Monday, 31 May 2010

A worldwide financial crisis couldn't happen again. Could it?

Is this Global Meltdown part II? Unsurprisingly, most economists say no: stop that alarmist talk, ignore fresh signs of trouble in Spain, and look at the improving data. But with Britain and other countries barely back on their feet after the deepest downturn in decades, the doomsayers see double-dip recession, contagion, market mayhem and no easy way out.

They warn that shares will plummet as investors take stock of the unprecedented scale of a swathe of sovereign debt crises. They see confidence-shattering debt defaults, a eurozone in a perpetual identity crisis and years of financial pain as households ultimately foot the bill for the bailouts ushered through in Meltdown part I. more

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sovereign Debt Defaults Equal Social Unrest Plus Much Higher Gold Prices

The magnitude of current private and government debt, coupled with massive unfunded contingent liabilities for promises of future services to their citizens, will prove to be impossible for many nations to fund. Massive inflation in the money supply will become the preferred vehicle to deflect the default monster and will result in vastly devalued currencies and price inflation as a prelude to default. Such action will be a desperate attempt to buy time to stave off the inevitable and will result in social unrest caused by persons whose comfortable lifestyle and elevated standard of living is about to disintegrate before their very eyes. more

Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike

The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials. more

Dow Ends Worst May Since 1940

U.S. stocks slid, capping the worst May for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1940, while the euro slumped and Treasuries rose as a downgrade of Spain’s debt rating and escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula triggered a flight from riskier assets. more

The Path to Hyperinflation

As we’ve discussed recently, persistent deflationary forces do not augur for a repeat of Japan circa 1990s or the US in the 1930s. Instead, because of the inability of governments to finance their current and future debt burden (there is a dearth of domestic savings and global capital), deflationary forces will ultimately lead to severe inflation or hyperinflation. In today’s missive, we explain how this will happen but in various stages. more

Double-dip fears over worldwide credit stress

The global credit system is flashing the most serious warning signals in almost a year on triple fears of a Spanish banking crisis, escalating political risk in Asia, and a second leg to the US housing slump. more

Spain is trapped in a 'perverse spiral' as wage cuts deepen the crisis

The Spanish Inquisition used to burn Englishmen in Sevilla's Plaza de San Francisco when they had the chance. There must have been some nostalgia for this practice when the news hit that Fitch Ratings had stripped the country of its AAA status. more

Now Everyone Thinks The Market's Going To Crash

A month ago, with the market charging ever higher, climbing the "wall of worry," most bearish voices had been silenced. Now they're back with a vengeance. more

General strike on the cards as Spain's credit rating falls

Threats of a general strike in Spain intensified this weekend following Friday's decision by the credit agency Fitch Ratings to downgrade the country's debt from AAA to AA+. more

Spain races to avert banking crisis as euro faces slide

One of Spain’s biggest banks was this weekend negotiating a merger with five smaller rivals as part of a desperate government effort to restore confidence in the faltering economy, which threatens to drag down the rest of the eurozone. more

Israel Submarines Headed for Persian Gulf

Israel has allegedly deployed a permanent submarine presence in the Persian Gulf to keep an eye on Iran, according to media reports published Sunday. The three German-built submarines are reportedly equipped with nuclear cruise missiles. more

Dollar Primed for Collapse by End June

The dollar's recent strength has been explained by most market analysts as a result of the euro weakness rather than any fundamental support for the greenback. In fact, a closer look at the dollar's chart - particularly the dollar index - suggests the currency may be primed for a collapse. more

Spain Loses AAA Rating at Fitch as It Struggles to Cut Debt

Spain lost its AAA credit grade at Fitch Ratings, which said the country’s debt burden is likely to weigh on economic growth. more

Greece urged to give up euro by British economists

THE Greek government has been advised by British economists to leave the euro and default on its €300 billion (£255 billion) debt to save its economy. more

Possible Collapse Dead Ahead

I want to draw your attention to this article:

Credit Crisis Indicators Going Bonkers Again! Batten Down the Hatches!

Apart from everything else that is going on in the World; The Oil Crisis, The Korean Crisis, The Euro Crisis, The Greek Crisis, The Spanish downgrade etc these indicators represent the greatest threat to the world economy.

It was these same indicators that heralded the Lehman induced Credit Crisis of 2008. The World overcame the freezing of the credit markets at that time through a massive infusions of Government money.

If the Credit markets freeze again there's no more Government money to solve the problem-that's it game over.
If the credit markets freeze now it will be PERMANENT.

What can you expect, should this happen? Firstly the stock markets will shut down, then the banks will declare a holiday and you will be limited to the amount you can withdraw. The world economy and financial system will collapse in a matter of days. We will enter a new and totally alien world. It's not definate but these indicators point towards it. If they keep going up Collapse is unavoidable.

If you sense real danger get your money out of the bank and stock up on fuel and food. Watch the markets closely this week, check in at Business Insider several times a day(they're the best for up to the minute news). A full blown collapse is now a very real possibilty.

Sorry to spoil your Bank Holiday!

ukws

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Laws expenses blow rocks coalition

The new coalition Government is engulfed in its first crisis after Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws was forced to apologise over parliamentary expenses running into tens of thousands of pounds.

The Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister's job looked to be hanging in the balance after it emerged he channelled more than £40,000 of taxpayers' money to his long-term partner.

  More.....

Friday, 28 May 2010

Iraq inquiry quiz for US officials

Senior US officials and military officers have been interviewed for the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War.

Members of the independent Iraq Inquiry Committee spoke to key players including Paul Bremer - who administrated the country as George Bush's "vice-consul" from 2003-04 - during a series of meetings in Washington and Boston last week.

Others questioned included the former US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and the leaders of the Iraq Survey Group which conducted a fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of the 2003 war, David Kay and Charles Duelfer.

  More....

Bullies jailed for firework death

Three teenagers who killed a woman by pushing a firework through her letterbox following a string of bullying attacks on her son have been jailed.

Mary Fox, 59, died in the fire in Bodmin, Cornwall on Bonfire Night last year after the Silver Dart was thrust inside to "frighten" the family as part of a prank aimed at her son Raum, then 17, who escaped through a window of the blazing council home in Wallace Road.

  More...

Peerage for Prescott and Paisley

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott, ex-Tory leader Michael Howard and former Northern Ireland first minister Ian Paisley are among more than 50 senior figures who have been elevated to the House of Lords.

Children's television presenter Floella Benjamin is being made a Liberal Democrat peer, while Sue Nye, a key adviser to Gordon Brown, will join for the Labour Party.

 More....

 

P.S. I despair.

East Europeans face deportation in London rough sleeping crackdown

Eastern Europeans who sleep rough on the streets of central London could be deported in a clampdown on anti-social behaviour today.

Migrants from rough sleeping “hot spots” around Westminster and Victoria are being targeted after council chiefs said they had received “repeated complaints” from residents.

If the sleepers cannot prove they are seeking work they will be referred to the UK Border Agency for deportation. More....

Saudi prince in court over death of servant

A Saudi prince appeared in court today to deny murdering a servant in a five-star London hotel.

Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir bin Abdulaziz al Saud, 33, is accused of beating 32-year-old Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone.

The multi-millionaire also denied inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on his servant on January 22, three weeks before the killing.

Al Saud spoke only to confirm his name and enter his not guilty pleas on both counts at the High Court. Mr Justice Bean remanded him in custody until his trial on 4 October at the Old Bailey.

SOURCE

Apple iPad goes on sale in UK after shoppers queue overnight

Massive queues formed outside Apple's flagship store today as hundreds vied to get their hands on the latest must-have gadget - the iPad.

The queues of technophiles snaked down Regent Street in central London from yesterday afternoon for the touch-screen tablet-style computer.

Exhausted but "elated" Jake Lee, 17, from Theydon Bois, Essex, was first in the queue, having arrived at midday yesterday with three friends.

  More....

Prisoner who cut off ear in escape bid is recaptured

 

Michael-O_Donnell_1646039f

Michael O'Donnell, 29, from Salford, Greater Manchester, sliced off his ear while in his cell at Forest Bank Prison in the early hours of May 2.

An ambulance was called to take him from the prison in Salford to the nearby Hope Hospital, but it was ambushed on the way.  More.....

Mother traced after dead baby found in bin

Detectives investigating the discovery of a baby's body at a railway station have traced the mother of the child.

A teenage girl has come forward and is now receiving treatment, Hampshire police said.

The white baby girl was found wrapped in a plastic bag inside a bin by a cleaner at the front of Fleet station in Hampshire on Wednesday.

  More.....

Friends mourn boy, 12, drowned jumping in the Thames to cool off

Friends have paid tribute to a schoolboy who died after jumping into a deepwater Thames dock to cool off on one of the hottest days of the year.

Kafi Ibrahim, 12, from Deptford, is believed to have drowned while swimming with friends at Rainbow Quay in Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe. He was a Year 8 pupil at Prendergast-Ladywell Fields College, formerly known as Crofton School, in Brockley.

  More.....

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Baroness Scotland's cleaner jailed

baroness

 

An illegal immigrant who conned the former Attorney General into hiring her as a cleaner has been jailed for a total of eight months at the Old Bailey.

Loloahi Tapui, who had overstayed her student visa by four years, duped former chief law officer Baroness Scotland into hiring her as her housekeeper for just £6 per hour.

The 27-year-old Tongan was found guilty of fraud last month at Southwark Crown Court in London. She was bailed to Thursday.

  More....

Ex-spy chief reviews 2012 security

Former spy chief Dame Pauline Neville-Jones is carrying out a review of security for the 2012 London Games, Sports and Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson has announced.

The fact that Dame Pauline, a former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, has been asked to lead the Home Office security review shows "just how serious" an issue Olympics safety is for the Government, Mr Robertson said.

He said: "The new Government regards this (the London 2012 Games) as a top priority. The Home Office has announced they will review security planning - that is as much about procedure as build.

  More....

Counter-terrorism funds cut by £10m

Counter-terrorism funding will be slashed by £10 million as part of wholesale Whitehall cuts, the Government has announced.

Police Minister Nick Herbert said the money will come out of police budgets as part of £367 million in Home Office savings.

He said the fight against violent extremism has benefited from "significant growth in funding" over the past decade.

  More....

Man charged over prostitute murders

A man has been charged with the murders of three prostitutes.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, was charged with the murders of Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth.

The remains of Ms Blamires, 36, were found in the River Aire at Shipley on Tuesday. She disappeared from Bradford last week.

At a press conference outside Trafalgar House police station in Bradford, Peter Mann of the Crown Prosecution Service said there was sufficient evidence to charge Griffiths with all three murders.

  more....

'Public sector pay rises have taken eurozone to its knees'

Big rises in public sector pay in the eurozone contributed to collapses in EU countries' public finances, a senior European Central Bank official said today.

ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said average eurozone public sector pay had risen 36% in the last 10 years compared with a 24% rise in the private sector.

“The pay trend has strongly contributed to the deterioration of public finances. If public sector salaries had increased in line with private ones, Greece's deficit last year would have been more than three percentage points of GDP less,” he wrote in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The pay rises over the last 10 years have not only weighed on public finances but also on the growth potential of the European economy, he said: “Without a rapid and drastic reversal of the trend public finances will not become healthy again and growth will not pick-up.”

 

SOURCE

Police quizzing ‘serial killer’ find crossbow murder footage

A university student suspected of murdering three prostitutes in Bradford was arrested after detectives obtained CCTV footage of the moment when a killer fired a crossbow bolt into a woman’s head.

The film, obtained from a block of flats, shows Suzanne Blamires being chased along a corridor by a man who attacked and knocked her to the ground.

  More....

BBC’s 40-mile cab ride policy is too generous, says auditor

The BBC’s expenses policy contains “overly generous” allowances that would “leave the BBC open to criticism if scrutinised by the man on the Clapham omnibus”, according to a report.

The review by the auditor KPMG for the BBC Trust, the corporation’s governing body, found that rules allowing staff to claim taxis home late at night or early in the morning for journeys of up to 40 miles “may not be in line with current best practice”.

  More....

Capital Gains Tax backbench revolt

davies

 

Another senior Tory has joined the party's growing backbench revolt over proposed rises in Capital Gains Tax (CGT), warning it risked "punishing the virtuous" and "destroying aspiration".

Former shadow home secretary David Davis argued such a move may not even raise more money, citing evidence from the US which shows a rate cut actually boosts public coffers.

His comments come amid fears the new coalition Government could raise the current 18% levy on certain windfalls such as share and second home sales to the same level as income tax - up to 40% and 50%.

  More....

BA talks adjourned until Friday

Talks aimed at resolving the bitter British Airways cabin crew dispute have been adjourned.

Chief executive Willie Walsh met with the joint leaders of the Unite union, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, in an attempt to break the deadlocked row which has caused travel problems for thousands of passengers.

The two sides held talks for over six hours and it is believed they will resume negotiations on Friday.

  More.....

Oil well cap going to plan, says BP

BP has said everything was going as planned as the oil giant began pumping heavy mud into a leaking Gulf of Mexico well.

The "top kill" procedure is the company's boldest attempt yet to plug the gush that has spewed millions of gallons of oil over the last five weeks.

BP hoped the mud could overpower the steady stream of oil, but chief executive Tony Hayward said it would be at least 24 hours before officials knew whether the attempt worked.

  More....

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Woman with hospital phobia must be forcibly treated for cancer, judge rules

Doctors will be allowed to forcibly sedate the 55-year-old woman in her own home and transport her to hospital for surgery. She will then be operated on, despite having asked not to undergo surgery for her cancer, and could then be forced to remain on a hospital ward afterwards.

The case – only the second ever in the little-known Court of Protection to be made public - sparked an intense ethical and legal debate last night.

  More.....

Prince Charles brokers $1bn deal to save Indonesian rainforests

Some of the world’s most endangered rainforests will be saved under a $1 billion deal inspired by the Prince of Wales, due to be announced today.

Indonesia, the country with the highest rate of deforestation, will sign an agreement under which it will stop issuing new licences for forest clearance and establish a new unit to tackle illegal logging.

   More....

War protester denies obstruction

haw

 

A veteran anti-war protester who maintains a constant vigil in Parliament Square has appeared in court charged with obstructing police.

Brian Haw, 61, was arrested during security checks ahead of the State Opening of Parliament.

Police swept a protest camp in Parliament Square where the number of demonstrators has grown in recent weeks.

Haw, wearing an anti-war T-shirt, jeans and a hat covered in badges, appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

  More.....

Jilted boy guilty of fire murders

A schoolboy who took revenge for being dumped by killing his ex-girlfriend and her older sister in a house fire is facing a life sentence.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Maleha Masud, 15, and Nabiha Masud, 21.

Jurors heard that a day before the attack in June last year the boy had searched on Google for "how to burn someone's house down".

  More....

Patricia Hewitt rings up £150,000 a year with BT job

Patricia-HewittPA_415

 

Former cabinet minister Patricia Hewitt has been appointed to a £150,000-a-year directorship with BT.

The firm, which is facing possible strike action over pay claims by its staff, made Ms Hewitt a "senior independent director".

The former trade and industry secretary was earlier this year caught up in the "lobbygate" affair when she and fellow Labour MPs Geoff Hoon and Stephen Byers were caught on camera discussing their possible hire by lobbyists. More...

UK flight in terror plunge over Atlantic

Travellers were caught in a terrifying mid-air drama as a London to Los Angeles flight plunged when it hit severe turbulence.

Four passengers suffered broken bones and a flight attendant sprained her ankle as they were thrown around the cabin of the United Airlines Boeing 777. One person on board described the drama as "very, very scary".

  More....

I'm A Celebrity’ fan attacks animal rights protester

An animal rights activist has vowed to carry on her protest outside ITV's studios after being hit on the head with a bottle thrown by a stranger.

Wendy Wells, 49, a mother of one from Hackney, has been living in a tent on the Southbank for more than a week to protest against alleged animal cruelty during I'm a Celebrity... bushtucker trials.

She said: “He [her assailant] said his wife was a fan of the programme and shouted at me, Why are you doing this?'.”

The man had fled by the time police arrived.

Doctors at A&E advised her to go home and rest but she refused.

 

Source

Family’s anger as film director who caused his assistant’s death is freed by court

The family of a London graduate killed on a film set in India have spoken of their distress after the movie director blamed for her death walked free from court.

Nadia Khan, 26, was struck by a train in Mumbai six years ago yesterday on her first day working as an assistant director on the Bollywood film, Mumbai Central. Kaizad Gustad, 42, was found guilty of causing Ms Khan's death by a “rash and negligent act” and was sentenced to a month's imprisonment.

  More...

UK may press alone with banks tax

Britain is prepared to press ahead alone with a tax on banks to insure against future collapses, new Business Secretary Vince Cable has said.

He was speaking in Brussels on Tuesday on the eve of the launch of European Commission proposals for an EU-wide levy to form a multibillion-pound bailout fund.

Mr Cable said support for such a scheme was already part of the coalition Government agreement, adding: "The more countries that join, the better."

  More...

Briton accuses Thais of 'stitch-up'

bangcock

 

A Briton arrested in Thailand after being filmed inciting people to burn down a shopping centre during the Red Shirt protests has claimed he is “being stitched up”.

Jeff Savage, 48, from Tonbridge in Kent, was captured on video exhorting protesters to set fire to the Central World shopping centre in central Bangkok, days before it was torched and destroyed.

  More....

MPs handed £4,000 expenses advance

The Commons expenses watchdog is to hand MPs up to £4,000 more cash up front in a bid to calm complaints about the new system.

And the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has also abandoned plans to automatically treat 15% of phone calls as private and refuse to reimburse them.

Ipsa is in charge of a tougher new system introduced in the wake of the pay and perks scandal which rocked Westminster and provoked public anger last year.

  More....

Cameron faces Tory backbench test

cameron

 

David Cameron faces a serious test of Conservative backbench opinion of the coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats when his MPs choose a new "shop steward".

The vote for the chairmanship of the influential 1922 Committee is expected to be close.

And the Prime Minister's retreat on surprise moves that could have given ministers and whips a vote may favour a candidate seen as a potential focal point for dissent.

  More.....

Cause of fatal bus crash probed

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a crash which killed two schoolchildren and a pensioner.

Kieran Goulding, 15, and Chloe Walker, who was celebrating her 16th birthday, died when the bus taking them home from school hit a car on the A66 near Keswick, Cumbria.

Both youngsters were studying at Keswick School in the Lake District and were on their way home on a 49-seater coach on Monday afternoon.

The smash also claimed the life of Patrick Short, 68, from Braithwaite, who was behind the wheel of the only other vehicle involved.

  More....

Cash gifts to universities top £500 million for the first time

Donations of money to British universities have exceeded £500 million for the first time as more graduates and philanthropists respond to campus fundraising campaigns.

Despite the decline in charitable giving during the recession, the number of people and organisations donating to universities rose by 12 per cent to exceed 163,000 in 2008-09, according to research by the Ross Group of university fund-raisers and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

  More....

Fears over 'child neglect' cases

More than one in three social workers and police officers have felt powerless to intervene in cases of suspected child neglect, a survey has found.

Half said earlier intervention was needed to ensure cases of possible neglect are dealt with more effectively, according to research for the charity Action for Children.

Some 41% of the professionals said they were under greater pressure now to intervene when children are being neglected than five years ago and 16% reported encountering more cases than last year.

   More....

ABSOLUTE MUST READ- PREDICTIONS FOR REST OF 2010

A large collection of Predictions from many financial and geo-political analysts compiled by Rense. Sit down, prepare yourself and click here

Tackling The Welfare Problem

Burning Our Money:

"My Government’s legislative programme will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility...

The tax and benefits system will be made fairer and simpler... People will be supported into work with sanctions for those who refuse available jobs and the timetable for increasing the State Pension Age will be reviewed."

Thus spake Her Majesty today.

As we mentioned a couple of days ago, the welfare bill is now running at £200bn pa, around 15% of GDP, and increasing rapidly. The chart above shows how it has soared over the last century since the Liberals began the huge expansion of welfare just before WW1. More...

Organisers will continue Dail demo

Belfast Telegraph: Organisers of a weekly protest against Government cut-backs have vowed to fight on despite a drop in turnout.

Around 400 people joined the demonstration in Dublin city centre - less than half the number of supporters last Tuesday night.

But campaigners insisted they would keep holding the rallies at the gates of the Dail until the politicians inside changed their ways. More...

Wakefield vows to publicise documents exposing government

Dr Wakefield, the doctor who was struck off this week, for condemning the MMR vaccine, vows make public all the documentation he has uncovered during his legal battle with the British government.

He  says that now that he is not constrained by legal processes, he can expose the government's shenanigans and its criminal links with British Big Pharma.

Dr Wakefield makes his entry at about 2.5 minutes in.



Cross-posted by Fausty

New Ice Age 'to begin in 2014', by Jerome R. Corsi

Solar Cycle: CHICAGO – A new "Little Ice Age" could begin in just four years, predicted Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia.

Abdussamatov was speaking yesterday at the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago, which began Sunday and ends today.

The Little Ice Age, which occurred after an era known in scientific circles as the Medieval Warm Period, is typically defined as a period of about 200 years, beginning around 1650 and extending through 1850. More...

Link via Barking Spider.

Taxpayers may ship 736 iPads to Brussels

The Register: Each and every member of the European Parliament (MEP) may soon receive a brand-spanking new, "magical and revolutionary" Apple iPad.

And no, they wouldn't pay for them out of their own pockets. According to The Times, the 736 MEPs would each receive an iPad as part of a £4.3m ($6.2m) taxpayer-funded "IT mobility project".

But the iPad purchases would be just a small slice of that pie: even if the MEPs decided to gift themselves with the juiciest iPad, the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G, 736 of those £699 magical and revolutionary devices would suck up only a bit over a half-million pounds. More...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Heinz blasted over outrageous claims in infant formula ads

NaturalNews: The H.J. Heinz company, most famous for producing Heinz brand ketchup, has been reprimanded by the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an ad for its Nurture-brand infant formula.

According to the ASA, Heinz made "unsubstantiated" and "unacceptable" claims that its product could support the growth of infant brains, bodies and immune systems. More...

Europes CIA, the birth of?

fromFraser



Check out the other links and video at Fraser's blog!!

Red Cross gives first aid lessons to Taliban

Guardian: The Red Cross in Afghanistan has been teaching the Taliban basic first aid and giving insurgents medical equipment so that fighters wounded during battles with Nato and Afghan government forces can be treated in the field, it was revealed today.

More than 70 members of the "armed opposition" received training in April, the Red Cross said, in a move likely to anger the government of Hamid Karzai, which is losing large numbers of police and soldiers in insurgent attacks. More...

Polly Toynbee: How can she attack free schools when she educated her own children privately?

Telegraph Blogs: I must be doing something right. In her column in today’s Guardian, Polly Toynbee takes a swipe at me in the course of attacking the coalition’s educational reforms. “Forget the things the chattering classes never knew about,” she says, referring to George Osborne’s decision to axe the Every Chid a Reader and Every Child Counts schemes, “and focus on parents creating their own little schools to suit their foibles or their faiths or the Toby Young school of ethics or whatever.” More...

Uncovered BP Memo Shows How Company Placed A Pricetag On Human Lifet

Business Insider: A memo discovered by The Daily Beast shows that BP blithely chose cost over safety for workers.

The memo, which was sent in 2002, describes plant construction in terms of the Three Little Pigs fable. BP concluded that a brick home presented a better cost-value ratio than a blast resistant home.

A BP spokesperson said to The Daily Beast that the company has "fundamentally changed the culture of BP" since a rig explosion in 2005. More...

Former Labour minister becomes advisor to oil company

UK News Network: The former Africa Minister who has also held the role of deputy secretary-general of the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, has taken up a role as advisor to an Ethiopian oil company.

He will be paid in shares for his latest role at the Ethiopian firm rather than a flat salary for his role at Southwest Energy.

More to come.

Police clothed in cameras

Big Brother Watch: As reported today by STV today, 18 police officers in Aberdeen are to wear small CCTV cameras mounted on their shoulders from next month:

Chief Inspector Nick Topping said potential offenders are more likely to behave if they know they are being filmed.

“Not only will they provide potentially crucial evidence, they will be a deterrent and make it less likely that offenders will deny their involvement in crime”, he said.

More CCTV and more surveillance. If someone is guilty they should be proven guilty by their actions, not by covert camera recording. More...

Fresh plea to resolve BA dispute

Union leaders have issued a fresh plea to resolve the bitter British Airways cabin crew dispute after claiming that a series of strikes had now cost the airline £63 million.

Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, also warned that BA will lose business when passengers "look elsewhere" for flights during the peak summer period.

Union members were on strike for the second day of a five-day walkout, claiming the action was being strongly supported, with shorthaul and longhaul flights being grounded.

BA countered that it had more crew than it needed to operate its contingency schedule and as a result was adding flights.

  More.....

Council cleared over caving death

A local authority has been found not guilty of breaching health and safety laws after a 14-year-old schoolboy died on a caving trip.

Joe Lister drowned when water swept through Manchester Hole Cave in the Yorkshire Dales during a school trip in November 2005.

North Yorkshire County Council, which owns and operates the outdoor education centre involved in the trip, has been cleared of two charges of failing to ensure the health and safety of its staff and others. A jury at Leeds Crown Court took around nine hours to reach the not guilty verdicts.

 

Common sense at last from the Judiciary.

Read the full article here

Hundreds of children sent home as travellers set up camp in a school's playing field

Daily Mail: A group of travellers has set up camp with 30 caravans in a school's playing field, forcing hundreds of children to stay at home.

Education bosses immediately set up an exclusion zone at Smithills School, Bolton, after the extraordinary convoy moved in on Sunday evening.

Around 300 Year 8 pupils have been told to work from home because their classrooms are next to the playing fields and it was feared the travellers' presence could cause disruption to classes. More...

Forces battle wanted leader's gang

dudas

 

Jamaican police say at least 26 civilians and four members of the security forces have died as police and soldiers battle defenders of a powerful Jamaican gang leader sought by the US.

Thousands of heavily armed forces are raiding the capital's most violent down town slums in a hunt for underworld boss Christopher Coke, known as "Dudus."

 

More.....

Domestic violence offenders warned

Hundreds of men suspected of beating their wives and girlfriends have been told their "card is marked" in the run up to the World Cup.

Senior police officers are bracing themselves for an increase in reports of domestic abuse during the month-long football tournament.

Research has shown major sporting events, mainly involving rugby and football, are linked to a rise in violence.

  More......

Apologies

Apologies to regular readers for lack of posts. This is due to circumstances beyond my control as I'm having severe personal difficulties and ongoing disasters that for the moment require my full attention. Is there anybody else out there that will be willing to share the burden of searching and posting news? please email if you can help. Hopefully I will have resolved these problems by early next week and can resume posting, but there is a possiblity that I may be soon be enjoying a 3 month respite from posting at her majesties pleasure. That's life. If I'm not posting it's not because I don't want to it's because I'm unable. Best Wishes
ukws

Some Things Money Can't Buy

Subrosa: Today was the State Opening of Parliament which all elected MPs should attend. Yet there was one very obvious absentee.

Gordon Brown is the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath yet he was nowhere to be seen. I'm informed he's been out and about in Fife so why couldn't he not represent the people who elected him at this traditional ceremony? More...

Piracy trial starts in the Netherlands

Guardian: Five Somali men are due to go on trial in the Netherlands today for robbery on the high seas, in what will be the first modern piracy trial in a Dutch court.

The men were held in January 2009 after allegedly trying to capture a cargo ship registered in the Dutch Antilles.

The ship's crew held off the attack off the Horn of Africa with flares until a Danish navy frigate intervened and sank the pirates' boat. More...

'We must live more sustainably' says Jeremy 'Seven Homes' Irons

Telegraph Blogs: The voice of Scar in the Lion King has spoken:

“We must live more sustainably,” he growls from Pride Rock – as he probably doesn’t call a single one of his seven homes, not even the pink castle in Co Cork, because in real life he’s not a lion at all but a Sherborne-educated luvvie who takes himself very, very seriously called Jeremy Irons. (Hat tip: Brown Bess)

Irons has just announced his plans to become an eco-campaigner. He wants to be a bit like Michael Moore, he says, only not “as silly”. Sounds fun, Jezza. Tell us more. More...

The Tories' free condom plan won't just offend Catholics

Telegraph Blogs: There’s no let-up on bad spending ideas coming from the Tory-run Department for International Development (DFID). It is going to spend £2.95 million to give Uganda 45 million condoms, along with some implantable and oral contraceptives. “Who could be against that?”, the sandal-wearing do-gooders at DFID might be wondering. Well me, for a start – and no, I’m not a Catholic.

No one wants HIV/AIDS to spread, but free distribution will never work. As Professor William Easterly, the eminent development economist, has argued, there’s no shortage of Coca-Cola in Africa, and condoms should be treated in the same, for-profit way. More...

2 passengers in cockpit before Kaczynski crash

Businessweek: At least two passengers visited the cockpit of Polish President Lech Kaczynski's plane before it crashed last month, and others may have chatted on cell phones, possibly affecting navigation as the crew battled heavy fog over challenging terrain.

Those were among the details revealed Wednesday by Russian and Polish officials investigating the April 10 crash that killed Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others outside the western Russian city of Smolensk. The preliminary report drew no conclusions about what caused the crash. More...

Army decides to detonate rather than dismantle Taliban bombs

Independent: In an attempt to take the pressure off bomb disposal officers in Afghanistan, combat engineers will now be tasked with blowing up many of the improvised devices rather than having to dismantle every one of them.

The revelation came as the most senior bomb disposal officer in the country, Colonel Bob Seddon, resigned after suggesting he needed more operatives on the ground and was concerned about the pressures being placed on his men in Afghanistan, as well as the "psychological price" they may pay, long term. More...

Jurors in tears as they clear student of rape - then discover another man falsely accused by same 'victim' had killed himself

Daily Mail: A woman drove a man to suicide by crying rape and forced a second innocent man to consider taking his life after falsely accusing him of a similar sex attack.

Despite being exposed in court as a serial liar, legal restrictions mean the 21-year-old woman can never be identified.

A jury took only 45 minutes to clear medical student Olumide Fadayomi, 27, of rape. More...

The Emperor’s New Clothes: How to Pay off the National Debt & Give a 28.5% Tax Cut

The Cobden Centre: I offer a £1,000 reward for anyone who can tell me why this logically won’t work, practical politics, for now, being another matter.

What follows is an attempt to show you that this can be done. More...

Do We Really Need More Of This Crap?

Witterings from Witney: The 'Green Scammers' are getting worried about how their 'scam' is to be funded and more importantly, their jobs, especially bearing in mind the economic cutbacks and failing economies in Europe.

Richard North, EU Referendum, posts on the falling markets and links to an article detailing the cash black hole affecting Scotland's attempt to transform itself to a low carbon economy. Lady Susan Rice, Lloyds Banking Group - also non-exec director of Scottish & Southern Electricity, so no conflict of interests there then - complains that banks should not be expected to shoulder the burden and neither should major utilities firms be expected to get into much more debt in order to fund new renewables schemes. More...

FTSE Plunges Nearly 3% In Opening Seconds

Sky News: The FTSE 100 has remained heavily in the red after losing nearly 3% of its value within seconds of opening due to further eurozone fears and concern over tensions in Korea.

The weekend rescue of Spain's CajaSur bank set European bank stocks falling, with Germany's DAX down 2.6% and the French CAC recording a drop of over 3%. More...

Private Sector experience of recession could help public sector navigate spending cuts

Retail News: Employers believe that good communication and engagement with staff has been the key to making the workforce changes needed to safeguard jobs during the recession, according to a new report by the CBI and recruitment experts Harvey Nash.

Picking up the Pace: the CBI/Harvey Nash employment trends survey 2010 offers an insight into how employers and staff worked together during the depths of the recession to keep job losses to a minimum. More...

Laws puts brakes on gov IT spending

The Register: David Laws, chief secretary to the treasury, and Francis Maude will jointly chair the "Efficiency Group" in order to help government departments renegotiate contracts with suppliers.

The group will also put a freeze on what they call "unnecessary" IT, advertising and consultancy spending over £1m. Presumably someone else will look at unnecessary spending of less than £1m. More...

Osborne's axe hits outsourcing firms

Thisismoney: Britain's profitable outsourcing industry was in focus yesterday as Chancellor George Osborne and his Liberal Democrat deputy David Laws outlined plans to strip £6.2bn in spending from the public purse.

In its first major financial announcement since taking office the coalition government pledged to scrap the £320m Child Trust Fund and save £1.7bn by cancelling contracts. More...

Those British Airways strikes

Banditry (John Band): While there’s been a lot of commentary on the British Airways strikes, the analysis (whether pro-company or pro-union) tends to miss two major points.

The business model is unsustainable – but that’s the management’s fault, not the unions’

BA’s model before the global financial crisis was to charge a fortune for excellent service in Club World and First, while matching its competitors’ prices and service levels in World Traveller. Together with BA’s massive global coverage and its excellent connections between the financial boom centres of London, New York and Singapore, this business model allowed BA to attract a lot of passengers and make a lot of money. More...

Gulf oil spill: White House orders BP to cut use of dispersant by half

Guardian: The White House directed BP to cut its use of chemical dispersants to break up the Louisiana oil slick by as much as 50% yesterday, reflecting concerns that the clean-up of the spill could be worsening the economic disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the Obama administration wanted the oil company to scale back its use of chemicals on the water surface. The order came amid increasing tension between the administration and the oil company about how to manage the oil on the ocean floor, more than a month after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. More...

Jamaica in state of emergency as police battle drug ‘don’

Metro: Gunfire rang out on the streets of West Kingston and a police station was set alight by Molotov cocktails as scores of supporters of ‘don’ Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke arrived from across the island.

They sealed off Coke’s slum neighbourhood with wrecked cars and barbed wire amid moves to extradite him to the US on arms and drug- trafficking charges. More...

Labour 'in denial' on migration

Daily Express: Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has admitted his party paved the way for election defeat by ignoring voters’ concerns about immigration.

The former health secretary said the party had been “in denial” about the issue. More...

Sarah Ferguson: I'm so skint I can't pay my 12 servants

Daily Star: Sarah Ferguson still has a staff of 12 to see to her every need despite claiming she is broke, it was revealed yesterday.

The Duchess of York has blamed money problems on her decision to sell business meetings with her ex-husband Prince Andrew for £500,000. More...

Robin Hood, taxes, and communism

Adam Smith Institute: Last week I saw Robin Hood at the cinema. It is a truly, extraordinarily bad film: long, boring and yet, at times, preposterously silly. The low point came towards the end, when a bloodied, chainmailed Robin lept out of the English Channel, and gave a dramatic, slow motion roar. The whole audience burst out laughing. But it’s a real shame the film is so terrible, because it actually has quite a libertarian message. This is the not the Robin Hood conjured up by those Tobin tax advocates, who think confiscating bank profits will solve all the world’s problems. This Robin makes speeches about liberty, battles King John’s tax collectors, and even tries to force the King to sign an early version of Magna Carta. If the film hadn’t been so utterly charmless, I’d have been cheering him on. More...

Monday, 24 May 2010

You Pay ... Then You Pay Again

Dick Puddlecote: It's been another interesting day in the bureaucratic nightmare that is running a business in EU-led Britain.

Our attempt to book in four vehicles at the coachworks, who handle general maintenance for the larger end of our fleet, was met with laughter at the other end of the phone today. While it's never been a problem before, it turns out they're jammed to the rafters with tipper trucks, scaffolding lorries and flatbeds having new mudflaps and bumpers fitted.

The EU have decreed the old ones to be illegal, so every truck of its type in the country must be adapted by a certain date or be taken off the road. More...

Driver orders toddler off bus for wearing 'offensive' England football shirt

Daily Mail: A toddler was ordered off a bus because the foreign driver was 'offended' by his England football T-shirt, his mother has claimed.

Sam Fardon, 27, was allegedly told to get off the service with her sons Dylan, two, and 10-week-old Adam as they made their way to a childcare group.

The unnamed driver, who had a Polish or Eastern European accent, said Dylan's white England shirt was 'offensive' and he threatened to turf the family out on the street. More...

The Gravy Train

Old Holborn: Nice to see there is to be a complete recruitment freeze in the public sector. Imagine my surprise when I checked the Grauniad this morning to find 310 open Government jobs

Yup 310.

The first page alone gives us 28 jobs and a bill of over £1m a year in salaries, plus the usual pension and benefits.

This does not include the numerous fake charities that receive massive involuntary grants from the taxpayer to remain off the books whilst in effect carrying out Labour party policy on such things as climate change of reminding us all that "some people are gay, get over it" (£350K donation from the Dept of Enterprise, ex- Mandelson). More...

Joe Biden surrenders US leadership to Brussels

Telegraph Blogs: I’ve written extensively on how the Obama administration is fervently in favour of a federal Europe, but now it seems it is happy to surrender American global leadership to the EU as well. In his recent speech to the European Parliament (hat tip: The Foundry), Vice President Joe Biden declared that Brussels can now lay claim to the title “capital of the free world” (watch the video here). More...

Why Politicians Will Always Punish The Poor

Dick Puddlecote: As someone who engages with many everyday working people on a daily basis, both professionally and in my spare time, THE most oft-repeated phrase I hear is "I don't do politics".

They'll all advance their thoughts about the ills of the world, though. After all, it's human nature. Van drivers, bricklayers, checkout girls, roofers, teaching assistants, spark's mates, cabbies, labourers, nursery nurses, road workers, cleaners, and the unemployed - they all have opinions. And most of them feel totally ignored.

But then again, a lot of them say they 'don't do politics'.

It's getting to be a chicken and egg scenario. Did the politicians begin ignoring them before they stopped bothering with politicians, or did they stop bothering before politicians realised they were a waste of time?

I'd argue that it was the latter. More...

The mis-appliance of science

Underdogs Bite Upwards: In the comments here, Mr. Wallis asked for evidence that passive smoking was not dangerous. My response was along the lines of 'it is not possible to prove that anything is not dangerous. What has not been proved is that it is dangerous'.

Thinking on it further, it is not necessary to prove anything either way concerning passive smoking in order to show that the smoking ban is simply a spite-filled oppressive bullying piece of thuggery implemented, enforced and supported by vicious filth who love nothing more than to watch someone else suffer. More...

Arizona's immigration law may survive

Guardian: Opponents of Arizona's draconian immigration enforcement law are hoping that federal courts will rule the measure unconstitutional, heading off a spate of "copycat" legislation elsewhere. More...

Tony Blair turns VC – Joins Silicon Valley firm as a senior adviser

Techcrunch: Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is joining Khosla Ventures, the VC firm. He will join as a senior adviser. Khosla is putting about $1.1 billion into clean technology companies and and tech companies right now.

One of the companies is Calera, a UK company which has a process to sequestrate carbon emissions in cement, while another, Kior, turns wood chips into biofuels. More...

EU tables new safety guidelines on volcanic ash

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS: More flexible rules and a new crisis cell are Brussels' latest moves to counter mounting criticism from airlines and some member states following last month's airspace shut-down in reaction to the volcanic ash from Iceland.

Under the fresh guidelines, member states will be able to minimise flying restrictions when confronted with volcanic ash, so as to avoid another generalised air ban in Europe. The week-long ban in mid-April left millions of passengers stranded and cost the industry billions of euros. More...

The age of rage

EU Referendum: The euro is becoming an engine of intra-European tribal hatred, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who is exploring the political fallout from the euro crisis. As the world "teeters on the brink of a new age of rage" and we face a "tinderbox moment", he sees the Left as a possible beneficiary of the crisis. More...

School IT quango to be expelled

The Register: Becta, the education IT procurement quango, is to be scrapped as part of the new government's £6.2bn cuts this year, announced by George Osborne this morning.

Schools are expected to get more control over their technology purchases as a result. Becta did not buy computers and software for schools, but instead drew up framework agreements that bound local authorities to particular vendors and packages. More...

Abortion advertisements on TV: the pro-life lobby must now be allowed to broadcast the grim realities

Telegraph Blogs: Tonight’s scheduled screening of an advertisement for abortion on Channel 4 by the Marie Stopes organisation marks a new low in moral sensitivity. More significantly, it removes the last argument against pro-life organisations being allowed to broadcast images demonstrating the realities of abortion. The pro-abortion lobby is pleading the need for openness about abortion: fair enough, they should be taken at their word. More...

Climate change concern declines in poll

Guardian: Popular concern about climate change has declined significantly, following this year's harsh winter and rows over statistics on global warming, a survey has found.

The numbers of those interested in where Britain's electricity comes from have also slipped back, according to a survey commissioned by the energy company EDF, demonstrating what appears to be growing consumer complacency in an era of electric-powered gadgetry. More...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Travel alert over Jamaica violence

Just in case you're thinking of going there.

Britain, the US and Canada have issued travel alerts warning of possible unrest and violence in Jamaica amid anger over the expected arrest of a man Washington describes as one of the world's most dangerous drug lords.

The capital Kingston has been jittery since prime minister Bruce Golding this week reversed his long-standing refusal to extradite Christopher "Dudus" Coke to the US on drugs and arms-trafficking charges.

More.....

Fears for safety of walkabout Cameron



David Cameron is rejecting the advice of top security officials by insisting on walking around Whitehall, refusing police motorcycle escorts and demanding to be allowed to keep his BlackBerry smartphone.

There is increasing nervousness about the protection of the Prime Minister, who officials believe is making himself vulnerable to terrorists, lone obsessives and cyber-criminals.
Story here
My take on it
Please, don't do that Dave!!

Is YouTube's three-strike rule fair to users?

"Until I lost 900 videos, I never actually considered there was anything unsafe about trusting a company such as Google to protect my data. After all, who keeps photos in a shoebox anymore?"

Blogger Mark Kobayashi-Hillary has had his YouTube account removed after uploading a video from a gig by British comedian Jimmy Carr.
More here

Implanting Microchips into Insects. US Military Develops "Cybug Spies"

Miniature robots could be good spies, but researchers now are experimenting with insect cyborgs or "cybugs" that could work even better.

Scientists can already control the flight of real moths using implanted devices.

The military and spy world no doubt would love tiny, live camera-wielding versions of Predator drones that could fly undetected into places where no human could ever go to snoop on the enemy. Developing such robots has proven a challenge so far, with one major hurdle being inventing an energy source for the droids that is both low weight and high power. Still, evidence that such machines are possible is ample in nature in the form of insects, which convert biological energy into flight.
Full article here
ALSO
Try this for more military stuff

Friday, 21 May 2010

Prison population hits record high

The prison population in England and Wales reached a record high on Friday, the Government has said.

Ministry of Justice statistics confirmed the total reached 85,201 - 192 more than last Friday.

Managing prisoner numbers was not covered in more detailed plans published by the new coalition Government on Thursday.

  More.....

Marine killed in Afghanistan blast

A British marine has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

The serviceman, from 40 Commando Royal Marines died in an explosion near Patrol Base Almas, in Sangin, Helmand Province on Friday morning.

He was conducting a joint foot patrol with the Afghan National Army to improve the security to the local population in the area when the incident happened, the Ministry of Defence said. Next of kin have been informed.

Asylum seeker wins Government claim

An Iraqi asylum seeker who was acquitted of terrorist-related offences has won his false imprisonment claim against the Government.

The 30-year-old man, who can only be identified as HXA, sued the Home Office for damages at London's High Court over his detention between January 26 and November 23 2005.

  More.....

Thursday, 20 May 2010

BA strike ban overturned .

The union representing cabin crew won its appeal against an injunction granted earlier in the week preventing the walkouts.

The decision paves the way for fifteen days of strikes beginning on Monday.

Two out of three judges in the Court of Appeal in London allowed an appeal brought by Unite against a ruling in favour of BA on Monday by Mr Justice McCombe in the High Court. More.....

Germany's 'desperate' short ban triggers capital flight to Switzerland

A year ago, Germany's financial regulator BaFin warned that the toxic debts of the country's banks would blow up "like a grenade" once hidden losses from the credit crisis caught up with them.

swiss-franc_1640253c

An internal memo at the time showed that BaFin feared write-offs might top €800bn (£688bn), twice the reserves of Germany's financial institutions. Nobody paid much attention. But the regulator's shock move on Tuesday night to stop short trading on banks, insurers, eurozone bonds – as well as a ban credit default swaps (CDS) on sovereign debt – has left markets wondering whether the slow fuse on Germany's banking system has finally detonated.

More....

Euro under renewed attack ahead of EU crisis talks

Shocked European ministers are preparing for emergency talks to shore up the euro after markets fell in reaction to panic measures in Germany.

Angela Merkel stunned EU capitals by warning that the euro was in danger and triggered fears of a fresh financial meltdown by announcing a ban on risky trading practices by speculators. The German Chancellor’s actions opened up new cracks in the single currency, drawing sharp criticism from France and prompting Brussels to issue an appeal for unity.  More.....

Government gets rid of unpopular Home Information Packs

Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be scrapped with immediate effect, the coalition Government announced today.

The unpopular packs — which contained information required before a seller could put their home on the market — was “pointless red-tape” that was “strangling the housing market”, the Housing Minister Grant Shapps said.

More....

Light Posting

Light posting today due to other commitments- will catch up on news tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Specter of Inflation Haunts Europe

Der Spiegel- If Europe's single currency is really to be saved, fundamental reforms have to follow the emergency bailout by euro-zone members. The biggest danger comes, however, from the European Central Bank, which has given up its role as the protector of price stability. The risk of inflation is increasing. more

Fears Intensify that Euro Crisis Could Snowball

CNBC- After a brief respite following the announcement last week of a nearly $1 trillion bailout plan for Europe, fear in the financial markets is building again, this time over worries that the Continent’s biggest banks face strains that will hobble European economies. more

US death toll in Afghanistan tops 1,000

WSWS-The massive suicide bombing that ripped through a NATO convoy in Kabul Tuesday claimed the lives of five more US soldiers, a Canadian officer and a dozen Afghan civilians. more

Britain’s New Regime: The Oligarchy’s Coup Moves Into Action

Global Research- The top story in the Financial Times (17 May) headlines with ‘Osborne braced for cuts’.

Following the British national elections on 6 May, the new British chancellor, George Osborne, is setting out an array of “painful” public spending cuts, reports the FT. more

Married councillor claims £500 travel expenses a month... after moving in with mistress 160 miles away

Daily Mail- A married councillor who moved 160 miles to set up home with his mistress is claiming £500 a month in expenses to travel back for meetings, it emerged today. more

Investors panic sell shares ahead of possible capital gains tax rise

Telegraph- Investors are panic selling their investments in shares and property ahead of an expected rise in capital gains tax, according to financial experts. more

Suppressing the Cognitive Dissonance of a Bogus Recovery

Of Two Minds- A massive outbreak of economic cognitive dissonance is being suppressed with wave after wave of manufactured "good news." Every visibly negative bit of data is run through a media and Central State assembly line to refashion it as "good news" and "evidence" that the "nascent recovery is taking hold." Whatever cannot be rejiggered is simply buried or suppressed. more

Leaked Doc Proves Spain’s ‘Green’ Policies — the Basis for Obama’s — an Economic Disaster

Pajamas Media- Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration. The assessment confirms the key charges previously made by non-governmental Spanish experts in a damning report exposing the catastrophic economic failure of Spain’s “green economy” initiatives. more

Britons 'spend more web time reading news than looking at pornography'

TELEGRAPH- Britons now spend more of their internet time visiting news websites than looking at pornography, according to a new study. more

Clegg: £7bn worth of 'outrageous’ databases will be scrapped

Computer World- Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg today confirmed that over £7 billion worth of government databases will be scrapped, in an attempt to reverse what he called an encroachment on civil liberties. more

Fiscal Crisis and Imperial Collapse

Business Insider- Harvard and Oxford historian Niall Ferguson has unleashed his latest lesson on the history of sovereign debt crises, and it is a thorough and complete explanation of what the world is going through now, and what it can expect in the near future.

This isn't just about the "PIIGS" states, it is about the United States and United Kingdom, and their very real crisis in public finances. It is about what these states are going to have to sacrifice to maintain stability, both fiscal and political. more

Pensions: '£1.2 trillion gap between expectations and reality'

Telegraph- People saving for their pension have wildly unrealistic expectations about the income they will receive, according to a survey.

The company estimated the total shortfall in pension savings at £1.2 trillion or £1,200 billion – about 80pc of the value of Britain's annual economic output or about £50,000 per person of working age. The gap between savers' expectations and reality has increased by 50pc since the same survey was carried out in 2004. more

All Hell Breaking Loose In Thailand, Stock Exchange On Fire

Business Insider- All hell is breaking loose in Thailand now. The army moved to clear protesters out of their main Ratchprasong encampment this morning, moving slowly inwards towards the main protest stage while encountering sporadic resistance in the outer area of the protest site. There were some limited casualties, including foreign journalists, though we'll wait for official confirmation of the exact counts. more

It is unfair to punish long-term investors

When, in 2008, Gordon Brown introduced a flat rate of capital gains tax at 18 per cent, he also simplified the system. This involved removing a complex labyrinth of allowances and reliefs, which treated different types of assets in different ways and took account of length of time in ownership and the effects of inflation.

From a government that had more than doubled the size of the tax code, it was an unusual and welcome step. George Osborne had quite rightly campaigned in opposition for simpler, flatter, fairer taxes. This marked a victory for his approach.

More.....

Author Daniel Estulin to Shed Light on Bilderbergs with Historic Presentation at European Parliament

Prweb- International best-selling author Daniel Estulin will make an unprecedented speech before the European Parliament on June 1st, 2010 at its headquarters in Brussels. more

Bank of England calls for stronger medicine to cut deficit

Times- The Bank of England piled more pressure on the Government over its emergency budget today, saying that a more “demanding” plan to cut the deficit would be needed to prevent interest rates rising. more

MPs expenses: Re-elected Labour MP Eric Illsley charged over his expenses claims

Telegraph- A Labour MP who was only returned to the Commons in the general election earlier this month is to face a criminal prosecution over his Parliamentary expenses. more

After thoughtcrime, now we have tweetcrime

Information Liberation- The conviction of a Twitter user for posting a joke about a bomb shows how insanely paranoid officialdom has become. more

Only morons, cheats and liars still believe in Man-Made Global Warming

Telegraph- Well of course I would write a headline like that having just spent the last three days in Chicago at the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change. This is the event the cackling, cloak-wearing, befanged AGW-denying community attends every year to glorify in their own evil. And naturally, in the wake of Climategate, a mood of uproarious triumphalism has prevailed as distinguished skeptical scientists, economists, and policymakers from around the world – Pat Michaels, Richard Lindzen, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, Fred Singer.. you name them, they’re here – have gathered to dance on the smouldering ashes of the mythical beast ManBearPig. more

Inflation Destroys Savings

Mises- Everything that is done by a government against the purchasing power of the monetary unit is, under present conditions, done against the middle classes and the working classes of the population. Only these people don't know it. And this is the tragedy. The tragedy is that the unions and all these people are supporting a policy that makes all their savings valueless. And this is the great danger of the whole situation. more

Red Shirts surrender as Thai army storms camp

This is London- Thai soldiers stormed the Red Shirt camp in Bangkok today, breaking through the bamboo and tire barricades and forcing the protest leaders to surrender. At least five people have been killed, one of whom was a journalist who was shot in the chest. Two other foreign journalists were wounded.

The anti-government protest leaders surrendered and said they wanted to prevent more deaths. More....

Ed Balls to throw hat in the ring for Labour leadership

London Evening Standard- Two more candidates for the Labour leadership will today throw their hats into the ring, bringing the number of contenders to replace Gordon Brown up to four.

Former children's secretary Ed Balls - long regarded as Mr Brown's closest lieutenant in the Cabinet - is expected formally to declare his candidacy today with a visit to a Midlands seat narrowly held by Labour in last week's election.

And left-winger John McDonnell will launch his campaign at the annual conference of the Public and Commercial Services Union in Brighton. More.....

Union challenges British Airways strike ruling

This is London- The union representing British Airways cabin crew has launched a challenge against an injunction which prevented their strike action going ahead.

Three judges in the Court of Appeal in London, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, are being urged to overturn a ruling on Monday by Mr Justice McCombe in the High Court, whose decision to grant an injunction halted action by thousands of members of Unite in a bitter row over jobs, pay and staffing levels.

The granting of the order to BA gave a reprieve for passengers who had faced weeks of travel chaos, but the decision drew furious criticism from union leaders who described it as an "absolute disgrace". More....

Airlines recover with new measures to tackle ash cloud flight disruption

Airlines ran near-normal services on Tuesday after new measures to tackle flight disruption caused by the ash cloud were introduced.

And the Met Office forecast more good news predicting south-westerly winds will blow the Icelandic volcanic ash away from the British Isles.

But it was forced to defend its forecast that had led to flight restrictions on Monday at a number of airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick.

Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson said the restrictions were "unforgivable" and authorities dealing with the crisis had made "crass, stupid decisions". More...

The Greek People are the Victims of a Carefully Engineered Financial Extortion Racket

Global Research- What is happening in Greece concerns all of us. The people are paying for a crisis and a debt that are not their own. Today it is the Greeks, tomorrow it will be others, for the same causes will produce the same effects if we allow it. more

Nearly 70pc of Britons forced to work beyond retirement age

Telegraph- Nearly 70 per cent of Britons say they have no choice but to work beyond their retirement age, according to figures published today. more

The Other End: Drones of Democracy

Pacific Free Press- “People who have seen an air strike live on a monitor described it as both awe-inspiring and horrifying. ‘You could see these little figures scurrying, and the explosion going off, and when the smoke cleared there was just rubble and charred stuff,’ a former C.I.A. officer who was based in Afghanistan after September 11th says of one attack.”

“Human beings running for cover are such a common sight,” Jane Mayer continues, “that they have inspired a slang term: ‘squirters.’”

Just rubble and charred stuff… more

London Wants To Offer Full WiFi Coverage... But How Will That Work With The Digital Economy Act?

Tech Dirt- Rik was the first of a few of you to send in the news that the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is claiming that London will be fully covered by WiFi in time for the 2012 Olympic games. Of course, considering that the UK Parliament just passed the Digital Economy Act, which calls for carefully limiting access to the internet for people accused (not convicted) of infringement online, it makes you wonder how that's going to work. Even if Ofcom has said that the DEA rules won't initially apply to wireless providers, it does seem a bit odd to have the government offering a service like this. Once again, we're seeing how the government has these two competing issues that don't play well together: getting more broadband availability, while looking to help out the entertainment industry by kicking people off the internet at the same time. Who will be the first Olympic athlete kicked offline for downloading some music during the games? more

Man who predicted credit crunch warns on 'vicious' debt crisis

City Wire- Black swan author Nassim Taleb says the world debt problem is worse now than at the height of the credit crunch and investors should ditch equities and US Treasuries and back hard assets.

In an interview with Bloomberg the New York University professor who made his name predicting the credit crunch, says that governments have failed to learn the lessons of the banking crisis, allowing the debt problem to morph into a new and more ‘vicious’ form. more

How far will gold Run?

Oil Price- The good news is that you no longer have to be crazy to buy gold. Until recently, certifiable believers chasing the barbaric relic were driven by a host of urban legends and conspiracy theories, such as the imminent bankruptcy of the US Treasury, Fort Knox holding only titanium bars that had been painted gold, Weimar style hyperinflation that is just around the corner, or the gold ETF (GLD) owning only paper, and not physical gold.

No more. The long term structural demand for the yellow metal is now so well known, that I can read about it in the tabloids while waiting in line at Safeway. more

MASS IMMIGRATION FUELS POVERTY, SAYS LABOUR MP FRANK FIELD

Express- Senior backbencher Frank Field, who is in talks with the Prime Minister about taking up a welfare advisory role, said unemployment was spreading because many new jobs were snapped up by migrants.

And he feared the open-door border policy operated by Labour would mean condemning more Britons to welfare dependency and poverty. more

MIGRANT INFLUX HAS CAUSED ‘CHAOS IN OUR CLASSROOMS’

Express- LABOUR’S unchecked open-door immigration policy has left a legacy of classroom chaos with thousands of pupils unable to utter a single word of English. more

Nick Clegg: tell us the laws that you want scrapped

Telegraph- The most radical redistribution of power from the state to the people for 200 years is to be made by the new coalition Government, Nick Clegg is to claim. more

Governments That Practice Austerity Will See Their Economies Crushed, And Budget Deficits Soar

Business Insider- Nomura's Richard Koo is clearly one of the most important voices on this next stage of the economic cycle, as deeply indebted governments try to figure out what comes next.

To those that think austerity is the answer, he has an ominous warning: If your private sector is still deleveraging, your economy will crash and your deficit will grow. That latter is the key one, as it's the experience in Japan (and Ireland, and probably Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the UK next). more

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