Daily Archives

Could bacteria cause Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms? Mental health group investigates possible link

Daily Mail – David Beckham and Paul Gascoigne are just two of the 1.2 million British people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which leaves those afflicted neurotically obsessed about things such as tidiness or cleanliness. A mental health organisation is now expanding research to see if a strain of bacteria may cause children to develop a particular condition with OCD-type symptoms. Read article

Occupy protesters march on Wall Street

Reuters – Occupy Wall Street marchers converge in front of the NYSE to ring the ‘people’s gong’ at the same time the NYSE rings its closing bell. Read article

Related article: Less Visible Occupy Movement Looks for Staying Power

Did MI6 agents ‘specialising in dark arts’ kill spy in bag? New evidence emerges sparking fresh questions from the victim’s family

DailyMail – The MI6 spy whose body was found locked in a sports bag may have been killed by a secret agent, his family said yesterday. Their barrister suggested a sinister cover-up had left them with no way of knowing how and why Gareth Williams died. One theory is that he died at the hands of a colleague. Another is that a foreign agent killed him because of his espionage work. The discovery of the body in his flat near the Secret Service headquarters in London sparked a 20-month police inquiry that has drawn a blank. Read article

Gulf’s dolphins pay heavy price for Deepwater oil spill

The Guardian – A new study of dolphins living close to the site of North America’s worst ever oil spill – the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe two years ago – has established serious health problems afflicting the marine mammals. The report, commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], found that many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anaemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems. Read article

Greece Joins Israel-USA Military Exercise in Southern Mediterranean

Greek Reporter – At the same time the tripartite energy agreement will be signed between Greece, Israel and Cyprus on Thursday at Kavouri of Vouliagmeni, Athens, in the presence of Richard Morningstar, the special envoy of the US Foreign Affairs Ministry, a large-scale aeronautical military exercise will be taking place in the Southern Mediterranean. According to defencenet.gr, Greece, Israel and USA will launch their joint military exercise from Crete to Haifa against “virtual enemy forces” that bear great resemblance to the Turkish aeronautical forces in this particular military operation scenario. Read Article

Italians shocked by self-immolation protests

BBC – Italians have been left shocked by two cases of men setting themselves on fire in the past two days in protest at their financial hardship. A 58-year-old builder accused of tax evasion set himself alight in his car in Bologna on Wednesday. Another builder, a 27-year-old Moroccan, set himself on fire outside the town hall in Verona on Thursday, saying that he had not been paid for four months. Both men are being treated in hospital. Read Article

Psychopaths ‘flourish’ at top of corporate ladder

Business Live – Psychopaths are “flourishing” at the top of the corporate ladder at a rate four times higher than the normal population, new research shows. “They’re rising because of bad economic times, and will prevent early solutions to the global financial crisis,” Liza van Wyk, CEO of national management training company AstroTech said on Monday. Read Article

Three US credit firms warn of security breach

BBC – Visa, Mastercard and Discover have warned that credit card holders’ personal information could be at risk after a security breach. The firms said there had been “no breach” of its own system, instead blaming a third party. Security blog KrebsOnSecurity, which first reported the story, said industry sources believed more than 10 million cards may have been compromised. Read Article

UK: Fraud fears grow over contactless bank card technology

Channel 4 – Millions more British bank customers have been exposed to fraud through the latest credit and debit card technology. On Friday Channel 4 News reported that Barclays Visa contactless cards (ones which bear the symbol pictured) can be read using an off-the-shelf mobile phone running a special app. Read Article

US reviews research risks amid bird-flu debate

AP – The Obama administration is ordering a government-wide review of scientific research that could raise biosecurity concerns in the wake of fierce controversy over some man-made strains of the deadly bird flu. The policy released Thursday tightens oversight of high-stakes research involving dangerous germs, work that could bring a big payoff but which also could cause harm if the research ever is misused. Read article

US won’t ban chemical BPA from food packages

AFP – US regulators on Friday rejected an appeal by environmental groups to ban an industrial chemical known as bisphenol-A, saying there was not enough scientific evidence of harm in humans. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) however said its latest ruling on the petition brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was not the final word and expressed support for further research on the safety of BPA. Read article

Related article: USA: Missouri University’s Frederick vom Saal wants FDA to ban BPA, endocrine disruptors

Indonesians protest fuel price hikes

Reuters – Fuel price protest turns violent. Read article

Related article: Panic at UK petrol pumps

Mali coup: Rebels seize desert capital Kidal

BBC – Rebels in Mali have captured the town of Kidal, just a week after the military seized power saying the army needed more equipment to fight the insurgents. Kidal, which has 40,000 inhabitants, is by far the biggest town seized by the Tuareg rebels. As the news was coming through, coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo asked for foreign help to tackle the rebels. The coup has been condemned – Mali’s neighbours have threatened sanctions. The regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), said it would close land borders, freeze Mali’s assets and impose a financial blockade if the army did not stand aside before Monday. Read Article

Forced conversions hike Pakistan minorities’ fears

AP – It was barely 4 a.m. when 19-year-old Rinkal Kumari disappeared from her home in a small village in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province. When her parents awoke they found only her slippers and a scarf outside the door. Read Article

News Archive In Focus – Politics (4,434 articles)

Independent news and commentary on politics from around the world. From Australia to Europe, we look at the behaviours within government, the running of state affairs, and the formulation of policy. To read our Politics news archive of 4,434 articlesCLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Some Corals Like It Hot: Heat Stress May Help Coral Reefs Survive Climate Change

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2012) — A team of international scientists working in the central Pacific has discovered that coral which has survived heat stress in the past is more likely to survive it in the future. The study, published March 30 in the journal PLoS ONE, paves the way towards an important road map on the impacts of ocean warming, and will help scientists identify the habitats and locations where coral reefs are more likely to adapt to climate change. “We’re starting to identify the types of reef environments where corals are more likely to persist in the future,” says study co-author Simon Donner, an assistant professor in UBC’s Department of Geography and organizer of the field expedition. “The new data is critical for predicting the future for coral reefs, and for planning how society will cope in that future.” Read Article

Video Of The Week – The BBC Film That Exposed Israel’s Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons

Quotation Of The Week

To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can.”

- Sydney Smith

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Australia: Sunburnt country faces Vitamin D deficiency

ABC – It seems odd to consider that around a third of Australians may lack in Vitamin D, sourced from the sun, but the issue is now about how to address that deficiency. Watch video/Read Transcript

Related article: Study Contends that Health Benefits of Ultraviolet Radiation Outweigh the Risks

Swedish Defence Minister Tolgfors quits over Saudi deal

BBC – Swedish public radio revealed the confidential plans for the country’s Defence Research Agency to help Riyadh build weapons, including missiles and torpedos, in early March. Sweden does not ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, but the secretive nature of the plans caused controversy. Earlier this month Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt confirmed that an initial deal had been signed with the Saudis in 2005. Read article

Two Nato troops killed in Afghanistan

Guardian – ato says two of its service members have been killed in southern Afghanistan, one in a roadside bomb explosion and the other in an insurgent attack. A statement said the roadside bomb had killed the service member on Friday, while the other had died in an insurgent attack on Thursday. Nato did not disclose any further details. Read Article

Dozens of Taliban killed in fighting in west Afghanistan

Reuters – Dozens of Taliban fighters were killed in U.S. air strikes and a gunbattle in western Afghanistan after an insurgent attack on an Afghan army patrol, NATO and Afghan officials said on Friday. A spokesman of the International Security Assistance Force said the patrol came under attack in Gulistan district in western Farah province on Wednesday, prompting a call for air support. Read Article

Afghan police officers killed in Paktika province

BBC – Nine Afghan police officers have been shot dead by a colleague in the eastern Paktika province, Afghan police sources have said. The provincial police chief Dawlat Khan said the incident occurred on Friday, in Yayakhil district. The gunman, who had been assigned to a small command post, shot dead nine of his colleagues as they slept. Among those killed was his commander and two sons. He then seized their weapons and a police vehicle and fled. Read Article

Asian Arms Race: Vietnam builds naval muscle

Asia Times – Following a series of high-profile procurement deals, Vietnam’s growing naval program symbolizes its evolving military posture. Driven by persistent maritime disputes with China and facilitated by an expanding economy, Vietnam is actively modernizing its military through naval, air and electronic-fighting capability upgrades. A decade ago, the Vietnamese navy was equipped with Soviet-era hardware based on technology from the 1960s along with an assortment of American-made vessels seized from South Vietnam at the end of the war. This outdated force was inadequate for patrolling the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone or maintaining its claims over the Spratly Islands, an expansive archipelago also claimed in whole or part by China, Taiwan and several other Southeast Asian nations. Read Article

Shell overcomes legal obstacles to Arctic drilling

New Scientist – Oil giant Shell last week overcame the last major legal obstacle to its plans in the Arctic Ocean this summer. On Wednesday, the US Department of the Interior (DoI) approved the firm’s oil spill response plan, effectively granting permission for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. Shell intends to drill from the start of July and must stop by the end of October, before the dark, cold and ice set in for winter. They received permission to drill in the nearby Chukchi Sea in February, and are now awaiting permits from environmental agencies. Read article