Japan’s economy shrinks again as Abenomics is blown off course


Economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.4% in the last quarter of 2015 – a contraction that was more severe than many had forecast

Japan’s economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.4% in the last quarter of 2015, new figures showed on Monday, dealing a further blow to attempts by the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to lift the country out of stagnation.

Related: Market turmoil: Asian stocks soar despite Japan shrinking 1.4% – live

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Netanyahu threatens: If US military aid insufficient, we’ll wait for next president, Haaretz

Barak Ravid/ Haaretz/

The Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu, during Sunday’s cabinet meeting threatened that if the American aid does not sufficiently address the “Israeli military needs,” Israel will wait for the next president to sign the military agreement with, Haaretz reported.

Haaretz cited Netanyahu as saying that “It’s not yet clear that we will come to an agreement.”

“[We] need to see if [we] can achieve a result that will address Israel’s security needs or perhaps we will not manage to come to an agreement with this administration and will need to come to an agreement with the next administration,” Netanyahu added.

Netanyahu’s statement came following three days of discussions between American delegate and Israeli diplomants from the military, PM’s office and Foreign ministry, regarding the size of the aid that the United States would provide Israel and the conditions on its use.

According to Haaretz, a senior Israeli official who participated in the cabinet meeting but asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject said the contacts with the American administration are continuing but “nothing has yet been finalized and it will take more time.”

The current Israeli-American militray agreement was signed ten years ago is due to expire at the end of 2018. As a result of the understanding, the United States has provided $30 billion over a decade in “security assistance” to Isrel.

At the beginning of the negotiations a few months ago, senior figures in the defense establishment expressed the position that Israel is in need of a $5 billion annual increase to the amount of American assistance. Netanyahu himself has told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset that he is interested in coming to agreement with Obama on the sum of “$4 billion plus.”


PAHO: Latest Zika Maps & Resources



A quick note on PAHO‘s (Pan American Health Organization’s) revised Zika resources, published this weekend, which includes the interactive epi curve (above), a new time-interactive map, the latest epidemiological report, and a cumulative case list.

All available on their main Zika Information page.

Latest cases, maps and epicurves

— Epicurves

(4/4) “When Donald finally got caught, they offered him a plea…


(4/4) “When Donald finally got caught, they offered him a plea deal so I wouldn’t have to go to jail. But he refused it. He told my cousin: ‘If I can’t have her, nobody will.’ They arrested me at the courthouse on the same day Donald refused his deal. The public defender told me to sign a plea bargain. He told me no jail time. But at the sentencing, I heard the judge mention jail and I panicked. When the judge asked me if I’d been promised anything in exchange for the deal, I said: ‘Yes!’ The prosecutor was so mad. She thought I made her look bad. She pushed for a life sentence at trial. The jury never heard about the abuse. They only heard about the drugs. They didn’t realize that the true victims were me, my children, and my brother. I’ve been in prison for twenty years now. But this has a happy ending. And I swear, when I agreed to this interview, I didn’t even know this yet. But President Obama just granted me clemency. And I’m going home.”

(Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn)