Katrina Victims May Have to Repay Money

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Imagine that your home was reduced to mold-covered wood framing by Hurricane Katrina.

Desperate for money to rebuild, you engage in a frustrating bureaucratic process, and after months of living in a government-provided trailer that gives off formaldehyde fumes you finally win a federal grant.

Then a collector announces that you have to pay back thousands of dollars.

Thousands of Katrina victims may be in that situation.

Read moreKatrina Victims May Have to Repay Money

Nasdaq Gives High Rollers A Market Free Of Regulation

Nasdaq is set to launch tomorrow what its executives are calling one of the most significant developments on Wall Street in decades — a private stock market for super-wealthy investors.Minimum requirement for traders: $100 million in assets.

Any private firm can list on Nasdaq’s new platform, which is called the Portal Market, and raise money by selling stock to an elite group of shareholders. These companies would remain private and not have to make public their financial statements or submit to federal regulation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability law.

Read moreNasdaq Gives High Rollers A Market Free Of Regulation

U.S. spy agency seeks data on power grid

WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) — The agency that manages data from U.S. spy satellites is exploring ways to map the nation’s entire electric grid as part of efforts to protect infrastructure.

(It’s all about controlling the infrastructure in the coming events, nothing else. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreU.S. spy agency seeks data on power grid

US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record

· Old stock sent to Afghan forces battling Taliban
· 40-year-old ammunition had to be destroyed
The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday.

AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. But as the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation, AEY’s president, Efraim Diversoli, 22, supplied stock that was 40 years old and rotting packing material.

“Much of the ammunition comes from the ageing stockpiles of the old communist bloc, including stockpiles that the state department and Nato have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed,” the paper said.

Read moreUS gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record

From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Navdanya’s Intervention to Stop Farmers’ Suicides in Vidharbha

The increasing costs of production and the falling farm prices that go hand in hand with globalisation and corporate hijack of seed supply, combined with the decline in farm credit is putting an unbearable debt burden on farmers. The lure of huge profits linked with clever advertising strategies evolved by the seeds and chemical industries are forcing farmers into a chemical treadmill and a debt trap. It has been witnessed that across the country, farmers are taking the desperate step of ending their life. The pesticides, which had created debt, also became the source of ending indebted lives. More than 150,000 farmers have committed suicide in India due to distortions introduced in agriculture as a result of trade liberalisation. More than 20,000 farmers have committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh alone.

seed1.jpg

Read moreFrom Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Navdanya’s Intervention to Stop Farmers’ Suicides in Vidharbha

Developer Sues to Win $12.3 Billion in 9/11 Attack

Larry A. Silverstein, who has won nearly $4.6 billion in insurance payments to cover his losses and help him rebuild at the World Trade Center site, is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from airlines and airport security companies for the 9/11 attack.Mr. Silverstein, the developer of ground zero, sought the damages, whose amount was not previously known, in a claim filed in 2004, that says the airlines and airport security companies failed to prevent terrorists from hijacking the planes used to destroy the buildings.

His case was consolidated last week with similar, earlier lawsuits brought by families of some victims of the attack and by other property owners. But in seeking $12.3 billion, he is by far the biggest claimant in the litigation.

Read moreDeveloper Sues to Win $12.3 Billion in 9/11 Attack

Experts prepare for lunar ‘Doomsday Ark’

STRASBOURG, France, March 9 (UPI) — Plans are being made for the installation of an information storage bank on the moon, experts said at a science meeting Strasbourg, France.The so-called “Doomsday ark” would provide the tools for the reconstruction of the human race in case civilization is ever destroyed, The Sunday London Times reported.

moon.gif
Moon — Western Near Side

Read moreExperts prepare for lunar ‘Doomsday Ark’

Germans Fear Meltdown of Financial System

Germany and other industrialized nations are desperately trying to brace themselves against the threat of a collapse of the global financial system. The crisis has now taken its toll on the German economy, where the weak dollar is putting jobs in jeopardy and the credit crunch is paralyzing many businesses.

trader1.jpgA trader reacts in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange.

The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, doesn’t like to see its employees working too late, and it expects even senior staff members to be headed home by 8 p.m. On weekends, employees seeking to escape the confines of their own homes are required to sign in at the front desk and are accompanied to their own desks by a security guard. Sensitive documents are kept in safes in many offices, and a portion of Germany’s gold reserves is stored behind meter-thick, reinforced concrete walls in the basement of a nearby building. In this environment, working overtime is considered a security risk.But the ordinary working day has been in disarray in recent weeks at the Bundesbank headquarters building, a gray, concrete box in Frankfurt’s Ginnheim neighborhood, where the crisis on international financial markets has many employees working late, even on weekends.

Read moreGermans Fear Meltdown of Financial System

Treasury’s Plan Would Give Fed Wide New Power

“The Fed would have the authority to go wherever in the system it thinks it needs to go for a deeper look to preserve stability,” Mr. Paulson said in the advance text of Monday’s speech. “To do this effectively, it will collect information from commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, commodity pool operators.”
henry-paulson.jpg

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department will propose on Monday that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad new authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.

The proposal is part of a sweeping blueprint to overhaul the nation’s hodgepodge of financial regulatory agencies, which many experts say failed to recognize rampant excesses in mortgage lending until after they set off what is now the worst financial calamity in decades.

Read moreTreasury’s Plan Would Give Fed Wide New Power