CARACAS (Reuters) - Russia is building arms plants in Venezuela to produce AK-103 automatic rifles and cartridges and is finalizing contracts to send 53 military helicopters to the Andean nation, Moscow’s envoy to Venezuela saidMonday.
A much cheaper dollar is a sad development for the US, even though it is inevitable. It will make the US poorer, since Americans will pay higher prices for everything they buy from abroad – clothes, computers, cars, toys, food, you name it.
It will make the US military presence abroad more expensive, since the cost of contractors and local suppliers will escalate in dollar terms.
It will slow imports, removing competition that is essential to hold down the general price level in America, thereby making inflation more likely.
It will send the wrong price signals for a country that prides itself on creating sophisticated, highly valuable products, for a low dollar will encourage producers to compete on price more than quality.
It will diminish the political influence and prestige that the US has had while the dollar has been king.
French troops deployed in Afghanistan are attempting to bribe Taliban fighters not to attack them, a senior Taliban leader has told Al Jazeera.
In an exclusive interview, Saif-Allah Jalili, the Taliban commander of the Kabul district, said on Monday that his men have been offered gifts and money by the French soldiers in order to persuade the fighters not to engage their forces.
“The French in Sorubi [in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan] tried to send gifts to Taliban fighters and offered them a lot of money in return for not launching attacks targeting the French troops,” Jalili said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent $2,993 in taxpayer money on flowers between June and October. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has a thing for Chantilly Donuts, spending about $265 at the Virginia shop in the past quarter. And Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), a fiscal conservative, decided to give about $2,000 in unused office funds back to the government to help reduce the deficit.
About 55% of Americans under 30 voted last November, just one percentage point shy of that constituency’s all-time turnout high in 1972, and they favored Obama 2-to-1. Despite the perennial talk about the electoral significance of senior citizens – who can always be relied upon to turn up at the polls on Election Day – “Generation Obama” actually comprised a larger portion of the electorate (18%) than did voters over 65 (16%).
John Travolta notoriously encouraged the British public to do its bit to fight global warming — after flying into London on one of his five, yes, five private jets (one of which is a Boeing 707). In 2006 his piloting hobby produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions, more than a hundred times the output of the average Briton, according to the Carbon Trust.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Photograph: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images
There is “virtually no possibility” of a few scientists biasing the advice given to governments by the UN’s top global warming body, its chair said today.
Rajendra Pachauri defended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the wake of apparent suggestions in emails between climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that they had prevented work they did not agree with from being included in the panel’s fourth assessment report, which was published in 2007.
CARMEL, NY: Recovery.gov, the Obama administration’s attempt at creating transparency in the $787-billion dollar stimulus program, is a transparent failure in Putnam County.
The Federal government claims that when Putnam County purchased five Paratransit vans with $319,000 of federal stimulus funds, 60 jobs were saved. A casual visitor to Recovery.gov might think that those 60 jobs were in Putnam County. But John Lynch, Putnam County’s Commissioner of Planning/Development and Public Transportation, said, “That number of 60 jobs is incorrect.”
In fact, the number of jobs that should appear on the report is not 60, but just 1.54, and those one and a half jobs are actually in New Paris, Indiana. Whether by bureaucratic error, or deliberate maneuvering, the administration has inflated claims of job creation based on Putnam County stimulus spending. Other stimulus-funded projects in Putnam County are riddled with reporting errors and inaccuracies.
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.
NEW YORK (AP) - Much of the prime-time audience lost to NBC when Jay Leno moved into prime-time has gone not to its rivals but the digital video recorder.
Rival network executives seemed almost giddy at the possibilities last spring after NBC announced Leno would do a comedy show five nights a week at 10 p.m. There will be more viewers available “for people who put on great dramas,” said Leslie Moonves, CBS chief executive, “and that’s what we do.”
NASA astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Nicole Stott point their cameras out the windows of the International Space Station to take pictures of the space shuttle Atlantis during its Nov. 18 approach. The pictures are analyzed for any evidence of damage sustained during the shuttle’s ascent to orbit.
Gary McKinnon is wanted in the US for what it calls the biggest military computer hack of all time. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is at serious risk of suicide, relatives said today, after the home secretary rejected a last-ditch attempt to prevent his extradition to the US.
In a letter today Alan Johnson ordered McKinnon’s removal to the US on charges of breaching US military and Nasa computers, despite claims by his lawyers that extradition would make the 43-year-old’s death “virtually certain”.
The future of Germany’s mission in Afghanistan was thrown into doubt today after a government minister resigned under growing pressure to admit his involvement in a campaign of misinformation over an air raid in which civilians were killed.
Franz Josef Jung, defence minister at the time, quit as labour minister a day after the army’s chief of staff, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, resigned over the incident with the deputy defence minister, Peter Wichert.
**From the country that has more cctv cameras than anywhere else..
An international satellite monitoring system to check countries comply with new climate change targets was proposed by Gordon Brown last night as a way of binding developing nations into a new deal on the environment.
It is part of a desperate bid by the Prime Minister to ensure a climate change deal can be salvaged at the Copenhagen summit in 10 days time.
Last night at a meeting in Trinidad he reached agreement with Commonwealth leaders and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, to put forward a new £10 billion fund to tackle what Mr Brown said was “a climate emergency.”
At least 39 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a Russian express train came off the rails late last night in what the head of the national railway company said could have been a bomb attack.
The Nevsky Express, carrying 661 passengers from Moscow to St Petersburg, was derailed at 9:34 p.m. (1834 GMT) near the village of Uglovka about 200 miles north of Moscow.