Daily Archives

Scientists to Pause Research on Deadly Strain of Bird Flu

NY Times – The scientists who altered a deadly flu virus to make it more contagious have agreed to suspend their research for 60 days to give other international experts time to discuss the work and determine how it can proceed without putting the world at risk of a potentially catastrophic pandemic. Suspensions of biomedical research are almost unheard of; the only other one in the United States was a moratorium from 1974 to 1976 on some types of recombinant DNA research, because of safety concerns. Read article

Thailand recognizes Palestinian state

JPost – Thailand on Thursday joined a long list of countries that have recognized a Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas subsequently thanked the east Asian country as its envoy to the United Nations officially announced the move. Read article

Nigeria’s Kano rocked by multiple explosions

BBC – The Nigerian authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Kano after at least seven people were killed in co-ordinated bomb attacks in the northern Nigerian city. Police stations and the regional police HQ were among the targets. Gunfire was also heard in several locations. Read Article

Somalia fighting intensifies as African Union troops make gains in Mogadishu

Guardian – Heavy fighting has broken out in Somalia’s capital with African Union peacekeepers encountering resistance as they pushed to Mogadishu’s outskirts for the first time, the latest move in an offensive against Islamist insurgents. Hundreds of residents fled a northern Mogadishu neighbourhood after waking on Friday to the sound of mortars and gunfire. AU troops have largely pushed al-Shabab militants out of the city over the last year but pockets of resistance remain. Read Article

After protest, Congress puts off movie piracy bill

AP – Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation Friday to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation. Read Article

Israel rattled as hackers hit bourse, banks, El Al

Reuters – Hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al Airlines and three banks on Monday in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel. The attacks came just days after an unidentified hacker, proclaiming Palestinian sympathies, posted the details of thousands of Israeli credit card holders and other personal information on the Internet in a mass theft. Read Article

Anonymous downs FBI, DoJ, music sites in biggest attack ever

South Sudan to halt oil production in row with Khartoum

BBC – South Sudan says it will halt oil production amid a dispute over sharing revenues with the Khartoum government. South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 but the two states have not been able to agree on how to divide their oil wealth. Most of the oil is produced in the south but is exported from Port Sudan in the north. Read Article

BASF abandons GM crop market in Europe

Nature News – The German chemical giant BASF is moving its transgenic plant operations from Europe to the United States, it says, because of widespread opposition to the technology. The company announced on 16 January that it would move its plant-science headquarters from Limburgerhof, Germany, to Raleigh, North Carolina, and that it would no longer develop plants solely for cultivation in Europe. Read Article

China sentences activist to 10 years in prison for subversion, relative says

CNN – Chinese authorities sentenced a democracy activist to 10 years in prison for subversion, a relative said Thursday, the third dissident found guilty of similar charges in less than a month. A court in Wuhan sentenced Li Tie, 52, for “subversion of state power,” according to a relative who did not want to be named for fear of punishment. Read Article

Could the sun save your children from depression? Exposure to vitamin D can lower risk of mental health problems

Daily Mail – Children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer from depression, claim scientists. Those with the highest levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ have a 10 per cent lower risk of developing the mental health problem. The findings come from the Children of the 90s research project run by the University of Bristol.
Read article

Related article: Low Vitamin D Associated with Depression

Argentines stage Falklands protest outside UK embassy

BBC – Left-wing activists have protested outside the British embassy in Buenos Aires to demand Argentina break off diplomatic relations with the UK over the Falkland Islands dispute. Read article

Repeat Business? FDA Approves New Cancer Drug to Treat Toxicity Caused by Another Cancer Drug

Reuters – U.S. health regulators gave the nod on Tuesday to a drug from British specialty drugmaker BTG Plc that helps cancer patients get rid of toxic levels of a chemotherapy treatment. The drug, called Voraxaze, helps eliminate methotrexate in patients whose kidney function has been compromised by treatment with high doses of the chemotherapy agent. Methotrexate is normally eliminated from the body by the kidneys, but prolonged high doses of the drug used to treat cancer can result in kidney failure. BTG’s injectable treatment can quickly break down the chemotherapy medicine and allow the body to expel it. Read Article

Supreme Court throws out Texas election maps

Reuters – The Supreme Court handed Texas Republicans a partial victory in a partisan fight over election redistricting that has erupted after a huge increase in the state’s Hispanic population. Read article

Indonesian monkey species back from the dead (1:09)

Fishy find shows humans skilled anglers 42,000 years ago

Reuters – Fish hooks and fishbones dating back 42,000 years found in a cave in East Timor suggest that humans were capable of skilled, deep-sea fishing 30,000 years earlier than previously thought, researchers in Australia and Japan said on Friday. The artefacts — nearly 39,000 fishbones and three fish hooks — were found in a limestone cave in Jerimalai in East Timor, 50 metres (165 feet) above sea level, said Sue O’Connor from the Australian National University’s department of archaeology and natural history. Read Article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Banks (1,297 articles)

With the banking community widely regarded as being the initial cause of the Global Financial Crisis, the world has shone the spotlight upon this fraternity and uncovered a wide range of stories from extravagant bonuses, fraudulent activities, government bailouts and much more. Our archive looks at this industry and the effects it has in shaping the world around us. To read our Banks news archive of 1,297 articles CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Evidence of Past Southern Hemisphere Rainfall Cycles Related to Antarctic Temperatures

ScienceDaily (Jan. 17, 2012) — Geoscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Minnesota this week published the first evidence that warm-cold climate oscillations well known in the Northern Hemisphere over the most recent glacial period also appear as tropical rainfall variations in the Amazon Basin of South America. It is the first clear expression of these cycles in the Southern Hemisphere.

The work by Stephen Burns and his doctoral student Lisa Kanner at UMass Amherst is reported in the current issue of Science. Burns says, “The study also demonstrates that rainfall in the Southern Hemisphere of South America is, though to a lesser extent, also influenced by temperature changes in the Antarctic, which has not been previously observed.”

The last glacial period, from about 10,000 to about 120,000 years ago, saw North America and Western Europe covered in a thick continental ice sheet, the geoscientist points out. Yet climate was also highly unstable during the period, cycling every few thousand years between warm and cold, dry periods in the high northern latitudes. Temperatures could change by as much as 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. Read Article

Video Of The Week: Dr Martin Luther King Jr. On The Cost Of War

Image Of The Week

Voted for by fans at our Facebook page.

Quotation Of The week

“What experience and history teach is this-that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it”

- Hegel

Bad bosses: The Psycho-path to Success?

CNN — Think you suffer from a “psycho” boss? A small but growing body of global research suggests you might be right. Call it the “Psycho-path to Success.” Psychopaths — narcissists guided without conscience, who mimic rather than feel real emotions — bring to mind serial killers such as Ted Bundy or fictional murderers such as Hannibal Lecter or “Dexter,” the anti-hero of the popular Showtime TV series. But psychologists say most psychopaths are not behind bars — and at least one study shows people with psychopathic tendencies are four times more likely to be found in senior management. “Not all psychopaths are in prison — some are in the boardroom,” said Dr. Robert Hare, a Canadian psychologist who is co-author of the book “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work.” Read Article

Editorial Comment – A very similar analysis to our Editorial of last weekend

Potential to double sales of Gardasil? Latest push to get boys vaccinated

Daily Mail – Boys must be immunised against the most common sexually transmitted virus, health experts have said. The call comes after figures revealed an alarming rise in cancer linked to oral sex in young men. Cases of throat cancer have more than doubled to more than 1,000 a year since the mid-1990s. Previously the figure had been stable for many years. More than 70 per cent of cases are caused by human papilloma virus, compared with less than a third a decade ago. HPV, which can be transmitted during sex and open-mouth kissing, is the main cause of cervical cancer in women, with almost 3,000 women a year in the UK affected. Since 2008 all girls aged 12 to 13 in the UK have been offered a vaccination to protect them from HPV. The decision not to give it to boys too was heavily criticised at the time. Read Article

Liberia’s Charles Taylor worked for CIA

AFP – The report, based on information uncovered through a freedom of information request made six years ago, said that Taylor had a relationship with the US spy agency for years, although the details of what he actually did were unclear. “The Pentagon’s response to the Globe states that the details of Taylor?s role on behalf of the spy agencies are contained in dozens of secret reports — at least 48 separate documents — covering several decades. However, the exact duration and scope of the relationship remains hidden,” the daily said. Read article

US back to two carriers near Iran

CNN – The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln arrived in the Arabian Sea on Thursday, Navy officials said, a likely prelude to testing Iran’s recent warning against sending a U.S. carrier through the Strait of Hormuz. The Lincoln joins the USS Carl Vinson, already in the region, returning the U.S. Navy its standard two-carrier presence there. The carrier USS John Stennis left in the past few days and is now traveling back through the western Pacific. Read Article