Good evening all!
❖ “An Egyptian court has upheld death sentences for 14 Islamist militants over attacks on the army and police in the Sinai Peninsula last year.”
❖ “The Marine Corps says it will court-martial two non-commissioned officers for allegedly urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters last year in Afghanistan and posing for unofficial photos with casualties.”
❖ In response to Iran’s Press TV story over the weekend that Siemens had put explosives in equipment it had produced for Iran, Siemens has responded: “Siemens maintains no business deaings in connection to the Iranian nuclear programme and delivers no equipment to this end.”
Austerity is affecting people in Germany now–specifically, “low-wage workers and the old-age pensioners” as the gap between rich and poor widens. The top 10%, who owned 45% of Germany’s wealth in 1998, now own 53%. German labor unions argue that “the absence of a legal minimum wage and the strong expansion of the low-paid job sector . . . come at the expense of society’s poorest . . ..”
❖ “ Germany’s Roman Catholics are to be denied the right to Holy Communion or religious burial if they stop paying a special church tax.” That tax, btw, is “an extra 8% of their income tax bill”.
❖ “ IMF hints at more time for Greece to implement hardline austerity.” Managing director Christine Lagarde says IMF ‘prepared to be flexible’–saying both growth and austerity are necessary . . . to put an end to a crisis which will next month again force the IMF to cut its global growth forecasts.” When you’re in a hole . . .
❖ Interesting graph showing the percentages of employment loss following major financial crises (in the US (both 1929 and 2007),