Daily Archives

Aerials of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant Flooding – No-Fly Zone Enforced as of June 14, 2011

Hong Kong scarlet fever outbreak recalls previous epidemics

Market Watch – Hong Kong authorities have declared an outbreak of scarlet fever following the second death of a child from the disease in the past month, and a record number of cases so far this year. Of particular concern is that the bacterium responsible for scarlet fever appears to have mutated and become more resistant to antibiotics used to treat the disease. The outbreak is troubling given Hong Kong’s history of epidemics. A 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS,  claimed several hundred lives. Several outbreaks of swine flu have  also occurred in the city. Read Article

Hundreds flee as tanks patrol Syrian border

abc – Syrian troops backed by tanks have entered a border zone, sending hundreds of people fleeing into Turkey as protests against president Bashar al-Assad’s rule hit the 100-day mark. Read article

Violence Erupts in Northern Ireland


Newsy – Missile after missile was thrown. Fireworks, petrol bombs, stones, bricks, anything the rioters could get their hands on. Then, just before midnight a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots. A photographer was hit. Read article

Rebel Leaders in Libya’s Misrata Curb Press Freedoms as Casualties Mount

Bloomberg - Rebel leaders in the besieged western Libyan city of Misrata imposed restrictions on the foreign press, marking a sharp contrast with their previous openness and with the policies of their counterparts in Benghazi in the east. Journalists traveling to Dafniya, a village near Misrata on the eastern frontline, are being turned back at checkpoints by rebel fighters, who say they have been told by authorities that some members of the western media may be spies. Read Article

Italy breaks ranks over NATO’s Libya mission

AFP - Italy called for a suspension of hostilities in Libya on Wednesday in the latest sign of dissent within NATO as the civilian death toll mounts and Moamer Kadhafi shows no signs of quitting power. “We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told a parliamentary committee meeting. “I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors,” while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks, he said. Read Article

First Footage Emerges Of Eritrean Volcanic Eruption

Irish Weather – The first video footage emerged Wednesday of the eruption of the Nabro Volcano, located close to Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia in northeast Africa. Eritrean TV (Eri.TV) today broadcast images of the volcano which erupted for the first time in its history on Sunday 12 June last. The volcano continued to erupt Wednesday sending ash northwestards toward Sudan. Read Article

Belarus Police Break Up Peaceful Protest

VOA – Six months after protests against fraudulent elections led to a brutal crackdown against Belarus’ political opposition, Belarusians are coming out to protest again – this time against the nation’s economic collapse. This is a protest Belarus-style. The loudest voices are those of the police, telling people to disperse. Protesters do not chant slogans. They do not carry signs. They do not wear political T-shirts or buttons. They just walk on the sidewalks, mingle and chat on a summer evening. Read Article

New Study: Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given

Human and Experimental Toxicology

Infant mortality rates regressedagainst number of vaccine dosesroutinely given: Is there abiochemical or synergistic toxicity?

Authors:
Neil Z Miller and Gary S Goldman

Abstract:The infant mortality rate (IMR) is one of the most important indicators of the socio-economic well-being and public health conditions of a country. The US childhood immunization schedule specifies 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year—the most in the world—yet 33 nations have lower IMRs. Using linear regression,the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of r ¼0.70(p< 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. Nations were also grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges: 12–14, 15–17, 18–20,21–23, and 24–26.The mean IMRs of all nations within each group were then calculated. Linear regression analysis of unweighted mean IMRsshowed a high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasinginfant mortality rates, withr ¼0.992 (p¼0.0009). Using the Tukey-Kramer test, statistically significant differences in mean IMRs were found between nations giving 12–14 vaccine doses and those giving 21–23, and 24–26doses. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRsis essential. READ PAPER

Major quakes strike in Pacific off Alaska

Reuters – A major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude struck in the Pacific Ocean more than 1,000 miles west of Anchorage on Thursday, prompting a brief tsunami warning for part of the remote Aleutian Islands chain. No damage or injuries were reported. The warning, which extended for roughly 800 miles — from Unimak Pass, northeast of Dutch Harbor, westward to Amchitka Pass, west of Adak Island — was canceled after a little more than an hour. Read Article

UK: Hip fractures reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions

The Telegraph

The warning comes as a Government watchdog revealed that the NHS is treating elderly patients with broken hips as a “low priority” by failing to give them prompt and high-quality treatment that could extend their lives. Half of those with hip fractures currently have to wait 36 hours in hospital, in pain and in fear, before undergoing surgery and in many cases junior doctors carry out their operations rather than more experienced staff, it is claimed. Read Article

Tensions High Over Planned Gaza Flotilla


Newsy – Up to ten ships and more than 20 countries will take part in a flotilla hoping to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza in late June. This– just one year after the clash on a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine people dead. 36 Americans plan to sail, including Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, Read article

Libya war has cost UK at least £200m

Guardian – The government is expected to tell MPs on Thursday that the operation in Libya has cost at least £200m in an attempt to head off growing concerns that the military bill is spiralling. Ministers will put down a written ministerial statement to the House of Commons, bringing forward the announcement from next week. But Labour is pressing for an urgent question that will force the government to make an oral statement. The party wants to know whether the spending figure will include the true cost of replacing weapons, mainly cruise missiles. Read Article

Afghanistan: Obama orders withdrawal of 33,000 troops

BBC - President Barack Obama has announced the withdrawal of 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan this year and another 23,000 by the end of September 2012. Mr Obama said it was “the beginning, but not the end, of our effort to wind down this war”. At least 68,000 US troops will remain in Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy later said he would also begin to withdraw 4,000 French soldiers from Afghanistan. The Taliban said the insurgency would continue until all foreign forces left. Read Article

Australia: A quarter of sex assault victims are aged between 10-14, report says

The Australian – More than a quarter of all victims of sexual assault last year were aged between 10 and 14, new statistics show. The majority of all victims of sexual assault and kidnapping crimes in 2010 were also female, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal. The ABS report, Recorded Crime, outlines national crime statistics based on the number and age of victims who came forward to report crimes to police last year. Female victims of sexual assault aged 15 to 19 had the highest victimisation rate of any age group, more than seven times the overall rate. Read Article

Central America drugs war: Clinton pledges more funds

BBC – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged more foreign aid to fight drug cartels in Central America. Mrs Clinton told a regional security conference in Guatemala that the US would increase its aid by more than 10% to nearly $300m (£187m). Analysts say the figure is still small, given that more than two-thirds of cocaine sent from South America to the US now passes through Central America. Read Article

A quarter of sex assault victims are aged between 10-14, report says

The Australian – More than a quarter of all victims of sexual assault last year were aged between 10 and 14, new statistics show. The majority of all victims of sexual assault and kidnapping crimes in 2010 were also female, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal. The ABS report, Recorded Crime, outlines national crime statistics based on the number and age of victims who came forward to report crimes to police last year. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Surge in North Atlantic hurricanes due to better detectors, not climate change

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D10114, 11 PP., 2011

Is the recorded increase in short-duration North Atlantic tropical storms spurious?

Authors:
Gabriele Villarini – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Gabriel A. Vecchi – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, New Jersey
Thomas R. Knutson – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, New Jersey
James A. Smith – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Abstract
The number of North Atlantic tropical storms lasting 2 days or less exhibits a large increase starting from the middle of the 20th century, driving the increase in recorded number of tropical storms over the past century. Here we present a set of quantitative analyses to assess whether this behavior is more likely associated with climate variability/change or with changes in observing systems. By using statistical methods combined with the current understanding of the physical processes, we are unable to find support for the hypothesis that the century-scale record of short-lived tropical cyclones in the Atlantic contains a detectable real climate signal. Therefore, we interpret the long-term secular increase in short-duration North Atlantic tropical storms as likely to be substantially inflated by observing system changes over time. These results strongly suggest that studies examining the frequency of North Atlantic tropical storms over the historical era (between the 19th century and present) should focus on storms of duration greater than about 2 days.READ PAPER

Internet Freedom Under Attack – F.B.I. seizes web servers, knocks sites offline

NY Times – The F.B.I. seized Web servers in a raid on a data center early Tuesday, causing several Web sites, including those run by the New York publisher Curbed Network, to go offline. The raid happened at 1:15 a.m. at a hosting facility in Reston, Va., used by DigitalOne, which is based in Switzerland, the company said. The F.B.I. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the raid. Read Article

Red wine’s heart health chemical unlocked at last

New Scientist – Fancy receiving the heart protecting abilities of red wine without having to drink a glass every day? Soon you may be able to, thanks to the synthesis of chemicals derived from resveratrol, the molecule believed to give wine its protective powers. The chemicals have the potential to fight many diseases, including cancer. Plants make a huge variety of chemicals, called polyphenols, from resveratrol to protect themselves against invaders, particularly fungi. But they only make tiny amounts of each chemical, making it extremely difficult for scientists to isolate and utilise them. The unstable nature of resveratrol has also hindered attempts at building new compounds from the chemical itself. Read Article

China Warns U.S. to Stay Out of Regional Disputes

WSJ – On the eve of talks with the U.S., China warned against American involvement in the increasingly tense territorial disputes in the South China Sea and accused some of China’s neighbors of “playing with fire.” Read article

Food Allergies in Children

Newsy – (2:18)

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Fort Calhoun nuclear plant new Fukushima?

Bahraini troops attack protesters

PressTV – Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked an anti-government rally held in protest at the heavy prison sentences passed over to opposition activists. Witnesses say regime forces fired tear gas and sound grenades on protesters as they were heading to the Martyr Square, formerly called Pearl Square, in the capital Manama on Wednesday. The anti-regime rally came hours after a special security court sentenced eight opposition activists to life in jail for “plotting to overthrow the government.” Read Article

Breakthrough in Treatment of Hepatitis C

ScienceDaily – The drug telaprevir (Incivek) provides a dramatic improvement in the treatment of the most common form of hepatitis C infection, says an international team of investigators led by Dr. Ira M. Jacobson of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Their study, published in the June 22 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, led to approval of the agent for patient use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 23. Read Article