Global News (03/19/09)

Preparing for Civil Unrest in America (Global Research):
In the words of Rep. Ron Paul: “…the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough… Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next.”

Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites (Sydney Morning Herald):
Wikileaks, an anonymous document repository for whistleblowers, obtained the list, which has been seen by this website, and plans to publish it for public consumption on its website imminently:
Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist (Wikileaks)

Fannie Mae chiefs in line for huge bonuses (Times Online):
Fannie Mae will pay its top executives retention bonuses of up to $611,000, the state-controlled mortgage lender and guarantor revealed yesterday amid the furore over compensation at AIG.

Israel troops admit Gaza abuses (BBC News):
An Israeli military college has printed damning soldiers’ accounts of the killing of civilians and vandalism during recent operations in Gaza. One account tells of a sniper killing a mother and children at close range whom troops had told to leave their home.

Underwater volcano sends huge columns of ash into Pacific sky (Times Online):
Scientists are on their way to the site of a large undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga, sending columns of smoke and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the Pacific Ocean.

Magnitude-7.9 earthquake hits Tonga (Xinhua)

Google launches Street View in UK (Guardian):
Google has launched its controversial Street View mapping service in the UK, with web and mobile phone users able to see 360-degree views of 25 cities from Southampton to Aberdeen

Soldier suicides skyrocket (Salon):
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called the latest trends “alarming.” Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli admitted, “I, and the other senior leaders of our Army, readily acknowledge that these current figures are unacceptable.”

Fed to Buy Treasurys is Not a Good Sign (Chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley)

AIG will not exist in four years, says chairman (Telegraph)

Credit card fraud soars by 14% as criminals find ways to hack ‘secure’ chip and pin (Daily Mail):
Losses on plastic cards totalled £609.9million during the year, up from £535.2million in 2007, according to payments group Apacs.

US House passes tax to recoup most of AIG bonuses (Reuters):
WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Moving with unusual speed, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation to recoup most of the $165 million in retention bonuses paid to American International Group Inc (AIG.N) employees.

Real cost of EU is ten times higher than EC figures show, Taxpayers’ Alliance says (The Telegraph):
According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, EU membership costs every Briton £2,000 per year, compared with the £220 quoted by the EU.

Attorney general signals shift in marijuana policy (AP):
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. (The ‘high’ comes from dying brain cells. People are destroying their brain.)

’07 US Births Break Baby Boom Record (New York Times)

Kentucky counties fined $400,000 for posting Ten Commandments (Guardian):
Two southern Kentucky counties where officials posted copies of the Ten Commandments in courthouses have been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $400,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and citizens who successfully challenged the displays.

Anger in Pakistan at US plan to expand drone attacks (Guardian):
Pakistan reacted with anger yesterday to an American proposal to expand its drone missile strikes inside the country against Taliban and al-Qaida targets.

US military may escalate ‘war on terror’ by striking deeper into Pakistan (Guardian):
In what would be a major escalation of the “war on terror”, the New York Times reported that the US may push its firepower into Pakistan’s vast, economically backward, Baluchistan province.

Britain’s budget deficit hits new record (Guardian)

Oil strikes back above $US50 in broad commodities rally (The Australian):
OIL closed above $US50 a barrel in New York for the first time this year after investors reacted to the Federal Reserve’s latest economic intervention by pouring into commodities.

UAE says economy may contract as downturn hits Gulf (Reuters)

Beijing to deploy more ships to the South China Sea (Times Online)

Bank chief executives have bought just £1,500 worth of bank shares since September (Telegraph):
The chairmen and CEOs of the UK banks have bought just £1,500 worth of shares in the banks for which they work in the six months since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, says DigitalLook.com, the private investors’ website.

President Barack Obama moves to take heat off Timothy Geithner over AIG bonuses (Times Online):
President Barack Obama today revealed plans to set up a new American financial regulator as he sought to take the political heat off his Treasury Secretary over the AIG bonus scandal. (Another incompetent, corrupt regulator paid by the taxpayer? Change!)

EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s $500000 book bonanza (Washington Times):
The book deal came on top of nearly $2.5 million in book royalties paid to Mr. Obama last year for “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” according to the Senate report, which was filed by Robert F. Bauer, who served general counsel to Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign.

Baghdad’s water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion (Kansas City Star):
The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma’s continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it.

S&P downgrades Emaar, other Dubai cos on slowdown (Reuters):
DUBAI, March 17 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of seven Dubai companies on Tuesday, including Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, and said it was worried about the health of banks as the former boomtown faces a sharp slowdown.

Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Naked Juice: Your Favorite Brands? Take Another Look — They May Not Be What They Seem (Alternet)

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