Friday, August 5, 2016

Ignorant About Europe

I read the Boston Globe: 

And on the Eighth Day....

You will have to scroll through a lot of sh*** to catch up.

French cardinal’s case dismissed in sex abuse inquiry
Vatican to study whether women could serve as deacons
French Muslims step out of invisibility after attacks

It's part of the sympathy coming out of the stabbing of the priest -- and then he blew it.

Large forest fire rages on Greek island of Evia for 3rd day 

Globe gave me pictures 5 and 10 in print.

Czech man charged with attempted terrorism, in what the authorities said was the first known case of a Czech citizen trying to join the Islamic State.

One has been riding the D.C. subway for six years before they doubled back on him.

Turkey slams Amnesty International over report alleging torture

"The capture of the commandos came as General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday to assure Turkey that the United States was against the coup attempt and to discuss the countries’ joint fight against Islamic State militants. Dunford’s visit aimed to cool tensions fanned by some Turkish officials and progovernment commentators who had questioned whether the United States might somehow have supported the coup attempt, which President Obama has strongly denied."


‘‘In addition to needing substantial evidence, I think the United States will require some firm diplomatic assurances regarding Turkey’s willingness to respect due process and basic principles of human rights during any prosecution. Given the recent reports in the last two weeks, that’s got to be a real concern in this case. In general, the US is in a very tight spot here. Turkey is a key military ally. I think the US will try to stand up to Turkey in the Gulen affair, but it will do so gently and quietly.’’ -- Jens David Ohlin, an international law expert at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y."

Gulen got an interview on CNN? 

Not telling me anything about Incirlik, and other than the U.S. generals and other officials running over there telling 'em we had nothing to do with it, it's just the same old crap layered over crap layered over crap.

"No terror link seen in fatal London knife attack" by Dan Bilefsky New York Times  August 05, 2016

LONDON — A 19-year-old a Norwegian citizen of Somali ancestry was arrested on suspicion of murder after a knife attack in Central London that killed an American woman and wounded five people, the Metropolitan Police said Thursday.

The attack Wednesday night, on the eastern corner of Russell Square in Bloomsbury — a neighborhood known for its handsome garden squares that is home to the British Museum and several universities — immediately raised fears about terrorism. But after investigating through the night, police said there was no evidence that the attack was politically motivated.

Police had said in a statement early Thursday that terrorism was “one line of inquiry being explored,” but they later backed away from that theory.

Now it's a “mental health issue.”

Armed officers arrived and used a stun gun to disable the suspect....


"UK central bank tries to soften Brexit shock on economy" by Danica Kirka Associated Press  August 05, 2016

LONDON — Britain’s central bank launched a range of stimulus measures Thursday meant to jolt confidence back into an economy shocked by the vote to leave the European Union. Analysts, however, say they may not be enough to halt a slide toward recession.

In a multipronged approach intended to grease the gears of the economy by making borrowing easier and cheaper, the Bank of England cut its key rate to 0.25 percent from a previous record low of 0.5 percent.

It also agreed to pump an additional 60 billion pounds ($79 billion) of new money into the economy through the purchase of government bonds. It furthermore said it will buy up to 10 billion pounds ($13 billion) of corporate bonds to make it easier for companies to borrow, and announced a program of cheap loans for banks to make sure they can lend to people and businesses at low rates.

That's all they know how to do, the same failed solutions, just to inflate the thing a little while longer.

‘‘This is the appropriate response to the economic conditions we find ourselves in,’’ the Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, told a news conference.

The measures were somewhat bolder than investors had expected, pushing stocks up and the pound down. Experts say they will help shore up confidence at a time of uncertainty by making borrowing marginally cheaper and showing that authorities are taking action. Since the vote’s outcome, business and consumer activity in Britain has dropped at the fastest pace since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to surveys.

But they are unlikely to address the economy’s fundamental concerns.

While cheaper money will help households and companies, the cost of loans is already very low and is not their primary concern right now, economists say. Businesses in particular are worried about whether to make investments or hire in Britain without knowing what the country’s trade relationship with the EU will be. That could take years.

The new, cheap money -- how insulting -- is what is propping up stock markets and property values, thus undergirding the $y$tem for the wealthy who profit. 

As for the rest of us, can't even get a loan if I wanted.

To reflect the grim reality, the Bank of England cut its economic forecasts by the most in almost two decades, particularly for the period after 2016. While it still predicts 2 percent growth this year thanks to strong growth before the vote, it slashed its forecast for next year to just 0.8 percent from its May estimate of 2.3 percent. That suggests the economy could fall into — or close to — recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Well, there are some sure hoping.

‘‘We took these steps because the economic outlook has changed markedly’’ since the referendum, Carney said in a statement. ‘‘By acting early and comprehensively, the [Bank of England] can reduce uncertainty, bolster confidence, blunt the slowdown, and support the necessary adjustments in the UK economy.’’

And there may be more in the coming months. All of the measures have the potential for further action, including another cut to interest rates ‘‘close to, but a little above, zero’’ if incoming economic data proves broadly consistent with the Bank of England’s new forecasts. Carney insisted that subzero interest rates were not being considered.

Hasn't worked for the E.U.

The value of the British pound fell sharply on the announcement of the measures, as lower rates tend to weigh on a currency. It was down 1.5 percent at $1.3126 by late afternoon in London, while stock markets rose, as the weaker currency will help many of the country’s multinationals and exporters earn more money abroad. 

I gue$$ I don't understand the $peculative markets of currency. Le$$ purchasing power is better somehow.

One of the main concerns for the UK economy is that the immediate drop in confidence caused by the vote could become ingrained, with employers delaying expansion and hiring, and consumers putting off purchases of big-ticket items such as cars and appliances.

Now that the central bank has acted, analysts say, the government also needs to step in by providing clarity on Britain’s future relations with the EU and by encouraging growth with government spending and tax incentives

But it's austerity for you common people.

Lucy O’Carroll, chief economist at Aberdeen Asset Management, described Carney as a ‘‘first responder’’ to the shock of Brexit.

She said Carney had through his comments signaled to the new Treasury chief, Philip Hammond, that the government needs to come up with a plan to make the economy more competitive and invest in infrastructure.

In a nutshell: ‘‘Over to you, Mr. Hammond,’’ she said.

Hammond hinted action was possible, saying in a letter to Carney on Thursday that he was ‘‘prepared to take any necessary steps to support the economy and promote confidence.’’

But this will hardly be straightforward. Carney had to pointedly warn banks they had ‘‘no excuse’’ not to pass on the cut in interest rates to consumers. He also acknowledged savers would be hurt by the perennially low rates. 

Aren't they always, and he better watch his mouth. That kind of crap will get you killed.

Even so, Carney suggested the actions were needed to face the ‘‘new reality’’ of Brexit. 

Starting to look like the $ame old reality actually.

The bank forecast that Britain would avoid recession but Carney warned of a significant slowdown, unemployment rising to 5.5 percent from 5 percent and falling house prices over the next year. It also predicts inflation will rise past the 2 percent target within three years to around 2.4 percent in 2018 as the weaker pound makes it more expensive to import goods and services. 

It's the "new normal."

Ben Brettell, the senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown said that central bank had little choice but to do something. ‘‘Whether these measures are appropriate, only time will tell.’’


If only you could get away..... 

"For one Dutch man, what began as a grand romantic gesture ended in a futile 3,000-mile voyage...."

That captures the entire blogging experience.

UPDATE: Anne of Romania, 92; was wife of the country’s last monarch


Black Lives Matter protest blocks access to London’s Heathrow Airport

High rollers at American Ireland Fund bash

Also see:

A question lingers on the Irish-British border: What’s next?

Has something to do with an invasion?

Turkey’s model of democracy

Thus are the charges of the Inquisition.

What I didn't see on web:

13 dead, 6 injured as fire hits bar in French city

Attacker wounds 2 police in Belgium

Separatist Ukrainian leader wounded in Luhansk car bombing

Just getting you warmed up for the Big Show against Russia and China, coming soon!