Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

US stocks fall in uneven trading; Home Depot soars

U.S. stocks closed lower after uneven trading Tuesday as fears about the "fiscal cliff" and Greece tipped major indexes between gains and losses. A surge in Home Depot's stock prevented a steeper drop for the Dow Jones industrial average.


Greece ETF Could Lose Largest Holding

Greece ETF Could Lose Largest Holding
The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE: GREK ), the lone ETF devoted to the now infamous debt-laden PIIGS nation, could lose its largest holding, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (NYSE: CCH ). Last month, the company announced it was looking to shift its ...


Letters: EU's day of action

Today millions of trade unionists across Europe are responding to the European TUC's call for a day of action against the austerity policies which are destroying public services and jobs, and blighting the lives of ordinary people. The suffering we see in Greece is the most extreme example of the devastation wreaked by these policies (Greece hit by new delay over bailout, 10 November). As a result there will be general strikes in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain, demanding alternative policies and an end to the onslaught which is destroying Europe's welfare states. In other countries, including Britain, there will be solidarity demonstrations showing the depth of public opposition (5pm outside the EU office in London), in support of the struggles across Europe and in defence of our own welfare state.
Tony Benn President, Coalition of Resistance
Frances O'Grady General secretary designate, TUC
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Katy Clark MP
Michelle Stanistreet General secretary, NUJ
Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Manuel Cortes General secretary, TSSA
Sally Hunt General secretary, UCU
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
Matt Wrack General secretary, FBU
Chris Keates General secretary, NASUWT
Steve Gillan General secretary, POA
Megan Dobney Secretary, Sertuc
Sam Fairbairn Secretary, Coalition of Resistance
Zita Holbourne Chair, BARAC
Natalie Bennett Leader, Green party
Paul Mackney Co-chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign
Isidoros Diakides Co-chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign
Romayne Phoenix Chair, Coalition of Resistance
Rachel Newton People's Charter
Andrew Burgin Europe officer, Coalition of Resistance © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


The International Energy Agency Catches Up With America's Oil Producers


The International Energy Agency Catches Up With America's Oil Producers
It takes time for the prognosticators and pundits to catch up with the producers. Now the International Energy Agency (IEA World Energy Outlook 2012) joins a growing chorus of forecasters that have noticed the tech-driven hydrocarbon revolution that is under ...
US to be world's largest oil producerWWLP 22News
Analyst Actions: ENERGY - Bank of Montreal's Take On IEA's World Energy ...NASDAQ
Meet the World's Next Energy Superpower — The USA!Market Playground
Bloomberg -Oil & Gas Journal -Businessweek
all 1,392 news articles »


A new twist on an old tradition: Honeymoons with friends

When Dave Morin was planning his honeymoon to Italy and Greece with his wife-to-be Brit, he made a somewhat unconventional choice: he invited some friends. “A big part of our wedding was including our friends who make up our life together,” he said.When Dave Morin was planning his honeymoon to Italy and Greece with his wife-to-be Brit, he made a somewhat unconventional choice: he invited some friends. “A big part of our wedding was including our friends who make up our life together,” he said.


Greek Employment May Vex Troika

The Guardian

Greek Employment May Vex Troika
Wall Street Journal (blog)
By Matthew Dalton. Euro-zone and International Monetary Fund officials are determined to bolster the “credibility” of the Greek bailout program. You can understand why: Greece has repeatedly missed the program's targets over the last two years, forcing ...
Greek bailout debate shifts to who bears lossesMarketWatch
Greek Tragedy Turns to FarceForbes
Stocks waver on worries over Greek debtUSA TODAY
Reuters -San Francisco Chronicle
all 2,519 news articles »


E.U. Members at Odds on Banking Regulation and Greece

Finance ministers from the 27 European Union nations diverged over a timetable for bringing banks under a new regulatory plan and for how best to lower Greece's debt burden.


Greece's creditors should take a haircut | Nils Pratley

The IMF is on the right side of its argument with the EU and ECB – however politically painful its answer might be

Caricatures normally paint the IMF as the hard guy, the one who insists that sour austerity medicine is taken on time and in full. By contrast, the EU and the ECB are the softies who roll over in the end and agree a compromise.

If you ignore the detail of the current spat within the so-called troika, these pen portraits fit. Christine Lagarde and the IMF think the 2020 deadline for reducing Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio to 120% should be kept. The EU politicians think an extension to 2022 is in order on the grounds that Athens is doing a reasonable job in cutting spending and raising taxes.

On this occasion, however, the details matter – and they should prompt the caricatures to be redrawn. The IMF is asking the right question: what's the best way to help Greece? It is also drawing the correct conclusion: only a write-off in Greece's debts will make a serious difference to the country's economic health and it's time creditors acknowledged that reality.

For EU politicians, such talk is highly dangerous. They have elections to win – Germany's falls next September and the chancellor, Angela Merkel, has promised not to lose money on past bailouts. Making governments and the ECB accept losses on loans to Greece sounds like heresy, especially if markets get the idea that something similar could happen one day in Spain. So it's deemed better to stick to the line that Greece can make it to 120%, albeit two years behind schedule, and thus allow the next round of funding to proceed.

But Greece won't make it by then. Cast your mind back to the official forecasts at the time of the first Greek bailout in 2010. Then, it was imagined that Greece's debts would peak at 150% of GDP in 2013. Now the official forecasts say the top will be 192% in 2014. That's the scale of the miss.

Greece is making sterling efforts to achieve a meaningful primary budget surplus (meaning before interest payments). The problem is the size of the debt. It's simply too big. Political games of "extend and pretend" risk the worst of all outcomes – a deterioration in Greece's debt dynamics, making the eventual write-off even larger. The IMF is on the right side of this argument: however politically painful, official lenders to Greece should take a haircut. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Euro slips against dollar on worries about Greece

The euro is falling against the dollar after finance ministers delayed $40 billion in aid for Greece.


France recognizes new Syrian opposition group

San Francisco Chronicle

France recognizes new Syrian opposition group
Fox News
PARIS – President Francois Hollande says France formally recognizes a new Syrian group as the sole representative of the civil-war struck Arab state's opposition -- and as a future transitional government. The French leader used his first news conference ...
France backs anti-Assad coalitionBBC News
HIGHLIGHTS-France's Hollande defends record, urges Greek aidReuters
France's President Hollande struggles to regain popularityWashington Post
Businessweek -Bloomberg -Deutsche Welle
all 460 news articles »


Sixty years of the UK charts

Sixty years ago today, the first singles chart was published in Britain – turning pop music into a competitive sport. Bob Stanley on how fans, scams and yodelling Aussies changed the landscape

For Britain, the modern pop era began in 1952. Not only were the first 7in singles released that year, but the first ever copy of the New Musical Express was published. And on 14 November 1952, exactly 60 years ago today, NME ran the first singles chart. All three creations would become cornerstones of the pop world until their simultaneous decline in the 1990s, as the digital era got into its stride.

But the singles chart – or the "hit parade" as it was called in the 50s, borrowing US terminology – has had a special appeal for the British sensibility. It has meant competition, excitement in league table form, pop music as a sport. It has pitted Frankie Laine against Guy Mitchell, Blur against Oasis, Brits against Yanks, Decca against EMI; it has been fuel for a nation obsessed with train numbers and cricket statistics. The charts dictated what you heard on the radio, what you saw on TV, how high your heroes' stock had risen. For more than four decades, they were a national fixture in Britain, like the FA Cup and Christmas.

Looking back at the very first chart is an insight into a lost world; the early 50s are truly the dark age of pop, invisible and obscure. Al Martino's Here in My Heart is often mentioned as being Britain's first No 1, but I don't ever remember hearing it played on the radio in its entirety. Elsewhere on that first chart are a mix of genres (country, ballads, instrumentals, film themes, exotic novelties, poster-boy pop) that have recurred in the following six decades. For today's One Direction, there's Johnnie Ray; for Gangnam Style see Sugarbush by Doris Day and Frankie Laine.

All of them were available on shellac 78s; only Mario Lanza's Because You're Mine was available as a 7in 45rpm (EMI had issued it as one of their first records in the new format a few weeks earlier). It's also notable how dominated by the US the charts were, with only Vera Lynn, Max Bygraves and band leader Ray Anthony from Britain. Given the standard Anglo-American rock era narrative, it's easy to forget what a musical backwater Britain was before rock'n'roll.

A fair percentage of people in Britain will know what was No 1 the day they were born. I gave up asking friends from other countries a while ago, as they never knew the answer: Britain's obsession with the charts has never been echoed abroad. In the 60s and 70s, the French had to rely on a monthly chart in teen magazine Salut les Copains, which excluded anything that wasn't French. In fact, in most of Europe, the British charts had more credibility than the local ones, hence the number of European album sleeves emblazoned with a garish union flag sticker proclaiming: "Top hit in England!"

America only ever printed their Hot 100 chart in Billboard, a trade magazine too dry to appeal to even the swottiest pop fan. There was also no national pop chart TV show in the US, or possibly anywhere outside Britain, making Top of the Pops' place in history almost unique. The only other examples of a national chart show have also tended to be British: the short-lived Disc a Dawn in Wales, and ITV's long-running The Chart Show.

So it's part of our heritage, and a badge of honour for the likes of Martino, Gerry & the Pacemakers (first act to score No 1s with their first three singles) and Girls Aloud (first girl group to score 19 top 10 hits) to have a place in UK chart history. Yet there is little doubt that the singles chart – like the FA Cup – has lost some of its prestige in recent years. When did this process begin?

Though it was compounded by the loss of Top of the Pops, I would suggest the chart's significance started to shrink around 1994, when singles began to debut at their peak position and fall off the chart completely just three or four weeks later. Between 1952 and the mid-1990s, pop fans and DJs had kept a keen eye on highest new entries, biggest climbers and bizarre drops. Entering the chart at No 1 was an extraordinarily rare feat, the province of superstars like Elvis, the Beatles, Slade, the Jam and Adam & the Ants. By the late 90s, it was the norm, whether you were the Spice Girls or Wamdue Project. When the UK's No 1 single became more a triumph of marketing than popular consensus, the public began to feel disenfranchised. When Westlife came within an ace of equalling Elvis and the Beatles' record tally of No 1s (17 each, if you don't count reissues), even Louis Walsh must have thought it a little rum.

This has been corrected in the age of the download, which once again allows records to build in popularity, meaning singles can sit around for months on end. Martin Talbot of the Official Charts Company is used to people complaining that the charts aren't as important as they used to be. "As far as the artists are concerned, they 100% are. Robbie [Williams] is No 1 this week – I know it meant a lot to him. And it has meant everything to new acts like Rita Ora or Cover Drive. It's the only way they can match themselves against their peers in this multi-channel era."

There's no doubt singles sales have been reinvigorated in the digital era, with downloads helping to sell more new releases as well as back catalogue material: unlikely oldies such as Showaddywaddy's Under the Moon of Love have become million-sellers thanks to download oomph. We are also beyond the awkward industry strategies of the 90s and noughties, when singles were played on the radio weeks before they were in the shops, a major reason why they charted so high in the first week: "on air, on sale" is a policy championed by Universal that means records are available to download as soon as they air on radio. It combats piracy while adding immediacy – and relevance – to the charts.

To the artists and the industry, at least, the UK singles chart is still No 1. A major reason for its continued authority is that it is entirely sales-based. As an eight-year-old, I bought a copy of a Wings single and expected it to climb one place in the following week's chart; it didn't, it dropped, and I was rather upset. My logic may have been awry, but I still understood that the record at No 1 sold more copies than the record at No 2. America, on the other hand, has always used a complex and potentially corruptible mix of sales, radio play and jukebox plays; when the more accurate and sales-orientated Nielsen Soundscan chart was introduced by Billboard in 1991, alternative and country records suddenly leapt up the charts at the expense of middle-of-the-road pop hits like Paula Abdul's The Promise of a New Day and Roxette's Fading Like a Flower.

For this reason, the Official Charts Company is hesitant to introduce streaming to the singles chart. Talbot currently thinks it's unnecessary: "It would be a much bigger decision in the UK than other countries because our chart has always been totally transparent. Nobody questions it. Anything that makes the mechanism more opaque needs thorough consideration."

They may have diminished from their TotP heyday, but the British charts still have cache and credibility, here and abroad. Radio 2's Pick of the Pops has devoted two shows to playing the biggest-selling single from each year since 1952; last night, there was a parliamentary reception for acts who have scored million-sellers; and this Friday, BBC4 screens a 90-minute tribute called Pop Charts Britannia. Meanwhile, the Official Charts Company website is getting ever more hits, which suggests younger pop fans aren't mourning TotP the way people over 30 are: they've just found a different way of divining and devouring chart statistics. We are still, it seems, a nation of trainspotters.

Listen to the first-ever singles chart on spotify

Welcome to the charts: The first NME Hit Parade, 14 November 1952

1. Al Martino Here in My Heart

2. Jo Stafford You Belong to Me

3. Nat King Cole Somewhere Along the Way

4. Bing Crosby The Isle of Innisfree

5. Guy Mitchell Feet Up

6. Rosemary Clooney Half As Much

7. Frankie Laine High Noon

7= Vera Lynn Forget Me Not

8. Doris Day & Frankie Laine Sugarbush

8= Ray Martin Blue Tango

9. Vera Lynn Homing Waltz

10. Vera Lynn Auf Wiedersehn

10= Mario Lanza Because You're Mine

Music down the decades: November's top singles


1. Lovesick Blues Frank Ifield

2. Let's Dance Chris Montez

3. Telstar The Tornados

4. Swiss Maid Del Shannon

5. The Loco-Motion Little Eva

Yodelling Aussie Frank Ifield had the second of his four largely forgotten No 1s, although Let's Dance and The Loco-Motion are still played at all good fairgrounds. Telstar, named after the communications satellite and featuring space-age noises, had previously been No 1, while Del Shannon's track was much chirpier than his biggest hit, Runaway. Within months, this innocently enjoyable top 5 would sound antique: the Beatles revolution was imminent.


1. Clair Gilbert O'Sullivan

2. Mouldy Old Dough Lieutenant Pigeon

3. Donna 10CC

4. Elected Alice Cooper

5. Loop Di Love Shag

It's hard to imagine Clair – in which a man sings about his desire to marry the girl he babysits – being released now, let alone reaching No 1. Lieutenant Pigeon's teary, beery kneesup and Alice Cooper's snarky political comment were pretty representative of British and US mindsets in 1972. The other two are from Jonathan King's UK label: 10CC's doo-wop pastiche (their first hit) and Loop Di Love, King's growly cover of a Greek holiday hit.


1. I Don't Wanna Dance Eddy Grant

2. Heartbreaker Dionne Warwick

3. Mad World Tears for Fears

4. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me Culture Club

5. Sexual Healing Marvin Gaye

Eddy Grant's previous No 1 had come 14 years earlier, as a singer on the Equals' Baby Come Back. Below I Don't Wanna Dance were a clutch of records that haven't been off the radio in 30 years: the Bee Gees-penned Heartbreaker; Tears for Fears' Mad World, which Gary Jules would take to No 1 two decades later. Culture Club's soft reggae had been No 1, while Marvin Gaye scored his last major hit.


1. End of the Road Boyz II Men

2. Would I Lie to You Charles & Eddie

3. People Everyday Arrested Development

4. Boss Drum The Shamen

5. Run to You Rage

Boyz II Men's snail-paced, whale-sized ballad had been No 1 for three weeks (it managed 13 in the US) but would be evicted by Charles & Eddie's sweet 70s soul tribute a week later. Arrested Development gave conscious rap its biggest UK hit; the rave nation was represented by the Shamen and Rage, who gave an old Bryan Adams hit the full siren and airhorn treatment.


1. Heaven DJ Sammy

2. Dilemma Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland

3. Die Another Day Madonna

4. Ketchup Song Las Ketchup

5. Like I Love You Justin Timberlake

Do Bryan Adams records get recycled into floorfillers every 10 years? DJ Sammy's Eurodance cover of his power ballad Heaven knocked Nelly and Kelly's Grammy-winning Dilemma off the top. They were tailed by Las Ketchup's daffy, post-summer holiday hit, Madonna's forgettable Bond theme and the debut hit for solo Justin Timberlake, a Neptunes-produced modern pop classic.


1. Robbie Williams Candy

2. Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé Beneath Your Beautiful

3. The Wanted I Found You

4. Adele Skyfall

5. Swedish House Mafia/Martin Don't You Worry Child

This week's top 5 is a pretty good cross-section of 2012 as a whole. Robbie Williams' seventh No 1 – his first in eight years – is helped by the recent irksome craze for adapting nursery rhymes, Ring a Ring o' Roses in this case. Labrinth and Emeli Sandé represent the "new earnest"; the Wanted revive the joys of falsetto boyband pop; Adele turns in the best Bond theme since, ooh, Licence to Kill; and Swedish House Mafia once again wring out the 90s Europop rag. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Divisions overshadow Europe's plan to control banks

Business Recorder

Divisions overshadow Europe's plan to control banks
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Divisions in Europe over a new regime to supervise banks overshadowed fresh attempts by EU finance ministers on Tuesday to agree a centerpiece reform that some officials fear could unravel. After three years of piecemeal ...
Brinkmanship rears head in Europe againFinancial Times
Europe Gives Greece 2 More Years to Reach Deficit TargetsBusinessweek
Debt crisis: Greek debt auction averts imminent
Bloomberg -The Guardian -Wall Street Journal
all 2,356 news articles »


HIGHLIGHTS-France's Hollande defends record, urges Greek aid

HIGHLIGHTS-France's Hollande defends record, urges Greek aid
PARIS Nov 13 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande defended his record on economic reform and called for more aid for Greece on Tuesday, in a news conference to mark his first six months in office. Following are highlights of his comments: ...

and more »


Schaeuble Says 3 Greek Payments Due Show Need for Control

Economic Times

Schaeuble Says 3 Greek Payments Due Show Need for Control
“You'll run up three tranches by the end of the year,” Schaeuble told reporters today in Brussels, when asked if all three would land in Greek coffers. “All the more important, then, that we negotiate a suitable control mechanism. And that is among the ...
German Parliament May Vote on Greek Aid Next Week-Parliament SourceWall Street Journal

all 53 news articles »


Official Says Allen-Kelley Emails Were 'Flirtatious'

By PETE YOST AND ROBERT BURNS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus' downfall widened Tuesday with...


Northern Greek Mushroom and Onion Pie

New York Times

Northern Greek Mushroom and Onion Pie
New York Times
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. 2 medium or large onions, coarsely chopped. Salt to taste. 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, preferably portobellos or a mix of wild mushrooms, portobellos and regular mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped. 2 large garlic cloves ...

and more »


Greek Economy Seen Remaining Deep Into Recession In 3Q

Greek Economy Seen Remaining Deep Into Recession In 3Q
Wall Street Journal
Last week, Greek lawmakers narrowly approved a multibillion-euro austerity package in an effort to win more bailout funds, but the measures also threaten to deepen the country's brutal recession and destabilize its fragile politics. According to Mr ...


Euro Touches 2-Month Low on Greek Aid Delay

Euro Touches 2-Month Low on Greek Aid Delay
The euro, which soon recovered lost ground, has lost value against the safe-haven dollar in seven of nine trading sessions in November, notching roughly a 2 percent loss. Greece's international lenders gave the country more time to fix its budget, though they ...
Euro Falls to 2-Month Low on Greece Concern; Pound GainsBusinessweek
Divisions overshadow Europe's plan to control banksReuters
Greek T-Bill Sale Buoys EuroWall Street Journal -San Francisco Chronicle -The Guardian
all 2,389 news articles »


Greek people can change this system of bribery | Kristina Tremonti

I have set up a crowdsourcing platform to help citizens challenge the well-established, yet illegal, fakelaki system

Last week, Greece's parliament narrowly passed the pivotal austerity bill spuriously said to secure the country's next instalment of rescue funds and keep the economy's nose above water. Violent protests erupted across the capital as enraged citizens poured on to the streets to contest these merciless measures. Greek citizens have been brought to their knees and it is only natural that many are protesting against the consequences of austerity's implementation. But is that the only thing they are revolting against?

Such protests are the expression of an exasperated people's loss of control over their future. But most importantly, they are a cry for justice. At the core of this crisis lie decades of political mismanagement, clientelism and corruption that have crippled the economy and plagued the moral fibre of Greek society. Having corruption at the epicentre of this debacle has made us subject to the scrutinising eyes of the EU and the IMF, organs that are distrustful of our capabilities to carry out our debt obligations when we have a parallel black economy estimated in 2010 to be equal to 25% of our GDP.

This kleptocracy infiltrates many public services in the form of "fakelaki" or "little envelopes" stuffed with bribes. From securing a bed in a public hospital, to getting a driver's licence, ensuring a construction permit or making sure your tax collector overlooks your true net income, fakelaki remain the unchallenged norm. Yet if the people have accepted and even participated in such exchanges thus far, why is it that they come to defy it now? The crisis has given us the opportunity to examine accepted practices in retrospect, to investigate what went wrong and who is responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today.

I too was forced to pay a bribe when my 90-year-old grandfather, a proud war veteran diagnosed with terminal cancer, was disregarded for hours in a large public hospital's emergency room. Faced with lines such as "there's no bed you see" and "the doctor might not be able to see you" his undeniable right to medical help was bargained for a monetary reward. We ended up slipping the notorious fakelaki in the doctor's white coat; needless to say he was admitted into the operating room within an hour.

Feeling powerless in the face of an illegal system so well established, I felt the urgency for change and to give a voice to all those who had felt just as victimised as my grandfather. Hence, the birth of, a crowdsourcing platform created to tackle corruption in Greece by harnessing the collective energy of its citizens. People can now report anonymously on the nature, value and location of corrupt transactions across the country. By reducing this complex social problem into comprehensible, public data we can identify the trends of this activity and use it to argue for increased accountability of public services.

John F Kennedy once said: "Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past but let us accept our own responsibility for the future." Similarly, the time is ripe for us Greeks to become active citizens, vociferous about our needs and instrumental in creating the future we demand. Technology has given us the tools to redefine democratic dialogue, learn from one another and engage in collective action. Some say that the problem can only be tackled from the top of the food chain downwards. I disagree. Pressure for change in a democracy can only come from the people. The time is now. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Coiled Greek Winter Squash Pie

New York Times

Coiled Greek Winter Squash Pie
New York Times
Published: November 13, 2012. This is a beautiful way to present a Greek phyllo-wrapped vegetable pie. The filling is wrapped in phyllo cylinders, which are arranged in a coil in a pan, then baked until crisp. It takes longer to assemble than a regular ...

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US stocks rise as Home Depot boosts Dow average

FILE - In this Sunday Nov. 11, 2012, file photo, supporters from the Independent Greeks party hold Greek flags as Presidential guards performs the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament during an anti- austerity rally in central Athens. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, as a deal to rescue the Greek economy now looks much less certain than it had just one day ago. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)U.S. stocks rose Tuesday morning after a sluggish start. A surge in Home Depot's stock lifted the Dow Jones industrial average.


Greece faces increasingly violent racist attacks as economic crisis lingers

Rights workers say attacks getting more violent as extreme right wing blames immigrants for financial woes