Global News (02/17/09)

“Worst Is Yet to Come:” Americans’ Standard of Living Permanently Changed (Yahoo Finance):
…the standard of living is undergoing a “permanent change” – and not for the better as a result of:
An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values.
A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid “exploding unemployment”, leading to “exploding bankruptcies.”

Homeless families face strict new rules (Boston Globe):
Less than two years after vowing to end homelessness in Massachusetts, the Patrick administration has proposed new regulations that it acknowledges could force hundreds of homeless families back on the street.

Arnie Schwarzenegger joins the ranks of the girlie men (Times Online):
After years on the brink, California is finally going out of business

Abandon nuclear programme or lose aid, Hillary Clinton warns North Korea (Guardian):
(Excellent foreign policy! What a change!)

Will there be another Russian revolution? (Independent):
These are hard times for the town of Asbest, deep in Russia’s Urals industrial belt. For more than a century, asbestos has been mined here on a grand scale. And in recent years, despite an EU ban on the use of asbestos, the 19 factories that make up the world’s biggest asbestos mining and processing operation have been working at full stretch, fuelled by Russia’s construction boom. (Gesundheit!)

State sovereignty resolution passes in Senate Judiciary Committee (Red Dirt Report):
And while it is not getting a whole lot of attention in the mainstream press, a number of states, including Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, California, and Georgia have all introduced bills and resolutions declaring sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. Additionally, Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are considering such measures.

Sarkozy aide warns of risk of social unrest (Reuters):
“This crisis is already going through all the chapters of an economics textbook. We should be careful that it doesn’t also go through a history textbook as well,” he said.

Afghan civilian casualty rate ‘at highest’ since Taliban (Guardian):
The number of civilians killed in the war in Afghanistan increased by 40% last year to a record 2,118 people, the UN said in a report today.

Texas Financial Firm Is Accused by US of $8 Billion Fraud (New York Times):
HOUSTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Robert Allen Stanford, the chief of the Stanford Financial Group, on Tuesday of conducting “a massive ongoing fraud” in the sale of about $8 billion of high-yielding certificates of deposit held in the firm’s bank in Antigua.

Whitehall devised torture policy for terror detainees (Guardian):
MI5 interrogations in Pakistan agreed by lawyers and government

A policy governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects in Pakistan that led to British citizens and residents being tortured was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government, according to evidence heard in court.

Trump Entertainment files for Chapter 11 (Financial Times):
In a stinging statement released last week following his resignation from the board, Mr Trump laid the blame for the group’s demise squarely on the bondholders. He accused their representatives of making “a series of bad decisions” and said they had “encouraged wasteful spending, which has led to severe problems with the company”.

House prices falling at record rate (Telegraph):
House prices in the UK dropped by 2.3 per cent during December, pushing the annual rate at which values are falling to a new record, figures show. (What will your house be worth one year from now?!)

Lloyds facing further writeoffs as HBOS loan losses mount (Guardian)

Market surprised by size of Daimler’s loss (Financial Times):
The group’s loss of €1.95bn before interest and tax in the last quarter of 2008 surprised the market….

Eastern Europe fears hit bank stocks (Financial Times)

US envoy Richard Holbrooke warns of Islamist threat (Telegraph):
An Islamist militancy in Pakistan’s Swat region is a common threat to the United States, India and Pakistan, a special US envoy said on Monday, after meeting India’s foreign minister and top security officials.

Redundant bankers to bolster Treasury (Financial Times):
Bankers who lost their jobs in the credit crunch are to be offered work in the Treasury as Alistair Darling beefs up his department to try to keep pace with the financial crisis.The chancellor is looking to hire up to 70 people, with a focus on sharpening up the Treasury’s dealings with the Square Mile. He is expecting a flood of applications from former bankers.

European investment fund assets fall by 20% (Financial Times):
According to figures published on Tuesday by the European Fund and Asset Management Association, total net assets of European investment funds plunged to €6,142bn by end-2008. That compared with €7,909bn a year earlier.

Madoff Victims Face Grim Prospects in Court (Bloomberg):

Cash bonuses cut by 90% at RBS (Financial Times)

New case of vCJD found in Britain (Times Online):
The first case of a person infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) from contaminated blood plasma will be confirmed today.

Thousands at risk of human form of mad cow disease after haemophiliac’s death (Telegraph):
Thousands of haemophiliacs are at risk of developing vCJD after the death of a man who had received infected blood clotting products.

Rise in number of pregnant women receiving anti-depressants (Times Online):
(Alternative medicine can easily help pregnant woman. Anti-depressants impair the development of the brain. Besides: Antidepressant drugs don’t work – official study)

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