Daily Archives

Big Corn, Big Sugar in bitter US row on sweetener

Medical Xpress – Big Corn and Big Sugar are locked in a legal and public relations fight in the US over a plan to change the name of a corn-based sweetener that has gotten a bad name. Read article

UK: Three quarters of quangos still going a year after they were axed

Telegraph – Campaigners complained that the bonfire now “looked more like a smouldering campfire than a roaring blaze” and called for more action to deliver the reforms. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced last October bold plans to axe, merge or reform hundreds of public bodies as part of the cuts. Read article

In Strikes on Libya by NATO, an Unspoken Civilian Toll

NY Times – NATO’s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and helping to push him from power, came with an unrecognized toll: scores of civilian casualties the alliance has long refused to acknowledge or investigate. By NATO’s telling during the war, and in statements since sorties ended on Oct. 31, the alliance-led operation was nearly flawless — a model air war that used high technology, meticulous planning and restraint to protect civilians from Colonel Qaddafi’s troops, which was the alliance’s mandate. Read Article

France to enter recession, official statistics say

AFP – France will fall into a brief recession and the government’s 2012 growth target of 1.0 percent will be difficult to achieve, the official INSEE statistics agency warned Thursday. INSEE said it expects France to enter a mild recession in the final quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2012. While timid growth of 0.1 percent is expected to resume in the second quarter, INSEE analysts said gains of 1.3 percent in the second half of the year would be needed to generate the 1.0 percent growth targeted in the government’s last austerity budget. Read Article

Death Toll Rises From Clashes in Cairo

NY Times – Egypt’s military rulers escalated a bloody crackdown on street protesters on Saturday, chasing down and beating unarmed civilians, even while the prime minister was denying in a televised news conference that security forces were using any force. In one of the most incendiary developments, video cameras captured soldiers stripping the clothes off women they were beating on the pavement of Tahrir Square. Read Article

EU carbon trading in freefall

SOURCE: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/15/eu-carbon-trading-in-freefall/

Riots continue in Kazakhstan

Ruvr – Riots continue in the city of Zhanaozen located in the west of Kazakhstan where 10 people have died as a result of mass unrest during the celebration of the Republic’s independence anniversary. Read article

Taiwan giving up on US subs, eyeing local plan: analyst

Taipei Times – Taiwan has all but given up on acquiring diesel-electric submarines from the US and is expected to embark on a domestic program with assistance from abroad, a leading defense analyst told the Taipei Times. Longstanding plans to augment Taiwan’s small and aging submarine fleet gained momentum in 2001, when the administration of US president George W. Bush offered to provide eight diesel-electric submarines to Taiwan for about US$12 billion. Read Article

Millions of GM moths could be released to combat crop pests

Daily Telegraph – A British company has proposed releasing a GM strain of the diamondback moth, which it has developed, which would reduce the population of the vegetable-eating insects. Males carrying a lethal gene would be released which would cause their offspring to die almost immediately. The subsequent fall in their numbers could help increase yields for farmers. Read article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Central and South America (747 articles)

From a region that contains the mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, boasting nearly 10% of the world’s biodiversity, Central and South America is a rich source of varies news items. Police, protests, politics… we view it all. From the mexican drug cartels to the deforestation of the Amazon. Keep up to date with a look at our regional news archive of 747 articles on the topic CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Greenland temperatures from 1000 AD to 1950

Video Of The Week – Palestine Pre-1947

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Quotation Of The Week

“Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.”

- Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)

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Ex-Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bosses charged with fraud

BBC – The US financial regulator has brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the executives had misled investors about the companies’ exposure to risky subprime mortgages they held when the housing bubble burst. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were rescued by the US government in 2008. Read Article

Treating Stress, Speech Disorders With Music

NPR – More and more hospitals and clinics now offer music therapy as a supplementary treatment for everything from anxiety to Alzheimer’s, but its efficacy varies for different conditions. Neurologist Oliver Sacks and several music therapists discuss the science and practice of music therapy. Listen to or read transcript of the interview

Italy’s Monti wins confidence vote over austerity

BBC – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has easily won a parliamentary confidence vote on his government’s package of crucial austerity measures. Read article

The Spoils of War: Soviet-armed Iraq switches to US weapons

Asia Times – As the United States withdraws the last of its 50,000 troops after a nearly nine-year military occupation of Iraq, visiting Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki had one final request: billions of dollars worth of US weapons for his rag-tag armed forces. A longstanding Soviet and later Russian ally, Iraq under former president Saddam Hussein never had an ongoing military relationship with the United States. Now, Iraq is gradually abandoning its huge arsenal of primarily Russian and French equipment in favor of US arms. Read Article

Tunnels Swallow Conventional Wisdom on China’s Nuclear Strategy

Epoch Times – A hole in the ground means different things to different people. But what about a complex network of caverns more than 3,000 miles in length, deep underground, wide enough for two or three train cars, and used to keep nuclear weapons? Prompted by a recent report by a Georgetown University professor, a debate has emerged among academics and arms control policy wonks about what that means, if anything. At stake, potentially, is the global arms control regime, U.S. strategic planning on China, and stability in Asia. Read Article

Ireland – GM animal feed part of food chain, says Minister

Irish Times – Irish people had been eating meat reared on feed containing genetically modified (GM) elements for years, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said. “The idea that Ireland is GM-free is not accurate in respect of the feed given to animals,” he added. Mr Coveney said his focus was on ensuring the Irish agri-food sector was competitive and safe. New GM crops, which might be part of feeds imported into Ireland, would be rigorously tested, and he had faith in the European systems from a scientific and safety point of view. Read article

Mexico telecom regulator signs contracts to friends

Reuters – The president of Mexico’s phone and television regulator approved two contracts worth roughly $200,000 for businesses run by two friends, including one who works as a lobbyist for telecom companies. The contracts were for public relations and legal work for Mexico’s telecom regulator Cofetel and were signed by the agency’s head, Mony de Swaan. There is no evidence that de Swaan received a financial benefit from the contracts and he denies any wrongdoing. Read Article

Assange extradition case to go to Supreme Court

Independent – Britain’s highest court yesterday granted permission for Julian Assange to appeal against his extradition to Sweden, where he faces sex crime allegations. The Supreme Court said it would hear the appeal after the founder of WikiLeaks raised a question on extradition law “of general public importance”. The two-day hearing will begin on 1 February. Read Article

French farmer sues Monsanto over weedkiller

Reuters – A French farmer started court proceedings on Monday against U.S. agricultural group Monsanto, which he is suing for damages after inhaling a weedkiller manufactured by the firm which was later prohibited in France. The trial opened in the southeastern French city of Lyon, with a verdict expected on Feb. 13. Read article

Russia set to become WTO member after 18 years of talks

BBC – Russia is finally set to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday at a ceremony in Switzerland, after 18 years negotiating its membership.Read article

US: Military looks for more ‘fear factor’ in training simulators

Physorg – The group of Marines sprang into action and raced into combat position, with weapons aimed, as they assaulted a possible terrorist stronghold. Moments later, they were sipping sodas and chatting with friends about weekend plans. For them it was just another exercise in a war-game training simulation – a computer-generated virtual world that can take them to remote war zones, help them learn combat tactics and terrain, and have them home in time for dinner. The Dismounted Soldier Training System and other snazzy training simulators were on display recently at a trade show in Orlando. Defense contractors’ high-resolution animation and 3D graphics provided compelling visuals for the industry’s “immersive” military-training systems. Read Article

U.S. Navy may station ships in Singapore, Philippines

Reuters – The U.S. Navy said it would station several new coastal combat ships in Singapore and perhaps in the Philippines in coming years, moves likely to fuel China’s fears of being encircled and pressured in the South China Sea dispute. Regional defense analysts said the ships were small, but agreed the symbolism of the moves, which come after Washington announced it was increasing its engagement in Asia, would upset Beijing. Read Article