Daily Archives

Attacks kill 12 as Iraqi troops and police vote

Twelve people were killed in Baghdad on Thursday, including seven soldiers and police blown up by suicide bombers, days before a poll that will test Iraq’s prospects for stability as U.S. troops prepare to leave. Thirty-five soldiers and police were also wounded when two attackers with explosive belts struck at centers where security forces were voting early, an Interior Ministry source said. Read article

Spy chips hidden in 2.5 million UK dustbins: 60pc rise in electronic bugs as council snoopers plan pay-as-you-throw tax

Daily Telegraph – At least 2.6million households now have microchips in their bins which can be used to weigh the amount of waste used. Information collected by the microchips, which electronically measure the weight of rubbish in bins, is meant to be used to educate households about cutting waste.  Read Article

Frozen vegetables ‘more nutritious than fresh vegetables’, says report

Dailiy Telegraph – Up to 45 per cent of important nutrients are lost in fresh vegetable by the time they are consumed. It can take up to two weeks for fresh produce to reach the table from being picked although the survey found that 80 per cent of shoppers thought the fresh vegetables in supermarkets were less than four days old. Read Article

US facing surge in rightwing extremists and militias

Guardian – The US is facing a surge in anti-government extremist groups and armed militias, driven by deepening hostility on the right to Barack Obama, anger over the economy, and the increasing propagation of conspiracy theories by parts of the mass media such as Fox News. The Southern Poverty Law Centre, the US’s most prominent civil rights group focused on hate organisations, said in a report that extremist “patriot” groups “came roaring back to life” last year as their number jumped nearly 250% to more than 500 with deepening ties to conservative mainstream politics. Read article

Muslim women barred from flight after refusing body scan

Herald Sun – TWO Muslim women were stopoed from boarding a flight from Britain to Pakistan for refusing to go through new body scanners, citing religious and medical reasons, airport officials say. The pair – travelling together at Manchester airport last month – are the first confirmed cases in Britain of anyone being refused travel since body scanners became mandatory at the airports using them on February 1.The two women, who are British residents, were travelling on a Pakistan International Airlines flight to Islamabad from Manchester Airport in northwest England on February 19.They were randomly selected to go through the scanners but refused to do so, Britain’s busiest non-London airport said. Read Article

Methane bubbling out of Arctic Ocean ““ but is it new?

New Scientist – A wide expanse of Arctic Ocean seabed is bubbling methane into the atmosphere. This is the first time that the ocean has been found to be releasing this powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere on this scale. The discovery will rekindle fears that global warming might be on the verge of unlocking billions of tonnes of methane from beneath the oceans, which could trigger runaway climate change. The trouble is, nobody knows if the Arctic emissions are new, or indeed anything to do with global warming. Read Article

China ‘must reduce rich-poor gap’ – Premier Wen

BBC – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said China must reverse its widening income gap between rich and poor. He said benefits of a growing economy – expected to expand by 8% this year – should be distributed more fairly. Read Article

Key lawmaker seeks to block $1 billion Blackwater deal

Reuters – The Pentagon should consider blocking a potential $1 billion contract with the company formerly known as Blackwater to train Afghan police because of questions about its conduct in Afghanistan, a top U.S. senator said. In letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said there was evidence of misconduct in a previous subcontract awarded to a Blackwater affiliate to conduct weapons training for the Afghan National Army. Read article

Hybrid fusion: the third nuclear option

New Scientist – The concept has been around for decades, and has been discussed in the technical literature and at the International Atomic Energy Agency. But it has not yet been explained to governments, industry, researchers and the public. Hybrid nuclear fusion combines the two forms of nuclear power, fission and fusion, in a single reactor. This has several advantages over fission alone: it minimises the environmental impact, reduces risks, enlarges reserves of nuclear fuel and is more flexible to operate. Read Article

Turkey pulls envoy after U.S. vote on “genocide” label

Reuters – A U.S. congressional panel voted on Thursday to label as “genocide” the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador from Washington. The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted 23-22 to approve the non-binding resolution, which calls on President Barack Obama to ensure U.S. policy formally refers to the killings as genocide. Read article

EU draws up plans for first direct tax with fuel levy

Daily Telegraph – The European Union is drawing up plans for its first direct tax with a “green” levy on petrol, coal and natural gas that could cost British consumers up to £3 billion. The European Union is drawing up plans for its first direct tax. Proposals expected to be announced next month would give the EU its first funding which would not come from national governments. Algirdas Semeta, the new European commissioner for taxation, is planning a “minimum rate of tax on carbon” across the whole EU as a “priority”.  Read Article

Ed – Using the cult of CO2-hate as a trigger for another tiny step towards a country called Europe, a country that already has a President, a Parliament, a currency, a central bank, a national anthem and the beginnings of an army……and a step closer to towards the end game of a world government for the benefit of the few over the many.

UN plans to end DR Congo peacekeeping mission

BBC – The UN has begun talks with Democratic Republic of Congo on withdrawing its peacekeeping mission – the biggest UN operation in the world. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said his officials would take a month to assess how the pullout of 20,500 personnel could be carried out. Read article

London’s Metropolitan Police Outline Law On Photography In Public Places

The Metropolitan Police: ‘Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.’ Read Full List Of Rules

Ed – Worth being aware of next time a photographer is arrested under the Anti-Terrorism Act

UK: Nine million savers see ‘severe drop’ in income

Daily Telegraph – More than nine million savers have seen a “severe” drop in their income since the Bank of England cut interest rates to their lowest level exactly one year ago, it has been disclosed. It is equivalent to one in five Britons, according to the research by campaign group Save Our Savers. During the past year, savers have been hit by “pitiful” interest rates, it said. The reduction in rates means many savers no longer receive a real return on their money once inflation and tax is taken into account.  Read Article

Where do atheists come from?

New Scientist – HERE’s a fact to flatter the unbelievers among you: the bright young things at the University of Oxford are among the most godless groups ever studied in the UK. Of 728 students surveyed in 2007, 48.9 per cent claimed not to believe in any god, with 49.6 per cent claiming no religious affiliation. And while a very small number of Britons typically label themselves as “atheist” or “agnostic” (most surveys put it at about 5 per cent), an astonishing 57.3 per cent of the Oxford sample did.This may come as no surprise. After all, atheism is the natural stance of the educated and the informed, is it not? It is only to be expected that Oxford students should be wise to what their own professor Richard Dawkins calls “self-indulgent, thought-denying skyhookery” – and others call “faith”. The old Enlightenment caricature, it seems, is true after all: where Reason reigns, God retires. Read Article

U.N. council ready to tackle Iran nuclear issue

Reuters – The president of the U.N. Security Council said on Tuesday it was ready to tackle proposals for new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, while U.S. diplomats worked to persuade China that action is needed. Gabon’s U.N. Ambassador Emanuel Issoze-Ngondet, president of the Security Council for March, said the Iranian nuclear issue was not on the agenda of the 15-nation panel this month, but council members might still hold a meeting on it. Read article

Fallujah doctors report rise in birth defects – Depleted Uranium suspected as possible cause

BBC – Doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the US after the Iraq invasion.The city witnessed fierce fighting in 2004 as US forces carried out a major offensive against insurgents. Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe. The US military says it is not aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area.  Read Article

Ed – To read more about the most commonly used weapon of mass detruction, depleted uranium, CLICK HERE

China posts unexpectedly low defence budget rise

Times Online – China has unveiled a 7.5 per cent increase in its military spending for this year, the first time in nearly two decades that the budget has grown by less than double-digit figures. The slowdown in defence expenditure growth surprised international experts who had expected a slight decrease from last year but were forecasting a rise in the region of 14.5 per cent. Read article

Common weed-killer chemically castrates frogs: study

AFP – One of the most common weed-killers in the world, atrazine, causes chemical castration in frogs and could be killing off amphibian populations worldwide, a study published showed. Researchers compared 40 male control frogs with 40 male frogs reared from the moment they hatched from eggs until full sexual maturity in atrazine concentrations in the range that animals experience year-round in areas where the chemical herbicide is found. Read Article

Brazil rebuffs US pressure for Iran sanctions

BBC – Brazil will not bow to pressure from the US to support further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear work, the country’s foreign minister has said. Celso Amorim told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Brazil wanted to see further negotiations on the issue before it would support sanctions. Read article

Coldest Irish winter since 1963

Irish Independent – Ireland suffered its coldest winter in almost five decades as the country shivered in the big freeze, it was revealed. Met Eireann said temperatures were around two degrees lower than average during the season, making it the coldest winter recorded since 1963. Read Article