Global News (03/07/09)

Jailed for a MySpace parody, the student who exposed America’s cash for kids scandal (Guardian):
Less than a minute into the hearing the gavel came down. “Adjudicated delinquent!” the judge proclaimed, and sentenced her to three months in a juvenile detention centre. Hillary, who hadn’t even presented her side of the story, was handcuffed and led away. But her mother, Laurene, protested to the local law centre, setting in train a process that would uncover one of the most egregious violations of children’s rights in US legal history.

Army captain charged with stealing $690000 (AP):
PORTLAND, Oregon – An Army captain accused of stealing nearly $700,000 from the U.S. government while serving in Iraq pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges including theft of government property and money laundering.

IMF: Fifth of Britain’s GDP spent so far on bailouts (Guardian):
Alistair Darling has already spent almost a fifth of Britain’s GDP on bailing out its shattered banking system – more than any other major economy, according to a grave assessment of the world financial crisis published today by the International Monetary Fund.

G7 outlook worsens, OECD says (Telegraph):
The outlook for all the world’s major economies worsened in January, and all four BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are now experiencing a “strong slowdown”, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Friday.

The US Financial System Is Effectively Insolvent (Forbes):
For those who argue that the rate of growth of economic activity is turning positive–that economies are contracting but at a slower rate than in the fourth quarter of 2008–the latest data don’t confirm this relative optimism. In 2008’s fourth quarter, gross domestic product fell by about 6% in the U.S., 6% in the euro zone, 8% in Germany, 12% in Japan, 16% in Singapore and 20% in South Korea. So things are even more awful in Europe and Asia than in the U.S. There is, in fact, a rising risk of a global L-shaped depression that would be even worse than the current, painful U-shaped global recession.

Bernanke Says Fed to `Forcefully’ Deploy All Tools to Revive U.S. Economy (Bloomberg):
“Mr. Bernanke has never been right. He has been in the government for six or seven years, he has never been right.” Jim Rogers (“We are going to have another Depression in the U.S.”)

Minnesota Bank Asks Why It Pays for Wall Street Greed (Bloomberg):
Every taxpayer should ask that question too. – March 6 (Bloomberg) – TCF Financial Corp., the Wayzata, Minnesota-based bank that never made a subprime loan and hasn’t lost money since 1995, is asking why it should help clean up the mess made by Wall Street. “I’m kind of bitter,” said William Cooper, chief executive officer of the 448-branch bank, adding that over the years TCF has invested about $1 billion in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s fund that guarantees bank deposits. “We pay for the excesses of our competitor over and over again.”

Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of Economy (New York Times):
“The current pace of decline is breathtaking,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “We are now falling at a near record rate in the postwar period and there’s been no change in the violent downward trajectory.”

America loses 23,000 jobs every day and output suffers biggest slump in 25 years (Times Online)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad submits resignation (AP)

Obama’s backsliding on torture (Guardian)

Lloyds to Cede Up to 75% Stake to U.K. for Insuring $367 Billion of Assets (Bloomberg)

US judge sets bail conditions for fund manager Nadel (Reuters):
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge set a $5 million bond, house detention and other conditions of bail on Wednesday for accused Florida hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel, who authorities say was on the run for two weeks in January before the FBI arrested him.

Fatal Tsvangirai crash ‘was not accident’, says MDC (Telegraph):
The wife of Zimbabwean leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been killed in a car crash in what his party claims may have been an assassination attempt.

Obama ends Bush ban on embryo stem cell research (Guardian)

Health Canada finds bisphenol A in soft drinks (CBC):
A Health Canada study of canned pop has found the vast majority of the drinks contain the chemical bisphenol A, a substance that imitates the female hormone estrogen and is banned in baby bottles. Out of 72 drinks tested, 69 were found to contain BPA at levels below what Health Canada says is the safe upper limit.

Bird flu spreading afresh (The Daily Star):
Avian influenza has started spreading in different poultry farms across the country again as department of fisheries and livestock detected the bird flu virus and culled birds at different places.

Global News (03/06/09)

To my special friend Gordon, 25 DVDs: Obama gives Brown a set of classic movies. Let’s hope he likes the Wizard of Oz (Daily Mail):
Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world’s richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films – a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.

Fed’s Kohn Says Risks of Not Rescuing AIG Too Large (Bloomberg):
The bulk of AIG’s losses, which totaled more than $100 billion in the past five quarters, stem from credit-default swaps sold to investors to protect them from the declining value of financial assets.

Dow/Gold Ratio Hits 7; Multi Decade Low (Charting Stocks)

Berlin losing patience over Opel rescue (Financial Times):
“Politically, Berlin will have to do something and Opel and GM know that. They are using the threat of job losses in an election year as a blackmailing device to get our support cheaply,” the insider said.

UK stake in Lloyds set to hit 70pc (Telegraph):
Lloyds Banking Group is close to a deal to insure around £250bn of toxic assets that could see the taxpayers’ stake in the bank rise to 70pc, the Financial Times reported.

Malaysian exports suffer fast fall (Financial Times):
Malaysia reported its sharpest monthly export fall in at least 28 years for January as the government prepares to announce a new stimulus package next week. Exports, focused on electronics and commodities, fell 28 per cent after sliding by 15 per cent in December.

China crisis as economy crumbles (Independent):
An 8 per cent growth rate sounds impressive, but the Beijing leadership fears social unrest in the countryside as it struggles to create jobs

Bailout Money – Instead of Being Used to Stabilize the Economy or Even the Bailed-Out Companies – is Just Going to Line the Pockets of the Wealthy (George Washington’s Blog)

Barack Obama bets the farm in $4 trillion poker game (Times):
The President believes he can change US politics for a generation. If he’s wrong he could bankrupt the whole country. (Can’t blame it only on Obama. Always remember Obama is just a puppet of the elite, as was Bush.)

BUDGET BACKLASH: Thousands Rally At City Hall (WCBS-TV)

ECB cuts rates to record 1.5pc, mulls radical action (Telegraph):
“I don’t exclude anything,” said Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB’s president. “We did not decide that this is the lowest level. We are studying additional non-standard measures.” Bond yields plummeted across the eurozone as the markets instantly priced in further monetary loosening.

Gaza homes destruction ‘wanton’ (BBC News):
Human rights investigators say Israeli forces engaged in “wanton destruction” of Palestinian homes during the recent conflict in Gaza. Amnesty International has told the BBC News website the methods used raised concerns about war crimes.

U.S. Military Aid to Israel (CounterPunch):
Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.  Since 1949, the United States has provided Israel with $101 billion in total aid, of which $53 billion has been military aid.  For the last 20-plus years, Israel has received an average of $3 billion annually in grant aid;, until now the grant has been a mix of economic and military aid.

US offers $0 for Gaza reconstruction (The National):
Although the Obama administration is pledging $900 million (Dh3.3 billion) of aid, none of the money will go to rebuilding Gaza, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Russia building anti-satellite weapons (Independent):
Russia is working on anti-satellite weapons to match technologies developed by other nations and will speed up modernization of its nuclear forces, a deputy defense minister was quoted as saying today.

Russia to outlaw criticism of WWII tactics (Telegraph):
The Russian government is to outlaw criticism of Soviet military tactics during the Second World War in the latest example of its heavy-handed approach to dissent.

U.S. to Invite The Wealthy To Invest in The Bailout (Washington Post):
The initiative to revive the consumer lending business, outlined by officials this week, offers these wealthy investors a new chance to make sizable profits — but, thanks to the government, without the risk of massive losses.

Mauritania expels Israeli diplomats, shuts embassy (Reuters):
NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) – Mauritania’s military junta expelled Israeli diplomats and shut the embassy on Friday after freezing ties with the Jewish state over its invasion of Gaza.

Mandelson custard attack probed (BBC News)

Revealed: police databank on thousands of protesters (Guardian):
Police are targeting thousands of political campaigners in surveillance operations and storing their details on a database for at least seven years, an investigation by the Guardian can reveal.

Experts uncover cause of greyness (BBC News):
Experiments found it is caused by a massive build-up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of hair follicles, which blocks hair’s natural pigment.

Global News (05/03/09)

Suspicions grow that attack was ‘inside job’ (Independent):
Conspiracy theories fuelled by security lapses as hunt for gunmen continues

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez tightens state control of food amid rocketing inflation and food shortages (Telegraph):
Venezuela’s public finances are unravelling, with oil prices at $40 a barrel, while the national budget is calculated at $60 a barrel. Inflation is running at over 30 per cent, yet with the new measures Mr Chavez is seeking to ensure that his core support, the poor, can still fill their shopping baskets with food.

Iran says its missiles could reach Israel’s nuclear facilities (Telegraph):
The country’s military chief, Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran now has a mighty military force capable of deterring any US or Israeli attack. “All nuclear facilities in various parts of the lands under occupation of the Zionist regime are within the range of Iran’s missiles,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Jafari as saying Wednesday.

Ukraine in new gas showdown with Russia (Independent):
Police raid state energy firm days ahead of deadline for next gas payment:
Armed agents of Ukraine’s national security service raided the head office of the state energy company, Naftogaz, in Kiev yesterday, as part of an investigation into the alleged diversion of gas.

Now As The Much Greater Depression Progresses (International Forecaster)

US military chief to offer help to Mexico in violent drug war (AFP):
WASHINGTON (AFP) — America’s top military officer heads to Mexico this week to offer help to a government battling powerful drug cartels, amid alarm in Washington over escalating violence across the border.

NKorea threatens SKorean planes amid tensions (AP):
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea threatened South Korean passenger planes flying near its airspace on Thursday and accused the U.S. and South Korea of attempting to provoke a nuclear war with upcoming joint military drills.

US private sector cuts 697,000 jobs (Financial Times):
“The nightmare continues,” said Ian Sheperdson, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics. “Every indicator tells us that employment is tanking across the economy.”

Citigroup Falls Below $1 as Investor Faith Erodes (Bloomberg):
March 5 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., once the world’s biggest bank by market value, dropped below $1 in New York trading for the first time as investors lose confidence the shares can recover after more than $37.5 billion in losses and a government rescue.

Beer tax increases cost 20000 jobs so far (Guardian):
A record 2,000 British pubs have closed with the loss of 20,000 jobs since the chancellor, Alistair Darling, increased beer tax in the 2008 budget, new figures published by the British Beer and Pub Association reveal today.

GM’s auditors raise the specter of Chapter 11 (Houston Chronicle):
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Corp.’s auditors have raised “substantial doubt” about the troubled automaker’s ability to continue operations, and the company said it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if it can’t execute a huge restructuring plan.

Fed Refuses to Release Bank Data, Insists on Secrecy (Bloomberg):
March 5 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve Board of Governors receives daily reports on bailout loans to financial institutions and won’t make the information public, the central bank said in a reply to a Bloomberg News lawsuit.

One in 8 US homeowners late paying or in foreclosure (Reuters):
NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) – About one in eight U.S. homeowners with mortgages, a record share, ended 2008 behind on their loan payments or in the foreclosure process as job losses intensified a housing crisis spawned by lax lending practices, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

World’s poor suffering most in the credit crunch (Guardian):
The credit crunch is hitting the income of the world’s poorest people the most and will make the UN’s Millennium Development Goals more difficult to achieve than ever, according to research released today. The Global Monitoring Report from Unesco estimates the 390 million poorest Africans will see their income drop by around 20% – far more than in the developed world.

JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank America Face Ratings Cuts (Bloomberg):
March 5 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp., the three largest U.S. banks by market value, may face credit-rating downgrades by Moody’s Investors Service amid signs they’ll set aside additional cash for loan losses.

Rights versus liberty (Guardian):
Hidden by the spirit of the Convention On Modern Liberty was a row about the Human Rights Act, which I want to bring out into the open

Pakistan poses global security worry, says top US official (Guardian):
The top US diplomat in Kabul warned yesterday that Pakistan posed a bigger security challenge to America and the world than Afghanistan, as Islamabad grappled with the latest terrorist attack on its soil and the escalating Taliban ­insurgency on its north-western border.

Merrill Lynch executives subpoenaed over bonuses (Guardian):
The row over bankers’ bonuses has intensified after subpoenas were issued to several top Merrill Lynch executives over payments for last year.

Obama bid to stamp out tax havens (Guardian):
The world’s most secretive tax havens are to be prised open after Barack Obama’s new administration endorsed far-reaching legislation to crack down on them.

Bank cuts rates by 50 points to 0.5% (Financial Times):
The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee cut its key rate by half a percentage point to 0.5 per cent on Thursday and unveiled a programme under which it will buy up to £150bn in government gilts and corporate bonds.
It is the first European central bank to begin this process – known as quantitative easing – in an effort to kick-start demand. (The Zimbabwe school of economics)

Pimco Says Closed-End Funds Delay Dividend Payments (Bloomberg):
March 2 (Bloomberg) — Pacific Investment Management Co. said three of its closed-end funds had postponed dividend payments declared Feb. 2 because they failed to meet the ratio of assets to borrowing set by regulators.

Bogus peer Hugh Rodley tried to pull off world’s biggest bank raid (Times Online):
A fake British aristocrat was convicted yesterday of playing a leading role in an audacious attempt to carry out the world’s biggest bank raid.

Snow closes roads and railways in southern England (Guardian):
Snow has returned to parts of southern England with blizzards closing several roads and freezing temperatures bringing rail services to a standstill. (Global Freezing)

US court allows man to sue Vatican over sexual abuse by priest (Telegraph):
A US federal appeals court has opened the way for a man to sue the Vatican after he was allegedly sexually abused 40 years ago as a teenager by a Roman Catholic priest.

Patients can sue drug companies, Supreme Court rules (Chicago Tribune):
Patients have the right to sue drug companies when they’ve been harmed by medications whose risks aren’t adequately disclosed, the Supreme Court ruled today in an important 6-3 decision.

Two-year-old girl can see for the first time following stem cell treatment (Telegraph):
The £30,000 treatment, which involves stems cells taken from an umbilical cord being fed into her forehead, has allowed her to see people, objects, colours and lights around her.

Global News (03/04/09)

You’re Dead? That Won’t Stop the Debt Collector (New York Times):
MINNEAPOLIS — The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.

The D-word: Will recession become something worse? (AP):
“We’re probably in a depression now. But it’s not going to be acknowledged until years go by. Because you have to see it behind you,” said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland. (It won’t take years, maybe just a few months, until it is clear that the U.S. is in a depression, the ‘Greatest Depression’.)

The single currency may not survive the recession Photo: Reuters

It’s the Europhiles versus reality, and reality is going to win (Telegraph):
During the current crisis we have several times heard invoked the wisdom of Milton Friedman about the unfeasibility of the euro as a currency surviving a recession. In an interview not long before his death three years ago, Friedman said: “The euro is going to be a big source of problems, not a source of help. The euro has no precedent. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a monetary union, putting out a fiat currency, composed of independent states. There have been unions based on gold or silver, but not on fiat money – money tempted to inflate – put out by politically independent entities.” (The dollar and the pound are even worse. The dollar will never survive, the pound most probably not. And the euro? To have a monetary union before a economic union was putting the cart before the horse and a major mistake. I still think that the euro has more chances to stay alive a few more years longer than the dollar, unless the elite pulls the plug on the entire world economy, which hasn’t happened yet. This economic crisis has just started.)

Projecting CDS Curve US Treasuries (USA Credit Rating Will Plummet):
Everyone wants to know, how long will it take before the Uncle Sam goes bust?

Bernanke Says Insurer AIG Operated Like a Hedge Fund (Bloomberg):
March 3 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said American International Group Inc. operated like a hedge fund and having to rescue the insurer made him “more angry” than any other episode during the financial crisis. “If there is a single episode in this entire 18 months that has made me more angry, I can’t think of one other than AIG,” Bernanke told lawmakers today. “AIG exploited a huge gap in the regulatory system, there was no oversight of the financial- products division, this was a hedge fund basically that was attached to a large and stable insurance company.”

US banks may need more bail-outs, says Ben Bernanke (Telegraph):
Stock markets across the world suffered a second day of turbulence as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve warned that the US Government may have to pour even more cash into the twin bail-outs of its financial and economic systems.

Bernanke says deficit is the price of growth (Financial Times):
(“Mr. Bernanke has never been right. He has been in the government for six or seven years, he has never been right.” – Jim Rogers)

Schwarzenegger calls for end to ‘whining’ about economic crisis (Telegraph):
(“Arnie” is right, stop whining! …. because the economic crisis will get a lot worse soon.)

Projecting CDS Curve US Treasuries (USA Credit Rating Will Plummet):
Everyone wants to know, how long will it take before the Uncle Sam goes bust? (Just a few months left.)

In US prison spending outpaces all but Medicaid (International Herald Tribune):
One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Food prices surge 9% despite inflation fall (Times Online):
Shop price inflation rose last month because of the increasing cost of meat, fresh produce and tinned goods, with overall prices up at an annual rate of 9 per cent, from 7.5 per cent in January.

Antigua moves to seize back Stanford’s idyllic island (Guardian)

Madoff revealed as ‘cold-hearted control freak’ (Times Online):
Bernard Madoff was a cold-hearted control freak who ripped off friends’ widows weeks after their funerals and ruled his family with fear, according to a revealing new report published today.

China to increase defence spending by 15 per cent (Telegraph)

Argentina holds fire on grain controls (Financial Times):
The Argentine government on Tuesday confirmed it was considering a national board to regulate grains trading, but said it would take no immediate action.

Airlines that break emission rules could have planes seized (Guardian):
The Environment Agency is to be given powers to seize planes from airlines which break the rules of a new scheme to limit flights’ carbon emissions.

Pakistan declares: ‘We are at war’ (Independent):
Pakistan in shock after masked gunmen ambush Sri Lankan cricket team, leaving seven people dead and six players injured

Former Countrywide executives cash in on federal housing bailout (Raw Story):
The company’s biggest deal has been with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It paid the government agency just $43.2 million for $560 million worth of residential loans, which were formerly on the books of the failed First National Bank of Nevada.

World Bank grants $2bn loan to Indonesia (Financial Times):
The World Bank on Tuesday approved its largest ever loan to a country not classified as being in crisis when its board signed off on a “unique” $2bn contingency facility to Indonesia to support government spending and external fundraising during the current market turmoil.

Australian GDP shrinks for first time in 8 years (Times Online):
The Australian economy has slipped into negative growth for the first time in eight years, raising fears that the country is on the brink of recession.

Cash-back car scheme triggers record sales (Times Online):
Motor manufacturers hope a £2,000 cash-back car scheme could come to UK following its early success in Germany
( When the consumers realize that the economy is only getting worse, they will not be fooled into buying a new car anymore. And it will get a lot worse. So this is a momentary success and then?)

Israelis react with fury to British boycott call (Independent)

Italian doctor claims he cloned three babies (Telegraph):
An Italian doctor known for helping post-menopausal women to have children has claimed to have cloned three babies who are now living in eastern Europe.

GPs are medicalising healthy elderly people, professor warns (Telegraph):
Elderly people are being turned into patients by GPs blindly following guidelines to hand out pills for high blood pressure and cholesterol, a professor has said.

Wartime troop brain injures could reach 360000 (AP):
The number of U.S. troops who have suffered wartime brain injuries may be as high as 360,000 and could cast more attention on such injuries among civilians, Defense Department doctors said Wednesday.The previous high estimate offered publicly was 320,000 in a study released a year ago by the private Rand Corp. It was based on about 1.6 million who had done tours of duty in the wars from late 2001.

Mars had ‘recent’ running water (BBC News):
Mars appears to have had running water on its surface about one million years ago, according to new evidence.

Global News (03/03/09)

The Bank’s £200bn gamble (Independent):
“The Bank of England will this week announce its intention to flood the economy with ‘helicopter money’, its latest attempt to tackle the recession. Won’t quantitative easing cause inflation? Yes – and that is the general idea. Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor, has warned of “an onslaught of inflation” as a result of current policies.”

Destroying the value of your money through inflation is the general idea?(!!!)

Quantitative easing = Increasing the money supply (by creating money out of thin air) = Inflation

Inflation is a hidden tax:
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.
There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

– John Maynard Keynes

Quantitative easing = Zimbabwe school of economics (Stealing)

Former Northern Rock chief gets £800000 payout as repossessions soar (Guardian):
Northern Rock revealed yesterday that it was forced to pay disgraced former chief executive Adam Applegarth more than £800,000 last year in pay and pension top-ups following his departure from the bank after he failed to find another job. Applegarth was paid £731,000 after he quit the bank in November 2007 following a deal that awarded him a year’s pay until he found another job. The Newcastle-based bank also had to stump up an extra £108,000 to fund Applegarth’s guaranteed £305,000-a-year pension which pays out from the age of 60.(Failure is so rewarding these days!)

Shares crash as savers raid £8bn from accounts (Independent):
The pressure of an intensifying recession saw British companies and households launch an £8bn raid on their savings in January, according to the figures from the Bank of England.

Geithner Says US Financial Rescue ‘Might Cost More’ (Bloomberg):
March 3 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. bank rescue program may cost more than the $700 billion Congress approved, and he pledged to crack down on companies and individuals who try to avoid paying taxes. (Surprise!)

Medvedev rejects Obama missile defence deal (Financial Times):
Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday rejected any suggestion that Moscow would “trade or exchange” in policies in order to dissuade the US from installing an anti-ballistic missile system near its borders in Eastern Europe.

Japan to use forex reserves to fight credit crunch (AFP):
TOKYO (AFP) — Japan said Wednesday it would use five billion dollars from its currency reserves to help companies raise funds as auto giant Toyota Motor asked the government for financial aid. (Looks like Japan is starting to dump the dollar.)

Ukraine: Nation on the brink of bankruptcy (Independent)

Secret report reveals how MEPs make millions (Times Online):
Ukraine is so broke the nation is expecting to be cut off this week for failing to pay the gas bill.

HSBC attacks ‘perverse’ pay as it awards banker £13m (Telegraph):
HSBC chairman Stephen Green attacked “perverse” pay practices in banking and called for a “more sober and reasonable approach to compensation” as it emerged the bank paid two senior employees almost £25m last year.

GM urges EU states to come to its aid (Financial Times):
General Motors said on Tuesday that its European arm could run out of money by as early as next month, putting up to 300,000 jobs on the continent at risk.

Fed launches new $200B consumer credit program (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday rolled out a much-awaited program aimed at boosting the availability of credit to consumers and small businesses. (Wow. First you create the money out of thin air, then you lend it to the people. Sounds like a plan to me.)

The Obama Economy (Wall Street Journal):
As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame.

US Auto-Sales Rate Falls to 27-Year Low, Led by GM (Bloomberg)

Harvard Losing AAA Benefit in Market Shows Swap Risk (Bloomberg)

Eurozone ready to rescue members (Financial Times):
“If crisis emerges in one eurozone country, there is a solution before visiting the IMF,” Joaquín Almunia, the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner, said. “It’s not clever to tell you in public the solution. But the solution exists.”

Brown to remain defiant on economy (Financial Times):
Gordon Brown has told aides he has no intention of admitting mistakes in his handling of the economy when he makes a keynote speech in Washington on Wednesday … (… everything Mr. Brown did was a economic disaster. He is the Bushbama of the U.K.)

Madoff’s Wife Says $62 Million ‘Unrelated’ to Fraud (Bloomberg):
March 2 (Bloomberg) — Ruth Madoff, the wife of accused fraudster Bernard Madoff, said she owns a Manhattan apartment, $45 million in bonds, and $17 million in cash that are “unrelated” to her husband’s alleged Ponzi scheme.
(Oh, sure!)

Rod Blagojevich signs six-figure book deal (Chicago Tribune):
Blagojevich, who was recently impeached for abuse of power, “plans on exposing the dark side of politics that he witnessed on both the state and national level,” Glenn Selig said in a statement.

Stanford investors set to recover only millions (Times Online)

Toyota’s car loan arm asks for $2bn in aid (Financial Times)

Freddie Mac chief resigns after five months (Times Online):
Freddie Mac, which is due to report its fourth-quarter figures this month, is expected to ask for between $30 billion and $35 billion in Government aid, having already received almost $14 billion last November.

Global recession will be ‘worse than forecast’ (Times Online)

Taxpayers hit by expanding black hole of AIG (Telegraph)

Asia markets gyrate on global financial fears (Times Online):
Fears over the global banking market dragged down shares across Asia overnight, sending Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng below the critical 12,000 mark as Japan’s Nikkei briefly headed towards a 26-year low.

Empty Containers Clog South Korea’s Busan Port as Trade Slumps (Bloomberg):
March 3 (Bloomberg) — South Korea’s biggest port is running out of room to store shipping containers, said Park Jung Ho, an official at one of Busan’s nine operators. The bigger concern is that the boxes are almost all empty.

Russia Stock Gains Strengthen Putin as Ukraine Drops (Bloomberg):
March 2 (Bloomberg) — Russia, the worst-performing major stock market in 2008, was Europe’s best last month as the ruble rose and reserves stabilized. Every neighboring market crumbled.

New ruling to force British voters to show ID before voting (Times Online):
In an historic shift, which comes after years of campaigning by the Electoral Commission and The Times, the Government finally agreed yesterday to end the system whereby one person in each household names all those eligible to vote in their property.

This revolting trade in human lives is an incentive to lock people up (Guardian):
It’s a staggering case; more staggering still that it has scarcely been mentioned on this side of the ocean. Last week two judges in Pennsylvania were convicted of jailing some 2,000 children in exchange for bribes from private prison companies.

To politicians, we’re little more than meaningless blobs on a monitor. Bring on the summer of rage (Guardian):
We’re the ants in their garden. The bacteria in their stools. Politicians have nothing but contempt for us

Scientists make HIV strain that can infect monkeys (Reuters)

Gypsy vaccination scheme starts (Financial Times):
Italy’s Red Cross has launched its biggest vaccination programme since the second world war, with the goal of immunising several thousand gypsy children living in camps around Rome.

Scientists warn of drug-resistant ‘super-flu’ (Times Online):
Warn??? Want to get a shock?: Here

Warning of attacks on Sri Lanka cricket team was ignored (Guardian)

Global News (03/02/09)

Stem cell breakthrough ends ethical dilemma (Guardian):
Scientists have found a way to make an almost limitless supply of stem cells that could safely be used in patients while avoiding the ethical dilemma of destroying embryos.

Dow Jones decline rate mimics Great Depression (CNET News):
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling below the psychological watermark of 7,000, investors may be wondering how they stack up against the stock market crash of the Great Depression.
“It’s very troubling if you have a mirror image,” said Phil Dow, market strategist for RBC Dain Rauscher & James.

Wall Street’s Dow index sinks 4pc to below 7000 points (The Australian)

US takes another crack at AIG rescue (CNN Money):
Wracked by turmoil in the credit markets, the insurance giant posts $62 billion quarterly loss. Government amends bailout to insulate financial system.

Hugo Chavez seizes control of rice mills in price dispute (Telegraph):
Soldiers were ordered to take control of the rice mills, which include installations owned by US food giant Cargill.
Mr Chavez accused the companies of disrupting the supply chain by refusing to produce rice at prices set by the government.

President of Guinea-Bissau killed by soldiers (Telegraph):
The president of Guinea-Bissau, Joao Bernardo Vieira, has been killed by soldiers in an apparent revenge attack following the assassination of the army chief of staff.

Ukraine Teeters as Citizens Blame Banks and Government (New York Times):
KIEV, Ukraine — Steel and chemical factories, once the muscle of Ukraine’s economy, are dismissing thousands of workers. Cities have had days without heat or water because they cannot pay their bills, and Kiev’s subway service is being threatened. Lines are sprouting at banks, the currency is wilting and even a government default seems possible.

RBS pays for Goodwin’s security (Independent):
Mr Osborne told BBC Scotland’s Politics Show today he thought most people would find the situation “very surprising”.
He said: “I don’t think it’s appropriate that the taxpayer should be providing any more benefits to Fred Goodwin.”

Factory downturn ‘accelerating’ (BBC NEWS):
Manufacturers in the UK cut jobs and output at a record pace in February, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

Worst job losses in 60 years expected (MarketWatch):
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The recession tightened its grip on U.S. businesses and consumers in February, according to economists, who are predicting the largest one-month job loss in almost 60 years.

140000 British manufacturing jobs to be lost this year (Guardian)

Bank of England set to pump cash into economy to avoid deflation (Times):
The Bank of England is set this week to begin “printing money” in a ground-breaking move that will mark its most forceful action yet to curb the slump in the economy. (The Zimbabwe school of economics.)

FTSE 100 falls to six-year low (Telegraph):
The sharp decline takes the FTSE 100 below the lows experienced last October as UK banks teetered on the edge of collapse and were bailed out by the Government.

Pressure mounts over secret HBOS papers (The Observer):
The government was under pressure last night to publish confidential documents relating to the merger of failed bank HBOS and Lloyds TSB. Their existence emerged during a recent two-day hearing at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in which HBOS shareholders challenged the government’s decision to allow the takeover without referring it to the competition authorities.

New ‘Iron Curtain’ will split EU’s rich and poor (Times Online):
Eastern European countries gave an apocalyptic warning yesterday of hordes of unemployed workers heading west as a new Iron Curtain divides rich from poor inside Europe. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders were told yesterday that five million jobs could be lost in the “new” European Union countries of the East unless radical action were taken to bail them out.

Hillary Clinton to offer $1bn to Gaza in move to sideline Hamas (Telegraph):
(Ron Paul: Israel Created Hamas)

Feds defy judge’s order in Islamic group case (San Francisco Chronicle):
A federal appeals court rejected the Obama administration’s attempt Friday to stop a judge in San Francisco from reviewing a challenge to the wiretapping program ordered by former President George W. Bush.
Hours later, President Obama’s Justice Department filed papers that appeared to defy the judge’s order to allow lawyers for an Islamic organization to see a classified surveillance document at the heart of the case. The department said the judge had no power to enforce such an order. (More CHANGE!)

Six years later in Iraq: still no good news (Washington Square News):
First, there’s how bad things were before the surge: “The strategic edifice of the American effort in Iraq was collapsing,” according to Col. Peter Mansoor, executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker put it like this: “Iraq came pretty close, I think, to just unraveling.” Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks sums up the surge this way: “It is unclear in 2009 if [it] did much more than lengthen the war.” In other words, the surge prevented the imminent defeat of the U.S. (a defeat that by most estimates would have been worse than losing in Vietnam). (” We are brilliantly succeeding in Iraq!” – Dick Cheney)

Older soldiers find a niche in new Army (MiamiHerald):
‘GI Jorge,’ a father, grandfather and struggling property appraiser, is becoming a soldier at 40 to secure his family’s financial future.

HRT ‘could double the threat of skin cancer’ (Daily Mail):
Those on HRT for more than six months at a time are twice as likely to develop a malignant melanoma, researchers discovered.

Banks earn $900m with state-backed debt (Financial Times):
The world’s biggest banks have earned more than $900m in fees in less than four months by selling government-guaranteed bank debt to investors.

GOP senator Orrin Hatch’s charity tied to massive pharmaceutical donations (Raw Story):
A charity founded by a senior Republican lawmaker who was a key ally to the pharmaceutical industry received more than $170,000 in 2007 from drugmakers, far in excess of campaign finance rules had the money been donated to him directly, leaked documents show.

France poised to slash GDP forecasts (Financial Times):
France is steeling itself for the worst recession of the postwar era as the government prepares to admit the economy will contract by as much as 1.5 per cent this year, against previous official forecasts for growth.

Starvation and Strife Menace Torn Kenya (New York Times):
Ten million people face starvation, partly because farmers in crucial food-producing areas who fled their homes last year have not returned, instead withdrawing deeper into their ethnic enclaves, deeper into fear.

Scores of stranded whales and dolphins saved (Telegraph)

Fat children should be given gastric bands to tackle diabetes says expert (Telegraph):
Obese children with weight-related diabetes should be given gastric band surgery from the age of 15, according to expert paediatrician Professor Julian Shield. (Maybe someone should give this expert a brain! Children that get the the right food, teachers, doctors (alternative medicine) and parents will never ever get fat. Did you know that mice are injected with MSG to create those super fat lab mice? MSG also destroys the brain.)

Pink dolphin appears in US lake (Telegraph):

Global News (03/01/09)

The Emerging Sunspot Cycle 24 and a Weakening Magnetic Field (Outside the Box):
What does this mean for our planet and species?

If you were thinking that the only things we have to be concerned about include wars, famines, and economic crashes, think again.

Mexican drug wars create demand for hitman and acid baths (Telegraph):
Criminal psychiatrists said dozens of killings linked to drug cartels every day have led to a boom in the number of bodies dissolved in acid.

Israel’s death squads: A soldier’s story (Independent):
A former member of an Israeli assassination squad has broken his silence for the first time. He spoke to Donald Macintyre

Police ‘over the top’ at climate camp (Guardian):
Police have been accused of setting a “dangerous precedent” when they confiscated hundreds of items of property – including children’s crayons, a clown’s outfit and a pensioner’s walking stick – from people attending an environmental protest camp at Kingsnorth power station.

Is Ireland fated to be another Iceland? (Guardian):
“That is the optimistic scenario,” Kelly said, arguing that his worst fear is a collective economic failure of several countries in eastern Europe, along with Ireland and those on the southern periphery of the eurozone – Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal – that would be beyond the capacity of any government or group of governments to stem.

TMZ Story Forces Bank to Return $1.6 Billion!!!! (TMZ):
How’s this for action. Northern Trust — the bank TMZ exposed this week for throwing a series of lavish parties and concerts in L.A, is giving back the $1.6 billion in federal bailout money!

Warren Buffett loses billions (Telegraph)

Bank of England poised for rate cut (Telegraph):
“The move is the latest stage in the Bank’s efforts to prevent the economy from sliding towards deflation.”
(The move is the latest stage in the Bank’s efforts to destroy the pound.)

TOP secret contingency plans have been drawn up to counter the threat posed by a “summer of discontent” in Britain.

HSBC takes £17bn hit on bad loans (Times Online):
HSBC is to own up to the full horror of its American sub-prime business, Household, when it unveils a £7 billion goodwill write-off in addition to a £17 billion provision against rising bad loans.

Lloyds heading for 75% state ownership (Guardian):
The taxpayer could end up with a near 75% stake in Lloyds Banking Group it emerged today after the UK’s biggest high street bank admitted the HBOS mortgage lender it rescued had incurred £10.8bn of losses last year.

These bankers are lucky that they are not going to jail (Guardian):
Assuming it is out of the question to hang, draw and quarter Sir Fred Goodwin, pluck out his intestines while they are still warm and wriggling, stuff them into his greedy mouth and then display his severed head on a spike at the Tower of London, could we settle for shooting him instead? Yes, I know, I’m going soft.

AIG May Get $30 Billion in Additional US Capital (Bloomberg)

EU rejects eastern Europe rescue plan (Financial Times):

Bush a four-letter word at CPAC (Politico):
Conservative icon Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, railed against the “Bush-Obama continuity in economic policy” and the “Bush-Obama big spending program” in a speech Friday.
“We had big spending under Bush and now we have big spending under Obama,” Gingrich said. “And so now we have two failures.”

Obama Will Seek Another $750 Billion for Banks if Necessary, Orszag Says (Bloomberg):
March 1 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama’s administration will seek congressional approval for as much as $750 billion in new aid to bolster U.S. financial institutions if it is needed, White House budget director Peter Orszag said.
(Another $750 Billion for the banksters? Yes, we can give more money than Bush to the crooks who caused this crisis.)

Obama buries Reaganomics under $3.6 trillion mountain (Times Online)
(“Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.” – Alan Greenspan
In the end the taxpayers’ will have to pay for all this government spending with their wealth. In this case the deficit will have to be financed through Treasuries. The bond bubble will burst, the dollar will be destroyed and the U.S. will default on its debt. Game over. “Reckless spending” (Ron Paul) and “horrible economics” (Jim Rogers) will turn the U.S. into a Third World Country very soon.)

Gordon Brown aims for ‘global new deal’ with Barack Obama (Telegraph)

Big Dividends, in a Dangerous Terrain (New York Times)

UK given approval for £2.3bn auto bail-out (Telegraph)

Motorway cameras let police and MI5 track all car trips across the country (Daily Mail):
The police and MI5 have been given access to a network of infrared cameras that can track millions of car journeys across Britain.The 1,090 cameras read numberplates of cars on all motorways and major trunk roads, recording the time, date and location of the vehicle and storing the data for five years.

Delphi Allowed to Cancel Benefits for 15000 Workers (Bloomberg)

Missile threat to British troops (Times Online):
(And the U.S. supplied Afghanistan with weapons to fight the Russians. This war makes no sense at all, unless you belong to the very few people benefiting from it.)

Harvard’s masters of the apocalypse (Times Online):
I write as the holder of an MBA from Harvard Business School – once regarded as a golden ticket to riches, but these days more like scarlet letters of shame. We MBAs are haunted by the thought that the tag really stands for Mediocre But Arrogant, Mighty Big Attitude, Me Before Anyone and Management By Accident. For today’s purposes, perhaps it should be Masters of the Business Apocalypse.

Mom: Deployment leaves no one to care for kids (AP):
DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — When Lisa Pagan reports for duty Sunday, four long years after she was honorably discharged from the Army, she’ll arrive with more than her old uniform. She’s bringing her kids, too.

Indian Pt. Nuclear Power Plant Broken Pipe Spurs Safety Worries (New York Times):
The broken pipe was found Feb. 16, isolated by the middle of that week and dug up and replaced last Saturday. But in the meantime, about 100,000 gallons of water, or 10 percent of the water in the secondary cooling system storage tank, had escaped.

JP Morgan Chase Continues Foreclosure Proceedings Despite Promised Freeze (AlterNet)

Chomsky: Humanity’s survival ‘by no means a sure thing’ (Raw Story)

Mortgage Delinquencies Jump 50 Percent (Money News)

We need shock and awe policies to halt depression (Telegraph):
Taiwan’s exports to China fell 55pc in January, Japan’s fell 45pc. These exports are links in the supply chain for China’s industry. Manufacturing output in the Shanghai region fell 12pc in January.

Minority groups to get extra Government help to protect them from the recession (Daily Mail)

Higher tax for all until 2013, Taoiseach warns (Guardian):
Every Irish citizen will have to pay more tax in order to rescue the country from the deepening recession, the Taoiseach warned last night.

Quarter of water coolers may have ‘dangerous’ bacteria (Sunday Herald):
Water from bottle-supplied coolers was the most contaminated, with 14 out of 35 samples containing bacteria. Eight samples showed the presence of coliform bacteria, usually associated with faeces, and three contained staphylococcus aureus, which can cause serious illnesses.

Parents told not to give cough mixes to under-6s (Daily Mail):
The MHRA added that the possible side effects – although not dangerous – could include sleep disturbance, allergic reactions and hallucinations. In the face of the lack of evidence that the medicines do any good they have decided that many can no longer be sold for use on children under six.

Yeti Could Exist, says Sir David Attenborough (AOL News):
In a BBC TV interview, Britain’s Sir David Attenborough said he is “absolutely baffled” by footprints that may have been left by such a creature. “Very, very convincing footprints have been found,” at 19,000-foot elevations, he said. “Nobody goes up to 19,000 feet just to make a joke.”

Global News (02/28/09)

Ryanair: “Lunatic bloggers can keep the blogosphere” (Guardian)

Military to use new gel that stops bullets (Telegraph)

Iraq hero goes on the warpath (Independent):
The Army’s most decorated serving war hero has accused the Government of failing soldiers suffering from mental trauma resulting from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bailout The United States Treasury: The Last Remaining Asset Bubble Is Cracking:
In the video, Santelli reports the price of US Treasury CDS have settled north of 100.  For newcomers, this means that it now costs $100k to insure $10 million in US government bonds for 5 years.  Twelve months ago this same insurance cost $2,000. (So many times I have warned about the bond bubble. I hope you are prepared. This will be the greatest economic collapse in history.)

Buffett says US Treasury bubble one for the ages (Reuters)

Buffett Says Economy Will Be ‘In Shambles’ for 2009 (Bloomberg)

The Two Documents Everyone Should Read to Better Understand the Crisis (Huffington Post):
The FBI has been warning of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds.

Give to the rich to help the poor? An idea worthy of Bono (Guardian):
Satire? No – a genius really has concocted a tax proposal to put our aid budget in the hands of the super-rich

Denying our children rights (Guardian):
MPs should think twice before they vote for the retention of innocent young people’s DNA

Economy moving in reverse faster than predicted (AP):
“Consumers are just hunkering down and saying ‘game over,’ and businesses in response are cutting back on investment and employment,” said Brian Bethune, economist at IHS Global Insight. “It’s a negative feedback loop.”

Fear of global depression rises as US reveals true extent of decline (Times Online):
(And the crisis has only just begun.)

Asian power on the rise amid global downturn (Telegraph)

Adapting to water woes (Las Vegas Sun):
The southwestern United States is moving headlong toward an environmental catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions.

£20bn bailout to defuse East Europe’s timebomb (Independent):
Three global development banks pledged more than £20bn yesterday to avert potential financial meltdown in eastern Europe, where plunging currencies, mounting job cuts and a deepening debt crisis have sparked riots, rocked governments and stoked fears of widespread social unrest.

HSBC to launch record $20bn share issue (Telegraph):
Fundraising to offset deterioration in its core Asian markets and escalating losses in the US.

Allen Stanford borrowed £1.6 billion from his investment empire (Times)

Jobless Angry at Possibility of No Benefits (New York Times)

Obama budget calls for major US student loan shift (Reuters)

US government takes 36% stake in Citigroup (Independent)

Drug Maker Is Accused of Fraud (New York Times):
The Justice Department charged the drug maker Forest Laboratories on Wednesday with defrauding the government of millions of dollars by illegally marketing the popular antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved uses in children and teenagers.

Judge overturns verdict against Iraq war contractor in fraud case (AP)

Anti-tax movement holds ‘Tea Party’ to protest Obama policies (Raw Story):
Describing themselves as the spark of a “new conservative counterculture,” several thousand anti-tax protesters took to the streets in over thirty cities on Friday to object to President Obama’s plans to counter the growing economic crisis with government spending.

Patients at risk as NHS staff refuse flu jabs (Telegraph):
Hospital patients are being put at risk because health workers are ignoring government advice to have flu jabs
… (…that contain lethal stuff, destroy health and: Health Disaster: H5N1 DNA in Flu Vaccine)

13 Unsolved scientific puzzles (Times Online):
We can only account for 4 per cent of the cosmos

New Wave of Films Tackle Globalization Head on (Spiegel Online)

More Seeds For Doomsday Seed Vault

Related article:

–  Investors Behind Doomsday Seed Vault May Provide Clues to Its Purpose:

The group of investors includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation, and the Government of Norway.

The elite has always been known for their altruism, working for the benefit of mankind:

“If you control the oil you control the country; if you control the food you control the population.”
– Henry Kissinger

The remote, frozen landscape provides an ideal backdrop for the vault

(BBC NEWS) — Almost 90,000 food crop seed samples have arrived at the “doomsday vault” in the Arctic Circle, as part of its first anniversary celebrations.

The four-tonne shipment takes the number of seeds stored in the frozen repository to more than 20 million.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built 130m (426ft) inside a mountain, aims to protect the world’s food crop species against natural and human disasters.

The £5m ($7m) facility took 12 months to build and opened in February 2008.

“The vault was opened last year to ensure that, one day, all of humanity’s existing food crop varieties would be safely protected,” explained Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT).

“It’s amazing how far we have come towards accomplishing that goal.”

Read moreMore Seeds For Doomsday Seed Vault

Global News (02/27/09)

Britain admits rendition of terror suspects (Times Online):
Gordon Brown was under growing pressure to hold an independent inquiry into Britain’s complicity in torture last night after ministers admitted that terror suspects detained by British soldiers in Iraq were secretly flown by the US to Afghanistan.

60000 face axe in banks bloodbath: Bailed-out RBS and Lloyds in cost-cutting spree (Daily Mail)

President Barack Obama unveils $4 trillion budget (Times Online):
(Yes we can … burst the bond bubble, destroy the dollar and default on our debt!)

Dear Mr. President, With All Due Respect …. (Mike Shedlock):
With all due respect Mr. President, The United States spends more on its military budget than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world combined; The United States accounts for 48 percent of the world’s total military spending; The United States spends on its military 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran. Isn’t that enough Mr. President?
With all due respect Mr. President, the downfall of every great nation in history has been unsustainable military expansion. Mr. President, the US can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman. You act as if we can. Mr. President, can you please tell us how we can afford this spending?

Citi Gets Third Rescue as US Plans to Raise Stake (Bloomberg):
Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government ratcheted up its effort to save Citigroup Inc., agreeing to a third rescue attempt that will cut existing shareholders’ stake in the company by 74 percent. The stock fell as much as 37 percent.

US economy suffers sharp nosedive (BBC News):
The US economy shrank by 6.2% in the last three months of 2008, official figures have shown, a far sharper fall than had previously been reported. Plunging exports and the biggest fall in consumer spending in 28 years dragged the figure down from the 3.8% estimate the government gave earlier. The decline was much worse than analysts had expected.

Crisis in the US newspaper industry (BBC News):
If the economic crisis goes on much longer, will there be any newspapers left in the US to write about it?

Bangladesh sends in tanks to quell mutiny (Telegraph):
The Bangladeshi government has sent in tanks to tackle a mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles border security guards which has left more than 50 dead, including senior army officers.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas warns of surveillance culture (Times):
Richard Thomas told The Times that “creeping surveillance” in the public and private sectors had gone “too far, too fast” and risked undermining democracy.

Protesters clash with Pakistan troops after court bars Nawaz Sharif (Times):
Paramilitary troops were called out to keep order in Pakistan yesterday after thousands of people took to the streets to protest at the imposition of direct central control over the key province of Punjab.

China hits back at US criticism on human rights (Telegraph):
China has retaliated to condemnation of its human rights record with its own report on human rights in the United States.

Obama Faces Prospect of Japan-Like Stagnation, Kamco’s Lee Says (Bloomberg):
“The U.S. seems to be lost, not knowing where to go,” Lee Chol Hwi, chief executive officer of Korea Asset Management Corp., said yesterday in an interview in Seoul. “The U.S. is inexperienced in dealing with this kind of crisis.”

Rocky Mountain News to close, publish final edition Friday (Rocky Mountain News):
The Rocky Mountain News has chronicled the storied, and at times tumultuous, history of Colorado for nearly 150 years.

Housing Bailout Déjà Vu (National Review Online):
Congress is poised to hand the Obama administration a housing-bailout bill that looks eerily like the ineffective one passed last year. Before that happens, we might want to ask Fannie and Freddie what happened to the first $200 billion we gave them.

In Geithner We Trust Eludes Treasury as Market Fails to Recover (Bloomberg):
(Geithner is a member of the Trilateral Comission and the CFR. Trust him? Not for a millisecond.)

Future is ‘bleak’ warns Joschka Fischer (Telegraph):
Joschka Fischer, the former German vice-chancellor, has issued a bleak assessment of Europe’s prospects for surviving the financial crisis, warning that leaders of a “self-weakening” continent are failing to come to grips with its decline.

Banks Vacate Towers Pushing Empty NYC Space to Record (Bloomberg)

East Europe banks set for €24.5bn loan (Financial Times)

Now Sarkozy gets the chance to redraw the map of France (Independent):
The political map of France may be radically redrawn under ambitious, intriguing – and explosive – proposals which will be presented to President Nicolas Sarkozy next week.

FDIC raising fees on banks, adds emergency fee (AP)

Global crisis hits Swedish economy hard (Financial Times):
Sweden is in the middle of a much more serious recession than previously thought, according to official figures for the fourth quarter of last year that revealed the economy contracted by nearly 10 per cent on an annualised basis.

Zimbabwe: British minister’s bank propped up Robert Mugabe, says Foreign Office (Telegraph):
Standard Chartered, a British bank that was run by Lord Davies, the trade minister, has been accused by the Foreign Office of ‘propping up’ President Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe.

Lloyds confirms £10.8bn HBOS loss (Financial Times)
Lloyds, which rescued HBOS last year, had been expected to reveal that the government was insuring up to £250bn of the bank’s assets.Meanwhile, the Financial Times has learnt that Barclays has also sounded out the government about potentially participating in the asset protection scheme.

Mexico is in free fall (Guardian)

It is time to resist (Guardian):
David Omand’s national security strategy report shows us we have a very short time to save society from tyranny.
“Once an individual has been assigned a unique index number, it is possible to accurately retrieve data across numerous databases and build a picture of that individual’s life that was not authorised in the original consent for data collection,” says Sir David Omand in a report for the Institute for Public Policy research. This is not some wild fantasy. It is the world that we are about to move into and which Jack Straw’s coroners and justice bill, the ID Cards Act, RIPA laws and the EBorders scheme have patiently constructed while we have been living in an idiots’ paradise of easy money.

We’re on the brink of disaster (Salon):
Violent protests and riots are breaking out everywhere as economies collapse and governments fail. War is bound to follow.

Thousands of Opel Workers Demonstrate against GM (Spiegel Online)

Indigenous people in legal challenge against oil firms over tar sand project (Guardian):
British oil firms are facing a legal battle over exploitation of the huge Canadian tar sand fields with indigenous people who claim the industry is ruining their traditional lands.

Rapid HIV evolution avoids attack (BBC News):
HIV is evolving rapidly to escape the human immune system, an international study has shown.

Greenland’s Ice Armageddon Comes To An End (The Resilient Earth):
One of the catastrophic results of global warming always cited by climate change alarmists is the melting of the ice sheets covering Greenland. Some even speculated that global warming had pushed Greenland past a “tipping point” into a scary new regime of wildly heightened ice loss and rapidly rising in sea levels. Now, from the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, comes word that Greenland’s Ice Armageddon has been called off.

Arsonists Torch Berlin Porsches, BMWs on Economic Woe (Bloomberg):
At least 29 vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks this year, most of them luxury cars, according to police. The number is already about 30 percent of the total for 2008.

French professor sacked over 9/11 conspiracy theory (Russia Today):
An academic in France has been sacked by the Ministry of Defence after questioning the official version of events surrounding the 9/11 attacks. He now reportedly plans to sue the government.

UK rules out charges against Pentagon hacker (Reuters):
A British court ruled in 2006 that he should be extradited to the United States to face trial. If convicted by a U.S. court, he could face up to 70 years in prison. McKinnon has been battling the British court decision ever since.

Fluoridation scheme could go England-wide (Guardian):
City of Southampton to get first water fluoridation project in 25 years despite 78% opposition in consultation

(The combination of chlorination and fluoridation causes heavy damage to the DNA.)

New Study Finds GM Genes in Wild Mexican Maize (Soyatech):
New Scientist — February 21, 2009 — Now it’s official: genes from genetically modified corn have escaped into wild varieties in rural Mexico. A new study resolves a long-running controversy over the spread of GM genes and suggests that detecting such escapes may be tougher than previously thought.