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And much remains undone. There are still jobs to fill, promises to keep, and bills to sign. Trump has yet to notch a major legislative achievement (thanks, in part, to infighting and incompetence in Congress).
But the Trump administration seems, at last, to have found a rhythm.
If the first 100 days were defined by Trump’s executive orders, and the second 100 days by the controversy over James Comey and the Russia investigation, the third 100 days were largely defined by foreign policy.
In early August — day 201 — Trump offered North Korea his infamous warning of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” By day 295, he was mocking Kim Jong-un as “short and fat,” which probably represents a sort of progress.
At the same time, Trump announced the deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan, breaking with his own rhetoric on the campaign trail and risking the support of his political base, which worried that he had given in to advisers from the Beltway “swamp.” (Conversely, Washington praised Trump’s decision.) The major difference between Trump’s “surge” and that of his predecessor was that Trump declined to give a date for withdrawal.
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today released 109 pages of new Hillary Clinton emails from her tenure as secretary of state. The documents include two email exchanges classified confidential and a 2011 exchange with Sid Blumenthal about “serious trouble for the Libyan rebels.”
The newly-produced emails were part of 72,000 pages of documents the FBI recovered last year in its investigation into Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system. The records include emails Hillary Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose.
Two heavily redacted emails marked Classified Confidential included a November 2011 exchange under the Subject: “Egyptian MFA on Hamas-PLO talks,” and a June 28, 2011 email from Clinton to Abedin in which Clinton writes “I have now promised the Kuwaiti PM 3 times that I will deliver an address at the Oxford Islamic Center. Pls be sure that’s on the list for next Fall/next year.”
Nearly 60 years ago, a fine collection of Old Masters was put on sale in London by the auction house Sotheby’s.
The works were from the Cook Collection, assembled by the forebears of the aristocratic seller, Sir Francis Cook, a baronet and himself an accomplished painter.
The 136 works went under the hammer for a total of £64,668 — worth some £1.4 million today. The star of the show was a painting by Dutch artist Caspar Netscher, which sold for the modern equivalent of around £120,000.
One work that did not stir any excitement that Wednesday in June 1958 was lot 40 — a small portrait of Christ called Salvator Mundi, or ‘Saviour of the World’.
Painted in oil on a wooden board measuring 18 by 26 inches, the portrait shows its subject gazing dreamily at the viewer, his right hand raised in benediction, while his left clutches a crystal orb.
As the common tropes of science fiction continue to break out into reality, from humanoid robots to self-driving cars, there’s one concept that has seemingly remained beyond our grasp: time travel.
But, jumping through time might not be impossible, after all, according to one astrophysicist.
By the rules of theoretical physics, certain conditions exist that would allow for the construction of elaborate wormholes, which could transport humans back to different eras.
While scientists have yet to discover the conditions needed to travel back in time, and construction a system large enough for humans certainly wouldn’t be easy, ‘there’s nothing forbidding it’ in the laws of theoretical physics, explains astrophysicist Ethan Siegel of Lewis & Clark College in the Forbes blog Starts With A Bang.
Backward time travel would rely on the elusive counterpart to the known positive energy / positive or zero mass particles found all throughout the universe – the negative mass/energy particles, which have long been theorized but never yet found.
OTTAWA — The backlog of outstanding pay problems faced by federal civil servants has now reached a staggering 520,000, the minister responsible for the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system has revealed in a letter of apology to government employees.
That number is expected to grow further, Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said in the letter being circulated to federal civil servants over the next couple of days, which was provided to The Canadian Press.
“I am truly sorry that more than half of public servants continue to experience some form of pay issue,” the minister’s letter states. “Too many of you have been waiting too long for your pay.”
“Your stories of hardship caused by the backlog of financial transactions keep me awake at night.”
The outstanding transactions include non-financial requests from employees, such as changes to banking or home address information.
But it also includes 265,000 cases in which government workers have been underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all and have waited beyond what the government considers an acceptable period of time for their issues to be resolved.
In the letter, Qualtrough repeated what she and her predecessor in the portfolio have been saying for months — that the situation is “unacceptable.”
And she emphasized that anyone working in government who is experiencing financial hardship as a result of pay problems can request an emergency salary advance.
One major factor that has prevented the government from reducing the pay issue backlog was the recent need to retroactively adjust the paycheques of government workers after new collective agreements were ratified.
So far, roughly 184,000 government employees have seen their paycheques adjusted to the new contracts, the minister said.
But another 20,000 collective agreement payments have yet to be processed and the number is expected to grow in coming weeks as more renewed contracts come into force.
Qualtrough said dealing with the pay system backlog will continue to be a slow process as the government seeks a “permanent solution” to the Phoenix debacle.
President Trump’s Middle East policy is simple: Back our friends and scare the hell out of our enemies, and negotiate where possible with our competitors like Russia and China. By and large it’s working, unlike the catastrophically failed polices of the previous two administrations. Trump did what he said he would do and succeeded. You wouldn’t know that from the #fakenews media.
Start with Israel: The Muslim strategy to destroy Israel hasn’t envisioned war–not at least since 1973–because Israel in all cases would win. Instead, the objective is to ring Israel with missiles and force Israel to retaliate against missile attacks in such a way that the “international community” would respond by imposing a “settlement” on Israel that would leave Israel vulnerable to further missiles attacks, and so forth. This is stated explicitly by Palestinian strategists cited by Haviv Rettig Gur in The Times of Israel.
George W. Bush and Obama gave aid and comfort to the encircle-and-strangle strategy by tying Israel’s hands. Then Secretary of State Condi Rice wouldn’t let Olmert attack Hezbollah with full force in 2006. Rice thinks the Palestinian movement is a branch of the US civil rights movement (if you don’t believe that characterization, read her book “Democracy,” which I will review for Claremont Review of Books).
Obama sandbagged Israel during the 2014 Gaza rocket attacks, suspending delivery of Hellfire missiles to the Jewish State. Israel is the only country in the world that embeds human rights lawyers in every infantry company to make sure that its soldiers keep collateral damage to a minimum.
Whenever a Republican — in this case, Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore — is accused of sexual harassment, his backers are sure to counter the Democratic onslaught with three little words: Remember Bill Clinton?
Democrats have been foiled time and again from claiming the moral high ground on sexual misconduct thanks in large part to their decision in the 1990s to ignore, excuse and rebut the well-documented sexual transgressions of the president.
After 25 years, however, some liberals finally are asking whether it’s time to deal with their Bubba problem.
“It’s only taken 20 years, but the tide seems to finally be turning against Clinton,” the conservative news website Resurgent said Wednesday.
No sooner had the Moore scandal erupted last week than multiple liberal media figures declared it was time to hold Mr. Clinton accountable, a dramatic about-face that prompted kudos from the right as well as skepticism over the political calculus.
“[T]hat belatedness has become the subject of ridicule and scorn among some conservatives, who note that Bill Clinton was only finally sent under the bus after he became politically expendable,” said Townhall.com editor Guy Benson.
A new government-sponsored study shows Vivitrol is the first non-narcotic drug to work just as well as narcotic Suboxone for opioid dependence treatment. Vivitrol is injected once a month and works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, Richard Pops, the CEO of Alkermes (ALKS), and maker of Vivitrol, told FOX Business’s “Mornings with Maria.”
“Sixty thousand people are going to die and there are only three FDA-approved medicines to treat this condition. You compare that to cancer and infectious diseases where there are dozens of medicines,” Pops told Maria Baritromo in an exclusive interview.
Vivitrol was approved in 2010 by the FDA to treat opioid detoxification. The only other brands with FDA-approved drugs for opioid addiction treatment are manufactured by Eli Lilly (LLY) and Reckitt Benckiser.
Opioid addiction has become an epidemic in the United States, with more than 33,000 opioid-related deaths reported in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). President Donald Trump’s opioid commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, issued a comprehensive report this month on treatment, prevention and utilization of medication to assist addiction. In Pops’ opinion, the administration is in favor of using new techniques to address the crisis.
The man believed to be behind the coup in Zimbabwe is the country’s recently sacked vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa – also known as ‘The Crocodile’.
Mnangagwa, 75, has had a long and varied political career, leading at one point the justice, defence, housing and finance ministries as well as being the speaker of the lower house and a spymaster.
He was widely viewed as Mugabe’s successor until he was ditched by the president last week and fled to South Africa.
Mugabe had accused his former deputy of plotting to take power from him, while his ambitious wife Grace referred to him as a snake that ‘must be hit on the head’ after the two clashed.
But Mnangagwa, who recently survived a poisoning attempt blamed on ice-cream from Mugabe’s own dairy, has been telling allies he would return rapidly and everything would soon be ‘sorted’.
He is a leader of the so-called ‘Lacoste’ faction – named after the clothes firm’s crocodile logo, which matches Mnangagwa’s reptilian nickname – within Mugabe’s party. The group enjoys strong support among military figures.
It is locked in a struggle with Grace’s G40 group.
Canada’s newly unveiled three-pronged peacekeeping contribution is ‘condescending’ and dances around the tough issues, says Retired Maj.-Gen Lewis MacKenzie.
On Wednesday at the UN peacekeeping summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is prepared to offer training, high-end military resources, and a pilot program aimed at helping countries train and deploy more female peacekeepers. However, the government was not able to offer locations for where Canadian peacekeeping efforts will be deployed, as that’s still being negotiated with the UN.
But Mackenzie, Canada’s first peacekeeping commander in Bosnia said the way Canada presented its UN peace package was disappointing, and “condescending.”
“It’s tap-dancing around the difficult issues,” he said in an interview with Don Martin, host of CTV’s Power Play.
MacKenzie said he thought Trudeau was talking down to the UN officials and to the members there that are committing to doing the heavy lifting.
The union that represents workers in the Port of Churchill says the company that owns the washed-out rail-line has ignored the needs of the community that has gone without rail service since May.
Marianne Hladun, the prairie region executive vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), said Omnitrax’s decision to file suit against the federal government rather than attempt to show progress in repairing the critical line is a sign its interests are more important than those of the people of Churchill.
“It was beyond disappointing to see that they have not put the needs of the community first and that they’re not looking at a solution to restore service to the community and to get people back to work,” Hladun said.
Hladun’s comments come a day after Omnitrax and the federal government traded shots in the form of legal actions Tuesday, with Omnitrax serving notice it intended to file a complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne insists she was in the dark about a report given to the Ministry of the Environment in July 2016 that revealed mercury could be seen in the soil under the mill upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation.
A visibly displeased Wynne said the report disclosed by the Star last Saturday was “new to me” and is a clarion call to further action beyond the $85 million cleanup of the Wabigoon River.
“The specifics of this latest report are new information for me,” the premier told reporters Wednesday after a United Way of Greater Toronto event.
Asked why it was left to the Star to reveal what had been known inside the provincial government for more than a year, Wynne did not mince words.
“We’re asking those questions. We are not sure exactly … how that information hadn’t made it to my desk, but we’re asking that question,” she said.
Canada issued its first round of Magnitsky-style sanctions Friday, targeting 52 human-rights violators in Russia, Venezuela and South Sudan.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the sanctions in a statement, just more than two weeks after Canada passed a law giving it the power to impose asset freezes and travel bans on human-rights abusers around the world. The law is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer who was beaten to death by Moscow prison staff in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of theft.
“Canada is determined to protect human rights and combat corruption worldwide. Today’s announcement sends a clear message that Canada will take action against individuals who have profited from acts of significant corruption or who have been involved in gross violations of human rights,” Ms. Freeland said.
Chicago accounted for approximately 10 percent of mass shootings during a 17-month period in the U.S., according to data analyzed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The New York Times Editorial Board created a graphic depicting the total amount of mass shootings committed between June 12, 2016 (the Pulse Nightclub attack) and Oct. 1, 2017 (the Las Vegas massacre), based on data from the Gun Violence Archive.
The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence in America, defines mass shooting as incidents where “FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location not including the shooter.”
TheDCNF examined the number of mass shootings committed per city in that 17-month period, and found that Chicago made up about 10 percent of those incidents. Of the 521 mass shootings committed, approximately 53 occurred in the city of Chicago.
Chicago, on average, represented about 11 percent of total mass shootings in the country each month. The city, racked by gang violence, sees about three mass shootings per month, according to the data.
Pro-migrant groups say they expect a surge of migrants to illegally enter the western Canadian province of British Columbia as temporary residency permits for asylum seekers in the United States expire.
Pro-migrant groups like the Inland Refugee Society say they are preparing for a wave of migrants to enter British Columbia in coming months as the residency permits for some 195,000 Salvadorans and 60,000 Hondurans expire in the U.S.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has also sounded the alarm saying they expect the number of illegal migrants across Canada to rise sharply, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
Special projects coordinator for the Inland Refugee Society Julia St. Pierre said that the society has seen a large increase in Central American migrants recently. “We’ve had a number of clients from Honduras and El Salvador,” St. Pierre said.
She said that most of the migrants have crossed the border into Canada illegally on foot after reading online and hearing through the word of mouth that Canada would support them.
“People think it is going to be a lot easier, that they’ll get housing, they’ll get support, that they will be welcomed when they come,” she said adding: “They have no idea that there’s really no support for them.”
Harsha Walia of the pro-migrant group “No One is Illegal” put some of the blame on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who tweeted that all migrants were welcome to Canada earlier this year.
Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy—to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change—ignore three fundamental flaws.
1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.
2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.
It assigns only costs to carbon dioxide emissions, and ignores how rising atmospheric levels of this plant-fertilizing molecule are reducing deserts and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. It also ignores the huge costs inflicted by anti-carbon restrictions that drive up energy prices, kill jobs, and fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families in industrialized nations—and perpetuate poverty, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death in developing countries.
When people speak of Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, they are really speaking about California. In that state, Hillary Clinton won 6,621,346 votes to Donald Trump’s 3,549,576 as of this writing. This margin of over three million votes alone accounts for any claim that Clinton exceeded Trump in popular support.
Consider some numbers. In New York, Trump won 37.5% of the vote; in New Jersey, Trump won over 40%; and in Illinois, Trump won 39.4%. Among sizably populated states that lean “overwhelmingly” Democrat, California is in a class by itself. Trump struggled to get even a third of Californian votes.
Moreover, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois differ markedly from California because their tilt toward the Democrats happens on a very different landscape. New York and Illinois are pushed into deep blue territory by singular metro areas (NYC and Chicago), which overpower small-town areas (“upstate” or “downstate”) where Republicans gather in strong numbers. New Jersey is wedged between the Democratic machine cities of Philadelphia and New York City and has a smattering of medium-sized urban centers with large black populations.
Only in California does one find a vast state with a huge population (nearly 40 million people) with multiple sprawling metro areas that all lean strongly Democratic or, at best (in the case of San Diego), just libertarian enough to be less than completely left wing. The San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Palm Springs, Long Beach, etc. stretch across miles and miles of a complex and diverse landscape, hosting a stunning multiplicity of races and ethnicities. Yet everywhere you go in the state, you seem to find Democrats or Republicans who just don’t strike you as all that conservative.
MPs are upset that Stephen Harper took his daughter to Boston to watch the Vancouver Canucks play (if you can use that word) the Boston Bruins.
Meanwhile, MPs discover they can happily live with a report indicating Canadians now pay $5.50 for every dollar MPs and senators contribute to their own rich pensions.
Hmmm. Bit of a disconnect there, don’t you think?
Here’s what they had to say about the prime minister going to the hockey game. (He paid for the tickets himself, by the way, and for the cost of a commercial flight to and from Boston. He has to fly a government jet because he’s, you know, prime minister and all.)
Peter Stoffer (NDP): “Using those types of tax dollars for his personal entertainment? No, that’s simply not on,” NDP MP Peter Stoffer said. “He should do what we all do, which is watching the game on TV and hoping the Canucks score a victory.”
Elizabeth May (Green): “All Canadians are cheering on the Canucks, but only the Prime Minister would think of taking a government jet to Boston to do it,” she said. “It’s a bad idea.”
Jim Karygiannis (*Liberal): “Excuse me, aren’t we in a time of tightening our belts? Aren’t we in a time of making sure that we use our money wisely? I’m not sure if that is a wise move.”
Oh for pity sakes, he’s the Prime Minister, Canada has one team in the Stanley Cup finals, hockey is the national game (not to mention passion) and the PM flew down to lend support and maybe provide a little boost for the home team. And he paid for the ticket, you dolts.
Meanwhile, about that pension plan:
Kelly’s correct to make fun of the “lefty pinheads” who make up a large part our opposition MP’s. But I’ll go him one better.
If you really want to hit them a slap “upside the head” read this column and then donate to the CPC as soon as they get their regular website back online — they’ve been hacked and the donation area appears to be down right now.
My view — nothing will register your disapproval of “lefty” small-mindedness more than millions of extra bucks pouring into CPC bank accounts everytime they pull this kind of stunt.
They’ll soon get the message and shut up.
In My Mail:
“Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”
ROME — If Americans think fuel and food prices are high, they should try Europe, where both can nearly double those in the United States — while salaries here are often lower.
Italians, like most now-broke Southern European countries, are desperate to privatize bloated public-owned utilities. Politicians are trying to curb pensions, and to encourage the private sector to hire workers and buy equipment, as a way of attracting wary foreigner parents to lend such perpetual adolescents more bailout money.
In theory, Italians accept that they are going to have to be a lot more like the Germans, and less like the Irish, Portuguese and Spaniards. In fact, they may end up like the Greeks, who are still striking and occasionally rioting because too few foreigners wish to continue subsidizing their socialist paradise. Red graffiti on Italian streets still echoes socialist solidarity, while Italian politicians talk capitalism to foreign lenders.
The European Union, like the 19th-century Congress of Vienna, can point to one achievement — a general absence of war in Western Europe for more than 60 years. Otherwise, almost all its socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before their eyes.
SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON — The possibility that the United States could default on its debt — if only for a few days — is starting to alarm the global community even as the idea gains favour among Republicans as a way to force Washington to cut runaway spending.
Fitch Ratings agency warned Wednesday that U.S. treasury bonds, seen worldwide as a risk-free investment, could be labelled “junk” if the government misses debt payments by Aug. 15.
Meanwhile, an advisor to China’s central bank said U.S. Republican lawmakers are “playing with fire” by contemplating even a brief debt default while a prominent Fed official said the reverberations in global markets would be “very severe.”
The idea of a technical default — essentially delaying interest payments for a few days — has gained backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it forces the White House to slash spending.
But “even a so-called ‘technical default’ would suggest a crisis of ‘governance’ from a sovereign credit and rating perspective,” Fitch said in a statement.
The troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF has prepared a sobering report on Greece’s efforts to combat a debt crisis. The document, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, concludes that Athens will not be able to return to capital markets in 2012 and further massive bailout will be needed soon.
It may be just nine pages long, but the report by the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) packs a punch. According to the keenly awaited report, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, it is unlikely that Greece will be able to return to borrowing money on the capital markets in 2012 as previously foreseen — meaning European taxpayers will probably have to prop up Greece with billions in payments for much longer than was originally planned.
The troika’s prognosis is bleak. Although there is some evidence that “the rebalancing of the economy is ongoing and the quarter of deepest contraction (has) already been passed,” the report warns that “a further contraction in real GDP is still expected in the second half of 2011.” The real GDP growth rate for 2011 is now protected to be minus 3.8 percent, the authors conclude, adding that positive growth rates are not expected before 2012. Even then, they will only be “moderate.
The current negative outlook presents the troika with a major challenge. The IMF’s statutes stipulate that the organization can only lend a country money if it is certain that the state will be able to meet its payment obligations for the next 12 months.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.
The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.
If you’ll forgive me going all Bagehotian for a moment, in a country such as Canada, the post-election Speech from the Throne is the defining act of constitutional monarchy: the Queen or her viceroy comes to parliament to read words placed in her mouth by the Prime Minister of her newly elected government. It’s the logical endpoint of Magna Carta: the state as servant of the people. So, when you urinate all over a Throne Speech, it’s not like lobbing a pie at the Defence Minister during a war debate: You’re disdaining the very essence of the constitutional order.
But that’s all a little too fusty for a know-nothing like Brigette DePape.
Miss DePape applied to be one of the 15 young Canadians who get chosen by Black Rod (for American readers: don’t worry, it’s an ancient parliamentary title, not a porn star from the Seventies) to intern as pages as the Canadian Senate. So take a look at this picture of last week’s Throne Speech in Ottawa: The Governor-General is reading out the government’s program, and Miss DePape steps in front of him to hold up for the cameras her own ingenious substitution for representative government: A “STOP HARPER” sign. When she’s removed from the chamber, she’s ready with a press release and a publicist to book media appearances. She says Canada needs its own “Arab Spring”.
What, you mean with virginity tests for female protesters?
There was once a Canada where a vast part of the country believed deeply in the virtues of Big Government. Where the public rallied behind a man named Pierre Trudeau who promised he could, by force of will and policy, command an economy and engineer a society. Three decades after Trudeau — no doubt, in large part, because of Trudeau — that Canada no longer exists. The nation today is one where people are disenchanted with grand government schemes and large national projects, with the idea that government is good at all that much besides maintaining law and order and defending our borders. Canadians in 2011 are about as soured on Big Government as you can get.
That’s what the annual Barometer survey released Wednesday by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy suggests. Conducted in the days after the federal election, and released on the eve of the victorious federal Conservatives’ national convention, the poll offers the most helpful insight yet into why the Liberals suffered their worst defeat in history. In all their years in power, one of the Liberals’ most lasting achievements, it seems, has been to turn Canadians against Liberalism.
Greece is scrimping and saving, but still failing to get its debt crisis under control. The government plans to raise 50 billion euros through a privatization program, but faces massive resistance from Greeks worried about selling off the nation’s assets. Experts also doubt whether the strategy will work.
Good news still sometimes emerges in Greece these days. Take Hellenic Petroleum (Helpe), which owns a number of refineries and some 1,200 gas stations in the country and made a net profit of €150 million last year. It earned €43 million in the first quarter of 2011 despite of the crisis. Helpe is “an example of efficiency and stable management,” company chairman Anastasios Giannitsis said. “We’re constantly trying to increase productivity.”
The model company, barricaded behind mirrored windows in its futuristic Athens headquarters, is among the few economic pearls of the crisis-ridden country. But paradoxically, Hellenic Petroleum is also a prominent example of the Greek disease — excessive generosity to the few, at the expense of the many.
It is a worker’s paradise. The company’s 2,500 employees receive the equivalent of 17.8 monthly salary payments in a year, 3.4 of which count as “productivity bonuses.” The average yearly salary is between €65,000 and €70,000, according to official figures. Drivers and doormen make an impressive €90,000, a fact that left one of Helpe’s top managers “a bit surprised” when he took his own post at the company, he said. Meanwhile chairman Giannitsis said the high wages are justifiable because of “very specific business and the major dependency on international price and profit margins” in the oil industry. Besides, personnel costs account for “less than three percent” of turnover, he said.
Socialism! I just shake my head.
New York Times bestselling author and conservative political commentator Ann Coulter’s new book, “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America”, tackles politics once again, this time taking on the liberal left and what she describes as their “mob behavior.”
In “Demonic,” Coulter traces the words and movements of groups from the Ku Klux Klan and the SDS to anti-war protesters and Democrats today to argue her point that liberals have “consistently used mob tactics to implement their idea of the ‘general will.'”
“Just as fire seeks oxygen, Democrats seek power, which is why they will always be found championing the mob whether the mob consists of Democrats lynching blacks or Democrats slandering the critics of Obama Care as racists,” Coulter writes.
“Demonic” is the eighth book from Coulter, also a frequent television political commentator.
Read an excerpt from “Demonic” below, then check out some other books in the “GMA” library.
It may not come as surprising news to many of you that the United Nations doesn’t approve of our Second Amendment. Not one bit. And they very much hope to do something about it with help from some powerful American friends. Under the guise of a proposed global “Small Arms Treaty” premised to fight “terrorism”, “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates” you can be quite certain that an even more insidious threat is being targeted – our Constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to own and bear arms.
What, exactly, does the intended agreement entail?
While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:
For weeks, hundreds of young people have been camping out in central Madrid. And others across Europe have now begun following their example. Protests in Lisbon, Paris, Athens and elsewhere show that Europe’s lost generation has finally found its voice.
Any real revolution in Paris has to include the storming of the Bastille. Which explains why 200 young demonstrators are sitting in the shade of the trees at Place de la Bastille on this Thursday evening, wondering how to go about staging such a revolution.
Their numbers had already swelled to more than 2,000 by the Sunday before, when they had occupied the entrance to the Bastille Opera and half the square. But then the police arrived with teargas and, since then, have kept strict watch over this symbolic site.
The protestors are trying to create a movement to rival the protests in Madrid and Lisbon. They want tens of thousands of young people to march in the streets of Paris, calling for “démocratie réelle,” or real democracy. They believe that there is also potential for such large-scale protest in France, with youth unemployment at more than 20 percent, precarious working conditions and what feels like a constant state of crisis.
“Until now, our problems were always seen as individual problems,” says Julien, a 22-year-old physics student who has joined a group called Actions. “You were told that if you couldn’t find a job, it was your own fault. Perhaps we are now experiencing a change taking place, and that we are joining forces to form a pan-European movement against this system.”
The edge of our solar system is filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles, according to new NASA research.
Scientists made the discovery by using a new computer model, which is based on data from NASA’s twin Voyager probes. The unmanned Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which launched in 1977, are plying the outer reaches of our solar system, a region known as the heliosheath.
The new discovery suggests that researchers will need to revise their views about the solar system’s edge, NASA officials said. A more detailed picture of this region is key to our understanding of how fast-moving particles known as cosmic rays are spawned, and how they reach near-Earth space.
The federal government’s financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.
This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.
OTTAWA – Just days into the new session, opposition parties are accusing the Harper government of showing disrespect for Parliament.
New Democrats and Liberals are criticizing the government for dispensing with the traditional debate and vote on the throne speech.
The blueprint for the Conservatives’ first majority mandate kicked off the 41st session of Parliament last Friday.
Normally, a throne speech is followed by six days of debate and a vote, which is usually the first test of a government’s ability to command the confidence of the House of Commons.
But Peter Van Loan, the government’s House leader, says throne speech debate is not mandatory and there’s simply no time for it this session.
Weiner and former porn star Ginger Lee exchanged scores of sexual emails over a long period of time. When the underwear scandal broke on May 28, Lee began receiving calls from the media, and Weiner was more than happy to help her control the situation … by lying.
On June 2, Weiner emailed Lee, “Do you need to talk to a professional PR type person to give u advice? I can have someone on my team call. [Yeah, my team is doing great. Ugh].”
It’s unclear if Weiner’s PR team is from his Congressional staff. If so, Weiner could run afoul of House Ethics Rules as well as the law.
Weiner put on a full court press, urging Lee to lie about their relationship.
AFP – Disarmament vows have failed to reduce the nuclear threat as nations invest in new weapons systems, a leading think-tank said Tuesday, amid a rise in global tensions due to competition for scarce resources.
“More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a high state of alert,” the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) warned in its annual report.
The world’s eight nuclear powers — Britain, China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the US — possess more than 20,500 warheads, the think-tank said.
While this was a reduction of more than 2,000 warheads compared to 2009, SIPRI stressed the drop was largely balanced by new and planned investments in nuclear arms technologies, arguing that prospects for meaningful disarmament in the short term were grim.
Even now, so the rumour goes, detectives with Guidepost Solutions LLC, the global investigations firm that’s reportedly been hired by Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s defence team, are in Guinea probing the background of the 32-year-old hotel maid whose allegations last month led New York police to lay charges of attempted rape against the former IMF chief. Guidepost, which enjoys international reach from its Madison Avenue address, is who you hire if, like Strauss-Kahn, you’re married to the multi-millionaire Anne Sinclair—an agency said to charge in the range of $700 an hour per investigator.
This isn’t your traditional film noir gumshoe. Guidepost’s principals include past federal prosecutors, a former chief of IBM security, and a one-time special agent with the U.S. secret service—“a cross between a PI firm on steroids and an accounting-slash-forensics firm,” says Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former senior intelligence officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. “People who are capable of reaching out to international resources and counting on a network of investigators and sources.”
For the first time in its exceedingly long history, Yemen now threatens the outside world. It does so in two principal ways.
First, even before the current political upheaval began there on January 15, violence out of Yemen already impinged on Westerners. As Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh’s weak government controlled only a small part of the country, violence had emerged both near to Yemen (such as attacks on American and French ships) and distant from it (Anwar al-Awlaki’s incitement to terrorism in Texas, Michigan, and New York). With Saleh’s apparent abdication on June 4, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, the central government’s writ will further diminish, leading to yet more attacks being planned inside Yemen for execution outside the country.
But it’s a second danger that staggers my mind: an unprecedented emptying out of Yemen, with millions of unskilled and uninvited refugees, first in the Middle East, then in the West, many of them Islamist, demanding economic asylum.
The problem begins with an increasingly cataclysmic water shortage. Gerhard Lichtenthāler, a specialist on this topic, wrote in 2010 about how in many of the country’s mountainous areas,
Last Friday’s House of Representatives vote on President Obama’s Libya policy was characterized widely as reflecting bipartisan dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama’s failure to consult with Congress. There was indeed ample Capitol Hill disagreement with his handling of Libya — for a variety of reasons — but the real story is even more troubling.
Certainly, Mr. Obama has ignored the War Powers Act, but so have all his predecessors since its enactment, and rightly so, given the statute’s manifest unconstitutionality. Undoubtedly, Mr. Obama’s approach in Libya has grown increasingly incoherent even as NATO slowly comes closer to achieving the one legitimate U.S. national security interest involved: overthrowing Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
But what was most disturbing in the legislative maneuvering before Friday’s vote – and vastly underreported by the media – was the near total absence of Mr. Obama and his White House staff from the political field of battle. Not only is the president unable to conceal his general disinterest in national security policy, but neither could he be bothered to exercise political leadership within his own party at a critical moment.
You may have heard recently something about that Sarah Palin telling a reporter that Paul Revere warned the British on his famous rousing revolutionary ride.
Now, that so many Americans have wallowed in their smug confirmation that Palin is an idiot
unqualified for anything but repeating sixth-grade history, how far, wide and fast do you think the contradictory news will spread that the former governor of Alaska was indeed correct?
That the Republican non-candidate, in fact, knew more about the actual facts of Revere’s midnight ride than all those idiots unknowingly revealing their own ignorance by laughing at her faux faux pas? How secretly embarrassing this must be, to be forced to face that you’re dumber than the reputed dummy.
As it happens, though, such phenomena are regular occurrences in American politics, reminding consumers of news to be wary when some fresh story seems to fit contemporary assumptions so absolutely perfectly.
The well-known fable is Revere’s late-night ride to warn fellow revolutionaries that….