BASEL, Switzerland “” Markus O. HÃ¤ring, a former oilman, was a hero in this city of medieval cathedrals and intense environmental passion three years ago, all because he had drilled a hole three miles deep near the corner of Neuhaus Street and Shafer Lane.
He was prospecting for a vast source of clean, renewable energy that seemed straight out of a Jules Verne novel: the heat simmering within the earth’s bedrock. [Read more]
WINCHESTER, Tenn. “” The spacious home where the newly wed Rhonda and Jason Holt began their family in 2005 was plagued by mysterious illnesses. The Holts’ three babies were ghostlike and listless, with breathing problems that called for respirators, repeated trips to the emergency room and, for the middle child, Anna, the heaviest dose of steroids a toddler can take.
Ms. Holt, a nurse, developed migraines. She and her husband, a factory worker, had kidney ailments. [Read more]
NPR – Ships that transport goods around the world are carrying some dangerous stowaways.
Tiny organisms travel from port to port in a ship’s ballast water. And some of them have become invasive species, wreaking havoc in waters around the world.
So scientists are testing ways to kill these potential invaders before they can escape. Read artcile
Daily Mail – Home Secretary Alan Johnson last night refused point blank to cap the number of immigrants coming to Britain. And he said he does not ‘lie awake at night’ worrying about the population hitting 70million.
Official figures show at the current rate of increase the British population will hit the milestone within 20 years, with a further seven million immigrants placing a burden on public services.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has pledged that the Government will not allow the population to grow to that level. But last night he was apparently undermined by his boss. Read article
Times Online – Accompanied by a militaristic flag-raising ceremony and the strains of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy “” the European anthem “” the new members of the most Eurosceptic European Parliament gathered in Strasbourg yesterday to begin work.
Hans-Gert PÃ¶ttering, the outgoing President of the Parliament, urged MEPs to unite to freeze “anti-Europeans” out of the decision-making process for the next five years.
About a fifth of the 736 MEPs will be in groups that favour either less EU integration or withdrawal “” including the 25 Conservatives, 13 UK Independence Party and two BNP members from Britain.
“I think it is very important that the pro-European MEPs co-operate well so the anti-Europeans cannot make their voices heard so strongly,” Mr PÃ¶ttering, said. Read article
BBC – The US budget deficit has moved above $1 trillion (Â£616bn) for the first time – with three months of the financial year remaining, official data show.
The government stepped up spending to counter the recession, and the bailout of financial institutions has taken a huge chunk out of government finances.
Falling tax revenues and unemployment benefit spending have also contributed.
The figure compares with $455bn for the whole 2007/8 financial year, but the 2008/9 deficit was expected to soar. Read article
MSNBC – President Barack Obama has ordered his national security team to investigate reports that U.S. allies were responsible for the deaths of as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners of war during the opening days of the war in Afghanistan.
Obama told CNN in an interview that aired Sunday that he doesn’t know how the U.S.-allied Northern Alliance behaved in November 2001, but he wants a full accounting before deciding how to move forward. Read article
Post Gazette – Seven soldiers from a West Virginia unit are suing a U.S. contractor for chemical exposure in Iraq
Russell Powell wondered for years after he returned from Iraq why he couldn’t run even short distances without wheezing. Following his yearlong tour of duty that ended in 2004, he coached his son’s Little League team, but had to stop because it exhausted him.
The 34-year-old, who was able to run two miles in 9:44 before he went to Iraq in 2003, said now he is lucky to finish in 20 minutes.
He was discharged from the West Virginia Army National Guard for medical reasons at the end of 2008 because he was unable to meet physical requirements. Since he started his new job as a corrections officer for a West Virginia prison earlier this year, he’s had to use several sick days and vacation days to visit doctors. Read article
WA Today – Stephen Conroy’s mandatory internet filtering plans have earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year at the 11th annual Internet Industry Awards.
The Internet Villain category recognises individuals or organisations that have upset the Internet industry and hampered its development – those whom the industry loves to hate.
As Australia’s communications minister, and supporter of one of the world’s most ambitious internet censorship plans, Senator Conroy beat out tough competition from the likes of the European Parliament and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Read article
News Ltd – CHILDREN become obese because of the influence of their same-sex parent, not as a result of genetics, a new study by British scientists claims.
Scientists from Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth say if a young girl has an overweight mother she is more likely to become obese, with the same applying to boys and their fathers.
The findings suggest that it is behavioural rather than genetic factors that have a greater influence in determining whether children become obese.
According to the study of 226 British families, the scientists found that obese mums were 10 times more likely to have obese daughters. Obese dads were also six times more likely to have an obese son. Read article
Polemic – now is that really a surprise to anyone other than those parents who refuse to accept responsibility for their own children?
The Australian – Family First senator Steve Fielding has urged senators to look closely at the science on climate change before committing the nation to an emissions trading scheme.
In a letter to senators yesterday, Senator Fielding — who has recently emerged as parliament’s most vocal climate change sceptic — said carbon emissions had “skyrocketed” over the past 15 years, but temperatures had remained steady.
Senator Fielding said Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and Australia’s chief scientist had failed to explain why this was the case.
He said it ran counter to assumptions underpinning the carbon pollution reduction scheme that carbon emissions were the leading cause of global warming. Read article