– Karzai is US stooge says Afghan deputy president (Telegraph):
Afghanistan’s president and vice-president accused each other of being US stooges during a recent cabinet meeting which degenerated into a furious row, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
– Swiss party wants to punish US for UBS probe (Reuters):
ZURICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) called on Saturday for retaliation against the United States over a U.S. tax probe into the country’s biggest bank UBS that threatens prized banking secrecy.
– Death threat to Greek media as terrorists plot bomb havoc (Guardian):
Amid growing fears that Greece could become a centre of terrorism in Europe, political extremists yesterday issued a warning to journalists, saying it had them within its sights because they represented a corrupt establishment.
– After squalls in the Caribbean, Sarkozy faces a storm at home (Guardian):
Guadeloupe is 4,000 miles from the French mainland, but the demands of the rioters in Pointe-à-Pitre are the same as those of Parisians. With his approval ratings at a low, the president now faces a general strike and, potentially, a wave of social panic. Jason Burke reports from Paris
– Demons of 1968 rise up to spook Sarkozy (Times Online):
The president is spooked as a new extremism hits France
RIOT police gathered outside the Sorbonne University in Paris on Thursday night. About 200 students had occupied it to display their opposition to the government. Then one of them stepped forward to make what sounded like an appeal for a general uprising.
– Privacy law threat to Gordon Brown’s phone tap plan (Times Online):
(Gordon Brown is a ‘threat’ to freedom: here )
– Past probes sought to tie Stanford to drugs (Houston Chronicle):
Authorities for years have investigated R. Allen Stanford, looking for ties to organized drug cartels and money laundering, going back at least a decade when the Texas billionaire’s offshore bank surrendered $3 million in drug money, state and federal sources told the Houston Chronicle Friday.
– Obama Plans to Slash US Budget Deficit by 2013 (Bloomberg):
Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and cut spending for the war in Iraq as part of a plan to slash the U.S. budget deficit to $533 billion by the end of his first term, according to an administration official. (Change you can believe in … but it will never happen.)
– We will put people first, not bankers by Gordon Brown (Guardian):
(Then why are you looting taxpayers’, destroying the economy and the pound with everything you do???)
– UAE Central Bank Steps In to Support Dubai Debt, Spending (Bloomberg):
Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — The United Arab Emirates’ central bank stepped in to support Dubai after concern increased the emirate will struggle to repay its debt as global financial turmoil pushed up credit costs and burst a real-estate bubble.
(Dubai is collapsing. It has been bailed out already by Abu Dhabi. No other investor will by Dubai bonds = Trying to catch a falling knife.)
– America’s Top 15 Emptiest Cities (ABC News):
These Once Boom Cities Are Now Quickly Turning Into Recession Ghost Towns
– RBS and Lloyds close in on £500bn Treasury deal (Telegraph)
– RBS signals £300bn asset sale (Telegraph):
Stephen Hester, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), will this week trigger the dismantling of the empire assembled by his predecessor, Sir Fred Goodwin, by announcing plans to create a “non-core” subsidiary into which about £300bn of unwanted assets will be placed.
– China, taking advantage of global recession, goes on a buying spree (Christian Science Monitor)
– Galloway seeks inquiry into convoy arrests (Guardian):
The Respect MP George Galloway has called for an investigation after police stopped a convoy taking aid, toys and medical supplies to Gaza and arrested nine people under anti-terror laws. All nine men arrested on the M65 near Preston last Friday have been released without charge, but the organisers of the Viva Palestina convoy, which is headed by Galloway, said that aid donations dropped by 80% after news of the arrests.
– Greatest 101 questions of all time: 1-20 (Telegraph):
(Maybe good questions at best. Not one of them should belong to the greatest questions.)
– Shot arms dealer ‘knew too much’ (Times Online):
THE death of an American arms dealer in Iraq has led to one of the most intricate and far-reaching inquiries into corruption among US military officers in Iraq. Some suspect that he was killed because he was a whistleblower who knew too much.
– Waste wars: how Britain became obsessed with bins (Telegraph):
“My name is Alan Price from Worcester City Council Environmental Services,” said the man. “I’ve just witnessed you throw a cigarette butt straight out the window of the car. Did you realise that that is an offence?’
“That’s an £80 fine,” he said.
– Parents told: avoid morality in sex lessons (Times Online):
(Don’t teach your children! The government knows what is best for them … and the economy.)
– NHS blunders are behind a spate of ‘vaccine overloads’ (Mail on Sunday):
Children are being given the wrong vaccinations and repeat doses of jabs they have already had due to mix-ups at GPs’ surgeries. Nearly 1,000 safety incidents involving child immunisations were reported in a single year. Of those studied in detail, more than a third involved babies and children given a different vaccine to the one they were supposed to have.