Amid floods that have forced 100,000 people from their homes, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been forced to defend his recent golf outing with President Obama in Hawaii. As The Hill reports, Najib has come under fire at home, cutting short his trip on Friday to return to Malaysia amid headlines such as the Malaysia Chronicle's "Stop Playing Golf, Najib," which appeared above images of the flooding and of Najib on the golf course with Obama.
About 12 hours after AirAsia flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board disappeared and lost all contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 am local time (11:17 pm GMT Saturday), the aircraft searching for any clue of what may happened to the second unexplained disappearance of an airplane flying in the region, have been called off due to nightfall even as ships will continue their search through the night. As Sky News reported, "Rescuers scouring the Java Sea have halted their search because it is getting dark, Indonesia's transport ministry said. Hadi Mustofa said: "We ended at 5:30 pm (1030 GMT) because it was getting dark. The weather was also not too good as it was getting really cloudy. "Tomorrow we will begin at 7 am, or even earlier than that if the weather is good."
In a blow to the constitutional rights of citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Heien v. State of North Carolina that police officers are permitted to violate American citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights if the violation results from a “reasonable” mistake about the law on the part of police. “By refusing to hold police accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law, the Supreme Court has given government officials a green light to routinely violate the law,”
Air Asia Confirms Lost Contact With Indonesia Flight After Crew Asked For "Unusual Route", 155 Passengers On BoardSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/27/2014 - 23:16
UPDATE: *SINGAPORE AVIATION: SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ACTIVATED
An Air Asia Indonesia flight from Surabaya in east Java to Singapore carrying 155 passengers has gone missing, Air Asia has confirmed. As Bloomberg reported, the flight departed Surabaya at 5:20am local time and lost contact soon after... Contact was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time (23:17 GMT on Saturday), after the crew asked for an “unusual route.” The latest discussions are that the loss of contact could be weather-related.
While North Korea had made it very clear that it had nothing to do with the Sony hack, it did demand a full UN-backed investigation, a proposal quickly shot down by none other than the US which always demands full "transparency" of all actions except when actions are its own, or when the resulting transparency would shine an unwanted light on the hypocrisy behind US national interests. Furthermore, in its first statements regarding The Interview, North Korea was actually quite cordial, and said nothing offensive regarding Obama. All that changed overnight when in its first official statement since its Internet went dark - something which if indeed North Korea did not hack Sony, as it claims, would be seen as a clear act of war if it were to happen to any other "developed" country - North Korea finally lost it and decided that the time to troll the US president has finally arrived, when, as the TV anchor says beginning 1:10 minutes in the clip blow, "Obama always goes reckless in speech and action like a monkey in a tropical jungle."
As we reported Christmas Day, the streets of Hong Kong's Wan Chai district were awash with cash when a security van accidentally 'spilled' millions of dollars scattered among busy traffic. Onlookers rapidly 'picked up' the spilled cash but as RT reports, Christmas joy was short-lived for two people, who scavenged almost $2 million dollars in cash. "We found the money stored under the bed at their homes and they admitted they took the money on Gloucester [Road] after getting off the taxi they were in," Police Chief Inspector Addy Li Chi-kin said at a media briefing. The 'scavengers' were clearly not Keynesian economists who would have passed-by the money assuming someone else would have picked it up.
If the BOJ’s mad money printers were treated as monetary pariahs by the rest of the world, it would at least imply that a modicum of sanity remains on the planet. But just the opposite is the case. Establishment institutions like the IMF, the US treasury and the other major central banks urge them on, while the Keynesian arson squad led by Professor Krugman actually faults Japan for being too tepid with its “stimulus”. Now comes several new data points that absolutely confirm Japan is a financial mad house...
Joseph Goebbels had nothing on US and European media today.
That propaganda as a strategic and political instrument has been refined to a huge extent over the past 70-odd years since Goebbels first picked up on Freud’s lessons on how to influence the unconscious mind, and the ‘mass-mind’, as a way to ‘steer’ an entire people, not just as a means to make them buy detergent. These days, the media can make people believe just about anything, and they have the added benefit that they can pose as friends of the people, not the enemy. But there is a reason why such a large ‘industry’ has developed on the web with people writing articles that don’t say what the mass media say. That reason for is, obviously, first and foremost that not everybody believes whatever they are told. The problem is equally obvious: not nearly enough people are being reached to make a true difference, and to question the official narratives.
United Parcel Service expects to handle four million returns the first full week of January, up 15% from two years ago as online sales continue to grow as returns "represent a larger percentage of overall sales." As WSJ reports, more than 20% of returns happen during the holiday season - representing $60 billion in merchandise. While returns may be a boon for delivery companies, they are costly for retailers as returns, replacements and damaged goods represent about 10% of revenue. With return rates as high as 50%, one manager explains "'returns' is just a dirty business... Retailers are really losing their shirts on it."
On July 15th 2014, The Federal Reserve uttered the following warning to exuberant equity investors, "Valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched -- particularly those for smaller firms in the social-media and biotechnology industries." 5 months later, Yellen Capital LP is half right...
"Blind faith in policymakers remains a bad trade that’s still widely held. Pressure builds everywhere we look. Not as a consequence of the Fed’s ineptitude (which is a constant in the equation, not a variable), but through the blind faith markets continue to place on the very low probability outcome – that everything will turn out well this time around."
Britain has inched out France as the world's fifth-largest economy thanks to what The Telegraph calls "a shake-up" of the national accounts this summer. UK gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to total $2.828 trillion (£1.816 trillion) this year, compared with French GDP of $2.827 trillion, as The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said Britain's acceleration was boosted by the inclusion of sex and drugs to UK growth (as part of new pan-European accounting standards). Official estimates show prostitution added about £5.7bn to the UK economy in 2013, while illegal drugs were worth about £6.62bn. One question - how did they estimate it?
Presented with no comment...
During a state-TV "interview" which many are dubbing pure fear-mongering propaganda ahead of Monday's final 'vote of confidence', Greek Prime Minister Samaras unleashes his most assanine M.A.D. comments yet. "It's not a question of what's good for me or New Democracy. It's best for the country that there are not snap elections." Translation: you don't need no stinking democracy, trust us - your benevolent rulers - to do what's best for the Greek people (and by Greek people, he means 'unelected European bureaucrats').
2014 was awash with potentially status quo destabilizing 'realities' to the "we're back on track and world economic growth is about to reach escape velocity" meme... but time after time, the well-conditioned 'investor' was rescued... here's how...