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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Tuesday January 22 2008 - (813)

Tuesday January 22 2008 edition
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NATO Told Pre-Emptive Strike A Key Nuclear Option
2008-01-21 23:17:47
The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new NATO by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists.

Calling for root-and-branch reform of NATO and a new pact drawing the U.S., NATO and the European Union (E.U.) together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the U.S., Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world".

The manifesto has been written following discussions with active commanders and policymakers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to publicly air their views. It has been presented to the Pentagon in Washington and to NATO's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, over the past 10 days. The proposals are likely to be discussed at a NATO summit in Bucharest in April.

"The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the authors argued in the 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of western military strategy and structures. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

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Editorial: Until All The Fish Are Gone
2008-01-21 23:17:03
Intellpuke: The following editorial appeared in the New York Times edition for Monday, January 21, 2008.

Scientists have been warning for years that overfishing is degrading the health of the oceans and destroying the fish species on which much of humanity depends for jobs and food. Even so, it would be hard to frame the problem more dramatically than two recent articles in the New York Times detailing the disastrous environmental, economic and human consequences of often illegal industrial fishing.

Sharon LaFraniere showed how mechanized fishing fleets from the European Union and nations like China and Russia - usually with the complicity of local governments - have nearly picked clean the oceans off Senegal and other northwest African countries. This has ruined coastal economies and added to the surge of suddenly unemployed migrants who brave the high seas in wooden boats seeking a new life in Europe, where they are often not welcome.

The second article, by Elisabeth Rosenthal, focused on Europe’s insatiable appetite for fish - it is now the world’s largest consumer. Having overfished its own waters of popular species like tuna, swordfish and cod, Europe now imports 60 percent of what it consumes. Of that, up to half is contraband, fish  caught and shipped in violation of government quotas and treaties.

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Black Monday - Recession Fears Spark Global Stocks Crash
2008-01-21 23:15:45

Fears that 2008 will see the looming recession in the U.S. spreading to every other continent triggered a global crash in stock prices Monday, wiping $155 billion (£77 billion) off the value of the City's blue-chip stocks in the biggest one-day points fall in London's history.

On a day of panic selling, hefty overnight falls on far eastern stock markets prompted a ripple effect through Europe and left the City's FTSE 100 index down 323.5 points at 5578.2 at the close.

Since the start of the year share prices have dropped by 14%, with the near 900-point fall in the FTSE 100 wiping out all the gains of the last 18 months and putting renewed pressure on pension funds. Monday's 5.48% fall was the biggest in percentage terms since the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks but less than half as big as the record 12.2% drop in October 1987.

In the City's money markets, traders were betting that the risk of a synchronised global downturn would force the Bank of England to cut interest rates by a full percentage point during the course of 2008 despite its concerns about inflationary pressure. Economists are expecting the toughest year for the U.K. since the pound was removed from the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.

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Markets Plunge Around The World
2008-01-21 23:17:17
Intellpuke: I thought it would be interesting to compare articles on this economic event so there are article by three news organization on today's Free Internet Press mainpage. The following article is the Washington Post's take on Monday's plunge in stock markes around the world. Elswhere on today's mainpage you will find article on the same subject by the New York Time and another by the Manchester, England-based Guardian newspaper.

Stock markets around the world plummeted Monday, as a financial crisis that began in the market for U.S. home mortgages spread to almost all corners of the global economy.

U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, but all of the world's other major economies experienced a sell-off. Stock prices fell 7 percent in France and Germany, 5 percent in China and Great Britain, and 4 percent in Japan. Stocks lost value in 42 of the 43 nations with widely followed markets; the only exception was Sri Lanka.

"It was all about blood on the wall," said Georges Ugeux, chairman of Galileo Global Advisors, who was visiting the Indian stock exchange, which fell 7.4 percent (the equivalent of a 900-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.) "For them, this is a black Monday."

Behind it all: Investors worldwide grew fearful that problems from massive losses on loans made to U.S. home buyers will cascade through the world financial system. For example, the Bank of China is now forecast to record a multibillion-dollar loss on U.S. mortgage investments.
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Stocks Plunge Worldwide On Fears Of U.S. Recession
2008-01-21 23:16:47
Fears that the United States is in a recession reverberated around the world on Monday, sending stock markets from Bombay to Frankfurt into a tailspin and puncturing the hopes of many investors that Europe and Asia will be able to sidestep an American downturn.

On a day when United States markets were closed in observance of Martin Luther King's Birthday, the world’s eyes were trained nervously on the United States. Investors reacted with what many analysts described as panic to the multiplying signs of weakness in the American economy.

Shares of banks led the decline in many countries, underscoring that the subprime crisis continues to hobble the global financial system. On Monday, a big German state bank, WestLB, said it would report a loss of $1.4 billion in 2007 because of its exposure to deteriorating mortgage assets.

“There is indeed some panic,” said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank in London. “What we’re seeing, in Europe and Asia, is that the markets are pricing in a recession.”

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Smackdown: Khameini Overrules Ahmadinejad's Veto
2008-01-21 23:14:56
The political authority of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suffered a serious blow Monday after the country's most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sided with Iran's parliament members by ordering him to supply cheap gas to villages suffering power cuts in an unexpectedly harsh winter.

In a humiliating rebuff, Iran's supreme leader, who has the final say over all state matters, ordered the enactment of a law requiring the government to provide £500 million-worth ($1 billion) of gas supplies from emergency reserve funds.

Ahmadinejad had refused to implement it, accusing parliament of exceeding its powers in passing the bill in response to plunging temperatures and gas cuts, which have left many areas without heating in Iran's coldest winter for years.

At least 64 people are reported to have died after gas supplies were cut in freezing temperatures. The cuts - in a country which has the world's second largest natural gas reserves - have provoked public outrage and threaten to turn a mood of rumbling unhappiness into a winter of turmoil for Ahmadinejad.

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