‘Italout’, Mass Murder in the Philippines, & DJIA Record Breaking Highs

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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Photo Credit: 
Kremlin.ru [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he’d resign if Italians didn’t pass reforms to speed up the legislative process and reduce the influence of local governments. Now, it looks like he’ll make good on his word. Voters resoundingly told Renzi “no”, with 59.1% of the population voting against his referendum. While the referendum itself dealt specifically with government reform, many saw it as a vote on Renzi himself.

Renzi, in turn, has been seen as a sign of the “establishment” within the European Union itself. Many of Renzi’s proposed reforms were in line with what EU authorities wanted to see. Further, the opposition parties lined up against Renzi have called for revisiting Italy’s membership in the European Union. Some analysts are now pointing to Italy as the next potential Western bloc country to be overwhelmed by a populist wave.

The Euro has sunk to twenty year lows in trading, and is close to trading on par with the American dollar. However European stock markets don’t seem all too rattled by the vote, having inched upwards in trading today.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has yet again broken into record territory, trading at 19,268.35 points earlier this morning. The DJIA and other American stock markets have enjoyed a strong rally since Donald Trump locked up the American Presidential election. Many feared that a Trump victory would douse stock markets due to his strong anti-trade rhetoric and hints that he would shake things up at the Federal Reserve.

So far, however, most investors are reacting warmly to the incoming President. Trump has also promised to invest heavily in the United States, and to slash taxes. Trump has also been cooling his talk on anti-trade legislation, and has appointed many DC insiders and industry power players to his administration.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines concerns are being raised over the extraordinarily high death rate seen in police raids. So far, analyses have estimated that the casualty rate for a police raid is somewhere around 97%. In other words, when the police conduct a raid, the vast majority of alleged drug dealers wind up dead, and only a small number ever make it to the hospital or out alive.

This suggests that the police themselves may be summarily executing alleged drug dealers. Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has already come under fire for what many allege is vigilante justice. It’s now common to find bodies of alleged drug dealer laying in the street with their hands bound and with bullet wounds indicating execution style killings.

In other news, the death toll for the Oakland “Ghost Ship”, a sort of artist's studio and popular party spot, has risen to 36. Reports indicate that the building had been cited for electrical hazards and other things in the past.

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