U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006. The slowdown followed two back-to-back quarters of bullish growth and is likely to be short-lived given the enormous tailwind from lower gasoline prices. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment jumped to an 11-year high in January.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6% annual pace after the third quarter's 5%, the Commerce Department said in its first snapshot of fourth-quarter GDP. A gauge of underlying demand, which excludes trade, inventories and government, increased at a 3.9% pace. That compared to the third quarter's 4.1% rate. Analysts said the data indicated domestic fundamentals were strong enough to cushion the blow on growth from weakening overseas economies.
For all of 2014 the economy grew 2.4%, compared to 2.2% in 2013. The report came two days after the Federal Reserve said the economy was growing at a "solid pace," an upgraded assessment that keeps it on track to start raising interest rates this year.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/30/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0L30BC20150130
It should be noted as well that since President Obama took office, GDP has grown by an average of 2.2% - compared to 1.6% during the Bush administration.
Published January 26, 2015
By Jonathan Watts
Argentine government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency
Argentinas president announced a major shakeup of her countrys intelligence network on Monday in her most combative step yet to address the fallout from the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
In her first televised address since the prosecutors body was found at his apartment on 18 January, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she would support a bill to dissolve the existing structure which employs more than 2,000 people and replace it with a new federal intelligence agency.
It follows a protracted struggle with the intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her.
Government officials have pointed the finger of blame at spies whom they say were working with Nisman and feeding him wiretap information.
Chief among them is Antonio Stiusso, who until last month was the general director of operations and eavesdropped on the presidents political opponents. He was fired when Fernández discovered he was working with Nisman to build a case against her. He is believed to be in the U.S.
Published January 27, 2015
by Dr. Meir Margalit
Argentinas Jews are serving the far rights silent revolution
I ask myself how these wise and good-hearted people could have fallen into a trap and wound up on the same side as the countrys fascists.
It has been proved once again that in Argentina truth is stranger than fiction. What appeared to be a conspiracy theory has taken on real form. Dark forces from the past are returning, keen to reap vengeance on the Kirchner family because late Argentine President Néstor Kirchner, the husband of his successor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, put them on trial for crimes against humanity.
About a week ago I wrote in Haaretzs Hebrew edition that the murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman reeked of a well-timed right-wing conspiracy, in cahoots with former police and army officials, to overthrow the government and destroy Argentinas democracy, still weak after 30 years.
And the (Jewish) community doesnt notice that the far right is latching onto the legitimate protest and building the revolution's foundations based on its criticism. Not only does this attempt not serve the Jews, but you dont have to be a historian to know that it will target them sooner or later.
So Argentinas Jews, whose pain is real, have become pawns in the hands of foreign interests who have nothing to do with them. Worse, they are serving a historical process that has been timed by forces that not only care nothing about the Jews, but will settle accounts with them the first chance they get.
Buenos Aires Herald
Published Saturday January 25, 2015.
The late AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman drove an Audi that belonged to the company Palermopack SA, whose owner is the son-in-law of Hugo Anzorreguy. Anzorreguy led the Intelligence Secretariat (SI, formerly known as SIDE) during Carlos Menems tenure, and was being investigated by Nisman for having covered up the 1994 AMIA terrorist attack that killed 85 people.
Palermopack, the company that owned the car used by the late prosecutor, is run by Fabián Aníbal Picon, Anzorreguys son-in-law, according to information confirmed by former Airport Security Police (PSA) chief Marcelo Sain. Picon is allegedly linked to Eugenio Pipo Ecke, who reportedly worked for former CIA agent Frank Holder.
Relatives of the victims of the AMIA bombing were tapped. Former Metropolitan Police head Jorge Fino Palacios, who also took part in the inquiry into the AMIA attack, was accused of recording phone conversations of opposition politicians (those opposed to the current right-wing mayor, Mauricio Macri). Nisman also accused Palacios of being involved in a plot to cover up the attack.
A complaint with no proof, but chock full of politically-charged assertions contradicted by both established fact and Interpol.
How do you say Benghazi in Spanish?
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