Daily Archives

China currency bill passes U.S. Senate

Reuters – The U.S. Senate approves China yuan bill in a 63-35 vote, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives, whose leaders have criticized the measure. Read article

Gold price seen averaging $1,770 in Q4

Economic Times – The price of gold is expected to average $1,770 per ounce in the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters GFMS said on Wednesday, adding that official net purchases of gold were seen rising to 500 tonnes in 2011, from its prior estimate of 336 tonnes. Thomson Reuters GFMS global head of metals analytics Philip Klapwijk said the consultancy’s base scenario until 2013 was for the gold price to peak next year and then trend lower. Read Article

New Zealand – Water fluoridation is to end in the New Plymouth district.

Taranaki Daily News – In a unanimous decision New Plymouth District councillors this morning voted to stop fluoridating New Plymouth, Waitara, Urenui and Lepperton water supplies. The decision sides with the overwhelming majority of submissions made to council on the issue two weeks ago which called for an end to water fluoridation. Councillor Shaun Biesiek, who moved to drop the chemical from the district’s water supply, said supporters of fluoridation had failed to convince him the benefits it had in preventing tooth decay did not also come with health risks. Read Article

How the US government secretly reads your email

Guardian – Somewhere, a US government official is reading through a list of those who sent or received an email from Jacob Appelbaum, a 28-year-old computer science researcher at the University of Washington who volunteered for WikiLeaks. Among those listed will be my name, a journalist who interviewed Appelbaum for a book about the digital revolution. Read Article

California Minors No Longer Need Parental Okay for HPV Shot

Medxcspe — California Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a law widely backed by healthcare professionals to let minors as young as 12 years of age receive a vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV) without their parents’ consent. By supporting the legislation, the California Medical Association, the state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the California Nurses Association found themselves pulled into the nationwide debate about the vaccine. Read article

Oil cleanup begins on New Zealand’s blackened beaches

New Scientist – Workers are combing through the oiled beaches of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty after the Liberian cargo vessel Rena ran aground at Astrolabe reef. The spill, considered the worst maritime environmental disaster in the country’s history, has released 350 tonnes of oil. Maritime New Zealand is anticipating 10,000 tonnes of sandy waste from the accident. Read article

Occupy Boston: Police beat war veterans, 100 arrested

RT – There have been reports of police beating war veterans during a peaceful protest in the U.S. city of Boston. The demonstration was part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is aimed at big business and banks. The protests which started in New York are now countrywide. Read article

U.S. Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy

NYTimes – The United States on Tuesday accused Iranian officials of plotting to murder Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States in a bizarre scheme involving an Iranian-American used-car salesman who believed he was hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million. Read article

UK – BP faces fierce backlash from green groups over new oil well

Independent – BP’s plan for a controversial deep-water oil well off Shetland should be halted by the Government, four of Britain’s biggest green groups said last night. Read article

Gunfire and shelling in Homs, Syria

Reuters – The Syrian army and deserters clash in the city of Homs and protesters take to the streets in large-scale demonstrations. Sarah Irwin reports.

France hit by anti-austerity protests

PressTV – Several French unions called for a national day of action against the government’s austerity package on Tuesday, calling on employees to demonstrate in streets and cripple transportation, especially in Paris. Read article

UK: £200bn black hole puts more pensions at risk as deficit grows by £80bn in just FOUR weeks

Daily Mail – The country’s biggest private sector pension funds are £200billion in the red, a report warned yesterday. In just four weeks, the deficit has grown by £80billion, fuelled by the stock market plunge and collapsing returns on government bonds. Experts warn the alarming figures could prompt employers to close pension schemes or make them less beneficial to staff. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Clear link between solar activity and winter weather revealed

PhysOrg – Scientists have demonstrated a clear link between the 11-year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere for the first time. They found that low solar activity can contribute to cold winters in the UK, northern Europe and parts of America. But high activity from the sun has the opposite effect.The study helps explain why the UK has been gripped by such cold winters over the last few years: the sun is just emerging from a so-called solar minimum, when solar activity is at its lowest. ‘Our research establishes the link between the solar cycle and winter climate as more than just coincidence,’ says Dr Adam Scaife from the UK’s Met Office, one of the study’s authors. Read Article Read Paper

US crime predicting technology tests draw Minority Report comparisons

Telegraph – The US Department of Homeland Security has begun testing crime predicting technology that is drawing comparisons to the science fiction film Minority Report. Using cameras and sensors the “pre-crime” system measures and tracks changes in a person’s body movements, the pitch of their voice and the rhythm of their speech. Read Article

Eating your greens can change the effect of your genes on heart disease, say researchers

Medical Xpress – A long-held mantra suggests that you can’t change your family, the genes they pass on, or the effect of these genes. Now, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at McMaster and McGill universities, is attacking that belief. The researchers discovered the gene that is the strongest marker for heart disease can actually be modified by generous amounts of fruit and raw vegetables. The results of their study are published in the current issue of the journal PLoS Medicine. Read article

NTC forces fight for Sirte

Reuters – Libyan government forces said they believed they had one of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons cornered in the center of Sirte, but a determined resistance was keeping them at bay. Sarah Irwin reports.

7 Population Milestones for 7 Billion People

Live Science – This year marks the seventh “billion-person” milestone in the planet’s history. On or around Oct. 31, 2011, the world’s 7 billionth person will be born, the United Nation estimates. Even more staggering is that of the 7 billion people on Earth, about 1.4 billion of them will be old enough to have observed the arrivals of the 6 billionth, 5 billionth, 4 billionth and 3 billionth people in the world. About 42.5 million people could have blown the party horn for the birth of the 2 billionth baby. Read Article

Senate rejects Obama’s jobs bill

CNN – Unemployment benefits for 6 million Americans are at risk now that the U.S. Senate has rejected President Obama’s jobs bill. The Senate voted 50-49 in favor of the bill late Tuesday. But the measure failed to receive the 60 votes needed to advance the $447 billion plan. Read Article

UK unemployment hits highest level for 17 years

Independent – Unemployment has reached a 17-year high after more than 100,000 people joined the ranks of those looking for a job, grim new figures showed today. Youth unemployment reached a record high of 991,000, while the numbers claiming jobseeker’s allowance increased for the seventh month in a row, to 1.6 million. Read Article

Internet Freedom Under Attack – VeriSign demands website takedown powers

The Register – VeriSign, which manages the database of all .com internet addresses, wants powers to shut down “non-legitimate” domain names when asked to by law enforcement. The company said today it wants to be able to enforce the “denial, cancellation or transfer of any registration” in any of a laundry list of scenarios where a domain is deemed to be “abusive”. Read Article

Industry Conflicts of Interest Are Pervasive Among Medical Guideline Panel Members, Experts Say

ScienceDaily — Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that conflicts of interest (COI) are prevalent and potentially underreported among individuals participating in the development of clinical practice guidelines, which inform standards of patient care. The findings provide further evidence of the potential influence of industry on medical practice recommendations. The study is published online Oct. 12 in BMJ: The British Medical Journal. Read article

US: Protesters march for millionaire’s tax

Reuters – Occupy Wall Street protesters left their Wall Street home base and headed uptown in a ”Millionaire’s March” to push for a millionaire’s tax to fund education and job creation. Read article

DC protesters accept 4-month permit extension

AP – Anti-war and anti-corporate greed protesters have accepted an offer by U.S. Park Police in the nation’s capital to extend by four months their permit to demonstrate. Read article

Uganda: Where child sacrifice is a business

BBC – Schoolchildren are closely watched by teachers and parents as they make their way home from school. In playgrounds and on the roadside are posters warning of the danger of abduction by witch doctors for the purpose of child sacrifice. The ritual, which some believe brings wealth and good health, was almost unheard of in the country until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged, seemingly alongside a boom in the country’s economy. Read Article

400,000 children will fall into relative poverty by 2015, warns IFS

Guardian – The government shakeup of the tax and benefits system will result in a further 400,000 children falling into relative poverty during this parliament, leaving Britain on course to miss legally binding targets to reduce child poverty by 2020, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. In a bleak assessment of changes in the government’s new social contract, the IFS said the number of children in absolute poverty in 2015 will rise by 500,000 to 3 million. Even worse, by 2020 3.3 million young people – almost one in four children – will find themselves in relative child poverty. Read Article