Daily Archives

Leading Water Fluoridation Expert Prof Paul Connett To Tour New Zealand

Crofessor Paul Connett, Director of the international Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and executive director the American Environmental Health Studies Project (AEHSP), will be speaking throughout New Zealand about the public health risks of fluoridated water. Prof Connett’s tour will include a presentation to the Ministry of Health, a meeting with Green MP Sue Kedgley, a series of workshops, and several TV and radio interviews. Read article

Fairbanks task force advises no fluoridation

Fairbanks Daily News/News— A special task force has recommended Fairbanks stop fluoridating its water supply. Five of the six members agreed to the recommendation, giving two main reasons — city water contains naturally-occurring fluoride and amounts higher than those natural levels could harm non-nursing infants. Read article

Top Yemeni general, Ali Mohsen, backs opposition

BBC - Two other senior army commanders are also reported to have resigned. President Saleh said he was “holding out” and the National Defence Council said it would block any “coup”. Tanks were deployed in the capital, Sanaa, apparently to defend key points including the presidential palace, defence ministry and central bank. Read article

US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians

Guardian - Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of “trophy” photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed. Senior officials at Nato’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world. They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year. Read Article

U.S., British Tomahawk Missiles ‘First Phase’ Opened Airspace Over Libya

Bloomberg - The U.S. and allied forces began their assault on Libya by hitting the North African nation’s air-defense systems with cruise missiles, followed by attacks from bombers and fighter jets, to reduce the risks for subsequent overflights by coalition aircraft. The opening rounds of Operation Odyssey Dawn followed the script of major operations since 1991 with the launch of Raytheon Co. Tomahawk cruise missiles to clear a path for manned aircraft. The first strikes on March 19 involved 124 missiles against more than 20 targets; by contrast, 288 Tomahawks were fired in the opening hours of the 1991 Gulf War. Read Article

Vietnam Bonds Drop on Concern Inflation Will Lead to Tightening

Bloomberg – Vietnamese bonds fell on speculation quickening inflation will lead to higher interest rates. The dong declined for a second day. Consumer prices may increase 2.2 percent this month from February and gains in the first quarter are expected to be about 6 percent, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said in an address to lawmakers at the National Assembly today. They jumped 12.3 percent from a year earlier last month, the most in two years, official figures show. “I agree with some foreign investors’ opinion that monetary policy hasn’t been tightened enough, so I expect there will be further tightening, especially after inflation accelerates in March from last month,” said Dam Trung Kien, a Hanoi-based trader at Bao Viet Fund Management Co., a unit of Vietnam’s biggest insurer. “That will boost interest rates and bond yields.” Read Article

Strikes on Libya set to slow, stalemate feared

Reuters – Anti-aircraft fire rang out across Tripoli for a third night as air attacks were reported in the capital and on targets in eastern Libya. But a U.S. general said allied bombing raids were likely to become less frequent as Washington holds back from being sucked into the Libyan civil war. State television said several sites had come under attack in the capital on Monday. Western powers had no confirmation of new strikes in a U.N.-mandated campaign to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. Read Article

Steam rises from stricken Japan plant

Reuters – Smoke and steam rose from two of the most threatening reactors at Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear plant on Tuesday, suggesting the battle to avert a disastrous meltdown and stop the spread of radiation was far from won. The world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years was triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing. Technicians working inside an evacuation zone around the stricken plant on Japan’s northeast Pacific coast have attached power cables to all six reactors and started a pump at one of them to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods.Kyodo news agency said steam appeared to rise from reactor No. 2 and white haze was detected above reactor No. 3. There have been several blasts of steam from the reactors during the crisis, which experts say probably released a small amount of radioactive particles. Read Article

Human Rights Watch Presses Syria to Stop Using Excessive Force

Bloomberg – Syrian security forces have killed five people and injured dozens of others since March 18 during protests in the southern town of Daraa, Human Rights Watch said. Government forces fired on demonstrators and used tear gas to break up a public gathering in the town yesterday, HRW said on its website. It called on the government to stop using live fire and excessive force against protesters. “The government has shown no qualms about shooting dead its own citizens for speaking out,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the organization’s Middle East and North Africa director. “Syrians have shown incredible courage in daring to protest publicly against one of the most repressive governments in the region, and they shouldn’t have to pay with their lives.” Read Article

Repurposed Transplant Drug – Rapamycin – Gives Hope To Women With Fatal Lung Disease

Medical News Today – A drug typically used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients has been shown to reverse the progress of an often fatal lung disease in women, according to findings published March 16 in the online edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. The discovery marks the first effective therapy scientists have ever found for the lung disease known as lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM, a rare condition in women often discovered during pregnancy, said Mark Brantly, M.D., a University of Florida professor of medicine and one of the co-authors of the paper. Read article

The Tiny Parasite That’s Decimating Bee Populations

FOX News – First they were fungi, then protists — and now they are fungi again. Once thought to be primitive, it now seems they have evolved backward, becoming simpler rather than more complex. Microsporidia — single-celled parasites that include bugs implicated in the disappearance of honey bees — are strange. So far, about 1,300 species have been formally described, according to Patrick Keeling, a professor at the University of British Columbia who studies them. They are known to infect fish, birds, insects and even us, and Keeling only expects to see their ranks grow. Read article
Related articles: Researchers seek causes of honeybee colony collapse; New research on honeybee illness
Editor’s note: The bolding is ours (OYEN).

Wave of unrest shakes Syria, crowds torch party HQ

Reuters – Crowds set fire to a headquarters of the ruling Baath Party in the Syrian city of Deraa on Sunday, residents said, as the wave of unrest in the Arab world shook even one of its most authoritarian states. Read article

Nine killed in Iraq violence, 6 from same family

AFP - Attacks around Iraq left nine people dead on Sunday, including six members of a family killed by a suicide bomber north of Baghdad, security sources said. The suicide attack targeted Taleb al-Obeidi, leader of an anti-Al-Qaeda militia in the Sunni Bouslabi area near Duluya, 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, killing six family members. The bomber detonated his explosives-laden belt while the family was in the garden of their home, killing the militia leader himself, two of his wives and three of his children, the source said. Read Article

Libya’s Gadhafi promises ‘long war’

AP – Moammar Gadhafi vowed a “long war” as allied forces launched a second night of strikes on Libya on Sunday, and jubilant rebels who only a day before were in danger of being crushed by his forces now boasted they would bring him down. The U.S. military said the international assault would hit any Gadhafi forces on the ground that are attacking the opposition. The U.S. military said the bombardment so far — a rain of Tomahawk cruise missiles and precision bombs from American and European aircraft, including long-range stealth B-2 bombers — had succeeded in heavily degrading Gadhafi’s air defenses. The international campaign went beyond hitting anti-aircaft sites. U.S., British and French planes blasted a line of tanks that had been moving on the rebel capital Benghazi, in the opposition-held eastern half of the country. On Sunday, at least seven demolished tanks smoldered in a field 12 miles south of Benghazi, many of them with their turrets and treads blown off, alongside charred armored personnel carriers, jeeps and SUVs of the kind used by Gadhafi fighters. Read Article

UK: Economy is growing but recovery doubts remain

Independent – Britain’s economic recovery will continue in the months ahead, but the strength and sustainability of the bounceback remain in doubt, the Bank of England will warn today. The Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin, its review of the economy and financial markets over the three months to the end of Feburary, says there are a number of serious domestic and international threats to the UK. Spencer Dale, the chief economist of the Bank of England, said there had been a number of conflicting economic factors at play in recent months. “The improvement in the UK bank funding conditions that began in the second half of 2010 had been sustained,” Mr Dale said. “More recently, uncertainty in financial markets increased in response to the emergence of political tensions in a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East.” Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D14104, doi:10.1029/2008JD011637, 2009
Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature
J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 19582008 period. GTTA are represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period 1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Nin˜o Southern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20S and 20N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics.

Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation Read Paper

Tasered Queensland man’s blood proof of life, says policeman at inquest

News.com – A police officer who repeatedly tasered a man says he could tell he was still breathing because his breath was moving the blood which was pooled on the floor. Senior Constable Craig Myles today gave evidence at an inquest into the death in custody of Antonio Galeano in June 2009 at Brandon in North Queensland. Sen Const Myles has admitted tasering Mr Galeano eight times as he attempted to subdue the apparently drug-affected man. However, the taser used in the incident registered 28 separate 50,000 volt shocks. Under cross examination, Sen Const Myles said he “constantly” checked Mr Galeano’s breathing as he held him down, handcuffed on the floor. Read Article

Ear infections tied to sense of taste, weight

Reuters – Kids with chronic ear infections tend to be heavier and have less sensitive taste buds than their peers, Korean researchers have found. It’s not the first time scientists have described this relationship, yet nobody fully understands it. One intriguing possibility is that ear infections damage the nerves conducting taste signals to the brain, and so make kids eat more. Read article

Haitians elect president in delayed second round

BBC – Haiti’s delayed second-round presidential election has been largely peaceful despite isolated incidents that saw two people killed. Read article

Wyclef Jean wounded in Haiti shooting

ABC – Wyclef Jean said he was grazed on his hand by a bullet on the eve of Haiti’s historic presidential run-off election. Read article

Radiation anxiety grows in disaster-struck Japan

Reuters – Global anxiety rose over radiation from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant even as engineers won ground in their battle to avert disaster from the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl. The high-stakes drama at the battered Fukushima nuclear power complex is playing out while the Asian nation grapples with the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing. Technicians working inside an evacuation zone round the stricken plant on Japan’s northeast Pacific coast have managed to attach power cables to all six reactors and started a pump at one of them to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods. “We see a light for getting out of the crisis,” an official quoted Prime Minister Naoto Kan as saying, allowing himself some rare optimism in Japan’s toughest moment since World War II. Yet away from the plant, mounting evidence of radiation in vegetables, water and milk spread jitters among Japanese and abroad despite officials’ assurances levels were not dangerous Read Article

‘Bilderberg Hand’: Deadly chaos in Libya, Bahrain as Wave of Rage spreads

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Gaddafi’s son killed in suicide air attack: report

Sydney Morning Herald – The sixth son of Muammar Gaddafi has reportedly been killed in a suicide air mission on his barracks in Tripoli. Khamis, 27, who runs the feared Khamis Brigade that has been prominent in its role of attacking rebel-held areas, is said to have died on Saturday night, according to media reports. According to reports on Algerian TV, a Libyan air force pilot crashed his jet into the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli in a kamikaze attack. Read Article

Strikes on Libya set to slow, stalemate feared

Reuters – Attacks on Libya are likely to slow in the coming days, a U.S. general said on Monday, as Western powers consolidate a no-fly zone that some say is unlikely to bring an early end to the country’s civil war. Rebels who began a revolt against Muammar Gaddafi a month ago have so far done little to capitalize on a two-day bombardment that halted an advance by government forces on their Benghazi stronghold and targeted Libya’s air defenses. But Washington, wary of being sucked into another war after long campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, has ruled out specific action to overthrow Gaddafi, though France said on Monday it hoped the Libyan government would collapse from within. Read Article

China intensifies condemnation of Libya air strikes

Reuters – China’s official newspapers on Monday stepped up Beijing’s opposition to Western air attacks on Libya, accusing nations backing the strikes of breaking international rules and courting new turmoil in the Middle East.  China’s strongest condemnation yet of assaults on the forces of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi appeared in the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, and showed how the conflict could become a fresh point of contention between Beijing and Washington.  The paper accused the United States and its allies of violating international rules, although China had refrained from blocking the United Nations Security Council decision last week that effectively authorized the air attacks.  Read Article