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Mobile phones: Is there an epidemic on hold?

The world’s most important study into the dangers of mobile-phone use raises serious worries, writes Geoffrey Lean.

It is as if the Pope were to advise us to disregard his past pronouncements as fatally fallible, Lord’s was to declare that umpiring decisions there had long been biased, or Gordon Brown were to confess that his 13 years of managing the economy were a disaster.

This week, the scientists who had completed one of the world’s biggest and most important health studies effectively admitted that it had wasted everyone’s time.


Can Asians think?

My Singaporean friend, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, wrote a provoking essay in 1998 called Can Asians think?.

I personally found the title rather offensive - of course we can think. But what he really meant was “can Asians think out of the Western intellectual box?” For most of us who are trained in or by the West, we used to think that our ikons of best practice are the wonderful theories, science, technology and institutions that the West has brought to Asia.

But the current global crisis has shocked us to the core. That the best of the West, such as the Wall Street iconic firm of Goldman Sachs, could be charged by the SEC of fraud, is stunning to those who look to them for standards of professionalism, innovation, intellectual brilliance and moral integrity. When our teachers are no better than us, then we would really have to think for ourselves.


Fund Managers can become farmers: Jim Rogers

Even if you are outright bearish, don't short the market. Stocks could touch crazy levels, but they may be in currencies which are worthless.
Indeed, a sovereign default and currency turmoil could rattle world markets in a year or two. In a chat with ET, global investor Jim Rogers says cotton, silver and sugar can be hot picks.

At one stage we were inundated with gloomy forecasts, which were further reinforced by the IMF and World Bank. And then suddenly stocks surged — something most were not prepared for. How risky is the market today?

Central banks all over the world have printed huge amounts of money, and the real economy is not strong enough for all this money to be absorbed... so, it's going into stocks and real assets such as commodities. It's a mistake what they are doing. It's giving short-term pleasure, but there's long-term pain as we are going to have much higher inflation, much higher interest rates and a worse economy down the road.

Colonialism, Human Rights, and Scoundrels

The European Union is baring its white imperialist fangs after being outmaneuvered by Sri Lanka in its bid to strongarm Colombo into a ceasefire. The real purpose of adding the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt to the ride taken by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Minister David Milliband to Colombo is quite clearly stated in Bildt’s blog writings:

Writing on April 26 about his then impending trip to the island Bildt says: “International human rights must be respected. …The intention is to – as a way to - support the UN’s efforts – increase the pressure for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to leave the conflict area unharmed … the importance of a strong European voice in the matter - must be given priority.”


Rot' at heart of Indian intelligence

The blame game over who was responsible for bloody terror attacks in the western Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has a sense of déjà vu about it.
Security experts have criticised the response to the attacks, which left nearly 200 people dead, as "amateurish, sluggish and feeble".
Indian intelligence agencies are leaking information that they gave about half a dozen warnings to the government in Maharashtra state - of which Mumbai is the capital.

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