For the first time in months, no stories from Fukushima! But there’s plenty of other news, including the latest from Greece, China’s embrace of Reaganomics, and a lot more. . .except for Fukushimapocalypse Now! because, for the first time in months, there’s no breaking news from the reactor complex.
We begin at home with CNBC and a legalization landmark:
First recreational marijuana seller in US expects sky-high revenue boost
A medical marijuana dispensary in Central City, Colo.—a small gambling town nestled in the mountains near Denver—just became the first business in the United States licensed to sell marijuana to patrons without a note from their doctors.
Erin Phillips, the co-founder of medical marijuana chain Strainwise, announced this week that the Colorado Department of Revenue’s marijuana enforcement division accepted the company’s application for a recreational marijuana license on Nov. 15. She told CNBC on Friday that industry insiders estimate business can triple with the new license.
From Channel NewsAsia Singapore, badly behaving bankster gets the slams. Finally:
Ex-Credit Suisse trader gets 30 months’ jail
A former top Credit Suisse trader has been sentenced to two and a half years’ jail in New York for inflating subprime mortgage-related bond prices during the housing market collapse.
Reuters scents danger:
Investors wary of U.S. stock surge, even as money piles in
Many prominent managers at the Reuters 2014 Global Investment Outlook Summit believe the record-setting run-up in U.S. stocks is due for a reckoning but acknowledge that ample liquidity could push equities higher regardless of fears.
From International Business Times, it should come ass now surprise:
Who Has Really Benefited From Five Years Of The Fed’s Quantitative Easing?
Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the Federal Reserve’s launch of its quantitative easing program to bail out the financial system and stimulate growth. Naturally, people are asking who has really benefited from the bond-buying binge. The answer, according to an analysis by Credit Writedowns, is those who had the resources to hold on to stock investments. No one else was nearly as fortunate.
From BBC News, metastasis:
Online gambling in New Jersey signals US expansion
Online gambling has been launched in the state of New Jersey, a sign that the US may slowly be opening up to the multibillion-dollar industry.
And then there’s California’s surplus problem, covered by Jezebel:
California Wants to Unload Its Abandoned Chihuahuas on New York
Abandoned chihuahuas are apparently a problem in California, the land of second-guessing dog owners. So many people abandon Chihuahuas that California shelters are shipping the small, emotionally manipulative dogs to New York, claiming that Chihuahuas are an in-demand breed in New York because prospective pet owners are jammed into tiny apartments and don’t have the space for a quadruped companion any bigger than a coffee mug.
Canada next, with an OPEC application from CBC News:
Canadian oil production to rise 75% by 2035, NEB says
Demand forecast to increase by 28 per cent over the same period
Canadian oil production will increase by 75 per cent and gas production by 25 per cent by 2035, according to a report by the National Energy Board.
Its energy supply and demand projections report, released Friday, projects Canadian crude oil production of 5.8 million barrels a day by 2035.
And from EurActiv, justification for the abominable:
EU-US trade deal offers hope on reporting convergence
EU trade negotiators are optimistic that they can secure a place for financial services regulation within key trade talks next week (27 November), offering some hope that this will help spur the US towards more convergence in international corporate reporting.
And to Europe, first with flexibility from EUobserver:
Spain and Italy get leeway on budget targets
Just two euro states – Estonia and Germany – were given the budgetary all clear when the bloc’s economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn published the EU executive’s budget recommendations for the seventeen countries last week.
Britain next, with a noxious austerian prescription from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions via The Guardian:
Iain Duncan Smith ‘targeting seriously ill claimants’ in benefits overhaul
Nearly 550,000 people currently considered too sick to work face losing financial support if radical changes go ahead
The fate of nearly 550,000 benefit claimants currently deemed unfit for work due to serious illnesses such as cancer is in the balance as it emerged that Iain Duncan Smith is planning a radical change to the welfare system.
Meanwhile, hang out the “Help Wanted” sign, from The Independent:
NHS hospitals send overseas for nurses before winter crisis
Spanish and Portuguese professionals invited to fill 20,000 vacancies as Health Secretary is tackled on staffing levels
Sky News covers another privatization with far-reaching consequences:
Ministers To Unveil £900m Student Loan Sale
The Government is set to announce the privatisation of the 1990s loan book on Monday, Sky News understands.
Nearly £1bn of student loans will be offloaded by the Government to a private debt collection agency on Monday in a move likely to stoke renewed controversy over coalition sell-offs.
From BBC News, yet more banksters behaving badly:
Vince Cable refers report into RBS treatment of business to watchdogs
Business Secretary Vince Cable has referred a report about how RBS dealt with small business to City regulators.
RBS put some “good and viable” businesses into default so it could make more profit, it is claimed in a report by government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson to be released on Monday.
Strike up a chorus of Scotland the Brave, with Firstpost:
Scotland names independence day for first time: March 24, 2016
Scotland will become independent of the United Kingdom on March 24, 2016 if a majority of Scots vote to end their 306-year-old union next year, the Scottish government said on Sunday, naming its “date with destiny” for the first time.
And the appropriate music [bagpipe alert] from The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Tank Regiment:
To Ireland next with New Europe:
Ireland’s GDP to grow by 0.1% this year
Ireland’s GDP will only grow by 0.1% this year and 1.9% next year, according to the latest forecast of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Paris-based think tank said Ireland’s unemployment will remain high at 13.2% in 2014.
And one of the many dark sides of the Irish miracle from EUobserver:
Debunking the Troika’s ‘success’ in Ireland
Statistics released Thursday by Eurostat show that Ireland tops the European list of countries where the number of people leaving the country is higher than the ones coming in – by 35,000.
Ireland also saw a dramatic shift over a relatively short period of time. It went from the highest net immigration levels in Europe to the highest emigration in just six years, overtaking the Baltic states and Kosovo.
France next, with the not-so-Magic Kingdom with The Independent:
Exclusive: Trouble in the Magic Kingdom? With union marches replacing the parade, the fairytale is over for Disneyland Paris
Travails of the park stand in stark contrast to the ‘service with a smile’ the staff at Disney’s US parks are renowned for
At the end of October, the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (Unsa), a French confederation of trade unions, wrote to the chief executive of Disneyland Paris demanding an improvement in working conditions following the attempted suicide of a staff member, The Independent can disclose.
From RFI, saddled up for action:
French Horse-riders gallop through Paris against tax hike
In a country famous for strikes, a protester can come in many forms. On Sunday, it was horses. Thousands of horse-riders from across France marched in the streets of Paris, with horses and ponies in tow, to say “nay” to a proposed tax hike from seven per cent to 20 slated to start on 1 January.
Holland next, and putting the bite on with DutchNews.nl:
Dentist takes patient’s false teeth in lieu of payment
A Dutch dentist who confiscated a patient’s false teeth after he failed to pay his bills is in trouble with the national dentists’ association for his unusual approach.
The dentist called the patient in for his six-monthly check-up, then removed the teeth and demanded payment within a week, local paper De Gelderlander said. The patient made a formal complaint.
From Deutsche Welle, a Swiss miss, by a factor of two to one:
Swiss TV: Voters reject salary cap for nation’s top earners
Voters in Switzerland have rejected a move to limit the salary of companies’ top executives, provisional results suggest. The referendum asked whether it should be capped at 12 times the salary of their lowest earners.
Spain next with the Associated Press, cleaning up:
Trash strike in Spain’s capital ends after 13 days
A trash collectors’ strike that left Madrid’s streets piled high with garbage has ended after 13 days, with workers voting to accept a deal hammered out by trade unions and employers.
Unions called the strike when Madrid’s municipal cleaning companies announced plans to lay off more than 1,000 workers and pay cuts for some 5,000 street cleaners, park workers and garbage collectors.
El País covers a gap:
Spain seeks Eurogroup support for draft 2014 budget
Brussels has warned government of need for further cuts worth 35 billion euros
And El País again, this time takin’ it to the streets:
Citizens take to city streets to object to Brussels’ call for more cutbacks
Thousands of people in more than 50 cities across Spain took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the European Commission’s latest call for further austerity measures. At the same time, campaigning organization Greenpeace took advantage of the fresh demonstrations to draw attention to the Popular Party (PP) government’s plans to tighten measures covering public protests, including issuing steep fines and other sanctions for certain types of conduct by citizens at such rallies.
Here’s a video report from Press TV:
55 Spanish cities engulfed in protests against public service cutback policies
Trade unions and anti-austerity groups angry at the effects of the financial crisis have held protest marches in 55 Spanish cities. They’re calling on the government to re-think its policy of cutbacks in public services, education and health care.
Thousands of Spaniards marched across the country carrying banners opposing health care policies. They also oppose a proposed law which would see citizens fined for unauthorized demonstrations. Many claim that the bill violates the principles of democracy. Spain has been the scene of protests in recent months. Spaniards argue the new laws along with anti-austerity measures have led to job losses, with the younger generation among the hardest hit.
And more to come, via thinkSPAIN:
Nationwide demonstration over education reforms next Saturday and three-day strike in the pipeline
A THREE-DAY strike and mass protests over schools reforms are set to take place this coming week in an attempted social coup to oust education minister José Ignacio Wert.
Italy next, with protest to come from Europe Online:
Berlusconi party plans street rally on day of Senate ejection vote
Forza Italia, the newly-renamed conservative party of Silvio Berlusconi, is preparing a street protest for Wednesday, the day Italy’s former prime minister is expected to be kicked out of parliament over a tax fraud conviction.
And another action, via Europe Online:
Italy’s sixth-largest city paralyzed by “Greek-style” bus strike
Italy’s sixth-largest city, Genoa, was facing Saturday the fifth straight day of a wildcat public transport strike that has paralyzed traffic and evoked comparisons with “Greek-style” labour unrest.
Europe Online, this time with hard times intolerance in Eastern Europe:
Shock in Slovakia: right-wing extremist wins regional vote
In an surprise outcome Saturday, a right-wing extremist was elected president of one of Slovakia’s self-governing regions, election officials said.
Marian Kotleba, known for his agitation against the Roma minority as well as for appearing in uniforms modeled upon fascist styles, defeated the Social Democrat incumbent in the Banka Bystrica region. The vote count was 55.53 per cent to 44.46 per cent.
After the jump, Greek meltdown, soaring Israeli stocks, labor questions in Qatar, Putin’s crackdown, a factory for Mexico, Chinese Reaganomics, gangster/bankster woes in Japan, and environmental crises. . . Continue reading