Daily Archives

Clinton, U.S. journalists leave North Korea after pardon

Reuters – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton left North Korea on Wednesday with two American journalists, having secured their release in a meeting with the hermit state’s leader who a U.S. official said was not promised any rewards. The official said Clinton talked to North Korea’s leadership about the “positive things that could flow” from freeing Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been held since March.The Obama administration official gave no details but some analysts have speculated that Clinton’s visit and discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could open the way to direct nuclear disarmament talks. Read Article

The new face of Australian terror

The Australian - THE story of a skinny Somalian refugee called Shirwa Ahmed has haunted Australia’s counter-terrorism chiefs in recent months. Like thousands of Somali refugees who have sought to rebuild their lives in Australia since 1992, Ahmed and his family fled their war-torn homeland to begin a new life in Minneapolis in the US. Read Article

The Historian – Of course if this is anything like the majority of UK terrorism scares in recent years he will be quietly, and with virtually no media reporting, be released without charge in a few weeks time. However in the meantime support for Australia’s anti-terror laws will have soared and re-newed calls will have been made to “strengthen” them further.

Afghans say foreign strike kills four from one family

Reuters – An air strike by foreign troops killed four members of a family in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, villagers said on Wednesday after bringing the bodies to the provincial capital to show officials. Civilian deaths caused by foreign troops while hunting the resurgent Taliban have eroded support for the presence of the troops and have also become a major source of friction between Kabul and the West. Read Article

Weight gain after birth-control shot may last

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women who quickly put on pounds after starting birth-control injections seem to be at risk of significant long-term weight gain, a new study suggests.
The findings, say researchers, should help clarify which women are likely to see unhealthy weight changes with the contraceptive, called depot medroxyprogesterone (DMPA) — better known by the brand-name Depo Provera. [Read Article]

“U.S. drone” hits a family home of Pakistan Taliban chief

Reuters – Missiles believed fired by a U.S. drone struck the home of the Pakistani Taliban chief’s father-in-law on Wednesday, killing at least one woman and two militants, a security official and a relative said. The United States has placed a $5 million reward on the head of Baitullah Mehsud, an ally of al Qaeda widely regarded in Pakistan as Public Enemy No. 1. U.S. missile attacks on Mehsud territory in the South Waziristan tribal region have become more frequent in the past month and Pakistan has also bombarded the militant stronghold with air raids and medium-range artillery. Read Article

Defiant Ahmadinejad back at Iran helm

The Independent - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in today for a second term in office as president of Iran, appealing for national unity and denouncing foreign interference in his inauguration speech before parliament. Ahmadinejad took the oath and pledged to protect the constitution but his inauguration speech was unusually soft-toned for the bellicose Iranian leader. He focused on foreign policy, saying he would make it “stronger and with more effective new plans.” Read Article

9/11 dust ‘gave thousands asthma’

Daily Telegraph - Thousands of people exposed to choking dust after the destruction of the World Trade Centre twin towers in New York have developed asthma, a study has shown. Read Article

The Historian – The vast majority of whom would be okay today had the authorities in the immediate days afterwards not told them that the air was safe to breath

Protesters back woman in trousers case

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Police used teargas to disperse protesters rallying in support of a Sudanese woman facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public Tuesday, a case that has become a public test of Sudan’s indecency laws.
Lubna Hussein, a former journalist and U.N. press officer, was arrested with 12 other women during a party at a Khartoum restaurant in July and charged with being indecently dressed. [Read Article]

“Sexting” craze on the rise among British children

LONDON (Reuters) – A growing number of British teenagers are swapping sexually explicit images of themselves on mobile phones leaving them open to bullying and victimization by their peers, police and a children’s charity said on Tuesday.
The practice, known as “sexting,” has also resulted in intimate images of children being posted on websites used by pedophiles without the knowledge of the sender, according to Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP). [Read Article]

WHO maintains 2 billion estimate for likely H1N1 cases

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization stuck on Tuesday to its statement that about two billion people could catch H1N1 influenza by the time the flu pandemic ends.
But the estimate comes with a big health warning: no one knows how many people so far have caught the new strain, known as swine flu, and the final number will never be known as many cases are so mild they may go unnoticed. [Read Article]

Drinkers at higher risk of cancer

AAP – People who consume, on average, more than one alcoholic drink daily face a significantly higher risk of developing six types of cancer, according to sobering new Canadian research.

The study, published this week in the journal Cancer Detection and Prevention, is one of the most detailed examinations ever done of the relationship between drinking and cancer. It found that moderate and heavy drinkers of beer and spirits are markedly more likely to develop cancer than teetotallers or occasional drinkers. [Read Article]

Greece to vaccinate population for swine flu

TVNZ -Greece will vaccinate its entire population of 12 million against the H1N1 swine flu pandemic which has swept around the world in weeks, killing hundreds of people, the country’s health minister said on Friday.
The Mediterranean country, which receives about 15 million tourists every year, has confirmed more than 700 swine flu cases and no deaths, but world health experts say the true number of cases globally is far higher as only a few patients get tested. [Read Article]

Call for debate on killer robots

BBC - An international debate is needed on the use of autonomous military robots, a leading academic has said. Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield said that a push toward more robotic technology used in warfare would put civilian life at grave risk. Technology capable of distinguishing friend from foe reliably was at least 50 years away, he added. However, he said that for the first time, US forces mentioned resolving such ethical concerns in their plans. ”Robots that can decide where to kill, who to kill and when to kill is high on all the military agendas,” Professor Sharkey said at a meeting in London. Read Article

Plague death toll rises in China

BBC News – A third man has died of pneumonic plague in north-western China where a town of more than 10,000 people has been sealed off, officials say. The 64-year-old man was a neighbour of the first two people to die from the plague in Ziketan in Qinghai Province. [Read Article]

Crosswords ‘can delay memory loss’

Daily Telegraph – Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, found that performing a mental exercise twice a day could help delay the rapid memory loss associated with dementia for more than a year.
Keeping the brain active through hobbies such as crosswords, puzzles, reading, writing and playing card games, can all postpone the start of symptoms of the condition. [Read Article]

Jordan rejects US call to improve ties with Israel

AP — Jordan on Monday mirrored Saudi Arabia in publicly rejecting U.S. appeals to improve relations with Israel to help restart Middle East peace talks, throwing a damper on the Obama administration’s push for Arab support behind new negotiations. After talks here with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said confidence-building measures that the U.S. wants Arab states to take will not produce a resolution to the conflict. Judeh and Clinton both criticized Israel for its weekend eviction of Palestinian families from an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Read Article

Taliban rockets land near embassies in Afghan capital

Reuters - Taliban militants fired at least nine rockets at the Afghan capital before dawn on Tuesday in the biggest attack of its kind for several years, some landing near major Western embassies, police and witnesses said. Amid a serious escalation of violence before August 20 presidential elections, a provincial governor escaped unhurt after roadside bombs hit his convoy just west of the capital in an apparent assassination attempt, a spokesman said. Read Article

BofA agrees to $33M SEC fine over Merrill’s bonuses

AP — Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay a $33 million penalty to settle government charges that it misled investors about Merrill Lynch’s plans to pay bonuses to its executives, regulators said Monday. In seeking approval to buy Merrill, Bank of America told investors that Merrill would not pay year-end bonuses without Bank of America’s consent. But the Securities and Exchange Commission said Bank of America had authorized New York-based Merrill to pay up to $5.8 billion in bonuses. Read Article