Monday 25 June 2012

Today's stories

Breaking News

A fast-growing wildfire has forced thousands of residents from homes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and nearby communities as firefighters struggled to contain out-of-control and wind-stoked blazes in several western US states

Armed groups have targeted an oil pipeline in the eastern Syria city of Dayr al-Zawr, but there is no immediate report of casualties.

Global economy

The United States is headed for what economists are calling a "fiscal cliff" at the end of this year, when huge government spending cuts are due to kick in at the same time as a big jump in tax rates.

After almost two years of emergency summits yielding stop-gap measures that have eroded its credibility, the European Union plunges into a crucial week for its debt crisis.

“The global economy continues to falter and the pace of that slowdown is picking up.  Recent data showed that German consumer confidence dropped the most since 1998, as Italian confidence dropped to an all-time record low.  The level of Spain’s non-performing loans reached the highest since 1994.”

The outflow of foreign-currency deposits from Argentina's banking system showed no sign of slowing last week, as nervous savers withdrew 522 million dollars from bank accounts.


NATO is to hold an emergency meeting after Turkey yesterday accused Syria of downing one of its fighter jets in international airspace, raising fears that tensions could soar in the tinderbox region.

hibiting trade in oil and financial services to ramp up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end bloodshed.

Interfax reports that a ship carrying Russian helicopters to Syria, which turned back after its insurance was cut, is expected to resume its journey accompanied by at least one other vessel.

In the era of remote-controlled drones, invisible planes and microwave guns, no military innovation should come as a surprise. But among the array

Venezuela has recalled its ambassador to Paraguay and suspended oil export to protest the impeachment of Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Fatal incident in bar in Indian Ocean city comes a day after US embassy issued "imminent attack" warning


An earthquake has hit a mountainous area of southwest China, killing at least four people and injuring more than 100, state media reported

In every disaster there's usually one photo that captures the essence of the event. The photo of the scared looking seal swept away from the Lake Superior Zoo by floodwaters does the trick for me on this one. I'm tempted to call this "The Great Duluth Seal Flood of 2012."

Civil unrest/revolution

Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” rally in Bangkok to demand the judiciary to stay out of the country’s politics, saying they have returned to attend to unfinished business.

Following days of unrest sparked by rising food prices, protests demanding regime change have widened over the week.



NatWest's online forum becomes a diary of disillusionment as those unable to go to the bank's branches run out of money

The newly elected Greek coalition government will seek a two-year ''bailout holiday'' from some of the harshest elements of the European Union and International Monetary Fund package.

Crucial discussions about Greece's indebtness have been postponed, because of health problems affecting both the prime minister and the finance minister.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman Jim O’Neill says he would consider the Bank of England governor’s role if approached.

Accountant will not be penalised for role in auditing European banking arm of Lehman Brothers, after 18-month investigation

The British government has expressed concerns that Argentina may use the 2012 Olympic Games in London as a platform to protest against the UK’s occupation of the Malvinas (Falklands).


As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles.



The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi has won the bitterly contested race for Egypt's first democratically-elected president, prompting scenes of jubilation amongst the thousands gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to hear the long-awaited election results

Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi, the first Islamist head of state in the Arab world's most populous nation, has delivered an encouraging speech stating that under his rule Christians and Muslims will unite and make Egypt proud and great again.

Muslim Brotherhood candidate, now president-elect, vows in victory speech to "restore rights" to Egyptian people.


Tropical Storm Debby has meandered on an uncertain track toward the Florida coast, bringing strong winds and waves that forced the closure of about a quarter of offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The outer bands of Tropical Storm Debby lashed Florida on Sunday, spawning two apparent tornadoes in the central part of the state that killed one woman, a county spokeswoman said.

Denver's record-breaking heat Friday sets the stage for a potentially hotter day today, warns the National Weather Service

If nothing else, the collapse of MF Global has made one thing clear: The notion that customer assets were safe was a sham. 

Why Congress Won’t Touch Jamie Dimon: JPM Derivatives Prop Up US Debt
When Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, he was wearing cufflinks bearing the presidential seal.  “Was Dimon trying to send any particular message by wearing the presidential cufflinks?” asked CNBC editor John Carney.  “Was he . . . subtly hinting that he’s really the guy in charge?”

JPMorgan & Other Financials Still Receiving Billions Annually From U.S. Taxpayer: TARP Institutionalized, When Dimon Should Be Institutionalized
Is JPMorgan worried about its potential $18 billion dollar loss? Perhaps not, when it could be offset by $14 billion in United States taxpayer subsidies – that’s 77 percent of its total net income in the last four quarters!


JULIAN ASSANGE hopes his bid for political asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London will elicit diplomatic guarantees that he will not be prosecuted by the US on espionage and conspiracy charges.

AUSTRALIA'S big banks have been ranked the most profitable in the developed world for the second year running by the influential Bank for International Settlements.

MELBOURNE'S property market hits the half-way point next weekend in a dampened and dismal state and coming school holidays are not likely to give it a boost.

ECONOMIC uncertainty and tough domestic conditions are expected to keep a lid on takeover activity among Australian corporates as deal-making sputters to a three-year low.

Soldiers returning from Afghanistan are having urine tests to check if they have absorbed radioactivity from American depleted uranium munitions.


The Vatican has turned to a Fox News reporter for help to improve its relations with the media amid communications blunders and a leaks scandal. The Holy See hired the Channel’s Rome correspondent for the position of senior communications adviser.

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