1 in 8 U.S. homeowners late paying or in foreclosure

One out of eight U.S. households with a mortgage ended the first quarter late on loan payments or in the foreclosure process, in a crisis that will persist for at least another year until unemployment peaks, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

U.S. unemployment in April reached its highest rate in more than a quarter century and is still rising, helping propel mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures to record highs…

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Ralph Nader: Obama will be like Bush

Palestinians Face Home Demolitions Spree by Israel

By JONATHAN COOK

In the first hours of dawn, Nader Elayan was woken by a call from a neighbor warning him to hurry to the house he had almost finished building. By the time he arrived, it was too late: a bulldozer was tearing down the walls. More than 100 Israeli security guards held back local residents.

The demolition, carried out four years ago, has left Mr Elayan, his wife, Fidaa, who is now pregnant, and their two young children with nowhere to live but a single room in his brother’s cramped home. It is the only land he owns and he had invested all his savings in building the now destroyed house.

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The Real State of the US Economy

In an eerie echo of President Herbert Hoover in 1930, during a Presidential campaign against Roosevelt, following the stock market crash and collapse of numerous smaller banks, Paulson recently appeared on national TV to declare “our banking system is a safe and sound one.” He added that the list of “troubled” banks “is a very manageable situation.” In fact what he did not say was that the US bank deposit insurance fund, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a list of problem banks that numbers 90. Not included on that list are banks such as Citigroup, until recently the largest bank in the world.

The statement is hardly reassuring. The California savings bank, IndyMac Bank which was declared insolvent a month ago was not on the FDIC list a week before it collapsed. The reality is the crisis created by “securitizing” millions of home mortgages into new financial instruments and selling the packages to pension funds and investors is unfolding like a snowball rolling down the Swiss Alps.

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Zimbabwe introduces $100 billion banknotes

Zimbabwe’s troubled central bank introduced $100 billion banknotes Saturday in a desperate bid to ease the recurrent cash shortages plaguing the inflation-ravaged economy.

The bills officially come into circulation Monday, although they were on the foreign currency dealers market Saturday.

As high as they are, though, the bills still aren’t enough to buy a loaf of bread. They can buy only four oranges.

The new note is equal to just one U.S. dollar.

Once-prosperous Zimbabwe has seen an unprecedented economic meltdown since it gained independence in 1980, with the official inflation rate now at 2.2 million percent.

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McCain says only World War III would justify draft

Only World War III would prompt Republican presidential candidate John McCain to bring back the military draft, McCain said on Tuesday.

Many Americans are fearful the U.S. government will be forced to reinstitute the draft given the prolonged Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Asked about that possibility by a potential voter in Florida during a telephone “town hall meeting,” McCain said: “I don’t know what would make a draft happen unless we were in an all-out World War III.”

The United States ended its last military draft in 1973 in the waning years of the Vietnam war, moving to an all-volunteer military force.

McCain, a Vietnam veteran, said the draft during that conflict weighed most heavily on lower-income Americans, and that this should not be repeated.

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