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BigPond News Sunday, August 14, 2011 » 01:29pm

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe into the process by which Standard Poor’s downgraded the US credit rating, the Wall Street Journal reported.

US officials lashed out at SP after it docked the country’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, accusing the agency of committing a $US2 trillion ($A1.93 trillion) maths error and of using a faulty baseline. SP has stood by its analysis.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the SEC would investigate the mathematical model used by the agency and look into which SP employees knew of the decision to downgrade before it was announced.

More here…

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Daily Express, Friday July 22,2011
By Cyril Dixon, Padraic Flanagan and Mark Reynolds

TWO of Britain’s leading former police officers are wanted for questioning over allegations that they withheld crucial evidence about the car crash which killed Princess Diana.

A French judge wants to ask ex-Yard chief Lord Condon and Sir David Veness why they failed to disclose the existence of a note in which she predicted her assassination.

They could face international arrest warrants as suspects should they refuse to attend interviews in Paris, sources close to the investigation indicated last night.

More here…

Related Story:

Unresolved Issues of the Diana and Dodi Inquest by John Morgan

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Nobel Economist Michael Spence Says Globalism Is Costly For Americans

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts | Global Research | May 31, 2011

These are discouraging times, but once in a blue moon a bit of hope appears. I am pleased to report on the bit of hope delivered in March of 2011 by Michael Spence, a Nobel prize-winning economist, assisted by Sandile Hlatshwayo, a researcher at New York University. The two economists have taken a careful empirical look at jobs offshoring and concluded that it has ruined the income and employment prospects for most Americans.

To add to the amazement, their research report, “The Evolving Structure of the American Economy and the Employment Challenge,” was published by the very establishment Council on Foreign Relations. http://www.cfr.org/industrial-policy/evolving-structure-american-economy-employment-challenge/p24366

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Between 1994 and 1995 I was working as a teacher of English at a school run jointly by the British Council and the Warsaw University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland.

In my free time, having little to do, I watched CNN and Sky News around the clock and was appalled at what I heard of what was going on in Yugoslavia including the shelling of the market place in Sarajevo, in which a large number of civilians going about their lawful business were killed and maimed.

This was also the year that Schindler’s List, or Lista Schindlera, to give it its Polish title, came out–hence the Polish version of the ad above which was posted all over Warsaw at the time.

This, readers may remember, is the film in which Liam Neeson failed to bring off a scene in which he says, “I could have done more” — Spielberg’s own comment on what was going on in Yugsolavia at the time, and a scene which against the better judgment of his friends who tried to persuade him to ditch it, he deemed to be absolutely necessary.

At the time, I was very much in favor of intervention in the conflict and watched the news daily in the hope that something would be done about the slaughter.

US foreign policy on the conflict lacked coherence, with a statement issued by the White House one minute being contradicted by a statement issued by the Department of State the next.

As time wore on, however, I couldn’t escape the sneaking feeling that I was being manipulated by what I saw and heard on the news—a feeling since confirmed by what I now know about how this conflict was reported in the MSM.

Despite this, I was livid with rage when I read the news in the early morning newspapers on tube station in London late one evening of the massacre of “thousands” (so it was alleged) of men and boys in Srebrenica.

A few years ago, I posted a series of articles by Andrew G. Marshall, titled, “Kill, Burn and Loot”, in which the real reason for NATO’s somewhat belated intervention are given and why the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was “accidentally on purpose” (if you know what I mean) bombed.

While I have little sympathy of the Serb War leaders, I could not help agreeing with them that the International Court at the Hague is little more than the judicial wing of NATO.

I am also posting a link to an article on the recent arrest of Ratko Mladic by Stephen Lendman which gives much food for thought.

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Fishmonger Pat O'Connell shows his wares to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the English Market in Cork, Ireland, Friday. AP

Queen’s speech refers to history of ‘heartache and loss’ as demonstrators held back from Dublin Castle

Stephen Bates and Henry McDonald | The Guardian | Thursday 19 May 2011

The Queen offered Ireland the nearest the royal family has ever come to an apology for Britain’s actions in the tortured relations between the two countries, in a speech at a state banquet Dublin.

She told guests from the northern and southern Irish communities: “It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss … with the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we wish had been done differently, or not at all.”

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Taking a stand: Chris Whitehead, 12, who sits on the school's council with supporters at Impington Village College, near Cambridge

Andrew Levy | UK Daily Mail | 11th May 2011

It’s not necessarily a photo Chris Whitehead’s parents will be framing and keeping on the mantelpiece.

But they are certainly proud of him. The 12-year-old wore a skirt to school yesterday to protest against ‘discriminatory’ rules which ban boys from wearing shorts.

He says it is unfair that girls can change into skirts during the hot weather, while boys have to swelter in long trousers.

This, he says, affects their concentration and ability to learn.
The schoolboy is taking advantage of a ‘silly loophole’ in the uniform policy at Impington Village College, near Cambridge, that means boys can wear skirts as the school would be guilty of discrimination if it tried to stop them.

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Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

Joseph E. Stiglitz | Vanity Fair | May 2011

THE FAT AND THE FURIOUS The top 1 percent may have the best houses, educations, and lifestyles, says the author, but “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.” Illustration by Stephen Doyle May 2011

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

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