Free counter and web stats


..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Friday, August 26, 2011

An update on the day..
A gruesome discovery in a Triploli hospital.. more than 200 decomposing bodies have been found abandoned at a hospital in a district of the Libyan capital that has seen fierce fighting..
Reports tell a hideous story.. corpses of men, women and children on beds and in the corridors of Abu Salim's hospital..
Doctors and nurses fled after clashes erupted nearby between rebel forces and those loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi..
Some residents accused the regime of murdering those at the hospital, but it is not yet clear how exactly they died..
Meanwhile, rebel forces faced stiff resistance as they advanced on Sirte, Col Gaddafi's birthplace and the town regarded as his last stronghold..
And so the fight continues.. with the rebels consolidating their hold on Ras Lanuf and it's oil distribution center..

The long awaited word from the Chairman of the Fed.. has offered nothing to markets which have been bouncing around the zero growth level for a couple of weeks..
Ben offered no new stimulus for the American economy today, disappointing analysts and economists who had been hoping for measures to counter a slowing in growth.. what they'd been looking for was another round of 'quantitative easing'.. but that was not to be..
In a speech during the bank's annual meeting.. Bernanke did hint that Congress may need to act to stimulate hiring and growth..
The Fed Chairman said record low interest rates will promote growth over time but that the weak economy requires further help in the short run..
His speech followed the release of a government report that the economy grew at an annual rate of just one per cent this spring and 0.7 per cent for the first six months of the year..
The report predicted only slightly healthier expansion in the second half..
Most U.S. stocks fell sharply after the speech but recovered from their deepest lows.. At mid-morning the Dow was down 1%, the S&P 500 was 0.7% lower and the Nasdaq was 0.3% higher..
Bernanke's speech comes at a critical moment for the economy..
Consumer spending has slowed.. home prices are depressed.. workers' pay is barely rising.. household debt loads remain high..
All that, compounded by Europe's debt crisis, has spooked the stock markets and unnerved consumers.. Congress is focused on shrinking deficits and seems unlikely to back any new spending to try to energize the economy..

Problems abound in Japan as well.. Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced today.. that he was resigning after almost 15 months in office, amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis..
In a nationally televised speech, Kan said he was stepping down as chief of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, effectively ending his tenure as leader of the country. The decision was widely expected because in June, Kan had promised to quit once lawmakers passed three key pieces of legislation. The final two bills cleared the parliament earlier today..
This leaves Japan in vote mode again..The Democrats will vote Monday for a new leader, who will almost certainly become Japan's next PM..the 7th since 2006..

And here.. our Office for National Statistics has announced the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance also rose, by 37,100 in July to 1.56 million, its biggest increase since May 2009..
The claimant count has now risen for five months in a row to its highest level since February 2010..
The increase in unemployment between April and June came as a surprise to some economists, as most had predicted these figures would show a slight fall in the number of people out of work..
figures also showed that between April and June.. The youth unemployment rate rose to 20.2%, up from 20% in the quarter to March.. there were 949,000 16 to 24-year-olds without work, a rise of 15,000.. the number of unemployed men increased by 18,000 to 1.45 million.. the level of unemployed women rose by 21,000 to 1.05 million, the highest figure since May 1988.. The number of employees working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 83,000 to 1.26 million - the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.. the unemployment rate remained the highest in the north-east of England, at 10%.. the south-east of England still had the lowest rate of unemployment, with a rate of 5.8%.. the unemployment rate in Scotland was unchanged at 7.7%, in Wales it jumped to 8.4%, and in Northern Ireland it crept up to 7.3%.. average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were 2.6% higher than a year ago.. But inflation more than wipes that gain out..

And on the weatherwatch..
Hurricane Irene was lumbering toward North Carolina this morning, heading for a destructive march up the East Coast in an unusually broad path that could affect 55 million people.. Hurricane watches were posted for North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and New England, putting residents on notice to prepare for the worst and in some cases begin evacuations..
“The storm is moving a little bit faster than we thought,” said Josh Weiss of the National Weather Service at a briefing for local emergency management workers and other government officials in the southeastern part of North Carolina.. where rain was starting to pummel the coast.. Tropical storm conditions are expected by early afternoon..local time..
And as the day has progressed.. Barack has warned that Hurricane Irene, currently looming off the east coast of the US, could be a "historic" storm..
Seven states from North Carolina to Connecticut have declared emergencies ahead of Irene's arrival.. and mandatory evacuations have been ordered in parts of four states..
The storm has weakened slightly to Category 2, with winds up to 100mph, and this is the strength at which it is expected to make landfall..
Irene, which has already caused havoc in the Caribbean, is expected to hit the coast of North Carolina on Saturday before barrelling north.. to Washington and New York City a day later..

One has to wonder.. if those who tote up the cost of the riots in British cities take the maintenance of a man in custody into account..
In this case.. we're talking about 86,821 people locked up in jails, young offender institutions and immigration removal centres..
Granted.. only 13 hundred of them are serving time because of riot related charges.. but this increase, at this time of the year, is stretching the prison service to the point the seams are about ready to burst..
Mind you.. Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt said there will be no 'long-term effect' on inmate numbers..
Blunt said the disturbances earlier this month were a "one-off" event and the justice system could cope in the short-term..
And the government expects prison numbers to fall to about 83,000 in 2012..
Now one might assume this figure takes into account all those who will be released by the end of this year.. as well as all those who have yet to be jailed.. and there were 797 suspects on remand, almost two-thirds of all those to have so far come before the courts.. they may or may not face prison terms, but are taking up space the now..
The speed with which the prison population is rising following the riots appears to have slowed, with an increase of 167 this week compared with 723 last week..
This, of course, would reflect an easing of temperament in the Courts, as the immediacy of the riots slips away..
The same is reflected in the public attitude.. while there are those who still suffer from the effects of the insanity which swept some of our major towns.. the majority have simply filed it away as something to be spoken of later.. In coming years, it will be asked many a time.. ' remember the riots of 2011..?'

As a final note.. there's a disturbing proposal been put forward..
Industrialists.. wealthy businessmen/women.. philanthropists.. those who rank high among the 'haves' in our society.. are being asked to buy 'Social Impact Bonds'..
The money raised from this sale will be spent on helping the worst of the poor and underprivilaged.. in providing better living conditions and educational opportunities for those at the very bottom of the ladder..
The Government has put the annual bill for assisting the UK's most deprived families at more than £4billion a year, representing an average of nearly £100,000 per family..
Now the hope is, that these 'Bonds' will yield a profit for the investor..
Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd said it would focus on delivering concrete, measurable outcomes.. "We want to restore a stronger sense of responsibility across our society and to give people working on the front line the power and resource they need to do their jobs properly.. Social Impact Bonds could be one of many Big Society innovations that will build the new partnerships between the state, communities, businesses and charities and focus resources where they are needed."
An initial evaluation of the scheme, published in May, found there was demand from the voluntary sector for the idea and it had helped to generate new sources of funding.. But it also warned that the contractual relationships underpinning the scheme were "complex".. to say the least.. "If they achieve a reduction of more than 7.5% in the rate of reoffending by these prisoners for a period of six to eight years, then the government pays the capital back," he said..
"Below that, the capital is lost, and above that the capital gets a yield of 2.5% to 13%."..
It's schemes the likes of this, that have Ayn Rand turning in her grave..

No comments:

Search This Blog

Blog Archive