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Why the French may say 'non' to 'Made in France'

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© AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Coex
The French government is lobbying its citizens to opt for domestic products over imports, but a new report said that doing so could leave French consumers 300 euros ($398) a month poorer.

According to a report by French thinktank CEPII, which specializes in international economic research, choosing "Made in France" products over imported equivalents could lose French households between 1,270 euros ($1,685) and 3,770 euros ($5,010) each year.

The report came after Arnaud Montebourg, the government minister for Industrial Renewal, launched a "Made in France" campaign last year,dressed in a quintessentially French Breton top and clutching a French-branded blender.

Stock Down

Japan's population falls by record level

japan population
Japan's population fell by a record 0.22 percent to 127.515 million as of last Oct. 1, while people aged 65 or older surpassed the 30 million mark for the first time, the government said Tuesday.

The figures are from a survey by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

The decline of 284,000 in the total population, which also included foreign nationals, was the largest of its kind since officials began compiling comparable data in 1950.

It was also the second year in a row that the population has fallen.

Megaphone

Fear and frustration engulf Maryville

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© The Kansan City Star/David Eulitt
Nodaway County Courthouse in downtown Maryville
Tiona McKinney knew that something had changed in her sleepy college town when she woke last week to the sound of screaming.

"That was right outside my window," said McKinney, 20, a Northwest Missouri State University senior from St. Louis.

A fiery diatribe was coming from her adult neighbor. The woman was ranting in a loud and angry voice, midmorning, across the lawn to no one in sight about the disturbing details of the alleged sexual assault of Daisy Coleman and the investigation that followed.

In this close-knit town of 12,000 some 90 minutes north of Kansas City, there were few who weren't already painfully aware of the murky particulars of a case that had divided the city.

Comment: In America's psychopathic culture, where what is morally and humanely understood as reality is turned around by the psycho rulers into an inhumane caricature posed as the "law", we will find ourselves confused, fearful and divided within and without. But if we do away with the rules of this psycho-justice system, and just stare the facts in the face, our inner division will lift and we might be able to see finally the only division that actually exists in this world: between humans and conscienceless human looking predators.

So look at the facts. Look at the fact that it was a miracle that Daisy Coleman is alive today, left outside in subzero temperatures, after being poisoned and raped that night. Her rapist and his associates left her in conditions that have easily caused her death. And they don't seem to care a bit about this, or those who support them with "fancy psycho law" talk. And they are out there free, knowing they can do whatever they want because they can get away with it.


Pistol

Nevada police: two dead and two injured in middle school shooting

Washoe county police say first reports of the violence at Sparks middle school came in just after 7am, and the suspect is 'down'

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© Screengrab/Google
Washoe county police said they received the first report of the incident at 7.16am local time on Monday
Two people died and two boys were critically injured in a shooting at a middle school in Nevada on Monday.

Police did not immediately offer details of who died in the incident, in Sparks, east of Reno.

They said Sparks middle school was "all clear" and the suspect was "down," but gave no further information.

Washoe county police said they received the first report of the incident, at 7.16am local time on Monday.

Angela Rambo, a spokeswoman for Renown regional medical center, said it was treating two boys, who were in a critical condition.

Washoe county school district spokesman Charles Rahn said the middle school and the adjacent Agnes Risley elementary school were evacuated to Sparks high school. Rahn said the middle and elementary schools would be closed for the rest of the day.

Source: Associated Press

People

Couple in Greece mystery girl case deny abduction

Pair deny abduction charges and claim girl given by mother who could not look after her.


A Roma couple accused of abducting a mystery four-year-old girl dubbed the "blonde angel" by Greek media told a court today that her biological mother willingly gave her to them as a baby because she could not look after her.

The couple were ordered held in custody pending trial on charges of abduction and procuring false documents.

The discovery of the girl, known as "Maria", has riveted Greece and prompted thousands of calls with leads from across the world as authorities try to track down her real parents, as DNA tests have shown she was not born to the Romas.

The case has raised questions about whether children are being stolen to order and whether the couple were part of a wider child trafficking ring - in addition to deepening mistrust between the Roma community and the Greeks.

Bulb

Eight things you need to know in following the Maryville case

Daisy Coleman and Matthew Barnett
© Heavy.com
Daisy Coleman and her accused attacker Matthew Barnett
Eight things you need to know to get up to speed in the Maryville sexual assault case, based on interviews, law enforcement records and other documents gathered by The Star in the last seven months:

1. About 1 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2012, two teenage girls sneak out of a slumber party and are picked up and driven to the home of a 17-year-old Maryville High School senior named Matt Barnett. Daisy Coleman, 14 at the time, alleges she blacked out after being given multiple drinks and was sexually assaulted by Barnett. Her 13-year-old friend says she was forced to have sex with a 15-year-old boy. Another 17-year-old, Jordan Zech, allegedly takes phone video of the encounter between Barnett and Daisy. Afterward, Daisy is carried out of the house, crying, driven back to her home and left outside in freezing temperatures, where she is discovered by her mother the next morning.

2. Barnett soon is charged with sexual assault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Zech is charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, a felony. Barnett, grandson of a former state representative, tells the sheriff's office that he'd been aware that Daisy had been drinking before having sex with her but says she was only "buzzed," not yet drunk, when the encounter took place. Zech admits to shooting a portion of the encounter between Barnett and Daisy. The 15-year-old admits to having sex with the 13-year-old girl even though she had said "no" multiple times. His case is handled in juvenile court. Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White, whose office investigated the case, later says he "absolutely" believed prosecutions would follow, adding, "I would defy the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department to do what we did and get it wrapped up as nicely as we did in that amount of time."

Comment: For more see:

'I'm Not Saying She Deserved To Be Raped, But...' Daisy Coleman and America's Culture of Psychopathy


Stop

Commuter train crashes in Argentina injuring 80 passengers and angry mob yells 'murderer murderer' at driver

  • The Buenos Aires train slammed into the bumper at the end of the line Saturday at the same station 52 people were killed in a crash last year
  • This time there was no immediate report of deaths, but at least 80 people were injured including an 8-year-old boy
  • A mob quickly formed, unleashing its fury at the train operators and chanting 'murderer, murderer!' at the injured driver
  • Officers intervened and the driver was soon hospitalized under police custody though he tested negative for alcohol
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Scary: A Buenos Aires commuter train, pictured, slammed into the bumper at the end of the line Saturday at the same station in Argentina's capital where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year
A Buenos Aires commuter train slammed into the bumper at the end of the line Saturday at the same station in Argentina's capital where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year.

This time there was no immediate report of deaths, but at least 80 people were injured.

A mob quickly formed, unleashing its fury at the train operators. Passengers chanted 'murderer, murderer!' at the injured driver through the shattered cabin window. Officers intervened and the driver was soon hospitalized under police custody.


Comet 2

American Apocalypse: The case for divine retribution

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I don't believe in God. However, I do believe in divine retribution. Without going into the specifics of this somewhat counterintuitive theology, suffice to say here that its central axiom is the idea that actions have consequences. One cannot go on committing evil without reaping a whirlwind or two. Eventually Nemesis overtakes Hubris, and the results aren't pretty.

This is our future. Or, at least, one hopes it is - otherwise, there is no justice in this world, or perhaps even in the next.

This struck me as I was reading a column by Steve Chapman, a mildly conservative journalist with vaguely libertarian leanings: according to him, people on the right (of which I count myself one) are "addicted to apocalypse." He takes us through decades of conservative apocalyptic rhetoric, from Ronald Reagan predicting the end of freedom in America due to the depredations of Medicare to Ted Cruz - the liberal media's villain of the moment - who recently said:

"The challenges facing this country are unlike any we have ever seen. ... (T)his is an administration that seems bound and determined to violate every single one of our Bill of Rights. We're nearing the edge of a cliff. ... We have a couple of years to turn this country around, or we go off the cliff to oblivion." Citing Reagan, Cruz declared: "One day we will find ourselves answering questions from our children and our children's children, 'What was it like when America was free?'"

Palette

Banksy riles Big Apple

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British graffiti artist Banksy has been told to stop painting murals in New York.

While delighting lovers of street art by painting a new work in a surprise location in the city every day this month, the elusive artist has incurred the wrath of Michael Bloomberg, New York's mayor.

The tough-on-crime Mr Bloomberg said that graffiti ''does ruin people's property'' and was ''a sign of decay and lost control''.

''Nobody's a bigger supporter of the arts than I am,'' said the mayor, who donates millions of dollars from his personal fortune each year to the city's artistic institutions. I just think there are some places for art and some places where - no art. You running up to somebody's property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted. And I think that's exactly what the law says.''

His remarks echoed a decade-long debate in Britain and Australia over what should be done about murals on the streets of London by the artist, whose works now sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Ambulance

Obamacare sticker shock: premiums for young healthy people will jump in 45 states

obama care cost

Young people in 45 states will see their health insurance premiums increase under Obamacare because the law relies on the money they pay into the system to offset the cost of caring for older enrollees, according to a new study.

Virginia leads the pack, as individuals aged 27 and under will see their health insurance premiums jump by 252.5 percent -- $416.55 -- according to the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis.

Virginians under the age of 50 will see their premiums jump by an even greater percentage, rising from $228 to $991.03.

Such increases are not a surprise to the law's architects. "I have always said when looking at this bill, that if I were a young person, I can see elements of this bill that I wouldn't like in the short run," Henry Aaron, vice chairman of the D.C. health exchange, told the Washington Examiner last November.

Heritage expects monthly premiums for young people to drop in Colorado, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, "because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection," according to study author Drew Gonshorowski.

The Heritage Foundation's Chairman Jim Demint cited the premium increases as one of the chief reasons his organization pushed for lawmakers to defund Obamacare most recent continuing resolution to fund government in the absence of a proper budget.

Demint argued that the defund push preserved one policy victory on spending. "If the Republicans had not fought on Obamacare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester," he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday.

Joel Gehrke is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.