Global News (03/27/09)

Suicide attack on Pakistan mosque kills 50 (Times Online):
A suicide bomb attack on a packed mosque in the volatile tribal regions of Pakistan has killed nearly 50 people and left dozens of others wounded, in the latest wave of violence to hit the country.

US tent cities highlight new realities as recession wears on (Guardian)

North Korea rocket launch: First pictures of launch pad (Telegraph)

Japan’s guided-missile destroyers head for Sea of Japan ahead of DPRK’s rocket launch (Xinhua)

China reacts with fury to US military report (Telegraph):
China has reacted with fury to a US government report on Beijing’s military power which claimed it was altering the military balance in Asia.

Australia quashes China bid for Oz Minerals (Financial Times):
The Australian government on Friday cited national security concerns to block a A$2.6bn ($1.8bn) bid by China’s Minmetals for Oz Minerals, fuelling doubts about Beijing’s ability to secure backing for other deals in the resource-rich country.

Britain sees 40 per cent rise in cash lost to Brussels, National Audit Office says (Telegraph):
The National Audit Office found that Britain’s net cash contribution to Brussels jumped by 40 per cent to more than £4billion between 2006 and 2007. In the same year, the total value of reported irregularities rose by 20 per cent to €1,392 million (£1.3billion) across all European Union countries, a report published today finds.

Bank of England: It’s time to call a halt, Prime Minister (Telegraph)

Mounties accused of ‘cooking up’ story (Toronto Star):
VANCOUVER–Four Mounties “collaborated to fabricate” their story to justify their conduct when Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died while in their custody, a lawyer told a public inquiry yesterday.

Madoff Liquidator Says $2.6 Billion Will Pay Victims of Fraud (Bloomberg):
March 27 (Bloomberg) — The agency liquidating Bernard Madoff’s brokerage says the $2.6 billion it has on hand is enough to satisfy all legitimate claims by victims of the money manager’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Two more quit AIG as depth of bonus anger emerges (Guardian):
Two senior European bosses have resigned from AIG citing a “hostile” environment as the insurer faces a public backlash over multimillion-pound bonus payouts.

Most electronic voting isn’t secure, CIA expert says (Boston Herald)

Read moreGlobal News (03/27/09)

Global News (03/26/09)

Emanuel’s profitable stint at mortgage giant (Chicago Tribune):
Short Freddie Mac stay made him at least $320,000

Why secretly funded DEA surveillance planes aren’t flying (McClatchy)

G20 rioters to hang banker effigies from lampposts as city staff are told to wear disguises (Daily Mail):
Thousands of City staff told to stay at home next week, Bankers told not to wear suits and ‘dress down’,Additional 2,500 police deployed at cost of £10million

‘I’m having a very good crisis,’ says Soros as hedge fund managers make billions off recession (Daily Mail):
A hedge fund manager who predicted the global credit crunch has said the financial crisis has been ‘stimulating’ and the culmination of his life’s work.

Top hedge fund managers still raking in the money (CNN Money):
LONDON ( — Despite turbulence in the financial markets and the global economic downturn, the world’s 25 top-earning hedge fund managers raked in a staggering $11.6 billion last year, according to a ranking released Wednesday.

Why Gold Prices Didn’t Really Rise Last Week (Seeking Alpha)

Stimulus? U.S. to buy Chinese condoms, ending Alabama jobs (McClatchy)

IMF rescues Romania with €20bn aid while Serbia handed €4bn (Telegraph):
Romania is the seventh country in the region to need IMF help along with Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, and Belarus. Serbia on Wednesday secured a €4bn bail-out and Bosnia said it was starting rescue talks.

Revised Rate Shows G.D.P. Is Falling at a Faster Pace (New York Times):
And what says Obama: Barack Obama trumpets ‘signs of economic progress’ (Telegraph)

Read moreGlobal News (03/26/09)

Global News (03/25/09)

Straight from the teapot, a golden anti-cancer brew (Daily Mail):
Teapots could be used to brew ‘golden’ anti-cancer drugs, scientists believe. Researchers have used a pot of Darjeeling to turn gold salts into tiny particles of gold, capable of easing their way into cancerous cells. The golden nanoparticles, each thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair, could be used to zap tumours, the U.S. researchers say.

“Reclusive” Ex-CIA Contractor Killed on Loudoun County Trail (NBC):
A man killed while apparently exercising with his wife on a trail in Loudoun County over the weekend had worked for the CIA until 2000, sources said. Early Sunday morning, deputies found William Bennett’s body in a grassy area next to Riverside Parkway in the Lansdowne area. His wife, Cynthia Bennett, was found injured nearby. She was airlifted to an area hospital, where she remains in critical condition, unable to talk.

Police raid home of domain owner over censorship lists (WikiLeaks)

Double atomic bomb survivor found in Japan (Telegraph):
A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person to be officially recognised as a survivor of both atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States at the end of the Second World War.

Oxford pupils to text school nurse for morning-after pill (Times Online):
Schoolgirls will be able to request the morning-after pill by text message to their school nurse as part of a scheme being introduced this year.

Police uncover ‘Aladdin’s cave of criminality’ (Independent):
A police raid on three safe deposit vaults in salubrious London neighbourhoods has uncovered an “Aladdin’s cave of criminality” including ivory smuggling, child pornography and murder that has sparked more than 1,000 inquiries around the world, Scotland Yard has said.

Czech Government’s Collapse Hits the EU (TIME)

Czech Republic joins East Europe’s falling dominoes (Times):
The economic crisis sweeping Central and Eastern Europe has claimed a third victim in a month after the Czech government lost a vote of no confidence on Tuesday night in a drama that risks setting off a fresh round of investor flight from the region.

Fears of unrest in eastern Europe grow as Czech government collapses (Independent):
The collapse of the Czech government sent shivers through financial markets in eastern Europe yesterday fanning fears about the growing political unrest that appears to be sweeping through the EU’s eastern fringes.

Russia ‘Concerned’ About Safety of Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal (Bloomberg)

US willing to look at China currency proposal (Financial Times):
“It’s been a tough few weeks for Mr Geithner, but if there is a lesson from today, it is that the dollar is on thin ice and any loose talk will be quickly punished,” said Chris Turner, a strategist at ING Capital Markets.

UN urges $1,000bn for developing world (Financial Times):
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations secretary-general, on Wednesday called on Group of 20 leaders to support a $1,000bn stimulus package for developing countries threatened by the global financial crisis.

Read moreGlobal News (03/25/09)

Global News (03/24/09)

Magna Cum Lousy — Where Today’s Bad CEOs Went To School (The Business Insider):
No big surprise: Most of the bankers, politicians and regulators who got us into this mess went to a handful of elite universities and business schools. (Watch the slideshow.)

Scientists in possible cold fusion breakthrough (AFP):
The scientists on Monday described what they called the first clear visual evidence that low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), or cold fusion devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists say are indicative of nuclear reactions.

Veterans face HIV risk from hospital pumps (MiamiHerald):
Thousands of veterans who underwent certain routine medical procedures at Miami’s VA Medical Center are at risk of being infected with hepatitis or HIV, the hospital announced Monday.

‘IDF troops used 11-year-old boy as human shield in Gaza’ (Ha’aretz):
Israel Defense Forces soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a group of UN human rights experts said Monday. IDF troops ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the UN secretary-general’s envoy for protecting children in armed conflict.

IDF soldiers ordered to shoot at Gaza rescuers, note says (Ha’aretz)

UN reports say Israel targeted civilians in Gaza (Reuters)

Fighting for life: American peace activist shot by Israelis (Independent):
The parents of an American peace activist publicly appealed yesterday for a full investigation into how their son was shot in the head with a high velocity tear gas canister by Israeli security forces.

Israel slams UN rights report on Gaza (AFP)

Thirteen die after C. diff outbreak at hospital (Telegraph):
Three died as a direct result of clostridium difficile while the bug was linked to a further 10 deaths at the hospital. A further 17 patients are still being treated for the fatal infection.

Sweden Says No to Saving Saab (New York Times)

HR 1207 Update (Campaign For Liberty)

Read moreGlobal News (03/24/09)

Global News (03/23/09)

Parrot Honored For Saving Toddler’s Life (WJZ):
Megan went into the bathroom and moments later heard Willie screaming, “Mama, Baby” over and over.

Twin’s ‘sixth sense’ saves drowning sister (Telegraph)

Israel Military condemns soldiers’ shocking T-shirts (Independent):
The report quotes one soldier as explaining: “These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out.”(!!!) (The most moral army in the world)

Gaza war crime claims gather pace as more troops speak out (Guardian):
Fresh allegations have come to light that gung-ho leadership inculcated a culture of disregard for Palestinian casualties

GOP predicts doomsday if Obama budget passed (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans on Sunday predicted a doomsday scenario of crushing debt and eventual federal bankruptcy if President Barack Obama’s massive spending blueprint wins passage.

Geithner plan spurs rally on Wall Street (Financial Times):
(… because the taxpayer is bailing out Wall Street again.)

Brown warns of enduring al-Qaida threat to UK (Guardian):
Gordon Brown today warned that al-Qaida remains the biggest security threat to the UK, as he revealed that tens of thousands of civilians have been trained to deal with terrorist attacks as part of a new strategy to combat extremists.

Gun sales going ballistic (PostStar):
“Handguns, shotguns, rifles — it’s every type,” Nemec said. “People are worried the government is going to take their guns away, or they’re going to tax them (guns and ammunition) to death.”
(And the people will be proven right in every aspect.)

737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire (Global Research):
With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it’s time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire. The following is excerpted from Chalmers Johnson’s new book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic” (Metropolitan Books).

Read moreGlobal News (03/23/09)

Global News (03/21/09)

AIG warns staff to travel in pairs after death threats over bonuses (Guardian):
The embattled US insurance company AIG has warned its staff to travel in pairs after dark, not to wear company logos and to avoid discussing their work outside the office, as public outrage boils over at multimillion-dollar executive bonuses.

British bankers on Merrill bonus list (Telegraph):
A clutch of senior London bankers are expected to be on a list of 200 of Merrill Lynch’s biggest bonus recipients demanded by the New York Attorney General.

Banks Lost $32.1 Billion in Fourth Quarter (AOL Money):
WASHINGTON (March 20) – Federal regulators now say the nation’s banks lost $32.1 billion in the final quarter of last year, even worse than the $26.2 billion originally reported last month.

Geithner’s Crappy Bank Plan Coming Monday (The Business Insider):
So what’s wrong with the plan? The same thing that has been wrong with every plan the Geithner-Paulson-Bernanke regime has rolled out since last September: The price the government is going to pay for the bad assets.

Argentine farmers step up fight with government (Financial Times):
In an escalating conflict with the government over export tariffs, Argentine farmers on Friday announced a new week-long halt to sales of cereals, soya and beef, a move likely to spark fresh supply fears among importers.

Read moreGlobal News (03/21/09)

Global News (03/20/09)

The Big Takeover (Rolling Stone):
The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution. It’s over — we’re officially, royally fucked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock,…..

‘Break up the banks, bust the trusts!’ exclaims Olbermann (Raw Story):
Keith Olbermann used his Thursday Special Comment on MSNBC’s Countdown to lay out one of his most impassioned tirades yet, this time a diatribe against “the latest atrocity” from banks he feels the US should “break up” and regulate “to within an inch of their existences.”

Feds shut banks in Georgia, Colorado, Kansas (AP)

China backs talks on dollar as reserve – Russian source (Reuters):
MOSCOW, March 19 (Reuters) – China and other emerging nations back Russia’s call for a discussion on how to replace the dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency, a senior Russian government source said on Thursday.

UK car production slumps 60% (Guardian)

The Real AIG Scandal (By Eliot Spitzer):
Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG’s bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG’s counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?

Democracy teeters in Pakistan as President falters (Sydney Morning Herald)

GM, Chrysler May Need ‘Considerably’ More Aid, Rattner Says (Bloomberg):
“It could be considerably higher, I won’t deny that,” Rattner said, when asked whether U.S. aid sought could rise to $30 billion or $40 billion.

Treasury throws $5 billion lifeline to auto suppliers (McClatchy):
WASHINGTON — Adding to the growing list of economic sectors that are going under the protective wing of government, U.S. auto-parts suppliers will receive up to $5 billion in a taxpayer-funded revolving line of credit, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.

Citigroup May Spend $10 Million for Executive Suite (Bloomberg):
March 19 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants, after the U.S. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank.

Read moreGlobal News (03/20/09)

Global News (03/19/09)

Preparing for Civil Unrest in America (Global Research):
In the words of Rep. Ron Paul: “…the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough… Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next.”

Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites (Sydney Morning Herald):
Wikileaks, an anonymous document repository for whistleblowers, obtained the list, which has been seen by this website, and plans to publish it for public consumption on its website imminently:
Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist (Wikileaks)

Fannie Mae chiefs in line for huge bonuses (Times Online):
Fannie Mae will pay its top executives retention bonuses of up to $611,000, the state-controlled mortgage lender and guarantor revealed yesterday amid the furore over compensation at AIG.

Israel troops admit Gaza abuses (BBC News):
An Israeli military college has printed damning soldiers’ accounts of the killing of civilians and vandalism during recent operations in Gaza. One account tells of a sniper killing a mother and children at close range whom troops had told to leave their home.

Underwater volcano sends huge columns of ash into Pacific sky (Times Online):
Scientists are on their way to the site of a large undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga, sending columns of smoke and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the Pacific Ocean.

Magnitude-7.9 earthquake hits Tonga (Xinhua)

Google launches Street View in UK (Guardian):
Google has launched its controversial Street View mapping service in the UK, with web and mobile phone users able to see 360-degree views of 25 cities from Southampton to Aberdeen

Soldier suicides skyrocket (Salon):
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called the latest trends “alarming.” Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli admitted, “I, and the other senior leaders of our Army, readily acknowledge that these current figures are unacceptable.”

Fed to Buy Treasurys is Not a Good Sign (Chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley)

AIG will not exist in four years, says chairman (Telegraph)

Credit card fraud soars by 14% as criminals find ways to hack ‘secure’ chip and pin (Daily Mail):
Losses on plastic cards totalled £609.9million during the year, up from £535.2million in 2007, according to payments group Apacs.

US House passes tax to recoup most of AIG bonuses (Reuters):
WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Moving with unusual speed, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation to recoup most of the $165 million in retention bonuses paid to American International Group Inc (AIG.N) employees.

Real cost of EU is ten times higher than EC figures show, Taxpayers’ Alliance says (The Telegraph):
According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, EU membership costs every Briton £2,000 per year, compared with the £220 quoted by the EU.

Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy (AP):
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. (The ‘high’ comes from dying brain cells. People are destroying their brain.)

’07 US Births Break Baby Boom Record (New York Times)

Kentucky counties fined $400,000 for posting Ten Commandments (Guardian):
Two southern Kentucky counties where officials posted copies of the Ten Commandments in courthouses have been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $400,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and citizens who successfully challenged the displays.

Read moreGlobal News (03/19/09)

Global News (03/18/09)

Former Bush aide gets 30 months in prison (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Bush White House aide was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing nearly $600,000 from a government program that promotes democracy in Cuba.

Aboriginal elder arrived ‘with third-degree burns’ (The Australian):
A RESPECTED Aboriginal elder who died in the back of a non-airconditioned prison van while being transported across the West Australian outback in the middle of summer arrived at hospital drenched in sweat, unconscious and with third-degree burns on his stomach, an inquest has heard.

Government launches bid to allay fears over GM food (Independent):
PM hopes to gather enough evidence to prove genetically modified crops are safe
(Which proves that there is obviously not enough evidence that genetically modified crops are safe! GM food is lethal junk and that has been proven many times.)

Israeli army ordered to devise Iran war (PressTV):
Tehran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and, according to the UN nuclear watchdog, has not opted to violate the treaty. (Plus U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Iran does not have ANY weapon grade uranium: Iran still lacks arms-grade nuclear material: U.S. So could those warmongers please shut the f… up.)

Israel could use ballistic missiles against Iran-report (Reuters):
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Ballistic missiles could be Israel’s weapon of choice against Iranian nuclear facilities if it decides on a pre-emptive attack and deems air strikes too risky, according to a report by a Washington think-tank. (PS: According to Jimmy Carter Israel has about 150 nuclear weapons. What Iran does is “perfectly legal” according to Ron Paul and attacking Iran would be just another war crime and a violation of international law.)

Avigdor Lieberman – branded Arab-hating racist – set to be Israeli foreign minister (Times Online)

Robert Fisk: Why Lieberman is worst thing that could happen to the Middle East (Independent):
World Focus: I can identify Lieberman’s language with the language of Messrs Mladic and Karadzic and Milosevic

Britain will be only nation still in recession next year (Independent):
The British economy is heading for its worst year since the Great Depression, according to the latest predictions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
(Britain will go into depression this year.)

Goldman Offers Loans to Stretched Employees (New York Times):
(Maybe I should make a documentary: ‘Goldman: The Poorest Guys in the Room.’)

Unemployment surges through 2m (Guardian):
Unemployment has topped 2 million on the widest measure of joblessness, while the claimant count has suffered its biggest jump on record. (And the economic crisis has just started!)

UniCredit to seek €4bn aid (Financial Times):
UniCredit, one of Italy’s top two banks, is to seek up to €4bn in state aid, joining a growing list of European banking groups turning to governments to boost their capital base as they grapple with the global financial crisis.

Murder in Nairobi: Wikileaks related human rights lawyers assassinated (WikiLeaks):
The two were on their way to a meeting at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights. Both had been investigating extra-judicial assassinations by the Kenyan Police. Part of their work forms the basis of the “Cry of Blood” report Wikileaks released on November 1 last year and subsequent follow ups, including a UN indictment last month.
Since 2007 the Oscar foundation has documented 6,452 “enforced disappearances” by police and 1,721 extra-judicial killings.

Madoff’s accountant released on $2.5m bail (AP):
Bernard Madoff’s longtime accountant has been released on $2.5 million in bail. The 49-year-old David Friehling was arrested on fraud charges Wednesday and accused of helping the disgraced money manager cheat thousands of investors out of billions of dollars.

Russia plans military upgrade to match Nato (Guardian):
Russia plans to boost both conventional armed forces and nuclear forces to counter a growing threat from Nato, President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday, raising the spectre of a military confrontation between Moscow and the west.

Shell dumps wind, solar and hydro power in favour of biofuels (Guardian):
(Dump Shell!)

World Bank warns China can’t make up for collapse in Western demand (Telegraph):
David Dollar
, the Bank’s country director for China, added that the world should not expect China’s economy to make up for plummeting demand in the West in the near future. (David Dollar! You just couldn’t make these things up.)

Eurozone recession to deepen, says IMF (Financial Times):
“The scenario will be worse but the managing director has already said this,” she said in Lisbon. “This is a true global crisis, impacting all parts of the world and countries at different levels of development.”

Ford cuts production in Europe (Guardian)

Plan Would Limit Prison Chapel Books (New York Times)

Pope’s attack on condoms sickens Aids campaigners (Times Online):
The Pope caused dismay among Aids campaigners yesterday by declaring on his first trip to Africa that condoms were not the solution to the epidemic ravaging the continent.

Global News (03/17/09)

Hundreds of patients ‘died unnecessarily’ at flagship hospital (Guardian):
Appalling emergency care resulted in enormous suffering, says health watchdog in most damning report ever on an NHS hospital

Mexican drug cartels’ new weaponry means war (MiamiHerald):
Narcotics traffickers are acquiring firepower more appropriate to an army — including grenade launchers and antitank rockets — and the police are feeling outgunned.

AIG Budgeted $57 Million Retention Pay for Staff Facing Dismissal (Bloomberg):
March 17 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., the insurer under fire for handing out bonuses after its $173 billion government bailout, budgeted $57 million in “retention” pay for employees who will be dismissed.

Tenth Amendment Movement: Taking On the Feds (New American):
We Americans are expected to play by the rules — to obey traffic regulations, pay taxes, observe zoning ordinances — in short, to abide by the law. If we don’t, we may find ourselves fined or even jailed. Our federal government is also expected to abide by rules — in its case, the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution specifies which powers the federal government may exercise, and forbids any others. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is explicit: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Florida legislator wants random drug tests for the unemployed (Raw Story):

Central Banks Gorge on Dollars, Englander Sees Fall (Bloomberg):
“People are sitting there holding massive amounts of zero- yielding dollar assets,”
said Englander, a Yale University Ph.D. who started his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and studied the currency markets for 25 years. “If there is any sort of good news, demand for dollars can drop off very, very quickly.”

Bank of Japan May Increase Government Bond Purchases as Aso Eyes Stimulus (Bloomberg):
(The Zimbabwe school of economics rules.)

More than 1m jobs to go in UK (Financial Times):
More than a million British workers will lose their jobs over the next two years as the recession takes an unexpected turn, hitting the north and Midlands as badly as the south, a leading economic forecaster has warned.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer halts print edition (CNNMoney):
SEATTLE (CNN) — The Hearst Corp. announced Monday it will publish its last print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday and shift the operation of Seattle’s oldest business wholly to the Internet.

Mexico to impose sanctions on US exports (Financial Times):
A long-simmering trade dispute boiled over into sanctions on Monday after Mexico said it would raise tariffs on $2.4bn of US exports in retaliation for ending a pilot programme to allow Mexican trucks on American roads.

Banks scramble to return bailout funds (Los Angeles Times):
A growing number of healthy bank chains across the country are bailing out of the $700-billion federal banking bailout program, saying it has tarnished the reputation of banks that took the money and tangled them in unwieldy regulations.

Nokia to cut 1700 jobs in sinking phone market (Reuters)

Taxes must rise to pay for climate change, MPs warn (Telegraph):
Taxes will need to rise to pay for the green revolution which is necessary to save the planet from global warming, MPs warn today.

Voluntary code to make banks pay taxes could be made law (Independent):
The Chancellor will publish proposals with his Budget on 22 April for a voluntary code to ensure the banks obey “the spirit and letter of the law” on taxation. If they do not comply, he will enshrine the code in law. It is claimed that the state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland tied up £25bn in tax-avoidance schemes while it was expanding, costing the British and US taxpayers more than £500m in lost revenue.

Students tie £56 camera to balloon and send it to edge of space to capture stunning images of Earth (Daily Mail):
Teenagers with a £56 camera and latex balloon have managed to take stunning pictures from 20 miles above Earth. Proving that you don’t need Google’s billions or the BBC weather centre’s resources, the four Spanish students managed to send a camera-operated weather balloon into the stratosphere.Taking atmospheric readings and photographs, the Meteotek team of IES La Bisbal school in Spanish Catalonia completed their incredible experiment at the end of February this year.