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Thu, 20 Feb 2020
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Illinois drivers may be banned from pumping their own gas

pumping gas
Drivers in Illinois would be prohibited from pumping their own gas if state lawmakers pass a proposed bill.

The Gas Station Attendant Act, introduced by Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), "provides that no gas may be pumped at a gas station in the state unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant employed at the gas station."

Proponents say the bill would create jobs. Critics say it would raise gas prices. The proposal comes after the state of Illinois doubled its tax on gas in 2019.


China reports huge jump in new coronavirus infections and deaths; Oil, stocks tumble

hong kong facemasks market coronavirus
© Associated Press / Achmad Ibrahim
People visit the open market wearing face masks in hopes to prevent contracting the spreading coronavirus in Hong Kong
All those clueless hacks who warned us for years not to trust China's economic numbers, yet were so gullible to believe any coronavirus pandemic "data" released by Beijing are going to look pretty stupid right about now.

Hubei just released its latest round of coronavirus outbreak figures, and in a clear confirmation of the 'conspiracy theory' that China had altered the way it was reporting Covid-19 deaths and cases - clearly in order to suggest that things were improving and you should go back to work, while ideally buying stocks, the province at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic just came clean and the numbers are stunning.

The number of cases exploded by 14,840, resulting in a total of 48,206 cases, including 13,332 clinically diagnose cases:

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Almost a THIRD of US workers can't live on their paychecks, spelling doom for a service economy based on discretionary spending

© REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Almost one in three American workers can't quite make ends meet in between paydays, a new survey has revealed. This doesn't bode well for the US' service economy, where discretionary spending is the major driver of growth.

Some 32 percent of US workers are unable to stretch their salaries to cover their needs, according to a survey published on Tuesday by Salary Finance. Nor is this inability to make one's paycheck last limited to poor and working-class individuals - the poll queried over 2,700 adults working for medium- to large-sized companies about their finances and found that even among those making over $200,000 annually, 32 percent "always" or "most of the time" ran out of cash before payday.

Certainly, the insufficient-funds problem is more severe for those making under $15,000 per year - fully 40 percent, or two in five, are unable to make ends meet on that salary. But no matter how high up the pay scale one goes, the problem stubbornly refuses to vanish.

Comment: See also: Trump's greatest vulnerability is the economy - just ask poor Americans


Breakthrough or whitewash? Long-overdue punishment for a terror monster as Pakistan sentences Hafiz Saeed for 2008 Mumbai attack

© Reuters / Arko Datta
I have personal reasons to be elated with the 11-year-sentencing of the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday - though like most self-gratifying moments, I could be guilty of undue haste.

I feel a sense of lightness at the sentencing of a monster terrorist who masterminded the 26/11 attack in Mumbai in 2008, in which 166 innocent people were gunned down, including a very dear fellow journalist with whom I shared the newsroom at the English daily Times of India in the 1990s.

Though the sentence is too little, too late - and could still mean nothing in the days to come - Hafiz Saeed is the face of evil to me. Saeed's men pumped bullets into my colleague and friend, Sabina Saikia, pulling her from below the bed where the terrified girl had hidden at the staccato sounds of machine guns outside her room in the iconic Taj Hotel of India's commercial capital.


Archbishop of Canterbury: 'I'm ashamed of our history'; Church of England 'still deeply institutionally racist'

Archbishop of Canterbury
© Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Kenya St. Stephen's Cathedral
The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his shame after admitting that the Church of England remains "deeply institutionally racist," insisting that they must change the "hostile environment" for black and ethnic minorities.

In a scathing speech on Tuesday, Justin Welby, who is England's most senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England — a Christian church — claimed they had failed over many decades on the issue of race equality.

Welby's intervention came as the General Synod voted to back a motion to "lament" and apologize for both conscious and unconscious racism in relation to black and ethnic minorities since the arrival of the Windrush generation in the UK between the late 1940s and 1970.

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Engdahl: Will coronavirus in China trigger worldwide depression? US economy already fragile

Comment: At this point, we don't think there's much to the 'coronavirus' outbreak. BUT China is sure behaving as if there is, tempting other countries to isolate themselves from her and bringing about the scenario outlined here...

china stock
Historically the greatest economic depressions have started with unexpected events on the periphery of major financial markets. That was the case in May 1931 with the surprise collapse of the Austrian Creditanstalt Bank in Vienna which brought the entire fragile banking system of postwar Germany down with it, triggering the Great Depression in the United States as major US banks were rocked to their foundations. Will it be again an unanticipated event outside the financial markets, namely the China 2029 Novel Coronavirus and its effects on world trade and especially on US-China trade that triggers a new economic depression?

Until around January 20 when the news broke about the coronavirus exploding in China's Wuhan and surrounding cities, global financial markets and especially in the US were optimistic that the combined actions of the Federal Reserve to pump in more liquidity and of the Trump Administration to do all possible in an election year would keep the economy positive. Stocks continued their artificial climb as Fed liquidity fueled the fires of the most overvalued stock market in US history for January.

Comment: See also:


LA Fire Department buys first electric fire engine, can run for less than two hours - has back up diesel generator

fire engine

Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas (pictured) said in a statement: ‘I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine.’
The Los Angeles Fire Department is set to become the first fire department in North America to purchase an electric fire engine.

Developed by the Austrian firm Rosenbauer, the rig will be custom made to fit LAFD's needs, as well as safety standards set by the National Fire Protection Association.

The electric fire truck will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt-hours, which is two hours of consistent operation.

The Department expects to take delivery of the new engine in early 2021 and will likely assign it to Fire Station 82 in Hollywood.

Comment: Hollywood, of course...

Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas (pictured) said in a statement: 'I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine.'

Comment: It's products like this that really only serve to further prove the current unviability of electric vehicles, as well as how dangerously out of touch with reality their fanatics are.

See also:

Chart Bar

Survey finds people who identify as left-wing more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness

political compass
A new survey of more than 8,000 people has found that those who identify with left-wing political beliefs are more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Ann Coulter's "liberalism is a mental disorder" catchphrase has become something of a clichéd meme, but the data appears to support it.

Carried out by Slate Star Codex, the online survey collected a wealth of data from respondents about their education, demographic, lifestyle and political views.

Comment: See also:

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Baltic republics' "de-Russification" sees increased poverty and depopulation

baltic countries
Pensioners in the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are more exposed to the risk of poverty than pensioners in other European Union (EU) countries, according to Eurostat data for 2018 that was published only last week. The average EU figure was 15% but 54% of citizens over 65 in Estonia are at risk of poverty, with the figure at 50% in Latvia and 41% in Lithuania.

In addition, the difference between third and fourth place on the list is large, with the next country Bulgaria sitting at 30%. The lowest rates were recorded in Slovakia (6%), France (8%), surprisingly Greece (9%), and Denmark, Luxembourg and Hungary (10%). The Eurostat data also found that between 2010 and 2018, women retired were at 3-4% more risk of poverty than men. Two years ago, the largest gender gap was in Lithuania (18%), Estonia (17%), Bulgaria (15%), Czech Republic (13%), and Latvia and Romania (11%), while in Spain, Malta and Italy, men aged 65 and over were at the highest risk of poverty. The Baltic States are regularly featured at the top of EU lists looking at in living standards. In February last year, Eurostat ranked Lithuania in the top five countries with the highest risk of poverty - not that neighboring Latvia and Estonia performed much better.

In Latvia, retirement age has increased, the minimum pensions will be calculated on a certain basis, and residents will be able to inherit their second pillar pension capital - this is the kind of change that the Latvian population will face in 2020. The retirement age in Latvia has been increased once more by three months. Persons over the age of 63 and 9 months are now eligible to retire if their insurance record is at least 15 years.

Comment: See also:


Florida man who drove van into GOP voter tent said it was because he 'does not like' Trump

voter tent
© Duval County GOP
The Florida man who was arrested last weekend after allegedly ramming his van through a Republican voter registration tent told police that he was motivated by an opposition to President Trump.

In a new redacted arrest report, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said that Gregory Timm "advised that he does not like President Trump" after officers interviewed him at his residence the day of the alleged attack. The report added that another reason he drove his van through the tent was because "it's like someone shitting on your grave." A third motivating factor was redacted.

Timm, 27, was arrested on Saturday and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license. Police announced the day of his detainment that they were launching an investigation into whether the incident was politically motivated. There were no reported injuries stemming from incident.

The new police report noted that multiple victims were forced to scramble away from the tent to avoid being struck as Timm's vehicle rammed through the registration tent. Police said that the car knocked over the tent and several tables and chairs. Timm then got out of his car, took out his phone and flipped the victims off, according to the report.

Comment: Media coverage of the incident has been minor, however if it had been a democratic voter registration booth, the media would have a field day. RT reports:
While the incident has not been entirely ignored by the mainstream media, the coverage has been subdued. There appeared no pieces on "growing violence," "domestic terrorism" and other familiar themes that often spring up in wake of attacks where the perpetrator is even suspected of having right-wing beliefs.

The muted coverage has angered Donald Trump supporters, and Trump Jr. lead the charge on Tuesday, to vent his anger over what he said was selective coverage of the attack.

"Where is the outraged media? Why are they so silent on this? This would be the number one story in the world right now if it was a Trump supporter doing it to a group of liberals," Don Jr. wondered.