Daily Archives

Prolonged Breastfeeding Does Not Protect Against Eczema, Global Study Shows

ScienceDaily — The largest worldwide study on the association between breastfeeding, time of weaning and eczema in children has concluded that there is no clear evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for four months or longer protects against childhood eczema. The study, led by scientists at King’s College London, and published online in the British Journal of Dermatology (BJD), concludes that children who were exclusively breastfed for four months or longer were as likely to develop eczema as children who were weaned earlier. Read article

Iran’s military might deters attacks

PressTV – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran’s military might is aimed at preventing aggression and injustice and underscored the deterrent nature of the country’s defense policies. Read article

Related article : Iran pres. unveils key defense products

Aust – Jobs under pressure

The Age – UP TO 100,000 jobs will be lost in Australia by the end of the year, with another 100,000 to go next year, economists have warned. This will take the unemployment rate from 5.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent by year end, and up to 6 per cent in 2012. Read Article

India – Popularity threatens to turn a once romantic destination into a sewer

Guardian – The Indian state of Goa has long been viewed as an ideal holiday spot, but mass tourism has led to overwhelming pollution. Read article

A Battle Is Under Way For The Forests Of Borneo

NPR – A spry 80-year-old cruises through the thick vegetation of western Borneo, or western Kalimantan, as it’s known to Indonesians. Dressed in faded pinstripe slacks and a polo shirt, Layan Lujum carries a large knife in his hand. The chief of the island’s Sekendal village is making his morning rounds. Layan is a member of an indigenous ethnic group called the Dayaks, who once had a reputation as fierce headhunters. As on most mornings, his first job on a recent day is to tend to his rubber trees. Read Article

BP’s Oil Fund Pays Out $5 Billion to Victims

Bloomberg – BP Plc paid more than $5 billion to 204,434 claimants in the past year from a fund created to compensate victims of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. waters. Read article

UN to investigate ‘crimes against humanity’ in Syria

Telegraph – The United Nations has voted to send investigators to Syria to see if Damascus has committed crimes against humanity during its savage repression of anti-government protests. The body’s human rights council voted 33-4 to condemn the violence by Bashar al-Assad’s regime and send a team to check alleged atrocities. More than 2,200 have been killed since March as Syria’s rulers have deployed tanks, artillery, snipers and allegedly naval bombardment against demonstrators. Read Article

Aust – Victorian housing crash tipped

Herald Sun – VICTORIA has a property oversupply of about 70,000 dwellings – enough to house a city the size of Geelong, tax reform lobby group Prosper Australia says. The group, which once launched a first-home buyers’ strike, renewed its prediction of a US-style property crash with price falls of 30 per cent across the state’s capital. “Melbourne will be the epicentre for foreclosures and price falls because we have overbuilt by so much,” Prosper Australia spokesman David Collyer warned. Read Article

US emerging as ‘food-stamp country’

PressTV – The United States has gradually become a food-stamp nation as high costs and lower wages make the lives of average citizens more challenging. Read article

Suicide casts long shadow after decade of war

Medical Xpress – A soldier kills himself and his wife. Another war veteran hangs himself in despair. Yet a third puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger outside a gas station in a confrontation with Texas lawmen. Suicides by veterans like these once would have left people reeling in this military community. But troops and their families here these days call it the “new normal” for a US Army that’s spent a decade at war. Melissa Dixon sees the stress in the tattoos she draws on soldiers back from combat. “Some of them have issues with their wives or their loved ones, where they’re fighting, or one will have a friend commit suicide,” she said. Read Article

Flamin’ strong evidence that man began cooking with fire two million years ago

Mail Online – Cooking food with fire may date back two million years, far earlier than originally thought, new research suggests. Up until now the earliest date accepted by scholars for when man learned to control fire is 1.5million years BC. Read Article

Life as we know it: there are 8.7 million different species

The Age – If aliens landed on Earth, one of their first questions would likely be: how  many different life forms are there on your planet? ‘‘Embarrassingly’’, we wouldn’t know, an Australian scientist, Lord Robert  May of Oxford, points out.
But as of today, alien visitors could be provided  with the most precise calculation ever made: 8.7 million species. Read article


Murdoch paper paid Cameron aide: report

Reuters – News Corp funded the former editor of the News of the World tabloid when he worked for David Cameron in opposition, the BBC said, in new evidence of the close links between Britain’s prime minister and Rupert Murdoch. Read Article

U.S – Most U.S. Stocks Drop as Goldman Sachs, BofA Drive Banks Lower

Bloomberg – Most U.S. stocks fell after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s decline in the last 15 minutes of trading wiped out the day’s second Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rally, overshadowing gains by technology shares.

Goldman Sachs slumped 4.7 percent to the lowest level since March 2009 after Reuters said Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein hired a defense attorney. The company confirmed the report after the close of trading. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) retreated 7.9 percent, the most in the S&P 500, amid concern about the lender’s capital raising plans. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Newly Discovered Icelandic Current Could Change North Atlantic Climate Picture

ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2011) — An international team of researchers, including physical oceanographers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could significantly influence the ocean’s response to climate change in previously unforeseen ways. The current, called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “great ocean conveyor belt,” which is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate. As part of the planet’s reciprocal relationship between ocean circulation and climate, this conveyor belt transports warm surface water to high latitudes where the water warms the air, then cools, sinks, and returns towards the equator as a deep flow. Read Article

‘It was highly unusual’: Seismologists shocked by biggest earthquake to hit Virginia in 110 YEARS

Daily Mail – The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck in Virginia and was felt in New York and Washington D.C. today was a rare event for the east coast. Read article

Giant ‘Bugnado’ Swarms In America’s Heartland

NPR – In the American Corn Belt this year, the weather has already felt apocalyptic at times. In the last six months, the Midwest has seen record-breaking floods, devastating twisters, unseasonable cold snaps and late heat waves. Now, add insect swarms to these forces of nature. Read article

Syrian security forces kill seven after UN visit

Associated Press – Syrian security forces killed at least seven people in a flashpoint central city following a visit by members of a UN humanitarian team, activists said today. They say yesterday’s casualties included four people who died when troops opened fire to disperse anti-government protesters in Homs. Read Article

Rates Seen Up Despite QE3 Talk, Banking Woes

Wall Street Journal – Uncertainty about what the nation’s top central banker will say about monetary policy later this week caused some anxiety among traders of U.S. interest rate futures Tuesday. Market participants were also worried about the health of the financial sector, due in part to ongoing government debt troubles in Europe. The continuing debt crisis caused traders on Tuesday to sell primarily short-dated Eurodollar futures, meaning they see an increase in a key interbank lending rate as banks attempt to avoid exposure to bad sovereign debt. As the stock market gained Tuesday, illiquid fed-funds futures contracts–traded at CME Group Inc. (CME)–forecast an increased chance for the Federal Reserve to start raising the short-term funds rate during autumn of 2013. Treasury futures traders remained in limbo Tuesday, waiting to see whether Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s monetary policy speech on Friday will signal a third round of quantitative easing. The Fed finished buying at the end of June $600 billion in U.S. Treasurys, in what was dubbed QE2. So-called QE3 would presumably tighten Treasury supplies and boost prices for contracts tied to U.S. debt. Read Article

Once-a-century earthquake rattles US East Coast

Reuters – A strong earthquake rattled the East Coast on Tuesday, sending tremors as far as Canada, damaging well-known buildings in the nation’s capital and sending scared office workers into the streets. There were no reports of major damage or serious injuries from the 5.8 magnitude quake, which was centered in Mineral, Virginia. It was the largest quake in Virginia since 1897 and struck at a shallow depth, increasing its potency. Read Article

European Bank Job ‘Bloodbath’ Surpasses 40,000

Bloomberg – UBS AG (UBSN)’s decision to cut 5 percent of its workforce brings to more than 40,000 the number of jobs cut by European banks in the past month as the region’s worsening sovereign debt crisis crimps trading revenue. Read Article

Libyan rebels overrun Gaddafi HQ, say he’s “finished”

Reuters – Libyan rebels sacked Muammar Gaddafi’s Tripoli bastion, seizing weapons and smashing symbols of a 42-year dictatorship whose demise will transform modern Libya and send a warning to other Arab autocrats under popular pressure, especially in Syria. As night fell Tuesday after a day in which rebels overran Tripoli, meeting little resistance with few casualties, heavy fighting was reported in a southern desert city, Sabha, that insurgents forecast would be Gaddafi loyalists’ last redoubt. Read Article

NIH Biased Against Blacks?

The Scientist – African American biomedical researchers applying for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are less likely to be funded than white scientists, according to a study published last week in Science. The numbers are pretty striking, with the gap in success rates between black and white applicants amounting to 10 percent, even after accounting for factors like publication record, previous research awards, education, country of origin, training, and employer characteristics. Read Article

U.S. – Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Fed’s Secret Loans

Bloomberg – Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret. Read Article Watch Video

Rights group slams Manus Island deal

ABC – The Human Rights Commission has warned that transferring asylum seekers to an immigration processing centre set to re-open in Papua New Guinea could lead to human rights breaches. A deal to reopen the Manus Island facility was signed last Friday and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says he wants the centre up and running as soon as possible. But Human Rights Commission president Catherine Branson is concerned the Government’s plan heralds a return to the Howard government’s Pacific solution. Read Article