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Fatster’s Roundup

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International Developments

? “Syria in ruins . . . [P]eople hope only for end to conflict as regime shells residential areas and democratic influence on rebels wanes”.  Government’s increasingly relying on militia.

? French President Francois Hollande:  “Islamist militants from neighboring Nigeria abducted a French family of seven . . . in northern Cameroon”.

? “Crisis deepens in Tunisia as PM set to quit”.

? Afghanistan war deaths declined from 3,021 in 2011 to 2,754 in 2012.  Why?  “the slowing pace of the war; more fighting by Afghan forces, who use less lethal weapons; and an assiduous effort by the Western-led forces to reduce the impact on civilians.”  Drone strikes increased, from 294 in 2011 to 506 in 2012.

? “Taliban targeting Afghan women and government workers”.

? Iraq today:  “4.5 million children . . .are now orphans.   [Some] 600,000 children . . . living on the streets, without either shelter or food to survive”.   The few state-run orphanages currently can’t meet “their most essential needs.”  Much more.

? “Poland will drop charges against a former intelligence chief prompted by allegations that the CIA was allowed to run a secret prison in Poland for al Qaeda suspects”

? A 12-story building in Shanghai supposedly houses the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s cyberwars headquarters.  They’ve “stolen vast amounts of data from . . . western companies and defence groups”.

“General John Allen  has decided to retire rather than proceed with his nomination as the NATO supreme allied commander”.  “Health reasons”.

International Finance

? A woman set herself afire in an Almassaora, Spain bank.  No motive given yet, but there’ve been “at least five mortgage default-related suicides in recent months.”

? Amazon’s cancelled their arrangement with the German security firm which provided neo-Nazi thugs who frightened workers.  Investigations continue.

? How much money is sitting in the Fed, by major banks?  Wells Fargo – $97.1bn;  JPMorgan – $88.6bn;  Goldman Sachs – $58.7bn; Canada’s TD Bank, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Switzerland’s UBS – $12bn each.  When rates rise the Fed could be paying $50bn – $75bn in interest on those amounts.  Just imagine the public reaction.

Money Matters USA

Simpson & Bowles:  cut $600bn “over 10 years to . . .  Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.”  They did recommend revenue increases,  which Republicans won’t accept anyway.

? Giant chain stores going down? Permanently contracting economy? Global trade relationships destroyed?  What’s next? Today’s younger generations will need to adapt and restore “the duties, responsibilities, obligations, and ceremonies that prompt citizens to care for each other.”

Politics USA

? “Meet 6 Politicians Getting Rich from America’s Endless Wars:  The defense industry is a powerful and influential lobby.”  Half are Dems.

US “Postal Service of The Future”.

? Republican logic, MI style:  “all those smug tree-huggers who dodge their fair share of road costs by driving cars that don’t use enough gasoline” deserve higher vehicle registration fees since they are “probably not paying their fare [sic] share” anyway.

? *Gasp!* A Republican state Senator in TX has proposed raising taxes to fund annual maintenance and “grow” the state’s road system. [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.