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News you may have missed #497 Author: intelNews
Interview with Finnish ex-counterespionage officer. European Union sent intelligence officers to Libya. Talks aimed at mending rift between CIA and ISI. Continue reading
40% of Americans say they can’t afford retirement
Gone are the plans to golf, garden or read on a creaky porch swing.
Air Force May Give You $20K for Telling Boys From Girls Author: Richard Wheeler
The Air Force has problems distinguishing men from women and adults from children. Which means pilots sometimes target — and kill — the wrong people. The air service’s solution: a nationwide contest, to help the military pick out kid from grown-up.
An Apple a Day Keeps Cholesterol at Bay?

Lending credence to the old adage about eating an apple a day, a new study finds that women who ate the fruit daily saw improvements in cholesterol levels and markers of inflammation â suggesting a lower risk of heart disease in a year’s time.

Deutschland heizt vorwiegend mit Erdgas
Wärmepumpen hatten 2010 einen Anteil von 23,8 Prozent. Großes Einsparpotential durch Gebäudesanierung
Finland opposes Euro bail outs – CNBC [EN]
Crisis_Manager’s bookmarks
Author: Crisis_Manager
Fins are against the Euro bailout for Portugal. The differential between supporters and opposition is now relatively small
Tepco is Lehman by factor 10 – FT [EN]
Crisis_Manager’s bookmarks
Author: Crisis_Manager
Japan’s dependency on TEPCO is significant. As the energy provider has lost nearly a third of his capacity, there is a large danger that businesses in Japan will struggle.
Antarctic Lake Hides Bizarre Ecosystem Author: Alexandra Witze
In the eerie bluish-purple depths of an Antarctic lake, scientists have discovered otherworldly mounds that tell tales of the planet’s early days.
FBI closes in on zombie PC gang
In an unusual move, investigators take control of the servers that control millions of zombie PCs.
Nato nennt Bedingungen für Ende der Luftschläge
Die Außenminister der Nato-Staaten haben am Donnerstag Bedingungen für ein Ende der Luftangriffe auf Libyen formuliert: Gaddafis Truppen müssen in ihre Stützpunkte zurückkehren und humanitäre Hilfe zu allen Menschen in Not durchgelassen werden.
Weltwährungssystem: Schwellenländer gründen neue Gegenmacht zum Dollar
Brasilien, Russland, Indien, China und Südafrika sagen der Allmacht des Dollars den Kampf an: Sie handeln künftig in ihren eigenen Währungen.
Full text of Sanya Declaration of the BRICS Leaders Meeting
10. We wish to continue our cooperation in the UN Security Council on Libya. We are of the view that all the parties should resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organizations should as appropriate play their role. We also express support for the African Union High-Level Panel Initiative on Libya… 16. Recognizing that the international financial crisis has exposed the inadequacies and deficiencies of the existing international monetary and financial system, we support the reform and improvement of the international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty. We welcome the current discussion about the role of the SDR in the existing international monetary system including the composition of SDR’s basket of currencies. We call for more attention to the risks of massive cross-border capital flows now faced by the emerging economies. We call for further international financial regulatory oversight and reform, strengthening policy coordination and financial regulation and supervision cooperation, and promoting the sound development of global financial markets and banking systems.
LIBYEN/Gaddafi-Regime: Katar rüstet libysche Rebellen auf
Das libysche Regime hat dem Golfemirat Katar vorgeworfen, es habe Panzerabwehrraketen an die Rebellen in Bengasi geliefert. Vize-Aussenminister Chalid al-Koeim sagte in der Nacht zum Donnerstag vor der Presse in Tripolis, die Katarer hätten nicht nur die Raketen des Typs “Milan” geliefert, sondern hätten auch Militärberater nach Ost-Libyen geschickt.
Blasts rock Tripoli as NATO allies meet
Loud explosions have rocked the Libyan capital Tripoli, close to veteran strongman Moamar Gaddafi’s residence, in the Bab al-Aziziya neighbourhood. Warplanes were heard swooping at low altitude over the city centre on Thursday (local time), near the hotel where most foreign journalists are based and Mr Gaddafi has his residence.
Ackermann gefährlichster Bankmanager der Welt?
Deutsche Bank weist Kritik von Ex-IWF-Chefökonom zurück. Dieser hatte in einem Interview Deutsche-Bank-Chef Josef Ackermann als einen der “gefährlichsten Bankmanager der Welt” bezeichnet, weil er darauf bestehe, eine Eigenkapitalrendite von 20 bis 25 Prozent zu erzielen.
Key Senator Calls For Criminal Investigation Into Goldman Sachs’ ‘Shitty Deals’ Author: Ian Millhiser

Yesterday, a Senate subcommittee investigating Wall Street’s role in the recent financial collapse released a massive, 639-page report documenting the role mortgage lenders, investment bankers, and insufficient regulatory checks on Wall Street played in creating America’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. But this congressional investigation could lead to much more public scrutiny into one of Wall Street’s biggest players. In a statement announcing the report’s findings, subcommittee chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) suggested that Goldman Sachs could face criminal charges:

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said on Wednesday that he plans to refer Goldman officials, and potentially officials from other organizations, to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and to the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible civil proceedings.

“In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress,” said Levin, the chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. […]

Levin said prosecutors should look at not only Goldman’s statements to the public about its investment products, but also the statements officials made to Congress. Goldman officials, including chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, gave testimony that was “inaccurate,” Levin said. It is a crime under federal law to make a false statement to Congress or to obstruct congressional proceedings.

Levin’s investigation drew headlines after he grilled a top Goldman executive for continuing to push investors to purchase an investment that Goldman described as a “shitty deal” in its internal emails. As the Levin report explains, Goldman’s management “sent out numerous sales directives or ‘axes’ to the Goldman sales force, stressing that [selling the shitty deal] was a priority for the firm.”

This deal was just one example of Goldman “profit[ing] from the failure of many of the…securities it had underwritten and sold.” As the report explains, Goldman frequently touted securities that it expected to fail to outside investors, and then bet against those securities by taking a “short position” on them. In total, Goldman “generated net revenues of $3.7 billion” by betting against securities, while their alleged victims were left with an investment that was worth only a fraction of what they paid for it.

Google 1Q earnings miss analysts’ target
Google’s first-quarter earnings came in below analyst projections as the Internet search leader sped up hiring and increased spending other areas to drive up its expenses.
Food prices: World Bank warns millions face poverty
The World Bank says rising food prices, driven partly by rising fuel costs, are pushing millions of people into extreme poverty. World food prices are 36% above levels of a year ago, driven by problems in the Middle East and North Africa, and remain volatile, the bank said. That has pushed 44 million people into poverty since last June. A further 10% rise would push 10m more below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 (76p) a day, the bank said. And it warned that a 30% cost hike in the price of staples could lead to 34 million more poor.
Racism Roots Identified in Monkeys?
Researchers from Yale University studied rhesus monkey behavior in relation to images of known monkeys (insiders) and unknown monkeys (outsiders).
During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion Author: Travis Waldron

After pushing the government to brink of shutdown last week, Republican Congressional leaders are now preparing to push America to the edge of default by refusing to increase the nation’s debt limit without first getting Democrats to concede to large spending cuts.

But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.

At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the United States debt limit was $5.95 trillion. Despite promises that he would pay off the debt in 10 years, Bush increased the debt to $9.815 trillion by the end of his term, with plenty of help from the four Republicans currently holding Congressional leadership positions: Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. ThinkProgress compiled a breakdown of the five debt limit increases that took place during the Bush presidency and how the four Republican leaders voted:

June 2002: Congress approves a $450 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $6.4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vote “yea”, Kyl votes “nay.”

May 2003: Congress approves a $900 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $7.384 trillion. All four approve.

November 2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion. All four approve.

March 2006: Congress approves a $781 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion. All four approve.

September 2007: Congress approves an $850 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $9.815 trillion. All four approve.

Database searches revealed no demands from the four legislators that debt increases come accompanied by drastic spending cuts, as there are now. In fact, the May 2003 debt limit increase passed the Senate the same day as the $350 billion Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

When Bush was in office, the current Republican leaders viewed increasing the debt limit as vital to keeping America’s economy running. But with Obama in the White House, it’s nothing more than a political pawn.

US air traffic control head quits
The head of the US air traffic control agency resigns after several incidents where air traffic controllers fell asleep while on duty.
Nato bestreitet Luftangriffe auf Tripolis
Die Nato hat bestritten, am Donnerstag mehrere Ziele in der libyschen Hauptstadt Tripolis angegriffen zu haben. “Wir können bestätigen, dass Flugzeuge heute Nachmittag eine Batterie von SA-2 Flugabwehrraketen 40 Kilometer südlich von Tripolis getroffen haben”, sagte eine Nato-Sprecherin in Berlin. Das libysche Staatsfernsehen hatte behauptet, die Ziele hätten in der Stadtmitte gelegen. Die Nato-Sprecherin sagte, dies sei “eine eindeutige Falschinformation, wie wir sie in diesem Jahr schon mehrere Male erlebt haben”
NATO disputes report of strike in central Tripoli
‘We are very careful in our targeting to minimise the risk to the civilian population.’ ‘This allegation that the strike was in central or downtown Tripoli is clear misinformation, such as we have already seen several times this week.’
U.S. jets still striking Libya targets
The revelation came as Pentagon officials laid out U.S. participation in the Libya conflict over the last 10 days, including that Americans have flown 35 percent of all air missions, including bombing attacks against Libyan surface-to-air missile launchers. According to Pentagon officials, 11 U.S. fighter jets were assigned to NATO to look for and take out Libya’s air-defense systems. U.S. military officials have said consistently that American fighter jets would conduct strikes in Libya only if NATO made a special request and top Pentagon leaders approved it. A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Dave Lapan, said NATO had made no such requests since taking over the lead role.
Die Radioaktivität ist bereits im Gestein
Das Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz hat in einem Bohrloch im Atommülllager Asse Radioaktivität von 240.000 Becquerel Cäsium 137 pro Liter gemessen. Der Wert liegt 24 Mal höher als die erlaubte Freigrenze. Jochen Stay, Sprecher der Anti-Atom-Initiative “ausgestrahlt” im Gespräch mit NDR.de.
Land macht Schulden für die Nord/LB
Um die Nord/LB durch den europäischen Banken-Belastungstest zu bringen, macht das Land Niedersachsen neue Schulden. Finanzminister Hartmut Möllring (CDU), der auch Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Bank ist, hatte in seiner Regierungserklärung Maßnahmen des Landes zur Kapital-Stärkung der Nord/LB vorgeschlagen. Das Land müsse unter anderem schnell 600 Millionen Euro für eine Kapitalerhöhung des Instituts mobilisieren.
US-Senat rechnet mit Deutscher Bank ab
“Eine Schlangengrube voller Gier, Interessenkonflikte und Missetaten” – mit scharfen Worten prangert ein US-Senatsausschuss die Rolle der Banken in der Finanzkrise an. Auch die Deutsche Bank wird gebrandmarkt: Ein ganzes Kapitel widmet sich ihren riskanten Hypothekengeschäften.
Senate Probe: Goldman Sachs Misled Clients, Congress
After two years, a Senate panel investigating the 2008 financial crash has placed the blame squarely on Goldman Sachs and other financial firms like Deutsche Bank who sold mortgage-backed securities that they were, in turn, betting against.
WALL STREET AND THE FINANCIAL CRISIS: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse
In the fall of 2008, America suffered a devastating economic collapse. Once valuable securities lost most or all of their value, debt markets froze, stock markets plunged, and storied financial firms went under. Millions of Americans lost their jobs; millions of families lost their homes; and good businesses shut down. These events cast the United States into an economic recession so deep that the country has yet to fully recover. This Report is the product of a two-year, bipartisan investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the origins of the 2008 financial crisis. The goals of this investigation were to construct a public record of the facts in order to deepen the understanding of what happened; identify some of the root causes of the crisis; and provide a factual foundation for the ongoing effort to fortify the country against the recurrence of a similar crisis in the future. Using internal documents, communications, and interviews, the Report attempts to provide the clearest picture yet of what took place inside the walls of some of the financial institutions and regulatory agencies that contributed to the crisis. The investigation found that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.
Gov Walker Admits Stripping Collective Bargaining Rights Is Not About the Budget
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wasn’t faring too well on Capitol Hill today. Walker was questioned in a short hearing, first admitting he didn’t campaign on stripping workers of their Collective Bargaining rights, then admitted key elements of his proposal have nothing to do with the budget. First, Walker admitted that he didn’t campaign on…
Supernova Shockwaves in Interstellar Clouds Discovered Crucial for Star Birth
The European Space Agency’s Herschel observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Astronomers were fascinated to discover that each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms…
Infographic: With Donations, Corporations Love Japan, Haiti Not as Much
Average Americans were far more magnanimous with their donations in the month following the Haiti earthquake than they have been for Japan, according to figures compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
NASA Telescopes Join Forces to Observe Unprecedented Explosion
Usually, gamma-ray bursts last hours, marking the destruction of a massive star, but three telescopes have now zoomed in on one lasting for days.
Foreclosure Filings Plunge In First Quarter As Lenders Get Stuck With Paperwork
Foreclosure filings fell to a three-year low in the first three months of the year, thanks mostly because of stalled paperwork, according to a report released Thursday.
EFF: Well-Meaning Privacy Bill of Rights Wouldn’t Stop Online Tracking

While EFF applauds efforts to update privacy laws to address the needs and expectations of today’s digital consumers, we can’t help but wish this well-meaning bill provided more comprehensive rights to users. There is a growing public demand for meaningful privacy controls when using the Internet.

The World Bank has warned that rising food prices, driven partly by rising fuel costs, are pushing millions of people into extreme poverty. [link]

WikiLeaks Associates Hit Back Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Twitter Probe Author: Kevin Poulsen
Three WikiLeaks associates fighting to keep records of their Twitter use out of the hands of the prosecutors lobbed the latest volley in a contentious legal battle with the Justice Department on Thursday, charging in a court filing that the government’s argument “trivializes both the Parties’ and the public’s constitutional rights.”
Zipcar Hits the Gas: Shares Soar 60 Percent in IPO Author: Sam Gustin
Zipcar raises $174 million and sees its stock price soar a whopping 60 percent in its first day as a public company. The decade-old car sharing company, maybe the most disruptive entrant in the automobile rental space since Rent-A-Wreck, is now a billion-dollar operation.
Almost one in eight in UK are foreign born
Almost one in eight people living in the UK are now foreign born after hitting record levels in the wake of the largest wave of immigration in history.
Evolution of Language Takes Unexpected Turn Author: Brandon Keim
It’s widely thought that human language evolved in universally similar ways, following trajectories common across place and culture, and possibly reflecting common linguistic structures in our brains. But a massive, millennia-spanning analysis of humanity’s major language families suggests otherwise.
Underground Experiment Fails to Find Dark Matter Author: Ron Cowen
A sensitive Italian experiment has found no sign of dark matter in 100 days of searching for the invisible material that is believed to account for 80 percent of the mass of the cosmos. But even in the absence of a discovery, data collected by the XENON100 experiment may shed light on fundamental physics.
EU will deutsches BIP mit 50000 Polen stärken
Brüssel ist rührend besorgt um die Steigerung des deutschen Bruttosozialproduktes. Das deutsche Wirtschaftswachstum soll gestärkt werden mithilfe billiger ausländischer Arbeitskräfte. Aus diesem Grund sollen die Grenzen für ausländische Arbeiter geöffnet werden. Schicksal und Rechte der deutschen Lohnsklaven ist der EU natürlich Wurscht. – Ab dem 1. Mai haben die Arbeitnehmer aus acht mittel- und osteuropäischen Staaten das Recht, in Deutschland zu arbeiten.
BP-Hauptaktionärsversammlung in London: Demonstrationen und Auseinandersetzungen
In Osten Londons fand am 14.April 2011 im ExCel Centre die erste Jahreshauptvollversammlung der Anteilseigner des Mineralöl-Konzerns British Petroleum (BP) statt.
Listen: Humpback Whale Songs That Swept the Pacific Author: Brandon Keim
In a marvelous example of animal communication and culture, researchers have described how humpback whale songs sweep across the Pacific in just a few years.
Steinkohle-Ausstieg ohne Rückfahrkarte
Das Aus für den deutschen Steinkohlebergbau ist besiegelt. Der Bundestag strich am Donnerstagabend die sogenannte Revisionsklausel, mit der das Parlament den Ausstiegsbeschluss aus dem Jahr 2007 noch einmal hätte überprüfen können.
UN, AL urge political solution, cease fire to stop Libyan crisis
International and regional leaders discussed in Cairo on Thursday finding peaceful means to solve the humanitarian crisis, achieve freedom and democracy inspired by the Libyan people.
Schwellenländer kritisierten Libyen-Einsatz der Nato
Die Staats- und Regierungschefs der fünf führenden Schwellenländer haben den internationalen Militäreinsatz in Libyen kritisiert. «Wir teilen den Grundsatz, dass der Einsatz von Gewalt vermieden werden sollte.»
China cannot accept Philippines’ claiming sovereignty over some S China Sea islands
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and adjacent waters,” Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing. Hong made the announcement when asked to respond to the Philippines’ protests at the United Nations over some of China’s positions in the South China Sea.

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