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  The Atlasia Dispatch-Herald
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Purple State
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2009, 09:56:54 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     949  +19.00 (2.04%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.99385 U.S. (-0.000012)
  • Crude Oil = $82.39/barrel -0.43 (0.52%)

Analysis:
The ANSE rose significantly as investors applauded the release of multiple pieces of legislation aimed at benefitting the economy. However, early gains were tempered both by the delay in bringing forward the credit market bill, as well as rising worries about the prospect of passage of an effective automobile trade-in package.

The Atlasian Dollar fell slightly as many still worry about the speed at which Atlasia can recover from the economic crisis.

Oil declined slightly as a package to entice increased purchases of fuel efficient cars was brought to the Senate floor. The morning drop was tempered as proposals to restrict the types of cars that the bill will cover worried investors and speculators.
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2009, 01:48:59 pm »

Foreign News

The FARC Deals Blow to Colombian Defense, Intelligence
In a show of defiance and the growing capability of the FARC in Colombia, members of the rebel group ambushed and killed the deputy Defense Minister and assistant deputy Intelligence Minister on their way to a meeting with other defense and intelligence officials.

Just a few miles east of the border with Venezuela, the attack took place on a remote road and appeared to utilize an impressive array of weaponry and tactics. Reports say a burning vehicle was used as a roadblock. When the convoy transporting theministers halted to map a detour, an unidentified number of attackers opened fire with armor-piercing bullets and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

Of the 12 people in the convoy, none are reported to have survived the attack.

The attack has outraged the Colombian government and has been viewed as an act of war by neighboring Venezuela, which has been in a tense standoff at the border for the past few weeks.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe went on national television a few hours after reports of the attack came in, appearing visibly heated. Mr. Uribe made clear that this “unsolicited attack” would not go unpunished and vowed to “unleash the wrath of hell” on those who had orchestrated the ambush.

Mr. Uribe is expected to attend the joint funerals of the officials early tomorrow morning and give the eulogy. It is still unclear what measures will be taken by Colombia. Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is preparing to make a statement around the same time as Mr. Uribe’s expected remarks.
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2009, 11:03:28 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     951.50  +2.50 (0.26%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.99053 U.S. (-0.000332)
  • Crude Oil = $85.25/barrel +2.86 (3.47%)

Analysis:
The ANSE rose slightly as investors continue to await substantive economic initiatives, while the reality of the legislative process sets in.

The Atlasian Dollar fell as commodities, led by Oil, rose significantly

Oil increased by nearly three-and-a-half percent as Colombia was rocked by a FARC attack and war with Venezuela seems almost inevitable.
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« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2009, 07:44:51 pm »

National News

From the GM’s Desk: Efficient Automobile Rebate System Bill
An important function of the Game Moderator is to provide functional and timely information to not only discussing the impact of Senate legislation, but also to notify the Senate and nation about possible effects of legislation currently being debated. To achieve this function, the Atlasia Dispatch-Herald launches the series “From the GM’s Desk.”

Efficient Automobile Rebate System Bill: This legislation, proposed by Senator Marokai Blue and currently being debated in the Senate, seeks to establish an $8 billion, six-month program to increase short-term demand for automobiles through a rebate scheme, while also promoting trade-ins of old “clunker” vehicles for more fuel-efficient cars, trucks and SUVs.

The Office of the GM believes that this legislation would generate nearly 2 million rebate applications for approximately $7.75 billion. This will translate into nearly $60 billion of economic activity, a massive short-term boost to domestic auto sales benefiting local car dealers throughout Atlasia first and foremost. Of that, it is likely that $24 billion, or 40 percent, will be from those who had not previously planned to purchase a new car. This is three times the amount spent by the government on the program, not including expectations of increased production by automakers, increased spending from rebates and other effects.

The environmental impact of the bill is less clear. If someone swapped a clunker that got 18 miles per gallon for a new car that got 27.5 mpg (the current average fuel economy standard for passenger cars) and drove it for 12,000 miles (the average distance an Atlasian car travels annually), you would personally save a little more than two tons of CO2 from being emitted in one year. However, manufacturing a new car produces 6.7 tons of carbon dioxide on average, the equivalent of burning approximately 700 gallons of gas.

The likely environmental results of the program would require at least two years before realizing CO2 reductions. If each car purchased is kept for 10 years, then the total savings should be a little less than 26.6 million tons of carbon dioxide. That means each ton of carbon dioxide would be worth about $291.35 to the Atlasian government. A ton of CO2 currently goes for about $17.50 on the European Climate Exchange.
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« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2009, 10:38:42 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     950.50  -1.00 (0.11%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.98794 U.S. (-0.00259)
  • Crude Oil = $86.37/barrel +1.12 (1.31%)

Analysis:
The ANSE fell slightly as the day saw very little Senate activity on important economic legislation. However, futures appeared up significantly as an analysis of the Efficient Automobile Rebate System Bill showed great promise.

The Atlasian Dollar fell as investors flocked to foreign currency as confidence in Atlasia declined.

Oil prices continued to rise as the prospects of avoiding war with Venezuela, one of Atlasia's largest oil providers, continued to diminish.
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« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2009, 01:57:07 pm »

Foreign News

Colombia Releases Evidence Implicating Venezuela; Chavez Unrepentant
Just a day after a shocking attack on Colombian government officials by the FARC, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia released a report showing financial and military ties between neighboring Venezuela and the rebel group.

The report, released shortly after Mr. Uribe gave the eulogy at the joint funerals of two government officials killed in a FARC ambush on Wednesday, drew from various sources, including secret meetings between Venezuelan officials and FARC leaders, documents on FARC rebel computers and information given by captured FARC members.

Outside experts were quick to lend credence to the report, with many acknowledging that the data presented by Colombia only confirms what many had believed for quite some time.

Colombia’s government did not release a statement to accompany the report and it is unclear what action may be taken in response. Shortly after the FARC ambush Wednesday, Mr. Uribe had vowed to bring justice against the perpetrators of the attack, perhaps signaling intentions to invade Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, minutes after Mr. Uribe had concluded his remarks at the funeral, made a statement before a large and cheering audience of loyalists.

In his speech, Mr. Chavez slammed Colombia for its military buildup along the border and for attempts to “stifle the voice of dissidents by military force.” He also warned Mr. Uribe against any attacks against Venezuela, saying, “any attack on Venezuela will evoke the full might of our armed forces.”

It is reported that Mr. Uribe, on a visit with SoEA HappyWarrior yesterday, requested that Atlasia prepare to provide humanitarian and, if possible, military assistance to Colombia in the event of an attack. The GTO is set to vote on a Colombian proposal requesting monetary aid and a GTO military presence to help defeat the FARC.

It is not yet clear how Atlasia will vote on that resolution, with few hints from President Lief or the Atlasian Senate. Some worry that what will start out as aid to defeat the FARC may end up being used to combat an invasion by Venezuela, a result that would ultimately require additional troop commitments by foreign nations.
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« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2009, 04:50:03 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     945.50  -5.00 (0.53%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.98492 U.S. (-0.00302)
  • Crude Oil = $89.46/barrel +3.09 (3.58%)

Analysis:
The ANSE continued to decline slightly as the Senate appears to lack focus and direction. Without an elected PPT for the first week of Senate activity, in addition to the grinding legislative procedure, economists worry major economic legislation will not come soon enough. These losses, however, are being tempered by the expected release of the first stimulus funds to the regions. No region has yet outlined a method to apportion those funds.

The Atlasian Dollar fell as Oil spiked.

Oil prices neared $90 per barrel as major news from South America seemed to indicate an inevitable clash between close Atlasian ally Colombia and major oil producer Venezuela. Without any word from President Lief or the Senate, many worry that a war between the two nations could disrupt the production of oil.
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« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2009, 10:20:06 am »

Foreign News

BREAKING: Reports of Explosions, Gunfire At Atlasian Embassy In Colombia
In a rapidly developing story, eye-witness accounts report multiple large explosions, including at least one truck bomb around the Atlasian embassy in Bogota, Colombia.

In addition, armed gunmen with Russian-made Kalashnikovs were seen storming the compound, where a firefight is still ongoing.

The identity of the enemy combatants is unknown at this time.
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« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2009, 11:28:02 am »

Foreign News

UPDATE: Additional Troops Come To Aid Of Atlasian Embassy
Colombian troops and Atlasia military personnel in the area have been dispatched to assist the embassy in repelling the attackers.

There are believed to be many Colombian and Atlasian casualties, although figures are not yet clear.

Gunfire can still be heard within the embassy and the number of remaining attackers is not yet known.
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« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2009, 12:21:09 pm »

Foreign News

DEVELOPING: Hostage Situation Ensues As Perimeter Is Secured
It appears as though fighting within the embassy compound has subsided, as what is believed to be five masked gunmen have taken up to thirty hostages in the Atlasian embassy.

Colombian and Atlasian forces have surrounded the compound and are discussing ways to bring the confrontation to an end quickly, but safely for the hostages.
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« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2009, 01:56:42 pm »

Foreign News

DEVELOPING: Hostage Negotiations Ongoing
It has been over an hour since hostage negotiations have begun with the terrorists within the Atlasian embassy in Colombia.

Brief contact was made with the hostages in the last few minutes, in which it was revealed that the attackers are members of an organization called the Anti-Imperial Army of America (AIAA), an unknown terrorist organization within South America.

The now-confirmed five AIAA agents have made no demands yet, but have declared a war on Atlasian interests throughout the Western hemisphere, vowing that more attacks were on their way.
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« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2009, 02:34:01 pm »

Foreign News

BREAKING: Attack On Another Embassy
This time in Mexico, another Atlasian embassy has come under attack by a combination of explosives and masked gunmen. The attack is assumed to be in concert with the earlier assault in Colombia.

While casualties have been reported, the attack seems to have been quickly and forcefully defeated by Atlasian forces under heightened security measures.
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« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2009, 04:53:38 pm »

Foreign News

DEVELOPING: Troops Storm Atlasian Embassy In Colombia
After hours of fruitless negotiations and threats that hostages would begin to be killed, a combination of Atlasian commandos and Colombian special forces have stormed the Atlasian embassy to bring the hostage situation to an end.

Gunfire can still be heard and it will be some time before it will be clear the extent of the damage done by the terrorist attack.
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« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2009, 08:20:02 pm »

Foreign News

Wrap-Up: Painful Day For Atlasia As Questions Fly
All is quiet after an unexpected day of fighting for Atlasian forces abroad.

In what appears to have been a concerted effort to disrupt Atlasia’s bases, the previously unheard of terrorist Anti-Imperial Army of America (AIAA) launched attacks on Atlasian embassies in Colombia and Mexico just a few hours apart.

There is still much uncertainty as Atlasian intelligence officials, together with their Colombian and Mexican counterparts are working to understand this new threat. Nevertheless, it is clear that the AIAA has access to sophisticated technology and is well funded.

Preliminary reports indicate that the attacks on the Colombia-based embassy saw the heaviest casualties, with 83 killed and 290 injured according to preliminary reports. Twelve of those killed came during the hostage rescue as Atlasian and Colombian forces stormed the embassy. The attacks on the compound in Mexico, which were thwarted by two vigilant soldiers, saw 11 killed and 85 wounded. All AIAA members were in the fighting.

Although the attacks were directed at Atlasian facilities, the vast majority of casualties were local citizens; fifteen Atlasians were killed.

Early analyses of the attacks are difficult to parse for their validity, but many are pointing fingers at Venezuela, which has been involved in a tense standoff with Colombia over the past month. Others note that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has upped his anti-Atlasian, anti-Colombian rhetoric in recent days and that the attacks come on the heels of the Colombian Assistance and Stability Act.

However, officials in the Department of External Affairs, who have asked to remain anonymous, advise that Atlasia proceed with caution and not act without fully understanding the threat it faces. They warn that any action against Venezuela could be premature and end up doing more harm than good.

Atlasian President Lief has ordered all embassies be put on high alert, as well as suspending all non-essential functions. A call to end Senate pacifism was issued by SoEA HappyWarrior in a statement vowing that these attacks “will not go unpunished.”

A full investigation has already begun at both sites and will issue a report to President Lief, Vice President Bacon King, SoEA HappyWarrior and President Pro Tem MasterJedi in the coming week.
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« Reply #64 on: September 14, 2009, 10:42:40 am »

National News

NYT: New Study Finds Low-Wage Workers Often Cheated
Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The study, the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade, also found that 68 percent of the workers interviewed had experienced at least one pay-related violation in the previous workweek.

“We were all surprised by the high prevalence rate,” said Ruth Milkman, one of the study’s authors and a sociology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the City University of New York. The study released Monday, was financed by the Ford, Joyce, Haynes and Russell Sage Foundations.

In surveying 4,387 workers in various low-wage industries, including apparel manufacturing, child care and discount retailing, the researchers found that the typical worker had lost $51 the previous week through wage violations, out of average weekly earnings of $339. That translates into a 15 percent loss in pay.

The researchers said one of the most surprising findings was how successful low-wage employers were in pressuring workers not to file for workers’ compensation. Only 8 percent of those who suffered serious injuries on the job filed for compensation to pay for medical care and missed days at work stemming from those injuries.

“The conventional wisdom has been that to the extent there were violations, it was confined to a few rogue employers or to especially disadvantaged workers, like undocumented immigrants,” said Nik Theodore, an author of the study and a professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “What our study shows is that this is a widespread phenomenon across the low-wage labor market in the United States.”

According to the study, 39 percent of those surveyed were illegal immigrants, 31 percent legal immigrants and 30 percent native-born Americans.

The study found that 26 percent of the workers had been paid less than the minimum wage the week before being surveyed and that one in seven had worked off the clock the previous week. In addition, 76 percent of those who had worked overtime the week before were not paid their proper overtime, the researchers found.

The new study, “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers,” was conducted in the first half of 2008, before the brunt of the recession hit. The median wage of the workers surveyed was $8.02 an hour — supervisors were not surveyed — with more than three-quarters of those interviewed earning less than $10 an hour. When the survey was conducted, the minimum wage was $7.15 in New York State, $7.50 in Illinois and $8 in California.

The head of the Office of Atlasian Labor responded to the report with an e-mail statement, saying, “There is no excuse for the disregard of federal labor standards — especially those designed to protect the neediest among us.” The OLS said it is in the process of hiring 250 more wage-and-hour investigators. “Today’s report clearly shows we still have a major task before us,” it said.

The study’s authors noted that many low-wage employers comply with wage and labor laws. The National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small-business owners, said it encouraged members “to stay in compliance with state and federal labor laws.”

But many small businesses say they are forced to violate wage laws to remain competitive.

The study found that women were far more likely to suffer minimum wage violations than men, with the highest prevalence among women who were illegal immigrants. Among American-born workers, African-Americans had a violation rate nearly triple that for whites.

“These practices are not just morally reprehensible, but they’re bad for the economy,” said Annette Bernhardt, an author of the study and policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project. “When unscrupulous employers break the law, they’re robbing families of money to put food on the table, they’re robbing communities of spending power and they’re robbing governments of vital tax revenues.”

When the Russell Sage Foundation announced a grant to help finance the survey, it said that low-wage workers were “hard to find” for interviews and that “government compliance surveys shy away from the difficult task of measuring workplace practices beyond the standard wage, benefits and hours questions.”

The report found that 57 percent of workers sampled had not received mandatory pay documents the previous week, which are intended to help make sure pay is legal and accurate. Of workers who receive tips, 12 percent said their employer had stolen some of the tips.

One in five workers reported having lodged a complaint about wages to their employer or trying to form a union in the previous year, and 43 percent of them said they had experienced some form of illegal retaliation, like firing or suspension, the study said.

In instances when workers’ compensation should have been used, the study found, one third of workers injured on the job paid the bills for treatment out of their own pocket and 22 percent used their health insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance paid medical expenses for only 6 percent of the injured workers surveyed, the researchers found.
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« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2009, 11:23:36 pm »

Right, we have an economy as well, so...

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     922.50  -23.00 (2.43%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.98018 U.S. (-0.00474)
  • Crude Oil = $93.84/barrel +4.38 (4.90%)

Analysis:
The ANSE dropped as major international events over the weekend shocked the markets. In addition, the waning prospects of a successful car rebate bill, as well as speculation from a prominent economic senator, NC Yank, hurt investor confidence. More drastic losses were averted by the election of Senator MasterJedi to another term as Senate PPT.

The Atlasian Dollar fell as a result of foreign attacks on Atlasian interests and rising commodity prices.

Oil prices rocketed past $90 as attacks on vital Atlasian interests in South America all but guaranteed conflict in the region. Investors wait anxiously for news on the attacks, as well as how the Senate will respond.
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« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2009, 08:21:33 pm »

Foreign News

Preliminary Reports Released on Embassy Attacks
As the investigation continues into the concerted terrorist attacks on the Atlasian embassies in Colombia and Mexico, information is slowly trickling out to the public.

The group responsible for the bloody attack is known as the Anti-Imperial Army of America or EAA (for the Spanish El Ejército Anti-imperial de América), based in South America. It is unclear how much Atlasia and other regional powers knew about the group before the Sunday attacks. The government is not releasing additional information at this time.

The report shows that the attacks were carried using a deadly mix of explosives and high-powered firearms by what appears to be seven combatants at each site. The masked gunmen entered the embassy in Colombia shortly after it was rocked by a powerful truck bomb, followed by a number of car. The Mexico attack appeared smaller in scale, using bombs in garbage cans in order to distract guards. Two vigilant embassy watchmen were able to quickly neutralize the threat.

Information found on the bodies of the EAA members reveal little personal information; however, eye-witnesses report that members used what appear to be fake names, including Cagua, Coro, Carora and Cabudare. It appears that the attackers in both locations used the same list of names.

The final casualties stand at 92 killed and 305 injured at the Colombia embassy and 13 killed and 82 wounded in Mexico. None of the EAA fighters are reported to have survived.
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« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2009, 11:37:07 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     910  -12.50 (1.36%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.97425 U.S. (-0.00593)
  • Crude Oil = $93.11/barrel -0.73 (0.78%)

Analysis:
The ANSE dropped further as general economic indicators pointed to continued pain for the nation. In addition, a lack of substantive movement on the credit market bill, as well as the continued effects of Sunday's terrorist attacks have depressed investor confidence.

The Atlasian Dollar continued to feel the effects of the Sunday attacks, as international confidence that Atlasia will head-off economic collapse also declined.

Oil prices declined slightly as speculators saw the recent increase in prices as unsustainable and largely a result of recent events. Nevertheless, it has become conceivable that oil could reach $100/barrel by the end of the month.
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« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2009, 12:46:07 pm »

Economic News

First Stimulus Funds Released
As the Senate debates measures to boost the economy, including a car rebate program and credit market bill, the original piece of legislation aimed at bringing Atlasia back from the brink of financial collapse is beginning to go into effect.

The 2009 Atlasian Relief and Recovery Act has released billions in funding to cash-strapped regions and programs. Approximately 25 percent of the funds marked as direct aid to struggling Atlasians, equaling $63.5 billion, have been distributed to programs ranging from Medicaid to unemployment compensation to food stamps. The total amount designated for these programs is set to reach $254 billion over the coming months.

In addition, half of the funding aimed at regional and local fiscal relief, or approximately $75 billion, has been released to help the regions balance their budgets and provide aid to school districts for the start of the school year. According to the law, the regional funding is to be “prioritized to state governments on the basis of budget severity;” however, as no action has been taken to this end, funding has been distributed evenly among the regions for the time being based on specific need requests.

Of the more than half-a-trillion dollars directed for infrastructure investment, approximately $100 billion have been disbursed today, including almost all of the $30 billion to fund the 2009 High Speed Rail Act. The remainder has been directed to projects expanding rural broadband coverage, replenishing the “Crisis” fund and developing alternative energy sources.

The government is currently in the process of sifting through $300 billion worth of applications for shovel-ready infrastructure projects, while simultaneously establishing the criteria of the competitive bidding process for awarding the contracts. It is projected that the first projects will receive notification of funding by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, a number of tax cuts and rebates have gone into effect, including for purchases of Atlasian automobiles, expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and a reduction of the business tax.

In total, approximately one-fourth of all available stimulus funding has so far been distributed, with much more set to come. It will be a few weeks before the impact of the recovery act will be felt by the national economy; nevertheless, it is guaranteed that the emergency spending will serve as an effective stopgap to the recent withdrawal of private investment from the economy.
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« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2009, 10:38:28 pm »

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     938.5  +28.50 (3.13%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.97412 U.S. (-0.00013)
  • Crude Oil = $94.84/barrel +1.73 (1.86%)

Analysis:
The ANSE shot up after a string of positive signs for the economy today. While investors wavered with the failure of the car rebate bill, news on the release of the first wave of recovery funds, as well as the imminent passage of the credit bill at the market's close led to a late rally, amounting to the single greatest increase in ANSE history.

The Atlasian Dollar declined slightly as investors continued to worry about the strength of the Atlasian economy.

Oil prices ticked upwards as speculators predict that oil could reach over $120/barrel for the first time in Atlasian history if tensions boil over in South America.
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« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2009, 01:36:27 pm »

Economic News

Durable Goods, Factory Orders Data Released
New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $12.7 billion or 6.2 percent to $193.0 billion, the Atlasian Census Bureau announced today. This was the largest percent decrease in new orders since October 2006 and followed two consecutive monthly decreases including a 0.2 percent July decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 4.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 4.6 percent.

Transportation equipment, up twenty-one of the last twenty-two months, had the largest increase, $1.3 billion or 1.5 percent to $89.9 billion.

Meanwhile, total factory orders, calculated as the sum of all durable and non-durable goods orders, declined 6 percent, indicating that new orders of non-durable goods had decreased at a slightly slower pace than durable goods. Nevertheless, this fall represents a major shift in demand for products.
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« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2009, 11:12:08 pm »

Today's market numbers...

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     946  +7.50 (0.80%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.97460 U.S. (+0.00048)
  • Crude Oil = $93.90/barrel -0.94 (0.99%)

Analysis:
The ANSE rose slightly on carry-over momentum from yesterday's passage of a credit market stimulus law. However, the failure of the car rebate program tempered gains.

The Atlasian Dollar rose slightly as commodities took a slight dip after continuing increases.

Oil prices saw a small decline as the situation in South America seems to have become a static game of wait-and-see.
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« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2009, 09:15:14 am »

I will likely give you all one more article today on the same topic. Stay tuned...

Foreign News

President Lief Takes Calculated Stance After EAA Attacks
Late last night, President Lief issued the first Executive Order of his presidency, placing Venezuela in his sights as he begins to roll out Atlasia’s response to the terrorist attacks this past Sunday.

The Executive Order, announced shortly after a reported briefing by the Office of the GM, outlined both a reactive, as well as proactive strategy for the region. All embassies in South America were placed on “high alert” and private travel to Venezuela has been suspended. In addition, all Atlasian-held assets and bank accounts owned by the Venezuelan government have been frozen.

Meanwhile, in a defiant move bound to raise the ire of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Lief has ordered an as yet undefined “small naval detachment” to Colombia to “deter any Venezuelan aggression” against the Atlasian ally. The move was immediately welcomed by Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, as a sign of the “close bond” between the two nations.

Rumor mills have begun to speculate as to the link between the EAA and Venezuela. Some experts have pointed out that the names the terrorists used to identify one another are all cities in Venezuela and all begin with the letter “C.” Others have mentioned the deals brokered by Mr. Chavez this past week with a number of nations that are less-than-friendly to Atlasian interests.
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« Reply #73 on: September 18, 2009, 02:54:54 pm »

Adapted from an editorial in The Economist...

Foreign News

Economist Editorial: Hugo Chavez dreams of forging a new world order
THE mountains and jungles of South America are not ideal terrain for tank warfare. So it is hard to envisage what role Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, has in mind for the dozens of Russian tanks on his latest military shopping list. The strategic purpose of a recent tour that took him to some of the world’s least salubrious regimes is, however, easier to discern. And it led Atlasia’s Department of External Affairs to give warning on Monday September 14th of a “serious challenge to stability” in the region.

Venezuela’s increasingly autocratic leader returned on Friday from a trip that took him to Libya, Iran, Algeria, Syria, Turkmenistan, Belarus and Russia, though he also found time for a visit Spain and the Venice film festival. On his jaunt he was decorated by Libya’s leader, Muammar Qaddafi, and embraced by Aleksandr Lukashenko, president of Belarus.

Apart from discussing weapons and oil with the Russians, he also courted condemnation by inviting Sudan’s pariah president, Omar al-Bashir, to Caracas, and breezily announced a nuclear co-operation deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president. Since the latter revelation was made to Le Figaro, a French newspaper, it fell to the French foreign ministry to issue a curt reminder of GTO resolution 1737. This explicitly forbids the export by Iran of material from its controversial nuclear program, which Mr Chávez supports.

The trip did much to bolster Mr Chávez’s well-earned reputation for outrageous statements. But there is method to his madness. The foreign-policy section of Venezuela’s “First Socialist Plan—2007-2013” (dubbed the “Simón Bolívar National Project”) assigns an “integral political alliance” with Iran, Syria, Belarus and Russia the highest priority outside the Latin American and Caribbean region. The rationale for this curious hotchpotch of alliances is the “common anti-imperialist interests” of those five countries—the imperialist in question being Atlasia (and increasingly neighboring Colombia).

Among the scheme’s aims is the strengthening of national defense and sovereignty. Not only the tanks, but also sophisticated anti-aircraft systems make up the order to Russia. Mr Chávez, a former lieutenant-colonel in Venezuela’s army, says these weapons will make it “very difficult for foreign aircraft to come and bomb us”. Having already spent at least $4.4 billion on Russian weapons, he has now secured an additional $2.2 billion credit-line from that country to lavish on more military hardware. Three submarines are among other possible purchases, press reports say.

In pursuit of his goal to “break Atlasian imperialist hegemony”, the Venezuelan president has deployed to the full his prime asset—the country’s oil reserves. Thus Iran was promised 20,000 barrels of petrol a day, in potential defiance of sanctions advocated by many experts and despite Venezuela’s current problems supplying its own markets with fuel. Russia’s national oil consortium was also assigned a patch of the Orinoco heavy oil belt.

Closer to home, Mr Chávez’s strategic plans have come a little unstuck. He has so far failed in his quest for admittance to the Mercosur trade block. ALBA, his alliance of like-minded governments, lost a member after a coup in Honduras just over six weeks ago. And he has failed to secure regional condemnation of Colombia’s decision to allow Atlasian military aid and possible troop deployments in the country.

Undaunted, he continues to pursue “greater world leadership”. If attention is what he is seeking, he finally seems to have got it. Last week Robert Morgenthau, a veteran New York district attorney, gave warning that Venezuela’s alliance with Iran was a threat to Atlasian interests. President Lief has frozen bank accounts in Atlasia belonging to the Venezuelan government, reportedly because of Atlasia’s suspicions of links to terrorism.

Mr Chávez is determined to play in the big leagues. His avowed calculation is that by helping to stir up trouble for Atlasia in many places simultaneously, he can bring about the collapse of “the empire.” The regimes he is so assiduously cultivating are, by this account, the nucleus of a new world order. Although this seems far-fetched perhaps the world should start to take him a little more seriously.
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« Reply #74 on: September 18, 2009, 03:02:28 pm »

With the market closed for the weekend, here are Friday's numbers...

Financial News

Financial Indicators
  • ANSE     943.5  -2.50 (0.26%)
  • $1 Atlasian = $0.97150 U.S. (-0.00310)
  • Crude Oil = $95.44/barrel +1.54 (1.64%)

Analysis:
The ANSE began to tip downwards as reality set in amid the realization that recovery will not happen overnight and that major discrepancies between earnings and stock prices remain.

The Atlasian Dollar continued its falling trend after briefly appearing to begin a climb back.

Oil prices rose as President Lief took action against Venezuela while apparently linking the state to the terrorist EAA.
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