The inflection point was July. Conditions have deteriorated since.Active listings of houses and condos for sale in October in King County – which includes Seattle and Bellevue but does not include Tacoma – nearly doubled compared to October last year, jumping 91% to 5,749 listings, according to data by the National Association of Realtors. This was the largest inventory for sale since the end of Housing Bust 1 going back to 2012.
Inventory for sale started surging off low levels in the spring. In July, it reached the highest level since October 2014; and it continued to soar from then on. By this measure, July marked the inflection point of the housing market in King County. The red bars in the chart mark the months following the inflection poin
2-- Committee to Protect Journalists issues scathing report on Obama administration, glenn greenwald
Still, a new report released today by the highly respected Committee to Protect Journalists - its first-ever on press freedoms in the US - powerfully underscores just how extreme is the threat to press freedom posed by this administration. Written by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr., the report offers a comprehensive survey of the multiple ways that the Obama presidency has ushered in a paralyzing climate of fear for journalists and sources alike, one that severely threatens the news-gathering process.
The first sentence: "In the Obama administration's Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press." Among the most shameful aspects of the Obama record:
Based on all this, Downie himself concludes:
The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent."And this pernicious dynamic extends far beyond national security: "Ellen Weiss, Washington bureau chief for E.W. Scripps newspapers and stations, said 'the Obama administration is far worse than the Bush administration' in trying to thwart accountability reporting about government agencies." It identifies at least a dozen other long-time journalists making similar observations.
The report ends by noting the glaring irony that Obama aggressively campaigned on a pledge to usher in The Most Transparent Administration Ever™. Instead, as the New Yorker's investigative reporter Jane Mayer recently said about the Obama administration's attacks: "It's a huge impediment to reporting, and so chilling isn't quite strong enough, it's more like freezing the whole process into a standstill."
Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters' phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being 'an aider, abettor and/or conspirator' of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail."
The main objective of this operation will be clear the remaining towns under the control of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham near this imperative military installation.
On November 16th, Iran and Iraq agreed on the establishment of a free trade zone, according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“We have agreed to create a free trade zone between the two countries, which will enable us to launch joint ventures,” Rouhani said at a press conference held after the meeting, as broadcast by Press TV.According to Rouhani, currently Iran-Iraq trade amounts to approximately $12 billion, but with some effort could grow to $20 billion.
Rouhani also said that the two leaders also talked about electricity and gas swap, as well as cooperation on petroleum products and oil exploration
“It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the 'enemy,'” Michael Ratner, Assange's US attorney, said. “An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc.”
6--Greece--crushed by the eu bureaucracy, george galloway
The long-awaited peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban may be reached by April next year, a US special envoy for Afghanistan said following a meeting with insurgent group’s emissaries in Qatar.Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, said on Sunday that he hopes “a peace deal is reached before April 20 next year,” according to Reuters. The war-torn country will hold a presidential election on that day.
Washington’s own estimates indicate that the Western-backed Afghanistan government has uncontested control of just over 57 percent of the country. Meanwhile, a recent British study revealed that the Taliban are “openly active” in around 70 percent of the nation.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road initiative, proposed by Chinese authorities in the autumn of 2013. The ambitious project is aimed at creating infrastructure networks linking Europe, Asia and Africa.So far, the challenging project has attracted around 100 countries across three continents. The new infrastructure project links Asia, Europe, and Africa through a network of railroads and shipping lanes, and is set to reach South America.
The ambitious economic cooperation campaign, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt, was initially represented by two major segments. The first, the Silk Road Economic Belt, refers to a half-dozen land corridors linking China with Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and then with Europe. The second, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is a sea route linking Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Silk Road was a land route across Europe and Asia used by ancient and medieval merchants to carry silk and other commodities by camel or horse to and from China, Persia and the Roman Empire.
China has invested heavily into the project with reported $900 billion having been spent on projects in partner countries. As part of the broader initiative, a 336 kilometers (209 miles) rail line was constructed to link Budapest and Belgrade, a gas pipeline was built in Pakistan, and a high-speed rail link was launched in Thailand.
Most of the investment projects of the Belt and Road initiative have reportedly benefitted China’s state-owned corporations. Statista's Agne Blazyte has visualized distribution of Chinese heavy investments connected to the project across the world. As the map shows, Southeast Asia remains a high priority for China, while India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar are among other important beneficiaries.
China’s ambitious multi-trillion-dollar One Belt One Road Initiative could increase global trade by as much as 12 percent, cutting trading costs by half for the countries involved, senior economist with ING Joanna Konings said.“Trade between Asia and Europe, not including trade between EU countries, accounts for 28 percent of world trade, so making those trade flows easier has a large potential impact,” said Konings, who specializes in international trade analysis. “The size of this impact depends on the sensitivity of trade to changes in relative costs,” she added.
Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are set to benefit most, the economist said, explaining that the benefits will depend on where trade costs fall.
Konings considered three scenarios with a varying number of countries affected by the initiative, while assuming a 50-percent drop in costs. In the most conservative case, which includes only countries along the Eurasian economic corridor (China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Poland), BRI will boost global trade by four percent.
In the most optimistic scenario involving both BRI countries and their partners, nations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe will see the biggest increases. Trade for Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Nepal, and Myanmar would rise by an estimated 35 percent to 45 percent. China would see its trade jump by about 20 percent, Konings estimates.
10--Globalist Pence delivers ultimatum to Beijing--The Deep state's messenger boy
Smaller economies in the Asia-Pacific have long sought to balance ties, reaping the benefits of trade with China’s fast-growing economy while relying on American firepower to rein in Beijing’s assertiveness over disputed territory. Yet the trade war has raised the prospect that nations will now need to pick sides, particularly as higher U.S. tariffs threaten to alter long-established supply chains.
‘Desperate Fence Sitters’While the U.S. can depend on allies like Japan, Australia and Taiwan, nations such as South Korea and the Philippines that have defense arrangements with the U.S. would try to hedge, according to Minxin Pei, a China scholar and specialist in U.S.-Asia relations.
Southeast Asian countries were “desperate fence sitters” who don’t want to make China an enemy, said Pei, who is a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California. “China and the U.S will try very hard in the next few years to charm the countries in the region.”
Seeking FriendsPence also had stinging remarks for Xi’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, which Morgan Stanley says may total $1.3 trillion by 2027 -- dwarfing the funds the U.S. and allies have mobilized. The vice president said the U.S. doesn’t “drown our partners in a sea of debt” or “offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.”
Compared with Pence, Xi had a softer message for Asia this week. He voiced support for the multilateral trading system, called for greater cooperation, and said that implementing tariffs and breaking up supply chains was “doomed to failure.” He also defended his signature Belt-and-Road Initiative, which dwarfs any infrastructure funding backed by the U.S., saying it’s “not a trap as some people have labeled it.”
11--Salon attacks first amendment --Why comments sections must die
Far from being open forums, comments sections filter out thoughtful conversation in favor of hate. Time to end them
As I've argued before, comments sections are not a zeitgeist of our culture, nor are they a populist reflection of public sentiment. Selection bias and the online disinhibition effect means that the voices of cruelty and hate will always reign, and the voices of reason will sink — or merely not post to begin with. As slanted cauldrons of hate, comments sections do not epitomize the Western ideal of "free speech" in any way. Time to end them.