Daily Archives

UK Big Brother state wants even more spy powers

Daily Mail – Ministers were attacked by their own surveillance watchdog last night for wanting to make it easier for public bodies to spy on the public. Sir Christopher Rose, Chief Surveillance Commissioner, also revealed Government organisations were using tracking devices and private investigators to snoop on residents. And he warned that councils are still using covert tactics to check on suspected minor offenders, despite being banned by law from doing so Read Article

Are We What Our Mothers Ate?

ScienceDaily (July 22, 2009) “” Mothers’ health in the days and weeks prior to becoming pregnant may determine the health of offspring much later in life, according to results of studies reported at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, which takes place July 18 to 22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. These studies demonstrate that maternal nutrition, protein intake and level of fat in the diet may cause epigenetic changes in the developing fetus that can have long-term health consequences.

Too Much of a Sweet Thing? Maternal Diabetes and Embryo Development
The time between ovulation and conception may be a critical one for maternal and fetal health, according to Kelle Moley, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine. In mouse studies, she found that subtle differences in maternal metabolism had long-lasting effects. Indeed, when Dr. Moley transferred embryos from a diabetic mouse into a non-diabetic mouse shortly after egg implantation, she noted neural tube defects, heart defects, limb deformities and growth defects in offspring. These findings indicate that we may need to re-direct our ideas about maternal health to the time prior to pregnancy, she says.
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Portable DNA testing machines will give results within an hour

The Guardian – Handheld DNA testing machines will revolutionise the investigation of murder, rape and other serious crime by producing results from the national database within an hour. “Rapid DNA” technology will enable detectives to test material at the scene of a crime or in a police station and eliminate the need to send it to a laboratory. A Whitehall briefing paper discusses the use of portable equipment for DNA analysis in one hour rather than three or four days with the longer-term aim of reducing the testing time to 30 minutes.  Read Article

The Historian – Big Brother’s life just go so much more convenient, and of course technology (and therefore “justice”)never makes errors. All the more reason to get everyone onto the national DNA database……..

Parents to snoop on families of unruly children as school contracts become legally binding

Daily Mail – Parents will be encouraged to complain about ‘recalcitrant’ families of unruly classmates as part of a Government plan to cut youth crime. Possible penalties for the mothers or fathers of disruptive children include a court order to improve their parenting skills, a £1,000 fine or  -  if they fail to pay  -  jail. The policy is part of a Government ‘early intervention’ initiative to reduce offences by young people. It puts the emphasis on parents to take responsibility for their offspring’s actions Read Article

UK Government killjoys must back down

The Guardian – Where does the joylessness come from? Is there some central authority co-ordinating laws that result in the banning of musicians, artists and poets from British territory, the removal of unregistered tutors, entertainers and writers from contact with British children, or the perfectly nonsensical ““ and originally racist ““ form 696 that requires London music venues to give the names, private telephone numbers and addresses of all musicians appearing? Read Article

US ‘will repel nuclear hopefuls’

BBC – Iran and North Korea will face severe consequences if they do not abandon their nuclear ambitions, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned. At a regional summit in Thailand, Mrs Clinton said the US was prepared to bolster the defence of Gulf allies if Iran developed nuclear weapons.  Read Article

Fathers aren’t dispensable just yet

New Scientist – YOU may be tempted to think men are becoming an optional extra in the mating game, but biochemical evidence in mice and people suggests that fathers may play a key role in the rearing of offspring. Previous studies have hinted at the importance of fathers in child-rearing. Some have shown that girls reach puberty younger, become sexually active earlier and are more likely to get pregnant in their teens if their father was absent when they were young. Others have suggested that the sons of absent fathers display lower intimacy and self-esteem. Read Article

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline predicts swine flu gold rush

The Guardian – Britain’s biggest pharmaceutical company is preparing to sell £3bn worth of swine flu drugs this year, it emerged today.GlaxoSmithKline revealed its vaccine, one of the world’s first, could be available by September after the UK government placed advance orders for 60m doses.It also disclosed that international governments were stockpiling large supplies of GSK’s anti-viral treatment Relenza, which can relieve swine flu symptoms.Worldwide sales from the two drugs are expected to reach £3bn by January, but the company rejected claims it was exploiting the pandemic Read Article

IMF warns pound could be at risk from uncertainty

Daily Telegraph – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Gordon Brown risks a run on the pound if he does not set out a clear path for reducing national debt. In a report published yesterday following a staff mission to Britain in May, the IMF said that a “credible plan” was needed to reverse the rapid deterioration of the public finances if confidence in the UK was to be upheld. Read Article

The Historian – Faster than you can say “EURO entry”…….

Amazon.Com Erases Orwell Books From Kindle

New York Times - In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”Â On Friday, it was “1984″ and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole “” by Amazon.com. In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique,Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers Read Article

Bank of England is poised to become one of the most powerful central banks in the world if the Conservatives win the next general election

Daily Telegraph - The Bank of England is poised to become one of the most powerful central banks in the world if the Conservatives win the next general election, under plans set out yesterday by the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne. Read Article


The school with 100 spy cameras: ‘Big Brother’ system watches pupils everywhere

Daily Mail - A school has installed nearly 100 security cameras to monitor classrooms, corridors and play areas, it emerged yesterday. The £60,000-a-year surveillance system at Stockwell Park High is believed to be the most extensive in a school.Cameras also film lessons to help staff improve their technique and may be used to expose poor teaching. Read Article

Global demand for gold up 38 per cent

Brisbane Times - Global demand for gold soared 38 per cent in the March quarter compared with the same period in 2008, as investors banked on the metal’s safe-haven role amid tough economic conditions. Strong investor appetite for gold countered a fall in demand for the precious metal in jewellery and industrial uses, World Gold Council investment research manager Rozanna Wozniak told a teleconference on Tuesday. Read Article

US ‘ready to boost Gulf defence’

BBC - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US is prepared to bolster the defence of its Gulf allies if Iran develops a nuclear weapons programme.Mrs Clinton said if the US extended a “defence umbrella” over the region, it was unlikely that Iran would be any stronger or safer having a weapon.She said the US was still offering engagement to Iran but warned that the “nuclear clock was ticking” Read Article

China Politely Moves Away from Dollar: Strategist

CNBC - China’s sovereign wealth fund has taken about 1 percent in drinks groupDiageo, in a move which an analyst said is a sign the country is diversifying away from the US dollar. ”Diageo is pleased that one of the largest Chinese investment funds has taken a shareholding of approximately 1 percent in the company,” a company spokesman told CNBC in a statement. Read Article

Drug groups to reap swine-flu billions

Financial Times - Some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies are reaping billions of dollars in extra revenue amid global concern about the spread of swine flu. Analysts expect to see a boost in sales from GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Sanofi-Aventis when the companies report first-half earnings lifted by government contracts for flu vaccines and antiviral medicines. Read Article

The Historian – Well there’s a surprise!

Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games

Daily Mail - Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.Civil liberties groups compared the powers to those used by the Communist Chinese government to stop political protest during the 2008 Beijing Games. Read Article

Inside The Great American Bubble Machine

Rolling Stone - The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain “” an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy. Read Article

Neural Stem Cells May Rescue Memory In Advanced Alzheimer’s, Mouse Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (July 22, 2009) “” UC Irvine scientists have shown for the first time that neural stem cells can rescue memory in mice with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, raising hopes of a potential treatment for the leading cause of elderly dementia that afflicts 5.3 million people in the U.S.

Mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s performed markedly better on memory tests a month after mouse neural stem cells were injected into their brains. The stem cells secreted a protein that created more neural connections, improving cognitive function. [Read more]