Daily Archives

Alcohol Consumption Greatly Increases Serious Injury Risk for Heavy and Moderate Drinkers

ScienceDaily — Researchers know that alcohol impairs coordination and the ability to perceive and respond to hazards, and that hangovers impair neurocognitive performance and psychomotor vigilance. This study closely examined alcohol-related injuries admitted to hospital, finding that alcohol greatly increases risk for serious injury. Read article

Link Between Alcohol and Harm Is Stronger in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden Than in Italy, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily — Research clearly shows a dose-response relationship between alcohol and health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver. More recent research has shown linkages between greater drinking and greater problems such as interpersonal violence. A study of the impact that the larger, cultural context of drinking in several European countries may have on the relationship between drinking and harm has found that this relationship is stronger in the Baltic countries and Sweden than Italy. Read article

Berlusconi vows to punish rioters after Rome protest

BBC – Riot police fought militant protesters who had joined the crowds taking part in a global protest against banks and politicians in the city centre. At least 70 people were injured, three of them seriously, property was damaged and cars and bins set on fire. Most of the other protests in 82 countries passed off peacefully. Read article

‘Hell no! We won’t go!’ Bloomberg backs down over dawn ‘eviction’ of Wall Street camp after mob storms his restaurant

DailyMail – Jubilant scenes are being witnessed this morning at the Occupy Wall Street protest camp after a planned ‘eviction’ was postponed following a last-minute change of mind by the park’s owners. Brookfield Office Properties put off a clean-up and supporters of the protesters streamed into the New York park in the morning darkness today, forming a crowd of several hundred chanting people. Chanting ‘Hell no! We won’t go!’, hundreds of demonstrators stormed a Wall Street restaurant last night to confront New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over a planned clean-up of their camp.Read article

China communists hold key annual meeting

BBC – The Chinese Communist Party is holding its most important meeting of the year over the next four days. The gathering of the party’s central committee is the last big meeting before leadership changes next year. President Hu Jintao will leave office after the 2012 party congress, while Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his government will end their terms the following year. But the party is giving few clues as to what will be discussed. To judge from the media coverage, this meeting is nothing special – an article issued by Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, ran to just a few lines. Read Article

Spewing volcano forces Spain to close island port

Sacbee – Madrid –  Spanish authorities say activity  by an underwater volcano has led them to close access to a port on El Hierro  island. Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have  been banned from flying over the island’s southern tip. Read article


Afghanistan militants attack US base in Panjshir

BBC – Militants have launched a suicide attack on a US base in eastern Afghanistan but failed to breach the outside gate. The four militants were all killed in the attack on the base in the Rakha district of the Panjshir region, officials said. There are unconfirmed reports two Afghan drivers were also killed. The compound serves as the base for a provincial reconstruction team – a mix of military and civilian personnel. The Taliban said they carried out the attack. Read Article

Return of the Iceland ash cloud? Fears grow of volcanic eruption that ‘would be worse’ than last year’s which closed Europe’s skies

Daily Mail – An Icelandic volcano that could have a more devastating impact than the one that paralysed air traffic last year may erupt at any moment, experts have  warned. Seismologists are nervously watching rumblings beneath Katla, a volcano on the southern edge of the north Atlantic island nation, which could mean an eruption is imminent. Read article


New York: We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies

NY Daily – A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas. The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup. Read Article

Return to Gold Standard? Why Price Would Hit $10,000

CNBC – All the major countries in the world are in a race to debase their currencies in order to restart their economies. Either economic growth returns or—as some doomsayers predict—the 40-year run of fiat currencies ends. And if under this worst case scenario the solution was to return to the gold standard of the Nixon years, the price of bullion would be worth $10,000-plus, six-times the current price, according to Paul Brodsky, co-managing member of QB Asset Management company and a self-professed ‘Gold Bug.’ Read Article

Breathing life into an extinct ethnicity

Nature – Participants in the 1000 Genomes project reconstruct the genetic variation of a lost group of Native Americans. Read article

Mysterious disease killed scores of seals in Alaska

(Reuters) – A mysterious disease, possibly a virus, has killed scores of ring seals along Alaska’s coast, according to local and federal agencies. The diseased seals have been beaching themselves on the Arctic coastline since July, with numbers picking up in subsequent months, biologists with the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management and other agencies said on Thursday. Read article

Egypt’s Military Expands Power, Raising Alarms

NYTimes – Egypt’s military rulers are moving to assert and extend their own power so broadly that a growing number of lawyers and activists are questioning their willingness to ultimately submit to civilian authority. Read article

Adam Werritty: UK Defence Secretary friend ‘bankrolled by corporate intelligence firm and Israel lobbyist’

Telegraph – Mr Werritty is reported to have paid for travel around the world from a company that received funds from G3 Good Governance Group and Tamares Real Estate, an investment company owned by Poju Zabloudowicz, the chairman of Bicom. Read article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Clean air fixes cold poles in model of ancient climate

New Scientist – Good news for climate modellers. After 25 years of trying, they have succeeded in simulating the hot climates of Earth’s prehistory. So why has it taken so long? Not because of the models themselves, but because the modellers made a false assumption: that aerosol pollution in the distant past was as bad as it is today. At various times in Earth’s history, the planet was much hotter than it is now. Rocks and fossils laid down in these hothouse stretches show that the temperature difference between the poles and the equator was much smaller than it is today.

Climate models have long failed to simulate these warm times, says modeller Paul Valdes of the University of Bristol, UK. Specifically, they don’t heat the poles enough, often falling as much as 15 °C short. The models can get the poles right if modellers inject more greenhouse gases into the simulated atmosphere, but then the tropics overheat. Trying to fix this cold-pole problem, Jeff Kiehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, simulated the climate of 55 million years ago. At that time Earth briefly experienced the hottest climate it has seen since the time of the dinosaurs, an event called the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum. The average global temperature then was 35 °C – the average today is just 15 °C. Read Article

Video Of The Week: John Pilger – Civil Disobedience is the Only Way Now

“There are two types of humanity in war: there are worthy victims and unworthy victims… None of it happened. It didn’t happen even as it was happening.”

“The war on Afghanistan was a fraud right from the beginning, just as the attack on Iraq was a fraud and the invasion of Libya is a fraud.”

Antiwar demonstration to commemorate 10 years of the war in Afghanistan – Trafalgar Square, London – 08/10/11

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Quotation Of The Week

“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”

John F. Kennedy

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Vitamin D Levels Lower in Pelvic Floor Disorders

Family Practice News – Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in women diagnosed with a pelvic floor disorder than in a comparison group of gynecology patients without pelvic floor disorders, based on a retrospective chart review of patients seen at a urogynecology care clinic between 2008 and 2010. In the study, 550 patients had both a clinic visit and an assessment of vitamin D levels, but 156 were excluded from consideration because of missing clinical data (n = 137), stage III or greater kidney disease (n = 17), or other medical conditions (n = 2). Read article

US study finds widespread evidence of GM canola contamination

ABC – US scientists have called for better monitoring of genetically modified crops after finding large amounts of GM canola growing outside of GM canola fields. The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, found more than 20 plants growing per square metre along US roads and the plants were hybridising with non-GM varieties. Read article

US seeks support for action against Iran central bank

AFP — The United States is seeking international support for fresh sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, a Treasury official said Friday following an alleged plot to kill the Saudi envoy in Washington. “We are engaging in an effort to develop the multilateral support that would be critically important in having an action against the CBI really be effective,” sanctions czar David Cohen told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Most Iranian banks, including the CBI, have been under comprehensive US sanctions for nearly 20 years, and any US dealings with them are illegal. Read Article

Some U.S. officials question response to Iran plot

Reuters – While President Barack Obama and top aides have been united this week in grave warnings over an alleged Iranian assassination plot, some U.S. government officials are privately expressing disquiet that the outlandish-sounding plan has triggered U.S. calls for stiff new action against Iran. These officials, while not disputing many facts of the case, say that if anything, the scheme reveals weaknesses in Iran’s security agencies, and the increasingly fractured state of Iran’s government as it faces intense international pressure. They also questioned the wisdom of the White House strategy in using the affair to rapidly push for tougher sanctions on Tehran, increasing regional tensions. “A lot of people basically feel really suspicious about this,” one official said, questioning the White House’s motivation “in ratcheting this thing up so quickly.” Read Article

U.S. budget gap widens, tops $1 trillion for third year

Reuters – The U.S. budget gap widened slightly in fiscal 2011, staying above $1 trillion for a third straight year and providing fodder for a political battle over taxes and spending ahead of next year’s presidential election. Read article

Occupy Wall Street protesters move to Times Square

BBC – Police in New York have arrested about 70 people, as Occupy Wall Street protesters moved to Times Square. Forty-five were detained in the square, with another 24 held for alleged trespassing at a branch of Citibank in Washington Square Park. The protests came on a day of worldwide protests against austerity and what protesters call corporate greed. At least 70 people were injured after a peaceful rally in the Italian capital Rome descended into street battles. Read Article

Iran denies US meeting over Saudi ambassador plot

BBC – A US state department spokeswoman insisted the meeting had taken place. The US alleges that two men with ties to Iran’s elite security forces were part of the plot. Iran has labelled the claims it was involved in the plot a fabrication, but US President Barack Obama says “facts are there for all to see”. Read article