Friday, May 18, 2012

China solar stocks slump again after U.S. trade move | Reuters

China solar stocks slump again after U.S. trade move | Reuters


(Reuters) - Solar stocks slumped to fresh lows on Friday as investors continued to punish Chinese solar companies a day after the United States said it would impose new duties on imports from the world's leading solar manufacturer.
Suntech Power Holdings (STP.N) was down 4.2 percent, Trina Solar Ltd (TSL.N) slid 5 percent and Yingli Green Energy (YGE.N) dropped 7.5 percent, extending declines made on Thursday when the U.S. Commerce Department ruled China-based solar companies had violated trade rules and 'dumped' their products in the U.S. at below-market prices.
The preliminary trade ruling, which is expected to be finalized later this year, puts import duties on Chinese imports of more than 31 percent...

-bth: This move would have made a difference to several bankrupt US solar companies if it had been taken last year, but it wasn't and so we have bankrupted US companies that were forced out of business by Chinese products dumped on the market and now we will have higher US costing solar items san industry to benefit from it. We really are not effectively addressing foreign trade dumping fast enough.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pakistan's price: US to pay $365 million more a year to reopen supply lines - CSMonitor.com

Pakistan's price: US to pay $365 million more a year to reopen supply lines - CSMonitor.com

 The cost of the US-led war effort in Afghanistan is about to rise by $365 million annually under an agreement that would reopen a key NATO supply route through Pakistan that’s been closed for nearly six months.


The accord, which the Pakistani government announced late Tuesday, would revive the transport of vital supplies of food and equipment from Pakistani ports overland to land-locked Afghanistan.

In return, the US-led coalition will pay Pakistan a still-to-be-fixed fee of $1,500 to $1,800 for each truck carrying supplies, a tab that officials familiar with negotiations estimated would run nearly $1 million a day. The officials requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal details of the agreement....

Brain Disease Is Found in Veterans Exposed to Bombs - NYTimes.com

Brain Disease Is Found in Veterans Exposed to Bombs - NYTimes.com

 Scientists who have studied a degenerative brain disease in athletes have found the same condition in combat veterans exposed to roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, concluding that such explosions injure the brain in ways strikingly similar to tackles and punches.


The researchers also discovered what they believe is the mechanism by which explosions damage brain tissue and trigger the wasting disease, called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., by studying simulated explosions on mice. The animals developed evidence of the disease just two weeks after exposure to a single simulated blast, researchers found. 

“Our paper points out in a profound and definitive way that there is an organic, structural problem in the brain associated with blast exposure,” said Dr. Lee E. Goldstein of Boston University’s School of Medicine and a lead author of the paper, which was published online Wednesday by the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine

The paper provides the strongest evidence yet that some and perhaps many combat veterans with invisible brain injuries caused by explosions are at risk of developing long-term neurological disease — a finding that, if confirmed, would have profound implications for military policy, veterans programs and future research....

-bth: worth reading in full.  Approximately 220K diagnoses of TBI in Iraq/Afghan vets.  Also it seems to be the air wave jostling of the head that causes the problem according to the article. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Let down by their countrymen: how our Forces often feel unappreciated - Telegraph

Let down by their countrymen: how our Forces often feel unappreciated - Telegraph


A survey of more than 9,100 servicemen discloses that almost one in five military personnel has been refused service in pubs, hotels and shops because they were in uniform.
Six per cent have been attacked in the street, while 21 per cent have reported strangers coming up to them and shouting abuse.
In one case, a member of the Royal Navy was told by his son’s head teacher to stop wearing his uniform on the school run because it “upset the parents”.
A female RAF recruiter said that on more than one occasion members of the public have screamed “baby killer” at her as she walked to work in her uniform.
The study also discloses how servicemen and women face discrimination such as being refused mortgages and even mobile phone contracts as a result of being in the Armed Forces....

-bth: Last time I was in London I noticed not seeing anyone in military uniform.  They simply did not walk down the street in uniform. The general public seemed oblivious to the conflicts.  This was 18 months ago so maybe things have changed, but reading this report, maybe it hasn't

The triage commander: Gen. John Allen hastily transforming U.S. mission in Afghanistan - The Washington Post

The triage commander: Gen. John Allen hastily transforming U.S. mission in Afghanistan - The Washington Post

... After Karzai complained about “twin demons” in his country, referring to the Taliban and international forces, Allen wanted to fire back. But he forced himself to seethe quietly in the presidential palace. Then, when he returned to Washington, he made clear how he felt: “I reject the equivalence of our forces with the Taliban,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

I’ll take it to a point,” he said over dinner in Kabul, “but I won’t take it to a fault.”

When Allen traveled to Ghazni, he had lunch with a dozen junior officers from the 82nd Airborne’s 1st Brigade. Instead of exhorting them to make the most of the last major U.S. operation of the war — telling them that the next several months would be America’s final chance to flush the Taliban from the province’s 7,000-foot plains — the general launched into a lecture about small-unit leadership.

I need for our standards to be inviolate. We all know what’s right,” he said as the lieutenants and captains ate roast beef and noodles from Styrofoam containers. “This war can be lost without the Taliban winning. We have to win this morally as well as tactically and operationally.

“We want them to miss us because we were special to them. We don’t want them wiping their brows and saying, ‘Thank God they’re gone.’”....

-bth: Gen. John Allen sounds like an exceptionally good officer.  The WaPo article is worth reading in full.