Australian man killed in water-rage attack
November 1, 2007 12:31 PM - Reuters
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A man has been charged with murder in Australia after an elderly man who was watering his garden was bashed to death in an apparent case of suburban water-rage. Australia is in its sixth year of severe drought and most towns and cities have imposed strict limits on household water use, prompting a rise in suburban arguments and neighbors informing authorities about those who waste water. In the latest incident, police said 66-year-old Ken Proctor was using a hose to water the front lawn of his suburban Sydney home when a man walking past made a remark about water waste.
Privacy groups seek "do not track" Web list
November 1, 2007 12:25 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nine privacy and consumer organizations asked the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to create a "do not track" list for Internet users who don't want their online activities tracked, stored and used by advertising networks. Such a list would function much like the FTC's "do not call" registry that consumers can join to prevent telemarketing phone calls, according to the groups, which include the Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Consumer Federation of America. Internet advertising companies and marketers increasingly are collecting information about individuals' Web activities and preferences so as to tailor their advertising messages.
Organic GardensTake Root in Canada
November 1, 2007 12:14 PM - Reuters
TORONTO - As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada. In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes.
Galaxy Warriors toys sold at Family Dollar recalled
October 31, 2007 03:27 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 380,000 "Galaxy Warriors" toy figures sold by Family Dollar Stores Inc are being recalled because the surface paints contain excessive levels of lead, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday. The Chinese-made toys, space figures about 4.5 inches tall that come accessories, were sold at Family Dollar stores throughout the United States from January 2006 through October 2007 and distributed by Henry Gordy International Inc, the agency said.
Boy confesses to starting California fire
October 31, 2007 02:41 PM - Reuters
A boy playing with matches has confessed to starting a wildfire that destroyed 63 structures near Los Angeles, officials said on Tuesday. The unidentified youngster, believed to be a preteen, was questioned by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators on October 22, a day after the Buckweed fire started rampaging across 38,000 acres in the Santa Clarita area, 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
Pension fund urges more climate risk disclosure
October 31, 2007 02:33 PM - Rachelle Younglai, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Calpers, the biggest U.S. pension fund, said on Wednesday it could not assess companies thoroughly unless they detail potential exposure to climate change-related risks and benefits. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) said it was not enough that some companies include climate risk in sustainability reports or general corporate responsibility reports. "The information that is voluntarily disclosed often lacks the material information required by a reasonable investor to properly assess companies' financial viability," Russell Read, Calpers's chief investment officer, said in prepared testimony for a Senate banking subcommittee hearing.
Pope and Saudi king to hold landmark meeting
October 31, 2007 02:01 PM -
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will meet Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah next week for talks expected to centre on Christian-Islam relations, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The first talks between a Saudi monarch and a pope will take place on Tuesday. The king, currently in Britain, will be in Italy to meet government officials. The Vatican does not have formal diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and relations have been strained. The Vatican has often called for greater rights for the tiny Christian minority there.
Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects
October 31, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa.
Parrotfish on menu puts coral at risk
October 31, 2007 01:37 PM - Ben Hirschler, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The delicate balance of the Caribbean's coral reefs is in jeopardy as more parrotfish end up on dinner plates, international scientists said on Wednesday. The colorful grazing fish, named for their parrot-like beaks which are used to scrape up algae, play a vital role in stopping seaweed from smothering coral. But their numbers are now being threatened by over-fishing. New research based on computer modeling shows parrotfish are a key defense in preventing the vulnerable Caribbean reefs from becoming a very different ecosystem -- one dominated not by living coral but by blooms of algae or seaweed.
Google phone could be tough sell to U.S. carriers
October 31, 2007 01:22 PM - Sinead Carew - Analysis
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc, which is used to dominating the Web search advertising business, may find negotiating its way into the cell phone market a tougher task. Dealing with America's largest mobile companies, which keep control of devices and features, could force the Web search leader to make concessions that cut into future revenue from wireless, an area Google has long said would be key to growth. So far no U.S. carrier has confirmed working with Google on a new mobile platform. No. 2 U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless is in active talks about putting Google applications on phones it offers, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.