Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Swine Flu - Vaccine late - Infections down - Profits Up.

Swine flu peaks out before vaccines even make it into widespread distribution

Natural News — Swine flu infections have peaked out in the USA, even before drug companies could get their vaccines injected into everyone. According to CDC findings announced recently in Atlanta, one in five U.S. children have already experienced the flu this month, and most of those were likely H1N1 swine flu cases, the CDC says.

This comes from a survey of over 10,000 U.S. households conducted by the CDC.
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Glaxo profits soar 23 per cent on swine flu fears

London Mail — Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKilne saw profits rise 23 per cent during the third quarter of the year following a sharp increase in sales of its flu vaccine Relenza.

The firm issued its Q3 results today and reported that pre-tax profits hit £2.07billion - posting a small rise compared to the £1.88billion recorded in the same period last year. Sales rose three per cent to £6.76billion.
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The swine flu conspiracy conspiracy

National Post — "U.S. President Barack Obama has now declared a national emergency over swine flu infections. The reasoning behind such a declaration? According to the White House, it’s designed to “allow hospitals to better handle the surge in patients” by allowing them to bypass certain federal laws.

That’s the public explanation for this, but the real agenda behind this declaration may be far more sinister. Declaring a national emergency immediately gives federal authorities dangerous new powers that can now be enforced at gunpoint, including:"
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheney, Rove attack Obama over Afghanistan

Cheney vs. Obama White House: War of Words Heats Up

ABC News — As the war of words heats up between the White House and former Vice President Dick Cheney, pundits on both sides of the political aisle point fingers at the Obama and Bush administrations for doing too little in the war in Afghanistan.

"When it comes to Afghanistan, this is an issue where the Bush administration got it wrong," James Rubin, a former State Department official for the Clinton administration, said on "Good Morning America" today.
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ROVE: Obama Goes Wobbly on Afghanistan

Wall Street Journal — In an interview with CNN's John King on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said President Obama is now asking tough questions about Afghanistan "that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side." It was a not so subtle dig at Mr. Obama's predecessor and was meant to distract from the White House's mishandling of the war.

The Bush administration did in fact conduct a top-to-bottom strategic review of Afghanistan in 2008. That review was provoked by two developments.
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Pelosi Jumps Into Obama, Cheney Feud Over Afghan War

FOX News — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday joined the battle between former Vice President Dick Cheney and Obama administration officials over the strategy of the war in Afghanistan.

Pelosi chided Cheney for asserting Wednesday that President Obama is "afraid" to make a decision about whether to ramp up war at the request of his military advisers or scale back the effort and focus on going after Al Qaeda in Pakistan, as some of his political advisers are urging.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

U.N. War Crimes report judges against Israel

Tide is turning against Israel

Arab News — Now even the United Nations Human Rights Council is “anti-Semitic.” Well, that’s the view of Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is outraged that the body rubber-stamped the Goldstone Report on war crimes committed in Gaza. Some years ago, that accusation would have had enormous shock-value, whereas, nowadays, the label has been so propagandized the only thing it elicits is a yawn.

Anti-Semitism is a genuine scourge on humankind in the same that racism and bigotry are and should be eradicated, but Israel is in danger of devaluing the term by attaching it to anyone who doesn’t agree with its policies. Moreover, when used loosely as an insult, it doesn’t help Israel’s cause or standing in the world.
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Obama joins Netanyahu in shielding Israel from war crimes charges

Tehran Times — The United Nations Human Rights Council has endorsed a report into Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza in December and January, accusing Israel of war crimes.

Israel’s premier, Binyamin Netanyahu, predictably denounced the report as biased against Israel and unjust and insisted that he would not allow any Israeli officials to face trial for war crimes. The Obama administration echoed Israel, calling the report unbalanced, and said that its adoption would damage the possibility of resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The talks are a necessary fig leaf for bringing the Arab regimes on side against Iran.
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Love for Israel Obligated War Crimes Probe

Fox News — The internationally renowned jurist who compiled a U.N. report accusing Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip says he carried out the probe because of his deep attachment to the Jewish state.

South African jurist Richard Goldstone delivered his message Monday in an op-ed piece published in the Jerusalem Post, an English-language Israeli daily. It was the first time he has reached out to the Israeli public since his report was published last month.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Global hunger worsening

Promoting right to life requires fighting world hunger, pope says

Catholic News Service — Defending the right to life requires promoting and establishing food security, Pope Benedict XVI said. >br>
The current economic crisis has hit agriculture particularly hard, and governments and the world community must "make determined and effective choices" in investing in agriculture in the developing world, he said.
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Fight against hunger key to security: Clinton

Agence France Presse — Eradicating world hunger is a key step towards establishing global security, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday marking the UN's World Food Day.

"Food security is about economic, environmental, and national security for our individual homelands and the entire world," she said in statement.
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Get sustainable agriculture right this time, experts urge

Seattle Times — Food quantity or food quality? Can the world quell starvation now and still have a healthy ecosystem over the long term?

Tough questions for anyone concerned about agriculture and its relation to hunger and poverty.

In a keynote speech at the World Food Prize symposium today, Bill Gates said he supports sustainable agriculture, welcome words to experts in the field, who say there is no short term fix.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Czech Republic stalls EU reform treaty

Vaclav Klaus: How Czech president is fighting on to stop Europe in its tracks

Guardian UK — For a man standing alone between Europe and its future, Vaclav Klaus is playing hard to get. Last week a trip to Albania, this week Russia; the Czech president has performed a vanishing act just when he has the rest of Europe dancing to his tune.

He relishes being at the centre of a showdown. But it appears he is currently more interested in selling copies of his tract on global warming denial.
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The EU turns its hideous strength against Václav Klaus

UK Telegraph — Can this really be true? The French and German governments attempting to oust the head of state of a neighbouring democracy? Czech politicians being told to bring impeachment proceedings against their President – not on grounds of corruption or abuse of office, but because he is sticking to a position that he had very publicly adopted prior to becoming President?

Klaus himself has written of the intolerant, authoritarian nature of the doctrine he calls “Europeism”. Now he is all that stands in its way, and is sustaining its full force. I have written many times of what I call the EU’s “hideous strength“: the way in which, as well as being undemocratic in itself, it requires its member nations to sacrifice a measure of their internal democracy; the way in which it makes otherwise good people do bad things. I hope that Klaus’s stand will convince people – not just in Czech Republic or Britain, but across the EU – of the nature of what we are dealing with.
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Klaus taps into buried fear of German menace

Financial Times — Vaclav Klaus may be the bugbear of European politics for his steadfast refusal to sign the Lisbon treaty, but his reanimation of the German menace as a justification for not doing so has struck a chord with his fellow Czechs.

His previous efforts to throw up roadblocks to the treaty reforming the workings of the European Union had not garnered widespread local support. Complaints about Ireland re-running its referendum, the erosion of the Czech Republic’s voting power under the new Lisbon rules and the loss of sovereignty to Brussels are not nearly as emotive in a country where most people are happy with belonging to the EU.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Hillary is in the news - everywhere.

Hillary Clinton meets Gordon Brown amid mounting tensions over Iran

London Times — Hillary Clinton hailed the historic special relationship between Britain and America yesterday as she flew into London on a whirlwind visit to consult on the crises in Afghanistan and Iran.

Mrs Clinton arrived on her first solo visit to London as Secretary of State amid mounting tensions over the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the future of Nato’s military campaign in Afghanistan, which is still to be decided after a doom-laden review by the United States’ most senior commander.
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Clinton to press Russia on Iran

BBC — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Moscow on the final leg of her European visit.

Mrs Clinton is due to hold talks with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

She is said to be hoping to win Russian support for the US government's stances on Iran's controversial nuclear programme and global arms control.
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Clinton says she won't run for president again

China News — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview broadcast Monday that she would not run for president again.

Clinton, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to U.S. President Barack Obama in 2008, said "No" several times when asked by NBC's Ann Curry "Will you ever run for president again? Yes or No?"

"This is a great job. It is a 24-7 job. And I am looking forward to retirement at some point," she said.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Healthcare Bill, The Deficit and Stock prices.

Baucus healthcare bill would lower the deficit, analysts say

Los Angeles Times — Reporting from Washington - Senate Democrats pushing healthcare legislation received a boost Wednesday from congressional budget experts, who estimated that a bill being debated by the Senate Finance Committee would substantially expand coverage and lower the federal deficit.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office calculated that the legislation, written by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would cost $829 billion by 2019. But because that tab would be offset by spending cuts elsewhere and by new revenue, the bill actually would lower the deficit by $81 billion over the next decade -- and potentially even more in later years -- the budget office concluded.
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Managed-Care Stocks Off, Hospitals Up, On Health Bill

Wall Street Journal — Managed-care stocks tumbled and hospital shares climbed Thursday as an analysis of the Senate Finance Committee's health-reform bill increased chances that the measure, which one analyst called "onerous" for health insurers, will advance.

Contributing to the managed-care sell-off, apparently, were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments expressing interest in exploring a windfall-profit tax on insurers to fund an expansion of health coverage.
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Offshore tax bill sought as health bill add-on

Reuters — A prominent Democrat will offer a controversial bill to target tax evasion by U.S. citizens and corporations to the main healthcare reform legislation in the Senate, an aide said on Wednesday.

Democrat Senator Carl Levin will offer his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act as an amendment to the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare bill when it reaches the Senate floor, according to a Levin aide.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Nuclear Iran

Iran 'co-operation' draws praise

BBC — The US and the UN have given an upbeat assessment of the possibility of settling the nuclear dispute with Iran.

US National Security Adviser Jim Jones said Tehran was now "willing to come to the table", following talks this week between Iran and major powers.

The head of the UN's nuclear agency, who is in Tehran, said there had been a "gear shift" towards co-operation.
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Iran to buy nuclear fuel from any supplier, even from U.S.

Chinaview — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran is ready to buy its needed nuclear fuel from any country even from the United States, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Talking to the reporters, Ahmadinejad said that "If the Americans have announced that they want to provide our needed (nuclear) fuel, there is no problem. We think it is a good point. We want to buy our fuel from any supplier in the world. It makes no difference, the United States can be one of the suppliers."
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Iran could make an atom bomb, according to UN report's 'secret annexe'

London Times — Iran has the know-how to produce a nuclear bomb and may already have tested a detonation system small enough to fit into the warhead of a medium-range missile, according to confidential papers.

The “secret annexe” to this year’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran summarises information submitted by intelligence agencies about the country’s work on warheads, detonators and nuclear fuel enrichment. It is based partly on evidence thought to have been smuggled out of Iran by the wife of a spy recruited by German intelligence.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Chinese Prime Minister Visits North Korea

‘Dear Leader’ welcomes Chinese comrade to boost hopes of a nuclear agreement

London Times — The Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, arrived in North Korea for talks with its reclusive leader Kim Jong Il yesterday amid hopes of advancing nuclear disarmament by the pariah state after months of tension.

Mr Kim made the unusual gesture of greeting Mr Wen in person, embracing him as he arrived at Pyongyang airport. The visit appeared to end one of the worst periods in relations between East Asia’s two nuclear powers. The countries — once described by Mao Zedong as being “as close as lips and teeth” — have had frosty relations since April, when North Korea launched an intercontinental rocket, which was followed in May by an underground nuclear test. China ended support for its long-time ally and backed condemnation and sanctions by the UN Security Council.
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North vows not to give up its nuclear weapons

JoongAng Daily - South Korea — North Korea vowed Wednesday not to be bound by the latest United Nations resolution on non-proliferation and disarmament, saying it will never give up its nuclear weapons under any circumstance.

A spokesman for the North’s Foreign Ministry told the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that the prerequisite to global denuclearization is the United States and other heavy possessors of nuclear weapons carrying out their own disarmament.
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N. Korea says ready to discuss denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

RIA Novosti - Russia — Pyongyang is ready to discuss with foreign mediators the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula in bilateral and multilateral formats, the official N. Korean news agency KCNA said on Monday.

The announcement came during a meeting between the North Korean officials and a Chinese delegation, led by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, which arrived in Pyongyang early on Sunday.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Russia or Georgia - who's at fault?

France accuses Russia of failing to meet EU-backed Georgia truce

RIA Novosti Russia — Russia is not meeting its obligations under the peace plan aimed at resolving the conflict between Georgia and Russia over breakaway regions of S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, the French foreign minister said Thursday.

The so-called Medvedev-Sarkozy ceasefire plan stipulates that EU observers should be able to monitor the situation on the border between Georgia and its former regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but so far only Georgia has allowed their deployment.
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Georgia 'started unjustified war'

BBC UK — The war in Georgia last year was started by a Georgian attack that was not justified by international law, an EU-sponsored report has concluded.

However, the attack followed months of provocation, and both sides violated international law, the report said.
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Georgia points to Russia 'invasion'

Aljazeera — It was all quiet at the Georgian checkpoint on the edge of South Ossetia as the European Union-sponsored commission published its investigation into last year's war.

Georgian policemen in camouflage fatigues chatted amiably with EU ceasefire monitors, who have stepped up their patrols around the publication of the report in case of renewed outbreaks of violence.
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