Daily Archives

Lead From Old U.S. Batteries Sent to Mexico Raises Risks

NY Times — The spent batteries Americans turn in for recycling are increasingly being sent to Mexico, where their lead is often extracted by crude methods that are illegal in the United States, exposing plant workers and local residents to dangerous levels of a toxic metal. The rising flow of batteries is a result of strict new Environmental Protection Agency standards on lead pollution, which make domestic recycling more difficult and expensive, but do not prohibit companies from exporting the work and the danger to countries where standards are low and enforcement is lax. Read articles

Eurozone: France and Germany urge common taxes

BBC – The leaders of France and Germany have called jointly for eurozone countries to have common corporation and financial transaction taxes. Read article

USA: Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged

Washington Post – The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show. The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now. Read Article

The Queen’s hidden cousins: They were banished to an asylum in 1941 and left neglected now an intriguing documentary reveals all

Daily Mail – The date was 29 July, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Di’s wedding day, and as the Queen arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral and waved to the crowds, two women in late middle-age, in shapeless, baggy dresses, shuffled with clumsy gait up to the television and waved and saluted back to her, unable to articulate speech but making excited noises. It was a poignant moment, recalls Onelle Braithwaite, one of the nurses who cared for them. ‘I remember pondering with my colleague how, if things had been different, they would surely have been guests at the wedding.’ Read Article

Police raid Occupy San Francisco camp

PressTV – US police have dismantled over 100 tents at an Occupy camp in San Francisco, arresting more than 50 protesters who refused to leave the site. Dozens of police cars, fire engines surrounded the area, while more than 200 riot police raided the campsite at Justin Herman Plaza around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Read Article

Nano rules fall foul of data gap

Nature – The science of the very small will lurk in many a Christmas gift this year. Nanomaterials add strength to golf clubs, odour resistance to socks and ultraviolet protection to cosmetics. But some of their properties could also pose health risks, and regulations covering their manufacture and use have failed to keep pace with the rush to market. Read article

Russia’s anti-Putin protests grow

Guardian – Russia’s anti-government protest movement has gathered momentum as tens of thousands of people said they were prepared to take to the streets this weekend in the biggest challenge to Vladimir Putin’s rule. With concern inside the Kremlin growing, Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, met their security council, including the interior and defence ministers, the head of the federal security service (FSB) and the country’s foreign intelligence chief, to discuss the situation. Read article

Republican candidates rattle sabers against Iran

Reuters – Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday rattled sabers against Iran and accused President Barack Obama of being soft in his support for Israel as they vied for the backing of Jewish Republicans. One by one, the major contenders for the Republican nomination to face the Democratic president in 2012 told the Republican Jewish Coalition conference they would strengthen ties with Israel and not let Iran develop a nuclear weapon. Read Article

SD attorney general: Federal appeals court will rehear abortion appeal

Associated Press – A federal appeals court has agreed to rehear a case dealing with a portion of a 2005 South Dakota abortion law that requires a doctor to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she faces an increased risk of suicide, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Tuesday. The full 11-member 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear arguments related to the suicide advisory Jan. 9 in St. Louis, Mo. A three-judge panel of the court in September upheld U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier’s decision to overturn the requirement following a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood. Read Article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Energy & Resources (1,353 articles)

We are consuming energy at an exponential rate, placing more and more stress on the world’s resources. As governments and companies work towards developing new solutions and technologies to the question of our energy consumption, we must also address the range of pollution, climate change, and resource issues that arise. For a comprehensive view from a diverse range of sources, read our Energy & Resources news archive of 1,353 articles CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Do blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range show the West Antarctic ice sheet survived the last interglacial?

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Received 6 October 2010; revised 10 January 2011; Accepted 28 January 2011. Available online 4 February 2011.

Do blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range show the West Antarctic ice sheet survived the last interglacial?

Christopher J. Fogwilla, , Andrew S. Heinb, , Michael J. Bentleyc, , David E. Sugdenb, ,

We present a hypothesis that best explains cosmogenic isotope data on blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range, West Antarctica. The age of the moraines implies that they, and the related ice-sheet surface with which they are associated, have persisted on the flanks of nunataks throughout at least the last interglacial/glacial cycle. The implication is that although the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have fluctuated in thickness during glacial cycles, the central dome has remained intact for at least 200 kyr and possibly even for 400 kyr. Such a finding, if substantiated, would contribute to our understanding of the sensitivity of the WAIS to climate change. Further it would be a powerful geomorphic constraint on models of the past behaviour of the ice sheet during glacial cycles and thus those predicting the future of the ice sheet in a warming world. Read Article

China executes female gangland prostitution ringleader

BBC – The female head of a gangland prostitution ring in Chongqing in south-west China has been executed, Chinese media say. Wang Ziqi was convicted in 2010 of luring hundreds of women to beauty salons or hotels and forcing them into prostitution. She and her sister seized the women’s identity cards or ruined their reputations, reports said. Chongqing has been the scene of a drive against corruption and organised crime. Read Article

Novel Drug Wipes out Deadliest Malaria Parasite Through Starvation

ScienceDaily — An antimalarial agent developed by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University proved effective at clearing infections caused by the malaria parasite most lethal to humans — by literally starving the parasites to death. The novel research, carried out on a small number of non-human primates, could bolster efforts to develop more potent therapies against one of the world’s leading killers. Read article

Bye, bye England? SNP plans closer Scandinavian ties after independence

Independant – An independent Scotland would shift much of its attention away from the UK to become a member of the Scandinavian circle of countries, with its own army, navy and air force modelled on its Nordic neighbours, according to detailed plans being drawn up by the SNP. Read article

Economic Recession Takes Toll On Family Relationships

Science Daily – A majority of Americans rate their current financial situation as poor or fair, and nearly half of Americans say they have encountered financial problems in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center. A University of Missouri researcher studied how parents’ financial problems and resulting mental distress affect their relationships with their children. He found that parents who experience financial problems and depression are less likely to feel connected to their children, and their children are less likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering or helping others. Read Article

Once again, war is prime time and journalism’s role is taboo

Johnpilger.com – On 22 May 2007, the Guardian’s front page announced: “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.” The writer, Simon Tisdall, claimed that Iran had secret plans to defeat American troops in Iraq, which included “forging ties with al-Qaida elements”. The coming “showdown” was an Iranian plot to influence a vote in the US Congress. Based entirely on briefings by anonymous US officials, Tisdall’s “exclusive” rippled with lurid tales of Iran’s “murder cells” and “daily acts of war against US and British forces”. His 1,200 words included just 20 for Iran’s flat denial. Read Article

Sydney’s coldest start to summer in 50 years

Sydney MH – It’s shaping up to be the coldest start to summer in more than 50 years.
If forecasts prove accurate – and Sydney stays below 23 degrees until Wednesday – it will be the coldest first week of summer since 1960. It’s already the coldest in 44 years, Josh Fisher, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said. In the summer of 1960, each of the first 10 days was cooler than 22 degrees. More

Ex-Black Panther Abu-Jamal has death sentence dropped

BBC – Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal is facing the prospect of life in prison after prosecutors said they would not press for the death sentence. Abu-Jamal was found guilty of shooting dead a white policeman in 1981. Now 58, he was sentenced to death in 1982, a year after he was convicted for the killing of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. Read Article

Quicker radiation therapy doubles mastectomy risk

Reuters – Women who get a quicker, localized form of radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer are more likely to need to have their breast removed later on than women treated with traditional radiation of the whole breast. The study, released late on Tuesday at a breast cancer meeting in San Antonio, suggests the increasingly popular practice of using a quicker method known as known as accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy [APBI] may be less effective than standard radiation. Women who had APBI brachytherapy also had higher rates of side effects. Read article

Protesters sit in at congressional offices

Reuters – Protesters brought their message about alleged U.S. economic unfairness to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, sitting in or outside several Senate and House offices. Read article

The Pentagon Is Offering Free Military Hardware To Every Police Department In The US

Business Insider – The U.S. military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will. We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens. Read Article

Clean Air A ‘Luxury’ In Beijing’s Pollution Zone

NPR – On the way to school, my kids and I play a guessing game: How polluted is the air today? We use an app linked to the air pollution monitor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and we try to guess the day’s exact level on the Air Quality Index, and whether the air is dangerous. These days, chances are that it could well be. For more than half of the past 60 days, the air pollution has hit levels hazardous to human health. Experts estimate long-term exposure to such pollution could reduce life expectancy by as much as five years. But I don’t tell the kids that. Read article

Bank Values in Europe Fail to Lure Buyers

Bloomberg – European banks are struggling to find buyers for at least $32 billion of businesses earmarked for sale as the sovereign-debt crisis drags on, raising the likelihood they’ll have to settle for fire-sale prices. European Union lenders including Deutsche Bank AG and France’s Societe Generale SA (GLE) have announced plans to shed more than $1 trillion of assets over the next two years to bolster capital. Read Article

Facial recognition software spots family resemblance

New Scientist – Facial recognition software that’s as good as people at spotting family resemblances could help to reunite lost family members – or help the likes of Facebook work out which of your friends are blood relatives. We intuitively recognise family resemblance through features like shared eye colour or chin contours, but computers have a hard time making such links between photos of different people. Read Article