Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spot 'o news for yer Saturday

Blogger has once again been quirky this morning. Thus, the lack of posts. Someone at Blogger Central apparently just recently broke out the can of WD-40, and we're now slow but on our way for the time-being, squeaky bicycle and all.

Three bits of news:

1. If you've been watching the US news or listening solely Mr. Danger you'd think there's one big balloon party going on in Iraq. Here's the news from the UK (via Patrick Cockburn, as always), however:
Battle for Baghdad 'has already started'

The battle between Sunni and Shia Muslims for control of Baghdad has already started, say Iraqi political leaders who predict fierce street fighting will break out as each community takes over districts in which it is strongest.

"The fighting will only stop when a new balance of power has emerged," Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish leader, said. "Sunni and Shia will each take control of their own area." He said sectarian cleansing had already begun.

2. This isn't really news - since it has been known for some time - but it gets the main headline of the day at The Independent.
The pollution gap: Report reveals how the world's poorer countries are forced to pay for the CO2 emissions of the developed nations

Over 70 million Africans and an even greater number of farmers in the Indian sub-continent will suffer catastrophic floods, disease and famine if the rich countries of the world fail to change their habits and radically cut their carbon emissions.

The stark warning, contained in a private Government document commissioned by Gordon Brown, comes days ahead of an announcement that will show Tony Blair backing away from his promise to "lead internationally" on climate change. The Government has decided to delay setting targets for industry to cut carbon emissions until other EU governments set theirs. Previously, Mr Blair has made a virtue out of leading the way in Europe...

The report emphasises that - despite the recent focus on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina - 94 per cent of all natural disasters, and 97 per cent of deaths from natural disasters, occur in the developing countries.

3. This article, also from The Independent, suggests what we've also known for a long time:
Whiny child will be an adult Tory, says study

Depending on your political predilections, you have double reason to be worried if you find your school-age child tends to be the whiny, sit-at-the-back-of-the-class kind. You had better get the child's confidence level up a notch or you may have a future conservative in your nest.

A study by Professor Jack Block of the University of California at Berkeley should be sufficient warning. He has been specialising in this area for years and his conclusions are clear: the boys and girls who are resilient, smooth and sure of themselves end up liberal in their older years.

4. Buck Owens has died. It's a shame if you know his music and antics only through "Hee-Haw." His early music is great. Sardonic, witty, rough, and sometimes a tad nasty.

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