Daily Archives

Iran calls for regional convergence and establishment of Asian Union

ISNA-Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged regional countries to increase convergence through establishment of the Asian Union. Foundation of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has paved the way for Asian countries convergence and these countries must now focus on establishment of Asian Union, Mottaki said on Monday while speaking at the inauguration of a conference on Central Asia and Caucasus in Tehran. Read article

Vietnam releases dissident priest Nguyen Van Ly

BBC – One of Vietnam’s high-profile human rights activists has been released from prison, five years before the end of his sentence. Nguyen Van Ly, 63, suffered two strokes in 2009 that left him partly paralysed, and Western governments had demanded repeatedly that he be freed. His nephew told the BBC he was now back at home in the central city of Hue. Father Ly was sentenced to eight years of prison in 2007 for disseminating anti-government propaganda. Read Article

Shock level of bullying of Northern Ireland’s special needs pupils

Belfast Telegraph – Children with disabilities and special educational needs experience high levels of bullying at schools in Northern Ireland, according to a new report. More than 900 pupils with special needs across Ulster contributed to the It’s Good to Listen report, launched yesterday at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast. Read Article

Ed. – Again, we MUST deal with bullying in school (and at home), if we don’t want bullying to be prevalent in adult society, causing misery and suffering – and lowering productiveness. There are far too many bullies out there in the workplaces. In corporate circles and business generally, bullying appears to be rewarded. To fight this, we MUST ‘nip it in the bud’, so that the up-and-coming generation don’t WANT it and change things.

Final destination Iran?

Herald Scotland – Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures. Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. Read article

I will only resign if Pope asks me, says defiant Cardinal Sean Brady

Belfast Telegraph – The head of the Catholic church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, yesterday rejected growing pressure to resign over his involvement in the country’s latest clerical child abuse scandal, insisting that he would stand down only on the Pope’s orders. The position of Cardinal Brady is in doubt following revelations that he was party to the imposition of an oath of silence on two young people complaining of abuse by one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priests. Read Article

Israel orders demolition of Nablus mosque

Press TV – Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of an under-construction mosque in the northern West Bank village of Burin on Sunday, head of the Palestinian Authority’s settlement portfolio said. Ghassan Daghlas explained that the Israeli Civil Administration ordered a stop on construction work at the Salman Al-Farisi Mosque, demanding the demolition of the three-story mosque’s already built structures. The order was issued under the pretext that the mosque’s renovations were done without the proper licensing, Daghlas said. The PA official believes that given the current circumstances, Israel’s decision was a “dangerous procedure.” Read article

Fluoride: Friend Or Foe?

CBSAtlanta – Fluoride Opponent Says Chemical Is Harmful To Our Health: — It’s in the tap water we drink and many of the foods we eat. For decades, we’ve been told that it helps fight cavities, but there are critics who say this chemical is doing more harm than good.
“I’ve worked with a lot of dangerous things in my career. I don’t get real worked up over chemicals or I could have never done my job — this one scares me,” said Daniel Stockin, a health advocate whose background includes toxics assessment. Read Article

Taser lawsuit draws attention to death and cardiac arrest side effects

Examiner – A CNN article declares that the use of Tasers by police is under scrutiny, since use of Tasers has caused deaths and injuries. Tasers have been used by police to kill a man while taunting him with racial epithets, to Taser a 10-year-old girl to get her to take a bath, and engage in a drive-by tasering of an unidentified suspect, just to name a few bizarre and unjust instances. CNN in particular highlights the experience of Steven Butler, who was Tasered by police because he was “drunk and disorderly.” He suffered immediate cardiac arrest, according to doctors. His brain may have been deprived of oxygen for as long as 18 minutes, and he is now permanently disabled. As a result, his family has filed a lawsuit against the maker of the Taser, Taser Internnational (full article here). Once again, police do not seem to understand the purpose of their existence. These days, it is a radical proposition to say that police are hired to make society safer and to protect people. Read Article

Turkey bans trips abroad for artificial insemination

BBC – A new law passed in Turkey has made it a criminal offence for a woman to go abroad and get pregnant via artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is already illegal, but women have until now been able to go overseas to seek sperm donors. Read Article

Delhi officials unveil giant public air freshener to scrub atmosphere clean

Officials in Delhi have unveiled a radical solution to tackle the increasingly noxious smog hanging over the city: a giant public air freshener that scrubs the atmosphere clean. The seven-tonne Systemlife Citta costs about 25 million rupees (£357,000). It sucks in 10,000 cubic metres of dirty air an hour, subjects it to a filtering process, and then emits clean air. Delhi officials say that more of the machines will be bought if the current one, installed at one of Delhi’s busiest traffic junctions as part of a pilot project, proves a success. “We will evaluate its efficacy after three months,” P.K. Sharma, health chief of the New Delhi Municipal Council, told The Times. “If it works, we will buy more.” – Read Article

Euro ministers say have Greek aid plan if needed

Reuters – Finance ministers from the 16-country euro zone agreed on Monday to mobilize financial aid for Greece rapidly if needed but revealed little of how their standby plan for the debt-stricken nation would work. After talks in Brussels, the ministers published a statement saying they had agreed the technicalities of what would be the first rescue in the history of the monetary union that gave birth to the euro in 1999. “It (the Eurogroup of ministers) clarified the technical modalities enabling a decision on coordinated action and which could be activated swiftly in the case of need,” the statement said. “The objective would not be to provide financing at average euro zone interest rates, but to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole.” Read Article

Green-ish pesticides bee-devil honey makers

Pesticides are agents designed to rid targeted portions of the human environment of undesirable critters ““ such as boll weevils, roaches or carpenter ants. They’re not supposed to harm beneficials. Like bees. Yet a new study from China finds that two widely used pyrethroid pesticides ““ chemicals that are rather “green” as bug killers go ““ can significantly impair the pollinators’ reproduction. Both chemicals are widely used in North America and elsewhere, including China. And, the researchers point out, the concentration of each pesticide that produced adverse effects in the experiments was at or below those that bees could encounter while pollinating treated crop fields- Read Article

German president calls for firmer gun laws at Winnenden memorial

Deutsche Welle – On the first anniversary of a school shooting in the southern town of Winnenden, German president Horst Koehler demanded tougher gun laws to prevent a recurrence of last year’s massacre, in which 15 people died. During a moving ceremony remembering the victims of last year’s school shooting in the town of Winnenden, President Horst Koehler on Thursday said Germany’s gun laws were still too lenient. The German government had pledged to take measures to prevent access to dangerous weapons last year. Read Article

German town marks first anniversary of school massacre

Deutsche Welle – The town of Winnenden remembers the first anniversary of one of Germany’s biggest school shootings to date. Yet in the midst of the mourning, there is disagreement on how best to prevent such attacks. Read article

USA: Mass. doctor pleads guilty to research fraud

AP – A doctor accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies that suggested after-surgery benefits from painkillers including Vioxx and Celebrex pleaded guilty Monday to one count of federal health care fraud. Read article

NASA finds shrimp dinner on ice beneath Antarctica

AP ““ In a surprising discovery about where higher life can thrive, scientists for the first time found a shrimp-like creature and a jellyfish frolicking beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet. Six hundred feet below the ice where no light shines, scientists had figured nothing much more than a few microbes could exist. That’s why a NASA team was surprised when they lowered a video camera to get the first long look at the underbelly of an ice sheet in Antarctica. A curious shrimp-like creature came swimming by and then parked itself on the camera’s cable. Scientists also pulled up a tentacle they believe came from a foot-long jellyfish. “We were operating on the presumption that nothing’s there,” said NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler, who will be presenting the initial findings and a video at an American Geophysical Union meeting Wednesday. “It was a shrimp you’d enjoy having on your plate.” Read Artlcle