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Fatster’s Roundup

“Habemus Papam” – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., has been elected Pope Francis I

Good morning, all!

International Developments

? “Increasing numbers of children in Syria are being recruited by armed groups on both sides of the conflict”, according to Save the Children.  Many Syrian children now  have no health care, are traumatized, living in “unsanitary conditions” and in families “struggling for food”.

? “Tunisia’s new Islamist-led government won a confidence vote [from the Assembly] on Wednesday”.  An election is supposed to be held later this year.  Major multiple woes plaguing Tunisia at this time.

? Aung San Suu Kyi, long-imprisoned Burmese activist now part of the government, favors a “Chinese-backed copper mine in north-western Burma”–scene of major protests met violently by the Burmese government.  Her position has enflamed activists who argue that the “welfare of their own people–poor local villagers–rather than good relations with China” should prevail.

? Initially it was 2,000; now it’s 6,000 dead pigs pulled out of the Huangpu River, major source of water for Shanghai.

International Finance

? Ain’t Austerity Grand? “Majority of British children will soon be growingup in families struggling ‘below the breadline’ . . . because of welfare cuts, tax rises and wage freezes”.  In addition, 1000s of British senior citizens and disabled are left to die in cold homes every year.

? Financial adviser in Switzerland, who “helped 60 [US citizens] hide $184 million in secret offshore accounts . . . mailed a list of his U.S. clients, including . . . incriminating details, which somehow wound up in the hands of federal authorities.”

? Italy has sold “its first issue of long-term debt since a rating agency cut its credit rating last week”, but  at “higher rates, reflecting investors’ concerns about political and economic turmoil”.

Money Matters USA

? “The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country”.  Emptywheel has more on “this batshit crazy plan”.

? Chutzpah much? The US government spent $182billion bailing out AIG. Former CEO, Maurice Greenberg, now with Starr International (which owned 12% of AIG), is suing the government over the bailout claiming it was “unconstitutional and wrongly cheated shareholders out of billions of dollars.”

? Heh. “States Crack Down on Top Earners Who Flee as Levies Rise:  Taxes.”

? Retail sales were up 1.1% in February which “exceeded all projections”.

? The Federal Aviation Administration has approved “a set of fixes to the battery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner”. [cont’d.]

Photo by Catholic Church (England, Wales) under Creative Commons license

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.