Monday, June 14, 2010

Lithium in Afghanistan - How will that change the world?

Is Lithium the Answer to Afghanistan’s Problems?

Time — Remote (and volatile) regions of the war-torn country may hold as much as $1 trillion in lithium and other minerals, according to a report in today’s New York Times.

The the deposits are so vast that a Pentagon memo says Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” the Times reports. Lithium is used frequently in battery production and in some medical applications. Read more:
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Why Afghanistan's Lithium Discovery Excites Silicon Valley

CBS News — After all that it's suffered through since the late 1970s, Afghanistan could use a break. That's why this surprisingly hopeful discovery of vast mineral deposits could be one of the most important events in that country's history. Among the potential riches - and the one likely to excite the technology industry's interest - lithium.

The New York Times quotes a Pentagon memo suggesting Afghanistan could one day become "the Saudi Arabia of lithium."
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Afghanistan to become “Saudi Arabia of Lithium”

PC Advisor UK — A massive $1 trillion deposit of untapped minerals discovered in Afghanistan includes huge amounts of lithium, which is used in batteries for laptops and mobile phones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry.

A report in the New York Times states that American geologists working with the Pentagon have conducted ground surveys on dry salt lakes, looking for large deposits of lithium.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Saudi Arabia working with Israel to attack Iran?

Ahmadinejad: Israel, U.S. trying to sabotage Iran's relations with Saudi Arabia

Haaretz — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday charged Israel and the United States of trying to sabotage relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a day after Riyadh denied a report in the Times claiming it had agreed to allow Israel to use its airspace to attack Iran.

"Undoubtedly, the U.S. and the Zionist regime are the enemies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, so they are trying to create a gap between Tehran and Riyadh," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to Tehran.
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Saudis test clearing skies for Israel to bomb Iran: report

Agence France Presse — Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to allow Israeli warplanes to use its airspace in any bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, The Times newspaper reported Saturday.

"The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," a US defence source in the region told the paper.
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Saudis Upgrading Fighter Jets to Face Iranian Threat

Mid East Media Line — As it denies cooperating with preparations for a potential Israeli attack on Iran, Saudi Arabia prepares for strike of its own.

Saudi Arabia’s air force has signed a deal to upgrade its fleet of 150 strike aircraft and procure advanced weaponry to respond to an Iranian military threat while simultaneously denying reports that the country is coordinating with Israel over a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear sites.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Toxic Oil Spill. Mysteries of the Deep. Corruption. Why is the Church getting invovled?

Parish official to Obama: Stop moratorium on drilling

CNN — A Gulf Coast official is pleading with President Barack Obama to scrap the moratorium on new oil drilling and exploration as the investigation of the massive oil spill continues, saying the economic impact to her Louisiana parish would be too much to bear.

Charlotte Randolph, president of LaFourche Parish, said she spoke to Obama in person during his visit to the oil-stricken region Friday.
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Slimy doings weren't all at the oil well

Washington Post — Sounds as if it may be time for a top kill at the Interior Department.

A mile below sea level in the Gulf of Mexico, BP was trying on Wednesday to jam mud and concrete into its leaking oil well -- the so-called "top kill" -- to choke off the flow. At the same time, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were puzzling over how to contain the flow of corruption that has been oozing in recent years from the Interior Department -- specifically its Minerals Management Service, which is supposed to regulate oil drilling but instead seems to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil industry.
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In oil spill saga, mysteries of the deep persist

Associated Press — The impatient nation isn't getting answers fast enough in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

What exactly went wrong? Who messed up? How much oil is pouring into the Gulf? Can the oil get to Florida and even up the Atlantic coast? What will the environmental and economic consequences be? Will the chemicals used to disperse the oil leave their own destructive legacy?
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Does Britain Want The Euro To Fail?

The death of the euro? Britain's hubristic leaders have only themselves to blame, argues Britain's former ambassador in Bonn

Daily Mail — The European Union is enduring its worst crisis since its inception almost 60 years ago. The problem is the eurozone and whether it can continue in its present form - or at all.

Although only 16 out of 27 member-states of the EU have replaced their old currencies with the euro, monetary union lies at the heart of the European project. Only yesterday, Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told her parliament that 'if the euro fails, then Europe too will fail'.
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Don't expect Britain to back a new EU treaty, Cameron tells Merkel

The Independent — David Cameron flatly ruled out the idea of Britain agreeing to any changes to the European Union's Lisbon Treaty that might involve ceding powers from Westminster to Brussels yesterday, during his first visit to Germany as Prime Minister.

His two hours of talks in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel followed a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday, and Mr Cameron was able afterwards to live up to his reputation in Germany as a staunch Eurosceptic by delivering a robust defence of Conservative Party policy on Europe.
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Britain Won't hand any more powers to Europe.

The Sun — DAVID Cameron yesterday insisted Britain will NOT hand any more powers to Brussels.

In a visit to Berlin, the PM said any transfer of sovereignty was "not likely to happen" in the foreseeable future.

He assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel the UK would play a constructive role in Europe. But he also threatened to use Britain's veto to block EU plans in the future.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kagan' views

How Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court could affect baseball

USA Today — Baseball's 2003 drug-testing program was meant to be an anonymous survey to determine the prevalence of performance-enhancing drug use in the game. But we now know the results were far from anonymous -- federal agents seized the samples before the union destroyed them and in the past 15 months, superstars Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were outed as testing positive in the survey.

Now, the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court may impact the fate of those samples.
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Sessions: Kagan Won't Shift Court on Abortion

CBS News — The leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said this morning that it was important to examine whether, if confirmed, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan would say no to the Obama administration.

"I think the Congress and the Senate needs to examine her record carefully," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said on CBS' "The Early Show." "This is not a coronation. She'll be subjected to scrutiny. We need to know whether or not [if] she obtains that robe and sits on that bench, will she be an objective person? Will she say 'no' even to the Obama administration and some of their agenda items if they're unconstitutional? She's got to demonstrate that or she shouldn't be given a lifetime appointment."
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Kagan's Legal Record Portrays a Cautious Liberal

FOX News — Elena Kagan's legal record is thinner than most other U.S. Supreme Court nominees. She hasn't served as a judge or taken sharp positions on many constitutional and other legal issues that often trip up potential justices.

As senators pick through her scholarly writings, speeches and decisions as dean of Harvard Law School, some themes are likely to emerge. Ms. Kagan generally takes liberal stands when she delves into social issues, but does so cautiously and with nuances that leave some liberals less than thrilled with her nomination.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Apple; Antitrust, 1984, Flash?

Apple Facing Possible Antitrust Inquiry

Information Week — Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained why his company does not allow applications created with Adobe's Flash technology on its iPhone, iPod and iPad devices. Flash, he said, is proprietary, insecure, energy inefficient, and ill-suited for touch devices.

Most significantly, he argued that third-party tools such as Flash lead to sub-standard applications and prevent developers from implementing new iPhone OS SDK technologies until tool makers support those features.
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Apple's Behavior a Throwback to 1984, Adobe CTO Says

PC World - BusinessCenter — Apple's refusal to allow Flash on the iPhone hurts innovation and is "like 1984 in a lot of ways," Adobe Systems' CTO said on Wednesday, implying that Apple has become the "Big Brother" it rebelled against in its iconic TV ad from that year.

"The story is bigger than HTML versus Flash. It's about freedom of choice on the Web," CTO Kevin Lynch said at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco Wednesday, when he was asked to comment on "the elephant in the room" during an on-stage interview
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Microsoft agrees with Apple on Adobe Flash

KNDO/KNDU — In what may either be a hint that Adobe's Flash is in real trouble, or sign that the apocalypse is indeed coming, Apple and Microsoft actually agree on something.

On April 29th, Steve Jobs posted an open letter outlining in no uncertain terms why he thinks Adobe's Flash sucks. Jobs listed several reasons why the technology is not going to be included as part of Apple's mobile OSs, and he went on to sing the virtues of HTML5 as the future.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Will China Strengthen The Yuan? How will that change the world?

Goldman Says China Trade Deficit Won’t Last, Yuan Gain Likely

Business Week — China’s March trade deficit is temporary and the pressure for the yuan to gain remains intact, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“The weak exports in March were likely due to the Lunar New Year effects as exporters suspend production for an extended period after the holiday,” wrote Hong Kong-based analysts Song Yu and Helen Qiao in a report on April 10. “Given the strong underlying exports growth and rising overheating pressures, we believe a modest yuan revaluation is still on the agenda.”
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Yuan Rise Would Boost Asian, Commodity-Backed Currencies

Wall Street Journal — Any appreciation of the Chinese yuan should lift other Asian currencies along with it, while helping to diffuse the recently stressed tenor of Sino-U.S. relations.

Speculation is increasing that China will allow the yuan to strengthen, but the country's leaders aren't likely to make a huge adjustment for fear of shocking markets and derailing a nascent economic recovery. Assuming the government releases the yuan from its current tight range versus the dollar, analysts expect the Chinese currency to appreciate 1% to 3% against the dollar over the following 12 months.
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Stronger yuan may deal another blow to euro

Reuters — A loosening in China's yuan policy that lets the currency rise while keeping it pegged to the dollar may deal another blow to the battered euro as such a move is seen slowing China's accumulation of foreign reserves.

The euro has weakened about 7 percent versus the dollar and the yen this year on concerns Greece may face problems servicing its debts, and demand for euro assets will shrink further if a possible yuan move results in less euro buying by China.
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