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NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES ROCKET

NORTH KOREA FIRES ROCKET

PASSED OVER THE JAPAN…

BOOSTER MECHANISM FALLS INTO SEA OF JAPAN…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FINANCIAL TIMES CHIEF DECLARES ‘NEW WORLD ORDER’ AS POWER SHIFTS TO CHINA AT G20 MEETING

DURING TONIGHT’S LIVE BROADCAST OF CNBC WORLD’S ‘SQUAWK BOX EUROPE,’ FINANCIAL TIMES EDITOR LIONEL BARBER DECLARED THAT WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A ‘NEW WORLD ORDER’ WHERE THE ‘GROUP OF 20’ (G20) COUNTRIES WILL BE MAINLY FOCUSED ON WHAT CHINA WILL DO, INSTEAD OF THE UNITED STATES, IN SOLVING THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS. HE OFFERED THE IDEA THAT THE G20 OUGHT TO BE REFERRED TO AS THE G2 WITH THE U.S. AND CHINA BEING THE TWO HEGEMONIC POWERS…

FT Editor Lionel Barber interviews China’s Premier Hu Jintao

TEN-THOUSANDS PROTEST IN START OF ‘SUMMER OF RAGE…”

OBAMA MEETS BROWN FOR TALKS (VIDEO)…

OBAMA PREACHES GLOBAL ‘UNITY’ IN INTERVIEW WITH FT…

Filed under: Economics, Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19,000 Credit Card Details Accessible by GOOGLE

PAPER: The credit card details of up to 19,000 British shoppers were published on the internet – where they could be found using a simple search on Google. The list, obtained by the Mail, includes the names, home addresses and full card details of thousands of Visa, Mastercard and American Express customers…

Filed under: Crime, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.S. Admiral: North Korean Missile Could Reach Hawaii

WIRE: America’s top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii. Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: “In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii…”


Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Financial Crisis ‘Caused by White People With Blue Eyes’

PAPER: In Brazil, Gordon Brown continued his pre-summit tour but there was embarrassment when his host, President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, said the financial crisis was caused by “white people with blue eyes”. He told a joint press conference with Mr Brown that he had never met a black banker…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OBAMA TO SEND ANOTHER 4,200 TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN

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POLITICO WIRE: ANOTHER 4,200 “TRAINERS” AND CIVILIANS TO BE SENT…

PAPER: The Obama administration will unveil a new Afghanistan strategy Friday that calls for devoting significant new resources to counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan and economic development in Pakistan, according to senior U.S. officials. The White House plan will mark an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, which is quickly displacing Iraq as the administration’s chief national-security focus…

FLASHBACK: Obama’s 17,000 Troop Surge for Afghanistan…

Filed under: Obama, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Zealand GDP Better Than Expected

New Zealand’s economy shrunk by -0.9% in the three months ending 2008 after economists had expected this south-Pacific country’s GDP to contract by more. The move marks the fourth straight quarter that the island-nation has seen its annual output decrease.

Since July the central bank has slashed interest rates by 5.25% to 3.0% in an effort to provide short-term liquidity to businesses and financial markets in order to stave off the effects of the global recession.

Now, in its fourth straight quarter of contraction, the New Zealand economy has shed thousands of job. In the final three months of 2008, their unemployment rate jumped 0.4 percentage points to 4.6%, the highest level since 2003. Their Treasury department predicts that it will get worse. They have forecast that by early 2010 the jobless rate may jump to an 11-year high of 7.2%.

Yesterday, the IMF released a report stating that New Zealand’s economy would contract a total of 2.0% in 2009 after 2008 experienced a slight 0.1% decrease. One key “vulnerability” that is likely to keep the country under water is the extensive amount of short-term borrowing from abroad, the IMF said.

This final period of the year saw the country’s currency depreciate by as much as -20.95%, but ended the quarter down only 10.15%.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Zealand Trade Balance Soars on 11.6% Decline in Imports

New Zealand’s trade balance in February improved substantially from that which was expected. The figure jumped to 489.0 million from an expected 75.0 million after imports fell 11.6%.

The alleviating news comes just a day after Bill English, the nation’s Minister of Finance, said that the current account gap is “uncomfortably large.”

Imports fell as the New Zealand Dollar continued to stifle the purchasing power that domestic residents had for goods produced abroad. The first two months of the year saw their currency depreciate 16.57% against its U.S. counterpart and 9.12% against a trade-weighted basket of currencies.

The amount of goods shipped to the country from Europe fell by a staggering 21.3% and 14% from Asia.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York Strip Club Invites Australian Prime Minister and His Wife Back for More After Visiting Obama

NET: PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd and wife Therese Rein have been invited to a special dinner at the New York  nightspot scene of his infamous pole-dance experience. Rolling out the red carpet, the strip club formerly known as Scores has offered to entertain the VIP – and his wife – with dinner and a private room during his time in Manhattan…

Filed under: Humor/Irony, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abortion Ads Now on Television as Teen Pregnancies Soar

PAPER: Abortion clinics are to be allowed to advertise on television and radio for the first time. Condom manufacturers will also be permitted to broadcast advertisements at any time of the day or night…

Girls Now Able to Request Morning-After Pill by Text Message in School…

Filed under: Media, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.S. Criticized Over Immigrant Rights by Amnesty International

Amnesty International has said tens of thousands of people are being held in US immigration jails without receiving a hearing to determine whether their detentions are warranted.

About 30,000 immigrants are held on an average day, the rights group said in a report released on Wednesday, triple the number in custody a decade ago…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Zealand Economy Will Contract 2% in 2009, Says IMF

In a report filed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the Washington-based body said that the New Zealand economy will contract by 2.0% this year. “The near-term outlook is weak,” they mentioned. “Households are constrained by high debt levels, falling house and equity prices and uncertain employment prospects,” they added.

The startling words come after Bill English, New Zealand’s Minister of Finance, said that the current account gap is “uncomfortable large”. Indeed, the actual figure for the current account balance in the final quarter of 2008 came in at -4.026, surprisingly better than in the three-month period prior. Despite what would look to be as a positive sign, the deficit-GDP ratio actually became weaker, coming in at -8.9% from -8.6% the period prior.

Claims of weakness in the country are legitimate. Now, in its fifth straight quarter of contraction, the New Zealand economy has shed thousands of job. In the final three months of 2008, their unemployment rate jumped 0.4 percentage points to 4.6%, the highest level since 2003. Their Treasury department predicts that it will get worse. They have forecast that by early 2010 the jobless rate may jump to an 11-year high of 7.2%.

One “key vulnerably” is the country’s substantial level of short-term financing from abroad. With the central bank slashing rates by 5.25% since July, foreigners have been continuously disincentivized to invest in these debts with maturities of less than one year. The IMF may have been too cautious here. Albeit this may seem to be a risk on an absolute basis, the fact that short-term rates abroad are much lower than those in New Zealand may actually direct a greater amount of these foreign cash flows towards this South-Pacific economy.

Now, since Mid-March the New Zealand Dollar has fallen by as much as 40.4% against it’s U.S. counterpart. Generally, such a bearish movle would lead investors in domestically denominated short-term debt to flock away in hysteria. But what if their was an expectation that the currency would begin to rise in value? Under such a case, one would expect exchange rate risk to be of less of concern.

We are seeing such a pattern now. From the low on Mar. 3rd, the currency has rebounded 17.95%. This may be due to the inflationary fears that the Federal Reserve, with its plan to buy $1.2 trillion in treasury and agency/mortgage securities, has sparked among global investors. During this time we have also seen gold rally 7.43% and crude (West Texas Intermediate) break out of a range bound environment and rally 37% to as much as $54.18.

Historically we have seen a strong correlation between the New Zealand currency and commodities. A 180-day rolling correlation with the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodities Index shows that these two instruments have a correlation of .9688, a very substantial relationship.

Thus, if inflationary fears are correct (which the commodities markets seem to believe) then the New Zealand Dollar is likely to continue rising. Hence short-term financing from abroad may actually increase and not decrease.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NORTH KOREA LOADING ROCKET ONTO LAUNCH PAD

WIRE: North Korea is loading a Taepodong rocket on its east coast launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite early next month, U.S. officials say. U.S. counterproliferation and intelligence officials have confirmed Japanese news reports of the expected launch between April 4 and 8…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

British Parliament Member to P.M. Brown ‘You Are the Devalued P.M. of a Devalued Gov.’ (Video)

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European Union President Says Obama Stimulus is The ‘Road to Hell’

The head of the European Union slammed President Barack Obama’s plan to spend nearly $2 trillion to push the U.S. economy out of recession as “the road to hell” that EU governments must avoid.

The blunt comments by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to the European Parliament on Wednesday highlighted simmering European differences with Washington ahead of a key summit next week on fixing the world economy…

eurpres

Filed under: Economics, Obama, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fedex Cargo Plane Crashes at Tokyo Airport (Video)

AP: Police say the pilot and copilot of a FedEx cargo plane that crashed at an airport in Japan are dead…

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Filed under: Media, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Euro Central Bank President Trichet Says Deflation Won’t Hit Euro-Area, No Fiscal Stimulus

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet spoke to the Wall Street Journal and was quite reluctant to acknowledge some of the 16-nation currency bloc’s financial problems. He said that Europe does not need to use fiscal policy as liberally as the United States has.

He took some shots at the global financial community, stating that it is unjustified to criticize Europe for its lack of conviction in battling this crisis. Nonetheless he did offer his own critique of the U.S. situation, stating that the U.S. should be ‘quick’ on implementing a rescue plan and on settling on a final budget.

As far as monetary policy is concerned he said that zero interest rates would not be “appropriate” and that there are “drawbacks” to such a policy. He did, however, acknowledge the obvious, that the economic trend remains “downward.” While he did not give any specifics as to his ideal interest rate target, he did suggest that the bank could lower rates below the current 1.5% mark. Nonetheless, despite the difference in approach taken by the Federal Reserve and the ECB, central banks are not in a “race,” he noted.

Ultimately, he has confidence in the experts that say that deflation will not hit the Euro-Area.

We could see the Euro rally as the news of this interview disseminates among the public. As dwarfed expectations of deflation loosen the notion of a zero-interest rate policy, those seeking yield may send their money to Europe and hence prop up the 16-nation currency.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Plane Evacuated in London After ‘Suspicious Device’ Discovered on Board

“There was something on board that they were not happy about,” said airport spokeswoman Julie Ayres. She did not give further details…

Filed under: Media, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Japan Prime Minister: Must Build Defense

Japan Prime Minister“You must be well aware that we face many issues in the Asia-Pacific region, including North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development...for us to assure peace and stability in Japan, it is extremely important to further strengthen the Japan-US alliance as well as to make its own efforts for self defense…”

U.S. To Move Troops From Japan to Guam…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DEVELOPING: George Soros Advice for The G-20 in Upcoming FT

DEVELOPING: In Monday’s Financial Times, billionaire investor George Soros writes on how the developed world’s response to the crisis has damaged periphery economies, why the G20 meeting will be make-or-break, and what single step could make it a resounding success…

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