BBC – Up to half the food aid in Somalia is diverted to corrupt contractors, local UN workers and Islamist militants, a leaked UN report says. The report, by the UN monitoring group in Somalia, is particularly critical of the UN’s own World Food Programme and recommends an independent inquiry. It says WFP contracts are awarded to a few powerful individuals who operate cartels that sell the food illegally. The report has not been made public yet, but its contents have been leaked. Read article
Guardian – The official equalities watchdog will threaten to brand as racist police forces which are deemed to have used stop and search powers excessively against people from ethnic minorities, the Guardian has learned. Police forces will be told they face enforcement action unless they give meaningful promises to change, says a report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission expected to be released later this month. It presents a prima facie case that the police are still failing in their duties under racial equality laws and finds that an officer’s power to stop and search, based on having a reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminality, is disproportionately used against Afro-Caribbean and Asian Britons. Read Article
Reuters – U.S. economists raised their forecast for economic growth in 2010 in March, the third straight monthly rise, while trimming their growth forecast for 2011, according to a survey released on Wednesday. Economists surveyed earlier this month in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter said the economy is expected to grow by 3.0 percent in 2011, which is 0.1 percentage point lower than estimates made a month ago. But economists raised their 2010 growth forecast for the third consecutive month to 3.1 percent, up 0.1 percentage point from February. Read Article
New Scientist – OBESITY kills, everyone knows that. But is it possible that we’ve been looking at the problem in the wrong way? It seems getting fatter may be part of your body’s defence against the worst effects of unhealthy eating, rather than their direct cause. This curious insight comes at the same time as several studies distancing obesity itself from a host of diseases it has long been blamed for, including heart disease and diabetes. Read Article
BBC – Japan has confirmed the existence of a secret Cold War deal allowing the transit of nuclear-armed US vessels through its ports. The move by a government-appointed panel ends decades of official denial – although the existence of the pact was an open secret. The government said that the move was aimed at increasing transparency. But it comes at an unsettled time for the US-Japan relationship, amid a row over US military bases in Okinawa. Read article
Reuters – Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday he believed Britain would maintain its coveted top credit rating and announced a pay freeze for senior civil servants and military officers to help tame a record deficit. Setting out his economic plans weeks before an election, Brown said recovery remained fragile and that to change course now would risk plunging Britain back into recession. He drew on his experience last year when he chaired the group of 20 leading and developing nations during the global financial crisis. Read Article
Telegraph – A “Minority Report” styled digital billboard that targets consumers using customised advertising based on their demographics is being developed by Japanese researchers. Engineers have developed the billboard, similar to one used in the Tom Cruise blockbuster, that uses in built cameras to instantly identifies a shopper’s age and gender as they walk past. The facial-recognition system, called the Next Generation Digital Signage Solution, then offers consumers a product it thinks is suited to their demographic. Read Article
The Times – The Roman Catholic Church in Germany ordered two separate investigations yesterday into allegations of widespread sexual abuse in its institutions, specifically at the Bavarian boarding school where the Pope’s brother served as choirmaster.With nearly two thirds of dioceses caught up in the widening scandal, the German Bishops’ Conference said that it would examine all 170 allegations made so far. A spokesman said that the investigation would take a close look at the Regensburger Domspatzen boys’ choir, led by Georg Ratzinger for 30 years until 1994. Read Article
Open Your Eyes is pleased to celebrate our 10,000th article posted onto our comprehensive news site and we wish to thank all our readers, subscribers, followers, fans and supporters who make this project worthwhile.
OYEN has existed since 2007 without funding and only through the time and effort of our volunteers. Â Our special thanks go to:
Mike and Kim; our IT gurusÂ who dutifully manage the website from behind the scens
James; our founder, chief editor and vocal public face
Collin, editor and social media protagonist
Janet, Sonya and Chris; our very busy content editors who keep the articles flowing around the clock
Also announcing …
It is also an appropriate time to reveal an exciting news item of our own. A new and greatly improved website is being built and will be launched within a few short months. In part this change will make our jobs a little easier in sourcing and posting the news that really matters, but ultimately we will be providing a better interface for you, our loyal readers, to more easily view the latest headlines in the categories that interest you. We will also be Â making changes that will allow you to research an issue in detail as well as gain access to more in depth features.
We also have a few new surprises that we will leave until the launch date. Stay tuned for more in coming weeks.
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Once again, thank you for your continued support. We hope you continue to stay informed and alert on the news stories that make the big picture.
Financial Times – The world’s largest oil traders have quietly stopped supplying petrol to Iran in a clear sign that the threat of sanctions and Washington’s behind-the-scenes efforts to convince companies not to sell to Tehran are paying off. However, the decision by Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura is unlikely to cut Tehran off completely from the global petrol market as traders said Iran’s long-standing suppliers were being replaced by small Dubai-based and Chinese companies. Although Iran is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, its refineries are dilapidated and it suffers from runaway petrol demand because of generous subsidies. Read article
The Independent – A former head of MI5 has accused intelligence services in the US of deliberately hiding the mistreatment of terror suspects from their British allies. Baroness Manningham-Buller, giving a lecture in London last night, said the US was “very keen” to prevent Britain discovering how they were getting vital intelligence. She cited the case of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident, who was held at Guantanamo Bay after the 9/11 attacks and provided his captors with useful intelligence which was passed on the the UK security services. She was unaware until 2007, she said, that he had been subjected to waterboarding. Read Article
AP — Too many pregnant women who want to avoid a repeat cesarean delivery are being denied the chance, concludes a government panel that urged doctors to rethink litigation-spurred policies that have swung the pendulum back toward the days of “once a C-section, always a C-section.” Fifteen years ago, nearly 3 in 10 women who had a first C-section were able to deliver their next baby vaginally, a trend called VBAC for “vaginal birth after cesarean.” Read Article
Telegraph – India took a big step on Tuesday towards approving legislation that would reserve one-third of seats in the country’s parliament for women. Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, described the 186-1 vote in the upper house of parliament as a “historic step forward toward emancipation of Indian womanhood”. The bill now goes to the lower house, where it is likely to pass. The vote came after socialist lawmakers blocked the parliamentary debate on Monday and forced the upper house to adjourn twice on Tuesday. The protesters later boycotted the voting. Read article
BBC – China’s exports jumped by 46% in February compared with a year ago, raising hopes of a strong recovery in global trade. The increase was higher than analysts’ expectations of a rise of between 35% and 40%. It is likely to increase pressure on the Chinese government to raise the value of the yuan, which the US in particular complains is undervalued. Read Article
Post-Gazette – Women of all races bring home less income and own fewer assets, on average, than men of the same race, but for single black women the disparities are so overwhelmingly great that even in their prime working years their median wealth amounts to only $5. In a groundbreaking report released Monday by a leading economic research group, social scientists turned a spotlight on the grave financial challenges facing an often overlooked group of women, many of whom could not take an unpaid sick day or repair a major appliance without going into debt. Read article
Ed. – Please note the use of the term ‘net worth’. This implies that wealth and worth are the same. The author of the article and his audience may well not agree with this implication. However, words/language are very powerful and can be a subtle/subliminal way of continuing old attitudes or starting new attitudes, particularly with up-and-coming generations.
BBC – The governor of Nigeria’s Plateau state has accused military commanders of ignoring warnings of an attack on Sunday near the city of Jos. Hundreds died during attacks on three villages in the area between the mainly Christian south and Muslim north. The massacre is seen as revenge for a previous bout of killings in January. Read article
The Australian -THE chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman, has told about 250 leading journalists, program-makers and managers at the ABC that the media had displayed “group-think” on the issue of climate change in a speech that led to a feisty exchange with senior journalists- Read Article
The Times – Obama administration’s latest attempt to stem the housing crisis. NEW YORK – In an effort to end the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration has been trying to keep defaulting owners in their homes. Now it will take a new approach: paying some of them to leave. This latest program, which will allow owners to sell for less than they owe and will give them a little cash to speed them on their way, is one of the administration’s most aggressive attempts to grapple with a problem that has defied solutions. Read Article
Associated Press – President Barack Obama made a renewed push for a long-stalled climate and energy bill Tuesday, urging lawmakers at a White House meeting to pass a comprehensive bill this year. Fourteen senators from both parties.Â Read Article
Yahoo – All-night gaming binges are harmless in moderation, but this week one married Korean couple discovered the awful consequences of letting virtual life overtake real responsibilities. Read Article
Press TV – Israel, which is widely deemed as the sole wielder of nuclear arsenals in the Middle East, says it plans to build its third nuclear power plant. Â Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau plans to announce Israel’s interest in developing nuclear power at an international nuclear energy conference in Paris, the ministry’s spokesman Chen Lulu said on Monday. Â He said Landau would tell the Paris meeting that he sees such a plant as a joint project between Israel and Jordan, with France supervising and providing technology. Read article
Guardian – All dogs are to be compulsorily microchipped so that their owners can be more easily traced under a crackdown on dangerous dogs to be unveiled today. The package will include extending the dangerous dogs law to cover attacks by dogs on private property to protect postmen, and making third-party insurance compulsory so that victims can be financially compensated. Read Article
Reuters – The Dutch government wants to sell 21 million unused H1N1 flu vaccine doses back to their manufacturers after they proved unnecessary and no other country wanted to buy them, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Read article
BBC – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the US of playing a “double game” in Afghanistan after the US used the same term to condemn Iran’s role. Mr Ahmadinejad said the US had “created terrorists and now say they are fighting them”, as he appeared with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. Read article