Daily Archives

Lava builds in Alaska volcano, may threaten planes

Seattle Times – Anchorage, Alaska — Lava has reached the edge of a crater in a volcano in Alaska’s remote Aleutian Islands, indicating the mountain could explode and send up an ash cloud that could threaten aircraft. Read article

Russia arrests Chinese ‘spy’ in row over defence weapons

Guardian – Russia’s security service has revealed that it arrested a suspected Chinese spy who posed as a translator while seeking sensitive information on an anti-aircraft system. Read article

Fukushima Nuclear Worker Dies

Tokyo—A worker hired to help bring the crippled Fukushima Daiich nuclear plant under control died suddenly Thursday—the third fatality reported among workers at the plant since the March accident. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it believed the death, like the previous two, had nothing to do with exposure to radiation in the plant. It also said the death didn’t result from overwork. Read article

Nato: Libya bombing will continue

Independent – Nato’s bombing campaign in Libya, now in its seventh month, will continue despite the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, alliance officials said today. French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said the air strikes will not stop until all remaining pockets of resistance are suppressed and the new government asks for them to end. Although the former rebels now control most of Libya, some regions remain under control of pro-Gaddafi forces. These include Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, the city of Bani Walid and parts of the south. Read Article

Broke? Buy a few warships, France tells Greece

Reuters – In a bizarre twist to the Greek debt crisis, France and Germany are pressing Greece to buy their gunboats and warplanes, even as they urge it to cut public spending and curb its deficit. Indeed, some Greek officials privately say Paris and Berlin are using the crisis as leverage to advance arms contracts or settle payment disputes, just when the Greeks are trying to reduce defense spending. Read Article

Thyroid gland irregularities found in young evacuees from Fukushima

Mainichi Times – Nagano (Kyodo) — Hormonal and other irregularities were detected in the thyroid glands of 10 out of 130 children evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture, a Nagano Prefecture-based charity dedicated to aid for the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident said Tuesday. Read article

New Zealand – First oiled penguins signal trouble

Sunlive – Two oil-drenched penguins have been found washed up on Bay of Plenty beaches today, covered in the oil spilling from container ship Rena on Astrolabe reef. The two blue penguins were found covered in oil on Papamoa and Little Waihi Beach this afternoon and have been taken to a specialist treatment facility in Te Maunga. Read article

Japan Discovers Plutonium Far From Crippled Reactor

Wall Street Journal- TOKYO—Trace amounts of plutonium were found as far as 28 miles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant, the first time that the dangerous element released from the accident was found outside of the immediate area of the plant. Read article

A Healthy Poke: Demystifying the Science Behind Acupuncture

The Atlantic – While many practices in alternative medicine are slowly but surely making their way into the mainstream, acupuncture is one that still produces skeptical eyebrow raises. This phenomenon is partly due to linguistics. Scientists have worked to elucidate the mechanisms by which yoga, meditation, and various dietary interventions may work on the cells of the body, but there is something fundamentally more ancient-feeling about the language of acupuncture. Go to the NIH’s website on complementary and alternative medicine (NCCAM), and even here you’ll find a discussion that involves qi, yin, yang, and meridians. Read article

Running battles in Santiago


Reuters – Police unleash water cannons and tear gas on Chilean students as running battles erupt in Santiago after talks collapse. Read article

Sniper fire holds up push into Gaddafi’s hometown

Reuters – Snipers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi held back government forces trying to capture his hometown on Thursday and the deposed leader warned the heads of the developing world who have recognized Libya’s new rulers that they would face a similar fate to his own. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – A Warm Miocene Climate at Low Atmospheric CO2 levels,”

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2011GL048873

A Warm Miocene Climate at Low Atmospheric CO2 levels

Authors: Gregor Knorr, Martin Butzin, Arne Micheels, Gerrit Lohmann

Abstract:
Proxy records from the Miocene epoch (~23-5 Ma) indicate a warmer climate than today in spite of lower atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the range of preindustrial levels. As yet the simulation of a warm Miocene climate with these low CO2 values has proven to be a challenge. In this study we present climate simulations of the Late Miocene (11-7 Ma) with a preindustrial CO2 level, using a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM). The simulated global mean surface temperature of ~17.8 ºC represents a significantly warmer climate than today.
We have analyzed the relative importance of tectonic and vegetation changes as forcing factors. We find that the strongest temperature increase is due to the Late Miocene vegetation distribution, which is more than three times stronger than the impact induced by tectonic alterations. Furthermore, a combination of both forcing factors results in a global temperature increase which is lower than the sum of the individual forcing effects. Energy balance estimates suggest that a reduction in the planetary albedo and a positive water vapor feedback in a warmer atmosphere are the dominating mechanisms to explain the temperature increase. Each of these factors contributes about one half to the global temperature rise of ~3 K. Our results suggest that a much warmer climate during the Late Miocene can be reconciled with CO2 concentrations similar to pre-industrial values. Read Paper

Syrian troops ‘kill Syrian farmer in Lebanon’

BBC – Syrian forces have crossed into Lebanese territory and shot dead a Syrian man living in a border area, reports say. The man killed was reportedly a farmer living in a remote area of Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa region. It was not clear why he was targeted. It follows an incursion by Syrian tanks earlier this week, raising fears that Syria’s unrest is spreading. Read article

Should you worry if your jeans go smart?

BBC – What if those new jeans you’ve just bought start tweeting about your location as you cross London Bridge? It sounds far-fetched, but it’s possible – if one of your garments is equipped with a tiny radio-frequency identification device (RFID), your location could be revealed without you knowing about it. RFIDs are chips that use radio waves to send data to a reader – which in turn can be connected to the web.This technology is just one of the current ways of allowing physical objects to go online – a concept dubbed the “internet of things”, which industry insiders have shortened to IoT.This is when not only your PC, tablet and smartphone can connect to the web, but also your car, your home, your baseball cap and even the sheep and cows on a farm. Read Article

Stress ‘is top cause of workplace sickness’ and is so widespread it’s dubbed the ‘Black Death of the 21st century’

Daily Mail – Stress has become the most common reason for a worker being signed off long-term sick, a report reveals today. Experts said the psychological condition had become so widespread that it was the ‘21st century equivalent of the Black Death’. Read article

The inside operation at Occupy Wall Street


Reuters – Reuters’ Anthony DeRosa visits Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the headquarters of the #occupywallstreet movement and breaks down the units operating in support of the larger group. Read article

Pakistan ‘vaccination’ doctor accused of treason

Guardian – A Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA to track down Osama bin Laden should be charged with high treason, a Pakistani state commission has recommended. The finding against Dr Shakeel Afridi, who allegedly ran a fake Hepatitis B vaccination scheme in Abbottabad at the behest of the CIA, is likely to further complicate relations between Pakistan and the US. Afridi was picked up by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) three weeks after the raid on May 2 in which the fugitive al-Qaida leader was killed, and he has been held without access to a lawyer ever since. Read Article

Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction

Bloomberg — Billionaire investor George Soros lost a challenge to his 2002 insider trading conviction, with the European Court of Human Rights saying French market regulations were clear enough to hold him responsible. France didn’t violate Soros’s rights in punishing him criminally for trading on inside information about Societe Generale SA in spite of the market regulator’s conclusion that its rules were unclear, the Strasbourg, France-based court said. Read article

UK: Right to private life ‘at risk’ in plan to store DNA of innocent people

Daily Telegraph – A “catch-all” discretionary power to allow police to hold the DNA of innocent people indefinitely for reasons of “national security” should also be scrapped, the Joint Committee on Human Rights [JCHR] said. Its report on the Protection of Freedoms Bill, due to proceed through its remaining stages next week, said proposals on DNA retention should be reconsidered. Read article

New sunbed alert: UV rays penetrate far deep into the skin than previously thought

Daily Mail – Sunbeds may be even more dangerous than previously feared, experts have warned. UVA light – the main ultraviolet rays emitted by the tanning apparatus – had mainly been blamed for wrinkles and other signs of ageing. But British research has now implicated it in causing cancer. Read article

Middle East unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia

Telegraph – Saudi police sealed off the village of al-Awamiya in the east of the country on Monday night after using live fire to disperse Shia protesters, according to exiled Saudi dissidents. Read article

Children pay for North Korea food crisis

UK launches fresh stimulus with cash boost

Reuters – The Bank of England has launched a second round of quantitative easing to defend Britain’s faltering economy against the euro zone debt crisis, pledging to buy 75 billion pounds ($114.8 billion) of assets with new money in a dramatic move to stave off recession. Thursday’s decision by the BoE to expand its asset purchase program to a total of 275 billion pounds ($424 billion) highlights the precarious state of Britain’s economy as global growth slows, government spending cuts and tax hikes bite, and consumers face high inflation and slow wage rises. Read article

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Reuters – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate. Read article