Half of the guns in U.S. owned by 3 percent of population study says

•September 23, 2016 • 1 Comment

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http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2016/09/half_of_guns_in_us_owned_by_3.html

A new survey shows just 3 percent of Americans own about 50 percent of the 265 million guns in the U.S., reports say.

This group of 7.7 million “super-owners” has between eight and 140 guns each, according to an unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey. The Guardian obtained a copy of the report and published its results Monday.

The number of guns in the U.S. has increased by 70 million since 1994, but the percentage of Americans who own a gun has decreased during that same time from 25 percent to 22 percent.

Researchers conducted an anonymous online survey of 4,000 people in the U.S. about how many guns they own, where they keep them and why they own them, CBS San Francisco reports.

The most-often cited reason for owning a firearm is protection from other people, according to the Washington Post. It’s a shift from the 1990s, when most gun owners said they used them for hunting and target-shooting.

“When I look at our survey, what I see is a population that is living in fear,” said Deb Azrael, a Harvard researcher and one of the study’s lead authors. “They are buying handguns to protect themselves against bad guys, they store their guns ready-to-use because of bad guys, and they believe that their guns make them safer.”

Most super-owners are collectors, firearms instructors, gunsmiths, competitive shooters and doomsday survivalists.

The Post reports that researchers are not surprised that a small number of people own most of the firearms, saying similar patterns are seen with other consumer goods.

Bryce Towsley, a Vermont-based gun writer and the author of “Prepper Guns,” tells the Guardian he’s concerned the survey will be used for political purposes.

“They’re going to say, ‘OK, there’s a small minority of people who have all the guns – we’re going to go after them,'” Towsley said.

Azrael tells the Guardian she’s more interested in the 50 percent of owners with only one or two guns, saying changing their attitudes about weapons could help reduce suicides in the U.S. About 20,000 of the more than 30,000 gun deaths annually in the U.S. are suicides.

“I don’t know anybody who thinks or talks seriously about confiscating guns,” Azrael tells the Guardian. “From a public health perspective – you don’t seize cigarettes. …

“You do try to make good science available. You do try to help people think about the risks and benefits of the behavior they choose to undertake.”

———-

would this statistic be correct?

seems a bit low..only 3%..

“When I look at our survey, what I see is a population that is living in fear,” said Deb Azrael, a Harvard researcher and one of the study’s lead authors. “They are buying handguns to protect themselves against bad guys, they store their guns ready-to-use because of bad guys, and they believe that their guns make them safer.”

“bad guys”

“Azrael tells the Guardian she’s more interested in the 50 percent of owners with only one or two guns,”

the harvard study..

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Taiwan asks Google to blur images of its military facilities on disputed South China Sea island

•September 23, 2016 • 2 Comments

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https://www.rt.com/news/360200-taiwan-google-south-china-sea/

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has requested Google to blur satellite images it uses in its services of the Itu Aba Island in the contested South China Sea to conceal from public view the new military structures it holds in the area.

“Under the pre-condition of protecting military secrets and security, we have requested Google blur images of important military facilities,” Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry stressed the information on the structures was highly confidential, refusing to give details about their purpose.

“It is inconvenient for us to reveal any military facilities we are installing on Taiping Island and what their purposes are, as they are all considered secret,” Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan said.

Taiwanese authorities said that they would check if any other facilities were inappropriately exposed and would report to Google if such were found.

There has not yet been a response from Google on the issue.

The current images used by Google Earth and Google Maps portray four giant structures placed in a semi-circle on the western coastline of Itu Aba, or Taiping Island, which is controlled by Taiwan but also claimed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Defense experts in Taiwan said the structures are most likely used for military or surveillance purposes.

“I think definitely it will be for military purposes, but I cannot tell if it is for defending, attacking or monitoring,” said Dustin Wang, a scholar and a former government advisor who has regularly visited Itu Aba, Reuters reported.

———-

“There has not yet been a response from Google on the issue.”

would google do the same for china?

it appears taiwan is doing the exact same thing as china..building island fortresses..

“The current images used by Google Earth and Google Maps portray four giant structures placed in a semi-circle on the western coastline of Itu Aba, or Taiping Island, which is controlled by Taiwan but also claimed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.”

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Australia’s Port of Melbourne sold for $7.3bn to investors

•September 23, 2016 • 7 Comments

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https://www.rt.com/business/359854-australia-port-melbourne-china/

The Port of Melbourne has been sold for $7.3 billion to Chinese and Australian sovereign wealth funds and other investors. It is Australia’s biggest container and cargo port where 3,000 ships dock annually.

This is one of the biggest privatization deals in Australian history, falling short of the sale of the electricity grid company Transgrid for $10.3 billion last November.

The Port of Melbourne was sold at a higher price than the Australian government had expected.

“The lease, worth in excess of $9.7 billion, reflects strong bidder interest and the port’s value, as the biggest container and cargo port in the country,” the government said.

The takeover may be seen as a sign that investors are seeking safe havens in times of turbulence on the markets.

“Equity markets are starting to realize that they’re going to live in an environment where returns are going to be lower for longer, and they’re looking for secure investments,” Australia’s Treasurer Tim Pallas told Reuters.

According to Pallas, China Investment Corp will get a fifth of the port. A similar share will go to Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Future Fund, and Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

The sale comes weeks after Australia stopped the Chinese buying a majority stake in the state-owned power network Ausgrid. At the time, China’s commerce ministry said the rejection “seriously impacts the willingness of Chinese companies to invest in Australia.”

———-

“The Port of Melbourne has been sold for $7.3 billion to Chinese and Australian sovereign wealth funds and other investors.”

chinese eh?

“This is one of the biggest privatization deals in Australian history”

selling the farm!

“According to Pallas, China Investment Corp will get a fifth of the port. A similar share will go to Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Future Fund, and Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.”

canada?

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EU’s biggest gas producer running out of reserves

•September 23, 2016 • 1 Comment

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https://www.rt.com/business/359569-gas-netherlands/

The Netherlands is the EU’s largest producer of natural gas, and has used 80 percent of its reserves, reports the local CBS statistics office. This leaves the EU with two options: buy more gas from Russia or increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

The Dutch budget has been affected by caps on extraction and plummeting wholesale prices. In 2015, gas accounted for only three percent of the country’s revenue, and by 2013 the share was nine percent, the statistics office said. State income from gas dropped to €5.3 billion in 2015, when two years previously it was €15.4 billion, said the report.

The country relies heavily on the Groningen gas deposit that was discovered in 1959. With 940 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas reserves, the Netherlands produced 52 billion bcm last year. By comparison, Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline has a capacity of 55 bcm per year. At the current pace, the Netherlands may run out of gas in 17 years.

“In the last 10 years Europe managed to keep its imports flat with lower consumption. Now much lower Dutch production cannot be mitigated by much lower consumption – most of the drop has occurred already. That means we will need higher imports from Russia or liquefied natural gas,” said energy expert Thierry Bros in an interview with Bloomberg.

Despite low crude prices and increasing competition from the LNG, Russia’s Gazprom still intends to cement its 30 percent share of European gas imports by doubling the volume of the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea. Russia has also made significant progress with the Turkish Stream pipeline that will deliver gas to Turkey through the Black Sea and then to Europe.

———

oh..awkward..

“This leaves the EU with two options: buy more gas from Russia or increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.”

sanctions anybody?

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Computers will commit more crimes than humans by 2040

•September 22, 2016 • 7 Comments

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http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/computers/computers-will-commit-more-crimes-than-humans-by-2040-expert-warn/news-story/ac37a8c42971db4bd88fd6d13f5b3183

YOU’VE heard of Robocop, the fictional man-machine on a mission to lock human criminals away.

But experts fear the opposite will soon come true and it will be machines that end up becoming the criminals, leaving us humans powerless to stop them.

Artificial intelligence experts have claimed that computers and robots will commit more crimes than humans by 2040.

They warned that murder machines will end up carrying the “lone wolf” terror attacks more associated with radicalised terrorists than psycho computers.

Tracey Follows, chief strategy and innovation officer at The Future Laboratory, toldRaconteur: “As the workforce moves towards more automation, we could find 35 per cent of jobs now done by humans have been replaced by robots.

“Futurists have been forecasting a sharp rise in lone-wolf terror attacks for years. But once robots can be hacked to become suicide-bombing machines, lone-robot attacks could become rife too.”

The robotic crime wave will be driven by the rise of artificial intelligence, which is expected to give machines a cognitive ability which could even surpass that of humans.

If the robotic crime wave seems like a distant prospect, you should consider a statistic from the National Crime Agency, which found that cyber crime made up 54 per cent of total offences in 2015.

As our world becomes increasingly connected, the crimes will become more and more sophisticated, with effects in the real world and not just the virtual one.

Raj Samani, a chief technology office at Intel Security, added: “It’s only a matter of time before we see instances of people left helpless, unable to drive their cars unless they pay up a ransom.

“We’re not talking driverless cars here, just a standard modern vehicle with connectivity capabilities.”

That’s not all. If we begin to secure our homes using the sort of locks already on cars, it’s not unrealistic to imagine a sadistic computer shutting all the doors and windows to trap the person inside.

Google engineers have even warned about the possibility of cleaning robots slaying their owners if they get in the way while they’re tidying up.

These warnings sound like science fiction, but they could become reality much more quickly that anyone would expect.

———-

i dont think solitary confinement will hurt these criminals!

“The robotic crime wave will be driven by the rise of artificial intelligence, which is expected to give machines a cognitive ability which could even surpass that of humans.”

but there is more:

“They warned that murder machines will end up carrying the “lone wolf” terror attacks more associated with radicalised terrorists than psycho computers.”

how do you punish a robot/computer?

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Global banking watchdog warns over Chinese banks

•September 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37403363

Risks of a Chinese banking crisis are mounting, according to a warning indicator from the banking industry’s global watchdog.

A key gauge of stress in the banking sector is now more than three times above the danger level, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says in its latest quarterly review.

China’s credit-to-GDP gap hit 30.1 in the first quarter of 2016, it said.

The BIS considers a credit-to-GDP gap of 10 to be a sign of potential danger.

A year ago the BIS quarterly review put the figure for China at 25.4.

The BIS calculates the gap by looking at borrowing in relation to the size of the economy, and comparing that with the long-term trend of that ratio.

When the two start to diverge, the BIS argues, a banking crisis could be on the way.

The BIS has a central position in global finance as it provides banking services to central banks and monitors the international flow of money and credit.

The health of China’s banking sector has long been a source of concern for financial markets.

Since the financial crisis of 2007-2008 there has been a boom in credit as the Chinese government has attempted to spur flagging growth.

But some of that lending has not been productive and the IMF estimates that loans worth $1.3 trillion are at risk of default.

However, as the Chinese banking system is largely owned or controlled by the government, analysts say it would bail out the banking sector if necessary.

———-

a fair warning as well i would suggest but dont forget the euro and american banks..they are way more dangerous..

“The BIS has a central position in global finance as it provides banking services to central banks and monitors the international flow of money and credit.”

a central position is correct..this crew run the show!

“the IMF estimates that loans worth $1.3 trillion are at risk of default.”

conservative guess..

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Sarkozy comes out of the closet as a climate skeptic

•September 22, 2016 • 1 Comment

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http://www.thelocal.fr/20160915/sarkozy-turns-climate-sceptic-in-battle-for-the-elyse

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is fighting to regain the presidency that he lost to François Hollande in 2012, has finally come out of the closet as a climate skeptic.

Speaking in front of business leaders Sarkozy, a candidate for Les Republicains party primary in November, told them that man alone was not to blame for climate change.

“Climate has been changing for four billion years,” the former president said according to AFP. “Sahara has become a desert, it isn’t because of industry. You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.”

Sarkozy has minimized the climate change in the past, but up until now he has never openly suggested that man was not to blame.

It appears the ex-president has an all round grudge against climate change.

The former president believes the world should be concentrating on the rise in the population and movement of people rather than worrying so much about global warming.

“Never has the earth experienced such a demographic shock as it is about to, because in a few years there will be 11 billion of us. And man is directly responsible in this case but nobody talks about it,” Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy was also angry at the amount of global media coverage given to the COP21 climate change conference in Paris last year, that was hailed a success not just for the future of the earth but for the Socialist government who helped force through an historic deal.

Sarkozy believes the media should have been concentrating on the Paris terror attacks, that occurred just weeks before on November 13th.

The former president must have been too busy to notice the enormous amount of media coverage both in France and around the globe that was dedicated to the terror attacks.

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“comes out of the closet” eh?

please..

“Climate has been changing for four billion years,” the former president said according to AFP. “Sahara has become a desert, it isn’t because of industry. You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.”

hes right..

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