Global News (03/13/09)

Pentagon plans blimp to spy from new heights (Los Angeles Times):
Reporting from Washington — The Pentagon said Thursday that it intends to spend $400 million to develop a giant dirigible that will float 65,000 feet above the Earth for 10 years, providing unblinking and intricate radar surveillance of the vehicles, planes and even people below. “It is absolutely revolutionary,” Werner J.A. Dahm, chief scientist for the Air Force, said of the proposed unmanned airship — describing it as a cross between a satellite and a spy plane.

Gordon Brown and Bernard Madoff are separated by a single detail – Bernie’s pleading guilty (Telegraph):
What’s the difference between Bernard Madoff and Gordon Brown? Answer: one has drained fortunes from gullible victims, plundering their income and savings to create an illusion of prosperity. The other is going to jail.

Bernard Madoff’s guilty plea leaves questions unanswered (Telegraph):
Fraud victims demand to know where their money went.

Mystery of Madoff’s rapid confession (Guardian)

Intelligence agencies were concerned about Iraq WMD dossier, emails reveal (Telegraph):
British intelligence agencies were concerned that the Government’s notorious dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction exaggerated the threat, secret emails have revealed.

Secret emails show Iraq dossier was ‘sexed up’ (Independent)

Obama Seeks to Reassure China U.S. Debt Safe, Deficits Are Under Control (Bloomberg):
(… and the economy is sound. Sure!)

Why the Patient Is Not Getting Better: Government is Strengthening the Parasite and Poisoning the Real Economy (George Washington’s Blog):
Why isn’t the economy getting better, even though the government is pumping trillions of dollars into bailouts and stimulus packages and intervening in markets left and right? Because the government is treating the wrong patient.

Destroyer to Protect Ship Near China (Washington Post):
The U.S. Navy has dispatched a guided-missile destroyer to the South China Sea after Chinese ships allegedly harassed an American ship operating there last weekend, a Pentagon official said yesterday.

Illinois Income Tax May Jump 50 Percent (CBS2 Chicago)

Ghost Towns Sprout in Finland as Forest-Industry Collapse Threatens Growth (Bloomberg)

Swiss agree to relax bank secrecy rules (Financial Times):
Switzerland is to water down its bank secrecy laws, it said on Friday, after a week in which offshore banking centres from Liechtenstein to Singapore have bowed to international pressure to help tackle tax evasion. (Now watch the CHF.)

Europe’s Economic Stimulus Message: Enough Already! (TIME):
As the economic tsunami continues to rage across the planet, the near universal refrain has been that joint action is needed to pull us out of the crisis. But when it comes to stimulus spending, the United States and Europe have taken different paths, jeopardizing hopes of a united front to combat the downturn.

Norway to use oil billions to buy UK commercial property (Telegraph):
(Catching a falling knife.)

Berkshire, GE Lose Top Credit Ratings (Washington Post)

DNA of one-year-old baby stored on national database (Telegraph):
The DNA of a one-year-old baby was recorded on the national database, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has admitted.

Sacramento tent city is just one of dozens in an ailing America (Times Online):
Across America, from Washington State to Nevada, Georgia and even Florida, homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the biggest rise in homeless encampments in a generation, as the US economy takes a spectacular plunge. (And this crisis has just started.)

Japanese economy in worst shape since Second World War (Telegraph)

B&B bankrupt after key NZ shake-up vote (Financial Times):
Babcock & Brown collapsed into bankruptcy Friday, ending the public life of the Australian infrastructure investment group that went on a spree of acquisitions of toll roads, ports, property and power generators around the globe.

Group finds carcinogens in bath products (USA Today):
Many children’s bath products contain chemicals that may cause cancer and skin allergies, according to a report released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Doctors ‘too reliant on prescribing drugs’ (Telegraph):
Doctors are too reliant on prescribing drugs for heart disease at the expense of helping their patients to lead healthier lives, a new study suggests.
(The average lifespan of doctors in the U.S. is 58 years, so they really know nothing about real health.)

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