Tuesday, 22. May 2012

French ban of Monsanto GM maize rejected by EU

The EU's food safety body ruled there is 'no specific scientific evidence' that the insect-resistant strain is harmful to health or the environment

France's attempt to ban the planting of a Monsanto strain of genetically modified maize was rejected by the EU's food safety body on Monday.

In response to scientific evidence submitted by France backing its bid to ban the GM maize, the European Food Safety Authority ruled that "there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment" to support a ban.

In 2008, France banned the the strain MON 810 following public protests against the GM maize, but this was overturned by a French court in 2011. However, in March the French government reinstated the ban, with the then agricultural minister Bruno Le Maire saying the move was "to protect the environment".


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Gingrich's private ventures are going bankrupt

When he entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination in May 2011, Newt Gingrich was the prosperous head of a small empire commonly known as Newt Inc, which included both for-profit consultancies and nonprofit foundations. Altogether, these entwined ventures pulled in more than $110 million over the past decade. Now the vestiges of this empire are mired in debt, as is Gingrich's campaign fund. A bankruptcy proceeding under way in Atlanta will determine whether the one company still owned by Callista Gingrich, Gingrich Productions, will lose an expected payout that now constitutes the bulk of the Gingriches' net worth.


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Greeks embrace some new myths about life with the euro

In a land of ancient myths, modern Greeks have created some of their own about their near-bankrupt country's future as an integral part of a Europe that will never kick them out.

Solemn warnings from abroad that Athens cannot stay in the euro while rejecting the terms attached to the billions offered to pull Greece out of its financial hole are widely disbelieved in a land that considers itself the envy of foreigners.

However bad their prospects, many Greeks seem to think that since money to bail them out was found in the past, it will be found again, whatever politicians say.


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Showtime: SIGGRAPH 2012: Technical Papers Preview Trailers

*Wait a minute — since when have technical conferences been doing “preview trailers” of unreleased “papers”?

*I wonder if any of these forthcoming SIGGRAPH papers involve any actual “paper” at all. “Yeah, here’s my lab’s brand-new work on interactive facial-recognition in calibrated three-D projectors — clips, illustrations? Why no, I just described everything we do in my lucid English prose.”


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Burn Note

lets you send messages that are deleted after they are read.

You can use Burn Note to send a password or have an off-the-record conversation with a friend.

Burn Note enables you to communicate online as privately as a spoken conversation.

Each Burn Note can be viewed only once and then it is deleted. Deleted Burn Notes are completely erased from the Burn Note servers so it impossible for anyone to retrieve them. More details are available on our FAQ and our technical information page.

Burn Note is useful for private communication. For example Burn Note can be used to securely send a password. It can also be used to have an off-the-record conversation with a friend.

Burn Note


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Facebooks Fiasko

Der "Facebook-Fluch" setzt sich fort: Nach der elektronischen Panne zum Börsenstart stürzte die neue Aktie des sozialen Netzwerks am zweiten Tag dramatisch ab. Kritiker bemängeln, der Handelsplatz Wall Street sei außer Kontrolle geraten.

Die Wall Street hat ein neues Ratespiel: Wie tief kann die Facebook-Aktie trudeln? Viele tippen auf 30 Dollar, andere auf 20 Dollar. Pessimisten wetten sogar hämisch auf "sechs bis sieben Dollar", ein Siebtel des kurzzeitigen Höchstpreises - ein Wert, den sie anhand der Bewertung anderer Silicon-Valley-Riesen wie Apple und Google herleiten.


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Facebook shares sink 11 percent as reality overtakes hype

Facebook shares sank 11 percent in the first day of trading without the full support of the company's underwriters, leaving some investors down almost 25 percent from where they were Friday and driving others to switch back to more established stocks.

reuters.com Morgan Stanley cut Facebook estimates just before IPO

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Techdirt Threatened With Defamation Suit Over Story On Feds Getting Royalty In Movie From Mexican Drug Cartel Money Launderer

We recently wrote about a very strange case, in which the US government apparently ended up with a 10% royalty in a soon to be produced Hollywood movie that is being billed as the "prequel" to Passion of the Christ -- the famous Mel Gibson movie that made over $600 million. The details were convoluted, but apparently our reporting on the subject upset someone, as we were sent an email, claiming that our post was defamatory and could cause damages in "the hundreds of millions of dollars," threatening that legal action would be taken if we did not change the post immediately.


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DEA Wants To Install License Plate Scanners and Retain Data for Two Years

Everyone driving on Interstate 15 in southwest Utah may soon have their license plate scanned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA and two sheriffs are asking permission to install stationary license plate scanners on the freeway in Beaver and Washington counties. The primary purpose would be to catch or build cases against drug traffickers, but at a Utah Legislature committee meeting Wednesday, the sheriffs and a DEA representative described how the scanners also could be used to catch kidnappers and violent criminals. That, however, wasn't the concern of skeptical legislators on the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. They were worried about the DEA storing the data for two years and who would be able to access it.

sltrib.com aclu.org

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Penn Jillette Discusses Obama’s Hypocrisy on Drugs

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Ring of Fire Eclipse: 2012 49 photos total

A rare annular eclipse - a ring of sunlight as the new moon, passing between Earth and sun, blocks most, but not all, of the sun's disc. It is striking to see. Differing from a total solar eclipse, the moon in an annular eclipse appears too small to cover the sun completely, leaving a ring of fire effect around the moon. The eclipse cast its shallow path crossing the West from west Texas to Oregon then arcing across the northern Pacific Ocean to Tokyo, Japan.


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