Daily Archives

China vows to stand by isolated North Korea

Reuters – China pledged to strengthen bonds with isolated North Korea on Monday, calling their relationship a boon to peace, while reports of swoops on North Korean ships underscored strains behind a recent easing of tension. Read Article

Ex-Interpol chief denies corruption

BBC – South Africa’s former chief of police Jackie Selebi has pleaded not guilty at the start of his corruption trial. Mr Selebi resigned as head of Interpol after he was charged with having links to organised crime and accepting bribes worth 1.2m rand ($157,00, £98,000).  Read Article

Colombia says ‘no’ to US bases

Press TV – Amid reports of a deal reached for the establishment of US military bases in Colombia, the country’s foreign minister says there is no need for more American personnel.  Read Article

Saving Bats From Wind-Farm Deaths

NPR – Reporting in The Journal of Wildlife Management, researchers write about a strategy for protecting migratory bats from fatal encounters with wind farms. Study author Robert Barclay discusses the method, which halves bat fatalities without significantly reducing energy production “” or profits. Read Article

Bees Fight Back Against Colony Collapse Disorder: Genetically Modified Honey Bees Toss Out Varroa Mites

ScienceDaily ”” Honey bees are now fighting back aggressively against Varroa mites, thanks to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) efforts to develop bees with a genetic trait that allows them to more easily find the mites and toss them out of the broodnest. Read Article

The Historian – The irony of this story is that one of the likely causes of CCD was GM crops (due to their in-built pesticides), and the solution being presented is GM bees. The danger however, as with all GM animals and plants, is that ultimately someone owns the patent. The question in this case is who?

EU embryonic Home Office set up in secret talks under Lisbon Treaty

Daily Telegraph – Plans for an embryonic EU “Home Office” to organise intelligence sharing and lead the fight against terrorism and crime were agreed in secret talks last week.  Acting under a little-noticed section of the Lisbon Treaty, officials set up a Standing Committee on Internal Security (Cosi) to implement what is effectively the the EU’s first ever internal security policy. Under the plans, the scope of information available to law enforcement agencies and “public security organisations” would be extended from the sharing of DNA and fingerprint databases, kept and stored for new digital generation ID cards, to include CCTV footage and material gathered from internet surveillance. Read Article

Potential Key To Curing Tuberculosis

ScienceDaily “” Researchers at Iowa State University have identified an enzyme that helps make tuberculosis resistant to a human’s natural defense system. Researchers have also found a method to possibly neutralize that enzyme, which may someday lead to a cure for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is a contagious disease that is on the rise, killing 1.5 to 2 million people worldwide annually. Read article

UK Opposition Leader retreats on European referendum promise

The Guardian – David Cameron is to rule out a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if the measure is ratified by all 27 members of the EU before next year’s general election in Britain. Amid signs the measure will enter EU law by the end of the year ““ as the Czech Republic and Poland indicated over the weekend they will fall into line ““ Tory sources admitted yesterday that Cameron will not try to unpick the treaty’s main reforms. Read Article

The Historian – It will be Cameron’s Conservatives and not Labour that will the one’s who will ultimately take Britain into the Euro. As we have pointed out before the leadership in both parties are all on the same page and work for the same interests (clue, not the British electorate)

Silvio Berlusconi firm to pay £690m compensation for bribing judge

Daily Telegraph – Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire has been ordered to pay £690 million compensation to a business rival after being convicted of bribing a judge during a takeover. The ruling comes after Fininvest was found to have paid the backhanders during a hostile bid to buy a publishing company from the Italian prime minister’s long-standing rival Carlo De Benedetti.  Read Article

Pope warns of ‘new African colonialism’

BBC – Pope Benedict has warned that a form of colonialism continues to blight Africa. Opening a three-week synod of African bishops, he said political colonialism was over. But he said the developed world continued to export materialism – which he called “toxic spiritual rubbish” – to the continent.  Read Article

Fired UN envoy claims third of Hamid Karzai votes fraudulent

The Guardian – A former senior United Nations diplomat in Kabul has made a scathing attack on the UN’s handling of Afghanistan‘s disputed elections, claiming that almost one in three of the votes cast for president Hamid Karzai were fraudulent. Peter Galbraith, the former deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, singled out his former chief, Kai Eide, for criticism, saying he had deliberately played down the level of cheating in an election where, in one region, “10 times as many votes were recorded as voters actually cast”. Read Article

Pakistan has forces, equipment for Taliban assault: U.S.

Reuters – Pakistan has mobilized enough forces and equipment to launch a long awaited ground offensive against Taliban militants in their South Waziristan stronghold near the Afghan border, U.S. defense officials said on Sunday. Washington sees a concerted push by Pakistan to eliminate Taliban and al Qaeda “sanctuaries” in its territory as the key to turning around a faltering U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Read Article

The Historian – As we reported the other week the Pakistani army has recently been massively resupplied with US equipment no longer needed in Iraq.

Company ‘close’ to plugging well spewing oil into Timor Sea for last 7 weeks

ABC – A leaking well that has been spewing oil into the Timor Sea for more than six weeks could be plugged within days. Oil from the West Atlas platform has been spilling into the sea since late August and for the past three weeks, a special rig has been drilling a relief well to try to stem the flow. Read Article

Greek Election: Socialists win snap poll

BBC – Greece’s opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) has won the country’s snap general elections. With most ballots counted, the Socialists had more than 43% of the vote, to 35% for New Democracy. Pasok needs 43% to win an absolute majority in parliament. It has been in opposition for more than five years. Read Article

Thousands to march on Rome in protest at Berlusconi’s press clampdown

The Times – Thousands of protesters are expected to march through Rome today to defend press freedom and demand answers from Silvio Berlusconi about his conduct. Dario Fo, the Nobel prize-winning playwright, and Roberto Saviano, the author of the Mafia exposé Gomorrah, will lead the demonstration, which is expected to attract 300 coachloads of protesters from across Italy.  Read Article

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past

Daily Telegraph - A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian ““ a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver Read Article

Anger at new hierarchy for universities and degrees

The Scotsman – FUNDING for university subjects including teacher training, architecture and computing will be slashed by millions of pounds a year in Scotland if new proposals are adopted. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which allocates money to universities, has unveiled a scheme to overhaul how much money is provided per subject. Social sciences and creative arts would get more cash, but architecture, computing and teacher training would lose out. University principals described the plans as “fundamentally flawed”, saying they could hamper Scotland’s ability to recover from the recession by taking resources away from key subjects. Read article

Australian van death security firm wins new contract

ABC - A private company has won a new five-year contract to transport prisoners in Victoria, despite being implicated in the death of a man in custody early last year. A coroner found the private security company, G4S, contributed to the death of 46-year-old Ian Ward, who died of heat stroke during a 360 kilometre journey in Western Australia early last year. Read Article

Playing god in the heavens

The Times of India - As the Phase-I of the special cloud research programme in the country entered its final stage, scientists of the city-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) who are leading this project have claimed that, using the data collected in the first phase, a more scientific cloud seeding initiative could be undertaken next year.  Read Article