Top News Stories
of 2007

Quote of the Year

"War should be made a crime. Those who actively promote war should be punished as criminals."


Mahathir Mohamad

 

"tdc's Froggy"
             tdc's Animated Frog   Be patient, I'm coming!

Notable Passings

Luciano Pavarotti - September 2007
Bois Yeltsin - April 2007
Oscar Peterson - December 2007
Benazir Bhutto - December 2007

 

Froggy's  Comments 
Right  From The Pond

"
I May Be all Wet but I know what I'm taken' about..."

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USA Politics

Mid December - The presidential race for the Democrats has closed up a lot with Hillary Clinton still leading  and Barack Obama close behind as they go into the Iowa primaries. For the Republicans, John McCain might be a sleeper winner in this one... but he will have to beat Rudy Guiliani first..

End of November - Australia's conservative Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch supporter of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, conceded defeat in elections. 

Mid October - The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

August - Karl Rove,  George Bush's principal political advisor decides to quit after being Bush's main political consultant. Is this the start of the lame duck presidency for the USA?

July, things look really bad in Iraq as Bush's "surge" policy has made no real difference in the elected Iraq government.  They have met none of the political, economic or other reforms that the Bush administration has set out for them to do.  Both Democrats and Republicans are beginning to discuss a rapid withdrawal of troops strategy from Iraq.

In June, Bush's popularity rating by the Washington Post reach only 35 % with 62 % of the US population disapproving of their President.

In mid May, Tony Blair Britain's Prime Minister for 10 years told the world he was going to step down.  Perhaps, what has taken toll on his ministerial position was his siding with George Bush  for attacking Iraq.

It seems that in the US with the Democrats controlling the Senate and the House of Representatives,  George W seems to be addressing domestic issues more and more while trying to stay his line on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Late February, Britain will pull about 1,600 troops from Iraq within months, with an aim to pull out several hundred more by the end of the summer. The world awaits what will happen to the sectarian violence that is killing lots of people in Iraq everyday.

An extra battle group of up to 1,500 British troops is to be sent to Afghanistan to take on the Taleban over the next few months, the Government.  Other NATO partners have failed to increase their commitment despite warnings that the Taliban will launch a spring offensive.

Early February President Bush has approved plans to create a US military command for Africa by 2008, a move that reflects increasing US strategic interests in the continent. This looks really stupid but who knows what Carl Rove Bush's political advisor is thinking.

Late January, Bush's approval ratings went to the floor but he insisted that his "surge" policy on Iraq was still a good one.  Every day in Iraq a least a hundred people are killed as the sectarian war between the Sunni's and  Shite's waged on with the Americans being blamed.  In the USA, democrats Hilliary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama filed papers to establish a presidential exploratory committees as the approval rating for President George W Bush plunged.

In early January, pressured by the fact that the US were losing the war in Iraq, Bush announced that he would increase his army in Iraq by 21,500 troops. Iraq's President al-Maliki supported this by saying  this would definitely aid in stopping the violence in Baghdad caused by his major supporter cleric a-Sadr. However, as long as al-Maliki needs al-Sadr's backing to stay in office, he is unlikely to allow U.S. forces—whatever the number to confront the Mahdi Army led by al-Sadr.
 

Science
Researchers in England may have finally settled the centuries-old debate over who gets credit for the creation of calculus.

The "Kerala school," a little-known group of scholars and mathematicians in fourteenth century India, identified the "infinite series" — one of the basic components of calculus — around 1350.

In 2007, it was discovered that an alloy of aluminum and gallium in pellet form added to water could be used to generate hydrogen. The process creates also creates alumina, but the expensive gallium, which prevents to formation of an oxide skin on the pellets, can be re-used. This potentially has important implications for a hydrogen economy, since hydrogen can be produced on-site and does not need to be transported.  Other hydrogen extraction includes removal of oxygen and hydrogen from salt water using radio frequencies.

Scientists say they have successfully made immature sperm cells from human bone marrow samples.  If this development is pursued this could lead to all female conception in about 5-6 years making the male role in conception obsolete.
 

Economics

Reported at the end of the year that crude oil has jumped 57 percent in New York this year on demand from China and India and concern that tensions with Iran and violence in Iraq and Nigeria may disrupt supply. Crude is also heading for its fourth quarterly advance, the longest run of gains since 2004.

The credit market crisis which was initiated when Bush et al who borrowed massive amounts of money from China in order to back US banks to provide low interest loans for low interest mortgages to support the American dream and the war in Iraq has come back to haunt the American and global economies. This crisis initiated as thousands could not or would not meet mortgage payments. By the end of December the word US recession had started to be used as stock markets plunged.

In late November, banks that normally have shown a profit over the past five years are beginning to show that their profit margins has shrunk considerably as China and other countries are putting the pressure on the United States to repay the loans.

Early November - The price of crude oil continues to rise approaching $100.00 per barrel and the US Dow Jones loses ground even though the Fed continues to pump billions of dollars to try to stabilize the fallout from the low return high risk mortgage markets.  Retailers in United States are reporting a very bad October as they head into the biggest retail season of the year. Gasoline prices across United States are averaging over $3.00 per gallon while in China the gasoline prices are about $1.50 per gallon.

September - Disaster month as stock prices tumble because money lent to lenders for low return mortgages had defaulted so badly. The money markets dropped, however crude oil prices remained high despite warnings that a slow down of the US economy would mean less oil consumption.  This month the US also took a swipe at China's toy manufacturers saying that many of the products sold to Americans  had been painted with high lead paint which could be dangerous for children. 

Mid August - Wal-Mart reports "It is no secret that many customers are running out of money toward the end of the month," Scott said on a recorded conference call, adding that higher fuel prices, interest rates, utility costs and "more financial pressure" are hurting sales in its international market, including Mexico and Canada

The decline in U.S. home prices accelerated nationwide in July, posting the steepest drop in 16 years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

Mid April - Japan's Toyota has overtaken US rival General Motors to become the world's biggest car maker.

In recent weeks, scores of cats and dogs in America have died of kidney failure blamed on eating pet food containing gluten from China that was tainted with melamine, a chemical used in plastics, fertilizers and flame retardants. While humans aren't believed at risk, the incident has sharpened concerns over China's food exports and the limited ability of North American  inspectors to catch problem shipments.

Mid March - In the US defaulting on sub prime mortgage payments is causing big problems in the financial markets as big time mortgage lenders take a bath. Lenders launched foreclosure actions against more than one in every 200 U.S. mortgage borrowers in the fourth quarter of 2006, the biggest share of homes at the start of the repossession process on record.

 

Space

 

There is enough water frozen at Mars' south pole to cover the entire planet to a depth of about 11 metres, new data collected by the Mars Express orbiter suggests.

March - China says it will will launch its first lunar probe this year, and expects to be able to land a man on the Moon within 15 years.

There seems to be nothing better to rattle the egos of the western world when a Chinese missile destroys one of its own satellites in space which happened in mid January. 
 

Health

More and more hospital facilities are being closed because patients are picking up infectious diseases. Has anyone really thought this one through and come to the conclusion that the doctors and staff could be the major carriers not patients that come into the medical facilities.

Top stories about health in 2007 include prevention and detection as the main things that happened.  Drug companies and medical services seemed determined to keep on this track and not on cures.

Mid October - Over-the-counter cough and cold medications should not be used in children younger than age 6, a special panel of federal advisers concluded after an exhaustive review of the products' safety and effectiveness. It is about time !

In 2007 it seems that the pill makers seemed to have abandoned the idea of finding cures for ailments and are sticking to providing medication for people take for a lifetime to slow down or prevent whatever seems to be ailing at the time.  Are there any checks to prevent doctors from initialing drug treatments that might bankrupt persons or governments who provide healthcare?  There seems to be checks that prevent pill makers from going bankrupt if they screw up.
 

Social Environment In Mid November - Morley Safer of CBS's 60 minutes reported on the new generation of "millennials." They are in their late teens to early twenties - Millennials, born between 1982 and 2000 and could be ill prepared for a demanding workplace.  It will be people that will shape the future of Western society in 2- 10 years if not sooner.

 

Environment
 

The Arctic's sea covering has shrunk so much that the Northwest Passage, the fabled sea route that connects Europe and Asia, has opened up for the first time since records began.

Global dimming cause from particulate pollution is masking the real effects of global warming which is caused from greenhouse gases.

August - BEIJING - Despite a persistent gray haze, officials said an exercise that removed more than 1 million private vehicles a day from Beijing‘s gridlocked streets was a success that could mean a clearer sky during next summer‘s Olympics.

Mid July - Europe gets hit with some of the highest temps on record with +40 C temperatures lasting several days.  In England they are hit with rains which cause flooding near Oxford.

End of May - Emission permits for delivery next year rose 95 cents, or 4.1 percent, to 23.95 euros ($32) a metric ton, according to prices from the European Climate Exchange in Amsterdam at 11:20 a.m. local time. They've risen from as low as 11.80 euros a ton in February.

April -  China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases this year, says the International Energy Agency

China claims to have caused a snowfall over the city of Nagqu Tibet for the first time as part of its increasingly ambitious attempts to control the weather

Experts at a major climate change conference have warned. that billions of people face shortages of food and water and increased risk of flooding,

Since the 1950's sun light reaching the Earth has significantly reduced. In Israel, where the first measurements were taken, sunlight intensity has reduced by some 22% and in the UK it has reduced by about 10%.
 

Mid March - The layer of volcanic dust, pollution and other aerosol particles that blocks sunlight and helps counter global warming has thinned since the early 1990s, according to a new NASA study.

In March, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets and the state of California enacted a law in July that requires large stores to take back plastic bags and encourage their reuse

At the end of February - Tokyo experienced the first winter without snowfall on record since 1876, the Japan Meteorological Agency

Mid February and it is reported that the world has experienced the warmest January ever with the normally frigid countries of Canada, Norway and Siberia experiencing 5 degree higher average temperatures than in 2006.

In early February, Norway unveils the 'Noah's Ark' of food. The seed bank will not be affected by rising global temperatures. The design for an arctic "doomsday vault" to save three million batches of seeds from all known crop varieties will be stored at sub-zero temperatures inside two large chambers in the event of a global catastrophe. The 2 million dollar vault, a repository for seeds that could be used to re-establish crops obliterated in a major disaster, is specifically designed to survive the effects of climate change,

February - International scientists and officials report that global warming is "very likely" caused by man, and that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution

In January  - the U.S. wants Canada to dramatically expand its oil exports from the Alberta oil sands, a move that could have major implications on the environment and reduce their dependence on Mid East Oil

 

Peace

Late in December former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide bomb attack after she addressed a crowd asking for political change in  Pakistan.  This violence came less than two weeks ahead of January 2008 parliamentary elections and as many days after President Pervez Musharraf lifted a six-week-old state of emergency he said was necessary to ensure the country's stability.

Early in November The U.S. military announced the deaths of five more soldiers and one sailor, making 2007 the deadliest year for U.S. troops despite a recent downturn, according to an Associated Press count.
At least 853 American military personnel have died in Iraq so far this year—the highest annual toll since the war began in March 2003, according to AP figures.

Early in September - In the US, Gen. Petraeus's  conclusion on the use of a surge of 165,000 US troops is that it is working and higher troop levels - more than 165,000 U.S. soldiers are in Iraq are needed if this is to be maintained. He goes on to say that Bush's policy to use the surge to bring Iraq to some form of political stability is a failure. After this report Bush announces the beginning of a drawdown of troops to about 130,000 troop which is about the same level as before the "surge".  This should be completed by the summer of 2008 in time for the Republican convention before the US goes to the polls in November.

End of August - Figures compiled by the Associated Press from police reports from across Iraq show that at least 1,809 civilians were killed last month, compared to 1,760 in July. That brings the count of Iraqi civilians killed to 27,564 since the Associated Press began collecting the data on April 28, 2005

Mid April - Russia is preparing its own military response to the US's controversial plans to build a new missile defense system in eastern Europe, according to Kremlin officials, in a move likely to increase fears of a cold war-style arms race. The big winners are the defense contractors.

Mid March - It was reported that:  At least 3,188 American soldiers have died since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to Reuters news agency.

An estimated 655,000 Iraqis, 2.5 per cent of the population, have been killed as a result of the invasion, according to an estimate in October by the Lancet, the British medical journal, and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the city of Baltimore in Maryland, US.

Mid February --- North Korea agrees to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program. The deal marks the first concrete plan for disarmament in more than three years of six-nation negotiations.
 

Religion At the end of February there was new scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah.
 
Internet Maybe it is because of the US Presidential election slated for November 2008, that the candidates are using multiple internet websites, FaceBook, MySpace, and YouTube to promote, demote, raise funds and criticize each other.

It appears that this might set a trend for more direct commercial advertising and other countries to promote themselves and sell things directly in the very near future. Why use only one site when you can use multiple sites eh?

Almost 300 million people worldwide are now accessing the internet using fast broadband connections. Fuelling the growth of social networking services are web sites such as MySpace and generating thousands of hours of video through websites such as YouTube.

Next wave of interactive communications will be the Webinar where thousands of people can interact when viewing a performance at a very low cost.  Get yourself a microphone, web cam, high speed and you will be all set.

 

Communications

In January, Steve Jobs announces Apple's new phone the iPhone which is anticipated to sell 25 million starting in the summer. Blackberry stocks tumble but recover on word that the iPhone is in trouble because of copyright infringement of the name which was later settled out of court.

 

Entertainment

Early September the world mourned the death of tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
 

Biggest Disappointments
of the Year

During 2007, there seemed to be a complete lack of understanding by leaders and individuals on the consequences of not understanding how a system works from the start until it finishes.  There is an understanding of parts of a system but the number of persons no having knowledge of the sum of the parts seems to be disappearing.  As a result, there will be grave consequences as we move into the future.

The issue of climate change was one of the big stories in 2007, but leaders refused to accept the fact that one of the main causes was the growing number of people who live in urban areas and the growing population of the world ~~ and said nothing very little of substance to changing it.

It seems that order to survive today we need to have:
clean air, clean water, organically grown food, shelter, clothing, communications,
financial planners, entertainment, education, security, insurance
- what next?

Ask people living in 3rd world countries if they have any of these things?

Your Comments?

Have a Happy 2008 Folks !

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