Despite sharpening divisions within the European Union over the implications of the collapse of the Russian currency, the two-day EU summit in Brussels stepped up Europe’s confrontation with Russia, imposing new EU sanctions to keep businesses from operating in Crimea.
On Thursday, as the EU summit opened, US President Obama signed new legislation that allows Washington to impose a raft of new punitive sanctions on Russia. The impact of the sanctions that have already been enacted, cutting off credit to the Russian economy, has been crippling. The Russian currency has lost roughly half of its value against the US dollar this year, and economists say Russia’s economy could contract by 5 percent next year.
Though the U.S. government’s official position is that North Korea is to blame, it’s not clear exactly who has hacked Sony and one could argue that it is nothing more than a propaganda show designed to distract the American public from more important matters like a collapsing global economy, problems in Russia or the fact that our Congress just passed a spending bill padded with all sorts of goodies for banking behemoths.
But it has nonetheless been interesting to observe.
So much so that even the President of the United States has now gotten involved. After Sony reportedly pulled ‘The Interview’ from theater distribution earlier this week in response to threats of a “9/11-style attack” from the hacking collective that calls itself the Guardians of Peace, the President said in a press conference that Sony executives made a mistake.
The White House claims North Korea is responsible for the Sony hack; Here’s what they’re not telling you.
Balancing on one leg may indicate if a person is at risk of dementia or stroke, a study has found. Those who struggle to balance on one leg for 20 seconds or longer, are at increased risk for small blood vessel damage in the brain and reduced cognitive function in otherwise healthy people with no clinical symptoms, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
A few years ago, researchers found that habitually sleeping less than six hours a night significantly increases the risk of stroke, now the shift in studies has leaned towards posture and balance.
“Our study found that the ability to balance on one leg is an important test for brain health,” said Yasuharu Tabara, Ph.D., lead study author and associate professor at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan. “Individuals showing poor balance on one leg should receive increased attention, as this may indicate an increased risk for brain disease and cognitive decline.”
Paul Craig Roberts
A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds.
People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments.
The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.
Think about this for a minute. Allegedly the US is experiencing economic recovery. Normally with rising economic activity interest rates rise as consumers and investors bid for credit. But not in this “recovery.”
Do you want to know if the stock market is going to crash next year? Just keep an eye on junk bonds. Prior to the horrific collapse of stocks in 2008, high yield debt collapsed first. And as you will see below, high yield debt is starting to crash again. The primary reason for this is the price of oil. The energy sector accounts for approximately 15 to 20 percent of the entire junk bond market, and those energy bonds are taking a tremendous beating right now. This panic in energy bonds is infecting the broader high yield debt market, and investors have been pulling money out at a frightening pace. And as I have written about previously, almost every single time junk bonds decline substantially, stocks end up following suit. So don’t be fooled by the fact that some comforting words from Janet Yellen caused stock prices to jump over the past couple of days. If you really want to know where the stock market is heading in 2015, keep a close eye on the market for high yield debt.
So far over 1,700 mummified bodies, of an estimated 1 million, have been unearthed in a necropolis South of Cairo.
It appears the mummies are approximately 1,500-years-old, buried during the time when Rome control vast swaths of Egypt.
However, the discovery has scientists scratching their heads as the literally have no explanation of where all of the bodies came from.
At least one body was reported to be more than 7ft. tall.
What Americans STILL Don’t Know…
New polls show that – even after the Senate torture report showed that torture is unnecessary and doesn’t work – Americans still think torture is necessary and works.
Because they still don’t know the truth … because the mainstream media has hidden it from them. Specifically, Americans still believe that torture works to produce helpful intelligence that helps keep us safe.
Americans wouldn’t support torture if they knew the following facts, proven beyond any doubt:
- All of the top interrogation experts say that torture does NOT produce actionable intelligence … even in a “ticking time bomb” scenario
- Torture doesn’t reduce terrorism. In fact, the opposite is true: it simply creates new terrorists and terrorist groups, including ISIS