Some private security guards hired to protect the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan say their contractor has allowed widespread mistreatment, sexual activity and intimidation within their ranks, according to the watchdog group Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
The case of South African athlete Caster Semenya has sparked worldwide interest following reports that she will be tested by sporting officials to determine whether she is male or female. The 18-year-old won gold in the 800 meters race Wednesday but she may be forced to return the medal if she fails a gender-verification test imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
For Asians, it seems, being young and thin isn’t enough to ward off Type II diabetes. Though the disease is typically associated with old age and obesity, a study published May 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that Asia’s growing number of diabetics are relatively young and well under weights traditionally matched with the disease
In a sudden surge that took Asian health officials by surprise, the Japanese health ministry confirmed on Monday at least 125 new cases of the A virus or swine flu in the country’s western prefectures of Osaka and Hyogo. Officials have shut down around 1,000 schools since many of the infected were high-school students. Japan, along with the United Kingdom and Spain, is now one of the few countries outside of North America where the World Health Organization fears sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus could lead to the onset of a full-blown pandemic
At last month’s glitzy Shanghai auto show, held in the only significant car market in the world that’s still growing, Nick Reilly, the president of GM Asia-Pacific, knew the question would come. Still, he winced a bit when a Chinese journalist asked him what would happen to Detroit’s fallen giant if it was forced by the U.S. government to declare bankruptcy
The latest video from Somalia’s al Qaeda-backed Al-Shabaab wing is as slickly produced as a reality TV show but with a startling message — complete with a hip-hop jihad vibe. “Mortar by mortar, shell by shell, only going to stop when I send them to hell,” the unidentified voice raps on the video, which runs at least 18 minutes.
World economy — better luck next year. That’s the message the International Monetary Fund gave this week, further downgrading its projection of 2009 global economic growth to -1.3 percent — nearly 2 percent less than originally forecast. The IMF called it “the most severe recession since World War II.” A modest recovery is predicted for 2010, but at 1.9 percent would be “sluggish relative to past recoveries.” “These projections are based on an assessment that financial market stabilization will take longer than previously thought, even with strong efforts by policymakers,” Oliver Blanchard, IMF chief economist and Jose Vinals, head of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department, said in a joint statement.
General Motors’ European division announced Friday that its German subsidiary, Opel cars, will become an independent unit of the company.