Daily Archives

NASA Laptop Stolen With Command Codes That Control Space Station

CBS – NASA’s inspector general revealed in congressional testimony that a space agency computer was stolen last year with the command codes to control the International Space Station. In a statement given to a House committee on the security challenges facing NASA, Paul K. Martin said that an unencrypted NASA computer stolen last year was one of 48 taken between April 2009 and April 2011. Read article

Obama warns of force against Iran

BBC – President Barack Obama says the US “will not hesitate” to use force to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, but says diplomacy could still succeed. Addressing an influential pro-Israel lobby group, Mr Obama also warned against “loose talk” of war in the dispute with Tehran. Earlier, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Iran was “a danger to the world”. Read article

Blast at Congo arms depot kills hundreds

Reuters – Around 200 people were killed on Sunday when an arms dump exploded in Brazzaville, ripping apart a nearby neighborhood in the Congo Republic’s capital, medical and local authorities said. Read Article

UK government plan for police privatisation

Guardian – Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country. West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police. Read Article

Fury over attack on British war graves in Benghazi

BBC – Attacks on the graves of British servicemen in Benghazi, Libya, have been described as “horrific” by Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt. The Foreign Office said 200 graves and a Cross of Remembrance were damaged at the Benghazi British Military Cemetery. The Benghazi War Cemetery was also targeted. Both cemeteries commemorate British and Commonwealth nationals who died during or after World War II. Read Article

Greek Loan, Debt Plan Key To Solving Euro-Zone Crisis

Wall St Journal – Greece’s proposed debt restructuring plan is a key step in resolving Europe’s debt crisis, said a leading international banking group on Sunday, which welcomed a decision by the country’s European partners and the International Monetary Fund to extend a new EUR130 billion loan to Greece. Read Article

Radioactive Cesium Detected from Seabed of Tokyo Bay: Asahi Shimbun

Airrang – A new report says the seabed of Tokyo Bay 250 kilometers off of the crippled Fukushima power plant has been contaminated with highly radioactive cesium. Read article

Putin declares win in elections

Vladimir Putin has declared victory in Russia’s presidential elections, returning for a third term after spending the last four years as the country’s PM. Exit polls and preliminary results gave him about 60% of the vote. Mr Putin told supporters at a rally in central Moscow they had won in an open and honest battle. But opposition groups have reported widespread fraud, with many people said to have voted more than once. Read article

Syrian rebels fight back in Homs

Reuters – Amateur video purports to show Syrian rebels celebrating an attack on a military vehicle in Homs, as aid workers hope to deliver vital aid to the stricken city. Travis Brecher reports.

Australian inquiry calls for new media regulator

AP – An inquiry into Australian media prompted by last year’s News Corp. scandal recommended on Friday better oversight of the industry and called for the establishment of a government-funded council to set and enforce journalistic standards. The investigation was launched after Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. closed its top-selling British tabloid, News of the World, last year over illegal phone hacking allegations. News Corp. owns 70 percent of Australia’s newspapers through its subsidiary, News Ltd. There have been no allegations made in Australia of the type of phone hacking that led to the News of the World scandal in Britain. But many government lawmakers argue that News Ltd.’s newspaper holdings are too large and are biased against the ruling center-left Labor Party. Read Article

Some aid reaches Syria’s Homs, refugees flee to border

Reuters – The Red Cross delivered emergency aid to areas around the battered Baba Amro district of the Syrian city of Homs on Sunday, but was blocked for a third day from entering the former rebel bastion amid reports of bloody reprisals by state forces. Activists reported shelling and other violence across Syria, sending one of the biggest surges of refugees across the border into Lebanon in a single day since a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began a year ago. Read Article

BP in $7.8bn settlement of spill claims

Financial Times – BP and the lawyers representing more than 100,000 victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have reached an estimated $7.8bn out-of-court settlement over damages, delaying the trial that had been due to start on Monday. The settlement, which BP said was “not an admission of liability”, will be funded out of the $20bn that BP promised as compensation for the damage caused by the spill. Read Article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Alcohol and Drugs (360 articles)

You might not think it, but the conclusion of a study in the British medical journal Lancet described alcohol as more dangerous than many illegal drugs (including heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy). In both alcohol and drug use, the economic and health costs are considerable, so why are certain toxins such as cigarettes and alcohol accepted and others demonized? Find out more by reading our news archive of 360 articles on Alcohol and Drugs for a comprehensive view. CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Ancient Arabic Writings Help Scientists Piece Together Past Climate

ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2012) — Ancient manuscripts written by Arabic scholars can provide valuable meteorological information to help modern scientists reconstruct the climate of the past, a new study has revealed. The research, published in Weather, analyses the writings of scholars, historians and diarists in Iraq during the Islamic Golden Age between 816-1009 AD for evidence of abnormal weather patterns.

Reconstructing climates from the past provides historical comparison to modern weather events and valuable context for climate change. In the natural world trees, ice cores and coral provide evidence of past weather, but from human sources scientists are limited by the historical information available.
Until now researchers have relied on official records detailing weather patterns including air force reports during WW2 and 18th century ship’s logs. Now a team of Spanish scientists from the Universidad de Extremadura have turned to Arabic documentary sources from the 9th and 10th centuries (3rd and 4th in the Islamic calendar). The sources, from historians and political commentators of the era, focus on the social and religious events of the time, but do refer to abnormal weather events.

When collated and analysed the manuscripts revealed an increase of cold events in the first half of the 10th century. This included a significant drop of temperatures during July 920 AD and three separate recordings of snowfall in 908, 944 and 1007. Read Article

Libyan rebels desecrate graves of British war heroes

Telegraph – Libyan rebels, freed from the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, have been captured on film smashing the graves of more than 150 British soldiers killed in North Africa during the Second World War. Read Article

China calls for end to Syria violence

Financial Times – Fears mounted about the fate of several thousand residents stuck in the Bab Amr district of the Syrian city of Homs on Saturday as Syrian authorities for a second day blocked Red Cross aid meant for civilians stranded for weeks without food and fuel in the former rebel stronghold. As Syrian forces bombarded parts of the shattered city on Saturday, China urged the Syrian government and rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad to end all acts of violence, especially against civilians. Read Article

Pollutants long gone, but disease carries on

Science News – Exposure to certain pollutants early in a rat’s pregnancy can foster disease in her offspring during their adulthood as well as in subsequent generations, a new study shows. A wide range of pollutants elicited such lasting effects, despite future generations never encountering the triggering pollutant. Some chemicals tested led to premature puberty among great-granddaughters, with an increased risk of disease in reproductive tissues. In some tests, the chemicals disrupted ovarian function, something that in humans could lead to infertility or premature menopause. And another chemical exposure caused premature death of sperm-forming cells in the great-grandsons, researchers report online February 28 in PLoS ONE. Read article

120 French Troops Captured In Syria

China protest village elects head

BBC – Thousands of people turned out to elect a new leader in a Chinese village that staged a high-profile revolt over perceived local corruption. Wukan, in southern Guangdong province, has come to symbolise the anger felt over land seizures by rural officials. Read article

Pro-terror tag team

New York Post – Three groups with historically little regard for efforts to protect the physical safety of Americans — the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU — have joined forces against the NYPD’s anti-terrorism efforts. Which is probably the least surprising development in the “scandal” whipped up by The Associated Press over the NYPD’s ongoing efforts to keep New Yorkers safe from terrorism. Birds of a feather, and all that. Read Article

China’s defence spending to rise 11.2%

Financial Times – China plans to boost its official defence budget by 11.2 per cent this year as Beijing is balancing the modernisation of its armed forces against the need to keep military spending in line with economic development. Defence expenditure is budgeted to rise to Rmb670.247bn ($110bn) in 2012, Li Zhaoxing, spokesman of the National People’s Congress, told reporters a day before China’s rubber stamp parliament opens to hear premier Wen Jiabao’s budget report. Read Article

Rights groups, witnesses, officials say Ivory Coast forces extorting, killing civilians

Washington Post – Witnesses, human rights groups and officials say security forces who helped bring Ivory Coast’s elected president to power during a political crisis are extorting and killing civilians. Military officials said members of the Republican Forces — the official security forces comprised largely of untrained former rebels loyal to President Alassane Ouattara — killed 10 people in the country’s west and south in December. Residents in the commercial capital say extortion and killings are common there. Read Article

Indian state probes deaths of 4 infants after vaccinations

TOI – The state health department is investigating into the deaths of four infants, including three who died between February 19 and 25, when the oral polio vaccine (OPV) immunisation drive was in progress. The fourth infant died in Mumbai on February 29 and had been given OPV drops and two more vaccines – DPT (diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus) and hepatitis – a day earlier. Speaking to TOI on Friday, assistant director (immunisation) and in-charge of the immunisation drive V M Kulkarni said, “This year, we have reported deaths of three infants during the immunisation drive and one after the drive. We are investigating all the four deaths, which are, prima facie, coincidental.” Read article

Russian presidential vote begins

BBC – Sunday’s vote sees Vladimir Putin hoping to become president again after four years as prime minister. Mr Putin was Russia’s president from 2000-2008, but was barred by the constitution from standing for a third consecutive term. He faces four challengers, three of whom he has defeated in previous elections. Read article

Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans

Telegraph – Their relationship, almost from the outset, has been frostier than not, a mutual antipathy palpable in many of their previous encounters. Two years ago, Barack Obama reportedly left Benjamin Netanyahu to kick his heels in a White House anteroom, a snub delivered to show the president’s irritation over Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank. In May, the Israeli prime minister struck back, publicly scolding his purse-lipped host for the borders he proposed of a future Palestinian state. Read Article