– US accused of covert operations in Somalia (Observer):
Dramatic evidence that America is involved in illegal mercenary operations in east Africa has emerged in a string of confidential emails seen by The Observer.
– Treasury tells US investors to buy American (Telegraph):
US private investors are to be encouraged to “Buy American” as a number of financial houses prepare to launch investment bonds that will allow individuals to part-fund the American government’s $1 trillion (£682bn) toxic asset clean-up. (Yes, we can … buy worthless garbage.)
– Nigeria oil unrest ‘kills 1000’ (BBC News):
Violence in Nigeria’s oil region left 1,000 people dead and cost $24bn (£16bn) last year, a report says, according to an official and activist.
– Sending a Brutal Message About Human Rights (Washington Post):
For 3 1/2 years, Morales has been scouring and digitizing an extraordinary trove of millions of documents discovered by chance in a rotting warehouse. The archive contains the secret files of Guatemala’s notorious national police agency.
– Israel wants time limit on Iran nuclear talks (AFP):
“What is certain is that neither Israel, nor the Arab countries, Europe and the United States can tolerate an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon,” Silvan Shalom said. (Israel has at least 150 nuclear weapons.)
– North Carolina, Colorado Banks Shut as 2009 Failures Reach 23 (Bloomberg):
The Washington-based FDIC insures deposits at 8,305 institutions with $13.9 trillion in assets. The FDIC’s insurance fund, used to reimburse a bank’s customers as much as $250,000, tumbled 45 percent in the quarter. The fund fell to $18.9 billion after 25 lenders closed last year. (So do not think for one moment that your money is safe!)