Daily Archives

U.S. drone kills 3 in Pakistan; bomb kills 7

Reuters – A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired a missile on Sunday killing three militants in northwest Pakistan, while elsewhere in the region, a bomb blast in a market killed seven people, officials said.Nuclear-armed Pakistani is struggling to push back a growing Taliban insurgency and security forces have made progress in more than a month of fighting against Taliban militants in the Swat valley, northwest of Islamabad.The militants have responded with a wave of bomb attacks. Read Article

How family of ex-UK Opposition leader have enjoyed an astonishing £10m ride on the EU gravy train

Daily Mail – Neil and Glenys Kinnock received more than £10million in pay, allowances and pension entitlements during their time working at the European Union in Brussels. The astonishing figure can be revealed after a Mail on Sunday investigation into the couple’s lavish lifestyle funded from the public purse.Lady Kinnock, who was appointed Europe Minister by Gordon Brown this month, was an MEP for 15 years. Her husband, who failed to win a General Election as Labour leader, was an EU Commissioner for ten years until 2004. Read Article

Pakistani warplanes strike Taliban’s Waziristan redoubt

Reuters – Pakistani warplanes struck a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud on Saturday, hours after President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to wage war against militancy “to the end.”U.S. officials, thankful that their nuclear-armed ally has gone on the offensive to stop the Taliban tide sweeping across the northwest, said they believed an operation had begun against Mehsud’s forces in the South Waziristan, at the southeast extremity of the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Read Article

U.N. seeks review of special forces in Afghanistan

Reuters – The United Nations has asked NATO defense ministers to review how special forces are deployed in Afghanistan in a bid to reduce civilian casualties that risk jeopardizing Western efforts to stabilize the country.”I welcome additional troops coming in. But every effort must be made to avoid a situation where more troops and more fighting leads to more civilian casualties and behavior that offends the population,” U.N. Special Representative Kai Eide told NATO defense ministers in Brussels by video link from Kabul. Read Article

Saffron can protect against eyesight loss

Daily Telegraph – Pilau rice and paella could hold the secret to preventing eye sight loss in old age, according to new research. Scientists have discovered that saffron, the spice which is commonly used in Spanish, Italian and Indian cuisine, can protect against some of the most common forms of blindness. The study revealed that eating saffron ““ which can cost as much as gold ““ regularly helped to make the delicate cells in the eye needed for vision more resilient against disease.  Read Article

Riots erupt in Tehran over ‘stolen’ election

The Guardian – Iran faces political turmoil after hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was confirmed today as the winner of the presidential election and outraged supporters of his chief rival took to the streets to protest against a “dangerous charade” after a record 85% turnout.Tonight riot police in Tehran confronted thousands of demonstrators shouting “death to dictatorship” amid shock and confusion after the official result backed Ahmadinejad’s claim to have won, made barely an hour after polls closed last night. Read Article

US condemns North Korean threat

BBC – North Korea’s threat to “weaponise” its plutonium stocks is “provocative” and “deeply regrettable”, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says. She said the move had been denounced around the world and would isolate North Korea’s government further. The North said it would start enriching uranium and use the plutonium for nuclear weapons hours after a UN vote for tough new sanctions against it. The US would vigorously enforce the new sanctions, Mrs Clinton said. Read Article

Pentagon Cyber Command seen as threat to civil liberties

New York Times -  A plan to create a new Pentagon cybercommand is raising significant privacy and diplomatic concerns, as the Obama administration moves ahead on efforts to protect the nation from cyberattack and to prepare for possible offensive operations against adversaries’ computer networks. President Obama has said that the new cyberdefense strategy he unveiled last month will provide protections for personal privacy and civil liberties. But senior Pentagon and military officials say that Mr. Obama’s assurances may be challenging to guarantee in practice, particularly in trying to monitor the thousands of daily attacks on security systems in the United States that have set off a race to develop better cyberweapons.  Read Article

Binyamin Netanyahu ‘may’ yield to two-state solution after pressure from Obama

The Times – Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to endorse a “two-state solution” in a much-heralded speech this weekend, but he may stall on American demands to freeze Jewish settlements in the West Bank.Feeling the squeeze between the US Administration, which wants a moratorium on settlement growth and a commitment to a Palestinian state, and his national-religious coalition, which favours neither, the Israeli Prime Minister appears likely to try to steer a middle course. Read Article

Local military, civilian police training builds skills

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  – Security forces Airmen kicking in doors were only part of the action during a joint training exercise, where 21st Security Forces Squadron Airmen teamed with members of the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other police agencies. The training was meant to bolster skills and tactics, as well improve interagency communication, vital in times of crisis. Read Article

US health campaigner Erin Brockovich takes on Alcoa in Western Australia

Perth Now – US public health crusader Erin Brockovich is in talks with a big law firm and Yarloop residents over a class action against Alcoa.Brockovich has taken a strong interest in the plight of communities near Alcoa’s controversial Wagerup refinery, 125km south of Perth. Brockovich — made famous in the movie that starred Julia Roberts — is currently in WA. The Sunday Times understands that Queensland’s leading plaintiff law firm Shine Lawyers will tomorrow announce it is preparing to sue Alcoa on behalf of aggrieved locals — many of whom have fled the area after becoming sick.  Read Article

Quotation of the Week

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

Seeing red over colour additives in Australian food

Herald Sun – MORE than 1000 products containing food colourings facing bans and child health warnings overseas are freely sold in Australia.Worried parents say supermarkets and milk bars are awash with lollies, cakes, biscuits and snacks laden with artificial additives linked to hyperactivity and potential learning problems. They claim cutting contentious colouring from food and drinks will help calm kids and reduce classroom disruptions. The Food Intolerance Network’s national sweep has detected 1154 products listing at least one of six controversial bright red or yellow added colours on labels. They includes cakes, muffins, crackers, cordial, flavoured milk, confectionery, medicines, ice cream and iced doughnuts. The six artificial colours — tartrazine (102), quinoline yellow (104), sunset yellow (110), carmoisine (122), ponceau 4R (124) and allura red (129) — raised alarm after a medical study linked them to more boisterous behaviour and a loss of concentration in some children. Read Article

Britain warned of new wave of Islamic terrorism

The Independent – The police and MI5 must brace themselves to counter a new generation of violent Islamic terrorists, an expert warned today. Home-grown jihadists intent on murdering others in high-profile outrages “will not wither away”, Professor Michael Clarke said. The director of Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) warned a series of successful police operations have turned prisons into “universities of terror”. Read Article

The Historian – By an amazing coincidence the British Government is also in the process of trying to win the PR campaign to issue RFID chipped ID cards to the entire British population. Public fear of the “threat” will no doubt greatly help its cause. Problem > Reaction > Solution

North Korea says it will ‘weaponize’ its plutonium

The Independent – North Korea vowed today to “weaponize” all its plutonium and threatened military action against the United States and its allies after the UN Security Council approved new sanctions to punish the communist nation for its recent nuclear test. Read Article

Indonesian orang-utans and tigers threatened by new logging scheme

The Times – Elephants, Sumatran tigers and some of Asia’s rarest orang-utans will be plunged into a “dire and immediate” fight for their lives this summer as plans are finalised for a massive logging operation in Indonesia aimed at keeping the world supplied with cheap photocopying paper. The project, which may source paper to office suppliers across the UK, could also unravel years of research spent solving the complex problem of how to reintroduce apes from captivity into the wild. Many of the subjects in a long-running experiment in Sumatra may be accidentally killed as the forest collapses around them.  Read Article

U.N. Official Calls for Worldwide Ban on Plastic Bags

Fox News -  A top U.N. official on Monday called for a worldwide ban on single-use “thin” plastic shopping bags, the kind you get at the grocery store.”Single-use plastic bags which choke marine life should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere,” said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program, according to McClatchy Newspapers. “There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them any more, anywhere.”Steiner’s words accompanied the release of a U.N. report entitled “Marine Litter: A Global Challenge,” which finds that plastic is the most pervasive form of pollution in the oceans.”Plastic, the most prevalent component of marine debris, poses hazards because it persists so long in the ocean, degrading into tinier and tinier bits that can be consumed by the smallest marine life at the base of the food web,” reads the report. Read Article

Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards

Daily Telegraph – An increasing number of popular swimming spots in the UK have failed to meet European hygiene standards including parts of Lake Windemere, the chic Cornish resort of Rock in Cornwall and Sandgate in Kent.  Read Article

Sunni MP among five killed in Baghdad mosque attack

Daily Telegraph – Iraq’s leading Sunni politican was murdered in a suicide attack on Friday, a development that threatens to open a fresh bout of sectarian warfare. Harith al-Obaidi, the head of Iraq’s biggest Sunni Muslim parliamentary bloc, was killed at a mosque by a grenade-wielding assassin in an attack that killed five people. Mr Obaidi had recently taken over the Sunni Accordance Front and was to have played a key role in the formation of alliances that will be presented to the voters at its second free general election in the coming months. Police said a 15-year-old boy shot Mr Obaidi twice in the head and then threw a hand grenade into a crowd of people at a mosque in the Yarmuk district of west Baghdad.  Read Article

Military Hush-Up: Incoming Space Rocks Now Classified

Space.Com – For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth’s atmosphere ““ but no longer. A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned. The satellites’ main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified. Read Article