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[VIDEO] Are Some Cultures Better than Others?

Are some cultures better than others? Or are all cultures and their values equal? Bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza, who was born in India and moved to America, explains.

Source: PragerU

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[VIDEO] Fighting Breaks Out in South Africa’s Parliament 

A mass brawl in South Africa’s Parliament halted the State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday.

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China Facing Full-Blown Banking Crisis, World’s Top Financial Watchdog Warns

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China has failed to curb excesses in its credit system and faces mounting risks of a full-blown banking crisis, according to early warning indicators released by the world’.

A key gauge of credit vulnerability is now three times over the danger threshold and has continued to deteriorate, despite pledges by Chinese premier Li Keqiang to wean the economy off debt-driven growth before it is too late.

The Bank for International Settlements warned in its quarterly report that China’s “credit to GDP gap” has reached 30.1, the highest to date and in a different league altogether from any other major country tracked by the institution. It is also significantly higher than the scores in East Asia’s speculative boom on 1997 or in the US subprime bubble before the Lehman crisis.

Studies of earlier banking crises around the world over the last sixty years suggest that any score above ten requires careful monitoring.  The credit to GDP gap measures deviations from normal patterns within any one country and therefore strips out cultural differences.

It is based on work the US economist Hyman Minsky and has proved to be the best single gauge of banking risk, although the final denouement can often take longer than assumed. Indicators for what would happen to debt service costs if interest rates rose 250 basis points are also well over the safety line.

China’s total credit reached 255pc of GDP at the end of last year, a jump of 107 percentage points over eight years. This is an extremely high level for a developing economy and is still rising fast.

Outstanding loans have reached $28 trillion, as much as the commercial banking systems of the US and Japan combined. The scale is enough to threaten a worldwide shock if China ever loses control. Corporate debt alone has reached 171pc of GDP, and it is this that is keeping global regulators awake at night. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré bleu! French Invent Robots to Replace Border Police

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French company Thales promises robots to replace immigration officers

French electrical systems company Thales premiered its new equipment designed to speed up passage through airports.

In their vision of the future, passengers will no longer deal with check-in desks — an innovation already making inroads in many airports.

A woman tests the new technology. Photo: AFP

A woman tests the new technology. Photo: AFP

To take that even further, Thales has designed a machine that not only scans passports and prints boarding passes, but also records an image of the passenger’s face and iris, which are then shared with computers around the airport.

The images are already in the system when the passenger arrives at the immigration desk, allowing a tall, white robot to
frenchmanautomatically confirm the person’s identity without the need for human border staff.

“You would only need one agent for every four or five machines,” said Pascal Zenoni, a Thales manager presenting the equipment at the air show.

“These systems can free up staff for the police and create more space in the airport,” he added.

The passenger’s face is also printed in encrypted form on the boarding pass so that it can be scanned by staff at the gate for a final identity check.

Thales hopes to build on its expertise as the maker of biometric passports and ID cards for 25 countries, including France.

Perhaps robots will be drafted in at French airports where the border police have been criticized for not being polite enough.

(A woman tests the new technology. Photo: AFP)

(A woman tests the new technology. Photo: AFP)

Last week the French foreign minister unveiled a new campaign aimed at making France more polite for visitors. It includes one measure that will force border police to say “Hello, “thank you” and “goodbye” to every passenger as they check their passport.

Meanwhile, in another air show stand, competitors Safran discussed their new systems for coping with the giant amount of data being collected on passengers. Read the rest of this entry »


Soccer Star Hope Solo Suspended for 30 Days

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U.S. women’s national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for 30 days and will not participate in matches during the team’s Europe trip next month.

The suspension comes after the arrest of her husband, Jeremy Stevens, earlier this week on suspicion of driving under the influence. U.S. Soccer did not specify the reason for the suspension.

[Also see – The National Women’s Soccer League’s Domestic Violence Problem: Hope Solo Arrested, Jailed, in Family Abuse Scandal]

Solo was in the car when the former Seattle Seahawks tight end was pulled over in Manhattan Beach, California early Monday morning for driving without headlights on. Solo was not arrested or detained.

[More – Assault charges against Hope Solo dismissed]

The 33-year-old goalkeeper was in Southern California for training camp with the U.S. national team, which is preparing to play in the World Cup starting in June.

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“During our current national team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates,” coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”

Solo, who has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. team, was released from camp. Read the rest of this entry »


British lawmaker calls to strip Russia of World Cup