Daily Archives

Districts Warn of Deeper Teacher Cuts

NY Times – School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June. The districts have no choice, they say, because their usual sources of revenue “” state money and local property taxes “” have been hit hard by the recession. In addition, federal stimulus money earmarked for education has been mostly used up this year. Read article

Ads, not sport stars, to blame for binge drinking

ABC – Sport stars are not role models and their bad behaviour should not be blamed for teenage binge drinking, according to the authors of a new international study on alcohol and sport. Researchers from three universities in the UK and Australia surveyed 1,000 university-aged people from New South Wales. The results, published in the Drug and Alcohol Review, show that the “loutish” and “drunken” behaviour of sport stars has little bearing on how much young people drink. Read Article

Goldman Sachs was top Obama donor

CNN – For Goldman Sachs, a large financial investment in President Obama does not appear to be paying off. Wall Street’s top investment bank was a generous contributor to Obama’s presidential campaign. The company has defended itself from civil fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and, along with the rest of the financial services sector, fended off an aggressive Democratic-led campaign to impose new rules on banks. Read article

To young voters, socialism isn’t a bad word

Boston Globe – TIM ROESCH, a 46-year-old tea party supporter at last Wednesday’s rally on the Common, was not happy with a group of nearby college students. “You should get a group picture and send it to your parents,” he grumbled at them. He was displeased with the signs they held, which he found offensive; one referred to folks like him with a derogatory sexual term. He blamed the youthful flippancy on a lack of critical thinking and genuine knowledge as to how the world works. “They don’t understand what socialism means. They don’t understand what democracy means.” Read article

Research Reveals Genetic Secrets Underlying Remarkable Development of the Domestic Chicken

ScienceDaily “” The domestication of animals and plants is the most important technological innovation during human history. This genetic transformation of wild species has occurred as humans have used individuals carrying favorable gene variants for breeding purposes. In the current issue of Nature, an international team led by researchers at Uppsala University, and including researchers from Virginia Tech, has revealed some of the secrets underlying the remarkable development of the domestic chicken – Read Article

Is 3-D TV Dangerous?

Live Science – That’s what many are wondering now that electronics giant Samsung issued guidelines on its Web site warning consumers of potential health risks associated with the emerging technology. The warning advises parents to monitor their children as they watch 3-D and cautions that it could trigger seizures: “If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately stop watching 3D pictures and consult a medical specialist: (1) altered vision; (2) lightheadedness; (3) dizziness; (4) involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; (5) confusion; (6) nausea; (7) loss of awareness; (8) convulsions; (9) cramps; and/or (10) disorientation. …. Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability.” Read Article
Related Article: 3D-TV health warning: Tuning in can cause confusion, nausea and even fits, says electronics giant

Japan PM says end-May remains deadline on base feud

Reuters – Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said on Wednesday he would stick to an end of May deadline to resolve a row over a U.S. airbase ahead of an election, and vowed to stake his job on achieving his policies. Read article

EU to get powers to launch criminal investigations

Telegraph – The plan to turn Eurojust, an existing body based on non-binding judicial co-operation, into an investigator, with the power to order arrests and trials, is the first step to creating an EU public prosecutor. The Commission’s proposals welcome the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty as allowing “greater ambition” in giving the EU new justice and policing powers to sweep aside national “obstacles to effective law enforcement”. Read article

Can we keep tabs on stockpiles of nuclear fuel?

New Scientist – COULD a terrorist build a nuclear bomb? Opinion is divided – but someone out there certainly wants to buy the ingredients. In March, police in the republic of Georgia stopped a gang trying to sell weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium (HEU) on the black market. It was the eighth such interception in Georgia since 2000 – Read Article

Living world: Why the tropics are hotbeds of evolution

NewScientist – The United Nations has made 2010 its Year of Biodiversity. While there could be as many as 30 million species on this teeming planet, so far fewer than 2 million have been identified. That includes a staggering 114,000 catalogued in the past three years alone. Our exploration of life is just beginning. No wonder the UN is keen that this year should be one of celebration – Read Article

Saharan states to open joint military headquarters

BBC – Four Saharan desert states are to open a joint command headquarters in Algeria to co-ordinate efforts to counter the growing regional threat from al-Qaeda. The Joint Military Staff Committee of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger will be based in Tamanrasset. Read article

IMF proposes two big new bank taxes to fund bail-outs

BBC – Banks and other financial institutions face paying two new taxes to fund future bail-outs, the BBC has learned. Business editor Robert Peston said the global proposals by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were “more radical” than most had anticipated. Read article

Free carbon permits plan a $20 billion waste: report

ABC – A review of the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme has described its plans for free carbon permits to heavy emitters as a $20 billion waste of money. Melbourne-based think tank, the Grattan Institute, conducted an industry by industry audit and has concluded that steel and cement should be the only industries to be assisted. The study also suggested a carbon tax on imports of steel and cement, as a better alternative to handing free permits to those industries – Read Article

Seeing a Bionic Eye on Medicine’s Horizon

ScienceDaily “” Television’s Six Million Dollar Man foresaw a future when man and machine would become one. New research at Tel Aviv University is making this futuristic “vision” of bionics a reality. Read Article

Sudan opposition claims video shows election fraud

BBC – Sudanese opposition activists have said a video which apparently shows election officials stuffing ballot boxes proves their claims of poll rigging. The clip, which has not been independently verified, has been posted on the internet and is being circulated by a coalition of campaign groups. Read article

Leading coalition in Iraq election backs recount

Reuters – The cross-sectarian coalition that took a narrow lead in Iraq’s inconclusive March 7 election said on Tuesday it supported a recount of votes cast in Baghdad, but expressed concern over how it would be conducted. Read article

Argentina ex-dictator Gen Bignone jailed for 25 years

BBC – Argentina’s former military ruler Reynaldo Bignone has been sentenced to 25 years for human rights abuses committed almost three decades ago. Gen Bignone, 82, ordered abductions and torture while second in command of the country’s largest torture centre between 1978 and 1979. Read article

China says door not shut to negotiations with Iran

Reuters – China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday there was still room for a negotiated solution to Iran’s disputed nuclear program, despite talks among major powers of fresh sanctions against Tehran. China has been among the six countries, also called the “5+1,” engaged in deepening discussions on a proposed new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Read article

10 Weirdest Urban Ecosystems On Earth

io9 – Cities are havens for weirdness. From communities built around garbage to dogs that ride the subway, urban environments have fostered all manner of weird patterns. Here are the 10 freakiest urban ecosystems on the planet. The other day, we showed you the Kowloon Walled City “” a bizarre, super-dense development that arose as an accident of politics and urban ingenuity. You can’t visit the Walled City because it was torn down in the 1990s “” but here are 10 other urban ecosystems that still exist. They range from animal life adapting to cities, to developers gone mad, to cities clawing their way towards a new state of being. They include a few urban environments that no longer support people, but still remain intact – Read Article

Children’s Cognitive Ability Can Be Affected by Mother’s Exposure to Urban Air Pollutants

ScienceDaily “” A study by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) carried out in Krakow, Poland has found that prenatal exposure to pollutants can adversely affect children’s cognitive development at age 5, confirming previous findings in a New York City (NYC) study. Read Article

120 Afghans die in a week of carnage

Press TV – The war in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 120 people and injured over 100 more over the past week. On Sunday, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said dozens of civilians were killed in another week of carnage. He also confirmed that 20 policemen and scores of militants lost their lives in the past seven days. Read article

Beached whale’s stomach found to be full of fresh trash

Seattletimes – Sweatpants. A golf ball. Surgical gloves. Small towels. Bits of plastic. And more than 20 plastic bags. A gray whale’s last meal in Puget Sound included plenty of trash, and it was fresh enough to indicate the animal took the “eat local” mantra enthusiastically to heart before coming ashore at Arroyo Beach, and later dying about a mile south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. In 20 years of examining more than 200 whale carcasses, research scientist John Calambokidis says Tuesday he has never seen so much trash in a whale’s stomach – Read Article

Obama repaying his masters at Goldman Sachs

Examiner – President Obama is sponsoring a bill by the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd(D-CT) that would reward the Financial Firm Goldman Sachs with up to Billions of Dollars. The bill implements a $50 billion resolution fund to the firms creditors through fees that would come from banks and other businesses, which the bill calls a “nonbank financial company.” Critics are calling it a “backdoor bailouts” to Goldman Sachs who was already payed $12.9 billion in tax dollars through the bailout of AIG. Read article

Giant Sequoias Yield Longest Fire History from Tree Rings

ScienceDaily “” A 3,000-year record from 52 of the world’s oldest trees shows that California’s western Sierra Nevada was droughty and often fiery from 800 to 1300, according to new research. Scientists reconstructed the 3,000-year history of fire by dating fire scars on ancient giant sequoia trees, Sequoiadendron giganteum, in the Giant – Read Article