Threats Of Civil War – Just reported: Greece will not cut public salaries or there wll be civil war. There’s the gauntlet folks. It means that no "assistance" can actually succeed, because it is not possible to get the fiscal situation under control without significant cuts in public spending. This, incidentally, is the same problem we have in the US, and why attempts to deal with our fiscal situation at both state and federal levels is going to end up in the same place eventually. The majority of our budget is comprised of handouts of one form or another, whether they be Social Security, Medicare, or public-sector salaries.The "unified opposition" by public-sector employee unions (just look at what Florida teachers ran when their pension handouts and tenure were threatened) says everything you need to know. Greece has to be cut loose. The best way to do it is for Germany to walk away from the Euro and return to the Mark for its currency, leaving the rest of Europe to twist in the wind.
Six in Ten Americans Breathe Dangerously Polluted Air – Six in 10 Americans — about 175 million people — are living in places where air pollution often reaches dangerous levels, despite progress in reducing particle pollution, the American Lung Association said in a report released this week. The Los Angeles area had the nation’s worst ozone pollution. The report examined fine particulate matter over 24-hour periods and as a year-round average. Bakersfield, Calif., had the worst short-term particle pollution, and the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area of Arizona had the worst year-round particle pollution.
The Next Empire – All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built,ports deepened, commercial contracts signed—all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities seems insatiable. In most of Africa’s capital cities and commercial centers, it’s hard to miss China’s new presence and influence. Do China’s grand designs promise the transformation,at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers.