Daily Archives

’15-year high’ for rhino poaching

BBC – Rhino poaching around the world is set to reach a 15-year high, conservation groups have warned.
They say demand for the threatened animals’ horns is being driven by the traditional medicine trade in Asia.
The groups estimated that the number of rhinos being killed in southern Africa had risen four-fold in recent years. Read article

More Web attacks, North Korea suspected

Reuters – A fresh wave of cyber attacks that slowed U.S. and South Korean websites this week hit more targets on Thursday, a Web security firm said, while the South’s spy agency has said the hacking may be linked to North Korea.
The impact of the attacks, aimed so far at dozens of sites including the White House and the South’s presidential office, was seen as negligible, experts said, but served as a reminder that Pyongyang has been planning for cyber warfare.
“The anticipated attack did take place, but considerable countermeasures were taken and it did act as a defense to some degree,” an official at the online security firm Ahnlab said. Read article

El Nino conditions return to affect weather

Associated Press – El Nino is back.
Government scientists said Thursday that the periodic warming of water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which can affect weather around the world, has returned.
The Pacific had been in what is called a neutral state, but forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the sea surface temperature climbed to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal along a narrow band in the eastern equatorial Pacific in June.
In addition, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said temperatures in other tropical regions are also above normal, with warmer than usual readings as much as 975 feet below the ocean surface. Read article

Polemic – It’s just one of many cyclical patterns that affect our environment; the axis tilt of Earth that gives our seasons, the Moon that brings our tides and yes, even the Sun, the one object that is responsible for 99.9999% of our weather and indeed, all life on this planet.

Further evidence that Pakistan tortured suspects for Britain

Guardian – Human Rights Watch says Pakistani intelligence officials have confirmed torture took place with full knowledge of British agents
Further evidence of the close involvement of British agents in the torture of British citizens in Pakistan has emerged during a series of interviews with Pakistani intelligence officers.
Researchers from the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) say several Pakistani officials have corroborated accounts of torture given by several victims. The officials not only made clear that their counterparts in British intelligence were fully aware of the methods they were employing during interrogations but claim the British agents were “grateful” it was happening. Read article

Police to probe phone hack claims

BBC – The police are to examine claims that a huge mobile phone hacking operation was launched by the News of the World, targeting thousands of people.
The Guardian says the Sunday paper’s reporters paid private investigators to hack into phones, many of them owned by politicians and celebrities.
It is alleged details were suppressed by the police and the High Court.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “This raises questions that are serious and will obviously have to be answered.” Read article

Hysteria is the real threat, not global warming

Mail Online – With Tony Blair launching his own plan to save the world (groans), and the G8 leaders also unveiling their thoughts about global warming, this is a big week for environmental fanaticism.
Whatever he or they offer, it will not be enough to quell the warmists’ semi-religious fervour. They are like medieval preachers, proclaiming to baying crowds that the end of the word is nigh.
Well, is it? There are two separate climate issues – the extent of global warming and the role that humanity plays in it. Read article

Iran protests draw thousands but are quickly quelled

LA Times – Violent clashes erupted Thursday in downtown Tehran between thousands of defiant protesters chanting “Death to the dictator” and security forces wielding truncheons, as the political crisis over Iran’s disputed presidential election stretched into its fourth week.
Contingents of uniformed and plainclothes security forces flooded the city’s central squares and managed with batons and tear gas to eventually disperse the demonstrators, many of whom wore black and held up their fingers in V-for-victory salutes. Read article

Greenpeace launch ‘True Food Guide’

Choice – A pocket-sized guide listing alcoholic drinks free of genetically modified ingredients was launched by Greenpeace yesterday, with the support of farmers, chefs and well-known food industry figures.
The alcoholic drinks edition of Greenpeace’s True Food Guide has a green and red list of alcoholic drinks, indicating those brands that reject GM and others that may contain GM-derived ingredients respectively.
Brands on the green list include Tooheys, Tyrrell’s and Beck’s, while some of those in the red are Absolut, Cascade and VB.
“Genetic engineering of grape vines and yeasts, currently being researched, is not the answer to challenges facing Australia’s wine industry,” said leading Australian wine writer Max Allen. “The environmental issues are becoming increasingly important for consumers.”
According to Greenpeace, once GM crops are released they cannot be recalled and there are no long-term studies looking into the impacts of GM food.
Read article

Climate Change is Big Business

Triplepundit – Here is a killer wake-up call: The global carbon market may be worth over $2.0 trillion by 2020. (That’s almost larger than the entire UK economy.) Almost half of that wealth will reside in the US, meaning carbon could account for a staggering 7% of US GDP by 2020.
In short, climate change is big business. And PwC got the memo. When I spoke with Scott Gehsmann, a Partner with PwC’s Transaction Services, he stated the firm’s position on climate change succinctly: “Doing nothing right now is not an acceptable response.”
In the last two months, Gehsmann has seen a flurry of demand for carbon & climate change risk management, including in the deal making arena. That’s where Porsche and VW appear in the storyline”¦ Read article

Ex-Monsanto VP hired as FDA adviser

Bizjournals – A former lawyer with Monsanto Co. has been hired as an adviser at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Michael Taylor, who worked as Monsanto’s former vice president for public policy for two years until 2000, will advise Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret Hamburg, the FDA said Tuesday. Read article

Tests raise life extension hopes

BBC – A drug discovered in the soil of a South Pacific island may help to fight the ageing process, research suggests.
When US scientists treated old mice with rapamycin it extended their expected lifespan by up to 38%.
The findings, published in the journal Nature, raise the prospect of being able to slow down the ageing process in older people.
However, a UK expert warned against using the drug to try to extend lifespan, as it can suppress immunity. Read article