Thursday, October 15, 2015
(NaturalNews) European nations are leading the world in rejecting genetically modified organisms in food and crops, with two more countries recently joining the list: Italy and Austria.
As reported by Nation of Change, Italian ministries have opted to utilize the newly created European Union rules that permit member countries to opt out of growing GM crops. Austrian officials joined in as well, with both nations making the decision to stop growing eight varieties of GM maize, which essentially amounted to a complete ban on GM crops.
The EU's opt-out regulations were implemented earlier this year. They allow member states to decide on their own if they want to continue using GM crops or ban them altogether.
As reported by Sustainable Pulse, a number of other countries in the EU have also opted out of GM crops:
Wales: "These new rules proposed by the European Commission provide Wales with the necessary tools to maintain our cautionary approach by allowing us to control the future cultivation of GM crops in Wales," said Welsh Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans. "It will allow us to protect the significant investment we have made in our organic sector and safeguard the agricultural land in Wales that is managed under voluntary agri-environment schemes."
She added: "Farming and food processing businesses remain the driving force of our rural economy. Our emphasis is on competing on quality, strong branding and adding value through local processing. We, therefore, need to preserve consumer confidence and maintain our focus on a clean, green, natural environment. "
Poland: In 2013, the Polish government actually adopted a regulation that banned GMO farming in the country, well ahead of the EU action. But once the EU approved its regulation giving member nations the right to ban if they chose, that was more than enough authority for the Polish government to act.
"Now we no longer have to explain the scientific aspects and we can already relate to social issues," Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said at the time of the country's ban.
Germany: German government officials announced in late September that the country would no longer permit the cultivation of GM crops, as stated by German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt.
Slovenia: Slovenian Agriculture Minister Dejan Zidan said in announcing the country's ban that "the government adopted the decision for a request for the exclusion of the entire geographical territory of Slovenia for GM maize to the EU, including the already registered variety MON 810 and seven other varieties which are in the process of registration with the European Commission. This allows me to formally send the request as the Ministry of Agriculture in accordance with the law for the exclusion of Slovenia with the regards to the cultivation of GM maize."
Serbia: State Secretary in the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Danilo Golubovic recently announced the country's GMO ban. In making the announcement, Golubovic said the decision was based on a desire to improve public health and safety.
Bulgaria: This government has decided to burnish its clean and green image by banning GM crops. As noted by Sustainable Pulse's director, Henry Rowlands, "Bulgaria is home to a wide variety of unique flora and fauna and is also the base of many ancient civilizations, it is with this background that Bulgarians know what is at risk when it comes to using an untested and unnecessary technology."
European nations that have opted out of growing GM crops thus far are Latvia, France, Austria, Cyprus, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy, Sustainable Pulse reported.
Credit to Naturalnews.com
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/051573_GMO_ban_food_supply_agriculture.html#ixzz3oei2bi00
Remember the 2008 financial crisis? Well, it's back.
The financial disaster, which started seven years ago with the collapse in US real estate and investment banking, has entered its third phase, according to a team of Goldman Sachs analysts.
This wave is characterised by rock-bottom commodities prices, stalling growth in China and other emerging-markets economies, and low global inflation, Goldman Sachs analysts led by Peter Oppenheimer said in a big-picture note.
This triple whammy has its roots in the response to the first two waves of crisis — the banking collapse and European sovereign-debt crisis — and it is all part of the so-called debt supercycle of the past few decades.
Central banks all rushed to lower interest rates in response to the first two debt-fueled crises, encouraging investors to lend in emerging markets such as China for a decent return.
Now that interest rates are looking as if they might go up, lenders are heading for the exits and investors are pulling out of commodities, which are closely linked to the fate of the emerging economies.
That's what links the emerging-market wave, or EM, to the first wave. As the US housing market collapsed, low interest rates "helped fuel credit growth and increased leverage, particularly in China," according to the note. Combine that with China's attempt to transform itself and escape the middle-income trap, and the plunge in global commodity prices, and you have a new crisis.
Chinese investment has exploded since the crisis, but trillions of dollars' worth has most likely been extremely inefficient, or even wasteful. Slower growth means the debt that investment produced will be harder to service. At best, that will be a painful readjustment period for China.
Here's the breakdown from Goldman Sachs (emphasis ours):
But with bond yields in real terms close to zero, and policy rates at historical lows, this extraordinary combination of events has raised concerns about the sustainability of the financial returns on a forward-looking basis, particularly if deflationary forces continue to develop.
As central banks in the developed economies start talking about raising interest rates, rates on safer assets, government bonds, should go up.
This creates less incentive for debt investors to take risks overseas to get a decent yield. They move their money out of emerging markets, making it harder for EM companies to refinance themselves and making it more expensive for them to fund big projects with debt, slowing the global economy.
Credit to businessinsider.com
Here we go again. The dying legacy media will continue to support the status quo, who provide their dwindling advertising revenue, by papering over the truth with platitudes, lies, and misinformation. I have been detailing the long slow death of retail in America for the last few years. The data and facts are unequivocal. Therefore, the establishment and their media mouthpieces need to suppress the truth.
They spin every terrible report in the most positive way possible. They blame lousy retail results on the weather. They blame them on calendar effects. They blame them on gasoline sales plunging. That one is funny, because we heard for months that retail spending would surge because people had more money in their pockets from the huge decline in gasoline prices.
September retail sales were grudgingly reported by the Census Bureau this morning and they were absolutely dreadful. This followed an atrocious August report. The MSM couldn’t blame it on snow, cold, flooding, drought, or even swarms of locusts. So they just buried the story in their small print headlines. The propaganda media machine had nothing. They continue to spew the drivel about a 5.1% unemployment rate as a reflection of a booming jobs market. If we really have a booming jobs market, we would have a booming retail sector. The stagnant retail market reveals the jobs data to be fraudulent. The 94 million people supposedly not in the job market can’t buy shit with their good looks.
Despite the storyline about consumer austerity being the reason for sluggish spending, the facts prove otherwise. Consumer spending accounted for 68% of GDP in 2008 at the peak. Seven years later it still represents 68% of GDP. The difference is the spending has shifted dramatically towards services since the Wall Street created financial crisis. Spending on services has grown by 31% versus 20% for goods since 2008. Guess what has caused that surge?
Spending on healthcare has skyrocketed for the average person. Rent, taxes, utilities and educational expenses have all exploded higher. Meanwhile, real median household incomes are 7% lower than they were in 2008. They are 7% lower than they were in 2000 and equal to the level of 1989. And the bubble headed bimbos on CNBC can’t understand why retail sales aren’t booming? Did they get their journalism degrees from the University of Phoenix or Trump University?
Let’s dig into the data for some shits and giggles. First off, you need to realize how bad it really is when you consider US automakers are essentially giving away vehicles to anyone who can fog a mirror, as long as they are willing to obligate themselves into never ending debt enslavement. The average amount financed of $27,000 and the average length of loan of 65 months are both record highs. As the automakers get more desperate by the day, 7 year 0% loans are now becoming the norm. Dealer incentives in the thousands proliferate. And subprime auto loans now constitute over 20% of all sales. The pace of subprime auto loans has more than doubled the pace of prime loans since 2010.
The Fed, Treasury and Wall Street decided auto sales would be the tonic to cure our economic ills, so they opened up the debt floodgate to get everyone and anyone into a new vehicle. They needed booming auto sales to provide the appearance of economic recovery. So, while overall consumer expenditures increased by 21% since 2010, auto loan debt grew by an astounding 41%. An this is just the debt side of the equation.
Over 27% of all vehicle “sales” are actually leases. Calling a three year rental a car sale stretches the concept of sale to the limits. Anyone who finances a car over seven years or leases a car, can never escape the chains of monthly payment debt. They will always be underwater, just the way Wall Street likes it. The proof these “strong” auto sales are just another debt based scheme are the non-existent profits of automakers and stock prices at 2010 levels. If auto sales are so healthy why would GM stock be down 18% since 2013 and Ford stock down 14% in the last year?
If you strip out the debt financed auto bonanza, retail sales are pitiful on a monthly and annual basis. I thought the later Labor Day was the reason for poor August sales. Maybe kids didn’t go back to school this year. The categories with NEGATIVE monthly sales was immense: Electronics & appliances (what about that housing boom), Building materials & garden equipment, Food & beverage, Gasoline stations, General Merchandise (Wal-Mart), Misc stores, Nonstore (Amazon). Overall, retail sales excluding autos was down 0.3% over the prior month. August sales were down 0.1% over July. The news just gets worse and worse as the government reports lower and lower unemployment. A fascinating dichotomy.
The annual and year to date figures are even more disturbing. The annualized and year to date numbers show 0.8% to 1.2% increases. If you believe your government that there is no inflation (Social Security recipients will get a 0% increase in their benefits next year – should do wonders for retail sales), then those pitiful increases are valid. If you live in the real world where your costs to live are going up by 5% or more, real retail sales are negative. The way to figure out who is lying is to look at the profits of retailers. They are plunging, so shockingly the government is lying about inflation.
Credit to theburningplatform.com
By now, Illinois' budget problems are no secret.
Back in May, after the State Supreme Court struck down a pension reform bid, Moody's move to downgrade the city of Chicago thrust the state's financial woes into the national spotlight.
Since then, the situation hasn't gotten any better and despite hiring an "all star" budget guru (for $30,000 a month no less), Bruce Rauner was unable to pass a budget in a timely fashion leading directly to all types of absurdities including everything from the possibility of shortened school years to lottery winners being paid in IOUs.
Now, as Bloomberg reports, pension payments are set to be delayed. Bond payments, apparently, will still be made.
Illinois will delay pension payments as a prolonged budget impasse causes a cash shortage, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said.The spending standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders has extended into its fourth month with no signs of ending. Munger said her office will postpone a $560 million retirement-fund payment next month, and may make the December contribution late.“This decision is choosing the least of a number of bad options,” Munger told reporters in Chicago on Wednesday. “For all intents and purposes, we are out of money now.”Munger said the pension systems will be paid in full by the end of the fiscal year in June. The state still is making bond payments, she said.“We prioritize the bond payments above everything else,” Munger told reporters.
And from Reuters:
Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said on Wednesday a $560 million November pension payment will be delayed due to a cash crunch stemming from the state's budget impasse.Despite the delay, state pension funds will be paid in full by the end of fiscal 2016, Munger said at a news conference in Chicago.
Here's some color (again via Reuters) from Tuesday's preview:
Oct 13 Illinois' budget impasse has reached a point where full and timely payments for big ticket items such as pensions could be in jeopardy, the state comptroller's office indicated on Tuesday.Comptroller Leslie Munger set a Wednesday press conference "to discuss the significant cash flow constraints the continuing budget impasse is placing on state finances and the challenges of making timely state payments in the months ahead," according to an advisory from her office.The battle between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the legislature has left Illinois without a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. However, the state is required, even without a budget, to put aside money each month for pensions and debt service on bonds.
One wonders what these means for Chicago's bankrupt school system, which, as we reported early last month, was depending upon nearly a half billion in funding from Springfield to plug a gaping budget hole. Further, this would seem to suggest that anyone who wins more than a few thousand in the Illinois lottery can go ahead and figure on getting a pieces of paper with Bruce Rauner's picture rather than Ben Franklin's for the foreseeable future.
We also encourage readers to review this piece by Reuters in full as it contains several of the most egregious examples of government waste and inefficiency you'll ever come across and goes on to say that reform simply isn't an option, as the Illinois legislature is filled with lawmakers who have at one time or another themselves benefited from the state's sprawling local bureaucracies. Reuters also says it has identified nearly a dozen instances where husbands employ wives, mothers employ daughters, and fathers hire sons," suggesting nepotism weighs heavily on the already elephantine system.
Bear in mind that this is the same state whose court system refuses to allow efforts at pension reform to move forward, and while all of this may seem like a recipe for default disaster, just remember, PIMCO sees a lot of "long-term value" in Chicago's debt.
Finally, a look at just how underfunded Illinois' pension system truly is:
Credit to Zero Hedge