Monday, July 30, 2007

Stalinist Youth Movement

Russian Youth Encouraged..
Obediently, couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland. With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult. But this organisation - known as "Nashi", meaning "Ours" - is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life...Under Mr Putin, Russia is sliding into fascism, with state control of the economy, media, politics and society becoming increasingly heavy-handed. And Nashi, along with other similar youth movements, such as 'Young Guard', and 'Young Russia', is in the forefront of the charge.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

US In Major Arms Deals

US 'Plans Huge Saudi Arms Deal'
The United States is reported to be preparing a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states worth $20bn (£9.8bn) over the next decade.

Israel Hails US Military Aid Rise
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has confirmed that the United States is planning a significant increase in military and defence aid to Israel.

War Made Easy

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Will The US Leave Iraq?

Media Spin on Iraq: We’re Leaving
Urging a course of action that’s now supported by “the best strategic minds in both parties,” the Time story calls for “an orderly withdrawal of about half the 160,000 troops currently in Iraq by the middle of 2008.” And: “A force of 50,000 to 100,000 troops would dig in for a longer stay to protect America’s most vital interests…”

We blocked US plans

'We blocked US plans' - Hezbollah
The leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has said its conflict with Israel last year thwarted the United States' vision for a "new Middle East".

Friday, July 27, 2007

Top 100 Brands

Top 100 Global Brands Scoreboard

Oil Up - Markets Fall

Oil Near All-Time High Over $77
NEW YORK (AP) - Oil prices closed over $77 a barrel, near an all-time high on Friday on technical buying and news of faster-than-expected economic growth.

Dow, S&P Have Worst Week in 5 Years
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street extended its steep decline Friday, propelling the Dow Jones industrials down more than 500 points over two days after investors gave in to mounting concerns that borrowing costs would climb for both companies and homeowners. It was the worst week for the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index in five years

TSX Ends Week Down Nearly 6%
The Toronto stock market ended the session sharply lower Friday, with investors relieved to see the end of a trading week where almost 6 per cent was carved from the TSX over concerns about tightening credit conditions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Friends Can Make You Fat

With Friends Like These

The list of reasons a person might pack on too many pounds is already plenty long: genes, hormone disorders, a couch-potato lifestyle, love of cheeseburgers. Thanks to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, you can add another culprit to the list: friends

Putin To Strengthen Military

Putin Orders Boost in Military, Spying

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin vowed Wednesday to strengthen Russia's military capability and step up spying abroad in response to U.S. plans to build missile defense sites and deploy troops in Eastern Europe.

Iran Will Not Stop

Iran Says It Will Never Stop Nuclear Activities

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran would never yield to international pressure to suspend its uranium enrichment work. "Iran will never abandon its peaceful (nuclear) work," Ahmadinejad told state television. "Our nuclear work is legal and why should we stop it?"

Markets Fall

TSX Plunges Over 400 Points

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oil Will Rise

Oil At $100 May Be Months Away, Not Years

LONDON: The $100-a-barrel oil that Goldman Sachs Group said would prevail by 2009 may be only a few months away. Jeffrey Currie, a London-based commodity analyst at the world’s biggest securities firm, says $95 crude is likely this year unless Opec unexpectedly increases production, and declining inventories are raising the chances for $100 oil. Jeff Rubin at CIBC World Markets predicts $100 a barrel as soon as next year.

Microchip For HIV Carriers

Microchips Mulled For HIV Carriers

Lawmakers in Indonesia's Papua are mulling the selective use of chip implants in HIV carriers to monitor their behaviour in a bid to keep them from infecting others, a doctor said Tuesday. John Manangsang, a doctor who is helping to prepare a new healthcare regulation bill for Papua's provincial parliament, said that unusual measures were needed to combat the virus. "We in the government in Papua have to think hard on ways to provide protection to people from the spread of the disease," Manangsang told AFP.

Canadian Dollar All Time High

Dollar Shoots Past 96 Cents
The Canadian dollar shot up more than eight-tenths of a cent on Tuesday following the release of a strong May retail sales report.The loonie was up 1.09 cents at 96.60 cents US in afternoon activity on foreign exchange markets. The dollar has not closed above that amount since Feb. 22, 1977.

Computer Voting

Soft Drinks Linked To Health Risks

No Safe Diet Haven

CHICAGO — Soft drinks – even diet ones – may be linked with increased risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers say. They found that adults who drink one or more soft drinks a day had about a 50-per-cent higher risk of metabolic syndrome – a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around the waist, low levels of "good" cholesterol, high blood pressure and other symptoms."When you have metabolic syndrome, your risk of developing heart disease or stroke doubles. You also have a risk of developing diabetes," said Dr. Ramachandran Vasan of Boston University School of Medicine, whose work appears in the journal Circulation.

Monday, July 23, 2007

UK: Military Action Against Iran

Brown Won't Rule Out Military Action In Iran

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday he would not rule out military action against Iran, but believed a policy of sanctions could still persuade Tehran to drop its disputed nuclear program. "I firmly believe that the sanctions policy that we are pursuing will work, but I'm not one who's going forward to say that we rule out any particular form of action," Brown told a news conference, when asked if he would rule out a military strike against Iran.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Human Microchips

Microchip Implants Raise Privacy Concern, a provider of surveillance equipment, attracted little notice itself - until a year ago, when two of its employees had glass-encapsulated microchips with miniature antennas embedded in their forearms.

Worlds Tallest Building

Dubai High-Rise World's Tallest

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Developers of a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in oil-rich Dubai claimed Saturday that it has become the world's tallest building, surpassing Taiwan's Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004. The Burj Dubai is expected to be finished by the end of 2008 and its planned final height has been kept secret. The state-owned development company Emaar Properties, one of the main builders in rapidly developing Dubai, said only that the tower would stop somewhere above 2,275 feet.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Incredible Hulk of Hounds

Meet the Incredible Hulk of Hounds
Maybe they should call her a whoppet - after all, she's a whopper of a whippet. This is Wendy, the dog whose appearance is a long way from the usual long, lean and sleek look of her breed.

Iran Asks Yen For Oil

Iran Asks Japan to Pay Yen for Oil

Iran asked Japanese refiners to switch to the yen to pay for all crude oil purchases, after Iran's central bank said it is reducing holdings of the U.S. dollar. Iran wants yen-based transactions ``for any/all of your forthcoming Iranian crude oil liftings,'' according to a letter sent to Japanese refiners that was signed by Ali A. Arshi, general manager of crude oil marketing and exports in Tehran at the National Iranian Oil Co. The request is for all shipments ``effective immediately,'' according to the letter, dated July 10 and obtained by Bloomberg News.

Exxon Worth 500 Billion

Exxon's Market Cap Erupts Past $500 Billion

SAN FRANCISCO - Exxon Mobil Corp. shares rallied to a record high of $89.73 during Thursday's strong broader market surge, pushing the oil giant's market capitalization past the heady $500 billion threshold. Exxon Mobil is the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world.

China's Weather Modification Program

Ready, Aim, Fire and Rain

BEIJING - After weeks of watching the mercury soar, hardening the already cracked earth of their wilting orchards and farms, a group of farmers on the outskirts of Beijing gather in the Fragrant Hills that line the western fringe of China's capital city. Unlike their ancestors, they do not assemble to perform a rain dance or gather in a temple to pray to the Lord Buddha to bring the rain. Instead, they grab rocket launchers and a 37-millimeter anti-aircraft gun and begin shooting into the sky.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Markets Soar

Dow +283.86 (2.09%)
Nasdaq +49.94 (1.88%)
S&P 500 +28.94 (1.91%)
TSX +189.91 (1.34%)

TSX To Fresh Record
Dow, S&P Rises To New Records

Monday, July 9, 2007

Drop That Gun

Taser Bullet

Taser Goes High-Tech With A “Wireless” Bullet

Rick Smith and Tom Smith, founders of Taser, weren’t exactly modest when they unveiled their latest product at the 2007 Taser Conference in Chicago. They call the “XREP” a “reinvention” of the traditional bullet.From the outside, the XREP resembles the look of a regular 12-gauge shotgun round. From the inside however, the device is expected to offer new and more efficient ways for law enforcement officers to engage criminals. Encased in epoxy, the XREP basically represents a self-contained Taser gun with a range of 100 yards.

Emotion In Politics

Hearts Over Minds, He Tells Democrats
WASHINGTON — Drew Westen, a genial 48-year-old psychologist and brain researcher, was talking to a rapt liberal audience about the role of emotion in politics, how to talk back aggressively to Republicans, and why going negative is not to be feared.It was Day 2 of the progressive "Take Back America" confab, and those who had crowded into a meeting room of the Washington Hilton were about to discover why Westen, a psychology professor at Atlanta's Emory University and former associate professor at Harvard Medical School, had quietly become the great rumpled hope of Democrats who believe their candidates should have won the last two presidential elections.

12 Billion Dollars A Month

Report: Wars Costing $12 Billion A Month
WASHINGTON (AP) - The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say. All told, Congress has appropriated $610 billion in war-related money since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults, roughly the same as the war in Vietnam. Iraq alone has cost $450 billion. The figures come from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which provides research and analysis to lawmakers. For the 2007 budget year, CRS says, the $166 billion appropriated to the Pentagon represents a 40 percent increase over 2006. The Vietnam War, after accounting for inflation, cost taxpayers $650 billion, according to separate CRS estimates.

Turkey Massing Troops

Iraqi FM: Turkey Massing 140,000 Troops
BAGHDAD (AP) - Turkey has massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with northern Iraq, Iraq's foreign minister said Monday, calling the neighboring country's fears of Kurdish rebels based there "legitimate" but better resolved through negotiation. In Washington, a Pentagon official disputed the claim by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd from northern Iraq, and said satellite photos indicated no such troop buildup. It was unclear where Zebari got the figures. If accurate, Turkey would have nearly as many soldiers along its border with Iraq as the 155,000 troops which the U.S. has in the country. Zebari's comments came amid calls by Turkey's military for the government to give it the green light to carry out military operations in northern Iraqi against the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Canadian Dollar Hits 30 Year High

Canadian Dollar Rallies To 30 Year High
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar pushed to a 30-year high against the greenback on Friday, supported by strong employment data, firm oil prices and expectations of a rate hike by the Bank of Canada next week. At mid-morning, the currency touched C$1.0463 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.57 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0567 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.63 U.S. cents at Thursday's close.

TSX May Hit 15,000

Bank Says Index Set To Hit 15,000
Powered by strong energy and commodity stocks, the TSX is set to gain about 1,000 points and hit 15,000 by year end, CIBC World Markets says. The bank issued its latest Canadian Portfolio Strategy Outlook Thursday. It said that although the TSX was volatile in June over investor concerns about looming inflation and interest rates, strong market fundamentals would likely outweigh those worries.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Protect The Oil

Australians 'are in Iraq for oil'
Australia has admitted that securing oil is a key factor behind its continued troop deployment in Iraq. It is the first time such an admission has been made. Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said that maintaining "resource security" in the Middle East was a priority for the government in Canberra.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bill Gates Second Richest

Mexican Tycoon Overtakes Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates looks to have lost his title as the world's richest man, toppled from top spot by the Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bush and Putin 'United'

Bush and Putin 'United' On Iran
US President George W Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have said they will work together to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme. Speaking after talks at his family retreat in the US state of Maine, Mr Bush said he and Mr Putin recognised the need to "send a common message". The US has accused Iran of seeking nuclear arms, which Iran denies.