Thursday, August 28, 2008

Putin: American Behind Georgian Conflict

Putin Accuses U.S.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi on Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia. Putin said his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush -- although he presented no evidence to back it up. "U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1.4 Billion Living In Poverty

World Poverty 'More Widespread'
The World Bank has warned that world poverty is much greater than previously thought. It has revised its previous estimate and now says that 1.4 billion people live in poverty, based on a new poverty line of $1.25 per day. This is substantially more than its earlier estimate of 985 million people living in poverty in 2004. The Bank has also revised upwards the number it said were poor in 1981, from 1.5 billion to 1.9 billion. The new estimates suggest that poverty is both more persistent, and has fallen less sharply, than previously thought. However, given the increase in world population, the poverty rate has still fallen from 50% to 25% over the past 25 years. "This is pretty grim analysis coming from the World Bank," said Elizabeth Stuart, senior policy advisor at Oxfam.

The End of Dollar Hegemony

The End of Dollar Hegemony Transcript

Studies Link Stress To Mental Health Of Unborn Child

Stress of war on mothers linked...

Pregnant women who endure the psychological stress of being in a war zone may be more likely to give birth to a child who develops schizophrenia, psychiatry researchers say. Dr. Dolores Malaspina, a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and her colleagues analyzed medical records from more than 88,000 people who were born in Jerusalem from 1964 to 1976. Females born to women who were in their second month of pregnancy during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis in June 1967 were 4.3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than females born at other times, the team reported in Wednesday's online issue of the journal BMC Psychiatry. Males born to women at the same stage of pregnancy were 1.2 more likely to develop schizophrenia.

Babies born to women who were pregnant during the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada and faced unusual stresses show some developmental delays such as lower IQ scores, researchers have found. The study, to be published in September's issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, used data from 178 women who were pregnant during the ice storm. The researchers also examined 89 children who were born then. In January 1998, 30 people died and nearly 1,000 were injured when the storm dumped as much as 108 millimetres of freezing rain on parts of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. More than three million Canadians lost power for as long as 40 days, according to the study.

Iranian Astronaut Within 10 Years

Iran Aims To Send An Astronaut...
Iran's space agency plans to send a manned rocket into space in the next 10 years, state television reported on Thursday. Space agency chief Reza Taghipoor said the exact date of the mission would be determined in the next year. The announcement is the latest signal of Iran's growing ambition to develop a space and satellite program and comes days after the country announced it had launched a dummy satellite into orbit. Taghipoor said the two-stage rocket, launched Sunday, released equipment that beamed flight data back to ground control, though U.S. officials said the rocket fell short of its claimed success.

2002 Ron Paul - Russian Strike On Georgia

1 in 464 At Risk Of Losing Home

U.S. Foreclosures Rise 55%

Banks repossessed almost three times as many U.S. homes in July as a year earlier and the number of properties at risk of foreclosure jumped 55 percent as falling prices made it harder to sell or refinance. Bank seizures rose 184 percent to 77,295, the steepest increase since reporting began in January 2005, RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based seller of foreclosure data, said today in a statement. More than 272,000 properties, or one in 464 U.S. households, got a default notice, were warned of a pending auction or foreclosed on.

Gene Doping Athletes

How "Gene Doping" Could Create Enhanced Olympians

Although athletes at the Beijing Olympics have been subjected to some of the most aggressive testing ever for performance-enhancing drugs, no case of so-called gene doping has yet been detected. But experts say Oympic athletes may soon be able to genetically enhance their muscles to be faster, stronger, and better able to recover after workouts—if they aren't already.Gene doping uses techniques similar to gene therapies developed to treat muscle-wasting diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. Injected into an athlete, a harmless virus could carry a performance-enhancing gene and splice it into a muscle cell, said Theodore Friedmann, a gene therapy researcher at the University of California, San Diego

US Education System Failing Youths

Intel Cites US Education 'Crisis'

The chairman of the world's biggest computer chipmaker has said the US "education system is in crisis and failing the youth of today". Craig Barrett, who made his "one political statement" at the Intel developers' forum being held in San Francisco, urged US politicians to act. He told the audience: "Nations are as strong as their educational systems. "The rest of the emerging world recognises this is the key to staying competitive."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Canada's Economic Slow Down

Slow Economy Take Toll...
The slowing economy is taking its toll on household finances, driving up debt at a faster pace than incomes and assets, new analysis from CIBC World Markets shows. “This is a fact because the economy is underperforming,” CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said in an interview about his analysis of household credit. In the first quarter of 2008, household debt in Canada rose almost 3 per cent but personal disposable income rose just 2 per cent, pushing the debt-to-income ratio up to 130 per cent from 122 per cent a year earlier. At the same time, the level of assets hardly changed during the first quarter of 2008, since the stock market was correcting and house prices were levelling off. So the debt-to-asset ratio rose to almost 18 per cent, a full percentage point higher than in early 2007 and the highest level since early 2003, the report shows.

Did Russia Start The War In Georgia?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Child Singer, Fireworks Olympic Fakes

Olympic Child Singing Star Revealed

The little girl who starred at the Olympic opening ceremony was miming and only put on stage because the real singer was not considered attractive enough, the show's musical director has revealed. Pigtailed Lin Miaoke was selected to appear because of her cute appearance and did not sing a note, Chen Qigang, the general music designer of the ceremony, said in an interview with a state broadcaster aired Tuesday. Photographs of Lin in a bright red party dress were published in newspapers and websites all over the world and the official China Daily hailed her as a rising star on Tuesday. But Chen said the girl whose voice was actually heard by the 91,000 capacity crowd at the Olympic stadium during the spectacular ceremony was in fact seven-year-old Yang Peiyi, who has a chubby face and uneven teeth.

Hooked On The First Puff

Gene Hooks Smokers...
Puffing on a first cigarette is a rite of passage for many teenagers, but whether it is enjoyable may be partly down to genetics, researchers suggest. University of Michigan scientists have identified a gene variant found more often in people who said their first cigarette produced a "buzz". These people were much more likely to go on to become regular smokers, the journal Addiction reports. The researchers say the finding may help development of anti-smoking drugs.

Ford Had Doubts On JFK Murder

Ford Told FBI About Panel's Doubts...

Former President Gerald Ford secretly advised the FBI that two of his fellow members on the Warren Commission doubted the FBI's conclusion that John F. Kennedy was shot from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository in Dallas, according to newly released records from Mr. Ford's FBI files. Mr. Ford, still a Michigan congressman at the time, also told a senior FBI official about internal panel disputes over hiring staff, Chief Justice Earl Warren's timetable for completing the final report on the assassination and what panel members said about the FBI. In turn, Assistant FBI Director Cartha “Deke” DeLoach confidentially advised Mr. Ford of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's position on panel disputes; discussed where leaks were coming from; and, with Mr. Hoover's personal approval, loaned him a bureau briefcase with a lock so he could securely take the FBI report on the 1963 assassination with him on a ski trip.

Scientists Stop The Ageing Process

Scientists Stop The Ageing Process

Scientists have stopped the ageing process in an entire organ for the first time, a study released today says. Published in today's online edition of Nature Medicine, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City also say the older organs function as well as they did when the host animal was younger. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Ana Maria Cuervo, blocked the ageing process in mice livers by stopping the build-up of harmful proteins inside the organ's cells.

Friday, August 8, 2008

EU Tightens Sanctions Against Teheran

EU Tightens Sanctions Against Teheran

The European Union tightened trade sanctions against Iran on Friday to punish Teheran for not committing to a long-standing demand of the international community that it freeze its nuclear enrichment program. The new EU restrictions go slightly beyond existing UN trade sanctions and are designed to deny public loans or export credits to companies trading with Iran. France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said European governments would also carefully watch financial groups doing business with Iranian banks and step up checks on ships and airplanes traveling to Iran. "This resolution expands the range of restrictive measures adopted by the UN Security Council," in December 2006 and March 2007, an EU statement said.

Canada Biggest Job Loss In 17 years

Canada Posts Biggest Job Loss In 17 years

The Canadian economy lost 55,200 jobs in July, when economists had forecast an increase, but the unemployment rate edged down to 6.1 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday. The employment figures showed the biggest loss in jobs since February 1991, when 57,000 disappeared as recession gripped Canada. The bulk of the July losses – 48,000 – came from part-time positions, while the hardest hit sectors were manufacturing, business, building and other support services, and educational services. In fact, the only significant gains came in accommodation and food services, which added a combined 22,000 jobs during the month, Statscan said. While private sector employers shed 95,300 jobs, the public sector added 29,500, and the ranks of the self-employed rose by 10,600, the agency said.

Housing Slump Stalks Western Canada

Housing Slump Stalks Western Canada
As Canada's housing market shows fresh signs it has exited the boom phase, Merrill Lynch economists are cautioning homeowners to expect a “sustained downturn” in prices. Nearly every major city in the West makes the list of most vulnerable markets, in addition to Montreal and Sudbury, according to a pair of Toronto-based economists at the bank. Soaring prices over much of the past decade have made the country's homeowners substantially richer. The big question is whether a selloff could echo the wrenching downturn in the United States, where prices in Miami and Los Angeles have fallen as much as 28 per cent from the peak and average national prices are down 18 per cent in the past two years.

Travelers Laptops May Be Detained

Travelers Laptops May Be Detained

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Wal-Mart Warns Of Democratic Win

Wal-Mart Warns Of Democratic Win
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart. In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized. According to about a dozen Wal-Mart employees who attended such meetings in seven states, Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.

Gov. Paterson Warns Economic Crisis

Gov. Paterson Economic Crisis

Warning of an approaching economic calamity, Gov. Paterson yesterday called an emergency session of the state Legislature - and raised the specter that New York may have to sell off roads, bridges and tunnels to close a massive budget deficit. In a rare televised address, the Democratic governor cited "private-public partnerships" involving the sale of state assets - widely condemned by critics as fiscal gimmickry - as one way to stem a tide of red ink brought on by the sagging economy and woes on Wall Street.

UK Home Repossessions Rise

UK Home Repossessions Rise 48%
The number of properties repossessed by mortgage lenders in the UK has risen by 48% in the past year. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said there were 18,900 repossessions in the six months to June, up from 12,800 in the same period last year. The sharp rise was due to the economic slowdown making it harder for some homeowners to repay mortgages. Repossessions have been rising since the second half of 2004 but have now begun to accelerate.