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Saturday, Oct 25th

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Fed regulators shut 2 banks in Georgia, Texas

Regulators on Friday closed Haven Trust Bank in Georgia and Sanderson State Bank in Texas, bringing to 25 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The 25 U.S. bank failures so far this year compare with three for all of 2007 and are far more than in the previous five years combined. It's expected that many more banks won't survive the next year of economic turmoil. The pressures of tumbling home prices, rising foreclosures and tighter credit have been battering financial firms nationwide.

TVNL Comment: The privately owned Federal Reserve is taking back all their money. They are going to proceed with their plan of owning everything in this nation.

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Zimbabwe: Britain, U.S. Caused Cholera, Says Govt

A Zimbabwean cabinet minister has accused Britain, helped by the United States, of masterminding the country's cholera outbreak in a "biological chemical war, a genocidal onslaught" against the country.

The accusation was published in the government-controlled Herald newspaper by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the information minister in President Robert Mugabe's government

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DoJ blocking Obama team from docs on torture, wiretapping

The Justice Department has evaded a request from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team for documents about the secret programs of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The team asked to "review classified legal opinions related to secret CIA and National Security Agency programs," but the inquiry has been denied.

Among the information requested are official documents about the "legal rationale" for the secret wiretapping and torture programs conducted by the two agencies.

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Pentagon Pro-Troop Group Misspent Millions, Report Says

While the Pentagon preps for a new administration, a scandal from an earlier era is rearing its head.

A Defense Department project, supposedly designed to support U.S. troops, was used instead to channel millions of dollars to personal friends and allies of its chief. The "America Supports You," or ASY, program was led in a "questionable and unregulated manner," according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report, obtained by Danger Room. At least $9.2 million was "inappropriately transferred" by the project's managers. Much of that money served only to further promote ASY, instead of assisting servicemembers.

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Administration Loosens Species Protections

The Interior Department yesterday finalized rules changing the way it administers the Endangered Species Act, enabling other government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled species without an independent scientific review.

The agency received nearly 235,000 comments on the endangered species proposal, at least 208,000 of which were form letters decrying the rule.

"As the Bush administration fades off into the sunset, it continues to take brazen pot shots at everything in sight, including America's landmark conservation law, the Endangered Species Act," said House Resources Committee Chairman  Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), who said he would introduce legislation seeking to overturn the rule next year. 

TVNL Comment: The Bush administration's legacy of death and destruction will continue to have a negative impact on this planet for a long, long time.

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Russia scraps right to jury trial

The country's parliament voted to back a bill backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's dominant United Russia party giving three judges the right to rule on cases involving terrorism, hostage-taking, armed insurrection, sabotage and civil disturbances.

The bill will go before Russia's upper house, the Federation Council where approval is expected to be a formality, before it becomes law.

The move came 15 years to the day since the adoption of Russia's first post-Soviet Constitution which reintroduced jury trials abolished by the Bolsheviks in 1917.

Critics said the move raised the spectre of a return to Soviet-style trials controlled solely by judges.

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Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion

The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

TVNL Comment: The Fed answers to nobody. They own this nation. They are a private bank that is independent of any national authority.

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Israeli drug smugglers hit Australia

ISRAELI drug lords are increasingly targeting Australia for ecstasy smuggling, according to confidential Israel Police intelligence that shows crime syndicates view it as a booming market for the party drug.

Israeli crime syndicates control a significant share of the global ecstasy trade and have a long history of supplying the Australian market.

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Man Linked to Sept. 11 Hijackers Is Released

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, who is in charge of security, said that a man linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah militant network had been freed Thursday, along with two from a Thai separatist group and two Malaysians suspected of working for foreign intelligence groups.

Mr. Syed told reporters at Parliament that he believed that Yazid Sufaat, a Malaysian who the police suspected had provided lodging for two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, was among them.

TVNL Comment: They never define "linked." Providing lodging is a pretty innocuous link.

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