Daily Archives

Conflict of Interest Warning: Boys ‘need sex-virus jab’

The Independent – Consideration should be given to routinely vaccinating young boys against a sexually-transmitted virus linked to mouth cancer, a leading expert says. Increasing evidence suggests certain strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are behind big increases in rates of oral cancer. Read article
Editorial Comment: Professor Maura Gillison recieves grant funding from Merck

Libya air raids death toll hits 1,000

PressTV – A Rome-based group representing Arab expatriates revealed the mascara on Tuesday to become yet another aspect of the Tripoli’s brutal crackdown on the country’s popular revolution. ”Hospitals have no electricity and no medicines,” said Foad Aodi, who heads the Rome-based Arab World Communities in Italy (COMAI), dpa reported. COMAI has appealed to the Italian government to send medical and other emergency supplies to crisis-hit Libya. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government “must not remain …deaf and dumb towards the revolution which is taking place in these hours,” Aodi said. As nearly 1,400 Libyans have been killed by Libyan ruler Muammar iGaddafi’s forces over the past several days, governments across the world have condemned the Libyan government’s violent repression of the pro-democracy protesters. Read article

Qaddafi’s Grip on the Capital Tightens as Revolt Grows

NYTimes – Libya — Vowing to track down and kill protesters “house by house,” Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya tightened his grip on the capital, Tripoli, on Tuesday, but the eastern half of the country was slipping beyond his control. A bloody crackdown drove protesters from the streets of Tripoli, where residents described a state of terror. After a televised speech by Colonel Qaddafi, thousands of his supporters converged in the city’s central Green Square, wearing green bandannas and brandishing large machetes. Read article

Infographic: Organised Crime

Source: http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2011/03/start/crime-organised/viewgallery#!image-number=1

Five killed during arrest of Qaeda suspect: Yemen

AFP - A firefight in which three soldiers and two civilians were killed erupted when security forces moved in to arrest an Al-Qaeda suspect in southeastern Yemen, the defence ministry said on Tuesday. ”Yemeni security forces arrested an Al-Qaeda leader Mohammed Abdullah Maouda when he was on his way… with an armed group to Shabwa province Monday afternoon,” governor of Marib province Ali Naji al-Zaidi told 26sep.net, the ministry’s website. It added that a shootout ensued during which five people, three soldiers and two civilians, were killed. Read Article

Australia: Kimberley in grip of suicide emergency

The Australian – The Kimberley is again in the grip of an Aboriginal suicide crisis, with seven young people, including a 13-year-old girl, taking their lives since last month.  The tragedy has affected communities across the remote region, including Broome and Fitzroy Crossing, and led to renewed calls for a regional alcohol management plan and more prevention services.  The most recent death occurred last Wednesday when a 20-year-old Fitzroy Crossing Aborigine took his own life. The oldest person to have died in this latest spate was aged 30.  The deaths follow a coronial inquest into the suicides of 21 Kimberley Aborigines in 2006. In his 2008 findings, West Australian Coroner Alastair Hope attacked a lack of leadership in indigenous affairs and criticised a “seriously flawed” delivery of health and education services to remote communities.  Read Article

Campaigners claim ‘Labour let in 3m immigrants’

The Independent UK – More than three million migrants came to Britain under the previous Labour government, campaigners claimed today.  Migration Watch UK said official figures to be released on Thursday will show for the first time that net migration since Labour came to power in 1997 topped the three million mark.  Sir Andrew Green, the think-tank’s chairman, said: “The sheer scale of what has occurred is changing Britain fundamentally and irrevocably and in ways the majority of the population did not ask for, were not consulted about and did not wish to see.”  Read Article

Brent Crude Jumps to Two-Year High Above $108, Gold Rises on Libya Unrest

Bloomberg – Oil rose to the highest since September 2008 and gold rallied for a sixth day surpassing $1,400 an ounce as tension in the Middle East escalated. Stocks fell the most in a month as Eni SpA led companies with operations in Libya lower. Brent crude gained 5.3 percent to $107.93 at 5:34 p.m. New York time. Gold climbed 1.2 percent and silver added 3.8 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 1.3 percent, with Eni sinking the most since July 2009. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.9 percent. Bahrain’s 2020 bond yield increased for a 10th day after S&P cut the nation’s debt rating. The yen and the dollar strengthened against most of their major peers. U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday. Libyan security forces attacked anti-government protesters as demonstrations spread across the Middle East and North Africa, a region that accounts for 36 percent of global crude output. Chinese authorities blocked foreign news reports on protests across the country to stamp out any movement toward pro-democracy revolts. Read Article

Even more than Mideast, China keeps firm grip on Internet

Physorg – As Arab governments from Bahrain to Yemen and the clerical rulers in Iran alike wrestle with how to get a grip on the Internet’s role in spreading unrest, the Communist Party in Beijing has steadily applied one of the world’s most sophisticated censorship programs. Instead of shutting down the Internet completely, as Egypt briefly did in an unsuccessful bid to save former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, China carefully picks and chooses what material is allowed to filter through. And while troops in Bahrain opened fire on crowds of demonstrators, China so far has been successful in keeping dissidents from gathering momentum, in part by crushing their ability to post manifestos or form groups online. While the Internet hasn’t carried the momentum of those uprisings nor has it addressed the myriad of complex underlying factors, it’s thought to have galvanized groups of key protest organizers. Read Article

Cousin of Colombian ex-President Uribe jailed

BBC - Mario Uribe, a cousin and close ally of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. A former senator, Mario Uribe was found guilty of having links to the country’s paramilitary groups. The right-wing militias were created by landowners and drug traffickers to combat left-wing rebels. Mr Uribe is one of the most prominent figures jailed over paramilitary links. Mario Uribe, 61, who served as president of the Colombian Congress from 2001 to 2002, was found guilty of having ties with the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC). He is also being investigated in connection with his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed by the paramilitaries. Read article

Philippine communists talks set goal of peace by 2012

BBC - Negotiators from the Philippine government and the political wing of the Communist New People’s Army have agreed to work towards a peace deal. At the end of their first formal talks for more than six years, the two sides said there was now a set timetable. After a week of intense discussions in Oslo, they said they aimed to bring an end to one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies by June 2012. An estimated 40,000 people have died over four decades of fighting. Read Article

MI5 cropped 7/7 bomber out of picture shown to key informant

Guardian - Crucial surveillance photographs clearly identifying two of the 7 July bombers more than a year before the atrocity were cropped by intelligence officials in such a “speedy” manner as to render them unrecognisable to a key supergrass. The inquests into the 52 victims of the attacks heard from a top MI5 officer that in April 2004 a photo that originally had Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer in it was shown to the informant Mohammed Junaid Babar, described as “one of the most significant sources the intelligence services had at that time”. The pair were returning from meeting a known bomb plotter. But instead of the original colour photograph, in which both men are clearly identifiable, an intelligence officer edited the photo to render Tanweer unrecognisable and crop out Khan altogether, and forwarded it to the US where Babar was in custody. The version was also converted to black and white. Babar had previously met Khan at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan but the photograph of Khan was not forwarded to the informant. Read Article

Microfinance guru Muhammad Yunus faces removal from Grameen Bank

Guardian – Pressure on Nobel prizewinner to quit bank board but supporters say campaign is politically motivated by Bangladesh government. Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel prizewinning economist and so-called father of microfinance, faces being ousted from the bank that he founded to help poor people in Bangladesh and across the developing world. Yunus, the managing director of the Grameen Bank, which has lent small sums to millions of deprived people to help them start or run their own businesses as a first step out of poverty since being created in 1983, has been caught in a bitter political battle in his homeland of Bangladesh. The campaign to remove Yunus, mounted mainly by politicians, is to intensify this week ahead of a key board meeting next Monday, which his supporters believe will involve an attempt to force the 70-year-old to quit as managing director. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – CO2 and Crop Yields

Source: Icecap.us

The globe has benefited in recent decades from minor cyclical warming and increases in CO2. NASA estimated an increase of yields by 30% over 50 years with 10% more arable land due to increased CO2 and slight cyclical warming. Better hybrids, fertilization, pest and disease controls and irrigation each contribute, but CO2 is key to this agricultural revolution that has enabled us to feed many hundreds of millions more of the earth’s population.

U.S. to expand WWII internment camp

Associated Press – More than 60 years after it was used to detain thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II, the Minidoka internment camp is being expanded as part of federal preservation efforts. The National Park Service has purchased 56 hectares to add to the existing 121-hectare historic site, the federal agency, The Conservation Fund and Idaho’s congressional delegation announced Thursday. The camp originally spanned 13,355 hectares. Rick Wagner, realty officer of the parks service, said the acquired land is a fraction of the prison, which once held more than 9,000 people of Japanese descent behind barbed wire for more than three years. The land has extensive historic value, he added. “We’ve got a small piece of a very big picture,” he said. More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were relocated and sent to detention camps such as Minidoka under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Saturday marked the 69th anniversary of the order. Read Article

Augmented reality iPhone helps police track suspects

New Scientist – Picture the scene: armed police officers are warned on their radios that a suspected male terrorist has been tracked to a crowded football stadium. Even with a full description, it’s all but impossible to pick him out amid the match-day melee. Perhaps smartphones fed augmented reality (AR) data by the police control centre could help focus the search. After booting up an iPhone app, an officer would train the phone’s camera on the crowd. The suspect’s position, after he had been tracked by covert police, would be highlighted by an icon overlaid on the image. Similarly, other icons could pinpoint the positions and range of other officers (see picture), including those operating undercover. The system, called iAPLS, has been developed by engineers at Frequentis, a surveillance-systems company based in Vienna, Austria. Read Article

Ghana: Some boreholes water sampled in, have fluoride, iron contents

GNA – Mr. Alban S. K. Bagbin, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, has said of about the 985 boreholes water sampled in the Upper West Region, 12.2 per cent have fluoride content above the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline value of less than 1.5 milligram. This has caused common occurrence of dental fluorosis among the people while there is also the occurrence of localized high iron contents in Lawra, Nadowli and Jirapa areas. Read article

Pentagon aide ‘was killed by hitman’ claims distraught widow

DailyMail - Prominent Washington aide John Wheeler was assassinated by a hitman in a targeted killing, his widow has claimed. Katherine Klyce said the way her late husband’s body was dumped at a landfill site could only have been carried out by a professional. The 66-year-old suggested his work with the Pentagon over his decades-long career could have made him enemies who wanted rid of him. Read article

DR Congo colonel Kibibi Mutware jailed for mass rape

BBC - A military court in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo investigating a case of mass rape has sentenced Lt Col Kibibi Mutware to 20 years in jail. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity for sending his troops to rape, beat up and loot from the population of Fizi on New Year’s Day. Forty-nine women came to testify in the court in in Baraka. The BBC’s Thomas Hubert says it is the first conviction of a commanding officer for rape in eastern DR Congo. Read Article

Bahrain unrest: Thousands join anti-government protest

BBC – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis have joined an anti-government rally in the capital, Manama.”The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters chanted on the first organised rally in the kingdom since protests erupted last week.The protesters are putting the government under pressure, analysts say, extracting concessions such as the release of political prisoners. Protesters have been inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia. The pro-democracy supporters remain camped out in Pearl Square, in the city centre, refusing to enter talks with the Crown Prince until their demands are met. Read Article

9 dead after suicide attack on police base

ABC - A suicide car bomb ripped through a police base in Mogadishu on Monday, killing nine people after a weekend of bloody fighting between pro-government forces and Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgents. Police sources said at least nine people were killed when the explosives-laden vehicle blew up at the Darwish camp, a site used by a police unit and adjacent to a police academy. One police officer confirmed that at least six policemen were killed when the blast went off, at a time when security personnel in the area generally report for duty. “At least six police officers were killed. Many others were wounded, the toll could be higher but I don’t have more details,” said Abdirahman Issa, a senior police official in the Somali capital. Read Article

75 dead, 300 missing in shattered Christchurch

ABC – Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says the death toll from yesterday’s devastating earthquake now stands at 75, with another 300 people missing in the rubble of the shattered New Zealand city. Mr Parker was speaking as rescue teams continued to scour collapsed buildings for survivors of yesterday’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which caused widespread destruction across the city. He said 55 bodies were in the city’s temporary morgue and emergency crews knew of another 20 bodies still stuck in the rubble. Police say rescuers have had to amputate limbs to free survivors from collapsed buildings Read Article

Chaos Grows in Libya; Defiant Qaddafi Vows to Fight On

New York Times – Vowing to track down and kill protesters “house by house,” Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya tightened his grip on the capital of Tripoli Tuesday, but the eastern half of the country was slipping beyond his control. A bloody crackdown drove protesters from the streets of Tripoli, where residents described a state of terror. The independent group Human Rights Watch said it had confirmed 62 deaths in two hospitals after a rampage Monday night, when witnesses said groups of heavily armed militiamen and African mercenaries cruised the streets in pickup trucks spraying crowds with machine gun fire. The death toll was likely higher; one witness said militia forces appeared to be using vans to cart away bodies. After Colonel Qaddafi’s televised speech Tuesday night, thousands of his supporters converged in Tripoli’s central Green Square, wearing green bandanas and brandishing oversized machetes. Many loaded into trucks headed for the outlying areas of the city, where they occupied traffic intersections and appeared to be massing for neighborhood-to-neighborhood searches. Read Article

Credit Suisse banker arrested in U.S.

Reuters – A Credit Suisse banker has been arrested in the United States in connection with a federal investigation into the Swiss bank’s work with offshore accounts, The New York Times reported on Monday. The banker, Christos Bagios, was arrested in New York and transferred to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was charged with conspiracy and fraud, the report said, citing unnamed sources. It was unclear whether Bagios, a Greek citizen, was cooperating with the investigation, the report said. Read Article

Sensor system shows which Big Brother is watching you

New Scientist – Worried that they’re out to get you? Tinfoil hats just aren’t cutting it any more? A new system designed to reveal when microphones, cameras and other sensors are recording could reassure those who are paranoid about their privacy. Most recording devices usually indicate their presence with a simple LED indicator light – if the light is on, you’re being monitored. But where is that feed going, and why is it being collected? “LED indicators don’t tell you what’s important,” says Gabriel Maganis, a PhD student in computer science at the University of California, Davis. Instead, Maganis worked with colleagues at Intel and the University of Washington to develop a more sophisticated system called the sensor tricorder. It’s simpler than its Star Trek-inspired name suggests. Read Article