Daily Archives

No, They Can’t: Palestinians Can’t Live and Build in West Jerusalem

The Huffington Post – One argument for Jewish settlement of East Jerusalem that is heard quite often is based on a principle of civil rights: Jews should be able to build their homes in East Jerusalem because Palestinians are able to build theirs in West Jerusalem. “There can’t be a situation where only Jews are prohibited from building in Jerusalem, while Arabs are allowed to both build and buy,” said Minister Lieberman this week in the Israeli media. It’s time to tell the truth: Palestinians can’t really buy and build freely in West Jerusalem. Read article

US A Hidden Tax on Annuities Lurks in the Health Care Reform Law

Daily Finance – The Obama administration is trying to encourage people to buy annuities to ensure that they don’t outlive their savings. But a little-noticed provision of the new health care reform law will slap a 3.8% tax on payouts from annuities purchased by high-income earners outside their workplace. And, not surprisingly, the life insurance industry isn’t happy about that. Read Article

The death of resilience: A Britain that prided itself on self-reliance now believes pills can cure anything and happiness is a human right

Daily Mail – The brass band from Yorkshire Main Colliery assembled outside the doctor’s surgery in Edlington, South Yorkshire, and began to play. From the window above fluttered a Union Jack; below, the doctor handed out drinks to the puffing bandsmen. It was July 5, 1948, the first day of a new era: the age of the National Health Service. But few of those people toasting the new arrival, born and bred in a country that valued stoicism, reticence and self-reliance, could have imagined how deeply their successors would sink into hypochondria and self-indulgence. Read Article

Italian elections marks surge of Right wing support across Europe

Telegraph – A far-Right party has emerged as a key winner in the Italian elections marking a continuing trend of support for Right wing parties across Europe. The Northern League, an anti immigration party, which has now become pivotal in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling coalition, has seen it’s support more than double in the last five years. Read article

Plan to chop down forests in England

Telegraph – The new policy to convert forests to ‘open habitat’ will increase the area of heathland across England by 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) every year for at least the next five years. This will mean chopping down thousands of hectares of mostly commercial conifers to allow rare animals like sand lizards, adder, woodlark and curlew to return. It is estimated that 80 per cent of lowland heathland has been lost in the past 200 years to plantation forestry, agriculture and housing development – Read Article

Too much cola causes male infertility: Study

itrTV – While cola is becoming the most popular drink these days, a new study links the heavy consumption of the beverage with fertility problems in men. According to the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, men drinking more than one quart of cola every day are at an increased risk of becoming infertile. Compared to men who did not drink cola at all, these men were reported to have about 30 percent lower sperm count, and were subsequently more prone to fertility problems. Read Article

US and France vow to push for new sanctions on Iran

BBC – The US and France have vowed to work together to push for new UN sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme. After talks in Washington with French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, US President Barack Obama said he hoped to have the sanctions in place “within weeks”. Read article

Israel lobby presses Congress to soften Obama’s tough stance on Netanyahu

Guardian – America’s main pro-Israel lobby group is mobilising members of Congress to pressure the White House over its bitter public confrontation with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. The move, by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), appears aimed at exploiting differences in the Obama administration as it decides how to use the crisis around settlement building in Jerusalem to press Israel towards concessions to kickstart peace negotiations. Read article

Sneaky Flying Spy Cameras Provoke Civil Liberty Fears

Express – CIVIL liberties groups have condemned a sinister new plan for Scottish police forces to spy on ordinary citizens using unmanned surveillance drones. The Big Brother-style move will mean the public could be monitored constantly, under the pretext of a crime crack-down. Read Article

US: Organic: What it means on different products

LA Times – You see the word more and more, but what does it say about what it’s on? Here are tips for fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, cosmetics, processed foods and cotton and coffee. Some consumers are more than willing to pay higher prices for organically grown food and other products. But is the extra dollar worth it? The answer may depend upon personal priorities. By definition, organically grown foods are produced without most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge. Livestock aren’t given antibiotics or growth hormones. And organic farmers emphasize renewable resources and conservation of soil and water. Read Article

Serbia condemns 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys

Times – Serbia took a significant step towards a future in the European Union when its MPs last night endorsed a landmark declaration condemning the massacre of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995. While stopping short of using the term genocide, the statement recognised that Serbia failed to prevent the killings carried out by its forces after seizing the UN safe haven in the ethnic conflict that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia. Read article

Microbial Answer to Plastic Pollution?

 ScienceDaily “” Fragments of plastic in the ocean are not just unsightly but potentially lethal to marine life. Coastal microbes may offer a smart solution to clean up plastic contamination, according to Jesse Harrison presenting his research at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring meeting in Edinburgh – Read Article

Blair faces questions over secretive investment deals as he returns to back Brown’s election campaign

Daily Mail – Tony Blair faced new questions over his secretive business empire last night as it emerged one of his companies has been licensed to operate in low-tax regimes abroad. Gibraltar, Lithuania and Liechtenstein are among the countries in which the former Prime Minister’s new investment firm has obtained permission to trade. Read article

Obama opens new oil drilling offshore to win support for climate legislation

Reuters – President Barack Obama unveiled plans on Wednesday for a limited expansion of U.S. offshore oil and gas drilling in an effort to win Republican support for new proposals to fight climate change. Opening up parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast, Alaska and possibly offshore Florida to exploration is Obama’s latest effort to woo legislators needed to pass a climate bill before mid-term elections in November. Some senior Republicans in Congress called the drilling announcement a step in the right direction but said Obama did not go far enough. Environmental groups and some congressional liberals condemned the plan for endangering wildlife and coastal areas merely to give oil companies more profits – Read Article

‘Super-Taser’ shotgun bullet that can knock down criminals from 100ft assessed by Home Office

Mail Online – A new ‘super-Taser’ stun gun that fires a 500-volt wireless ‘bullet’ up to 100ft is being considered for use by UK police forces, the Home Office said today. The extended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP), already used by police in the U.S., fires a barbed electrode from a modified 12-bore shotgun. It hooks into the target’s skin before administering a 20-second shock which renders the subject totally incapacitated. Read Article

EPA Takes A Closer Look At BPA

 NPR – The controversial plastic additive bisphenol A is all around you. Forget how much might be in the cans of food on your pantry shelf or leaching from plastic water bottles at the office. Food packaging accounts for just five percent of the amount of BPA used in the U.S. each year, the Environmental Protection Agency says. The chemical is common in thermal paper (think ATM receipts) and various industrial products, including molds for casting metal. Annually, more than 1 million pounds of BPA make it into the environment, where some of it, though exactly how much is unclear, ends up in the water – Read Article

Will the Queen stop a second election? Brown could cling on as premier even if Tories win

Daily Mail – The Queen could step in and block a second General Election this year in the event of a hung Parliament, to prevent Britain spiralling into an economic crisis. Her action would force parties to work towards a coalition government rather than having to go to the polls again for a decisive result. Read article

G8 increases pressure on Iran over nuclear program

Reuters – The world’s leading industrial nations called on Tuesday for stronger action against Iran over its nuclear program and the United States said it was confident China would agree on the need for sanctions. Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations urged the international community to take “appropriate and strong steps” to show its resolve over the nuclear program, which Tehran insists is purely peaceful. Read article

State Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage

NY Times – California, New York and other states are showing many of the same signs of debt overload that recently took Greece to the brink “” budgets that will not balance, accounting that masks debt, the use of derivatives to plug holes, and armies of retired public workers who are counting on benefits that are proving harder and harder to pay. Read Article

Jerusalem posters call for 3rd Temple

Jerusalem Post – While tensions continue to simmer around the Temple Mount after riots in and around the capital’s Old City earlier this month, a new campaign calling for the construction of the Third Temple atop the holy site has made its way to the sides of 200 Egged buses in the city, which now sport posters featuring a picture of a rebuilt temple on the Mount, and nothing else. The posters, which contain the phrase, “May the Bais Hamikdosh be rebuilt speedily and within our days,” were sponsored by the Our Land of Israel group, which is led by Rabbi Shalom Dov Volpo and activist Baruch Marzel, leave out the site’s current structures ““ namely the the Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Read Article

Pakistan Supreme Court issues corruption case threat

BBC – Pakistan’s Supreme Court has threatened to jail the head of the country’s anti-corruption agency unless he reopens hundreds of corruption cases. The court said the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau, Naveed Ahsan, would be in contempt of court if he did not act within 24 hours. Read article

Serbian ‘war criminal’ Dragan Vasiljkovic to face trial in Croatia

Times – An alleged Serbian war criminal is to be extradited from Australia to face a war crimes tribunal after the Croatian Government won an extradition appeal today. The ruling marks the end of a four-year-long battle by Dragan Vasiljkovic, 55, a former Serbian paramilitary leader, to avoid being returned to Croatia to face charges of murder and torture allegedly committed during the Balkans conflict between 1991 and 1993. Read articles

Cranberry Juice Keeps Infections At Bay

Chemical and Engineering News – Drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day keeps urinary tract infections (UTIs) away, or so goes the home remedy folklore. Until recently, however, the science on the benefits of cranberry beverages has been a bit thin. Now, a team led by Terri A. Camesano and Yuanyuan Tao of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, has demonstrated that drinking cranberry juice can prevent Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and other UTI-causing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract and forming biofilms in it. Read Article

Benefits of breast cancer screening outweigh the harms, study shows

The Times – Routine breast cancer screening saves the lives of two women for every one who receives unnecessary treatment, a study suggests today. Critics of a national screening programme say that it highlights benign tumours as well as some cancers which grow so slowly that a woman may die from another disease. Experts are currently unable to distinguish between these less harmful cancers and some more aggressive types, meaning they are all treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Read Article

Southern Sudan prepares for freedom ““ and puts dream of skyscrapers on hold

Guardian – In the early days of the war, with weapons supplies short and the odds of achieving independence impossibly long, the southern Sudanese rebels composed songs to keep up morale. Some were battle anthems, designed to inspire bravery against the Arab enemy from the north. Others, like the one sung to the women worried about losing their husbands in combat, reflected hopes of life in a time of peace. Read article