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Daily Archives: October 5, 2013

UK’s natural environment in jeopardy – Features – Al Jazeera English

UK’s natural environment in jeopardy – Features – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

London, UK – The poet William Blake described Britain’s landscape as a “green and pleasant land” but much of the countryside – from the mighty oak tree to the humble hedgehog – are at serious risk.

Conservation groups and scientists have warned in an alarming report that a staggering 60 percent of UK plant and animal species have declined in recent decades, while more than 10 percent are at risk of being lost entirely.

Intensive farming, sprawling urbanisation and climate change as well as an invasion of species and diseases from abroad are combining in a perfect storm to threaten Britain’s fragile natural environment.

The State of Nature, a report compiled by a coalition of 25 conservation groups working together for the first time, warns that wildlife in the UK is under serious threat.

Common species like the lesser spotted woodpecker, barbastelle bat and hedgehog are vanishing before our eyes.

-Dr Mark Eaton, conservation scientist

Its lead author, Dr Mark Eaton, a principal conservation scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), said: “This report reveals that the UK’s nature is in trouble – overall we are losing wildlife at an alarming rate. These declines are happening across all countries and UK overseas territories, habitats and species groups, although it is probably greatest amongst insects, such as our moths, butterflies and beetles.”…


Jesse Ventura Calls For “American Revolution” Against The “Corrupt System” | Zero Hedge

Jesse Ventura Calls For “American Revolution” Against The “Corrupt System” | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

The irony of Jesse Ventura calling for a new “American Revolution” in a conversation with Brit Piers Morgan is not lost on us but the former Governor of Minnesota asks some awkwardly open questions in this ‘colorful’ interview. Ventura asked if the government’s shut down, “That should mean we shouldn’t have to pay any taxes, right?” He called for another American revolution to push back against the “corrupt system” created by Democrats and Republicans in WashingtonHe told Morgan the two-party system has legalized “bribery” for access, suggesting he’s fed up enough to actually run for president in 2016. Ventura called both parties “gangs,” and Morgan admitted he had to agree, adding that they’re “overpaid, underworked children!” The discussion then veers from Obamacare, Ventura’s run for President, and the JFK conspiracy…


Sense Of Unease Growing Around The World As U.S. Government Looks Befuddled

Sense Of Unease Growing Around The World As U.S. Government Looks Befuddled. (FULL ARTICLE)

— An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled — shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world’s financial system into chaos.

While each of the factors may be unrelated to the direct exercise of U.S. foreign policy, taken together they give some allies the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity, providing an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week.

Concerns will only deepen now that President Barack Obama canceled travel this weekend to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei. He pulled out of the gatherings to stay home to deal with the government shutdown and looming fears that Congress will block an increase in U.S. borrowing power, a move that could lead to a U.S. default.

The U.S. is still a pillar of defense for places in Asia like Taiwan and South Korea, providing a vital security umbrella against China. It also still has strong allies in the Middle East, including Israel and the Gulf Arab states arrayed against al-Qaida and Iran.

But in interviews with academics, government leaders and diplomats, faith that the U.S. will always be there is fraying more than a little….


Rival demonstrations called in Egypt – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Rival demonstrations called in Egypt – Middle East – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have called for rival demonstrations on the 1973 Arab-Israeli war anniversary after the deadliest violence in weeks.

The Anti-Coup Alliance called on Saturday for its supporters to try to reach Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday, which has been blocked off by the army, to mark the 40th anniversary of the war.

The conflict, known as the October war in the Arab world and the Yom Kippur war in Israel, is remembered proudly by the Egyptian army as it caught Israel’s defences unawares and led ultimately to Egypt’s recovery of the Sinai Peninsula in the 1979 peace treaty.

Many saw Friday’s protests, which resulted in four people dying and many more being injured, as a trial run for demonstrators to asses how the security forces would prevent Sunday’s marches.

The Egptian authorities on Saturday issued a warning to anyone considering marching on the anniversary.

“The Ministry of Interior asserts its determination on confronting violence and infringements of the law by Muslim Brotherhood supporters,” a ministry statement said.

“Security has been stepped up on highways, in all cities and at important installations.

“The Ministry of Interior warns against attempting to spoil the 6th of October commemoration.”…


Jeff Rubin: Boom Times Aren’t Coming Back, But That’s Not Necessarily Bad (Q&A)

Jeff Rubin: Boom Times Aren’t Coming Back, But That’s Not Necessarily Bad (Q&A). (FULL ARTICLE)

Key takeaways:

-We must prepare for a long period of harder times
-Canada will be a water superpower
-Oil sands won’t boom like the industry predicts
-Anti-Keystone movement has backfired

As recently as 13 years ago, a barrel of oil cost $20, or even less. Today, global crude prices are hovering around the $100 mark. We may be getting used to higher prices at the pump, but the world economy isn’t, says economist Jeff Rubin — and the result is a permanent shift down in economic growth.

Rubin was the chief economist at CIBC World Markets for close to two decades, but had to part ways with his employer when he started writing about how rising energy costs are going to put make our worlds a lot smaller.

Rubin’s argument is controversial: He says we aren’t so much in the midst of a sluggish recovery as we are in the middle of a new reality — one where we will have to get used to a lower standard of living.

Rubin’s latest book, The End of Growth, recently came out in an updated paperback edition. HuffPost Canada talked to him about what it will mean to live in a world of high energy prices, his reasons for believing Canada will become a “water superpower,” and why the end of growth might not necessarily be a bad thing.

What do you mean when you talk about the end of growth?…


Government Looking For Witches Will Find Them

Government Looking For Witches Will Find Them. (FULL ARTICLE)

While the nation’s political class has been fixated on a potential government shutdown in Washington this week, the NSA has continued to spy on all Americans and by its ambiguity and shrewd silence seems to be acknowledging slowly that the scope of its spying is truly breathtaking.

The Obama administration is of the view that the NSA can spy on anyone anywhere. The president believes that federal statutes enable the secret FISA court to authorize the NSA to capture any information it desires about any persons without identifying the persons and without a showing of probable cause of criminal behavior on the part of the persons to be spied upon. This is the same mindset that the British government had with respect to the colonists. It, too, believed that British law permitted a judge in secret in Britain to issue general warrants to be executed in the colonies at the whim of British agents.

General warrants do not state the name of the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized, and they do not have the necessity of individualized probable cause as their linchpin. They simply authorize the bearer to search wherever he wishes for whatever he wants. General warrants were universally condemned by colonial leaders across the ideological spectrum — from those as radical as Sam Adams to those as establishment as George Washington, and from those as individualistic as Thomas Jefferson to those as big-government as Alexander Hamilton. We know from the literature of the times that the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment — with its requirements of individualized probable cause and specifically identifying the target — is to prohibit general warrants…


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