News in Brief: Fed Gave Secret Bailout to Foreign Banks, and More

Fed Gave Secret Bailout to Foreign Banks

Without public disclosure, the Federal Reserve doled out money totaling at least $30 million to three foreign banks at interest rates as low as 0.01 percent during the 2008 financial crisis, Bloomberg reported. The banks Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Scotland were recipients recipients of these loans, approved by Ben Bernanke. The information was released following the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, raising questions by open government and transparency advocates.

Republican Judge Strikes Down Ban on Corporate Contributions Directly to Candidates
The Reagan-appointed Federal District Court Judge James Cacheris ruled late Thursday that corporations have a right to contribute money directly to political candidates. This ruling escalates the path started by the Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to contribute to political causes independent of a candidate's campaign. This ruling now allows corporations to contribute to individual candidates. This could mean the end of “any meaningful restrictions on campaign finance,” reported ThinkProgress.
Yemen Air Force Bombs Tribal Fighters as Protests in Egypt Resume
Tribal leaders in Yemen warn of a civil war in President Ali Abdullah Saleh doesn't step down, as government war planes are reported bombing fighters linked to a prominent tribal leader, reported Democracy Now!. An escalation in fighting between forces loyal to the president and protesters and some tribal leaders pushing for him to step down, has left 109 people dead in the past week.
Meanwhile, pro-democracy protesters have gathered in Egypt's Tahrir Square again for what has been called the second Friday of Rage to call for an end to military trials, the lifting of the 30-year-old emergency law, the formation of a civilian government and the sentencing of former members of Mubarak's government.
eBay and PayPal Sue Google Over Trade Secrets
Google Inc. and two of its executives are being sued by the Internet giants eBay and PayPal for stealing trade secrets about mobile payment systems. The two executives in question were previously employed PayPal before helping to launch Google's own mobile payment system, reported Reuters. The dispute is part of a growing battle between Silicon Valley companies to get a stake in the mobile payments market.