World Bank to help Chinese resettle Tibet

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All you “Save Tibet” bumper sticker folks, turn down that Dead tape and listen up.

The World Bank has approved a $40 million loan to help the Chinese government resettle almost 60,000 people from Western China onto the Tibetan Plateau. The decision was made despite objections from the US.

Opponents of the loan, including the INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR TIBET, believe it is essentially subsidizes China’s effort to colonize and establish the legitimacy of its rule over the province. The Chinese claim this is just a small part of a nationwide effort to alleviate poverty.

The World Bank has agreed to delay implementation of the project until a full assessment of its potential impact is completed.


U.N. unamused by subway ad

July 8

According to the AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, some commuters in New York City recently noticed a punny new advertisement on their subway fare cards which reads, “Got time for a Kofi break? Delegate a few minutes for news at your desk.” The ad promotes, the website for the network news giant, and refers to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan of Ghana.

According to a U.N. spokesman, the network did not seek authorization to use the name. The U.N.’s legal office is now investigating the matter, he said. Annan, on the other hand, has reportedly repeated the joke enthusiastically in recent days.…


Toxic mutant rats on rampage

July 7

It sounds like a kiddie cartoon on UPN, but it these little supervillains are real. Toxic mutant rats are killing their erstwhile predators in ever increasing numbers, according to NEW SCIENTIST magazine. Yes, it’s all because of human intervention with pesticides.

A crew of researchers from the Institute for Terrestrial Ecology in England discovered that barn owls were dying in droves, apparently poisoned by their prey. Specifically, rats and mice have been steadily growing immune to certain varieties of rodenticides designed to kill them, and live long enough to transfer the toxins to their predators when they’re eaten.

These pesticides (one sports the cuddly name “warfarin”) are anticoagulants, which essentially disarm the animals’ clotting systems causing death by massive internal hemorrhage. But the rats and mice in England seem to resist the effects for gradually longer periods before they succumb, increasing the likelihood that they will be nabbed by predators while still alive.

The barn owls in the study were found to have massive amounts of anticoagulants in their livers. The researchers warned that rodents all over the world are developing similar resistance to pesticides.…


Mexican maquiladora murders probed

July 6

In Juarez, Mexico, a city which lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, 187 women have been murdered since 1993, and many more have been raped or beaten. Until recently, the police paid little notice. Most of the victims were women and girls who worked in foreign-owned plants (known as maquiladoras) on odd schedules. Many have been raped and beaten, murdered by bus drivers and others taking advantage of the women’s middle-of-the-night commutes. According to an investigation by the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, women in Juarez know of the dangers of working in the plants, but badly need the money.

Authorities have known about the murders for years, but did little to stop them until recently, according to the article. Finally, a group of women began to pressure the government to bring the killers to justice, charging that the murders were being ignored because the victims were female. The government appointed a special prosecutor, who has brought about the arrest and conviction of 13 men so far.…



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