Global News (02/16/09)

British, French nuclear subs collide in Atlantic (AP):
LONDON (AP) — Nuclear submarines from Britain and France collided deep in the Atlantic Ocean this month, authorities said Monday in the first acknowledgment of a highly unusual accident that one expert called the gravest in nearly two decades.

Top Mexico drug cop charged with working for cartel (IHT):
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The former head of Mexico’s special organized crime bureau has been charged with selling information to one of the country’s most powerful drug cartels, the attorney general’s office said on Sunday.

US missile strike kills 30 in Pakistan (Guardian)

America Has To Come To Grips With The Fact It Is Bankrupt (Financial Forecaster)

Japan Economy Shrinks 12.7%, Steepest Drop Since 1974 Oil Shock (Bloomberg):
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s economy shrank at an annual 12.7 percent pace last quarter, the most since the 1974 oil shock, as recessions in the U.S. and Europe triggered a record drop in exports.

Unemployment forecast to reach 3 million before next election (Guardian)

Russia’s super-rich down to last few billions as fortunes slip away (Times Online)

Householders to be charged for each flush of toilet (The Sunday Telegraph):
HOUSEHOLDERS would be charged for each flush under a radical new toilet tax designed to help beat the drought. The scheme would replace the current system, which sees sewage charges based on a home’s value – not its waste water output.

Central banks urged to buy corporate debt (Financial Times)

Government pension agency braces for recession (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) — The deepening recession spells trouble for a little-known government corporation that insures the pensions of 44 million workers and retirees.

Pound falls as CBI warns borrowing will have to rise by another £100bn (Telegraph):
The pound weakened on Monday after business leaders warned Alistair Darling will have to take on another £100bn in debt, requiring tax rises that risk depressing the economy for years.

BMW to shed 850 jobs at Mini plant (Financial Times)

UK’s richest landowner hit by slump (Guardian):
Britain’s wealthiest landowner, the Duke of Westminster, is in advanced talks with his bankers to prevent his £2bn property fund business breaching bank covenants. Pressure on the multibillionaire duke has intensified with investors in his funds suggesting that his property managers failed to heed advice to reduce borrowings 18 months ago, ahead of the collapse in property values.

Rich Chinese fly in to buy bargain homes in US (Times Online):
(Rich, but ignorant. This strategy has paid of for them in the Philippines, but not in the US. The U.S. is about to collapse. If you would buy that home to have a safe place for your family far outside of any major city, then that will be a good investment, besides from food, water, clothes, guns, gold and silver.)

Santander fund seeks to halt redemptions (Financial Times):
Spanish bank Santander has sought regulatory permission to freeze payouts from its main real-estate fund after investors sought to withdraw 80 per cent of the vehicle’s capital at once.

Pakistan to Seek Additional $4.5 Billion IMF Loan (Bloomberg)

Bad news dominates media businesses (Financial Times):
Real estate may be the gloomiest sector in the Gulf but its woes are spreading to other parts of the regional economy. Increasingly, the print media industry is feeling the pinch.

Alleged ‘brains’ of £360m fraud says he is victim (Times Online)

UK mobile phone firms to sell data about customer activity (Guardian):
The UK’s mobile phone networks are to start selling data about the internet sites visited by their customers to advertisers. The companies have been collecting the information over the past year and will use it in an attempt to generate more advertising. News that the industry has been monitoring what users do on the mobile web is likely to infuriate privacy campaigners.

Tony Blair wins million-dollar prize for global leadership (Guardian):
(… for lying GB into war.)

Iranian bioweapon researcher dies suspiciously (PRESS TV):
A US-based Iranian doctor working to discover an antitoxin therapy for biological weapons has purportedly died a “suspicious death.”

Students angered by Gaza revive sit-ins (Guardian):
“There is a new level of anger among students that we haven’t seen before,” he said. “There is definitely a new confidence among students who are beginning to realise that if they want to achieve anything simple negotiation won’t work, our actions have to escalate.”

Israel takes control of more West Bank land (AP):
JERUSALEM – Israel has taken control of a large chunk of land near a prominent West Bank settlement, paving the way for the possible construction of 2,500 settlement homes, officials said Monday, in a new challenge to Mideast peacemaking. Successive Israeli governments have broken promises to the United States to halt settlement expansion, defined by Washington as an obstacle to peace.

Livni: Give up half of ‘Land of Israel’ (AP):
JERUSALEM – Tzipi Livni, who hopes to be appointed Israel’s prime minister-designate, said Monday Israel must give up considerable territory in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, drawing a clear distinction with her rival, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli brinkmanship puts Gaza truce in peril (Reuters)

Study takes step toward erasing bad memories (Reuters):
LONDON (Reuters) – A widely available blood pressure pill could one day help people erase bad memories, perhaps treating some anxiety disorders and phobias, according to a Dutch study published on Sunday. The generic beta-blocker propranolol significantly weakened people’s fearful memories of spiders among a group of healthy volunteers who took it, said Merel Kindt, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, who led the study.
(Bad memories are not the only thing that is weakened by beta-blockers.)

Monkeys and apes know right from wrong, scientists say (Daily Mail)

Galaxy has ‘billions of Earths’ (BBC News)

Aliens ‘may be living among us’ undetected by science (Times Online)

Indian experts find bacteria to beat global heat (The Economic Times):
ALLAHABAD: In a major breakthrough that could help in the fight against global warming, a team of five Indian scientists from four institutes of the country have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria which converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into a compound found in limestone and chalk. When used as an enzyme — biomolecules that speed up a chemical reaction — the bacteria has been found to transform CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3)

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