economy

John McAfee Pimped Out 29 ‘Pillow Talk Masters’ to Spy on Belize: Here’s What He Found

The black hat.

The law of diminishing returns: it’s the bane of bath salts enthusiasts and fabulist storytellers the world over. Sure, that first hit was good; but it takes an increasingly potent dosage to deliver a thrill that approaches your very first time.

Fortunately, global media icon John McAfee appears to understand this phenomenon. (We’re not saying that Mr. McAfee is necessarily pioneering a new form of reality entertainment, but we’re not saying he isn’t, either.) In his latest missive, posted under the title “A Clear and Present Danger,” he claims to have hired 29 “pillow talk masters” to spy on Belize officials, and in so doing uncovered links between the Central American nation and the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Ever since Mr. McAfee’s first titillating blog posts after the murder of his neighbor Greg Faull, the story spun by the antivirus pioneer has never failed to get weirder. In the first chapters of the saga, he told tales of clever disguises and held forth on his experiences in sex tourism. In what seemed like his pièce de résistance, two Vice journalists embedded with Mr. McAfee, published a photo of the fugitive that outed his hiding place.

read more: http://betabeat.com/2013/01/john-mcafee-pimped-out-29-pillow-talk-masters-to-spy-on-belize-heres-what-he-found/

How Rice is Causing a Crisis in Thailand

As the elected senator of northeastern Nakhom Phanom province, Dr. Vitthaya Inala is in a difficult position.

The majority of his roughly 750,000 constituents, many of them poor paddy farmers, are in full support of a year-old government scheme that promises them 15,000 baht ($488) per ton of white rice, he says, far more than they earned in the past.

“If this is a success, and poor farmers get the benefits, it will be very good for the Thai people,” says Dr. Vitthaya. Except the government’s rice-pledging policy is already proving to be a monumental failure, he adds.

read more: http://thediplomat.com/2012/11/10/rice-piles-how-thailand-lost-its-spot-as-worlds-top-rice-exporter/

European Stocks Climb on Spain Bailout Speculation

European (SXXP) stocks climbed, halting a four-day decline for the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as yields on benchmark Spanish bonds slipped amid speculation that the country’s government will soon ask for a bailout.

Italian and Spanish lenders rallied as Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) jumped 5.2 percent after reporting that operating profit surged in the third quarter. EON AG slumped 12 percent after Germany’s biggest utility lowered its earnings forecast for 2013. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) slid 2.5 percent after the world’s second-largest mobile-phone company took a $9.4-billion writedown for its operations in Spain and Italy.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.4 percent to 270.6 at the close, erasing an earlier decline of as much as 0.8 percent. The equity benchmark fell 1.9 percent from President Barack Obama’s re- election on Nov. 6 through yesterday as investors’ attention turned to impending U.S. tax increases and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, and the European debt crisis.

read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/european-stock-futures-fall-on-disagreement-over-greece.html

Puppies: The new indicator of prosperity?

It costs roughly $1,580 a year to own a medium-sized dog, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a price tag not just anyone can afford.

So perhaps it’s a testament to India’s growing prosperity that the total number of dogs increased by 58 percent there between 2007 and 2012, according to market research firm Euromonitor International—the fastest growth rate of the 53 countries surveyed.

read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/13/puppies-the-new-indicator-of-prosperity/