Virginia: After 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty members at the university in April 2007, then-Gov. Tim Kaine assigned a blue-ribbon task force to examine gun policies in the state. The task force made dozens of recommendations that, among other things, suggested that the state intensify background checks for gun purchasers, and ban firearm possession on college campuses. None of the recommendations became law.
Does Mass Surveillance Change The Way We Behave? (richcabot)
A team of researchers from the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology recorded nearly every piece of data — calls, texts, GPS locations, keypresses, mouse clicks, screenshots of computer desktops, browsing histories, and credit card usages, a total of 32 TB of data from 10 households — for an entire year. They found that constant, intrusive surveillance consistently resulted in behavioral effects.
ISIS is an off-shoot of Al-Qaeda. However, the reason why it gained power so quickly is due to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Not only did the invasion topple a government, it wrecked a whole country, destabilized an entire region and left a power vacuum behind. This power vacuum allowed armed groups to emerge and to gain a foothold in the region.
ISIS managed to find its way to Syria by manipulating the war between Bashar Al Assad and the Free Syrian Army. This war meant the destruction of Syria and its infrastructure, instability, and a massive flow of refugees into neighboring countries that has recently begun to shift to Europe.
How Gaddafi’s Ouster Unleashed Terror (richcabot)
“After the foiled attacks in Verviers in Belgium,” van Ostaeyen wrote, “it became clear that the main suspect Abdelhamid Abaaoud can be linked directly to this group. His little brother Younes (aged 14 and hence probably the youngest foreign fighter in Syria) has been portrayed multiple times in the ranks of Libyan fighters in Syria.”
To wit, at the time of the 2008 crisis, China’s “official” GDP was about $5 trillion and its total public and private credit market debt was roughly $8 trillion. Since then, debt has soared to $30 trillion while GDP has purportedly doubled. But that’s only when you count the massive outlays for white elephants and malinvestments which get counted as fixed asset spending.
ECB & The Failed QE Stimulus (Aaron M.)
The combination of a continued declining recovery and a deflationary atmosphere present a compelling case that the ECB will accelerate it program despite strong opposition from German policymakers and others on the 25-strong committee. Since late October, many officials from Euroland have gathered in Frankfurt to brainstorm just what the central bank could do now to turn things around.
The Gold Price Broke Down. What’s Next? (Taki T.)
Now this happens to coincide with a test of the lower range of gold’s descending trend channel. The second chart shows gold’s three phases since it peaked in 2011. Right after hitting all-time highs, gold traded sideways, and it was unable to make higher highs (a first bearish signal). Next, as indicated with the red rectangle on the chart, a trend change took place as gold evolved to a clear downtrend. Typically, during such a phase, it does not really make sense to analyze the chart, so it is recommended to wait until a new pattern is visible. The third and current phase is a downtrend in a very precise channel, as seen hereunder.
Facts Back Russia on Turkish Attack (richcabot)
Although the Obama administration is not about to admit it, the data already available supports the Russian assertion that the Turkish shoot-down was, as Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted, an “ambush” that had been carefully prepared in advance. The central Turkish claim that its F-16 pilots had warned the two Russian aircraft 10 times during a period of five minutes actually is the primary clue that Turkey was not telling the truth about the shoot-down.
In October 2015, when the Russian military campaign was just starting, and Salih Muslim was beginning the operation of forced Kurdisation of Northern Syria, the famous Turkish whistle-blower, Fuat Avni, announced via Twitter that Turkey was preparing the destruction of a Russian aircraft. This occurred on the 24th November.
I doubt that this will get much more coverage in the U.S. media, because the mainstream media is not really supposed to be talking about what Turkey is doing. It would be extremely embarrassing for the Obama administration to admit that they have known that ISIS was shipping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen oil into Turkey and didn’t do anything to stop it.
Sadly, the charade probably would have gone on for much longer if Russia hadn’t started talking about this. Last month, Putin actually showed surveillance photographs of oil vehicles heading into and out of Turkey to fellow world leaders…
Now Turkey is escalating it further by blockading all Russian ships to prevent them from accessing the Bosporus. This is clearly an act of war and Russia has defended Syria and its economic interests no different than the USA who has had far less of any economic interest at stake in any other situation.
2015: The Last Christmas In America (richcabot)
The problem with financialization is that it eventually runs out of oxygen. As earnings decline, eventually there’s no more income to support more debt. And once debt stops expanding, the economy doesn’t just stagnate, it implodes, because the entire ramshackle con game of financialization requires a steady increase in debt and leverage to keep from crashing.
In 2008, the UN announced that, for the first time in human history, 50% of the world’s population lived in cities. Ever since, the statistic has been cited over and over as evidence of a global shift toward urbanisation – the dawn of a new “urban age”. But these declarations disguise the many varied and diverging trends across the world’s different regions.
The Paris climate talks have so far seen two major pledges to this end. A group of 20 major countries – representing 75% of the world’s emissions – have promised to double their clean energy research over five years. To complement this, Bill Gates has announced a coalition of top business figures committed to achieving a low carbon economy through investing “patient capital” in these new technologies. This follows calls earlier this year for a Global Apollo Programme to address climate change.
“They entered the apartment with shotguns and assault rifles. It was quite violent. They pinned us to the ground,” said Amélie, a young barmaid who did not wish to give her full name. “It lasted quite a long time. We had no idea why they were there.”
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