UK Consumer Confidence Surges To 15-Year High In June: GfK

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British consumer morale surged to its highest in over 15 years this month as shoppers said they were ready to spend, a survey showed on Tuesday, adding to signs that growth is picking up after a weak start to the year. International Business Times – By Reuters, Luke MacGregor British household spending, the main driver of the country’s robust economic ... Read More »

Son of mafia boss did work experience at Australian embassy, investigation claims

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Investigation claims mafia links to senior Australian politicians The Independent – Siobhan Fenton   A number of links have existed between the Italian mafia and senior Australian politicians, it has been alleged. The relationship between the two groups was so close that the son of a “key mafia figure” completed work experience at the Australian embassy in Rome, despite the same ... Read More »

Meas Muth hosted Peace Corps volunteer

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A current volunteer for the United States’ Peace Corps program in Cambodia lived with alleged Khmer Rouge war criminal Meas Muth for several months last year as part of his official service in Battambang’s Samlot district, the program has acknowledged. The Phnom Penh Post – Charles Rollet and May Titthara Muth, 76, lives freely despite being charged in Case 003 ... Read More »

Europe’s Attack On Greek Democracy

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The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more ... Read More »

US Supreme Court backs use of contentious execution drug

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BBC – The US Supreme Court has upheld the use of a contentious drug used in executions, saying it does not violate a ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling is a setback to opponents of the death penalty, who say midazolam is not suitable for lethal injections. The drug raised concerns after it was used in executions in ... Read More »

$24 million payment for Fairbridge Farm abuse victims

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Comment: we must change the way child abuse claims are handled Adults who were physically and sexually assaulted as children at the notorious Fairbridge Farm School in central western NSW have been awarded $24 million in the largest compensation payment for survivors of institutional child abuse in Australian legal history. The Canberra Times - Rachel Browne, Social Affairs Reporter More ... Read More »

China stocks extend rout as Shanghai index prepares for bear market

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China’s stocks sank in volatile trade, with the benchmark index poised to enter a bear market, as an interest-rate cut over the weekend failed to stem the nation’s biggest rout since 1996. Kyoungwha Kim The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 3.8 per cent to 4035.48 at the morning break, taking declines from its June 12 peak to more than 20 per cent. ... Read More »

Israel detains ship seeking to break its Gaza blockade

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Israel’s navy boarded and took over an activist vessel seeking to break its Gaza blockade and was escorting it to port on June 29 in an operation that did not use force, the military said. Hurriyet – JERUSALEM – Agence France-Presse A flotilla of four boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists had been seeking to reach Gaza to highlight the Israeli blockade ... Read More »

The Next Few Days Have the Potential to Transform Greece and Europe

Burning euronote 1a by Alkis Konstantinidis LLLLLL Reuters

As it turns out, the Greek crisis ends not with a bang, but with a referendum. The New York Times - Neil Irwin It has been easy to ignore the doings in Greece for the last few years, with the perpetual series of summits in Brussels that never seem to resolve anything. But it’s time to pay attention. These next ... Read More »

How Hypersonic Missiles Push America and China towards War

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“Hypersonic weapons add to the complexity and elusiveness of the escalatory dynamics and this is something both sides will need to plan for.” The National Interest - Eleni G. Ekmektsioglou * Hypersonic weapons can achieve speeds over five times faster than the speed of sound (Mach 5) and they are the latest version of precision guided munitions (PGM) that make up ... Read More »