What a charming fellow, huh?
UPDATE. Australia, Assange's home country, wants Sweden to prosecute him.
My English is not perfect? Well, it's not my mother tongue, so sue me!
See also Barcepundit (the original, in Spanish)
But precisely because it would represent such a massive fraud, I'm skeptical. Statistical skullduggery would answer some questions, but raise others, like how come tax revenues are now rising? Why isn't the budget deficit bigger--is it all lies? If so, where are they getting the money to spend? And how on earth did the government manage to coordinate such a massive fraud? . . . . It looks to me as if the anonymous blogger is resting too much on divergence between previously correlated series; this divergence is interesting, but series do diverge from time to time, and that's not necessarily a sign that someone has gotten creative with the underlying data.UPDATE V. Alphaville, the Financial Times blog that started it all, is now exercising the caution that it should have exercised from the start, and has updated the post -- actually it has removed all the original content and replaced with some questions on whether the report was politically motivated. Perhaps. On the other hand, from conversations I've had with people who know this stuff it does seeem that there's a widespread suspicion among economists that the official 3,1% decline in GDP is excessively low, though a 14% difference is way out of line. It'd be a catastrophic collapse of giant proportions and yes, the country is in trouble, but not that much.
Detainees’ diets at Guantanamo Bay have been a controversial issue for some time and now the U.S. prison is said to be rationing ice cream.No wonder they call it the Human Rights' black hole. How can they be so cruel?
The frozen dessert is allegedly being tightly measured, with only one ice cream allowed for each of its 147 detainees.
The FBI raided the Minneapolis homes of five antiwar activists, including three leaders of the Twin Cities peace movement, Friday morning as part of what it called a probe of "activities concerning the material support of terrorism."
The Minneapolis office of an antiwar organization was also raided, protest leaders said. No one was arrested in any of the raids.
Lawmakers who banned bullfighting in Spain's Catalonia region have voted to effectively endorse other traditions involving the animals such as attaching burning poles to bulls' horns.I'm not a bullfighting fan --never been to a corrida, and don't think I ever will-- but the double standard, the hypocrisy and thinking everyone is stupid really gets on my nerves...
The legislation was approved Wednesday by a 114-14 vote, with 5 abstentions.
In July, Catalonia banned bullfighting on grounds of cruelty, becoming only the second Spanish region to do away with the centuries-old tradition.
But Wednesday's vote protects traditions in Catalonia involving bulls that have been widely criticized as cruel.
EURO-ZONE DEBT CRISIS IS OVER, Zapatero told the WSJ yesterday in New York after his meeting with a bunch of Wall Street's big fish. Not sure how much they believed him (those guys have their own sets of data they use, so they don't really rely on spin from an interested party, do they).
THE CEO OF BEST BUY says that the iPad is cannibalizing laptop sales by a whopping 50% (I suspect it's more for netbooks and less for real laptops, so the figure is an average). That doesn't suprise me at all. Yes, the iPad is more expensive, but if you add the cost of a cheap netbook and an ebook reader, it's not that far.
I SAY they should now call it Park 51: "A popular Spanish nightclub has been forced to change its name from Mecca after sparking a furious reaction around the Islamic world. Intelligence chiefs warned owners they were being targeted by extremists who claim the disco is insulting to their religion."
SPAIN'S CHEECH AND CHONG: some guys were busted for pot possession. I wonder what was the police clue...
Spain's deficit is down sharply thanks to an unpopular cocktail of tax hikes and austerity cuts — good news for a government fighting to ward off fears it might need a bailout like the one that saved Greece from bankruptcy.Except that, as the piece says below,
[...] The figures do not include spending by regional governments, however, which will be key to helping the government meet its stated goal of cutting the deficit from 11.2 percent of GDP last year to 3 percent in 2013.
The report says revenue rose 10.4 percent through July, largely due to a higher VAT rate, a tax on goods and services.
But this is a one-time boost widely attributed to Spaniards rushing to buy big-ticket items like refrigerators and washing machines before those tax rates rose on July 1.So let me get this straight: it wasn't the tax hike -- which kicked off in July, yes, but since the VAT returns are done quarterly they won't really have an effect in tax income for a couple more months. It was the anticipation of the VAT increase which made people hurry and buy big-ticket items before the tax hike went into effect. So tax hike had an effect, yes, but not what the government had in mind. In fact, it showed why it was such a bad idea: once the higher VAT is on, people will buy less, therefore the government income will go down.
Jobless claims in Spain rose 1.6% in August, an increase of 61,083 against the prior month, bringing the total number of unemployed to 3,969,661. The rise is the first after three straight months of declines in jobless claims. On an annual basis, jobless claims rose 9.4%. Jobless claims had trended downward. "This increase in jobless claims, even though it's not good news, still is much less than the past two years and maintains the tendency for the data to gradually to return to where it was prior to the crisis," said Maravillas Rojo, Secretary General of Employment in Spain. Euro-zone data released last week showed Spain's unemployment rate remains the highest in the region, climbing to 20%.
"There is reason to believe that a crime has been committed," Marianne Ny, Sweden's Director of Public Prosecution, said in a statement. "Considering information available at present, my judgment is that the classification of the crime is rape."