Fatster’s Roundup

Jupiter and Io, December 4th in the NASA Advent Calendar. What wonder will today open?

And here’s your news:

International Developments

? Rwanda, a US ally, has been charged with “sponsoring, arming, and commanding the insurgent M23 forces” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is very interested in “a sliver” of Congo territory immediately to its west which is rich in valuable minerals. Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, is against sanctioning Rwanda for its support of M23, reportedly suppressed release of a UN report (since leaked) denouncing Rwanda’s role and didn’t want to name Rwanda in a UN resolution preferring instead the euphemistic “external support”. More here.

? At least 28 children and a teacher are dead after a shell fell on their school outside Damascus. Rebels and the Syrian government are blaming each other. Meanwhile, NATO has approved use of Patriot anti-missiles along the Turkish-Syria border “as concern grows over chemical weapons”.

? It’s been eleven years now, but a new study “says that terror attacks worldwide have grown rapidly in the years since 9/11 and spiked during the US occupation of Iraq”.

? “The Obama administration has launched a post-election push to restart moribund peace talks with the Taliban, despite resistance from the U.S. military, mixed signals from Pakistan and outright refusal by the militants themselves”.

? Saying the new draft constitution does not guarantee freedom of the press, newspapers across Egypt are refusing to publish today. Meanwhile, “tens of thousands” were at the presidential palace in Cairo, where they were met by tear gas.

? Iran claims to have captured a US drone.

International Finance

? Recognizing we don’t live in a perfect world where things don’t work as they should if we did, Jared Bernstein is recommending consideration of capital controls “whereby countries control the inflow of foreign capital and outflow of domestic capital.”

Money Matters USA

? Caught with suddenly decreased income, but increased medical and other expenses, widows often can’t get mortgage modifications because their names weren’t on the original loans and “many lenders won’t add them . . . until they pay any amounts that are past due.”

? NY’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, is meeting with both House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other top Senate and House members in hopes of securing an additional $42 billion for post-Sandy repairs. [cont’d.]