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  Taiwan Formally Scraps Reunification BodyFebruary 27, 2006 00:00 President Chen Shui-bian signed documents which formally scrapped the council charged with formulating policy on unification with China, despite strong protests from Beijing.

'The National Unification Council will cease to function and the budget will no longer be appropriated,' said the documents, according to a statement from Chen's office.

The council and accompanying guidelines on unification, which were also scrapped, were largely symbolic but the decision to dispense with them is seen by China as another step towards formal independence for Taiwan.

  Iraq on Brink of Civil War: Samarra Bombs Outrage Mideast PressFebruary 23, 2006 20:07 Sectarian violence has killed dozens, destroyed a holy shrine, and caused the Iraqi government a coalition crisis all in the course of a week. Despite the US' best attempts, the country seems to be slipping toward a bloody and destructive civil war.
  Are Drugs a Problem on the reservation or in a poverty stricken area?February 19, 2006 16:11 This article discusses the issue of illegal drug trafficking on Indian reservations. The article mentions John V. Oakes, one of many fast-rising Native American drug traffickers across the country, who saw himself as "untouchable," as one senior investigator put it, protected by armed enforcers and a code of silence that ruled the reservation. The same arrogance exists amongst the drug traffickers in the poverty stricken areas of our inner city. The abundance if drugs in the inner cities along with number of self made distribution networks operates as efficient as those mentioned in this article. Having grown up in a blue collar industrial town I witnessed the proliferation of these drugs into blue collar America firs hand. A recent print article had mentioned a tie between Mexican drug cartels and Indian reservations as alarming trend in the evolution of the cartels tactics to leverage the oppressive nature of poverty to bring drugs and distribute them across the U.S.
  'Scientifically Taken' Whale Meat Used As Dog Food in JapanFebruary 13, 2006 21:30 Whale meat caught under Japan s research program is so abundant that it is being sold as pet food.


According to the UK s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), thousands of pounds of whale meat is being stored as more animals are killed each year. The Japanese government has attempted to sell the whale meat to schools but the price has continued to drop.

  Forecast Is: It's The Warmest For 1200 YearsFebruary 10, 2006 00:00 The whole Northern Hemisphere is experiencing a sustained period of warming that is unprecedented in the past millennium.

A study of temperature records - from tree rings, ice cores and old documents - has found that at no time since the 9th century have temperatures been so consistently high.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that the late 20th century has been the warmest period for the Northern Hemisphere since the records began in AD800.


 
  Beat It, Pluto: Xena May Be Newest PlanetFebruary 02, 2006 16:43 A ball of ice and dust found last year in the outskirts of the solar system is 30 percent wider than Pluto, a team of German astronomers is reporting today.


The finding definitively makes the icy ball -- temporarily labeled 2003 UB313 and nicknamed Xena -- the largest known object to be discovered orbiting Earth's sun since Neptune was identified in 1846 and adds to the debate over what should be considered a planet.
The diameter of Xena, the astronomers found, is 1,860 miles, give or take 250 miles. Like Pluto, which has a diameter of 1,400 miles, Xena is a member of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy debris that orbits beyond Neptune.