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Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis

Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine. The Independent can reveal that the peace plan, being worked on by both Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, hinges on two main ambitions: stabilising the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies.
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Russia-Ukraine tensions pose credit default risks: IMF

The International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday that an escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine would raise the risks for banks exposed to those countries. Hit by US and European Union economic sanctions against Moscow, Russian businesses in particular could see financing and revenue dry up, pushing them to fall behind in servicing debts.
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Argentina hours away from bond default

Argentina's economy minister Axel Kicillof has returned to the negotiating table in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the country defaulting on its bonds. Mr Kicillof's talks with "hold-out" investors ended late on Tuesday night in New York without agreement.
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NYC Police Commisioner says Democracy is all about showing police respect

Eric Garner died in police custody in part because for several decades the NYPD has doggedly enforced smaller, seemingly innocuous "quality-of-life" crimes. According to Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton, the NYPD will continue to strictly enforce laws against loosie peddlers and subway dancers. "I can understand why any New Yorker may say, that's not such a big offense," de Blasio said. "But a violation of the law is a violation of the law."
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The New York Times's Dangerous Lies About Ukraine and Russia

On July 26th, The New York Times headlined "Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles," and stenographically reported, as if facts, mere claims by White House propagandists, with no evidence, and despite prior blatant lies from the Obama Administration, lies such as Obama's having expressed certainty that the sarin gas attack in Syria came from Bashar al-Assad's forces and not from Obama, which Obama knew to have been the actual case.
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The Creepy Reason WalMart Ice Cream Fails to Follow Laws of Nature

Technically, ice cream follows the laws of thermodynamics, but what would you think of an ice cream that didn't melt on one of the hottest days of the year? Cincinnati station WCPO recently reported on Christie Watson's discovery that her Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich wouldn't melt even in 80-degree heat. What's that? Ice cream should melt.
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Congressional Report: Ebola Bio Kits Deployed to National Guard Units In All 50 States

The Department of Defense informed Congress that it has deployed biological diagnostic systems to National Guard support teams in all 50 states, according to a report published by the Committee on Armed Services. The report, published in April amid growing fears that the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus might spread outside of West Africa, says that the portable systems are designed for “low probability, high consequence” scenarios.
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The FAIR Act: New bill aims to reign in policing for profit

One of the many abusive procedures used in modern policing is known as civil asset forfeiture. When it is applied, police officers and investigators confiscate property — cash, vehicles, equipment, bank accounts, real estate — based on the mere suspicion that it may be involved with criminal activity. The owner is robbed, for all intents and purposes, without any establishment of guilt.
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110 killed in Gaza in 24 hours

Gaza endured a night of relentless bombardment that brought some of the heaviest pounding since the start of the conflict three weeks ago, in the hours after the Israeli political and military leadership warned of a protracted offensive. Palestinian officials say more than 110 people have been killed in Gaza in the past 24 hours.
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‘Big Brother’ airport installs world’s first real-time passenger tracking system

All mobile phones logged into the Wi-Fi network at Helsinki Airport will be monitored by an in-house tracking system that identifies passengers’ real-time movements. The technology has been criticised by privacy advocate groups, but is said to be aimed at monitoring crowds and preventing bottlenecking at the airport, which sees around 15 million passengers a year, Bloomberg reports.
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The Fed's Failure Complicates Its Endgame

That the Federal Reserve's policies have failed is now so painfully evident that even the political class is awakening to this truth. Rather than re-ignite broad-based, self-sustaining economic growth, the Fed's loose-money policies (zero-interest rate policy a.k.a. ZIRP, and quantitative easing a.k.a. QE or free money for financiers), have perversely distorted the economy and widened wealth and income inequality.
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DHS Tells Firefighters, Paramedics Medical Treatment Provides an Opportunity to Identify Extremists

A joint bulletin released in March by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and National Counterterrorism Center instructs firefighters and paramedics to use emergency medical treatment as an opportunity to identify violent extremists. The March 2014 bulletin obtained by Public Intelligence titled “Emergency Medical Treatment Presents Opportunity for Discovery of Violent Extremist Activities” is part of the Fire Line series distributed to firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and other first responders around the country.
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The median household is 20% poorer today than in 1984

A new study from the Russell Sage Foundation reveals that while wealth levels for all classes of Americans declined between 2007 and 2013, Americans in the bottom half of the distribution are poorer than they were way back in 1984. Meanwhile, elites have amassed considerable wealth since then
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Our Marginal Economy

The mainstream media is delighted to highlight positive economic data, but nobody ever asks about the quality of the borrowers who are behind the rosy numbers. Behind the rosy numbers, sales and profits are increasingly dependent onmarginal buyers and borrowers: those buying on credit who would not qualify to borrow money in a system ruled by prudent risk-management.
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IMF warns of adverse effects of anti-Russia sanctions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the sanctions imposed on Russia over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine would have adverse effects on a global scale. Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, IMF spokesman William Murray said that the potential global impacts of the anti-Russia sanctions are “still under assessment, but clearly you would anticipate - through trade channels - that there would be an impact.”
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Asset Forfeiture – How To Steal Americans' Hard Earned Cash With Zero Repercussions

This practice first became widespread for use against pirates, as a way to take possession of contraband goods despite the fact that the ships’ owners in many cases were located thousands of miles away and couldn’t easily be prosecuted. As is often the case, what starts out reasonable becomes a gigantic organized crime ring of criminality, particularly in a society where the rule of law no longer exists for the “elite,” yet anything goes when it comes to pillaging the average citizen.
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The Beginning of an End of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance

The basic structural problem is that America is no longer a viable hegemon. It’s been visibly in geopolitical decline for quite some time now and American politicians and policy makers are utterly incapable of coping with this fact. Most of them can’t even accept it let alone handle it competently by minimising American losses. So they keep on flailing about trying do the impossible which is to restore the status quo ante and repair the irreparable. American hegemony or “leadership” to use the term American politicians and policy makers prefer is over.
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Hillary Clinton backs GMOs to the hilt

The Times of San Diego reports on Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech to biotech heavy hitters, at the recent BIO International Convention. The headline is: “Hillary Clinton Cheers Biotechers, Backing GMOs and Federal Help.”
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The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State

Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.
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Uncontrollable Ebola Outbreak Spreads to Fourth African Country

The disease reached Nigeria on Saturday, when a Liberian official died shortly after landing in Lagos airport. Though his ability to board the plane while sick is worrisome for officials, the first goal for health workers is to contain the disease. If Ebola were to spread in the cramped, heavily populated city of Lagos, it would mean one more major disaster the region can't afford, said Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.
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IBM and USAA put Watson A.I. to work in the military

IBM continues its epic push to entrench Watson in applications — including consumer-facing applications with customer USAA, which provides financial services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The new IBM Watson Engagement Advisor aims to help service people make the transition from military to civilian live, IBM said.
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Margaret Thatcher covered for pedophile ring

Margaret Thatcher was told about alleged sex parties with under-age boys held by one of her closest aides claims her former personal bodyguard. Barry Strevens, who worked as the prime minister’s personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegations about her confidant Sir Peter Morrison. The former senior police officer said that Lady Thatcher appointed Sir Peter deputy party chairman of the Conservatives despite learning of the rumours.
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US is buying disputed Iraqi Kurdish Crude Oil

A Marshall Islands-flagged tanker ‘United Kalavrvta’ carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is hours away from arriving at a U.S. port in Texas, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington’s long-standing concern over independent oil sales from the autonomous region. It would be at least the second time a U.S. company has taken delivery of oil that the Baghdad government says was smuggled from the country.
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Is the Fed fueling a giant stock market bubble?

As an initial matter, it's important to appreciate that monetary policy itself doesn't cause bubbles. This may sound strange if you've read much about the financial crisis, given that the Fed is often blamed for both inflating and popping the housing bubble. But this narrative is flawed.
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Deutsche Bank, HSBC Accused of Silver Fix Manipulation

The banks unlawfully manipulated the price of the metal and its derivatives, an investor claims in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. The banks abused their position of controlling the daily silver fix to reap illegitimate profit from trading, hurting other investors in the silver market who use the benchmark in billions of dollars of transactions, according to the suit.
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N Korea fires missile into sea off South's coast: Seoul

On Saturday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed official from the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying in a statement that Pyongyang “fired a short-range missile presumed to be a Scud-type one into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) at 09:40 p.m. (1240 GMT).”
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‘Google must not be left to censor history’ – Wikipedia Founder

The power to “censor history” should not be left in Google’s hands, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales warned, after the search engine giant revealed it had approved over 90,000 so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ requests. Wales said a European Court ruling allowing people to have links scrubbed from the search engine’s index was “open-ended.” He further slammed the law for being unclear.
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Worst Ebola Outbreak in History to Last Until at Least Mid-Fall

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is literally the worst outbreak of the virus in history, and according to the CDC’s best case scenario, it will continue until late October. To date, more than 660 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, which reported its first death Friday.
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