Spain Introduces Innovation-Aimed Crypto Regulation, But Political Unrest Might Cause a Setback

On May 14, the European Union approved new anti-money laundering (AML) legislation in part targeting anonymity in cryptocurrency market … Rajoy’s departure could trigger another political crisis in southern Europe, “further unnerving financial markets …

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The government creates another housing bubble – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

Home prices are booming. So far, 2018 has posted the strongest growth since 2005. “About 60% of all U.S. metros saw an acceleration in the rate of price increases through February this year,” according to Housing Wire. Since mid-2012, real home prices have increased 28%, according to data from the American Enterprise Institute. Entry-level home prices are up about double that rate. In contrast, over the same period household income has barely kept pace with inflation. The current pace of home-price inflation is increasing the risk of another housing bubble.

The root of the problem is declining underwriting standards. In April Freddie Mac announced an expansion of its 3% down-payment mortgage, the better to compete with the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae . Such moves propel home prices upward. Because government agencies guarantee about 80% of all home-purchase mortgages, their underwriting standards guide the market.

Making lending even more dangerous, CNBC recently reported that “credit scores may go up” because new regulatory guidance allows delinquent taxes to be excluded when calculating credit scores. These are only some of the measures that “expand the credit box” and qualify ever-shakier borrowers for mortgages.

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During the last crisis, easy credit led home prices to rise at an unsustainable pace, leading marginally qualified borrowers to stretch themselves thin. Millions of Americans’ dreams became nightmares when the housing market turned. The lax underwriting terms that helped borrowers qualify for a mortgage haunted many households for the next decade.

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Tech Was Supposed to Get Political. It’s Hanging Back in This Election.

But as voters go to the polls Tuesday to choose a mayor in one of San Francisco’s most disputed elections in recent memory, the industry that set off a high-rise construction boom and has been blamed for a housing crisis in the city is fading into the background. That is quite a contrast to the last open mayoral election, in 2011.

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Nigerian Rapper Goes Viral with His Take on ‘This Is America’

Last week, a Nigerian rapper released his own version of Childish Gambino’s hit song and music video “This Is America.”

It’s called “This Is Nigeria” and was written and performed by lawyer-turned-musician Falz The Bahd Guy. Like the hugely popular Donald Glover song and video (Gambino is his stage name), the Nigerian version looks at harsh everyday realities.

In “This Is America,” the issues include gun violence, racism and the distraction of viral entertainment and social media. Falz’s lyrics and visuals touch on some of Nigeria’s major problems: poor electricity supply, drug addiction and government corruption. The video even features veiled Muslim girls to allude to Boko Haram’s abductions of schoolgirls in the northeast.

Falz performs in pidgin English, a blend of English and local languages that is widely spoken in West Africa. {snip}

Released on May 25, just four days before the 19th anniversary of democracy in the West African nation, the three-minute video has been viewed on YouTube 2.9 million times. The hashtag #ThisIsNigeria has generated tens of thousands of tweets. And the song has captured the attention of the American rapper Diddy, who reposted “This Is Nigeria” on his Instagram account, where it currently has an additional 2.2 million views.

Falz, whose real name is Folarin Falana, is not new to social commentary. His music often reflects the views of his father, Femi Falana, a popular Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist. Falz’s previous songs “Child of the World,” “Confirm” and “Wehdone Sir” tackle sexual harassment, Internet fraud and the rise of wealthy megachurch pastors.

{snip}

Cultural critics like Joey Akan, a music journalist based in Lagos, are drawing parallels between Falz and Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

Until his death in 1997, Kuti also used music to criticize military dictators, corruption and other social problems. But his frankness and acerbic criticism came with consequences: He was arrested on several occasions, jailed and beaten by soldiers.

If anything like that were to happen to Falz, some of his fans say they’ll have his back.

[Editor’s Note: The video is available here.]

The post Nigerian Rapper Goes Viral with His Take on ‘This Is America’ appeared first on American Renaissance.

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Army said to urge lifting some economic restrictions on Gaza

Senior officer says Israel and Gaza at ‘watershed’ moment, Hamas’s return of the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers is precondition for any long-term quiet A photo taken from Gaza City on May 29, 2018, shows smoke billowing in the background following an Israeli air strike against a military target in the Palestinian coastal enclave, in response to repeated mortar and rocket attacks on southern Israel. A top official in the IDF’s Southern Command said Thursday Israel must take steps to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which would likely bring quiet to the Gaza region.

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Aftereffects of Eurozone Crisis Plague Europe’s South

This week’s high-profile political crises in Spain and Italy are making plain the social and economic scars Southern Europe bears almost a decade after the eurozone crisis, destabilizing traditional alliances and feeding political discontent.

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