Daily Archives

Polar bears of the past survived warmth

GI Alaska-An ancient jawbone has led scientists to believe that polar bears survived a period thousands of years ago that was warmer than today. Sandra Talbot of the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage was one of 14 scientists who teamed to write a paper based on a polar bear jawbone found amid rocks on a frigid island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The scientists determined the bear was an adult male that lived and died somewhere between 130,000 to 110,000 years ago, and that bear was similar to polar bears today -Read Article

UK: Elderly people are ‘routinely abused by home carers’

Daily Mail – Fears that the elderly are regularly abused by their home carers has prompted a review by the human rights watchdog. Some are subjected to ‘inappropriate restraints’ in old age – either physically or through the prescription of drugs – according to the allegations that have prompted the review by the equality and human Rights Commission. Read article

Illinois: The US’ very own Greece?

CNN Money – Just two weeks after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn chopped $1.4 billion from the budget, the cash-strapped state is turning to the debt markets to get it through the fiscal year. On Wednesday, it plans to raise $900 million through Build America Bonds to fund its first capital program in more than a decade. The money will be used to improve roads, bridges and schools. Read Article

Studies Halted at Brain Lab Over Impure Injections

NY Times – Columbia University has quietly suspended research at a nationally prominent brain-imaging center and reassigned its top managers after federal investigators found that it had routinely injected mental patients with drugs that contained potentially dangerous impurities. The investigations found that the center — regarded by experts as the nation’s leader in the use of positron emission tomography, or PET, for psychiatric research — repeatedly violated Food and Drug Administration regulations over a four-year period. Read article

The U.S. Middle Class Is Being Wiped Out: Here’s the Stats to Prove It

Business Insider – The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace. Read Article

Australian PM Julia Gillard sets general election date

BBC – Australia will hold a general election on 21 August, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced. Ms Gillard – the country’s first female prime minister – said the snap poll would be “tough and close”. The governing Labor Party elected her as leader three weeks ago after ousting her predecessor, Kevin Rudd. Read Article

Court OKs Guantanamo prisoner’s move to Algeria

Associated Press – The Supreme Court says it won’t stop the government from releasing a Guantanamo Bay prisoner to Algeria. The high court on Friday said Fahri Saeed bin Mohammad could be transferred to Algerian authorities. Mohammad has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 after being captured in Pakistan. He fears he will be tortured by the Algerian government or unaffiliated armed Islamic militants if released. Read Article

J.P. Morgan Chase posts $4.8 billion profit

Washington Post – J.P. Morgan Chase said its second-quarter net income was $4.8 billion, a 77 percent rise, as losses from failed loans eased. That helped offset a difficult spring in trading and investment banking, and the company beat analysts’ profit estimates. Revenue, however, declined nearly 8 percent, to $25.6 billion. Read Article

Ten killed, 24 wounded in Iraq attacks: officials

AFP – A car bomb in executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s home city and three other attacks killed 10 people, including four policemen, and wounded 24 on Thursday, security officials said. Read Article

UK: Babies born outside working hours are ‘more likely to die’

Daily Telegraph – Research involving one million births over 20 years found that those born outside the normal nine to five Monday to Friday working hours were more likely to die.
The principle cause of death in these infants was lack of oxygen which can be due to a lack of senior clinical staff to spot the problem and react quickly. Read article

UK: Up to one in four graduates faces unemployment

Telegraph – The squeeze on graduate jobs caused by the recession left almost 25,000 students across the country out of a job after finishing their courses last year. New statistics showed that more than 25 per cent of graduates from London Metropolitan University and London South Bank University were not in full time education or employment six months after leaving university. Read Article

Warmest June on record, climate scientists say

AP- Last month was the warmest June on record, extending months of record-setting heat. Worldwide, the average temperature in June was 61.1 degrees Fahrenheit (16.2 Celsius), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. That was 1.22 degrees F (0.68 C) warmer than average for June. This year has had the warmest average temperature for January-June on record — 57.5 F (12.2 C). Peru, the central and eastern regions of the United States, and eastern and western Asia were warmer than usual last month. Scandinavia, southern China and the northwestern United States were all cooler than normal -Read Article

Editorial Note: Irrespective of whether the aforementioned climate scientists need to report such a trend or they would be out of a job, a number of facts must be considered: A period of a El Nino weather pattern has just ended in the Pacific which will have greatly influenced the hot temperatures globally; Since the end of the cold war a large proportion of weather stations worldwide have disappeared, and so historical data extrapolated onto the less thorough new data; considering the urban heat island effect – as this paper by Ross McKitrick, economics professor at the University of Guelph, and Patrick Michaels, environmental studies professor at the University of Virginia, which concludes that half of the global warming trend is caused by Urban Heat Island – this should not be seen with great surprise. Also of note is the fact that the report somehow “forgets” to mention the inconvenient facts (from NASA’s own data, that we reported over the last week) that the Greenland Ice Sheet is not melting, but is in fact more extensive that the 1940′s, that the Arctic Ice Sheet is also expanding, as is the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Catholics angry as church puts female ordination on par with sex abuse

The Guardian – It was meant to be the document that put a lid on the clerical sex abuse scandals that have swept the Roman Catholic world. But instead of quelling fury from within and without the church, the Vatican stoked the anger of liberal Catholics and women’s groups by including a provision in its revised decree that made the “attempted ordination” of women one of the gravest crimes in ecclesiastical law. The change put the “offence” on a par with the sex abuse of minors. Read article

Ethanol industry scrambles to keep incentives

Associated Press – The once-popular ethanol industry is scrambling to hold onto billions of dollars in government subsidies, fighting an increasing public skepticism of the corn-based fuel and wariness from lawmakers who may divert the money to other priorities. The industry itself can’t agree on how to persuade Congress to keep the subsidies, which now come in the form of tax credits worth about $6 billion annually. Read Article

BP, scientists try to make sense of well puzzle

AP-In a nail-biting day across the Gulf Coast, engineers struggled to make sense of puzzling pressure readings from the bottom of the sea Friday, trying to determine whether BP’s capped oil well was holding tight or in danger of springing a new leak. No immediate leaks were spotted, which was encouraging. But midway through the testing period on the new temporary cap that was bottling up the crude inside the well, the pressure readings were not rising as high as expected, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen -Read Article

More than half the world’s population gets insufficient vitamin D

PhysOrg.com – In the July 2010 issue of Endocrine Today, a monthly newspaper published by SLACK, Inc., to disseminate information about diabetes and endocrine disorders, Anthony Norman, a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and an international expert on vitamin D, notes that half the people in North America and Western Europe get insufficient amounts of vitamin D. Read article

EU to subject Britons to chilling new ‘Big Brother’ surveillance and investigation powers

Daily Mail – British citizens face being subjected to chilling new EU ‘Big Brother’ surveillance and investigation powers. Bureaucrats want foreign officials to be able to travel to the UK and immediately assume the powers of our own police. They would be able to order undercover-spying missions, demand DNA and even pursue people for ‘crimes’ which are not recognised in UK law – such as criminal defamation. Read Article

EU plans 20% women quota for boardrooms

Daily Telegraph – Viviane Reding, the EU’s fundamental rights commissioner, has warned that unless more board room seats are filled by women by the end of 2011, she will use new powers under the Lisbon Treaty to impose “gender quotas”. The Commission is examining a “more ambitious” quota than an existing German target to get women into 20 per cent of senior company jobs by 2015. Read article

Matt Simmons on MSNBC says BP covering up MASSIVE HOLE miles away, cap test is “absurd”

MSNBC July 15:

UK Parliament Square protesters lose eviction appeal

BBC – Peace protesters camping in London’s Parliament Square have lost their legal battle against eviction. The Court of Appeal has upheld an eviction order against the group, which is protesting about several issues, including the Afghanistan war. London Mayor Boris Johnson, who took legal action to evict the demonstrators, said he was “delighted”. However, protest organiser Chris Knight said they would fight the ruling. Read Article

Flu vaccine probe followed US

The Australian – AUSTRALIA’s drug regulator waited until US authorities blew the whistle on CSL vaccine production before launching its own investigation. The Therapeutic Goods Administration yesterday said it discovered discolouration of the nation’s stockpile of swine flu vaccine only after the US Food and Drug Administration alerted it in April. A TGA spokeswoman said the remaining 9.4 million doses of Panvax in the federal government stockpile did not pose a safety risk. Read article