HOTT Newslinks March 23, 2008

McCain Intentionally Cost Boeing the Air Force Tanker Deal and sealed it for Europe’s Airbus



How an unwanted guardianship cost a firefighter his freedom and his fortune




The government has failed to pay farmers the foreign currency component for wheat deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) because of the critical hard currency shortage.
Farmers this week complained that, in addition to the delays by the GMB and the Reserve Bank to process their payments, the producer price of the crop, pegged at $72 million last year, is now almost worthless because of high inflation of more than 100 000 percent.
Originally, the Ministry of Agriculture had set the wheat producer price at $42 million per tonne, but the Reserve Bank later added a “bonus” which resulted in the payment rising to $72 million.



A U.S.-based company that has controversially laid claim to nearly all of the Arctic Ocean’s undersea oil said Thursday that new geological data suggests a “potentially vast” petroleum resource of 400 billion barrels.
That figure is backed by a respected Canadian researcher who recently signed on as the firm’s chief scientific adviser.
Las Vegas-based Arctic Oil & Gas has raised eyebrows around the world with its roll-of-the-dice bid to lock up exclusive rights to extract oil and gas from rapidly melting areas of the central Arctic Ocean, currently beyond the territorial control of Canada, Russia and other polar nations.



Hillary Clinton’s boasts that she gained major foreign policy experience as First Lady have been undermined after 11,046 pages of her White House schedules provided scant evidence to back up her claims.



The Israeli military said Thursday that around 200 U.S. and Israeli officers had staged a computer-based battle simulation designed to improve coordination between the two countries’ armed forces.



Water War


A roadside bomb killed three American soldiers north of Baghdad on Saturday, pushing the U.S. death toll in the five-year conflict to nearly 4,000.



Not everyone is pleased with Bernanke’s approach. “They have basically polluted the world with dollars,” says Dan North, U.S. chief economist for Euler Hermes, a unit of Allianz Group (AZ) that insures accounts receivables. “It lays the foundation for inflation and another asset bubble later on.”



Pennsylvania has spent $3.8 billion since 2003 to repair 1,381 bridges, yet the number of structurally deficient bridges increased – from 5,600 to 6,000. Even with one of the highest gas taxes in the nation – and with a newly enacted plan to impose tolls on I-80 – Pennsylvania can’t keep up.



At least a dozen earthquakes hit China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang on Friday, flattening or damaging more than 2,000 houses, but no casualties had been reported so far, Xinhua news agency said.