Greece shuts banks as financial meltdown looms

Banks and the stock exchange in Greece will be closed on Monday and possibly for the next six days until a planned national referendum, as the government in Athens tries to “check the growing strains on its crippled financial system,” Reuters reports.

Asian markets slid early on Monday amid fears of broader harm to the Eurozone and the global financial system should the country fail to meet its due loan payment to the IMF on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports:

Sunday’s decision to declare a bank holiday was a signal that Greece’s five-year battle to stay in the shared euro currency may swiftly be coming to an end. ATMs in Athens were running out of money, and tensions were running high as Greeks stood in line for hours to scrape together cash for basic supplies. Lines mounted at gas stations as worried residents topped off their tanks for what could be a period of time in a cashless nation.

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a national televised address and sought to reassure audiences at home and abroad.

(Greek with English subtitles)

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* WORLD *  Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Governor said that the island was unable to pay its roughly $72bn in debts. The New York Times called the revelation “startling” and said

The governor, Alejandro García Padilla, and senior members of his staff said in an interview last week that they would probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island’s creditors, which could include deferring some debt payments for as long as five years or extending the timetable for repayment.

Tuesday’s deadline for a deal in the Iran nuclear negotiations look likely to pass without agreement, with diplomats saying the negotiators would most likely “stay a few days beyond the deadline.” Reuters reported some western officials had suggested that Iran was “backtracking” from the initial agreement.

“It feels like we haven’t advanced on the technical issues and even gone back on some,” a Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The second escaped convict from the jailbreak three weeks ago in upstate New York was shot and recaptured on Sunday two miles from the Canadian border.

***

* POLITICS * New Jersey Gov Chris Christie released a campaign video and web site ahead of his expected announcement on Tuesday at his former high school that he is joining the GOP Presidential primary.

(“Telling it like it is” – Chris Christie)

Meanwhile, another day another Governor – Ohio’s John Kasich will apparently declare his candidacy on July 21.

Bree Newsome, the woman who scaled a flagpole at the South Carolina statehouse on Saturday and removed the confederate battle flag, raised over $100,000 in bail pledges and inspired some remarkable fan art over the past 24 hours. Here’s a few…

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* BUSINESS * An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded shortly after lifting-off from Cape Canaveral on a resupply mission for the International Space Station. Wired reports:

The multiple failed missions shouldn’t be a problem for the astronauts aboard the ISS; NASA confirmed that they have enough to live on for the next several months, and multiple launches will make it to the ISS before supplies run out. Another Progress craft is set to launch on July 3, a Japanese HTV flight is scheduled for August, and another commercial US outfit, Orbital ATK, has plans for a launch later this year.

But the loss of this cargo in particular is still a huge a blow to the ISS. On board the Dragon was a new docking station and a space suit that will take time to rebuild and replace.

(SpaceX – rocket launch is at 21:15 and anomaly occurs around 23:30)

***

* SPORTS * Apparently outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter was told to stop “flirting with power” after appearing to muddy the waters over his status in the past few days. But Blatter, who announced earlier this month that he would step down told a Swiss paper this weekend that he would leave, saying there had been “sponsor pressure” on him to go.

Wimbledon begins on Monday.

***

* MEDIA * So it seems the new final check on the veracity of a news story is whether something is real, or “just a bunch of dildos.”

***

* CULTURE * Chris Squire, bass player and one of the founding members of Yes, died aged 67 after a battle with leukemia. 

 

Finally… photoshopped? Yeah, probably, but so what…

 

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