Weedkillers containing both the controversial glyphosate and POE-tallowamine can no longer be sold in Malta, and their use will be completely banned come April.
The ban comes days afer the release of a study showing the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused liver disease in rats. The findings are the first to show a causal link between its consumption at a real-world environmental dose and a serious condition.
The dose, given to rats as part of the study over two years, was thousands of times below what is allowed by regulators worldwide, but the animals ultimately suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Malta is set to become the first EU country to ban the use of the controversial weedkiller glyphosate, which was reauthorised by the European Commission this month despite Malta’s opposition.
An Environment Ministry spokeswoman told the Times of Malta that the government had begun the process of banning the chemical, which is considered a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organisation cancer agency.
Weird things are happening in the Mediterranean Sea. Almost simultaneously three countries in the Mediterranean have closed their airspace and territories for aircraft departing from Libya. The exceptions are very few and involve the transport of military and evacuees. At the same time, three NATO exercises are taking place but the airspace closure and directly little to do with that.
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– UK child death rate among worst in western Europe, say experts (Guardian, May 3, 2014):
Study’s authors surprised by poor performance after they find only Malta has more deaths of children under fiveChildren in the UK are more likely to die before they reach their fifth birthday than in any other western European country except Malta.
– When countries go broke (Sovereign Man, Oct 14, 2013):
It’s become almost cliche these days to point out how many governments are broke beyond belief.
In Japan, where the country’s debt level already exceeds 200% of GDP, the government has to finance 46% of its budget by issuing more debt.
The US government (CIA) hates competition:
– Afghanistan: Opium Cultivation Rose Substantially In 2012 (New York Times)
– CIA Created Afghan Heroin Trade (Veterans Today)
– Afghanistan: Is Creating A ‘Narco-State’ Considered ‘Nation-Building?’ (Veterans Today)
– Breaking News: Afghanistan – America’s ‘Total Lie War’ (Veterans Today)
– U.S. Ready to Offer Mercenaries $10 Billion for a Drug-War Air Force (Wired, Dec 4 , 2012):
Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion-with-a-B.
Starting next month in Melbourne, Florida, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions the diplomatic corps needs fulfilled: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying, and the transport of personnel and cargo,” according to a pre-solicitation the department’s bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released on Friday.
From its headquarters at Florida’s Patrick Air Force Base, the State Department directs 51,000 annual hours worth of air operations. In Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, and Guatemala, it mostly performs “counternarcotics and law enforcement activities,” explains State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala, and in Afghanistan it does transportation support as well. Diplomats at the mega-embassy in Iraq also rely on State’s contractor air fleet to move about the country. And in recent years, that fleet has also needed to perform short-term air missions in Sudan, Honduras, Malta, Libya and Egypt. Private-security giant DynCorp currently holds the contract for supporting the diplomatic fleet.
– Moody’s warns may cut AAA-rating for UK and France (Reuters, Feb. 14, 2012):
Rating agency Moody’s warned it may cut the triple-A ratings of France, Britain and Austria and it downgraded six other European nations including Italy, Spain and Portugal, citing growing risks from Europe’s debt crisis.
– Moody’s cuts ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain (Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2012):
NEW YORK — Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service on Monday downgraded its credit ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain, while France, Britain and Austria kept their top ratings but had their outlooks dropped to “negative” from “stable.”
Moody’s also cut its ratings on the smaller nations of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta. All nine countries are members of the European Union.
London, 13 February 2012 — As anticipated in November 2011, Moody’s Investors Service has today adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of selected EU countries in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis and how these risks exacerbate the affected countries’ own specific challenges.
– Rating Action: Moody’s adjusts ratings of 9 European sovereigns to capture downside risks (Moody’s, Feb. 13, 2012):
Moody’s actions can be summarised as follows:
– Austria: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
– France: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
– Italy: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook
– Malta: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook
– Portugal: downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2, negative outlook
– Slovakia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook
– Slovenia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook
– Spain: downgraded to A3 from A1, negative outlook
– United Kingdom: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
… the majority of European nations deserve a CCC rating …
– France’s credit rating downgraded in latest blow to euro zone (The Globe and Mail, Jan. 13, 2012):
The euro zone’s worst-case scenario of recession and default is looming larger after a mass debt downgrade of France and several other countries, and stalled Greek debt restructuring talks.
Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its prized triple-A rating and slashed the ratings of Italy, Spain and six other European countries Friday, continuing a disturbing pattern of the feared becoming reality in Europe’s smouldering debt crisis.
The move Friday crushed nascent hope that the region’s debt woes might finally be easing after successful bond auctions by Spain and Italy earlier in the week.
The most immediate problem for the euro zone is that France – its second largest economy – will now face significantly higher borrowing costs just as the region slides into recession.
Equally important, the downgrade makes it more expensive for the European Financial Stability Fund to raise cash because France is the fund’s No. 2 backer behind Germany. The EFSF, set up in 2010, is due to raise money in the markets on Tuesday.