Daily Archives

Judge overturns approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets

AP — A federal judge overturned government approval of a variety of sugar beet genetically engineered to resist a popular weed killer produced by agricultural giant Monsanto, according to a ruling released Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco found the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service violated environmental law by failing to take a “hard look” at whether “Roundup Ready” sugar beets would eventually share their genes with other crops. Read Article

‘Tweeting’ med students breach patients confidentiality

BBC NEWS – Medics posting messages on networking websites like Facebook and Twitter are breaching patient confidentiality, a leading journal reveals. Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found examples of web gossip by trainee doctors sharing private patient stories and details. Read Article

HIV vaccine ‘reduces infection’

BBC NEWS – An experimental HIV vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection, researchers say. The vaccine – a combination of two earlier experimental vaccines – was given to 16,000 people in Thailand, in the largest ever such vaccine trial. US Army Researchers found that it reduced by nearly a third the risk of contracting HIV, the virus that leads to Aids. Read Article

The Historian – The fact that this was developed by that well know philanthropic organisation The US Army is bound to raise some potential concerns however

Military ruled through fear during Argentina’s brutal “˜Dirty War’

The Times – The “Dirty War” refers to the campaign of state-sponsored violence waged by the Argentine military junta between 1976 and 1983. General Jorge Rafael Videla came to power after a coup in 1976 against the Government of Isabel Perón. Under his tenure inequality increased and foreign relations worsened until President Reagan renewed ties in order to train the Contras. After the junta relinquished power, Videla was tried for torture, kidnappings and the murder of opponents in secret camps. He was also convicted of stealing babies born in camps and changing their identities. Read Article

The Historian – Can you think of any examples in today’s world where governments and corporations use fear and the targeting of key individuals to silence opposition as a way of pushing their agenda?

Foreign Secretary: The EU makes Britain ‘stronger’

Daily Telegraph – David Miliband has attacked the Conservatives for their “massive strategic weakness” over Europe and said any pledge to hold a referendum on the European Union could condemn Britain to years on the sidelines in Brussels.  Read Article

The Historian – So let’s get this straight, handing over whole swathes of democractic accountability on every aspect of national life to an undemocractic supra-national body makes your country stronger? Right, that makes sense

WWF team weighs up Montara oil spill damage

Upstream Online – A team of WWF Australia researchers leave Darwin today to carry out an investigation into the environmental impact of the Montara oil spill on marine life in the Timor Sea. Dr Gilly Llewellyn, WWF Australia’s conservation director, told the ABC: “There’s a bit of a myth out there that an oil spill is only a disaster when it washes up on beaches. “What we’ll be looking for is types of marine wildlife, such as sea turtles, sea snakes, sea birds and any sort of whales or dolphins that might be in there.”  Read Article

UK Billboards Equipped with License Plate Spy Cameras

The Inquirer – Thanks to a privacy-tickling arrangement with the DVLA, Castrol apparently is in a position to search for vehicle details based on licence plates, specifically the make and model of car, and use that to put up a display that tells drivers to change their oil to the most applicable formula. Read Article

Climate Scare Story Of The Week: Climate change may trigger earthquakes and volcanoes

New Scientist – FAR from being the benign figure of mythology, Mother Earth is short-tempered and volatile. So sensitive in fact, that even slight changes in weather and climate can rip the planet’s crust apart, unleashing the furious might of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides. That’s the conclusion of the researchers who got together last week in London at the conference on Climate Forcing of Geological and Geomorphological Hazards. It suggests climate change could tip the planet’s delicate balance and unleash a host of geological disasters. What’s more, even our attempts to stall global warming could trigger a catastrophic event Read Article

The Historian – The release of this during the UN Conference will be no coincidence. The fact that temperatures within the last 2,000 years have been conisderably hotter and considerably colder than now, and yet volcanoes and earthquakes didn’t happen with higher frequency then is neither here nor there. There is money to be made in the industry of climate change. Lots of money. And the best way to sell something is through the use of fear.

Gulf states work to secure support for nuclear sanctions against Iran

The Guardian – Gulf Arab states are to play a new role in the increasingly desperate race to stop Iran‘s nuclear programme by using their economic leverage to line up support for new tough sanctions, Arab and European officials said today. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will use the prospect of oil contracts, arms deals and work visas to persuade Russia and China – who have been resisting tougher UN sanctions – that their long-term strategic interests lie in the Gulf, not in Iran. Read Article

U.S., Russia agree Iran may face new sanctions

Reuters – U.S. President Barack Obama said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed on Wednesday that serious additional sanctions must be considered if Iran does not respond to proposals to end a nuclear standoff. Read Article

China open to G20 talks on new economic balance

Reuters – A U.S. drive to build a more balanced global economy gained the qualified support of China on Wednesday in a sign that Group of 20 leaders may be ready to take joint action to prevent future economic crises. Read Article

Guantanamo court “a headless chicken”: lawyer

Reuters – The Guantanamo war crimes court has become “a headless chicken” that still operates under the old rules even as the Obama administration issues new ones, the lawyer for an accused Saudi boat-bomb plotter said on Wednesday. Read Article

Editorial Comment: West Australian Oil Spill

I’m afraid we can give you no update today on the onoing ecological disaster that is currently taking place off the coast of Australia’s remote NW, an oil spill that at the last report covered 15,000 square km’s, and was likely to continue leaking for another 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately, again, not one media outlet worldwide has felt that this was a significant enough event to cover in the last 24 hours.  We disagree.

Swine flu windfall

The Scientist – Though a worrisome flu season is knocking at the Northern Hemisphere’s door, the five biopharmaceutical companies awarded massive contracts by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for development and production of more than 195 million doses of swine flu vaccine can’t really complain. Read article

Scientists see signs of global cooling

Belfast Telegraph – I notice some medical experts are alarmed that global warming may have an effect on health. I am not a medical expert, but I am a scientist dealing in climate facts – not suppositions. The four major global temperature-tracking outlets (Hadley UK, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, University of Alabama-Huntsville and Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa) have released updated information showing 2007 global cooling, ranging from 0.65C to 0.75C, a value which is large enough to erase nearly all the global-warming recorded over the last 100 years. This occurred in a single year Read Article

The Historian – Now that would be an inconvenient truth. Will it be a race to the line for the politicians (and their banking friends) to get the multi-trillion dollar industry of carbon trading off the worldwide starting blocks before reality sets in with the general population as to what a huge scam it all is?

London police step up stop and search with mobile phone scanner

The Register – People stopped by the police in parts of London are having their phones scanned and instantly checked against a national database to determine whether they are stolen. The on-the-spot checks, reminiscent of Police National Computer (PNC) checks for stopped vehicles, are being trialled by officers in Ealing and Bromley. Read Article

Broadband tax ‘to be made law’

BBC NEWS – controversial broadband tax should be law before the next election, according to Minister for Digital Britain Stephen Timms. The 50 pence a month tax applies to everyone with a fixed line telephone. Read Article

Study shows torture ineffective

USA Today – Torture of terrorism suspects likely leads to misinformation due to stress hormones damaging the brain, reports a neuroscientist this week. In the journal, Trends in Cognitive Science, Shane O’Mara of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin, examined the legal memos released in April detailing U.S. “enhanced” interrogation techniques from 2002 to 2005. O’Mara says, “they seem based on the idea that repeatedly inducing shock, stress, anxiety, disorientation and lack of control is more effective than standard interrogatory techniques in making suspects reveal information.”   Read Article

Hope over new skin cancer therapy

BBC NEWS – Scientists have presented results of an experimental new drug which in early stage trials has significantly shrunk skin cancer tumours. US rearchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York said their results were “unprecedented”. While not a cure, the study of 31 patients with late-stage skin cancer suggested the therapy could improve the quality of life and extend lifespan. Read Article

Brown: Global Tax “Worth Looking At”

AFP – Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the introduction of a global tax to reduce risky behaviour by banks was “worth looking at”, as he prepares for a G20 summit next weekend. Read Article

The Historian – Hmmm a global tax eh? So to administer that you would need a global……..Government. New World Order anyone?