Roll up, roll up!

Monday, February 27, 2006

World Myth No.2: The Land Of The Free

Republican and Democrat politicians continue to criticise the transaction which would hand control of 21 US ports, including New York and New Jersey, to the United Arab Emirates firm Dubai Ports World, claiming it would make the country more vulnerable to terrorism.

Despite granting additional time for the security aspects of the deal to be scrutinised, DPW said it was determined to proceed with the acquisition.

“We consider our company to be a friend of the United States," Michael Moore, a company executive told BBC Five Live.

"We are simply trying to be helpful," he said of the 45-day review.

"It is clear that the nature of who we are, our operations and responsibilities is clearly being misunderstood."

Despite this, New Jersey officials are taking legal action to try and block the deal, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking to annul P&O's 30-year operating licence, claiming that it failed to seek permission for the transfer of ownership.

"There is a real prospect that the arrangement will lead to US port authorities revoking licences and leases held by joint venture companies which will cause sever financial losses," its petition states.

The Bush administration is backing the takeover, arguing that it poses no threat to US security interests.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pointless Award Of The Week

The NME Awards:

Best Website:

Up Close And Personal

The ESA probe Cryosat, failed to launch properly last October, instead bringing it crashing back down to earth. After years of preparation, it was lost soon after lift-off, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, splashing back down into the very ocean it was meant to monitor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Jar Jar Clause

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has banned TV shows and films featuring human actors with animated companions, arguing that such mixes of live action and animation jeopardize "the broadcast order of homemade animation and mislead their development,".

Monday, February 20, 2006

Small Print

The warm and comforting glow of Travel Insurance:

"We will pay up to £30 for each full 24-hour period if the aircraft or sea vessel in which you are travelling is hijacked, on the original, pre-booked, outward or return journey for a period over 24 hours.

It is a condition of the cover provided under this section that:
1. you must give us a written statement from an appropriate authority confirming the hijack and how long it lasted."

"We will pay up to the overall limit, travel and accommodation expenses that you have paid or have agreed to pay, under a contract and which you cannot get back, if it is necessary and unavoidable for you to cancel or cut short your trip as a result of the following:
1. You dying"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just The Facts

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lost And Found

A team of international scientists say they have found a "lost world" in an Indonesian jungle, home to dozens of new species of animals and plants.

The scientists claim to have discovered 20 frog species, four butterfly species and at least five new types of palms.

The team - from the US, Indonesia and Australia - surveyed a region near the Foja Mountains in Papua province in eastern Indonesia, which covers an area of more than a million hectares (two million acres) of forest.

One of the team's most remarkable discoveries was a honey-eater bird with a bright orange patch on its face - the first new bird species to be sighted in the area for more than 60 years.

They also found a Golden-Mantled Tree Kangaroo, which was previously thought to have been hunted to near-extinction, and took the first known photographs of the Berlepsch's Six-Wired Bird of Paradise, first described by hunters in the 19th Century.

Some of the creatures the team came into contact with were also remarkably unafraid of humans. Two Long-Beaked Echidnas, primitive egg-laying mammals, even allowed scientists to pick them up and bring them back to their camp to be studied.

The December 2005 expedition was organised by the US-based organisation Conservation International, together with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Power Of The People

Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla Foods says the ongoing boycott of Danish products in the Middle East had so far cost it between £40m and £50m.

As the Muslim world refuses to buy Danish goods in protest over cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, Arla is losing £1m a day.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Why Change?

Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil this week revealed $33.86bn profits in its last financial year - the biggest so far in corporate history.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Out Of Context Picture Of The Week

Crowded Seas

About 500 vessels every day pass through the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Out Of Context Quote Of The Week

"The question over whether they are the smallest or not is not so much a scientific issue but more a popular one."