Friday, July 29, 2011

SPAIN not out of the woods:
Spain remains in “the danger zone” and must maintain momentum in restructuring its economy to keep contagion from Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis at bay, the International Monetary Fund said.

“The outlook is difficult and the risks elevated,” the Washington-based IMF said in a report after a visit by staff to Spain. “The policy agenda remains challenging and urgent -- there can be no let up in the reform momentum.”

SOME SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS, EH? "NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed."

BREAKING: Spain's prime minister Zapatero has just announced he'll be calling an early election, on November 20. Wily choice: it's the anniversary of Franco's death, 36 years ago. It'll allow the Socialists to campaign saying that if people vote for the Popular Party, the heirs of Franco will be coming back.

UPDATE. More at Bloomberg.

UPDATE II. Even more at the Economist.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ANOTHER MYTH DOWN THE DRAIN: Who really owns U.S. debt? Well, it turns out it's not China.

U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly convinced that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the toll of seven years of CIA drone strikes have pushed al­Qaeda to the brink of collapse.

The assessment reflects a widespread view at the CIA and other agencies that a relatively small number of additional blows could effectively extinguish the Pakistan-based organization that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — an outcome that was seen as a distant prospect for much of the past decade.

WHY we avoid the truth about ourselves: it's basically for three reasons.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE 15 most ridiculous book titles ever.

EXCELLENT PIECE by Barry Rubin on the terrorist murders in Norway.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I HAD no idea that Bill Clinton was now Israel's prime minister! "Israel PM guards tell women reporters to remove bras"

NAFITASSOU DIALLO, the Sofitel maid and Dominique Strauss-Kahn accuser, gives her version to Newsweek.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A VISUALIZATION of U.S. debt that will freak you out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BRENDAN O'NEIL on the Murdoch hunt:
[W]hat we are witnessing in Britain is a media coup led by a tiny gaggle of illiberal liberals. This not a mass movement for change, still less is it something akin to the collapse of Stalinism in Europe in 1989. Rather, the anti-Murdoch moral crusade represents the convergence of various minority interests, and the biggest loser won't be Murdoch but media freedom.

So many commentators have allowed themselves to be swallowed by schadenfreude that they have lost the ability to step back and ask: what is motoring this crusade and what will its impact be?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SEVEN REASONS why corruption reigns in Spain.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

YOU KNOW it's a weird country one where someone who has been in government for seven years is declared as his party candidate and starts saying that he has the recipes to put the country on track. That country is Spain, my friends.

One has to wonder what the hell the guy has been doing for the last few years. Was he napping throughout the more than 300 cabinet meetings held while he was a minister and/or vice president? Did he want to keep those solutions to himself as his party was sinking faster than the Titanic?

A MESSAGE for flotilla and pro-Gaza activists: this is a refugee camp.

You're welcome.

DURING a susprise visit to Afghanistan, SecDef Leon Panetta said that the U.S. is within reach of defeating al-Qaeda, who now has just fewer than a dozen key operatives. Let's hope so.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

AL-QAEDA designing 'belly bombs', according to ABC:
 The latest design from al Qaeda's top bomb maker is a "belly bomb" developed to beat airport security in Europe and the Middle East where full body scanners are not widely used, according to U.S. officials.

A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security warned, "DHS has identified a potential threat from terrorists who may surgically implant explosives or explosive components in humans to conduct terrorist attacks."

According to U.S. officials, the terrorist would detonate the bomb with a chemical-filled syringe.
Happy summer travels!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

HOW WOMEN see the world around them. Heh.

OK, girls, you can now flog me for posting this; I'm ready.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL sounds off an alarm on Spain's healthcare shortfall.

Monday, July 04, 2011

WITH THE GOLD that it has in its reserves, Greece could meet a good chunk of the debt payments without any outside help, according to Time. Portugal is also sitting on its vaults while asking for a bailout. Neither is selling the gold, for some reason.