HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 24 Next »

marmar

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 70,252

Journal Archives

French Government Sells Out Citizenry to Coddle Saudi Royals


(WolfStreet) As Europe’s Mediterranean region bakes under the rays of an inordinately hot summer sun, French authorities have taken the rather unusual step of closing the small public beach of Vallauris, a charming little town on the French Riviera. The reason has enraged many local residents: the village is expecting a visit from the Saudi King, Salmán Bin Abdelaziz, who owns an enormous mansion overlooking the beach. And Salmán and his entourage do not want to share the sand with the locals.

Local authorities cite “security reasons” for erecting metal fences to prevent the public from accessing not only the beach but also a tunnel under the railway line connecting the town with the coastline. According to the sub-prefect of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, Philippe Castanet, the closure of the public beach was necessary to avoid putting at risk the head of state of “a country at war,” suggesting that the more bellicose the state, the more special privileges its head of state can expect to receive during a visit to 21st century France.

The story is laced with irony. It was 226 years ago to this very month that France’s starving peasants and opportunistic bourgeoisie brought the country’s ancien régime to its knees – literally! From its ashes rose the three cornerstones of modern European civilization: respect for private property, democracy, and the rule of law. Now French authorities are offering the royal family of one of the world’s most despotic regimes privileges that would have the occupants of the Pantheon (including Rousseau, Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola) turning in their graves.

Those privileges – including the right to build an elevator connecting the public beach to Salmán’s private mansion – would have been unimaginable just 20 or 30 years ago. Indeed, in the 1980s the Saudi royal family’s security detail tried to block a public path running alongside the beach property, but local authorities forced them to reopen it. Now, 30 years later, those same authorities, funded by taxpayer money, are working side by side with Saudi security forces to help the King and his entourage take full control of a public beach.

Money Shouts

The message is clear: the interests of a foreign head of state are far more important than the so-called rights of the 28,000 regular inhabitants of a small French coastal resort. Perhaps next time the King will just buy the beach outright and be done with it. No doubt the French government would be more than happy to sell up. After all, whatever your language – Arabic or French – money talks. And in the case of Saudi Arabia, still the world’s biggest oil producer, it shouts. ............(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/07/25/french-government-sells-out-citizenry-to-coddle-saudi-royals/




Changing Lanes (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/sandra_bland_20150725



Is the Ugly German Back? Flames of Hate Haunt a Nation


from Der Spiegel:

During the first six months of this year, right-wing extremists in Germany committed attacks against places housing asylum-seekers on an almost daily basis. Many refugees living in the country fear for their lives.





It's a Monday night in July and Samuel Osei is frightened to death. Two neo-Nazis have entered the concrete bloc apartment building where Osei is staying, on the edge of Greifswald, a city in eastern Germany. The two men are drunk and swearing. Osei, an asylum-seeker from Ghana, steps out on his balcony and tries to placate them. "I'm sorry," he calls out. But the right-wing extremists only grow more aggressive. They begin shouting. One of the two takes off his shirt and Osei recognizes a swastika on his chest.

The men storm into the building and begin pounding on the door to Osei's apartment. They then go down to the basement and remove the fuses, cutting off the power. Osei cowers in his room in the dark. He calls a friend who in turn alerts the police. The attackers have already left by the time officers.
Osei chokes up when he talks about that evening a week and a half ago. Traces of the attack are still visible -- the door is dented and its peephole shattered. "These guys wanted to put an end to something," he says.

Osei, who is 29, has been living in Germany for eight months. He's taking German lessons and earns his money by helping other refugees move. Osei likes Greifswald, which is located on the Baltic coast -- he especially likes the sea and the Old Town. He says most people in the city are friendly and helpful. At the same time, he's struggling with the animosity he has experienced at the hands of racists.

One of the men involved in the attack had already cursed at him on the street. His mailbox at the apartment was also vandalized several times. The Ghanaian also has photos of the two attackers and has given a statement to the police. The state Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is responsible for monitoring extremists, including neo-Nazis, in Germany, has also opened an investigation. "It was mental torture," Osei says. .................(more)

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-registers-sharp-increase-in-attacks-on-asylumseekers-a-1045207.html


Eco-Village Offers Off-the-Grid Refuge From London Housing Crisis


Eco-Village Offers Off-the-Grid Refuge From London Housing Crisis

Saturday, 25 July 2015 00:00
By Cristina Brooks, Truthout | Report



Faced with London's shortage of decent accommodation, with five renters chasing every London rental property, some young people prefer living in an eco-village.

Hannah Cordon, a 25-year-old receptionist from Slough, was living in a sublet flat in Peckham, South London, with no electricity, no hot water and swarms of clothes-eating moths.


[font size="1"]The eco-villagers use only the mechanical energy of a bicycle to make the washing machine spin. (Photo: Cristina Brooks)[/font]

"The place I lived in didn't have hot water because my landlord was a stingy bastard. I couldn't flick on the hot water and have a shower. I'd get up in the morning, and I couldn't have a cup of tea because there was no money on the electric key."

She did not complain, she says, because, "Tenants have no rights. Landlords can revenge evict you."

Hannah moved seven times in four years due to problems with sublets, a type of cheaper tenancy offered by a lease-holder rather than a landlord, as she was priced out of rental housing. ..................(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31942-eco-village-offers-off-the-grid-refuge-from-london-housing-crisis




UBS’s Puerto Rico Bond Funds Implode, “Collateral Value” Drops to Zero, Investors Screwed


UBS’s Puerto Rico Bond Funds Implode, “Collateral Value” Drops to Zero, Investors Screwed
by Wolf Richter • July 24, 2015


“We believe that the probability of default is approaching 100 percent, and that losses given default are substantial,” Moody’s wrote on Wednesday about Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in bonds that were stuffed into numerous conservative-sounding bond funds spread across America’s retirement portfolios.

“Bondholder recoveries will be lowest on securities lacking explicit contractual or other legal protections,” the report went on, according to Bloomberg. About $26 billion in bonds fall into this category, issued by entities such as the Government Development Bank, Highways and Transportation Authority, Infrastructure Finance Authority, and Municipal Finance Authority. Investors in these bonds might recover only 35 cents on the dollar.

Recovery rates for bonds with stronger investor protections, such as general obligation bonds, would likely range from 65% to 80%, Moody’s said.

But those recovery rates, as dire as they seem, only apply if you own the bonds outright. If you own those bonds in a bond fund, the scenario may look much, much worse, according to what UBS just did. .................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/07/24/ubss-puerto-rico-bond-funds-implode-collateral-value-drops-to-zero-investors-screwed/




Racist New Yorker berates MTA employee: ‘Learn to speak English you f*cking garbage’






The Crisis In Europe Has Only Just Begun


By Mathew D. Rose, a freelance journalist in Berlin


Five months ago I attempted to explain why the conflict between Germany and Greece was destined culminate as it has:

Following the recent elections in Greece, Germany and its EU compradors are making it clear who is in charge. The Germans are currently not offering any compromise, but iterate the same blunt demand: Greece has to accept what is being dictated; in other words, capitulate or be annihilated. This time it will not be the Wehrmacht und Luftwaffe that are to force the Greek nation into submission, but a weapon just as lethal: national bankruptcy.


This conflict has nothing to do with Greek debt or finances. Syriza’s strategy was based upon the rational assumption that the nation’s debt and recovery are being stifled by austerity. As we know from most any respected economist, Greece’s debt can never and will never be repaid. On the continent that prides itself as the cradle of the enlightenment, there should have been an amicable, lasting solution to Greece’s untenable financial situation. Greece has had to learn the hard way, that the EU is no longer a European project for peace, democracy and prosperity, but a German tool for hegemony.

This has been a conflict between a small European nation, led by a leftist government, attempting to reassert its autonomy under crushing German predominance. That may sound simplistic, but there is not much more to it.

In past postings I have also attempted to explain the German mindset leading to this – and there is no other word for it – disaster. The negotiations have been surprisingly linear. Syriza’s main goal was debt relief. They always saw Chancellor Merkel as the lone decision maker in the negotiations. Ms Merkel on the other hand has unremittingly demanded unconditional capitulation. The rest has been spectacle. There is a saying: “Clowns entertain in the intervals between the acts. The circus director runs the show”. Dijsselbloem, Juncker and the rest may have had a lot to say to the media, but little to say in negotiations. Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia are irrelevant. The only other player of any importance besides Merkel was ECB president Mario Draghi, who assisted Germany’s financial blitzkrieg by questionably terminating the ECB’s support of Greek banks. Schäuble was Merkel’s executioner.

The intervention of France’s President Francois Hollande was uncannily reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain. The only thing lacking was his arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport brandishing a letter from Chancellor Merkel. The conclusion of “negotiations” was reminiscent of the Munich Dictate. Greece has been “saved”, much as Czechoslovakia 77 years ago. ..................(more)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/07/mathew-d-rose-the-crisis-in-europe-has-only-just-begun.html




New-home sales drop 6.8% in June to slowest pace in seven months

Source: MarketWatch





WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. fell 6.8% in June to an annual rate of 482,000, the slowest pace in seven months, with drops in three of four regions, the government reported Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a sales rate of 550,000 in June, compared with an original estimate of 546,000 for May. On Friday the U.S. Commerce Department revised May's rate to 517,000. Economists caution over reading too much into a single monthly report. A confidence interval of plus-or-minus 12.5% for June's drop of 6.8% shows that the government isn't sure whether the sales pace rose or fell last month. June's sales pace was up 18.1% from a year earlier, showing improvement, though rates still remain below long-term averages. The median price of new homes, meanwhile, fell 1.8% to $281,800 compared with June 2014. The supply of new homes was 5.4 months at June's sales pace, compared with 4.8 months in May.





Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-drop-68-in-june-to-slowest-pace-in-seven-months-2015-07-24?link=MW_home_latest_news

New-home sales drop 6.8% in June to slowest pace in seven months


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-drop-68-in-june-to-slowest-pace-in-seven-months-2015-07-24?link=MW_home_latest_news


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. fell 6.8% in June to an annual rate of 482,000, the slowest pace in seven months, with drops in three of four regions, the government reported Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a sales rate of 550,000 in June, compared with an original estimate of 546,000 for May. On Friday the U.S. Commerce Department revised May's rate to 517,000. Economists caution over reading too much into a single monthly report. A confidence interval of plus-or-minus 12.5% for June's drop of 6.8% shows that the government isn't sure whether the sales pace rose or fell last month. June's sales pace was up 18.1% from a year earlier, showing improvement, though rates still remain below long-term averages. The median price of new homes, meanwhile, fell 1.8% to $281,800 compared with June 2014. The supply of new homes was 5.4 months at June's sales pace, compared with 4.8 months in May.




U.S. Crude Enters Bear Market


Oil prices were under pressure on Friday after U.S. crude entered a bear market in the previous trading session.

U.S. prices are off more than 20% since their highs in June, meeting a common definition of a bear market. Oil rallied earlier this year on expectations that cuts in drilling activity and investment will rebalance the market, but fell back in recent weeks as the global oversupply of crude showed little signs of receding.

“We continue to have concerns that the oil market could be oversupplied for longer than we previously anticipated,” said Jason Gammel, oil analyst at Jefferies.


Brent crude LCOU5, -0.65% the global oil benchmark, fell 0.2% to $55.17 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September CLU5, +0.12% traded up 0.5% at $48.70 a barrel. .............(more)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-weak-after-latest-drop-china-data-disappoints-2015-07-24-11032827




Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 24 Next »