Inflation surges to 16-year high

Inflation soared to 4.4% last month – the biggest jump in the cost of living in more than 16 years – on the back of rocketing food prices, clouding hopes that the Bank of England will move to cut interest rates in coming months.

The Office for National Statistics said today that the consumer prices index (CPI), the government’s preferred inflation measure, leapt to an annual rate of 4.4%, up from 3.8% in June. This beat analysts’ expectations of inflation of 4.1%, and is more than double the government’s target.

This is the highest level recorded since the CPI series began in January 1997. According to analysts, inflation was last higher in April 1992 when it hit 4.7%.

The main driver was hefty rises in food prices, particularly bacon, ham and poultry. The cost of meat on the year was up a record 13.7%. Bread and cereal prices also shot up and fuel inflation was at an all-time high as well.

Read moreInflation surges to 16-year high

Iran warns against ‘surprise attack


Iran’s Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar

Iran’s Defense Minister Mohammad-Najjar has warned that its response to a surprise enemy attack would be a greater surprise for the aggressor.

He said Iran has developed an extensive defense force to repel any possible attack, adding the Islamic Republic is currently a major defensive power.

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HSBC warns that financial crisis will spread to Asia

Asia will be infected by the economic weakness spreading through the world’s leading economies, threatening the engine of global growth, HSBC has warned.


Cashing in on Hong Kong gets harder

Speaking after reporting a “resilient” 28pc fall in pre-tax profits to $10.3bn (£5.2bn) for the six months to June, despite incurring a further $10bn of bad debt, Stephen Green, HSBC chairman, said: “I don’t believe the emerging markets have completely decoupled. There is no way a serious downturn in the US will leave Asia immune.”

HSBC, the world’s third largest bank, still expects the region to grow but it will be “with less momentum than in the recent past” because of rising inflation in the face of commodity price pressures.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas warned that the Asian outlook “provides the greatest threat to HSBC’s premium valuation” and that “some of the gloss has started to fade”.

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Defence chiefs admit to nuclear deaths

BRITISH Defence chiefs have admitted servicemen were exposed to dangerous radiation levels during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s.

The dramatic admission, made after years of denials, features in papers filed with the High Court in London by Ministry of Defence lawyers.

The Sunday Mirror newspaper said the court papers reveal that the Ministry of Defence now believes that nuclear tests were responsible for the deaths of some British servicemen.

However, the MoD insists that only 159 men were affected out of the 20,000 who were present.

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Royal Bank of Scotland poised for biggest loss in UK banking history

Britain’s second largest bank expected to reveal it has lost £1 billion in first half

THE Royal Bank of Scotland is poised to unveil the biggest loss in UK banking history after taking a hit of almost £6 billion from the credit crisis.

Britain’s second-largest bank is this week expected to reveal a pre-tax loss of at least £1 billion for the first six months of the year, with analysts warning it could slide to as much as £1.7 billion in the red.

The loss would be roughly five times higher than the deficit racked up by Barclays in 1992 at the height of the last recession.

RBS chairman Sir Tom McKillop is already under pressure from investors after the bank’s recent £12 billion rights issue. His chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, who marks 10 years at the bank this weekend, also faces shareholder scrutiny.

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Secret “War on Terror” Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed

The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the “War on Terror,” and recent revelations in TIME — based on disclosures by a “senior American official,” who was “a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings” after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that “a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island” — will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely.

The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the US government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret “War on Terror” prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, “extraordinary rendition” and the practice of torture.

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Report: Obama, Potential Iran Attack, Financial Collapse

Published for some of the information on the economy.


Added: August 02, 2008

Source: YouTube

More than 100 countries back Iran’s nuclear program

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – More than 100 nonaligned nations backed Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear power on Wednesday, an endorsement sought by Tehran in its standoff with the U.N. Security Council over its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

The decision came as supreme Iranian leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei pledged to continue the country’s nuclear program.

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EU agrees to go beyond U.N. sanctions on Iran

The U.S. would see this as an act of war, if someone would do it to them.
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has agreed to go beyond United Nations sanctions on Iran, instructing its financial institutions to exercise “restraint” on export credits and allowing its navies to inspect all Iran-bound cargoes, a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

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Queen’s stockbroker raided, biggest ever crackdown on insider trading

The Queen’s stockbroker Cazenove has been caught up in Britain’s biggest ever crackdown on insider trading.

Eight people were arrested in dawn raids yesterday by the City watchdog the Financial Services Authority.

Cazenove admitted that one of the arrested worked at its London offices as a sub-contractor.

A 40-strong team from the FSA swooped on addresses in London and the South East with back-up from City of London police.

Cazenove, the Queen’s stockbroker, has been at the centre of police raids into insider trading

They are believed to have seized computers and paperwork.

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