Nov 24

Metro officers hurt during training sue company, say warnings didn’t suffice

Several cops got on their knees on a rubber gym mat. Kneeling in a line, they linked arms, interlaced hands, and looked up. All they knew of what comes next is this: It’s going to smart.

This was called the “daisy chain.” It was part of the Metro Police Taser training program, the alternative to hitting a single individual with thousands of volts from the weapon. It was the option officer Lisa Peterson chose, a decision she regrets.

The officers were at a training seminar in November 2003 to learn how to use the newest weapon on their belts, a device the manufacturer claimed would incapacitate a person but not do permanent harm. You can’t really comprehend the Taser, students were told, until you’re Tasered.

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Nov 24

In a sign of bad economic times, more than 40,000 show up when a Weld family invites people to gather surplus produce.

An estimated 40,000 people came to a Weld County farm Saturday to collect free potatoes, carrots and leeks.

Cars snaked around cornfields and parallel parked along Colorado 66 and 119 early in the morning to get free food from the Miller family, who farm 600 acres outside of Platteville, about 37 miles north of Denver.

As this prolonged Indian summer continued, the Millers had decided to give away produce because so much was left over at the end of their annual fall festival. Any day now, a few deep freezes would kill it off.

They expected between 5,000 and 10,000 people spread out over a couple of days. Instead, they found themselves on Saturday morning inundated with cars and people with sacks and wagons and barrels ready to harvest whatever was available.

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Nov 24

(NaturalNews) If you’ve ever taken a super long flight that lasts seven to nine hours and crossed a time zone or two, you probably know that jet lag can make you feel just plain awful — and it can keep you from enjoying your trip for at least a day or two. That can be especially aggravating when you travel over the holidays. But now comes news that a natural plant substance, an extract from the French maritime pine tree, can cut jet lag symptoms by about fifty percent.

The new research, conducted at the G. D’Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy, and just published in the journal Minerva Cardioangiologica, reveals pine bark extract, or pycnogenol, reduced symptoms of jet lag including feeling exhausted, headaches, insomnia and brain edema (swelling). It was effective in both healthy individuals and those with high blood pressure. In addition,airline passengers experienced far less lower leg edema, a common condition associated with long flights, when they took pine bark extract.

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Nov 24

The U.S. Army plans to spend some $50 million over five years on combat video games to train soldiers, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

To oversee this investment, the Army created a game-training unit named, as military units often are, with an acronym, PEO-STRI, for “Project Executive Office – Simulation Training and Instrumentation.” This unit will track developments in the video game industry and choose promising products that could be used or modified to train soldiers.

The report said the Army unit also “has an undisclosed additional budget” to spend on a commercial game system to be used by February.

There’s already one game – DARWARS Ambush – in use for teaching soldiers. It was set up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA to focus mainly on the difficult problem of roadside ambushes that use explosives to hit at convoy vehicles. But that game, based on old technology, has limits, and the Army wants to upgrade to new systems.

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Nov 24

Companies targeted as nervous high-street lenders introduce crippling fees

High-street banks are continuing to hit businesses with punitive interest rates for loans and overdrafts and are resorting to more severe measures to ensure they are paid.

Some are demanding that owners of small businesses put up personal assets as collateral in return for a business loan. Others are changing conditions of loans by sending emails rather than meeting in person, and giving borrowers just 48 hours to comply with unilaterally-rearranged overdraft and lending agreements.

The Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, said he was alarmed by the banks’ behaviour: “That is not the sort of constructive relationship that is sustainable between banks and businesses.

“I want a constructive relationship with them, of course, but they have to know they are going to be tested and judged by what role they play to help Britain and British business get through this economic storm.”

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, also heaped the pressure on misbehaving banks. “There is a loss of confidence in the banking system and they are increasing that loss of confidence by not acting the way banks usually do,” he wrote in a Sunday newspaper.

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Nov 24

Source: EVTV

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Nov 24

We will see hyperinflation, the dollar will fail and then the US will fail.
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Henry Paulson, U.S. treasury secretary, left, and Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, look through their notes before a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in Washington, Nov. 18, 2008. Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/Bloomberg News

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $2.8 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the only plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in.

“Whether it’s lending or spending, it’s tax dollars that are going out the window and we end up holding collateral we don’t know anything about,” said Congressman Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. “The time has come that we consider what sort of limitations we should be placing on the Fed so that authority returns to elected officials as opposed to appointed ones.”

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Nov 24

(NaturalNews) Herbs from the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family have been shown to drastically reduce the infectivity of HIV-1 virions, single infective viral particles. A research team from the University of Heidelberg has found that extracts of lemon balm, sage and peppermint work rapidly to produce their effects in amounts that display no toxicity. The extracts were seen to enhance the density of the virions prior to their surface engagement. They also displayed a strong activity against herpes simplex virus type 2.

The researchers examined water extracts from the leaves of lemon balm, sage and peppermint for their potency to inhibit infection by HIV-1. They found that the extracts exhibited a high and concentration-dependent activity against the infection of HIV-1 in T-cell lines, primary macrophages, and in ex vivo tonsil histocultures. This effect was produced at extract concentrations as low as 0.004% without affect to cell viability.

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Nov 24

A Citigroup sign hangs at the Citigroup Center in New York on Sept. 29, 2008. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg News

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., facing the threat of a breakup or sale, received $306 billion of U.S. government guarantees for troubled mortgages and toxic assets to stabilize the bank after its stock fell 60 percent last week.

Citigroup also will get a $20 billion cash injection from the Treasury Department, adding to the $25 billion the company received last month under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In return for the cash and guarantees, the government will get $27 billion of preferred shares paying an 8 percent dividend. Citigroup rose 53 percent to $5.75 at 8:37 a.m. in New York trading today.

The Treasury, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a joint statement that the move aims to bolster financial-market stability and help restore economic growth. The decision came after New York-based Citigroup’s tumbling share price sparked concern that depositors might pull their money and destabilize the company, which has $2 trillion of assets and operations in more than 100 countries.

“It really was a must-do thing,” said Nader Naeimi, a Sydney-based strategist at AMP Capital Investors, which manages about $85 billion. “If they’d let Citigroup go, that would’ve been disastrous.”

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Nov 23

Jaded shoppers deliver their verdict on the chain store that could go under this week

Woolworths store front
Woolworths has always prided itself on its cheap deals. Photograph: Stephen Kelly / PA

For 30,000 Woolworths staff it may be a bleak Christmas as it became clear yesterday that the veteran high-street retailer could go under this week if management cannot clinch a fire sale.

Woolworths evokes nostalgia for precious pocket money spent on bottles of cola and ill-advised chart singles by Bucks Fizz. Last week it became clear that Woolworths itself was worth only pocket money, with management in talks to sell the 800-store chain for £1.

The collapse of Woolworths would be by far the largest retail failure this year, symbolising the high street’s woes.

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Nov 23

Prepare for war. Last week I met the Boogie Man, the former head of the Israeli Defence Forces, General Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon, who is preparing the political groundwork for a military attack on Iran’s key nuclear facilities. “We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately,” he told me. “There is no way to stabilise the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped.”

Defeating the theocratic regime in Tehran could be economic or political or, as a last resort, military, he said. “All tools, all options, should be considered.” He was speaking in the tranquillity of the Shalem Centre in Jerusalem, where he was, until last Thursday, one of Israel’s plethora of warrior-scholars, though more influential than most.

Could “all options” include decapitating the Iranian leadership by military strikes, including on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel’s destruction? “We have to consider killing him,” Ya’alon replied. “All options must be considered.”

That’s why he’s called Boogie. This is significant, for several reasons. Ya’alon has decided to enter what he called “the cold waters of Israeli politics”. He will run for the conservative Likud party in the general election in Israel on February 10. Likud is leading the opinion polls. So I could have been speaking to Israel’s next defence minister or, at least, an influential member of the next cabinet.

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Nov 23

It has been a hard year for the biggest Swiss bank, UBS. After losing millions in the US sub-prime mortgage market, it has had to beg the Swiss government for help. As Imogen Foulkes reports, its reputation in Switzerland may never recover.

Swiss shareholders are angry that the value of their shares has plummeted

In Zurich, UBS head office sits astride Paradeplatz – Parade Square to you and me.

But in recent months, the Swiss have renamed it Piratenplatz – or Pirate Square – to signify what they believe is the daylight robbery that has taken place over the last 12 months. Not of their biggest bank, but by it.

When the news began to trickle out that UBS was in big trouble because of its exposure to sub-prime mortgages, there was first surprise, then concern, and then finally, as the multi-billion pound extent of the losses became clear, fury.

I remember going to an emergency shareholders meeting earlier this year.

Touch their money and the Swiss get mad
Bernhard Weissberg
Blick newspaper

UBS has thousands of small shareholders, mostly relatively well-off, mostly elderly, and none of them expecting the value of their shares to be cut in half in a few short months.

Huge bonuses

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Nov 23


As many as 4 million people are expected to attend Obama’s inauguration at the Mall.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Law enforcement officials bracing for the largest crowds in inaugural history are preparing far-reaching security – thousands of video cameras, sharpshooters, air patrols – to safeguard President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in.

People attending the ceremony and parade on Jan. 20 can expect to be searched by machines, security personnel or both. Precautions will range from the routine – magnetometers like those used at airports – to countersnipers trained to hit a target the size of a teacup saucer from 1,000 yards away. Plus undercover officers, bomb sniffing dogs and air patrols.

The Secret Service – the agency coordinating the security – also has assigned trained officials to identify and prevent cyber security risks. And, as it does at every inauguration, the service has mapped out escape routes for the 44th president.

In addition Washington’s 5,265 surveillance cameras, spread around the city, are expected to be fed into a multi-agency command center.

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Nov 23

THE Irish government has agreed to take part in a €3 billion (£2 billion) bailout of Bank of Ireland that will be led by private equity. The deal would be the first state aid for an Irish bank.

This week a number of private-equity groups will make proposals to BoI. A condition of the government cash injection will be that new investors are locked in for a set time to ensure they don’t try to sell quickly and make a big profit.

Names already linked with a potential investment include Cardinal Asset Management, an Irish investment firm, Sandler O’Neill, Texas Pacific Group and JC Flowers.

Ireland was one of the first countries to respond to the credit crisis with a guarantee for bank liabilities worth some €440 billion, but until now it has not bailed out or nationalised any banks, and they have not raised equity themselves.

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Nov 23

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, is to arm police with 10,000 Taser stun guns in an escalation of the government’s fight against violent crime.

Smith will unveil plans tomorrow that will enable all 30,000 front-line response officers to be trained in firing the electric guns at knife-wielding thugs and other violent suspects.

Smith said yesterday that £8m will be made available to all 43 police forces in England and Wales to buy the new 50,000-volt weapons.

She said their use will be extended from small units of dedicated firearms officers to up to 30,000 police response officers across the country.

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Nov 23

This is important. Watch it. Peter Schiff has been right, is right and will be right in the future.
Forget about deflation that is nonsense, that is like Bush or Paulson telling us that ‘the economy is sound’.

Source: YouTube

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Nov 23


World’s only private resort for billionaires goes bankrupt

World’s only private ski and golf resort for billionaires, Yellowstone Club (Montana, USA), has gone bankrupt. The club, which has Microsoft founder Bill Gates among its members, is unable to call in its credits, RIA Novosti reports. The company, which serves billionaires, has thus failed to withstand the financial crisis.

The most expensive and luxurious resort in Montana has filed for bankruptcy on account of its debts evaluated at $343 million. The debts had been saved as a result of the aggressive expansion politics and an intention to build additional offices in Scotland, Mexico and on the Caribbean islands.

Yellowstone is the location of the most expensive house in the world – the estate of logging tycoon Tim Blixseth worth $167 million. Blixseth founded the club in 1999. The resort has “cheaper” offers too – priced from 4 to 16 million dollars.

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Nov 23

It’s not preferable, but all major U.S. financial companies will eventually be under government control because the alternative is so much worse, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, said Friday.

“All financials will be owned by the U.S. government in a year,” Hendry said. “I bet you.”

(Watch the accompanying video for Hendry’s full comments here.)

Nationalizations take dramatic losses from the private sector and places them on the larger balance sheet of the public sector, he said.

“It’s not good,” but society is vulnerable and society is going to have to intervene, Hendry said.

Shareholders Should Get Nothing

Because the taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for bailout out the banks, shareholders shouldn’t be compensated, Hendry added.

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Nov 22

The IMF’s chief economist is warning the global financial crisis is set to worsen and the situation will not improve until 2010, a report says.

Olivier Blanchard also warned that the institution does not have the funds to solve every economic problem.

“The worst is yet to come,” Blanchard said in an interview with the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper, adding that “a lot of time is needed before the situation becomes normal.”

He said economic growth would not kick in until 2010 and it will take another year before the global financial situation became normal again.

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Nov 22

More than 80,000 job losses were announced around the world this week as the global recession tightened its grip in virtually every business sector.

A Financial Times study of company announcements, press briefings and union statements over the past five working days reveals the spread and depth of the downturn.

Jobs have haemorrhaged from businesses as diverse as a Chicago kosher hot dog factory, a German airline and car plants in Japan. Companies have been forced into savage cost cutting as the effects of the credit crunch have sapped confidence and sent order books and commodity prices plummeting.

Almost 30,000 job losses have been announced by British companies alone in the past two weeks.

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Nov 22

The weekly newsletter sent out on Friday by Fathom, a London-based economic consultancy, said it all. “It’s getting really ugly out there,” it said. “It may be true that we have passed the first phase of this crisis, but that does not mean the next phase will not be worse, perhaps very much worse.”

The investors reading those dire warnings will already have spent their week seeing a heap of evidence piling up that the economic crisis is spreading around the world. Record after grim record was broken in the financial markets, as long-term interest rates sank to their lowest for decades, in some cases their lowest ever.

Any lingering hopes that some parts of the world economy, particularly the fast-growing emerging markets such as China, would remain immune to the crisis were snuffed out. With remarkable speed in the past two months, a worrying but apparently manageable credit crunch has turned into a global financial crisis and a recession across much of the world’s economy.

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Nov 22

Senator Hillary Clinton has accepted Barack Obama’s offer to become US Secretary of State, as the president-elect moved at rapid speed to assemble an all-star cabinet amid steep challenges at home and overseas.


Mrs Clinton, 61, had been uncertain if she should give up her Senate seat to join Barack Obama’s staff Photo: GETTY

Friends of the former First Lady told American news organisations that she had firmly decided to give up her seat as a senator for New York and become the international face of the man who thwarted her presidential ambitions in a long and sometimes bitter battle for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Other reports said Mr Obama will nominate Timothy Geithner, 47, as his Treasury Secretary. As head of the New York federal reserve bank he has been involved with the $700 billion bail-out of Wall Street, which he will take charge of if confirmed.

As a former treasury official, Mr Geithner has invaluable Washington experience and will be considered a wise choice. Stocks soared as news of his appointment reached Wall Street.

He will probably be joined around the cabinet table by Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor, who has been reportedly selected as commerce secretary after losing out to Mrs Clinton as secretary of state, the most prestigious job beneath the presidency.

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Nov 22


New cars wait to get loaded onto trucks

THEY sit parked in rows stretching as far as the eye can see, destined for a prolonged battering from the wind and rain as the global economic turmoil stalls sales. The world’s carmakers are also going nowhere fast, some teetering on the brink as they seek massive bail-outs to stay in business.

Britain’s manufacturers felt the chill yesterday, with Honda announcing a two-month halt to production at its Swindon plant from February.

It came as BMW’s Mini factory in Oxford closed for three days ahead of an extended Christmas break because of falling sales.

In a further sign of the gloom enveloping the industry, car production fell by a quarter last month to the lowest level for 17 years. Commercial vehicle making sank even further, down by 41 per cent.

Buyers, nervous about their financial security, are deserting the showrooms, with the trade in Scotland suffering its largest drop in sales last month since the early 1990s. Registrations plunged by 26 per cent to 10,190 compared with October last year.

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Nov 22

Advocates Call for Immediate Ban of All GM Foods and GM Crops

(Los Angeles, CA.) – A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said, there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

Related article and documentary:
- Exposed: the great GM crops myth
The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see.

In the study, Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials over 20 weeks with laboratory mice fed a diet containing 33% of a GM variety (NK 603 x MON 810), or a closely related non-GE variety used in many countries. Statistically significant litter size and pup weight decreases were found in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

The corn is genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

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Nov 22
  • States and companies target developing nations
  • Small farmers at risk from industrial-scale deals

Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.

The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people.

Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.

“These deals can be purely commercial ventures on one level, but sitting behind it is often a food security imperative backed by a government,” said Carl Atkin, a consultant at Bidwells Agribusiness, a Cambridge firm helping to arrange some of the big international land deals.

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Nov 22

  • Market jumps on hopes of new treasury secretary
  • Boost fails to help US banking giant

Wall Street ended a volatile week with renewed confidence last night, after reports that Barack Obama has chosen Timothy Geithner, the head of the New York Federal Reserve, as his treasury secretary.

As speculation mounted over Geithner’s nomination, shares rebounded. The Dow Jones industrial average recorded a 494-point gain on the day as stocks surged by 6.5% to close above the psychologically important 8,000 level at 8046.42. It was still 5% down for the week, however, as worries persist about the global economic slowdown.

Geithner, 47, has always been a favourite to take the top job and his appointment is expected to be announced by the Obama camp in the next 24 hours.

Banking stocks still suffered, though, despite the market’s abrupt recovery.

Citigroup, once the world’s biggest banking group, saw another $5bn (£3.35bn)wiped off its value after an emergency board meeting failed to come up with any initiative to stem the unprecedented flight of investors. Shares fell to $3 after the bank’s chief executive, Vikram Pandit, ruled out selling its retail stockbroking arm, Smith Barney, in an attempt to stop the rout.

Shares in Citigroup have lost more than half their value this week since Pandit announced plans on Monday to sack 52,000 workers. Measures by the bank and its biggest investors to reverse the share price decline, from a level of $54 two years ago, have all failed.

However, a Citigroup source within Pandit’s inner circle, defended the bank last night, saying the sinking share price “has nothing to do with our viability”. The source added that it was of no consequence if the price fell to zero.
(Obviously an expert!…)

“This is all about market perception,” she said, claiming that the market was wrong. “We are the same as everybody else. Our stock price is declining but so is everybody else’s.”
(…and a great observer too!)

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Nov 22

“U.S. President-elect Barack Obama says he wants to focus more on the Afghan war and plans to persuade other nations to send more soldiers.”
More ‘change’. The soldiers have been strongly supporting Ron Paul and they exactly knew why!
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A British military vehicle drives past an Afghan man in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province October 20, 2008.
REUTERS/Abdul Qodus

CORNWALLIS, Nova Scotia (Reuters) – The Pentagon is considering a plan to send more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months to help safeguard elections and quell rising Taliban violence, officials said on Friday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he and top commanders had discussed sending five brigades to Afghanistan, including four brigades of combat ground forces as well as an aviation brigade, which a defense official said would consist mainly of support troops. An Army combat brigade has about 3,500 soldiers.

Gates said much of the infusion could take place before Afghanistan holds elections by next autumn.

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Nov 22

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — Seizure and sale of Downey Financial Corp. and two smaller lenders may cost the FDIC more than $2 billion as foreclosures rise and home prices extend declines in the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

U.S. Bancorp acquired Downey and smaller PFF Bank & Trust, California thrifts crippled by bad mortgages, yesterday in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Community Bank of Loganville, Georgia, was also closed and its $611.4 million of deposits taken over by Bank of Essex in Tappahannock, Virginia.

Regulators this year have closed the most banks since 1993 as mortgage defaults and tightening credit froze markets. The collapse of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. was among the biggest in history, costing the FDIC $8.9 billion. The agency expects Downey’s demise to deplete its Deposit Insurance Fund by $1.4 billion, with PFF costing $700 million and Community $240 million.

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Nov 22

WASHINGTON: Federal regulators will guarantee as much as $1.4 trillion in U.S. banks’ debt in a bid to get the distressed financial system pumping again. They also took steps to make it easier for private investors to buy failed banks seized by the government.

Against a bleak economic backdrop, news that New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary gave battered Wall Street a shot in the arm Friday. The Dow Jones industrials zoomed nearly 500 points as stocks erased roughly half the losses racked up the prior two days. Investors have been seeking a clear message from Obama on who will lead his economic brain trust during the financial crisis.

Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted to approve the bank-debt guarantee program, which is part of the government’s financial rescue package. The FDIC program is meant to break the crippling logjam in bank-to-bank lending by guaranteeing the new debt in the event of payment default by the borrowing bank.

Some analysts have said that freeing up bank-to-bank lending with the guarantees won’t necessarily translate into a thaw in broader lending as banks are still wary of making loans to businesses and consumers.

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Nov 22

Activists note that most of the candidates for top security posts voted for the 2002 resolution authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq or otherwise supported launching the war. Reporting from Washington — Antiwar groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama’s national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues.

The activists are uneasy not only about signs that both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could be in the Obama Cabinet, but at reports suggesting that several other short-list candidates for top security posts backed the decision to go to war.
“Obama ran his campaign around the idea the war was not legitimate, but it sends a very different message when you bring in people who supported the war from the beginning,” said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of the 54-chapter Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The activists — key members of the coalition that propelled Obama to the White House — fear he is drifting from the antiwar moorings of his once-longshot presidential candidacy. Obama has eased the rigid timetable he had set for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and he appears to be leaning toward the center in his candidates to fill key national security posts.

The president-elect has told some Democrats that he expects to take heat from parts of his political base but will not be deterred by it.

Aside from Clinton and Gates, the roster of possible Cabinet secretaries has included Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), who both voted in 2002 for the resolution authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq, though Lugar has since said he regretted it.

“It’s (absolutely not) astonishing that not one of the 23 senators or 133 House members who voted against the war is in the mix,” said Sam Husseini of the liberal group Institute for Public Accuracy.

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