#Brittius says as President Ronald Reagan said, “A hand up, and not a hand out”, may, possibly, give thought to exploring independence for Puerto Rico  

#BrittiusReport – Dec.16: This is a featured post and a follow up to my post the other day on the state of this countries financial decline …

This report by my friend and colleague is featured here:

Brittius Comment & Opinion 

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, their people are US citizens by birth. Being a territory, their government has considerable leeway on spending issues, and was a consideration when statehood ballot was proposed. Now they are in dire straits financially. The US Congress should deny their request and resubmit statehood consideration. It would bring financial relief though loss of a quasi-independence.A friend in high school, was the grandson of Roberto Campos, who sought independence for Puerto Rico. The ideals were, as explained, necessary but leaning towards communism at the time.

Perhaps the time, now, favours Puerto Rico’s independence if they could get a workable government, but that would end much financial assistance from the US. Their economy would need to be revamped to include much more manufacturing rather that tourism and the US Navy involvement with training operations of ordnance deployed, which is unfavourable to the environment of the ocean waters. Loss of revenue if America left.

Puerto Rico has some tough decisions to make, and it will not be an easy or luxurious road to travel, as the majority of its citizens live a very modest lifestyle that can be vastly improved economically in time to come. As President Ronald Reagan said, “A hand up, and not a hand out”, may, possibly, give thought to exploring independence for Puerto Rico.

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#economy, #puerto-rico, #territory


#AceWorldNews – AUSTRALIA:Dec.21 – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants more focus on the economy and job creation after he introduced a Cabinet reshuffle after 14 months in charge of the country.

He promoted Scott Morrison to the position of Social Services Minister, Reuters reports.

Morrison, who was the former Immigration minister, had been behind the controversial program of turning back boats carrying thousands of asylum seekers looking to enter Australia.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister David Johnston lost his job following a series of public gaffes.

Abbott also appointed a second woman to his cabinet. Susan Ley was promoted to minister for health and minister for sport.

The other woman in the Cabinet is Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.


#cabinet-reshuffle, #economy, #job-creation


#AceBreakingNews – RUSSIA:Dec.10 –  In a couple of years Russia will be able to substitute 100 percent of “unnecessary” food imports, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during his live TV interview Wednesday.


“We are able to fully replace needless imports in the mid-term,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev said the shift won’t be immediate, but the good thing is that shelves in the stores throughout Russia have already become full of domestically made produce.

READ MORE: Russia bans agricultural products from EU, USA, Australia, Norway, Canada

“We are serious people and we’ve never said that we’d get all Russian agricultural items the next day after introducing response measures [to Western sanctions – Ed.],” he said adding that the goal of filling shelves with domestic production is gradually being achieved.

His comment comes at a time when the Russian economy is struggling to withstand oil prices that have plunged more than 40 percent from a peak of $115 per barrel in the summer.

The Russian currency has gone into free fall, touching new lows every day. The ruble was trading at 54.3 against the US dollar and at 67.3 against the euro at 1200 MSK Wednesday on the Moscow Exchange.



#currency, #dollar, #economy, #euro, #food


#AceNewsServices – RUSSIA – On December 4 Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly, the both chambers of Russia’s parliament. The state of the nation address is a basic document, which outlines the president’s positions on major directions of the Russian policies not only for the coming year, but also for future.

Position on the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea’s unification with Russia

Russia has the right to pursue its sole line of development, the president said. “This applies to Ukraine as well,” Putin said. He called hypocritical the use of human’s rights issue to cover for the state coup in Ukraine.

The president recalled the Crimean referendum and the reunification of the republic with Russia. The reunification, he said, is a major historic event. Crimea has significance for Russia, he said, and Russians will handle it that way forever.

On US influence: 

The United States always influences Russia’s relations with neighbouring states directly or behind-the-scenes, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Getting back to the way Russia’s dialogue with Europe and the US on Ukraine was developing, the president said “It is not by chance that I have mentioned our American friends, as they have always been influencing our relations with neighbours directly or behind-the-scenes”.

“If some European countries have forgotten about their national pride long ago and are considering sovereignty to be a great luxury, real state sovereignty is an absolutely essential condition for Russia’s existence,” Putin said.

On sanctions:

“Of course, sanctions are harmful, but they are harmful for everyone, including for those who initiate them,” Putin stressed. The Russian president however said sanctions and restrictions motivate to reach the set aims. Putin said he’s sure that the sanctions are not just a “nervous reaction of the United States and its allies” to Russia’s behaviour in connection with events in Ukraine and not due to “the Crimean spring.”

“The policy of containment was not invented yesterday. It has been carried out against this country for many and many years — always, if one can say. For decades if not centuries,” Putin said.

“Each time when someone believes that Russia has become too strong, independent, these tools are used immediately,” the Russian leader said.

Russia isn’t going to stop relations with Europe or America. Besides, Putin said, Russia has many strategic friends and partners in the world. The country will be open for the world and for attracting investments from abroad for joint projects, the president said. He sets a task of increasing the investment in the Russian economy to 25% of the GDP by 2018.

On import substitution:

Reasonable import substitution is Russia’s strategic goal in the near future, Vladimir Putin said in his address. Russia should get rid of dependency on foreign equipment, including for oil drilling in the Arctic, the president said. According to him, when foreign companies buy equipment abroad, it doesn’t do any good for Russia. They should use local products, Putin said. If Rusia buys anything abroad, the products have to be unique. Putin set the task to create conditions fot the SME to take part in the government procurement programs.

Who loves Russia should wish freedom for it On support of terrorism in Russia from abroad and disbalance in the world

Since 2002, when the US abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, there’s been a threat of strategic disbalance in the world, and it’s bad even for the US itself, Vladimir Putin said. “I think this is harmful for the United States as well, because it creates the dangerous illusion of invincibility,” Putin said.

He noted Russia isn’t going to get involved in the arms race though it will do its best to provide its security. The president added that Russia has nonstandard solutions.

It’s useless to try talking to Russia from position of strength. “We remember the countries that supported the terrorists in Russia …and those people make trouble today in Chechnya,” Putin said. The terrorists, according to the president, still receive support from abroad. “Those countries want the Yugoslavian scenario to happen in Russia, he said. Putin noted they will fail just as Hitler failed with his misanthropic idea.

On government spending:

According to the president, Defense Ministry should create a new system for control of budget spending. Improper spending in the sphere of defense can be considered as a threat to national security, he says.

Vladimir Putin says all budget corporations should have a common treasury, and all companies with large state share should reduce their costs several per cent each year.

On industry modernization:

Putin says Russia is capable of modernizing its economy and being leader in the world in certain industries. To achieve that, Russia has to use internal resources, like the Academy of Sciences, and attract Russian nationals from abroad. By 2020 half of Russian colleges should have training cources for 50 most popular professions, says the president.

On demography and care for the disabled:

Russian demography programs have proven efficient and the programs will be extended for Crimea, says the president.

“The country’s population is almost 144 million people, it’s 8 million over the UN outlook,” says Putin. Russia has life a expectancy of over 71 years and has all chances to increase it to 74, he says.

Putin thanks the Russian athletes for their participation in the Sochi Paralympic Games. He says Russia should increase support for the disabled. This, according to the president, includes professional training, production of specific goods, among other things.


#crimea, #economy, #health, #ukraine

` Obama to sign an `Executive Order ‘ Prohibiting Federal Contractors ‘ Retaliating against Employees discussing Pay ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – April 06 – (AP) – Lacking congressional backing to raise wages or end gender pay disparities, President Barack Obama is imposing his policies directly on federal contractors, following a long-established tradition of presidents exerting their powers on a fraction of the economy directly under their control.

This week, the president will sign an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other.

The prohibition on the wage “gag rules” is similar to language in a Senate bill aimed at closing a pay gap between men and women.

That legislation is scheduled for a vote this week, though it is not likely to pass.


#contractors, #economy, #federal, #president-barack-obama

#Iran :” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Orders Creation of `Economy of Resistance’ to counter Western Sanctions”

#AceWorldNews says Iran’s Khamenei orders creation of ‘economy of resistance’ Iran’s supreme leader has ordered the government to create an “economy of resistance” to counter Western sanctions. In comments posted on his website on Wednesday,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the sanctions “a full-fledged economic war,” adding that Iran is determined to force the West to retreat.

The program requires the government to diversify Iran’s exports, reduce dependence on sales of raw materials and promote high-tech industries.

#ayatollah-ali-khamenei, #economy, #exports, #high-tech, #iran, #irans, #raw-materials, #resistance, #sanctions, #war

#World : ” State of anxiety as `Global Leaders’ wait to see just how the `US Decides What to Do’ about its `Ongoing Economic Crisis’ before its to Late”


#acefinancenews, #economy, #global, #leaders, #world

#UK : “Cameron warns `Scotland Breakaway’ would Imperil UK Stability”

#AceWorldNews says Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday that Britain’s stability and foreign direct investment would be at risk if Scotland votes to leave the UK in a referendum later this year, Reuters reported.

“We are quite simply stronger as a bigger entity as an open economy of 63 million people with the oldest and most successful single market in the world,” Cameron said. He was speaking in London in a speech urging Scotland to remain part of the UK.
“Last year, we were the top destination for foreign direct investment in Europe,” he said. “That is a stamp of approval on our stability.”

#david-cameron, #economy, #europe, #london, #prime-minister-david-cameron, #referendum, #reuters, #scotland, #uk

#NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy – By Bricking Every Computer”

#AceSecurityNews says the "National Security Agency" described for the first time a cataclysimic cyber threat it claims to have stopped in Sunday’s "60 Minutes."

Called a BIOS attack, the exploit would have ruined or "bricked" computers across the country, causing untold damage to the national and even global economy.

Even more shocking, CBS goes as far as to point a finger directly at China for the plot — "While the NSA would not name the country behind it, cyber security experts briefed on the operation told us it was China."

The #NSA says it closed this vulnerability by working with computer manufacturers.

But the BIOS attack sounds staggering. From the 60 Minutes broadcast (emphasis ours):

(Director of Cyber Defense for the NSA) Debora Plunkett: One of our analysts actually saw that the nation state had the intention to develop and to deliver, to actually use this capability — to destroy computers.

John Miller: To destroy computers.

Debora Plunkett: To destroy computers. So the BIOS is a basic input, output system. It’s, like, the foundational component firmware of a computer. You start your computer up. The BIOS kicks in. It activates hardware. It activates the operating system. It turns on the computer.

This is the BIOS system which starts most computers. The attack would have been disguised as a request for a software update. If the user agreed, the virus would’ve infected the computer.

John Miller: So, this basically would have gone into the system that starts up the computer, runs the systems, tells it what to do.

Debora Plunkett: That’s right.

John Miller: — and basically turned it into a cinderblock.

Debora Plunkett: A brick.

John Miller: And after that, there wouldn’t be much you could do with that computer.

Debora Plunkett: That’s right. Think about the impact of that across the entire globe. It could literally take down the U.S. economy.

Debora Plunkett: No, not– not to this extent. This is the first time. The NSA working with computer manufacturers was able to close this vulnerability, but they say there are other attacks occurring daily.

It’s long been known that cyber attacks on critical infrastructure could level much of America’s economy. The difference here is the target.

Previous defense estimates focus on critical infrastructure — water, electricity, nuclear power — whereas this BIOS attack is solely focused on destroying computers.

A similar attack occurred last year, when a militant group called "The Cutting Sword of Justice"launched an attack on a Saudi oil company Aramco which destroyed the hard drives of 30,000 computers, destroying all stored data.

Though CBS reports that the BIOS plot came from a "nation-state" (allegedly China), experts and analysts largely don’t expect massive cyber attacks from the world’s largest nations due to the interconnectivity of the global economy.

It’s groups like "The Cutting Sword" — whose attacks occur because of perceived inequality of that economy — that have the world’s most powerful governments scrambling to patch up the holes in their cyber security.

SEE ALSO: ’60 Minutes’ Is Getting Shredded For Its ‘Embarrassing

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#acesecuritynews, #bricking, #destroy, #economy, #foiled, #plot, #us

“Cost of Running US Economy Next Year A Mere $143 Billion”

#AceWorldNews says upcoming regulations from the Obama administration in 2014 would cost the private sector $143.3 billion, according to a new report.

The American Action Forum (AAF) examined the “unified agenda,” which lays out “regulatory priorities” for the next year, and was released shortly before Thanksgiving.

The report documents regulations for 2014 from Obamacare, the EPA, Department of Energy, and others, revealing a regulatory system on “autopilot” that covers everything from calorie postings in vending machines to efficiency standards for portable air conditioners.

The agenda includes 15 new “major” rules, which will cost at least $100 million per rule. Some of the more wide-ranging regulations, such as the Volker Rule, a banking regulation under Dodd-Frank financial reform, are not even included in the cost estimate.

The agenda outlines regulations that the administration is currently working on and hopes to finalize in the next year. Although it is likely some will be delayed, Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, said the cost to the economy will depend on how quickly, or how slowly, agencies actually finalize regulations.

“Regulations, more or less, operate like hidden taxes,” Batkins told the Washington Free Beacon. “Last year the administration admitted that we had about $30 billion in new regulatory burdens, and that’s just from cabinet agencies. Our estimate from all agencies was a little bit higher.”

“But that’s $30 billion, that’s roughly the same amount that taxes increased this year, with higher income and capital gains taxes, and higher Medicare taxes, as well,” he said.

Affordable Care Act regulations for the next year, if enacted, will cost $1.9 billion, including the calorie labeling provision, a rule that requires all food items in grocery stores to be marked. The Department of Health and Human Services plans to finalize the regulation in February, which will cost the industry an estimated $421.3 million, and take 10 million hours to comply. #Debt

Courtesy of: Elizabeth Harrington

READ MORE: http://freebeacon.com/report-obama-regulatory-agenda-will-cost-143-billion-to-economy-next-year/

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#acenewsservices, #economy, #us

#Iran's Deal with the West Could Provide the West with 50% More Oil on the World Market#Nuclear

#AceNewsServices says WASHINGTON — Iran’s nuclear deal with the West could allow more Iranian oil on the world market in the coming months, but it remains to be seen whether sanctions will be lifted enough to allow the pariah nation to return to its former position as an energy power.

The deal lasts for six months, during which time the two sides will seek a permanent settlement. The consequences for global energy will be huge if the negotiations eventually lead to an end of international sanctions, including the European Union’s ban on purchases of Iranian oil.

“If Iran really gets back to producing its oil and expanding capacity, the potential is almost as big as the shale gas revolution in the United States,” said Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst for the Price Futures Group.

Iran holds the world’s fourth-largest proven oil reserves and second-largest natural gas reserves, according to the International Energy Agency. Iranian oil exports have plummeted by 60 percent in the past two years as a result of the international sanctions. The sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, which relies on crude oil sales for 80 percent of its export earnings.



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#crude-oil, #economy, #energy, #export, #iea, #iran, #nuclear, #us, #washington