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Monday, January 01, 2018

Early in 2017, Donald Trump was worried the dollar was getting too strong. At the start of 2018, he has nothing to worry about. This year, the US dollar recorded an annual decline for the first time in five years. The ICE dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six other currencies, fell nearly 10% in 2017. That's biggest annual decline since 2003 when the US dollar fell almost 15%. ... Most analysts predict a similarly tough year for the greenback in 2018. Goldman Sachs expects a "soggy dollar," meaning a dollar that has "all but finished pricing the relative strength of the US vs. the global economy."


When protests erupted in Iran in 2009, then-President Barack Obama reacted cautiously, concerned that a forceful intervention could make America -- reviled as the "Great Satan" by Iranian revolutionaries -- a rallying cause for the clerical regime. Eight years on, with demonstrations and violence breaking out again in Iranian cities, the US position is reversed, with President Donald Trump and his team almost gleefully leaping at the chance to line up alongside Iranian protesters. In one of his first tweets of the new year, Trump was openly rooting for regime change. read more


Sunday, December 31, 2017

For the first time food scientists have managed to produced bacon that does not include nitrites from vegetables or curing agents. The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently warns that bacon cured with nitrites is as dangerous as asbestos and smoking, because the chemicals produce carcinogenic nitrosamines when ingested. They have estimated that around 34,000 bowel and colon cancer deaths each year are directly attributable to diets which are high in processed meat. The WHO has also calculated that eating two rashers of nitrite-cured bacon per day increases the risk of contracting bowel cancer by 18 percent. read more


Saturday, December 30, 2017

He thought someone was stealing his truck on Christmas Eve, so he shot at the tailgate as it pulled away, relatives of the Alabama man say. It wasn't a thief, though. It was the man's son, borrowing the truck, family members told WIAT in Birmingham. The bullet struck 22-year-old Logan Wayne Trammell of Cullman, Ala., who died a few hours later on Christmas day. ... Family members say Trammell's father didn't know he was borrowing the truck when he drove away from his parents' home about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.


Claire's, which sells accessories and makeup aimed at young girls, announced on Twitter this week that it would halt sales of a number of products. The move came after a Rhode Island mother, who works at a law firm specializing in asbestos litigation and was working on a separate case, had some of her daughter's makeup tested. WPRI, a Providence, Rhode Island, station reported the story. Claire's, which has about 1,600 stores in North America and more than twice that globally, hasn't given its view of whether any of its products were contaminated with asbestos. To be cautious, it said it stopped sales of the items and announced today that it is having an independent lab run tests. read more


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