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Saturday, 1 February 2014

February 1, 2014: News Notes

Fresh turbulence drives down currencies, bonds again

(Reuters) - Fresh waves of turbulence engulfed emerging markets on Friday, with a renewed slide in the Russian rouble and a sharp rise in bond yields across the board despite policymakers' efforts to staunch the bleeding.

Ireland puts first bankers on trial since crisis

(Reuters) - Ireland put three former bankers on trial on Friday in its first such case since the financial crisis that forced it to accept an 85 billion euro (69 billion pounds) international bailout.

The three former executives of collapsed Anglo Irish Bank pleaded not guilty to charges of providing unlawful financial assistance by lending money to others to buy the bank's shares, boosting its stock price.

Why the rich are freaking out

Judge approves Bank of America $8.5 bln settlement

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Bank of America Corp. BAC -1.06% has been given approval to settle its case with investors for $8.5 billion over faulty mortgage-backed securities originated in its Countrywide unit, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. A New York State judge has given the go-ahead on a deal that was made in June 2011 but was opposed by certain investors including American Insurance Group Inc. AIG -1.88% . AIG argued the deal was unfair and that the amount was far short of the losses to investors. The more than two-year process is considered a victory for the bank that has been closely watched by the industry. Bank of America shares were down 1%.

Stoxx Europe 600 posts worst monthly loss since June

LONDON (MarketWatch) — European stock markets ended January with their worst monthly loss since June on Friday, after an unexpected drop in euro-zone inflation added to fears of deflation in the region.

Stocks slammed! Official 'correction' looms

Stocks are getting boot-stomped on Friday ending what is setting up to be the worst January since 2010. The S&P500 (^GSPC) ) is only down about 3.5% in 2014 and still hasn’t corrected yet, but it feels worse than that with momentum stocks taking a pounding and volatility coming back from the dead. It’s been a rude awakening for investors conditioned to buy every dip since 2011.

Is your money safe at the bank? An economist says ‘no’ and withdraws his

The Fed policies of Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who begins her term Feb. 1, are making former Harvard economist Terry Burnham withdraw his money from Bank of America.

Theft Is Deflationary - Especially The Crony-Capitalist/State Kind

....Thank you, Jeff, for explaining the causal connection between systemic theft and deflation. To all those terrified of deflation (for example, central bankers and their cronies holding trillions of dollars in phantom assets and illusory collateral), the solution is obvious: get rid of systemic theft. But since those terrified of deflation are at the top of the monopoly-power thievery pyramid, that is asking the impossible: for the thieves to relinquish their power to steal.

Exclusive: South Sudan rebel leader says government derailing peace talks

(Reuters) - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar accused the government on Friday of ethnic cleansing and trying to sabotage peace talks, in his first face-to-face interview since fighting erupted late last year in Africa's youngest nation.

Yahoo Reports Security Attack on Mail Accounts

Internet Firm Prompts Users to Change Passwords for Security
Yahoo Inc. YHOO +1.98% disclosed a coordinated attack aimed to gain unauthorized access to its Yahoo Mail accounts and said it prompted users to change their passwords to re-secure their accounts.

Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada

Former media baron was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1990

Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

US suspends 92 nuke officers amid cheating scandal

The United States military has suspended 92 officers in charge of nuclear missiles operations after they allegedly cheated in a proficiency test exam.

'Cashgate' trial begins in Malawi

President Joyce Banda ordered investigation of politicians and businessmen over millions of dollars in embezzlement.

Italy biggest banks could pocket 3.5 bln euros from BOI's stake sale -analysts

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit could cash in up to 3.5 billion euros ($4.7 billion) combined from the sale of part of their revalued stakes in the central bank, according to analyst calculations.

The Italian parliament on Wednesday gave final approval to a decree hiking the value of Bank of Italy's (BOI) share capital to 7.5 billion euros from 156,000 euros previously, which had not been changed since the 1930s.

UK media alarmed by govt bill allowing seizure of journalists’ notes, files

UK media organizations have warned that if a government bill authorizing police to seize journalists' notebooks, photos and digital files is passed Monday, it could seriously endanger press freedom in the country.

Once troubled Bank of Cyprus leaves politically unstable Ukraine

Protests in Kiev are spooking investors, and the latest is Bank of Cyprus, which plans on selling its loss making Ukrainian subsidiary Alfa Group Ukraine Limited for 225 million euro by the end of March.
...The debt crisis in Cyprus forced Bank of Cyprus, the country’s biggest bank, to abruptly close in March 2013, and reopen only under the condition it placed a levy on its big depositors to help pay for the country's bailout.

 Meltdown: A global tsunami

How an epidemic of fear caused the world's major banks to stop lending, triggering protests and industrial action.

We explore a renegade executive who nearly destroyed the global financial service, and the treasury secretary who bailed out his old friends.
Meltdown, a four-part series on the secret history of the global financial collapse, can be seen each week from January 24, 2014, at the following times GMT: Friday: 2000; Saturday: 1200; Sunday: 0100; Monday: 0600

Ex-New York mayor Bloomberg named UN climate envoy

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

Rob Ford reportedly ticketed for jaywalking in Vancouver

VANCOUVER – Rob Ford has travelled to Vancouver but controversy has followed the embattled Toronto mayor.
Media reports say Ford was ticketed for jaywalking Friday night.

CSEC Snowden docs: MPs grill defence minister on spying revelation

Tories say independent report shows CSEC obeys law as NDP, Liberals call tracking, spying illegal
Opposition MPs say the government has to do more to reassure Canadians after a document newly released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggested Canada's communications spy agency tracked people through free airport Wi-Fi.

The top secret document shows Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.

These Devices May Be Spying On You (Even In Your Own Home)

Think you are safe in your own home? These innocent-looking devices may be spying on you, or performing other nefarious actions:

Montana jury awards $52 million in lawsuit against bank

Australia confirms turning immigrant boats back

Australian authorities have confirmed for the first time that they are turning boats carrying asylum-seekers back to Indonesia as part of Canberra’s military-led Operation Sovereign Borders crackdown on people-smuggling.

“What I have confirmed today is... that any vessel that seeks to illegally enter Australian waters will be intercepted and will be removed from our waters and our contiguous zone,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

Debt-damned economics: learn monetary reform or kiss your assets goodbye. 1 of 2

Debt-damned economics: learn monetary reform or kiss your assets goodbye. 2 of 2

Pope Francis fires all but one cardinals who run Vatican bank just 11 months into their five-year term

    The cardinals were appointed by Benedict XVI shortly before he resigned
    The Vatican bank was caught in a money-laundering row in 2010

 Orphans of the Sahara: Rebellion

Part two of this series explores northern Mali in 2012 as it falls to Tuareg separatists and their al-Qaeda rivals. Early in 2012, as the massive Tuareg rebellion sweeps northern Mali, defeated Mali Army officers stage a coup d'etat in the south leading to the total collapse of government in the country.

Tuareg rebels declare an independent state in the north called "Azawad", but al-Qaeda emerges from the Sahara to take over historic Timbuktu, and compete with the secular rebels for control of northern Mali.


Bolivia declares state of nat’l emergency over floods

Tunisia passes progressive constitution

January 27, 2014 6:15AM ET
The constitution enshrining freedom of religion and women's rights took two years to finish

Hawking's black hole 'blunder' shows how little we know about gravity

...Gravity is the most far-reaching force known to man. It's what holds you in your chair and reaches across billions of light years of space to hold clusters of galaxies together. It's everywhere. So, you would think that something so common and familiar would have been figured out by now. In fact, its workings are still a mystery, and that mystery is a wrench in the scientific gears - or rather, an obstacle for physicists trying to come up with a single theory to describe the universe.

 The Dangers of Heavy Metals and Aluminum

The following are two important articles about Heavy metals and Aluminum and their effects on health and brain function.  Important points and vital information in the vaccine debate and for looking at your over-all health in our daily lives.

Many people have no idea of just how much contact we have daily with heavy metals and aluminum.  The effects on our health and well being have a huge impact on our lives.