Daily Archives

More signs diabetes drug linked to bladder cancer

Reuters – A review of official reports of bad drug reactions is revealing more signs that people taking the diabetes drug Actos are at higher risk of developing bladder cancer. Between 2004 and 2009, more than half a million adverse reactions among people taking anti-diabetic drugs were added to an official U.S. Food and Drug Administration database. Among those reports were 138 instances of bladder cancer in patients taking at least one of more than 15 different anti-diabetic drugs. Read article

UK: Historic climate change deal with legal powers agreed by Cabinet

Guardian – Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding “green deal” that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change. Read article

US drone attack kills three in Pakistan

AFP - A US drone fired two missiles into a vehicle in Pakistan’s tribal district of North Waziristan on Friday, killing at least three militants in a Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold, officials said. The attack took place in the Kharkamar area, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah, a stronghold of the Taliban and militants linked to Al-Qaeda, whose leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan on May 2. “A US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant vehicle, killing at least three militants,” a senior security official told AFP. Read Article

European Union tax on carbon to push up airfares

Wall St Journal – QANTAS will be forced to lift international airfares to Europe from next January after being slapped with a penalty by the European Union because Australia does not have a price on greenhouse gas emissions. The national carrier told business leaders at a meeting in Canberra this week that under changes to the EU’s emissions trading scheme, Qantas would be forced to pay a tax on 15 per cent of its carbon emissions from its nearest port of call. This would mean the tax would be payable from emissions incurred by flights from ports as far as Singapore and Bangkok under a “border tax” adjustment contained in the EU scheme. Government sources believe US airlines, which will also face the EU carbon impost, are likely to challenge its validity in the World Trade Organisation. Read Article

US: Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Postpone Care

NY Times – The nation’s major health insurers are barreling into a third year of record profits, enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans who are postponing or forgoing medical care. The UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest commercial insurers, told analysts that so far this year, insured hospital stays actually decreased in some instances. In reporting its earnings last week, Cigna, another insurer, talked about the “low level” of medical use. Yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends. Read Article

British police sanction killer bullets

PressTV – The British police are to use bullets designed deliberately to inflict more damage to the targets under the pretext that officers should be able to intercept terrorists immediately. The police said their marksmen in London will be armed with the new rounds as their standard ammunition. Metropolitan police chiefs said they opted for the rounds for their huge debilitating quality when hitting a target and their lower chance of passing through the body to hit someone else. The announcement by the police has raised worries that mistaken victims will be dealt such an injury that they are left no chance of survival after being hit by the bullets. Read Article

Evacuation begins in Fukushima

NHK World – Evacuation of some people who live outside the 20 kilometer radius from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun. Families with babies and children up to kindergarten age and pregnant women are the first of the 7,700 residents of two towns to evacuate. Municipal officials say they have secured temporary housing for almost all of the residents who want it. Read article

Third worker dies at Fukushima

Fukushima: No.1 reactor is in a “meltdown” state

NHK World – The utility company said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods are likely to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor. Earlier in the day, it found that the coolant water in the reactor is at a level which would completely expose nuclear fuel rods if they were in their normal position. The company believes the melted fuel has cooled down, judging from the reactor’s surface temperature. Read article

Childhood leukaemia linked to mosquito bites?

New Scientist – Bites from mosquitoes carrying unidentified viruses might explain childhood leukaemia clusters around the town of Fallon in Nevada. And last week, a separate UK report found no link between nuclear power plants and childhood leukaemia. The Nevada cluster is the largest in the US. Previous research failed to find a link between the cases and carcinogenic chemicals. Read article

UK: Mystery of the helicopter that landed at scene of Dr Kelly’s death after his body was found

DailyMail – A helicopter mysteriously landed at the scene of Dr David Kelly’s death shortly after the body was found.
The aircraft only remained on the ground for five minutes before leaving, suggesting it either deposited or collected somebody or something. Read article

Louisiana braces as flood spillway opens

Reuters – Army engineers on Saturday opened a key spillway to allow the swollen Mississippi River to flood thousands of homes and crops but spare New Orleans and Louisiana’s capital Baton Rouge. The Army Corps of Engineers opened one of the 125 floodgates at the Morganza Spillway 45 miles northwest of Baton Rouge shortly after 3 p.m. CDT, sending a flume of water onto nearby fields. The move, last taken in 1973, will channel floodwaters toward homes, farms, a wildlife refuge and a small oil refinery in the Atchafalaya River basin to avoid inundating Louisiana’s two largest cities. Read Article

Pakistan condemns Bin Laden raid and US drone attacks

BBC - Pakistan’s parliament has called for a review of the country’s relationship with the US over the American commando raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. During a long joint session held to debate the US operation, MPs called for an independent investigation. They unanimously passed a resolution urging a ban on Nato transit convoys unless the US ends drone attacks. The session followed Friday’s double suicide bombing that killed 80 people in north-western Pakistan. Read Article

NASA-Funded Group Doctors Sea Level Data

Forbes – Catastrophic sea level rise is one of the most valued hole cards played by alarmists in the global warming debate. In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed computer generated images of what Manhattan would look like if sea level rose 20 feet. Building on this theme, elevation charts of coastal cities have become a staple in global warming presentations by Al Gore wannabes. But what happens when sea level in the real world does not rise nearly as much as alarmists predict? If you are a NASA-funded gatekeeper of sea level data, you merely doctor the data. Read article

US: FEMA asks for return of disaster aid

AP – After the raging Cedar River filled his home with 13 feet of water and ruined most of his possessions, Justin Van Fleet pleaded for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get back on his feet.  Dead broke and living in a FEMA trailer following the 2008 flood, Van Fleet repeatedly submitted paperwork and made countless phone calls arguing his case. After seven months, the agency finally gave him more than $20,000, which he said gave him his life back and allowed him to move into a house.  Then in March, a letter arrived from the government with a shocking message: He should never have gotten the money. And he had just 30 days to pay it all back.  Read Article

Rich Russians Buy Bunkers on Apocalypse Angst

Bloomberg – Terrorism can be good for bunker builders. An apocalypse can be even better for business.  Danila Andreyev started building “panic rooms” three years ago, when fears of terrorist attacks and commercial disputes turning violent created demand in Russia. Now he’s selling “survival bunkers” for as much as $400,000 each to capitalize on angst over theories the world will end next year.  Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – NOAA: no attribution of climate change to tornado outbreak

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration – There is a heightened sense of interest, concern, and urgency to explain extreme events in the context of a changing climate. Preliminary estimates (as of 2 May) are of 226 tornado reports during a 24-hour period on Wednesday 27 April, and 312 tornado reports during 26-28 April. NOAA estimates this to be the largest 1-day outbreak, eclipsing the prior record of 148 twisters estimated to have occurred during 3-4 April 1974. 1
One question on many minds concerns the role of anthropogenic climate change. Two recent national and international assessment reports have summarized the existing state of knowledge on climate change and tornadoes. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) :
“There is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends exist in..#small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes, hail, lightning and dust-storms.” 2 READ PAPER

Video Of The Week

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UK: Privacy storm after police buy software that maps suspects’ digital movements

Daily Mail – Police are using software to track the moves of suspects across the digital world, it has emerged, provoking fury among civil rights and privacy campaigners. The Metropolitan Police has bought Geotime, a security programme used by the U.S. military which tracks suspects’ movements and communications and displays them on a three-dimensional graphic. The software aggregates information gathered from social networking sites, GPS devices like the iPhone, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs to build a detailed picture of an individual’s movements. Read Article

Quotation Of The Week

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

- Plato

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Canada: IVF restrictions could reduce newborn deaths

Reuters – Limiting the number of embryos used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) would prevent up to 40 newborn deaths in Canada each year, researchers say. It would also stave off dozens of cases of severe eye and brain damage, and cut the time babies spend in intensive care units by 42,000 days annually, they estimate in the Journal of Pediatrics. The results reflect the potential reductions in the number of premature twins and triplets — who are at greater risk of health complications — that would occur under a policy of using just one embryo for each attempt to get pregnant via IVF. Read article

Related articles: Fertility Treatment: Safer Drug for Women Leads to Same Live Birth Rate, Review Suggests; New test to dramatically increase chance of IVF success; Test may double IVF success rate

Ron Paul Makes it Official for 2012

Newsy – For the third time, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul told a crowd of supporters Friday he’s running for president, saying he thinks “the time is right. Read article

Libya: Nato air strike ‘kills 11 imams’

Telegraph - The imams were part of a peace mission that had convened in the town, Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, claimed as state television showed images of casualties. A Nato spokesman said there was no information about the claim, but that its air offensive around key Libyan cities and towns had significantly affected Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. Analysis of targets attacked by the alliance shows that there has been a switch in recent days from assisting the rebels to bombing “command and control” and other targets in Tripoli. Read Article

Congo Rape Crisis


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Inside the shell: drugs, arms and tax scams

SMH – On December 11, 2009, a former Soviet air force transport plane flying from North Korea to Iran stopped to refuel in Bangkok. The flight listed its cargo as spare parts for oil-drilling equipment. Instead police found 30 tonnes of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles, all being transported in breach of United Nations sanctions.  Three months later in a Miami courtroom, the United States Department of Justice revealed the country’s largest money-laundering scheme involving billions of dollars from Mexican drug lords.  Then, late last month, documents emerged in London concerning Russia’s largest tax fraud, an alleged $US230 million heist that led to the untimely deaths of four people and threatens to damage the Russian government.  Read Article