Posts by The Trend Letter

roy rogers & trigger 1940 - by roman freulich. Scanned by Frederic. Reworked by Nick & jane for Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

Dog named Trigger shoots owner in the foot

You just can’t make this stuff up. From Reuters…

A dog named Trigger shot his 25-year-old owner in the foot in a bizarre accident that had Indiana officials on Monday reminding hunters to take safety lessons.

Allie Carter of Avilla was wounded during a waterfowl hunt on Saturday morning at the Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area in northern Indiana, according to Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

She laid her 12-gauge shotgun on the ground while repositioning herself and her 11-year-old chocolate Labrador stepped on the gun, depressing the trigger, said Indiana Conservation Officer Jonathon Boyd.

The safety of the shotgun was not on, so it went off and Carter was shot in the left foot, Boyd said.

Carter, who had never completed a hunter education course, was hospitalized. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the bird shot pellets and was treated and released, Boyd said.

Indiana officials said that users of firearms should always point the muzzle in a safe direction and use the safety mechanism. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 is required to take a certified hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license in Indiana.

However, anyone can get up to three apprentice hunter’s licenses without taking such a course, if accompanied by a person who has taken it, Boyd said. Carter had an apprentice license and does not face any charges.

“We encourage everyone to take a hunter education course before they venture out in the field,” Boyd said.

Boyd, who has been a conservation officer for seven years, remembered one other occasion when a dog shot its owner – a man hunting rabbits was shot after he leaned a gun against a tree, and his beagle stepped on it.

Carter could not be reached for comment.

 

USPassport

Reverse Immigration: Americans Renounce Citizenship In Record Numbers

We highlighted this trend of Americans handing in their passports over a year ago, & now the numbers are growing. Why are so many Americans handing in their US passports? A  big reason is the oppressive FACTA regulations that require foreign banks to report on Americans overseas. It has become so onerous for banks that many now do not accept American customers, it is just too much hassle for them to keep the IRS happy.

From Forbes…

There is another spike in the quarterly name and shame list of those who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated long-term U.S. residency. It means the 2015 third quarter published expatriates is at a record high. The tally for three months was 1,426, and although that may seem a trickle, it is the highest number ever. It surpasses the previous record of 1,335 for the first three months of 2015. Many are noticing that Americans renouncing citizenship is at an all-time high. Why?

It can be over family, tax and legal complications. Dual citizenship isn’t always possible, as this infographic from MoveHub shows. Some countries make citizens pay a fee to hand in their passport. Some countries have no fee, but America’s $2,350 fee is more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries. Indeed, Movehub reveals that America has the highest fees in the world. Many now find America’s global income tax compliance and disclosure laws to be a burden, some say downright oppressive.

No group is more severely impacted than U.S. persons living abroad. Americans abroad can be pariahs shunned by banks for daily banking activities. For those living and working in foreign countries, it is almost a given that they must report and pay tax where they live. But they must also continue to file taxes in the U.S. What’s more, U.S. reporting is based on their worldwide income, even though they are paying taxes in the country where they live.

Many can claim a foreign tax credit on their U.S. returns, but it generally does not eliminate all double taxes. These rules have long been in effect, but enforcement was historically less of a concern with expats. Today, enforcement fears are palpable. Moreover, the annual foreign bank account reports known as FBARs carry civil and criminal penalties all out of proportion to tax violations. Even civil penalties can quickly consume the balance of an account.

FATCA has ramped up worldwide and requires an annual Form 8938 filing if foreign assets meet a threshold. Foreign banks are sufficiently worried about keeping the IRS happy that many simply do not want American account holders. Still, leaving America can be costly. To exit, you generally must prove 5 years of IRS tax compliance. Plus, if you have a net worth greater than $2 million or have average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $160,000 or more, you can pay an exit tax.

 

warship

Headlines – Oct 27/15

·         Wall St opens lower on mixed results & weak data. Read story

·         Tentative budget deal reached. Read story

·         US plans to sell strategic oil reserves to raise cash. Read story

·         Weak business spending plans point to slower economic growth. Read story

·         UK economic growth slows to 0.5% in 3rd quarter. Read story

·         Inside the secretive circle that rule $14 trillion market. Read story

·         Greece, creditors disagree on foreclosures law. Read story

·         Alibaba revenue rises 32%, beating expectations. Read story

·         US home prices rise fast in August than July. Read story

·         China says US warship passage “threat to China’s sovereignty”. Read story

·         An investors guide to fees & expenses. Read story

·         US business equipment orders unexpectedly decline. Read story

·         Canada’s DH says short seller report “misleading.” Read story

·         German business takes VW scandal in stride. Read story·

         Japan looking to cut “sympathy budget.” Read story

·         On the lighter side. Check it out

epa04989908 Portuguese president Anibal Cavaco Silva addresses the nation, when he is expected to name caretaker prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho to form a new government, at Belem Palace, in Lisbon, Portugal, 22 October 2015. Passos Coelho's center-right coalition won the most votes in an Oct. 4 general election but fell short of a majority in parliament. The opposition Socialists have pushed for an alternative government together with two far left parties. But, the president is likely to follow Portuguese political tradition and name the candidate whose party won the most votes to form a government.  EPA/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA

Portugal’s President refuses to appoint elected anti – EU government

Constitutional crisis looms after anti-austerity Left is denied parliamentary prerogative to form a majority government

By

Portugal has entered dangerous political waters. For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership.

“In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of anti-European forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO,” said Mr Cavaco Silva.

Portugal GDP

“This is the worst moment for a radical change to the foundations of our democracy.

“After we carried out an onerous programme of financial assistance, entailing heavy sacrifices, it is my duty, within my constitutional powers, to do everything possible to prevent false signals being sent to financial institutions, investors and markets,” he said.

Mr Cavaco Silva argued that the great majority of the Portuguese people did not vote for parties that want a return to the escudo or that advocate a traumatic showdown with Brussels.

This is true, but he skipped over the other core message from the elections held three weeks ago: that they also voted for an end to wage cuts and Troika austerity. The combined parties of the Left won 50.7pc of the vote. Led by the Socialists, they control the Assembleia.

• Stalemate threatens to derail eurozone’s model pupil

The conservative premier, Pedro Passos Coelho, came first and therefore gets first shot at forming a government, but his Right-wing coalition as a whole secured just 38.5pc of the vote. It lost 28 seats.

The Socialist leader, Antonio Costa, has reacted with fury, damning the president’s action as a “grave mistake” that threatens to engulf the country in a political firestorm.

“It is unacceptable to usurp the exclusive powers of parliament. The Socialists will not take lessons from professor Cavaco Silva on the defence of our democracy,” he said.

Mr Costa vowed to press ahead with his plans to form a triple-Left coalition, and warned that the Right-wing rump government will face an immediate vote of no confidence.

There can be no fresh elections until the second half of next year under Portugal’s constitution, risking almost a year of paralysis that puts the country on a collision course with Brussels and ultimately threatens to reignite the country’s debt crisis.

The bond market has reacted calmly to events in Lisbon but it is no longer a sensitive gauge now that the European Central Bank is mopping up Portuguese debt under quantitative easing.

Portugal is no longer under a Troika regime and does not face an immediate funding crunch, holding cash reserves above €8bn. Yet the IMF says the country remains “highly vulnerable” if there is any shock or the country fails to deliver on reforms, currently deemed to have “stalled”.

Public debt is 127pc of GDP and total debt is 370pc, worse than in Greece. Net external liabilities are more than 220pc of GDP. CLICK HERE  to read the rest of the story.

Globalcurrencies

Follow the Global Flow of Capital

For years now, we have been telling subscribers that the key to being a successful investor in today’s global economy is to follow the global flow of capital.

Our subscribers have made terrific gains over the past couple of years by simply shorting the Euro & the Yen, & going long the US Dollar. We advised subscribers buy a 2X leveraged Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that increased 2% for every 1% decline in the Euro. That trade netted those who followed it, over 55% in less than a year.

We made a similar trade against the Yen earlier, which netted those who followed it 41% in just over 6 months.

What most investors & mainstream media fail to realize that even though the US has an enormous, unsustainable debt, it’s is one of the very few economies that is growing. Yes, its growth is slow, but it is at least heading in the right direction. Compared to most other economies, the US economy is the least ugly.

Investors in other countries see the US Fed looking to raise rates, while central banks in all these other countries are lowering rates & pumping out  huge amounts of Quantitative Easing (QE). The US has already completed its QE program & is now looking to raise rates.

Anticipation of a US interest rate hike has triggered huge capital inflows into dollar-denominated assets. Investors are betting on interest rates rising more than once, thus offering better returns on their money. Dollar investments also offer protection from a global economic downturn.

Just last week, data out of China showed that in the first 8 months of 2015, more than $500 billion of capital flowed out of China. Capital outflows are not just a China problem as central bankers in emerging markets are struggling to slow the surge of funds leaving their countries as well.

As central bankers around the globe, including China, devalue their currency, savvy investors have been moving their capital out of the local currency & into US dollar denominated assets. This is a trend that we forecast years ago & one that we see in place till 2017. Until then, we will continue to profit from this global trend.

There are many blogs & mainstream media talking heads who continually point to the US debt problem & assume that the US dollar is dead. But they are not able to connect the dots. What they fail to understand is that yes, the US has a massive, unsustainable debt, & yes,  that debt will ultimately cause huge problems in the US, but not just yet. It is all about timing.

Right now Europe & Japan are in much deeper holes. The Euro & Yen have depreciated sharply to date, but those declines are not over by a long shot. Watch for Sovereign Debt Defaults to soon occur in Europe. It may start in a small country like Greece, but once that first country goes down, contagion will take place. Investors will look around & ask “who’s next?”

That is when we will see the start of a global Sovereign Debt Crisis. It will start in Europe & then spread to Japan. After those regions have been hit, the massive debts of the US will move to center stage, & that will trigger a global recession.

Investors who follow the global flow of capital will not only protect their wealth during this upcoming economic crisis, they will be in a position to significantly increase their wealth!

Stay tuned!

Abe-turkemenistan

Abe reaches engineering, economic agreements with Turkmenistan

From Japan Times…

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov agreed Friday to cooperate on infrastructure development and natural gas plant projects totaling ¥2.2 trillion in the resource-rich Central Asian country.

Abe and Berdimuhamedov also agreed to urge North Korea to follow United Nations Security Council resolutions banning the development of nuclear weapons, and affirmed tie-ups in human resources development in Turkmenistan for advanced industries using Japanese-style engineering education, according to a joint statement issued after their meeting in Ashgabat, the capital.

Given that Turkmenistan has the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, the leaders welcomed participation by Japanese companies in building gas processing and chemicals plants, the statement said.

With Turkmenistan the source of more than half of China’s natural gas imports, the country aims to diversify exports through the advanced processing of gas, especially at a time when prices have slumped.

Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit Turkmenistan. He is on the second leg of a six-nation, weeklong tour that will also take him to four other Central Asian states.

Observers say the trip is intended to counter China’s growing influence in the resource-rich region with its economic might.

On Thursday evening, Abe visited Mongolia and agreed with Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg to advance economic cooperation between the two countries on the back of a free trade agreement signed earlier this year.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Ulan Bator, Saikhanbileg said Mongolia completed legal procedures the same day, paving the way for the FTA, signed in February, to take effect possibly this coming spring.

Abe welcomed the move, saying Japan “would like to cooperate for Mongolia’s development.” The Japanese government won Diet approval for the FTA during the regular Diet session that ended last month.

Saikhanbileg said he and Abe also agreed to cooperate on infrastructure development in Mongolia, including developing the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, a major project in the country’s south.

Referring to bilateral security cooperation, Abe said he won Mongolia’s backing for greater overseas roles for the Self-Defense Forces under new security laws.

Abe called for continued strategic dialogue involving the two countries and the United States.

“Sharing basic values, Japan and Mongolia are important strategic partners,” he said.

Given that Mongolia has diplomatic relations with North Korea, Abe asked for Ulan Bator’s cooperation in addressing Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.

The abduction issue has prevented Japan and North Korea from normalizing diplomatic relations.

 

Sexyrobot

‘Come here often?’ – Sex with Robot conference cancelled

From Quartz…

Love, it’s been said, is a battlefield. And the possibility of future relationships between humans and robots is stirring up hostile emotions in some people. Last month, an internet campaign was launched to prevent any robo-human relationships in the making, and a Japanese robot company told users that having sex with its robots would void their warranties. Now, officials in Malaysia have canceled a conference that they feared would involve humans attendees having sex with robots.

The BBC reports that the second annual Congress on Love and Sex With Robots conference, slated to take place in Iskandar, Malaysia, on Nov. 16, has been canceled by local police for fear that humans might want to have sex with robots then and there. There is, police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told the BBC, “nothing scientific about having sex with machines.”

The conference’s website has been taken down, replaced with a terse message saying the conference has been postponed until 2016, and “will definitely not be held anywhere in Malaysia.”

Last year’s conference was held in Portugal, and drew about 40 participants. Its expressed purpose was to dive into the academic and scientific likelihood of human-robot relationships in the future, and what that might look like. Cofounder David Levy, who wrote a book on the subject, has suggested that real relationships between humans and robots might be commonplace by 2050.

It’s a brave new world out there.

Maldives

The vice president of the Maldives allegedly tried to kill the president last month

From Quartz…

Police in the Maldives have arrested Ahmed Adeeb, the country’s vice president, on charges of treason, alleging that he was involved in plotting an explosion that could have killed president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in September. (The president is commonly known as “Abdulla Yameen.”)

Though the president was not hurt in the blast, which occurred on a speedboat carrying him and his family to Malé, the Maldivian capital, on September 28, his wife and bodyguard suffered minor injuries. Police at the time said they didn’t know if it had been an accident or an assassination attempt, but rumors soon swirled about the vice president’s possible involvement, according to the Associated Press.

Adeeb, who had been appointed VP only three months earlier—after president Yameen impeached his original VP on charges of treason—denied the accusations. But the president remained suspicious and ordered investigations into Adeeb’s network. Since then, Yameen has fired a handful of officials; The Guardian notes this was “seen by some as a purge of individuals whose loyalties may be in doubt.”

The Maldives, a small Muslim nation of islands best known for luxury beach resorts, have been sullied by political infighting since 2012, when the country’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Nasheed, was overthrown. Nasheed’s vice president assumed leadership for a year, and then lost to Yameen in the controversial 2013 presidential election. When Yameen became president, he sent Nasheed to jail.

Vice president Adeeb was arrested today (Oct. 24), and so were three soldiers suspected of plotting against Yameen with him, plus two others who had access to the boat before the explosion. The government announced that the bomb on the boat had been planted under a seat usually occupied the president.

Mexico quake

Mexico Quake Hits

From Quartz…

The strongest hurricane ever seen in the western hemisphere hit Mexico last night (Oct. 23), with residents and aid groups bracing for massive destruction from high winds that are expected to cause flooding, landslides, and damage from flying debris. The eye of Hurricane Patricia made landfall 55 miles (85 kilometers) west-northwest of the port city of Manzanillo.

As it crossed over land, the record-setting hurricane weakened from its peak strength, with maximum sustained winds near 160 mph (260 kmh), according to the US National Hurricane Center said. That still makes Patricia a category 5 hurricane— among the most powerful to ever make landfall in recent years—which is capable of “life-threatening flash floods and mud slides” and “an extremely dangerous storm surge,” the NHC said.

Mexican authorities declared a state of emergency (link in Spanish) in three states and dozens of municipalities in the path of the storm. The Red Cross told Quartz it has deployed 150 rescue workers and supplies like blankets and food to the areas expected to be hit the hardest. Another 350 are on stand-by.

The group is working with the Mexican military, the Mexican Marine, and public safety agencies at federal and local levels to prepare for the massive storm.

“I hope that we don’t have a single dead person,” Commander Isaac Oxenhaut, national first aid coordinator for Red Cross, told Quartz.

That will depend in large part on whether people in the hit areas heed the warnings to take cover, added Oxenhaut, who is running the Red Cross’s efforts from Puerto Vallarta.

It appeared many did, with the streets around the Red Cross’s building nearly deserted by early afternoon and at least 17 families lodged at the Red Cross shelter in Puerto Vallarta, he said.

Meanwhile, government workers in big cities like Guadalajara were cleaning street drains and canals to minimize flooding, officials said during a press conference. Classes were cancelled in the entire coastal state of Colima. In Jalisco state, mayors urged citizens to cancel parties, weddings, and other events Friday night and stay home.

In the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, which includes the resort town of the same name, 50,000 residents (Spanish) had been evacuated by Friday afternoon, Mexican magazine Proceso reported. Some tourists in Puerto Vallarta were apparently stranded after their hotels send them to the convention center instead of out of town.