Thursday, June 28, 2007

Russia lays claim to the North Pole - and all its gas, oil, and diamonds

The six-week mission on a nuclear ice-breaker claimed that the underwater Lomonsov ridge is geologically linked to the Siberian continental platform - and similar in structure.

The detailed findings are likely to be put to the United Nations in a bid to bring it under the Kremlin noose, and provide the bonanza of an estimated 10 billion tonnes of gas and oil deposits as well as significant sources of diamonds, gold, tin, manganese, nickel, lead and platinum.

Under current international law, the countries ringing the Arctic - Russia, Canada, the US, Norway, Denmark (Greenland) - are limited to a 200 mile economic zone around their coastlines.

Currently, a UN convention stipulates that none of these countries can claim jurisdiction of the Arctic seabed because the geological structure does not match that of the surrounding continental shelves

Suburbs need not fear school vouchers

When parents spend a king's ransom to buy a house, they understandably want to protect what is undoubtedly for most the biggest investment of their lives. Unfettered school choice poses a direct threat by allowing children from urban schools to enroll in suburban schools at the expense of local taxpayers. Too many of these outsiders bring huge deficits in socialization, motivation, and intellectual development through no fault of their own, which lower test scores and, in turn, house prices. Faced with that possibility, suburbanites have fought back, with remarkable success.