Global News (02/06/09)

Pentagon sets sights on public opinion (MSNBC):
Money spent on winning hearts and minds at least $4.7 billion this year

Lords: rise of CCTV is threat to freedom (Guardian):
The steady expansion of the “surveillance society” risks undermining fundamental freedoms including the right to privacy, according to a House of Lords report published today.

Julius Baer hit by ‘defamatory’ accusations (Financial Times):
Julius Baer shares fell as much as 40 per cent on Friday after an anonymous letter to regulators about alleged trading irregularities at the Swiss private bank came to light.

US unemployment expected to rocket (Telegraph)

Forecast 2009: There Will Be Blood (ChartingStocks):
2009 will be a year of complete destruction for the US economy. 5 Million will lose their jobs. The Dow Jones Industrial average will break below 6,000. Municipalities will fail. Insurers will fail. The unemployed and foreclosed American population will take to the streets and begin rioting. The Greatest Depression is upon us.

Calif. Counties Threaten Tax Revolt Against State (CBS):
SPRINGFIELD – Facing an ever-growing pile of bills, crushing debt and less tax money flowing into the state treasury, Illinois is broke. But could the state climb out of its nearly $9 billion budget hole by declaring bankruptcy? No, say tax and budget experts

State can run out of money, but can’t file for bankruptcy (Chicago Daily Herald)

Irish economy ‘worst hit in eurozone’ (Independent):
Every five minutes a job is lost.

UBS predicts gold to hit $1000 (Telegraph)

Thousands of Royal Mail jobs under threat (Financial Times)

Schools seize homes over fees (Sydney Morning Herald):
EVERY week parents of private school students are losing their homes to bankruptcy actions taken by cash-strapped schools that can no longer wait for overdue fees.

Wall Street CEOs, investment bankers charged prostitutes on corporate cards, madam says (The Raw Story):
Kristin Davis, the madam in question, went public to ABC News this week; ABC will be broadcasting her interview Friday at 10 pm. Davis says she has a list of 9,800 clients, many of whom she says New York prosecutors deliberately avoided when taking her case, even though she offered them her annotated client list.

Royal Mail delivers more bad news as 16,000 workers learn they will lose their jobs (Daily Mail)

BA freezes pay amid a £70 million pre-tax loss (Times Online)

Manufacturing falls at fastest rate for 28 years (Times Online)

No 10 angered as Sarkozy hits out at Brown’s economic ‘mistakes’ (Guardian)

Toyota triples year loss forecast (BBC News):
The Japanese car giant has now tripled that figure and expects to make a 450bn yen operating loss, the first annual loss at the firm in 70 years.

FDIC Announces 7th ’09 Bank Closing: FirstBank Financial (CNN Money):
Earlier this week, the FDIC boosted its estimate for the cost of U.S. bank failures amid signs that industry conditions and the broader economy are worsening.

Bank details £50bn plan to help ease credit markets (Financial Times)

Japanese bank giant reports first ever loss (CNN)

Gross Says US Must Spend to Avoid Mini Depression (Bloomberg)
(“U.S. may slump into a “mini depression” unless policy makers spend trillions of dollars to spur growth” … if the U.S. continues to spend trillions of dollars, then it will slump into the ‘Greatest Depression.” To me it looks like the USS Titanic has already hit the iceberg.)

Acts Of Insanity Are What Destroyed The Economy (International Forecaster)

SEC Officials Can’t Find Their Own Backsides: Lawmaker (CNBC):
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) attacked SEC officials testifying before the House Financial Services committee for failing to detect Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme on Wednesday.
“What the heck went on? Your mission, you said, was to protect investors and detect fraud quickly,” he said. “You couldn’t find your backside with two hands if the lights were on.”

State employee: I get $93803 for no work (Albany Times Union)

Time Warner Reports $16 Billion Quarterly Loss On Write Offs (CNN Money)

News Corp profits fall 42% on ‘grim’ economy (Times Online)

Ministers ‘misled’ judges over torture evidence (Independent)

Hamas official stopped trying to bring £8 million in cash into Gaza Strip (Telegraph)

Israeli politicians offer territory swaps and tunnels to solve the endless crisis (Times Online)

Porn Star Provides In-Flight ‘Entertainment’ (NBC Bay Area):
Shortly afterward, she leaned over and performed a sex act on Martz.
Puma said it was a way to repay Martz for allowing the crew to use his chopper and hangar at Montgomery Field.

Woman Robs Restaurant While Tearfully Apologizing (WCTV)

Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job (Globe and Mail)

Transparent Frogs Discovered in Colombia (EcoWorldly)

Global News (02/05/09)

Arrests made in what could be biggest investment scam in Japanese history (Guardian):

Report: Air Force units failed 2 more nuke surety inspections (Stars and Stripes)

Goldman, JPMorgan Won’t Feel Effects of Executive-Salary Caps (Bloomberg):
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — Executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and hundreds of financial institutions receiving federal aid aren’t likely to be affected by pay restrictions announced yesterday by President Barack Obama.

Unhappy voters jam Capitol Hill phone lines (CNN):
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The recent debate over the nearly $900 billion economic stimulus plan and revelations of tax problems by three Obama administration appointees have voters angrily jamming phone lines on Capitol Hill to air their frustrations to their elected representatives.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts job losses for babies (Guardian):
Basically, Pelosi says that if legislators don’t move quickly to pass President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, “500 million Americans lose their jobs”.

Shoe thrown at Israel’s ambassador in Stockholm (The Local)

Australia warns of Buy American ‘trade war’ (Financial Times)

Now Russia gets caught in the credit crunch (Georgiandaily)

Moscow abandons bail-outs for bank aid (Financial Times)

German industrial orders fall sharply (Financial Times):
Germany’s economic ministry reported orders fell by 6.9 per cent in December, extending a 5.3 per cent fall in November. It was the fourth consecutive monthly fall and much larger than expected. December’s industrial orders from within the eurozone were tumbled by more than 15 per cent.

Obama Warns of ‘Catastrophe:’ What Happened to ‘Hope’ and ‘Change?’ (Yahoo Finance):
“A failure to act, and act now [on the bill], will turn crisis into a catastrophe,” Obama said, sounding a lot more like his predecessor than the candidate of hope and change. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

Barack Obama fights to maintain a grip on the US political agenda (Telegraph):
President Barack Obama is seeking to reassert control over the American political agenda after a series of embarrassing setbacks.

Obama Names 26-Year-Old Director of Faith-Based Office (ABC News):
President Barack Obama has named a 26-year-old Pentecostal minister to head the White House office that coordinates outreach to religious and community organizations.

State furloughs may further delay unemployment benefits (LA Times)

TREASURIES-Bonds gain as jobless claims reach 26-year high (Reuters)

US Treasury to Sell $67 Billion in Long-Term Debt (Bloomberg)

Bank Of America Hits Multi-Decade Low On Nationalization Fears (CNN Money)

Bank of America CEO Buys 200000 Shares; Price Slumps (Bloomberg)

High street shakeup on way as Hamleys and House of Fraser investor collapses (Guardian):
The Icelandic-backed Baugur group, which transformed itself from a family-owned Reykjavik discount store into a major retail group with 3,500 stores and some 50,000 staff, is expected to fall into administration by Friday after the group’s main backer, the nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki, pulled the plug on the business tonight.

Car sales plunge in worst figures since 1974 (Telegraph)

UK interest rates cut by half a point to 1% (Financial Times):
The U.K. economy will shrink the most since 1946 this year and faster than any other industrialized country, International Monetary Fund forecasts show.

List of Madoff’s presumed victims runs into the thousands (CNN)

Hovnanian CEO Gets $979,302 Performance Bonus as Company’s Value Drops 76% (Bloomberg)

Recession: the road to revolution (Guardian)

Bank of England Cuts Main Rate a Half Point to 1% (Bloomberg)

Gordon Brown planning international agreement on tax avoiders (Guardian)

Mega-earthquake Risk For West Coast, US And Canada? Seismic Slip Linked To Tremor, With Implications For Subduction Zone (Science Daily)

Worker Anger Sees Brown Facing Winter of Discontent (Bloomberg):
“They’ve sold us down the river,” said Charles Hilton, 61, an electrician from Hull in northern England who was out on strike yesterday with local oil-refinery workers. “We’re going to see civil unrest in this country. It’s already started. It will grow unless things are sorted.”

Wildcat strikers go back to work after concession from Brown on workers’ rights (Times Online)

Rising unemployment hits 98 percent of metro areas (AP)

Volcker Chafes at Obama Panel Delay, Strains With Summers Rise (Bloomberg)

US troops ordered out of Kyrgyzstan after Russia deal (Telegraph)

International Criminal Court to consider Gaza investigation (LA Times)

Vatican orders cleric to recant Holocaust views (Guardian)

Man pulls out 13 of his own teeth with pliers ‘because he couldn’t find an NHS dentist’ (Daily Mail)

Detainee ‘just skin and bones’ after six years in custody (Guardian)

Goose stepping may have encouraged people to follow Nazis (Telegraph)

This is your pilot slurring: Garbled message from cockpit sparks passenger rebellion (Independent):
The Moscow Times, which had a reporter on board the plane, claimed that an Aeroflot representative boarded the aircraft and told the passengers it wasn’t a big deal if the pilot was drunk.

Antibiotics blamed for child deafness (Independent)

Global News (02/04/09)

Britain ‘headed’ for deepest slump in 60 years (Times Online):
The sharpest plunge in consumer spending since the Second World War will drive Britain this year into its deepest economic slump for 60 years, according to the country’s leading economic research institute.

Cheney Warns Of New Attacks (CBS News):
Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

Dick Cheney Is A Liar (The Washington Independent)

President Obama to water down ‘Buy American’ plan after EU trade war threat (Times Online):
The European Union warned the US yesterday against plunging the world into depression by adopting a planned “Buy American” policy, intensifying fears of a trade war.

Europe and Canada warn US over ‘Buy America’ clause (Telegraph)

EU issues warning over Buy American plan (Financial Times):
The European Union has warned of possible trade litigation against the US if Washington presses ahead with a Buy American provision in its forthcoming economic stimulus bill.

Senate Republicans Slam Obama Stimulus (CBS News)

PM slams economic protection (Scotsman):
AUSTRALIA’S prime minister Kevin Rudd warned that nations using protectionist policies to stimulate economies would throw “a spear at the heart” of his country’s economy.

Japan slams Buy American plan (Financial Times)

ADP index shows 522000 jobs lost in January (MarketWatch)

Kazakhstan devalues currency (Financial Times):
Kazakhstan allowed its currency, the tenge, to drop by almost one-fifth in a move it blamed on falling world oil prices and the sharp depreciation of the Russian rouble.

Russia and Belarus sign air defence pact (Telegraph)

Japan’s Panasonic to cut 15000 jobs, shut plants (AP)

Abu Dhabi injects liquidity (Financial Times)

Obama caps executive pay tied to bailout money (AP):
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday imposed $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money, saying Americans are upset with “executives being rewarded for failure.”

Treasury reveals record US debt sale plans (Financial Times):
The US Treasury on Wednesday opened the floodgates of government bond issuance, revealing plans for a record debt sale in February and more frequent auctions in the months to come.

Foreclosures Now One in Five Home Sales (NewsMax)

Wells Fargo defends, then cancels Vegas junket (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a tradition for Wells Fargo & Co. to reward top employees with a lavish junket. In previous years, though, the company hadn’t just received a $25 billion bailout from taxpayers.

Chinese earthquake may have been man-made, say scientists (Telegraph):
An earthquake that killed at least 80,000 people in Sichuan last year may have been triggered by an enormous dam just miles from the epicentre

Time seen running out for attack on Iran (Reuters):
HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) – Israel has a year in which to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities preemptively, an Israeli legislator and weapons expert said Wednesday.

UK and US put Iran at heart of the agenda (Independent)

State pension funds tally their losses (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Editorial: Judges Sentenced (Philadelphia Inquirer):
Kids for cash
The setting is Pennsylvania coal country, but it’s a story right out of Dickens’ grim 19th-century landscape: Two of Luzerne County’s most senior judges on Monday were accused of sending children to jail in return for kickbacks.

British colonel ‘passed Afghan casualty secrets to female friend’ (Times Online)

Lovells hired to trace Bernard Madoff’s UK assets (Times Online)

Exploding mobile phone kills man in China (Telegraph)

The Army’s Remote-Controlled Beetle (MIT Technology Review):
A giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back can be wirelessly controlled, according to research presented this week. Scientists at the University of California developed a tiny rig that receives control signals from a nearby computer. Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command the insect to take off, turn left or right, or hover in midflight. The research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), could one day be used for surveillance purposes or for search-and-rescue missions.

Global News (02/03/09)

FACTBOX – Banks, funds, insurers cut 312500 jobs in crisis (Forbes)

Daschle withdraws as health secretary nominee (Guardian)

Obama: Enough Of This Crap (The Market Ticker):
This is FOUR people who you’ve appointed that can’t pay their damn taxes, including your Treasury Secretary?
The latest is that Daschle has withdrawn, of course. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?
“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.

Firms’ secret tax avoidance schemes cost UK billions (Guardian):
British taxpayers are being left to plug a multibillion-pound hole in the public finances as hundreds of the country’s biggest companies increasingly employ complex and secretive tax arrangements to limit the amount they hand over to the exchequer.

Now China’s premier gets flying shoe treatment (Independent)

Central bank tested as rouble hits floor (Financial Times)

Beijing rocked by 26 million lost jobs (Independent):
Before the Telegraph reported: 40 Million Chinese Set to Lose Their Job as New Year Celebrations End

New Jersey earthquake sparks panic (Telegraph)

California Cut to Lowest Credit Rating Among States (Bloomberg)

IMF almost halves Asia’s growth prospects (Financial Times)

Worse Than the Great Depression (Gold Seek)

Bad bank, bad plan (Guardian):
(Dean Baker is co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.)

Iran launches first homemade satellite (Guardian)

Funding crisis forced lenders to access Bank for £185bn (Telegraph):
Britain’s lenders have borrowed £185bn from the Bank of England in a desperate attempt to fund themselves through the financial crisis.

Hitachi set for biggest loss suffered by Japanese firm (Guardian)

US car sales near 27-year low (Reuters)

GM, Chrysler Look to Cut Workforce (Washington Post)

BP ahead 39% to record $25.6bn (Financial Times):
He also warned that the company needed an oil price of $50-$60 a barrel to be able to pay for its capital spending and dividends without borrowing, compared with a price of about $40 on Tuesday morning.

Hawker Beechcraft announces 2300 layoffs (Forbes)

German memory-chip maker closing US plant (IHT)

Fidelity starts second round of layoffs (Reuters)

EU Raids Undersea Power Cable Makers in Cartel Probe (Bloomberg)

European equity issues could raise €300bn (Financial Times)

German Jews break with pope (IHT):
BERLIN: A leading member of Germany’s Jewish community said Monday that Benedict XVI, the German-born pope and leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide, was sowing divisions and abetting far-right groups by rehabilitating four ultra-conservative bishops, one of whom has denied the Holocaust.

Gingrich: Economy headed ‘off a cliff’ (Washington Times):
Says Obama response is ‘more of the same’

Israel restrictions on al-Jazeera (BBC News)

Ehud Barak proposes tunnel connecting Gaza to West Bank (Telegraph)

Your ISP is watching you (Guardian):
Did you know … BT wants to monitor your online activities to serve you targeted ads? Don’t let it spy on you

Snow Britain: Another 10 inches of snow to hit by Thursday (Telegraph)

Pentagon Letter Complicates Blackwater Case (Washington Post):
The Pentagon wrote in 2007 that Blackwater Worldwide contractors in Iraq are not subject to U.S. civilian criminal laws, a position that undercuts the Justice Department’s effort to prosecute five Blackwater security guards on manslaughter charges.

Global News (02/02/09)

Riot police clash with protesters at Davos summit (Sunday Herald):
RIOT POLICE fired tear gas and water cannons at bottle-throwing demonstrators in Geneva who protested yesterday against the annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss Alps.

Riot police fire tear gas at Greek farmers (AP)

Heaviest snow in 20 years brings large parts of Britain to a halt (Times Online)

Travel chaos as Europe shivers in heavy snowfalls (ABC News)

California delays $3.5B in payments (CNN Money)

Europeans are finally waking up to the demise of democracy (Telegraph)

Let banks fail, says Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz (Telegraph)

Personal bankruptcies soar 33% (MSN Money)

Macy’s cutting 7000 jobs (CNN)

Nuclear power workers join wildcat strike action over foreign labour (Guardian)

Italy bans kebabs and foreign food from cities (Times Online)

Huge rise in speed cameras (Telegraph):
The number of speed cameras sites nearly trebled in just six years, according to figures released by the Government.

Jamie’s food fuels pupils’ brain power (Times Online):
An independent study shows the performance of 11-year-old pupils eating Oliver’s meals improved by up to 8% in science and as much as 6% in English, while absenteeism due to ill-health fell by 15%.

Fed Monetizes Debt, Investors Buy Gold (Gold Seek)

Where Are US Consumer Goods Prices Headed? (Lew Rockwell)

WEF 2009: Global crisis ‘has destroyed 40pc of world wealth’ (Telegraph):
The past five quarters have seen 40pc of the world’s wealth destroyed and business leaders expect the global economic crisis can only get worse.

Vladimir Putin faces more protests over economy (Telegraph):
Russian opposition groups are planning new protests over the economy after weekend demonstrations that challenged the authority of Vladimir Putin.

Nuclear workers join UK wildcat strikes (Financial Times)

Number of UK long-term jobless set to soar (Financial Times)

Australia faces first budget deficit for 7 years (Financial Times)

Two children should be limit, says green guru (Times Online)

Folding dealers shock car buyers with unpaid liens (AP)

India risks losing its nuclear ally in Washington (The National)

Wars And Economic Failure Have Been Marching Us Towards One World Government (The International Forecaster)

Welfare Aid Isn’t Growing as Economy Drops Off (New York Times)

Federal Agency Kills Thousands of Birds with Pesticide (Natural News)

Global News (02/01/09)

Google blacklists entire internet (Guardian):
Glitch causes world’s most popular search engine to classify all web pages as dangerous

Davos Delegates in ‘Denial’ as $25 Trillion of Wealth Vanishes (Bloomberg)

Exclusive: Peers for cash investigation – new undercover footage (Times)

Barack Obama to dilute ‘Buy American’ plan after Europe threatens US with trade war (Telegraph)

Obama Proposes Defense Cut (To Above 2007 Levels): Wingnut Outrage (Crooks and Liars):
The Pentagon’s budget (not including expenditures for Iraq and Afghanistan) has grown from $316B in 2001 to $536B in 2009. This represents a 70% increase. So a 10% decrease is funding will take us from $536B to $483B, which is still more than the $463B the Pentagon had for 2007. All Obama is doing is preventing the budget from growing an average of 10% year after year when there’s no discernible advantage to doing so.

Obama prepares to unveil plan to rescue US banking industry from from $2 trillion hole (Times Online): It is believed that President Obama has estimated that total losses among America’s lenders could cost the US (Taxpayers’) up to $2 trillion.

€7bn to be pumped into Irish banks (Times Online)

Exxon and Chevron made $6m an hour amid record profits (Telegraph):
Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two biggest oil companies in the world, made a combined profit of almost $6m (£4.1m) an hour in the final quarter of 2008, despite a 56pc slump in the oil price during the period.

Hedge fund to offer shares priced in gold (Telegraph):
A hedge fund is to offer its shares priced in ounces of gold rather than pounds or dollars to investors worried that inflation will take hold as a result of countries around the world printing more money.

Sewage yields more gold than top mines (Reuters)

Florida, Maryland, Utah Banks Shut as Financial Crisis Deepens (Bloomberg):
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — Banks in Florida, Maryland and Utah were closed yesterday as regulators wrapped up the busiest month for failures since the housing slump began in 2006.

GlaxoSmithKline to slash 6000 jobs (Telegraph)

Financed by the British taxpayer, brutal torturers of the West Bank (Daily Mail)

Intervening to prop up pound is ‘recipe for failure’, says Brown (Independent):
(The Bank of England is ‘printing money’ which will destroy the pound. The pound is beyond help.)

Russian newspaper mourns another murdered reporter (AP)

Treasuries purchases will depend on risk – China’s Wen (Reuters):
(Looks like the Obama/Geithner strategy pays off already.) China is the single biggest foreign investor of U.S. Treasuries, with $681.9 billion as of November, according to U.S. data.

Scientist see holes in glacier at Alaska volcano (AP):
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Geologists monitoring Mount Redoubt for signs of a possible eruption noticed that a hole in the glacier clinging to the north side of the volcano had doubled in size overnight — and now spans the length of two football fields.

Fines fraud hits Italian drivers (BBC News):
Thousands of drivers in Italy are expected to seek compensation after it was revealed that a system to catch them jumping red lights was rigged.

How the BBC’s stand on Gaza made a front-page protester out of me (Independent)

Intervening to prop up pound is ‘recipe for failure’, says Brown (Independent)

Americans’ saving more, spending less (AP)

Joblessness Probably Rose to 16-Year High: US Economy Preview (Bloomberg)

Rio Tinto in £6bn talks with China (Times)


Global News (01/31/09)

Australian PM calls for new economic order (AFP):
SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia’s prime minister has called for a “new world order” of government intervention and regulation, blaming capitalist greed for the global economic crisis.

UN: Babies caught in Sri Lankan crossfire (CNN):
A “handful” of United Nations staff are working around the clock to save a growing number of children caught in heavy crossfire between government forces and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka’s volatile northeast, a U.N. spokesman said Saturday.

Bush shoe sculpture ‘taken down’ (BBC News):
A sculpture of a shoe erected in Iraq to honour a journalist who threw his footwear at George W Bush has been dismantled, reports say.

DEA quits Bolivia on Morales’ order (Market Watch)

Canada’s Economy Shrinks the Most Since 2003 Blackout (Bloomberg)

Thousands protest across Russia (BBC News):
Thousands of people have held rallies across Russia protesting against what they describe as the government’s mismanagement of the economy. The biggest demonstration took place in the eastern city of Vladivostok, where protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Buckling Europe fears protests may spark a new revolution (The Age)

Homelessness surges as funding falters (msnbc)

Gannett To Take Quarterly Charge Of Up To $5.2 Billion (CNNMoney):
CHICAGO (Dow Jones) — Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, said Friday that it will take non-cash charges of as much as $5.2 billion against financial results for the fourth quarter, as a number of its assets have diminished in value because of the worldwide financial crisis.

It’s time to rattle and bang in protest at this outrage (Guardian):
Delving into the truth of corporate taxes has taken our Guardian team months. What they have found is truly shocking

S&P may cut Gannett into junk territory (Reuters)

Are we in a Depression? (321gold)
(A rhetorical question)

Banks to transfer $535 million to Madoff firm trustee (Reuters)

Steep Slide in US Economy as Unsold Goods Pile Up (New York Times)

Catholic US Lawmakers Call for Direct Repudiation (Washington Post)

US pours cold water over hopes of Iran deal (Times Online)

Groups review Gaza conflict for war crimes (Globe and Mail)

Deficits For The Shrinking World Economy (The International Forecaster)

Weather Channel Founder Blasts Gore Over Global Warming Campaign (FOX News)

Humans ‘will be implanted with microchips’ (Ninemsn)

Global News (01/30/09)

Japanese economy hit by “perfect storm” (Telegraph):
The indicators were so bad that analysts have described it as the day the “perfect storm” came ashore.

Japan heads for worst recession since the second world war (Guardian)

Global Worries Over US Stimulus Spending (New York Times)

US set for ‘big bang’ financial clean-up (Financial Times)

U.S. Economy Shrinks at 3.8% Pace, Most in 26 Years, as Spending Crumbles (Bloomberg)

Stocks in U.S. Retreat, Extending Losses in S&P 500’s Worst-Ever January (Bloomberg)

Barack Obama abandons Afghan President Hamid Karzai (Telegraph):
The Barack Obama administration has abandoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and now believes he is a major obstacle to defeating the Taliban-led insurgency.

Saddam’s hometown unveils statue dedicated to man who threw shoe at President Bush (New York Daily News)

Germany plans individual ‘bad banks’ (Financial Times)

Toyota set to post first net loss since 1963 (Guardian)

Zimbabwe abandons its currency (BBC News)

Opec warns of further oil output cuts (Guardian):
Oil producers’ cartel tells World Economic Forum its members need a higher price if they are to have sufficient income to invest

Mobs arrested as rioters call for ‘Sarko out’ (This is London)

Strikes spread across Britain as oil refinery protest escalates (Guardian)

‘British jobs for British workers’: Wildcat strikes spread over foreign workers shipped into the UK (Daily Mail)

Up against basic principle of EU law (Independent)

Debt has become a drug. Withdrawal will be painful (Guardian)

Pakistan envoy suggests India faked Mumbai transcripts (Times Online)

Florida beans and corn destroyed, potatoes delayed (The Packer):
“All of our beans were wiped out,” said Bryan Biederman, assistant sales manager for Pioneer Growers Co-op, one of the region’s largest growers of beans and corn. “Any corn we had planted for the month of March has been wiped out. It was truly a setback for our winter program.”

Global News (01/29/09)

Officials: Army suicides at 3-decade high (AP):
WASHINGTON – Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose last year to the highest level in decades, the Army announced Thursday. At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008. But the final count is likely to be considerably higher because 15 more suspicious deaths are still being investigated and could also turn out to be self-inflicted, the Army said.

Army orders recall of body armor (AP)

Erdogan storms out of Davos debate (Financial Times)

Erdogan Clashes With Peres, Storms Out of Davos Panel on Gaza (Bloomberg)

Blockade thwarts postwar building boom in Gaza (Reuters)

Britain faces worst year since 1930s, warns IMF (Guardian)

UK ‘must cut spending or raise taxes,’ say experts (Independent)

The peers who work for their own consultancy firms (Telegraph)

Spanish police arrest six over massive ‘£420m London Stock Exchange fraud’ (Daily Mail)

Iraq bars Blackwater, tarnished by civilian deaths (AP)

Thursday job cuts could exceed 13000 (CNN Money)

Americans receiving jobless benefits hits record (AP)

Jobless claims hit record peak, orders plummet (Reuters)

Home sales fall to record lows (Reuters)

Bitter end for 6700 staff as coffee retailer Starbucks shuts shops (Telegraph)

Starbucks to Cut 6700 Jobs After Earnings Fall 69% (Bloomberg)

Ford reports $5.9B fourth-quarter loss (USA Today)

Ford to draw bank credit of $10.1bn (Financial Times)

Almost 24 million adults with poor numeracy skills, say MPs (Telegraph)

Five years on from Hutton and we STILL haven’t been told the truth about the war based on lies (Daily Mail)

Citigroup will not take possession of new aircraft (AP)

CLIMATE CHANGE: Tropical Forests Fight for Survival (IPS)

WORLD SOCIAL FORUM: “Wake Up, World!” – SOS from the Amazon (IPS)

Boy, 5, forced into adoption with gay couple pleads: ‘We want to stay with our gran and grandad’ (Daily Mail)

Have we all BIN conned? Recycling’s the new state religion but once again it’s been exposed as a sham (Daily Mail)

£20 broadband charge to fight online music and film piracy (Times)

Icy blast from Siberia set to bring snow and give Britain its coldest winter for 13 years (Daily Mail)

Global News (01/28/09)

House passes Stimulus without GOP help (San Francisco Chronicle):
President Obama won his first legislative victory as the House passed a $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday night, but his bid to woo Republicans failed to convince even a single GOP member to join Democrats to back the bill. Eleven Democrats joined the entire 177-member House GOP caucus in voting “no”…

UBS Cuts Bonus Pool for 2008 by More Than 80% to SF2 Billion ($1.75 billion)
(After having received $59.2 billion from the government the banksters are still paying themselves bonuses.)

Men who made £1bn as banks were bailed out (Guardian)

IMF predicts lowest global growth in 60 years (Financial Times)

Obama Picks Geithner And Lynn Aren’t ‘Change’ (CBS News):
The Obama administration made an exception to its ban on hiring lobbyists in nominating William Lynn, who lobbied for Raytheon, one of the military’s top contractors.

It seems exceptions are now the rule:
Geithner’s New Chief of Staff is Former Bank Lobbyist (Wall Street Journal):
WASHINGTON — The new chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was a top lobbyist for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. until last year, and will have to recuse himself from some government duties under new White House ethics rules.

Fed Keeps Rate as Low as Zero, Says Prepared to Buy Treasuries (Bloomberg):
Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate as low as zero and said it’s prepared to purchase longer-term Treasury securities to resuscitate lending and the economy. (…to create inflation, destroy the dollar and create the greatest depression.)

Tax Refunds Now on Hold in California (ABC News):
ABC News has learned that tax refunds are now on hold in California for the first time in state history, according to the state controller’s office.

Bleeding banks prompt talk of new big US bailout (Reuters):
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Major U.S. banks are still hemorrhaging red ink, despite massive taxpayer aid, and President Barack Obama is under pressure to take a high-stakes political gamble — asking for another bailout.

Warning over collapse in capital flows (Telegraph)

Wells Fargo takes $294m Madoff hit (Financial Times)

US houses sink at fastest rate on record (Times Online)

Soros closes sterling shorts (Financial Times)

Lilly May Spend $2 Billion More on Zyprexa Lawsuits (Bloomberg)

Santander offers €1.38 bn to compensate clients hit by Madoff (Times Online)

Pakistan predicts growth of up to 4% (Financial Times)

ALEX BRUMMER: British taxpayers are bailing out an Indian car giant in a deal that may pleaso no one (Daily Mail)

Japan joins world bail-out race (Financial Times)

Car industry to fight Barack Obama’s green proposals (Telegraph):
Car industry groups are gearing up for a long fight and the likelihood of legal action against proposals by President Barack Obama to allow California and other states to set their own regulations on greenhouse gas emission from vehicles.

Interfax: Russia suspends Kaliningrad missile plan (IHT)

Russian stability threatened by anger over economy (Telegraph)

Russia defence spending soars (Telegraph)

Ahmadinejad says Obama must apologise to the Iranian people for Bush (Times Online)

Canada set to unveil stimulus package (Financial Times)

First Reports of MRSA Isolation in US Swine and Hog Farmers (MedPage)

Israeli warplane bombs Gaza’s smuggling tunnels (Telegraph)

Chief Rabbinate of Israel cuts ties with Vatican over Holocaust bishop (Times Online)

Israeli strikes leave Blair project with major repairs (Independent)

Co-op bans eight pesticides after worldwide beehive collapse (Guardian)

Gates: Cash Cows of War Running Dry (Wired News)

Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury (Washington Post)