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What Does Business News in the "Axis of Evil" Look Like?

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Paging through today's Wall Street Journal, you'll come across headlines like: China Denies Google Hack, Goldman Gets Civil Subpoena, and Gasoline Prices Weigh on Retail Sales.

Investor's Business Daily informs us that Mitsubishi, Kia Benefit From Toyota, Honda Woes, For-Profit School Stocks Soar On Less-Harsh Rule, and Luggage maker Samsonite plans IPO in Hong Kong.

And the New York Times, well, I'm past the 20 article limit for the month, so...

Fortunately, the Tehran Times, KCNA -- North Korea's Central News Agency -- and Cuba's official party organ, Granma, have no such paywalls shielding their reportage from prying, non-paying eyes.

Turns out, the business coverage in what constitutes the so-called "Axis of Evil" is more than slightly different than what FT subscribers might find in their morning paper.

Here's a peek at the (not always strictly up-to-the-moment) economic coverage in the parts of the world where Yankees are generally encouraged to "go home":

KCNA, North Korea

Pakistani Embassy Officials Help Korean Farmers

Pyongyang, June 2 (KCNA) -- Ambassador Arif Mahmood and staff members of the Pakistani embassy visited the DPRK-Pakistan Friendship Taesong Vegetable Cooperative Farm in Taesong District, Pyongyang on Thursday.

The visitors were briefed on the farm associated with the undying feats of the peerlessly great persons.

They helped farmers in weeding maize field.

They handed farming materials to the farm.

New Portable Toothbrush Produced

Pyongyang, June 1 (KCNA) -- The Pyongyang Daily Necessities Factory turns out varieties of consumer goods.

Recently, it began mass-producing a new kind of portable toothbrush.

Dr. Ri Kyong Il, a workshop head of the factory, told KCNA that the toothbrush consists of case, brush and paste. The case is also used as the handle.

The new model is lower in production cost than other kinds of portable toothbrush.

What "progress" looks like in Pyongyang...

Kangryong Tea Enjoys Popularity

Pyongyang, June 1 (KCNA) -- Cool tea has become increasingly popular among people with the temperature getting higher.
The Yonggwang Street Restaurant in Central District, Pyongyang, has installed a stand in front of it to serve Kangryong tea.

Kangryong green tea and Kangryong black tea are in great demand for their nice smell and flavor.

Kim Pong Gil, a 68-year-old man living in Ryonhwa-dong No. 2 in Central District, told KCNA that he has taken various kinds of tea but found that Kangryong tea is the best.

"The tea helps feel fine and vigorous, so I recommended my family members to take Kangryong tea," he added.

In other news, North Korea has also apparently started production on what appears to be history's cheesiest laptop:

Tehran Times, Iran

Iran not to increase deposit rates

TEHRAN -- Iran will not increase interest rates for deposits, Seyyed Kazem Delkhosh, a member of High Council of Money and Credit, said here on Wednesday.
It is while Hamshahri newspaper had reported that Iran’s Central Bank plans to increase interest rates for deposits in a bid to control fluctuations in the gold and foreign-currency markets.

A report by the bank to increase deposit rates will be submitted to the High Council of Money and Credit, the Tehran-based newspaper said, citing central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani.

A higher rate will attract liquidity to banks, Bahmani told the newspaper. He added that a large portion of the $300 billion in liquidity will be directed toward different parts of the economy without an increase in inflation, the newspaper said.

For the current Iranian calendar year starting March 21, the three-month deposit rate is 6 percent, the 9-month rate is 8 percent, and rate for less than a year is 10 percent, the newspaper said.

The rates for 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year deposits are 12.5 percent, 13 percent, 14 percent, 14.5 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Iran has no trade with Zionist firms

A senior Iranian official rebuts news about Israel's economic activities in Iran, saying Tehran has no business with 'Zionist' companies which are the root cause of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“News about activities of Zionist (Israeli) firms in Iran is a new game started in reaction to the willingness of certain countries to establish economic ties with Iran,” Chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (ICCIM) Mohammad Nahavandian said on Friday.

“In addition to legal ban, Iran regards Zionist firms and their policy makers as the main factors behind economic sanctions (against the Islamic Republic) and refrains from making any deal with them,” he added, Fars news agency reported.

The Iranian commerce official downplayed anti-Iran sanctions and said Tehran has increased its economic ties with many countries.

He noted that several countries have expressed their willingness to increase economic interactions with Iran following the global economic crisis, saying, “They cannot deprive themselves from the growing economy in Iran.”

West should thank Iran for its anti-drug campaigns

Secretary General of the High Council for Human Rights Mohammad-Javad Larijani said on Wednesday, “Iran’s campaigns against drugs are a service to the world and that the West should be grateful to Iran for this.” Larijani rejected claims by certain Western countries that Iran violates human rights, stating that most people who are executed in Iran are drug smugglers.

Lucky readers are also treated to a touching "Picture of the Day":

Granma, Havana

Raúl and Lula tour Mariel port facilities

ARMY General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers joined former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, June 1, on a tour of facilities at the Port of Mariel, where currently under construction is a new, modern maritime base which will further open Cuba to the world.
As the meeting ended, Lula da Silva addressed the significance of the project for the economic future of Cuba and expressed his satisfaction with what has been accomplished thus far.
Raúl highlighted the fact that the work has progressed without delays, according to the timeframe established, a pattern which must be maintained until all contracted work is completed, he said. He acknowledged the professionalism of the Brazilian specialists and encouraged the Cubans, especially the state bodies and enterprises involved, to take advantage of the experience, given the organizational skill it has required.

Venezuela under attack from the empire once again

WITH imperial arrogance, the government of Barack Obama has undertaken a new offensive, unilaterally imposing economic sanctions, completely unsubstantiated, on the company which provides the Venezuelan people a significant portion of its resources: Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

The issue is the danger that these sanctions represent, that the U.S. government is unleashing new attacks on the Bolivarian Revolution precisely when Latin American and Caribbean countries have reached a new level of unity and integration.
The sanctions issued by the Obama administration presume to punish PDVSA for its trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. At this rate, all countries will have to ask permission of the U.S. State Department when they carry out these kinds of activities with any nation not to the liking of Washington. This is clearly a violation of the international free trade agreement for oil and other minerals, which the government of Venezuela has taken upon itself to reject with the unconditional support of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

Within a few years, more than a million barrels of oil will depart every 24 hours headed for China, the same amount sold to the United States. This cannot be much to the liking of Washington, as fuel available at a minimal distance which U.S. transnationals have always aspired to controlling.

And finally, the Castro Brothers make it clear that they can, indeed, handle the truth:

Cuba despises lies

AS stated in the Informative Note from the Revolutionary Government, the death due to natural causes of a Cuban citizen resident in Villa Clara province, continues to be the subject of manipulation by the disinformation corporate media.

According to Rosa Soto García, sister of the deceased, Juan Wilfredo Soto García suffered from a number of disorders, including gout, high blood pressure, migraines and heart dilation, for which he had been receiving treatment for many years. She also acknowledged that her brother led a very disorganized life and did not follow doctors’ orders.

"That business about him being beaten is one big lie. He didn’t have a mark on his body, it’s all a counterrevolutionary propaganda invention. We are very distressed about this campaign that has been set up, it’s causing a lot of pain within the family," she said, while expressing her gratitude for the medical attention her brother received.

In the face of this irrefutable evidence, one has to ask how it is possible to continue lying. Is not the experience of more than 50 years of a Revolution without a single case of torture, disappearance or murder sufficient?

Cuba despises lies.

So, while Wall Street tries to make heads or tails of GM's future and attempts to wrap its collective head around the domestic housing market, others couldn't care less:

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.