Daily Archives

TEPCO says it ‘no longer owns’ Fukushima fallout

The Australian – In terms of sheer chutzpah, Tokyo Electric Power Co’s claim that it no longer owns the radioactive isotopes that spewed out of its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March takes some beating. In defending a lawsuit from a Fukushima Prefecture golf club, lawyers said the radioactive cesium that had blighted the Sunfield Nihonmatsu golf course’s fairways and greens was the club’s problem. The utility has taken a similarly hard line defending claims from ryokan (inn) and onsen (spa) owners. Read article

Seals with damaged flippers and hair loss ‘are being killed by radiation from Fukushima plant’, biologists warn

Daily Mail – Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether seals are being killed by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s arctic coastline since July either injured or killed by a mysterious disease which biologists first thought was a virus. But the bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the seals’ fur coats may have been caused by radiation from the stricken nuclear plant. Read article

India MPs pass anti-corruption Lokpal bill

BBC – India’s lower house of parliament has passed a controversial anti-corruption bill, amid a fresh protest hunger strike by campaigner Anna Hazare, who is demanding a stronger law. Read article

U.S. Fifth Fleet says won’t allow Hormuz disruption

Reuters – (Reuters) – The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it would not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the world’s most important oil route. “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated,” the Bahrain-based fleet said in an e-mail. Read Article

Seven hurt as bomb hits madrassa in Nigeria

Reuters – Assailants threw a homemade bomb into a madrassa in southern Nigeria’s Delta state, police said, wounding seven people and escalating tensions between Muslims and Christians after a spate of church bombings across the nation. Six of the wounded were children younger than nine learning the Koran at the Islamic seminary, or madrassa. In a separate incident, armed Fulani herdsmen shot dead three members of a family in the ethnically and religiously mixed Plateau state on Wednesday, witnesses and officials said. Read Article

Obama to ask for debt limit hike: Treasury official

Reuters – The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government’s debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday. The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013. Read Article

Afghanistan clears oil deal with China’s CNPC

Global Energy Watch – Afghanistan has agreed to sign a deal with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for oil exploration and extraction, the president’s office said in a statement Monday. The state-owned Chinese oil giant will develop three oil fields, along with Afghan company Watan Group, located in the Amu river zone in Sar-e Pol and Faryab provinces in northern Afghanistan, the statement said. Read Article

Survey: Home prices down in most major US cities

Associated Press – U.S. home prices fell in most major cities for the second straight month, further evidence that the housing recovery will be bumpy and weigh on the broader economy in 2012. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed prices dropped in October from September in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. Read Article

French implants firm was criticised by US inspectors in 2000

AP – A Food and Drug Administration warned PIP its saline implants were substandard and accused it of failing to report complaints. Read article

Lava floods kill three in Indonesia (0:47)

Russia election: Vladimir Putin rejects poll review

BBC – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has dismissed calls for a review of disputed parliamentary election results and has accused protesters of lacking clear aims. He was speaking to his supporters in the All Russia People’s Front. Read article

Nigeria Boko Haram clashes: ‘Thousands flee Damaturu’

BBC – About 90,000 people have been displaced in clashes between militant Islamists and the security forces in Nigeria’s Damaturu city, an official has said. The Boko Haram group and troops were involved in heavy gun battles in the north-eastern city last week. The militants also planted bombs in Damaturu and outside a church near the capital, Abuja, on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, an explosive device was thrown into an Arabic school in the south of the country on Tuesday night. At least seven children were wounded in the attack in Sapele town, police say. Read Article

Bill for basket of essentials soars 43 per cent in ten years

Daily Mail – Ordinary families have been crippled by the rocketing cost of essential goods over the past decade, a report has found. The price of basic purchases, such as food and fuel, soared by 43 per cent over the decade from 2000. These rising costs – far above general inflation – have already wiped out most of the gains in living standards made by families on low and modest incomes in the early 2000s, before the downturn began, according to research. Read Article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Population (381 articles)

Population growth has increased significantly as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace from 1700 onwards. So much so that the 7 billionth person was born in late 2011. The last 50 years have seen a yet more rapid increase in the rate of population growth due to medical advances and substantial increases in agricultural productivity. The United Nations Population Division projected that the world’s population will likely surpass 10 billion in 2055, raising a number of economic, environmental and sustainability questions. See our news archive of 381 articles on Population for a comprehensive view. CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – US severe tornadoes Vs CO2 levels

SOURCE: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/ushurrlist18512009.txt

Surveillance System Tags, Tracks And Follows

Arab observers fan out across Syria

Reuters – Arab monitors head to three more Syrian cities on Thursday to check if government forces are complying with a peace plan after a delegation to Homs, center of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, was mobbed by a protesters demanding protection. Read Article

Syria unrest: Homs residents confront Arab League team

BBC – Angry protesters have confronted visiting Arab League monitors in Syria’s restive city of Homs, demanding international protection. The observers are verifying compliance with an Arab League plan to end the government’s violent crackdown. Tens of thousands protested in Homs as the monitors arrived. The Arab League said the first day was “very good”. Read Article

Iran opens trial of US man who ‘confessed’ to CIA plot

BBC – Iran has begun the trial of an American man of Iranian descent accused of being a CIA spy, according to local media. Read article

Armed groups blow up pipeline in Syria

Press TV – Unknown armed groups have blown up a gas pipeline in the al-Rastan area near the western Syrian city of Homs, Press TV reports. Following the explosion, clashes erupted between Syrian security forces and armed groups in Homs. According to reports, a Lebanese and a Libyan national have been killed in the clashes. Read Article

Obama Nominates Carlyle Group Partner to The Federal Reserve

Bloomberg – President Barack Obama said he will nominate two former U.S. Treasury Department officials for the Federal Reserve Board, including one who served in a Republican administration. Jerome Powell, an attorney who was a Treasury undersecretary for former President George H.W. Bush, and Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University economist who has advised the current administration, are Obama’s picks. Pairing candidates who served under both parties may help ease approval by a Senate where the Democrats’ majority narrowed last year, letting Republicans block administration nominees. The Fed’s seven-member Board of Governors has two vacancies. While the term of Elizabeth Duke, an appointee of President George W. Bush, expires Jan. 31, she can continue to serve until a successor is appointed. Read Article

Editorial Comment – Powell served as the undersecretary for finance under the president George H. W. Bush and was a partner of The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is a massive private equity firm and one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Amongst its members are some of the most influential policymakers over the last five administrations including both Bush presidents, former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to name a few. In addition former British Prime Minister John Major was European Chairman of the Group. Other notable investors in The Carlyle Group include the bin Laden family and the Saudi Royal Family. Coincidentally, it has been well documented George H. W. Bush was at a Caryle Group meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington on the morning of September 11th with one of Osama Bin Laden’s brothers.

Britain’s poorest hit by £2.5bn ‘stealth tax’

Independant – The analysis found that the £1bn of tax cuts in April will be outweighed by reductions of more than £2.5bn in the complex tax-credit scheme. Most of the cuts to credits, which top up the wages of low-income families in work, will take effect from April and could catch families unaware. Read article

Russia to test launch strategic missile with new combat equipment

Interfax – Russian specialists plan to test launch an RS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) (UR-100N UTTKh, Stiletto by Western classification) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, a Yuzhny Space Center spokesman told Interfax. “The main task of the launch is to test intercontinental ballistic missiles’ new combat equipment capable of overpowering existing and future missile defense shields,” he said. Read Article

Russia scolds United States for human rights abuse

Reuters – Russia sought to undermine the authority of the United States as a global judge of human rights on Wednesday with Moscow’s first report to detail allegations of torture, phone tapping and abuse by the U.S. government. Criticizing the United States for double standards, Russia said President Barack Obama had failed to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and accused the White House of sheltering officials and CIA operatives from prosecution. Read article