Making no economic sense whatsoever.

Egyptian stocks fell the most in the world on Monday after the central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates to contain surging prices, a month after IMF remarks that were seen favoring higher borrowing costs to tame inflation.

The EGX 30 Index closed down 2.5 percent, the most among indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The Monetary Policy Committee raised the benchmark overnight deposit rate by 200 basis points, or two percentage points, to 16.75 percent, the bank said late Sunday. The lending rate was also raised by the same amount to 17.75 percent. All but one of the seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast the rate to stay unchanged.

The pound has lost almost half its value against the U.S. dollar since the government removed restrictions on the currency in November and raised interest rates by 300 basis points. The move helped finalize a $12 billion loan from the IMF and encouraged new international investments. Authorities also introduced value added taxes, and raised the price of subsidized fuel. While those steps won praise from investors, they also helped push the inflation rate to over 30 percent — its highest level in decades.

… and it’s come to this …

There are many delicious foods in this world: pizza and ice cream, houmous and cake, avocados and coffee.

But that is not to say these things should be paired together.

And yet, that is what people are doing. Behold, the ‘avolatte’:

As the name would suggest, it is a latte served in an avocado skin. And it’s happening.

Just why anyone would want to drink a latte from an avocado over a regular cup is unclear – would the coffee be infused with avocado? How would you hold it without a handle? Is it to save on washing up?

Read more

The serious injury caused by avocados

So many questions, so few answers.

One man recently posted a picture online of his avolatte from a cafe in Turkey, and there’s also a coffee shop in Australia (of course) serving the beverages, if they can be deemed as such.

What with avocados and latte art both amongst millennials’ favourite Instagram subjects, it’s possible the avolatte could be the next big trend fuelled by the picture-sharing social network.

… and a former US president who said this was the path … now says nothing …

On one hand, red pro-government caps, on the other, the colors of the Venezuelan flag: sympathizers and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro hit the streets Saturday in a tense standoff on the 50th day of violent protests.

Several thousand anti-government protesters gathered in the main Caracas avenues carrying signs that read “#We are millions against the dictatorship” and “#No more dictatorship!”

“It’s been 50 days of protests. I’m here with my two children, I can’t get any milk, I can’t get any food,” said Mariangel, a 24-year-old businesswoman. She had the red, blue and yellow colors of the Venezuelan flag painted on her face.

Also present: young men carrying makeshift shields of wood and metal, and wearing hoods and gas masks.

“We have to stay in the streets 50 or 100 more days, whatever it takes for Maduro to accept early elections or for him to leave,” said 21-year-old student Antonio Moreno.

All work and no play means no children.

‘This is death to the family’: Japan’s fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before

Onuki has just left the office, 16 hours after his shift began.

Onuki, a 31-year-old salesman, is headed to the train station to catch the 12:24 a.m. train, the last one of the night, back to his home in Yokohama. The train will quickly fill up with other professional working men.

At about 1:30 a.m., after having made a pit stop at a convenience store to grab a sandwich, Onuki arrives home. When he opens the bedroom door, he accidentally wakes his wife, Yoshiko, who just recently fell asleep after working an 11-hour day. She chides him for making too much noise and he apologizes.

Who cold have seen this coming?

Clashes have erupted across the country during protests in anger at Maduro’s handling of an economic and political crisis.

“We haven’t really seen a problem like that… in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we’re witnessing”, Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Maduro’s opposition was planning a larger Saturday protest nationwide to demand elections.

The U.S. government said the judges were being targeted beca us e they had ” us urped” democratic authority.

The ruling was later partially reversed amid worldwide criticism, but it sparked a protest movement that has continued for almost two months and left more than 40 people dead.

A little reminder.

Not too expensive and there’s plenty of it around.

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have developed an inexpensive, biodegradable, seaweed-based ant bait that can help homeowners and farmers control invasive Argentine ant populations.

The researchers found the “hydrogel” baits, which look like liquid gel pills but have a jello-like consistency, reduced ant populations 40 to 68 percent after four weeks. After a second treatment, between weeks four and five, ant population reductions were maintained at 61 to 79 percent until the experiment ended after eight weeks.

“A 70 percent reduction is really successful, especially considering we are not spraying an insecticide but instead using a very targeted method that is better for the environment,” said Dong-Hwan Choe, an assistant professor of entomology at UC Riverside and an assistant cooperative extension specialist. “With 70 percent control, homeowners really don’t see any ants.”

Elections in Iran

As Tehran’s notorious traffic slowed, the waiting campaigners pounced, pushing posters with the smiling face of Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, through the open windows of trapped cars, pleading for votes and shouting slogans as drivers edged away.

They were determined to make every minute count in the last days of a campaign in which Rouhani began as favourite, but has ended locked in a bitter and close-run fight with a conservative rival.

As voters prepare to go to the polls this week, we look at the two frontrunners and examine what is at stake for the country
Read more

The short-term stakes of Friday’s election are high: the future of 2015’s landmark nuclear deal and Iran’s cautious rapprochement with the west; the direction of its economy; control of its oilfields; and the freedom given to dissent.

… and he’s still a creep …

UPDATE: Swedish prosecutors have decided to end the rape investigation into Julian Assange and lift the Europe-wide arrest warrant against him, but UK police say they will still arrest him.

In a statement on its website, the Swedish prosecution authority said that the “Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape (lesser degree) by Julian Assange”.

“With the consideration that all options of moving the investigation forward are now exhausted it appears that – in light of the views expressed by the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) on the proportionality of remanding someone in absentia – it is no longer proportional to maintain the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence and maintain the European arrest warrant,” Ny wrote in her notification to Stockholm District Court.