Daily Archives

US integrity effort hits troubled water

Nature – When US President Barack Obama announced a government-wide effort to protect federal science from political interference, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) took an early lead. In 2011, it became the first agency to finalize a new policy on scientific integrity and it has hired ten scientific-integrity officers to work with staff in its various bureaus. But the DOI may also be the first to run into a problem with the way the policies are implemented, as one of those officers claims to have been fired for upholding the guidelines. “I thought I was doing the job I was hired to do and was doing the right thing. I was stifled,” says Paul Houser, a hydrologist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who was appointed as scientific-integrity officer for the DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation in April 2011. Houser was fired on 10 February and filed a complaint under the DOI’s scientific-integrity policy two weeks later. Read article

ICC prosecutor rejects Palestinian recognition

BBC – The decision blocks a move to have the war crimes tribunal based at The Hague investigate the 2008-2009 Gaza war. The prosecutor said it was up to “relevant bodies” at the UN or ICC member countries to determine whether Palestine qualified as a “state”. Only then could it sign the court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said it welcomed Friday’s decision, and noted that it did not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction. Read article

Asian Arms Race: Russian-built nuclear submarine joins Indian navy

BBC – India has formally commissioned a nuclear-powered submarine into its navy, rejoining the elite club of nations with such a weapon. The $1bn (£630m) Russian-built vessel is being leased by the Indian navy for the next 10 years. It was handed over to India in eastern Russia in January. India previously operated a Soviet nuclear submarine until 1991. It now rejoins China, Russia, the US, the UK and France as an operator of nuclear submarines. Read Article

Wealth blamed for rhino death rise


The spread of wealth in some Asian nations is being blamed for a rise in South African rhino poaching.

Saudi to maintain oil supply if U.S. draws stocks

Reuters – Saudi Arabia is likely to maintain high oil production in the event consumer countries release emergency stocks, but it will not seek to lure buyers for more oil by discounting its crude, industry sources said. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday in Riyadh sought an assurance from Saudi King Abdullah that the kingdom would not neutralize a release of inventories by consuming countries by cutting its production. Read Article

New snooping powers could be illegal, human rights watchdog warns

Telegraph – The sheer scale of the Government plans to allow police and security agencies access to every communication by every citizen may be an unlawful invasion of the right to privacy, according to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The warning came as a former police leader said the plan, which will cost the public £200 million a year, was “fraught with danger” and a “massive state intervention” in to people’s lives. Read Article

Shop-bought baby foods ‘lack vital nutrients essential for growth and protection against illness’

Daily Mail – Top selling baby foods lack vital nutrients essential for growth and protection against illness, researchers have warned. They have found that many of the most popular brands contain less than a fifth of the recommended daily supply of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other crucial minerals. Read article

German state finds dioxin in eggs, sees no danger

Reuters – German authorities said on Wednesday the highly poisonous chemical dioxin had been discovered above permitted levels in eggs from a German farm but they see no danger to the public. Dioxin content of three to six times permitted levels were discovered by routine tests on a farm in the central German state of North Rhine Westphalia, the state agriculture ministry said. The farm has been sealed off and is not permitted to sell more eggs, the state ministry said.Read Article

Doctors call for end to five cancer tests, treatments

Reuters – In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation’s leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients. The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed. Read article

Serbian President Boris Tadic announces his resignation

BBC – He still has 10 months of his current term of office to serve, but the move will allow him to stand for re-election on 6 May. Parliamentary elections are already scheduled to take place on that date, and the move is seen as a tactic to help his Democratic Party’s campaign. Read article

Pakistani militant leader thumbs nose at US bounty

AP – One of Pakistan’s most notorious extremists taunted the United States during a defiant news conference close to the country’s military headquarters Wednesday, a day after the U.S. slapped a $10 million bounty on him. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the 61-year-old founder of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six American citizens. He operates openly in Pakistan, giving public speeches and appearing on television talk shows. “I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me,” he told reporters Wednesday, mocking Washington for placing a bounty on a man whose whereabouts are no mystery. “I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to.” Read Article

Afghanistan suicide bomber ‘kills 10′ in Faryab

BBC – A suicide bomb attack in northern Afghanistan has left at least 10 people dead, officials say. Sources told the BBC the bomber had targeted a meeting of officials in Maymana, capital of Faryab province. More than 20 people were hurt, a number critically. Nato said three service members were killed in a blast in the north on Wednesday but has not linked it to the Faryab incident. Attacks in northern Afghanistan are far less common than in the south and east. Nato’s Isaf force said it was aware of “reported civilian/military casualties” in Faryab but was still investigating and stressed it had not yet made any announcement related to victims there. Read Article

News Archive In Focus – Military (2,991 articles)

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Climate Fact Of The Day – Vostok Ice Core Records of CO2, Temperature & Dust levels for last 400,000 years

Source: http://talkingabouttheweather.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/800px-vostok_petit_data.png

When, during the Eemian interglacial that extended from 130,000 years ago and ended about 115,000 years ago, temperatures were one to two degrees Celsius warmer than today, sea level reflected the warm conditions and the glacial melt they generated. It was 15 feet higher than today. Sea level has never been stable, and cannot be stable.

US obesity ‘higher than thought’

BBC – The obesity problem in the US may be much worse than previously thought, according to researchers. They said using the Body Mass Index or BMI to determine obesity was underestimating the issue. Read article

James Murdoch to resign as BSkyB chairman

BBC – His father Rupert founded its parent company News Corporation, which had to drop its bid for BSkyB amid a phone-hacking scandal at a UK newspaper. Sources told Robert Peston, the BBC’s business editor, that it was James Murdoch’s decision to leave. They said it was an attempt to pre-empt further criticism as investigations continue into phone hacking. Read article

Somalia theatre bombing kills top sports officials

BBC – The head of Somalia’s Olympic committee and its football chief are among eight people killed in a bomb attack on a high-profile event in Mogadishu. Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali survived the blast unhurt after it struck the newly re-opened national theatre in the capital, Mogadishu. Militants from the al-Shabab group say they carried out the bombing. African Union peacekeepers said the “despicable” attack would not deter peace efforts in Somalia. Read Article

Spanish debt yields rise as deficit problems mount

Reuters – Spanish borrowing costs jumped at a bond auction on Wednesday, jolting wider European markets, as this week’s tough budget failed to calm investors’ nerves about the country’s finances. Madrid sold 2.6 billion euros (2.18 billion pounds) of medium-term paper, at the low end of its target range, and two out of three of the yields rose slightly above analysts’ expectations. Read Article

David Cameron defends secret courts and web monitoring plans

BBC – Prime Minister David Cameron has said “gaps” in national security must be plugged but there was “still time” to meet civil liberties concerns. It follows criticism of government proposals to extend secret hearings to civil court cases – and to increase monitoring of emails and internet use. Deputy PM Nick Clegg has called for changes to the court proposals. Read Article

Women’s height linked to ovarian cancer

BBC – Taller women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a review of studies. Obesity is also a risk factor among women who have never taken HRT, say international researchers. Read article

France expels radical Islamists after Merah killings

BBC – The move appears be a response to last month’s attacks by Mohamed Merah, an Islamist gunman who killed seven people around the city of Toulouse. The interior ministry said two men had been sent back to their home countries of Algeria and Mali, while another three face expulsion orders. On Friday, police arrested 19 suspected Islamist militants in dawn raids. Read article

Environmentalists fight for Guatemala’s endangered macaws


A coalition of conservation groups in Guatemala is reporting tentative signs of success in their efforts to save the spectacular scarlet macaw from extinction. The species is critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, so the groups are closely monitoring nests throughout the protected Maya Biosphere reserve to ensure as many newly-hatched birds as possible reach adulthood. Transcript Link Page

Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all

Independent – A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. “Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war. He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.” Read Article

Tidal energy project makes waves in New York


New York City, one of the hungriest consumers of energy in the world, is going green with a project designed to capture tidal energy from the city’s East River. The project is the first of its kind in the United States and if successful, could herald a revolution in sustainable, marine-based energy production. Tara Cleary reports.