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Sunday, 7 June 2009

Skimming The News

                 1)1:7. Ratio of former Guantanamo detainees who have returned to 
                     terrorism since being released,according to a Pentagon report. 
                 2)42%. Percentage of college students who feel "down,depressed or
                     hopeless," according to a recent AP/MTV survey.

                 3)$10 billion.Estimated value of Facebook after a Russian investor 
                     bought a 2% stake in the company for $200 million.
                 4)2,272. Number of text messages sent and received by the average
                     American teen every month,according to the Nielsen Co.--almost
                     80 messages a day.

Around The Globe
1)Pakistan.(Lahore The Target,Again)
    In an early-morning attack near police and intelligence-agency offices in the
    eastern city of Lahore,suspected Taliban militants detonated a van rigged 
    with explosives,killing at least 30 people and wounding hundreds more.It is
    the latest of saveral strikes targeting the city in recent months,including a 
    daring daylight ambush of the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in March.
    Citing the escalating war against militants in Pakistan's northern regions,
    officials called the attack an "attempt to subvert the army's brave and 
    courageous operation and the government's resolve to defeat terrorists."
    Baitullah Mehsud,leader of the country's Taliban insurgency,had recently
    threatened retaliation for ongoing military action in the Swat Valley.Three
    suspects were taken into custody.

2)Moscow.(From Russia With Love)
    After years of courting the US utilities market, Russia inked its first
    commercial deal to supply low-enriched uranium to nuclear reactors in
    Missouri, Texas and California. The $1 billion contract with three US 
    companies is expected to provide electricity for nearly 15 million homes
    beginning in 2014. Under an existing nonproliferation agreement, Russia
    provides fuel for half of the US's nuclear reactors, using uranium converted 
    from dismantled Cold War-era nuclear weapons. But the new pact marks the
    first time the country will be able to sell so-called virgin uranium to the US.

3)California.(Proposition 8 Upheld)
    In a setback for supporters of gay marriage,California's Supreme Court
    ruled 6-1 that Proposition 8,the statewide same-sex-marriage ban passed in 
    November 2008,is constitutional.But the court unanimously held that the
    18,000 couples who were married before the ban remain legally married.
    Gay-rights advocates may push to repeal Proposition 8 next year.

4)Washington.(Foreclosure's Next Wave)
    As unempleyment threatens to hit double digits, economist sat the US is
    entering a troubling new phase of the foreclosure crisis. Job losses are 
    leading more homeowners with prime loans--the lowest-risk category--to
    default. According to the Treasury Department, prime-loan delinquencies 
    jumped 115% in 2008;some 1.5 million homes could be affected.

5)Ireland.(More for Abuse Victims)
    A massive, chilling report documenting 85 years of child abuse in Ireland's
    now defunct church-run orphanages and reform schools has prompted the
    government to demand that the 18 Catholic orders named in the report
    increase their victims'-compensation funds nearly eightfold, to $1.4 bilion.
    Several orders agreed to work with the government, including the Christian
    Brothers, which managed a large number of the institutions implicated in 
    the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse's study, and accepted a possible
    unspecified increase. The commission's five-volume report, which took nine
    years to complete, identifies more than 800 alleged abusers--including nuns,
    priests and monks-- and includes statements from 1,090 people who suffered
    beatings, neglect and sexual abuse.

6)Bangladesh.(No Shelter From The Storm)
    With winds gusting at about 115 km/h,Cyclone Aila tore through pasrts of 
    coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on May 26,killing roughly 200 people
    and forcing 50,000 to seek refuge inside shelters and on rooftops to escape 
    rising floodwaters. The death toll is expected to increase as rescue workers 
    gain access to more isolated areas. Low-lying Bangladesh is regularly gutted
    by cyclones in the spring and fall. which precede and follow it's monsoon 
    season. Aila also hit Sundarbans, a mangrove forest on the India-Bangladesh
    border that shelters endangered royal Bengal tigers--some of which have also
    been stranded by the waters.

7)Maryland.(Mouse DNA Decoded)
    In a breakthrough 10 years in the making,an international team of scientists
    has finished sequencing just the second complete mammalian genome: that 
    of the mouse. The findings will help researchers better distinguish between 
    mouse and human DNA--which are about 75% alike--and promote more 
    targetted experiments on human illness.

8)Washington.(Pollution and Politics)
    On May 21, the American Clean Energy and Security Act--also known as the
    Waxman-Markey Bill,after its Democratic authors--passed through a House 
    committee.If approved, the 1,000-page bill would institute the nation's first 
    federal cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
    -The steadily tightening cap would slash emissions 83% below 2005 levels by
    -By 2020,all electric utilities would be required to produce up to 15% of their 
      power using renewable sources and greatly improve energy efficiency.
    -Of the tradable carbon credits,15% would be auctioned off,the rest donated
      to business like cement and steel plants to soften the bill's economic impact.

9)Beirut.(Did Hizballah Kill Hariri?)
    Lebanese Shi'ite paramilitary group Hizballah is believed to have 
    orchestrated the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister
    Rafiq Hariri,according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel. The
    report,which cites an unnamed source linked to the UN tribunal 
    investigating the assassination,was published two weeks before Lebanon's
    parliamentary elections, in which Hizballah and it's allies will face off 
    against a Western-backed coalition.Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has 
    dismissed the allegations as an "American-Israeli scheme"  to incite political 
    turmoil and sabotage the election.

10)Mexico.(The Drug War Hits Town Hall)
      Authorities are targeting corrupt officials plaguing Mexico's bloody against
      drug gangs. In a string of raids on May 26,security forces arrested 10 
      mayors, a judge and 16 others believed to have ties to narcos. The sweeps
      took place in the western state of Michoacan,home to La Familia, a fast
      growing cartel. More than 7,000 people have died in Mexico's drug war
      since 2008.

11)What They Are Not Eating In Belgium
      A UN expert suggested last year that one way to combat climate change
      is to go vegetarian.The Flemish city of Ghent has responded by calling for
      schools to serve meat-free meals on Thursdays,which it has designated as
      noncompulsory "veggie days."Activist Tobias Leenaert hopes the campaign
      will inspire "a critical mass of enlightened citizens."


1 comment:

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