Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: June 22, 2008

 Captain Marvel

Top Story – U.N Weapons Inspectors Begin To Investigate Suspect Syrian Site

UN nuclear weapons inspectors hope this weekend to begin solving the mystery of the Syrian building attacked by the Israelis last September and which, according to the CIA, was a nuclear reactor under construction…[click here for more]

Homeland Security News – House Passes New Surveillance Law

The U.S. House Friday easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that effectively shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government’s terrorism-era warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country…[click here for more

Business News – Citigroup May Fire 10% of Investment Bankers Worldwide

Citigroup Inc., the bank that’s lost more than any other in the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market, plans to fire as much as 10 percent of the about 65,000 employees worldwide in its investment-banking division…[click here for more]

U.S. Spending News – GAO Questions Air Force Tanker Contract

The Government Accountability Office on Wednesday recommended that the Air Force reopen its contract for aerial refueling tankers, launching a new round in one of the longest-running, most vitriolic fights over a Pentagon purchase…[click here for more]

Weapons News – India, Russia Develop Airborne Supersonic Cruise Missile

The Russian-Indian BrahMos Aerospace joint venture has finished the development of the airborne version of an advanced supersonic missile, the company’s managing director has said…[click here for more]

Technology News – Report Rules Out Subatomic Doomsday Scenario

Europe’s CERN particle-physics lab has issued its long-awaited report on safety issues surrounding the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most expensive atom-smasher. Some have feared that when the collider reaches full power, sometime next year, it might create microscopic black holes or other exotic phenomena that could endanger Earth. The new report, like earlier safety studies, rules out the possibility of global danger…[click here for more]

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Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: June 1, 2008

 Captain Marvel

Top Story! -Progress At U.N. Biodiversity Forum

Nearly 200 countries have agreed on measures to protect the world’s most threatened wildlife.  At a Bonn conference they pledged to set up a deep-sea nature reserve and increase by tens of millions of hectares the area of land protected.  The Convention on Biological Diversity meeting also agreed to prepare a firm position on the benefits and drawbacks of biofuels by the next forum in 2010…[click here for more]

Iraq News – Iraqi Military Extends Control In Northern City

The recent successes in quieting violence in Basra and Sadr City appear to be stretching to the long-rebellious Sunni Arab district here in Mosul, raising hopes that the Iraqi Army may soon have tenuous control over all three of Iraq’s major cities…[click here for more]

Business News – Merrill’s Fleming Says Banking M&A Activity To Accelerate In Six Months

The financial industry will be reshaped by a “significant pickup” in takeovers when stronger banks emerge as acquirers as soon as the end of this year…[click here for more]

Israel/Palestine News – Israel, Hezbollah Take First Step In Possible Prisoner Swap

Israel deported a Lebanese-born Israeli citizen convicted of spying for the Islamic guerrilla group Hezbollah to Lebanon in what is widely seen as the first stage of a prisoner swap.  At the same time, Hezbollah unexpectedly returned body parts of Israeli soldiers who fell in the Lebanon War two years ago…[click here for more]

South America News – Brazil Reveals ‘Uncontacted’ Amazon tribe

Brazil’s government agreed to release stunning photos of Amazon Indians firing arrows at an airplane so that the world can better understand the threats facing one of the few tribes still living in near-total isolation from civilization, officials said Friday…[click here for more

Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: May 25, 2008

 Captain Marvel

Top Story! – Turkey: “Common Ground” Found In Israel-Syria Talks

A common ground was reached in Israel and Syria talks that were held in Istanbul during the week and the indirect talks between the two countries would continue, the Turkish foreign minister said on Thursday…[click here for more]

Environmental News – EU Agrees To Outlaw “Green Crimes”

After eight years of negotiation, the European Parliament has reached an agreement with member states on legislation that will force national governments to apply criminal sanctions to those causing deliberate or negligent damage to the environment…[click here for more]

U.S. Politics News – Senate Race in Minnesota Shows Power Of Bloggers

On a laptop at a kitchen table in this cheery Twin Cities suburb, headlines ripping into Al Franken, the satirist whose campaign for the United States Senate is seen as one of the most competitive in the nation, are written up day after day for Minnesota Democrats Exposed, a political blog created by a former Republican Party researcher…[click here for more]

Asia News – Burma “Still Uses Child Soldiers”

Burma has been named as the most persistent user of child soldiers, with thousands in its armed forces – some as young as 11, a human rights group says…[click here for more

Business News – Fund Manager Is To Refinance Stalled Auction-Rate Notes

Nuveen Investments, the largest American manager of closed-end funds, said on Wednesday that it had a commitment for up to $1.75 billion in liquidity support to help refinance the troubled auction-rate preferred shares its funds once issued.  But the funds are now struggling. Most of them use leverage to enhance returns, and many of them borrowed that leverage in the auction-rate market, which is now effectively in liquidation…[click here for more]

Sports News – Big Brown Has Hoof Injury, Still Expected To Race

Big Brown’s perfect path has its first bump.  The unbeaten Triple Crown contender has a slight crack on his left front hoof, although trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was confident the injury won’t keep his colt from running in the Belmont Stakes in less than two weeks…[click here for more]

Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: May 18, 2008

 Captain Marvel

Top Story! – Russia Ready To Cooperate With Britain On Litvinenko Case

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday it was prepared to cooperate with Britain in investigating the case of poisoned defector Alexander Litvinenko after London lifted its “unfounded accusations.” …[click here for more]

Middle East News – Police Seize More Olmert Papers

Israeli police have raided the Ministry of Industry and Trade as a corruption investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continues, official radio says.  The raid follows one on Jerusalem’s city hall on Monday…[click here for more

More Middle East News – Islamists Win 24 Of 50 Seats In Kuwaiti Parliament

Islamist candidates won 24 of 50 seats in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, a gain of two seats over their total in the last round of elections there two years ago, according to official results released Sunday…[click here for more]

U.S. News – Crews Still Cleaning Louisiana Train’s Toxic Mess

Hazardous materials teams are still cleaning up a toxic chemical spill from a train derailment in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday that forced 3,000 people from their homes…[click here for more]

Business News – Nippon Steel to Raise Contract Prices for Toyota, Mitsubishi

Nippon Steel Corp., the world’s second-biggest maker of the alloy, will raise contract steel prices to a record for Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., said a person close to the negotiations…[click here for more

Environment News – Study:  Hurricanes Not Linked To Climate Change

Global warming isn’t to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject…[click here for more]

Technology News – Libertarian Ocean Colonies?

Tired of the United States and the other 190-odd nations on Earth?  If a small team of Silicon Valley millionaires get their way, in a few years, you could have a new option for global citizenship: A permanent, quasi-sovereign nation floating in international waters…[click here for more]

Music News – Ozzfest Reduced To A One Day Concert (Dammit!)

Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Serj Tankian, Hellyeah, Sevendust and Shadows Fall, among others, are scheduled to appear at this year’s one-off Ozzfest, scheduled for Aug. 9 at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas…[click here for more
 

Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: May 11, 2008

 Captain Marvel 

Top Story! – Sadrists and Iraqi Government Reach Truce Deal

The Iraqi government and leaders of the movement of the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr agreed Saturday to a truce, brokered with help from Iran, that would end more than a month of bloody fighting in the vast, crowded Sadr City section of Baghdad.  The deal would allow the sides to pull back from what was becoming a messy and unpopular showdown in the months leading up to crucial provincial elections…[click here for more

Africa News – Niger Delta Push For U.S. Mediator

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter could play a positive role in mediating between Nigeria’s government and oil militants, a Rivers State spokesman told the BBC.  Rivers is the last state where Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) militants are not in talks…[click here for more]

Europe News – Controversial Proposals For German National Security

WAS it the start of a serious debate about German security, or a blueprint for militarism and a presidential style of foreign policy at odds with German tradition? Or both? These questions arose on May 6th, when parliamentarians of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the senior partner in the “grand coalition”, issued a paper calling for the creation of a national security council; and for fewer limits on the deployment of armed forces at home and abroad…[click here for more

Business News – Dollar Bulls Gain Control As Futures Signal High-Flying Euro Close To Peak

For the first time since December 2005, futures traders are turning bullish on the dollar.

The difference in the number of wagers by hedge funds and other large speculators on a gain in the greenback versus the euro, known as net longs, was 21,315 on April 29, figures from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington show. There were net-short positions in each of the previous 123 weeks…[click here for more]

Gun-Running News – Viktor Bout Indicted For Conspiracy To Kill Americans And Other Terrorism-Related Charges

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the unsealing of an indictment against international arms dealer Viktor Bout for conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the FARC to be used to kill Americans in Colombia…[click here for more]

Environment News – Huge Reservoir In Works For Everglades

Earth-moving equipment and high explosives are laying the foundation for a mammoth construction project: a reservoir bigger than Manhattan designed to revive the ecosystem of the once-famed River of Grass.  More than a century after the first homes and farms took shape in the Everglades, decades of flood-control projects have left the region parched and near ecological collapse. Now crews are building what will be the world’s largest aboveground manmade reservoir to restore some natural water flow to the wetlands…[click here for more]

Sports News – O.J. Mayo Received Gifts, Cash

Former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo, a projected lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft, received thousands of dollars in cash, clothes and other benefits in apparent violation of NCAA rules while he was still in high school and during his one year in college, a former Mayo associate told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”…[click here for more]

Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: May 4, 2008

Captain Marvel

I’m starting a weekly roundup of news that didn’t make major headlines over the weekend, but should have been paid attention to anyway. Most of it is going to be stuff from overseas (because somebody needs to keep an eye on what those pesky ‘ferrners are up to), but will also involve American jurisprudence, sports, business, music/movies/cultural detritus, and so forth. Basically, if you read this page every Sunday, you can walk into work on Monday and bring up some obscure story from Southeast Asia that no one heard about and act like a smug prick the whole day. The Roundup will be hosted by Captain Marvel, because I have been looking for an excuse to use the Alex Ross rendering of him in this blog for like 6 months now.

Top Story! – Thousands Killed in Burma Cyclone

A tropical cyclone has killed at least 351 people in Burma and damaged thousands of buildings, according to state television…[click for more]

Business News – Congress May Force Securities Firms To Raise Capital

The result may be a law modeled on the 1991 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Improvement Act, or FDICIA. Such a measure would obligate regulators to step in when Wall Street banks fail to meet minimum capital requirements. Securities firms may also face new costs and disclosures in any regulations Congress passes…[click for more]

Middle East News – Palestinian Police Deploy In Jenin For Self-Security Initiative

The Palestinian Authority has launched a new security initiative in the West Bank. The move, which coincides with a U.S. peace mission to the Middle East, has been met with Israeli skepticism…[click for more]

Environmental News – Top EPA Official Resigns, Citing Dow Chemical Hubub

The top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Midwest resigned Thursday amid internal fights over dioxin contamination near Dow Chemical Co.’s world headquarters in Michigan, according to a published report…[click for more]

Sports News – The Celtics Rob Atlanta Of Their Manhood On National TV

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Pierce scored 22 points, and the Celtics turned back the pesky Hawks with a 99-65 victory Sunday in Game 7 of their playoff series to advance to the second round…[click for more]