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Feb 4, 2015

Davos 2015 Latest Topics - February 4, 2015: Davos 2015 - The Geopolitical Outlook | Davos 2015 - Global Science Outlook | Davos 2015 - Escaping from poverty | Davos 2015 - China's Impact as a Global Investor.

Al Jazeera English - February 4, 2015> Shelling forces residents to flee eastern Ukraine city

Shelling forces residents to flee eastern Ukraine city


Published on Feb 4, 2015
In eastern Ukraine, fighting is intensifying between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia separatists. Both sides are battling for control of strategic positions in the region. Heavy shelling continues in the rebel-held strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. A hospital in Donetsk was targeted on Wednesday, killing three and injuring many more. The town of Debaltseve has become a flashpoint between the two sides, where heavy shelling is forcing many residents to flee. The town is an important transport hub between Russia and Ukraine. Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports.


    Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "You Low Life Scum” - (2/3/15).



    Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "You Low Life Scum” - (2/3/15)


    Published on Feb 4, 2015
    "The newest Trend Alert is released, JP Morgan agrees to pay $99.5 million for rigging the $1.3 “trillion” forex market & John McCain calls a group of anti-war protesters “low life scum”!"

    The World Bank Group Weekly Update - February 4, 2015:: Who Gains and Who Loses from Oil Price Plunge?.

    World Bank Group Logo

    World Bank Group Weekly Update
     

    Who Gains and Who Loses from Oil Price Plunge?
    Judging by the futures market, where the price of oil for delivery in August 2015 is $56 per barrel, there is little optimism about a recovery in oil prices. With cheap oil looking like it is here to stay, here’s a breakdown of potential consequences for the Middle East and North Africa. Read More »

    Report | Release | Video Blog | Slideshow
    Infographic | Global Economic Prospects

    HIGHLIGHTS
       
    Boosting Solar Energy Capacity
    in Africa
    IFC has launched an initiative to expand the market for solar power in Africa, stimulate competition, and lower tariffs to customers.
    Read More »
    Safeguarding Development from Natural Disasters
    Natural disasters can hit developing countries with an economic force that can roll back development gains and exacerbate inequality.Read More »
    What Will It Take
    to Create More and Better Jobs in Laos?
    With almost 100,000 young people looking for work each year in the coming decade, three key factors are important.
    Read More »
    Well-Equipped Schools Boost Students’ Learning in Afghanistan
    Students are enjoying libraries and computer labs that make lessons more stimulating and help them learn more quickly.
    Read More »



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    Oil Prices: An Opportunity for East Asia
    — Axel van Trotsenburg, Feb. 3
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    Lessons from Estonia: How Bahrain Is Improving Its Health Care
    RELEASE
    China to Keep Iconic Lijiang River Clean with Help from World Bank
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    GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - February 4, 2015: Gold imports by India are said to surge this year as curbs are scrapped.

    Gold imports by India are said to surge this year as curbs are scrapped

    Submitted by cpowell on  Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
    By Vrishti Beniwal and Swansy Afonso
    Bloomberg News
    Wednesday, February 4, 2015
    Gold imports by India, the world's second-biggest user, jumped in the first 10 months of this financial year as the government eased curbs on overseas purchases.
    Shipments jumped to about 940 metric tons from April through January, said two government officials with direct knowledge of the matter, asking not to be identified as the provisional data isn't public. Finance Ministry spokesman D.S. Malik didn't answer two calls to his mobile phone. Purchases fell 35 percent to 662 tons in 2013-2014, according to the Commerce Ministry.
    Imports increased after the government in May allowed more agencies to bring in gold and scrapped a rule requiring shippers to re-export 20 percent of their shipments. India curbed imports in 2013 after the current-account deficit reached a record, pushing rupee to an all-time low. The south Asian nation accounted for 25 percent of global demand in 2013, according to the World Gold Council.
    "Imports may be around 1,000 tons this fiscal and remain stable next year unless we see any fresh government regulations coming in," Madhavi Mehta, an analyst at Kotak Commodity Services, said by phone from Mumbai. ...
    ... For the remainder of the report:

    WP World Views - February 4, 2015: Argentina’s president sent out this strange, offensive, and frankly racist, tweet.

    The Washington Post
    WorldViews
    A complex globe, made clear  •  Wed., Feb. 4, 2015

    Argentina’s president sent out this strange, offensive, and frankly racist, tweet
    The only thing worse than mocking an accent heard in another country is doing it publicly, via Twitter, when you're the president of Argentina, while you're in that other country on a high-stakes diplomatic visit. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner made a strange attempt at humor Wednesday morning when she took to Twitter during a meeting with …  Read full article »

    Greece’s new leftist prime minister is shaking up Europe – by not wearing a tie
    When Greek voters elected the leftist party Syriza last month, many people expected an anti-establishment, even radical, change in policy from the new coalition government. Alexis Tsipras, Syriza's young and charismatic leader, had vowed to transform not just Greece but the entire of Europe. Things were going to be different, very different. What Greek voters might not have expected …  Read full article »

    Jordan’s eye-for-an-eye response to the Islamic State
    It was an act of revenge. Hours after news emerged that the jihadists of the Islamic State had burned alive captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, the Jordanian government responded by hanging two people. Both Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli were convicted terrorists, languishing in Jordanian prison. Their release had been demanded by the Islamic State during …  Read full article »
    India’s most famous female cop is facing the toughest fight of her life: politics
    Kiran Bedi was once India’s first-ranking female police officer who went on to become the first female chief of India’s largest prison. Four years ago, during the 15-day long anti-corruption protest, called India’s Arab Spring by many, she was seen tirelessly waving the national flag and giving fiery speeches. But today, Bedi, 65, is a …  Read full article »
    The Washington Post. The all-new app is now on the Fire tablet. http://washingtonpost.com/fireapp
    These little-noticed foreign fighters may be tipping the balance in Syria
    Over the past year, the phrase "foreign fighter" has become part of the standard vocabulary for Middle East affairs, frequently used to describe the young men and women who traveled to Syria to join a bloody civil war. To a large extent, "foreign fighter" has become synonymous with the Sunni Muslims who join groups like the Islamic State or the …  Read full article »
    Why Danish students are paid to go to college
    When 23-year-old Danish engineering student Louis Moe Christoffersen arrived in Baltimore in late January for an exchange semester, he immediately noticed a difference: Everything was so much more expensive at U.S. colleges than at home. Since 1985, U.S. college costs have surged by about 500 percent, tuition fees keep rising, and even President Obama's plan to make community colleges …  Read full article »
    The tweet of tolerance that lived on after a Japanese journalist was beheaded
    目を閉じて、じっと我慢。怒ったら、怒鳴ったら、終わり。それは祈りに近い。憎むは人の業にあらず、裁きは神の領域。-そう教えてくれたのはアラブの兄弟たちだった。 — 後藤健二 (@kenjigotoip) September 7, 2010 "Closing my eyes and holding still. It's the end if I get mad or scream. It's close to a prayer. Hate is not for humans. Judgment lies with God. The ones who taught me this were my Arabic brothers and sisters." Japanese journalist Kenji Goto tweeted those words in September 2010. …  Read full article »
    An editor who printed a Charlie Hebdo cartoon is so scared she’s now wearing a burqa
    On Jan. 17, the Mumbai-based edition of Avadhnama, an Urdu-language Indian newspaper, ran an image that had been published in Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newsweekly that was the victim of a deadly terror attack earlier in the month. The horror that befell the Paris newspaper -- and its incendiary cartoons that had provoked the ire of extremists -- dominated international headlines in …  Read full article »

    The Islamic State was dumped by al-Qaeda a year ago. Look where it is now.
    One year ago, al-Qaeda formally announced its separation from the Iraq and Syria affiliate, deeming the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) too radical for its standards. From there, the Islamist militant group stood alone. It's shocking to think that in just one year, the Islamic State has caused such upheaval — sending videos of beheadings, massacring thousands of people, actions …  Read full article »

    WP Opinions P.M Edition - February 4, 2015.: Sargent: Jeb Bush will liberate the 47 percent

    The Washington Post
    Opinions P.M. Edition
    Your afternoon update from Opinions blogs and columns  •  Wed., Feb. 4, 2015
    View in your Web browser
    Sargent: Jeb Bush will liberate the 47 percent
    During his speech today in Detroit, which many are interpreting as an effort to road test a “positive” and “optimistic” conservative economic vision, Jeb Bush said: “Far too many Americans live on the edge of economic ruin. And many more feel like they’re stuck in place: Working longer, and harder, even as they’re losing ground. Tens of millions of Americans no longer see a clear path to rise above their challenges.   Read full article »

    Wednesday’s outtake
      Read full article »
    Post Partisan: Senate Democrats should be careful about their filibuster strategy
    On Tuesday, 46 Democrats and one Republican filibustered a Senate bill that would have funded the Department of Homeland Security but also would have removed funding for President Obama’s immigration actions. There is no doubt that the GOP bill is a deplorable attempt to play games with funding for a critical part of the government. Republicans should be ashamed for threatening to send Border Patrol agents, Secret Service agents and other key personnel to work without paychecks. And while Republicans block any substantive attempts to overhaul the broken U.S. immigration system, the president is right to temporarily protect millions of undocumented immigrants, most of whom either came to the U.S. as children or are parents of children who have U.S. citizenship or green cards.  Read full article »
    Rubin: Jeb Bush rolls out his ‘right to rise’ message
    Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush began to explain his “right to rise” message in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club. Starting with a jab at the media — which, he says, find it hard to accept his unconditional love for Bush 41 and 43 — he showed a little leg, a view of his campaign theme.  Read full article »
    Wemple: Fox News stands by decision to post heinous Islamic State burning video online
    Fox News took the controversial step yesterday of posting the 22-minute video from the Islamic State terror group that shows Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned to death. To alert Internet users to what’s in the video, the presentation features these words: “WARNING, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO”  Read full article »
    Petri: Why I’m dreading the ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ sequel
    When word hit Tuesday that Harper Lee was releasing a second book, “Go Set A Watchman,” a sequel to “To Kill A Mockingbird,” the Internet went wild. Scout Finch! Atticus! Jem! We’d be seeing them again. Now that the Twitter jokes and hashtags have died down, though, do we still think this is a good idea?  Read full article »
    Rubin: Does Ashton Carter realize who his boss will be?
    The president’s nominee for secretary of defense, unlike his predecessor, is fully on top of the issues and is an impressive witness. There is little doubt that Ashton Carter will be confirmed. But does he know who he’ll be working for?  Read full article »
    The Washington Post is the #1 print and online media source for opinions leaders inside the beltway. Read more at washingtonpost.com/opinionleaders
    Sargent: Is it too early to call the new GOP Congress a failure?
    Is it too early to call the GOP-run 114th Congress a failure?If I were a Republican voter, I wouldn’t be particularly pleased with what my representatives have managed to do so far — in fact, it’s been more like a month-long string of pratfalls than anything else. There was the abortion bill they introduced and then pulled over language concerning rape victims. They did pass the Keystone XL bill, which will be vetoed — and their timing wasn’t great, given that with gas at $2 a gallon, people aren’t feeling a desperate need for Canadian tar sands oil. Their alternate plans for immigration and health care are nowhere to be seen.  Read full article »
    Rubin: Five pot pointers
    The Hill notes, “A large chunk of the Republican primary field has admitted to using marijuana at some point in their lives, a sign the old politics of pot are going up in smoke, even within the GOP primary circle.” The latest is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), whose pot confession is a sure sign that the underaccomplished freshman senator is following President Obama’s model — merely touching down in the Senate before running for president. What do we make of all this? Five points are critical, I would suggest:  Read full article »
    Wemple: Stop everything! Dr. Keith Ablow said something reasonable on Fox News
    Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comThe same guy who once said that President Obama must love the World Cup because of its ability to “distract people.” The same guy who questioned the “psyche” of Ferguson, Mo., residents protesting the August police killing of Michael Brown. The same guy who pooh-poohed the nutrition advice of Michelle Obama because she “needs to drop a few.” The same guy who, in the midst of Ebola fears, said that Obama didn’t have his country’s best interests in mind: “His affinities, his affiliations are with them, not us. That’s what people seem unwilling to accept. He’s their leader. We don’t have a president.”  Read full article »
    Samuelson: Obama’s community-college gamble
    A presidential budget is more than an expression of policy. It’s also an exercise in political brand management. It aims to project the president and his administration favorably. This is certainly true of President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget, whose proposals are cast as instruments of “middle-class economics.” The government is your partner. It will protect your middle-class status — or help you retrieve it, if it’s been lost.   Read full article »
    The Watch: Morning links: How conservatives came around on criminal justice reform
    “So, where does one find the officer safety exception to the Constitution?”Missoula, Mont., police seek a Homeland Security grant, citing potential threats such as the Rainbow Family, a group that “describes itself as a nonviolent group spreading the message of peace and love.”An NYPD supporter changes his mind after a wrongful arrest.Inspectors general tell Congress that federal agencies are getting increasingly stingy with information. In Michigan, police are still legally permitted to have sex with prostitutes.How conservatives are coming around on criminal justice reform.A Mississippi sheriff wants inmates to pay for medical care.A San Antonio cop who held his family at gunpoint will get to keep his badge.  Read full article »
    Rubin: Obama’s temper tantrum boosts Netanyahu
    Reuters reports:Israeli voters’ security concerns have boosted Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity in the past month, helping him to skirt criticism of a widened rift with the White House as he aims for a fourth election success.  Read full article »
    Post Partisan: Ben Carson is no Sarah Palin — yet
    Y’all know I am no fan of Ben Carson, an all-but-declared aspirant for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The far-right heartthrob likens Obamacare to slavery and homosexuality to beastiality. Just last month at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Carson warned gays that cake makers “might put poison” in their creations if they are forced not to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples (who a majority of the nation believes should have the right to marry, by the way). With stances like that alone, I don’t think “Gifted Hands” should get the keys to the White House.  Read full article »

    Wemple: ‘Daily Show’s’ Jon Stewart chides CNN for (excellent) measles simulation
    It’s become a predictable part of our media echosphere: CNN deploys some high-tech device to illustrate a phenomenon in the news, and “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart skewers the network.Witness CNN’s coverage of the ongoing measles outbreak. In his segment titled “Les Measlesrables,” Stewart commended CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen for a description of measles’ communicability on Monday night: “If I had measles, I walked into a room, and then I walked out, and you walked into that room two hours later, you could get measles if you had not been vaccinated,” Cohen told host Anderson Cooper.  Read full article »

    Saving children — and a hallowed site
    About five miles from the White House, on the historic site of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a state-of-the-art medical research facility sits empty. Founded in 1955, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) building once housed an eminent biomedical research program. Now our country can convert this abandoned but renovated facility into a world-class pediatric medical research center, devoted to the groundbreaking discoveries that can save children’s lives and advance global child health.   Read full article »
    Americans are pretty bad at math. Especially young Americans.
    They say there are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can’t.Americans seem to fall into that can’t-count category, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Read full article »
    Sargent: Morning Plum: From many Democrats, an odd silence on Netanyahu’s speech
    To hear Congressional aides tell it, many House Democrats are angry at the prospect of Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Congress at a time when it could set back President Obama’s hopes for progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran. But relatively few of them are willing to say so publicly — the latest indication that Democrats remain deeply skittish about appearing to be out of sync with whatever Israel wants.  Read full article »
    Rubin: Who benefits from Christie’s and Paul’s ordeals?
    When Mitt Romney exited the GOP presidential race, supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie breathed a sigh of relief. Trying to carve out a niche and raise loads of cash in a race with both Romney and Jeb Bush would have been a tall order. But since then — in fact, since Jeb Bush announced in late December that he would run — Christie has stumbled again and again. His fundraising operation was playing catch-up to Jeb’s. He made a major gaffe on vaccinations, which overshadowed his foreign trip. And reports of the Jersey’s everyman’s infatuation with the high life is puncturing his image as a what-you-see-is-what-you-get persona. Already in single digits in several polls, he seems to be a much-diminished candidate. Certainly the past few days won’t make fundraising any easier. (New Jersey’s pension problem still casts a shadow over his record.) And even among New Jersey Republicans Christie (46 percent) lacks a commanding lead over Bush (37 percent).  Read full article »
    Rubin: Morning Bits
    A meltdown for vaccination deniers, but a victory for public health, sanity and the GOP. “The field of GOP presidential hopefuls is seizing on controversial comments from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that have sparked a national debate on vaccinations this week. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Govs. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and Bobby Jindal (R-La.) aimed to put their potential rivals in a corner as they all said Tuesday that parents should vaccinate their children, a stance widely backed by science.”  Read full article »
    What’s Good For the Kids
    Yesterday I diatribed against TV and here I am linking to a video. Hypocrisy! The distinction here is you don’t have to watch it, you can just listen. And you don’t even have to listen to the whole thing. Ten minutes will will give you the idea. Though the vivid assertions continue till the end.  Read full article »

    Ignatius: Reshuffling the House of Saud
    Saudi Arabia, which often confounds outsiders with its slow and opaque governance, has moved surprisingly quickly under King Salman, its new monarch, to streamline government and purge officials who were seen as underperformers.   Read full article »
    Marcus: A GOP outbreak of scientific illiteracy
    Move over Michele Bachmann. Here comes the 2016 Republican presidential field on the scientifically indisputable but ideologically fraught issue of vaccination.You may recall Bachmann’s campaign implosion in 2011, when the then-Minnesota congresswoman warned of “very dangerous consequences” of the HPV vaccine, citing a woman whose daughter “suffered mental retardation as a result.”   Read full article »
    Parker: Seeking a vaccine for ignorance
    Flashback: Galileo is under house arrest pondering the unyielding ignorance of The Church for refusing to consider his heliocentric proposition that the Earth circled the sun.We find this historical anecdote preposterous today, but people were persecuted for lesser heresies in Galileo’s time. Though we are now centuries removed from such dim-wittery, we find ourselves in a not-dissimilar pickle.   Read full article »
    Sotomayor and Kagan backtrack on cameras in the Supreme Court
    Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan walked back their support for cameras in the Supreme Court, after they both had earlier expressed being in favor of transparency.  During her 2009 confirmation hearing, Justice Sotomayor said she would “relay her positive experiences” with cameras to the other justices.  Maybe Justice Scalia changed her mind.  Read full article »
    Editorial: Montgomery County School Board grants Joshua Starr early release from his duties
    WHEN IT became apparent that he wouldn’t be given another term as Montgomery County schools superintendent, Joshua P. Starr asked to be released from his current contract. His desire to quit in the middle of the school year underlines why he probably wasn’t the best person to lead Maryland’s largest school system. The fact that the school board is going along, essentially paying him not to finish the job they hired him to do, speaks volumes about its judgment. We can only hope board members show better sense when it comes time to select a permanent replacement.  Read full article »
    Editorial: Virginia Republicans dismiss gun safety bills and unwisely want to lift restrictions
    WHEN VIRGINIA Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said late last year that he would introduce a package of gun safety legislation, Republican lawmakers immediately dismissed the initiative as a political stunt and the legislation as dead on arrival — well before it had arrived. Other bills in Richmond designed to promote safer handling and use of firearms have suffered a similar fate, on more or less party-line votes, in the Republican-led legislature. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers, in lockstep with the National Rifle Association, have pushed bills that would make it easier to bring handguns into schools and airports.  Read full article »
    Wemple: Fox News airs Islamic State burning photo: ‘You may want to have the children leave the room, right now’
    At the top of today’s edition of Fox News’s “Special Report,” anchor Bret Baier showed an image of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh as he stood in flames lit by his captors with the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS. Baier gave viewers an opportunity to turn away from the screen:  Read full article »
    Sargent: Happy Hour Roundup
    * Oh look, Democrats know how to filibuster, too: Democrats banded together Tuesday to block the Senate from considering a Homeland Security spending bill, leaving GOP leaders scrambling to find another path forward to challenge the president over immigration.   Read full article »
    Milbank: With latest Obamacare repeal vote, GOP sets ‘record’ for futility
    It is unfair to say Republicans have achieved nothing in their dozens of attempts since 2010 to repeal Obamacare. In Tuesday’s repeal effort by House Republicans — their first of this Congress and their 56th overall — it became clear that they had succeeded at one thing: They had bored even themselves into a slumber.   Read full article »