City dwellers – except Americans – cite climate as #1 concern


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Residents of major world cities cite climate change as the most pressing global issue, except residents of large U.S. cities who list the economy as the bigger problem, according to a survey by HSBC Bank.

Climate change topped the list of concerns by some two-thirds of Hong Kong residents polled as well as majorities of residents of London, Paris, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney, according to the poll of 2,044 urban residents around the world.

Residents of U.S. cities, however, ranked the economy as the biggest global issue, closely followed by terrorism with climate change ranking third…

“When you look at what the impact of the recent global downturn has been, U.S. individuals had a larger percent of their portfolio or a larger percentage of their wealth negatively affected,” said Andy Ireland, head of premier banking for HSBC Bank NA. “I think there may be a correlation between the two.”

Think so, eh?

U.S. respondents were hardest hit by the economic downturn with 56 percent reporting a decrease in their portfolio value.

Fifty five percent of Paris residents said their portfolios dropped in value and 45 percent of Londoners reported a decrease. However, just 19 percent of Hong Kong respondents said their portfolios lost value.

I wonder if they took into account the idea that Americans think we are the only victims in the world?

Nuclear submarines sent to sea as potential floating bombs


HMS Turbulent docked in Plymouth

Two British nuclear submarines went to sea with a potentially disastrous safety problem that left both vessels at risk of a catastrophic accident, the Guardian can reveal.

Safety valves designed to release pressure from steam generators in an emergency were completely sealed off when the nuclear hunter killers Turbulent and Tireless left port, a leaked memo discloses.

The problem went undetected on HMS Turbulent for more than two years, during which time the vessel was on operations around the Atlantic, and visited Bergen in Norway, the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and Faslane naval base near Glasgow.

It was not noticed on HMS Tireless for more than a year, and was finally detected last month, two months after Tireless started sea trials from its home port at Devonport naval base in Plymouth…

The Ministry of Defence memo, which was written last week, admits that both cases involving the sealed-off valves were “a serious incident” that raised major questions about “weak and ambiguous” safety procedures at Devonport dockyard and within the Royal Navy…

John Large, a consultant on nuclear safety who advises governments on submarine safety, said: “It was a very significant failure. These two submarines were unfit for service. It was a perilous situation.”

The excuse offered – and accepted – is that safety procedures are very complex. Seems to be a perfectly good reason for all the more care and oversight.

Group to revoke certification of doctors helping executions

A national physicians organization has quietly decided to revoke the certification of any member who participates in executing a prisoner by lethal injection.

The mandate from the American Board of Anesthesiologists reflects its leaders’ belief that “we are healers, not executioners,” board secretary Mark A. Rockoff said. Although the American Medical Association has long opposed doctor involvement, the anesthesiologists’ group is the first to say it will harshly penalize a health-care worker for abetting lethal injections. The loss of certification would prevent an anesthesiologist from working in most hospitals.

About half of the 35 states performing executions, including Virginia and North Carolina, require a doctor to be present. Other states have also recruited doctors, including anesthesiologists, to play a role in executions involving lethal injections. In some jurisdictions, anesthesiologists consult prison officials on dosages. In others, they insert catheters and infuse the three-drug cocktails…

Under the policy, which the group’s 40,000 members learned about in February, any of these activities could lead to a loss of certification. Anesthesiologists can get state medical licenses without certification, but most hospitals require it…

“It sure will deter me. For the ABA to threaten to pull your board certification is a big deal,” said one anesthesiologist who has consulted for prison officials in his state about drug dosages.

Wow. You sort of don’t expect professional organizations in the United States to take a stand on any issue more controversial than serving vegetarian meals on airplanes.

Car bomb handled as attempted terrorist attack

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the car bomb found in New York City’s Times Square was being handled as a “potential terrorist attack.”

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Napolitano said it was too early to know who was responsible for leaving a vehicle laden with explosives in the symbolic heart of the nation’s most populous city.

We’re taking this very seriously,” Napolitano said, noting that the New York police, FBI and federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were involved in the investigation. “We’re treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack.”

A T-shirt vendor who noticed smoke coming out of a tinted, dark green sport utility vehicle alerted police to the situation Saturday evening…

Officials said authorities are going through video from dozens of surveillance cameras in Times Square to determine who left the Nissan Pathfinder with its engine running and hazard lights flashing on a street shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday…

Inside the vehicle, police found three propane tanks, two filled five-gallon gas containers, two clocks with batteries, consumer-grade fireworks and a locked metal box that resembled a gun locker.

I wonder if journalists ever read other news sources?

I haven’t seen mention anywhere online about one fact in common to two events: this car bomb was parked about 10 feet from a Bank of America branch – and this weekend saw vandalism attacks on several Bank of America branches in Albuquerque.

Could be nutball undergrad dipshits who play the same games in their mommy’s basements.

McNeil recalls kids’ cold remedies

tylenol-for-kids

McNeil Consumer Healthcare has announced a recall of several popular over-the-counter remedies formulated for children and infants.

They include Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and Zyrtec, the company said. The recall applies only to liquid formulations designed for babies and children.

Uh, that’s scary enough.

McNeil said the voluntary recall is being done in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of quality problems at a plant in the Dominican Republic. Some of the products may have too much of their active ingredients, some may have inactive ingredients that do not meet standards and some may contain tiny particles…

Consumers who have bought them are advised to stop using them.

No kidding!

Consumers with questions should call 1-888-222-6036 or visit the Web site www.mcneilproductrecall.com.

As northern ice patches melt ancient artifacts revealed


Caribou on a shrinking ice patch

High in the Mackenzie Mountains, scientists are finding a treasure trove of ancient hunting tools being revealed as warming temperatures melt patches of ice that have been in place for thousands of years.

Tom Andrews, an archaeologist with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife and lead researcher on the International Polar Year Ice Patch Study, is amazed at the implements being discovered by researchers.

“We’re just like children opening Christmas presents. I kind of pinch myself,” says Andrews…

The results have been extraordinary. Andrews and his team have found 2400-year-old spear throwing tools, a 1000-year-old ground squirrel snare, and bows and arrows dating back 850 years. Biologists involved in the project are examining dung for plant remains, insect parts, pollen and caribou parasites. Others are studying DNA evidence to track the lineage and migration patterns of caribou. Andrews also works closely with the Shutaot’ine or Mountain Dene, drawing on their guiding experience and traditional knowledge.

“The implements are truly amazing. There are wooden arrows and dart shafts so fine you can’t believe someone sat down with a stone and made them…”

“We realize that the ice patches are continuing to melt and we have an ethical obligation to collect these artifacts as they are exposed,” says Andrews. If left on the ground, exposed artifacts would be trampled by caribou or dissolved by the acidic soils. “In a year or two the artifacts would be gone.”

A study worth staying in touch with. Certainly exciting to those fortunate enough to be working against time to record and analyze what they find.