World Events

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  S.Korea Slaughters Dogs And PigsNovember 29, 2006 11:15 It looks like dogs are an endangered species in Asia after the recent slaughter in China... and now this...

Unaware of his fate, a two-year-old dachshund barked while chained to his dingy, wooden house, as South Korea slaughtered hundreds of dogs and pigs in efforts to stem the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The dog's owner, Im Soon-duck -- like many villagers -- was more concerned about losing her three pigs than the dog, which was a present from her daughter in Seoul.

"Dogs are good for keeping us not bored. But pigs -- it costs us a lot to buy those pigs," said the 66-year-old Im, who lives next to the chicken farm where a second outbreak of bird flu was confirmed Tuesday, near the site of an earlier outbreak last week in Iksan, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Seoul.

"We, people in rural areas, depend on pigs and cows for our living," Im said.

The government is to compensate farmers for their lost livestock, but the exact amounts weren't yet known.

Quarantine officials on Tuesday began slaughtering pigs and dogs although international health experts have questioned the necessity of killing non-poultry species to curtail bird flu's spread.
  Space Station Cosmonaut Launches Golf Ball Into OrbitNovember 22, 2006 22:19 Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin was late for his tee time in space Wednesday, but still managed to launch a super-lightweight golf ball into orbit — even if he shanked his shot.

Tyurin hit the golf ball 77 minutes behind schedule after delays to fix an overheating spacesuit and a stuck exterior hatch.

Using a gold-plated six-iorn and an American astronaut in the role of caddy-and-safety-holder, Tyurin hit the drive from a spring-like tee outside the international space station, 220 miles over the northwest Pacific Ocean. The shot, which veered a little to the right, kicked off a planned six-hour spacewalk.

 
  World has Under a Decade to Act on Climate ChangeNovember 21, 2006 11:23 The world has less than a decade to take decisive action in the battle to beat global warming or risk irreversible change that will tip the planet towards catastrophe, a leading U.S. climate scientist said on Tuesday.

And the United States, the world' biggest polluter but major climate laggard, has a vital role to play in leading that fight, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters on a visit to London.

"The biggest problem is that the United States is not taking an active leadership role -- quite the reverse," he said.

"We have to be on a fundamentally different path within a decade," said the man who earlier this year caused an outcry when he revealed that scientific warnings on the climate crisis were being rewritten by White House officials.

He said reliance on -- and growing use of -- fossil fuels like coal both in the United States and in boom economy China had to be stopped and reversed to avoid the planet's climate tipping into catastrophe with floods, droughts and famines.

 
  O.J.'S Latest: 'If I Did It, Here'S How It Happened'November 15, 2006 09:08 This article only rates a mention here because I can't believe how colossally stupid OJ is! Well... he's about as stupid as the jury that didn't believe DNA evidence and as the detective and prosecutor who opened the door to allow OJ to walk out.

In a new TV interview and book, O.J. Simpson discusses how he would have committed the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend "if I did it."

The two-part television interview, titled "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," will air November 27 and November 29 on Fox, the TV network said Tuesday.

"O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes," the network said in a statement. "In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade."

"This is an interview that no one thought would ever happen. It's the definitive last chapter in the Trial of the Century," Mike Darnell, executive vice president of alternative programming for Fox, said in a statement.

The interview, conducted with book publisher Judith Regan, will air days before Simpson's new book, "If I Did It," goes on sale November 30. The book "hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed," the network said.
  Iraq Stunned By Kidnap Of 150 PeopleNovember 14, 2006 11:47 Scores of gunmen in police uniforms abducted up to 150 Sunni Muslim men from the offices of the Higher Education Ministry in central Baghdad this morning in the largest mass kidnapping of the conflict in Iraq.



A convoy of around 40 new camouflaged pick-up vehicles was seen surrounding one of the ministry's research buildings in Karradah, a religiously-mixed neighbourhood, at around 9:30am local time.

Around 80 gunmen dressed as police commandos were then seen lining up a crowd of men in the car park of the Sunni-led ministry, handcuffing them and leading them away. A civil servant who happened to be in the bank at the time of the raid watched as the gunmen searched the victims' identity cards, sorting Sunnis from Shias.

"They were checking identity cards in the car park. They picked only the Sunni employees. They even took the man who was just delivering tea," the witnesss, a Sunni himself, told Reuters. "They gathered them all in the pick-ups. At the same time, I saw two police patrols watching, doing nothing."
  Sandinista Leader Wins In NicaraguaNovember 07, 2006 19:33 Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist revolutionary who fought off a US-backed insurgency in the 1980s, has won Nicaragua's presidential election, according to results released today.

With 91 per cent of the vote counted, Ortega had 38 per cent of the vote compared to 29 per cent for Harvard-educated Eduardo Montealegre.

Under Nicaraguan law, the winner must get 35 per cent and have a five-percentage point lead to win the election outright and avoid a runoff.

 
  Hussein Sentenced To Death For Shiite SlaughterNovember 06, 2006 09:44 Reaction to the verdict on Saddam Hussein was split along religious lines, while Iraq's government and President Bush said the verdict would be a key milestone for the country.

But purported loyalists to Hussein, who was convicted of crimes against humanity and murder, vowed revenge, and the nation braced itself for a potential new wave of violence.

Coming just two days before the American midterm elections, the Iraqi court's sentence of a hanging death gave President Bush the first opportunity in weeks to speak of a success in Iraq.

''Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law,'' he said in Waco, Texas, before launching his final preelection campaign trip. ``It's a major achievement for Iraq's young democracy and its constitutional government.''

 
  Iceland May Review Commercial Whaling If Unable To Export MeatNovember 02, 2006 11:44 Iceland may reconsider its decision to resume commercial whaling if the whale meat cannot be exported, an official said Thursday.

Whaling commissioner Stefan Asmundsson said in a telephone interview that whaling was a commercial activity, comparing it to the car industry. 'When you don't have buyers for your cars, you halt production,' he said.

The decision to resume commercial whaling, announced mid-October, has sparked protests from conservationists and several governments.

A protest signed by two-dozen nations was handed over to Reykjavik Wednesday. Crictics fear that the Icelandic move threatens a two- decade long moratorium on whale hunting.
  Conservation Hotspots May Not Help Save Endangered SpeciesNovember 02, 2006 11:30 Up till now certain areas of the earth have been allotted conservation status depending upon where environmentalists felt conservation would be best served. It has now been found that conservation hotspots may ultimately not be able to help save 11% of endangered birds, 24% of endangered mammals and 33% of endangered amphibians.

Now they feel that these protected areas may not be all encompassing for less noticeable and lesser known, but equally endangered species that live outside their purview.

In 1988 British ecologist Norman Myers recognized certain parts of the earth as 'biodiversity hotspots', areas in which there were large numbers of animal species but in which humans had threatened their existence.

Almost a decade later Conservation International allotted 25 areas conservation status as environmentalists felt they were ideal for animal conservation. Three of them were Central Africa's Congo basin, the Mediterranean and the Amazon.