Author: Justin Beach

  • [US] Home Sales See Biggest Monthly Drop In 40 Years (NPR)

    Sales of previously occupied homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years last month, sinking more dramatically than expected after lawmakers gave buyers additional time to use a tax credit. The report reflects a sharp drop in demand after buyers stopped scrambling to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000…

  • Turning To Haiti’s Longer-Term Health Needs (NPR)

    In one small piece of good news coming out of Haiti, World Health Organization officials say there is no sign yet of any epidemics emerging in the wake of the massive earthquake. “We’ve seen no reports of outbreaks of diseases,” Paul Garwood, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, tells us by telephone from the group’s…

  • Inuit preschoolers often go hungry: study (CBC)

    Seventy per cent of Inuit preschoolers in Nunavut live in homes where there isn’t enough food, a situation with implications for children’s development, said a McGill University researcher. The average Nunavut family with young children is paying close to $430 a week for groceries, double the price for a family of the same size in…

  • MP3 pioneers launch ‘deluxe’ file (BBC)

    A new music file format has been unveiled by some of the key figures behind the development of the MP3. The new file, MusicDNA, can include things like lyrics, videos, artwork and blog posts, which will continually be updated, as well as the music. It has been created by Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach, who worked…

  • Past the Deadline on Guantánamo (Foreign Policy)

    The one-year deadline for closing Guantánamo came and went last week, with 196 men still detained at the U.S. facility. The interagency task force reviewing the Guantánamo detainees’ files has now finished its work. Unfortunately, instead of placing the remaining detainees into only two categories — release/transfer or try — it has also recommended adding a…

  • US commander signals peace talks with Taliban (BBC)

    Nato’s top commander in Afghanistan has said increased troop levels could bring a negotiated peace with the Taliban. US Gen Stanley McChrystal told the UK’s Financial Times newspaper that there had been “enough fighting”. He said a political solution in all conflicts was “inevitable”. His remarks came as the top UN envoy in Kabul said…

  • US seeks extradition of Guatemala ex-president Portillo (BBC)

    Guatemalan police are searching for the former president, Alfonso Portillo, after the US requested his extradition to face money-laundering charges. Police officers have visited several of his properties but Mr Portillo has so far not been located, officials said. more at BBC

  • Scientists ‘losing climate fight’ (ABC)

    A leading Australian climate change scientist says experts are losing the fight against sceptics, who are distorting the science of global warming. His comments come as a prominent British climate change sceptic tours the country. Lord Christopher Monckton has arrived in Australia for a series of lectures and is calling for a royal commission into…

  • Ericsson cutting an extra 1,500 jobs (BBC)

    Swedish telecoms equipment group Ericsson has said it is cutting an extra 1,500 jobs, as it reported a 92% fall in quarterly profits. Hit by the cost of its restructuring work, and a continuing drop in orders, its net profit for October to December was 314m kronors ($43m; £27m). This compares with 3.89bn kronors for…

  • Haitian Quake Toll Could Hit 300,000 (Common Dreams)

    The Haitian Government has raised the confirmed earthquake death toll to 150,000 and said the figure could double as reports from outside the capital are collated. As international donors were preparing to meet overnight in Montreal to discuss rebuilding Haiti, aid agencies said food, water and basic supplies were reaching more people but clinics were…