Daily Archives

Protesters target GM wheat crop

The Australian – GREENPEACE activists have attacked a genetically modified wheat crop being grown at a CSIRO experimental station in Canberra. The group says the trial crop is part of a secret experiment which will involve human feeding trials later this year. Greenpeace said two of its members used whipper snippers to remove the wheat from a CSIRO site at Ginninderra in Canberra’s north early today. The attack came after CSIRO denied a Freedom of Information request for more information about the trials. Read article

US debt ceiling talks deadlocked as Moody’s warns on AAA rating

Guardian – City experts warn that lack of progress in Washington over the debt ceiling fans fears that the world’s biggest economy might default on some of its debt. Read article

Connections to Murdoch Start to Chafe British Leader

NYTimes – Prime Minister David Cameron is usually the nimblest of politicians, radiating self-assurance and blessed with an almost Reaganesque ability to deflect criticism. But as the phone hacking scandal spreads, Mr. Cameron has been placed in the unaccustomed position of appearing vulnerable and behind the curve.Read article

3 killed, 8 wounded in separate attacks in Iraq

APA – Three people were killed and eight others injured in separate attacks on Wednesday in war-torn Iraq, police sources said, APA reports referring xinhuanet.com An interior ministry official, who insisted on anonymity, told Xinhua that a sticky bomb went off in a taxi at an intersection of Baya district in the southwest of the capital city Baghdad, killing the driver and damaging the car. In another incident, a bomb exploded on a minibus in Aurig district of southwestern Baghdad, wounding eight civilians and seriously damaging the minibus and several other vehicles near the blast scene. Read Article

Italy’s borrowing costs soar

Financial Times – Italy’s borrowing costs soared to their highest level in over a decade amid highly volatile trading as market contagion from Greece forced Silvio Berlusconi to appeal for national unity and “sacrifices” to cut the nation’s debt mountain. “We are in the front line of this battle,” Mr Berlusconi said, describing a crisis that threatened all of Europe and the future of its common currency. Read Article

US: Supreme court bans use of secret evidence to hide torture claims

Guardian – The supreme court has outlawed the use of secret evidence in court by the intelligence services to conceal allegations that detainees were tortured. The decision will be seen as a significant victory for open justice, but the panel of nine judges pointed out that parliament could change the law to permit such “closed material procedures” in future. Read Article

Foreclosure crisis fallout

Reuters – Bankruptcy attorney Linda Tirelli says the growing number of foreclosures initiated with false documents touches all the major banks that wrote mortgages during the heyday of the housing boom.

Japan ‘to continue’ Antarctic whaling

BBC – Japan intends to send its whaling fleet back to the Antarctic this year, a senior official has told BBC News. There has been speculation that campaigns by activists, money problems and new rules at sea might persuade Tokyo to stop Antarctic whaling. But at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting, Japan’s Joji Morishita said the plan was to return. Read article

Israeli police disband Hebron march

Reuters – Israeli police use stun grenades to disperse demonstrators during a pro-Palestinian march in the West Bank city of Hebron. Read article

Visa Delays Put Iraqis Who Aided U.S. in Fear

NY Times – Terrorism fears in the United States are all but halting visas for Iraqis, even those who risked their lives aiding the American war effort, making them especially vulnerable ahead of the planned American military withdrawal. The Obama administration has required new background checks for visa applicants, reacting to a case in Kentucky in which two Iraqi immigrants were arrested on suspicion of ties to an insurgent group, according to American officials in Baghdad. Advocates say that the administration is ignoring a directive from Congress to draft a contingency plan to expedite visas should those Iraqis who worked for the United States government, especially interpreters for the military, come under increased threat after American forces are drawn down at the end of the year. Read Article

US drone attacks kill 48 in Pakistan

Press TV – Over the past two days U.S. drones have launched multiple drone strikes against tribal areas inside of Pakistan, killing at least 48 people across multiple sites and injuring dozens of others. The largest of the attacks hit North Waziristan Agency overnight, where one of the attacks on a home killed at least 25 “suspects.” If confirmed this would be the largest toll for a single strike since the June 2009 attack of a funeral procession. The attacks come as tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan have dramatically escalated in recent weeks, and just days after the Obama administration announced a halt of military aid to the Pakistani forces. In response, Pakistan is threatening to withdraw a number of its troops from the regions along the Afghan border. Read Article

Murdochs to face UK government inquiry, FBI to probe News Corp

Reuters – Rupert Murdoch on Thursday caved in to pressure from Britain’s parliament to answer questions over alleged crimes at one of his newspapers and denied that News Corp was drawing up plans to separate its newspaper holdings. Murdoch said News Corp had handled the crisis engulfing his media empire “extremely well in every way possible” making just “minor mistakes” and called reports he would split off his newspaper assets “pure rubbish.” Read Article

US ethanol refiners use more corn than farmers

Financial Times – US ethanol refiners are consuming more domestic corn than livestock and poultry farmers for the first time, underscoring how a government-supported biofuels industry has contributed to surging grain demand. The US Department of Agriculture estimated that in the year to August 31 ethanol producers will have consumed 5.05bn bushels of corn, or more than 40 per cent of last year’s harvest. Animal feed and residual demand accounted for 5bn bushels. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – 2011 the coldest spring in Australia since at least 1950

SOURCE: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Spring_2011_Australia.jpg

Australia has experienced its coldest autumn since at least 1950 for mean temperatures (average of maximum and minimum temperatures across the nation) with an Australian average of 20.9C. This was 1.15C below the historical average, and 0.2C below the previous coolest autumn in 1960. It was also the coldest autumn since at least 1950 for Queensland and the Northern Territory. READ PAPER

UK unemployment numbers fall but jobless rate stuck at 7.7%

The Guardian – Britain’s labour market is treading water as the economy loses momentum, with unemployment declining by a modest 26,000 over the past three months, according to the latest official figures. Unemployment on the International Labour Organisation measure preferred by the government fell by 26,000 to 2.45 million in the three months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics. The unemployment rate stood at 7.7% of the workforce, unchanged from the previous three months. Read article

China quarterly growth tops forecast, boosts inflation fight

Reuters – China’s economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, easing fears of a hard landing and strengthening Beijing’s resolve to fight persistently high inflation. China’s statistics office said on Wednesday that stabilizing prices remained the top priority, even though a “complex and volatile” global economy posed a threat to growth, complicating the policy choices. Read article

3D map shines light on New York solar potential (2:12)

watch Video

Solar windows offer solution to brighter future (2:07)

watch video

Riots erupt in Northern Ireland

Reuters – Police fire plastic bullets and water cannons at Catholic youths in Belfast, after rioting erupted when a Protestant parade passed their estate. Read article

China Says U.S. Navy Drills in Region ‘Inappropriate’ Amid Island Disputes

Bloomberg – China’s army chief said the timing of U.S. naval exercises in the South China Sea was “inappropriate” given the ongoing bilateral disagreements in the region between China and other Asian nations. Disputes over the sea’s islands and surrounding waters should be resolved through “dialogue and diplomatic measures,” Chen Bingde, chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army, was cited as saying by the official Xinhua News agency. China asserts jurisdiction over most of the South China Sea, including oil and gas blocks more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) from its shores. The Philippines and Vietnam have in recent months accused China of incursions into sensitive areas. China has responded by accusing them of provocative acts. Read Article

Moody’s cuts Ireland to junk, warns of second bailout

Reuters – Moody’s cut Ireland’s credit rating to junk on Tuesday, warning that the debt-laden country would likely need a second bailout — just the latest move amid heightening concerns about Europe’s ability to address its debt crisis and prevent it from spreading. Read article

New Zealand’s new record coldest day

Stuff – Climate scientists trawling through old records have unearthed the coldest day ever recorded in New Zealand. The previous lowest recorded daily minimum temperature record was minus 21.6degC, recorded at Ophir in Central Otago in 1995, but now the official low has plunged to minus 25.6degC, at Ranfurly, about 60km from Ophir, in 1903. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) announced the new low was discovered while old New Zealand temperature records were being entered into the National Climate database. Read article

Minnesota shutdown longest in recent history, no new talks

Reuters – The Minnesota state government shutdown, now the longest in recent memory in the United States, reached its eleventh day on Monday with no new talks planned between the political leaders. Read article

Pakistan: U.S. drone kills 12 suspected militants

The Washington Times –  suspected U.S. drone fired missiles at a house in northwestern Pakistan very close to the Afghan border Monday, killing 12 alleged militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The attack came a day after the Obama administration announced it was suspending $800 million in military aid to Pakistan because of strained ties. Monday’s strike indicates the White House has no intention of stopping a program that increasingly has caused tension between the two countries. Elsewhere in Pakistan‘s northwest, a suicide bomber blew himself up as he was being searched at a political rally, killing seven people, including a 9-month-old girl, officials said. Read Article