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Friday, May 8, 2015

Record 1,337 Americans give up their passports



Hasta la vista, Uncle Sam! A record 1,337 Americans gave up their passports in the first three months of the year, according to new data released by the U.S. government.

That's nearly 40% of the 3,415 Americans that renounced citizenship last year, suggesting that U.S. renunciations will again hit a new high this year. In 2014, the number of Americans who gave up their passport was 15 times higher than in 2008.

The surge in renunciations is part of a backlash from expats who are tired of handling complicated tax paperwork, a burden that has increased in recent years as a new tax law kicked in.

Unlike most countries, the U.S. taxes citizens on all income, no matter where it is earned or where they live. The piles of paperwork can be so complex that expats often must seek professional help, forking over high fees to accountants and lawyers. It's common for Americans living abroad to spend thousands to prepare even a relatively simple tax return.

And the headache is only getting worse. One new law designed to catch tax cheats -- the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- requires individuals to report certain foreign assets, and for banks to disclose all foreign accounts held by Americans. That's in addition to another provision that mandates Americans to disclose foreign bank holdings worth more than $10,000.

The regulations are part of a wider U.S. government effort to battle tax evasion, especially after major Swiss banks admitted to helping Americans hide assets offshore.

Credit to CNN

Japan National Debt Rises To ¥1,053,357,200,000,000


Image result for Harakiri

What's the point of even commenting on this unambiguous Keynesian nirvana?

Credit to Zero Hedge

Town Secretly Installs Hidden “Cactus Cameras” on Roadways




By Joshua Krause

The otherwise quiet Arizona town of Paradise Valley recently attained the kind of surveillance you would expect to find in the city, albeit with a design that is made to blend in with the desert.

The townspeople have been shocked to find that the city has been installing cameras hidden in fake cacti along the roadways of the city limits.

A local Fox affiliate was sent to investigate the cameras and found that the town leaders and police were initially reluctant to explain themselves.

None of the townspeople who were interviewed knew what the cameras were for. They were installed over the past few days without notice. Eventually, the news team received an answer from the town manager. The cameras are going to read license plate numbers, and so that they can alert the police to cars that are stolen or related to amber alerts.

What’s so alarming about this case, is the complete lack of transparency. When the town manager was asked about the secrecy, he claimed that they were planning to announce the presence of these cameras after they had all been installed. In response to the concerns of residents, he said “It probably is fair, this is technology, we’re always learning about it, and so every time you think you’ve got it covered someone brings up a new idea.”

This Fox affiliate reported on these cameras being installed in traffic lights in Paradise Valley last February, and were met with the same secrecy from public officials.


Credit to Activist Post

US begins training Syrian rebels

Here we go again......




Image result for US begins training Syrian rebels


The US military has begun training a small group of Syrian rebels in an effort to build a force capable of defeating Islamic State militants.

Ashton Carter, US defence secretary, said about 90 people were being trained in a secure location, and they would be paid by the United States.

He said more fighters would begin training soon at sites in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Supporting the troops militarily on the battlefield has not been ruled out.

Nearly 4,000 fighters volunteered for the programme but, after an extensive screening process, only 400 were given places.
'International law'

"We're starting with the people that we have that we've vetted very carefully," Mr Carter said, "We expect that to be successful and therefore to grow. But you have to start somewhere, and this is where we're starting."

Mr Carter was at pains to point out that the role of the force would be to take on the Islamic State and not the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. However, he did not say what would happen if the rebels engaged the Syrian army.Moderate rebels have been fighting both Islamic State forces and those of President Assad

"We have not determined yet all of the rules of engagement... but we have acknowledged that we have some responsibility to support them," the defence secretary said.

The fighters will be paid by the United States, and, when deployed, will continue to receive back up and support from coalition forces.

There are about 450 coalition forces involved in the training at the four sites, including about 350 Americans.

The Pentagon intends to train and arm more than 15,000 rebels over the next three years.

Mr Carter made it clear that the support did come with strict conditions.

"An explicit part of their training is how to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with international law," adding: "Any continued support for them would be strongly conditioned upon their continued good conduct."

The Pentagon would not disclose when the troops would be ready to enter the battlefield.

Since last year, the US has been part of an international coalition conducting an air strike campaign against Islamic State, which took over large swathes of Syria and Iraq in a lightning offensive.

Credit to BBC

Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 93,194,000

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In what was an "unambiguously" unpleasant April jobs payrolls report, with a March revision dragging that month's job gain to the lowest level since June of 2012, the fact that the number of Americans not in the labor force rose once again, this time to 93,194K from 93,175K, with the result being a participation rate of 69.45 or just above the lowest percentage since 1977, will merely catalyze even more upside to the so called "market" which continues to reflect nothing but central bank liquidity, and thus - the accelerating deterioration of the broader economy.





End result: with the civilian employment to population ratio unchanged from last month at 59.3%, one can easily on the chart below why there will be no broad wage growth any time soon, which will merely allow the Fed to engage in its failed policies for a long, long time.






Credit to Zero Hedge

Main Core, Jade Helm and Political Dissident Hit Lists



nsa im watching you
 Much is being written about “the list” in which independent Americans, who do not drink from the Obama Koolaid, are on a list which will ultimately result in their loss of freedom and very possibly their lives. Some people are calling this list, “Main Core”.
Advocates of the Main Core view state that a secret government hit list has been in place since the 1980’s. Some even wrongly suggest the Ed Snowden has revealed this information regarding Main Core to the world, when in fact, nothing could be further than the truth.

Main Core’s Eight Million Names

This “hit list” supposedly consists of 8 million names. Yet, not one name on the list has been released despite some reporters insisting that Main Core is real. Some have resorted to quoting Wikipedia on the topic which is laughable. Wikipedia may be suited to quoting already known facts in evidence. However, since the information is not vetted by credible sources, Wikipedia is not allowed as a reference for research papers by most professors at most Universities for this reason.  Other proponents of Main Core insist that the discussion of a government hit list of dissidents by other reporters in the past is validation that there is a program known as Main Core.

Reality Check

There is definitely an ongoing and definitive plot to control education known as Common Core and some would even consider this program to be a case of terrorism against American students, but this is not what we are talking about here. And there is a list of “enemies of the state” maintained by the government, but it is not called Main Core. How do I know? I have been told by my two best sources that the NSA now maintains all lists of dissidents with regard to this perverted view of what constitutes national security in an alphanumeric format.When it comes to these kinds of data files, the NSA does not code its data files by using project names such as “Main Core”. Further, the use of a file name such as Main Core which would be a static reference to intelligence files and, as such, falls outside accepted NSA practices.
The NSA data base files constantly change their codes with regard to their operational intelligence lists. This is designed to help prevent hacking. A static operational name would make these files easy prey to an average hacker. I can assure you that the name Main Core has not been around as an operational label since the 1980’s and I almost spit out my lunch when I was reading about Main Core, yesterday.

Operational Protocols

Steve Quayle has been talking about a “Red List” for a couple of decades and he’s correct. This type of list was originally generated by the CIA and Army Intelligence, not the NSA, and it has been around since right after the inception of the CIA in 1947. The list was first compiled as a foreign enemies “hit list”. Later, a domestic hit list was created and the names “Red and Blue List” became euphemisms for this list. My father, who was in Navy Intelligence at the time, told me that many in the intelligence community thought that the CIA actually supplied Joe McCarthy (Mr. Red Scare) with the names of communists in order to beta test the PSYOPS of publicly discrediting random people through a labeling program. The results were catalogued to be used at a later time. The point being that these “lists” have served multiple purposes throughout the years.

Disinformation

These lists have not only been exclusively used for identifying and “dealing” with enemies of the state. They have also been used in counter-intelligence that attempted to mislead foreign agents as to the identity and operational purpose of both friendly field agents and covert agents by falsely identifying them as dissidents and placing them on a list. The government knew these lists were being hacked and this was one of the ways that the CIA protected their assets was by identifying them as enemies. The CIA was not the only intelligence operation to employ this kind of intelligence and counter-intelligence operations.

Something to Worry About

A couple of months ago, the Obama administration released the following informationregarding intelligence gathering and sharing.
“SAN FRANCISCO — President Obama will announce a new executive order on the sharing of cybersecurity threats and information at Friday’s cybersecurity summit at Stanford University, the White House said.
Most importantly to Silicon Valley, the president’s proposal is expected to cement the role of the Department of Homeland Security, rather than the National Security Agency, as the government lead for information-sharing with the private sector.”   

To the untrained eye, this simply looks like task-specific streamlining. However, this is an ominous development for the American people. The NSA is only in the fact gathering business. They may engage, and they do, in the creation of lists related to potential dissidents and these lists result in each American being assigned a Threat Matrix Score. However, on their own volition, the NSA is not an agency that will act upon this information as they simply share the information with other agencies on a need-to-know basis. With the announced transfer of intelligence data oversight from the NSA to DHS, Americans should all be concerned.
DHS is an agency that is designed to reactively and proactively act upon a perceived threat. That means that DHS now has real time data that they can act immediately upon. When we look at DHS’ acquisition of 2700 armored personnel carriers and 2.2 billion rounds of ammunition, the purpose behind arming themselves to the teeth becomes apparent.

Jade Helm

Even more disturbing is the fact that DHS is intimately involved in Jade Helm. We know that Jade Helm is first and foremost about the extraction of political dissidents. The combination of these known facts cast DHS into the role of a modern day American Gestapo. I believe that they will oversee the operations of Special Operations forces with regard to citizen extractions in Jade Helm. I have come to view DHS as Obama’s private police force which is the fulfillment of his 2008 campaign promise in which he said, “We just cannot rely on our military to achieve our national security objective, we need a civilian force that is just as well trained and just as well funded as our military”. This fact is why I have devoted so much of the time and resources connected to Jade Helm.

Conclusion

It is true that there are lists which have categorized all of us on several different scales of measurement. However, I am certain that the organization looks nothing like what has been described as Main Core. We as Americans should be focusing on the “rotten to the core” activities of Jade Helm.
Credit to Common Sense

Danger-Economy Slowing Down, War and More War

IS 2015 THE YEAR WE SEE MIND-NUMBINGLY MAJOR POLITICAL AND PROPHETICAL CHANGES?

THIS WHOLE BEING A ‘WATCHMAN ON THE WALL’ BUSINESS IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE WE’RE USUALLY THE BEARERS OF BAD NEWS.

“Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” Isaiah 21:5,6 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: We understand that, dispensationally, signs, miracles, wonders and visions are not for the Church. We are commanded to walk by faith and not by sight. But having said that, things are beginning to get really strange, not just in America, but all over the world. We are so close to the Rapture that it is like we are living in overlapping dispensations. We present this story for your consideration.
We see things on the horizon that are dangerous and we’re called by Almighty God to shout our warnings regarding the destruction to come. If we wimp out or get lazy and fail to do so, the Bible says the blood of those we didn’t warn will be on our hands. Oh joy.
I have a lot of information to give you. Some is prophetic and some are substantiated facts. I want to lay out what I’ve found, along with the sources of my information and let you come to your own conclusions. I will give you my opinion, but what you do with all of this is up to you. Let’s get started.
watchman-on-the-wall
There are those who strongly believe that the gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy, ceased to exist after the early church. I will not debate this issue. I know what is happening currently with hundreds of thousands of Christians all over the world, and they are claiming to be receiving words, messages, visions and dreams from the Lord about what is shortly to come upon this earth.
This includes the dozens upon dozens of testimonies from former Muslims in Middle Eastern countries who have had visions of Jesus that were so clear and convincing, they converted to Christianity, despite knowing they could be killed for their decision. These things are happening.
When you listen to or read what messengers have received, it goes without saying that one must exercise great, prayerful discernment. There are without a doubt, a load of kooks on the internet and YouTube. However, I trust the sources that I have cultivated for myself over the last 8 years, and they are all in agreement with one another in their messages.
Besides, the Bible is very clear that the Lord God promised to pour out greater understanding on His servants in the last days. If you have any doubt we are in the final seconds on God’s prophetic time clock, please stop reading and get back under the rock you’ve been living under. You’re completely clueless. Go on now. Go back to sleep.

FOR THE REST OF YOU, THIS IS WHERE IT GETS VERY INTERESTING AND RATHER CONCERNING.

Many of you have already heard of the federal government’s military exercise called Jade Helm 15, scheduled to occur from July 15 thru September 15, 2015. The document below is from the US Army Special Operations Command, and explains that “Jade Helm is a challenging 8-week joint military and interagency Unconventional Warfare exercise” to “improve the Special Operation Forces’ UW capability as part of the National Security Strategy.”
This is an unprecedented, multi-state exercise which will include elite Special Forces from every branch of our armed forces, along with “interagency” personnel, A/K/A, state and local police, as well as the FBI and DEA. Good thing the cops have been loading up on used military equipment for the last several years!
Please review the official document describing this event in this link here. It will open up a PDF file we would like you to consider.
The “conspiracy theorists,” a group to which I am regularly accused of belonging, are going nuts over this event! They are concerned that this is a precursor to the government declaring the martial law we all know is coming. Are their fears founded? Well, let’s see what else the feds have been up to.
This month, Reuters reported that the NY Federal Reserve started moving quite a few of its resources from New York City, to its satellite office in Chicago. This is out of concern over future natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, which flooded Lower Manhattan.
4/8/15 The North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and the US Northern Command,which scans the North American skies for enemy missiles and aircraft, is moving its operation into Cheyenne Mountain, a mountain shelter left over from the Cold War. The Pentagon announced a $700 million dollar contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the move, to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential EMP attack.
In a bizarre “coincidence” that seemingly corresponds with the timing of Jade Helm, Wal-Mart suddenly closed 5 of its Supercenters on Monday, April 13th for “plumbing problems.” Really?? That’s the best excuse they could come up with? The 2,200 employees laid off were given a 2 hour notice, and were told the stores would remain closed for 6 months. However, Wal-Mart has yet to apply for any plumbing permits in the five cities where the closed stores are located.
Strangely enough, eyewitnesses are reporting that the windows and doors of these Supercenters have been blacked-out, and local police cars are stationed at each entrance as well as the loading docks in the back to prevent anyone from entering the facilities. Some are speculating that the closures are in retaliation against the employees who protested for higher pay. Oh, were it that simple.
In fact, the peculiar Jade Helm 15 military exercises added to the mysterious closings of 5 Wal-Mart Supercenters, all located in states where Jade Helm is to be held, has caught the attention of the Russian Kremlin! Even THEY are questioning these strange happenings.
So what’s up with the Wal-Marts? How could they possibly be connected to some military exercise? Hold onto your hats because I’m about to drag you down the rabbit hole, so deep into the Twilight Zone you’re liable to get a nose bleed. There is no easy to way to say this without sounding insane, so I’ll just spill it: There’s a vast network of tunnels connecting these Wal-Mart Supercenters. It sounds nuts, but it is true.
Years ago, Wal-Mart joined with DHS and the NSA in creating a system of underground tunnels throughout the country, involving hundreds of stores, which they say were designed to protect the homeland and ensure the safety of its citizens in case of nuclear, biological or chemical attack. (If you’re one of the elite, that is.)
The tunnels will also serve as conduits for national defense to rapidly move troops, supplies and armor throughout the nation between strategic locations in the southern portion of America. A former Navy Seal told All News Pipeline reporter, Stefan Stanford, “The tunnels are already in place. They are using the 6 months, which brings us into September (2015), to clear the places out and configure them for supply depots, communication hubs and pre-processing centers.”
There are literally thousands of miles of tunnels crisscrossing the United States, as well as underground rail systems. While Americans were keeping up with the Kardashians and watching scantily-clad contestants on Dancing With the Stars, our government has been building these tunnels, complete with underground military bases and cities, designed to ensure the “continuity of government” during a massive disaster or attack, as well as serve as a type of Noah’s ark for the Globalist elite and their families.
And these tunnels and cities are being stocked like mad with food, water, medical equipment—everything you could imagine to make sure the elite are comfortable and safe in their rocky hideouts while the rest of us face what is coming. Remember the Georgia Guidestones which outlines the Globalist/Illuminati’s plan for their perfect utopia? It involves reducing the entire world’s population to no more than 500,000,000.
So, what do the elite know that we don’t? What is coming upon the Earth in the next few months that may well result in the death of millions of Americans? I will give you my opinion in Part 2 of this article. In the meantime, please take the time to watch the following video. It holds a load of excellent information and has a lot of resources for you to click on at the bottom.
It is time to get right with the Lord. No more playing around with sin, or being lukewarm in your walk.
Time is up. Really.
Credit to nowtheendbegins.com

Experts Are Warning That The 76 Trillion Dollar Global Bond Bubble Is About To Explode



Bubble World - Public DomainWarren Buffett believes “that bonds are very overvalued“, and a recent survey of fund managers found that 80 percent of them are convinced that bonds have become “badly overvalued“.  The most famous bond expert on the planet, Bill Gross, recently confessed that he has a sense that the 35 year bull market in bonds is “ending” and he admitted that he is feeling “great unrest”.  Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller has added a new chapter to his bestselling book in which he argues that bond prices are “irrationally high”.  The global bond bubble has ballooned to more than 76 trillion dollars, and interest rates have never been lower in modern history.  In fact, 25 percent of all government bonds in Europe actually have a negative rate of return at this point.  There is literally nowhere for the bond market to go except for the other direction, and when this bull market turns into a bear it will create chaos and financial devastation all over the planet.
In a recent piece entitled “A Sense Of Ending“, bond guru Bill Gross admitted that the 35 year bull market in bonds that has made him and those that have invested with him so wealthy is now coming to an end…
Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, Ray Dalio, Jeremy Grantham, among others warn investors that our 35 year investment supercycle may be exhausted. They don’t necessarily counsel heading for the hills, or liquidating assets for cash, but they do speak to low future returns and the increasingly fat tail possibilities of a “bang” at some future date. To them, (and myself) the current bull market is not 35 years old, but twice that in human terms. Surely they and other gurus are looking through their research papers to help predict future financial “obits”, although uncertain of the announcement date. Savor this Bull market moment, they seem to be saying in unison. It will not come again for any of us; unrest lies ahead and low asset returns. Perhaps great unrest, if there is a bubble popping.
And the way that he ended his piece sounds rather ominous
I wish to still be active in say 2020 to see how this ends. As it is, in 2015, I merely have a sense of an ending, a secular bull market ending with a whimper, not a bang. But if so, like death, only the timing is in doubt. Because of this sense, however, I have unrest, increasingly a great unrest. You should as well.
Bill Gross is someone that knows what he is talking about.  I would consider his words very carefully.
Another renowned financial expert, Yale professor Robert Shiller, warned us about the stock bubble in 2000 and about the real estate bubble in 2005.  Now, he is warning about the danger posed by this bond bubble
In the first edition of his landmark book “Irrational Exuberance,” published in 2000, the Yale professor of economics and 2013 Nobel Laureate presciently warned that stocks looked especially expensive. In the second edition, published in 2005 shortly before the real estate bubble crashed, he added a chapter about real estate valuations. And in the new edition, due out later this month, Shiller adds a fresh chapter called “The Bond Market in Historical Perspective,” in which he worries that bond prices might be irrationally high.
For years, ultra-low interest rates have enabled governments around the world to go on a debt binge unlike anything the world has ever seen.  Showing very little restraint since the last financial crisis, they have piled up debts that are exceedingly dangerous.  If interest rates were to return to historical norms, it would instantly create the greatest government debt crisis in history.
A recent letter from IceCap Asset Management summarized where we basically stand today…
Considering:
1) governments are unable to eliminate deficits
2) global government debt is increasing exponentially
3) 0% interest rates are allowing governments to borrow more to pay off old loans and fund deficits
4) Global growth is declining despite money printing and bailouts And, we’ve saved the latest and greatest fact for last: as stunning as 0% interest rates sound, the mathematically-challenged-fantasyland called Europe has just one upped everyone by introducing NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES.
As of writing, over 25% of all bonds issued by European governments has a guaranteed negative return for investors.
Germany can borrow money for 5 years at an interest rate of NEGATIVE 0.10%. Yes, instead of Germany paying you interest when you lend them money, you have to pay them interest.
These same negative interest rate conditions exist across many of the Eurozone countries, as well as Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.
Negative interest rates are by nature irrational.
Why in the world would you pay someone to borrow money from you?
It doesn’t make any sense at all, and this irrational state of affairs will not last for too much longer.
At some point, investors are going to come to the realization that the 35 year bull market for bonds is finished, and then there will be a massive rush for the exits.  This rush for the exits will be unlike anything the bond market has ever seen before.  Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal says that this coming rush for the exits will set off a “death spiral”…
Anyone who holds the view that the Fed will not soon raise interest rates,and soon, fails to understand the nature of the developing crisis. It will be led by a collapse of the bond market.
Market forces, somewhat misleadingly called bond-vigilantes, will lead the charge.
I am not as bearish in the short-term on the stock market. The equity markets will be volatile because of the climb in rates and look scary at times but the death spiral will be in the bond market.
As this death spiral accelerates, we are going to see global interest rates rise dramatically.  And considering the fact that more than 400 trillion dollars in derivatives are directly tied to interest rates, that is a very scary thing.
And in case you are wondering, the stock market will be deeply affected by all of this as well.  I believe that we are going to witness a stock market crash even greater than what we experienced in 2008, and other experts are projecting similar things.  For example, just consider what Marc Faber recently told CNBC
“For the last two years, I’ve been thinking that U.S. stocks are due for a correction,” Faber said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “But I always say a bubble is a bubble, and if there’s no correction, the market will go up, and one day it will go down, big time.”
“The market is in a position where it’s not just going to be a 10 percent correction. Maybe it first goes up a bit further, but when it comes, it will be 30 percent or 40 percent minimum!” Faber asserted.
Where we are right now is at the end of the party.  There are some that want to keep on dancing to the music for as long as possible, but most can see that things are winding down and people are starting to head for the exits.
The irrational global financial bubble that investors have been enjoying for the past few years has stretched on far longer than it should have.  But that is the way irrational bubbles work – they just keep going even when everyone can see that they have become absolutely absurd.  However, eventually something always comes along and bursts them, and once that happens markets can crash very, very rapidly.
Credit to Economic Collapse

DENMARK MOVES TOWARD CASHLESS SOCIETY


Image result for denmark cashless

Denmark has moved one step closer to becoming the world's first cashless society, as the government proposes scrapping the obligation for retailers to accept cash as payment.


The Danish government has said that as of next year, business such as clothing retailers, restaurants and petrol stations should no longer be legally bound to accept cash payments.

The proposal is part of a package of economic growth measures, which are being released ahead of this year's Danish election. It aims to reduce costs and increase productivity for Danish businesses.

Finansr├ądet, a Danish finance industry lobbying group, says the change would free retailers from the cost of security, and the burden of managing change and notes.


Annoying pocketfuls of change are a thing of the past in the Nordic countries, where card payments for the smallest items are commonplace.Although it seems like a drastic step, the Danes are already moving away from paper and metal money.

Almost a third of the population uses an official Danske Bank app called MobilePay - it links your mobile to other users' phones or to a sensor at the till, allowing you to confirm payments with a simple swipe on your smartphone's screen.

Similar technologies like Paym are available in the UK, which allows users to transfer money to others by entering their mobile number. Google Wallet turns your phone into a contactless card, allowing you to tap your device against readers to transfer money - however, it is currently only available in the USA.

But both of these technologies are still yet to see the level of adoption that MobilePay has in Denmark.

There are fears that moving to totally cashless payments could increase the risk of fraud - in Sweden, a nation with one of the highest numbers of bank transactions per person in the European Union, cases of card fraud have doubled in the last decade.

However, Danske Bank has taken steps to fight fraud, by linking individuals' MobilePay accounts to their national insurance numbers.

The change would need to be approved in a vote at the Folketing, the Danish parliament, but the timing of the vote has not yet been set.

However, in a country where cashless payments are so common, it looks unlikely that the proposal will face much opposition.

 
The Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland lead the world in cashless payments - cash payments for even the smallest items, such as a packet of chewing gum, are commonplace.

In 2013, a Swedish bank robber left empty-handed, after he found out that the Stockholm bank he held up did not carry any cash.

Five of Sweden's six big banks now operate cashless brancheswhere possible, and some predict the country could becomecashless by 2030.

Credit to The Independent

China Warns Philippines Military to Stay Away from Disputed Territory

China Aircraft Carrier


China has warned Philippine military planes six times to leave disputed areas of the South China Sea and may be “testing the waters” to see if it can establish a no-fly zone in the region, senior Philippine military officials said.
"As we were conducting routine maritime air patrols and flying in international airspace, our air force aircraft were challenged over the radio," Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez told a Senate hearing in Manila on Thursday.
Lopez, commander of the Philippine Western Command, said the pilots ignored the warnings, replying that they are navigating international space.
While Lopez did not provide a timeframe, another senior Philippine air force official who asked to not be identified told Reuters that the six warnings had come in the past three months.
That official added that China could be "testing the waters" to see if it can enforce an air exclusion zone above the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, where multiple countries have overlapping territorial claims.
Recent satellite images show China has made rapid progress in reclaiming land around seven reefs it occupies in the Spratlys, including building what appears to be an airstrip on one of the artificial islands, Reuters reported.
"The Chinese said our planes were in their military security area," Vice Admiral Lopez told senators.
In late 2013, China imposed an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, above the East China Sea. The United States and Japan condemned the move.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had every right to set up ADIZs if it so wished. The situation in the South China Sea is stable, she added, and China and Southeast Asian countries want peace there.
"Under these conditions, I think that individuals hyping up an ADIZ, that China possibly wants to set one up in the South China Sea, this obviously has ulterior motives," she said.
On April 19, a Chinese warship challenged a Philippine air force plane that was approaching Subi Reef, which is part of the Spratlys. The pilot reported hearing the radio message: "Foreign airplane, you are approaching my military security area, please go away quickly in order to avoid misjudgment."
Lopez said China had expanded the seven reefs it occupies from a few thousand square meters to up to 11 hectares (27 acres) in artificial islands, including two areas close to the Philippine-held Thitu Island, Reuters reported.
China has denied accusations its actions are provocative, and even recently accused the Philippines, Vietnam and others of carrying out illegal building work in the South China Sea.
The US military commander for Asia, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said last month that China could eventually deploy radar and missile systems on its outposts that could be used to enforce an exclusion zone should it move to declare one.
Beijing claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims.
Credit to Sputnik

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150507/1021843763.html#ixzz3ZVDEFTpx