Saturday, April 03, 2010
Wed, Mar 31 2010 14:23 CET
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in the 16-member euro zone was 10 per cent in February 2010, up from 9.9 per cent the previous month, European Union statistical office Eurostat said on March 31 2010.
Unemployment in the euro zone was 8.8 per cent in February 2009, according to Eurostat.
Across the 27-member EU, unemployment was 9.6 per cent in February 2010, from 9.5 per cent in January, and against 8.3 per cent in February 2009.
"For the euro area this is the highest rate since August 1998 and for the EU27 since the start of the series in January 2000," Eurostat said.
Eurostat estimates that 23.019 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.749 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2010.
Compared with January 2010, the number of unemployed increased by 131 000 in the EU27 and by 61 000 in the euro area.
Compared with February 2009, unemployment went up by 3.139 million in the EU27 and by 1.844 million in the euro area.
Among the member states, unemployment was lowest in the Netherlands (four per cent) and Austria (five per cent), and the highest rates in Latvia (21.7 per cent) and Spain (19 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, all EU member states had higher unemployment....
3/12/2010 8:15 AM ET
Canada's unemployment (click here) rate edged lower in February as the nation's economy created nearly 21,000 jobs, fueling expectations that policy makers in Ottawa will raise interest rates sooner than previously expected....
As the USA exits Iraq, the 'original' leadership at the beginning of the democracy finds a majority.
Division among Iraq's Shiites good news for Allawi (click title to entry - thank you)
12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010
Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Associated Press
BAGHDAD – When the coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki narrowly lost at the polls, he raised the prospect that he could pull ahead by gaining the support of other Shiite-dominated alliances. Since then, the largest of those groups have been reaching out – but not to him.
Al-Maliki's secular challenger, Ayad Allawi, gained a significant advantage when he won the unexpected support of a major Iranian-linked Shiite party.
Allawi received support Thursday night from the Iranian-linked Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council – a stunning development because Allawi has been outspoken against the influence of Iran and religious parties.
Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council, did not endorse anyone as prime minister but said he was open to an alliance with Allawi's Iraqiya list.
"We will not participate in the next government if Allawi's list is not in it," al-Hakim said in remarks broadcast late Thursday.
Allawi, a Shiite who was prime minister in 2004-05, appeared to be benefiting from stark divisions among Shiites despite purported efforts by Iran to push al-Maliki and his rivals into a coalition that could cement Shiite domination of the government....
The Power of the Lie, especially, when it equates to political manipulation of wealth. Good, real good. Media, huh?
24/03/2010 3:00:00 PM
By Stuart Fagg ninemsn MoneyNews Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch has been named Australia's richest boss but could soon lose his crown to mining tycoon Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest.
Mr Murdoch’s shareholder wealth grew by more than $2 billion in the past year to $5.96 billion placing him at the head of BRW’s executive rich list just ahead of Mr Forrest, who heads resources giant Fortescue Metals Group.
The list ranks executive wealth by the value of the shares they own in the companies they run.
BRW executive rich list editor John Stensholt told ninemsn that Mr Forrest, whose wealth grew to $4.79 billion in the last year, is the executive most likely to topple Mr Murdoch.
"Andrew Forrest is really at the vanguard of what looks like a strong resources recovery," he said.
"The resources boom is back....
Mr. T and his black horse.
1980s...Eugene Terre'Blanche 'murdered by his own workers' (click here)
Eugene Terre'Blanche, the notorious far-right South African politician, has been murdered at his farm by two of his own employees, according to reports.By Patrick Sawer and Ben Leach
Published: 11:27PM BST 03 Apr 2010
Passengers and crew wait to be screened in front of the security checkpoint at Terminal C in Newark International Airport in New Jersey. –Reuters Photo/Joshua Brown
The new criteria selects passengers for additional security based on possible matches to intelligence information, including physical descriptions, age or a particular travel pattern.
An official announcement in Washington said that the US Transportation Security Administration will begin implementing new security policy from this month and it will apply to all air carriers with international flights to the United States.
US Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told journalists that “these new measures utilise real-time, threat-based intelligence along with multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen, to more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats”.
Separately, a US official told Dawn in Washington that “the principled engagement of Pakistan’s leadership on this matter with the US resulted in this policy change”.
The official said that US special envoy Richard Holbrooke first learned about the negative impact of the now abandoned policy from Pakistani officials during his January visit to Islamabad.
“And he successfully agitated within the US administration to get the rules changed, as he saw the policy as ‘discriminatory’ and inconsistent with the administration’s desire to build a new kind of relationship with Pakistan,” the official said.
Starting in April, security personnel at US airports will match passengers with the information provided by the Department of Homeland Security for potential terrorist threats. Only those who match the new description for people of interest will be marked out for additional screening....
Aung San Suu Kyi
..The Obama administration, (click here) which has made a signature policy of engaging US adversaries, last year initiated a dialogue with the junta, judging that a previous approach of isolating the regime had not borne fruit.
The junta plans to hold elections later this year which most foreign observers believe are aimed at legitimizing the rule of the regime, which never allows the opposition to take over after it won the last vote in 1990.
The main opposition National League for Democracy has decided to boycott the election rather than give in to pressure to oust its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate who is under house arrest.
Besides McConnell, the letter was also signed by 2008 presidential candidate John McCain along with fellow Republicans Sam Brownback, Susan Collins and Judd Gregg.
It was also signed by Democrats Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and Dianne Feinstein and independent Joe Lieberman.
Saturday, April 3, 2010; 5:13 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Western authorities are investigating whether an Iranian firm acquired valves and vacuum gauges used to enrich uranium through the representative of a Chinese firm, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The report appeared as the United States sought China's support for a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear activities are peaceful and legitimate.
Purchase of the equipment could violate export sanctions. The newspaper cited a diplomat in Vienna as saying the International Atomic Energy Administration and western intelligence agencies were investigating.
The probe was sparked by a Jan. 14 email to IAEA. It alleged an Iranian firm, Javedan Mehr Toos (JMT), acquired the French-made valves through an intermediary who represented Zheijiang Ouhai Trade Corp, a subsidiary of Jinzhou Group, based in China, said the report...
White House keen to exploit signals from Beijing that it might support fresh punitive measures
Chris McGreal in Washington and Julian Borger
Barack Obama has urged Beijing to "ratchet up the pressure" on Iran over its nuclear programme after a breakthrough for the US administration in persuading China to agree to talks on fresh sanctions against Tehran.
Obama told CBS news that Iran was increasingly diplomatically isolated and that international unity was essential to ensuring it did not develop nuclear weapons.
"The idea is to keep turning up the pressure," Obama said. "We're going to ratchet up the pressure and examine how they respond but we're going to do so with a unified international community."
The interview was broadcast within hours of the president's hour-long phone call from Air Force One with Hu Jintao ahead of the Chinese president's visit to the US for a nuclear non-proliferation summit later this month....
- April 03, 2010 1:56PM
Mr Burke will be responsible for drawing up a national population strategy and will retain his other portfolio of agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
Mr Rudd has been under pressure to better examine the nation's population, which is on a trajectory to reach 35.9 million by 2050.
He told reporters in Canberra the announcement came after a month of consideration.
"Many Australians have legitimate concerns about the sustainability of the population levels in different parts of the country,'' Mr Rudd said.
"Particularly its impact on urban congestion, its impact on the adequacy of infrastructure, its impact on the adequacy of housing supply, its impact on government services, its impact also on water and agriculture and on our regions.''...
FLOOD FURY: A woman wades through a flooded area in Karawang, West Java, Indonesia. Floods inundated villages after an overflowing river bursted its banks, forcing residents to evacuate. Photo: AP
Indonesia needs consultation with the Agricultural Secretary of the USA. Deforesting to convert to agricultural lands is destroying the land and the ability of that land to retain water. The flooding is directly due to mismanagement of sensitive tropical forests when they are cut down in high moisture climates.
Mustaqim Adamrah , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 03/29/2010 10:37 AM | Business
The government will build on-farm reservoirs in the near future in flood-prone villages, (click title to entry - thank you) including in flood-hit Karawang in West Java, where flash floods have hit farms and may endanger food supplies, to try to help prevent future disasters.
“In the short term, [we] will build on-farm reservoirs in flood-prone villages,” Agriculture Minister Suswono told The Jakarta Post over the weekend in a short text message.
“[We] will give seeds and fertilizers as replacements [for damaged ones] to farmers in areas affected by the floods.”
Suswono, however, did not elaborate how much money would be spent on these plans.
He also did not say how government plans might help mitigate an ongoing lack of food supplies in the affected area — as a result of the floods — which originated outside the Karawang regency and have caused major problems for thousands of victims, including many children, who have begin to suffer from diseases.
The minister added that future challenges to the agricultural sector included climate change, massive land conversion and poor infrastructure, including damaged irrigation systems.
“The government will soon issue a government regulation on the implementing regulation of the 2009 Law on the Protection of Sustainable Agricultural Production for Food to protect productive lands,” he said, adding the regulation was expected to be finalized later this year.
The floods in Karawang, which have lasted more than a week, are believed to be the worst in 15 years.
Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan has blamed the situation partially on the conversion of large tracts of the banks of the Citarum River into agricultural land, leading to “22 percent of the land becoming problematic”....
RACKET BUSTED: BSF officials showing the fake Indian currency notes worth Rs 65 lakhs, recovered from two Pakistani smugglers at Naushehra Dallahan village near Indo-Pak international border, about 55 kms from Amritsar. Photo: PTI
Posted on Apr 03, 2010 at 20:52
Bhubaneshwar: Orissa Police have arrested 48 officials from different companies in Keonjhar district for allegedly running a racket transporting illegal iron ores from Orissa across Jharkhand with the alleged connivance of railway officials.
"The investigation is progressing. Based on evidence 48 officials have been arrested and investigation will continue. Whoever will be guilty will be brought to book. The transportation of ores was being carried out by a mafia," said Orissa Steel and Mines Secretary Ashok Dalwai.
Other local and regional circumstances need to be taken into account. Among these is the mistrust of local leaders in the central authority in Kabul, Peshawar and Islamabad. Pakistani authorities in Islamabad have not forgotten that at the time of independence in 1947 , the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) wanted to opt for India rather than for Pakistan!
Religious divisions between Sunni and Shia have traditionally been more pronounced in Afghanistan. The Shias of the Hazara area in central Afghanistan, in Helmand Province and other parts of south-western Afghanistan are inherently in conflict with the Sunni majority in Kabul. Since Iran has expanded its involvement in the AfPak area, Sunni-Shia confrontations are on the increase in Pakistan.
Feudalism, poverty and corruption* all have been an inherent part of life in the AfPak area. They are three elements which have considerable influence on today’s crises in the two countries.
* ‘Corruption’ is a term which unfortunately is used abroad in a simplistic and undifferentiated manner. It does not take into account the many forms so-called ‘corruption’ can take from simple favouratism based on local traditions to modern criminal acts of dishonesty. There is no single approach in dealing with Afghan behaviour that foreign politicians conveniently describe as ‘corruption.’
The UN identifies Afghanistan as one of the poorest countries in the world with an average life expectancy of only 42 years, an adult literacy rate of around 28% and a mortality rate of children under five of 297/1000. The picture in the tribal belt of Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan is not any different.
India has never fully accepted that three of its western provinces (Sind, Baluchistan and NWFP) and parts of the Punjab were taken away in 1947 to form today’s Pakistan. This explains to some extent the interest India has shown since then in maintaining a strong political foothold in Afghanistan....
By Marc Lynch Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 1:27 PM
...I am more concerned with an issue more in the areas where I focus: the relationship between al Qaeda Central and the broader network of affiliated movements (AQAM, in the lingo) and like-minded individuals (which me might call AQN, the al Qaeda Network). A key part of the Obama administration's strategy has been a very successful reorientation of America's relationship with the Muslim world, downplaying al Qaeda and refusing to allow that extremist fringe to hijack or monopolize those vital relationships. But the new focus on al Qaeda in the AfPak strategy threatens to reverse that vital achievement ... and even to revive al Qaeda's flagging fortunes in the wider Muslim world.
In part, this refects a debate which has been raging for years over the importance of AQC to the wider network of salafi-jihadist groups and individuals. The Obama administration's Afghanistan strategy seems to have taken one side in that debate –- but whether that is because it is correct, or because it is useful to justify an Afghan military strategy chosen for other reasons, is hugely important.
For Bruce Hoffmann and other "Centralists," al Qaeda Central continues to play an extremely important role in guiding, shaping, arming, and directing the seemingly inchoate network of jihadists. They point to evidence of contacts between the perpetrators of well-known cases and AQC affiliated people in Pakistan or elsewhere. They point to the deluge of AQ propaganda still pouring out of al-Sahab and other jihadist media outlets. On the other side, Marc Sageman and other "bunch of guys" analysts see the threat as primarily one of a very loosely affiliated network of like-minded individuals and organizations who neither need nor want direction from AQC. If AQC was needed as a spark to light the fire, it is no longer needed to keep the fires burning or new fires from breaking out when local conditions come together...
"Though the BSF battalions have arrived they need to undergo familiarisation training before starting the joint operation ... They need to know the topography of the area where they will have to fight against unknown enemies," Prakash Mishra, chief of anti-Maoist operation in Orissa, told PTI today.
Five battalions of BSF have reached the state for joint operations in Koraput-Malkangiri-Dantewada axis along the border....
Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova, left, posing with her late husband Umalat Magomedov, who was killed in 2009. ( AFP Photo/Newsteam)
Moscow. She was a 17-year-old girl from a village deep in the North Caucasus with a baby face and a name meaning paradise.
Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova is suspected of strapping several kilograms of explosives to her body on March 29 and heading into the bustling Moscow metro with a female companion.
She then detonated her explosives at a metro station, killing more than 20 people. Forty minutes later, the other woman blew herself up at another Moscow station. Later, investigators would find her severed head, smeared in blood, on the metro platform.
Like other Muslim Russian women who carried out suicide bombings earlier in the decade, Abdurakhmanova was a “Black Widow”, the wife of a leading Caucasus militant killed by the Russian security forces.
“Her identity has been confirmed and checked out in several directions. It’s been established with almost 100 percent certainty that it was she who carried out the act,” Interfax quoted a Dagestan security source as saying.
Recent photographs published on Friday showed Abdurakhmanova posing in an Islamic headscarf with her late husband, Umalat Magomedov.
Abdurakhmanova proudly points a pistol to the sky. Her husband is holding a larger weapon....
The Holy Fire from Jerusalem arrived at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Saturday evening and was taken to Christ the Savior Cathedral, the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called said on Saturday.
A special flight with a delegation of Russian religious, government and public figures landed at 22:30 Moscow time, where it was greeted by hundreds of believers.
The Holy Fire that is lit every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on the day preceding Orthodox Easter is believed by Orthodox Christians to be a miracle.
From Moscow the Holy Fire, which pilgrims say does not burn in the first minutes after it has been lit, is "distributed" among churches in containers similar to those used to transport the Olympic flame.
This year it will be taken to the Voskresensky Monastery for the first time. The Moscow Region monastery, better known as the New Jerusalem, was founded by Patriarch Nikon in 1656 in accordance with a popular sentiment that Moscow was the Third Rome, the last stronghold of Orthodox Christianity.
Every Orthodox church in Russia holds Paschal liturgies on the night of Holy Saturday that last well into Easter morning.
MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti)
...Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Tuesday (click here) ordered security agencies to "scrap out from the bottom of the sewers" those responsible for the twin attacks that killed 39 people, even as Moscow hinted that militants trained at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border could be behind the blasts.Putin's strong comments came as police scrambled hard to nab the perpetrators of the twin suicide bombings suspected to have been carried out by two Chechen women on Moscow metro.
"We know that in the given situation they (terrorists) are hiding on the bottom, but it is a prestige issue for the law enforcement agencies to pick them out in to the sunlight from the bottom of the stinking sewer. And I am confident that this will be done," Putin said.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow is well informed about the so-called "no-man's land" on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the terrorist underground has entrenched itself...
Thursday's gas explosion in Henan killed 19.3:00 AM Sunday Apr 4, 2010
BEIJING: The first group of rescuers and divers entered a flooded Chinese mine last night where 153 workers have been trapped for almost a week, with two returning within hours and calling the situation underground "very difficult".
There were no further signs of life from underground after tapping was heard on Friday.
The two divers said the water was murky and complicated efforts to reach the place where rescuers hope to find survivors. Two other divers and seven rescuers were still in the mine late last night.
The first team had been expected to explore conditions underground before more rescuers are sent.
The soonest that any large-scale rescue effort can be launched is later today, a spokesman at rescue headquarters said....
English.news.cn 2010-04-04 02:42:09
BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- China will launch a two-month campaign to inspect work safety nationwide on April 5, according to the work safety commission of the State Council, or the Cabinet.
Serious accidents took place in succession in some areas and industries recently, which shows negligence and loopholes in work safety management and serious violations to laws and regulations, said a circular issued by the commission.
The inspection would focus on work safety in mines, the chemical industry, transportation and fire-works mills, among others.
The campaign would include self-examination by enterprises, government inspection and public supervision.
Enterprises are required to complete self-examination in April and local governments to conduct inspection in May, while the commission would dispatch supervision teams to check their work.
The nationwide campaign comes days after 153 coal miners were trapped in a flooded coal mine in north China's Shanxi Province, which will be China's worst mining disaster in more than two years if the miners cannot be saved.
Well I woke up this morning, pulled myself out of bed
I wish that I could sleep the day away
Just a day like any other, same old thing, over and over
I'm overworked and underpaid (and it's killing me)
Not even breakin' even, work my fingers to the bone
Barely gettin' by, keeps gettin' harder
I'm slaving on the grindstone and I get no breaks at all
Just trying to keep my head above the water
Can't make ends meet, can't even save a dime
Feels like I spend my life working overtime
Tryin' to make a livin', gotta pay the rent
(just) tryin' to make a livin', wonder where my money went
Never seem to get ahead, it's getting' easier to see
(just) tryin' to make a livin' and it's killing me
Times are getting tough seems I never make enough
Just doing what I can to stay alive
And I'd like to take a day off but I can't afford a layoff
Gotta keep this damn job to survive
Can't make ends meet I can't even save a dime
Feels like I spend my life working overtime
Tryin' to make a livin', gotta pay the rent
(just) tryin' to make a livin', wonder where my money went
Never seem to get ahead, it's getting' easier to see
(just) tryin' to make a livin' and it's killing me
I mean after all the cases that are filed are ALWAYS about gaming the system, right? Who actually is gaming the system, honey?
You know I am such a skeptic of the entire Bush administration for eight long and hideous years, how is the fund raising going for Haiti as opposed to the "W" Library? The "Clean Hands Club." Oh, my, did I take that too far? Oh.
So let me see if I get this right.
As long as Wall Street was raking in the profits from faulty medical devices Medicare could repeatedly replace artificial joints.
But, NOW, that the wealthy have to pay taxes toward health care for the nation, there has to be RESPONSIBILITY by Wall Street.
I'll be darn.
William R. Morris had his three-year-old artificial hip replaced in January because it was failing. It was his third hip replacement since 2006.
And of course, the 'disability' time and lack of income and repeated deductibles and frequent office visits and potential to infection and nosocomial infections and DEATHS from infection that occurred due to repeated exposure to FAILURE and REPLACEMENT.
It is such a joy to be "Born in the USA."
...The million or so artificial hips and knees implanted each year in the United States, they say, are normally not guaranteed. Instead, the costs of replacing implants that fail early because of design or mechanical problems — devices that sell for as much as $15,000 each — are largely paid by Medicare, insurance companies and patients.
Implants can fail for many reasons, but if only a small percentage of them fail prematurely because they are substandard, the costs to taxpayers, policyholders and patients can run into the tens of millions of dollars each year, health care experts estimate.
Orthopedic producers may sometimes even profit from the failures because they sell the replacements at full price...IT IS LARGER THAN JUST THE FAILURE OF THE DEVICES !!!!!!!!!!!!!
The words 'guinea pig' comes to mind.