Shutting Down Pakistan: The March on Islamabad (Dispatch 4)

Watch “The March on Islamabad (Dispatch 3)” – http://bit.ly/1BLbTeI After more than 100 days of ongoing protests in Pakistan, Imran Khan, the leader of the country’s opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), has called on his supporters to “shut down” every major city. Khan promises to have the country on lockdown by December 18 in an effort to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office unless his government allows an independent commission to audit the 2013 election results, which Khan insists are fraudulent. VICE News was at a recent PTI protest in Faisalabad, a major industrial center, as tensions escalated and clashes broke out between Khan’s followers and pro-government supporters. Read “Talks to Resolve Pakistan Crisis Crumble Amid Police Crackdown on Protesters” – http://bit.ly/1su75EU Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews

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Dr. James Mitchell On High Value Detainees: The Architect (Second Extra Scene)

Watch “The Architect” – http://bit.ly/12XkkqX The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a blistering, 500-page report on the CIA’s controversial detention and interrogation program, a document that committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said represents the most significant oversight effort in the history of the US Senate. The $40 million, five-year study concluded that CIA officials exaggerated the value of the intelligence they gleaned from dozens of “high-value detainees” held at black site prisons, where they were subjected to so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as sleep deprivation and waterboarding. The committee reviewed more than 6 million pages of top-secret CIA documents and found that “two contract psychologists devised the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.” Mitchell is one of the psychologists. He is identified in the Senate report with the pseudonym Grayson Swigert. The report said “CIA Headquarters chose the most coercive interrogation option, which was proposed and supported by CIA contractor SWIGERT.” A day after the Senate released its report, VICE News released ‘The Architect’, a documentary on Mitchell. In the interview, which took place prior to the release of the Senate report and marks the first time Mitchell spoke on-camera to a news organization after 9/11, he was confronted with questions about his role in the enhanced interrogation program — but he declined to give answers due to his non-disclosure agreement with the CIA. Following the release of the Senate report and VICE News’ interview with him, Mitchell was bombarded with media inquiries and was the subject of dozens of news reports. Late Wednesday, he was informed by the CIA that he could now confirm that he was under contract to the agency and “that [he] was part of the enhanced interrogation program.” According to the Senate report, Mitchell is the CIA contractor who personally waterboarded alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Read “Psychologist James Mitchell Admits He Waterboarded al Qaeda Suspects” – http://bit.ly/1zoSmA8 Read “Exclusive: Psychologist Not Named In Torture Report Confirms His Role in CIA Interrogation Program” – http://bit.ly/1wjzN0u Read “CIA Director John Brennan Criticizes Senate Report, Defends Agency, and Admits Mistakes” – http://bit.ly/1Gksj0j Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews

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Small Business Loans Bounce Back in November

business loans bounce back

Big bank lending to small businesses rebounded in November and resumed a positive trend that has lasted much of the year. This latest data from Biz2Credit’s Small Business Lending Index should be good news to any small business owner seeking more capital to expand or diversify their operations.

According to the November 2014 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, big banks approved 20.8 percent of the loan requests of small businesses nationwide. That number is up 0.4 percent over October’s rate.

In October, the index reported a drop in small business loan approvals for the first time in seven months. The data shows that small business loans approval from big banks is generally increasing this year, suggesting an improving economy.

Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora notes that big bank lending to small businesses is up 20 percent over last year. In a statement accompanying the November Small Business Lending Index report, Arora says big banks are committing to digitization and catering to more customers — in this case, small business owners — who want to conduct business via smartphones, tablets, and online.

Arora also says:

“Big banks have better name recognition and are offering more attractive rates than their smaller competitors. They continue to show their commitment of lending to qualified small business owners.”

But as lending from big banks continues to improve, the same is not happening at small banks. The Biz2Credit data shows that small banks approved less than half of the loan applications they received from small businesses in November.

And this continues a negative trend. Loan approval rates at small banks hit 49.8 percent last month, down from 50.2 percent in October. It’s the sixth straight month of decline in this category. And for the first time in a year, small business loan requests were denied more often than granted.

Adapting to technological advancements is one reason why Arora believes that small business loan approvals at small banks continue a downward trend. He says:

“Many of the smaller banks are starting to feel the squeeze of failing to adapt to their competition … More credit-worthy borrowers are turning to big banks and institutional lenders because of their increased willingness to lend and the simplicity of getting financing from these lenders.”

A negative trend continued among alternative lenders in November. Small business loan applications were approved 62 percent in November from 62.1 percent in October. That’s the tenth straight month of decline for loans from this sector, based on Biz2Credit data.

Finally, small businesses continue to see support from institutional lenders. Biz2Credit has been tracking this data since the beginning of 2014 and in every month, the approval rate has increased. Last month, the rate reached 59.9 percent, up from 59.7 percent in October.

Image: Biz2Credit.com

The post Small Business Loans Bounce Back in November appeared first on Small Business Trends.

from Blogger http://evangelinagius.blogspot.com/2014/12/small-business-loans-bounce-back-in.html

Peru: The New King of Cocaine (Full Length)

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News The United Nations announced in 2013 that Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world’s top producer of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine. For the past two decades, Colombia has been virtually synonymous with cocaine. Now that Peru has become the global epicenter of cocaine production, the Andean nation runs the risk of becoming the world’s next great narco state. The Peruvian government is trying to crack down on the problem by ramping up eradication of coca plants, and devoting military and police resources to interdiction efforts. Despite the response — and a hefty amount of foreign aid devoted to combatting cocaine production — Peruvian coke is being consumed in the nightclubs of Lima and in cities around the world like never before. VICE News travels to Peru to learn more about the government’s battle plan against cocaine, and to see how nearly every aspect of Peruvian society is caught up in the fight. We witness how the fine, white powder has forced an entire nation to the brink in the global war on drugs. Read “The Opium and Heroin Business Is Booming in Southeast Asia’s ‘Golden Triangle'” – http://bit.ly/1B2tzCe Read “A Law Designed to Target Coke Lords Is Screwing Over Legal Pot Companies” – http://bit.ly/1ylCr6x Read “‘Air Cocaine’: Trial Begins for Frenchmen Charged With Smuggling Drugs From the Dominican Republic” – http://bit.ly/1BqeT01 Watch “Rosario: Violence, Drugs and Football (Full Length)” – http://bit.ly/1w2kk6H Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews

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Doing Time for Trafficking: The New King of Coke (Part 4)

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News The United Nations announced in 2013 that Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world’s top producer of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine. For the past two decades, Colombia has been virtually synonymous with cocaine. Now that Peru has become the global epicenter of cocaine production, the Andean nation runs the risk of becoming the world’s next great narco state. The Peruvian government is trying to crack down on the problem by ramping up eradication of coca plants, and devoting military and police resources to interdiction efforts. Despite the response — and a hefty amount of foreign aid devoted to combatting cocaine production — Peruvian coke is being consumed in the nightclubs of Lima and in cities around the world like never before. VICE News travels to Peru to learn more about the government’s battle plan against cocaine, and to see how nearly every aspect of Peruvian society is caught up in the fight. We witness how the fine, white powder has forced an entire nation to the brink in the global war on drugs. In part four of the five-part series, VICE News correspondent Kaj Larsen visits Lima, where he speaks with foreigners who have served time in Peruvian prisons for drug trafficking, now stuck in Peru on parole. Watch Part 1 – http://bit.ly/1wvSe3S Watch Part 2 – http://bit.ly/166TbUR Watch Part 3 – http://bit.ly/1qxlYL0 Watch Part 5 – http://bit.ly/1BEpVld Read “The Opium and Heroin Business Is Booming in Southeast Asia’s ‘Golden Triangle'” – http://bit.ly/1B2tzCe Read “A Law Designed to Target Coke Lords Is Screwing Over Legal Pot Companies” – http://bit.ly/1ylCr6x Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews

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