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Fatster’s Roundup

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International Developments

? “Reports of Syrian jet fire into Lebanon called ‘significant escalation'”.

? Avigdor Lieberman, former Israeli foreign minister “says anyone who thinks peace can be reached with the Palestinians is ‘delusional.'”

? “Terror Haven in Mali Feared After French Leave”.

? “The lies of two Iraqi spies were central to the claim . . . that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  But even before the fighting started, intelligence from highly-placed sources was available suggesting he did not”.  The spies:  “Curveball”, or Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, Iraqi defector and Maj Muhammed Harith, former Iraqi intelligence officer”.

? “US bill to rebuild Iraq reaches $138bn”.   Kellog Brown and Root (Dick “Dick”‘s old firm) are first at the trough,  followed by Agility Logistics of Kuwait and state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

? “The U.S. State Department confirmed . . . that Rwanda-born former Congolese General Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court for suspected war crimes in Congo, has given himself up at the US. Embassy in Kigali.”

? “Crippled Japanese nuclear plant [Fukushima] suffers blackout”.  ” . . . three storage pools without fresh cooling water for hours . . ..”

? No more commercial flight service to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says the US Navy, “citing a long overlooked regulation.”  Overlooked “since the 1980s”, it seems.  Lawyers, journalists and Red Cross volunteers” will have to use military flights.  Jim White takes a look at this.

International Finance

? They’re working overtime to demonstrate the validity of the Law of Holes.  “Cyprus can amend the terms of a bailout deal that has sparked huge public anger and led to heavy cash withdrawals”–just so long as Cyprus maintains their “financial contribution of 5.8bn euros”.  Protesters are blaming Germany.  “Russia attacks Cyprus bailout plan“:  “unfair, unprofessional and dangerous”.  Cyprus banks won’t open until Thursday.   “Postcards from Cyprus“.

? “Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens national sovereignty, extends corporate rights, and targets China” while preventing “Regulation of Hot Money and Speculation”.

Money Matters USA

? Why does Congress make the US Postal Service “pre-fund” 75 years of retiree health care costs in advance–and do so in just 10 years?  Remove that crushing burden and you’ll find the USPS “earned a $100 million profit in the last three months of 2012″–without using a penny of taxpayer money.

? “Jeffrey Altman, Founder and Portfolio Manager for Owl Creek Asset Management, and Robert Bishop, of Impala Asset Management, each seized an opportunity in the days following the Sandy Hook Shooting, to purchase millions of shares in gun stocks“.   ” . . . $13,642,000 [and] $27,787,000, respectively”.

Politics USA

? “President Obama has selected the Justice Department’s top civil rights enforcer Tomas Perez to be his next Labor secretary.”  Adam Serwer says progressives will love him, Republicans not-so-much.

? Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) says he’ll place on hold on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency

? Pew Research Center on the “State of the Media”:  “since 2007, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have all cut back sharply on . . . actual reporting”.

? “Republicans: There’s No Debt Crisis, We Just Want to Screw the Poor”. [cont’d.]

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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.