Saturday, June 09, 2007

In Britain too, Whites must not Use Black Talk

Shades of Imus and his "nappy-headed hos":

"The Commission for Racial Equality commended Channel 4 yesterday for the swift removal of a Big Brother contestant who used a racially offensive term.

Emily Parr, 19, from Bristol, called Charley Uchea, a fellow housemate, a "nigger" during a misguided attempt to adopt urban "street" language.

Producers, under scrutiny after Ofcom's damning verdict over the Celebrity Big Brother racism row, removed Ms Parr within hours of the word being uttered, and said that such behaviour would not be tolerated. Tonight's eviction vote, for which Parr had been nominated, has been suspended.

Ms Parr, a middle-class drama student, was heard to say: "Are you pushing it out, you nigger?" to Ms Uchea while they were dancing in the living room. Ms Uchea and other housemates expressed shock. Ms Parr said that she had not intended to be offensive and said the term was exchanged widely during discussions with her black friends.


NHS negligence has killed nearly half a million Scots

POOR NHS treatment has led to almost half a million Scots dying in the last 30 years, a new study has revealed. Doctors at Glasgow University found that between 1974 and 2003, a total of 462,000 people died in Scotland as a result of health service failings. It means Scotland has one of the highest avoidable death rates in western Europe.

The study examined the number of deaths caused by a lack of "timely and effective health care". The vast majority of people - around 250,000 - who died due to inadequate or delayed treatment were heart or stroke patients. Another 7300 had cancer and slightly more than 2000 were pneumonia patients.

The study revealed that avoidable deaths among men in Scotland over the time period was 176 for every 100,000 people. This compared with 159 in Portugal, 129 in Austria and 100 in Italy. Rates for women were 123 per 100,000, also higher than every other European country investigated.



Hot air to deal with hot air seems appropriate

Leaders of the G8 nations have agreed to a compromise deal on tackling climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said. "We agreed... that CO2 emissions must first be stopped and then followed by substantial reductions," she said. Reports said the leaders had agreed to hold talks on a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol within a UN framework. Mrs Merkel had been pushing for a 50% cut in emissions by 2050. The US had resisted calls for targets to be fixed. She said G8 leaders had agreed to consider her target, but there was no suggestion that a final agreement would include any mandatory commitment to major emissions cuts.

According to an extract from the agreed text published on the G8 website, the leaders agreed to take "strong and early" action. "Taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] reports, global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions," the text says.

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, in Heiligendamm, says the German chancellor has portrayed the deal as a major success. The compromise appears to bring Mr Bush's plan into the wider UN-brokered process - something the US had previously resisted.



The compromise at the G8 climate summit appears to be based on the US-and Canadian-backed climate plan presented by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe The G8 has essentially agreed that any effective international framework on climate change must include China, India and other major greenhouse gas emitters from the developing world.

More importantly, by offering a deal to cut global CO2 emissions by half, not just those of a handful of richer nations, the G8 has shifted international pressure away from the West and onto China and India.

The BBC claim that "the compromise appears to bring Mr Bush's plan into the wider UN-brokered process - something the US had previously resisted" is a bit of a red herring as Bush's own climate initiative doesn't see itself outside the UNFCCC framework: "Under The President's Proposal, The United States Will Convene The Major Emitters And Energy Consumers To Advance And Complete The New Framework By The End Of 2008. The U.S. remains committed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and we expect the new framework to complement ongoing UN activity...."

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