Daily Archives

BP estimates oil spill up to 100,000 barrels per day in document

Reuters – BP Plc estimates that a worst-case scenario rate for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be about 100,000 barrels of oil per day, according to an internal company document released Sunday by a senior U.S. congressional Democrat. Its estimate of up to 100,000 barrels (4.2 million gallons/15.9 million liters) of oil per day is far higher than the current U.S. government estimate of up to 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons/9.5 million liters) gushing daily from the ruptured offshore well into the sea -Read Article

Gold reclaims its currency status as the global system unravels

Telegraph – We already know that the eurozone money markets seized up violently in early May as incipient bank runs spread from Greece to Portugal and Spain, threatening the first big sovereign default of our era. Jean-ClaudeTrichet, the president of the European Central Bank (EC), talked days later of “the most difficult situation since the Second World War, and perhaps the First”. Read Article

Teen Death after Tasing Investigation

CBS – The death of a teenage burglary suspect who was tasered over the weekend has turned into an investigation into the arrest. Homewood Police Lieutenant Ken Atkinson says that an officer witnessed three suspects breaking into vehicles in the Herzing University parking lot about one a.m. Sunday. Read Article

Working to Help a Haven for Afghan Women Blossom

NY Times — There was in the city an old garden, and in that garden there were trees, and under the trees there were women. And there were no scarves on the heads of the women who sat under the trees in the old Kabul Women’s Garden. That was all something remarkable once upon a time, as it is even now. Read article

Ridge clue to Antarctic ice loss

BBC-The discovery of an underwater ridge in West Antarctica could help explain why there has been an acceleration in the ice flowing from a glacier in the area. Researchers suggest that the base of Pine Island Glacier once sat on the ridge, but recently became detached from the feature. The team made the discovery during surveys that used a unmanned submarine to examine waters under the glacier -Read Article

B.C. reopens possibility of criminal charges in ‘shameful’ Taser death

Gazette – B.C.’s attorney-general announced Friday that top Vancouver criminal lawyer Richard Peck has been named as a special prosecutor to take a second look at criminal charges against four RCMP officers after the Braidwood inquiry found that the Taser used on Robert Dziekanski in 2007 was an unnecessary use of force. Read Article

Push to put unmanned planes to work in U.S

San Francisco Chronicle – Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure’s on to allow them in the skies over the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration has been asked to issue flying rights for a range of pilotless planes to carry out civilian and law enforcement functions but has been hesitant to act. Read Article

Aid agencies launch Niger appeal

BBC – Two major aid agencies have launched $10m (£6.7m) appeals for drought-stricken Niger in West Africa. About seven million people – half of the country’s population – face food shortages after crop failures last year. Aid organisations Oxfam and Save The Children say the situation is growing more critical by the day. Read article

In Brazil, rainforest logging increases malaria rates: study

Independent – Logging of tropical forests can boost the incidence of malaria in the surrounding area by nearly 50 percent, according to new research tracking deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon. The study examined 2006 data tracking malaria rates in 54 Brazilian health districts and high-definition satellite imagery showing the extent of logging of nearby forests -Read Article

Saudis hoard twice as much gold as thought

Financial Times – Saudi Arabia, the world’s fourth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, is sitting on more than twice as much gold as previously thought, according to new estimates that point to the revival of bullion as part of emerging economies’ official reserves. The changes in Riyadh’s reserves were revealed by the World Gold Council, the industry-backed body which regularly tracks official bullion holdings. Read Article

Emerging ocean concern: tiny plastic particles

Seattletimes-Scientists have documented the effects of large plastic flotsam in the oceans, but very little research has focused on what happens when those bigger pieces break down into tiny specks. University of Washington Tacoma professor Joel Baker is developing methods to measure how much of these tiny particles called microplastics are in the oceans. He says microscopic fragments are floating in waters and washing up on shores, but the exact consequences for marine organisms are still unknown -Read Article

Currency Revaluation to Be Gradual, China Says

New York Times – A day after announcing that it would allow a more flexible currency, China said on Sunday that any appreciation in its value would be gradual, a clear attempt to reassure the Chinese people that there would not be a disruptive change. The central bank’s statement coincided with signs of a negative reaction in China, where many view a weak currency and strong exports as symbols of national sovereignty. Read Article

Global warming book withdrawn

Millard Public Schools will stop using a children’s book about global warming — but only until the district can obtain copies with a factual error corrected. A review committee, convened after parents complained, concluded that author Laurie David’s book, “The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming,” contained “a major factual error” in a graphic about rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels -Read Article

Iran hangs Sunni militant leader Abdolmalek Rigi

BBC – The leader of a Sunni militant group has been executed in Iran for his involvement in “terrorist” attacks in the Islamic state, state media report. Abdolmalek Rigi, head of Jundullah, was hanged at dawn at Tehran’s Evin prison in the presence of the families of its victims, the Irna news agency said. Mr Rigi was accused of being behind a series of deadly bombings and raids in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Read Article

Gene linked to autoimmune diseases

Nature – Differences in the sequence of a single gene may be partly responsible for causing around 2% of relatively common autoimmune disorders including diabetes and arthritis. The gene codes for an enzyme called sialic acid acetylesterase (SIAE) that regulates the immune system’s B cells — the cells responsible for producing antibodies against foreign invaders. Read article

Analysis: Spain could test the euro to its limit

Telegraph – As the euro has continued to plunge on foreign exchanges, Spain has become the main focus of fears that economic and debt imbalances between southern and northern Europe will tear the single currency apart. News that the head of the International Monetary Fund was in the country fuelled swirling rumours that Madrid is about ask for help. Read Article

Germany and France examine ‘two-tier’ euro

Telegraph – Germany and France are examining ways of creating a “two-tier” euro system to separate stronger northern European countries from weaker southern states. A European official has told The Daily Telegraph the dramatic option was being examined at cabinet level. Senior politicians believe their economies need to be better protected as they could not cope with another crisis on a par the one in Greece. Read Article

Triple-punch gene therapy targets HIV: Stem-cell transplant passes safety trial

Nature – A combination gene therapy that endows human stem cells with three ways to resist HIV has passed its first safety test in humans. Four patients with AIDS who were infused with these cells tolerated the treatment, and the cells produced their anti-HIV weapons for up to two years. The study is published today in Science Translational Medicine1. Not enough cells were transplanted in the trial to cure the patients or even reduce their viral load. But researchers hope that after further clinical trials, combination gene therapy may replace or complement anti-retroviral drugs as a way to treat people living with HIV. Read Article

Google’s Wi-Fi snoop nabbed passwords and emails

The Register – The Wi-Fi traffic collected by Google’s world-roving Street View cars included passwords and email, according to a report citing a preliminary study from the French data protection authority. IDG reports that the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) has examined part of the data, after it was turned over by Google. “It’s still too early to say what will happen as a result of this investigation,” CNIL told IDG. Read Article

Cutting carbs is more effective than low-fat diet for insulin-resistant women

PhysOrg.com – Obese women with insulin resistance lose more weight after three months on a lower-carbohydrate diet than on a traditional low-fat diet with the same number of calories, according to a new study. The results will be presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego. Read Article

Medvedev Promotes Ruble to Lessen Dollar Dominance

Bloomberg – Russia wants the ruble to be one of the world’s reserve currencies as President Dmitry Medvedev renews his push to reduce the dollar’s dominance and make Moscow a global financial hub. “Only three, five years ago it seemed like a fantasy” to create a new reserve currency, Medvedev said yesterday in a speech in St. Petersburg, Russia. “Now we are seriously discussing it.” Read Article

Good news for rare disease?

The Scientist – The mother of young twins with a rare genetic disease is seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to administer a non-prescription compound directly into the brains of her girls based on recent findings showing the compound dramatically improves cats with the disease. Last month, the FDA approved her orphan drug designation application for the compound in question, cyclodextrin, widely employed by the food and chemical industries, and used as a drug solubilizer. “I’m so excited,” Hempel told The Scientist. “It’s been a long process.” Read article