OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, jlms qkw, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you.

BBC:Ukraine crisis: Yanukovych 'concessions' fail to end unrest

Ukraine crisis: Yanukovych 'concessions' fail to end unrest

Violence has continued in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, after President Viktor Yanukovych promised to make concessions to try to end the country's crisis.

Huge fires burned in the city centre overnight as protesters threw rocks, fireworks and petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.

Mr Yanukovych pledged to amend anti-protest laws and reshuffle the cabinet.

But opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko said the protesters now wanted the president to resign.

Editorial Note: Yesterday Russia worked out the Details of a $15 Billion Dollar Ukraine aid package

BBC:Syria foes 'to meet face-to-face' at Geneva II talks

Syria foes 'to meet face-to-face' at Geneva II talks

Syria's opposition and government will meet "in the same room" in Geneva on Saturday after the first day of a peace conference ended with no direct talks.

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who held talks with both sides on Friday, said they all understood that the conference was trying to "save Syria".

The two sides have blamed each other for a lack of progress.

Diplomats say they are now aiming at small concessions such as local truces rather than an overall peace deal.

BBC:Argentina to ease foreign exchange controls after peso slump

Argentina to ease foreign exchange controls after peso slump

Argentina is to relax its strict foreign exchange controls, a day after the peso suffered its steepest daily decline in 12 years.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said the country would reduce the tax rate on dollar purchases and allow the purchase of dollars for savings accounts.

The measures would take effect from Monday, he said.

On Thursday, the peso fell 11% against the dollar, its steepest fall since the country's 2002 financial crisis.

BBC:Egypt militants step up campaign with Cairo blasts

Egypt militants step up campaign with Cairo blasts

Militants have stepped up their campaign against security forces in Egypt with a series of explosions in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Six people were killed and some 100 others wounded, with the biggest blast outside Cairo's police headquarters.

The attacks come on the eve of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, 10 were reported killed in clashes between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

BBC:Thailand Constitutional Court says polls can be delayed

Thailand Constitutional Court says polls can be delayed

Thailand's Constitutional Court has ruled that polls scheduled for 2 February can be legally postponed.

But it said any postponement must have the agreement of the election commission and the prime minister.

The election commission says polls should be delayed because of political turmoil. The government insists elections should go ahead as planned.

A state of emergency is in place in Thailand as protesters call for PM Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.

BBC:Blasphemy case: Briton in Pakistan sentenced to death

Blasphemy case: Briton in Pakistan sentenced to death

A court in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi has sentenced a 70-year-old British man to death after convicting him of blasphemy.

Muhammad Asghar was arrested in 2010 after writing letters to various people claiming to be a prophet, reports say.

His lawyers argued for leniency, saying he has a history of mental illness, but this was rejected by a medical panel.

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam.

Reuters:Big Four firms, China in talks over corporate audit impasse: KPMG

Big Four firms, China in talks over corporate audit impasse: KPMG

(Reuters) - In the midst of a U.S.-China quarrel over corporate auditing, the global chairman of audit giant KPMG said on Friday that a "constructive dialogue" was under way to defuse the dispute, which led days ago to U.S. sanctions against the Chinese arms of the world's largest accounting firms.

"We are in dialogue with the Ministry of Finance in China on the matter," KPMG KPMG.UL Chairman Michael Andrew told the Reuters Global Markets Forum, an online community, in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum meetings.

Months of tension over U.S. regulators' attempts to examine audits in China of U.S.-listed Chinese companies boiled over on Wednesday when a U.S. administrative law judge sanctioned the Chinese units of the so-called Big Four.

The Chinese arms of the Big Four - KPMG, Ernst & Young ERNY.UL, Deloitte & Touche DLTE.UL and PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC.UL - have refused to hand over to U.S. officials the records of audit work done by the Chinese units for U.S.-listed Chinese companies.

Editorial Note: FWIW Jim Cramer of CNBC has attributed the stock market hit to China but more specifically some obscure bond in China Financial Markets. It seems more likely this kerfuffle with KPMG is closer to the problem......

Reuters:The “R” word becomes taboo for global elite

The “R” word becomes taboo for global elite

By Chris Hughes and Rob Cox

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Spare a thought for the business and financial elite as they slide along the icy byways of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Life is undeniably picking up for them and it would be nice to say so. But the economic recovery has its winners and losers, and it looks bad to be a beneficiary at a conference whose overarching theme is “inclusive growth.”

Most of the chief executives, bankers and politicoes gathered at the WEF are, at best, only mildly optimistic in public. From panel to podium, many delegates acknowledge there’s more to cheer about than last year. A G2 comprising the United States and China is leading global growth. A slowdown in emerging markets – even the implosion of an Argentinian peso or Turkish lira – won’t change that.

On the sidelines, WEFers are much more positive. There’s talk of boosting productivity by making investments instead of opting for crude job cuts. January’s M&A boomlet could become self-perpetuating. In the words of one senior Wall Street banker, executives are “looking for validation of what the markets are telling them.” They are being told what they want to hear. Business hasn’t felt this good since before the crisis.

But to say openly that things are better than that would be unseemly. It takes the chutzpah of a Jamie Dimon, the outspoken chief of JPMorgan, to say “the moon, stars and sun may be aligned” for better times.

Reuters:Davos executives see data theft as too costly, too hard to beat

Davos executives see data theft as too costly, too hard to beat

(Reuters) - Fighting online data fraudsters is almost impossible as their ability to hack into new technology often outpaces companies efforts to protect it, senior businessmen and bankers gathering for the World Economic Forum (WEF) said.

The mammoth data breach at U.S. No. 3 retailer Target (TGT.N) has made executives even more aware of the need to improve safety standards, but the cost is often prohibitive.

"It's next to impossible to stop data leakage. It's a constant battle. You can't beat it completely," IT company Wipro (WIPR.NS) Chief Executive TK Kurien told Reuters, calling the hunt for increasingly valuable information "modern piracy".

While losses on complex derivatives transactions could punch a big hole in a banks' balance sheet or even compromise its stability, the potential losses resulting from the theft of retail customers' data are often minimal.

Reuters:UK's Cameron tells Davos he can keep Britain in the EU

UK's Cameron tells Davos he can keep Britain in the EU

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday he was confident he could renegotiate Britain's relations with the European Union to allow it to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

In some of his most pro-European remarks to date, Cameron told the World Economic Forum in Davos that changes needed to make the euro zone function better meant the EU would need to alter its treaties.

That would give Britain an opportunity to recalibrate its own relations with the EU.

"I'm confident that we'll have a successful renegotiation and a successful referendum," Cameron told delegates, referring to his plan to reshape his country's EU ties before offering Britons an in/out referendum if his Conservative party is re-elected next year.

"I'm confident this is do-able, deliverable and, as I say, winnable for Britain to stay in a reformed European Union."

Reuters:Japan government forecasts show Abe missing budget-balance promise

Japan government forecasts show Abe missing budget-balance promise

(Reuters) - Japanese government calculations indicate that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cannot meet his budget-balancing promise in coming years on the current course, suggesting he may come under greater pressure from fiscal hawks for future tax increases.

Forecasts by the Finance Ministry, reviewed by Reuters on Friday, show that even in the rosiest of four scenarios, the government will run a primary budget deficit - which excludes debt service and income from debt sales - for the fiscal year to March 2021.

Under existing policy, Abe's government has promised to halve the primary deficit by fiscal 2014/15 and bring it into balance five years later. Finance Minister Taro Aso reaffirmed that goal on Friday at the opening of Parliament.

Private economists have long considered the government's fiscal-reform goals to be ambitious, but the new forecasts represent the first time that official figures have essentially confirmed that view.

Reuters:Khodorkovsky associate Lebedev freed after Russian court ruling

Khodorkovsky associate Lebedev freed after Russian court ruling

(Reuters) - Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business partner Platon Lebedev walked free on Friday after more than 10 years in prison, following in his better-known associate's footsteps after the Russian Supreme Court shortened his sentence.

Lebedev, whose arrest in 2003 foreshadowed Khodorkovsky's months later, had been the former Yukos oil company chief's co-defendant in two trials that President Vladimir Putin's critics called part of a politically charged campaign of revenge.

"Free!" Khodorkovsky's website said in a brief statement. "On Friday, January 24 at 22:20 Moscow time, Platon Lebedev left the prison colony where he spent the last 2-1/2 of his 10-1/2 years in custody. He was met by relatives."

His release three months early from a remote jail in northern Russia came a month after Khodorkovsky was freed and flown to Germany following a surprise pardon from Putin, who is seeking to improve his image before the Sochi Olympics next month.

Discovery:No Black Holes? More Like Grey Holes, Says Hawking

No Black Holes? More Like Grey Holes, Says Hawking

On reading a new paper by Stephen Hawking that appeared online this week, you would have been forgiven in thinking the world-renowned British physicist was spoofing us. Hawking’s unpublished work — titled “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes” and uploaded to the arXiv preprint service — declares that “there are no black holes.”

ANALYSIS: Hawking: Great Scientist, Bad Gambler

Keep in mind that Hawking’s bedrock theory of evaporating black holes revolutionized our understanding that the gravitational behemoths are not immortal; through a quantum quirk they leak particles (and therefore mass) via “Hawking radiation” over time. What’s more, astronomers are finding new and exciting ways to detect black holes — they are even working on an interferometer network that may, soon, be able to directly image a black hole’s event horizon!

Has Hawking changed his mind? Are black holes merely a figment of our collective imaginations? Are all those crank theories about “alternative” theories of the Cosmos true?!

Fortunately not.

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