Daily Mail – A breast cancer gel is being developed to shrink tumours in a development that could revolutionise treatment of the disease. The treatment is rubbed on to the skin daily and has far fewer unpleasant side-effects than the tablet tamoxifen – the most commonly used drug in Britain. But it contains the same active ingredient, and concentrates it in the breast rather than dispersing it around the entire body like pills do. Read article
ScienceDaily — A Purdue University scientist is urging federal officials to decide whether genetically engineered salmon would be allowed for U.S. consumption and arguing that not doing so may set back scientific efforts to increase food production. Read article
Reuters – At least four Afghans including a policeman were killed when police fired on an angry crowd in Afghanistan’s volatile south on Friday, police said, after protesters claimed NATO forces had killed a number of civilians overnight. Civilian casualties caused by NATO-led troops hunting Taliban fighters and other insurgents have long been a major source of friction between Kabul and its Western backers, occasionally spilling over into violence. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said there had been an operation targeting insurgents overnight in the Qalad district of Zabul province, which neighbours violent Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. Read Article
NPR – DuPont Co. is pulling a new herbicide from the market, after it was blamed for damaging or killing thousands of trees. Since the EPA approved the weedkiller Imprelis for sale last October, it has become the target of several lawsuits. Read article
Bloomburg – Monsanto Co. the world’s biggest vegetable seed maker, said it will begin selling genetically modified sweet corn in the U.S. this year, the first product it has developed for the consumer market. The sweet corn seeds are engineered to kill insects living above and below ground and to tolerate applications of the company’s Roundup herbicide, Consuelo Madere, Monsanto vice president for vegetables, told reporters at company headquarters in St. Louis today. They will be introduced to growers serving the U.S. fresh corn market starting in the autumn, she said. Read article
UPI — Alabama, hit by severe storms, pushed the total number of U.S. food stamp recipients to an all-time high of 45.8 million people in May, officials say. Food stamp use — officially known as the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — surged in Alabama from 868,813 in April to 1,762,481 in May, contributing to the record 45.8 million receiving food stamps in May, CNN reported. That’s about 15 percent of the U.S. population, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say. Read Article
Daily Tech – Police department with long history of internal affairs investigations looks to charge satirist with felony. When cartoonist “Mrfuddlesticks” decided to make a series of animated videos parodying the local police department in Renton, Washington, they had ample source material from the media and the public record — the city had suffered repeated misconduct scandals in recent history. Read Article
AFP — A computer threat analyst on Saturday [showed] a gathering of hackers how easy it is to wirelessly take control of an insulin pump on which a diabetic’s life could hinge.
Jerome “Jay” Radcliffe’s demonstration at DefCon in Las Vegas will spotlight a critical need to build software defense into pace makers, insulin pumps and other medical gadgets getting “smarter” with computer chips. “If you look at the history of hacking medical devices, worms and viruses are running rampant,” said ‘informatics nurse’ and hacker Brad Smith, who specializes in medical software. The list of medical gadgets vulnerable to being hacked wirelessly includes pace makers, intravenous pumps, and blood pressure cuffs, according to Smith. Read article
BBC – The Syrian army has launched a pre-dawn assault on Deir al-Zour, the largest city in the east and scene of frequent protests, human rights activists say. Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said scores of tanks and armoured vehicles had entered several areas of the city. Other activists said there had been shelling and “very strong explosions”. Earlier, the UN secretary general told President Bashar al-Assad to stop using troops against civilian protesters. Read Article
Australian – IF your dream home is right down on the water, and you had listened to global warming guru Tim Flannery, you’d be more than a little worried. Professor Flannery, appointed climate commissioner by the Gillard government, is never backward in coming forward. A few years go, he spoke of sea-level rises of biblical proportions, where walls of water eight storeys high would subsume all beneath. Read article
RT – With $14 trillion in the hole and a slew of wars seemingly no one wants America to be in, what better way for the United States to spend their money by putting $23 billion into spy planes? The US will drop billions on defense spending with the purchasing of 55 Global Hawk drone planes over the next few years. Each of the four dozen-plus spy crafts comes at a price tag of $218 million apiece — ten times the price of the largest armed attack drone. Global Hawk drones are capable of flying twice as high as commercial aircrafts and can spot insurgents up to 100 miles away. Once identified, the robotic crafts that are controlled from 24-hour command stations can then send images to intelligence centers or directly to troops. Read Article
University of Copenhagen – Climate For the last 10,000 years, summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant. For several thousand years, there was much less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean – probably less than half of current amounts. This is indicated by new findings by The Centre for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen. The results of the study will be published in the journal Science.
Sea ice comes and goes without leaving a record. For this reason, our knowledge about its variations and extent was limited before we had satellite surveillance or observations from airplanes and ships. But now researchers at The Centre for Geogenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, have developed a method by which it is possible to measure the variations in the ice several millennia back in time.
Regarding the research results, Funder says: “Our studies show that there have been large fluctuations in the amount of summer sea ice during the last 10,000 years. During the so-called Holocene Climate Optimum, from approximately 8000 to 5000 years ago, when the temperatures were somewhat warmer than today, there was significantly less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, probably less than 50% of the summer 2007 coverage, which is absolutely lowest on record. Our studies also show that when the ice disappears in one area, it may accumulate in another. We have discovered this by comparing our results with observations from northern Canada. While the amount of sea ice decreased in northern Greenland, it increased in Canada. This is probably due to changes in the prevailing wind systems. This factor has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.” Read Article
Yahoo News – PARIS (AFP) – A French court gave the green light Thursday for an embezzlement investigation targeting new International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, in a case her lawyer branded as politically motivated. Read Article
Press TV – Local officials in Iraq have said that US troops in the country have killed an Iraqi child as well as a policeman in the Salahuddin province north of Baghdad. Officials say the two were killed during an apparent mistaken raid. Reports on further causalities remain sketchy so far, Press TV reported. The US-led military invasion in Iraq that began in 2003 has so far led to over a million ‘violent deaths’ among Iraqi citizens, according to a study by the British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB). Further, Washington continues to exert pressure on Baghdad to extend US military presence in Iraq. Read Article
AP – Aided by the shrinking troop requirements for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is cutting the current yearlong deployment tours to nine months for most of its units beginning next January. The change will not affect any of the Army troops deploying this year, and some high-demand units – such as aviation and military police – will continue to serve 12-month tours. The move comes as the Iraq war continues to wind down and as the U.S. begins what is to be a slow, deliberate withdrawal from Afghanistan. Read Article
Open Your Eyes News editor and founder of Perth Fluoride Free, James Fairbairn, being interviewed on Perth’s RTR FM92.1 on the 2nd August 2011. During the interview he outlines the ethical and medical reasons why the practice of fluoridation is wrong, and why ceasing it tomorrow would have no effect on the dental health of the population of a developed western state like Western Australia. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
BBC – A US federal jury has convicted five police officers in New Orleans over fatal shootings in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Two unarmed residents were killed and four others wounded in the incident on the Danziger Bridge after the 2005 storm. But the jury decided that neither of the fatal shootings was a murder. The five officers were convicted of violations stemming from the cover-up of the deaths. Four of the men were also found guilty of civil rights violations. Read Article
Bloomberg – Crude oil wiped out all of its gains for 2011 and natural gas closed below $4 for the first time since March in New York as concern the global economy is weakening sent raw materials prices tumbling around the world. Read Article
ScienceDaily — The possibility of developing stem cells from a patient’s own skin and using them to treat conditions as diverse as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer has generated tremendous excitement in the stem cell research community in recent years. Such therapies would avoid the controversial need for using stem cells derived from human embryos, and in theory, also bypass immunological problems inherent in using cells from one person to treat another. However, in the nearly five years since the first article describing the development of stem cells derived from adult cells — so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) — unique problems inherent in their use have surfaced and even their immunological safety has been called into question. Read article
New Scientist – Some claim climate change will destroy our species; now it seems it also helped forge it. The rapid fluctuations in temperature that characterised the global climate between 2 and 3 million years ago coincided with a golden age in human evolution. Read article