Daily Archives

Report: Most Americans still live in unclean air

AP”“ Six in 10 Americans “” about 175 million people “” are living in places where air pollution often reaches dangerous levels, despite progress in reducing particle pollution, the American Lung Association said in a report released Wednesday.The Los Angeles area had the nation’s worst ozone pollution. The report examined fine particulate matter over 24-hour periods and as a year-round average. Bakersfield, Calif., had the worst short-term particle pollution, and the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area of Arizona had the worst year-round particle pollution -Read Article

AP source: US Navy has encounter with Iranian jet

Associated Press – A U.S. military official says the Navy had a close encounter with an Iranian surveillance jet last week in the Gulf of Oman. The official says the jet buzzed a Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Eisenhower, coming within about 1,000 yards of the ship. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said the April 21 incident occurred in international waters. Read article

Gulf of Mexico oil slick said to be five times bigger

BBC-The US Coast Guard says five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from a well beneath where a rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Rear Admiral Mary Landry said 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day were now thought to be gushing into the sea 50 miles (80km) off Louisiana’s coast.
A third leak had also been discovered at the site, Adm Landry said. One fire-fighting expert told the BBC the disaster might become the “biggest oil spill in the world” -Read Article

Thought police muscle up in Britain

The Australian -BRITAIN appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian state. As a sometime teacher of political science and international law, I do not use the term totalitarian loosely. There are no concentration camps or gulags but there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent. Read Article

Taiwan’s military simulates Chinese air attack

Sino Daily – Taiwan’s military Tuesday lifted the veil on how it would respond to a massive Chinese air attack, showing that the island still takes the risk of war very seriously despite improving ties. Read article

Greek debt crisis: Europe feels shockwaves as bailout falters

Guardian – Fears that Britain could become embroiled in Europe’s deepening financial crisis intensified tonight after Spain had its debt downgraded, Portugal announced tougher austerity measures and Germany questioned whether beleaguered Greece should ever have been allowed to join monetary union. Read Article

Greek borrowing costs at new highs after downgrade

Associated Press – Three weeks away from potential default, Greece saw its borrowing costs spiral higher once again Wednesday, a day after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s bonds to junk status. Read Article

Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Treating Depression

Huffington Post – Here’s some depressing recent medical news: Antidepressants don’t work. What’s even more depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that they DO work. As a physician, this is frightening to me. Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country. Read article

U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat

IPS – The Barack Obama administration’s declaration in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran represents a new element in a strategy of persuading Tehran that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites is a serious possibility if Iran does not bow to the demand that it cease uranium enrichment. Read article

Shell wrote letter Tony Blair used in £325m Libyan oil deal

Daily Mail – Tony Blair used a letter written by Shell to lobby Colonel Gaddafi on its behalf to clinch an oil deal, documents reveal. A letter he wrote to the Libyan leader bears a remarkable similarity to a briefing note Royal Dutch Shell sent him weeks earlier promoting a £325million deal. The correspondence, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, reveals just how much Mr Blair was influenced by the oil company when he was Prime Minister. Read article

Church scandal’s next wave: Abused girls

The Star.com – Father Charlie told the girl with the cascading brown curls and frilly frocks that she was pretty. Special. One of his favourites. In the small Ontario town of Pain Court, a French-Canadian community near Chatham, Father Charlie’s attention was prized by devout Roman Catholic families like Cecilia McLauchlin’s. His interest in their daughter meant the popular priest, once described as “next to God,” publicly approved of how she was being raised. So when a gynecologist examined the girl for recurring vaginal infections, it didn’t occur to anyone that Father Charlie was the cause of her physical pain. Read Article

Mortars kill soldiers in N Baghdad

Press TV – Two Iraqi soldiers have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded in an overnight mortar attack on a security station in northern Baghdad. The incident took place late on Tuesday when three mortar shells hit a joint army-police office in Baghdad’s Hurriyah area almost an hour after midnight, AFP quoted police and hospital officials as saying. Read article

Possible Supreme Court pick had ties with Goldman Sachs

USA Today – A top prospect for the Supreme Court was a paid member of an advisory panel for the embattled investment firm Goldman Sachs, federal financial disclosures show. Solicitor General Elena Kagan was a member of the Research Advisory Council of the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute, according to the financial disclosures she filed when President Obama appointed her last year to her current post.  Read article

Immigration Reform Could Mean National ID Card for All Workers

New America Media – A national identification card of any sort has long been thought politically unfeasible in Washington, D.C. But the idea is again receiving attention as part of an immigration reform plan gaining ground on Capitol Hill. Read Article

Gov’t OKs 1st US offshore wind farm, off Mass

AP- A whole new way of generating electricity in the U.S. drew a big step closer to reality Wednesday, and it could look like this: 130 windmills, 440 feet tall, rising from the ocean a few miles off Cape Cod. After more than eight years of lawsuits and government reviews, the Obama administration cleared the way for the nation’s first offshore wind farm. -Read Article

Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma

NY Times “” The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion. Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims. Read Article

Terrorist attacks spike in Pakistan, Afghanistan

Associated Press – An increase in terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan triggered a spike in the number of civilians killed or wounded there last year, pushing South Asia past the Middle East as the top terror region in the world, according to figures compiled by a U.S. intelligence agency. Read article

Coast Guard: New oil leak in Gulf of Mexico

AP- The Coast Guard says a new leak has been found at the site where a oil platform exploded and sank off in the Gulf of Mexico.Rear Adm. Mary Landry says that 5,000 barrels a day is now what is estimated to be leaking. Officials had been saying for days that it was 1,000 barrels a day. Landry says the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says a better estimate is 5,000 barrels a day. Oil is pouring into the Gulf from a site where the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank last week. Officials say the leading edge of the oil was nearing the Louisiana coast and could impact it as early as Friday evening -Read Article

Russia publishes previously secret files on 1940 Katyn massacre

Telegraph – Russia’s state archive has published previously secret files on the 1940 massacre of Polish officers by the Soviets at Katyn Forest, following an order by President Dmitry Medvedev, it said. “On the order of Russian President D A Medvedev, electronic copies of authentic archival documents on the ‘Katyn Problem’ from ‘Packet No. 1′, which were held for decades in the Communist Party archives, have been published on the website of the state archives,” it said in a statement. Read article

The new Dirty Dozen: 12 foods to eat organic and avoid pesticide residue

Yahoo – Green-Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many conventional varieties contain pesticide residues. And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue. You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store -Read Article

Video security cameras zoom in on privacy issues

China Daily – The capital’s expansive drive to install surveillance cameras, which are said to be playing a major role in public security, is itself drawing watchful eyes: citizens and experts who decry the loss of privacy. About 400,000 surveillance cameras have been installed in Beijing and 70,000 more will be added by the end of the year, the Beijing Security and Protection Industry Association (BSPIA) said. Police say the cameras are an important tool for solving crimes. Read article

Russia says genetically modified foods are harmful

Russia Times – Russia has started the annual Days of Defence against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans, which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GM organisms. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya, which was found with great difficulty in Serbia because 95 percent of soya in the world is transgenic. Read Article

Jerusalem mayor denies housing construction freeze

Associated Press – Jerusalem’s mayor on Tuesday denied any formal or informal freeze in Jewish housing construction in the traditionally Arab eastern part of the city, in comments that may complicate the Obama administration’s attempts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Read article

Crews try setting fire to oil leaking in Gulf

AP”“ It’s a hellish scene: Giant sheets of flame racing across the Gulf of Mexico as thick, black smoke billows high into the sky. This, though, is no Hollywood action movie. It’s the real-life plan to be deployed just 20 miles from the Gulf Coast in a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it could wash ashore and wreak environmental havoc – Read Article