Daily Archives

Menopausal women ‘suffer from temporary loss of memory’, study finds

Daily Telegraph – Women going through the menopause suffer from a loss of memory and learning ability but only for a short period of time, new research has found. The largest study of its kind discovered that women entering the menopause scored worse in memory tests than those who had already or had not yet gone through it.Experts concluded that the phenomenon is caused by lower levels of female hormones during the period immediately before the menopause begins ““ known as perimenopausal. Read Article

North Korea ‘fires more missiles’

BBC – North Korea has fired two more missiles, hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned its nuclear test, South Korean reports say. The communist state fired two short-range missiles off an east coast base, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing an official. The move came as UN diplomats began work on a resolution to punish North Korea for its underground nuclear test. Read Article

U.S. holds Reuters journalist without charges in Iraq

LA Times – Reuters cameraman Ibrahim Jassam has been held since September. The U.S. military rejected a court order to release him, saying he is a ‘high security threat.’ No evidence has been presented. Read Article

British government recruits an army of snoopers with police-style powers

Daily Mail – A growing army of private security guards and town hall snoopers with sweeping police-style powers is being quietly established, the Daily Mail can reveal. Under a Home Office-run scheme, people such as park wardens, dog wardens, car park attendants and shopping centre guards receive the powers if they undergo training, and pay a small fee to their local police force. Their powers include issuing £60 fines for truancy and dropping litter, and being able to demand a person’s name and address on the street. Under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, the number of civilians wearing a special badge, and a uniform approved by the local chief constable, has rocketed by almost 30 per cent in a year and there are now 1,406. Critics claim Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is quietly seeking to create a third-tier within the ‘policing family’, with even less training and accountability than the controversial Police Community Support Officers.  Read Article

Fewer UK school children taking history exams as pupils abandon traditional subjects

Daily Telegraph – Fewer teenagers are taking GCSEs in history as pupils abandon traditional subjects in favour of new-style skills classes, according to research. Less than a third of students sat history exams last summer – the second-lowest number since Labour came to power. The disclosure – in figures published by the Conservatives – comes amid claims that mainstays of the curriculum are increasingly being marginalised in state schools.  Read Article

The Historian – As Konrad Adenauer once said “History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.” How can the next generation avoid making the same mistakes if they don’t know about them? Or is that the intention?

Who’s watching you? Surveillance map of the UK

BBC – The UK has millions of CCTV cameras. We want to see how much is already available and are producing a clickable map of feeds from cameras located throughout the country. Use the map to explore cameras around the UK and submit your own links.  View Map

Consensus on EU fisheries change

BBC – European fisheries ministers have concluded a meeting in Brussels with a consensus to effectively scrap current rules that decide fishing quotas. Environmentalists and fishermen alike have long argued the existing system – set annually – has failed the industry. Fish caught over quota are dumped back in the sea even if dead, and in the UK alone numbers of fishermen have fallen by a third over the decade. The European Union has until 2012 to draw up a new Common Fisheries Policy. It is estimated the existing system of quotas means for every kilogram of cod caught in the North Sea, another kilogram has to be dumped overboard, dead or alive  Read Article

Germany ‘to ban Red Bull Cola’ after traces of cocaine found

Daily Telegraph – Germany is considering a nationwide ban on the high-energy drink Red Bull Cola after traces of cocaine were found in it. Authorities in the states of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia have ordered retailers to stop selling the beverage. The consumer ministries in the two states confirmed they had ordered retailers to pull the drink off their shelves after a food safety institute in North-Rhine Westphalia found the drug in samples. Read Article

Riots in India after Austrian Sikh killing

Reuters – Two people died in protests in the Indian state of Punjab Monday and demonstrators torched vehicles and shops after a Sikh preacher was killed in an attack on a temple in the Austrian capital Vienna. Authorities imposed a curfew on parts of Punjab and troops were deployed to violence-hit areas after people mainly from the Dalit or “untouchable” community protested against the Vienna incident.Two people were killed and eight wounded in two separate incidents, Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh said. Read Article

Catholic man beaten to death by sectarian mob in Northern Ireland

Daily Telegraph – A Catholic father-of-four was kicked to death by a sectarian gang in Northern Ireland while looking for his sons in case they had been caught up in post-football match violence. Kevin McDaid, 49, a community worker dedicated to bringing both sides in his hometown of Coleraine, Co Londonderry, together was “brutally beaten” by a 40-strong group following Celtic and Rangers matches which decided the Scottish Premier League, police said. Six people have been arrested. Read Article

Pakistani army fights street by street to banish Taliban from Swat valley

The Guardian – Pakistani troops and Taliban fighters battled street by street through Mingora, the main town of the Swat valley, today as an army operation to sweep the militants from their mountain stronghold entered a critical phase. Smoke rose from the city as the army reported early victories, saying it had captured seven major locations including Green Square, previously dubbed “slaughterhouse square” by locals after the Taliban started to dump the bodies of headless victims there. Following on from more than two weeks of air and artillery strikes, it was the second day of a ground assault on the city, which the army warned could take weeks to complete. “Everyone is sniping one another,” a spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said on Saturday. Fears grew for civilians trapped in the crossfire. Government officials estimate that between 10,000 and 20,000 people are still living in the hill town, which until recently had a population of about 200,000. With food and fuel rations dwindling, some have resorted to scavenging for food during lulls in fighting.  Read Article

Illinois Senate votes down bill to take DNA from all felony suspects

Chicago Sun Times – The Illinois Senate has narrowly voted down a plan to allow police to take DNA samples from felony arrest suspects. Advocates saw the measure as adding an important crime-fighting tool. But opponents viewed it as an intrusion upon civil liberties. The bill, pushed by Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), drew just 28 votes after overwhelmingly passing the House last month. Twenty-five senators voted against it, and three voted “present.” Thirty votes were needed for passage. “It’s 25 years later, but we’re approaching George Orwell’s “˜1984′ right now,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who opposed the proposal, saying it would have violated the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution. Read Article

Quarter of ALL violent assaults in Britain are now carried out by women

Daily Mail – A quarter of all violent assaults in England and Wales are now carried out by women. The shocking figures, police believe, can be put down to binge-drinking and the so-called ‘ladette culture’. Officers say young women are increasingly challenging their male counterparts when it comes to drunken yobbishness and booze-fuelled brawling. Violence is now the most common reason for women in England and Wales to be arrested, recently overtaking theft and handling stolen goods. Read Article

Fury at “˜ghettoisation’ as Rio slums are to be sealed off by 10ft walls

The Times – Walls are going up around the hillside slums of Rio de Janeiro, further dividing a city already separated between rich and poor. Beneath the gaze of the statue of Christ the Redeemer, work is nearing completion on one of 19 walls to be built around the city’s sprawling favelas “” the informal and often crime-ridden shantytowns that are home to more than a million people. Critics say that the concrete barriers, up to 3m high, will seal the favelas as ghettos, segregating the inhabitants by sealing them off from the richer areas. “We had the Berlin Wall, we have the walls of Palestine, now the walls of Rio,” José Saramago, the author and Nobel laureate, said Read Article

Rising unemployment raises threat of social crisis: World Bank

Reuters – World economic recovery will be slow and rising unemployment could bring the threat of social crisis and protectionism, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in an interview with Spanish Sunday newspaper El Pais. “What began as a great financial crisis and became a great economic crisis is now becoming a great crisis of unemployment, and if we don’t take measures there is a risk of a great human and social crisis, with major political implications,” he said. “That’s a good breeding ground for populist, protectionist policies,” he added. “The finance ministers of the G7 and the G20 are displaying a certain relief because the contraction has slowed. Although we could still have low or negative growth, the situation is less bad,” he said. “But economists and industrialists are conscious that the recovery will be slow coming and weaker than expected.” Read Article

Half of Israelis back immediate strike on Iran

AFP – Just over half of Israelis back an immediate attack on the nuclear facilities of arch-foe Iran but the rest want to wait and see the results of US diplomacy, according to a poll released on Sunday. Fifty-one percent support an immediate Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, while 49 percent believe the Jewish state should await the outcome of efforts by the US administration to engage with the Islamic republic, said the survey published by Tel Aviv University. But 74 percent of those questioned said they believe that new US President Barack Obama‘s efforts will not stop the Islamic republic from acquiring atomic weapons. Read Article

UN faces fierce clash over call for Sri Lanka war crimes inquiry

The Times – Sri Lanka is to clash with Western powers at the United Nations Human Rights Council today in an effort to ward off any investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. The country has marshalled a team of powerful allies led by China, Russia and India to fight off a European-backed resolution at today’s special session on Sri Lanka calling for an inquiry into abuses on both sides of the conflict. Observers at yesterday’s preliminary meeting in Geneva, which was described as acrimonious, said that the 47-member Council was divided over the European resolution, with 18 countries for and 18 against. The other nine are undecided. The division sets the stage for a session today that will test the very purpose of the Human Rights Council. Israel, which had an investigation into its Gaza offensive forced on to it by the Council, is furious at the prospect of Sri Lanka escaping the same fate. Read Article

Iran’s Ahmadinejad rejects Western nuclear proposal

Reuters – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for it to “freeze” its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue. The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking a second term in a June 12 election, are likely to further disappoint the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain said in April they would invite Iran to a meeting to try and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row.The West accuses Iran of secretly developing atomic weapons. Iran, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, denies the charge and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity. Read Article

US: Iran could have nuclear bomb in one year

Daily Telegraph – Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that Iran could be just a year away from developing a nuclear weapon. In a stark warning, he said that time was running out for diplomacy to stem Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The assessment matched that of some independent analysts but appeared to go further than recent official statements from the US government. Read Article


American Free Press – Bilderberg boys are a bunch of grumpy old men but remain fiercely dedicated to usurping sovereignty in the United States and throughout the world. Patriots can celebrate their setbacks but never let up: Bilderberg still threatens the sovereignty of all nations while fighting for world government. Major goals remain exploiting the global recession and an imaginary “swine flu pandemic” to establish global departments of treasury and health under the United Nations. But at the May 14-17 meeting in Vouliagmeni, Greece, near Athens, Bilderberg took a keen interest in persuading the United States to surrender sovereignty to the International Criminal Court, or ICC. Bilderberg is also setting up a “summit” in Israel June 8-11 so “the world’s leading regulatory experts” can “address the current economic situation in one forum,” said Zohar Goshen, chairman of a subgroup of the International Association of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).  Read Article

Up to 30,000 ‘disabled’ by Sri Lankan shells

Daily Telegraph – Up to 30,000 Tamil civilians have been left severely disabled by Sri Lankan army shelling in the so-called ‘no-fire zone’, it has been revealed. Aid workers said one in ten of the 280,000 civilian refugees who fled the Sri Lankan army’s final onslaught against the Tamil Tiger rebels had either lost limbs or been so badly injured they urgently needed prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs to regain their mobility. The scale of civilian casualties who have been maimed in the war was disclosed by the award-winning French charity Handicap International, which works with the victims of war throughout the world. Read Article

Health lobbyist has great sway over Obama health reforms

AP — If anyone could make or break President Barack Obama’s health care agenda, it might be Karen Ignagni.The Democratic former union official and firefighter’s daughter is also the unlikely face of the powerful health insurance industry as its top Washington lobbyist.Ignagni is such a formidable advocate that when she went head to head with industry-bashing filmmaker Michael Moore on the Oprah Winfrey show, she emerged not only unscathed, but with Moore seconding some of her points.Now, with the prospect of a congressional health care overhaul looming, Ignagni’s role is more important than ever. It’s a moment she’s long prepared for. Read Article

Afghanistan’s rebuilding looms as sequel to Iraq’s

AP — The job of rebuilding Afghanistan is shaping up as an ominous sequel to the massive, mistake-riddled U.S. effort to get Iraq back on its feet. Since 2001, the U.S. has committed nearly $33 billion for reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Yet as President Barack Obama sends more troops and aid to quell a growing insurgency, there’s been no detailed public accounting of where the money has gone and how effectively it’s being spent.As in Iraq, where the U.S. has contributed $50 billion for rebuilding, the flow of money to Afghanistan outpaces the ability to track it. Already, an inspector general looking into the U.S. handling of Afghanistan reconstruction has found worrisome evidence of lax oversight and costly projects left foundering.  Read Article