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Expert: 'GMO Products a Failure'

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© afriqueavenir.org
Organic farming provides a development model for Africa as it respects the environment and prevents food crises. By integrating traditional farming practices and using local resources, organic farming is particularly suitable for African farmers as they produce their own food and sell their products on the local markets.
At the turn of the millennium, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were touted as an answer to food shortages haunting the globe, particularly in developing countries.

But a local agricultural policy expert Roger Mpande says this has turned out to be a false start and Zimbabwe's best bet is to stick to local knowledge systems and resources.

He says the health, environmental and social impact of GMOs cannot be underestimated.

Mpande - who spoke during a Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre knowledge brief for journalists in Harare last week on why Zimbabwe should refuse to license the commercialization of GMOs - says a look at the GM products leaves a lot to be desired.

Bizarro Earth

White House shuts out Herald scribe

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The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama's Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper's front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news "fairly."

"I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters," White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.

Wolf

The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic

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© AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Obama shakes hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West after speaking at the National Urban League’s 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington in July 2010.
The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama's ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.

Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama's heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in "King Lear." Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates - think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy - take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.

Cult

May 21, 2011: Profiting on Doomsday?


Wondering about the fate of your pets after Judgment Day? Well, for $135, a loving atheist will care for your animal if you're not around anymore.

Eternal Earthbound Pets offers a service to rescue and take care of pets once their owners have been taken away to the heavenly realms. Though doomsayers say this Saturday will be the latest day of reckoning that's not expected to leave animals behind either.

Bart Centre of New Hampshire, co-owner of the pet business, launched it in June 2009. He has zero belief in Judgment Day, but began to see an increase in sales inquiries in December, which, he believes, is related to Family Radio's heavy marketing campaign around the May 21 date.

The retired retail executive said he has sold 258 contracts so far.

"That's out of 40 million targeted 'rapture' believers, so it's not like we're making a billion dollars," he said.

Wolf

Gingrich - 'Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood'

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that anyone that uses direct quotes from his Sunday interview about Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan to dismantle Medicare is lying.

"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich had told NBC's David Gregory Sunday. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for free society to operate."

Now the Georgia Republican is worried that opponents might use those words against him or the Republican Party.

MIB

Russia says an Israeli military attache to Moscow was expelled for spying

An Israeli military attache to Moscow who was expelled from the country was carrying secret information when he was detained, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Vadim Leiderman was apprehended in Moscow on May 12, caught red-handed receiving classified information from a Russian citizen, the statement said. Leiderman was declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave the country, which he did, the statement said.

Israel's military has rejected allegations reported in the Israeli media that Leiderman was a spy.

The military said in a statement Wednesday that the officer underwent a "thorough investigation" after he returned. Israel's Channel 2 TV reported he was taken away by Russian agents during dinner. Other media reported Leiderman was having coffee with a friend before being pulled away by security agents.

Info

Canada: Harper's Senate picks turn off Canadians: Layton

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© Chris Wattie/Reuters
Prime Minister Stephen Harper sits with Gov. Gen. David Johnston, front row centre, and members of the federal cabinet following a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, May 18, 2011.
The naming of defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate just two weeks after the election is part of what's turning people off about Ottawa, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Wednesday.

Layton attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who nominated three losing Tories - including two former senators who had already stepped down from the Upper Chamber to run.

"Mr. Harper talks about Senate reform but he's doing things in the same old way, in fact even worse," Layton said.

"He's taking people who have been defeated, who have been rejected by voters.... You should earn your place in the Senate and if you can't get elected, you shouldn't be appointed to the Senate two weeks later."

Bizarro Earth

Medvedev Warns West of New Cold War over Missile Deal

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© AFP/Dmitry Kostyukov
President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during his first full press conference as Russian president at the Skolkovo centre outside Moscow on May 18, 2011. Medvedev on Wednesday warned the West it would face a new Cold War if it failed to address Russia's concerns over a proposed missile defence shield for Europe
Skolkovo, Russia - President Dmitry Medvedev warned Wednesday Russia could pull out a new nuclear disarmament treaty and enter a new Cold War with the West if the two sides failed to agree on a new missile defence shield.

Medvedev told reporters that the United States' decision to push ahead with the European shield despite Russia's objections will force Moscow "to take response measures -- something that we would very much rather not do."

MIB

Pakistan, China premiers meet amid tension with US

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Beijing: Pakistan's prime minister sealed a series of agreements with China on Wednesday, highlighting Islamabad's warm ties with Beijing amid heightened tensions with Washington over the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The signing ceremony followed talks between Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People at the start of a visit to Beijing marking sixty years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

MIB

Mandatory Mobile Phone Emergency Alert System to Launch in US

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A new mobile telephone emergency alert system will be launched in New York City and Washington DC by the end of the year, US officials have said.

The system will allow the federal government and local authorities to reach people on their mobile phones to warn them of imminent danger.

Messages from the US president or information about missing children would also be sent through the system.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there would be no charge to users.