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Fatster’s Roundup

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‘Greetings all elves and FDLers. Here is your news.

International Developments

? Israel has cast doubt on recent Syrian rebels’ reports that the forces of President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against them.

? “Senior Syrian official in US and co-operating with intelligence agencies: Guardian understands that US intelligence officials helped Jihad Makdissi to flee, though details of journey are unknown”.

? A female in Afghan security forces uniform shot and killed a US contractor in Afghanistan yesterday. Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry is saying the shooter came to Afghanistan from Iran ten years ago.

? Next month, “Muslim scholars and clerics from around the world” will converge on Kabul, Afghanistan to “condemn suicide bombings as un-Islamic.”

? Israel’s right-right Jewish Home Party is gaining on the Likud-Beitenu Party as elections near.

? Israeli Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to “repatriate tens of thousands of African illegal migrants” and claims to have halted “inflow” from Sinai.

? Festivities abounded in Bethlehem as people celebrated the first Christmas there since UN recognition of Palestine.

International Finance

? Russia hopes to be a major exporter of oil through its East Siberia-Pacific Ocean link, connecting oil fields west of Lake Baikal to the Pacific port, Kozmino. This opens up Japanese and North Korean markets, but 35% of the oil is destined for the US.

? Mario Monti, a technocrat and unelected former prime minister of Italy, is contemplating running for the position in February’s elections. Polling at the moment shows Monti-led “centrist group” are lagging far behind the “centre-left Democrats”, and would “struggle to compete” with Silvio Berlusconi’s group.

Money Matters USA

? As Bill Black notes, the US recovered from the Great Depression because of massive injection of federal funds used to prepare for and wage WWII. Today’s fiscal negotiations have been termed “the Grand Bargain”, but Black prefers “the Grand Betrayal” and points out almost all Democrats and most Republicans know what will result in they cut the safety net (pain, misery as far as the eye can see), so what gives?

? Well, well! Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb Counties, GA have sued HSBC bank of the UK. Seems they think the bank should be “accountable for losses in tax revenue based on what they claim are discriminatory or predatory lending practices.”

? “MERSy Christmas Everyone!” Great take on the mortgage scandals, in the tradition of Clement Moore.

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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.