N. Korea warns of retaliation; Seoul orders security beefed up
S. Korea government in emergency meeting; joint exercises with U.S. move ahead
msnbc.com news services
INCHEON, South Korea – South Korea’s president vowed Thursday to boost security around islands near the site of this week’s artillery attack by North Korea.
His order to beef up security came as North Korea warned of more “retaliation” if Seoul carries out “reckless military provocations.”
“We should not let our guard down in preparation for another possible North Korean provocation,” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said at an emergency government meeting Thursday.
Decoded turkey genome could make better birds
Sequencing research work could lead to meatier, healthier birds
By Wynne Parry
Turkey, the fourth most popular source of meat in the United States and the centerpiece of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, now comes with a new set of instructions.
Much of the turkey’s genome has been sequenced, and – turkey eaters take note – this work could lead to meatier, healthier birds, according to the researchers.
In a study published in the journal PLoS ONE in September, a team of scientists estimated that the genome of the domestic turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, has 1.1 giga base pairs, about a third the size of the human genome, and bears a close resemblance to its relative, the chicken, whose genome was completed in 2004.
Mistakes Still Prevalent in Hospital Care, Study Finds
By DENISE GRADY
Published: November 24, 2010
Efforts to make hospitals safer for patients are falling short, researchers report in the first large study in a decade to analyze harm from medical care and to track it over time.
The study, conducted from 2002 to 2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections.
“It is unlikely that other regions of the country have fared better,” said Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study is being published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
‘Hate group’ designation angers same-sex marriage opponents
By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Southern Poverty Law Center this week labeled as “hate groups” several political and religious organizations that campaign against same-sex marriage and, the center says, engage in “repeated, groundless name-calling” against gays and lesbians.
Included on the list released by the civil rights organization is the Family Research Council, a prominent and politically influential group of social conservatives. The report by the law center, which has spent four decades tracking extremist groups and hate speech, accuses the council and a dozen other groups of putting out “demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
Desperate fight to save the euro
Survival crisis for the single currency as fears of further bailouts rise in Spain, Portugal and Belgium
By Sean O’Grady, Economics Editor Thursday, 25 November 2010
The euro plunged further into crisis yesterday as investors sold off Spanish, Portuguese and Belgian government bonds in record numbers on renewed fears that those nations would follow Greece and Ireland into the financial emergency ward, undermining confidence in the single currency.
The spreading contagion suggests that the markets now view the break-up of the euro as a realistic possibility, and that “shock and awe” efforts to shore up individual economies with huge bailouts have not succeeded in insulating their neighbours from infection.
Dubliners Angry at Government Rather than IMF
Irish Welcome Foreign Helpers
By Carsten Volkery in Dublin, Ireland
The worst thing for many in Ireland is the international headlines. Anyone walking past a news agent in the Dublin city center is unable to avoid Ireland’s new image in Europe. The headlines shout of the Irish people’s “shame” and “humiliation.”
“I am very ashamed,” said Patricia Shaw. The 59-year-old accountant didn’t think she would ever have to experience something like this. In the 1970s, she emigrated to London, like so many of her compatriots. She returned home in 2002, lured by the Irish economic boom.
And now this.
The man who dares to take on Egypt’s brutal regime
Despite beatings and corruption, Ayman Nour still hopes for change. Ahead of new polls, our man meets him
Robert Fisk Thursday, 25 November 2010
Ayman Nour touches his sideburns, just a shade grey beneath his black hair: not bad for a 45-year old, but not up to the standard of the absolutely uncompromisingly jet black hair of 82-year-old Egyptian President Hosni Moubarak, whose job – in theory at least – Dr Nour would like.
Mind you, being Mr Moubarak’s rival is not for amateurs. It’s cost Dr Nour more than four years in prison and here he is, on the eve of Egyptian parliamentary elections, sitting in Beirut – rather than Cairo – to express his disdain for the ‘moderate’, ‘pro-Western’ regime of America’s favourite Middle Eastern dictator (alongside King Abdullah of Jordan, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Bouteflika of Algeria, Ben Ali of Tunis, King Hassan of Morocco and the rest). So long live President Hosni Moubarak.
Egypt cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood ahead of elections
Sunday’s elections are shaping up to be less free than the last vote in 2005, when the Brotherhood tripled its seats in parliament. Today, 700 members are awaiting trial.
By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / November 24, 2010
Arrests of more than 1,300 political activists, violent dispersals of opposition campaign events, and a reduction of independent poll monitoring all point to a landslide victory for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) in this Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
In a report out today, Human Rights Watch said a fair election is unlikely, pointing to “mass arbitrary arrests … and widespread intimidation of opposition candidates.”
Reformers had one piece of good news Wednesday – blogger Kareem Amer was released after four years in jail after being convicted for insulting President Mubarak and Islam. At the same time, however, the Egyptian journalist Youssef Shaaban was remanded to custody for a further 15 days in detention. He was picked up trying to cover a protest against a land developer in Alexandria.
Adult supervision from Beijing needed as Kims flex weapons
November 25, 2010
AS THE world puzzled over the meaning of North Korea’s deadly artillery attack on South Korea, a telling piece of intelligence emerged. The regime’s ailing leader, Kim Jong-il, reportedly took his nominated successor, his third son, on a weekend visit to the military area that launched the deadly barrage, days before the attack.
This information from the Nelson Report, a well-regarded and well-connected daily Washington newsletter on Asia policy, was based on “authoritative word”, said its author, Chris Nelson. Meaning? First, that it was directed from the very top of the nuclear-armed rogue state’s regime.
Aasia Bibi, Pakistani Christian, will get clemency or pardon: presidential aide
An aide to Pakistan President Zardari told the Monitor that Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who has been in jail on blasphemy charges, will be granted a pardon or clemency. She was to be executed Nov. 8.
By Issam Ahmed, Correspondent / November 24, 2010
A Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy will be granted a presidential pardon or clemency, an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari told the Monitor on Wednesday.
Aasia Bibi, a 45 year-old mother of five who has spent a year-and-a-half in jail on charges of insulting the prophet Muhammad and the Quran, was due to be executed by hanging on Nov. 8 in a case that has garnered worldwide attention and drawn attention to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which critics say are misused to persecute minorities.
Ethiopia PM warns of Nile war
Meles Zenawi said Egypt could not win a war over the Nile river, and accuses Cairo of supporting his country’s rebels.
Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, has told Reuters that Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the Nile river.
In an interview on Tuesday, Meles also accused Egypt of trying to destabilise his country by supporting several small rebel groups, but said it was a tactic that would no longer work.
“If we address the issues around which the rebel groups are mobilised then we can neutralise them and therefore make it impossible for the Egyptians to fish in troubled waters because there won’t be any,” he said.
“Hopefully that should convince the Egyptians that, as direct conflict will not work, and as the indirect approach is not as effective as it used to be, the only sane option will be civil dialogue.”
Man spends two months in Zim jail with untreated wounds
Boas Chiwanza appeared before a High Court judge on Monday holding his innards in the palm of his hand, the independent daily Newsday newspaper reported.
He was in considerable pain and scarcely able to speak to the judge — who ordered prison orderlies immediately to take him to hospital, the paper reported.
The incident is the latest in a series of shocking revelations about conditions in Zimbabwean prisons, where more than 1 000 inmates died in the first six months of last year, and inmates live amid filth and sewage.
Rio de Janeiro gun battles leave at least 14 people dead
Many killed in major police assaults on favela strongholds of drug traffickers and gangsters
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
The Guardian, Thursday 25 November 2010
Prolonged gun battles between police and drug traffickers left at least 14 people dead yesterday in Rio, including a 14-year-old girl who was reportedly shot through the chest while she surfed the internet.
The deaths came during a series of major police assaults on the city’s slums, including one favela that serves as the HQ of the city’s largest drug gang.
Triggered by a spate of attacks on police and drivers, the incursions began on Tuesday and involved hundreds of heavily armed police operatives, bulletproof vehicles and helicopters.
Rage in the Time of Cholera
The cholera epidemic in Haiti is rapidly spreading. It has become the dominant issue leading up to elections set for Nov. 28. And as popular rage grows against international aid workers, protests have erupted in the ruins of Port-au-Prince.
By Marc Hujer and Samiha Shafy
The crowd, mostly men and a few women, runs past wreckage, mountains of garbage and corrugated metal huts. Sweat streams down their faces. It’s 10 a.m. and already oppressively hot in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, which has become a capital of the suffering, as the protesters run shouting through the streets. A man with a shaved head and deep-set eyes running in the middle of the crowd pauses for a moment, gasping for air, then says: “There was no cholera here before. The UN brought cholera into this country. They should get out of here!” He starts running again.