Tunisia rejects Italy police call
The Tunisian government rejects calls from Rome to deploy Italian police officers on its territory to tackle a sudden wave of migration.
Who started it?
How revolutions actually happen
Egypt's military dissolves parliament, calls for elections Author: News Desk
Egypt's military dissolves parliament, suspends the constitution and calls for an election in six months. read more
Yemen police use tasers on protesters, says rights group Author: News Desk
A human rights group accuses Yemen's police of using tasers against protesters. read more
Concern at alcohol admission rise
The number of people being admitted to hospital in the UK for alcohol abuse could rise to 1.5 million a year by 2015, according to Alcohol Concern.
Mubarak delayed exit in order to move secret funds, say intel sources Author: intelNew
One of the reasons why Egypt's disgraced ex-president kept prolonging his rule amidst ferocious anti-government protests this month, was to transfer billions of dollars-worth of personal assets into bank accounts around the world. Continue reading
Infertility Could Impede Human Space Colonization Author: timothy

intellitech writes "The prospect of long-term space travel has led scientists to consider, increasingly seriously, the following conundrum: if travelling to a new home might take thousands of years, would humans be able to successfully procreate along the way? The early indications from NASA are not encouraging. Space, it seems, is simply not a good place to have sex."Read more of this story

Zum Valentinstag: Bitte keine Blumen

Deutschland ist der weltgrößte Schnittblumenmarkt. Die hier gekauften Blumen verursachen jährlich so viele Treibhausgase wie das Land Eritrea. Und dann sorgen die Blumenfarmen auch noch für katastrophale Arbeitsbedingungen. Von Johanna Treblin und Nick Reimer

Spinning black holes twist light
Researchers propose a method to detect the light emitted near spinning black holes, suggesting that the twisting of space-time twists the light itself.
Bern stimmt für die Atomkraft
Die Bewohner des Schweizer Kantons haben sich mehrheitlich für ein neues Atomkraftwerk in Mühleberg entschieden. Das Ergebnis ist nur ein Stimmungsbild: 2012 will der Bundesrat über den Neubau entscheiden, 2013 sollen alle Schweizer abstimmen. Von Johanna Treblin
Op-Ed: A Civil Perspective on Cybersecurity Author: Jane Holl and Bruce McConnel, Department of Homeland Security
With cybersecurity issues mounting, some observers are pounding out a persistent and mounting drumbeat of war, calling for preparing the battlefield, even saying that the United States is already fully into a "cyberwar," that it is, in fact, losing. We disagree. Cyberspace is not a war zone.
Saudi Students In US Seek Segregation By Gender On Facebook Author: timothy
Beetle B. writes "A 22,000-member group for Saudis studying in the US on the social networking website Facebook has been split into two groups, one for women and one for men. The split follows a request from the group's female members who wanted extra privacy. The separate page for Saudi women is a valid decision. We took it to fulfill the wishes of the Saudi women in the US. We have been contacted by a lot of women asking for their private group,' Majed Aleid, media chair of the 'Saudis in the US' group, told Arab News in a letter."Read more of this story
Cementing ties
Britain and Russia look to improve relations despite disputes
Malaria parasites use attack plan
Edinburgh University scientists claim malaria is particularly deadly because the parasites which carry it battle other infections for survival.
FBI Releases File On the Anarchist Cookbook Author: CmdrTaco
An anonymous reader noted that the FBI has released its file on The Anarchist Cookbook, the 1971 manual of mayhem. It's a pretty long PDF that isn't actually OCRd but there's some crazy stuff in there. But my personal favorite is the scanned in images of 3.5" floppy disks.Read more of this story
Meet the military men who will be running Egypt now
In its address to the nation following the announcement that President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down, Egypt's military cautiously expressed admiration for the many "martyrs" who died in the weeks of protest. But having the military step in to take control is is only meant to be a temporary measure.
The History of Too Big To Fail
It's the silent concession underlying almost every government bailout of a private company: the idea that, should the company fail, society as a whole would suffer.
Spiral Light From Spinning Black Holes Could Challenge Einstein Author: Lisa Grossman
Rotating black holes could leave a twisty signature on light escaping their gravitational maws. If this screwy light can be detected from Earth, it would give astronomers a new way to detect exotic black holes and a new test of Einstein's theory of general relativity, says a team of physicists.
A simmering cyberwar with Cuba Author: Nick Miroff
Cuba is worried the US will use the internet to foment uprising on the island. read more
Spacecraft ready for comet flyby
Nasa's Stardust spacecraft is about to sweep past Comet Tempel 1, to see how much it has changed since a probe last visited the object in 2005.
Egypt: Now police demonstrate Author: Jon Jensen
Cairo policemen march to demand higher wages and more respect. read more

Breaking: Anti-Government Protests Spread to Iran. Thousands march together today. [link]

Der Ölpreis steigt weiter
Fluglinien erheben einen Kerosinzuschlag, Reiseveranstalter geben ihn an die Kunden weiter: Auch nach dem Sieg der Demonstranten auf Tahrir-Platz in Kairo kostet Rohöl so viel wie seit September 2008 nicht mehr - Experten rätseln. Aus Berlin Nick Reimer
Pentagon's 2012 Spending Proposal Is 'The Largest Request Ever' Since World War II Author: Tanya Somanader

Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will formally unveil the Pentagon's spending plan on Capitol Hill. Promising to request "the minimum level of funding we can live with," defense officials, congressional aides, and analysts insist that the proposal "will make clear that the post-9/11 military spending spree has ended." But the actual number tells a different story: the Pentagon's $553 billion price tag for 2012 actually marks "the largest request ever" since World War II:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates already has revealed the Pentagon will seek $553 billion in its 2012 Pentagon budget plan - the largest request ever - and slower growth than planned over the next four years. He also has revealed proposals to end several major weapons programs, including the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).

That means the spending plan "will be anti-climactic in the broad sense," according to one senior House defense aide.

Indeed, while Gates promised to cut $78 billion over five years, most of that reduction would take place in 2014 and 2015. As Center for American Progress senior fellow and President Reagan's former assistant secretary of defense Larry Korb points out, Obama's request is "5% higher than what the Defense Department plans to spend this year. In inflation-adjusted dollars, this figure is higher than at any time during the Bush years or during the Cold War." In fact, the total military budget this year "comes in at a thumping $750 billion - an annual tax of more than $7,000 on every household in the country." And while there are clear ways to cut $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget, it seems that many in the GOP have no intention of doing so.

Gonorrhea Steals DNA From Humans Author: Duncan Geere
Researchers have discovered the first case of a direct transfer of a human DNA fragment to a bacterial genome. The guilty party? Gonorrhea.
Gold-buying firms exposed by OFT
Three companies that buy gold from consumers by post have been ordered by a watchdog to improve their treatment of customers.
With all the pro-democracy protests going on in the world, why don't we stage our own day of protest against the renewal and expansion of the patriot act?

Come on America! Let's march for civil liberties and the natural rights guaranteed us by the constitution![link]

Oil jumps with Middle East unrest
The price of certain grades of oil - including the UK's Brent crude - jumps amid political protests in the Middle East.
Egyptian protests erupt over pay
Fresh protests and strikes erupt in Egypt as demonstrators demand better pay and conditions from the country's new military rulers.
UK asked to freeze Egypt assets
The foreign secretary says Britain has been asked by the Egyptian government to freeze assets of some former officials.
Wisconsin Gov. Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard As 'Intimidation Force' Against Workers' Unions Author: Guest Blogger

Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said that if employees strike, "they should be fired," and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) wrote in an op-ed that the moral case for unions "does not apply to public employment." Now, facing a $137 million budget deficit, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a "budget repair bill" that would severely limit collective bargaining, eliminate the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement and benefits.

Walker is facing fierce criticism for this all-out assault against state workers, especially after he insisted that the "National Guard" will be used against a walkout:

When asked by a reporter what will happen if workers resist, Walker replied that he would call out the National Guard. He said that the National Guard is "prepared…for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for. … I am fully prepared for whatever may happen."

Traditionally, the National Guard is called to assist Americans in times of crisis; so Walker's attempt to use the National Guard as a tool to suppress dissent is particularly deplorable. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, more than 50,000 Guard members were called to help, and following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than 50,000 Guards were deployed. Veterans have strongly objected to Walker's recent intent to use the National Guard as a vessel to intimidate state workers. VoteVet released a statement today that says Walker shouldn't use the National Guard as an "intimidation force":

"Maybe the new governor doesn't understand yet - but the National Guard is not his own personal intimidation force to be mobilized to quash political dissent," said Robin Eckstein, a former Wisconsin National Guard member, Iraq War Veteran from Appleton, WI, and member of VoteVets.org. "The Guard is to be used in case of true emergencies and disasters, to help the people of Wisconsin, not to bully political opponents. Considering many veterans and Guard members are union members, it's even more inappropriate to use the Guard in this way. This is a very dangerous line the Governor is about to cross."

Wisconsin state employee unions already made $100 million in concessions last December. Now, under Walker's new proposal, state workers would have to make further sacrifices by doubling their contributions to health insurance premiums and increasing allocations to their pensions. Walker's bill would effectively take away the right of state employees to collectively bargain for everything from vacation, sick hours, and even the hours they work. But, smacking of political favoritism for the unions that supported Walker's campaign, the State Patrol, local police, and fire departments would stay absolutely unchanged.

In response to Walker's assault, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO launched a major advertising campaign, in which they say Walker and other politicians plan to "take away rights of thousands of nurses, teachers and other trusted public employees" with almost no public debate.

A pattern is emerging, where Republican dominated governments across the country are shaping up to strip workers' rights. In addition to Walker's new proposal, last week, Ohio Gov. Kasich said that if lawmakers don't pass a collective bargaining bill that he approves, Kasich will impose his own changes in the Ohio budget next month. Following in lockstep, Indiana, Idaho, and Tennessee all have legislation in the works to strip teachers' ability to collectively bargain. - Paul Breer

Amazon pollution: Chevron fined
A court in Ecuador fines US oil giant Chevron a reported $8bn (£5bn) for polluting much of the country's Amazon region.
Street battles in Yemeni capital
Unrest in Yemen turns ugly as protesters clash with police and government loyalists in Sanaa on a fourth day of rallies.

Bad News For Military-Industrial Complex: Iraq Delays Purchase Of US Fighter Jets - Iraq is delaying the purchase of 18 American fighter jets over budget problems and has decided to funnel the money into food for the poor instead. [link]

Pressures of Presidency: Obama Loses 30 Pounds Since Taking Office

He's only been President for two years, but his body is already showing the tell tale signs of stress, with experts now predicting he has lost nearly 30 pounds.

Cops beat two sleeping college students, ransack their house. Oops, wrong house. NOW can we end the Insane War on Drugs? [link]

Algeria town hit by new clashes
Hundreds of youths clash with security forces during protests in the northern Algerian town of Akbou, as police reportedly use tear gas and batons.
'Drug financier' held in Colombia
Colombian security forces capture a man they say runs the finances and logistics of one of the country's most powerful drug gangs.
A region in upheaval Author: News Desk
First Tunisia, then Egypt. As unrest spreads, here's everything you need to know.

read more

Strike threat to Egypt
Pay row is the first big test for the new military government
US Chamber's Lobbyists Have Firm Investigate Opponents' Families, Children
New emails reveal that the private spy company investigated the families and children of the Chamber's political opponents.
New euro fund to be 500bn euros
Eurozone leaders agree to set up a bail-out fund for the euro of 500bn euros - almost double the current amount provided.
Assange Urged Delay of Cables to Protect Manning Author: Kim Zetter
Julian Assange opposed immediate publication of U.S. State Department cables out of fear that it would help confirm that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning had illegally passed the classified material to WikiLeaks, according to a new book written by journalists at the Guardian.
Darpa Gets Big Bucks for 'Cyber Tech' (Whatever That Means) Author: Spencer Ackerman
The just-released Pentagon budget gives Darpa half-a-billion in new cash "to invest in cyber technologies." With no elaboration. They're just throwing money around.
Drinking habits | A map of world alcohol consumption
THE world drank the equivalent of 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2005, according to a report from the World Health Organisation published on February 11th. The biggest boozers are found in Europe and in the former Soviet states. Moldovans are the most bibulous, getting through 18.2 litres each, nearly 2 litres more than the Czechs in second place. Over 10 litres of a Moldovan's annual intake is reckoned to be 'unrecorded' home-brewed liquor, making it particularly harmful to health. Such moonshine accounts for almost 30% of the world's drinking. The WHO estimates that alcohol results in 2.5m deaths a year, more than AIDS or tuberculosis. In Russia and its former satellite states one in five male deaths is caused by drink.

Dennis Kucinich - Millions of Americans are out of work, losing their homes, their savings, their pensions, their retirement security. We are losing our Nation to Lies about the Necessity of Wars. Bring our Troops home. End the war. Secure our economy. [link]

Feds Seize 18 More Domains in Piracy Crackdown Author: David Kravets
The U.S. government seized 18 more internet domains Monday, bringing to at least 119 the number of seizures following the June commencement of the so-called "Operation in Our Sites" anti-piracy program.
Spy Games: Inside the Convoluted Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks Author: Nate Anderson, Ars Technica
When Aaron Barr, of HBGary Federal, was finalizing a recent computer security presentation for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, a colleague had a bit of good-natured advice for him: "Scare the sh*t out of them!" In retrospect, this may not have been the advice Barr needed.
House Extends Key Patriot Act Provisions Author: David Kravets
The House voted Monday to extend to December three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act spy legislation.