a regional power play.
H/t reader kevin a.
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Chinese officials and residents in a rural area of Jiangxi province have revealed a government plan to “melt the hard ice” in the hearts of Christians towards communism by denying them pivotal poverty relief packages if they do not replace images of Jesus in their households with photos of President Xi Jinping.
One official stated that the move was necessary because Christians are “ignorant” and need to be taught to worship the state, not God.
The move is the latest in a string of crackdowns against Christianity in the Xi era. Xi’s regime views Christianity, which has experienced a popularity boom in the past decade, as a challenge to the supremacy of the Communist Party’s growing cult of personality around Xi himself.
As the storm clouds of peak stupidity gather over the heads of the millennial generation who were conned by banks, government, and universities to take out excessive amounts of leverage in auto loans, credit cards, and student debt; millions have flocked to a new website seeking ‘Sugar Daddies’ and or even ‘Sugar Mommies’ to pay off their debt amid an economic environment where wage growth remains non-existent.
Today’s real simple get-out-of-debt option for the broke college/post college millennial is through an unconventional dating website called SeekingArrangement.com.
In 2016, the website identified some 2.5 million college students who turned to the site in an act of desperation to find a ‘Sugar Daddy’ or even a ‘Sugar Mommy’ in exchange of personal time for straight cash.
The website’s mission is to “delivers a new way for relationships to form and grow. Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies or Mommas both get what they want, when they want it”.
Israel maintains complete freedom of action in Syria and is guided only by the interests of its own security, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday.
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel was ready to act alone if necessary to prevent Iran from turning Syria into its military base.
H/t reader squodgy.
“The five stages of collapse per Dmitry Orlov, starting with financial, where money loses value, followed by commercial, where trust vapourises, leading to political collapse where, after applying threats, the government loses respect and then control, resulting in disorder and crumbling of structure.
Then comes social collapse, which initially polarises communities leading to the community camaraderie of true anarchic support for local benefit. This should be the turning point to creative support & co-operation, but is susceptible to the opportunity for return to a heirarchical structure and the next 100 year cycle of indebtedness.
Finally, as culture fails, basic moral principles are challenged which means barbarianism.
The fourth turning is the final stage of what Strauss & Howe describe as closing the square of the four cycles of economic growth based on cycle research.
But in my opinion, the situation prevailing now is well outside and beyond that cycle.
We are in uncharted territory, especially when one considers the weapons now at the disposal of the 1% and what devastation they can wage against those that are their serfs.”
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When scientists deactivated the gene responsible in part for developing and shaping the heads of scarab beetles, the insects hatched with an extra set of compound eyes in the middle of their heads, sometimes forming together into one big third eye. And now, the scientists have learned that the extra eyes actually work.
Biologists from Indiana University discovered last year how a gene called orthodenticle prevented scarab beetles from developing these extra eyes during development. When the biologists disabled the gene, the beetles developed an extra eye (or pair of eyes). It’s a common practice in science: Learn how something works, take it apart one piece at a time and see what changes.