Sales Of New Homes In The U.S. Plunged In January To The Lowest Level On Record

The most important news for Wednesday, February 24th, 2010….

The U.S. government says that sales of new homes in the United States plunged in January to the lowest level on record.

The number of U.S. mortgages more than 90 days overdue has climbed to 5.1 percent.

11.3 million U.S. homeowners – or 24% of all homes with mortgages in the United States – were underwater as of the end of 2009.  That is up from 23% and 10.7 million borrowers three months earlier.

Confidence among U.S. consumers fell dramatically in February to the lowest level in 10 months.

U.S. commercial property values are down 40 percent since 2007 and currently 18 percent of all office space in the United States is sitting vacant.

It is projected that the largest commercial real estate loan losses will be experienced in 2011 and the years following.  In fact, it is estimated that losses at U.S. banks alone could range as high as 200 to 300 billion dollars.

The FDIC now says that the number of banks on its “problem” list climbed to 702 at the end of 2009 from 552 at the end of September and 252 at the end of 2008.

A major U.K. newspaper is warning that evidence is mounting that Chinese sales of U.S. Treasury bonds are intended as a warning to the United States government rather than simply being part of a routine portfolio shift.

The World Trade Organization has announced that world trade fell by 12% last year as the world economic crisis caused the biggest drop since 1945.

Harvard University Professor Kenneth Rogoff is warning that we could soon see a wave of sovereign defaults.

Warren Buffett’s long-time business partner, Charlie Munger, has written in a new article for that “it’s basically over” for the United States economy.

But Barack Obama says that a second Great Depression “is on longer a possibility”.

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Tuesday that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

“Dr. Doom” is advising the world’s most powerful investors to buy farmland and to stock up on gold.

The United States has unveiled plans for a new $1 billion high-security embassy in London – the most expensive embassy the U.S. has ever built.

The chief economist of the International Monetary Fund is warning that belt-tightening in Europe will be “extremely painful” and could take up to 20 years.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is warning that the decision to award Jewish sites in the West Bank national heritage status could ignite a war in the Middle East.

It is being reported that the son of a leading Hamas figure, who famously converted to Christianity, served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service’s most valuable source in the militant organization’s leadership.

The EU is reportedly planning “massive” sanctions against Iran.

Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to set up a new regional body without the United States and Canada.

A stunning new report out of the U.K. is predicting that human beings may be forced to be microchipped like pet dogs some time within the next decade.

An extensive investigation has revealed that between 2003 and 2007, Texas quietly gave hundreds of newborn baby blood samples to a U.S. Armed Forces laboratory for use in a forensics database.

The government of China will now require individuals seeking to establish personal websites to verify their identities with regulators and have their photographs taken.

A state House committee in Arizona has approved a measure that would require U.S. presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president.

A team of scientists has now successfully developed an incredibly virulent swine flu/bird flu hybrid combination in the lab.

A committee of experts advised the World Health Organization on Tuesday that the pandemic of H1N1 swine flu has not peaked yet.

As if the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was not bad enough, researchers have now found a high concentration of plastic debris floating in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean.

Planned Parenthood has announced that they plan to provide women with an option for terminating pregnancies in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

The Pentagon has decided to lift a decades-old policy that prohibits women from serving aboard Navy submarines.

In a drastic move, a school board in Rhode Island has voted to fire every single teacher at one struggling public high school.

Does the new “Percy Jackson” movie have some very sinister undertones?

A family court judge in Vermont has issued a warrant for the arrest of a Virginia mother who disappeared with her daughter after being ordered to turn her over to her former lesbian partner.

One U.S. pediatrician has been charged with 471 counts of sexual crimes against 102 girls and one boy.

One new study has come out that suggests that children with same-sex parents are more prone to suicide.

An Israeli archaeologist announced on Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical account about that time period.

Lastly, some U.S. cities have been actually shortening yellow lights to nab drivers with a ticket.  But in the quest for money are these cities putting the lives of drivers at risk?