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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…

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

OBAMA TO SEND ANOTHER 4,200 TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN

4,200

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Economy Shrinks 6.3%, Worst Since 1982

WIRE: The U.S. economy shrank at a 6.3 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, the worst performance since 1982, in what may be the depths of the recession.

The contraction in gross domestic product was larger than the previously estimated 6.2 percent drop, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. A report from the Labor Department showed the number of people collecting jobless benefit this month climbed to a record 5.56 million…

Filed under: Economics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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)

britishparliament

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Geithner Open to China Using Non-Dollar as Reserve; Dollar Plummets

WIRE: Geithner was initially asked at a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York about proposals from People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan for a new international reserve currency. He said “as I understand his proposal, it’s a proposal designed to increase the use of the IMF’s special drawing rights. And we’re actually quite open to that…”

geithner

Filed under: Global Economics, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama’s Secret Meeting With Gorbachev; Press Wasn’t Informed (Video)

gibbsrussiameeting

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

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…

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

Venezuela’s Military Takes Control Of Airports

“Venezuela’s military took control Saturday of all the country’s major airports and maritime ports, following a recently enacted law handing management of the facilities to the central government.

Soldiers occupied major facilities under the legal reform approved by the pro-Chavez parliament, taking over maritime terminals in the opposition stronghold city of Maracaibo in the state of Zulia, the port of Guanta in Anzoategui and others in the states of Carabobo and Nueva Esparta…”

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

Study Shows That Wages and Employment Rose After Immigration Raids

“Wages and employment increased for legal workers after raids on six Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in several U.S. states in 2006, a study indicated.

Noting that the plants raided were back in production within five months, Jerry Kammer of the Center for Immigration Studies said there was “good evidence” that the number of U.S.-born workers increased, concluding that the plants “could operate without the presence of illegal workers,” The Hill reported….”

Filed under: Economics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OBAMA WANTS TO DISARM PILOTS

“The Obama administration is taking steps quietly to shut down the program that qualifies commercial airline pilots to carry firearms in jetliner cockpits in order to ward off another 9/11-type attack.

The administration recently diverted $2 million from a program to train and certify pilots to carry firearms safely while on duty. Instead, it is using the money to hire additional field inspectors to help discipline pilots who step out of line, according to a report in Tuesday’s Washington Times…”

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

Obama’s Covert War in Pakistan

“President Barack Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the covert U.S. war in Pakistan far beyond the tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Tuesday…”

Obama Secretely Endorshed Islamic Law in Northern Pakistan…

Afghan/Pakistan Border

Afghan/Pakistan Border

Filed under: Obama, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RUSSIA TO REARM IN 2011 TO ‘INCREASE COMBAT READINESS’

“Mr Medvedev said the primary task would be to “increase the combat readiness of [Russia’s] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces”.
Explaining the move, he cited concerns over Nato expansion near Russia’s borders and regional conflicts…”

Russia Faces Risk of ‘Significant Conflict…’

‘We now have all the necessary conditions…’

Obama ‘Ready’ to Give Up Polish Missile Shield…

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

U.S. Fighter Jets Shot Down Iranian Drone Over Baghdad

Military Sources Tell Wired.com…

Iranian Drone had been flying over Baghdad for 70 minutes…

U.S. Strikes Pakistan Again via Drone…

Bloomberg Wire:

By Michael Heath

March 17 (Bloomberg) — U.S. fighter jets shot down an
unmanned Iranian drone flying over Iraq last month, American
officials said.

The incident occurred Feb. 25 about 60 miles (97 kilometers)
northeast of Baghdad, according to the Pentagon news service.
Warplanes tracked the craft for almost an hour and 10 minutes
before pilots shot it down “well inside Iraqi airspace.” Iran
hasn’t commented on the U.S. report.

The American military accuses Iran of arming militants in
Iraq, which has been wracked by sectarian and insurgent violence
following the U.S.-led invasion of the country to oust President
Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Iranian-backed groups began returning to Iraq late last year
after being forced to flee in 2007, the Washington Institute for
Near East Policy said in a report published yesterday. Former
President George W. Bush ordered an increase in U.S. troops in
2007 to combat militants.

In the last quarter of 2008, 14 attacks were carried out
against U.S. forces in Maysan province, the route for the
movement of men and material across the Iraq-Iran border, the
institute said in its report, “Iran’s Ongoing Proxy War in
Iraq.”

Iranian-backed groups have also been conducting long-range
rocket attacks on coalition bases, similar to the tactics used by
the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, it said.

‘Real Problem’

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week described Iran
as “a real problem” for the U.S., in an interview on PBS’s
Tavis Smiley Show.

“I think it’s one of the significant challenges that we’re
going to face over the next several years,” he said March 11,
according to a transcript.

American forces will exit Iraq by the end of 2011 under an
accord last year between the Bush administration and the Iraqi
government. Last month, President Barack Obama unveiled plans to
pull all but 50,000 of the 140,000 U.S. soldiers from Iraq by
August 2010. The rest would be used mostly for training and
aiding the Iraqi Army.

In a separate incident, the U.S. military said a 12-year-old
girl was killed when American soldiers fired at a vehicle
speeding toward them and Iraqi police near the northern city of
Mosul, al-Qaeda’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

The vehicle’s driver ignored signals to stop near the
Hurriyah Iraqi police station and coalition forces fired two
warning rounds, the American military said in a statement.

The girl, who was standing about 100 meters behind the
vehicle, was struck by one of the rounds. The military said it is
investigating the incident.

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

OBAMA APPOINTS DEFENSE LAWYER FOR JOHN WALKER LINDH (TALIBAN) AS ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

“Curiously enough, though, not one of these brief reports mention that Tony West was “American Taliban” terrorist John Walker Lindh’s defense lawyer. Another key bit of info left out of these announcements was that Tony West raised $65 million for Obama’s presidential campaign. Money well spent if it gets a cushy government job, I suppose…”

SF GATE: “He also took part in the defense of Lindh, the Marin County man who was a 20-year-old Taliban soldier in Afghanistan when he was captured in November 2001. Lindh pleaded guilty in 2002 to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was sentenced to 20 years in prison…”

BLOG: Raised $65 MILLION for Obama Campaign as a state finance co-chair…

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stocks Have Biggest 3-Day Gain Since Nov. On Bank of America Profit Outlook

US Session Key Developments

  • Bank of America’s Chief Says Company Profitable First Two Months
  • Retail Sales Better Than Expected
  • General Electric Rating Cut to AA+

Stocks Have Biggest 3-Day Gain Since Nov. On Bank of America Profit Outlook

Stocks in the S&P 500 posted the largest 3-day gain since November with a 10.96% surge since Tuesday after Bank Of America Chief Executive Officer Ken Lewis followed the footsteps of his counterparts at Citigroup and JPMorgan. Indeed, Lewis announced that his bank was profitable in the first two months of the year to reporters after a speech given in Boston. The recent trend of CEO profit announcements has allowed Financials in the S&P to rise 33% on the week. General Electric added 13% after losing its AAA credit rating by less than expected. The conglomerate slashed its dividend for the first time since the 1930s two weeks ago in an effort to save the company billions of dollars so that it could prevent its own credit deterioration. Wal-Market advanced 3.1% after government Retail Sales estimated that purchases from such stores had done better than economists had anticipated. The figure for February fell -0.1% while forecasts called for a -0.5% decline.

Dow 30                     7170.06                 +239.66                    +3.46%
Financials pummeled through the remaining short-sellers, surging ahead 13.07%. Even the worst performing sector in the index, Technology, moved up 2.0%. JPMorgan saw 31.73 million shares traded to end the day up $2.80 or 13.73% at $22.30.

NASDAQ                  1426.10                  +54.46                        +3.97%
Technology stocks have become a smaller portion of index after being one of the worst performing sectors in composite. Nonetheless, the industry rallied 2.85% with Apple and Intel jumping about 4.0%.

S&P 500                  750.74                    +29.38                        +4.07%

The S&P 500 had its biggest 3-day again since November, rallying 10.96% since the surge began. Every sector in the index shared the sentiment with Financials rushing ahead 9.94%. Implied volatility on the index dropped 5.57% or 2.43 points to 41.18, leaving the fear gauge under 50 for the fifth straight trading session.

Filed under: Economics, Stocks, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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