Bush under fire at Paris climate meeting

Leading players in talks to forge a pact for tackling climate change took the lash on Thursday to President George W. Bush’s new blueprint for global warming, with Germany mocking it as “Neanderthal.”

At a ministerial-level meeting of major carbon emitters, South Africa blasted the Bush proposal as a disastrous retreat by the planet’s number-one polluter and a slap to poor countries.

The European Union — which had challenged the United States to follow its lead on slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020 — also voiced disappointment.

His proposals “will not contribute to the fight against climate change,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told AFP, adding he hoped the US would “reconsider its options and policies.”

“Time is running out and we have the duty to reach an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009,” said Dimas.

Germany accused Bush of turning back the clock to before last December’s UN climate talks in Bali and even to before last July’s G8 summit.

In a statement entitled “Bush’s Neanderthal speech,” German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: “His speech showed not leadership but losership. We are glad that there are also other voices in the United States.”

Read moreBush under fire at Paris climate meeting

China: One of the strongest typhoons in history

BEIJING (Reuters) – Fifty-six Chinese fishermen were missing on Friday as a typhoon bore down on the southern resort island of Hainan which state media said was the earliest to threaten the region in decades and may well be the strongest.

The fishermen were taking shelter near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and had not been heard from since Thursday evening, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Hainan and the neighboring province of Guangdong are braced for Typhoon Neoguri, the first of the year, with almost 22,000 fishing boats having been called back to harbor as the storm skirted Vietnam.

“Neoguri will be the earliest typhoon of the season to affect the south China region since the founding of new China in 1949,” Chen Lei, deputy commander of the State Headquarters of Flood Control and Drought Relief, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The storm was expected to be “one of the strongest in history” to hit the region, Xinhua said.

Typhoon tracker Tropical Storm Risk labeled the storm as category two in a scale up to five, with maximum sustained winds of 96-110 miles per hour.

Read moreChina: One of the strongest typhoons in history

Narco aggression

“Since 2001, poppy fields, once banned by the Taliban, have mushroomed again. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.”

U.S. foreign intelligence official: “The CIA did almost the identical thing during the Vietnam War, which had catastrophic consequences – the increase in the heroin trade in the USA beginning in the 1970s is directly attributable to the CIA. The CIA has been complicit in the global drug trade for years, so I guess they just want to carry on their favourite business.”

Russia, facing a catastrophic rise in drug addiction, accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking from Afghanistan.


Afghan workers cutting open poppy bulbs, the first stage in the harvesting process,
in Jalalabad. Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make
93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

COULD it be that the American military in Afghanistan is involved in drug trafficking? Yes, it is quite possible, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.

Commenting on reports that the United States military transport aviation is used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, the Russian envoy said there was no smoke without fire.

Read moreNarco aggression

Nato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.

By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga – the Afghan parliament’s lower house – was told.

Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.

A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

Afghan politicians have said they do not believe the drop was an accident.

Read moreNato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

One in five US servicemen has brain injury

The psychological toll of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has touched one in five servicemen and its consequences will be long-lasting, a study suggested yesterday.

The Rand Corporation, a leading research operation, said that 320,000 soldiers suffered brain injuries on the battlefield, while more than 300,000 suffered mental disorders on returning home.

The report said that US veterans are incurring “invisible wounds” of war, most notably traumatic brain injury. A survey of 1,926 soldiers represented a statistically significant sample of the 1.6 million troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, Rand said.

Read moreOne in five US servicemen has brain injury

The REAL cost of inflation

The Daily Mail’s Cost of Living Index reveals food prices rising at SIX times official figure

The true, devastating scale of rising prices is revealed today – by the new Daily Mail Cost of Living Index.

It shows that families are having to find more than £100 a month extra this year to cope with increases in the cost of food, heat, light and transport.

According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation is running at only 2.5 per cent.

Yet the Mail’s index finds that food costs alone are rising at 15.5 per cent a year – more than six times the official rate.

And there are double-digit increases in other “must-pay” essentials such as petrol, gas and electricity.

Many families need to find more than £1,200 extra a year just to stand still.

Once higher mortgage costs are added, millions are having to pay out at least another £2,000 a year to keep their heads above water.

The Bank of England’s chief economist Charlie Bean admitted last night that higher food and energy costs are likely to push the Consumer Price Index over 3 per cent this year.

Read moreThe REAL cost of inflation

Germany to Allow Video Surveillance of Private Homes


Not even the home will be safe from surveillance

Changes proposed to the law governing Germany’s federal criminal police operations would allow investigators to use wire taps and surveillance cameras in homes of innocent citizens to keep tabs on terror suspects.

Under the government proposals, federal police would be permitted to install “hidden technical equipment, that is to say bugs or cameras inside or outside apartments … if there is a pressing danger for state security,” interior ministry spokesman Stefan Paris said at a news conference on Friday, April 18.

“I would urgently like to stress that there are very, very strict conditions … and it is not the case that everywhere in this country secret cameras or listening devices will be installed in living spaces,” he said. “It is about terrorist threats that would be averted through preventative measures by the federal police.”


Be careful what you — and your friends — say at home

He added that such methods were already allowed in several German states.

Read moreGermany to Allow Video Surveillance of Private Homes

Ex-NFL Player Tasered For Pointing At Cop

Incorrect body language, talking to an officer now results in “pain compliance”

After Worley exits the vehicle and appears calm, the cowardly officer accuses him of “making fists” when Worley is doing no more than crossing his arms. Apparently, incorrect body language is now an offence that justifies “pain compliance” correction by means of a Tasering.

Worley even puts his palms together in a prayer-like pose in an attempt to reassure the officer he is calm but that is not good enough, after Worley points at the cop for half a second, the officer then approaches Worley who backs away but is then Tasered.

Watch the video.

Read moreEx-NFL Player Tasered For Pointing At Cop

NYC Freedom Tower plans found in trash

The government agency building a 102-story skyscraper at the World Trade Center site is investigating the discovery of two sets of blueprints for the building that a homeless man says he found in the trash.

The schematic documents for the Freedom Tower, under construction at ground zero, were marked “Secure Document – Confidential,” the New York Post reported Friday.

The documents, dated Oct. 5, 2007, contain plans for each floor, the thickness of the concrete-core wall, and the location of air ducts, elevators, electrical systems and support columns, the Post reported.

Michael Fleming told the newspaper he found the documents on top of a public trash can in downtown Manhattan, with written warnings on it to “properly destroy if discarded.”

Read moreNYC Freedom Tower plans found in trash

The Collapsing Dollar – Authorities lose patience

Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU’s ‘Mr Euro’, has given the clearest warning to date that the world authorities may take action to halt the collapse of the dollar and undercut commodity speculation by hedge funds.


Jean-Claude Juncker, who is calling for Washington to
take steps to halt the slide of the dollar

Momentum traders have blithely ignored last week’s accord by the G7 powers, which described “sharp fluctuations in major currencies” as a threat to economic and financial stability. The euro has surged to fresh records this week, touching $1.5982 against the dollar and £0.8098 against sterling yesterday.

“I don’t have the impression that financial markets and other actors have correctly and entirely understood the message of the G7 meeting,” he said.

Mr Juncker, who doubles as Luxembourg premier and chair of eurozone financiers, told the Luxembourg press that he had been invited to the White House last week just before the G7 at the urgent request of President George Bush. The two leaders discussed the dangers of rising “protectionism” in Europe. Mr Juncker warned that matters could get out of hand unless America took steps to halt the slide in the dollar.

Read moreThe Collapsing Dollar – Authorities lose patience