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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,208

Journal Archives

UK firms expect growth to stagnate over next three months: CBI

Source: Reuters

British businesses expect economic growth to grind almost to a halt over the next three months due to weaker investment and consumer confidence after June's vote to leave the European Union, the Confederation of British Industry said on Sunday.

The CBI said the outlook was the weakest since December 2012 as the proportion of firms expecting lower output was now 3 percentage points higher than the share expecting growth. This marked a sharp turnaround from June, when there was a 16 percentage point margin in favor of those anticipating growth.

"This data shows a weaker picture for UK economic growth," CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie said - though he added that the survey, conducted between June 27 and July 14, likely reflected a post-referendum low for consumer-facing firms.

"In manufacturing, although investment intentions are quieter as uncertainty weighs on corporate spending plans, the weaker pound is helping to boost exports' competitiveness."

The CBI's figures were partly based on its gloomy surveys of manufacturers' order books and retailers last week, with additional material from other services companies which make up the bulk of Britain's private-sector economy.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-economy-idUSKCN10A0S3

IOC staunchly defends Russian presence in Rio

Source: Reuters

Partial sanctions against Russian athletes over the country's state-run doping system are preliminary, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Sunday, defending the organization's position amid vocal criticism.

The IOC opted not to ban all Russian athletes from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after revelations of a wide state-backed doping program across many sports.

Instead it chose a set of criteria for athletes to meet, including a clean doping past and sufficient testing at international events, that so far has allowed more than 250 out of the original 387 Russian athletes to be cleared for Rio.

Many anti-doping agencies, athletes and even senior IOC member Dick Pound sharply criticized the decision, saying the IOC lacked the leadership and courage to ban Russia, hosts of the 2014 Sochi winter Games, outright.

Some have even called for Bach's resignation.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-rio-doping-idUSKCN10B0PN


For that reason alone their entire Olympic team should have been banned, period. Good lord.

Who will win the presidency?

Chance of winning:

Clinton 51%
Trump 49%

as of 7/31/2016

Wow, a lot closer than I would have thought.

Clinton tries to wrestle change candidate mantle from Trump in Western Pennsylvania

Source: CNN

Johnstown, PA (CNN)Hillary Clinton, standing on a metal working factory floor here in Western Pennsylvania, tried to cut into Donald Trump's grip on white, working class voters by casting herself -- not the businessman-turned-Republican nominee -- as 2016's change candidate.

Clinton, surrounded by factory equipment and spooled iron, attacked Trump's business record and argued that the more people listen to the Republican nominee talk, the more they realize "he is not offering real change, he is offering empty promises."
"I just want people as we go into this election to be fair. Because yes, we do have work to do, we can't be satisfied with the status quo," Clinton said. "I am not. Not by a long shot."

Clinton, along with her new running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, is in the midst of a three-day bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio that is meant to make inroads with Republicans turned off by Trump and disaffected Democrats who could be wooed by Trump's message of economic security and cracking down on immigration.

The trip has also been a chance for Clinton to cut into Republican's claim that he is the change candidate in the 2016 race.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/30/politics/clinton-tries-to-wrestle-change-candidate-mantle-from-trump-in-western-pennsylvania/

The NSA Is Likely 'Hacking Back' Russia's Cyber Squads

Source: ABC News

U.S. government hackers at the National Security Agency are likely targeting Russian government-linked hacking teams to see once and for all if they're responsible for the massive breach at the Democratic National Committee, according to three former senior intelligence officials. It's a job that the current head of the NSA's elite hacking unit said they've been called on to do many times before.

Robert Joyce, chief of the NSA's shadowy Tailored Access Operations, declined to comment on the DNC hack specifically, but said in general that the NSA has technical capabilities and legal authorities that allow the agency to "hack back" suspected hacking groups, infiltrating their systems to gather intelligence about their operations in the wake of a cyber attack.

"In terms of the foreign intelligence mission, one of the things we have to do is try to understand who did a breach, who is responsible for a breach," Joyce told ABC News in a rare interview this week. "So we will use the NSA's authorities to pursue foreign intelligence to try to get back into that collection, to understand who did it and get the attribution. That's hard work, but that's one of the responsibilities we have."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/nsa-hacking-back-russias-cyber-squads/story?id=41010651


Poland's Constitutional Court Crisis: Duda signs controversial amendments to law

Source: Ukraine Today

Poland's President Andrzej Duda signed amendments to the law on the Polish Constitutional Court which had been the issue of dispute between the government and the opposition since last year.
The constitutional crisis hit in Poland in November last year. The government and the opposition accuse each other of violating the law while appointing the Constitutional Court judges, which led to deepening the crisis and complicating operations of this unity. In January the European Commission intervened in the dispute, starting preliminary assessment of the rule of law in Poland.European Parliament says democracy under threat in Poland
Poland can even be stripped of its EU Member State voting rights for violating European values.

In early July, the European Commission said it will assess the new law on the Constitutional Court in Poland within the previous assessment of the rule of law once the legislative process in Poland is complete. A few days ago, the Commission recommended Poland to implement the Constitutional Court decision as of last December concerning the selection of Constitutional Court judges, and that as of March - on unconstitutionality of amendments to the Constitutional Court law, approved by the new government.

Read more: http://uatoday.tv/politics/poland-s-constitutional-court-crisis-duda-signs-controversial-amendments-to-law-707341.html

"The European Parliament has declared in a resolution "effective paralysis" of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal endangers the rule of law, democracy and human rights in the country.

The resolution was initiated by the European People's Party (the largest group in the European Parliament) together with the Party of European Socialists. It was backed by several other parties, including the Liberals and Greens. The resolution passed with 513 votes for, 142 against and 30 abstentions.

Ryszard Legutko, MEP from Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, called the resolution "absurd, damaging, non-credible and counter-productive." Stanisław Karczewski of Law and Justice, Speaker of the Senate, added that the European Parliament resolution was a result of the Polish opposition "informing on Poland" to European institutions."

The "Law and Justice" party is the extremely right wing faction that controls the Polish government. Seems they are upset that the political opposition IN Poland "informed" on them to the EU. Good grief.

"A Donald Trump urinal has Dublin lining up to take aim"

For anyone who’s ever had the urge to pee on Donald Trump, one Irish pub has got you covered.
Adelphi pub in Dublin recently unveiled a new urinal that allows patrons to cover The Donald’s face in urine.

It’s proving quite popular.

OMG, is Russia Today TURNING on tRump? lol

Donald Trump says fundraising 'crushed' goals, rejects money from Koch brothers

Source: CNBC

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump characterized his fundraising as having "crushed" its original expectations, and pointedly rejected the support of David and Charles Koch, two traditionally influential GOP billionaire donors.

In a new fundraising solicitation sent to supporters on Saturday, Trump—who pledged during the primaries to self-fund his campaign, but reneged on that promise after securing the GOP nomination—said that his campaign goal had already met a first match goal of $1 million. He vowed to personally match new contributions made through July 31 up to $2 million.

That said, Trump basically confirmed reports of a rift with the billionaire Koch brothers, whose financial support of conservative-leaning causes have earned them the scorn of liberal-minded politicians. Earlier this week, Politico reported that the men, turned off by Trump's rhetoric and policies, brushed aside efforts to meet with the GOP nominee.

Yet on Saturday, Trump insisted that he, in fact, had spurned the Kochs' entreaties. The real estate mogul dismissed them as little more than political puppet masters just as they were poised to meet with other Republican donors at a retreat in Colorado.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/30/trump-says-fundraising-crushed-goals-will-match-up-to-2m-in-new-contributions.html

Uh huh, suuure. That Koch Brothers' money probably wasn't much anyways. lol

American psycho: Is Donald Trump clinically deranged?

Truly self-made billionaire Michael Bloomberg deftly suggested that Donald Trump is mentally unstable when New York’s former mayor called on Americans to elect a “sane” person as President.

Doing so at the Democratic National Convention, Bloomberg made public what many wonder in private: Is Trump certifiable?
Cross Trump and prepare to be on the receiving end of threats, including of physical violence. Previously, he had directed them at protesters. Now, the would-be President has targeted a former mayor and one of America’s most respected businessmen and philanthropists.

Trump is forever vindictive. The previous week — right after the Republican Convention — he announced that he would create a SuperPAC to defeat at the polls former primary rivals Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, both of whom pointedly refused to endorse him.

Of course, add pathological lying to the mix.

I vote: Clinically deranged.

Syria conflict: 'Families leave' besieged Aleppo

Source: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Dozens of families have left besieged eastern areas of the city of Aleppo along a humanitarian corridor, Syrian state media say.
They say the civilians boarded buses and were taken to temporary shelters.
Some rebels had also surrendered to government forces, the report says.

Russia, an ally of the Syrian government, earlier said four exit corridors would be opened. But Syria's opposition says they are a government ploy to recapture all of Aleppo.

"These corridors are not for getting aid in, but driving people out," said Basma Kodmani of the opposition High Negotiations Committee.
"The brutal message to our people is: leave or starve."

The opening of the corridors has been welcomed cautiously by the UN, the US and some aid agencies.
However, Washington has suggested the plan may be an attempt to force the evacuation of civilians and the surrender of rebel groups in the city.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36932694

"Washington has suggested the plan may be an attempt to force the evacuation of civilians and the surrender of rebel groups in the city."

Um, OK. I think we all knew the Syrian government is trying to win the civil war. So are the rebels.

Both sides would be astronomically better off negotiating a peace.
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