RBS posts record loss as UK insures toxic assets
The Royal Bank of Scotland has posted a 2008 loss of over 24 billion pounds -- the largest in British corporate history. This means that last year, the bank wiped out all of its net profits from the preceding four years. RBS, which is 70 percent owned by the state after a massive bailout, was hit particularly hard by its leading role in the consortium purchase of Dutch giant ABN Amro in 2007 before the credit crunch hit the banking sector. The UK government has now agreed to insure the bank's "toxic" assets worth 325 billion pounds and cover 90 percent of losses stemming from such holdings. Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has said that the government has asked RBS ex-chief executive Fred Goodwin to give up his annual pension of 650,000 pounds, saying such excesses cannot be justified.
U.S. Rushes to Change Workplace Toxin Rules
Political appointees at the Department of Labor are moving with unusual speed to push through in the final months of the Bush administration a rule making it tougher to regulate workers' on-the-job exposure to chemicals and toxins.
(By Carol D. Leonnig, The Washington Post)
Scientists dismiss 'detox myth'
Eating fruit and vegetables is the best way to feel healthy, researchers say
There is no evidence that products widely promoted to help the body "detox" work, scientists warn.The charitable trust Sense About Science reviewed 15 products, from bottled water to face scrub, and found many detox claims were "meaningless".
Anyone worried about the after-effects of Christmas overindulgence would get the same benefits from eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep, they said.
Advertising regulators said they looked at such issues on a case-by-case basis.
The investigation, done by research members of the Voice of Young Science network, was kicked off by a campaign to unpick "dodgy" science claims - where companies use phrases that sound scientific but do not actually mean anything.
The minimum sellers of detox products should be able to offer is a clear understanding of what detox is and proof that their product actually works
Tom Wells, chemist
They challenged the companies behind products such as vitamins, shampoo, detox patches and a body brush on the evidence they had to support the detox claims made.
No two companies seemed to use the same definition of detox - defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the removal of toxic substances or qualities.
In the majority of cases, producers and retailers were forced to admit that they had simply renamed processes like cleaning or brushing, as detox, the scientists said.
One researcher investigated a Garnier face wash which claimed to detoxify the skin by removing toxins.
A five-day detox plan from Boots which claimed to detoxify the body and flush away toxins was also criticised for not being backed by evidence.
Evelyn Harvey, a biologist who looked into the product, said that if consumers followed the healthy diet that was recommended alongside the supplement they would probably feel better - but it would have nothing to do with the product itself.
The researchers warned that, at worst, some detox diets could have dangerous consequences and, at best, they were a waste of money.
Tom Wells, a chemist who took part in the research, said: "The minimum sellers of detox products should be able to offer is a clear understanding of what detox is and proof that their product actually works.
"The people we contacted could do neither."
Alice Tuff, from Sense About Science, added: "It is ridiculous that we're seeing a return to mystical properties being claimed for products in the 21st Century and I'm really pleased that young scientists are sharing their concerns about this with the public."
The Advertising Standards Authority said it would investigate such claims on a case-by-case basis if a complaint was made.
"If a product is making claims not substantiated by the evidence submitted by the company we would challenge that."
A spokeswoman from Boots said its five-day detox plan encouraged people to drink water and includes ingredients that "battle against toxins and help protect from the dangers of free radicals".
And Garnier commented: "All Garnier products undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure that our claims are accurate and noticeable by our consumers."
This means the nation will not have more protective crane standards for years unless the administrator of OSHA, Edwin G. Foulke Jr., requests, and the White House approves, an “extraordinary” exception for publication of the proposed cranes and derricks 圖解 standard. When a new president takes office in January, his new appointees in the Labor Department would want to review these standards before taking any action. If they made changes to the draft regulations, the negotiations may have to be reopened.
unexpected and inconvenient or unpleasant:
Unless anything untoward happens we should arrive just before midday.
untoward━━ a. 運が悪い; 片意地な; 不適当な.
un・toward・ly ━━ ad.
un・toward・ness ━━ n.
Tests of the chemical have shown that it has a high level of toxicity.
The toxicity of the drug severely limits its use.
happening while you are working:
No formal qualifications are required for the work - you'll get on-the-job training.
a poisonous substance, especially one which is produced by bacteria and which causes disease detox [S or U] ━━ n. （アル中・麻薬中毒患者に対する）解毒 （de・tox・i・fi・ca・tion）.
1 when you stop taking unhealthy or harmful foods, drinks or drugs into your body for a period of time, in order to improve your health:
She went on a 48-hour detox, eating nothing but grapes.
a detox diet
2 medical treatment in a special hospital to stop someone drinking too much alcohol or taking harmful drugs:
He'd spent 18 months in detox/at a detox centre fighting drug addiction.detoxification centre
detox [I or T] ━━ v. 解毒する （de・tox・i・f）.
1 to stop taking unhealthy or harmful foods, drinks and other substances into your body for a period of time, in order to improve your health:
If you have skin problems or feel sluggish and run-down, then it may be time to detox.
2 to have medical treatment in a special hospital in order to stop drinking too much alcohol or taking harmful drugs