Opposing Japan’s whaling programme is “eco-imperialism”

November 26, 2014 0
Grade school students and residents watch a carved Baird's Beaked whale at Wada port in Minamiboso

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) – Opposition to Japan’s whaling programme is a kind of “eco-imperialism” that imposes one value system on another and is based on emotion, not science – much the way killing elephants is now opposed, Japan’s top whaling official said on Wednesday. Tokyo last week unveiled plans to resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean in 2015-2015 despite an international court ruling that previous hunts were illegal, although it also slashed the quota for the so-called scientific whaling programme. …

Australia working on new drift modelling for MH370 wreckage

November 26, 2014 0
A memorial to the victims of both flights MH370 and MH17 is set up at the Xiao En Bereavement Centre in Kuala Lumpur

PERTH (Reuters) – Australia is working on new drift modelling to expand the geographical area in which wreckage from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 may come ashore, the Australian search coordinator said on Wednesday. Initial analysis had suggested that the first debris from the plane could come ashore on Indonesia’s Western Sumatra after about 123 days. “We are currently working … to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore,” search coordinator Peter Foley told reporters in Perth. …

‘Hunger Games’ tops U.S. box office with $123 million opening

November 23, 2014 0
Actresses Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks and Natalie Dormer attend the photocall for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1', in London

By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” tallied $123 million in ticket sales to top weekend box office charts and score the year’s biggest U.S. opening, according to studio estimates. The third installment of the blockbuster “Hunger Games” action movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence added a further $152 million at overseas box offices for a global opening weekend tally of $275 million, tracking firm Rentrak said. …

Indiana man beheaded in Syria remembered in Muslim prayer service

November 21, 2014 0
Paula and Ed Kassig attend a prayer service in memory of their son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, whose name was Peter before his conversion to Islam, in Fishers

By Susan Guyett FISHERS Ind. (Reuters) – Muslims in Indiana held a funeral service on Friday for Abdul- Rahman Kassig, formerly known as Peter, who was beheaded by Islamic State militants in Syria after being held captive for a year. Kassig adopted Islam while he was a hostage. His family said he made a sincere conversion in a process that began before he was captured by Islamic State, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria and is the target of U.S. bombings. …

Temple’s silence over its ties with Cosby raises questions on campus

November 21, 2014 0
Actor Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York

By Natalie Pompilio PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – In the years since Bill Cosby graduated from Temple University, the images of the school and the veteran comedian have become closely intertwined, a carefully cultivated relationship that is now raising uncomfortable questions at the Philadelphia school. For at least some Temple students, the fresh scrutiny that Cosby is facing over allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted several young women decades ago has cast an unflattering light on the school’s tight association with him. …

Want to live on the ‘roof of the world’? Grow barley

November 20, 2014 0
-PHOTO TAKEN 22AUG03-Tibetan women thresh barley in front of their house on the outskirts of Tsedang..

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Tibetan Plateau, the harsh Asian domain known as the ‘roof of the world,’ would not seem an ideal place for people to call home thanks to its extreme altitude, frigid temperatures, relentless winds and low-oxygen conditions. When people did succeed in colonizing this remote land, it was only after they discovered how to feed themselves year-round with cold-hardy crops like barley brought to the region from far away, scientists said on Thursday. …

Sri Lanka president seeks unprecedented third term as critics seek to unseat him

November 20, 2014 0
Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York

By Ranga Sirilal COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday called a presidential election, seeking an unprecedented third six-year tenure, but demands for his power to be curbed and a possible split in his vote base means re-election won’t be a walkover. Rajapaksa, 69, came to power in 2005 and won a second term in 2010 on a wave of popularity after the military defeated Tamil Tiger separatists, ending a 26-year civil war. “I am declaring a secret today. I have signed the proclamation calling for the election for re-election for the third time… …

Banks chase trading cheats with ‘fuzzy’ surveillance

November 20, 2014 0
Scaffolding is seen outside the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square in New York

By Vidya Ranganathan SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Stung by billion-dollar fines for malpractice on their trading floors, the world’s big banks are using ‘fuzzy logic’ tools such as relationship mapping and behavioural analytics to read the minds of would-be cheats among their traders. On Wednesday six global banks agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle claims they failed to stop traders from trying to rig foreign exchange markets, which came hot on the heels of similar fines for manipulating benchmark interest rates. …