Daily Archives

Republic of Ireland falls back into recession

BBC – The data from the Central Statistics Office showed that the weakness in the global economy had hit Irish exports, while its domestic consumer spending had continued to recover. The country needed an international bailout in 2010. Read article

US says 5 nations clear out weapons-grade uranium

AP – The U.S. has helped five nations completely clear out their stocks of highly enriched uranium since President Barack Obama outlined his plans for securing all weapons-usable materials worldwide, officials say, citing it as progress in the administration’s efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from getting in terrorists’ hands. Anne Harrington, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nonproliferation chief, said that since Obama’s April 2009 speech in Prague announcing his plans, the U.S. has helped remove enough material from about a dozen countries to make almost 30 warheads. She added that several global leaders are expected to use a nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea, which starts Sunday, to announce similar advances. Read Article

New York jail sued after five suicides in two years

Reuters – A civil liberties group filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing a New York county of poor oversight of a local jail where five inmates have committed suicide since 2010. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed its suit in state Supreme Court against Nassau County, on Long Island, in light of the recent death of Iraq war veteran Bartholomew Ryan. Ryan, 32, hung himself in February shortly after being jailed on a drunk driving charge, according to the lawsuit. Read Article

Israel trying to ban too-skinny models in ads; Law would require doctor’s OK that model is not malnourished

AP – A new Israeli law is trying to fight the spread of eating disorders by banning underweight models from local advertising and requiring publications to disclose when they use altered images to make women and men appear thinner. The law, passed late Monday, appears to be the first attempt by any government to use legislation to take on a fashion industry accused of abetting eating disorders by idealizing extreme thinness. It could become a model for other countries grappling with the spread of anorexia and bulimia, particularly among young women. Read article

Irish ex-PM ‘failed to tell truth’

BBC – The Irish government has asked the Irish police to look at the findings of a report into corruption in the Republic’s planning process. The Mahon Tribunal found that former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern failed to truthfully account for a number of financial transactions. Read article

British soldier killed by bomb in Afghanistan

Guardian – A British soldier has been killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said. A statement said the soldier, from 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), was working alongside an Afghan security forces patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province when the explosion, caused by an improvised device, happened. The MoD said his family had been notified. Read Article

Chevron, Transocean charged in Brazilian oil spill

Reuters – A Brazilian federal prosecutor filed criminal charges on Wednesday against Chevron and drill-rig operator Transocean for a November oil spill, raising the stakes in a legal saga that has added to Chevron’s woes in Latin America and could slow Brazil’s offshore oil boom. Prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira also filed criminal charges against 17 local executives and employees at Chevron and Transocean, owner of the world’s largest oil rig fleet. Among the defendants is George Buck, 46, a U.S. national in charge of Chevron’s operations in Brazil, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Read article

News Archive In Focus – Weapons (1,583 articles)

Global defense, aerospace, military, and nuclear-weapon technology and policy. Keep up with the latest deadly developments in this topic and see how advances in weaponry has dominated warfare since the early 1900s. A look at our archive shows the diverse weapons news in the world today. To read our Weapons news archive of 1,583 articles CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot Number compared to the Dalton Minimum

Source: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/archibald_corrected_figure6.png

This chart compares the development of Solar Cycle 24 with the last de Vries cycle event – the Dalton Minimum. The Solar Cycle 24 ramp up in terms of sunspot number is tracking much the same as that of Solar Cycle 5 but about a year ahead of it.

Lawyers in China to swear allegiance to Communist Party

BBC – The Justice Ministry in China says lawyers are now required to swear allegiance to the ruling Communist Party for the first time. All lawyers obtaining or renewing their professional licence will have to pledge their loyalty to the country and the leadership of the party. Critics see the move as lacking legal basis and ”inappropriate”. The oath was necessary to raise lawyers’ political, professional and moral standards, said the ministry. Read Article

UK: Alcohol abuse contributes to big rise in deaths from liver disease

The Guardian – Heavy drinking is a major cause of a 25% increase in deaths from liver disease in England in under a decade, according to the government’s specialist NHS unit on terminal care. The first report from the fledgling National End of Life Care Intelligence Network warns that the victims of liver disease are getting younger, with deaths increasing among people in their forties. Read article

U.N. unites on Syria, violence spills into Lebanon

Reuters – (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council, including Russia and China, threw its weight on Wednesday behind efforts by Kofi Annan to end the bloody conflict in Syria, providing a rare moment of global unity in the face of the year-long crisis. In a statement approved by all its 15 members, the council threatened Syria with unspecified “further steps” if it failed to comply with Annan’s peace plan, which calls for a ceasefire and demands swift access for aid agencies. Read Article

Greek Parliament approves new bailout deal, giving it $227 billion in rescue loans

Phantis – Lawmakers voted 213-79 in favor of the new agreement, with deputies backing the coalition government of socialists and conservatives broadly following party lines. Earlier, the Communist Party staged nationwide protests against the deal, including a rally outside parliament attended by several thousand demonstrators. Read article

Renegade Mali soldiers announce takeover

BBC – Rebel troops have appeared on Malian state TV to announce they have seized control of the country, hours after attacking the presidential palace. The soldiers said a nationwide curfew was in force and that the constitution had been suspended. Read article

Japan posts surprise trade surplus in February

BBC – Japan posted a surprise trade surplus in February, after a record high deficit the previous month, as external demand picked up. The surplus stood at 32.9bn yen ($394m; £248m), the Ministry of Finance said. In January the deficit came in at 1.5tn yen. Japan has had to increase energy imports, as most of its nuclear reactors remain shut. Analysts said this was not necessarily a sign of a swing to surplus for Japan. Read Article

Internet Freedom Under Attack – Swedish parliament passes controversial data storage bill

AFP – Sweden’s parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted through an EU-backed law obliging telecom and Internet operators to store data traffic information for at least six months. The proposal passed with 233 in favour, 41 opposed and 19 abstentions, the TT news agency said. The new law, which will take effect May 1, requires all operators to store information on subscribers, including who they contact by phone or over the Internet, how long the conversation lasts and their location at the time, for at least six months. Read Article

Secondhand smoke again tied to asthma in kids

Reuters – A fresh look at past studies suggests kids who live with a smoker are more likely to wheeze or get asthma, providing more evidence for the link between secondhand smoke and breathing problems. Researchers found that the biggest effect on wheeze and asthma symptoms was seen in babies and toddlers whose moms smoked while they were pregnant or soon after kids were born. Read article

Israel to sign deal for sixth German sub

UPI – Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Germany to sign a deal for a sixth Dolphin class submarine that would give the Jewish state the most powerful sub fleet in the Middle East. The Haaretz daily reported that Barak will wrap up the contract at a ceremony Wednesday in Berlin with German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere. The German government recently agreed after three years of negotiations to pay $178 million of the $659 million cost of the vessel, as requested by Israel. Read Article

Australia: How power company was permitted to poison river

SMH – In 2007, the Blue Mountains Conservation Society suspected the Delta power company was discharging harmful substances into the Coxs River, which is part of Sydney’s drinking water catchment. It raised the alarm with the EPA, the Sydney Catchment Authority, and the Minister for the Environment, according to a new report commissioned for the Nature Conservation Council. Read article

Australia: Energy prices ‘to keep on rising’

The Australian – One of the nation’s biggest energy companies has warned electricity prices are likely to continue rising because of higher fuel costs and the impact of climate change policies, even though they have risen 40 per cent in the past few years. Origin Energy has also urged the Council of Australian Governments to rationalise a mishmash of state-based and federal climate change policies, declaring these are contributing to soaring power bills. Read Article

USA: Justices’ Ruling Expands Rights of Accused in Plea Bargains

NY Times – Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to effective lawyers during plea negotiations, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a pair of 5-to-4 decisions that vastly expanded judges’ supervision of the criminal justice system. The decisions mean that what used to be informal and unregulated deal making is now subject to new constraints when bad legal advice leads defendants to reject favorable plea offers. Read Article

New foot and mouth disease strain hits Egypt:FAO

Reuters – A new strain of foot and mouth disease (FMD) has hit Egypt and threatens to spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, jeopardizing food security in the region, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday. There have been 40,222 suspected cases of the disease in Egypt and 4,658 animals, mostly calves, have already died, the FAO said in a statement citing official estimates. Read article