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| December 19, 2018

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Farthest Observed Object in Solar System Is ‘Farout’

December 18, 2018 |

Astronomers have spotted the farthest object ever observed in our solar system—and they’ve nicknamed the pink cosmic body “Farout.” The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday. “Farout” (pronounced far-out) is a dwarf planet about 120 astronomical units away—that’s 120 times the distance between Earth…
Newser

Brexit Upends British Political System

December 10, 2018 |

Brexit has turned Britain’s top-down political system on its head, with Prime Minister Theresa May in thrall to a fragmented parliament as she seeks to ratify a hard-won divorce agreement from the European Union.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Pilots of fatal Lion Air flight may have been befuddled by a safety system designed to prevent fatal errors

December 9, 2018 |

Only moments after taking off from Jakarta, the pilots flying Lion Air 610 realized they were losing control of their 737 Max jetliner, the newest, most fuel-efficient and most automated model of Boeing’s mainstay aircraft.

The jetliner unexpectedly pointed its nose down, sending it into a series…


L.A. Times – Business

CNN

Lion Air pilots fought automatic safety system before plane crashed into sea

November 28, 2018 |

The pilots of Lion Air Flight 610 were engaged in a futile tug-of-war with the plane’s automatic systems in the minutes before it plunged into the ocean, killing all 189 people on board.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

FDA plans to overhaul its medical device approval system

November 26, 2018 |

U.S. health officials said Monday that they plan to overhaul the nation’s decades-old system for approving most medical devices, which experts have long criticized for failing to catch problems with risky implants and instruments.

The Food and Drug Administration announced plans aimed at making…


L.A. Times – Business

Veterans aren’t getting GI Bill payments because VA’s 50-year-old computer system broke

November 19, 2018 |

Daniel Gorman knows what it’s like to return from war, and he wants to help fellow veterans come home, too: The former sailor turned New York National Guardsman is finishing a graduate degree in social work at Fordham University.

But the Department of Veterans Affairs has thrown his fall semester…


L.A. Times – Business

What you need to know about the 737 MAX and the flight control system suspected in the Lion Air crash

November 18, 2018 |

Boeing’s popular 737 MAX aircraft and one of its flight control systems are now in the spotlight after the aircraft suddenly plunged into the sea last month, killing all 189 people aboard the Lion Air flight.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed just…


L.A. Times – Business

Baltimore Voters Ban Privatization of Water System

November 15, 2018 |

Baltimore’s public water system will remain just that, public. Voters there overwhelmingly supported an amendment to the city’s charter declaring the “inalienability” of its water and sewer systems, Reuters reports, effectively banning privatization—the first large city to do so. Calling it, “a historic victory for local control of water,…
Newser

US Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global Financial System

November 9, 2018 |

US Pressure Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global Financial System

The Central Bank of Iran has been cut off from the global monetary system, after the Swift banking network bowed to U.S. pressure. The move leaves Iran’s 81 million citizens financially excluded and facing serious economic consequences, amidst renewed U.S. sanctions. America’s coercion of Swift attests to the stranglehold the nation exerts on the world economy, and the power it possesses to punish dissenters.

Also read: Minecraft-Like Platform Craft.cash Brings a 3D World to Bitcoin Cash

Swift Severs Ties With Iran

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, commonly known as Swift, is a network relied on by banks to funnel money all around the world. Headquartered in Belgium, it is meant to serve as an international cooperative society, and thus is not meant beholden to any single nation. The reality is quite different however. The U.S., as is its wont, has forced Swift to accede to its wishes and sever ties with Iran’s central bank, as its sanction-led battle with the Islamic nation heats up. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed the move on Nov. 8, tweeting:

Had Swift failed to follow the orders of its U.S puppet master, it could have succumbed to the same fate as Iran itself. “Swift could be subject to sanctions,” Mnuchin proclaimed last week. “Swift is no different than any other entity.” His comments reinforce the belief that no international organization is beyond the reach of American forces. The Swift money transfer system is open to all nations until the U.S. decides otherwise. In a statement made earlier this week, Swift explained:

In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, Swift is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system. This step, while regrettable, has been taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system. Our mission remains to be a global neutral messaging provider.

Permissioned on Pain of Punishment

US Excludes Iran's Central Bank from the Global Financial System“Swift is an enforcement arm of the U.S. government,” tweeted bitcoiner Nic Carter in response to the news. “The current financial system is an extension of U.S. hegemony,” he continued. “It is a system that works for many, but not all.”

There are arguments that can be made for and against America’s decision to exert a financial blockade on Iran for funding militant groups in the Middle East. What is inescapable, however, is that the biggest victims of the Swift banking ban will be ordinary Iranians who are blameless, yet find their business and personal lives crippled by U.S. hegemony.

“Swift is the lifeblood of international payments,” said Thilo Brodtmann, executive director at Germany’s VDMA, an engineering association. “Any restriction, however small, on the neutrality of this system is unacceptable. Today Iran, tomorrow Russia and then China?”

America’s decision to impose harsh sanctions on Iran is a controversial one that even its closest allies are seeking to circumvent. The U.K., Germany and France are among five countries to have established a special purpose vehicle (SPV), an alternative system that will enable companies to continue trading with Iran. Iranians struggling to send and receive funds from family overseas have no such luxury however. Swift and SPVs are of little use to the ordinary man or woman on the streets of Tehran, to whom censorship-resistant money, such as decentralized cryptocurrency, can be literally a lifeline.

US Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global Financial System

What are your thoughts on Swift’s Iranian banking ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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