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The world will not halt the rate of reduction of biodiversity by 2010SEEKING to alleviate poverty, reduce world hunger and protect biodiversity sounds, to your correspondent’s ears, like something a Miss World hopeful might have pledged in the 1980s. In fact, it was what a professor of soil quality at a lesser-known university in the Netherlands promised to a scientific conference that concluded on October 16th.Addressing hundreds of biologists, ecologists and social scientists who were meeting in Cape Town under the auspices of Diversitas, an interdisciplinary group of researchers, Lijb
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ert Brussaard of Wageningen University outlined progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals agreed by members of the United Nations in 2001. One of the targets was to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity. That has not happened. Neither will it do so next year. ...
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With health care stocks cheap compared to the rest of the market, Tom Forester thinks that a bad-case scenario health care bill is already priced into the sector.
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Stocks rallied Monday, with the Dow hitting its highest level in over a year, driven by a rally in industrial and commodity shares and optimism about the quarterly reporting period.
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Treasurys drifted mostly higher Friday after mixed economic news and lackluster corporate results raised demand for the safety of U.S. debt.
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So far, so good. But next week brings the first big test for corporate profits.
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Deliberative buyers and young artists at London's Frieze Art FairThe work on display at London's Frieze Art Fair, which opened to VIPs on October 14th, was as covetable and intellectually intriguing as ever. The gallerists had come from New Delhi to Doha, from San Francisco to Seoul—not to mention that well-flown axis from New York to Berlin and the East End of London. Sales were reportedly much better than last year, when shopping was stalled by the shock of financial freefall. As Andrew Silewicz, a director at Spruth Magers Gallery, admitted, “You know that you're in a recession
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but, for a recession, it’s not at all bad.”Artists seemed to have responded to recent times. Zero, a Milan gallery, had a completely empty white-walled stand except for a small painting by Victor Man of a hand and a puff of smoke. New York's Gavin Brown's Enterprises devoted its booth to canvases by Rirkrit Tiravanija that were covered in newspapers with the phrase “THE DAYS OF THIS SOCIETY IS NUMBERED” written in large colourful letters. Madrid's Galeria Helga de Alvear displayed a sculpture by Elmgreen and Dragset that evoked one of Giacometti's walking men, but this one dragged a ball and chain. “The Giacometti estate are making so many, we thought we'd join in,” joked Michael Elmgreen. ...
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Oil prices have vaulted above $78 a barrel this week as investors continue to fret about a weak dollar and the pace of the economic recovery.
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Stocks slumped Friday, at the end of an upbeat week on Wall Street, as a sour response to General Electric and Bank of America's quarterly results gave investors a reason to retreat.
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Two different viruses will lay millions low this winterIT HAS taken seven months for the vaccine intended to protect people from the potentially deadly H1N1 strain of influenza to start trickling onto pharmacy shelves. The first doses are now being made available in America. Supplies will remain limited for months to come. In the meantime, the vaccine—both the killed version that is injected and the attenuated live version that is given as a nasal spray—is being rationed to those reckoned most in need.That means children, pregnant women, nursing staff and those who could easily inf
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ect other vulnerable groups—especially infants and people with weakened immune systems. Strangely, the new H1N1 strain of virus does not strike the elderly anything like as much as seasonal flu does. This relative immunity—the opposite of what normally happens each winter—suggests that they may have been exposed to something similar in the past. ...