Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2006

Bush Administration Faulted for FEMA Aid Shortfalls

In denouncing the way the Bush administration has denied aid to tens of thousands of victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a federal judge in Washington last week pulled back the curtain on a deeper mystery 15 months after the nation's costliest natural disaster: What has happened to 2.6 million households that applied for disaster assistance but have been largely shed from the rolls?

Einspruchsfrist für die erste Zulassung einer Gentech-Kartoffel läuft

Weiter Uneinigkeit über Kontrolle des Internet

Der Internet Governance-Boxkampf geht weiter, nachdem die ITU-Generalversammlung wieder die besondere Rolle der Regierungen herausgestellt hat.

Afghanistan ist trotz der Anwesenheit der NATO-Truppen weltweiter Marktführer der Heroinproduktion

Afghanistan und das Heroinmonopol

Schützen Antiterrordateien und andere Listen wirklich vor Anschlägen?

In Deutschland passierte die Antiterrordatei den Bundestag, in den USA wurde dem seit über zwei Jahren praktizierten US-Visit-System angeblich
(nur) ein Terrorverdächtiger erkannt.

Exposure to toxic chemicals is unavoidable


Bryan Bradford walks briskly along the rows of food at the Healthy Approach Market he manages, past the aisles with nutritional supplements and "gluten-free" foods.

Shoppers say hello to Bradford, 35, a soft-spoken, affable man who shyly waves in response. A licensed nutritionist, he has counseled many of them on how to improve their lives through better diet. They come to his Colleyville store to buy herbal stimulants, vitamin supplements and organic foods.

There's little doubt in Bradford's mind that Healthy Approach's products help.

There's also little doubt in his mind that they are a prime reason that in a Star-Telegram project that tested the blood of 12 Tarrant County residents, Bradford's had some of the lowest concentrations of toxic chemicals. The project is designed to illustrate the chemical burdens that we all carry.

"I think I just have more of an awareness that these chemicals exist out there and that we're bombarded by them in our society every day," Bradford said.

Still, the Star-Telegram study found 36 chemicals in his blood.

Other study participants, such as corporate manager Bob Koehn and retired Fort Worth nurse Charlotte Landon, are also trying to reduce their exposure.

But they had a lot more chemicals in their blood than Bradford did, some of them in much higher concentrations.

That raises fundamental questions: Is there anything you can do to avoid exposure? Or is there little you can do to keep such chemicals from building up in your body as long as they are in widespread use?

Most health experts say the way to keep the chemicals from building up is to avoid exposure as much as is practical.

One simple step is to avoid fatty meats and fish, as well as dairy products, where chemicals like dioxins and PCBs can accumulate.

Also, you can look for products from some companies that have stopped using brominated flame retardants in their furniture and other items.

But once a chemical is in your system, "you can't remove it," said Dr. Lynn Goldman, a pediatrician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

You just have to wait for your body to excrete it, said Dr. Arnold Schecter with the University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas.

"There's no pill you can take," he said.

Koehn, of Arlington, doesn't believe that. The Star-Telegram analysis found 42 toxic chemicals in his body.

He has as many ideas about how to get rid of them as he does theories about how they got there to begin with.

Koehn, 64, hopes that nutritional herbs and vitamin supplements can help.

"You're basically finding things to harmonize with the basic body cycles and functions," he said, "to make those more efficient than what they're normally designed to do."

Landon, 59, has focused her efforts on avoiding exposure to the chemicals.

But she said she'll also explore the effectiveness of detox remedies. The analysis found 47 chemicals in her blood.

"It makes you want to do a little better job of taking care of yourself," she said.

Bradford said he was not surprised to learn that all 12 participants in the Star-Telegram study had numerous toxic chemicals in their bodies.

When he counsels someone on nutritional matters, he has that person's hair follicles chemically analyzed to obtain a profile that shows levels of protein, magnesium, arsenic and mercury.

"We have got to get to a point of either bettering our bodies or figuring out how to decrease the chemicals in our society," he said.

"Even if it's something that's there at 1 part per trillion, something extremely small, that's still something that's not supposed to be in the body normally. You have to look at it from that point," he said. "It's just another factor that the body has to deal with. It's one more burden on the body, and we already have enough burdens on the body."

What you can do

Medical researchers say there's little you can do to speed man-made chemicals out of your system. But you can:

Limit the amount of animal fats you eat. Toxic substances like dioxins build up in animal fats and can accumulate in your fatty tissues for decades. Opt for low-fat meats and dairy foods, such as skim milk, and frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Trim the fat off steaks, and broil and drip away fats while cooking.

Don't buy products that contain brominated flame retardants. A number of high-profile companies have moved away from using such chemicals. Clean Production Action, a nonprofit group, has compiled a list of companies that have stopped using or committed to phase out such chemicals. Visit the group's Web site,

Limit the amount of fast food and microwave food you eat. Nonstick chemicals that are showing up in most people's bodies are commonly used to keep food from sticking to fast-food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.

Dust your home and office. Dust is a main route of exposure to chemical flame retardants.

Informant: binstock

Defense Nominee's Business Ties Raise Concerns

As Robert Gates awaits Senate confirmation as President Bush's secretary of defense, ethics watchdogs worry about the revolving door between government and private business that allowed Gates to align himself with defense contractors, investment houses and a global drilling company involved with Vice President Dick Cheney 's former employer, Halliburton Co.

20 gute Gründe, sich nicht gegen Grippe impfen zu lassen

Save the Sequoias: Bring Real Protection to the Giant Sequoia National Monument

There is a new Congress, but bad ideas never die. This summer a House of Representatives subcommittee took up legislation to allow clear- cutting in Giant Sequoia National Monument. Now backers of this bill are going to try to push it through before Congress' holiday recess.

Save the Sequoias>>

On April 15, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a proclamation creating the 328,000-acre Giant Sequoia National Monument. More than half of all the giant sequoia groves in the world are in this monument, with most of the remainder found in the adjacent Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

Passage of The Giant Sequoia National Monument Transition Act of 2006
(HR 5760) would allow the forest service to proceed with commercial logging projects, ignoring the federal court ruling against such projects, a ruling based on potential harm to the landscape and the rare wildlife that depends on it.

Logging these majestic trees will not only destroy an international treasure, it will ravage the homes of hundreds of animal species. Most devastated will be the Pacific Fisher, a small mammal specifically designated for protection within the Monument.

When walking among these giants -- sequoias are the largest living things on Earth -- the importance of their protection becomes clear, and the idea of logging seems, at best, undignified.

Tell Congress to leave the gift of Giant Sequoia National Monument alone>>

With appreciation,

Michael Lawley,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite team

Informant: Scott Munson


Bring Real Protection to the Giant Sequoia National Monument

Soldier Say No!

Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Artic-Wolf-Rug-Skin... Tell Ebay NO!

US Prison Population Sets Record

A record 7 million people - one in every 32 US adults - were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, a Justice Department report released yesterday shows. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year.

Think Globally, Protect the Vote Locally

Paul Rogat Loeb writes: "Just as local cities have adopted environmental and wage laws that exceed federal standards, maybe it's time for local initiatives protecting the sanctity of the vote. We've been seeing electoral abuses and manipulations since the Bush administration took power. So we need to ensure the Democrats make national electoral protection a priority. But we can also act on a local level."

Officials Expect No Big Changes, No Matter What Panel Advises

With the Iraq Study Group report due on Wednesday, the Bush administration has notified allies that it will not budge on certain aspects of Iraq policy, whatever recommendations are put forth by the independent panel of 10 prominent Republicans and Democrats.

Boeing: Accused of Running Torture Travel Agency

Since 2003, human-rights investigators and news media reports have described a Boeing Business Jet as one of the most-dreaded planes in the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine air force. The modified 737 - a model rolled out in Renton in 2001 - was built for executive fun and comfort. But it is alleged to be the flagship of the CIA's "extreme rendition" squadron, ferrying suspected terrorists to secret agency prisons or countries where the US is said to outsource torture.

Gov't Oversight Chief Wants to Limit Internal Fraud Probes

The new chief of the US General Services Administration is trying to limit the ability of the agency's inspector general to audit contracts for fraud or waste and has said oversight efforts are intimidating the workforce, according to government documents and interviews.

Mast plan near railway station

A mobile phone mast could be installed at Shifnal’s railway station, despite objections from councillors. The application has been made by Telecommunications company O2.

It has applied to Bridgnorth District Council for permission to put the 10-metre high mast next to the station car park, off Aston Street.

Planners at the council are recommending the scheme for approval, although both Shifnal Town Council and the Shifnal Society have raised concerns.

Councillors have officially objected to the project, saying it would look out of character and would have a negative effect on new residential development in the area.

The Shifnal Society has also objected, saying the mast could be harmful to the health of nearby residents.

Members also questioned whether O2 had considered using other sites elsewhere in and around the town.

But in a report to councillors, planning officer Mike Clough said there were no real reasons for refusing planning permission - even though the site was in a conservation area.

He said: “Despite the protection normally afforded to conservation areas, telecommunications development is not prohibited in principle.

“The Shifnal Society has raised health issues in its representations.

“When such matters have been considered at appeal, such concerns have generally been given limited weight unless there is some supporting evidence.

“No such evidence has been submitted or is apparent in this case.”

The agents working on behalf of O2 said they had investigated alternative sites around Shifnal but the railway station was the best site for the job.

Energy Watch Group warnt vor schwindende Uranreserven

Lücke zwischen Uranproduktion und Verbrauch klafft immer stärker / Uranproduktion wird Bedarf des weltweiten jetzigen Atomkraftwerkparks nur noch wenige Jahrzehnte decken können.

Wie steht es um den Krieg der Zivilisationen?

Gespräch mit dem somalischen Muslim Abdulkarim Ahmed Guleid - von Rupert Neudeck. „Der Feind ist doch nicht der Islam, der Feind ist der Krieg selbst, der so furchtbar viel Leid über die Menschen bringt. Der Feind ist der Terror selbst, der Akt des Terrors. Und diese Terrorakte haben doch nichts zu tun mit der Religion. Alle gläubigen Muslime und alle gläubigen Christen verurteilen und verdammen diese Akte des Terrors und jede Form von Terror, die gegenüber Menschen ausgeübt wird."

Wenn der Golfstrom das Drehbuch schreibt

Klimawandel und Globalisierung schaffen es ins Mainstreamkino und bewirken ein Umdenken. Zum zweiten Mal innerhalb kurzer Zeit macht ein Film zum Thema Klimawandel international Schlagzeilen: „An Inconvenient Truth“. Auch Filme über andere unbequeme Wahrheiten der Globalisierung haben Konjunktur und locken Millionen ins Kino.

Globale Erwärmung verstärkt Monsune

2006 gab es im Sommer die heftigsten Monsune der letzten 100 Jahre. Ausnahme oder Vorboten zunehmender Naturkatastrophen?

Blauer Brief für Umweltminister Gabriel

Da haben sich viele Deutsche Zeitungsleser gewundert: die EU hat Deutschland vorgeworfen, seine Klimaschutzziele nicht zu erfüllen.

Energie sparen: Potenzial bleibt ungenutzt

Die wahren Stromfresser werden in vielen Haushalten nicht erkannt.

Kommunen können viel Energie und Geld sparen

Die Energieversorgung in kommunalen Liegenschaften verursacht jedes Jahr Energiekosten von weit über zwei Milliarden Euro –Tendenz steigend.

Österreichs Alpen warten auf Schnee-Klimaschutz wichtiger denn je

Falsche Startsignale: Während Österreichs Hotellerie, Sportgeschäften und Schiliftbetreibern die weiße Winterpracht schmerzlich fehlt, wird als Lösung meist nur Symptombekämpfung angeboten: noch mehr Schneekanonen, noch mehr Skigebiete auf den schrumpfenden Gletschern, neue Technologien.


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Dezember 2006


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