Russia’s Economy Crashed Today Yet, A Film’s Cancellation Fills Mainstream News


By Royce Christyn
Your News Wire

So, today a global economy had such a tremendous crash that Apple halted all online sales, it threw the entire country in a state of frozen shock and will have global impact for years to come.

However, the main headlines today are about the fact that the Hollywood film “The Interview” was cancelled because N. Korea threatened to blow up movie theaters. While both situations are not good – perhaps not for the obvious reasons – Time magazine had some pretty strong words to say in an article titled:

Putin Watches Russian Economy Collapse Along With His Stature

Time went on to say:

The plummeting ruble may force the Russian President to rethink his adventures abroad

Stability was always the watchword of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, and for more than a decade it rang true. Ever since he came to power in 2000, Putin presented himself as the antidote to what Russians call the “wild ’90s,” the decade of economic upheaval that culminated in the crash of 1998. The high price of oil, and the fortunes it brought the Russian petrostate, have since allowed Putin to keep his promise of prosperity and economic growth. But this week the myth of Putin the Stabilizer collapsed, along with the value of the national currency.

Driven down by a six-month plunge in the price of oil, the ruble lost about a quarter of its value against the dollar in the first two days of this week, its steepest fall since the crash of 1998, when Russia defaulted on its debt. The central bank took drastic measures to avoid the risk of another default on Monday night, hiking interest rates from 10.5% to 17% in a desperate attempt to make Russians keep their rubles in the bank instead of spending them on foreign currency. But it came too late. The rate hike, also the steepest since 1998, only managed to forestall the collapse of the ruble for about 10 minutes when markets opened on Tuesday morning.

Putin, meanwhile, kept his head in the sand. Reporters who called his spokesman with questions about the ruble’s fall were told to call the Prime Minister or the Cabinet, as though the economy was not the President’s concern. The most notable item on the Kremlin’s website on Tuesday was a presidential order to prepare a “fundamental” history of the region of Crimea, which Putin annexed from Ukraine this spring. Though it was hardly a tonic for the national economy, this decree hinted at Putin’s plan for riding out the storm.

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New York bans fracking after health report

New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said at a cabinet meeting he will issue an order early next year banning fracking, which has been under a moratorium since 2008. Once that happens, New York will join Vermont as the only states to completely prohibit fracking.

The decision ends what has been a fierce debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking, a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous. (more…)

Bernie Sanders: Destroy the Big Banks Before the Big Banks Destroy You


By Travis Gettys
Alternet

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)  plans a legislative push to break up Wall Street’s largest banks and lift the cap on contributions to Social Security.

“If Congress cannot regulate Wall Street, there is just one alternative,” said Sanders in a speech Saturday. “It is time to break these too-big-to-fail banks up so that they can never again destroy the jobs, homes, and life savings of the American people.”

Sanders, who has signaled he may run for president in 2016 to offer a true progressive alternative, said he would introduce legislation at the start of next congressional session to break up the largest investment banks. (more…)

Fungi Farm Prototype Turns Waste Plastic into Edible Treats


Web Urbanist

Breaking down one of the most difficult types of trash, this incredible working incubator turns sterilized plastic remnants into nutritional biomass humans can consume and digest, in short: food. Texture, taste and flavor depend upon the strain of fungus, but reportedly can be quite strong as well as quite sweet.

fungus growth system

fungi plastic utensil set

fungi eating good

Livin Studio, an Austrian design group known for innovative work on insect farms, has built a working model of this growth sphere (dubbed the Fungi Mutarium) that takes parts of mushrooms usually left uneaten and grows them into fresh snacks. (more…)

Intelligent Interstates: 5 High-Tech ‘Smart Highway’ Systems

Web Urbaanist

With prototypes set to hit the pavement in the Netherlands next year, these interactive  interventions take innovation back from a focus on the car and put it right on the road.

Examples include: glow-in-the-dark paints that recharge by day and illuminate by night, wind-driven roadside lamps, energy-saving motion-sensor lights, temperature- and moisture-sensitive weather- and road-condition displays with color-changing paint to warn of icing, and even dedicated induction-priority lanes to magnetically recharge electric cars. (more…)

Congress Effectively Ends The Federal Ban On Medical Marijuana


High Times

It seems the controversial $1.1T spending bill that is preventing the U.S. government from shutting down is chock full of surprises. As you may know, much to the dismay of marijuana activists and lovers of democracy everywhere, the bill smacked down Washington DCs referendum that legalized recreational marijuana in the nation’s capital. What you may have missed (because those shifty politicians are doing everything under the table) is that the bill also quietly, but effectively lifted the federal ban on medical marijuana. (more…)

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