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dkf's Journal
dkf's Journal
September 27, 2012

Feds accuse Newport man of using school loans on drugs, motorcyles, games and tattoos

Robert Thomas Price Jr. borrowed about $105,000 for his tuition at Harrisburg Area Community College from 2005 and 2007, federal authorities say.

It doesn’t cost anywhere near that much to study at HACC, though.

So Price, 45, of Newport, is facing federal student loan fraud and mail fraud charges.

A U.S. Middle District Court indictment alleges that Price spent much of the loan money on crack cocaine, cars, motorcycles, jewelry, tattoos and video games.

U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith said today that Price secured about $92,000 in private student loans and around $13,000 in federal PELL grants and Stafford loans. Price was aided in the alleged scam by his ex-wife, a former HACC employee who is not charged or named in the case, Smith said.


September 27, 2012

If it takes $1-$2 million to retire with the same lifestyle you had while working

Is it greedy to accumulate that amount in savings and investments?

Should you be looked upon as a disgusting corporatist if you realize the only way to acquire that sum is to buy stocks and bonds from companies that make profits?

September 27, 2012

Euro crisis fuels Spanish separatism

Spain has entered a constitutional crisis. The decision of Catalonia’s nationalist government to call a snap election in November – which in practice will amount to a referendum on independence – has opened the way to Catalan secession. That decision, in turn, may give a lift to Basque separatists, now running neck and neck with mainstream nationalists in regional government elections due next month, after winning the largest number of Basque Country seats last year in local and general elections.

As a Spain trapped in the eurozone crisis tries to battle its way through a wrenching recession, it must now contemplate the real possibility that its plurinational state, which replaced the suffocatingly centralist Franco dictatorship with highly devolved regional government, may break up.

The eurozone crisis that has brought down governments across Europe’s periphery now threatens the survival of a nation-state. The north-south fractures inside the EU are starting to open up within member states

When the Soviet Union and some of its buffer states broke up at the end of the cold war, EU leaders on the whole regarded this exercise of the democratic right to self-determination as a good thing. But the idea that separatism could seep into the settled structures of western Europe is wholly alien to them, notwithstanding frequent inter-regional tensions.


September 27, 2012


The third reading on Q2 GDP just came out and the report was ugly.

The headline growth number was revised down to 1.3 percent on an annualized basis.

Economists expected the number to be unchanged at 1.7 percent.

"As we recently noted, you'll need to watch the rear-view mirror to see the recession come into focus," wrote ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan in an email to Business Insider.

"The "third" estimate of the second-quarter percent change in real GDP is 0.4 percentage point, or $16.0 billion, less than the "second" estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting downward revisions to private inventory investment, to personal consumption expenditures, and to exports," wrote the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/final-q3-gdp-2012-9#ixzz27gJ6LtUX

September 27, 2012

Unemployment in France surpasses three million

Unemployment in France surpasses three million

To take advantage of all the features on FRANCE24.COM, please click here to download the latest version of Flash Player.
The number of unemployed people in mainland France surpassed three million for the first time since 1999, new labour ministry data showed Wednesday, as French President François Hollande prepares to unveil his 2013 budget this week.

French unemployment topped three million for the first time in over a decade, data showed Wednesday, as the country faces a yawning budget gap like those plaguing its southern eurozone neighbours.

The number of jobless in mainland France swelled to 3.011 million in August, 23,900 more than in July, Labour Ministry figures showed, the first time since 1999 that the figure has breached the three million mark.

Some 4.494 million people, including some who are partially employed, have registered themselves as actively looking for work on the French mainland. This is 40,800 more than in July and a record since the ministry began collecting comparable data in 1991.


September 27, 2012

Top House Republican backs withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — One of the strongest defense hawks in Congress says the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan amid increasing signs that even Republican proponents of the war believe it’s no longer worth the cost.

Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., said in an interview this week that “we’re killing kids who don’t need to die.”

Young’s comments reflect the growing weariness with a conflict that has dragged on for more than a decade, with polls showing more than 60 percent of Americans opposing the war and military fights drawing little of the public’s attention. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney didn’t even mention the troops or the war in his convention acceptance speech last month, a striking omission for a GOP candidate.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Friday that the 33,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama had sent to Afghanistan roughly two years ago to counter the Taliban attacks have left the country.

That leaves close to 100,000 NATO troops, including 68,000 Americans.


September 27, 2012

Spain's crisis flares again as AAA club scuppers bank rescue deal

Spain's debt crisis has returned with a vengeance after Germany, Holland and Finland reneged on a crucial summit deal and scuppered hopes of direct eurozone help for Spanish banks.

Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds punched back above the danger line of 6pc and spreads over German Bunds reached 450 basis points, intensifying pressure on Madrid as it continues to resist a sovereign bail-out.

The alliance of hardline creditors said the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – or bail-out fund – could not be used to cover “legacy assets” from past banking crises, even after the eurozone’s banking supervisor starts work next year.

This prevents the ESM from recapitalising Spain’s crippled banks directly under a €100bn (£79bn) loan package agreed with Madrid in June. The burden will fall entirely on the Spanish state.

The Spanish newspaper Expansion said the AAA trio had “dynamited” the EU accord. The extra debt burden is likely to be around €60bn or 6pc of GDP, depending on bank stress tests to be unveiled on Friday. Pessimists fear it could rise to 15pc of GDP once full losses from the property crash are crystallised.

September 27, 2012

Gap Between the Political Parties Grows

Claude Fischer: "A pair of surveys asked Americans a more concrete question: in 1960, whether they would be 'displeased' if their child married someone outside their political party, and, in 2010, would be 'upset' if their child married someone of the other party. In 1960, about 5 percent of Americans expressed a negative reaction to party intermarriage; in 2010, about 40 percent did (Republicans about 50 percent, Democrats about 30 percent)."


September 27, 2012

San Francisco considers allowing nation's tiniest micro-apartments

Could You Live in a 220 Square Foot Apartment?
By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times

September 24, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The tiny apartments are touted as "affordable by design."

New York City has launched a pilot project to test them out. Boston is doing it too. But here in San Francisco, where a growing number of residents are being priced out of the housing market by a revived tech economy, city leaders are considering the smallest micro-units of all.

At a minimum 150 square feet of living space — 220 when you add the bathroom, kitchen and closet — the proposed residences are being hailed as a pivotal option for singles. Opponents fear that a wave of "shoe box homes" would further marginalize families of modest means who are desperate for larger accommodations.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider tweaking the city's building code, which requires newly constructed units to be at least 290 square feet.


September 27, 2012

CNN: FBI not in Benghazi yet

Crime scene not secured
Hard time getting into Tripoli
No access to suspects

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