Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mick Huckabee announce US presidential bids

•May 5, 2015 • 4 Comments



Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for president on Monday, becoming the first declared female candidate to seek the Republican Party’s nomination.

“Yes, I am running,” Fiorina said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world; who’s in it.”
The ex-Silicon Valley executive and long-shot White House contender has never held public office. In 2010, she unsuccessfully ran for Senate in California, losing to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

She is now one of only a few women ever to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for president — among them, former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was a candidate in 2012, and former North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who made a brief run in the 2000 cycle.

Fiorina has been laying the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign over the past few months, traveling to early states like Iowa and New Hampshire and meeting with activists and donors.
Casting herself as an outside-the-beltway candidate with years of private sector experience, she has been particularly critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her work in government.
On Monday, Fiorina said Clinton “clearly is not trustworthy.”

“She has not been transparent about a whole set of things that matter,” Fiorina said on ABC, ticking off Benghazi, Clinton’s use of personal emails at the State Department as well as foreign donations that the Clinton Foundation has received.

But political strategists say Fiorina, an articulate communicator and energetic retail politician, could very well have a moment in the race, particularly as she makes an appeal to voters who are drawn to a non-establishment candidate.

Fiorina could also be a galvanizing force in an election where on the other side of the political aisle, Clinton — the widely presumed Democratic frontrunner — has indicated that she plans to make gender issues one of the central themes of her campaign.

Fiorina served as an advisor to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. She was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate from California in 2010, losing to incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.



On May 3, 2015, neurosurgeon Ben Carson confirmed his candidacy for President in an interview with a local television station in Cincinnati, Ohio. He officially announced he was running for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Presidential election at a rally in Detroit, his hometown, on May 4, 2015.

His sudden popularity among conservatives led to him performing rather well in early presidential straw polls in 2013 and 2014. He was a featured speaker at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and tied for seventh place in the CPAC 2013 Straw Poll with 4% of the 3,000 ballots cast. In the 2014 CPAC straw poll, he came in third place with 9% of the vote, behind senators Ted Cruz of Texas (with 11%) and Rand Paul of Kentucky (31%). In the 2015 CPAC poll, Carson came in fourth behind Paul, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and Cruz with 11.4%.

Carson has also had a strong showing in the polls at the 2013 and 2014 Values Voter Summits; in 2013, he tied with former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum for second place with 13%, behind Ted Cruz’s 42%. In 2014, he came in second with 20%, behind Cruz’s 25%, and also came in first place in the same group’s vice presidential poll.


Republicans Hopefuls Speak At Iowa Faith And Freedom Coalition

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is plotting a route to the Republican presidential nomination that could easily be mistaken for the sports bracket of a Southeastern Conference super fan.
As he seeks to avoid a repeat of the spectacular flameout of his 2008 run, Huckabee is pinning his hopes on the 11 contiguous states that run from Florida to Missouri and Texas to South Carolina. His advisers and allies call it “the SEC strategy,” for the college sports conference that tracks the same map.

The former Fox News host is expected formally launch his campaign Tuesday in his birthplace of Hope, Ark., where the campaign has reserved the largest venue in the county, which seats 1,600. He will jet from the announcement inside Hempstead Hall on the campus of the local community college to New York for interviews with Fox and other news outlets.


bit players..they covered all the bases today..the female vote..the black vote and the christian right vote..but none will make it to the main game..


Tesla unveils batteries to power homes

•May 5, 2015 • 8 Comments



US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has unveiled batteries that can power homes and businesses as it attempts to expand beyond its vehicle business.

Chief executive Elon Musk announced the firm would build batteries that store solar energy and serve as a back-up system for consumers during blackouts.

The device would allow consumers to get off a power grid or bring energy to remote areas that are not on a grid.

Tesla plans to start shipping the units to installers in the US by this summer.

In a highly anticipated event near Los Angeles, Mr Musk said the move could help change the “entire energy infrastructure of the world”.

“Tesla Energy is a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation,” the company said in a statement.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit would be built using the same batteries Tesla produces for its electric vehicles, analysts said.

The system is called Powerwall, and Tesla will sell the 7kWh unit for $3,000 (£1,954), while the 10kWh unit will retail for $3,500 (£2,275) to installers.

Energy comparison firm USwitch estimates that one kWh can power two days of work on a laptop, a full washing machine cycle or be used to boil a kettle 10 times.

Mr Musk said the company would partner with SolarCity to install the home batteries, but there would be more companies announced.

Mr Musk is SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder.


“The device would allow consumers to get off a power grid or bring energy to remote areas that are not on a grid.”

sounds great..but what if its a long cold wet winter?

“Musk said the move could help change the “entire energy infrastructure of the world”


“The rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit would be built using the same batteries Tesla produces for its electric vehicles”

i wonder where they are sourcing the REE for these units?


Wall Street models fail as big oil crushes estimates

•May 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment


If you thought oil prices were hard to predict, try estimating oil company earnings.

Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and other major oil producers beat analysts’ profit estimates by an average of 46 percent for the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The companies, along with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Eni SpA and Total SA, raked in more than $15 billion in combined quarterly profit after the worst oil price crash since 2009.

It wasn’t that the results were that impressive in a bear market — most companies reported profits down around 50 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Rather, the earnings show how far off estimates were. More specifically, they show how much easier it is to model profit estimates from producing oil than from refining or trading it, which is where most of the bigger companies saw earnings surge for the quarter.

Oil trading strategies are kept opaque for competitive reasons, and prices at the pump fell more slowly than crude, said Fadel Gheit, a New York-based analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “We could not see that coming,” he said. “As oil prices collapsed, refined product prices did not go down as fast, which created an unusually fat margin.”

Predicting the earnings of refineries and chemical plants requires estimating demand for dozens of products, as well as their costs. That makes the profitability much harder to forecast, Jeff Sheets, chief financial officer of ConocoPhillips, said in an interview Thursday.

On the exploration and production side, “it’s easier because there are market prices out there and companies give production and cost guidance,” he said.

Attempting to estimate the quarterly profits of some of the biggest energy conglomerates is “quite challenging” with most seeing profits from producing oil and gas cut in half, said Vincent Piazza, an energy analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

Some companies did so well in so-called downstream businesses, including processing and marketing fuel, that profits barely fell from a year ago. Net income for Paris-based Total declined just 2.8 percent to $2.37 billion compared with the same time in 2014, when global crude sold for almost twice as much on average.

Total, Exxon, BP, Shell and Eni all credited surging returns from processing oil into gasoline and diesel as a primary reason they were able to surprise the market. Eni went so far as to predict a European refining boom. That’s a remarkable turnabout from just a few years ago when plants closed from Philadelphia to France.

BP, Total and Shell all also cited holding and selling oil to third parties as a primary factor in their profitability this year. Although the companies are better known for producing and selling fuel, they are also the world’s biggest crude traders, a business Exxon doesn’t participate in.


“We could not see that coming,”

get a new job then..

the models failed?? but, but i thought the models were infallible??

“The companies, along with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Eni SpA and Total SA, raked in more than $15 billion in combined quarterly profit after the worst oil price crash since 2009.”

rolling in it..


In Brazil protesting teachers get a lesson in police brutality

•May 5, 2015 • 3 Comments


Austerity gets ugly in Brazil as teachers in one state faced the wrath of the local military police this week.

Over 200 teachers in the southern city of Curitiba were protesting against planned cuts to their pension on Wednesday. It was the usual Brazil labor union protest scene: a large truck being used as a bully pulpit with a leader speaking into a bullhorn. People holding signs.

Protests began in earnest on Saturday, but turned violent later in the week when a few dozen men busted through security gates and walked into the city’s General Assembly building at a time when there was a vote to cut public workers’  retirement benefits. The military policy took immediate evasive action. Some protesters were bloodied up. Everyone was doused with pepper spray and tear gas.  A few TV reporters were caught in the chaos with at least one local Brazilian cameraman getting attacked by a police dog.

Protests continued on Friday. Images of state governor Beto Richa wearing a Hitler mustache surfaced in the crowd of more than a three thousand teachers in Curitiba today.

It is worth noting that Richa is a member of the Social Democratic Party, the rival of the ruling Workers’ Party led by president Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia. The Central Workers Union, which comprises the base of the Workers’ Party, was also present in the protests — waving their red CUT union flags in the city.

Parana state has taken it upon itself to cut spending, much to the dismay of state employees. The state is one of Brazil’s richest. It sits south of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s industrial and financial hub, and is known for its agribusiness and auto industry. Volvo manufactures trucks in Curitiba.

Despite the week-long protests, Richa has stood firm. The new law passed regardless and will effect some 33,000 public employees, mostly retired teachers. It will save the state an estimated R$1.5 billion ($500 million) over the next 12 months.

According to the Curitiba government, some 213 people were injured in the clash with police. Roughly a dozen were reported in serious condition. Curitiba’s city hall was turned into a makeshift first aid center with teachers covered with blood from head wounds and bites from attacking police pit bulls.

Dilma spoke about the protests today without citing Richa by name.

“The protesters grievances are legitimate and we have to (learn to) establish dialogue without violence,” she said. “I respect them. I respect differences of opinion. I don’t respect violence.”

The police made world news this week for the second time this year. Earlier, police in Rio were reprimanded for the accidental shooting of a young boy during a drug war shoot out in a shanty town.


nasty business..brazil is really looking wont take much more for some real activism to explode..

“According to the Curitiba government, some 213 people were injured in the clash with police.”

thats a lot of cuts and bruises..and a lot of long memories..


Saudi Arabia used US supplied cluster bombs in Yemen rights groups says..Limited coalition ground force in Aden

•May 5, 2015 • 1 Comment


The Saudi-led coalition carrying out air strikes in Yemen has used US-supplied cluster bombs banned by much of the world, a rights group has said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had evidence that the bombs were used at least twice against Houthi rebels. There were no reports of casualties.

Cluster bombs spread small bombs over a wide area and can leave unexploded munitions buried in the ground.

They are banned under a treaty signed by 116 countries, but not Saudi Arabia.

The US and the other countries in Saudi Arabia’s military coalition are not signatories of the 2008 treaty either. The US does however bar the sale of the weapons to countries that use them in civilian areas.

HRW, which is based in the US, said one of the alleged cluster bomb strikes occurred in the al-Amar area of al-Safraa.

The group published images it said were taken in the area and purport show the remnants of a CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon – a cluster bomb manufactured by Textron Systems Corporation in the US and supplied to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent years.

Unverified video footage posted on Youtube by a local resident also appeared to show a number of small objects descending over the area suspended by parachutes – consistent with the way the CBU-105 bomb works – before exploding in mid-air.

Saudi Arabia has previously denied using cluster bombs, HRW said. Shortly after the air strikes began, a military spokesman told the media: “We are not using cluster bombs at all.”

Saudi-led strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebel group, which seized the capital Sanaa and caused the country’s president to flee, are ongoing.


A “limited” Saudi-led force is on the ground in Yemen’s strategic port of Aden and more troops are on their way, a government official has confirmed to AFP. About 20 troops have landed in the city for a “reconnaissance” mission, AP reports.

A limited coalition force entered Aden and another force is on its way” to Aden, the official and commander told the agency on terms of anonymity.

The Saudi-led forces “will start helping us in fighting” the Houthi rebels, a leading member of the Popular Committees, also told the agency. The PC are a locally recruited militia loyal to expelled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Similar reports appeared in the local Al-Ghad daily, which claimed the ground forces have entered the airport. The newspaper is linked to southern separatists, who demand the restoration of the southern state that merged with North Yemen 15 years ago.

The United States defended its supplies of cluster munitions on Sunday, pointing to restrictions on the transfers, after Human Rights Watch said the bombs had been used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

HRW said it had gathered photographs, video and other evidence indicating that cluster munitions had been used in coalition air strikes against the Huthi rebel stronghold of Saada province in Yemen’s northern mountains in recent weeks.

It said that analysis of satellite imagery suggested that the weapons had landed on a cultivated plateau, within 600m of populated areas.

“We take all accounts of civilian deaths due to the on-going hostilities in Yemen very seriously,” a US Defence Department official told AFP.

“We call upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law and to take all feasible measures to minimise harm to civilians.”


but if assad is accused of using them he gets a full blown invasion!

american supplied weapons of death..the only purpose of these bombs is to kill and maim as many people as possible..

the sauds may be on the ground..if so, they need to prepare to be invaded themselves..and i saw a video yesterday of the black flag wavers in yemen beheading some houthis..the cavalry have officially arrived..


Ukraine named worst performing economy in 2015

•May 5, 2015 • 2 Comments

Ukraine has the fastest falling economy of 2015 according to the British periodical The Economist. The country has seen its GDP shrink by 6.5 percent since last April, with countries like Libya and Macau performing better.

The Ukrainian economy showed the most significant deepening recession compared to the rest of the world, according to the data, published on Wednesday by the head of the analytical department of the Economist Robert Ward. The research compared the one-year GDP growth of countries since April 2014. Libya’s economy dropped by 6.4 percent while Macau which turned out to be the third worst performing economy, experienced a 6 percent GDP decline. Equatorial Guinea came out fourth with a 5.5 percent GDP decline and fifth place went to Russia as its GDP fell by 4 percent.

Greece took fifteenth place, the country’s GDP showed a very slight decrease, according to the Economist.

On Monday, the head of Ukraine’s National Bank Valeria Gontareva said that the country’s economic recession had hit bottom and predicted gradual recovery starting from the second quarter of 2015. Later on Wednesday, the World Bank lowered Ukraine’s economic outlook, projecting the country’s GDP will fall 7.5 percent in 2015.


“Ukraine has the fastest falling economy of 2015 according to the British periodical The Economist”

thats probably not very good eh?

look at some of the basket case countries it has beaten!

“the head of Ukraine’s National Bank Valeria Gontareva said that the country’s economic recession had hit bottom and predicted gradual recovery”

valeria is such a joker..


Duke and Duchess of Cambridge name baby daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

•May 5, 2015 • 7 Comments


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their new baby daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

The names will be seen as a triple-homage to her grandfather Prince Charles, great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, and late grandmother Diana.

The child was born on Saturday, a sister for one-year-old Prince George.

Kate gave birth within three hours of being admitted to hospital.

William was present for the birth at 7.34am GMT (5.34pm AEST) and the princess weighed eight pounds and three ounces (3.7 kilograms).

William then left the hospital and returned with George to meet his little sister.

About 10 hours after the birth, the beaming Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left hospital carrying their newborn princess in front of hundreds of cheering well-wishers and the massed ranks of photographers from the world’s media.

The sleeping baby was wrapped in a woollen shawl as a relaxed-looking Catherine, 33, cradled her in her arms in front of the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in central London.

William, 32, then drove his wife and daughter the short distance to Kensington Palace.

The royal couple are planning to spend the next few days at Kensington Palace.

After her grandfather, father, and brother, Prince George, she is fourth in line to succeed her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

On 2 May 2015, 08:34 BST, the Duchess gave birth to a daughter who weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces (3.71 kg) at St Mary’s Hospital, London. The Duke of Cambridge was present at the birth.


i was close on the prediction..missed out by 9 hours on a may day birth..or did i? :)



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