Overnight- Asia 5, Europe 1, News & Politics 2, Entertainment 1, Business 4, Science 2, Health 4, Sports 1, Blogline 8
10 am- Africa 1, Asia 5, Europe 3, News & Politics 6, Media 1, Business 7, Science 4, Health 2
10 am 1 Ethiopia: A model of African food aid is now in trouble
By Nicholas Benequista, The Christian Science Monitor
Tue May 6, 4:00 AM ET
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Farmers in Ethiopia are better off now than they were four years ago, in part due to better-than-average rains and rising grain prices globally. But there’s another reason: Africa’s largest beneficiary of foreign aid has shifted from food aid to cash assistance.
Ethiopia is seen by aid organizations as a model of how to best help hungry nations. But in an effort to prevent food riots in cities, the government here is again relying on foreign food aid and now prohibits foreign aid groups from buying grains from local farmers. In effect, it may be undermining its own success story.
At a gathering of farmers about 40 miles outside Addis Ababa, one young man bemoans how rising food prices have yet to alleviate his hardship. Rent, fertilizer, transport, tools: Costs rise as fast as grain prices and whittle down his profits, he says.
1 Dalai Lama envoy upbeat on China talks
Mon May 5, 9:18 PM ET
HONG KONG (Reuters) – An envoy of the Dalai Lama said on Tuesday that one-day talks with China on the unrest in Tibet had been “a good first step,” and the two sides will meet again after he reports back to the exiled spiritual leader.
“We had very candid discussions … we have a good rapport, so that is always very helpful,” Lodi Gyari told Reuters at Hong Kong airport as he prepared to board a flight for India, home of the Tibet government-in-exile.
“We have agreed to meet once again so I think it is a good sign, but we will make a formal statement after I have reported to his Holiness when I get back to India.”
2 China’s Hu in Japan on rare visit of reconciliation
by Shingo Ito, AFP
2 hours, 14 minutes ago
TOKYO (AFP) – President Hu Jintao arrived in Japan on Tuesday for the first visit here by a Chinese head of state in 10 years, as Asia’s two largest economies try to mend fences after decades of friction.
Just three years after relations hit rock bottom, Hu has said his trip would herald a “warm spring” with Japan, which has become a top commercial partner despite the lingering resentments of many Chinese for its past aggression.
It is Hu’s first trip abroad since unrest broke out in Tibet in March. Pro-Tibet groups and other critics of Beijing have called for demonstrations here, leading Japan to deploy thousands of police to guard the Chinese leader.
3 US asks Pakistan to live up to ‘war on terror’ commitment
by P. Parameswaran, AFP
Mon May 5, 9:36 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Monday it wanted Pakistan to live up to its commitment of urgently bringing security under control in its remote tribal areas allegedly used as safe haven by Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
The call came amid worries in Washington that the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, which is negotiating with a Taliban commander, may strike a deal with militants and undermine a long “war on terror” partnership.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Islamabad recognized that bringing the mountainous and unpoliced Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) under control was an urgent priority for Pakistan’s own sake.
4 Afghan medical college struggles to rise from the ashes
By Tan Ee Lyn, AFP
Mon May 5, 9:19 PM ET
KABUL (Reuters) – The gutted, hollow shell of the Ali Abad training hospital in Kabul is a symbol of the state of Afghanistan’s medical system, battered by decades of war.
Ali Abad, Afghanistan’s oldest hospital, was reduced to rubble when civil war tore Kabul apart in the 1990s.
Though classes stayed open, many doctors who taught at the teaching hospital fled, medical equipment and drugs were scarce and female students were forced to stay at home due to Taliban restrictions against women.
5 Sharp rise in suicide attacks by women in Iraq likely: US expert
by Karin Zeitvogel
Mon May 5, 10:56 PM ET
WASHINGTON, (AFP) – As many women carried out suicide attacks in Iraq so far this year as in the five previous years combined, and attacks by women are expected to spike again in the coming months, a US terrorism expert said Monday.
“Between January and April, there were 12 suicide attacks by women in Iraq. That marks an exponential increase,” Farhana Ali, a US international policy analyst of Pakistani origin, told AFP after a symposium on terrorism at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Washington.
Twelve women carried out suicide attacks in Iraq in the first few months of this year compared with 11 between 2003 and 2007, according to Ali.
10 am 2 Myanmar cyclone toll climbs to nearly 22,500
By Aung Hla Tun, Reuters
3 minutes ago
YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military government raised its death toll from Cyclone Nargis on Tuesday to nearly 22,500 with a further 41,000 missing, nearly all of them from a massive storm surge that swept into the Irrawaddy delta.
Of the dead, only 671 were in the former capital, Yangon, and its outlying districts, state radio said, confirming Nargis as the most devastating cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people died in Bangladesh.
“More deaths were caused by the tidal wave than the storm itself,” Minister for Relief and Resettlement Maung Maung Swe told a news conference in the rubble-strewn city of five million, where food and water supplies are running low.
10 am 3 3,500 US troops set to leave Iraq in the coming weeks
By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer
33 minutes ago
BAGHDAD – About 3,500 American soldiers are scheduled to leave Iraq in the coming weeks, the U.S. military announced, as part of the Pentagon’s overall reduction in troop strength following last year’s “surge.”
Washington plans to trim it forces in Iraq to about 140,000 soldiers by the summer – from a peak of about 170,000 in October at the height of the troop buildup in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
The departing soldiers, part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, will redeploy to Fort Benning, Ga., the military said.
10 am 4 Dozens of Iraqi police detained in operation
By Waleed Ibrahim, Reuters
2 hours, 11 minutes ago
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi soldiers detained dozens of policemen and closed down a hospital suspected of treating Shi’ite militiamen in a Baghdad stronghold of cleric Moqtada al -Sadr’s Mehdi Army, Iraqi security officials said on Tuesday.
Iraqi and U.S. security forces have been battling Mehdi Army fighters in Baghdad since late March. The upsurge in violence has underscored the fragility of Iraq’s security at a time when U.S. troops in the capital are reducing their numbers.
The U.S. military announced that the third of five combat brigades sent to Iraq last year to help curb sectarian violence had begun withdrawing.
10 am 5 Doubting the Evidence Against Iran
By MARK KUKIS AND ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER/BAGHDAD, Time Magazine
48 minutes ago
American circles in Baghdad and Washington are probably not pleased with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s plan for a special panel to investigate allegations of Iranian interference in Iraq. Many U.S. officials are already convinced of the worst and, for years, U.S. officials have now aired accusations against Iran, insisting that Tehran is stoking Iraq’s violence by keeping up a flow of money, weapons and trained fighters into the country. The Iraqi government, however, remains unconvinced – with good reason.
10 am 6 US Negroponte to head to North Asia this week
2 hours, 21 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will travel to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing on May 7-12 for talks on a range of issues, the State Department said Tuesday.
“Deputy Secretary Negroponte looks forward to consulting with these key partners on recent developments in the region, exchanging views on political and economic issues, and strengthening close ties and cooperation on a range of regional and global issues,” his office said in a statement.
The trip comes as the State Department’s Korean affairs office director Sung Kim is slated to visit North Korea this week in hopes of moving ahead nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang, according to South Korea’s Yonhap agency.
6 Last day in office for Ireland’s veteran PM
by Andrew Bushe, AFP
1 hour, 9 minutes ago
DUBLIN, (AFP) – Ireland’s Bertie Ahern, one of Europe’s longest serving prime ministers, will officially step down on Tuesday after acknowledging that public focus on alleged financial irregularities were overshadowing his work.
Ahern, 56, was to hand over his seal of office to President Mary McAleese.
He announced his surprise resignation last month amid growing pressure over an investigation by an anti-corruption tribunal. He denies any wrong-doing.
10 am 7 Georgia says “very close” to war with Russia
By Mark John 2 hours, 9 minutes ago
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia’s deployment of extra troops in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia has brought the prospect of war “very close,” a minister of ex-Soviet Georgia said on Tuesday.
Separately, in comments certain to fan rising tension between Moscow and Tbilisi, the “foreign minister” of the breakaway Black Sea region was quoted as saying it was ready to hand over military control to Russia.
“We literally have to avert war,” Temur Iakobashvili, a Georgian State Minister, told reporters in Brussels.
10 am 8 EU will probably lift U.S. poultry ban: Verheugen
1 hour, 3 minutes ago
LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – The European Union will probably lift its 11-year-old ban on imports of U.S. poultry, Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said on Tuesday.
“The Commission will find a solution and the only solution is to lift the ban,” Verheugen said ahead of a Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) meeting in Brussels on May 13.
The EU banned imports of U.S. poultry in April 1997 because U.S. poultry producers use a low-concentration chlorine wash to reduce harmful pathogens, a practice not permitted by the EU food safety regime.
10 am 9 Prosecutors probe Alstom for contract corruption
2 hours, 54 minutes ago
PARIS (AFP) – French prosecutors suspect engineering giant Alstom, builder of power stations and high-speed trains, of bribing foreign officials to win contracts, a judicial source said Tuesday.
Prosecutors started an investigation on November 7 into suspected “corruption of foreign public agents” and “abusive use of assets,” the source said.
The source spoke after The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported evidence that the company had “paid hundreds of million dollars in bribes to win contracts in Asia and South America between 1995 and 2003.”
News & Politics
7 U.S. set for first execution since end of moratorium
By Matthew Bigg, Reuters
2 hours, 36 minutes ago
ATLANTA (Reuters) – Georgia is set to execute a convicted murderer on Tuesday, the first U.S. inmate to be put to death since the Supreme Court ended a de facto moratorium on capital punishment last month.
William Earl Lynd is due to die by lethal injection at a prison in Jackson, central Georgia, at 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) for shooting his girlfriend Ginger Moore three times in the head and face in December 1988, authorities said.
Lynd buried his victim in a shallow grave near Tifton, south Georgia. Soon afterward, while driving to Ohio, he shot and killed another woman but he has not been convicted of that crime, according to the state attorney general’s office.
8 Racial disparities persist in drug arrests
Mon May 5, 9:15 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. “war on drugs” disproportionately targets urban minority neighborhoods with African Americans being arrested and imprisoned on drug charges at much higher rates, according to a pair of reports released on Monday by rights groups.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said a review of new statistics across 34 states found persistent racial disparities among drug offenders sent to prison.
The 67-page report concludes that a black man is 11.8 times more likely than a white man to be sent to prison on drug charges, and a black woman is 4.8 times more likely than a white woman.
10 am 10 Iraq war strains U.S. army mental health system
By Claudia Parsons, Reuters
2 hours, 32 minutes ago
FORT DRUM, New York (Reuters) – Fort Drum, a bleak U.S. Army base in upstate New York, is a test case for how the military is handling a looming mental health crisis.
The military and its critics agree on one thing — there are not enough therapists to treat all the soldiers who return from Iraq and Afghanistan traumatized by the experience.
The 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) is the most-deployed brigade in the U.S. army since 2001. It served two tours in Afghanistan, totaling 11 months, and was sent to Iraq twice for tours of 12 and 15 months.
10 am 11 Grease bandits strike as biofuel demand rises
By Ben Arnoldy, The Christian Science Monitor
Tue May 6, 4:00 AM ET
San Jose, Calif. – Mark Rosenzweig watched with suspicion as a tanker truck sidled up to a local Burger King’s grease bin last month. The driver plunged a hose into the 300-gallon tub of used French-fry grease and slurped it into his tank.
Mr. Rosenzweig called the police, patiently citing legal codes to convince them that, yes, grease theft is a crime. He should know. As a legitimate grease collector, he has his livelihood stolen four to five times a month these days.
In March, grease bandits in South Bend, Ind., broke bin locks to get to their oozy booty. One collector, Griffin Industries Inc., has two detectives working cases in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and against an entire grease gang in northern Arkansas.
10 am 12 Virtuoso to play, thanks to driver who returned M violin
By JEFFREY GOLD, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 10 minutes ago
NEWARK, N.J. – A violin virtuoso plans to replace the airport cacophony of taxis and airplanes with the exquisite tones of a 285-year-old violin to give thanks to the cab driver who reunited him with the lost instrument.
Grammy-nominated violinist Philippe Quint said Monday he will play a private 30-minute performance on Tuesday at Newark Liberty International Airport’s cab waiting area.
Mohamed Khalil and his family will also have tickets to Quint’s next New York performance, Sept. 23 at Carnegie Hall.
The irreplaceable 1723 Antonio Stradivari “Ex-Kiesewetter” was left in Khalil’s cab the morning of April 21, when Quint was returning from a performance in Dallas. Quint found himself in the same predicament as other musicians, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who had left their instruments in cabs.
10 am 13 Surrogate mothers fulfilling gay men’s parenthood dreams
by Luis Torres de la Llosa, AFP
2 hours, 32 minutes ago
NEW YORK (AFP) – An ever-growing number of gay couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to have surrogate mothers carry their babies, turning America’s concept of traditional family on its head.
It took two women and two men for two-year-old twins Katherine and Connor to come to life.
Their fathers, Michael Eidelman and A.J. Vincent, who have lived together for years, invested love, time and all their savings to build their family in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.
10 am 14 Obama’s “Electability” Code for Race?
By MASSIMO CALABRESI/DURHAM, Time Magazine
Tue May 6, 6:25 AM ET
Throughout the earliest months of his amazing rise as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama showcased an uncanny ability to turn an attack against the attacker. His pre-primary wonkiness last summer became his post-partisan problem-solving by mid-autumn. His inexperience ahead of Iowa became his newcomer’s agency for change after his victory there. The question of race in South Carolina soon became a chance for the whole country to rise above it. And after a while, Obama’s knack for rebounding created a magical aura around his campaign: the more he did it, the more he seemed to have that indefinable ability to win, no matter the odds.
10 am 15 McCain will seek judges like Roberts, Alito
Tue May 6, 6:15 AM ET
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Tuesday he would appoint judges in the mold of conservatives John Roberts, Samuel Alito and former Chief Justice William Rehnquist if he were elected in November.
In an excerpt from a speech McCain was to give in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, the Arizona senator said he would “look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint.”
“I will look for people in the cast of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and my friend the late William Rehnquist — jurists of the highest caliber who know their own minds, and know the law, and know the difference,” McCain said.
10 am 16 Newspapers likely to be free in the future: survey
By Kate Holton, Reuters
Tue May 6, 6:12 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) – Newspapers seeking to compete with the Internet are likely to become free and place greater emphasis on comment and opinion in the future, a survey of the world’s editors showed on Tuesday.
The report, conducted by Zogby International for the World Editors Forum and Reuters, revealed that newspaper editors were still optimistic about the future of their publications but believed they would have to adapt further for the digital age.
Some 86 percent of respondents believed newsrooms should become more integrated with digital services as two in three believe the most common form of news consumption will be via electronic media such as online or mobiles within a decade.
9 `Project Runway’ may leave, but NBC keeps its producers
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
Mon May 5, 7:09 PM ET
NEW YORK – “Project Runway” may switch from Bravo to the Lifetime cable network this fall, but NBC Universal ensured Monday that the show’s producers won’t go with it.
NBC Universal, whose properties include Bravo, USA and Oxygen, announced a deal that ties it to producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, giving the company first look at their projects. In effect, it forced the duo to choose between staying with “Project Runway” or the promise of more work at NBC.
Lifetime last month announced it had agreed on a $150 million deal with the Weinstein Co., owners of “Project Runway,” to televise five seasons of the cable hit starting in February. NBC Universal has tried to block that move in court.
10 Bernanke urges more action to stem home foreclosure crisis
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
7 minutes ago
WASHINGTON – A rising tide of late mortgage payments and home foreclosures poses considerable dangers to the national economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned anew as he urged Congress to take additional steps to alleviate the problems.
“High rates of delinquency and foreclosure can have substantial spillover effects on the housing market, the financial markets and the broader economy,” Bernanke said Monday in a dinner speech to Columbia Business School in New York. “Therefore, doing what we can to avoid preventable foreclosures is not just in the interest of lenders and borrowers. It’s in everybody’s interest,” he said.
Some 1.5 million U.S. homes entered into the foreclosure process last year, up 53 percent from 2006, Bernanke said. The rate of new foreclosures looks likely to be even higher this year, he said.
11 Merck to cut 1,200 sales jobs following regulatory setback
By LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer
Mon May 5, 6:01 PM ET
TRENTON, N.J. – Merck & Co. said Monday it is eliminating 1,200 U.S. sales jobs, a move that comes a week after federal regulators’ surprise rejection of an experimental cholesterol drug heavily touted by the pharmaceutical company.
The cuts come on top of the elimination of about 8,100 positions under the sweeping restructuring plan announced in December 2005, Merck’s so-called Plan to Win.
The new cuts are to be completed by the end of July, with employees of the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company being notified by the end of this month.
12 UBS to cut 5,500 jobs, has BlackRock debt deal
By Thomas Atkins, Reuters
1 hour, 20 minutes ago
ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS AG will cut 5,500 jobs or almost 7 percent of its workforce as Europe’s biggest subprime casualty reverses a rapid expansion into investment banking.
The bank also said it has a preliminary deal with U.S. asset manager BlackRock Inc to sell a $15 billion portfolio of subprime mortgages, a clear signal the market for ailing U.S. real-estate assets is becoming more liquid.
“We see clearly that there are sophisticated investors coming into this market, and this itself we view as strong support,” Chief Executive Marcel Rohner said in a conference call with journalists on Tuesday.
13 Copyright is even more right in digital age: US media mogul
1 hour, 45 minutes ago
SEOUL (AFP) – US media mogul Sumner Redstone said Tuesday that “enormous emerging markets” for entertainment content are opening up across Asia and elsewhere but copyright protection poses a growing challenge.
At a keynote speech to the Seoul Ditigal Forum, the chairman of Viacom and CBS Corporation called for better protection of copyright — noting that film piracy alone costs the US economy more than 20 billion dollars every year.
“Copyright is even more right in the digital age,” Redstone said.
“It’s harder and harder to make money in the media business,” he said, citing sites that enable the illegal downloading of full length songs and movies, DVD piracy and the unauthorized distribution of copyright content on services “such as YouTube.”
10 am 17 Bernanke urges more action to stem home foreclosure crisis
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
WASHINGTON – A rising tide of late mortgage payments and home foreclosures poses considerable dangers to the national economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned anew Monday as he urged Congress to take additional steps to alleviate the problems.
“High rates of delinquency and foreclosure can have substantial spillover effects on the housing market, the financial markets and the broader economy,” Bernanke said in a dinner speech to Columbia Business School in New York. “Therefore, doing what we can to avoid preventable foreclosures is not just in the interest of lenders and borrowers. It’s in everybody’s interest,” he said.
Some 1.5 million U.S. homes entered into the foreclosure process last year, up 53 percent from 2006, Bernanke said. The rate of new foreclosures looks likely to be even higher this year, he said.
10 am 18 Fannie Mae posts loss, to cut payout, raise capital
By Lynn Adler, Reuters
14 minutes ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fannie Mae (FNM.N) on Tuesday cut its dividend and set plans to raise $6 billion in fresh funds to weather the severe U.S. housing market slump, driving its shares and the broader U.S. stock market lower.
The company, the largest provider of U.S. home financing, also posted a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss, its third in a row, and said it expected more trouble ahead.
House prices, by some measures already 15 percent below their peak in mid-2006, likely will drop as much as another 9 percent this year and related credit losses will keep rising into 2009.
10 am 19 US warns Asian Development Bank it risks becoming ‘irrelevant’
2 hours, 7 minutes ago
MADRID (AFP) – The United States, the Asian Development Bank’s second-biggest donor, warned the institution on Tuesday it risked becoming irrelevant if it fails to adapt to the region’s rapid economic expansion.
“It’s important for the ADB to stick to its overall mission, but at the same time it’s important for it to realise that it’s an institution that needs to be almost continuously evolving,” said US Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Clay Lowery.
“If it fails to evolve it’s going to become irrelevant,” said Lowery, who is heading the US delegation at the bank’s board of governors meeting in Madrid.
10 am 20 UBS reports 1Q net loss UBS reports 1Q net loss $11 billion1 billion
By ERNST E. ABEGG, Associated Press Writer
Tue May 6, 7:48 AM ET
ZURICH, Switzerland – Swiss bank UBS, hard hit by the U.S. subprime crisis, reported a first-quarter loss of $10.97 billion and said Tuesday it will slash almost 7 percent of its work force.
The 11.5 billion Swiss franc loss compares with a net profit of 3 billion francs in the same period last year. The company also said it would unload $15 billion in subprime and other mortgage-based securities from its portfolio.
UBS AG shares tumbled 4.9 percent to 35.06 francs ($33.40).
10 am 21 D.R. Horton swings to 2Q loss on impairment charges
By DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer
40 minutes ago
DALLAS – D.R. Horton said Tuesday it swung to a loss in the second quarter, as a sustained housing slump forced the nation’s largest homebuilder to take hefty charges and write down the value of property.
Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. posted a loss of $1.31 billion, or $4.14 per share, compared with year-ago profit of $51.7 million, or 16 cents per share. The latest period, reported Tuesday, includes pretax write-down charges of $834.1 million.
Revenue plunged to $1.62 billion from $2.62 billion a year ago.
10 am 22 Stocks drop on disappointing earnings
By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer
28 minutes ago
NEW YORK – The stock market fell Tuesday for a second straight session after government-sponsored mortgage company Fannie Mae, homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. and Swiss bank UBS reported quarterly losses. A new record for crude oil prices also pulled stocks lower.
The disappointing first-quarter results from the financial and homebuilding industries suggested to investors that a rebound in the economy and corporate profits later this year might not come as easily as many have hoped.
In recent weeks, stronger-than-expected results from companies outside the battered financial and housing sectors helped the stock market rebound late last week to levels not seen since early January. But investors’ confidence has eroded in the the past two sessions, with banks still on the mend and oil prices threatening to weigh on the consumer well into the summer.
10 am 23 Oil hits record Oil hits record $122 on $200 oil prediction, supply concerns22 on 00 oil prediction, supply concerns
By JOHN WILEN, AP Business Writer
17 minutes ago
NEW YORK – Oil futures blasted to a new record of $122 a barrel Tuesday, gaining momentum as investors bought on a forecast of much higher prices and on any news hinting at supply shortages. Retail gas prices edged lower, but appear poised to rise to new records of their own in coming weeks.
A new Goldman Sachs prediction that oil prices could rise to $150 to $200 within two years seemed to motivate much of Tuesday’s buying, although a falling dollar and increasing concerns about declining crude production in Mexico and Russia contributed, analysts say.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery jumped to a new record of $122 a barrel before retreating slightly to trade up $1.92 at $121.89 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
14 China to ‘actively join’ climate talks along with Japan
Tue May 6, 12:39 AM ET
TOKYO (AFP) – China will pledge to “actively join” a post-Kyoto Protocol deal on tackling global warming, in a planned joint statement with Japan during President Hu Jintao’s visit here starting Tuesday, officials said.
Multilateral negotiations are underway for completing a pact by the end of next year to follow the landmark Kyoto Protocol, which requires rich nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.
The United States and some other Western states have baulked at making mandatory cuts as developing nations such as China, one of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, are not bound to slash emissions under Kyoto.
15 China to investigate Google for illegal maps: official media
2 hours, 51 minutes ago
BEIJING (AFP) – China has launched an investigation into online mapping services by Internet giants including Google and Sohu in an effort to protect state secrets and territorial integrity, state press said.
According to Min Yiren, vice head of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, authorities hope to get rid of online maps that wrongly depict China’s borders or that reveal military secrets, the People’s Daily said Monday.
The government began the investigation into the problematic maps in April and will continue it until the end of the year, the report said.
10 am 24 Gray wolf that lives in Denali park freed from snare on neck
By MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer
Mon May 5, 9:18 PM ET
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A large, gray wolf frequently seen by visitors to Denali National Park has a good chance at survival after a snare was removed from its neck late last week.
The wolf was one of two that escaped snare traps set legally by trappers outside of the Denali park boundaries this winter, wildlife officials said.
The gray wolf, one of Denali’s more visible wolves for tourists because it would stay close to the park road, was spotted by park employees several times, but always managed to give them the slip.
10 am 25 Reservoir larger than Manhattan planned to help Everglades
By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer
Tue May 6, 7:37 AM ET
IN THE EVERGLADES, Fla. – Around South Florida’s vast sugar cane fields, where turtles grow to the size of basketballs and alligators own the marsh, the silence of the swamp is broken by the sound of rumbling trucks and explosions.
The earth-moving equipment and high explosives are laying the foundation for a mammoth construction project: a reservoir bigger than Manhattan designed to revive the ecosystem of the once-famed River of Grass.
More than a century after the first homes and farms took shape in the Everglades, decades of flood-control projects have left the region parched and near ecological collapse. Now crews are building what will be the world’s largest aboveground manmade reservoir to restore some natural water flow to the wetlands.
10 am 26 Mangrove destruction partly to blame for Myanmar toll: ASEAN chief
Tue May 6, 6:19 AM ET
SINGAPORE (AFP) – The destruction of mangrove forests that served as a buffer from the sea is partly to blame for the massive death toll from a cyclone in Myanmar, the head of the ASEAN regional bloc said Tuesday.
More than 15,000 people have died after the cyclone swept through the Irrawaddy river delta over the weekend and pounded Myanmar’s main city of Yangon, the country’s state media reported.
“Why the impact is so severe is because of the increase of the population,” said Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to which military-ruled Myanmar belongs.
10 am 27 Black Hole Rips Apart Screaming Star
Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer, SPACE.com
Tue May 6, 7:02 AM ET
In a distant galaxy, a star orbiting a massive central black hole strays too close to the insatiable giant and is torn apart. But before it can be devoured, the star lets out one last scream in a flare of light that slowly echoes across the galaxy. Astronomers on Earth pick up this faint call and use it to map the nucleus of the galaxy from which it emanated.
This scenario is no bit of science fiction ” a team of astronomers discovered one of these rare and dramatic events while combing through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey last December. Their observations are detailed in the May issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The team is still monitoring the “light echo,” and for the first time, one of these events can be observed in great detail, allowing astronomers “to probe different regions of the galaxy,” said study leader Stefanie Komossa of the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics.
16 Study: Restaurant tobacco bans influence teen smoking
By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer
Mon May 5, 9:01 PM ET
BOSTON – A Massachusetts study suggests that restaurant smoking bans may play a big role in persuading teens not to become smokers. Youths who lived in towns with strict bans were 40 percent less likely to become regular smokers than those in communities with no bans or weak ones, the researchers reported in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
The findings back up the idea that smoking bans discourage tobacco use in teens by sending the message that smoking is frowned upon in the community, as well as simply by reducing their exposure to smokers in public places, said Dr. Michael Siegel, of Boston University School of Public Health, and the study’s lead author.
“When kids grow up in an environment where they don’t see smoking, they are going to think it’s not socially acceptable,” he said. “If they perceive a lot of other people are smoking, they think it’s the norm.”
17 Lack of vitamin D linked to depression in elderly
Mon May 5, 10:59 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Low levels of vitamin D in elderly people may lead to increased depression and other psychiatric problems, Dutch researchers said.
“Underlying causes of vitamin D deficiency such as less sun exposure as a result of decreased outdoor activity, different housing or clothing habits and decreased vitamin intake may be secondary to depression, but depression may also be the consequence of poor vitamin D levels,” the study, released Monday, said.
Researchers from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, studied some 1,282 senior citizens aged between 65 and 95, and found 26 had major depression, while 169 suffered from minor depression.
18 Breast-fed children found smarter
By Will Dunham, Reuters
Mon May 5, 4:52 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new study provides some of the best evidence to date that breast-feeding can make children smarter, an international team of researchers said on Monday.
Children whose mothers breast-fed them longer and did not mix in baby formula scored higher on intelligence tests, the researchers in Canada and Belarus reported.
About half the 14,000 babies were randomly assigned to a group in which prolonged and exclusive breast-feeding by the mother was encouraged at Belarussian hospitals and clinics. The mothers of the other babies received no special encouragement.
19 Doctors punished in China for mishandling deadly virus: Xinhua
1 hour, 17 minutes ago
BEIJING (AFP) – Ten doctors and officials in China have been punished for mishandling a virus that has killed 26 children, state media reported as the number of infected youngsters rose to nearly 12,000.
The punishments have been meted out in the eastern Anhui province, where the bulk of the deaths have occurred and local officials have been accused of being too slow to report the disease, Xinhua news agency said late on Monday.
The virus is called enterovirus 71, or EV71, which leads to hand, foot and mouth disease.
10 am 28 10M children worldwide die from lack of health care
By TERESA CEROJANO, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 54 minutes ago
MANILA, Philippines – More than 200 million children worldwide under age 5 do not get basic health care, leading to nearly 10 million deaths annually from treatable ailments like diarrhea and pneumonia, a U.S.-based charity said Wednesday.
Nearly all of the deaths occur in the developing world, with poor children facing twice the risk of dying compared to richer children, according to Save the Children’s global report.
Sweden, Norway and Iceland top the ranking in terms of well-being for mothers and children in 146 countries surveyed, while Nigeria ranks last.
10 am 29 Risk of bird flu pandemic probably growing: experts
By Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters
2 hours, 7 minutes ago
GENEVA (Reuters) – The risk of a human influenza pandemic remains real and is probably growing as the bird flu virus becomes entrenched in poultry in more countries, health officials warned on Tuesday.
Some 150 experts are attending a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidance to countries on how to boost their defenses against a deadly global epidemic.
The H5N1 avian flu virus has infected flocks in much of Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily from person to person, sparking an influenza pandemic that could kill millions.
20 Roger Clemens apologizes for ‘mistakes in personal life’
By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
1 hour, 20 minutes ago
NEW YORK – Roger Clemens apologized Monday for unspecified mistakes in his personal life, a statement Brian McNamee’s lawyers intend to use to attack the pitcher’s credibility at trial.
The Daily News reported last week Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was 15 and an aspiring singer. The newspaper also linked the seven-time Cy Young Award winner to former Manhattan bartender Angela Moyer and Paulette Dean Daly, a former wife of champion golfer John Daly.
Clemens denied having an affair with a 15-year-old but didn’t specifically address whether he had a romance with McCready.
21 Anna Nicole Smith Is My Co-Pilot
Monday May 5, 2008 7:40 pm
Hypothetically, let’s say that you’re a one-term Governor from a liberal northeastern state that we’ll call “Pmassachusetts” (no, the “p” is not silent). And let’s say, for example, that you’ve just spent millions of dollars of your own fortune (money that could have easily been handed down to your five sons, their wives and your 161 grandchildren) in an attempt to win the Republican nomination figuring that your political lineage, business background, and Presidential looks would trump the fact that you’re a serial flip-flopper who belongs to a crazy magic-underwear fertility cult.
But then it occurs to you that the presumptive nominee, John McCain, is about 89 years old and not the healthiest looking buck in the herd. How long can he last? Anything could happen. He and his wife could get onto a little tiff on board her private jet, the Drug Mule Clydesdale II, and next thing you know, a little trip down the gangway, a broken hip, pneumonia, and now who’s a trollop and a c**t, Mr. Straight Talk Express To The ICU?
TBogg is a funny guy.
22 It’s Hard to Fail When You Have No Standards
by: Daniel De Groot
Mon May 05, 2008 at 23:12
So I went searching for the journalism related policies of as many outlets, wires, networks, magazines and so forth as I could think up. No doubt I’ve missed many but I think the ones I have make a few trends clear.
Well at the start I pointed out Glenn was able to criticize the NY Times for failing to meet its own standards, only because it has such standards. If you wanted to criticize the National Journal, to what standards could you appeal?
This includes a really well done table that links to many news organization’s standards pages. Worth a bookmark maybe.
And if you have the stomach for a cross blog flame war between Armando and Chris Bowers you might want to check out these posts-
23 The Medium Is The Movement
by: Chris Bowers
Mon May 05, 2008 at 12:20
25 Yes, The Medium Is The Movement
by: Chris Bowers
Mon May 05, 2008 at 18:56
26 How Liberals Rule the Web
by: Matt Stoller
Mon May 05, 2008 at 21:08
27 Senate GOP Blocks DOJ IG From Investigating Torture
By Paul Kiel
May 5, 2008, 4:17PM
It (OPR) is conducting those probes because Inspector General Glenn Fine cannot. The bill which passed the House would have changed that, as Fine himself pointed out in a letter (pdf) to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) back in February, when he told them that he could not investigate the Department’s authorization of torture because “under current law, the OIG does not have jurisdiction to review the actions of DOJ attorneys acting in their capacity to provide legal advice.” Fine added: “Legislation that would remove this limitation has passed the House and is pending in the Senate, but at this point the OIG does not have jurisdiction to undertake the review you request.”
And with Kyl’s amendment, it appears that Fine won’t be getting that jurisdiction any time soon.
28 Things that don’t exist in Harry Reid’s world
Tuesday May 6, 2008 05:28 EDT
Obviously, Reid’s repeated claim that Lieberman “votes with us on everything, except the war” is demonstrably false. But when he repeatedly makes that claim, I don’t think Reid is consciously lying. It’s just that, in Harry Reid’s world (and in the world of the Democratic leadership generally), things like warrantless eavesdropping, the abolition of habeas corpus, telecom amnesty, the corrupt politicization of the Justice Department, chronic lying under oath, and the legalization of torture just don’t exist. They don’t matter. They’re non-issues. And that is precisely why those radical, destructive measures are continuously permitted — approved and endorsed — by the Reid-led, Democratic-controlled Senate.