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Cow

Herd of cows kills German woman hiker in Austria

Cows
© Alamy
A herd of cows in Austria. The unnamed woman was killed while walking with her dog on a lead.
Vienna - Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog.

They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful.

The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules.
Dollar

America's dumbest move yet: Seizing a foreign bank to spite Russia

FBME bank cypress
Ten dark suited men entered the premises of FBME bank in Cyprus on Friday afternoon and took it hostage.

It must have looked like a scene from the Matrix. And given the surrealism of how this conflict is escalating, maybe it was.

The men were from the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). And they commandeered FBME because an obscure agency within the US government recently issued a report accusing the bank of laundering money.

It just so happens that FBME... and Cyprus in general... is where a lot of wealthy Russians hold their vast fortunes.

Bear in mind, there has been no proof that any crime was committed. There was no court hearing. No charges were read. It wasn't even the government of Cyprus who accused them of anything.

There was just a generic report penned by some bureaucrat 10,000 miles away.

Funny thing - when HSBC got caught red-handed laundering funds for a Mexican drug cartel last year, the US government gave them a slap on the wrist. HSBC got off with a fine.

Yet when the US government merely hints that FBME could be laundering money, the bank gets taken over at gunpoint.
Bad Guys

Gaza: At least 20 killed and 90 injured as another UN school is hit by bloodthirsty IDF

un school attack gaza
© Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
Aftermath of the strike on a UN school in Gaza City
UN official condemns 'in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces'

At least 19 Palestinians were killed and about 90 injured early on Wednesday when a UN school sheltering displaced people was hit by shells during a second night of relentless bombardment that followed an Israeli warning of a protracted military campaign.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, condemned "in in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces".

He said in a statement: "Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN-designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.

"We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge. We believe there were at least three impacts.

Comment: An Israeli soldier's realization that the war against Palestinians is an excuse for the Israeli army to test their new weapons before they sell them to other regimes!

Umbrella

UCLA campus flooded by broken water main amid worst drought and strict water-use restrictions

UCLA flooding
© Reuters/Danny Moloshok
A woman looks up from an underground parking structure outside UCLA's Pauley Pavilion sporting arena as water flows down the stairs from a broken thirty inch water main that was gushing water onto Sunset Boulevard near the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles July 29, 2014
An official at the city's Department of Water and Power, or DWP, was questioned about the delay in stopping the flow of water after an estimated eight to 10 million gallons of water poured out from a ruptured 93-year-old water pipe, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We had to do research to get to the correct valve," Jim McDaniel, a DWP senior assistant general manager, said, according to the LA Times, adding that the closure of a wrong valve could have left many people without water. The water had been reportedly flowing for more than three hours before the flow was cut off.

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz reportedly said: "Unfortunately, we lost a lot of water, around 35,000 gallons a minute, which is not ideal in the worst drought in the city's history."
Yoda

El Salvador, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru recalled ambassadors to protest Israel's operation in Gaza

gaza attack
El Salvador recalled its Israeli ambassador from Tel Aviv on Wednesday to protest the military operation in Gaza, making it the fifth Latin American country to do so.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have already recalled their ambassadors.

Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, said recalling ambassadors encourages Hamas.

"Israel expresses its deep disappointment with the hasty decision of the governments of El Salvador, Peru and Chile to recall their ambassadors for consultations," said Palmor. "This step constitutes encouragement for Hamas, a group recognized as a terror organization by many countries around the world."

Such countries are handing terrorists a prize, said Palmor.


Comment: That these countries recalled their Israeli envoys as a protest only means that they are able to recognize terrorists - and their actions! - when they see them. You can skip the following paragraph too. More Palmor BS.

Handcuffs

Why it matters that Norman Finkelstein got arrested outside the Israeli consulate in NYC

norman finkelstein arrest
© normanfinkelstein.com
At 12:30 pm today, a few dozen people laid down in the street at the intersection of 43rd Street and Second Avenue, stopping traffic from reaching the 42nd Street block housing the Israeli Consulate. Around them, a hundred or so people chanted from the sidewalks for the end of the occupation and the slaughter in Gaza. The writer Norman Finkelstein, a fierce critic of both Israel and of the BDS movement, had called the protest the day before. "A lot of people feel that going to a demonstration every three days doesn't rise to the occasion, the immensity of the horror," he told me. He noted that the Israeli bombing of Gaza is now in its twenty-first day, "which means it's one day short of Cast Lead," the assault on Gaza that began at the end of 2008. And there is no sign that this war is going to stop anytime soon.

The action didn't last long. After issuing a few warnings for the demonstrators to move, the police swooped in, handcuffing people and carrying those who let their bodies go limp. Traffic was stopped for, at most, twenty minutes. Still, it didn't seem like a futile effort, because this is a moment when it's particularly important to break through the illusion, which pervades our politics, that American support for Israel and its war in Gaza is unshakable.

Hardhat

10,000-seat rendition of Solomon's Temple built in Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil - It occupies an entire block in this teeming megacity: a 10,000-seat rendition of Solomon's Temple.

Towering in sharp relief against the graffiti-splattered tenements nearby, it beckons with monumental walls of stone imported from Israel and the flags of the dozens of countries where its owner, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, is nourishing an evangelical Christian empire.

A helicopter landing pad will allow Edir Macedo, the 69-year-old media magnate who founded the Universal Church in a Rio de Janeiro funeral home in 1977, to drop in for sermons. The sprawling 11-story complex features other flourishes, too, like an oasis of olive trees similar to the garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem, and more than 30 columns soaring toward the heavens.

solomon temple sao paulo
Red Flag

More than 35 percent of Americans are in debt to collection agencies

© AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bills. Their mortgages, auto loans or student debt pile up, unpaid. Even past-due gym membership fees or cellphone contracts can end up with a collection agency, potentially hurting credit scores and job prospects, said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank.

"Roughly, every third person you pass on the street is going to have debt in collections," Ratcliffe said. "It can tip employers' hiring decisions, or whether or not you get that apartment."

The study found that 35.1 percent of people with credit records had been reported to collections for debt that averaged $5,178, based on September 2013 records. The study points to a disturbing trend: The share of Americans in collections has remained relatively constant, even as the country as a whole has whittled down the size of its credit card debt since the official end of the Great Recession in the middle of 2009.
Gold Coins

Bye bye petrodollar! Currency wars set to intensify as geopolitical tension supports gold

russia gold reserves
Today's AM fix was USD 1,307.50, EUR 972.84 and GBP 770.39 per ounce.
Yesterday's AM fix was USD 1,305.00, EUR 971.20 and GBP 768.55 per ounce.

Gold climbed $2.30 or 0.18% yesterday to $1,305.10/oz and silver rose $0.12 or 0.58% to $20.62/oz.

Gold rose 0.4% in London this morning after gold in Singapore traded sideways overnight. Futures trading volume continues to increase and was almost double the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, Bloomberg data shows.

Silver for immediate delivery rose 0.8% to $20.73 an ounce in London. Platinum was 0.1% lower at $1,486.82 an ounce. Palladium gained 0.3% to $883.63/oz and remains close to a 13 year nominal high of $889.75.

Geopolitical tension in Europe and in the Middle East is supporting gold. Israel's military pounded targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country should prepare for a long conflict in the Palestinian enclave, squashing any hopes of a swift end to 22 days of fighting.

Gaza residents reported heavy Israeli bombing in Gaza City. Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the house of a Hamas Gaza leader and flattened it before dawn. An Israeli military spokeswoman said 70 targets were struck in Gaza through the night. At least 30 people were killed in the assaults from air, land and sea, residents said, after a night of the most widespread attacks so far in the tiny enclave.

The new sanctions are set to inflame relations further. They are on "key sectors" of Russia's economy, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said yesterday. Russia also signaled possible retaliation, announcing yesterday that it may ban imports of chicken from the U.S. and fruit from Europe because of concern about contamination.
Heart - Black

Poll: 91% of Israelis love to kill

gaza in ruins

Gaza in ruins...
Ninety-one percent (91%) of Israeli Jews support Israel's campaign against the people of Gaza, according to a survey published Monday - and just 4.2% believe the operation is a "mistake."

The survey also revealed that 85% of respondents would only support a cease-fire agreement if Israel eliminated every Hamas rocket and destroyed the full network of terror tunnels before agreeing to do so.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Israeli Jews polled "very strongly support" Operation Protective Edge's airstrikes on Gaza; 17% "support" the airstrikes; and 4.5% had "weak support" for the airstrikes. Just 1.5% of respondents opposed the airstrikes on Gaza.

Similarly, 50% "strongly support" the IDF's ground offensive in Gaza; 28% "support" the ground campaign and 14% have "weak support" for the campaign. By contrast, only 9% of respondents oppose sending ground troops into Gaza.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents "strongly disagree" with the statement "Israel launching Operation Protective Edge was a mistake"; 11% only "slightly disagree." Just 7% of respondents "agree" or "strongly agree" with that statement.
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