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What We Read Today 16 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

IMF, World Bank Halt Lending to Ukraine – Franklin Templeton $4 Billion Ukraine Bet Goes Bad (Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism)  Yves Smith has contributed to GEI.  This is a great breakdown of just what the fiscal and economic situation is in Ukraine.  If you don't like seeing the entrails of a country spread out on the ground you may not want to read this.  If that concerns you we recommend you suck it up and read this all the way through.  The situation is worse than you could have imagined.

Sydney siege: Two hostages and gunman dead after heavily armed police storm Lindt cafe in Martin Place (Sydney Morning Herald)  The hostage situation at Sydney's Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place has ended in the early hours Tuesday morning (16 December 2014) with the 50-year-old gunman dead and two hostages killed, a man aged 34 and a woman aged 38.  The hostage taker was identified as Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis.  He had taken 17 people hostage around 10 am Monday, but at least five of them were released or escaped during the seige which lasted approximately 16 hours.

Profile: Man Haron Monis (BBC News)   Man Haron Monis was a self-styled Muslim cleric was born in Iran and sought political asylum in Australia in 1996.  He was facing more than 40 sexual and indecent assault charges and was currently on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife.  According to the Sydney Morning Herald he "allegedly spent [time] as a self-proclaimed "spiritual healer" who dealt with so-called black magic at a premises in western Sydney."  The following video shows Monis reading a sympathy letter in 2010.

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