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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Assange seeks political asylum

Posted On 04:52 by El NACHO 0 comments

On Tuesday night WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange applied for political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after failing in his bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex crime allegations. The 40-year-old Australian is currently inside the building in Knightsbridge, having gone there on Tuesday afternoon to request asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration. The country's foreign minister Ricardo Patino told a press conference in the South American country that it was considering his request. In a short statement last night, Mr Assange said: "I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum. This application has been passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Quito. I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application." The computer expert, who was on £200,000 bail after failing in several attempts to halt extradition, attracted several high-profile supporters including Ken Loach and socialite and charity fundraiser Jemima Khan, who each offered £20,000 as surety. Other supporters included Bianca Jagger and veteran left-winger Tony Benn. The Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of raping a woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture. Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, says the sex was consensual and the allegations against him are politically motivated. The Supreme Court last month ruled in favour of a High Court ruling that his extradition was legal. Last week the Supreme Court refused an attempt by him to reopen his appeal against extradition, saying it was "without merit". He had until June 28 to ask European judges in Strasbourg to consider his case and postpone extradition on the basis that he has not had a fair hearing from the UK courts. A statement issued on behalf of the Ecuadorian Embassy said Mr Assange would remain at the embassy while his request was considered.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Police study Murdoch's 'secret' iPhone account

Posted On 07:37 by El NACHO 0 comments

Scotland Yard detectives investigating phone hacking at the News of the World are examining the call records of four newly discovered Apple iPhones issued to senior executives at News International. The smartphones, issued by O2 in a contract beginning in October 2009, included a handset given to James Murdoch, the former chairman and chief executive of News Corp Europe. Despite billing for the phones totalling nearly £12,000 between June last year and May this year, neither Operation Weeting nor the Leveson Inquiry was told of the existence of the smartphone accounts. Phone text messages and emails sent and received by News International executives and advisers have provided some of the most controversial evidence heard by Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into press practices and ethics. It had been assumed that the email and text traffic from key News International executives was centred solely on their company BlackBerry account with Vodafone. In accounts seen by The Independent, issued through 02's corporate customer services at Arlington Business Park in Leeds, Mr Murdoch's iPhone account is listed as "active". Mr Murdoch is said to have told 02 that he specifically wanted a "white iPhone" when the smartphone was issued to him in the summer of 2009. Katie Vanneck-Smith, listed as News International's chief marketing officer, also has an active account. Two other NI executive numbers are described as disconnected. Between June last year – just before The Guardian revealed in July that the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked into – and the beginning of the Leveson Inquiry in November, the NI iPhone accounts were billed for £9,650. Last night, Labour MP Tom Watson said people would be "shocked" to learn that the smartphones had been issued to key NI executives, while the company's disclosures focused only on the BlackBerry Vodafone accounts. Mr Watson said he hoped that News Corp's Management and Standards Committee, which is responsible for all matters relating to phone hacking, would enforce its own promise of full transparency and appropriate disclosure, by revealing all the data and logs held on the discovered phones to both the police and the Leveson Inquiry. Last night, a spokeswoman for News International, said: "Mr Murdoch fully co-operated with the Leveson Inquiry. It is ridiculous to suggest that James Murdoch keeps or kept a 'secret phone'." Meanwhile sources close to the Leveson Inquiry have denied that Lord Justice Leveson threatened to quit his judicial investigation following comments made in February by Michael Gove. The Education Secretary told a gathering of political journalists that the inquiry into press ethics and practices was creating a "chilling atmosphere" towards press freedom. During Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons the day after Mr Gove's lobby speech, David Cameron appeared to back his cabinet colleague's view. Concern that Mr Gove might be the Prime Minister's advance messenger prompted Lord Justice Leveson to call the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood. Whitehall sources say Lord Justice Leveson wanted to learn directly from Mr Cameron whether his inquiry was wasting public money on an ultimately futile exercise or whether his initial remit stood. Although the reassurances from No 10 took two days to arrive, sources claim there was no threat from the judge to resign from his own inquiry.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Bank of England meets amid talk of £50bn stimulus

Posted On 08:28 by El NACHO 0 comments

Bank of England policymakers meet today to decide whether to change interest rates or to pump in more money into the ailing economy, with leading economist saying they may opt to inject a further £50bn of stimulus.


Europe is on the verge of financial chaos.

Posted On 08:18 by El NACHO 0 comments

Global capital markets, now the most powerful force on earth, are rapidly losing confidence in the financial coherence of the 17-nation euro zone. A market implosion there, like that triggered by Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, may not be far off. Not only would that dismantle the euro zone, but it could also usher in another global economic slump: in effect, a second leg of the Great Recession, analogous to that of 1937. This risk is evident in the structure of global interest rates. At one level, U.S. Treasury bonds are now carrying the lowest yields in history, as gigantic sums of money seek a safe haven from this crisis. At another level, the weaker euro-zone countries, such as Spain and Italy, are paying stratospheric rates because investors are increasingly questioning their solvency. And there’s Greece, whose even higher rates signify its bankrupt condition. In addition, larger businesses and wealthy individuals are moving all of their cash and securities out of banks in these weakening countries. This undermines their financial systems. 423 Comments Weigh InCorrections? Personal Post The reason markets are battering the euro zone is that its hesitant leaders have not developed the tools for countering such pressures. The U.S. response to the 2008 credit market collapse is instructive. The Federal Reserve and Treasury took a series of huge and swift steps to avert a systemic meltdown. The Fed provided an astonishing $13 trillion of support for the credit system, including special facilities for money market funds, consumer finance, commercial paper and other sectors. Treasury implemented the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, which infused equity into countless banks to stabilize them. The euro-zone leaders have discussed implementing comparable rescue capabilities. But, as yet, they have not fully designed or structured them. Why they haven’t done this is mystifying. They’d better go on with it right now. Europe has entered this danger zone because monetary union — covering 17 very different nations with a single currency — works only if fiscal union, banking union and economic policy union accompany it. Otherwise, differences among the member-states in competitiveness, budget deficits, national debt and banking soundness can cause severe financial imbalances. This was widely discussed when the monetary treaty was forged in 1992, but such further integration has not occurred. How can Europe pull back from this brink? It needs to immediately install a series of emergency financial tools to prevent an implosion; and put forward a detailed, public plan to achieve full integration within six to 12 months. The required crisis tools are three: ●First, a larger and instantly available sovereign rescue fund that could temporarily finance Spain, Italy or others if those nations lose access to financing markets. Right now, the proposed European Stability Mechanism is too small and not ready for deployment. ●Second, a central mechanism to insure all deposits in euro-zone banks. National governments should provide such insurance to their own depositors first. But backup insurance is necessary to prevent a disastrous bank run, which is a serious risk today. ●Third, a unit like TARP, capable of injecting equity into shaky banks and forcing them to recapitalize. These are the equivalent of bridge financing to buy time for reform. Permanent stability will come only from full union across the board. And markets will support the simple currency structure only if they see a true plan for promptly achieving this. The 17 member-states must jointly put one forward. Both the rescue tools and the full integration plan require Germany, Europe’s strongest country, to put its balance sheet squarely behind the euro zone. That is an unpopular idea in Germany today, which is why Chancellor Angela Merkel has been dragging her feet. But Germany will suffer a severe economic blow if this single-currency experiment fails. A restored German mark would soar in value, like the Swiss franc, and damage German exports and employment. The time for Germany and all euro-zone members to get the emergency measures in place and commit to full integration is now. Global capital markets may not give them another month. The world needs these leaders to step up.


Surrey is the richest county in the UK when it comes to property,

Posted On 00:04 by El NACHO 0 comments

Surrey is the richest county in the UK when it comes to property, according to a survey. Its homes have a total value of almost £288 billion, representing 5.1% of the UK's £5.6 trillion overall property wealth. According to property website PrimeLocation.com, on a regional level, the South East holds the greatest property wealth, accounting for nearly a third of the UK's total property fortune. Its homes are worth £1.65 trillion, with Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire and Kent all featuring in the top 10 counties by property wealth per head. London comes in second in the regional listing with just over £1 trillion.


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Facebook crime every 40 minutes

Posted On 06:45 by El NACHO 0 comments

A crime linked to Facebook  is reported to police every  40 minutes. Last year, officers logged 12,300 alleged offences involving the vastly popular social networking site. Facebook was referenced in investigations of murder, rape, child sex offences, assault, kidnap, death threats, witness intimidation and fraud.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Prince Philip in hospital

Posted On 20:43 by El NACHO 0 comments

The Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to hospital with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip, 90, had been taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a "precautionary measure". The Queen is still expected to join 12,000 others at the Jubilee concert which is under way at the palace. The prince will remain in hospital under observation for a few days. The prince had appeared to be in good health when he accompanied the Queen on Sunday on the royal barge the Spirit of Chartwell, which formed part of the rain-drenched Jubilee river pageant. He and the Queen stood for most of the 80-minute journey, as they were accompanied by 1,000 boats travelling seven miles down the river to Tower Bridge.


Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 'Canadian Psycho,' arrested in Berlin

Posted On 20:35 by El NACHO 0 comments

Luka Rocco Magnotta was arrested in Berlin Monday after a four-day international manhunt that spanned three countries. The 29-year-old Canadian wanted over a horrific Montreal ice pick murder and decapitation of a Chinese student that he allegedly filmed and posted to the Internet, was arrested in or near an Internet cafe, Berlin police said. Montreal police confirmed they are aware of the reports that Magnotta was arrested, but said they are still in the process of contacting their Berlin counterparts. The arrest comes after French authorities said they were investigating a tip that Magnotta travelled from Paris to Berlin via bus on the weekend. “Somebody recognized him and (then) all the police recognized him,” Berlin police spokesperson Stefan Redlich told CP24 Monday. Handout (Click to enlarge) Magnotta's alleged victim is Lin Jun, a 33-year-old Concordia University student from Wuhan, Hubei, China. He was last seen on May 24, police said, and reported missing on May 29. Redlich said police were called in by a civilian who spotted Magnotta and he was arrested after police asked for his identification at about 2:00 p.m. local time in Berlin. Reuters is reporting it was an employee of the cafe, Kadir Anlayisli, that recognized Magnotta. The cafe is on Karl Marx Strasse, a busy shopping street filled with Turkish and Lebanese shops and cafes in the Neukoelln district of Berlin. German television quoted the owner of the cafe saying Magnotta was surfing the Internet for about an hour before his arrest. Redlich said Magnotta has been taken into custody without incident and will go in front of a judge Tuesday. Canadian officials are expected to start the extradition process for Magnotta in the near future.


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