|Posted by [email protected] on June 26, 2011 at 8:15 AM|
On Hiroshima Day August 6th 2011 by YOKO ONO
The 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a tragedy of the greatest magnitude. Even now, sixty six years later, many victims of the violence of atomic weapons are still suffering, physically, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
China calls on Obama to cancel Dalai Lama meeting
By Laura MacInnis and Jason Subler | Reuters – 6 hrs ago
The Dalai Lama speaks to the faithful at a Kalachakra for World Peace in Washing …
WASHINGTON/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China urged the United States to cancel a scheduled meeting between President Barack Obama and exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House on Saturday, saying such a meeting would harm U.S.-China relations.
The White House announced on Friday that Obama would speak with the Dalai Lama about Tibet in their first meeting in more than a year. The announcement upset China, which was already on edge about the Dalai Lama's meetings with U.S. congressional leaders and the potential for a U.S. debt default.
"This meeting underscores the president's strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans," the White House said in a statement.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on the ministry's website: "We firmly oppose any senior foreign government officials meeting with the Dalai Lama in any way."
Hong said China called on the United States to "cancel the decision for Obama to meet the Dalai Lama as soon as possible, and not do anything that could interfere with China's internal affairs or harm China-U.S. relations."
China accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist who supports the use of violence to set up an independent Tibet. The Nobel Prize laureate denies this, saying he wants a peaceful transition to autonomy for the remote Himalayan region that China has ruled with an iron fist since 1950, when Chinese troops marched in.
There was no immediate comment from the White House on China's call for the meeting to be canceled.
Beijing warned the United States to stay out of its affairs last week after top lawmakers including House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi met the Dalai Lama during his 10-day visit to Washington.
Saturday's meeting in the White House Map Room is expected to last at least 30 minutes and will be closed to the news media. The Obama administration said the question of Tibet is likely to come up during the meeting.
"The president will highlight his enduring support for dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese government to resolve differences," the White House said in the statement issued earlier on Friday.
Kate Saunders, a spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet, a human rights group that works closely with Tibetan exiles, said Tibet's capital Lhasa was "under virtual lockdown" ahead of the anniversary of the 1950 invasion.
"The meeting is a significant acknowledgment by the White House of the importance of direct discussion between President Obama and the Dalai Lama at a time of crisis in Tibet," Saunders said.
China's foreign ministry has alleged the Dalai Lama -- who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising -- is using his U.S. trip "to engage in activities to split the motherland" and has made clear its opposition to U.S. engagement on Tibet.
"The affairs of Tibet are a purely Chinese internal matter, and China resolutely opposes any country or any person interfering in China's internal affairs on the issue of Tibet," the Chinese foreign ministry said on July 9.
Obama last met the Dalai Lama in February 2010, in a visit that drew a strong denunciation from Beijing.
Saturday's White House meeting comes at an extra sensitive moment for China, the United States' biggest creditor, with leaders in Washington at odds over how to raise the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling in time to avoid default.
China holds more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt and would be particularly exposed should Congress fail to reach a deal by August 2. A U.S. default could rocket up interest rates, sink the value of the U.S. dollar and hurt the global economy.
Beijing has urged Washington to "adopt responsible policies and measures to guarantee the interests of investors." Obama has asked for congressional leaders to give him proposals by Saturday on how to advance talks on a deal.
(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in WASHINGTON; editing by Todd Eastham)
Confessions: 7 reasons why women cheat
By Chelsea Kaplan
You’ve probably heard that men cheat for physical reasons, women for emotional reasons. Sure, there’s some truth to that, but when we asked real women around the country to share why they strayed from their boyfriends, we learned they had a whole host of explanations — from bad kissing to sheer revenge. Read on for the truth about why women have given in to temptation.
Reason #1: There’s no passion
“I had been with John for about three years — he was a really nice guy, and I enjoyed being with him, but there wasn’t a ton of passion. Most everyone we knew had gotten engaged, and though John would have proposed in a second, whenever he brought it up, I’d change the subject. I took a trip to Australia for work and while I was gone, I got together with a coworker to whom I’d always been insanely attracted. I had a fantastic trip, probably because for the first time in a long time I experienced that excitement I’d been missing. I broke up with John soon after I returned home and began dating the guy from the trip. Even though I’m not super-proud of my actions, things ended up for the best: after dating for a few years, the guy from the trip and I got married and we’re incredibly happy together.”
– Giselle, 30, Montvale, NJ
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I am a: Seeking a: Near: Reason #2: To delay a breakup
“Right before I was going to break up with my ex, Sean, he found out that he had to put his beloved dog to sleep. He was so broken up about it that I didn’t have the heart to end things, so I waited a month or so until he was in better shape. When things seemed to be better and I was ready, he lost his job, so I felt like I was back to square one! By that time I had met someone else that I really wanted to start seeing, so I went ahead and did it. I eventually ended things, never telling Sean about my extracurricular dating. I think I rationalized that I was trying to spare his feelings.”
– Stacy, 30, Lexington, KY
Reason #3: Because absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder
“My boyfriend Greg and I decided to do the long-distance thing after I was accepted to a graduate program 200 miles from where we lived. The first few months were fine, but I soon found myself becoming extremely attracted to my lab partner, Henry. What began as innocent flirting eventually wound up with us getting physical. After the program was over, I returned home to Greg. Being with him was really difficult, but I didn’t break up with him initially because I was still attracted to him, too. I visited Henry a few times and realized that he was really more of a fling, probably done out of boredom, and that Greg was the one for me. I eventually stopped communicating with Henry. I never told Greg about what happened, which occasionally makes me feel guilty, but I chalk my cheating up to being young and silly. He and I are still together, four years after my program ended.”
– Tamara, 33, Portland, OR
Reason #4: To avoid being left out in the cold
“I began dating Eric shortly after I had been dumped by Dave, my boyfriend of two years. I was devastated and Eric was definitely a rebound thing. After Eric and I had dated for five months, Dave came back and wanted to give things another shot. I still really missed him, so I began seeing him, but never ended things with Eric. I think I sort of kept Eric around for insurance purposes, just in case things didn’t end up well with Dave. Dave and I didn’t make it on round two, and after Eric discovered through mutual friends that I had been seeing him again, he ended things with me. I definitely learned my lesson about dating two guys at the same time, not to mention trying to rekindle a relationship that’s just plain over.”
– Jen, 28, Oak Park, IL
Reason #5: To make a break from a bad relationship
“When I was younger, I dated a guy named Ethan who was really critical of me. He constantly made little snide comments about my weight, how stupid I was and how clumsy I was. For whatever odd reason, I was into him, despite the fact that all of my friends and family hated him. One weekend when he was away, I met Will at a party and we completely hit it off. He was the complete opposite of Ethan — kind, sweet and generous, yet completely cool and fun, too. We hung out all weekend and it was like a light bulb went off in my head: This is how mature, relationship-worthy guys act. I kissed Will the night before he left and broke up with Ethan soon after. Will and I dated for three years and now we’re married.”
– Allison, 30, New York, NY
Reason #6: To find that missing piece
“I’m from Florida, so I adore going to the beach and boating, but my former boyfriend, Chris, a total city boy, hated it. We always argued about where we’d take trips, and he always won. About eight months into our relationship, I took a trip to Key West with my friends and we chartered a boat for the day. The captain of the boat was this totally hot, complete ‘beach guy for life’ type, and I spent the whole day flirting with him. We met him out that night and spent time alone together. I never told Chris about it after I got home and I never felt guilty; I think part of me felt like that’s what Chris got for being so stubborn! Chris and I didn’t make it, and after we broke up, I made sure any future boyfriends loved the beach!”
– Lizzie, 32, Chicago, IL
Reason #7: To give him a taste of his own medicine
“My last boyfriend was a total player before we got together. I thought I could change him but I was wrong. I always heard rumors that he was seeing other girls while we were dating, but he always denied it. One night, I got a call from a girl he had been secretly dating, and she detailed their three-month-long relationship to me and told me about another girl she had discovered he was seeing as well. I was so mad that I went out with my friends that night, dressed to kill, and spent time with the most attractive guy; I felt like it was the least he deserved! I loved seeing the look on his face when I told him about what I did and that I knew about the other girls. And then I dumped him!”
– Ashante, 25, College Park, GA
Chelsea Kaplan is a Senior Editor at The Family Groove. Her blog, “I’m Somebody’s Mother?” can be found at www.rumymother.blogspot.com. For the other side of the story, read Confessions: 8 reasons men cheat.
"Lean gene" ups risk of heart disease and diabetes
By Kate Kelland | Reuters – 22 hrs ago
LONDON (Reuters) - Being slim may not always lead to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, scientists said Sunday after they identified a gene linked both to having a lean body and to a higher risk of metabolic diseases.
Researchers from Britain's Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit said that while a so-called "lean gene" was linked to having less body fat, it was also linked to an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes -- illnesses normally associated with being overweight.
"We've uncovered a truly fascinating genetic story, and when we found the effect of this gene, we were very intrigued," said Ruth Loos, whose study was published in Nature Genetics journal.
Loos' team examined the genetic code of more than 75,000 people to look for the genes that determine body fat percentage, and found strong evidence that a gene called IRS1 is linked with having less body fat.
When they investigated further, they found IRS1 also leads to having unhealthy levels of cholesterol and glucose in blood -- key markers for so-called metabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
They found the gene was only linked to lower levels of fat under the skin, called subcutaneous fat, but not to the more harmful fat that surrounds the organs, called visceral fat.
Loos said the findings suggest that people with the IRS1 gene are less able to store subcutaneous fat, and may therefore store fat in other parts of the body where it might pose more risk to organ function.
She added that the study results did not change the general message for most people. "People who are lean are generally healthier than people who are overweight or obese," she said in a telephone interview.
"But we all know some people who are lean and also may have high cholesterol or have a heart attack before the age of 50 -- so maybe this gene is one factor in looking healthy but still being at risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes."
Heart disease is the world's biggest killer, claiming 17.1 million lives a year, according to the World Health Organization. Experts say a global epidemic of obesity is threatening to cause a wave of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
A study published Saturday found that the number of adults around the world with diabetes has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million -- a far larger number than previously thought.
Loos said that while this study pointed to genes as one factor in determining the risk of developing these conditions, it was important to remember that lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, cutting out smoking and maintaining a healthy weight also play a vital role in reducing the risk.
(Editing by Jan Harvey)
Whales, plankton migrate across Northwest Passage
By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press – 43 mins ago
AMSTERDAM – When a 43-foot (13-meter) gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year, scientists came to a startling conclusion: it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier.
On a microscopic level, scientists also have found plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years.
The whale's odyssey and the surprising appearance of the plankton indicates a migration of species through the Northwest Passage, a worrying sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land.
"The implications are enormous. It's a threshold that has been crossed," said Philip C. Reid, of the Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth, England.
"It's an indication of the speed of change that is taking place in our world in the present day because of climate change," he said in a telephone interview Friday.
Reid said the last time the world witnessed such a major incursion from the Pacific was 2 million years ago, which had "a huge impact on the North Atlantic," driving some species to extinction as the newcomers dominated the competition for food.
Reid's study of plankton and the research on the whale, co-authored by Aviad Scheinin of the Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center, are among nearly 300 scientific papers written over the last 13 years that are being synthesized and published this year by Project Clamer, a collaboration of 17 institutes on climate change and the oceans.
Changes in the oceans' chemistry and temperature could have implications for fisheries, as species migrate northward to cooler waters, said Katja Philippart, of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research who is coordinating the project funded by the European Union.
"We try to put the information on the table for people who have to make decisions. We don't say whether it's bad or good. We say there is a high potential for change," she said.
The Northwest Passage, the route through the frigid archipelago from Alaska across northern Canada, has been ice-free from one end to the other only twice in recorded history, in 1998 and 2007. But the ice pack is retreating farther and more frequently during the summers.
Plankton that had previously been found only in Atlantic sea bed cores from 800,000 years ago appeared in the Labrador Sea in 1999 — and then in massive numbers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence two years later. Now it has established itself as far south as the New York coast, Reid said.
The highly endangered gray whale sighted off the Israeli coast in May 2010 belonged to a species that was hunted to extinction in the Atlantic by the mid-1700s. The same animal — identified by unique markings on its fluke, or tail fin — appeared off the Spanish coast 22 days later, and has not been reported seen since.
Though it was difficult to draw conclusions from one whale, the researchers said its presence in the Mediterranean "coincides with a shrinking of Arctic Sea ice due to climate change and suggests that climate change may allow gray whales to re-colonize the North Atlantic."
That may be good for the whales, but other aspects of the ice melt could be harmful to the oceans' biosystems, the scientists warn.
Plankton is normally the bottom of the marine food chain, but some are more nutritious than others. Plankton changes have been blamed for the collapse of some fish stocks and threats to fish-eating birds in the North Sea, the studies show.
The migration of a solitary whale and two species of plankton is not of much concern so far, Reid said. "It's the potential for further ones to come through if the Arctic opens. That's the key message."