WikiLeaks goes off-line after ‘multiple’ attacks
U.S. firm says denial of service attacks on site threatened nearly 500,000 others
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
WikiLeaks went off-line late Thursday after a U.S. firm providing its domain name system said the controversial website had come under mass denial-of-service attacks.
EveryDNS.net said it had “terminated” its services to WikiLeaks as the attacks and ones expected in the future would “threaten the stability” of the company’s services to nearly 500,000 other websites.
WikiLeaks has been continuing to release classified cables sent by U.S. officials, causing huge embarrassment to diplomats and world leaders amid growing outrage and calls for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be prosecuted under the U.S. Espionage Act.
Counting the cost of a drugs revolution
Western medicines are making China’s ancient medical practices increasingly redundant, but their high price tag is also pushing millions further into poverty
By Jeremy Laurance Friday, 3 December 2010
Cheng Jianguo drapes a towel over his patient’s shoulder, douses it in alcohol and sets it alight. He has already prodded and poked it to identify the trouble spots, applied suction cups to “drag out the dampness and coldness”, painted it with herbs and spices and wrapped it in clingfilm to “drive in the active ingredients”.
As the flames flare alarmingly, he explains that the burning is vital to soften the tissue before a vigorous massage, the insertion of three long needles and the waving of a smoking cigar above them – in the process known as moxibustion.
Obama, GOP closing in on tax deal
Pact would extend Bush-era cuts and jobless benefits; partisan outbursts continue
msnbc.com news services
WASHINGTON – A critical compromise to head off a year-end tax increase for millions of Americans took shape fitfully Thursday in private talks between the White House and congressional Republicans punctuated by outbursts of partisanship.
An extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed appeared likely to become part of any deal. Additionally, Democrats sought to expand the package with a tax break providing as much as $400 for individual working people and $800 for couples – even if they pay nothing to the IRS.
Two days after he and newly empowered Republicans exchanged pledges of cooperation at the White House, President Barack Obama expressed optimism about the prospects for agreement in time for enactment by year’s end.
World is running out of places to catch wild fish, study finds
By Juliet Eilperin Washington Post Staff Writer
Global fisheries have expanded so rapidly over the past half-century that the world is running out of places to catch wild fish, according to a study conducted by researchers in Canada, the United States and Australia.
The findings, published Thursday in the online journal PLoS ONE, are the first to examine how marine fisheries have expanded over time. Looking at fleets’ movements between 1950 and 2005, the five researchers charted how fishing has been expanding southward into less exploited seas at roughly one degree latitude each year to compensate for the fact that humans have depleted fish stocks closer to shore in the Northern Hemisphere.
French socialist candidate claims dirty tricks after third break-in
By John Lichfield in Paris Friday, 3 December 2010
A disturbing feeling of déjà vu settled on French politics yesterday.
Ségolène Royal is running for the presidency. Her Socialist rivals and colleagues are furious with her. And her home has been broken into, under mysterious circumstances, for the third time in four years. The defeated centre-left candidate in the 2007 presidential elections took the country – and especially her own party – by surprise earlier this week when she announced that she would run in the Socialist presidential primary next year.
Hungary under fire over ‘totalitarian’ media law proposal
The Irish Times – Friday, December 3, 2010
DANIEL McLAUGHLIN in Budapest
A MONTH before assuming the presidency of the European Union, Hungary is under fire over a proposed media law that a major watchdog has compared to those of totalitarian regimes.
Two prominent Hungarian magazines are publishing blank covers this week in protest at new rules allowing a government-controlled council to fine any media outlet, including websites, whose reports are deemed to be unbalanced or whose content breaches guidelines on content involving sex, violence and alcohol.
The media council – all of whose members were chosen by government parties – would have considerable leeway to interpret the new law and could impose fines of up to €90,000 on print and internet media and more than €700,000 on radio and TV broadcasters.
IAEA worried about uranium enrichment site in North Korea
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog voiced his concern as the US warned that North Korea may be hiding even more atomic sites
Reuters guardian.co.uk, Friday 3 December 2010 02.57 GMT
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog has voiced deep concern about North Korea’s expanded nuclear programme, as Washington warned that the secretive state may be hiding even more atomic sites.
North Korea boasted about its nuclear advances earlier this week, saying it was operating a uranium enrichment plant with thousands of centrifuges. Centrifuges are devices that spin at supersonic speed and refine uranium so that it can serve as fuel for nuclear power plants or, if refined to a much higher degree, for atomic bombs. If confirmed, such a facility could offer it a second pathway to make a nuclear bomb.
Hamas leader sets out conditions for peace with Israel
Jason Koutsoukis HERALD CORRESPONDENT
December 3, 2010
Hamas, the militant Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip, has demanded that any peace negotiated between Israel and Palestinians be ratified by the Palestinian diaspora.
Making a rare appearance at a press conference in Gaza City, Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, said the movement would accept the outcome of any referendum even if it contradicted Hamas’s own policies.
Beijing pledges support for N Korea
The Irish Times – Friday, December 3, 2010
CLIFFORD COONAN in Beijing
CHINA HAS told Pyongyang that the relationship between the allies has withstood international “tempests”.
“The traditional friendship of China and North Korea has withstood the tests of international tempests and changes, and replenished itself over time,” Wu Bangguo, China’s chief legislator, told a visiting North Korean delegation.
The story was reported in the Communist Party’s official organ, the People’s Daily.
Beijing has been under pressure from Washington to bring North Korea to heel after last week’s artillery attack on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island.
US sails with Japan to flashpoint channel
By Todd Crowell
TOKYO – This month, Japan’s Self Defense Forces will hold their first-ever island defense exercise in concert with the United States military in Japan. The exercise, which will take place at a base in Kyushu, will simulate the retaking of one of Japan’s small East China Sea islands from “hostile” forces that seized the island and installed anti-aircraft missiles. Ships from the US Seventh Fleet, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will take part.
Examination of an atlas helps explain the importance of simulation exercises on the retaking of any of these islands. Stretching more than 1,600 kilometers from the southern tip of Kyushu through Okinawa and almost as far as Taiwan, is a string of islands that are all Japanese, although one small group off to the side, called the Senkaku by the Japanese, is also claimed by China.
Côte d’Ivoire in lockdown as leaders reject vote results
DAVID YOUANT | ABIDJAN, CôTE D’IVOIRE – Dec 03 2010
World powers sharpened their warnings to Ivorian leaders to settle the dispute peacefully, but the chaos in the West African state deepened after days of bloodshed and fraud allegations that have disrupted the landmark vote.
“The land, air and sea borders are closed to all movement of people and goods from this Thursday at 8pm GMT until further notice,” the army said in a declaration on state television.
Shortly afterwards foreign television news channels including France 24 and CNN as well as Radio France International went off the air in Côte d’Ivoire. An official statement said this was to “keep the peace”.