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Here’s your news.

International Developments

? Argentina is asking the UN to help get a ship freed from Ghana which seized it on October 2nd. Cayman Islands-based investment fund NML Capital Ltd claims Argentina owes it $300 million on defaulted bonds and won’t let the ship be released until Argentina makes a $20 million payment. The UN responded it cannot “intervene in . . . a legal dispute between two countries.”

? Gold Fields in South Africa has just fired 8,500 striking mine-workers, following an ultimatum by the company to the workers to return to work.

? An estimated 570,000 people in the Middle East have HIV/AIDS, 40% of them women. A conservative estimate is 10,000 in Egypt. Egyptian doctors are reluctant to treat HIV/AIDS patients, and many actually refuse to treat them. 57% of Egyptian doctors surveyed believe the virus can be transmitted by mosquito bites.

? Syrian refugees in Lebanon now total 101,283, and there are more than 100,000 in Turkey and another 100,000 in Jordan.

? “Iran said on Tuesday it would stop oil exports if pressure from Western sanctions got any tighter and that it had a ‘Plan B’ contingency strategy to survive without oil revenues.”

International Finance

? Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague at a forum in Berlin: “People feel that in too many ways the EU is something that is done to them . . . a great machine that sucks up decision-making from national parliaments to the European level until everything is decided at that level.” For her part, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have compared British Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet members to the grumpy Muppets Statler and Waldorf“.

? According to new official stats, average income in Britain for Apr-Jun 2012, was 13.2% lower than four years ago. The rate of inflation has jumped from less than 1.5% in 2002 to 4.5% in 2011. Employment, however, is up–almost 29.6 million have jobs, “the highest . . . since records began in 1971.”

Money Matters USA

? “Requiem music soars, capitalism’s grand finale.” 7 signs they’re losing control: 1) The “Invisible Hand” is now controlled by the capitalists; 2) Conservatism which denies environmental and social issues; 3) Reliance on “disasters, wars, famine, pandemics”; 4) “Perpetual Growth myth”; 5) Short-term gratification; 6) John Galt-ism; 7) China, the “new State Capitalism”, giant-size.

? NC Democratic Representative Brad Miller describes the complex mess that is banks. Example, the “nine biggest bank holding companies have almost 20,000 subsidiaries”, and each subsidiary is “on the hook for the liability of the parent corporation” and all its subsidiaries–arrangements defying sound regulatory oversight. [cont’d.]

David Dayen

David Dayen