Friday, February 29, 2008

We Will Be Watching You

Bush Calls Surveillance Bill an ‘Urgent Priority’

Using some of his toughest language in weeks, President Bush prodded Congress on Thursday to pass his preferred version of surveillance legislation, asserting that every day of delay could put the country in danger.Mr. Bush said again that renewing the surveillance legislation is “a very urgent priority,” and that it must include controversial provisions that would shield telecommunications companies from wholesale lawsuits over their assistance in monitoring the phone calls and e-mail messages of suspected terrorists without warrants.

Non-Lethal Ray Gun

Raytheon's Ray Gun Video
It's a real-life ray gun which shoots 95 GHz millimeter waves. They penetrate a 64th of inch beneath the skin, where nerve receptors are concentrated. And when the waves hit, they produce an "intense heating sensation [which] stops only if the individual moves out of the beam’s path or the beam is turned off," a Sandia press release explains. "The sensation caused by the system has been described by test subjects as feeling like touching a hot frying pan."

Lab Defense: Pain Ray

The 3 Trillion Dollar War

The True Cost of War

In 2005, a Nobel prize-winning economist began the painstaking process of calculating the true cost of the Iraq war. In his new book, he reveals how short-sighted budget decisions, cover-ups and a war fought in bad faith will affect us all for decades to come.

1.6 Million Americans Behind Bars

1 In 100 U.S. Adults Are In Prison

For the first time in the nation's history, more than one in 100 American adults are behind bars, according to a new report. Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million, after three decades of growth that has seen the prison population nearly triple. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars. Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 adult Hispanic men is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 adult black men is, too, as is one in nine black men ages 20 to 34. The report, from the Pew Center on the States, also found that one in 355 white women ages 35 to 39 is behind bars, compared with one in 100 black women

Doomsday Seed Vault

Doomsday Vault Opens Doors

Hollowed out of a sandstone mountainside on a remote Norwegian island, a newly constructed planetary depository for seeds from key agricultural crops - dubbed the doomsday vault - is receiving its first samples this morning. The underground, bombproof shelter, financed by the Norwegian government and located in the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Ocean, is designed to safeguard the genetic diversity of the plants backing the world's food supply, in case political instability, nuclear war or climatic upheaval over the centuries wipes out key seed varieties from their countries of origin.

Antidepressents No Better Than Pacebo

Study Doubts Dffectiveness of Antidepressants

Antidepressant medications appear to help only very severely depressed people and work no better than placebos in many patients, British researchers said Monday.

In Debt We Trust

When Credit Cards Put You In Jeopardy

Consumers have racked up more than $2.2 trillion in purchases and cash advances on major credit cards in just the last year. And it's become a habit for them to spend more than they have. The overall credit card debt grew by 315 percent from 1989 to 2006, according to public policy research firm Demos.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nothing Will Stop Us

Iran Defiant Over Sanction Threat

Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that no amount of UN sanctions will deter Tehran from its nuclear path. "If they want to continue with that path of sanctions, we will not be harmed. They can issue resolutions for 100 years," he said in a TV interview.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oil Hits Record Close

Oil Closes Over $100 for 1st Time

The price of crude oil closed over $100 for the first time yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rattling stock markets and marking a milestone in the relentless rise in petroleum prices over the past five years. The high oil price, which rivals the inflation-adjusted peak set during the early days of the Iran-Iraq war nearly three decades ago, has drained cash from the pockets of consumers just when the slowing economy could use a spending boost. And it reinforced fears that oil prices, which have long fluctuated with political and economic cycles, may never again drop to past levels.

Game Over For HD-DVD

Toshiba Drops Out Of HD DVD War

Toshiba has said it will stop making its high definition DVDs, ending a battle with rival format Blu-ray over which would be the industry standard. Following a review of its business, Toshiba said it would stop production of HD DVD players and recorders. The HD DVD format has suffered as major US film studios backed the Blu-ray format, which is being developed by electronics firm Sony and partners

Monday, February 18, 2008

Israel To Soon Disappear

Iran: 'Cancerous' Israel To Soon Disappear
"The cancerous growth Israel will soon disappear," Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Muhammad Ali Jafari wrote to Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the FARS news agency reported Monday.

Rise Of The Machines

Computers 'to match human brains by 2030'
Computer power will match the intelligence of human beings within the next 20 years because of the accelerating speed at which technology is advancing, according to a leading scientific "futurologist".

Fat Is The New Tobacco

Fat Is The New Tobacco
Too much body fat raises the risk of about a dozen different cancers, according to a major new study that adds to growing evidence linking excess weight to cancer at most sites in the body. British scientists who pooled data from 141 studies on 20 cancer types found a higher body mass index is associated with.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Zeitgeist - North American Union

Ron Paul - North American Union

Pet Cloning Begins

First Order For Pet Dog Cloning

A South Korean company says it has taken its first order for the cloning of a pet dog. A woman from the United States wants her dead pitbull terrier - called Booger - re-created. A South Korean company says it has taken its first order for the cloning of a pet dog. A woman from the United States wants her dead pitbull terrier - called Booger - re-created.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Human Impact On Worlds Oceans

Map Shows Toll On World's Oceans

Only about 4% of the world's oceans remain undamaged by human activity, according to the first detailed global map of human impacts on the seas. A study in Science journal says climate change, fishing, pollution and other human factors have exacted a heavy toll on almost half of the marine waters. Only remote icy areas near the poles are relatively pristine, but they face threats as ice sheets melt, it warns. The authors say the data is a "wake-up call" to policymakers.

Iran "Moving Forward" For Atomic Weapon

Israel: Iran Seeking Nuclear Weapons

Israel's prime minister on Tuesday brushed aside suggestions that the threat from Iran's nuclear program has receded, saying he remains convinced that Tehran is "moving forward" with plans for an atomic weapon. A U.S. intelligence report in December found Tehran had halted its program in 2003. However, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters that "nothing that we know has changed our attitude on this issue."

US Present New Evidence Against Iran

US Intel Links Iran With Nuke Bomb Bid
The U.S. has recently shared new intelligence with the International Atomic Energy Agency on key aspects of Iran's nuclear program that Washington says shows Tehran was directly engaged in trying to make a bomb, diplomats said Thursday.

Future of Personal Computers

Race Toward 'clean' Cloud Computing

Imagine a world where most of the functions of our personal computers -- running applications, communicating, and storing data -- do not take place on those computers, but rather at massive computer server farms located in remote locations and linked through high-speed networks. This is not the stuff of science fiction, but instead describes "cloud computing," one of the hottest Internet and computing trends.

Fast Track to Organ Damage

Fast Food

It's not very catchy, but fast food restaurants may as well update their greetings, considering the negative effects their food can have on our health, our hearts and, now, our livers. In a new study, 18 slim, healthy Swedish men and women took on a fast food diet, eating meals from popular chains twice a day for four weeks while refraining from exercise. At the end of the experiment, blood tests showed evidence that the subjects eating fast food had liver damage. They also had gained an average of 16 pounds.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Putin: New Arms Race

Russia 'Will Match West.."

Vladimir Putin accused the West of triggering a fresh arms race today and gave warning that Russia was now rich enough to respond with a new generation of high-tech weaponry. President Putin attacked the United States and Europe for expanding Nato close to Russia's border at a time when Moscow had closed military bases abroad. He said that Russia would stand up to the West and defend itself against US plans to establish a missile defence shield in Eastern Europe. “A new arms race has started to unfold,” Mr Putin told ministers and regional governors in a televised address. “It's not our fault, we didn't start it...funnelling multibillions of dollars into developing weapons systems.

The Future Of Ordering Pizza

The Future Of Ordering Pizza

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Iraq Hoping To Pass Oil Law In 2008

Iraq Hoping To Pass Oil Law In 2008

Iraq's oil minister said his government is determination to pass a draft oil law this year, adding he hopes to ramp up production to 2.9 mln barrels per day by the end of the year. 'We hope 2008 will see the enactment of the oil and gas law,' Hussein Shahristani said, on the sidelines of a conference here.

Big Oil Interested In Iraq

Shell, Repsol Register For Iraqi Oil

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell and Spanish energy company Repsol YPF have both registered to compete for contracts to develop Iraq's huge oil reserves, company sources said on Wednesday. Big oil firms have been positioning themselves for years to gain access to the world's third-largest reserves, among the cheapest oil to produce in the world. Iraq has given companies until Feb. 18 to submit documents that will qualify them to compete in tenders for service contracts to help develop its oil infrastructure. The deadline was extended from Jan. 31.

Iran Against US In Iraq

Iranian-Backed Groups Up In Iraq

Attacks by Iranian-backed groups in Iraq have increased in recent months, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, casting doubt on the view Iran might have reduced its support for violence in the war. David Satterfield, the State Department's Iraq coordinator, said he believed Iran's strategy remained to force the United States to withdraw from Iraq at as high a price as possible.

Iran Develops Advanced Centrifuges

Iran Is Reported to Test New Centrifuges

Iran has reportedly begun to deploy a new generation of machinery to produce nuclear fuel, a development bound to intensify a debate in Washington about whether a recent National Intelligence Estimate accurately portrayed Tehran’s progress toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Russia Concerned Over Iranian Missile

Russia Suspicious Over Iran Test

Russia thinks the launch of an Iranian rocket into space raises suspicion over the true aim of its nuclear programme, a foreign ministry official has said. "Long-range missiles are one of the components of a [nuclear] weapons system," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov told Interfax. Therefore Monday's test launch of Iran's Explorer-1 space rocket was "of course, a cause for concern", he said

Obesity Is In Your Genes

Obesity 'May Be Largely Genetic'

Becoming overweight as a child is more likely to be the result of your genes than your lifestyle, claims a study. University College London researchers examined more than 5,000 pairs of identical and non-identical twins. Their American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that differences in body mass index and waist size were 77% governed by genes. An anti-obesity group said regardless of genes, a balanced diet and exercise were vital to good health. It is wrong to place all the blame for a child's excessive weight gain on the parents - it is more likely to be due to the child's genetic susceptibility Professor Jane WardleUniversity College London Children who are overweight are likely to be overweight or obese in adulthood, raising the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes later in life.

Buffet: Canadian Dollar Will Strengthen

Buffett Loves That Loonie

Warren Buffett said Wednesday he made "several hundred million dollars" on the loonie but wished he kept the holding because he believes the currency will likely continue to strengthen.

Biofuels A Greenhouse Threat

Studies Deem Biofuels a Greenhouse Threat

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In Iraq For The Long Term

The Argument Over Permanent Bases In Iraq

...One section of the act targeted by the signing statement is number 1222, which says, "No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:

(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.
(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."

When asked about this, Mr. Johndroe at the White House forwarded me a statement from Press Secretary Dana Perino, which said that the signing statement "has nothing to do with our policy regarding permanent bases or Iraq's oil resources." "It merely protects the constitutional prerogatives of the President and preserves Commander in Chief authorities -- for this President and future Presidents."

$515 Billion For The Pentagon

$515 Billion For The Pentagon

President Bush yesterday requested $515.4 billion for the fiscal 2009 Pentagon budget, a 7.5 percent increase from last year's spending request that is aimed at expanding the Army and Marine Corps, boosting force readiness and future combat capabilities, and improving the quality of life of service members. The administration also sought an additional $70 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a short-term spending request that could force the next administration to make critical war-funding decisions during the first days of its term. Congress so far has given the Pentagon $87 billion of the administration's $190 billion war-funding request for 2008.

$3.1 Trillion Spending Plan

Bush Proposes $3.1 Trillion Spending Plan

President Bush proposed a $3.1 trillion budget yesterday that includes big increases in military spending, major cuts in payments to healthcare providers, and extensions of tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest Americans. Bush, who inherited a budget surplus, said he expects a near-record deficit of $407 billion when he leaves office next year.

Financial Threat To U.S

Russia, China, OPEC Financial Threat

The United States is worried that Russia, China and OPEC oil-producing countries could use their growing financial clout to advance political goals, the top U.S. spy chief told Congress on Tuesday. Such economic matters joined terrorism, nuclear proliferation and computer-network vulnerabilities as top U.S. security threats described by National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell in an annual assessment.

Iran Reaches Space

Iran Claims Launch Into 'Space'
Iran signalled its ambition to join the elite group of nations in space yesterday by claiming to have reached orbit with a rocket capable of carrying satellites. In a move that drew criticism from the Bush administration, Iranian television beamed footage of the rocket, called Explorer-1, being fired after Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gave the launch order. Officials in the control room were heard chanting "God is great" as it lifted off. State TV said the rocket had reached "space", generally defined as 62.5miles above earth.

Iran Is The Biggest Threat To Israel

Mossad Chief: Iran Is The Biggest Threat

Iran will attain offensive nuclear capabilities within three years and remains the central strategic threat to Israel, not only because it is striving for the attainment of nuclear weapons but also because of its influence on more imminent threats - such as Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria - according to an assessment presented to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee by Mossad head Meir Dagan Monday.

ElBaradei Against Military Action To Stop Iran

IAEA Chief Warns Against Military Action

Visiting UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday warned against a military action to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, the Egyptian official MENA news agency reported. In an interview with Egyptian TV, ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said a military strike to settle the Iranian nuclear issue would complicate the situation and send the Middle East region into a vicious cycle of violence.

Canadian Wealth Test

The All-Canadian Wealth Test

Our personal balance sheets are closely guarded secrets. We rarely discuss how much we make or how much we're worth even with our closest friends. When it comes to acquaintances or strangers, personal finances are a radioactive zone, entry verboten. No matter how much we might like to know about our neighbours' financial status, we would never think about leaning over the backyard fence and asking them for a glimpse inside their wallets.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tony Blair: President Of Europe

I'll Be President Of Europe

Tony Blair has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could mount a campaign later this year to become full-time president of the EU council, the prestigious new job characterised as "president of Europe". Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, EU and the UN, has told friends he has made no final decision, but is increasingly willing to put himself forward for the job if it comes with real powers to intervene in defence and trade affairs.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ron Paul Debate Highlights

Canadian Wealth Test

The All-Canadian Wealth Test
Are you earning the paycheque you should? Is your net worth on target? We've peeked into wallets across the country to reveal the surprising answers.

Microsoft Bids For Yahoo

Microsoft Bids $44.6 billion

Microsoft Corp made a bid to buy Yahoo Inc for $44.6 billion, seeking to join forces against Google Inc in what would be the biggest Internet deal since the Time Warner- AOL merger.

Exxon Posts Largest Profit In US History

Exxon Mobil Posts Record Profits

Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $40.6 billion — on Friday as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at the end of the year. Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, beating its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil had in 2006

Shells Posts Largest Profit In European History

Shell’s Profit Soars...

Europe’s largest oil company, reported Thursday that fourth-quarter profit rose 60 percent because of the sale of some assets and higher oil prices. Net income was $8.47 billion, up from $5.28 billion in the period a year ago. Sales rose to $107 billion from $75.5 billion despite a fall in oil production. For the year, profit was a record $31.3 billion, while sales rose 12 percent, to $356 billion.