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January 30, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:




Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.


Egypt's leader declares emergency after clashes (Reuters)

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities along the Suez Canal where dozens of people have been killed over the past four days in protests his allies say are designed to overthrow him

Canadian opposition introduces bill that makes secession easier (Reuters)

Canada's biggest opposition party introduced a bill on Monday that would make it easier for the French-speaking province of Quebec to secede, although the proposal has no chance of becoming law now. The bill, from the opposition New Democratic Party, would allow Quebec to leave Canada if there were a simple majority vote on a clear question - 50 percent plus one vote, offering clues to NDP policy on the matter if it wins the 2015 election.

Images suggest NKorea ready for nuke test  (U-T San Diego)

Recent satellite photos show North Korea could be almost ready to carry out its threat to conduct a nuclear test, a U.S. research institute said Friday.

After threatening the US, North Korea turns its ire on South Korea

North Korea reacted to the UN Security Council's unanimous vote to condemn the North's recent satellite launch by announcing that it would now take 'strong physical countermeasures against' the South. (U-T San Diego)

Around The Globe, Women Already Serve In Combat Units (NPR)

(NPR) -- From Canada to Israel to South Africa, several countries already allow women to serve in combat units. Germany has deployed female soldiers to dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

Violence flares on anniversary of Egypt uprising (Jerusalem Post)

Hundreds of youths clashed with Egyptian police in Tahrir Square on Friday in a violent start to the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and led to the election of an Islamist president who is now the focus of protester rage.

Russian forces kill three militants in North Caucasus (Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian security forces killed three suspected militants on Friday in a shootout in the North Caucasus, where the government is fighting an Islamist insurgency, authorities said on Friday.

15,000 crocodiles escape in South Africa? Police need herding help after floods (Christian Science Monitor)

15,000 crocodiles escape: Some South African media reports say possibly up to 15,000 crocodiles have escaped from a local crocodile farm. Police beg for volunteers to potentially round up 15,000 crocodiles escaped earlier this week after flooding rains.

Russia's Vladimir Putin says West is fomenting jihadi 'blowback' (Christian Science Monitor)

Moscow is criticized for weak support of the Arab Spring, and for actively backing Bashir al-Assad in Syria. But the Kremlin says its policies are consistent and the West is exporting revolt.

Muslim ‘modesty patrol’ stalking streets of London (Jerusalem Post)

Borough officials, community leaders and police condemned a group of self-proclaimed vigilantes who took it upon themselves to patrol the streets of London confronting people they deemed as indulging in “non-Muslim” behavior.  Earlier this month, a group who had claimed an area in East London was a “Muslim area” had told people that alcohol was banned, or that they were dressed inappropriately. The group, who dubbed itself a “Muslim patrol,” filmed the incidents and posted the footage on YouTube. (note: Video shows abusive actions of the group toward non-Muslims, women and homosexuals)

Court rejects Saudi blogger case (BBC)

A Saudi court refuses to charge a young blogger accused of insulting Islam, highlighting the struggle between conservative and reformist forces.


Title IX redux? Education Dept. says school sports can't shut out disabled. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Education Department issued a letter Friday advising public schools how to offer equal opportunities for disabled students in sports…Advocates for disabled students say that too often they are shut out of school sports because of stereotypes or a lack of understanding of how to accommodate their disabilities....The announcement does raise questions, however, about how far schools will be expected to go – and at what expense – to offer sports for students who need more than just a minor accommodation. 

Court won't hear challenge to Clean Air Act rule (U-T San Diego)

The Supreme Court won't hear a challenge to a tough new clean air requirement limiting sulfur dioxide emissions.

Regulator: Huge cuts coming to New England fishing (U-T San Diego)

New England's top fishing regulator said Friday that crippling cuts in catch limits this year are unavoidable and they will devastate what remains of the region's once-flourishing fishing industry.


Shocking: Reporting Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered ‘Act of Terrorism’ If New Laws Pass  (Alternet, reprinted at San Diego Free Press)

How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.

Anonymous threatens Justice Dept. over hactivist death (CNN)

In anger over the recent death of an Internet activist who faced federal charges, hackers claiming to be from the group Anonymous threatened early Saturday to release sensitive information about the U.S. Department of Justice.

Court: Obama appointments are unconstitutional (U-T San Diego)

In an embarrassing setback for President Barack Obama, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday that he violated the Constitution in making certain recess appointments and moved to curtail a chief executive's ability in the future to circumvent the Senate in such scenarios.

Court says EPA overestimates biofuels production (AP)

(AP) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants in an effort to promote the fledgling industry.

Pentagon researches new life for dead satellites (Sacramento Bee)

Call it space grave robbery for a cause: Imagine scavenging defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycling them to build brand new ones for cheap.

Court overturns another Guantanamo conviction (Reuters)

MIAMI (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned the Guantanamo war crimes conviction of an al Qaeda videographer, a ruling likely to lead to dismissal of conspiracy charges in the pending trial of five men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out the conviction of Yemeni prisoner Ali Hamza al Bahlul, ruling that the charges of which he was convicted - conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and soliciting murder - were not internationally recognized as war crimes when the acts were committed.

Pentagon To Dramatically Expand 'Cyber Warrior' Force (NPR)

The Pentagon has approved plans for a five-fold increase in its cyberwar fighting force. The U.S. Cyber Command would see its ranks jump from 900 to 4,900, including both uniformed and civilian personnel.


New Norovirus Strain Rips Through The U.S. (NPR)

More than half of norovirus outbreaks reported during the last four months of 2012 in the U.S. were caused by a strain first identified in Australia. Restaurants and long-term care facilities have been hit hardest. ...There's no particular treatment or vaccine against norovirus. The best defense is good hygiene — wash your hands frequently and well. A thorough cleanup of the messes with an effective disinfectant, such as a bleach solution, is a must.

Scientists create 'tractor beam' (BBC)

A Star Trek style 'tractor beam', which uses light to attract objects, is developed by scientists at the University of St Andrews.  It is hoped it could have medical applications by targeting and attracting individual cells.


Heroin: Small cities, even rural towns face growing problems (Christian Science Monitor)

For years, heroin was considered an affliction mainly of poor urban neighborhoods. But these days, the drug is becoming popular in affluent suburbs, small cities, and even rural towns – especially among young people....  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin use in the United States rose 66 percent between 2007 and 2011…Users often switch from painkillers to heroin because it’s cheaper and more readily available…Moreover, heroin has become increasingly available in refined forms that can be sniffed or snorted. Many young people are introduced to heroin in a powder form but eventually switch to injections. 

Long-term aspirin 'blindness link' (BBC)

People who regularly take aspirin for many years, such as those with heart problems, are more likely to develop a form of blindness, researchers say.  A study on 2,389 people, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed aspirin takers had twice the risk of "wet" age-related macular degeneration.

New lingo for consumers: health overhaul glossary (U-T San Diego)

President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law has spawned its own jargon. With the law finally about to take full effect, consumers might want to get familiar with some of the terms,

Health insurance exchanges will transform market (U-T San Diego)

Health insurance exchanges will change the way people buy coverage and will help millions of uninsured people get a private plan. Nearly 49 million people are uninsured in the United States, but the numbers vary dramatically by state.

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds (NPR)

Microbes can thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.


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