y forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage.
As the West tightens financial sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian businesses are reducing their exposure to the dollar to minimize the damage from still tougher punishments. Many of these businesses have turned to the Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to the greenback.
Russian mobile phone carrier MegaFon said it will convert 40% of its dollar- and euro-denominated cash reserves into Hong Kong dollars.
Major nonferrous metal producer Norilsk Nickel has also decided to shift its U.S. dollar funds into the Hong Kong dollar.
The Hong Kong dollar is an ideal safe haven for Russian companies looking to park their cash. Because the currency is pegged to the greenback, the foreign-exchange risk of holding Hong Kong dollars is no different from owning the U.S. currency. But because Hong Kong is part of China, funds held in the Hong Kong dollar are unlikely to be affected, even if the U.S. and Europe introduce tougher sanctions against Russia, such as asset freeze.
Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed, setting up stock and bond prices for declines on Thursday and raising chances a recession could worsen this year.
After a long legal battle with hedge funds that rejected Argentina’s debt restructuring following its 2002 default, Latin America’s third-biggest economy failed to strike a deal in time to meet a midnight deadline for a coupon payment on exchange bonds.
Even a short default will raise companies’ borrowing costs, pile more pressure on the peso, drain dwindling foreign reserves and fuel one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
However, Argentina is not the only country that has struggled to pay its debt recently. There are 10 other countries currently on Moody’s lists with a rating of Caa1 or worse, meaning they are at risk of default.
Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica and Ukraine are all on the verge of a default, according to Moody’s ratings.
No police department should get federal funds unless they put cameras on officers, Sen. Claire McCaskill says.
Such a requirement would represent a "great legacy" to come from the death of Ferguson teen Michael Brown, the Democratic senator from Missouri said.
North Korea has joined the ranks of America's foes who have seized on riots in Missouri, saying the nation is the "graveyard of human rights" and should mind its own business rather than criticise others.
A new study by researchers at the University of Buffalo finds a significantly lower incidence of domestic violence among married couples who smoke pot. "Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration," the study concludes.
Finally, a little-known aspect of the crisis in Ukraine is receiving some international attention. On July 28, the California-based Oakland Institute released a report revealing that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under terms of their $17 billion loan to Ukraine, would open that country to genetically-modified (GM) crops and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. The report is entitled “Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict.” 
In late 2013, the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a European Union association agreement tied to the $17 billion IMF loan, whose terms are only now being revealed. Instead, Yanukovych chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a discount on Russian natural gas. His decision was a major factor in the ensuing deadly protests that led to his ouster from office in February 2014 and the ongoing crisis.
According to the Oakland Institute, “Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies. There is no doubt that this provision meets the expectations of the agribusiness industry. As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, ‘Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont’.” 
Police have erected nine feet high security fencing around Celtic Manor resort in Newport and Cardiff city centre.
150 world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron will meet in South Wales on September 4 and 5.
Kim Howells, former foreign office minister, fears that home grown Islamic State terrorists could be planning to attack.
More than 9,000 officers from across the UK have been drafted in to police event and traffic disruptions are likely.
The total cost for security is not yet known and is expected to be published after the summit by the Government.
I am being accused of funding people in Syria.
The reality is some butt hurt Zionist just decided to call up paypal with a bunch of huge lies in order to disrupt my life.
WEBMASTER BUMP TO THE TOP
By forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage.
The US is once again on the warpath against Syria after the beheading of US citizen James Foley was released on the internet a week ago.
His execution is being used to justify a mixed anti-terror and ‘humanitarian’ intervention in northeastern Syria. An information offensive has now been launched to peddle the myth of ‘limited’ strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets, but in all actuality, such a campaign is impossible to contain within the strict limits US authorities are promising.
Obama has already authorized surveillance flights over Syrian territory, showing that an attack appears to be imminent. A quick exercise in scenario forecasting illustrates how any US intervention in Syria will most certainly evolve from a ‘limited anti-terror operation’ to a massive military offensive, complete with proxy occupations and a full-scale outbreak of chaos throughout the entire country.
Russian and Ukrainian leaders have concluded their first official face-to-face meeting in Minsk during which they discussed Ukraine's Association Agreement with EU and the crisis and humanitarian disaster in the east of the country.
Russia will do everything to facilitate a peace process in Ukraine, President Putin told the press following the 2-hour talks, which he described as “positive.”
However, Russia did not and had never set forth conditions for settling Ukraine’s internal conflict, Putin added, so a ceasefire agreement was not discussed during the talks in the absence of peace suggestions from Ukrainian leadership.
“We, Russia, cannot talk about any ceasefire conditions whatsoever, or possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk,” Putin stated.
An F-15 military jet crashed in western Virginia early Wednesday, according to local media reports.
In Deerfield, Virginia, multiple news outlets have reported already that an aircraft crashed shortly after 9:00 a.m. local time in a wooded part of the region around 180 miles west of Washington, DC. By 10:30, the news site had confirmed that a spokesperson for the National Travel Safety Board identified the aircraft as a military jet.
Officials with the August County Sheriff’s Office told a local ABC News affiliate that a loud boom had been heard in the mountainous part of Deerfield at around 9:15 a.m., and that witnesses reported black smoke emerging from the scene. The News Leader also reported that Virginia State Police had been notified roughly at the same time of a plane crash, and that the debris was likely that of an F-15 jet.
"I'm on location, with smoke, and we do have debris," the News Leader quoted a responder as saying just after 10:00 a.m. by way of an emergency radio dispatch. "I got debris everywhere... I haven't located anybody."
The militarization of America’s police forces has been the result of federal policy that not only provides the means to give men-in-blue the same tools as combat soldiers, but in fact requires law enforcement to “use it or lose it” when it comes to military equipment.
Specifically, the Department of Defense’s 1033 program—which funnels all kinds of military surplus goods to police—has a provision that clearly says that any participating law enforcement agency must use its equipment within one year of receiving it. If they don’t, they have to give it up.
This toxic practice makes seriously decayed meat look fresh for weeks and is banned in many countries including the European Union and Japan.
Many consumers are unaware that over 70% of beef and chicken in the United States and Canada is treated with poisonous carbon monoxide gas and the FDA allows it, despite the known public health risks.
A bill was introduced in Congress that would require the labeling of meat that has been treated with carbon monoxide but it was never enacted and the topic was swept under the rug entirely. [Bill: H.R. 3115 (110th) introduced on July 19, 2007; never enacted.]
This practice makes meat appear and smell fresh even when contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E-coli 0157:H7.
The beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs depicted dissatisfied veterans as Oscar the Grouch in a recent internal training guide, and some vets and VA staffers said Tuesday that they feel trashed.
The cranky Sesame Street character who lives in a garbage can was used in reference to veterans who will attend town-hall events Wednesday in Philadelphia.
A United Nations report has accused Syria of using chemical weapons eight times in April - and highlights mass atrocities by Islamic State militants.
The report by the independent Commission of Inquiry said it believed chlorine, dispatched in barrel bombs, was the agent used on multiple occasions.
It also highlighted mock crucifixions, public executions, amputations and the beheading of children by Islamic State militants in parts of Syria.
The accusations came amid reports that Syrian rebels had seized control of the Syrian crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
A federal jury in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday convicted a former cyber security chief at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of child pornography charges, according to the Justice Department. The prosecutor said that the suspect had even proposed meeting a fellow pedophile in person to indulge their shared fantasy of raping and murdering children.
Malcolm Turnbull has condemned the people behind anti-Semitic leaflets distributed in Sydney this week, saying their actions "gnaw away at the foundations of society".
The flyers, which called for action from "white Australia," were delivered to mail boxes on a predominantly Jewish street in Bondi.