NY Times: Pentagon study of UFOs revealed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

NY Times: Pentagon study of UFOs revealed

Former Sen. Harry Reid speaks at a rally in Nevada in 2016. The New York Times says it was his interest that spurred the creation of the UFO program.

(CNN)Beyond preparing for the next field of battle, or advancing a massive arsenal that includes nuclear weapons, the Pentagon has also researched the possible existence of UFOs.

The New York Times reported Saturday on the once completely classified project that began because of the intense interest in the subject by former Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.
According to the Times, the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program was launched in 2007 after the Nevada Democrat spoke to his longtime friend, Robert Bigelow, the billionaire founder of an aerospace company. Bigelow has spoken about his belief in UFOs visiting the United States as well as the existence of aliens.
Among the anomalies the program studied, the paper said, were video and audio recordings of aerial encounters by military pilots and unknown objects, as well as interviews with people who said they had experienced physical encounters with such objects.
In one instance, the program looked at video footage of a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet surrounded by a glowing object of unknown origin traveling at a high rate of speed in a location that officials declined to identify, the paper said.
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The Pentagon says the program has since been shuttered.
“The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe,” Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson told CNN. “It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change.”
But according to the Times, certain aspects of the program still exist with officials from the program continuing to investigate encounters brought to them by service members, while these officials still carry out their other duties within the Defense Department.
The former director of the program told the paper that he worked with officials from the Navy and CIA from his office in the Pentagon until this past October, when he resigned in protest. He said a replacement had been named, but he declined to identify them.
Reid, the Times says, was also supported in his efforts to fund the program by the late Sens. Ted Stevens of Alaska, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, and John Glenn of Ohio, the first American to orbit the Earth, who told Reid the federal government should take a serious look at UFOs.
And working to keep a program that he was sure would draw scrutiny from others, Reid said he, Stevens and Inouye made sure there was never any public debate about the program on the Senate floor during budget debates.
“This was so-called black money,” Reid told the Times regarding the Defense Department budget for classified programs.

Benefits of Indian cash overhaul elusive as deadline passes

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

THE AMERICAS

Benefits of Indian cash overhaul elusive as deadline passes

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 photo, an Indian woman, who had come to deposit money, argues with a bank officer in New Delhi, India. On Nov. 8, India yanked most of its currency bills from circulation without warning, delivering a jolt to the country’s high-performing economy and leaving countless citizens scrambling for cash. Still, as Friday’s deadline for depositing old 500- and 1,000-rupee notes draws to a close, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has called the demonetization drive a great success in drawing out tax dodgers and eliminating graft. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    In this Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 photo, an Indian woman, who had come to deposit money, argues with a bank officer in New Delhi, India. On Nov. 8, India yanked most of its currency bills from circulation without warning, delivering a jolt to the country’s high-performing economy and leaving countless citizens scrambling for cash. Still, as Friday’s deadline for depositing old 500- and 1,000-rupee notes draws to a close, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has called the demonetization drive a great success in drawing out tax dodgers and eliminating graft. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

Fifty days ago, India yanked most of its currency from circulation without warning, jolting the economy and leaving most citizens scrambling for cash. As the deadline for exchanging the devalued 500- and 1,000-rupee notes for new ones hits Friday, many Indians are still stuck waiting in long bank lines.

Empty ATMs and ever-changing rules are preventing people from withdrawing money, and many small, cash-reliant businesses from cinemas to neighborhood grocery stores are suffering huge losses or going under.

Despite those problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his Nov. 8 demonetization decree has succeeded in uncovering tax evasion and cracking down on graft. The Indian government is urging patience, insisting it’s playing a long game that will eventually modernize Indian society and benefit the poor.

So far, despite the widespread inconvenience and costs, most of the country’s 1.25 billion citizens appear to be taking Modi’s word for it.

Here are a few things to know about India’s massive cash overhaul:

___

HARDSHIP FOR THE POOR

Modi’s announcement that 500 and 1,000 rupee bills — making up 86 percent of India’s currency — were no longer legal tender has posed an enormous hardship for millions of people who use cash for everything from salaries to cellphone charges.

Almost immediately, serpentine lines appeared at banks and ATMs as people waited hours to deposit or exchange old currency notes for new bills. Since authorities only began printing the new bills after the policy was announced, demand vastly exceeds supply and cash machines often run dry. Daily commerce in essentials including food, medicine and transportation screeched almost to a halt.

Worst affected were the country’s hundreds of millions of farmers, produce vendors, small shop owners and daily-wage laborers who usually are paid in cash at the end of a day’s work. Many lost their jobs as small businesses shut down, compounding their poverty.

Pankaj Aggarwal, owner of a clothing shop in the Old Delhi neighborhood of Chandni Chowk says his sales crashed by 70 percent.

“You can imagine what our business is like now. It will be some time before our sales normalize,” he said.

Modi appears to have succeeded in promoting the cash overhaul as a “pro-poor” policy, tapping into deep anger among the have-nots toward wealthy elites.

“The first two months have been so bad for us, we don’t even have enough money to buy food,” said daily wage laborer Neeraj Mishra, 35. “Overall, I think Modi has done some good. People with a lot of money are the ones who have been troubled. I don’t have enough cash for it to bother me much.”

Political scientist Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs in New Delhi, describes the strategy as “classic populism.”

“Some people are outraged, but are hesitant to come out and say it because they don’t want to be branded as anti-national or self-centered,” he said.

___

A BRUISED ECONOMY

The wide impact of the demonetization won’t be known until the government issues its next quarterly GDP figures in February, but the Reserve Bank of India already has shaved half a percent from this year’s GDP growth forecast, to 7.1 percent.

Since domestic commerce drives most economic activity, analysts have expressed alarm over the scale of economic and social disruption and are warning a contraction is likely in coming quarters.

“The countless unpredictable consequences that will continue to show in the coming weeks and months mean that it is, in effect, a huge gamble,” said Jan Zalewski, an Asia expert with the Britain-based risk assessment firm Verisk Maplecroft. “Inflicting such huge costs for what is an uncertain outcome is problematic.”

Real estate, tourism, transportation and gold and gems have been hit the hardest, along with informal sectors that rely mostly on cash.

Prices are forecast to rise since the cash crunch is pinching supplies of all sorts of goods.

The country’s banks, however, are seeing banner business. The central bank said old notes worth 13 trillion rupees ($191 billion) had been deposited as of Dec. 10, with many more expected by Friday’s deadline.

That should improve bank liquidity and in turn encourage more lending to boost economic growth.

___

MIXED MESSAGES, CHAOTIC RULES

The Finance Ministry and central bank have issued at least 60 different directives, some of them contradictory, about such issues as how much money can be withdrawn from bank accounts and which documents are needed for depositing old cash. The mixed messages have compounded the overall chaos and shaken investors’ confidence.

“There appears to be less trust in many institutions, including the Reserve Bank and other banks. That is one important behavioral change that has been ushered in,” said Mihir Sharma, senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi based think tank.

Financial experts are baffled about how to evaluate the move.

“One of the major problems with the demonetization move is that success is so difficult to measure,” Zalewski said. “In and of itself, it can’t end black money, stop terrorism funding and the counterfeiting of notes.”

___

NEW BILLS, OLD HABITS

The idea that swapping old currency notes for new ones would wipe out tax evasion has already been proven naive. Over the last seven weeks, Indian income tax authorities uncovered more than 32 billion rupees ($477 million) in undeclared wealth held in new notes, foreign currency, gold and other commodities.

The Finance Ministry found enormous stashes of new currency bills secreted away by corrupt bank managers. Axis Bank’s CEO Shikha Sharma said she was “embarrassed and upset” after it was found managers at the bank had used the stolen funds to fake accounts and launder customers’ untaxed savings for a premium.

___

A GLOBAL TREND?

A month after Modi scrapped the high-denomination notes, Venezuela’s president announced that the 100-bolivar notes that account for more than three-quarters of the country’s cash would be taken out of circulation.

Skyrocketing inflation had taken the value of the Venezuelan notes to 2 U.S. cents from 10 cents in the past year.

But while India’s cash overhaul has been relatively peaceful, Venezuela’s was not.

When no new bolivar notes appeared to replace the old ones, riots and looting erupted in towns across Venezuela, whose economy was already in shambles. Hundreds of grocery stores were damaged or destroyed. Ultimately, the government extended use of the old 100-bolivar notes until Jan. 2.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared the abrupt cash overhaul an economic triumph, claiming people were racing to deposit the old notes into banks. He did not say how much was deposited.

In Pakistan, opposition lawmakers passed a resolution last week calling for the withdrawal of the country’s highest-denomination note from circulation. The government rejected that move, saying there was no need to discontinue the country’s 5,000-rupee note, worth about $48.

“The very notion of cancellation of such convenience in transactions is preposterous and unequivocally denied,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

___

Associated Press writers Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.

___

Follow Katy Daigle and Nirmala George at http://www.twitter.com/katydaigle and http://www.twitter.com/NirmalaGeorge1

In context of demonitization -Respect the purpose, Be a rational Indian.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF (WISHES.SPARDHA) )

In context of demonitization -Respect the purpose, Be a rational Indian.

 https://spardhak.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/in-context-of-demonitization-respect-the-purpose-be-a-rational-indian
 wishes.spardha

Before putting allegations for the change ,calling it drastic,unplanned or irrational ,RESPECT THE PURPOSE.. !!

We are fighting ,arguing over little or even too much inconvenience.. Just because today we feel poor ,helpless and bound. We are endlessly accusing the big step of a leader , because we always vote for a party and not for the nation… We people are making a stronger say and proving that “Yes we the people who just aspire of making our nation a better place, but don’t have the real guts to support a change..made for a special purpose of service ” .

Today we realise ,all of sudden, the pangs of poverty because we have been going through it past one week..Today we realise the feeling of bankruptcy. The pain of our means ,pelf being snatched away…Just like the millions of unfortunate people feel every single day of their lives.

View original post 311 more words

HBF Life

​Before putting allegations for the change ,calling it drastic,unplanned or irrational ,RESPECT THE PURPOSE.. !!

We are fighting ,arguing over little or even too much inconvenience.. Just because today we feel poor ,helpless and bound. We are endlessly accusing the big step of a leader , because we always vote for a party and not for the nation… We people are making a stronger say and proving that “Yes we the people who just aspire of making our nation a better place, but dont have the real guts to support a change..made for a special purpose of service ” .

Today we realise ,all of sudden, the pangs of poverty because we have been going through it past one week..Today we realise the feeling of bankrutpcy. The pain of our means ,pelf being snatched away…Just like the millions of unfortunate people feel every single day of their lives.

View original post 311 more words

India: Stopping Counterfeit Money Will Hurt Economy For About 3 Months But Will Help The People Of India In The Long Run

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

Demonetisation pangs will last for 3 months, but benefit India in long run: Jaitley

INDIA Updated: Dec 03, 2016 00:50 IST

Suveen Sinha
Suveen Sinha
Hindustan Times
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in conversation with Vikram Chandra during Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Consulting Editor, NDTV at Taj Palace in New Delhi on Friday. (Gurinder Osan/HT Photo)
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday the recall of 500-and 1000-rupee notes will cause just three months of disruptions before yielding substantial benefits for the economy.In a year, he sees a bigger and cleaner economy with less paper currency, a wider tax base with lower rates, and more money in the banks resulting in cheaper loans. All of this will help the country’s ambition of becoming a modern and digital economy befitting its status as the world’s fastest growing major economy.

WHAT JAITLEY SAID
  • The disruption won’t last long; in the next 12 to 15 months, the impact will be beneficial
  • There will be more money in the banking system which can be used for social, infrastructure, industry, trade
  • People in queues are saying they are troubled but happy the decision was taken
  • The difference between paper currency withdrawn and the one coming into the market will be replaced by credit and debit cards, and e-wallets

“If you switch over from a particular way of life and conducting expenditure, there is disruption. But I do not see the disruption lasting long, maybe a quarter or so. But if you look at the next 12 or 15 months, the impact will be beneficial,” Jaitley said at the inaugural session of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.

The government recalled 500-and 1,000-rupee notes on November 8, culling 86% of cash in circulation to purge the economy of illicit “black money” and fake bills.

The move, said Jaitley, will prove a windfall in many ways. Banks, flush with money from new deposits, will be able to give social, infrastructure, industrial, and trade loans at lower rates. He, however, said the amount of new banknotes being released will not touch the November 8 level, and that will help the country along the path of becoming a digital economy.

Watch | We need to replace the cynicism amongst the common man: Arun Jaitley

“The volume of formal trade and business will grow in size… What was normal in India? You go and buy a property, you pay some amount in cash, some in cheque. You start a trade, wholesale or retail, there is so much in kaccha khaata and so much in pucca. Do developed economies behave like this?” he argued in defence of the so-called demonetisation.

He said the purging existing high-value notes strikes at the stock of black money.

The flow part of it will be curbed by the goods and services tax, which, by establishing a transparent and uniform system of indirect taxes across the country, will prevent the generation of black money in trade and business.

A next possible step, said Jaitley, could be to make political funding more transparent.

“The current move will create a situation where political funding will become far more transparent. At the end of the day, donors will say, ‘Where do I bring this money from? The only donation I can give is legitimate cheque donation’”.

 

 

 

India’s Crackdown On Counterfeit (Black) Money Causing Short Term Pain Throughout Economy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

Real estate, mobile phones, cars: Currency ban batters all sectors

BUSINESS Updated: Dec 02, 2016 00:51 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

Highlight Story

Data shows a sharp drop in consumer purchases in November. (AP Photo)

In the first real evidence of the impact of demonstration on economy, data coming in on Thursday showed a sharp drop in consumer purchases in November, with mobile phones, FMCG, home appliances, real estate, and cars bearing the brunt.There is hope of a recovery once the cash crunch ebbs, but, for now, the news is grim. Sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) – soap, detergent, toothpaste and cosmetics – were down 30% in November over the period last year.

A drop in-car sales varying from 15% to 40% has been reported by dealers. Small towns, where mobile phone business was booming just a few weeks ago, have seen a 70% drop while 35% fewer phones were sold in cities.

Real estate reported a 50% fall in inquiries, 30% in resale prices, and 20% in searches online and air tickets sold 15% less in November, forcing carriers to cut average fares on the 11 busiest routes by 20% to 30%..

E-commerce usually sees a drop in November after the festival-season high of October but last month’s fall – 25% to 30% — over the previous month was unusually sharp. “Our orders dropped about 25%, primarily because of cash-on-delivery, which has been 70% of all orders,” said TA Krishnan, CEO of Ecom Express, which moves packages.

The drops are so sharp that the economy, in the coming quarters, will struggle to match its April-September growth of 7.3%. That should not come as a surprise since more than three-fourths of the consumer payments in the country are in cash.

Factory data was no better. The Nikkei-Markit Purchasing Managers Index — which tracks output, new orders, employment, and prices across key sectors – posted its sharpest fall in November since March 2013. Though factory output continued to grow, its pace of growth fell from 50.4 to 52.3 because of cash shortage.

On November 8, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, there was a frenzy to buy the costliest phone, the iPhone 7, making it one of the best weeks for Apple Inc in India. But overall mobile phone sales have taken a big hit.

“The stores in small towns rarely accept card payments,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, who heads the Indian Cellular Association. In his estimate, mobile phone retail chains are doing barely half of their usual daily sales of Rs 350 crore to Rs 450 crore.

Car sales were no better. Maruti reported a sharp rise of 14.2% in November but these are vehicles sent to dealerships, which doesn’t necessarily mean that all the cars were bought. Company insiders say retail is definitely down.

That may be an understatement. “Not even dogs are coming to piss into my showroom these days,” said a car dealer in Jharkhand. A Maruti dealer said sales fell 15% in November, another dealer for the company said 35%, and a Hyundai dealer said 40%.

For tractor and SUV maker Mahindra and Mahindra, which has a large market in the small towns and villages, even wholesale numbers fell 24% in November.

Dabur India — known for Hajmola, chyavanprash, juices, and toothpaste – saw a sales drop of 25% to 30%. Flour-to-soap company ITC, shoes and apparel maker Woodland, and cosmetics company Marico suffered a similar fate. The biggest consumer goods company, Hindustan Unilever Limited, says “the trade is down due to the liquidity squeeze”.

“The northern and eastern regions have been affected more,” said Saugata Gupta, Marico’s CEO. Woodland’s head Harkirat Singh said, “Our sales plunged almost 25% last month.”

Sales of home appliances were even worse. “In the first week [after the demonstration], our business was down almost 80%. The impact has been more in smaller towns, where there are more cash transactions,” said Kamal Nandi, executive vice-president with Godrej Appliances.

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