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International Developments

? Russia’s Chief of Staff wants their armed forces expanded “to at least a million men”.

? “A row has broken out in Kenya over whether spoiled ballots should be included in the presidential vote count”.   Update:  “a computer bug is to blame”; it multiplied each rejected vote by 8.

? “Talks under way to free 21 UN peacekeepers held in Syria”.

? Gen. James Mattis, US Central Command: “Afghan national security forces will be equipped with drone capabilities”.

? Suleiman Abu Ghaith, al Qaeda spokesman and Osama bin Laden son-in-law, is now in federal custody in New York City.

? “Jordan is close to commissioning two nuclear power reactors” with United Arab Emirates “seed funding”.  UAE wants “to build four nuclear reactors” of its own.

? “Furious Over Sanctions, North Korea Vows To Nuke U.S.”  New UN-approved sanctions target “North Korean diplomats, cash transfers and access to luxury goods”, etc.

? Ya think?  “Israel’s segregated bus lines have touched a nerve.”

? Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted of “breach of confidentiality for the illegal publication of wiretapped conversations.”  One year in jail.  Two other trials are still on-going.

? Thee F-35A ready for training?  “Is.  Isn’t.  That about sums up the latest kerfluffle between the Pentagon’s top operational tester . . . the Air Force and its Joint Program Office.”

International Finance

? “The European Central bank slashed its eurozone economic outlook for next year, forecasting further contraction at a time of record unemployment”.  Don’t miss this: “Political centre at risk as eurozone fears” are revived and realization that “we only have the worst recession since the second world war” sets in.  Quick looks at the most painful symptoms, by country.

Money Matters USA

? “$5.5 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties . . . clawed back” from secret offshore accounts with  $5bn+ more expected to be collected.  The Internal Revenue Service is intent on continuing “relentless pursuit of wealthy Americans with secret accounts offshore”.  Yes.

? “Whistleblower: Wells Fargo Fabricated and Altered Mortgage Documents on a Mass Basis”–despite claiming it “had a ‘rigorous system’ to ensure that mortgage documents were accurate and complete.”  Why do whistleblowers have to do all the heavy lifting and run the risks?

? Delphi (auto parts) moved its full-time employees’ retirement pensions to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. three years ago during bankruptcy.  “PBGC subsequently cut the retirees’ pensions by up to 70 percent.”  The employees involved have sued PBGC, which has clammed up.

? The Fed: “US Household Wealth Regains Pre-Recession Peak“.  This begs for some analysis.

? “Occupy Wall Street Has Raised Enough Money [$561,587] To Abolish $11,236,570 Of Personal Debt”.  This is their Rolling Jubilee campaign, by which they purchase and obliterate debt thus prohibiting debt-buyers from making money off it. [cont’d.]

Photo by Chaval Brasil 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.