Greek economy faces total collapse. German economic council supports exit for the those countries that are uncooperative. The problems in Europe continue. Housing recovery is non-existent, prices are falling, houses on the market longer and longer. Home-ownership drops to 48 year lows. FBI wants speedy detentions even if they have no evidence. US building roads in Europe so tanks are able to maneuver to counter Russia. Ukraine’s ceasefire is breaking apart, the OSCE warns tensions are increasing. Ground troops are being readied to enter the no-fly zones to get Assad. NATO is now backing Turkey and the war is about to begin to get Assad. Be prepared for the event.
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Current News – 07.28.2015
- Wholesalers can’t pay for supplies. Importers’ foreign counterparts won’t trade.
- Greec’s cash crunch hit small merchants first. They are less able to get credit from their suppliers, especially those dealing in perishable products that are continually imported.
- Nobody is buying. “I haven’t had a single customer in two days,” he said Wednesday. He is shutting down his shop and says he doesn’t know when he will reopen.
- Turnover in retail commerce is posting an annual drop that in some cases amounts to 70 percent even though the market is in a sales period. Capital controls have prevented Greek consumers from shopping, while even foreign tourists appear reserved due to the increased uncertainty on developments in Greece.
- According to the association’s figures, more than 7,500 doctors have migrated to other countries since 2010.
- A sovereign insolvency mechanism would be an important tool to prevent crises. Much like the recently agreed creditor-participation in the event of bank insolvencies, a sovereign mechanism would force creditors to shoulder losses if states went bankrupt. This would spur investors to assess sovereign risk in more detail. Given high euro area sovereign debt levels, the Council views the introduction of fixed debt thresholds for bankruptcy proceedings as impracticable in the near-term. But that should not stop euro area governments from starting work on an insolvency regime immediately. A permanently uncooperative member state should not be able to threaten the existence of the euro.
- Today, the official unemployment rate in the United States is just 5.3 percent, but the unemployment rate for the eurozone as a whole is sitting at 11.1 percent.
- France: 10.3 percent
- Italy: 12.4 percent
- Portugal: 13.7 percent
- Spain: 22.37 percent
- Greece: 25.6 percent
- And remember, these unemployment numbers often greatly understate the true scope of the problem.
- For instance, in Italy the number of people “willing to work but not actively searching” is much higher than the number of Italians that are officially unemployed…
For every 100 working Italians, there are 15 people seeking a job and another 20 willing to work but not actively searching, the highest level among the 28 EU countries, according to statistics agency Eurostat.
- The Conference Board just reported that US Consumer Confidence, having bounced in June, has collapsed in July (and saw the bounce revised drastically lower). At 90.9, this is the lowest since September 2014 .More worrying is the crash in “hope” – as consumer expectations plunge from 92.8 to 79.9 . 57% of Americans believe the US economy is “getting worse,”
- The 0.18% month-over-month decline in Case Shiller home price index is the biggest since July 2014 which confirms the David Blitzer’s view that “over the next two years or so, the rate of home price increases is more likely to slow than to accelerate.”
- Breakdown shows even high flyer San Francisco saw a MoM drop (seasonally adjusted)…
- According to the poll, the number of Americans who did not currently own a home and say they do not think they will buy a home in “the foreseeable future,” had risen by one third to 41%, vs. “only” 31% two years ago.
- As Gallup wryly puts it, “what may have been a longer-term goal for many may now not be a goal at all, and this could have an effect on the longer-term housing market.”
- the homeownership rate plunging from the lowest level since 1986, or 63.7%, to just 63.4% the lowest reading since the first quarter of 1967.
- So what was the mainstream media’s take on the topic? It all depends on who you ask.
or the WSJ.
- UPS revenue fell 1.2 percent from a year ago to about $14.1 billion in the quarter. .
- The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Tuesday started accepting yuan as collateral against contracts after getting permission from the Bank of England.
- “The renminbi [yuan – Ed.] is on its way to becoming one of the world’s most widely-used currencies. We are pleased to be able to help our members take advantage of the opportunities arising from the renminbi’s internationalization,” Trevor Spanner, chief executive of LME Clear, said in a statement.
- The renminbi could overtake the leadership of the US dollar as an international trade currency with China’s creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and its energy alliance with Russia, writes the Beijing-based Reference News.
- The US dollar, the main currency in international trade, has been slipping in its lead position as the world’s reserve currency. The composition of the greenback in global official foreign exchange reserves, once peaking at 71%, dropped to 63% in 2014, the report said.
- After WWII, The US GDP accounted for 45% of the world’s total; now, it is only 20%
- the president pushed as hard as he could to pass legislation that would enact strict gun control and further limit the applicability of the Second Amendment. Not only did he not succeed, but according to a 2014 Pew Research Poll there has been a 9% rise in the number of Americans who think gun ownership could “protect people from becoming victims of crime.”
- German researchers have developed a new technology that can identify a person in poor lighting or even in absolute darkness thus potentially solving one of the main issues of the modern face recognition systems.
- Today’s facial recognition systems are based on matching clean and well-lit photos taken in the broad light. This poses a problem for law enforcement and security services when their object is in the shade.
- human face emits thermal signatures when infrared images are taken is absolutely different from the way the face reflects light during a regular photo session.
- Additionally, thermal emissions vary depending on the environment temperature, temperature of the skin, person’s activity level or even a change of expression.
- the system is capable of matching the images and recognizing a face in just 35 milliseconds. “This is therefore, very fast and capable of running in real-time
- After two years and a massive 167,000 signatures, FirstLook reports that The White House has officially denied a hugely popular whitehouse.gov petition calling for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be “immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon,”
Snowden didn’t actually disclose any classified information – news organizations including the Guardian, Washington Post, New York Times and The Intercept did the disclosing.
The whitehouse’s response on Snowden’s We The People petition summarized; Screw you people
- The US State Department has upgraded Malaysia’s ranking on human trafficking, raising it from the bottom tier and sparking anger from lawmakers and human rights activists who claim the move was made to promote a huge international trade deal.
- Released on Monday, the Trafficking in Persons Report saw Malaysia and Cuba rise from Tier 3, the lowest level on the list, to the Tier 2 Watch List,
- Critics of the move lashed out at the Obama administration, arguing that the decision to upgrade Malaysia had little to do with its government’s efforts to fight human trafficking and more to do with the president’s desire to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), .”
- If the Constitution allowed, I could definitely win another term as president of the United States.
- FBI arrests of “terror suspects” on extremely flimsy pretexts, with charges stemming almost entirely from allegations by “informants” and the provision, by the FBI, of fake weapons to the suspects, have become something of a running joke. Attempts to prosecute these people are often extremely difficult, as the allegations are vague, and the evidence to support them is usually non-existent. Cases collapse, and the FBI has to roll the dice by charging them with something else, hoping something eventually sticks.
- Yet officials are defending “speedy detentions” of people under surveillance, even when there’s no real evidence of wrongdoing, insisting that they are surveilling so many people at this point that it’s getting kind of unwieldy, and that ISIS suspects are considered so unpredictable that they just can’t afford to wait until those guys do something wrong that they can build an actual case around.
- One top official rejected the idea that not being able to prosecute detainees for lack of evidence was a problem, saying that’s “the price you have to pay to prevent violence.”
- A member of the Russia-led economic blocs – Kazakhstan – has been officially accepted as member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This ends two decades of talks with WTO, and makes the country the 162th member.
- Currently Kazakhstan is a member of two economic blocs led by Russia – the Customs Union that also includes Belarus, and the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
- Kazakhstan’s WTO membership is also favorable for bilateral relations as the WTO agreement will be used in the sectors not regulated by the economic union agreement, he added. It will contribute to stability and prospects for further development of trade as the countries “will be cooperating within the WTO.”
- Moscow has sent 33 humanitarian convoys to help victims of the internal conflict in Ukraine
- “In August, two more humanitarian convoys will be sent,
- US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt claimed that the actions of the Right Sector political and paramilitary group are exaggerated
- The battle readiness of Ukraine’s military and the rebels it’s fighting in the country’s east is at its highest level since a February truce, monitors warned, a situation that risks tipping the conflict back into war.
- Tensions are building amid a crucial phase for the peace plan,
- “Ukraine is implementing the Minsk agreement; Russia and its proxies are not,” Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said
- US military officials are loudly bragging about their latest initiative to reassure Europe, a program that was called, unlikely enough, the European Reeassurance Initiative (ERI),
- ERI is nominally the latest in a long line of programs the Obama Administration has announced to “combat Russian aggression,” and which are meant to build up nations along the Russian frontier to support massive US military deployments to spite Russia.
- The plans are often ill-conceived, as the US idea to deploy huge amounts of tanks into several of these countries ran into problems because the tanks are stored in swampy areas where the mud makes it virtually impossible to drive a tank, .
- In this regard, ERI is trying to be the solution for the military-created problem, hauling thousands of tonnes of sand into those swampy areas to build “tank trails” that they can drive the tanks through, along with roads to support the infrastructure for the NATO operations in the area.
- Prosecutors have recognized NED’s activities in Russia as undesirable and undermining national security after the US NGO spent millions on attempts to question the legitimacy of Russian elections and tarnish the prestige of military service.
- The bill on undesirable foreign organizations was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in late May. The new law allows the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to create a proscribed list of ‘undesirable foreign organizations’, making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”
- French President Francois Hollande will make a decision on carrying out the delivery deal of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers with Russia in the coming weeks,
- According to Hollande’s statement at Monday’s press conference, the French president will either “move the agreement forward” or terminate the deal.
- Turkey has called Article 4 NATO meetings twice – once in 2003 and once in 2013. In the latter incident, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United states sent two PATRIOT anti-missile batteries each as well as soldiers trained in the operation of those missiles. Turkey is now requesting help with its border security due to the crisis in Syria and one can only wonder what the response of the rest of NATO will be when the meeting concludes.
- Article 4 allows any member of NATO to “request assistance” when its “territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened”.
- The Brookings Institution went further, however, describing a possible scenario that mirrors the one currently unfolding in Syria where Turkey, in coordination with Israel, could help overthrow Assad by establishing a “multi-front war” on Syria’s borders.
- Turkey is not requesting assistance for spillover violence or cross-border attacks, it is requesting a military invasion using a problem Turkey created
- The Turks do not need NATO Buffer Zones to end terrorism within their own country. They need to seal the borders with Syria, immediately cease funding, training, and facilitation of terrorists
- NATO supported Turkey’s increased role in the fight against Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday.
- “The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey,”NATO said in a statement following a 90-minute emergency meeting of ambassadors from the 28 member states of the Alliance convened at Turkey’s request.as seen its combat
- “What we have now is air coverage to clear a region from Daesh (Islamic State) and support the moderate opposition so they can gain control of that region,”
- ‘They will create a big buffer zone, from the Mediterranean, Latakia, and will deploy troops up to the north, including Aleppo. They will be trying to convince their partners by all means: declaring territorial security and so on. But their main objective is to get into Syria. The Turkish troops are already concentrated on the border.
- Ankara plans to send some 5,000 soldiers to defend designated Syrian territories from the Islamic State
- The United States is not planning to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad
- Peering at the drawn-out look on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s face and the expressions of other top Bush Administration officials, former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton remembers the feelings of the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks which shaped the nation.
- “They were serious, somber, saddened, and almost immediately beginning to think ‘How do we respond to this?'” said Hamilton, a former Democratic Indiana congressman and leader in the national security and intelligence communities, in an interview with CNN on Monday.