Airbnb Just Made Itself Even More Unpopular in Barcelona

Organized criminals from Russia are subletting apartments to tourists, as locals struggle with soaring rents.
Relations between the ultimate disruptor of global tourism, Airbnb, and Barcelona City Council, just took another turn for the worse following news that organized criminals from Russia are making massive profits by subletting apartments in Barcelona to tourists through the online site.
For the San Francisco-based company, any further damage to its Barcelona market could be very costly. With over 23,000 registered dwellings, the city is far and away the most important Spanish destination for the platform’s users and the sixth biggest in the world, behind Paris (1), London (2), New York (3), Rio (4) and Los Angeles (5), five cities that are significantly larger than Barcelona.
Last year the council slapped the company with a 30,000 fine for advertising lodgings that did not have permits to host tourists. The fine was later annulled by court order on the grounds that ‘sharing economy’ regulation is currently in a legal vacuum. That hasn’t stopped the Council from imposing a 20-fold hike in the maximum fine that can be levied on home rental sites, to 600,000.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones – Jun 26, 2017.

The Federal Government Owns 61 Percent Of Idaho, 64 Percent Of Utah And 84 Percent Of Nevada

Did you know that the federal government owns 28 percent of all land in the United States? Today, the feds control approximately 640 million acres of land, and after decades of very poor management, many are calling on the states to take a larger role. This is particularly true in the 11 western states where the federal government collectively owns 47 percent of all land. East of the Mississippi River, the feds only own 4 percent of all land, and there is no reason for such a disparity to exist. In Connecticut and Iowa, the federal government only owns 0.3 percent of all land. Such an arrangement seems to work very well for those states, and so why can’t we dramatically reduce federal land ownership in the western states as well?
Of course the federal government will always need a very small amount of land for certain national purposes, and nobody is disputing that. According to the Heritage Foundation, the following are the primary purposes that federal land is being used for…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 26th, 2017.

Three CNN Employees ‘Resign’ Over ‘Russia Collusion’ Fake News Retraction

.@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on. — Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) June 24, 2017

A few days ago we noted that CNN was forced to retract one of their bombshell ‘Russian collusion’ stories when it was apparently revealed that the whole thing was nothing more than their latest, anonymously-sourced fake news debacle. Like most CNN stories on the topic, this one carried a salacious title (“Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials”) which implied some nefarious plot by the Trump administration to stage a coup in the United States.
Within 36 hours, however, CNN was forced to retract the story and issue an apology to Anthony Scaramucci (presumably for the whole libel thing).

That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.
Now, according to a new report from the Washington Post, the fake story has resulted in the ‘resignation’ of three CNN ‘journalists, including the Pulitzer Prize winner, Thomas Frank
Now for the consequences. CNN announced on Monday afternoon that three network officials are leaving their jobs over the incident: Frank, the reporter on the story; Eric Lichtblau, a recent CNN addition from the New York Times who edited the piece; and Lex Haris, the executive editor of ‘CNN Investigates.’ The moves follow an investigation carried out by CNN executives over the weekend, with the conclusion that longstanding network procedures for publishing stories weren’t properly followed. ‘There was a significant breakdown in process,’ says a CNN source. ‘There were editorial checks and balances within the organization that weren’t met.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

Trump Responds: “Unanimous Supreme Court Decision A Clear Victory For Our National Security”

pic.twitter.com/MW1ZddE7CZ
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 26, 2017

Many have been waiting with bated breath all morning for Trump’s response on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding his travel ban. While we expected that response would come in the form of a snarky tweet, it has unfortunately been revealed via a more carefully crafted official statement.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

Report: Syrian Government Not Responsible for Alleged Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack

Early on the morning of April 7, American warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime. But in a report published on Sunday at the German newspaper Die Welt, veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh throws cold water on the claim of Syrian culpability, exposing yet another instance of military action based on flawed – or in this case, entirely nonexistent – intelligence.
Russian Intelligence and the April 4 Strike
On April 4 at about 6:55 a.m., Syrian time, the Syrian government carried out an airstrike on a two-story cinder block building determined by Russian intelligence to be a rebel command center, where commanders of the Syrian opposition’s most radical Islamist factions frequently met. The strike killed up to four jihadist leaders, according to an intelligence estimate.
Hersh sets the scene:
The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun […] was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U. S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 26, 2017.

Seymour Hersh Reports How Trump Bombed Syria on Completely False Pretenses

Part of Trump’s appeal to many of his voters was, at least ostensibly, the idea that he would employ a less hawkish/neocon foreign policy than his opponent Hillary ‘We Came, We Saw, He Died’ Clinton. While it’s still too early to decisively say that Trump will usher in yet another foreign policy disaster for these United States and the world, it’s certainly not looking good.
The lobbing of tomahawk missiles into Syrian based on the fairytale that Assad launched a chemical weapons attack was the first sign that Trump is easily manipulated and impulsive. In fact, the episode bothered me so much I wrote a post detailing the dire ramifications titled, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U. S. Empire. I suggest taking a read if you missed it the first time, it’s my most popular post of the year.
While that was bad enough, Trump’s cozying up to the barbaric, terrorist-supporitng leaders of Saudi Arabia has been by far the most concerning aspect of his foreign policy (if you can call it that) so far. This policy has become even more dangerous now that the 30-year old princeling who is leading the Saudis’ increasingly aggressive stance in the region has been named crown prince. It appears Trump is willing to let the Saudis do whatever they want in the region, which is guaranteed to have disastrous implications for America and the Middle East.
I wrote two important articles on this topic, which I have linked to below.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Jun 26, 2017.