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French government bans journalists from saying “Facebook” and “Twitter” on-air

June 7, 2011 Comments off

allheadlinenews

In France, radio and television news anchors are now prohibited from saying the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” on air, unless the terms are specifically part of a news story. The new stipulation comes from a 1992 governmental measure which forbids the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs.

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French news organizations now cannot suggest their audience “follow them on Twitter” or to go to their “Facebook page.”

Instead, they will have to say “find us on social networking websites” or tell viewers to “check out our webpage at this URL to find links to our pages on social networks.”

The French TV regulatory agency Superior Audiovisual Council, or CSA says the French government is simply upholding its laws.

“Why give preference to Facebook, which is Read more…

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In U.S., Salmonella Is On the Rise While E. Coli Retreats

June 7, 2011 Comments off

usnews

TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) — As a deadly new strain of E. coli in Europe makes headlines, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday that salmonella, not E. coli, remains the biggest foodborne health threat to Americans.

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In fact, while rates of several types of foodborne illness — including E. coli — have been falling over the past 15 years, there’s been no progress against salmonella infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While infections from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 (the strain of most concern in the United States) have dropped almost in half and the rates of six other foodborne infections have been cut 23 percent, salmonella infections have risen 10 percent, the agency said.

“There are about 50 million people each year who become sick from food in the U.S. That’s about one in six Americans,” CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a noon press conference Tuesday.

In addition, about 128,000 people are Read more…

Beijing warned on dollar holdings

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ft.com

U.S. dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration taken at the Bank of Taiwan in Taipei November 11, 2010. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

China is running a major risk in holding so many dollars because the US may deliberately devalue its currency, a senior Chinese official has warned.

The comments by Guan Tao, head of the international payments department in the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, knocked the dollar on Tuesday, adding to fears about the struggling US economy. The dollar fell to a one-month low against a basket of six leading currencies.

Pressure on the dollar has intensified amid heightened concerns that the soft patch in the US economy will ensure that the Federal Reserve sticks to its ultra-loose monetary policy in the near future.

Despite Mr Guan’s concerns, which are often voiced in Beijing, analysts said that China had little choice but to recycle its vast foreign currency reserves into dollar-denominated assets. “The United States has adopted expansionary fiscal and monetary policy to stimulate economic growth,” Mr Guan said in an article that was published on the website of China Finance 40 Forum, a Beijing economic think tank.

“The United States may find it hard to Read more…

After 90 Years, a Dictionary of an Ancient World

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nytimes

M. Spencer Green/Associated Press

Martha Roth, dean of humanities at the University of Chicago, and Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute there.

Ninety years in the making, the 21-volume dictionary of the language of ancient Mesopotamia and its Babylonian and Assyrian dialects, unspoken for 2,000 years but preserved on clay tablets and in stone inscriptions deciphered over the last two centuries, has finally been completed by scholars at the University of Chicago.

This was the language that Sargon the Great, king of Akkad in the 24th century B.C., spoke to command what is reputed to be the world’s first empire, and that Hammurabi used around 1700 B.C. to proclaim the first known code of laws. It was the vocabulary of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the first masterpiece of world literature. Nebuchadnezzar II presumably called on these words to soothe his wife, homesick for her native land, with the promise of cultivating the wondrous Hanging Gardens Read more…

Arizona Fires Creep Toward New Mexico

June 7, 2011 Comments off

discovery

June 7, 2011 — A huge forest fire in Arizona has destroyed around 94,000 hectares (230,000 acres) of forest, and forced some 2,500 people in rural communities to evacuate as firefighters battled the blaze.

There are no reports of casualties from the fire, but the third largest blaze in the state’s history was nowhere near containment on Tuesday, with high winds and low humidity fueling the inferno expected to continue for days.

Governor Jan Brewer on Monday signed a declaration of emergency in response to the wildfires, with her office saying the action Read more…

Tribal fighters take over major city in Yemen, eyewitnesses say

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cnn.com

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh (pictured in 2008) was injured Friday from an attack at his presidential compound.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh (pictured in 2008) was injured Friday from an attack at his presidential compound.

(CNN) — Tribal fighters took control of a top Yemeni city on Tuesday, a setback for an embattled government whose injured president is confined to a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

More than 400 tribal gunmen took over Taiz in southwest Yemen, eyewitnesses there said.

The gunmen had been clashing with Yemeni security forces near the city’s Republican Palace and eyewitnesses said they are now in control of the city. The palace is not far from the city’s Freedom Square — a focal point of anti-government protests.

Government forces have been regrouping in an effort to re-enter the city. Yemen’s government has faced international criticism for excessive Read more…

Mexican cartels now using ‘tanks’

June 7, 2011 Comments off

washingtonpost

(HECTOR GUERRERO/ AFP/GETTY IMAGES ) - Mexican policemen stand guard next to an armoured car seized to alleged members of the Mexican drug cartel "Los Zetas".The armoured car called "The Z Monster" has a capacity to transport about 20 men and has a turret to place.

MEXICO CITY — For the drug cartel boss who has everything, the latest piece of military hardware is a tank.Today’s competitive crime mafias in Mexico are no longer satisfied with bazookas or rocket-propelled grenades or land mines. The Mexican military has discovered that gangsters south of the Texas border are building armored assault vehicles, with gun turrets, inch-thick armor plates, firing ports and bullet-proof glass.

More than 35,000 Mexicans have died in four years of drug violence, and in the border cities and farm towns of the northern state of Tamaulipus the fighting between the rival Gulf and Zeta cartels, and the military units that chase them, has been especially vicious. Just two days ago, another pair of mutilated bodies were hung from a pedestrian bridge in Monterrey.“Organized crime has increased Read more…