Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Saturn’s mysterious jet stream captured in latest Cassini images (BLACK&WHITE PHOTOS)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent its first views of Saturn’s atmosphere taken during its latest mission to the planet, including what NASA described as an “intriguing” look at the planet’s hexagon-shaped jet stream.

The images, captured on December 2 and 3, were taken from high above the planet’s north pole, just days before its first dive past one of Saturn’s outer rings ....

Russia testing new drones that could scramble sonars in the English Channel and allow nuclear submarines to enter UNDETECTED

It can also act like a nuclear submarine, fooling enemy subs into revealing their position as they track what they believe is one of Vladimir Putin's hunter-killer vessels.

The forty-tonne Surrogat will be able to travel more than 600 miles at a time and carry out top-secret mission 600 metres below the waves.

It could even act as a decoy, drawing Royal Navy ships towards it while Russian nuke subs creep down the English Channel ....

TIME Magazine covers: late October and today

‘Deny entry’: China askes US to block Taiwan pres from entering if she plans stop over during Latin America tour

In the latest escalation after President-elect Donald Trump broke protocol with Taiwan, China is now asking Washington to deny Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen entry into the US prior to her upcoming Latin America tour.

Taiwan’s new leader is scheduled to visit three countries in January – Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. There is speculation, however, that she will make a stopover in New York.

Although this has been denied by several Trump advisers, as well as Taiwan itself, news of the visit has become the latest lever China has tried to use to show its disappointment at what it believes to be warming relations between Taiwan and the US ....

Merkel ally threatens Facebook with fines over online hate speech

A senior German conservative has warned Facebook it could face fines if it fails to act faster to tackle online hate speech, and he said the government could propose legislative measures in the new year.

Speaking at a party conference of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in Essen, western Germany, Volker Kauder suggested politicians were running out of patience with efforts by social media providers to crack down on hate speech.

"I expect from big companies like Facebook that they adhere to laws. If they are not respected than we must think about new possibilities, fines for example," he said ....

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

‘Not the views of Saudi Arabia’: Journalist banned from writing after criticizing Trump

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has reportedly been banned from publishing his work by the kingdom because he criticized Donald Trump.

The journalist and commentator made critical remarks against the president-elect during his presentation at a Washington think-tank on November 10.

Then, on November 19, the Saudi Press Agency, citing an anonymous source, insisted that Khashoggi’s views did not represent the country in his statements, Middle East Eye reports ....

Time Urges 65 Million Americans Who Voted For Hillary Not To Pay Taxes

Under the twisted premise of losing the popular vote and "no taxation without representation", TIME's Mark Weston proclaims that the approximately 65 million Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton should pledge "we won’t pay taxes to the federal government.. until democracy is restored." ....

Bill Gross: Investors Should Move To Cash Amid False Growth Rally

Gross, who manages over $1.7 billion via the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, noted that supposed economic growth prospects are overblown, and that the true driver of economic prosperity — productivity — has been depressed for years and will remain so throughout Trump’s presidency.

Any bump from supposed tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and financial deregulation under Trump will only provide temporary benefits, he concluded ....

"Cancel order!": Trump calls for cancellation of multi-billion dollar Boeing contract to build new Air Force One

Washington (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump called Tuesday for the cancellation of a multi-billion dollar Boeing contract to build the next Air Force One, calling the ballooning costs "ridiculous."

"Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" Trump tweeted.

Converting a pair of 747-8 jumbo jets to state-of-the-art luxury command centers by 2024 had been estimated to cost $3 billion when Boeing was picked for the job in January 2015 ....

Oil dips as OPEC, Russian output rises ahead of production cut

Global oil prices slipped on Tuesday as data showed crude output rose in most major export regions despite plans by OPEC and Russia to cut production, triggering fears the fuel glut that has dogged markets for over two years might last well into 2017.

International Brent crude oil futures fell 99 cents to trade at $53.95 a barrel by 1330 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $50.73 a barrel, down $1.06.

Analysts said the boon from last week's OPEC decision, which helped boost prices by about 15 percent, has faded as they look to factors that may undermine the cartel's promise such as record production, Saudi Arabia's plans and the reaction of U.S. shale oil producers ....

China boosts Mexico ties by grabbing blocks in oil auction

China has muscled its way into investment in Mexico by grabbing two deepwater oil blocks as part of an auction considered the jewel in the crown of the country’s energy reform, in a move that boosts the two nations’ sometimes testy economic ties.

It is the first test of investment appetite in Mexico since the election victory of Donald Trump, who has blamed both countries for luring away US jobs. The result showed “Mexico is a very competitive country that attracts investment from all places,” said Pedro JoaquĆ­n Coldwell, energy secretary ....

If think your pay raise is lousy, consider the workers of Venezuela

In Argentina, people can expect to see a 28.5 percent headline raise wiped out by an inflation rate of 41 percent, pushing real wages down 12.5 percent, the projections show. The biggest pain comes in Venezuela, where price growth of 485 percent compares with nominal salary gains for 111 percent. Excluding Venezuela and Argentina, real wages in the region will rise 1.1 percent in 2017.

Vietnam is expected to see the biggest increase in real salaries in the world with a 7.2 percent jump. That’s more than three times the global average of 2.3 percent and almost double the average across Asia ....

Bob Dole "Mastermind" Behind Trump-Taiwan Call: WSJ

With last Friday's phone call between Donald Trump and Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen which broke decades of US protocol, still creating ripples among diplomatic circles and the political punditry, one question that still remains largely unanswered: why did Trump do it? Was it a carefully calculated move? Was Trump unaware of the geopolitical consequences of speaking to the Taiwan president? Was there any thought at all in accepting the Taiwanese phone call, or was it merely just an ego boost? ....