OND Editors OND is a community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.
OND Editors Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.
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Scottish independence: Citigroup says formal currency union 'unlikely'
A deal on sharing control of the pound between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK is "unlikely", analysts at the global bank Citigroup have said.
They also said it was "astonishing" the Scottish government did not have a currency union alternative.
The three main Westminster parties have ruled out a formal monetary union in the event of a referendum "Yes" vote.
The Scottish government said the pound was "as much Scotland's as it is the rest of the UK's".
BBC:Ukraine crisis: Crimea military base stand-off over
Ukraine crisis: Crimea military base stand-off over
A stand-off involving pro-Russian soldiers at a Ukrainian military base outside the Crimean city of Sevastopol has reportedly ended without incident.
A BBC correspondent saw two lorries from Russia's Black Sea Fleet outside the gates, surrounded by armed men.
But no shots are believed to have been fired, and the men and lorries reportedly left after "negotiations".
Troops wearing Russian uniform without insignia have blockaded bases since taking control of Crimea last week.
BBC:Venezuela expels Panama ambassador over 'conspiracy'
Venezuela expels Panama ambassador over 'conspiracy'
Venezuela has expelled Panama's ambassador and three other diplomats amid growing tensions over opposition protests.
The officials were given 48 hours to leave the country.
It comes a day after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro broke diplomatic relations and froze economic ties with Panama.
At least 20 people have died in anti-government protests in Venezuela in the last month.
BBC:DR Congo warlord Germain Katanga found guilty at ICC
DR Congo warlord Germain Katanga found guilty at ICC
The International Criminal Court has found Congo militia leader Germain Katanga guilty of war crimes but acquitted him of sexual offences.
He was found guilty of complicity in the 2003 massacre of villagers in the gold-rich Ituri province of north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He becomes just the second person to be convicted by the court since it was set up in The Hague in 2002.
He would have been the first convicted of sexual crimes.
BBC:Chaori Solar in landmark Chinese bond default
Chaori Solar in landmark Chinese bond default
Solar panel maker Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology has defaulted on interest payments owed on its bond, say media reports quoting the firm.
It is the first Chinese firm ever to default on its onshore corporate bonds.
On Tuesday, the firm warned it would be unable to make a 89.8 million yuan ($14.6m; £8.7m) interest payment on a one billion yuan bond issued in 2012.
The default is seen as a test case for the Chinese government.
BBC:India navy: Officer dies aboard ship in Mumbai accident
India navy: Officer dies aboard ship in Mumbai accident
An Indian navy officer has been killed in an accident on board a ship being built at a dockyard in Mumbai, naval officials told the BBC.
The destroyer had been undergoing mechanical trials when a "malfunction" on board led to a toxic gas leak.
Last month, two sailors died after an accident on board a submarine, the INS Sindhuratna, at sea.
India's navy chief quit after that, the latest in a series of operational accidents involving naval vessels.
Reuters:Malaysia Airlines says lost contact with plane carrying 239 people
Malaysia Airlines says lost contact with plane carrying 239 people
(Reuters) - A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew lost contact with air traffic controllers early on Saturday en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the airliner said in a statement.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search-and-rescue teams to locate the aircraft," it said.
Flight MH 370 operating a B777-200 aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.21 a.m. and had been expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day.
Reuters:U.S. readies for more 'extremely tough' trade talks with Japan
U.S. readies for more 'extremely tough' trade talks with Japan
(Reuters) - The United States is finding talks with Japan on opening its agricultural market "extremely tough", a senior U.S. trade official said on Friday, as the two countries prepared for another round of bilateral negotiations.
Japanese officials will visit Washington next week in a bid to break a deadlock over tariffs on farm and industrial products, which is drawing out plans to conclude a wider free trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The United States had hoped to wrap up the deal last year, but ministerial-level talks in Singapore last month ended with many issues still on the table, most notably Japan's protection of its farm sector.
U.S. Acting Deputy Trade Representative Wendy Cutler said Japan was moving very slowly, despite a commitment to work towards a comprehensive and high-standard agreement when it joined the TPP talks last year.
Reuters:UBS's Brazil unit to make quiet return to investment banking: sources
UBS's Brazil unit to make quiet return to investment banking: sources
(Reuters) - UBS AG (UBSN.VX) will restart investment banking operations in Brazil as early as next week, sources said, almost five years after Switzerland's biggest bank sold its highly profitable securities unit there following the global financial crisis.
Two sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said on Friday that UBS and Brazil's central bank agreed on setting March 12 as the date to activate the investment-banking license.
Sought for comment, UBS said it would continue to focus on wealth management, client solutions and its sales and trading business, including equity research, in Brazil.
UBS lost its investment banking license in 2009 after selling Banco UBS Pactual back to its original owners, a group led by billionaire financier Andre Esteves. The sale price of$2.5 billion was about $600 million less than what the Swiss lender paid for the unit in 2006.
Reuters:Pentagon says 20,000 Russian troops may be in Crimea
Pentagon says 20,000 Russian troops may be in Crimea
(Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday estimated as many as 20,000 Russian troops may be in Crimea but acknowledged its information was imperfect, as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised the restraint of Ukrainian forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies that the forces with no national insignia that are surrounding Ukrainian troops in their bases are under Moscow's command. The West has ridiculed his assertion.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, asked about the number of Russian forces in Crimea, cited estimates of up to around 20,000 of them. Pressed on the 20,000 figure, Kirby said: "That's a good estimate right now."
"But it's just an estimate. And as I said, we don't have perfect visibility on the numbers," Kirby said at a Pentagon news conference.
Reuters:France hints at aero, nuclear deals during Xi visit
France hints at aero, nuclear deals during Xi visit
(Reuters) - France expressed optimism on Friday over its ties with China in nuclear energy and aerospace in a sign of possible business deals when China's Xi Jinping makes his first trip as president to Europe in late March.
Asked about the opportunity for France to win contracts, French Trade Minister Nicole Bricq told reporters: "We are expecting much from the positive messages we have seen, especially in those areas."
Europe's Airbus is seen as close to a deal to sell A330 jets to China and has offered to open its second plant in the country in a move that could also help resolve recent friction over Chinese objections to European aviation policies.
Industry sources said last month that Airbus had offered to increase its industrial presence in China by opening a cabin completion center for the A330 jets. It already assembles smaller A320 aircraft in the port city of Tianjin near Beijing under a deal that could also be renewed.
Reuters:U.N. says almost all Muslims have fled Central African capital
U.N. says almost all Muslims have fled Central African capital
(Reuters) - Fewer than 1,000 remain of more than 100,000 Muslims who once lived in the capital of the Central African Republic, after a campaign of violence by Christian militias, the U.N. aid chief said on Friday.
With 650,000 people displaced by the religious conflict, Valerie Amos said the United Nations had received much less than a fifth of the $551 million it asked for in December to provide food, medical care and shelter.
"The demography of CAR is changing, from a situation where you had 130,000 to 145,000 Muslims in Bangui, to where you had around 10,000 in December," Amos told a news conference.
"That number we think has now gone down to 900. So we have to act very rapidly."
Sidney Morning Hearald:Google's Eric Schmidt sees robots everywhere
Google's Eric Schmidt sees robots everywhere
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said his company is experimenting with automation in ways that will "replace a lot of the repetitive behaviour in our lives."
"We're experimenting with what automation will lead to," Schmidt said Thursday at a conference in Santa Monica, California. "Robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way."
Google is pushing ahead with products beyond its core search business for new sources of user traffic and revenue in areas such as mobile and online video. The company also has shown a willingness to make bets on longer-term projects, such as wearable technology, robotics and driverless cars.
"The biggest thing will be artificial intelligence," Schmidt said at Oasis: The Montgomery Summit. "Technology is evolving from asking a question to making a relevant recommendation. It will figure out things you care about and make recommendations. That's possible with today's technology."
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/...