Free Internet Press

Uncensored News For Real People This is a mirror site for our daily newsletter. You may visit our real site through the individual story links, or by visiting .

Monday, December 29, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Monday December 29 2008 - (813)

Monday December 29 2008 edition
Free Internet Press is operated on your donations.
Donate Today

Wall Street Faces Record Losses In Last Week Of 2008
2008-12-28 17:51:13
Investors are preparing to close out the last three trading days of 2008 with Wall Street's worst performance since Herbert Hoover was president.

The ongoing recession and global economic shock pummeled stocks this year, with the Dow Jones industrial average slumping 36.2 percent. That's the biggest drop since 1931 when the Great Depression sent stocks reeling 40.6 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is set to record the biggest drop since its creation in 1957. The index of America's biggest companies is down 40.9 percent for the year.

With these statistics ready to play out this week, it is little wonder why investors are all too happy to close the books on 2008. Analysts are already looking toward January as a crucial period for the market as it tries to recover some of the $7.3 trillion wiped from the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index, the broadest measure of U.S. stocks.

''It is hard to gauge a recovery because there's so many things out there that are interactive with each other,'' said Scott Fullman, director of derivatives investment strategy for WJB Capital Group in New York. ''Nothing is in a vacuum. Anybody who is managing money has to be on the cautious side for at least the first six months of 2009.''

Read The Full Story

GCC Summit To Focus On Global Financial Crisis
2008-12-28 17:50:49
The impact of global financial crisis and the sharp decline of oil prices on the economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will figure high on the 29th GCC summit that begins in Oman’s capital Muscat on Monday.

“The GCC leaders will discuss the financial crisis in details to adopt a common vision on how to address its negative impact,” GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah said. He said GCC states are capable of overcoming the crisis.

The GCC, that groups Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, owns about half of the world’s proven oil reserves and a quarter of the world’s gas reserves. They supply more than a quarter of crude produced in the world daily.

Al-Atiyyah said GCC countries would be able to offset the impact of financial crisis thanks to the budget surpluses they had gained during the past five years in addition to the wise financial and monetary policies they adopted to confront the crisis.

Read The Full Story

As Layoffs Rise In Dubai, Labor Complaints Triple
2008-12-28 17:50:24
As companies in Dubai announce thousands of layoffs as a result of the economic crisis, Ministry of Labor officials in the emirate are struggling to deal with an unprecedented number of complaints they receive everyday.

From a CEO of a company earning a salary of more than 100,000 dirhams per month to a construction worker with an income of 700 dirhams, the numbers of laborer complaints have tripled since the beginning of November.

No accurate figures of the number of layoffs or complaints are available, as the Ministry of Labor has not released any official figures. But a visit to the ministry’s office revealed long queues of workers who had lost their jobs or had not been paid for the past few months.

An official from the Complaints Department, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Arab News that he had never handled so many complaints in his career.

Read The Full Story

Throughout Middle East, Arabs Demonstrate Against Israeli Airstrikes In Gaza
2008-12-28 17:49:46
Angry demonstrations broke out across the Arab world Saturday and diplomats in the region called for emergency measures in the aftermath of Israel's deadly air attacks against Hamas security strongholds in the Gaza Strip.

Few expect the uproar to do more than reinforce regional trends: Pro-U.S. Arab governments continue to alienate large portions of their populations despite statements of protest against Israel, analysts said, while Iran and Syria score propaganda points for their continuing patronage of Islamic militant groups such as Hamas that fight Israel.

"It will give Iran and Syria a boost," said Sarkis Naoum, a columnist for the pro-Western Lebanese daily An Nahar. "They will use it to say to the Arab people, 'Your regimes, presidents and kings won't help. They turn a blind eye to what is happening'."

Pan-Arab satellite channels broadcast nearly nonstop images of bloodied Palestinian bodies, ambulances with sirens screaming and women wailing in hospital corridors. In interviews, enraged men and women from Yemen to Morocco condemned the air attacks, which came three days after militants in Gaza launched an estimated 30 rockets and at least 20 mortar shells at targets in southern Israel.

Read The Full Story

Dan Rather's $70 Million Lawsuit Likely To Deal A Blow To Bush Legacy
2008-12-28 17:48:30

As George W. Bush prepares to leave the White House, at least one unpleasant episode from his unpopular presidency is threatening to follow him into retirement.

A $70 million lawsuit filed by Dan Rather, the veteran former newsreader for CBS Evening News, against his old network is reopening the debate over alleged favorable treatment that Bush received when he served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war. Bush had hoped that this controversy had been dealt with once and for all during the 2004 election.

Eight weeks before the 2004 presidential poll, Rather broadcast a story based on newly discovered documents which appeared to show that Bush, whose service in the Texas Air National Guard ensured that he did not have to fight in Vietnam, had barely turned up even for basic duty. After an outcry from the White House and conservative bloggers who claimed that the report had been based on falsified documents, CBS retracted the story, saying that the documents' authenticity could not be verified. Rather, who had been with CBS for decades and was one of the most familiar faces in American journalism, was fired by the network the day after the 2004 election.

He claims breach of contract against CBS. He has already spent $2 million on his case, which is likely to go to court early next year. Rather contends not only that his report was true - "What the documents stated has never been denied, by the president or anyone around him," he says - but that CBS succumbed to political pressure from conservatives to get the report discredited and to have him fired. He also claims that a panel set up by CBS to investigate the story was packed with conservatives in an effort to placate the White House. Part of the reason for that, he suggests, was that Viacom, a sister company of CBS, knew that it would have important broadcasting regulatory issues to deal with during Bush's second term.

Read The Full Story

Suicide Bomber Kills Up To 30 In Pakistan School
2008-12-28 17:47:54
A suicide car bomber set off a powerful explosion outside a polling station Sunday in volatile northwest Pakistan, killing up to 30 people, including several children, authorities said.

The latest such attack occurred in Buner, a district adjoining the scenic Swat Valley. Pakistani troops have been battling Islamic insurgents over the last year in the valley, including some heavy fighting in recent days.

Sunday's bombing came as residents were voting in a parliamentary by-election, using a local school as a polling place. Some voters had brought their children along, and up to four youngsters were reported to be among the dead.

Some Pakistani news accounts said the attacker lured bystanders by pretending to be having mechanical difficulties, then blew up the car when a crowd had gathered around it, but other witnesses said the bomber rammed the vehicle into the school's boundary wall. The thunderous explosion left the street outside the school littered with bodies, with wounded people screaming for help. The force of the blast caved in the school's roof.
Read The Full Story

State Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case
2008-12-28 17:46:53
The mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman's mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

An affidavit from an Alaska state trooper, filed Monday, states that Sherry L. Johnston referred in her messages to two police informants to "coffee" as a code for the drug OxyContin. 

Johnston, 42, was arrested on felony drug charges last week after state troopers served a search warrant at her Wasilla home. She allegedly sold OxyContin tablets to the informants on three occasions this fall, the affidavit states. Police said two of the meetings were recorded by a hidden camera and a microphone.

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston,18. Sarah Palin announced in September that her daughter Bristol, also 18, was pregnant and that Johnston was the father. Their child was due to be born Dec. 18, her grandfather Chuck Heath told the Anchorage Daily News recently.

Read The Full Story

Commentary: Anti-Global Warming
2008-12-28 00:58:45

  Editor:   I get around a lot.  I read lots (and lots and lots) of information.   Not only news sites, but technical analysis, studies, etc.  I may be the publisher of Free Internet Press, but by day job is technical based.  A little information is worthless, without having all of the information available.  I demand this from my coworkers and friends.  Unfortunately, here at Free Internet Press, to provide all the information available, we would need to concentrate on a single topic.  This would change us from being a news site to being an informational resource on a single topic.

  I've read a lot of disinformation on global warming lately.  It's cold in the Northern US this winter, therefore there's no global warming.  This news by itself has convinced some that global warming is a myth. 

  Global warming causes changes in our norma! l weather patterns.  What most people expect is drought and hurricanes.  This isn't always the case.  Changing weather patterns are exactly that.  Drastic changes in the weather are all an indication, regardless if its 110 degrees in the summer, or extreme snowfall in the winter, outside of the normal patterns.


Read The Full Story

Analysis: Was 2008 The Beginning Of Another Great Depression?
2008-12-28 17:51:02
It wasn't 1929, but like that infamous year, 2008 is sure to be remembered by economic historians as one unlike any other.

"We had a much simpler financial system back then. The number of wild and crazy things that happened this year is completely without precedent in world history," said Alan Blinder, a Princeton University economics professor and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Where to begin? In March, there was the overnight collapse of Wall Street titan Bear Stearns, in hindsight the first domino to fall in what would become a meltdown of the global financial markets.

Maybe July's record oil prices of $147 a barrel, which helped spark inflation and send food and commodities prices spiraling upward worldwide? That gave Americans gasoline at more than $4 a gallon, and everyone said that gas would never be cheap again. On Wednesday, however, crude oil prices fell to just more than $37 a barrel, and gasoline was down to a nationwide average of $1.66 a gallon, thanks in part to the global downturn.

Then there was September's government seizure of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or back more than half of all U.S. mortgages. Washington, however, let investment giant Lehman Brothers collapse in a shock wave felt around the globe.

Read The Full Story

Economist: Demand For Oil Will Fall By Largest Margin In 25 Years
2008-12-28 17:50:37

Global demand for oil in 2009 will fall by the largest amount for 25 years, according to the chief energy economist of Deutsche Bank.

Adam Sieminski said oil prices could hit a low of $30 a barrel next year, a fall of a quarter from today's price, because of the sickly global economy. He forecast an average price of $47.5 for the whole year for oil traded in New York. Deutsche Bank predicts global demand will contract by 1 per cent, or 1 million barrels a day, three times the fall seen this year and the biggest since 1983.

Sieminski is predicting much lower prices than most other analysts and even OPEC or the International Energy Agency (IEA). He said that other forecasts underestimate how much the global downturn would reduce demand for oil. The IEA forecasts that global demand for oil will rise by 400,000 barrels per day next year, but is expected to slash its numbers next month after the IMF revises down its economic growth projections for 2009.

Read The Full Story

Israel Prepares Possible Gaza Invasion, Air Strikes Continue
2008-12-28 17:50:00
Israel began preparing Sunday for a possible ground offensive into the Gaza Strip as its air force continued to pummel the Hamas-controlled region with dozens of new missile strikes in a "shock and awe"-style operation that killed more than 280 Palestinians in the first 24 hours.

The Israeli military campaign, an attempt to destabilize the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza, is the biggest and deadliest there since Israel seized control of the Mediterranean region from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israeli fighters have hit dozens of targets, including a mosque across from Gaza City’s main hospital, police offices, private homes, the Hamas television station and the central prison compound, where dozens of Palestinian inmates were locked in jail cells.

As Palestinians held scores of funerals across the Gaza Strip, Israel began calling up more than 6,500 reservists and moving more tanks to its Gaza border, signs that the Israeli military may be preparing to send in ground forces as the next phase of the campaign.

Israeli officials stopped short of saying that they were trying to bring down Hamas in Gaza and said the military campaign was designed to compel Gaza militants to end the rocket fire that’s killed seven Israelis in the last two years.

Read The Full Story

Gaza Dealth Toll From Israeli Airstrikes Rises To 271
2008-12-28 17:49:31
Israeli warplanes and helicopters bombarded military targets across the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Saturday and Sunday, retaliating for Palestinian rocket fire into Israel with one of the deadliest assaults in the history of the 60-year conflict.

As Palestinian medical officials put the death toll at 271 and said many were unarmed civilians, the scale of the bloodshed unsettled the Middle East and alarmed world leaders involved in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

Hamas officials called for a new Palestinian uprising against the Jewish state and a renewed wave of suicide bombings. Despite the heavy blow to their paramilitary organization, Hamas fighters in Gaza launched at least 110 rockets into Israel, killing a man and wounding six people in the border community of Netivot.

Israeli officials warned that the surprise offensive, apparently aimed at restoring a recently lapsed cease-fire on terms more favorable to Israel, was only beginning. Hundreds of Israeli troops massed along the Gaza border early today, and civilians on both sides braced for heavy combat in the days ahead.

Read The Full Story

Commentary: Freedom Of The Press As A Foreign Concept
2008-12-28 17:48:17
Intellpuke:  This commentary was written by  Los Angeles Times journalist James Rainey and appeared in the L.A. Times edition for Sunday, December 28, 2008.

Yes, we reporters might get stuck covering the late shift or - egad! - a parade. When disaster strikes or a source calls back on deadline, the nights can be long. Newspaper layoffs and hard economic times can cast a pall over just about everything we do.

But those concerns seem a piffle every time I read dispatches from around the world about journalists who, fighting for the story, also must fight for their lives.

The day before Christmas, an international group condemned the protracted torture of a journalist in Pakistan. And militant Maoists ransacked the offices of an opposition newspaper in Nepal. Its crime? Using acronyms for two of the militant groups without distinguishing between them.

A couple of days later, news arrived that Zimbabwean journalist and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko had been accused of plotting to overthrow the government. Mukoko - already in custody for challenging Robert Mugabe, the thug who runs her country - could face death.

Sadly, real press freedom remains elusive even closer to home, as revealed by another story just over our southern border.

Read The Full Story

Father Of Three Snatched By Shark Off Australia Coast
2008-12-28 17:47:10
A snorkeler is believed to have been snatched by a shark as he swam last weekend with his son at a beach south of Perth. Witnesses reported seeing a dorsal fin and thrashing in the water before the sea turned red and the man vanished at the scene on Australia's west coast.

Father-of three Brian Guest, 51, who had campaigned for many years for the protection of sharks, had been looking for crabs on Saturday morning with his 24-year-old son when he was attacked about 30 meters (90 feet) from the shore.

Luke Tubbs told how a witness ran to his house in shock and screaming for help: "He just saw a big splash and then the shark roll over in the water with the guy and then [he saw] no body or anything."

Daniel Guest, who was swimming six meters (18 feet) away at the Port Kennedy beach, heard his father's screams but did not see the attack. He raced to shore when he saw blood in the water. His father's shredded wetsuit was found later, and aerial searches spotted a five-meter (15 feet) great white shark swimming in the area.

Read The Full Story

Alaska Bar Association Urges Court To Reject Stevens' Plea
2008-12-28 17:46:42
The Alaska Bar Association says that U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' plea to keep his law license is based on a faulty reading of the rules and a mischaracterization of the seriousness of his conviction for lying on his Senate disclosure forms. The bar, in a pleading filed this week, urged the Alaska Supreme Court to reject Stevens' arguments that he wasn't really convicted and that his crime was not a crime under Alaska law.

The association said that even as an "inactive" member of the bar, Stevens is a danger to the public and an embarrassment to the legal profession.

The state bar initially sought a suspension of Stevens' license shortly after his conviction Oct. 27. Stevens opposed the suspension in a pleading to the supreme court, which regulates attorneys in Alaska. His license has already been suspended in two other jurisdictions, California and Washington, D.C.

Read The Full Story
Original materials on this site © Free Internet Press.

Any mirrored or quoted materials © their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story.

Original Free Internet Press materials may be copied and/or republished without modification, provided a link to is given in the story, or proper credit is given.

Newsletter options may be changed in your preferences on

Please email there are any questions.

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication:


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home