Archive for March 24th, 2011

March 24, 2011

Ivory Coast rogue ‘president’ slaughters 8 women

BBC News: On Thursday, Ivory Coast‘s largest city, Abidjan, was a ‘warzone’ according to the UN Refugee Agency . During the ensuing assault by the country’s security forces on protestors, around 8 women were shot dead.

The killings happened during a peaceful protest in the city when army tanks rolled in and their machine gun fire torn apart eight women, one of whom was pregnant.

The protestors have pledged to continue demonstrating the support of the new president.

The background to the protests is that in November last, the country’s president, Alassane Ouattara, was recognised by the UN as the winner of the country’s presidential election. However, the former president, Laurent Gbagbo, is refusing to go and has mobilised the country’s security and military forces to keep him in power.

So far none of the coalition forces  supporting the Libyan rebels have committed any troops to assist Ivory Coast’s peaceful protestors to assert their democratic rights despite its ‘rogue’ president’s continuing assault on residents.

One protestor commented: “The Americans and the EU only want oil. It’s OK for them to help the Libyans as they all want the oil when the conflict ends, but for us, they are letting us rot as we are poor. It’s a disgrace and a hypocrisy”.

[Africa Contributor]

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March 24, 2011

Portugal in bailout fever as Socrates resigns, Britain to contribute

Channel 4 News: Following Portugal‘s prime minister Jose Socrates‘s resignation after his austerity plan was rejected, analysts are predicting harsh times ahead for the country and also its EU partners, especially the UK.

That is because Socrates had warned the financial-crisis-ridden country that tough time would prevail for it if parliament rejected his austerity budget aimed to stop the country going for a ‘bailout’.

BBC News: In the UK, in the meantime, MP Bill Cash said that the UK would probably have to contribute up to 4bn EUR to bailout the country out of its severe debt situation and government sources have confirmed that the UK would indeed be bound to contribute to Portugal’s rescue under EU law.

MPs are protesting that whilst British residents are reeling from harsh austerity measures that have been imposed by the government as part of an austerity measure to reduce the country’s debt, it is not fair for the country to be forced to bailout other nations.  They are demanding that Britain should extricate itself from EU law that requires it, notwithstanding its own internal financial crisis, to provide bailout cash to other nations.

Mr. Cash said: ‘ (the EU mechanism)…involves the UK underwriting approximately 8bn euros to eurozone countries until 2013″. He is reported to be urging the government to renegotiate Britain’s position at the upcoming summit of EU leaders.

[Financial Crisis Contributor]

March 24, 2011

Japan radiation scare – there is a cure now for lethal irradiation

The catastrophic events at Japan‘s nuclear facility in Fukushima has affecting the whole world as a result of the high levels of radioctive elements being emitted from the plant and being carried to countries thousands of miles from the country.

As a result, all over the world now, people are rightly frightened for their cancer risks as a result of the ensuing radiation contamination.  However, there is good news on the horizon.

According to a recent report of Israel News, medication exists that can cure even a lethal dose of radiation.

The astonishing discovery was made by a group of AmericanIsraeli scientists, led by Professor Gudkov, within a US and Israel governments’ financed research project on the impact of radiation on human health.

The idea behind the discovery was to make living cells protect themselves by stopping a natural cell self-destruction mechanism programmed in our DNA, which gets activated when cells are given an external signal.

The new drug substantially lowers the activity of the special cell proteins that send the signals that instruct the cell to die. Therefore, although no matter how large the radiation dose may be, the cells can continue to exist via this intervention.

The verification tests comprised irradiating several hundreds of animals with the highest dose of radiation sustained by humans so far:  up to the lethal amount got by many Chernobyl workers  in 1986.  Seventy percent of the irradiated animals died and those who survived got sick. However, most of those injected with the ‘protein stimulant’ survived, and, all the more,  remained  completely healthy.

Tests on humans without irradiating them have shown no side-effects so far, and, if  further testing  continues in the same promising way, it is possible that in a few years’ time the drug will launched in mass production.

[Health Contributor]

March 24, 2011

‘Caught on canvass’ woman identified

MailOnline: Fiona Walker, now a 52-year-old mother of three has owned up to being the woman behind what was the world’s best-selling poster in the 1970’s.

The poster, ‘Caught on Canvass’, showing the ‘cheeky’ pose of a blonde woman on a sun-drenched tennis court of the 1970’s, was a must-have for any up and coming male teen.  Now, after 30 years of the poster woman’s anonymity, she has finanally identified herself to MailOnline.

“Court on Canvas” Fiona Walker is seen in the photo above posing alongside the 1976 Athena poster. Now married to a well-to-do businessman, she is happy about her anonymous stardom from which she had earned nothing.

At the time, she was an 18-year-old art student (then, Fiona Butler) and following a request from her boyfriend, Martin Elliott, who was an aspiring photographer, she had agreed to pose.  The sporting outfit had been borrowed and equipped with her dad’s white sports shoes, she and Elliott made the iconic image which achieved epic fame.

The photo was taken at what used to be Birmingham University courts at Edgbaston. Elliott earned around £250,000 in royalty payments and Athena retained the copyright.

[Arts and Fashion Contributor]

March 24, 2011

Radiation levels rise and Tokyo is moving, shows shocking video

Huffington Post reports that  Japan‘s nuclear safety agency has uprated the country’s nuclear crises from a level 4 incident to a level 5 putting it on all 4s with the Three Mile Island incident in the USA in 1979.

Experts are saying that the situation is hopeless and is set to deteriorate sharply for Japan and the rest of the world.

In the meantime, Tokyo is still ‘moving’ from the recent earthquake activity with large cracks appearing in the ground. See the disturbing video courtesy of Huffington Post & YouTube.

[Japan Contributor]

March 24, 2011

Fukushima plant workers irradiated – more, or less all will get cancer

According to a recent Guardian report, the Japanese authorities have finally come out with mildly optimistic news about their nuclear situation in the wake of the Fukushima plant disaster.

The spent fuel pools at reactor 4 have been filled with water again to keep the contamination spread at bay. Additionally, the electricity supply to reactors 1 and 2 has been restored. This means that the cooling systems at the besieged plant will hopefully soon be functional. However, nice that may be, the fuel rods are still damaged and in melt-down process which will severely hamper any efforts by workers to stem the radiation pouring out from the plant.

However, for the Fukushima firefighters and plant workers, the cost of this success may well turn out to be too high as Japan news agencies report that  radiation limits for the plant workers had been increased for up to 250 milisieverts (mSv), which is a way more than a human being usually gets in a year. Furthermore, those already irradiated were sent back to work  as they had showed no immediate signs of sickness.

According to World Nuclear Association data, with a dose of 100 mSv a year the risk of cancer increases substantially, which means that those who had been working up to the same and higher limits for around a week since the plant broke down are highly likely to get cancer in forthcoming times.

[Japan News Contributor]

March 24, 2011

UK Chancellor opens up Britain for business with bold budget

MailOnline: Britain’s Chancellor, George Osborne, is claiming that he is the ‘man with the plan’ to get Britain’s troubled business industry back on track. In the budget, reckoned to be one of the boldest in Britain’s recent ‘cash-strapped’ financial crisis, his ‘stimulus’ plan includes:-

  • personal tax allowances rise by £630 to £8,105 in April 2012;
  • fuel duty cut by 1p from 6pm tonight
  • interest-free loans to be made available for first-time buyers
  • company tax to be reduced by 2% from April and 1% in each of the following three years until it is at 23%;
  • possible merger of income tax and National Insurance contributions;
  • a promise to keep inflation at between 4% and 5% this year.


It is estimated that more than 20% of UK taxpayers will see their income tax bills go down by £320 per annum.

In the meantime, a group of women demonstrated outside Downing Street before the budget announcement protesting that it was a ‘banker’s’ budget and would negatively affect lives of women. They are saying that the budget was bad for women as it included the closure of women’s refuges, cutting child benefits, putting back maternity rights and also major public sector job losses.

Demo: Protesters chain themselves together outside the security gates of Downing Street in London in a bid to stop Chancellor George Osborne leaving to go to the House of Commons to present his annual Budget
[Finance and Economy Contributor]