Global News (03/11/09)

16 Dead After Shooting Spree in Germany (Washington Post):
BERLIN, March 11 — A gunman dressed in black combat fatigues burst into a German secondary school Wednesday morning and launched a shooting rampage, killing 13 people before fleeing the area, authorities said.

Alabama gunman fired more than 200 rounds in killing spree (USA Today):
Alabama authorities say the gunman who killed 10 people, including five members of his family, was armed with two assault rifles and a .38-caliber pistol. They say he fired more than 200 rounds in his crime spree Tuesday afternoon.

Quadruple Shooting in Northeast DC (WUSA):
WASHINGTON (WUSA) — Four people were shot while walking away from a vigil at a cemetery in Northeast Washington. Police say that around 7 pm they responded to the 2100 block of Lincoln Road in Northeast for shots fired. Four people were shot while walking from a vigil at the Glenwood Cemetery.

Terrorist watch list hits 1 million (USA Today):
WASHINGTON — The government’s terrorist watch list has hit 1 million entries, up 32% since 2007.

After attacks, Europe hurries to tighten gun laws (AP):
HELSINKI – Several European countries have restricted gun laws in the wake of school massacres, gang violence and other gun-related crimes: …

Madoff Lawyer Absorbs Part of the Rage (New York Times):
“As one Jew to another, I deeply regret that the Sorkin family did not perish in the Nazi death camps.” That is just one of the angry messages that have poured in to Ira Lee Sorkin since he became lawyer for Bernard L. Madoff, expected to plead guilty this week to a fraud that prosecutors call a giant Ponzi scheme.

Bank buoyed by its monetary move (Financial Times):
In the 2½ days of trading since the Bank took the decision to introduce quantitative easing last Thursday, yields on gilts have fallen fast, other longer-term interest rates have fallen sharply, the cost of corporate debt has fallen and there is no sign that the markets expect the policy to play havoc with future inflation rates. (Really? Take a look what happened to the pound – EUR/GBP – just the last 3 days. Destroying the pound works. Will the Bank of England end up owning a mountain of gilts and corporate bonds and the people just have a lot of bad toilet paper pound notes?)

Bank to begin ‘printing money’ to boost economy (Times Online):
The Bank of England will start pumping newly created money into the economy today by buying £2 billion in gilts as it embarks on “quantitative easing” in an effort to boost the economy. (… to destroy the pound and the economy.)

Sarkozy confirms full return to Nato (Financial Times):
Forty-three years after President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of Nato’s integrated military command in a defiant show of independence from the US, Mr Sarkozy said it was time to resume a full role in Nato. “Our strategic thinking can’t remain frozen when the world around us has completely changed,” he said.

Stocks Post Best Rally of 2009 on Improving Citigroup Outlook (Bloomberg):
March 10 (Bloomberg) — Stocks around the world staged the biggest rally of the year after Citigroup Inc. said it was having its best quarter since 2007, spurring speculation the worst of the banking crisis is over. Treasuries and gold fell.
(As predicted: One of several short violent rallies in a bear market. Now watch the dollar.)

US Stocks Rise, Led by Banks; JPMorgan, Citigroup Shares Gain (Bloomberg):
JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by market value, climbed 4.6 percent and Citigroup added 6.2 percent. The S&P 500 Financials Index rallied 2.4 percent to extend its advance this week to 21 percent. Hewlett-Packard Co. jumped 5.8 percent after UBS AG analysts recommended buying the shares. (If you are the best market timer in the world this may be an opportunity. The worst is yet to come.)

UBS Has SF20.9 Billion Loss, ‘Cautious’ on Outlook (Bloomberg):
(Jim Rogers said that he pulled all his money out of UBS.)

Food caravan stops in hard-hit Ind. county (MSNBC):
ELKHART, Ind. – In this job-starved city where President Barack Obama last month made a public appeal for his economic stimulus plan, hundreds of volunteers — and an agency that specializes in handing out food — worked together Tuesday to feed 5,200 hungry families. (Do everything you can to grow your own food and raise your own live stock. This is very important in the future.)

Council spends £6000 fitting sat-nav to its fleet of mowers… to stop gardeners getting lost in the grass (Daily Mail):
They’re never going to have to deal with a difficult route across country, or conquer the maze of an inner city. In fact, the trickiest test of navigation they are likely to face is getting from one side of a field to the other. But that hasn’t stopped council chiefs buying a set of sophisticated satnavs – for their fleet of lawnmowers. They spent £6,000 hooking up the devices to 14 mowers because gardeners claimed they kept getting lost in long grass.

Mercedes lottery contest sparks outcry (Canada.com):
TORONTO — Ontario’s scandal-plagued gaming operator says it “regrets” a decision to offer 22 foreign-built — instead of North American — automobiles as prizes for a springtime promotion.

Hannity suggests Christianity compatible with torture (Raw Story):
(The Roman Catholic Church was putting a burning iron in front the eyes of babies, so that the mother of the baby would confess to be a witch. All mothers appeared to be witches. After confession the baby was run through with the burning iron and the witch was burnt at the stake. “Do unto others…”)

Iran nuclear plant to open for tourists (PRESS TV):
Iran says it is ready to host tourists who wish to visit its nuclear power plant in Bushehr during the Persian New Year holidays.

Iraq sentences two of Saddam’s half-brothers to death (People’s Daily Online):
BAGHDAD, March 11 (Xinhua) — Iraqi High Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced two of Saddam Hussein’s half-brothers to death penalty over their role in execution of dozens of Iraqi merchants.

Museum finds “secret” message in Lincoln’s watch (Reuters)

The Good Food Revolution (Yes):
As a Native American friend of mine used to say, “Here’s a little bit of native wisdom: If we don’t change direction pretty soon, we’ll end up right where we’ve been headed!”

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