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Indonesia's food prices hiked by a whopping 12.9%, inflation at 22-month high

Indonesia flag
© Flickr photo by Mr T in DC
According to DBS, in Indonesia, the food component is the main driver of inflation. Food prices have risen by 7.6% since the beginning of the year and in YoY terms, the figure has surged to 12.9%.

With food prices (including processed food and tobacco) taking up a hefty 36% of the CPI basket, this has single-handedly pulled headline inflation to a 22-month high.

While bad weather in January has contributed to food price pressures, it is the persistent price uptrend in selected spices that that has kept the food price index rising.

Eye 1

Hundreds of teens mob pedestrians on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

© NBC CHICAGOHundreds of teens swarmed the Magnificent Mile, near Michigan and Chicago Avenues, and harrassed innocent shoppers and tourists.
Several teens were arrested after dozens of mob groups began attacking pedestrians on Chicago's downtown Magnificent Mile area on Saturday night.

Police responded to reports of disturbances near Michigan and Chicago Avenues.

Police said 28 teens were arrested during the incident and no serious injuries were reported.

The teens charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and battery and later released, according to News Affairs Officer Perkus.

Eleven other teens were charged with the same misdemeanor charges after they attacked a group of women on the CTA Red Line, police said.

Bizarro Earth

Driver crashes into San Jose Walmart and attacks customers

© Reginald Williams, Special to CBSA driver crashed into a San Jose Walmart on Sunday.
Four Walmart customers were injured in San Jose Sunday morning after a suspect crashed a vehicle into the store and started assaulting people, a San Jose police spokesman said.

Officers first responded to a report of a vehicle that drove into a Walmart store at 777 Story Road at about 11:15 a.m., Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

The driver of the vehicle immediately got out of the vehicle, picked up a blunt object from inside the store and began to physically assault customers, Dwyer said.

Arrow Down

Percent of Americans believing in the resurrection drops to 64% from 77% last Easter

A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is down significantly when compared to a Rasmussen Poll that asked the same question, released a year ago.

On April 7th, 2012 Rasmussen released a poll finding that 77% of Americans believed the resurrection of Christ to be historical fact.

Red Flag

Kaufman County officials, courts under tight security after D.A. killing

© David Woo / Dallas Morning news
As a team of investigators swarmed the north Texas home where Kaufman County Dist. Atty. Mike McLelland was gunned down with his wife over the weekend, courthouse staff returned to work Monday under armed guard.

McLelland, 63, and his wife Cynthia, 65, were found shot to death at their home on Saturday, according to Kaufman County Sheriff's Lt. Justin Lewis. The shootings came about two months after Assistant Dist. Atty. Mark Hasse was fatally shot outside the courthouse, a case that is still under investigation with no arrests, officials have said.

Neighbors behind the McLellands' brick suburban home outside Forney, Texas, told The Times they were questioned by the FBI and Texas investigators Sunday, but that they told officials they had not heard anything suspicious.

Arrow Down


Gluttony: Boobus Obesus Americanus' favorite sin
"Our fear of hypocrisy (political correctness) is forcing us to live in a world where gluttons are fine, so long as they champion gluttony."

Jonah Goldberg
"He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have."
โ€• Socrates
"Do you think it is a vain hope that one day man will find joy in noble deeds of light and mercy, rather than in the coarse pleasures he indulges in today - gluttony, fornication, ostentation, boasting, and envious vying with his neighbor? I am certain this is not a vain hope and that the day will come soon."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Cell Phone

Think you're anonymous? Cellphone data gives you away

Cellphone Data
© beboy | ShutterstockJust a few datapoints of cellphone data can identify unique users 95 percent of the time, new research suggests
Just four points of location data from one's cellphone is enough to uniquely identify the person about 95 percent of the time, new research suggests.

Sifting through 15 months of anonymous location data from 1.5 million cellphone users, researchers found that just four points of data could uniquely identify 95 percent of the cellphone users.

"That data that has no name, email or phone number associated with it can still be personal data," said study co-author Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, a computational social scientist at MIT's Media Lab.

The findings suggest that anonymous location data isn't truly anonymous, and that app makers and legislators may need to reconsider how they treat mobile location data.

Black Magic

Arkansas nuclear plant industrial accident kills one, injures eight

Arkansas Nuclear One plant
A 25-year-old man was killed on Sunday after part of a generator fell while being moved at the Arkansas Nuclear One plant. Eight others were injured during the industrial accident, but operators claim no nuclear material was released.

"We are deeply saddened by what has happened today," executive vice president and chief nuclear officer Jeff Forbes said in a public statement, without providing details about the cause of the young man's death or the severity of the other victims' injuries.

Wade Walters, a 25-year-old employee at the Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) plant and a resident of Russellville, died from unknown injuries sustained during the accident. Eight other employees at the facility sustained non-fatal injuries and were rushed to the hospital.

The accident, which occurred at 7:45 a.m. on Easter Sunday, has caused nearby residents to express deep concern over the potential hazards of living near the plant. The plant is located in Russellville, which is about 70 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Chart Pie

France to shift 75% tax burden to businesses

President Hollande has shifted the burden from individuals to businesses as he pledged last night to go ahead with plans for a 75% tax on incomes over โ‚ฌ1million.

In a TV interview, the French president said he would force companies to pay the headline 75% levy. Shareholders would have the choice to pay managers less than โ‚ฌ1million or keep remuneration high and pay the tax.

The change of plan comes after the conseil constitutionnel struck down the initial plan to tax individuals at the 75% rate, which it said was unfair because it applied to individual taxpayers when income tax in France is assessed on a household basis.


American Anniversaries from Hell

It's true that, last week, few in Congress cared to discuss, no less memorialize, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Nonetheless, two anniversaries of American disasters and crimes abroad -- the "mission accomplished" debacle of 2003 and the 45th anniversary of the My Lai massacre -- were at least noted in passing in our world. In my hometown paper, the New York Times, the Iraq anniversary was memorialized with a lead op-ed by a former advisor to General David Petraeus who, amid the rubble, went in search of all-American "silver linings."

Still, in our post-9/11 world, there are so many other anniversaries from hell whose silver linings don't get noticed. Take this April. It will be the ninth anniversary of the widespread release of the now infamous photos of torture, abuse, and humiliation from Abu Ghraib. In case you've forgotten, that was Saddam Hussein's old prison where the U.S. military taught the fallen Iraqi dictator a trick or two about the destruction of human beings. Shouldn't there be an anniversary of some note there? I mean, how many cultures have turned dog collars (and the dogs that go with them), thumbs-up signs over dead bodies, and a mockery of the crucified Christ into screensavers?

Or to pick another not-to-be-missed anniversary that, strangely enough, goes uncelebrated here, consider the passage of the USA Patriot Act, that ten-letter acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism"? This October 26th will be the 11th anniversary of the hurried congressional vote on that 363-page (essentially unread) document filled with right-wing hobbyhorses and a range of provisions meant to curtail American liberties in the name of keeping us safe from terror. "Small government" Republicans and "big government" Democrats rushed to support it back then. It passed in the Senate in record time by 98-1, with only Russ Feingold in opposition, and in the House by 357-66 -- and so began the process of taking the oppressive powers of the American state into a new dimension. It would signal the launch of a world of ever-expanding American surveillance and secrecy (and it would be renewed by the Obama administration at its leisure in 2011).