Daily Archives

Russia parliament votes to strengthen KGB successor

Reuters – Russia’s parliament on Friday voted to boost the powers of the successor to the Soviet KGB, allowing it to summon people it believes are about to commit a crime and threaten jail for those who disobey its orders. Rights groups said the proposed regulations could be used by the FSB security service to detain opposition activists and independent journalists and undermine President Dmitry Medvedev’s promises to foster civil rights. Read Article

Britain could be forced to accept EU vetting of budget

Telegraph – The European Commission has decided David Cameron will not be able to veto controversial demands to see the Chancellor’s plans before MPs. The decision on whether to introduce the measure will passed by a simple majority vote – leaving Britain isolated. Read Article

New British Medical Journal Report Questions Legitimacy of H1N1 Pandemic

FoxCharlotte – This Friday will mark the one year anniversary of the start of the H1N1 pandemic. But a new joint report from the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism questions the pandemic and alleged conflicts of interest between confidential World Health Organization advisors and their reported financial ties to pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccines. Here in Charlotte [North Carolina], people are torn on whether the pandemic was all hype… Read Article

Pentagon hunts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in bid to gag website

Guardian – American officials are searching for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks in an attempt to pressure him not to publish thousands of confidential and potentially hugely embarrassing diplomatic cables that offer unfiltered assessments of Middle East governments and leaders. The Daily Beast, a US news reporting and opinion website, reported that Pentagon investigators are trying to track down Julian Assange – an Australian citizen who moves frequently between countries – after the arrest of a US soldier last week who is alleged to have given the whistleblower website a classified video of American troops killing civilians in Baghdad. Read Article Also Read

Mysterious Mountains Hidden Beneath Antarctic Ice Revealed

Live Science-The first detailed pictures of one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers — a vast mountain range that rivals the Alps in majesty buried underneath the ice of Antarctica — were revealed by scientists this week. The rugged peaks soar to more than 8,000 feet (2,400 meters). They are buried beneath solid ice more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) thick, deep within Antarctica’s eastern interior -Read Article

Italian media protests over Silvio Berlusconi ‘gagging law’

Guardian – Italian newspapers and opposition politicians protested today after the senate approved a bill limiting police wiretaps and punishing journalists who publish leaked transcripts. As journalists threatened a news blackout to coincide with the bill’s final reading in the lower house of the Italian parliament, the daily La Repubblica ran an empty front page with the message: “The gagging law denies citizens the right to be informed.” Read Article

Google deletes some private wireless data

AFP – Google has deleted private wireless data mistakenly collected by its Street View cars in Austria, Denmark and Ireland, the Internet giant said in a letter to US politicians. Google, in the letter posted online Friday on the website of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives, reiterated that the data was never used in any Google product or service. Read Article

BP oil spill: Is Barack Obama the man for a crisis?

The Telegraph-Many Americans who elected Barack Obama thought George W Bush was too much the cowboy. After eight years of Texas swagger and a shoot-first-ask-questions-later foreign policy, voters craved the more considered, cerebral and often inspirational persona of a big city law professor. Now, in the midst of a real crisis, they are having second thoughts. As gallon upon gallon of oil continues to gush from BP’s broken well into the Gulf of Mexico, they have demanded more anger from their president -Read Article

Internet Freedom Under Attack – Australia – Govt wants ISPs to record browsing history

ZDNet – Companies who provide customers with a connection to the internet may soon have to retain subscriber’s private web browsing history for law enforcement to examine when requested, a move which has been widely criticised by industry insiders. The Attorney-General’s Department yesterday confirmed to ZDNet Australia that it had been in discussions with industry on implementing a data retention regime in Australia. Read Article

Overuse of antibiotics spurs vicious cycle

Reuters – Patients whose doctors over-prescribe antibiotics may develop drug resistance that lasts up to a year, putting them and the population at risk when more serious treatment is needed, scientists said on Wednesday. The more antibiotics are prescribed for coughs and flu-like illnesses, or urine infections, the more bacteria become resistant in a vicious cycle, said British researchers who analyzed 24 previous studies of antibiotic resistance. Read Article
Related articles:
US: FDA Will Review Safety Of Common Antibacterial In Soap, Toothpaste;
Soil Studies Reveal Rise in Antibiotic Resistance;
Australia reports first drug-resistant swine flu case;
Experts warned dispersal of Tamiflu would do more harm than good;
Drug-resistant Malaria Has Emerged In Cambodia;
WHO Not Worried About Drug-Resistant Pandemic Flu — Yet

Insecticide use under review after US joins ban

SMH-AUTHORITIES are reviewing the use of the controversial insecticide endosulfan, which poses threats to wildlife as far away as the Arctic and Antarctic circles, after it was banned by the United States this week.
The US Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it would end the use of endosulfan because of health concerns -Read Article

Internet Freedom Under Attack – Australia – Govt may record users’ web history, email data

Delimiter – The Federal Government has confirmed it is considering a policy requiring Australian internet providers to retain precise data on how their users are using the internet, with the potential to include information on emails sent and — reportedly — their web browsing history. “The Attorney-General’s Department has been looking at the European Directive on Data Retention, to consider whether such a regime is appropriate within Australia’s law enforcement and security context,” a spokesperson for the department confirmed via email today. “It has consulted broadly with the telecommunications industry.” Read Article

U.S. Home Foreclosures Climb 44% to Record in May

Bloomberg – U.S. home foreclosures reached a record for the second consecutive month in May, with increases in every state, as lenders stepped up property seizures, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Bank repossessions climbed 44 percent from May 2009 to 93,777, the Irvine, California-based data company said today in a statement. Read Article

White farmers in Zimbabwe struggle against increasing violence

Daily Telegraph – The Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance (SACFA) has reported a spate of farm seizures and arrests in recent weeks. On May 25, Geoff Carbutt and his wife Shirley were evicted from their farm in Inyathi at gunpoint. Mr Carbutt was then arrested at his farm for occupying state land without a permit. Read Article

A Life Engulfed by Pesticides

The Atlantic-Leaning on her cane, Linda Lee matter-of-factly listed her medical conditions: diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, emphysema, and arthritis. She had her hip replaced and her gall bladder removed. Her kidneys failed, so she had a transplant. She also had two corneal implants. Asked what caused her woes, the 57-year-old resident of Apopka, Florida, doesn’t hesitate: for nearly a decade as a farm laborer on the shores of Lake Apopka in the 1970s and 1980s, she was routinely exposed to agricultural chemicals -Read Article

Soros Says `We Have Just Entered Act II’ of Crisis

Bloomberg – Billionaire investor George Soros said “we have just entered Act II” of the crisis as Europe’s fiscal woes worsen and governments are pressured to curb budget deficits that may push the global economy back into recession. “The collapse of the financial system as we know it is real, and the crisis is far from over,” Soros said today at a conference in Vienna. “Indeed, we have just entered Act II of the drama.” Read Article

Sleep deprivation linked to depression in teens

CNN — Sleep-deprived high school students who doze off in class aren’t just risking the wrath of their teachers. They’re also three times more likely to be depressed than their alert classmates who get enough sleep, a new study has found. “Sleep deprivation and depression go hand in hand among teenagers,” says the study’s lead author, Mahmood Siddique, D.O., a sleep medicine specialist at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “Instead of giving them medications, I’d rather give them a chance to sleep better, and more.” Daytime sleepiness appears to be the new normal for adolescents. Read article
Related article: Checking It Out: Why Teens Stay Up Late–and School Starts Early

Australians swindled by ‘fraudulent’ marine park science

ABC-The Australian public is being deceived on the effectiveness of marine parks and other fishing sanctuary zones, according to one of the nation’s leading scientists. Bob Kearney is emeritus professor of Fisheries at Canberra University and a former head of fisheries research with the New South Wales Government. He recently told a NSW parliamentary inquiry into recreational fishing that the basis on which marine parks have been sold to the public is fraudulent -Read Article

Debt Spreading ‘Like a Cancer’: Black Swan Author

CNBC – The economic situation today is drastically worse than a couple years ago, and the euro is doomed as a concept, Nassim Taleb, professor and author of the bestselling book “The Black Swan,” told CNBC on Thursday. “We had less debt cumulatively (two years ago), and more people employed. Today, we have more risk in the system, and a smaller tax base,” Taleb said. Read Article

Report: Saudi court convicts man, sentences him to prison, 90 lashes for kissing woman in mall

Star Tribune – A Saudi court convicted a man and sentenced him to four months in prison and 90 lashes for kissing a woman in a mall, a government-owned daily reported Thursday. Saudi religious police arrested the man and two women after seeing them on mall cameras “engaging in immoral movements in front of other shoppers,” the Al-Yom newspaper said. Read Article

The Food Illuminati: GMO Labeling and the Codex Alimentarius

LA Times – What is the Codex? More Michael Pollan and less Dan Brown–we hope. The little-known Codex Alimentarius Commission was established in 1963 under the joint auspices of the United Nations and the World Health Organization to devise universal guidelines pertaining to food production, safety and marketing. Its resolutions are not binding; rather, member countries use them as frameworks for local legislation and regulation. Read Article

‘The Rig’s on Fire! I Told You This Was Gonna Happen!’

The Atlantic-A prominent Houston attorney with a long record of winning settlements from oil companies says he has new evidence suggesting that the Deepwater Horizon’s top managers knew of problems with the rig before it exploded last month, causing the worst oil spill in US history. Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing 15 rig workers and dozens of shrimpers -Read Article

G20 security to jam cellphone signals

The Star – Wireless companies say they’ve been told their signals may be jammed during the G8 and G20 summits, but aren’t being given any more information about how thousands of cellphone users could be affected. While the G8 summit is in Ontario cottage country, the G20 is in the heart of downtown Toronto, and widespread shutdown of cellphone networks could wreak havoc on businesses already preparing to take a hit from security precautions in place for the meetings. Read Article

Chinese inflation exceeds 3% target

Financial Times – Chinese inflation has exceeded the 3 per cent target set by the government for the year, at a time when wage pressures in the economy are intensifying, but other indicators released on Friday suggest that growth in China is slowing. Consumer price inflation rose to 3.1 per cent in May from 2.8 per cent the month before, while factory gate inflation was also higher at 7.1 per cent, up from 6.8 per cent. Read Article

Pope begs forgiveness for sexual abuse scandal

Reuters – Pope Benedict begged forgiveness from God and victims of child sexual abuse by priests on Friday and vowed that the Catholic Church would do everything in its power to ensure that it never happens again. Benedict made his comments, some of his clearest ever about the scandal that has swept the Church around the world, during a homily in St Peter’s Square to conclude the Roman Catholic Church’s “Year of the Priest” celebrations. Read article