The Greek Deal Is a Disaster for Greece, and Maybe for Europe – NYTimes.com

For years, Greece’s negotiations with its European creditors have featured moments in which all parties stare into the abyss, fear what they see, and step back to reach a deal.

On Monday, there was yet another deal. But this time it is one that pushes Greece into the abyss, even if financial markets don’t acknowledge it just yet and even if what happens next is deeply uncertain.

Greece already has 26 percent unemployment, a tourism industry that is suffering as would-be visitors stay away, and banks and a stock market that have been closed going on three weeks. Just a week ago, its voters overwhelmingly rejected a bailout offer that was less punitive than the one its leaders just accepted.

via The Greek Deal Is a Disaster for Greece, and Maybe for Europe – NYTimes.com.

Super rich hold $32 trillion in offshore havens | Reuters

Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

via Super rich hold $32 trillion in offshore havens | Reuters.

Greeks heading to Brussels for crucial talks – World – The Boston Globe

BRUSSELS — A meeting of European finance ministers broke up late Saturday with no agreement on whether Greece should be granted its third bailout since 2010, reflecting deep divides over whether the Athens government can be trusted to repay huge new loans and leaving the Continent hours from what could be a historic rupture.

The finance ministers planned to reconvene Sunday, just before European national leaders were scheduled to meet in Brussels for what they said would be a final decision on whether Greece should qualify for a new aid package, a step aimed at determining whether the country can remain in the euro currency union.

via Greeks heading to Brussels for crucial talks – World – The Boston Globe.

Here At The End of All Things

I occasionally play a game called “Civilization V”, in which you play a nation (Germany, England, Japan, etc) and build cities and Great Wonders and military units (etc). You can trade with other civilizations, have alliances, go to war, etc. I was playing tonight, and got to a point where my science achievement had not advanced far enough for me to be able to build anything that would benefit trade,science, or religion. I was only able to build military units. Maybe that’s what happened to the world we live in. We haven’t advanced fast enough, and all there is left to spend money on is war.

Dick Cheney Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes: Former International Court of Justice Judge | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

A former judge for the International Court of Justice and renowned expert on human rights law told a reporter this week that former vice president Dick Cheney should be prosecuted for war crimes and torture.

Eighty-one-year-old Thomas Buergenthal told Newsweek journalist Robert Chalmers that “some of us have long thought that Cheney, and a number of CIA agents who did what they did in those so-called black holes [overseas torture centers] should appear before the ICC [International Criminal Court].”

“We [in the USA] could have tried them ourselves,” added Buergenthal. “I voted for Obama but I think he made a great mistake when he decided not to instigate legal proceedings against some of these people.”

The former judge added that, despite the inaction so far, he believes eventual charges are inevitable: “I think—yes—that it will happen.”

Buergenthal was born in the former Czechoslovakia and currently lives in Maryland where he works as a professor of law at George Washington University. He served for a decade as a judge for the International Court of Justice—the main judicial arm of the United Nations—before retiring in 2010. Chalmers described him as the “most distinguished living specialist in international human rights law.”

via Dick Cheney Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes: Former International Court of Justice Judge | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

The Super Secretive Hollywood Gang That Loves Trump – The Daily Beast

On Friday night, future American President Donald Trump is scheduled to headline a private dinner at Los Angeles’s Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, where he will address Friends of Abe. The invitation to this sold-out event identifies Trump as the “very definition of American success.” According to Friends of Abe, interest in the Trump dinner has been through the roof.

“We realize that Friends of Abe is everywhere in the news this week because of the Donald Trump dinner coming up on Friday.” the group’s Facebook page noted on Wednesday. “This is the first time in the organization’s history that an event has been leaked to the press. This is not normally how it goes.”

At this point, you may be wondering: What the hell is Friends of Abe?

FOA is a secretive group of Hollywood right-wingers (the “one and only fellowship for entertainment industry conservatives”) that formed in 2004. It has been described as a “stealth right-wing group,” “influential in conservative circles,” a “GOP support group,” and as operating under “the same PR rules as Fight Club.”

The full list of FOA members is kept under lock-and-key (to avoid potential blacklisting in a decidedly left-wing Tinseltown), and the group only recently achieved nonprofit status from the IRS after a three-year fight to do so.

Founding and high-profile “friends” include Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd. The hundreds of right-leaning members are invited to attend strictly off-the-record functions where Hollywood players get the chance to meet political celebrities, and also to network with like-minded entertainment-industry types. Past events have included a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, summer fiestas, a pie-baking contest and family picnic.

via The Super Secretive Hollywood Gang That Loves Trump – The Daily Beast.

Marco Rubio: I Will Restrict Women’s Right To Choose ‘At Home And Around The World’ (Video)

On Friday, speaking before the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans, Rubio railed against Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which determined women do indeed have a right to an abortion. And Rubio also vowed to restrict the right to choose in the United States and around around the world.

Rubio called Roe v. Wade a “historically, egregiously flawed decision,” and said that it “has condoned the taking of innocent life on a massive scale.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Rubio also declared:

“It is fundamentally impossible for America to reach her destiny as a nation founded on the equal rights of all if our government believes an entire segment of the human population doesn’t have a right to exist.”

While he was at it, Rubio also said he would fight to restrict women’s right to reproductive choice “at home and around the world.”

via Marco Rubio: I Will Restrict Women’s Right To Choose ‘At Home And Around The World’ (Video).