Friday, May 06, 2005
Thursday, May 05, 2005
BRAZIL: U.S. TERMS FOR AIDS HELP SPURNED - The Ministry of Health has turned down a $40 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development [that's USAID - the LEAD agency for TSUNAMI RELIEF, among other things] - to help fight AIDS rather than accept a Bush administration policy that would have required it to condemn prostitution.
Then, they deserve socialism and AIDS.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Sen. Norm Coleman is preparing subpoenas in order to force two former Oil-for-Food investigators to testify, FOX News has learned.The Republican chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations could issue the direct challenge as early as Wednesday to Paul Volcker, head of the Independent Inquiry Committee probing corruption in the $64 billion U.N. program. The subpoenas would be the latest salvo in a brewing fight over access to possibly incriminating testimony and diplomatic immunity.[...]After the release of the second report, Parton and Duncan resigned as investigators, objecting to the committee's handling of Annan's dealings with Swiss company Cotecna, which was contracted under the program and that once employed Kojo Annan. "Contrary to recent published reports, I resigned my position as senior investigative counsel for the IIC not because my work was complete but on principle," Parton told The Associated Press in a statement.
Congressional sources told FOX News last week that they believe Volcker is terrified of the damage the investigators' testimony could do to his credibility. U.N. experts said the showdown between Volcker and Congress would be critical. “It's also being pointed out that if Mr. Volcker is asserting that his team has U.N. diplomatic immunity, then he is admitting that his committee is not in fact independent but a part of the very organization it is supposed to be objectively investigating,” said Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Mayor López Obrador did not disagree. "There is the impression that I am authoritarian," he said. "But social movements require strong leadership."That's just what Stalin said! The NYTIMES adds:
"... his left-leaning, hard-charging political style has many in the ruling elite and analysts abroad worried that Mexico could go the way of Venezuela, which is embroiled in a class war as President Hugo Chávez rides a wave of anti-American sentiment. It is a wave that has swept leftist politicians into power across Latin America. And like Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil and Tabaré Vásquez of Uruguay, Mr. López Obrador personifies the angry disappointment with Washington-backed promarket economic policies that have stabilized the economy for the rich but failed to lift up the poor."
A plan to provide an alternative form of energy in Wisconsin is pitting two sets of environmentalists against each other. Some favor cleaner air, others want to protect nearby wildlife. [...] A Chicago-based energy company wants to build 133 wind turbines ... that could produce enough energy to power 100,000 homes near the city of Fond du Lac. [...] But wildlife enthusiasts oppose the project. The reason? Birds. The turbines may be as close as a mile and a half from the Horicon Marsh, a federally protected wildlife preserve. [...] A state environmental impact report has concluded that not enough evidence is available to say what kind of impact wind turbines could have on bird populations.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
REVIEWS HERE AND HERE AND HERE AND HERE.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — A firefighter brain-damaged in a 1995 roof collapse had an "amazing" weekend, recognizing and speaking with his four sons and other family and friends for the first time in years, a family spokesman said Monday. "I want to talk to my wife," Donald Herbert said out of the blue Saturday at the skilled nursing facility here he has lived for more than seven years. Staff members put Linda Herbert on the telephone. It was the first of many conversations he had during a 14-hour stretch, Herbert's uncle, Simon Manka said. "How long have I been away?" Herbert asked. "We told him almost 10 years," the uncle said. "He thought it was only three months." Herbert was fighting a house fire Dec. 29, 1995, when the roof collapsed, burying him under debris. He was 37. After going without air for several minutes, Herbert was comatose for 2½ months and has undergone therapy ever since.News accounts in the days and years after his injury describe Herbert as blind and with little, if any, memory. Video shows him receiving physical therapy but apparently unable to communicate and with little awareness of his surroundings. [Sounds like Terry Schiavo, to me - reliapundit...] The word of the day was `amazing,"' he said. Dr. Rose Lynn Sherr of New York University Medical Center said when patients recover from brain injuries, they usually do so within two or three years. "It's almost unheard of after 10 years," she said, "but sometimes things do happen and people suddenly improve and we don't understand why."
Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming. A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds. The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it. Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser.
However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line. They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly. Dr Peiser submitted his findings to Science in January, and was asked to edit his paper for publication - but has now been told that his results have been rejected on the grounds that the points he make had been "widely dispersed on the internet".
Dr Peiser insists that he has kept his findings strictly confidential. "It is simply not true that they have appeared elsewhere already," he said. [...] Dr Peiser is not the only academic to have had work turned down which criticises the findings of Dr Oreskes's study. Prof Dennis Bray, of the GKSS National Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany, submitted results from an international study showing hat fewer than one in 10 climate scientists believed that climate change is principally caused by human activity.
As with Dr Peiser's study, Science refused to publish his rebuttal. Prof Bray told The Telegraph: "They said it didn't fit with what they were intending to publish." [...] Prof Roy Spencer, at the University of Alabama, a leading authority on satellite measurements of global temperatures, told The Telegraph: "It's pretty clear that the editorial board of Science is more interested in promoting papers that are pro-global warming. It's the news value that is most important." He said that after his own team produced research casting doubt on man-made global warming, they were no longer sent papers by Nature and Science for review - despite being acknowledged as world leaders in the field. As a result, says Prof Spencer, flawed research is finding its way into the leading journals, while attempts to get rebuttals published fail. "Other scientists have had the same experience", he said. "The journals have a small set of reviewers who are pro-global warming."
Concern about bias within climate research has spread to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose findings are widely cited by those calling for drastic action on global warming. In January, Dr Chris Landsea, an expert on hurricanes with the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, resigned from the IPCC, claiming that it was "motivated by pre-conceived agendas" and was "scientifically unsound".
The Palestinian Authority has released a Hamas militant who was arrested in Gaza overnight following a gun battle. The arrest sparked tension between the Palestinian security forces and Hamas, and Egyptian officials were called in to mediate a solution, Hamas said. The PA said its forces exchanged fire with three Hamas men suspected of trying to fire missiles at a Jewish settlement or a nearby Israeli town. Hamas denied preparing an attack and called for protests over the arrest. The message for Hamas supporters to take to the streets was broadcast from mosques' loudspeakers. Risk of unrest The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says the events on Monday night show that any attempt by the PA to enforce the ceasefire by confronting the powerful, well-armed Hamas movement risks sparking serious unrest. Hamas has not endorsed the truce, but it has agreed to rein itself in.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has told two senior US politicians visiting Israel that Mr Abbas was not taking significant steps to tackle hardline groups. "Instead of disbanding the terrorist organisations, he is acting to strengthen them. He is not willing to fight them and is similarly unwilling to disband their infrastructures," Mr Sharon said.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Spurred by the kidnapping and murder of a 9-year-old girl, Gov. Jeb Bush signed legislation Monday that strengthens punishment and monitoring of child sex abusers. The Jessica Lunsford Act sets a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison for people convicted of molesting children under 12. If offenders serve less than life, they would be required to wear a global positioning system device after their release so authorities can monitor their whereabouts. [...] The proposal sped through the legislative process, pushed by outraged lawmakers - many of whom said it was hard to temper their anger and not go for something even harsher. It passed both the Senate and House unanimously and was sent to Bush on April 22. [...] The House had passed the bill unanimously April 19, two days after another sex offender was charged in the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Sarah Lunde of Ruskin.[...] Advocates for satellite monitoring of offenders say that in addition to warning authorities when a sex offender is someplace he shouldn't be - such as near a school - it also will allow for quick pinpointing of suspects if a child is abducted. The tracking requirement only affects people convicted in the future, but current sex offenders who violate their probation would be ordered back to jail or be placed under GPS monitoring.