Bloomberg – Greece must implement 77 measures in the next three months to wrap up the fourth review of its current bailout and ensure a successful program exit in August.
The government held preparatory talks for the review with representatives of Greece’s creditor institutions in Athens this week. While the discussions went smoothly, they touched on reforms that are likely to become flash points in the period ahead — including politically-contentious privatizations and liberalization of the energy sector, as well as less controversial but technically difficult changes to how tax authorities assess property values.
Two more issues loom that are making officials nervous. One is that the International Monetary Fund might insist a previously-agreed income tax hike has to be brought forward by a year, to 2019, if the government is to hit its primary budget surplus target. The other is that the country’s banks could need fresh capital injections if regulator stress tests show them coming up short.
Both subjects will come under the microscope in a future round of talks in May.
Greek Reporter – Greece ranks about half way in tax rates among the 35 countries of the OECD, a new report showed on Thursday.
Although OECD workers on average paid over 25 percent of their salaries in taxes, in Greece an unmarried employee with no children faced a tax wedge of 40.8 percent last year, compared to an average of 35.9 percent.
Breitbart – President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Iran deal on Tuesday, keeping his campaign promise to end the agreement reached by former President Barack Obama. The president announced his decision in a speech at the White House in the Diplomatic Room. Trump’s decision signals a major departure from Obama’s signature foreign diplomatic agreement reached in 2015 with the rogue regime.
Breitbart – The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Venezuela on Monday as Vice President Mike Pence said the administration was ready to do “much, much more” to help topple the Maduro regime.
RT – Israel’s military is on high alert after allegedly spotting irregular Iranian military movement in Syria, with bomb shelters in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights being readied in anticipation of an Iranian attack.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Governing – Declaring “all innocent life is precious and sacred,” Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday afternoon signed legislation that is described as the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.
Outside her office, abortion rights supporters chanted “our bodies, our choice,” while the first-term Republican governor, surrounded by lawmakers and families from a Christian academy, signed Senate File 359.
The law bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, often as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.
Fox – The high school senior who organized a nationwide school walkout in support of the Second Amendment said he is more concerned with protecting the rights of individuals than targeting weapons themselves.
Will Riley, who organized the “Stand for the Second” walkout said people forget that the right to bear arms is, in fact, a right that can’t be taken away.
“You can only violate a right, you can’t take it away,” he said.
According to the organization’s website, the walkouts were held on May 3, during which “Students around the country made their voices heard, saying that they support our constitution and oppose gun control.”
“It’s not about me getting to keep my guns. I don’t have any,” Riley said. “It’s about peoples’ rights. I think that’s how we need to focus on this.”
CBS – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is now on President Trump’s legal team, told CBS News correspondent Paula Reid Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has rejected proposals to allow Mr. Trump to answer questions from investigators in writing.
Pro-migration groups are angrily criticizing the federal government’s Monday closure of a major catch and release loophole which releases illegal border-crossers within 20 days if they bring children with them across the border.
Sputnik – In the house of one of the residents of the US city of Sheridan, Michigan, a female raccoon and her five babies literally fell through the ceiling.
Newsmax – A Massachusetts high court has ruled that professors and staff members at colleges can be sued if they do not take action upon learning that a student was considering committing suicide.
Economy & Business
Reuters – Wall Street was lower in choppy trading on Tuesday afternoon, as oil prices slid on uncertainty over whether President Donald Trump would withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.
Newsmax – Comcast Corp. is lining up financing for a potential bid for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets, countering a previously accepted offer from Walt Disney Co., said a person with knowledge of the situation.
Energy & Environment
LA Times – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 shook a large portion of Southern California early Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Science & Technology
CNBC – Cafe X is a start-up with a new robotic barista designed to sling 120 cups of joe per hour. The company was launched through a Thiel Foundation grant and is backed by prestigious investors, such as Khosla Ventures. The bot fulfills 300 to 400 orders a day. Starbucks has no plans to add robots to its 20,000 locations, the company said.
Breitbart – In an op-ed published by the Washington Post last week, law professor Feng Xiang of Tsinghua University predicted that artificial intelligence (AI)technology will usher in the final triumph of socialism and the “end of capitalism.”
Time – Congo’s health ministry has confirmed two cases of Ebola in this central African country, a resurgence nearly 10 months after the end of an earlier outbreak.
Off Grid News – Honey is one of nature’s most miraculous dressings for burns, ulcers, and even open wounds. The good news is that you can use honey to heal. The best news is that honey is very easy to use.
For cuts, scrapes and minor punctures, honey is a no-brianer. This means having a jar in your medicine kit.
For deeper wounds and abscesses, clean up the injury site thoroughly. I always use tea tree oil for this. Then use honey to heal by filling the would cavity. Next, use a dressing pad to keep out dirt and other infections as well as to keep the honey at the wound site.