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Regulators to Classify Gold as Zero-Risk Asset
BY JOHN BUTLER - FinancialSense.com
In what might be the most underreported financial story of the year, US banking regulators recently circulated a memorandum for comment, including proposed adjustments to current regulatory capital risk-weightings for various assets. For the first time, unencumbered gold bullion is to be classified as zero risk, in line with dollar cash, US Treasuries and other explicitly government-guaranteed assets. If implemented, this will be an important step in the re-monetisation of gold and, other factors equal, should be strongly supportive of the gold price, both outright and relative to that for government bonds, the primary beneficiaries of the most recent flight to safety. Stay tuned.
Commodities trading thrives as equities dive
Volume falls on the equity exchange,
while futures contracts surge
By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — In the shadow of a deep recession and a stock market that finished the past decade right about where it started, trading volume in commodities is booming.
For many investors, the shift reflects growing frustration with the performance of traditional securities and a willingness to take on more risk as they rush to get their portfolios back on track.
Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts -
Big Bounce on 'Flight to Safety'
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Gold and silver 'popped' today despite the higher dollar and risk off trade. It happened shortly after I posted the NAV premiums chart, having seen some odd action on the tape, and watching the action closely into the option expiration tomorrow in silver. It is also expiration for copper.
The metals often act oddly around their Comex Option Expirations, depending on a number of factors. If you remember nothing else, remember that. You can get some nice entry and exit points around those days, in the lead up and aftermath.
The Dollar Union: Could We Boot Alabama?
Should New York Secede?
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
Europe has Greece. We have Mississippi. Europe uses the term "permanent bailouts." We call it "Medicaid." And there, in two sentences, is why the dollar zone is working and the euro zone is not.
As this fantastic graph (via Yglesias) from the Economist shows, the poorest states like Mississippi, New Mexico, and West Virginia rely on ginormous transfers of federal taxes in the form of unemployment benefits and Medicaid. Like the United States, the euro zone is all on one currency. Unlike the United States, the euro zone collects a teensy share of total taxes at the EU level and has no legacy of permanent fiscal transfers from the richer countries, like Germany, to the poorer countries, like Greece. The result is the chaos playing over your computer screen day after day.
Pimco's Gross Warns Of Risk Assets
As Aberdeen Avoids Stocks
By Masaki Kondo and Susan Li - Bloomberg.com
Bill Gross, who runs the world's largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., warned against risk assets, as Aberdeen Asset Management Plc (ADN) said it's underweight on stocks.
Asian shares extended a global rout after manufacturing gauges for the euro area, China and the Philadelphia region signaled contraction. The Federal Reserve this week refrained from introducing a third round of so-called quantitative easing even as the central bank cut its U.S. growth forecast.
Hedge funds short stocks, bid up gold
By Regina Hing - MarketWatch Blog
Hedge funds, which were underperforming the S&P 500 for the month as of June 20, have been cutting their exposure to the stock market while bidding up gold, according to a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysis.
The investment bank's investable hedge-fund composite index slipped 0.2% for the month as of June 20, compared to a 3.5% increase for the S&P 500, said Mary Ann Bartels, head of the firm's U.S. technical analysis.
Enter, the Blindside Recession
John P. Hussman, Ph.D. - HissmanFunds.com
In recent months, our measures of leading economic pressures have indicated the likelihood of an oncoming U.S. recession. Our view is based on the analysis of leading/coincident/lagging indicators (see Leading Indicators and the Risk of a Blindside Recession) as well as more statistical signal processing methods that extract "unobserved components" from noisy data (see the note on extracting economic signals in Do I Feel Lucky?). As Lakshman Achuthan at the ECRIhas noted on the basis of different but related evidence, the verdict has been in for a while. The interim has been little more than waiting for the coincident data to catch up to the leading evidence that is already in place.
Bernanke Ponders The Plunge
BY BRADY WILLETT - FinancialSense.com
Three months ago Ben Bernanke gave a series of lectures and defended the Fed's actions during the financial crisis. In what was tantamount to a post-crisis victory lap, Bernanke contended that "we did stop the meltdown", and "we avoided what would have been, I think, a collapse of the global financial system." These sentiments echoed similar self-congratulatory remarks made by Mr. Bernanke in 2011 and 2010. For that matter, they mirrored those made by Bernanke as far back as August 2009:
"History is full of examples in which the policy responses to financial crises have been slow and inadequate, often resulting ultimately in greater economic damage and increased fiscal costs. In this episode, by contrast, policymakers in the United States and around the globe responded with speed and force to arrest a rapidly deteriorating and dangerous situation...As severe as the economic impact has been, however, the outcome could have been decidedly worse. Unlike in the 1930s…" August 21, 2009. Bernanke
U.S. Banks Aren't Nearly Ready for Coming European Crisis
By Simon Johnson - Bloomberg.com
The euro area faces a major economic crisis, most likely a series of rolling, country-specific problems involving some combination of failing banks and sovereigns that can't pay their debts in full.
This will culminate in systemwide stress, emergency liquidity loans from the European Central Bank and politicians from all the countries involved increasingly at one another's throats.
Even the optimists now say openly that Europe will only solve its problems when the alternatives look sufficiently bleak and time has run out. Less optimistic people increasingly think that the euro area will break up because all the proposed solutions are pie-in-the-sky. If the latter view is right -- or even if concern about dissolution grows in coming months -- markets, investors, regulators and governments need to worry not just about interest-rate risk and credit risk, but also dissolution risk.
The end of the road for Europe
After two years of "kicking the can down the road,"
Europe seems to have now come to the end of the road.
By John Nyaradi - MarketWatch.com
....What most American observers don't realize is that, although they call themselves the "European Union," the Continent is still a collection of independent nation-states with each one having its own self-interest at the top of its priorities. The European continent is home to hundreds of thousands of graves of victims of prior wars and battles throughout history between various European empires and countries, and underneath the surface of the European Union, strong forces of nationalism still exist.
If the European Union dissolves, the result will most likely be global recession, even depression, double-digit unemployment across Europe, bank runs, currency devaluations and economic chaos.
The euro should now be put to the sword
The 19th crisis summit won't achieve anything
until it faces up to the EU's economic deceit
By Jeff Randall - Telegraph.co.uk
Given Rome's history of staging grotesque spectacles, it's appropriate that the Eternal City was hosting last week's gathering of leaders in the never-ending circus of European Union summitry. Spectators looking for a demonstration of gladiatorial courage will have been disappointed. Never mind fighting lions, the main players in the arena seem not to know what form the beast takes, much less how to kill it.
Since Greece went into meltdown, triggering a crisis of confidence in the euro, there have been 18 EU summits. The format is wearyingly familiar: after 36 hours of unproductive haggling, a communiqué is issued, promising a united effort to boost growth, promote jobs and curb "speculators".
Angela Merkel defies Latin Europe and the IMF on bond rescue
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shot down calls for full mobilisation of the eurozone's bail-out funds to halt the raging bond crisis in Spain and Italy, ignoring unprecedented pleas for action from the International Monetary Fund.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
"Each country wants to help but if I am going to call on taxpayers in Germany, I must have guarantees that all is under control. Responsibility and control go hand in hand," she said after a crucial summit of the eurozone's Big Four powers in Rome.
Mrs Merkel -- or La Signora No in Italy -- doused hopes of a break-through on proposals by the "Latin Bloc" leaders of Italy, France, and Spain to deploy the funds (EFSF and ESM) to cap the bond yields of "virtuous" countries vulnerable to contagion, or to recapitalize banks directly to take the strain off sovereign states.
May Prove 'Fatal' to Europe: George Soros
By: Jean Chua - Writer for CNBC.com
Germany's resistance to a banking union and stimulus measures is in the way of a solution to Europe's debt crisis, and could turn this week's meeting of the region's leaders into a "fiasco", according to billionaire investor George Soros.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far rebuffed all proposals to help relieve Spain and Italy from the jump in their borrowing costs and has resisted allowing the European Central Bank (ECB) to step up buying of peripheral sovereign debt. That poses a threat to the region's stability, Soros said in an editorial in the Financial Times on Monday.
Moody's Downgrades 28 Spanish Banks On Sovereign Risk
By Charles Penty and Dakin Campbell - Bloomberg.com
Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), Spain's largest lenders, were downgraded by Moody's Investors Service because of the country's sovereign debt and souring real-estate loans.
At least a dozen lenders were lowered to junk status, Moody's said yesterday in a statement. The ratings company downgraded six banks by four levels and 10 by three grades with the rest getting one- and two-tier declines.
Will France be next...
Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy — France?
Reuters - CNBC.com
With a gaping public deficit and record level of debt, the euro zone's second largest economy wants to be sure it is not sucked into the bloc's game of debt-crisis dominoes, hence Paris's forceful lobbying for ways to shore up Europe's banks.
France is one of the strongest advocates of a Europe-wide banking union and, with an eye on its own banks' exposure to vulnerable debt in struggling countries, for immediate recapitalization of banks from euro zone rescue funds.
BRICs Biggest Currency Depreciation Since 1998 To Worsen
By Ye Xie and Michael Patterson - Bloomberg.com
The largest emerging markets, whose economies grew more than four-fold in the past decade, are making losers out of everyone from central bankers to Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) as their currencies post the biggest declines since at least 1998.
For the first time in 13 years, the real, ruble and rupee are weakening the most among developing-nation currencies, while the yuan has depreciated more than in any other period since its 1994 devaluation. P&G, the world's largest consumer-goods maker, cut its profit forecast for the second time in two months last week in part because of currency losses. Brazil's Fibria Celulose SA (FIBR3), the biggest pulp producer, asked banks to loosen restrictions on dollar loans as the real hit a three-year low.
Greek Finance Minister Quits Days Into The Job On Illness
By Maria Petrakis and Marcus Bensasson - Bloomberg.com
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras consented to the resignation of his finance minister, Vassilios Rapanos, four days after naming him to the post.
Rapanos, a former National Bank of Greece (TELL) SA chairman, sent his letter of resignation while still hospitalized after collapsing on June 22. The resignation was accepted by Samaras, according to a phone-text message from the premier's office in Athens today.
"The state of my health isn't at the state that would allow me to fully and adequately exercise my duties," Rapanos said in the letter, which was provided by the premier's office. "I regret that I will not be able to accept in the end your honorable proposal."
Peter Sands documents show warning
to David Cameron of euro danger to Britain
David Cameron has been warned by one of the country's leading bankers that the biggest threat to the City is the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union.
By Robert Winnett, and Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
Peter Sands, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, had a breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday during which he is understood to have raised concerns over a British breakaway.
The warning was sounded amid growing calls from Conservative MPs for Britain to have an "in-out" referendum on the country's ongoing membership of the European Union.
Merkel Hardens Resistance To Euro-Area Debt Sharing
By Tony Czuczka - Bloomberg.com
Chancellor Angela Merkel hardened her resistance to euro-area debt sharing to resolve the region's financial crisis, setting Germany on a collision course with its allies at a summit of European leaders this week.
Merkel, speaking to a conference in Berlin today as Spain announced it would formally seek aid for its banks, dismissed "euro bonds, euro bills and European deposit insurance with joint liability and much more" as "economically wrong and counterproductive," saying that they ran against the German constitution.
Greece Seen Blocked
From Debt Markets Until 2017: Euro Credit
By Anchalee Worrachate
and Lukanyo Mnyanda - Bloomberg.com
Greece may have to wait at least another five years before it can sell bonds to investors, according to financial institutions that trade debt with European governments.
A new administration in Athens and signs that European Union leaders are willing to loosen Greek austerity measures failed to convince primary dealers that the country will be able to return to the market before its second bailout ends in the next three years.
Government Debt: The Price We Pay
BY JR NYQUIST - FinancialSense.com
There is a fascinating passage in Pavel Stroilov's book Behind the Desert Storm. It is a transcript from a discussion between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Gorbachev wants to know where Mubarak gets his country's money from. "Is it flowing in the Nile?" he asks. Mubarak replies that, "Everyone has debts in today's world." He went on to say that Egypt only accepted non-repayable aid. "Nowadays," Mubarak explained, "almost nobody repays debts. I am talking to you absolutely frankly."
Who's Propping Up the U.S. Treasury Market?
By Jeff Nielson - TheStreet.com
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Treasury market is the biggest financial mystery today.
Much like the proverbial "lead zeppelin" defies the laws of physics, the current status of the Treasury market defies all of our financial fundamentals. It is a market that cannot exist, and yet it does.
Previously, my own writing has focused upon one particular aspect of this absurdity: the highest pricesfor U.S. Treasuries at a time of maximum supply. This, in itself, is an absolute financial contradiction. The highest supply in history directly implies the lowest prices in history, for every market in the world -- except U.S. Treasuries.
Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High,
Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low
By Henry Blodget - BusinessInsider.com
In case you need more confirmation that the US economy is out of balance, here are three charts for you.
1. ) Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from "too much regulation" and "too many taxes." Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren't).
2) Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don't employ as many Americans as they used to.
3) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they're paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those "wages" are other companies' revenue.
Birmingham: That's Not Our Problem
By MICHAEL CORKERY - WSJ.com
Officials from Birmingham, Ala., say they have a lot to offer municipal-bond investors: a jobless rate below the national average, a credit rating on par with New York City's and lots of cash in reserve.
There is just one problem: The city is the county seat for Jefferson County, which last year filed the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S history.
As Birmingham weighs a return to the bond market, its leaders will soon find out if the city will pay a price for its inconvenient geography. It is likely the city will pay higher interest rates than similarly credit-worthy cities and towns.
Top secret: $80B a year for food stamps,
but feds won't reveal what's purchased
By Luke Rosiak-The Washington Times
Americans spend $80 billion each year financing food stamps for the poor, but the country has no idea where or how the money is spent.
Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants. And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.
But the government won't say which stores are doing the most business in food stamps, and even it doesn't know what kinds of food those taxpayer dollars buy.
Court Rejects Montana Challenge to Citizens United
by Tracy Bloom - Trithdig.com
The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its controversial 2-year-old decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in politics when it struck down a law in Montana banning such spending. In doing so, the justices effectively expanded Citizens United's reach to state campaign finance laws.
"The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does," the majority wrote in a per curiam opinion. "Montana's arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citizens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case."
Chinese in Talks to Fund U.S. Homes
By DINNY MCMAHON And ROBBIE WHELAN - WSJ.com
Lennar Corp., one of the U.S.'s largest home builders, is in talks with the China Development Bank for approximately $1.7 billion in capital to jump-start two long-delayed San Francisco projects that would transform two former naval bases into large-scale housing developments, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The negotiations aren't final and the financing arrangement could still fall through. But if completed, the deal would reflect a changing dynamic between the U.S. and Chinese economies, as an American company turns to China for help funding a long-delayed and partially publicly funded project that otherwise wouldn't get done.
Consumer confidence falls in second quarter: Nielsen
By Susan Fenton
LONDON | Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:34am EDT
(Reuters) - Consumer confidence fell in the second quarter from early this year as slowing employment growth and an escalating euro zone crisis made Americans more cautious about the economic outlook, a survey showed on Monday.
Consumer sentiment in the world's biggest economy fell by 5 points in the second quarter from the first quarter to 87, according to a quarterly survey by global information and insights company Nielsen, conducted May 4-21.
Shiller Goes Off The Deep End- Wants to condemn millions
of US guaranteed mortgages from the bankster mafia
By Lee Adler - WallStreetExaminer.com
Robert Shiller has finally gone off the deep end. He wants to condemn millions of US guaranteed mortgages from the bankster mafia.
Shiller: My colleague Karl Case and I showed in 1996 that when the value of a home falls below the value of the mortgage debt — when it is underwater — a person is much more likely to default on the mortgage. And it is well known that in foreclosures, lenders lose so much on the legal costs and depressed market values of the homes that it would be in their interest to lower mortgage balances so the homeowners stay in place and don't default.
HP to trim 9,000 jobs in U.S. as part of cost-cutting plan
HP will also cut 8.000 jobs in the European Union
as part of a plan to cut 27,000 jobs by fiscal 2014
By Agam Shah - Computerworld.com
IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard plans to trim its workforce by about 9,000 in the U.S. as part of its long-term plan to reduce 27,000 jobs worldwide by fiscal 2014, a source familiar with the company's plans said.
HP in May said it was cutting about 8% of its workforce through a combination of layoffs and retirement offers in an effort to save $3 billion to $3.5 billion through fiscal year 2014. At the time, HP said that employee reductions would vary by country.
Court Splits on Arizona Law
Justices Rein In Law Aimed at Curbing Illegal Immigrants
but Allow Police Checks
By JESS BRAVIN and TAMARA AUDI - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court struck down the harshest parts of an Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants, ruling the state interfered with congressional authority over U.S. borders, but it let stand a requirement that police check the immigration status of people they stop for traffic or other offenses.
By a vote of 6-2, the court voided a provision making it a state crime for an immigrant to fail to carry federal registration papers. By 5-3 votes, it invalidated sections that authorized jail time for illegal immigrants who seek work in Arizona and that gave local police more power to arrest immigrants suspected of offenses.
High court splits its verdict on Arizona immigration law
By James Vicini and Jonathan Stempel
WASHINGTON | Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:18pm EDT
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the main provision of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants but threw out three other parts, handing partial victories to President Barack Obama in his challenge to the law and to the measure's conservative supporters.
In an important test of whether federal or state governments have the power to enforce immigration laws, the top U.S. court unanimously upheld the statute's most controversial aspect, a requirement that police officers check the immigration status of people they stop, even for minor offenses such as jay-walking.
Illegal and Counter-Productive
Obama's Killer Drones
by MARJORIE COHN and JEANNE MIRER - CounterPunch.org
The Bush administration detained and tortured suspected militants; the Obama administration assassinates them. Both practices not only visit more hatred upon the United States; they are also illegal. Our laws and treaties prohibit torture. The Constitution forbids the government from depriving any person of life without due process of law; that is, arrest and fair trial. Yet President Obama has approved the killing of people, many of whom were not even identified before the kill order was given.
Jo Becker and Scott Shane reported in the New York Times that Obama maintains a "kill list." After consulting with his counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan, Obama personally makes the decision to have individuals executed. Brennan was closely identified with torture, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition during the Bush administration. The Times story, based on interviews with three dozen current and former Obama advisers, reports that "Mr. Obama has avoided the complications of detention by deciding, in effect, to take no prisoners alive. While scores of suspects have been killed under Mr. Obama, only one has been taken into U.S. custody" because he doesn't want to add new prisoners to Guantanamo.
SCOTUSblog Is The Talk Of The Twitterverse
As Court Rules On Major Cases
By DAVID TAINTOR - TlakingPointsMemo.com
As the Supreme Court wraps up its term and rules on its most high-profile cases,SCOTUSblog has become an invaluable guide for those trying to make sense of the court's rulings.
Last Thursday, the blog — where the Supreme Court's decisions are reported in real time — peaked at 70,000 readers. On Monday, when the Court ruled on Arizona's controversial immigration law and Montana's challenge to Citizens United, the blog had more than 100,000 readers on the site.
The Tax Rules for Renting Out Your Vacation Home
By LAURA SAUNDERS - WSJ.com
Summer is here, and so is this year's crop of summer rentals. In some areas, the market for vacation properties is even perking up after a string of down years.
If you are a vacation-home landlord or thinking of becoming one, it is time to review the tax rules on rental income from second homes.
This isn't beach reading. Apart from one simple provision, this area is among the messiest in the tax code—"worse than luxury-car depreciation and almost as bad as the alternative minimum tax," says CPA Douglas Stives of Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Facebook Confirms Changing
Users' Default Email Addresses, More Changes Coming
By CARL FRANZEN - TalkingPointsMemo.com
If you have a Facebook account, now may be a good time to check the email address that is associated with it (located under "About" and "Contact Info"). Facebook has confirmed to TPM that it has begun automatically changing users' default displayed emails to "@Facebook.com" email addresses, which Facebook provides for each user's account.
As a Facebook spokesperson wrote to TPM: "As we announced back in April, we've been updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site."
Indeed, Facebook did issue a brief public news alert about the change on April 12 which was widely covered by tech blogs.
Facebook Wants To Hire This 17-Year-Old
But She Hasn't Decided If She Wants The Job
By Owen Thomas - BusinessInsider.com
Nive Jayasekar created a mobile app for Home Depot over a weekend and won $10,500—and got an offer to work at Facebook.
She's only 17.
The Social-Loco conference organized a hackathon event held June 16-17, sponsored by big brands like Home Depot.
Jayasekar entered, drawn by the prizes. She decided to develop a project organizer for the home-improvement chain as a Windows Phone app, because that was a special prize category.
DHS Cellphone Alert System 'Follows You Around'
Presidential messages to have their own distinctive ring tone
Paul Joseph Watson - Infowars.com
Not only does the Department of Homeland Security's new emergency alert system force cellphone users to receive text messages directly from President Obama, it also "follows" the user wherever they go, according to newly released details of the program.
As we reported last week, Apple's eagerly awaited iOS 6 update for iPhones and iPads will feature the alerts, along with updates of other operating systems. All new cell phones will be required to comply with the PLAN program (Personal Localized Alerting Network), which will broadcast emergency alert messages directly to Americans' cell phones, either through chips directly embedded in new phones or with software upgrades for older models.
Want a cell phone that is JUST A PHONE,
with no GPS tracking? Try the Jitterbug phone
T-Mobile USA to buy, swap spectrum with Verizon
By Peter Svensson - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
NEW YORK — Verizon Wireless on Monday said that it has agreed to sell some wireless spectrum rights to T-Mobile USA and swap others, in a continuing quest to get regulators to approve a bigger spectrum deal it has worked out with a consortium of cable companies and another wireless carrier.
The deal with T-Mobile USA would improve the ability of both companies to offer fast wireless data services, Verizon said. T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless companies, is particularly starved for spectrum compared to its larger competitors, and regulators are likely to favor a deal that would improve its position.
When Your Data Becomes More Useful Than You Want It to Be
Our brains can't forecast what the technologies of tomorrow will do with the information we are uploading today.
By Alexis Madrigal - TheAtlantic.com
Here's a problem with uploading your life into the cloud: you're sending it Internetward with an understanding of today's technologies -- and tomorrow always comes.
So, you upload photos to Facebook thinking about how easy it is for your friends and family to see them. You are not thinking about people a year or two years down the line being able to search through every photo you've ever uploaded by face, not name.
Companies cry foul over new guidance on social media policies
By Tim Devaney-The Washington Times
Companies trying to monitor — and control — what their employees are saying about them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media are finding their policies under attack from the Obama administration.
In a little-noticed advisory this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that six of the seven corporate social media policies it examined included provisions that failed to pass regulatory muster, proving too vague to enforce or too intrusive on their workers' right to free expression online.
Beyond iPhone and Android:
5 hot new platforms for developers
By Peter Wayner - Computerworld.com
....The smartphone has proven that a marketplace for delivering code can appear seemingly out of nowhere, and developers would have another choice for showcasing their wares. It's not that the App Store was new -- you could develop for Nokia, Windows Mobile, and Java phones long before it came along. But Apple eased the process and provided enough features that made it worthwhile for developers to start creating.
So when we say that some day in the possible near future you may be targeting your apps at users' shirt pockets, not what they put in them, you may think it's time for the straitjackets. But all it takes is a market. The technology is already there -- sort of.
Why We Fight
By Chris Hedges - Truthdig.com
I park my car in the lot in front of the rectory of Sacred Heart in Camden, N.J., and walk through a gray drizzle to Emerald Street. My friend Lolly Davis, whose blood pressure recently shot up and whose kidneys shut down, had been taken to a hospital in an ambulance but was now home. I climb the concrete steps to her row house and ring the bell. There is an overpowering stench of garbage in the street. Her house is set amid other brick and wooden residences, some of which have been refurbished under Monsignor Michael Doyle's Heart of Camden project at Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic parish. Other structures on Davis' street sit derelict or bear the scars of decay and long abandonment.
Hedges Is L.A. Press Club's Journalist of the Year
On a night when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were honored for their hallmark Watergate investigation, theLos Angeles Press Club named Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges as the 2011 journalist of the year in the online category. Truthdig received honorable mentions in Best Website Exclusive to the Internet and in Group Weblog.
In awarding him the organization's top prize for online writers, the judges offered high praise for Hedges, calling him "Champion of the 99%—mortal enemy of the 1%. This former war correspondent turns out weekly columns packed with insightful and biting opinion."
Cato at Peace
Ed Crane steps down to end the Koch brothers'
attempted coup at Cato, and libertarians cheer.
By David Weigel - Slate.com
Shortly before 3 p.m. today, the men and women of the Cato Institute strolled into the renovated Friedrich von Hayek Auditorium to confirm their good news. Five days earlier, theWashington Post broke news of a settlement between David Koch, Charles Koch, and America's largest, longest-lived libertarian think tank. Ed Crane, 68, Cato's president since its 1977 genesis in San Francisco, would step down. His replacement would be John Allison, 64, a banker who'd endowed college courses on the work of Ayn Rand.
Saudi Aramco's New Venture Capital Firm
to Invest in New Drilling Technologies
By Joao Peixe - OilPrice.com
In a confidential project Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the world's largest crude oil exporter, is to set up a venture capital company to invest in international start-ups which look to develop new drilling technologies.
The investment company will start operating soon, mainly looking to develop and gain access to the latest techniques, expertise, and technology for boosting the oil production output at older fields, and the use of hydraulic fracturing to speed up the extraction of crude oil.
Mystery of Explosives at Swedish Nuclear Power Plant Deepens
By John Daly - OilPrice.com
On 20 June Sweden ramped up security at its three nuclear power plants (NPPs) after explosives without a triggering device were found on a forklift on the grounds of the country's largest atomic power station at Ringhals, 45 miles south of Sweden's second-largest city, Goteborg, which has a population of 550,000 people.
Nothing to see here, move along - authorities said that while police were investigating possible sabotage, even if there had been a blast it would not have posed any great danger.
Sweden has 10 nuclear reactors at three NPPs, Ringhals, Forsmark and Oskarshamn, which generate about half of Sweden's electrical output.
Muslim Brotherhood Takes Egypt, Cleric Declares:
Our Capital 'Shall Be Jerusalem, Allah Willing'
see video - read Isaiah 19 for more information
Egypt has a new president: Let the fear mongering begin!
Fox News put up video that identified a speech by hard-core preacher Safwat al-Hegazy as being delivered by Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi within hours of Morsi's victory.
By Dan Murphy - CSMonitor.com
Egypt's first freely elected, and first civilian, president is the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.
The Muslim Brotherhood is in many ways the founder of modern Islamist movements, with roots extending back 84 years. Though it long ago abandoned violence as a political tactic, and was harshly repressed by ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his predecessors, it remains a highly controversial organization. In US political circles, it's hardly uncommon to hear to the organization mentioned in the same breath as terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. More reasonably, many Egyptians fear the organization will seek to replace Egypt's civil code with Islamic law. After all, the group's primary slogan is "Islam is the solution."
Turkey calls emergency Nato talks on Syria
BY ANDREW RETTMAN - EUObserver.com
BRUSSELS - Turkey has invoked the softer article four of the Nato treaty after Syria shot down one of its warplanes on Friday (22 June).
Its decision will see the 28 Nato countries' ambassadors hold emergency talks in the North Atlantic Council, the political steering group of the military alliance, in Brussels on Tuesday.
Article four says that any ally can call talks if it thinks its security has been "threatened."
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