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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
December 25, 2021

Stupidest stuff said in 2021. This why you wait til after Dec 31 is over


It started out with him praising Mary and Joseph for finding the manger so that the animals could heat the baby Jesus with their breath:

"I know we had this conversation before, but were the animals used, were their breaths used to heat Jesus?" Kilmeade wondered. "Remember the animals would go around because it was so cold in Bethlehem. I get them confused. It was so cold at that time, the animals breathed on him to keep him warm."

It was Steve Doocy - of all people - who had to remind Kilmeade that the original Bible story was that they were in the manger because there was no room at the inn.

Kilmeade agreed and added that the inn was full because of people traveling for the holiday season.

Gotta wait until the year is completely over, because they've got 6 whole days to say stupider things.

December 12, 2021

Vatican Nativity creche inspired by Peru's Andean region

The representation of Peru's diverse indigenous communities in this year's Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square embodies the joy and hope of their faith, said Peruvian Bishop Carlos Alberto Salcedo Ojeda of Huancavelica, Peru.

Bishop Salcedo joined Jorge Eduardo Román Morey, the Peruvian ambassador to the Vatican, and other Peruvians to show journalists around the Vatican Nativity scene on Dec. 9.

Statues of Joseph and Mary, as well as the Three Kings, are dressed in the traditional bright, multicolored garments of the region's indigenous Chopcca people.

Unlike more traditional depictions of the Magi, trudging to Bethlehem with camels and gifts of gold, incense and myrrh, the Andean interpretation has them accompanied by llamas and bearing sacks of food from the region, including corn, quinoa and potatoes.

In front of the llamas, an angel, dressed in traditional Andean clothing, hails the birth of the Messiah by playing a flute in one hand while banging a drum with the other. Overlooking the Peruvian Nativity scene atop a tree is an Andean condor, the country's national symbol, with its massive wings spread preparing to soar the heavens.

December 10, 2021

China Evergrande defaults on its debt. Now what?

For weeks, global markets have been watching the struggles of China Evergrande, a teetering real estate giant weighed down by $300 billion or more in obligations that just barely seemed able to make its required payments to global investors.

On Thursday, three days after a deadline passed leaving bondholders with nothing but silence from the company, a major credit ratings firm declared that Evergrande was in default. But instead of resolving questions about the fate of the Chinese behemoth, the announcement only deepened them.

The firm, Fitch Ratings, said in its statement that it had placed the Chinese property developer in its “restricted default” category. The designation means Evergrande had formally defaulted but had not yet entered into any kind of bankruptcy filing, liquidation or other process that would stop its operations.


For years, many investors gave money to companies like Evergrande on the basis of this assumption. But more recently, authorities have shown greater willingness to let companies fail in order to rein in China’s unsustainable debt problem.

To emphasize this point, China’s central bank has blamed Evergrande’s “own poor management and reckless expansion” for its problems and said the crisis was limited to Evergrande. Yi Gang, the central bank governor, indicated Thursday that Evergrande would go through something resembling a typical reorganization, suggesting a bailout was not in the cards.


December 9, 2021

45 years after college student from Georgia vanished, car with remains found in Alabama creek

For 45 years, no one could say for certain what happened to Kyle Clinkscales.

The 22-year-old Auburn University student vanished on a cold January night in 1976 after leaving his bartending job in LaGrange to make the 35-mile drive back to campus. He never made it.

Nearly 30 years later, investigators made two arrests after a tipster came forward with information about Clinkscales’ killing. The man suspected of murder, Ray Hyde, had died years earlier. Another man, Jimmy Earl Jones, was later convicted of making false statements to police.


Troup County investigators speculated that Hyde, who died in July 2001, killed Clinkscales because he feared the student may have learned of Hyde’s role in hiding stolen cars, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Six months after Clinkscales’ disappearance, Hyde was arrested on numerous auto theft charges and was later sent to prison.


December 6, 2021

'Modern girls': Japan's first recognizable youth culture movement

The period of relative prosperity that Japan enjoyed in the mid- to late 1920s gave rise to the country’s first recognizable youth culture.

However, this new cultural phenomenon wasn’t spearheaded by young men in Japan at that time. Instead, “modern girls” (modan gāru, or moga for short) were the talk of the town, sauntering down the streets of Tokyo in neat bob cuts and wearing chic dresses and heeled shoes.

These women were Japan’s equivalent of flappers in the United States or garconnes in France, abandoning traditional kimonos and conservative societal values to embrace Western fashion and lifestyle.


The 1920s also marked the growth of a small but significant group of urban Japanese who eventually formed a new middle class. This new set of bourgeoisie were a collective of university-educated, salaried employees of corporations and government ministries and their families.


December 5, 2021

Three Years Late, Israelis Finally Hear the Truth About Trump

When Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Israel’s then-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, turned the decision into a political celebration. Israeli media outlets received detailed briefings on how a daring Mossad operation to steal Iran’s “nuclear archive” from a secure location in the Islamic Republic was the final straw that convinced Trump to break the international agreement.

That sense of pride was missing last week, when former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the man who commanded that operation, spoke at the Haaretz-UCLA conference on Israeli national security. Cohen was asked about the fact that ever since Trump got out of the deal, Iran has significantly increased its uranium enrichment. “That’s true,” he replied.

Another speaker at the same conference was former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal at the time of its signing, when he was still in office. Yet in an interview with Haaretz analyst Anshel Pfeffer, Ya’alon said that as bad as that deal was, Trump’s decision to withdraw from it – with Netanyahu’s encouragement – was even worse. He called it “the main mistake of the last decade” in Iran policy.

Two days later, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General (ret.) Gadi Eisenkot, brought a similar message to the Security and Policy conference in the Reichman University in Herzliya. The American withdrawal from the deal, said the man who commanded the Israeli military when it happened, was a net negative for Israel: It released Iran from all restrictions, and brought its nuclear program to a much more advanced position.


November 30, 2021

Iraqi jihadist handed life sentence for Yazidi genocide

Source: euronews.com

An Iraqi from the Islamic State jihadist group was sentenced by a German court for genocide over the murder of Yazidis.

The Frankfurt court judges found Taha Al-Jumailly "guilty of genocide, of a crime against humanity resulting in death".

This is the first time that a court has ruled that the atrocities committed against the Yazidis amount to genocide, already recognised as such by UN investigators.

Prosecutors said the former IS member and his wife enslaved a Yazidi girl and her mother in Iraq. He then left the young girl chained in the open sun where he let her die of heat and malnourishment.

Read more: https://www.euronews.com/2021/11/30/iraqi-jihadist-handed-life-sentence-for-yazidi-genocide

November 30, 2021

As China menaces Taiwan, the island's friends aid its secretive submarine project

For more than two decades, Taiwan tried to buy a fleet of modern conventional submarines to fend off an existential threat — invasion by China. There were no takers.

The United States, Taiwan’s main ally, has a nuclear-powered fleet and hadn’t built diesel-powered subs in decades. Other nations balked, fearful of angering Beijing.

Now, as China under President Xi Jinping steps up its military intimidation of Taiwan, an array of foreign submarine-technology vendors, with the approval of their governments, are aiding a secretive program to build subs in Taiwan. Taipei has stealthily sourced technology, components and talent from at least seven nations to help it build an underwater fleet with the potential to exact a heavy toll on any Chinese attack, a Reuters investigation has found.


Taipei has also succeeded in hiring engineers, technicians and former naval officers from at least five other countries: Australia, South Korea, India, Spain and Canada. Based at a shipyard in the port city of Kaohsiung, the experts have advised the Taiwanese Navy and state-backed shipbuilder CSBC Corporation Taiwan, the company building the new submarines.


November 29, 2021

Boy, 14, charged with murder of Ava White in Liverpool

A teenager has been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Liverpool city centre, police have said.

Ava White had been in the city with friends on Thursday after the switching on of Christmas lights when she suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an assault at 8.39pm, Merseyside police said.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has now been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.


Ava, who has been described as popular and bright, was involved in a “verbal argument” which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife”, police said.


3 other boys are on conditional bail over the attack

November 26, 2021

The $5 billion hoard of metal the world wants but can't have

On an industrial park about an hour’s drive toward the South China Sea coast from Ho Chi Minh City sit giant mounds of raw metal shrouded in black tarpaulin. Stretching a kilometer in length, the much-coveted hoard could be worth about $5 billion at current prices.

In the esoteric world of aluminum, those in the know say the stockpile in Vietnam is the biggest they have ever seen — and that’s in an industry that spends a lot of time building stockpiles while analysts spend a lot of time trying to locate them. But as far as the increasingly under-supplied market is concerned, it’s one that may never be seen again.


While there used to be millions of tons of aluminum at ports from Detroit and New Orleans in the U.S. to Rotterdam in Europe and Malaysia’s Port Klang, market watchers say the stockpile 50 kilometers from Vietnam’s biggest city is likely the only notable one left.

To put it in perspective, it’s equivalent to the entire annual consumption of India, the world’s second-most populous country, said Duncan Hobbs, a London-based analyst at commodities trader Concord Resources who has been covering metals markets for 25 years.


The hoard was seized as part of a U.S.-led anti-dumping investigation in 2019 focusing on a Chinese billionaire. The Vietnamese authorities say it was accumulated from China by Global Vietnam Aluminium Ltd., known as GVA. They haven’t concluded their investigation, though the initial probe into GVA was dropped because of a lack of evidence.


The blistering rally in prices means the value of the metal has risen more than 50% since it was impounded. If the stockpile ever started moving, the impact could be seismic. It would be more than enough to erase a global deficit that has emerged in the aluminum market this year, and a fire sale could send prices crashing.


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