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.