Showing posts from August 16, 2014

Philosophy and chemistry banned in schools by ISIS

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[The decision to remove chemistry and philosophy from the curriculum comes as ISIS militants said “they do not fit in with the laws of god.” *RON*]
By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News, 16 August 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has established an “Islamic curriculum” for students living in the Syrian northern city of Raqqa and banned the study of philosophy and chemistry, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported Friday.

The militants called on teachers and school directors to “prepare an Islamic education system in the schools of Raqqa,” which would be reviewed by a board of education appointed by ISIS.
They vowed adequate wages to teachers and principals in Raqqa.

The decision to remove chemistry and philosophy from the curriculums comes as ISIS militants said “they do not fit in with the laws of god,” the London-based monitor group said.

The Sunni fighters have already closed several schools in the province, which had a…

Germany is itself a victim of EMU’s austerity fanatics

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[Ideologically enforced austerity is killing the European economy. "...a third of the eurozone is in outright deflation, and now Germany itself... The eurozone as a whole has stalled to zero growth. It has no safety margin as the effect of Russian sanctions start to bite, lopping 0.3pc off Europe’s GDP this year (according to a leaked document by the Commission)." *RON*]
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph, 14 August 2014

So now we learn. Germany had a double-dip recession last year without telling us. This could soon turn into triple-dip after contraction of 0.2pc in the second quarter.

German bond yields are pricing in stagnation as far as the eye can see. 10-year Bunds fell below 1pc this morning for the first time in history, and far below levels seen during the deflationary episodes of the Second Reich in the late 19th Century.

The bond markets are flashing deflation warnings, but they are also indicting the European authorities…

Book wars: Amazon’s page turner

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[On the nearly monopolistic practices of Amazon and how its bullying business practices can affect the arts, reader choice and intellectual freedom. *RON*]

By Shannon Bond and Henry Mance, Financial Post, 15 August 2014

Sir Harold Evans likes Jeff Bezos. He even said so in his best-selling history of American innovation, in which the journalist and former Random House publisher praised the Amazon chief executive as a brilliant entrepreneur who has “democratised commerce” by creating his online bookstore.

But Sir Harold is irritated by the latest attempt by Mr Bezos to reshape bookselling and has urged him to “turn the other page, Jeff, and get back to being who you are”.

‬Sir Harold is not alone. ‪Amazon has alarmed hundreds of his fellow authors and most of the publishing world by employing some of the most aggressive tactics in industry history during negotiations under way with Hachette, the fourth-largest global publisher by market share and…

AIG Lobbyists Are Staging Their Comeback

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[AIG had, not surprisingly, stopped lobbying in 2008: "It had faced public criticism when it continued to spend heavily to influence lawmakers despite receiving a $182 billion bailout that gave the government a majority stake, and because it continued to pay staff big bonuses." Obviously it now feels the coast is clear to resume howling and baying for special consideration. *RON*]

Douwe Miedema, Reuters / Business Insider, 16 August  2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insurer American International Group <aig.n> is ramping up its lobbying team in Washington, almost six years after it halted such efforts following its rescue by the U.S. government during the financial crisis.

Many large companies deploy a handful of staff to provide access to Capitol Hill and the White House, but AIG has employed no officially registered lobbyists since 2009. Some of its government relations positions in Washington, which companies typically use to influe…

Ferguson: The Trayvonning of Michael Brown

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[Additional details, all of them terrible, about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. *RON*]
By J. Baglow,, 15 August 2014

The Chief of Police in Ferguson, Missouri, held a press conference Thursday morning, and spent most of his time talking about a petty robbery allegedly committed by Michael Brown, shot dead later that night by Officer Darren Wilson, who had been given a running start of a few days and is now nowhere to be found. In the afternoon, the Chief talked to the press again, and he admitted that the shooting of Brown had nothing to do with the robbery. Officer Wilson, he said, was unaware that the robbery had even occurred.

Brown was rousted for jaywalking, as it happened, and then summarily gunned down by Officer Wilson. Two eyewitnesses say so, including Brown's alleged accomplice in the theft of a pack of cigars earlier. The other eyewitness says she took video, although it's not known at this point w…