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Today: 55 articles and 118 comments as of 18:10.
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Deadly blast hits mosque in Nigeria's Maiduguri
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 6: Politix
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Snow in Santiago, Chile (most in 40+ years)
beautiful picture taken by Jesus Rodriguez at the link
Posted by: lord garth || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's chilly in chile, step right up and get a hot bowl of chili!
Posted by: Thinese Hupairong3592 || 07/18/2017 3:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Slovakia got Hungry and fried Turkey in Greece to make Chile.
Posted by: DarthVader || 07/18/2017 9:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Alla youse - go to yer rooms. No dinner.
Posted by: Pappy || 07/18/2017 12:21 Comments || Top||


Mexican folk religion involving human sacrifice gaining status
[FoxNews] A Mexican folk religion involving human sacrifice and devoted to "Holy Death" is growing in popularity among drug traffickers and violent criminals, prompting Texas officials and the Catholic Church to warn about honoring the so-called "Saint Death."

Authorities are speaking out about the religion devoted to La Santa Muerte, which translates to “Holy Death” and "Saint Death," that has gained popularity steadily since the late 1980s among Mexican-American Catholics.

“She’s not a saint. There is nothing good that can come out of praying to her,” Sante Fe Archbiship John Wester said in February. “We have a lot of saints who represent the teaching of Jesus Christ. This is an aberration.”

Clad in a black nun’s robe and holding a scythe in one hand, Santa Muerte appeals to people seeking all manner of otherworldly help, from fending off wrongdoing and carrying out vengeance to people seeking protection for their drug shipments against law enforcement.

Devotees often use Catholic prayers and set up shrines in "her" honor.
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Do they sell body parts? I think we are ahead of the Meskins in this category.
Posted by: Thinese Hupairong3592 || 07/18/2017 3:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep, just set up branch offices of Planned Parenthood for them to work at, and get a federal government subsidy.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/18/2017 8:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Devotees often use Catholic prayers and set up shrines in "her" honor.

Religion exploited as a cover for the purposes of criminal activity, pedophilia and even murder? Who knew ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2017 8:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Mexico, the place where if the narco-terrorists don't get you, the cultists will.
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/18/2017 11:13 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Mathew Page gets it: 'Shameful' Nigeria - a country that doesn't care about inequality
BLUF:
(Guardian) The number of people living in poverty, meanwhile, increased from 69 million in 2004 to 112 million in 2010, despite an average economic growth of more than 7%. In the same period, the number of millionaires in Nigeria increased by 44%.

"The overlap between political and economic power in Nigeria is near total," says Page. "Politicians often use businesses to siphon money from state coffers, and many business moguls have grown rich on the back of close relationships with top officials, juicy government contracts, or protectionist policies. Nigeria resembles the United States in this way ‐ but with less transparency and minimal independent scrutiny of what are often conflicts of interest."
Emphasis added.
In 2014, a report by the former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, found the Nigerian government had lost approximately 800bn naira (£1.9bn) to tax wavers and concessions to businesses and corporations between 2011 and 2013. The report concluded these wavers led to no measurable benefit for the Nigerian economy.
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2017 08:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  D.C. and Northern Virginia, or Abuja on the Potomac? You decide. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts.....
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2017 8:42 Comments || Top||

#2  What are they going to do, call them racists?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/18/2017 10:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Criticizing Nigeria? Racist!
Posted by: Harcourt Angoluting9366 || 07/18/2017 10:59 Comments || Top||

#4  I could see the residents of the former Biafra saying Nigeria is racist, or something close to it...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 07/18/2017 14:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Beso, you forgot to add the power attracts the corruptible.
Posted by: AlanC || 07/18/2017 17:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Emailists!
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2017 21:06 Comments || Top||

#7  Emailists!

That's got to win something. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/18/2017 23:17 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Venezuelan opposition calls for nationwide strike
[Al Jazeera] Venezuela's opposition has called for a nationwide strike against President Nicolas Maduro, to protest against his plan to rewrite the constitution, ratcheting up tensions after an unofficial vote rejecting his proposal.

The 24-hour strike call, issued on Monday, was part of what the opposition called a "final offensive" aimed at forcing Maduro out through early elections before his term ends in 2019.

"We are calling all the country to take part in a massive and violence-free protest through a nationwide civic strike for 24 hours," said one leader in the opposition coalition, Freddy Guevara.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [209 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  There are many Cubans in Venezuela supporting the Chavistas and stirring up trouble. They want to insure the crude oil keeps flowing to the Cuban refineries. Cuba's economy depends heavily on Venezuelan crude shipments under agreements started by the late President Hugo Chavez and Castro. In return, the island nation has provided Venezuela with Cuban doctors and other services (cough, cough, cough such as exporting the Cuban revolution). Recall that Venezuela, under Chavez, expropriated western oil companies in Venezuela.
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/18/2017 9:33 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Chinese censors can't bear Winnie the Pooh
[DAWN] Has Winnie the Pooh done something to anger China's censors? Some mentions of the lovable but dimwitted bear with a weakness for “hunny” have been blocked on Chinese social networks.

Authorities did not explain the clampdown, but the self-described “bear of very little brain” has been used in the past in a meme comparing him to portly Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Posts bearing the image and the Chinese characters for Winnie the Pooh were still permitted on the Twitter-like Weibo platform Monday.

But comments referencing “Little Bear Winnie” — Pooh's Chinese name — turned up error messages saying the user could not proceed because “this content is illegal.”

Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat's official “sticker gallery,” but user-generated gifs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app.

Comparisons between Xi and Pooh first emerged in 2013, after Chinese social media users began circulating a pair of pictures that placed an image of Pooh and his slender tiger friend “Tigger” beside a photograph of Xi walking with then-US President Barack Obama.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  Even though not banned in the US, years ago when deportations of illegal Mexicans were higher, Tweety Bird stickers were seen on many vehicles driven by Mexicans as a symbol of illegals always on the run from the big black cat.
Posted by: Thinese Hupairong3592 || 07/18/2017 3:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Gonna be tough for Hong Kong Disney...
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 07/18/2017 7:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Beeg, bad dwaggon scayode of liddle stuft bayo.

In the tradition of all Chinese dynasties, the current one is its own worst enemy and the bringer about of its own demise. Currently nameless, this one could be called the Ay Chin Gao.
Posted by: JHH || 07/18/2017 12:11 Comments || Top||


Economy
Auto Loan Defaults Are Soaring
[Bloomberg] It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud.

Only this isn’t the U.S. housing market circa 2007. It’s the U.S. auto industry circa 2017.

A decade after the mortgage debacle, the financial industry has embraced another type of subprime debt: auto loans. And, like last time, the risks are spreading as they’re bundled into securities for investors worldwide.

Subprime car loans have been around for ages, and no one is suggesting they’ll unleash the next crisis. But since the Great Recession, business has exploded. In 2009, $2.5 billion of new subprime auto bonds were sold. In 2016, $26 billion were, topping average pre-crisis levels, according to Wells Fargo & Co.

Few things capture this phenomenon like the partnership between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Banco Santander SA. Since 2013, as U.S. car sales soared, the two have built one of the industry’s most powerful subprime machines.

Details of that relationship, pieced together from court documents, regulatory filings and interviews with industry insiders, lay bare some of the excesses of today’s subprime auto boom. Wall Street has rewarded lax lending standards that let people get loans without anyone verifying incomes or job histories. For instance, Santander recently vetted incomes on fewer than one out of every 10 loans packaged into $1 billion of bonds, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The largest portion were for Chrysler vehicles.
More at the link
Posted by: badanov || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In 1999 Banco Santander merged with Banco Central Hispano, which had in turn been formed through the 1991 merger of Banco Central and Banco Hispanoamericano. The combined bank, known as Banco Santander Central Hispano, or BSCH, was designed to be a "merger of equals", in which the top executives of the two pre-existing firms would share control of the merged entity. Soon after the merger former BCH executives accused Banco Santander chairman Emilio Botín of trying to push his own agenda and threatened to take legal action. This post-merger disagreement was resolved when BCH executives Jose Amusátegui and Angel Corcóstegui agreed to accept severance payments, retire and pass control to Botín, at an expense to shareholders of €164M.

The large termination payouts generated negative press and Botín was eventually brought to trial on criminal charges of "misappropriation of funds" and "irresponsible management." However, in April 2005 the court cleared him of all charges, the €164M retirement payments made to the two former executives were legal, "made as compensation for the services provided to the bank." Also that year, the anti-corruption division of the Spanish public prosecutor's office cleared Botín of all charges in a separate case, in which he was accused of insider trading.

In 2007 the bank officially changed the official name back to Banco Santander S.A..
(above from Wikipedia.org)

Banco Santander SA has banks in many countries around the world. When fraud is rampant in a country, Banco Santander SA takes large hits, such as the Petrobras and contaminated meat sales both in Brazil.

The fallacy that these Spaniards believe most all Americans are good for a loan is the reason for such loose and fast approval is most likely the reason for the defaults.

The economic landscape in the US is changing drastically and unless Congressmen of all parties get their heads out of their asses soon, things will get more unstable.
Posted by: Black Charlie Snager3683 || 07/18/2017 3:11 Comments || Top||

#2  It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud.

When the bubble pops, the dust can always be blown off the failed Obumble "Cash for Clunkers" program and sell it as "hope and change" to the rubes. After all they're still buying Global Warming.
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/18/2017 11:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Been watching this unfold on Zerohedge. Looking forward to picking up a cheap, used F-Type in the next couple of years.

And after Carmageddon? How does the Subprime Student Loan meltdown grab you?
Posted by: Iblis || 07/18/2017 15:34 Comments || Top||

#4  I think it's different with student loans because there is no collateral, no car or house that can be repossessed and resold. IIRC, I read an article recently to the effect that if you have outstanding student loan debt they will take it out of your Social Security. One way or another, somebody is going to get the money. Somebody might get the shaft, typically the taxpayers as in the 2008 bailout, but somebody else will get the money. It doesn't just disappear.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 07/18/2017 18:28 Comments || Top||

#5  How does the Subprime Student Loan meltdown grab you?

Personally, I'm looking forward to picking up a cheap Something-Studies major to do chores around the house for next to nothing.
Posted by: gorb || 07/18/2017 23:49 Comments || Top||


Government
EPA To Lay Off 8% Of Its Employees In Next 2 Months
[Daily Caller] The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will lay off more than 1,200 employees over the next two months by offering buyouts, documents obtained by E&E News indicate.

E&E News obtained an email from the National Treasury Employees Union to its members at EPA stating EPA plans to buy out 1,227 positions, 655 of which will be from agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. EPA employees could apply for buyouts starting last Thursday and must submit their decisions by July 26. The layoffs will occur over the next two months.

EPA will offer employees up to $25,000 in cash in exchange for them leaving. This is a standard practice for federal employees that allows them to retire early and still qualify for full benefits.

The largest number of buyouts, 183, will come from the Office of Research and Development. EPA will also offer buyouts to 98 employees at the Office of Administration and Resource Management, and make the same offer to 94 workers at the Office of Land and Emergency Management.

EPA will also offer buyouts to eligible employees at regional offices spread through the country. The email indicated EPA is expected to offer more buyouts after the initial 1,200.
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2017 04:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [594 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is this before or after the GIVERnment workers who threatened to quit if Trump was elected actually quit?
Posted by: Airandee || 07/18/2017 6:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Also known as a decent start.
Posted by: AlanC || 07/18/2017 7:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Not just talk.
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2017 8:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Also in the article:

Paying EPA employees to leave their jobs isn’t anything new. Under former President Barack Obama, the EPA paid more than $11 million in incentives to compel 436 employees to voluntarily leave their jobs in 2014. This was done to reduce payroll expenses.

I question the motive in this case.
Posted by: Pappy || 07/18/2017 8:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Remember during the 'oughts' and the rotations to the ME, the Army finally got authorized up to 530,00 or so. Now its back down to 480,000. How about using that as a slide for cutting the other departments?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/18/2017 8:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Put a zero behind the 8 and we will have a good size of what it should actually be.
Posted by: DarthVader || 07/18/2017 9:00 Comments || Top||

#7  Now move the headquarters somewhere nice, like Gary, Indiana.
Posted by: Raj || 07/18/2017 10:31 Comments || Top||

#8  (EPA) will lay off more than 1,200 employees over the next two months

Most likely they will become lobbyists, consultants and members of a "think tank."
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/18/2017 10:58 Comments || Top||

#9  ..and no AC from Memorial Day till the first full moon after Labor Day.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/18/2017 10:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Nowmove the headquarters somewhere nice, like Gary, Indiana.

Better yet, Adak Alaska.
Posted by: jvalentour || 07/18/2017 17:40 Comments || Top||

#11  And what do you have against Adam?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 07/18/2017 19:14 Comments || Top||

#12  Dammit, freaking auto spell thingee on my new IPad.

So what do you have against Adak?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 07/18/2017 19:15 Comments || Top||

#13  Why Adak or Gary?

I hear there's plenty of room in the Marianas Trench.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 07/18/2017 21:55 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
In formal objection to JIT report, Sharif family terms it a 'farce'
[DAWN] As the Supreme Court resumed hearing the Panamagate case on Monday, the Sharif family submitted its objections to the report prepared by a joint investigation team (JIT) that probed its financial history and claims to have found glaring discrepancies in the family's sources of income and their actual wealth.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
's lawyer Khawaja Haris, in the objections, dismissed the JIT report as "eyewash" based on "mala fide" intentions.

"The entire investigation was a farce and an eyewash and was undertaken with a predisposed mind to malign and implicate the respondents in some wrongdoing or the other," the objections said.

A copy of the document detailing the objections, obtained by DawnNews, says that the JIT did not share its evidence with the defendants while recording their statements, therefore depriving them of a chance to "explain their position", which it termed a violation of their basic rights.

Posted by: Fred || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [214 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Trump Admin to Hit Iran With New Sanctions as Tehran Threatens Attacks on U.S. Bases
[Free Beacon] The Trump administration is expected to ratchet up pressure on Iran with a slew of new sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's illicit ballistic missile program and regional support for terrorism as the landmark Iranian nuclear deal hits its two-year anniversary, according to senior U.S. officials who deemed Iran in violation of the agreement's "spirit."

News of the new sanctions comes on the same day that Iranian military leaders threatened attacks on U.S. forces and bases in the Middle East should America move forward with new sanctions, particularly ones targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC.

The new sanctions are part of a larger White House effort to counter Iran's massive military buildup and rogue militant activities across the Middle East, specifically in Syria, where Iranian-backed forces have launched a series of direct attacks on American forces in recent weeks.

U.S. official dubbed Iran "the most dangerous threat to U.S. interests" and promised a series of new efforts both militarily and policy oriented to combat the Islamic Republic's illicit activities.
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/18/2017 04:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sanction sanctions?
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/18/2017 8:10 Comments || Top||

#2  I prefer a different kind of sanction - as in "The Eiger Sanction". Treat them as one would any cancer.
Posted by: Warthog || 07/18/2017 14:30 Comments || Top||

#3  um with chemo"therapy" and radiation?
Posted by: Thor McGurque4670 || 07/18/2017 14:43 Comments || Top||

#4  I think that Obama should be sent to Iran and left there until there is proof positive that all missile and nuke facilities are no more.
Posted by: AlanC || 07/18/2017 17:52 Comments || Top||


Science
DoD Puts ‘Foot on Gas Pedal' to Catch Up on Electronic Warfare
Good. Upsetting as the thought is, once the NSA and CIA are cleaned out it will be different, but so long as they are warring against President Trump we need a service we can trust to tell the truth.
[NationalDefense] After what one senior official called "25 years of inattention," the Defense Department is pushing ahead to make its defensive and offensive electronic warfare capabilities more robust.

"There is an appreciation on the dependency of our electronic warfare capabilities [and] to make sure that the force -- all the platforms -- are survivable. I think that appreciation is very real and very substantial," William Conley, deputy director of electronic warfare in the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics, said during a recent Mitchell Institute speech.

"The foot is fully on the gas pedal" when it comes to catching up on EW capabilities, he said.

Electronic warfare is among the fields that the Pentagon has identified as part of the "third offset" -- a collection of battlefield technologies that the U.S. military must master in order to leap ahead of potential adversaries.

In the wake of a Defense Science Board report on the military’s electronic warfare shortcomings, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work created an electronic warfare executive committee comprising high-level military leaders who meet once per month with the goal of reversing the "inattention."

The July 2015 report, "21st Century Operations in a Complex Electromagnetic Environment," concluded that the United States military was "no longer the overwhelming leader in these technologies." The neglect set in after the end of the Cold War and with the perception that advanced threats had all but disappeared, it said.
Continues. Long-ish article, worth the visit, imho.
Posted by: Vast Right Wing Conspiracy || 07/18/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So it takes a septuagenarian to rub Congress' nose in it hard enough for them to figure it out?
Posted by: gorb || 07/18/2017 23:51 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2017-07-18
  Deadly blast hits mosque in Nigeria's Maiduguri
Mon 2017-07-17
  Leader Of ISIS In Afghanistan Killed By US Forces 3 Months After Assuming Command
Sun 2017-07-16
  400 rebels killed by the Syrian Army during east Damascus offensive
Sat 2017-07-15
  Islamic State's Afghan 'emir' killed in raid, US says
Fri 2017-07-14
  19 give up the ghost in suicide kaboom at checkpoint in Anbar
Thu 2017-07-13
  ISIS declares Tal Afar as a separate kalifate
Wed 2017-07-12
  Amnesty: All sides violated international law in Mosul
Tue 2017-07-11
  ISIS: Al-Bagdadhi baghdeadi
Mon 2017-07-10
  Frenchman held for planning terror attack with Belgian pair
Sun 2017-07-09
  Iraqi forces take Mosul
Sat 2017-07-08
  Turkey detains 29 IS group militants in raids in Istanbul
Fri 2017-07-07
  40 ISIS troops die in battle with Iraqi forces in Salahuddin
Thu 2017-07-06
  Haftar's forces declare victory in battle for Benghazi
Wed 2017-07-05
  Baghdadi’s “mail man” killed in security ambush in Diyala
Tue 2017-07-04
  US-backed SDF breaches Raqqa's Old City wall

Better than the average link...



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