Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

World Leaders Condemn Bhutto Assassination

Leaders from around the world have condemned the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. VOA Senior Correspondent André de Nesnera has more in this report from Washington.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Worlds Largest Auto Manufacturer

Toyota Sees Bright Future

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday predicted further robust growth in 2008 after racing past US rival General Motors this year to become the world's top producing automaker. Strong growth in emerging markets such as China, Russia and Brazil will help to lift vehicle sales by five percent next year, despite an expected sluggish performance in the United States due to a slowing economy, Toyota said.

Peter MacKay: Weapons Are Coming From Iran

Canada Accuses Iran of Being Weapons Pipeline

Canada has challenged the Iranian government over concerns that weapons and bomb-making equipment are slipping across the border to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Tuesday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dan Rather

"...those who control the images will control public opinion""

Who Is Watching You?

Credit Card Meltdown Next?

Unpaid Credit Cards Bedevil Americans

Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Worlds Largest Biometrics Database

FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics

The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad... In an underground facility the size of two football fields, a request reaches an FBI server every second from somewhere in the United States or Canada, comparing a set of digital fingerprints against the FBI's database of 55 million sets of electronic fingerprints. A possible match is made -- or ruled out--as many as 100,000 times a day. Soon, the server at CJIS headquarters will also compare palm prints and, eventually, iris images and face-shape data such as the shape of an earlobe... Intelligence agents could exchange biometric information worldwide..."The long-term goal," Hornak said, is "ubiquitous use" of biometrics. A traveler may walk down an airport corridor and allow his face and iris images to be captured without ever stepping up to a kiosk and looking into a camera, he said.

Charlie Wilson's War

Wall Street Bonuses Break Records

Bonuses On Wall Street Surge

This might have been one of Wall Street's most dismal years in a decade, but that hasn't stopped bonus checks from rising an average of 14 percent. Four of the biggest U.S. investment banks — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. — will pay out about $49.6 billion in compensation this year. Of that, bonuses are traditionally estimated to represent 60 percent, or almost $30 billion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

70 Billion Approved For War

Senate Adds $70 Billion for Wars

The Senate voted Tuesday night to approve a sweeping year-end budget package after adding $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the objections of Democrats who have been stymied all year in their efforts to change the course of the conflict in Iraq.

200,000+ Foreclosures In November

U.S. Home Foreclosures Rise 68 Percent

U.S. home foreclosures rose 68 percent in November from a year earlier and may surge in 2008 as adjustable-rate mortgages leave subprime borrowers unable to meet higher payments, according to data compiled by RealtyTrac Inc. ...California, the most populous U.S. state and the most expensive real estate market, had five cities whose foreclosure rate was among the top 10 in the nation, RealtyTrac said. Stockton ranked first with one filing for every 99 households, Modesto was second with one for every 104 households and Merced was third with one for every 106 households. Vallejo-Fairfield ranked sixth and Riverside-San Bernardino was ninth.

Bush Signs Energy Bill

Bush Signs Energy Bill Into Law
President George W. Bush has signed a wide-ranging energy bill, designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce US dependence on foreign oil, into law.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Auto Industry Average 35mpg By 2020

Congress Sends Bill Raising Fuel Efficiency

...The centerpiece of the bill remained the requirement for automakers to increase their industrywide vehicle fuel efficiency by 40 percent to an industry average of 35 mpg by 2020, compared with today's 25 mpg when including passenger cars, SUVs and small trucks. Congress has not changed the auto mileage requirement since it was first enacted in 1975.

300mpg $30,000 Electric Car

300mpg Car Will Be Here In 2009

Today, a California car maker named Aptera Motors officially took the wraps off of two new car models which offer crazy fuel economy. The first model will arrive in Q4 2008 as an all-electric vehicle with a maximum range of120 miles priced below $30,000. A true fuel-electric hybrid model will follow in 2009. Early tests indicate the hybrid model achieves 300 miles per gallon, making an affordable gas sipper within budget for many American families.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Rich Getting Richer

Report Says The Rich Are Getting Richer Faster
...The total income of the top 1.1 million households was $1.8 trillion, or 18.1 percent of the total income of all Americans, up from 14.3 percent of all income in 2003. The total 2005 income of the three million individual Americans at the top was roughly equal to that of the bottom 166 million Americans, analysis of the report showed... Earlier reports, based on tax returns, showed that in 2005 the top 10 percent, top 1 percent and fractions of the top 1 percent enjoyed their greatest share of income since 1928 and 1929.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Energy, Food, Clothing Rising In US

U.S. Consumer Prices Surge

Energy prices gained 5.7 per cent last month, pushed higher by a rise of more than nine per cent in gasoline costs. Food costs shot up by 0.3 per cent in November, leading to a year-over-year increase of 4.8 per cent, the highest since December 1990. Clothing also cost consumers more, as prices rose by 0.8 per cent in the month. That was the biggest price hike since April 1999.

Glow In The Dark

Korean Scientists Produce Kitties

South Korean scientists have cloned Turkish Angora cats with a red fluorescence protein which makes them emit an eerie glow when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Iran: Americans Are Spying On Us

Iran Accuses US of Nuclear Espionage

Iran has sent a formal protest note to Washington for "spying" on Iran's nuclear activities, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday in the wake of the latest US report on the alleged Iranian weapons program.

Mystery Meat

Mystery Meat Macrophotography
We're about to take you on a journey into some sick macrophotography of processed meat products.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In Iraq For The Long Term

Iraq As A Pentagon Construction Site

The single enduring fact of the Iraq War may be this constant building and upgrading of U.S. bases. ..... the bases went up on an impressive scale, massively fortified, sometimes 15-20 square miles in area, housing up to tens of thousands of troops and private contractors, with multiple bus routes, traffic lights, fast-food restaurants, PXs, and other amenities of home, and reeking of the kind of investment that practically shouts out for, minimally, a relationship of a distinctly "enduring" nature....the gigantic new U.S. Embassy, possibly the largest in the world, being built on an almost Vatican-sized plot of land inside Baghdad's Green Zone. It is meant to be a citadel, a hardened universe of its own, in, but not of, the Iraqi capital....

Gates: Iran Still A Threat

Gates: Iran Could Restart Weapons Program
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates argued forcefully at a Persian Gulf security conference Saturday that U.S. intelligence indicates Iran could restart its secret nuclear weapons program "at any time" and remains a major threat to the region.

Iran Stops Selling Oil In U.S. Dollars

Iran Stops Selling Oil In U.S. Dollars

Iran has completely stopped selling any of its oil for U.S. dollars, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday, citing the oil minister of the world's fourth-largest crude producer.

McDonalds Targets Children

McDonald's Marketing Focused On Children

A new report released by Corporations and Health Watch, earlier this month, exposes the marketing tactics of McDonald's. According to the report entitled "McDonald's and Children's Health: The Production of New Customers, "the world's largest fast food chain uses cartoons, toys, schools, charities and even parents to reach its youngest customers.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Tube

Network (1976)

Abu Dhabi: The Largest Citigroup Shareholder

Citigroup to Raise $7.5 Billion From Abu Dhabi
Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from Abu Dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value.

Germany/France: Iran Still A Threat

US Wins Support for New Pressure on Iran
The United States won support Thursday for more pressure on Iran from two key European allies, France and Germany. Their leaders urged a continued push on Tehran over its nuclear program, saying the country remains a danger.

Toyota Robot Plays The Violin

Toyota Motor on Thursday unveiled a robot that can play the violin as part of its efforts to develop futuristic machines capable of assisting humans in Japan's greying society.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bush: Iran Still A Threat

Bush Says Iran Still a Danger

President Bush warned today that Iran remained a threat despite an intelligence assessment that it had halted a covert program to develop nuclear weapons four years ago, as the administration struggled to salvage a diplomatic process now in disarray.

16 Agencies Report No Iranian Nuke Program

Iran Has No Nuke Program

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the threat of international sanctions has worked in compelling the Islamic republic to back away from its pursuit of the bomb. These judgments were among the key findings of a long-awaited intelligence report in which U.S. spy agencies retreated from earlier assessments that were more hard-line in their view of Iran's nuclear ambitions and intentions.

Monday, December 3, 2007

US Debt Growing A Million Per Minute

National Debt Grows

Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day — or nearly $1 million a minute. It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.Even if you've escaped the recent housing and credit crunches and are coping with rising fuel prices, you may still be headed for economic misery, along with the rest of the country. That's because the government is fast straining resources needed to meet interest payments on the national debt, which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sub-Prime Meltdown May Just Be The Start

Sub-Prime Mortgage Debt Is But The Tip
.... Again why could Deutsche Bank not show the 14 mortgages on the 14 homes? Because they live in the exotic new world of “global securitization”, where banks like DB or Citigroup buy tens of thousands of mortgages from small local lending banks, “bundle” them into Jumbo new securities which then are rated by Moody’s or Standard & Poors or Fitch, and sell them as bonds to pension funds or other banks or private investors who naively believed they were buying bonds rated AAA, the highest, and never realized that their “bundle” of say 1,000 different home mortgages, contained maybe 20% or 200 mortgages rated “sub-prime,” i.e. of dubious credit quality.

Is Facebook Spying On You?

Facebook's Beacon Intrusive

A Computer Associates security researcher says that Facebook's controversial Beacon online ad system goes much further than expected in tracking people's Web activities. A Computer Associates security researcher is sounding the alarm that Facebook's controversial Beacon online ad system goes much further than anyone has imagined in tracking people's Web activities outside the popular social networking site.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

France Anti-Piracy Plan

France Unveils Anti-Piracy Plan
French web users caught pirating movies or music could soon be thrown offline. Those illegally sharing files will face the loss of their net access thanks to a newly-created anti-piracy body granted the wide-ranging powers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heat Wave Gun

Heat Wave Gun

On a cold and rain-swept morning on a US marine base, I stood and braced myself to be zapped by the latest prototype weapon in the American armoury - an invisible heat beam from a high-powered ray gun.

Bullet Proof

Scientists Develop Material That Bounces Bullets
Security guards, police officers and armed forces could become Robocops able to take bullets in their stride, thanks to a carbon nanotechnology yarn which can defect projectiles without a trace of damage

Friday, November 16, 2007

Canadian Debt Growing

Growing Credit Debt Is Crushing Canadians

A new study of Canadians' credit debt finds that a whopping 25 per cent owe between $10,000 and $40,000, and 28 per cent don't even know the interest rate they pay on their main credit card. The report by Credit Canada and Capitol One was timed for release during their Credit Education Week, and is designed to raise awareness of good financial management. Laurie Campbell, of Credit Canada, said the numbers -- which don't factor in mortgage debt -- were surprisingly high.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iraq/Afganistan War Estimated At $1.5 Trillion

Iraq War Cost Put At $US1.5 trillion

The cost to the United States of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is about $US1.5 trillion according to a study by congressional Democrats. The study estimates the wars' hidden costs such as higher oil prices, the expense of treating the wounded and interest payments on money borrowed to pay for them. This is almost double the $US804 billion the White House has spent or requested for the wars, says the Democratic staff of Congress' Joint Economic Committee. The study, The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War, estimates the wars have cost the average American family of four more than $US20,000.

School Surveillance

NJ School Cameras Fed Live To Cops

Surveillance cameras rolling inside our local schools is nothing new, but what's taking place inside Demarest's public schools is truly cutting edge: a live feed from more than two dozen cameras with a direct connection to the police. It's an expensive, but effective tool that could be a sign of the times with an increase in school shootings over the years. The system, which cost about $28,000, can even track movement in a crowded room. "When they arrive, they can pull up the school's live feed and do a sweep instantly"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Human Clones

Full Human Clones ‘A Matter Of Time’

UN report calls for action to prevent human rights crisis. Unless the world bans human cloning it may be just a matter of time until we share the Earth with exact copies. This is according to a major UN policy analysis released this morning. The report’s authors propose outlawing human reproductive cloning while allowing restricted therapeutic cloning as the most viable “compromise” option for the international community to adopt.

The Definition Of Privacy

Intel Official: Expect Less Privacy

As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy. Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information. Kerr's comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

US Government Monitoring The Internet

Big Brother Spying on Americans' Internet Data?

It would be difficult to say whose e-mail, text messages or Internet phone calls the government is monitoring at any given time, but according to a former AT&T employee, the government has warrantless access to a great deal of Internet traffic should they care to take a peek. As information is traded between users it flows also into a locked, secret room on the sixth floor of AT&T's San Francisco offices and other rooms around the country -- where the U.S. government can sift through and find the information it wants, former AT&T employee Mark Klein alleged Wednesday at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Breastfeeding Boosts IQ In Infants

Breastfeeding Boosts IQ In Infants

The known association between breast feeding and slightly higher IQ in children has been shown to relate to a particular gene in the babies, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

US Diplomats May Be Ordered To Work In Iraq

Why Diplomats Won't Go to Iraq

On Oct. 26, the State Department e-mailed 250 diplomats and told them that they might be ordered, whether they like it or not, to fill about 50 positions in Iraq next year. It was no secret the U.S. was considering compulsory Iraq service for its diplomatic corps, but the e-mails sparked outrage nevertheless.

Bahrain: Iran Trying To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

Bahrain: Iran Trying To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

Bahrain's Crown Prince, Sheik Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa, said Friday that Iran is striving to acquire nuclear weaponry, Israel Radio reported. Al Khalifa said that at the very least, Iran is attempting to gain the ability to produce nuclear weaponry. The statement would make Bahrain the first Arab nation in the Persian Gulf to claim that Iran is attempting to deceive world leaders in relation to its nuclear aspirations.

Nuclear Weapons Missing For 36 Hours?

Missing Nukes: Treason of the Highest Order

According to a wide range of reports, several nuclear bombs were “lost” for 36 hours after taking off August 29/30, 2007 on a “cross-country journey” across the U.S., from U.S.A.F Base Minot in North Dakota to U.S.A.F. Base Barksdale in Louisiana.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

$4 Billion Worth of Power Used In Standby Mode

'Vampire' Sucks Power

A force as insidious as Dracula is quietly sucking a nickel of every dollar's worth of the electricity that seeps from your home's outlets. Insert the little fangs of your cell phone charger in the outlet and leave it there, phone attached: That's "vampire" electronics. Allow your computer to hide in the cloak of darkness known as "standby mode" rather than shutting it off: That's vampire electronics. The latest estimates show 5 percent of electricity used in the United States goes to standby power, a phenomenon energy efficiency experts find all the more terrifying as energy prices rise and the planet warms. That amounts to about $4 billion a year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Limited Resources and Over Populated

UN Issues 'Final Wake-Up Call'

The human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday by the United Nations. Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its fourth Global Environmental Outlook since 1997. "The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns," Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program, said in a telephone interview. Efficient use of resources and reducing waste now are "among the greatest challenges at the beginning of 21st century," he said.

Diet May Not Be Your Choice

Diet Choices 'Written In Genes'

Our genes and not just our upbringing may play a key role in our food likes and dislikes, UK researchers believe.

Obesity A Global Issue

Obesity 'epidemic' Turns Global

People are getting fatter in all parts of the world, with the possible exception of south and east Asia, a one-day global snapshot shows. Between half and two-thirds of men and women in 63 countries across five continents - not including the US - were overweight or obese in 2006

Israel Must Be Ready

Meridor: We Must Be Ready

Israeli Ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor declared Monday that Israel should always be prepared "to preempt, to deter and to defeat if we can" when speaking about the threats facing the country. Chief among those threats was Iran, said Meridor, who called for a unified international as well as domestic American front to counter the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.

Chinese Space Weapon

China To Test Space Weapon

A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country's effort to develop space war technology, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cheney: US Will Not Let Iran Go Nuclear

Cheney: US Will Not Let Iran Go Nuclear

The United States and other nations will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday. "Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions," Cheney said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. He said Iran's efforts to pursue technology that would allow them to build a nuclear weapon are obvious and that "the regime continues to practice delay and deceit in an obvious effort to buy time."

World War 3 If Iran Allowed To Go Nuclear

George Bush Warns Putin

President George W Bush has raised the spectre of "World War Three" breaking out if Iran was allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Mr Bush was speaking hours after Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, proposed an end to the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Teheran. Mr Bush said: "We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. "So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

$100 Per Barrel Around The Corner

Oil Hits New High At $90

After a breathtaking week in which crude prices notched records every day, oil pierced the $90 US mark for the first time Friday and opened the door for a run to triple-digit territory. Oil prices have charged ahead almost $12 US -- about 15 per cent -- in the past two weeks on fears of a winter supply crunch and a weakening U.S. dollar, combined with renewed tensions in the Middle East. A hundred dollars is going to happen, the question is when," Phil Flynn, an analyst with Alaron Trading in Chicago, said in an interview. "There's still some variables out there. . . If we do get an event or a disruption of supply we could see $100 next week."