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The Silk Railroad: world longest rail link Yiwu-Madrid railway spans 8,000 miles, crosses 8 countries

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The world's longest train route spans more than 8,000 miles, crosses through eight countries, and is long enough to stretch from Florida to Washington state 3 times.

The China-Europe Block Train begins in the city of Yiwu in China's east and crosses through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France before reaching its destination 21 days later in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

Also called Yixinou, the route surpasses the world's second- and third-longest routes, the Trans-Siberian railway (5,772 miles) and the Moscow-to-Beijing (4,340 miles) train.

The Silk Railroad - Episode I: World's longest rail link, from Yiwu to Madrid
An international freight railway network is connecting China to cities across Europe, dubbed the new "Silk Railroad." Two thousand years ago, commodities from China would need a year to reach Europe, along the ancient Silk Road. But today, Chinese consumer goods can reach London by rail in just 14 days.

Yiwu railway station - a massive freight terminus, began transporting cargoes overland to Europe in 2014. It's part of the multi-billion-US-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to boost international trade.

The Yiwu-Madrid railway is the longest rail link in the world. It spreads across 13,000-kilometers through France, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Along the way, the train transfers three times due to different track gauges in China, Europe, and Russia.

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Image courtesy Skye Gould / Business Insider

Ben Franklin was anti-debt to form Society of the Free and Easy for virtuous individuals: free of debt therefore easy in spirit

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10 of Benjamin Franklin’s Lesser-Known Feats of Awesomeness
4. HE WAS NO DEBTOR.
Franklin was terrified of debt and viewed it as similar to slavery because he believed that, through the acquisition of debt, man essentially sold his own freedom. He was so anti-debt that he often spoke (seriously) about forming an international organization called The Society of the Free and Easy for virtuous individuals who, among other things, were free of debt and, therefore, easy in spirit.

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Image courtesy pearlsofprofundity.wordpress.com

Bitcoin is 'rat poison,' "I like it when my country steps hard on idiot booms instead of fanning the flame" - Berkshire's Munger

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Bitcoin is 'rat poison,' "I like it when my country steps hard on idiot booms instead of fanning the flame," Berkshire's Munger: interview on "Countdown to the Closing Bell."
Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, described digital currency as a nonproductive asset.

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Image courtesy youbrandinc.com

9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, causes 1 in 9 deaths, 14 out of 15 most polluted cities are in India

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Washington Post: As China cleans up its act, India’s cities named the world’s most polluted
India’s capital, New Delhi, choked by rising automobile emissions and construction dust, was named Wednesday the world’s most polluted megacity by the World Health Organization, which analyzed the levels of the pollutant PM10 in the air in cities with populations above 14 million between 2010 and 2016.
Greater Cairo was the second most polluted large city. India’s other megacity of Mumbai ranked fourth on the list and Beijing fifth.

Nine out of 10 people around the globe are breathing polluted air, the study said, and air pollution is responsible for the deaths of 7 million people worldwide each year, most of them living in Asia and Africa. Of those deaths, 3.8 million were from indoor air pollution from unhealthy cook stoves, a huge problem in India.
Former perennial offender China, in response to citizen outrage, has taken steps to clean up its air, shuttering or reforming factories and reducing its coal consumption in favor of renewable energy. The moves helped improve air quality in Beijing and elsewhere but at a cost — many poor people were denied coal heat during winter or lost jobs.
The World Health Organization’s head of public health, Maria Neira, told the Reuters news agency that India should follow China’s lead.  read more »

Up: $1.3T spending bill; benchmark rate (2018: 3 hikes?); price of goods (pushed by tariff); young users fled FB, so did Tesla

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#BreakingNews: Fed raises benchmark rate 0.25%. Fed funds rate range now 1.5% to 1.75%. Fed maintains three rate hikes for 2018.

More Than 11 Million Young People Have Fled Facebook Since 2011 According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011.

March 23, 2018 - Elon Musk joins delete-facebook boycott, deleted Tesla’s and SpaceX’s Facebook pages on Friday. “I didn’t realize there was one. Will do,” Musk tweeted back. He initially said, “What’s Facebook?” to a prior tweet from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton urging his followers to delete Facebook because, “It is time.”

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Image courtesy JOEL SAGET / AFP / Getty Images

Cybercrime costs global economy $450billion/yr: CEO; ATM dispensing $100 bills instead of $5; Another mega database: Dr Ron Paul

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ATM dispensing $100 bills instead of $5 bills< /a>
A Kansas woman is facing a pricey lawsuit after a bank accused her of making dozens of withdrawals from a faulty ATM that was dispensing $100 bills instead of $5 bills, a local report said Tuesday.

Cybercrime costs the global economy $450 billion: CEO
In 2016 "cybercrime cost the global economy over $450 billion, over 2 billion personal records were stolen and in the U.S. alone over 100 million Americans had their medical records stolen," said Steve Langan, chief executive at Hiscox Insurance, told CNBC.
"This is an epidemic of cybercrime, and yet 53 percent of businesses in the U.S., U.K. and Germany were just ill-prepared."

Another mega database? Dr. Ron Paul on E-Verification
E-Verify is a (currently) voluntary program where businesses check job applicants’ Social Security numbers and other Information — potentially including “biometric” identifiers like fingerprints — against information stored in a federal database to determine if the job applicants are legally in the United States.

Imagine how much time would be diverted from serving consumers and growing the economy if every US business had to comply with E-Verify. Also, collecting the relevant information and operating the mandatory E-Verify system will prove costly to taxpayers.  read more »

Upside-down dream. Housing market wiped out $11 trillion household wealth. 8 mil lose homes to foreclosure, 12 mil "underwater"

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Upside-down dream: "my 10-Year Odyssey".
Housing market wiped out $11 trillion in household wealth. 8 million lose homes to foreclosure, 12 million "underwater"

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Image courtesy WSJ

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