Archive for March, 2009

AIG’s insistence on bonuses raises ire in Washington

March 15, 2009

(CNN) — White House officials and some members of Congress reacted strongly Sunday to news that insurance giant AIG had intended to pay out $165 million in bonuses and compensation. The company has received at least $170 billion in federal bailout money. (more…)

How to stop the drug wars

March 6, 2009

Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution

Illustration by Noma Bar

A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.

That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. (more…)

2 months into 2009, US deaths spike in Afghanistan

March 1, 2009

KABUL (AP) — U.S. deaths in Afghanistan increased threefold during the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period last year, after thousands more troops deployed and commanders ramped up winter operations against an increasingly violent insurgency. (more…)