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International Developments

? According to the mayor of Timbuktu, “Fleeing Islamist insurgents burnt two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached”.  Update: French troops are now in Timbuktu.

? Demonstrations and protests continue in Egypt, following the state of emergency President Mohamed Mursi declared yesterday for Cairo, Port Said  and Ismailiya.  The “Unfinished Revolution“.

? “Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.”  Seems to be Depo-Provera.

? Morocco wants to donate $500m to a reconciliation effort aimed at Palestinian factions.

International Finance

? Imagine a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos consisting of Karl Marx, Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Fritz Schumacher and conducted by IMF head Christine Lagarde.  Good one, too.

? “Britain’s Economy Is a Disaster and Nobody Is Entirely Sure Why:  Britain’s GDP fell again in the fourth quarter of 2012, raising the specter of  a triple-dip recession.”

? Japanese regulators are saying the maker of the lithium-ion battery used in Boeing’s 787 passenger jets does not seem to have been at fault.  Investigations continue.

Money Matters USA

? Remember that end-of-week story about $114 billion being withdrawn from the nation’s banks with no explanation?  Yves Smith’s concludes it’s “a story to watch” since nobody can explain movement of such a huge amount–and “in an unexpected direction”.

? The Treasury Dept did not “rein in excessive pay” at AIG, GM and Ally–all bailed out with US taxpayers’ dollars.  That’s according to the Inspector General.  According to Treasury’s person in charge, Treasury “has limited excessive compensation while at the same time keeping compensation at levels that enable” the companies to be competitive and repay their bailout money.  Say what?

? A federal grand jury in CT has issued a “16-count indictment charging . . . Jesse C. Litvak [of Jeffries & Co.] of New York City with [residential mortgage-backed] securities fraud, Troubled Asset Relief Program fraud and making false statements” to the feds.

? DDay walks us through the process CA progressives used to accomplish the nearly impossible: balancing CA’s budget.  Much work remains, but the CA experience provides lessons for progressives in other states, and the US capitol, who must contend with budgetary crises and Republican obstructionism simultaneously. [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.