Turkey's government has urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to calm their diplomatic row, saying the dispute will only worsen regional tensions. Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus said the Middle East was "already a powder keg". He criticised attacks on Saudi missions in Iran but also Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shia Muslim cleric, which triggered the dispute.
Saudi Arabia's Gruesome Provocation ~ link ~ All the players who are stirring up a General Middle East War are apt to end up with their nations and peoples being destroyed!!! Stirling
Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent political leader of the monarchy’s Shiite minority has worsened Mideast tensions and is forcing the Obama administration to decide if there are any limits to the outrages that the longtime U.S. “ally” may commit, as Trita Parsi explains.
There should be little doubt that Saudi Arabia wanted to escalate regional tensions into a crisis by executing Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. On the same day, Riyadh also unilaterally withdrew from the ceasefire agreement in Yemen.
By allowing protesters to torch the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response, Iran seems to have walked right into the Saudi trap. If Saudi Arabia succeeds in forcing the United States into the conflict by siding with the kingdom, then its objectives will have been met.
Europe in Crisis: Denmark joins Sweden with new border controls ~ link ~
The German political establishment is calling for faster remilitarization ~ link ~
Recent comments by leading politicians, journalists and academics leave no room for doubt that the march to war will be continued in 2016. The demands raised extend from new weaponry for the armed forces to the expansion of the role of Germany in the Middle East and Africa, together with the deployment of German ground troops in Syria and the reintroduction of compulsory military service.
Richest 400 households in America paid a 16.7% tax rate in 2012 ~ link ~
In 2013 George W. Bush-era tax cuts expired, increasing the capital gains tax upward from 15 percent to 23 percent, which drove the effective tax rate for the super-rich up to 22.9 percent—still far lower than the statutory marginal rate of 39.6 percent that is supposed to be paid on incomes of over $415,000.
Stock markets - All Over The World - Crash as we begin 2016 ~ link ~
The first trading day of 2016 was full of chaos and panic. It started in Asia where the Nikkei was down 582 points, Hong Kong was down 587 points, and Chinese markets experienced an emergency shutdown after the CSI 300 tumbled 7 percent. When European markets opened, the nightmare continued. The DAX was down 459 points, and European stocks overall had their worst start to a year ever.
In the U.S., it looked like we were on course for a truly historic day as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 467 points at one stage, but some very mysterious late day buying activity helped trim the loss to just 276 points at the close of the market. The sudden market turmoil caught many by surprise, but it shouldn’t have. The truth is that a whole host of leading indicators have been telling us that this is exactly what should be happening. The global financial crisis that began in 2015 is now accelerating, and my regular readers already know precisely what is coming next. The financial turmoil of the last 24 hours is making headlines all over the globe. It began last night in China. Very bad manufacturing data and another troubling devaluation of the yuan sent Chinese stocks tumbling to a degree that we have not seen since last August. In fact, the carnage would have probably been far, far worse if not for a new “circuit breaker” that China recently implemented. Once the CSI 300 was down 7 percent, trading was completely shut down for the rest of the day.
Why we keep having weird weather in 2016 ~ link ~
While the year is coming to an end, the weird weather is here to stay. Two factors that contributed to a record warm 2015—El Niño and a strong Arctic Oscillation—show no signs of letting up in the first months of 2016. Scientists are predicting another year of record heat and some more bizarre weather events.