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Old 2013-01-23, 06:50   Link #25861
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Russia says U.S. rights law "odious" but wants constructive ties
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90M0AG20130123
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Old 2013-01-23, 07:17   Link #25862
RRW
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Old 2013-01-23, 10:09   Link #25863
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David Attenborough - Humans are plague on Earth

Quote:
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the worlds resources.
He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
We are a plague on the Earth. Its coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. Its not just climate change; its sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now, he told the Radio Times.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ear...nborough.html#
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Old 2013-01-23, 11:18   Link #25864
AnimeFan188
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Join Date: Jan 2008
China criminalizes monks' suicides, arrests protesters' friends:

"Chinese authorities are responding to an intensified wave of Tibetan self-
immolation protests against Chinese rule by clamping down even harder
criminalizing the suicides, arresting protesters' friends and even confiscating
thousands of satellite TV dishes.

The harsh measures provide an early indication that the country's new leadership
is not easing up on Tibet despite the burning protests and international
condemnation."

See:

http://news.msn.com/world/china-crim...esters-friends
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Old 2013-01-23, 12:39   Link #25865
Xellos-_^
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LONDON — Casting a shadow on grand visions of an integrated Europe, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Wednesday to carve a more independent path from the continent and promised a referendum within the next five years on whether Britain should exit the European Union. “It is time for the British people to have their say,” said Cameron, whose Conservative Party would need to win the 2015 elections here to carry out the referendum pledge.
In the most euro-skeptic speech of any government leader here in decades, Cameron said he hopes to reclaim powers from the E.U.’s administrative capital in Brussels even if Britain stays in the union.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...5ee_story.html
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Old 2013-01-23, 13:34   Link #25866
ganbaru
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Big words, little action in UK's campaign against Sahara jihadists
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90M0IK20130123
Quote:
Britain has vowed a tough response against militants in North Africa, but behind its tough language lies the ugly reality of a fast-shrinking army, deep budget cuts and little U.S. interest in another costly war in a distant desert.
Unlike France, whose move to send troops to nearby Mali this month is an echo of its own colonial past in Francophone Africa, Britain faces the uphill task of finding a relevant role to play in what could be a new phase in the global war against terror.
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Old 2013-01-23, 16:26   Link #25867
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts, US
Age: 24
I respect and admire Mr. Attenborough, however I found an interesting opposing viewpoint linked in the comments section of that article:

World Population may actually start declining, not exploding

It's an interesting debate. I'm not the most informed on the subject, so I can't really make any predictions myself. What I do notice is countries like Japan and Singapore where it is considered a problem, and that could foresee-ably become an issue in the United States as well.
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Old 2013-01-23, 16:35   Link #25868
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
LONDON Casting a shadow on grand visions of an integrated Europe, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Wednesday to carve a more independent path from the continent and promised a referendum within the next five years on whether Britain should exit the European Union. It is time for the British people to have their say, said Cameron, whose Conservative Party would need to win the 2015 elections here to carry out the referendum pledge.
In the most euro-skeptic speech of any government leader here in decades, Cameron said he hopes to reclaim powers from the E.U.s administrative capital in Brussels even if Britain stays in the union.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...5ee_story.html
It may be easier to get an integrated Europe without them.
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Old 2013-01-23, 16:40   Link #25869
Zakoo
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Agree, let's do the opposite, an european referendum to see whether we want UK inside or not.
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Old 2013-01-23, 16:52   Link #25870
ChainLegacy
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What is it exactly about British culture or viewpoint that is so at odds with other major European nations that have joined up with the EU?
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Old 2013-01-23, 17:13   Link #25871
Ithekro
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The UK was "The Empire". The largest country on the planet so to speak by having colonies everywhere up until after the Second World War. While France, the Netherlands, and some of the others had colonies as well, none were quite the British Empire. And unlike all the others, the United Kingdom did not fall during the war.

So the British keep that has their pride. Not since 1066 has anyone (successfully) invaded the Isles. They take pride in that, and in some cases look at the EU as a lose without losing. They have to give up (more) of their power to stay in the EU by handing over things to Brussels.

Mind you the UK is one of the few EU members that does not use the Euro normally. The British Pound still hold its own last I checked.

If I recall though, the British don't consider themselves "European" by default, but British by default. "Europeans" are those people from the continent, not the Isles.

That and a long standing rivalry with France. Not a hostile one presently, but it still exists.
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Old 2013-01-23, 17:21   Link #25872
Zakoo
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Honestly I doubt it has anything about pride or anything, UK simply wants an european union "a la carte", ie only the good things without the bad one.

You can't be happy about UE when it's prosperity and deciding to leave it because it's crisis.

but anyway, nobody is fooled we all know it's because of the futur vote, UE has recently began to be considered as the first target by politicians to get a reason for their failure. Maybe only germany didn't do it since they still have a strong economy so Merkel doesn't need to blame anybody.
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Old 2013-01-23, 17:22   Link #25873
ChainLegacy
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Age: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
The UK was "The Empire". The largest country on the planet so to speak by having colonies everywhere up until after the Second World War. While France, the Netherlands, and some of the others had colonies as well, none were quite the British Empire. And unlike all the others, the United Kingdom did not fall during the war.

So the British keep that has their pride. Not since 1066 has anyone (successfully) invaded the Isles. They take pride in that, and in some cases look at the EU as a lose without losing. They have to give up (more) of their power to stay in the EU by handing over things to Brussels.

Mind you the UK is one of the few EU members that does not use the Euro normally. The British Pound still hold its own last I checked.

If I recall though, the British don't consider themselves "European" by default, but British by default. "Europeans" are those people from the continent, not the Isles.

That and a long standing rivalry with France. Not a hostile one presently, but it still exists.
Hmm, well, I suspect the empire mentality has something to do with it, but I'm not ready to discount the fact that other Europeans had fairly large and powerful empires of their own. Depending on what part of history we're looking at, it wasn't the largest empire, anyways - Spain's was much larger for quite a while. I was aware of their currency situation (I've been to Britain a few times myself actually), but I see that as more of a symptom of this mindset than a reason for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Honestly I doubt it has anything about pride or anything, UK simply want a european union "a la carte", ie only the good things without the bad one.

You can't be happy about UE when it's prosperity and deciding to leave it because it's crisis.

but anyway, nobody is fooled we all know it's because of the futur vote, UE has recently began to be considered as the first target by politicians to get a reason for their failure. Maybe only germany didn't do it since they still have a strong economy so Merkel doesn't need to blame anybody.
I'm not sure about that. I feel there is a cultural resistance to the idea of a European Union on the part of the British, which can be seen in the currency situation. The present bad matters are simply a tipping point to an idea they weren't fully on board with to begin with.
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Old 2013-01-23, 17:58   Link #25874
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I'm not sure about that. I feel there is a cultural resistance to the idea of a European Union on the part of the British, which can be seen in the currency situation. The present bad matters are simply a tipping point to an idea they weren't fully on board with to begin with.
I think De Gaulles called them the US' Trojan Horse. They don't want a politically powerful EU. It's not just that they don't want to be part of it. They don't want it to exist.
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Old 2013-01-23, 18:03   Link #25875
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
What is it exactly about British culture or viewpoint that is so at odds with other major European nations that have joined up with the EU?
Historically British foreign policy centered on counteracting the formation any major power on the continent. The mindset had always been on isolationism.

Before the war the empire had shielded the British economy from competition and without it, in the post war years, the UK couldn't compete in the international market. Joining the EU and its market helped the UK economy recover. To gain support, the EU (EEC at the time) was sold to the public as nothing more as a free-trade zone by the politicians.

However in reality it had been established as a ever closer integrating Union, which over time lead to unease in the UK as people felt this wasn't what they had voted for or had been lead to believe. This unease was further fed by a rabid tabloid media culture that has presented Brussels as a corrupt, bureaucratic monstrosity for the last 40 years.

From the funny perspective of "Yes, Minister":

http://www.videohippy.com/video/1132...Foreign-Policy

Last edited by Bri; 2013-01-23 at 18:13.
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Old 2013-01-23, 18:14   Link #25876
Ithekro
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In military news: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...bat-roles?lite

Defense chief Panetta to clear women for combat roles

Quote:
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to clear the way for women to serve in many combat positions in the U.S. armed forces, a senior defense official told NBC News on Wednesday afternoon.

The Pentagon chief will announce on Thursday that he is eliminating the direct ground combat exclusion — the Department of Defense policy that excluded women from assignment to units below the brigade level if the unit would be engaged in direct combat.

This will allow women to be assigned to select positions in ground combat units at the battalion level.

"I support it. It reflects the reality of 21st century military operations," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in anticipation of the announcement.

"We are moving in the direction of women as infantry soldiers," one senior defense official said. Panetta's decision mandates that the studies and reviews on women as infantry soldiers must be completed by October 2015 — women soldiers will not be assigned to infantry any sooner than that, the official explained.

This announcement will open approximately 237,000 individual jobs to women across service branches, including 5,000 positions for female Marines in ground combat elements.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called the decision "historic."

"In fact, it's important to remember that in recent wars that lacked any true front lines, thousands of women already spent their days in combat situations serving side-by-side with their fellow male servicemembers," said Murray, who heads the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

In November, a group of women in the military and the non-profit American Civil Liberties Union sued the Pentagon over the policy of excluding women from combat roles. Their complaint argued that they were already serving in combat roles, but not getting recognized for it.

Panetta's decision will give the military branches until the beginning of 2016 to seek exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to females, defense sources told The Associated Press. The move came at the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the sources said.

Panetta is expected to leave his position as Defense Secretary in February.
Interesting move.
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Old 2013-01-23, 18:34   Link #25877
Soverence
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"Car that runs on air"

http://in.news.yahoo.com/soon-car-ru...081142843.html

If you have ever grimaced at your never ending petrol bill and dreamed of a car that runs on fresh air, your prayers are about to be answered.
French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen believes that it can put an air- powered vehicle on the road by 2016, the Daily Mail reported.


Certainly seems like a great advancement if they can actually get it running by the time they believe they can, although I am skeptical since a lot of said dates are never met. Also I feel like Oil companies might have something to say about the car if it is true ...
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Old 2013-01-23, 21:11   Link #25878
Yu Ominae
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Here's something to wake you up:

From the BBC

Quote:
Controversial bird flu work resumes
By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News

Controversial research into making bird flu easier to spread in people is to resume after a year-long pause.

Some argue the research is essential for understanding how viruses spread and could be used to prevent deadly pandemics killing millions of people.

Research was stopped amid fierce debate including concerns about modified viruses escaping the laboratory or being used for terrorism.

The moratorium gave authorities time to fully assess the safety of the studies.

A type of bird flu known as H5N1 is deadly and has killed about half the people who have been infected.

It has not caused millions of deaths around the world because it lacks the ability to spread from one person to another. Cases tend to come from close contact with infected birds.

Scientists at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US discovered it would take between five and nine mutations in the virus' genetic code to allow it to start a deadly pandemic.

The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity asked academic journals not to publish key parts of the findings. It was concerned terrorists would use the details to develop a biological weapon.

It provoked outcry among some scientists who said their academic freedom was being restricted. Other scientists said the risk of the virus spreading was too great for such research to take place and described it as a folly.

The details were eventually published in the journals Nature and Science.

However, the academics involved agreed to a voluntary 60-day moratorium on research - which was later extended to more than a year.

It was to give governments time to review safety standards needed in laboratories to conduct research with enhanced viruses and whether they wanted to fund such research.
Back on

A letter signed by 40 virus researchers around the world, published in the journals Science and Nature, said the moratorium was being lifted.

It said appropriate conditions had been set in most of the world and their studies were "essential for pandemic preparedness".

One of the leading proponents of the research Prof Ron Fouchier, from the Erasmus Medical Centre, told the BBC it had been "frustrating" to shut down research for the year.

"This research is urgent, while we are having this pause bird flu virus continues to evolve in nature and we need to continue this research.

"We cannot wait for another year or two years."

He expects to restart his laboratory's work within the next couple of weeks.

However, it is a different case for many of the other research groups involved. The US has not decided on the conditions under which it will allow the experiments to take place and the same applies to US-funded research taking place in other countries.

The decision has continued debate on whether the research should take place at all.

Prof Robert May, from the University of Oxford and a former president of The Royal Society, said: "These are not bad people, they are good people with good intentions, but they look through rose-coloured glasses at the security of the laboratories."

He said past history suggests "it will get out" as there had been more than a thousand cases of people being infected in labs with the highest standards and the 1977 outbreak of flu may have been connected to a Russian facility.

"That's why I feel the world is a safer place if we maintain this moratorium."
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Old 2013-01-23, 22:07   Link #25879
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Age: 25
@Britain leaving the EU: I have a feeling that if Britain left the EU, Ireland would probably follow it.

Ireland's economy is fairly tightly associated with the British economy, far more then with the EU. If it was a choice between being integrated with the UK, and being integrated with the EU, the former would probably be a better choice.

That said, Irish people have certain nationalistic sentiments, and if it came up in a referendum, the UK's non-membership would not be a persuasive argument.

However, I doubt the UK public will vote to leave the EU. The tory base would like it, but only 40% of the population voted tory last election, and the tory base is considerably smaller again.
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Old 2013-01-23, 22:25   Link #25880
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Union membership falls to lowest percentage in 76 years
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90M1MQ20130123
Quote:
The total number of union members fell by nearly 400,000, from 11.8 percent of the workforce in 2011, the Labor Department report on union membership said. The rate of 11.3 percent of the workforce was the lowest since 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt was president
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