Singapore – Most Competitive Nation in the World

Singapore overtakes US as most competitive country in the world-crimeshop

United States Dethroned for Falling Short

Cristal M Clark 

I guess it was bound to happen sooner rather than later, it seems like all the US wants to be the leader of these days, is the leader of the drama club if you look at the state of our presidency. 

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According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Singapore has overtaken the U.S. to become the most competitive nation in the world.

Here’s the list of the The 10 most competitive countries in the world

  1. Singapore
  2. United States
  3. Hong Kong 
  4. Netherlands 
  5. Switzerland
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. Sweden 
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Denmark

To get the list, the  WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, across 141 countries.

The key indicators in the report were organized into 12 pillars, which included institutions, macroeconomic stability and health.

The United States held the top spot in 2018, we’re still in the game, just not in the A game. The United States received the highest score in the world in several subcategories, including ease of finding skilled employees (that is highly debatable however, I hire people all the time) and venture capital availability, with the United States also being ranked higher than any other country in the business dynamism pillar.

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Here’s where we sucked, trade tariffs (Thanks Donald), declining life expectancy, low digital skills among our overall population, and the WEF said the life expectancy in the United States is now lower than it is in China who didn’t even make the top 10 list. 

Damn. 

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Singapore scored high for its public sector, labor force, diversity and it’s infrastructure, with its life expectancy ranked number one. In comparison, life expectancy in the U.S. is 66 years old, while in China it’s 68.

I can see that. 

Not surprising overall, Asia-Pacific was named the most competitive region in the world, followed by Europe and North America.

The report came with a warning. 

It warned that most economies were locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth. According to the reports authors, nations that have invested in 4 key areas:  human capital, improving their institutions, innovation and “business dynamism” would be best placed to withstand a global slowdown and to revive domestic productivity. However, they warned the effects of a slowdown were likely to be exacerbated by simmering geopolitical tensions.

“The changing geopolitical context and rising trade tensions are fueling uncertainty and could precipitate a slowdown, however, some of this year’s better performers appear to be benefiting from the trade feud through trade diversion.”

And, those countries included Singapore and surprisingly, Vietnam, which BTW was the most improved country in this year’s index in 67th place.

The WEF Urged policymakers to prepare for an evolving economic landscape, and they called on governments to better anticipate and implement the social policies that would be needed to prepare their populations for the 4 industrial revolution.

In case you are wondering, The fourth industrial revolution is the current and currently developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends like, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) change the way we both  live and work. They either help or fuck shit up depending. 

The report also said that many of the world’s largest and most innovative economies had education systems which were failing to keep up with the pace of innovation, including South Korea, France, China, India and Brazil.

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As for the United States, we continue to lose our top spots the longer Trump remains in office, leaving many who once looked up to us now scratching their heads wondering if we are in fact the next reality TV show or is this is a nightmare we all might eventually wake up from. 

Cristal M Clark

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Cop Tied to Cartels?

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Cristal M Clark 

Cameron Ortis, 47, the civilian director of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) intelligence unit, was charged last week with 3 counts of breaching the Security Information Act and two criminal code offenses. Basically, he has been charged with attempting to sell national secrets. 

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The charges go all the way back to 2015 and allege that Cameron attempted to sell high level secrets to an unnamed foreign entity. 

The bad news is that no one is really quite sure just who that foreign entity was, some speculate it was China, others believe it to be drug cartels. 

Canada is having some relationship issues with China currently yet, the drug cartel idea seems to be most fitting in this case. Cameron does happen to have a background in East Asian affairs and, according to his Linkedin profile, speaks Mandarin. So, it would not be far fetched to believe he was selling intel to China. 

I know how it sounds however, Canada is big on BlackBerry smartphones, Vancouver happens to host a pretty seedy company tasked with upgrading the BlackBerry smartphones with unhackable encrypted communications for drug cartel bosses in Mexico, the United States, and in Australia. 

Odd right?

Naturally, this upgrading for the cartels has been happening without the consent and knowledge of well, the makers of BlackBerry, which is even more odd and outlandish. 

To make matters worse this has the potential to be an embarrassment for the Canadian security establishment, because of her intelligence relationships with, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Cameron had “Top Secret” clearance, which means that he also had access not only to the files of Canada’s 20 intelligence-gathering agencies, but also to those of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. 

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki are trying to work with her allies to ensure that nothing super significant was sold. 

The rumors are running pretty rampant in both the US and in Canada about just what Cameron had access to, who he sold it to and why, some even suggest that the FBI had been the ones to alert Canadian Authorities about Cameron but US officials have neither confirmed nor denied that. 

Cristal M Clark

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Trump Administration Says Goodbye INF Treaty

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Hello Nuclear Arms Race?

By: Cristal M Clark

In rather delightful news today, the Trump Administration has announced the United States departure from the nuclear missile treaty with none other than Russia.

Some are speculating this might be the start of a new and improved nuclear arms race. In fact, some reports are stating this move might “kick-start” a new nuclear arms race, which if I am not mistaken has already started, long before the US backed out of the INF today.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during this morning’s press conference that, “Russia has jeopardized United States security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it.”  

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Mike is not wrong either. Russia’s new nuclear-capable missile actually violates the 1987 INF that the country signed with the United States back in 1987.

Some would still argue that the US should have remained in the treaty and somehow attempted to talk Russia into behaving rather than misbehaving.

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Whenever someone does that with me, my first move is to misbehave personally so, I doubt very much that Russia, knowing what we know about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow, will shape up and play nice when Trump or his administration demand them to do so.

The mistake that Trump made here however, was that he failed to discuss this move with Europe prior to announcing it and that has started a bit of a novella throughout the world.

Additionally, now that the US has left the treaty, Russia is pretty much out of the dog house and in the clear so as to not abide by it which is leaving some to worry about a potential war in the long run because, by simply leaving the treaty, we no longer have any leverage with Russia.

Then again Russia as well as other foreign countries were already building up their nuclear capabilities up while at the same time disregarding the treaty.

So why would the US even stay in it, no one else is playing nice in the sandbox after all.

In a rare move, I actually agree with Trump and his Administration on this one. The US simply cannot remain part of a treaty with others where we are the only ones who are actually abiding by that treaty.

Cristal M Clark

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New Ransomware Attack Strikes – Russia and Ukraine

 

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Bad Rabbit Ransomware – Coming to a Country Near You Soon!

 

First can I just ask who in God’s name is naming some of this ransomware because dubbing the newest attack “Bad Rabbit” gives me nightmares about a horror movie I once saw as a child from 1972 entitled “Night of the Lepus.”

 

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This newest attack has already hit Russia and Ukraine and according to US officials, this newest attack has hit several other countries in addition to Russia and Ukraine, they have seen it hit Germany, Poland, South Korea and Turkey as well, so far.

News reports from the US are currently filtering in, slowly but the attack has in fact hit the United States, no word yet on how many have been affected.

Since the majority of the victims from this attack as it stands as of right now have been in Russia, it is fair to assume that Russia may have been the intended target here.

 

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It does actually bare some pretty eerie similarities to WannaCry and Peyta, Malware analyst Amit Serper, principal security researcher of Cybereason,  did happen to release a tweet with instructions for stopping the attack from happening.

 

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I almost hate to say it here, I have just one very small suspicion that this might be the work of some government somewhere in the world that simply wants to prove a point.

Bad Rabbit is for sure coming to a country near you sooner rather than later, but I bet you won’t be seeing it hit North Korea, any time in the near future.

Cristal M Clark

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Putin Caves to Restrictions Imposed By The United Nations

 

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United States Ready for War With North Korea?

 

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Vladimir Putin managed to catch the world by surprise today as he announced that Russia would in fact, adhere to UN sanctions against North Korea by putting a halt to various types of economic, scientific and technical ties with Pyongyang in accordance with sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

The sanctions by the way were imposed in November of 2016 so way to go Russia for providing that support to North Korea for almost an entire year after the fact.

 

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The EU today decided to impose a total ban of EU investment on North Korea over its continued nuclear weapons development and subsequent testing.

They handed out asset freezes and travel bans on 3 people and  6 “entities,” which are normally just companies or organizations with ties to North Korea.

The EU actually did take a pretty big step further here by putting a ban on the sale of refined petroleum products and crude oil to North Korea and to add insult to injury, the EU elected to cut the amount of money people can send to North Korea from 15,000 to 5,000 euros ($17,700 to $5,900) the amount of money people can send to North Korea.

And the icing on the cake here?

The EU also elected to forgo renewing  work permits for North Koreans working in the ministers territories, apart from refugees and others in need of international protection.

 

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As for the US, Trump is going to ask other US allies to impose further sanctions upon North Korea when the White House makes it’s scheduled trip in November to  Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

 

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It is beginning to look as if Foreign States finally realized just what a threat North Korea has become and are now taking action.

New Reports are indicating that the US is saying that they are ready for war with North Korea as well.

So?

That does leave the obvious question, is Kim Jong-Un ready to back down or risk ending up holding the very short end of the stick?

Cristal M Clark

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ISIS Offers To Assassinate Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

 

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ISIS Supporters Feeling Left Out – Vow New Attacks on America and Russia

 

Well, it looks like ISIS is feeling left out with all of the recent talk of hurricanes, Russian Hacking, fake news, North Korea, the Iran Nuclear deal and Trump’s ill advised, ridiculous tweets and open attacks on the US media.

 

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Rather than easing themselves back into the game of war and talk of destruction and attacks, they just went for the gold and threatened to assassinate both Trump and Putin.

 

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In the newly released propaganda image they decided to show off bullet ridden photos of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, then took it a step over the top and invited its followers to stage more attacks on the United States, Trump, Russia and Putin.

“Lie in wait for them at every chance to ambush.”

 

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Here’s the kicker, ISIS was using Obama’s image until a few months back, they didn’t even bother to acknowledge Trump as the President of the United States until just recently.

I’m guessing ISIS most likely thought Trump becoming President of the United States was just more bad American TV and far from actual reality.

And to be fair, it is an easy mistake to make here, has anyone sat down and read a lot of Trump’s tweets, seen the guy on TV, at News Conference, speaking?!?!?!?

It took time to actually sink in so it took them time to believe the gravity of the situation here.

ISIS has also just recently claimed to have been behind the shooting in Las Vegas. Last week ISIS claimed that Steven Paddock converted to Islam roughly 6 months ago, a claim federal agents are having a hard time finding any evidence of.

The reality is that ISIS has been losing ground for a while here and it looks like they want back into the game but they are having a hard time actually getting themselves back into the game full force if you will.

 

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Unlike threats coming from North Korea, ISIS is not as easy to just take care of. They are the perfect example of cutting the head of the snake and watching the body keep going.

Clearly, ISIS is not bright enough to have figured out that they really do not want to dance with Trump here.

Maybe they do not have TV, they can’t get on social media, they don’t read or watch news from anywhere in the world.

If they did,  they would have seen that Trump is a little on the crazy side. And by a little, I really mean a lot.  

America has enough problems with just Trump alone, he not the guy to threaten because Trump is not afraid to take to Twitter and start name calling, insulting ISIS and making threats towards ISIS.

On the other hand, American intelligence should be paying close attention to the latest threat coming out of ISIS and any of it’s supporters.

ISIS very well could be smart enough to have figured out the lack of support Trump has from American’s at this juncture.

It looks a lot like they are attempting to build an army from the inside by capitalizing on individuals who loath Trump and who are disturbed enough to take action.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

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North Korea to The United States – “We will Destroy You Like Rabid Dogs”

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North Korea Fires a New Missile – Japan Takes Cover

The US has confirmed as have South Korea’s media service and Japan that North Korea has fired yet another missile early Friday morning from from Sunan, which is the site of Pyongyang’s international airport.

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The missile launched in an eastwardly direction which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Residents of Japan are being asked to avoid anything that could possibly be missile debris.

The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the launch by Chief of Staff John Kelly.

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North Korea’s September 3rd nuclear test was so strong that it actually sunk an 85 acre area on the top of a mountain above the tunnels of where the test took place. That is according to new satellite images.

What’s worst is that North Korea has threatened to destroy, not just go to war with but, destroy The United States, South Korea and Japan.

Or at least a spokesperson for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which oversees North Korea’s foreign affairs and propaganda had this to say:

“Let’s reduce the US mainland into ashes and darkness, the US should be beaten to death as a stick is fit for a rabid dog.”

And with regards to Japan:

“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”

And finally, about South Korea:

“The group of pro-American traitors should be severely punished and wiped out with fire attack so that they could no longer survive.”

This from a country that continues to fire ‘test’ missiles that cannot seem to hit any type of significant land mass.

They either overshoot or under-perform…

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True, Kim Jong-Un is waiting to see when would be the most opportune time to strike, however the clock is ticking the more he and his people run off at the mouth, the more enticing it is for the US to just blow up North Korea and turn it into ash rather than the other way around as North Korea has suggested recently.

Think about it, all the rabid dog threats or redneck jokes, accusations about Trump being crazy, that man, Donald Trump the one that encompasses all of those images, he is sitting in the oval office and with just a waive of the hand, North Korea could be done.

For a time, unless the entire country is wiped off of the face of the earth, we would only still be simply cutting the head off of the snake, the body will still go on.

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Simply put, Donald Trump and his team, they are pretty much the loosest of cannons we have here in America, and Donald Trump is our President, he and his team, they run this country, Kim Jong-Un might want to take note of that.

Cristal M Clark

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North Korea – Practices the Art of War…Again

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Kim Jong Un – North Korea Shoots Missile Over Japan

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – The Art of War, Sun Tzu

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Well it looks as if Kim Jong Un, who graciously gave the world a much needed breather has decided that our break-time is over, flexing his missile power by shooting just that, over Japan.

Of course he is simply just testing the range of his missiles, in preparations for something bigger naturally or he is testing the patience of the world. 

According to some news outlets Kim Jong Un reportedly said that the missile was intended for Guam.

But the question is, will he actually go through with trying to start a war he may or may not be able to afford let alone survive?

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

I mean, it was rumored just yesterday as a matter of fact that he possibly has a third child now? That is according to reports coming from South Korea and that very well could explain exactly just why he suspended his efforts to start a war. Perhaps he was waiting on the child’s first words, or some special occasion for it.

Kim Jong Un could very well be playing games with us altogether by making it appear that his military capabilities are much weaker than they truly are.

Then again he could also be attempting to make his nation’s military capabilities appear much stronger than they truly are.

The problem is, we are not entirely sure just how advanced North Korea’s Nuclear program is or is not as of today. 

Is the world ready to fight back not knowing what exactly Kim has sitting in his back pocket?

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”  

So far that plan has been to employ the use of sanctions, i.e. cutting the head off of the snake if you will. By decreasing the amount of money going into North Korea, the hope is that it will slow, if not halt the funds going into North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and military efforts that lean towards starting a war with any other nation.

Kim should really think about the true Art of War, because he just may lose this battle which will in the end cost him his beloved North Korea.

Taking much needed money from an already poor and struggling economy takes money from the working class, it also carries potentially severe consequences.

Consequences the world may not be willing to protect Kim Jong Un from.

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

Cristal M Clark

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United States – Showing her true colors

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And they are not red, white and blue

As we close out this historic week here in America, I know that for me personally, I am deeply saddened by what has happened since the announcement came out about our 45th President of the United States.

I am not saddened or upset by the fact that Donald Trump was elected as our new leader, I actually still find him amusing although I personally do not support everything he has ever done or said.

He did represent a growing ideal, society is tired of well, politics, the elite.

Society wanted change.

What saddens me are the behaviors that I am seeing come forth from my fellow Americans, towards one another.

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I understand both sides. American’s are saying things such as “not my president” and I understand why someone would feel that way, I respect that person, because if someone truly feels that way, it is not a mere opinion, it is a feeling that must and should be validated.

I also understand those that argue by saying they wanted a non-political person in office. I value how they feel and what they want.

What I don’t value and struggle to understand, is the hatred, disrespect and angst towards one another. I have witnessed individuals on both sides shouting hateful rhetoric at one another in stores and on the street, on social media people are unfriending and posting hateful, vicious words directed at the opposing sides…

On Fox News this morning, they showed one woman declaring at a protest last night, that “people were going to die for this,” the reporter was taken aback by what the woman said, even I was shocked.

Some colleges were excusing students who needed the day off so that they can “cope,” in some high schools across the US according to ABC news tonight students are staging walkouts and in some high schools, students are marching through the schools chanting “build that wall and white power.”

This hate, this divide, the very thing each side professes to be against, it’s a problem that we have created, fostered, hand fed and raised all on our own.

We as a people are responsible for it.

This is what we present to the world.

These behaviors and attitudes are what we are presenting to the world. The reason foreign nations say that America is dysfunctional is because this is how we behave when we dislike an outcome we do not agree with, this is how we behave when we dislike a person or how that person feels, what sex that person is and so on and so forth…

We are both telling and showing the world that if we don’t like you or how you feel here in America, we are going to riot, tell you off, cause harm and become vindictive, hateful people towards you.

We are responsible for our own feelings and behaviors, no one makes a person racist, it is a choice, no one makes a person non-tolerant, it is a choice.

Choices that individuals make for themselves.

And both sides are behaving as non-tolerant, hateful, vindictive individuals.

We are responsible for our choices to behave badly.  

We are in turn responsible for teaching our nation’s children that it is okay to excuse bad behavior as long as a majority agree with that behavior.

We are choosing intolerance, we are choosing to be cruel, we are choosing to be hateful and spiteful.

We are choosing to treat each other badly. Until we can learn to stop doing that…well you know how the story ends right?

The reality is simple, the reason you see the divide, the anger, the protesting, the rioting, the violence, from both sides, is that Donald Trump set the tone and the stage during his campaign by speaking the very same thing to the citizens of this nation.

He made it acceptable to behave this way, it was like giving permission, being elected president only drove that point home.

Having officials in office who never acted like this or showed that these bad behaviors are okay, acted like a band aid on open wounds that have never really healed.

Trumps election by default, tore the band aid off of those wounds.

Like it or not, that is the plain simple truth.

When I was a little girl, ages ago, my dad used to tell me that the monsters that I thought were under my bed, were of my own making, he urged me to start to think differently about the monsters so that I would grow to realize that no monster was really under my bed.

I never understood more so than today what the lesson was.

The thinking differently.  

We are responsible for the creation of our own monsters that lurk in our minds and in our hearts.

Cristal M Clark

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@thecrimeshop