yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei: aprile 2017

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domenica 30 aprile 2017

At least five people were killed and dozens injured as massive tornados swept through east Texas, leaving behind a trail of mangled trees, overturned vehicles, and damaged houses, authorities sad. Canton in Van Zandt County, some 50 miles (80 km) east of Dallas, was the city most affected by the extreme weather conditions.......

Powerful tornados sweeping through east Texas leave death & destruction in their wake (PHOTOS)


At least five people were killed and dozens injured as massive tornados swept through east Texas, leaving behind a trail of mangled trees, overturned vehicles, and damaged houses, authorities sad.
Canton in Van Zandt County, some 50 miles (80 km) east of Dallas, was the city most affected by the extreme weather conditions.
Captain Brian Horton of the Canton Fire Department confirmed the death toll during a news conference late on Saturday. 
“That number may go up in the morning once we can get into these [affected] areas,” he added.
According to ETMC Regional Healthcare Systems spokeswoman, Rebecca Berkley, at least 54 people have been hospitalized due to the storm.
City residents who don’t need to be in the area should to stay out, “so that our teams can do what they need to do to take care of these people who are in need,” Berkley said.
Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett reported that the city has no power.
“We have three major transmission stations that are damaged,” she said.
The full extent of the damage is yet unclear.
People have shared photos and videos of the aftermath of the deadly tornados on social media.

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“I’m just devastated,” Ernestine Cook, a local resident, told Texas-based WFAA TV.
“It [the tornado] hit so hard, so fast. It just kept moving,” she said, adding “I’ve never seen anything like it after 22 years of living here.”
RECAP: 5 tornadoes reported in E. Texas, one a mile wide, according to law enforcement. 1 confirmed fatality. http://bit.ly/2oKHH7l  
Another Canton tornado survivor, Desirae Rasmussen, told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that her house has been destroyed.
“Every last one of us walked away. But we have nothing left down there,” Rasmussen said.

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Dodge dealership in Canton, TX.   . Pray now.
“We were all sitting in the hallway and the roof collapsed on us. By the time it was all over, we went outside. We had a three-level house, and we’re down to the last level and half of that roof is gone,” she explained.
Another local, William Melton, said that three-quarters of his two-story house has been damaged.
“Sucked the house right off on top of us. The roof and everything collapsed on us,” he said, adding “me and a buddy of mine shielded the kids with the roof.”
In the meantime, a triage center has been set up at Canton High School.

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Triage center is at Canton High School. Our camera wasn't allowed inside, but first responders say a lot of people are hurt @CBSDFW
Personnel from the American Red Cross of North Texas have arrived at the scene of the disaster and set up several shelters in neighboring areas.
“These storms have been wide spread and have impacted many rural communities. We are making every effort to reach out to those affected,” the organization said in a statement. 
Tornados also ripped through neighboring Henderson and Rains counties in Texas.
The National Weather Service confirmed that three tornados hit in Canton and the cities of Eustace and Caney, Dallas news reported

Missouri & Oklahoma declare states of emergency due to flooding

In a separate development, the states of Missouri and Oklahoma have declared states of emergency following severe storms that dumped torrential rain resulting in dangerous flooding on Saturday.
Flooding in Ft Gibson. Photo courtesy of Jacalyn Madding. 
“The massive storm system has delivered widespread rain and high winds across much of the state since Friday, with damage to power lines and power poles as well as trees, roofs and structures,” said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.
In Missouri, authorities told some people to evacuate and 33 rescue operations were carried out, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said.
The pictures coming in from West Plains are crazy, the amount of water looks staggering  
A woman was killed when her car was swept away by waters, the Missouri Highway Patrol said, as cited by ABC-affiliate KCPR. 
Up to 10 centimeters of rain fell in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas, said meteorologist Kenneth James of the Weather Prediction Center, which is part of the National Weather Service. Some parts of Indiana saw some 20 centimeters of rain, he added.

da "rt.com"

British cybersecurity experts are reportedly on high alert to prevent cyberattacks targeting the UK’s upcoming snap elections. They are prepared to respond on a level similar to that seen during a terrorist attack or other major security event........

‘Like terrorist attack or hosting Olympics’: UK braces for election cyberattacks – report


British cybersecurity experts are reportedly on high alert to prevent cyberattacks targeting the UK’s upcoming snap elections. They are prepared to respond on a level similar to that seen during a terrorist attack or other major security event.
Specialists working at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) were “stood up” over the past week and are ready to “surge” into action in case of a cyberattack on British democratic institutions, according to the Sunday Times. The center is part of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain’s signal intelligence agency.
The high alert was requested by PM Theresa May’s office, which asked the spy agency to make snap elections in June a top priority.
“The tempo has been lifted in the last week to a level that it would be lifted to when combating a terrorist attack or protecting a major national event like the Olympics,” the Times cited a senior Whitehall source as saying.
The newspaper says the NCSC is preparing for an attack by a foreign actor or organized crime aimed at stealing voters’ personal information, downing election-related websites, or otherwise disrupting the process.
The call to action has been spurred by accusations against Russia, which has been blamed for leaking hacked emails from Democratic Party officials, allegedly to help Republican Donald Trump win the US presidential election. While no concrete evidence has ever been presented to back those claims, the theory remains popular among Hillary Clinton supporters trying to explain her surprise defeat.
Last month, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson admitted that London has no evidence that Russia is trying to interfere in the UK’s electoral processes, but warned it was “capable of doing that.” Likewise, an intelligence source was cited by the Times as saying that, while no “specific threat” has been identified, “the serious threats are always there – nation states and serious criminals, those people out to cause mischief.”

da "rt.com"

The German Interior Minister has expressed support for the idea of introducing a “dominant culture” for German society that would define public life and serve as a guideline for the integration of migrants. “Those, who feel confident about their own culture, are strong,” Thomas de Maiziere said in an opinion piece published in Bild daily’s weekend edition.......


‘We do not wear burqa:’ Germany’s interior minister favors introduction of ‘dominant’ culture


The German Interior Minister has expressed support for the idea of introducing a “dominant culture” for German society that would define public life and serve as a guideline for the integration of migrants.
“Those, who feel confident about their own culture, are strong,” Thomas de Maiziere said in an opinion piece published in Bild daily’s weekend edition.
He also said he would like to “stimulate a discussion about a dominant culture for Germany with some theses” presenting a ten-point plan outlining his vision of what he described as a set of core features that define the nature of German society.
According to the minister, German culture manifests itself in a set of specific behavioral patterns which include handshakes upon greetings or revealing one’s identity when making an acquaintance.
“We are an open society. We show our faces. We do not [wear] burqa,” the minister said in his piece, referring to the full-face Muslim veil which has become a controversial subject in Germany recently.
He went on to emphasize the importance of ensuring general education by saying that, in Germany, education is “not only an instrument but also a value.” The minister also said that the idea of personal success and meritocratic principles are also important in Germany. 
“We encourage [personal] accomplishments. Good performance and quality bring prosperity. The idea of personal success is what has made our land strong,” de Maiziere said.
He then said that Germany’s history and culture play a significant role in life of the modern German society.
The minister also said that even though Germany “maintains neutrality in its overall worldview,” it is still very much under the influence of Christian culture and values. “In our land, religion is a link and not a wedge between [different parts] of society,” he said, adding, that religion “unites people not only in their beliefs but also in everyday life.”
He said German society is open and friendly to all religions and “lives in a religious peace” based upon “absolute priority of law over all religious regulations in public life.”
“We are probably one of the most consensus-oriented societies of the West,” he said, adding that “compromise is a defining feature of the [German] democracy.”
He also said that Germans reject all forms of violence and accept all ways of life. “We do not link our vision of honor with violence,” the minister said as he apparently condemned the various forms of ‘sacred wars’ and ‘honor killings.’
The Interior Minister stated that Germany “is a part of the West in a cultural, spiritual and political sense,” and pointed at Germany’s close ties with other European nations and the US as an example of this.
He also said that Germany is an indispensable part of a “strong Europe” which in turn helps Germany to pursue its interests. De Maiziere also specifically stressed the role of NATO by saying, it “protects our freedom.”
And although he did not speak about the potential statutory recognition of the proposed set of values and principles, he did say that it should be regarded as guidelines by those seeking to stay in Germany for a long time.
“We offer our hand” to all those who come to Germany and have a right to stay he said, adding that those, who either do not know the German “dominant culture” or do not want to embrace it or even reject it, “would be unlikely to successfully integrate.”
He said German authorities should deal with those who fail to integrate on the assumption of whether their position is “non-negotiable” or at least “tolerable.”

Hindrance to multiculturalism or distraction

De Maiziere’s ideas quickly provoked criticism both by those who believe that a “dominant culture” would become a source of social tension and hinder multicultural development, and those who see it as a distraction used to drum up support for de Maiziere’s Christian democratic Union (CDU) party led by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The “dominant culture” would serve the purpose of limiting immigration by rejecting those who fail to integrate some critics say, as reported by Deutsche Welle.
They also argue that the introduction of a set of specific values would inevitably provoke social clashes and would lead to a situation in which this ‘dominant culture’ would be perceived as something superior to other cultures, particularly those of migrants.
Christian Lindner, the chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), accused de Maiziere of trying to distract voters from the real issues ahead of the elections. He said the CDU is unable to develop an adequate immigration policy with a solid legal basis under the present circumstances and “re-ignites old debates instead.”
He went on to say that de Maiziere should instead have focused on the immigration law that would make it possible to distinguish between real refugees and those who are just opting to stay in Germany. The politician also accused the minister of making empty promises.
“We do not need a minister, who just ignites senseless discussions, but [we need one], who solves real problems,” Lindner said, as cited by dpa news agency. He also said that Germany already has the necessary basis for a “dominant culture,”which is its “liberal, diverse and open constitution.”
He added that he is “sure that we should hold a discussion about German identity,” which should become a guideline for integration.
De Maiziere is not the first politician who came up with the idea of a “dominant culture” for Germany. In September 2016, the Bavarian ruling party and CDU ally, the Christian Social Union party (CSU), presented a document calling for enshrining the priority of traditional German and Christian values in legislation along with proposals for toughening the country’s refugee policy.
The document also praised the idea of a creating dominant, or “guiding” culture, which was described as “the best countermeasure against the [creation of] parallel societies and ghettos.”
That proposal was sharply criticized by left-wing politicians, who denounced it as “irresponsible” and “racist.”
Almost 1 million migrants from the Middle East and Africa arrived in Germany in 2015, according to official estimates. The massive influx of migrants and refugees stoked social tension and led to numerous anti-government protests against Merkel’s so-called ‘open door' immigration policy.
The idea of a stricter approach to integration has gained traction in recent times among German politicians. Earlier in April, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Finance Minister, said that Muslim migrants, who refuse to accept European values, should realize that there are better places for them to live.
Last year, Schaeuble, who is a known long-time Merkel ally, also said that the inflow of refugees was a “challenge for the open-mindedness of mainstream society.”

da "rt.com"

North Korea has promised to sink a US submarine currently deployed in South Korean waters if the Americans take provocative action. The statement comes shortly after Donald Trump said he won’t be “happy” if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test........

‘Miserable end’: N. Korea threatens to sink US nuclear submarine in S. Korea


North Korea has promised to sink a US submarine currently deployed in South Korean waters if the Americans take provocative action. The statement comes shortly after Donald Trump said he won’t be “happy” if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test.
North Korea’s state-controlled Uriminzokkiri news website warned on Sunday that “the USS Michigan won’t even be able to rise to the surface when it will meet a miserable end and turn into an underwater ghost.”
North Korea’s nuclear deterrent will assure that American aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and other military hardware will be “shattered into pieces of molten metal” if they threaten Pyongyang, the article read.
The deployment of the USS Michigan submarine and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group near the Korean peninsula “is aimed at further intensifying threats against our republic,” it added.
According to the article, recent statements coming from the Trump administration indicate that Washington is close to implementing a strategic scenario in which an actual military confrontation is a real possibility.

Earlier on Sunday, Donald Trump told CBS that he “will not be happy”if North Korea conducts another nuclear test.
When asked to clarify, the US president said: “I would not be happy. If he (North Korean supreme leader, Kim Jong-un) does a nuclear test, I will not be happy.”
“And I can tell you also, I don’t believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either,”Trump said, adding that he believes Xi Jinping was also “putting pressure” on North Korea to bring a halt to its nuclear tests.
CBS host John Dickerson then directly asked Trump whether US military action was possible, the US president replied: “I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see.”
On Saturday, the North Korean military unsuccessfully fired a mid-range ballistic missile, which reportedly crashed shortly after launch, making it the country’s third failure in April.
Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests have been banned by the UN, as they are considered to be part a North Korean program aimed at building a nuclear-capable missile.
Trump told CBS that the failed test wasn’t significant enough to warrant action against North Korea.
“This was a small missile. This was not a big missile. This was not a nuclear test, which he was expected to do three days ago. We’ll see what happens,” the president said.

Joint US-South Korean naval wargames, Foal Eagle, involving 20,000 Korean and nearly 10,000 American troops kicked off in the region on Sunday.

Washington said that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group and USS Michigan submarine, which docked in the port of Busan earlier this week, will remain in the area due to the spike in tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Also on Sunday, Seoul said that the US had reaffirmed that it would foot the bill for deploying the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea to counter the perceived threat from the North.
South Korea was stunned in the middle of last week when Trump told Reuters that South Korea would have to fork out $1 billion for the hardware, contrary to prior agreements.
In a phone call requested by the US, Trump’s national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, “explained that the recent statements by President Trump were made in a general context, in line with the US public expectations on defense cost burden-sharing with allies,” the South Korean president’s office said.

da "rt.com"

It has been a year since protests broke out in Kazakhstan. The events of April and May 2016 were a shock to many inside and outside the country who had come to believe that such massive demonstrations of discontent were no longer possible there. The first anniversary of the April 24 protest has just passed without much attention being paid to it........

Kazakh riot police in Almaty detain demonstrators during a protest against proposed land reforms, in May 2016.


It has been a year since protests broke out in Kazakhstan. The events of April and May 2016 were a shock to many inside and outside the country who had come to believe that such massive demonstrations of discontent were no longer possible there.
The first anniversary of the April 24 protest has just passed without much attention being paid to it.
What has happened in the year that has gone by since Kazakhstan saw the biggest protests in the country's 25-year history? Were the concerns of protesters allayed? Or was it something else? Or was it a combination of factors?
To look at what has happened in Kazakhstan since the spring 2016 protests, RFE/RL assembled a Majlis, or panel, to review the events that have occurred in Kazakhstan since April 2016.
Moderating the discussion was RFE/RL Media Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir. Aigerim Toleukhanova, a journalist for the Conway Bulletin, took part in the discussion from Kazakhstan. The Majlis was joined from Washington, D.C. by Reid Standish, an associate editor at Foreign Policy magazine, who has written extensively on Central Asia. I was just back from vacation, rested and ready, so I also took part in the proceedings.
Popular Unrest
Popular unrest was sparked in April last year by the Kazakh government's plans for land reform, which included privatization and the possibility of foreigners being able to lease land. "Foreigners" were interpreted by some in Kazakhstan to mean Chinese.
According to Toleukhanova, "this anti-Chinese movement was sparked first on social media." 
Some of the information posted on these sites was downright false, especially claims that Chinese would be able to buy Kazakh land. There was a provision to lease land to foreigners, but there was never any proviso allowing any foreigner to own any of Kazakhstan's land.
"A big part of the fear over this land issue [was the] idea that this land would be rented out to the Chinese government or to Chinese settlers and that Kazakhs were the ones who would lose," Standish said,
In western Kazakhstan, in cities such Atyrau and Aqtobe, where people had long felt neglected by the authorities, protests started on April 24, 2016, and continued for several days.
WATCH: Kazakhs Protest Land Privatizations
The Kazakh government then announced it was suspending plans to implement the land-reform package.
But that issue opened the gates to other grievances, as Standish pointed out. 
"These protests were about land issues but they became this catch-all for a lot of other anxieties and frustrations that people have with the government of the country," he said.
WATCH: Kazakh Protests Spread
In Toleukhanova's view, "People [were] disgusted [with] corruption and probably [the] dead political environment, fake elections, and all of these things that before they didn't pay attention to or didn't discuss, but with this land movement people became more open and more willing to discuss this."
Toleukhanova said the protests in western Kazakhstan were "a shock both for the authorities and the people." 
Ineffective Media
As surprising as the protests were for the authorities, the inability of the government to use media to calm the situation was just as troubling. 
"The government tried to use state media a lot to communicate with its own people," Standish said, adding that the ineffectiveness of this communication "was quite surprising for a lot of officials." 
Standish explained that the government's message to people to "'go home, don't come out and protest, there are other ways to deal with this…' really didn't resonate at all with anyone."
A much larger protest was organized for May 21, mainly via social networks. Despite repeated warnings from officials not to participate, protesters took to the streets across Kazakhstan in what was arguably the biggest protest the country has ever seen.
WATCH: Kazakh Authorities Crack Down On Land Code Protests
One year later, there are no signs that the events of spring 2016 could be repeated any time soon. 
How did the situation go from critical to calm in the span of a year?
Toleukhanova said, that, after the May 2016 protest, "the government indeed did try to listen to people's voices. For example, they created a land commission. although most of the [commission members] were not from the opposition." 
Standish agreed that the Kazakh government has shown "some movement, or at least [is] trying to create the appearance of movement so that people don't need to go out into the streets to express their frustrations."
Carrot And Stick
Kazakh authorities, however, have resorted not only to the carrot, but to the stick as well.
It was noted in the conversation that many of the bloggers or other people who posted messages and information about the protests were subsequently detained and some were incarcerated.
Toleukhanova explained: "After these protests, there was the creation of a new Ministry of Information and Communication, which is also, I think, a response of the government to the people, maybe to show that they're trying to communicate with [their] own people." 
However, she added that this ministry is the one pushing "to change media law, [which] is becoming more restrictive to journalists."
Another big change between spring 2016 and spring 2017 is Kazakhstan's economic situation. 
New Realities
The effects of the drop in oil prices on world markets hit Kazakhstan hard, as oil is one of the country's major exports. The government allowed the national currency, the tenge, to float toward the end of 2015 and by January 2016 it had lost half its value to the U.S. dollar.
Many people in Kazakhstan had taken out large loans based on the dollar rate during the previous decade, when the country's economy was thriving and often saw an annual growth in gross domestic product that was near or more than double-digits.
Protests by homeowners were already occurring in early 2016, much smaller than those in spring, but in hindsight, these were warnings of festering discontent among the population.
For the time being, it appears Kazakhstan's people have settled into the new realities of life. The economic situation has stabilized and the tenge has even strengthened a bit, largely due to slightly higher oil prices on world markets.
Land reform plans have been suspended and won't come into effect any time before Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's current term of office expires in 2020.
The immediate future does not look so gloomy anymore.
But, as Standish pointed out: "It's interesting to see that, even [after] 25 years of post-Soviet independence, this sort of push, a voice from the people, is not gone even in a country that's authoritarian like Kazakhstan.”
di Bruce Pannier per "Radio Free Liberty"