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China, Japan Bypass U.S. Dollar in Pivotal Trade Agreement
BY JULIAN PHILLIPS - FinancialSense.com
The cutting out of the dollar in Japan / China trade may be a small start of only $345 billion in global trade, but it is a sea change decision in the global monetary system that markes the beginning of the end of the dollar's role as the sole global reserve currency. This move is irreversible and will lead to more and more currency exchange rate uncertainties. Gold will benefit!
Japan and China will promote direct trading of yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges, the Japanese government said over the holiday weekend.
China-Japan Currency Deal
Points Way to a New World Monetary Order
By the Editors - Bloomberg.com
The agreement announced between China and Japan to strengthen financial ties and promote yuan-yen trade is a small, but notable, step toward a new global economy. Its immediate practical significance is limited, yet the deal signals that a deeper transformation is under way -- and one that the world should welcome.
The plan was a surprise: It marks a warming of relations that had been chilly of late. The accord still lacks a timetable for implementation, but once in force it will let Chinese and Japanese trading companies switch between yuan and yen without converting to dollars first. This will encourage commerce by reducing currency risk and trading costs.
US declines to cite China as currency manipulator
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Tuesday declined to label China a currency manipulator after seeing recent increases in the value of the yuan compared to the dollar.
The decision angered some manufacturing groups, which have accused Beijing of artificially holding down the value of its currency to gain trade advantages. A cheaper yuan makes Chinese goods less expensive when they are shipped to the United States. It also makes U.S. goods more expensive in China. Both could increase the U.S. trade deficit with China, which is on pace to hit a record high this year.
World's Second And Third Largest Economies
To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
To all who still think that in the war of attrition between the USD and the EUR (because contrary to what some have "discovered" only recently, currency wars have been going on for a long, long time and will continue to do so, before morphing into trade and real wars), in which both currencies are doomed, and where the winner takes it all, if only for a few minutes, we bring to your attention the following most recent update out of the Pacific Rim (where incidentally the Shanghai Composite has resumed its relentless track lower with the obvious intention of closing 2011 at its 52 week low) in which we find i) that the dollar's hegemonic control over the world is ending, and ii) that the mercantilist relationship so long sustained between China and the US, may be shifting and reversing, and in its next metamorphosis will see Japan buying the bonds of... China (although probably not for long - see next post). As Bloomberg reports, "Japan and China will promote direct trading of yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for the exchange, to cut costs for companies, the Japanese government said.Japan will also apply to buy Chinese bonds next year, the Japanese government said in a statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing yesterday."
China, Japan to Back Direct Trade of Currencies
By Toru Fujioka - Bloomberg.com
Japan and China will promote direct trading of the yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges, the Japanese government said.
Japan will also apply to buy Chinese bonds next year, allowing the investment of renminbi that leaves China during the transactions, the Japanese government said in a statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing yesterday. Encouraging direct yen- yuan settlement should reduce currency risks and trading costs, the Japanese and Chinese governments said.
China and Japan plan direct currency exchange agreement
China and Japan have unveiled plans to promote direct exchange of their currencies in a bid to cut costs for companies and boost bilateral trade.
The deal will allow firms to convert the Chinese and Japanese currencies directly into each other.
Currently businesses in both countries need to buy US dollars before converting them into the desired currency, adding extra costs.
It is the latest step by China as it seeks a more global role for the yuan.
Japan — Land of the Rising Debt
BY PATER TENEBRARUM - FinancialSense.com
Japan's Scary Budget
While all over Europe, governments are forced to face up to the fact that the markets have suddenly become alert to the dangers posed by the huge debt loads carried by modern-day welfare states, Japan's government just piles on more and more debt on its existing debtberg with seeming impunity.
In Italy, Mario Monti's 'honeymoon' is already over. He just passed a fairly strict 'austerity' budget (recently denounced by the Northern League as a 'recessionary budget' – and rightly so, as it leaves the bulk of spending untouched and mostly imposes new taxes), but Italian bond yields are already back on the rise. Note here as an aside that the current level of the yield on Italy's 10 year note is not directly comparable to the time when a similar level was first reached, as the benchmark bond used by data providers has in the meantime been changed to a higher-yielding one – alas, it is the direction in which yields are heading that is relevant. Monti's real fight meanwhile is still ahead – he will have to challenge powerful vested interests as he attempts to implement structural reform.
Iran warns of closing strategic Hormuz oil route
By Ali Akbar Dareini - AP - WashingtonTimes.com
TEHRAN (AP) — Iran’s naval chief warned Wednesday that his country easily can close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway through which a sixth of the world’s oil flows.
It was the second such warning in two days. On Tuesday, Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran’s oil shipments.
Iran threatens oil artery shut-off if sanctioned
Iran unlikely to block oil shipments
through Strait of Hormuz, analysts say
By Thomas Erdbrink - WashingtonPost.com
TEHRAN — The latest in a series of Iranian threats to block the vital Strait of Hormuztriggered a sharp response Wednesday from the U.S. Navy, although there appeared to be little chance that Tehran would make good on its warnings.
Despite threats to close the narrow waterway if Western nations tighten sanctions on Iranby imposing an oil embargo, the Islamic republic needs the strait at least as much as its adversaries do, Iranian and foreign analysts said.
U.S. Fifth Fleet says won't allow Hormuz disruption
By Parisa Hafezi and Humeyra Pamuk - AF.Reuters.com
TEHRAN/DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it would not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the world's most important oil route.
"Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated," the Bahrain-based fleet said in an e-mail.
Iran, at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear programme, said on Tuesday it would stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if sanctions were imposed on its crude exports.
US Navy 'will not tolerate' Iran closing Strait of Hormuz
The US military has warned that it will not tolerate any attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow sea lane on which the world's oil supply depends.
By Raf Sanchez, Washington - Telegraph.co.uk
"The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity," said a spokeswoman for the US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. "Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated."
The unusually blunt statement came in response to threats by Iran to shut the channel if the West pressed ahead with sanctions on the country's oil industry.
America warns Iran that blocking oil route will 'not be tolerated'
Tensions mount between US and Iran as Fifth Fleet warns that any attempt to block Strait of Hormuz will elicit naval response
By Paul Harris in New York - Guardian.co.uk
Tensions between the United States and Iran have dangerously ratcheted up as naval officials with America's Fifth Fleet warned any attempt by Iran to close a strategically vital oil route through the Strait of Hormuz would "not be tolerated".
The news heightens a sense of growing crisis in the Persian Gulf after two days of threats by senior Iranian figures that they might shut down the important trade route in response to any future international sanctions against the country's oil exports.
Iran Promises to Close Down Oil Route If Sanctions Imposed
Oil price climbs amid Iranian threat
By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran
and Javier Blas in London - FT.com
Iran on Tuesday threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a chokepoint for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, if the west imposes oil sanctions on Tehran, causing a rise in oil prices.
The warning by Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran’s first vice-president, came days after Iran staged naval war exercises in the strait.
"If they [the West] impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then not even one drop of oil can flow through the Strait of Hormuz," he told the official Iranian news agency Irna. Iranian officials have in the past threatened to shut down oil traffic through the strait, but the comments by Mr Rahimi are the strongest yet.
Arab Spring: the revolution has only just begun
The Middle East faces a long, bumpy and bloody ride as nations struggle to build a new order while battling internal factions and outside interference.
By Shashank Joshi - Telegraph.co.uk
This year, the certitudes of the old Middle East dissolved with unseemly haste. A regional order frozen in place since the death of Egypt’s Colonel Nasser 40 years ago finally thawed. It produced a torrent of uprisings, coups, standoffs, civil wars, and an orgy of state-sponsored bloodletting. This was the earthquake; in 2012, prepare for the aftershocks. But revolution is not, and has never been, an event. It is a project, and one whose gestation spans not months, or even years, but decades.
Bond sale puts Italy to the test
Italy faces a crucial test tomorrow as the technocrat government of Mario Monti launches its first big auction of long-term bonds since a disastrous upset a month ago.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The outcome will set the tone for a string of debt sales through early 2012 that risk stretching the eurozone bond markets to breaking point.
The EU authorities are hoping commercial lenders will use last week’s flood of cheap liquidity from the European Central Bank to soak up southern European debt and bring yields back under control, starting with Italy’s €8.5bn (£7.1bn) sale of 10-year bonds today. The country must raise €440bn in debt in 2012, beyond the current fire-fighting power of Europe’s bail-out machinery.
Euro hits 11-month low
against the dollar as banks hoard ECB cash
Single currency also at 10-year low against yen, but Italy brings festive cheer to markets as borrowing costs tumble
By John Hooper in Rome and agencies - Guardian.co.uk
The euro weakened about 1% percent against the dollar and the yen on Wednesday, the day before an important auction of long-dated Italian debt, while US stocks slid more than 1% on concerns about the economy in early 2012.
The European single currency hit a fresh 11-month low against the dollar of $1.291 and a 10-year low against the yen as data showed banks were hoarding the cash recently injected by the European Central Bank rather than lending it out – a bad omen for the European economy in 2012.
UK to close borders, evacuate expats if euro collapses
Euro crisis blocks the path to full economic recovery
The year ahead looks gloomy, but quantative easing and inflation across Europe should prevent a full-blown depression.
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
’Tis the season for economic and political punditry, the time of year when "opinion formers" across the globe, crystal balls at the ready, are expected to predict what’s going to happen over the next 12 months. We’ve already had Nick Clegg’s doom-laden prognosis. You can expect much more of the same "blood, toil, tears and sweat" predictions over the next few days.
Very little of this annual outpouring of forecasting, professional and otherwise, ever survives the anvil of events, so it came as a relief when Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, dared at a recent Inflation Report press conference to speak the truth. "Who knows," he said, "what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone next month?" It was perhaps the most candid and therefore insightful remark yet made by a senior policymaker about the ongoing economic and financial crisis.
MSM Pushing Turnaround for Economy
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
Over the last several days, I began hearing a new description of the economy by the mainstream media (MSM)—“turnaround.” I can’t tell you how many different ways this phrase was used, but it was enough to get my attention. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff or where it is hatched, but I think this phrase is the new “recovery” term. Remember when we started out with “green shoots”? That phrase turned yellow and died. Then, there was the “fragile recovery,” and that turned into just a “recovery.” After that, we hit a “soft patch” and that was just “transitory.” Now, we have moved on to the “turnaround.” Is the economy turning around? The data say no.
Why "Tax the Rich" Won't Solve our Deficit/Spending Crisis
BY CHARLES HUGH SMITH - FinancialSense.com
If we look at tax revenues and income in a practical way, we find "tax the rich" will not close the widening $1.5 trillion gap between Federal revenues and spending.
Clearly, $1.5 trillion annual Federal deficits to fund the Status Quo—fully 10% of the nation's GDP—is unsustainable. Eventually, the ad hoc "solutions" currently being pushed by the Federal Reserve—zero interest rates to keep borrowing costs artificially low and money-printing operations that buy Treasury debt—will encounter political and/or market pressures which will limit the marginal effectiveness of these interventions, and the real cost of these historically unprecedented deficits will trigger a host of unintended consequences—all negative.
Tax bill set for increasingly rare conference committee
Bipartisan talks used to be standard practice
By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times
Last week’s tax fight in Congress was about many things — Social Security taxes, unemployment benefits and an oil pipeline — but HouseRepublicans tried to make it into an even bigger fight over the institutional relevance of the House of Representatives itself.
In the end, they won a partial victory. HouseSpeaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, caved in to Senate demands and approved the upper chamber’s two-month tax-cut bill. In exchange, theSenate agreed to name negotiators for a conference committee to hash out a longer-term solution.
Morgan Stanley to slash more than 500 jobs in New York
Financial services firm discloses that of 1,600 cuts announced earlier this month, 580 will come from four New York locations
AP - Guardian.co.uk
Of the 1,600 job cuts announced earlier this month by Morgan Stanley, 580 will be at its home base in New York.
The relentless tug of the dismal economy is hitting employees in the banking sector hard, and it's no surprise that many of the job cuts are hitting the epicenter of the financial industry. Citigroup, with its headquarters a seven-minute drive up Park Avenue from Morgan Stanley in Manhattan, said recently that it would eliminate 4,500 jobs – or about 1.5% of its global workforce of 267,000 – over the next few quarters.
To save middle class, create good jobs
By Paul Osterman - CNN.com
(CNN) -- Every politician in America declares concern for the economic crisis of the middle class. But to truly help the middle class, we must take on our nation's exploding economic inequality.
Consider two basic facts: Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1% of households captured almost 60% of all income growth in the U.S., yet median wage growth in the 2000s has been flat.
In his Kansas speech on the economy this month, President Obama described the growing inequality as the "defining issue of our time." He urged America to avoid a race to the bottom and instead to create good, well-paying jobs. The president laid out a series of important steps to restore fairness by repairing the tax and regulatory system, but these strategies are not enough. Nor is improving education; that's obviously important, but it will take many years to have an impact.
Did Bernanke protect the U.S. from the euromess?
Posted by Suzy Khimm - WashingtonPost.com
So far, American banks have largely managed to avoid catching the contagion of the Eurozone debt crisis. That’s partly because there’s little direct exposure to the banks in the most distressed countries. But there are other big reasons behind the U.S. banks’ relative health, as the Economist points out. First, in the wake of our own 2009 meltdown, U.S. banks have raised their capital holdings significantly.
Secondly, Ben Bernanke’s multiple attempts to inject liquidity into the U.S. economy has not only helped protect U.S .banks here, but also the U.S .subsidiaries of European banks, the Economist explains:
Pastor Lindsey Williams:
End of The Middle East and American Sovereignty 1/3
Pastor Lindsey Williams:
End of The Middle East and American Sovereignty 2/3
Pastor Lindsey Williams:
End of The Middle East and American Sovereignty 3/3
The following speech, from Nov 2002, is why Ben Bernanke was appointed to his current position as Federal Reserve Chairman and outlines his plan which has been followed to the letter.
Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke
Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C.
November 21, 2002
Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here
Since World War II, inflation--the apparently inexorable rise in the prices of goods and services--has been the bane of central bankers. Economists of various stripes have argued that inflation is the inevitable result of (pick your favorite) the abandonment of metallic monetary standards, a lack of fiscal discipline, shocks to the price of oil and other commodities, struggles over the distribution of income, excessive money creation, self-confirming inflation expectations, an "inflation bias" in the policies of central banks, and still others. Despite widespread "inflation pessimism," however, during the 1980s and 1990s most industrial-country central banks were able to cage, if not entirely tame, the inflation dragon. Although a number of factors converged to make this happy outcome possible, an essential element was the heightened understanding by central bankers and, equally as important, by political leaders and the public at large of the very high costs of allowing the economy to stray too far from price stability.
Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts -
Dr. Bernanke's Imaginarium
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
They bombed the thin markets early on, running the stop loss orders and forcing liquidation not only in the futures but in the related markets like the miners and the ETFs.
The first chart shows this fairly well.
This permits a liquidation of certain assets to occur, profits on related plays and short positions and of course the obtaining of key assets on the cheap for the next ride up.
I hate to be a spoil sport but position limits will not really solve this. It would cramp their style of course, but it takes something like an uptick rule and market vigilance against throwing large orders into thin markets to prevent it.
Gold Near-Term Outlook 2012
by Peter Grant - USAGold.com
Gold is consolidating below $1600 as we enter the last week of the year. The last London gold fix of 2010 was $1405, so barring any dramatic price changes in the last week of the year, the yellow metal is on-track for yet another double-digit gain of about 14%.
That's pretty impressive given the dramatic delveraging sell-off from the 1920.50 record high we saw in September, which prompted all manner of commentary proclaiming the end of gold's decade-long rally. More recently — amid another bout of deleveraging associated with rising uncertainty about the fate of European Union — the yellow metal retested the September low at 1534.06 along with important channel support. While much was made of the technical damage done by the recent move below the 200-day moving average, gold continues to display good resilience, underpinned by solid fundamentals.
* * * * *
Is It Too Late To Buy Gold and Silver?
Mike Maloney & The Elevation Group
Explanation of the greatest wealth transfer in history; inflation and deflation, recent history of money and what's NEXT for a global monetary system
MF Global chief missing $1.2B is financial adviser to EPA
By Jim McElhatton-The Washington Times
During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared fromMF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.
Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow’s role as a financial adviser for theEnvironmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.
The Entire Futures/Options Market
Has Been Destroyed by the MF Global Collapse [PODCAST]
Transcript for Ann Barnhardt Interview
Jim Puplava: Joining me as my special guest on the program today is Ann Barnhardt, formerly of Barnhardt Capital Management. And Ann, you were a commodity broker for eight years and then you formed your own independent brokerage for six years. A couple of weeks ago you made the painful decision to shut your doors because you felt your clients’ money and positions were no longer safe. What led you to draw those conclusions?
Ann Barnhardt: Well, obviously, it was the MF global collapse and more specifically the fall out after the MF Global collapse and the reaction by the CFTC, the SEC and most especially by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [the “Merc”]. The actions, specifically by the Merc after the MF Global collapse were unprecedented, unfathomable and completely and totally intolerable. The Merc itself basically did the equivalent of sticking a nine millimeter in their mouth and pulling the trigger by not stepping forward, backstopping the MF Global client accounts and at the very least, the Merc should have allowed the MF Global customers to liquidate their accounts and then transfer to other firms. What the Merc did was the worst possible thing—they froze those people out of their accounts and didn’t allow them to liquidate while the markets continued to trade. And I cannot over-emphasize the importance of that, the risk that those people were exposed to in the cattle business (and my forte is cattle. I am actually a cash cattle person. My brokerage business was geared almost exclusively towards livestock and grade. I have a lot of contacts in the cattle industry who didn’t necessarily do their futures business with me but were contacts of mine who did do business through brokers that cleared through MF) who lost tens of thousands of dollars on hedge positions that they wanted to get out of but could not get out of in the week and a half after the MF Global collapse.
Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street
By Felix Salmon - Wired.com
2.23.2009 - A year ago, it was hardly unthinkable that a math wizard like David X. Li might someday earn a Nobel Prize. After all, financial economists—even Wall Street quants—have received the Nobel in economics before, and Li's work on measuring risk has had more impact, more quickly, than previous Nobel Prize-winning contributions to the field. Today, though, as dazed bankers, politicians, regulators, and investors survey the wreckage of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, Li is probably thankful he still has a job in finance at all. Not that his achievement should be dismissed. He took a notoriously tough nut—determining correlation, or how seemingly disparate events are related—and cracked it wide open with a simple and elegant mathematical formula, one that would become ubiquitous in finance worldwide.
Fed seeks to curb repo market risk
Task force looks at ways to reduce threat
By Michael Mackenzie and Henny Sender in New York - FT.com
An industry task force sponsored by the US Federal Reserve is working on a plan to scale back systemic risk in the funding market at the centre of the financial crisis and to reduce trader dependence on JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon .
The changes would be aimed at bringing greater automation to the $1.6tn tri-party repurchase, or repo, market but could increase financing costs for other banks.
In the repo market, banks pledge securities as collateral for short-term loans from money managers and other investors.
Clouded Title: The Gross Illegality of MERS
By Barry Ritholtz - Ritholtz.com
"What’s happened is that, almost overnight, we’ve switched from democracy in real-property recording to oligarchy in real-property recording. There was no court case behind this, no statute from Congress or the state legislatures. It was accomplished in a private corporate decision. The banks just did it."
-Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah, on the “wholesale transfer of mortgages to a privatized database” and why it’s no coincidence more Americans are being foreclosed upon than any time since the Great Depression.
The quote above is from an article in the January 2012Harper’s. It’s ostensibly about the ongoing battle between Homeowners and Bankers.
Stop payment! A homeowners' revolt against the banks
By Christopher Ketcham - Harpers.com [PDF from Scribd.com]
State cuts to Medicaid affect patients, providers
ATLANTA – Just as Medicaid prepares for a vast expansion under the federal health care overhaul, the 47-year-old entitlement program for the poor is under increasing pressure as deficit-burdened states chip away at benefits and cut payments to doctors.
Nearly every state has proposed or implemented a plan in its current budget to rein in costs, and many are considering additional cuts in the year ahead.
For the tens of millions of poor and disabled who rely on the program — approaching nearly one in five Americans — the cuts translate into longer waits for doctors, restrictions on prescription drugs, a halt to vision and dental care, staff cuts at nursing homes and dwindling access to home health care.
closure review process was flawed, panel says
By Lisa Rein - WashingtonPost.com
The U.S. Postal Service relied on questionable data to identify more than 3,600 post offices and other retail operations to study for closure, an oversight panel has concluded.
In many cases the selection process ignored whether an alternate post office was nearby and which closures would reduce costs the most and lacked sufficient data and analysis to make the best decisions, the Postal Regulatory Commission said.
My Political Prediction for 2012: It’s Obama-Clinton
By Robert Reich
My political prediction for 2012 (based on absolutely no inside information): Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden swap places. Biden becomes Secretary of State — a position he’s apparently coveted for years. And Hillary Clinton, Vice President.
So the Democratic ticket for 2012 is Obama-Clinton.
Why do I say this? Because Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.
Build-A-Bear recalls nearly 300,000 teddy bears
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) -- The Build-A-Bear Workshop company is recalling nearly 300,000 Colorful Hearts Teddy Bears sold in the United States and Canada due to risks of choking, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced.
The agency warned that while no injuries have been reported, the "teddy bear's eyes could loosen and fall out, posing a choking hazard to children," according to a statement.
"Consumers should immediately take the recalled teddy bear from children and return it to any Build-A-Bear store to receive a coupon for any available stuffed animal from Build-A-Bear," the statement said, advising buyers to contact the firm at 866-236-5683 with additional questions.
Mayo Clinic plans to sequence
patients' genomes to personalize care
Project will give doctors the genetic information they need to choose drugs that work best and minimise side effects
By Ian Sample, science correspondent - The Guardian
Doctors have drawn up plans to sequence the full genetic code of thousands of people in a landmark project to personalise their medical care.
Volunteers will have all six billion letters of their genome read, stored and linked to their medical records to help doctors prescribe more effective drugs and other therapies.
The prestigious Mayo Clinic in the US will launch the pilot study early next year as part of an ambitious move towards an era of "proactive genomics" that puts modern genetics at the centre of patient care.
Being Christian is a death sentence
America needs to give shelter
to persecuted believers from Muslim lands
The Washington Times - Editorial
Persecuted Christians are fleeing from the Middle East in increasing numbers. The United States should open its doors to them as a guaranteed safe haven.
America has long been a beacon of hope for the world’s refugees, and members of religious minorities in the Middle East are in increasing need of relief. They have never had things easy, facing both official and popular intolerance from the Muslim majorities among whom they live. But as the region becomes less stable, intolerance has turned to active persecution and violence.
Pentagon trimming ranks of generals, admirals
By Craig Whitlock - WashingtonPost.com
With the Iraq war over and troops in Afghanistan on their way home, the U.S. military is getting down to brass tacks: culling generals and admirals from its top-heavy ranks.
Pentagon officials said they have eliminated 27 jobs for generals and admirals since March, the first time the Defense Department has imposed such a reduction since the aftermath of the Cold War, when the collapse of the Soviet Union prompted the military to downsize.
Banker Who Fled Kim Jong Il
Says New Leader to Open N. Korea
Jiyeun Lee and Eunkyung Seo - WashingtonPost.com
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Kim Jong Un may relax state controls over North Korea’s economy and ease the isolation entrenched by his late father’s nuclear weapons program, according to a banker who fled the communist state after years working for the regime.
Kim’s Swiss education and his reported fondness for basketball -- a sign he’s a team player -- may make him more open to change than his late father, Choi Se Woong, former deputy governor of the North’s Korea Reunification Development Bank, said in an interview in Seoul this week.
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