Daily Archives

British Columbia – Wettest July On Record?

CFJCTV – The rest of Canada may be sweltering in a heat wave but hot temperatures will elude BC for a while. July has been disappointing for Interior residents who are used to hot, dry days at this time of the year. Read article

Concern Over Intensive Treatment for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

ScienceDaily — Doctors should be cautious about prescribing intensive glucose lowering treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes as a way of reducing heart complications, concludes a new study published online in the British Medical Journal. French researchers found that intensive glucose lowering treatment, which is widely used for people with type 2 diabetes to reduce their heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, showed no benefit on all-cause or cardiovascular mortality. Read article

Missile system aimed at Russia? ‘US can’t guarantee it’s not’

RT – Russia and the U.S. in Washington have been trying to find common ground on NATO’s plans for a European missile defence shield, at talks in Washington. The alliance says the system is designed to protect the European continent from countries like Iran. But Russia fears the project is aimed at its military might. Read article

US Rep. arrested at deportation protest

PressTV – A US lawmaker, who was protesting the deportation of illegal immigrants, has been arrested in front of the White House. Read article

Sydney bracing for wettest July since 1959

SMH – Sydney is bracing for the wettest July in more than 50 years as a severe weather warning is issued for coastal areas. Torrential rainfall is creating traffic chaos as flooded roads are closed across the state. Observatory Hill in Sydney’s city centre has recorded 171 millimetres in the month so far, already giving coastal areas of the NSW capital the wettest July since 1999. Read article

Chinese fighter jets ‘repel’ US aircraft

FT – Two Chinese fighter jets crossed an unofficial dividing line in the Taiwan Strait late last month in pursuit of a US spy aircraft, according to defence sources in Taipei and Beijing. The incident marked the first time in more than a decade that Chinese military aircraft have entered Taiwan’s side of the 180km-wide strait. According to Taiwan’s defence ministry, two Chinese Su-27 fighter jets briefly crossed the so-called “middle line” on June 29. Read Article

Special report: Fukushima long ranked most hazardous plant

Reuters – Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant ranked as one of the most dangerous in the world for radiation exposure years before it was destroyed by the meltdowns and explosions that followed the March 11 earthquake. Read article

Feature Website – A visualisation of the US debt in $100 bills

What does $15,000,000,000,000 look like? This is the figure that, unless the U.S. government fixes the budget, US national debt (credit card bill) will topple 15 trillion by Christmas 2011. Definitely worth a look HERE

Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time

Reuters – Plastic bottles jut from the roofs in one Manila slum neighborhood, mushrooming across rows and rows of shanty homes. But they aren’t just bottles — they bring light. Using the simplest of technologies to brighten dim and dreary shanties, the bottles, which contain bleach and water, are placed snugly into a purpose-built hole in the roof. They reflect sunlight and spread it through the room beneath. Read article

FDA seeks input on medical apps

Washington Post – Nobody cares whether the Angry Birds app offers an accurate depiction of bird behavior. But when it comes to health-related apps — interactive tools and information sources available via smart phones and other hand-held devices — accuracy and authority are essential. And the stakes can be high, too. Read article

UK: U-turn as new MPs expenses watchdog refuses to name members being investigated ‘because it would be unfair to them’

DailyMail – MPs suspected of fiddling their expenses will not be named after all – because exposing them would be ‘unfair’.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said they would not be identified unless an inquiry found them guilty. Read article

No permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan: U.S. ambassador

Reuters – The United States has no interest in creating permanent military bases in Afghanistanand does not want to use the country as a platform to influence neighboring countries, the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Monday. Washington is negotiating with the Afghan government on a deal to define the long-term American role in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014, when NATO-led combat troops are due to leave after handing security control to the Afghan army and police. Read Article

British Apache helicopter injures children in Afghanistan

Guardian – Five Afghan children have been injured, some seriously, by cannon fire from a British Apache helicopter, according to UK defence officials. It is believed they were hit by stray bullets during an intended attack on an insurgent as they worked in a field in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province, on Saturday. The children were taken to Camp Bastion, the main British base in Helmand, for treatment, the Ministry of Defence said. Officials are investigating the incident which is likely to focus on the accuracy of the Apache’s cannon and the speed with which they fire. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Oklahoma Summer Temperatures 1895 – 2010

Source: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/OK_SUMMER_T.jpg

Conclusion – No trend

Innocent people’s DNA profiles won’t be deleted after all, minister admits

Telegraph - The DNA of more than one million innocent people will not be wiped from police records, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.   Instead the police will retain DNA profiles in anonymised form, leaving open the possibility of connecting them up with people’s names, ministers have admitted. The admission appears to break a Coalition commitment to delete all innocent profiles, apart from those accused of violent or sex crimes, from police databases. Read Article

USA – McDonald’s Happy Meals get apples, fewer fries

Reuters – McDonald’s Corp said on Tuesday it will soon tweak its Happy Meals, reducing the french fry portion by more than half and automatically adding apples to the popular children’s meals, after coming under pressure from consumer groups to provide healthier fare. McDonald’s — which has been taking heat from parents, consumer groups and local lawmakers over the nutritional content and marketing of Happy Meals — said it would start making the changes in September and the new Happy Meals would be available in all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the end of the first quarter of 2012. Read article

Guatemala Las Dos Erres civil war massacre trial begins

BBC – Four former Guatemalan soldiers are standing trial for the massacre of more than 220 people during the country’s civil war. The men are accused of being part of a Guatemalan counter-insurgency unit that carried out the massacre in the village of Las Dos Erres in 1982. All four have denied the charges. One local human rights group has called the trial “historic”, saying it is the first of its kind to involve former soldiers. The group, CALDH, has said the trial marks “the opening of the historical debate in our country”. At least 200,000 people – mainly from the indigenous Maya population – were killed during the country’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. Read Article

Hearing for a suspected war criminal

Toronto Sun – The Immigration and Refugee Board will hold a detention review on Tuesday for Arshad Muhammad who is suspected of war crimes in Pakistan. Muhammad, 42, is believed to have been living in Canada for 10 years and is alleged to have links to a Muslim organization that committed terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Read Article

Global Financial Crisis weighs down on Australia Banks

International Business Times – Banks in Australia will be put to a test by the contagion of a looming global financial crisis spiraling from Europe to the United States now facing a politically charged debt crisis. Read Article

Iran signs gas contract with Iraq, Syria

PressTV – Iran, Iraq and Syria have signed the Middle East’s biggest gas contract for the transit of Iranian gas from the country’s South Pars gas field to Europe via Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea. Read article

Pentagon: US transport funds end up with Taliban

AP – Money from a multibillion-dollar U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has made its way into the hands of the Taliban, the Pentagon said Monday, promising to tighten the rules for future spending. The finding was made by a U.S. task force set up in Kabul a year ago to improve contracting, Defense Department spokesman Col. David Lapan said. It is consistent with a congressional report last summer that said trucking contractors pay tens of millions of dollars annually to local warlords across Afghanistan in exchange for guarding their supply convoys. Read Article

Pakistan – Court orders probe into deforestation

The News – The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the Gujrat district forest officer (DFO) to hold an inquiry into alleged involvement of forest officers in illegal cutting down of trees from the jungle of Dhool Kalan and selling them to timber mafia. Read article

Palm oil labelling in Australia could become a reality if bill passes

Guardian – Bill requires packaging to identify palm oil, currently shown as vegetable oil – but Malaysia expected to be unhappWhile the quasi-apocalyptic tumult over carbon pricing has dominated the Australian media for the best part of 2011, another fierce, albeit less high profile, environmental debate has entered its final stages – the labelling of palm oil on product packagingy. Read article

UK: Finland to boost web surveillance after Norway attacks

Physorg – Finnish police said Monday they will monitor the Internet more rigorously for evidence of extremists plots following last week’s twin massacres in neighbouring Norway. Deputy police commissioner Robin Lardot said his forces will play closer attention to fragmented pieces of information — known as “weak signals” — in case they connect to a credible terrorist threat. Read Article