UK: Housing sales sink to worst for 30 years

· Estate agents average one deal a week as prices fall
· Rics calls for tax-free cash help for first-time buyers

The government is being urged to act swiftly to help drag the ailing property industry up off its knees as housing sales slow to their worst level in three decades and prices continue to decline.

Read moreUK: Housing sales sink to worst for 30 years

Joe Biden: Israel should accept ‘nuclear’ Iran


Senator Joe Biden

The US Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden has advised senior Israeli officials to come to terms with a ‘nuclear’ Iran.

In a clandestine meeting with unnamed Israeli officials, which was partially covered by the US Jewish Army Radio, Barack Obama’s vice-presidential nominee said, “Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran.”

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Biden, a six-time Delaware Senator and chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the “amazed” officials, “It’s doubtful if the economic sanctions will be effective, and I am against opening an additional military and diplomatic front.”

Read moreJoe Biden: Israel should accept ‘nuclear’ Iran

Police Using G.P.S. Units as Evidence in Crimes

Like millions of motorists, Eric Hanson used a Global Positioning System device in his Chevrolet TrailBlazer to find his way around. He probably did not expect that prosecutors would use it, too – to help convict him of killing four family members.

Prosecutors in suburban Chicago analyzed data from the Garmin G.P.S. device to pinpoint where Mr. Hanson had been on the morning after his parents were fatally shot and his sister and brother-in-law bludgeoned to death in 2005. He was convicted of the killings this year and sentenced to death.

Read morePolice Using G.P.S. Units as Evidence in Crimes

Report: Israel won’t allow a nuclear Iran

Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and if time begins to run out, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion.

According to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike.

So far, Israel has not received American authorization to use US-controlled Iraqi airspace, nor has the defense establishment been successful in securing the purchase of advanced US-made warplanes which could facilitate an Israeli strike.

Read moreReport: Israel won’t allow a nuclear Iran

US fears Russia will sell Iran S-300s

Related article: De Telegraaf: “Attack on Iran expected”:

“AMSTERDAM – The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has conducted an ultrasecret operation in Iran with the purpose of infiltrating and sabotaging the weapons industry in the islamic republic.”

“The operation, deemed extremely succesfull, has recently been cancelled because of an imminent aerial attack on Iran. Targets include sites that are connected to the Dutch spying.”

So the attack is already on its way and this is just another excuse to justify it:
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Russian S-30 missiles

US intelligence says escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow could prompt Russia to sell the sophisticated S-300 system to Iran.

“If Tehran obtained the S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking for tackling Iran. That could be a catalyst for Israeli air attacks before it is operational,” said Dan Goure, a long-time Pentagon advisor.

“This is a system that scares every Western air force,” he said.

Read moreUS fears Russia will sell Iran S-300s

Millions more face big energy price increases

· Up to 34% rise as last two big suppliers get into line
· Government urged to act as more face fuel poverty


Photograph: Steve Taylor/Getty Images

This summer’s misery for energy consumers reached a climax yesterday when the last two of the big six suppliers raised prices for millions of household customers.

ScottishPower, which has just over 5 million customers, said gas bills would rise by 34% from the beginning of next month, and electricity by 9%. Npower said it was putting up gas prices by 26% and electricity by 14% for its 6.6 million customers with immediate effect.

Read moreMillions more face big energy price increases

Blackwater Issues Mercenary Call For Hurricane Gustav

Security for Hurricane Gustav

Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.
Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

Law Enforcement Officers (all criteria must apply)

1. Current sworn [may be full time, part time or reserve]
2. With arrest powers
3. Armed status (must indicate Armed and/or Semi Auto. Revolver only not accepted) expiration must be greater than 60 days out
4. Departmental credentials (not just a badge)

Read moreBlackwater Issues Mercenary Call For Hurricane Gustav

Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain’s choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Read moreBush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

Thailand sinks into crisis as demonstrators close airports and railways


Unions urged airline and railway workers to take “sick leave” to support the protests (Sakchai Lalit/AP)

Thailand sank deeper into political chaos yesterday as anti-government demonstrators forced the closure of airports and railway lines, stranding foreign and domestic passengers and increasing fears of yet another military coup.

In the capital, Bangkok, a crowd of 2,000 people faced a barrage of teargas as they attempted to take over police headquarters. In other parts of the country, members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaraveg shut down airports in Hat Yai and the tourist resorts of Phuket and Krabi.

“This is embarrassing in front of the world,” Mr Samak said, three days after being forced out of his office by demonstrators. “I have several tools at my disposal, but I am not using any of them because I want to keep things calm. I will not quit. If you want me out, do it by law, not by force.”

Read moreThailand sinks into crisis as demonstrators close airports and railways

‘Environmental volunteers’ will be encouraged to spy on their neighbours

Councils are recruiting residents to report anyone who drops litter, fails to recycle their rubbish properly, or who allows their dog to foul the streets.

Advertisements looking for people to sign up for the unpaid “environmental volunteer” jobs have been posted across the country in recent months.

Critics said the scheme is encouraging a Big Brother society where friends and neighbours will be encouraged to “snoop” on one another.

The recruitment drive follows news that the Home Office is granting police powers to council staff and private security guards, allowing then to hand out fines for low-scale offences and ask for personal details.

Read more‘Environmental volunteers’ will be encouraged to spy on their neighbours