Deposit insurance system may face WaMu test

Attention has focused on the danger presented by the failure of Lehman Brothers. But the failure of a commercial bank such as Washington Mutual can have systemic consequences if it threatens a run on other weak banks.

Washington Mutual – the sixth largest bank in the US – has lost more than a third of its market value recently as investors fear it lacks liquidity and capital to survive the credit crisis.

The failure of a bank its size would test the strength of the US deposit insurance system and its ability to maintain the confidence of the nation’s savers.

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Jobless set to top two million as the UK economy heads for meltdown


A JobCentre office

The true scale of the jobs disaster facing Britain is revealed today as experts issue dire warnings that up to half a million workers will lose their jobs over the next two years, as companies cut costs and scale back investment plans to survive the economic downturn.

Official figures are widely expected to reveal this week that the number of people out of work and claiming benefits increased for a seventh successive month in August.

Finance companies based in London’s Square Mile have already laid off thousands of workers since the US mortgage crisis unleashed chaos in the world’s markets last summer; and the 5,000 UK-based staff at crisis-hit investment bank Lehman Brothers are awaiting news this weekend about how many of them will be made redundant.

Read moreJobless set to top two million as the UK economy heads for meltdown

Lehman Brothers teeters on verge of collapse as Barclays pulls out

Lehman Brothers HQ in New York
Lehman Brothers HQ in New York

Global investment bank Lehman Brothers is teetering on the verge of collapse after Barclays pulled out of an 11th-hour rescue.

The departure of Barclays left US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, spearheading desperate last-ditch attempts to put in place some form of a workable rescue package.

Traders fear that the collapse of Lehman would send shockwaves around the world and spark a global sell-off of shares.

Lehman which employs 4,000 staff in London and 24,00 around the world, could be placed into liquidation as soon as Monday. The bank would be the single largest casualty of the current credit crisis and its collapse one of the biggest failures in Wall Street history.

In one of the most traumatic days in the history of Wall Street, Bank of America is reported to be on the verge of buying Merrill Lynch for $38bn.

Read moreLehman Brothers teeters on verge of collapse as Barclays pulls out

U.S. to sell Israel Air Force smart bombs for heavily fortified targets

Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF’s military capabilities. The deal was approved amid public and secret messages from Washington, with the Americans expressing their reservations about a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear sites.

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Pakistan jets sent to confront US drones

Pakistan has ordered its jet fighters to confront any attack by the US-led coalition forces on the tribal belt near the Afghan border.

Air force fighters have carried out sorties in the tribal region for the first time after US missiles attacks killed dozens of civilians, sources said on Saturday.

Air Force Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood, meanwhile, said that the Air Force could respond to violation of the country’s air space by the US forces if the government issued orders.

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Ex-Minister: Saakashvili Planned South Ossetia Invasion

PARIS (Reuters) – Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had long planned a military strike to seize back the breakaway region of South Ossetia but executed it poorly, making it easy for Russia to retaliate, Saakashvili’s former defence minister said.

Irakly Okruashvili, Georgia’s leading political exile, said in a weekend interview in Paris that the United States was partly to blame for the war, having failed to check the ambitions of what he called a man with democratic failings.

Saakashvili’s days as president were now numbered, he said.

Read moreEx-Minister: Saakashvili Planned South Ossetia Invasion

McCain’s Court: Change We Don’t Need

Related video: (CNN) Ron Paul’s Major Announcement: Reject Obama and McCain!
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More justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia could be on the way under a McCain presidency. (Flickr: Chris Eversole)

There has been much debate about whether Sen. John McCain is a candidate of change. But in one area, McCain is unquestionably a reformer. He would almost certainly make fundamental changes in the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court.

McCain has said that, should he be president, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito “would serve as the model for my own nominees.” He regularly attacks what he calls “activist judging,” and he described a recent ruling vindicating the right to habeas corpus as “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” McCain has repeatedly said that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.

Read moreMcCain’s Court: Change We Don’t Need

On the Second Amendment, Don’t Believe Obama

Related video: (CNN) Ron Paul’s Major Announcement: Reject Obama and McCain!
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The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the right to keep and bear arms.

But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties. Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.

FACT: Barack Obama opposes four of the five Supreme Court justices who affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. He voted against the confirmation of Alito and Roberts and he has stated he would not have appointed Thomas or Scalia.17

FACT: Barack Obama voted for an Illinois State Senate bill to ban and confiscate “assault weapons,” but the bill was so poorly crafted, it would have also banned most semi-auto and single and double barrel shotguns commonly used by sportsmen.18

FACT: Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.1

FACT: Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.15

FACT: Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.3

FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.9

FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.2

FACT: Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.4

FACT: Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people
who use firearms in self-defense.5

Read moreOn the Second Amendment, Don’t Believe Obama

CDC has created an HIV incidence surveillance system

Report on HIV incidence in the U.S.
By CDC
Sep 12, 2008 – 8:05:27 AM

Subpopulation Estimates from the HIV Incidence Surveillance System — United States, 2006

CDC has created an HIV incidence surveillance system in selected areas of the United States as a component of its national human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) reporting system ( 1).

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Pakistan order to kill US invaders

KEY corps commanders of Pakistan’s 600,000-strong army issued orders last night to retaliate against “invading” US forces that enter the country to attack militant targets.

The move has plunged relations between Islamabad and Washington into deep crisis over how to deal with al-Qa’ida and the Taliban

What amounts to a dramatic order to “kill the invaders”, as one senior officer put it last night, was disclosed after the commanders – who control the army’s deployments at divisional level – met at their headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi under the chairmanship of army chief and former ISI spy agency boss Ashfaq Kayani.

Leading English-language newspaper The News warned in an editorial that the US determination to attack targets inside Pakistan was likely to be “the best recruiting sergeant that the extremists ever had”, with even “moderates” outraged by it.

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