Daily Archives

The most dangerous drug in the world: ‘Devil’s Breath’ chemical from Colombia can block free will, wipe memory and even kill

Daily Mail – A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia. The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ and is derived from a particular type of tree [The borrachero plant: Datura stramonium] common to South America. Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ. Read article

Bahrain and Iran in diplomatic row over union proposal

BBC – It follows official Iranian calls for demonstrations against a proposed union between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. A summit of the Gulf states discussed the proposal on Monday but did not reach any decision on the matter. Bahrain’s Sunni royal family has accused Iran of supporting mass protests by the nation’s Shia majority. The proposed union was presented as a first step in a larger integration between all six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) members. Read article

Asian Arms Race: Taiwan deploying more ‘carrier killers’

Channel News Asia – Taiwan is arming more of its fleet with its new “carrier killer” anti-ship missiles as China conducts further sea trials of its first aircraft carrier, local media said Monday. Five of the Taiwanese navy’s eight Perry-class frigates have been armed with the supersonic Hsiung Feng (Brave Wind) III weapons, the Taipei-based China Times said. Some of its smaller patrol boats have also been equipped with the missiles, which are designed to cruise at a speed of Mach 2.0, or twice the speed of sound, with a range of up to 130 kilometres, the newspaper said. The defence ministry declined to comment on the report. The China Times said the navy plans to deploy 120 such missiles — dubbed “aircraft carrier killers” by their developer — in a project costing an estimated 12 billion Taiwan dollars (US$400 million). The missiles were first unveiled by Taiwan in August last year on the same day that China began sea trials for its first aircraft carrier, a reconditioned 1980s-era warship originally commissioned by the Soviet navy. Read Article

Moody’s Begins Euro-Bank Downgrade Tour With Italy

The Street – Over two dozen Italian banks were downgraded by Moody’s Investors Services Monday as the rating agency kicked off a promised multi-week revision of its assessment of Western-European financials. The downgrades ranged from one to four notches, with banks such as Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara scraping the ratings basement with a D- and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA hitting the top of the range with a C+. UniCredit SpA — one of the country’s largest institutions — had its rating cut to C-. Read Article

ECB stops operations with some Greek banks

Reuters – The European Central Bank has stopped providing liquidity to some Greek banks as they have not been successfully recapitalized, the ECB said on Wednesday, confirming news earlier reported exclusively by Reuters. The news sent the euro lower against the dollar, fanning concerns among investors and in Greece that the country may have to leave the euro zone. Read Article

Greeks Withdraw Nearly $1 Billion From Local Banks

CNBC – Greek depositors withdrew 700 million euros ($900 million) from the nation’s local banks recently, said President Karolos Papoulias, though the exact timing of the transfer was unclear. Citing a conversation he had with Greek Central Bank Governor George Provopoulos, Papoulias said “that the strength of banks is very weak right now.” Stocks declined following the report after being up earlier in the day. Read Article

Wrong man was executed in Texas, probe says

AFP – He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a report out Tuesday found. Even “all the relatives of both Carloses mistook them,” and DeLuna was sentenced to death and executed based only on eyewitness accounts despite a range of signs he was not a guilty man, said law professor James Liebman. Read Article

Brain Ailments in Veterans Likened to Those in Athletes

NY Times – Scientists who have studied a degenerative brain disease in athletes have found the same condition in combat veterans exposed to roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, concluding that such explosions injure the brain in ways strikingly similar to tackles and punches. The researchers also discovered what they believe is the mechanism by which explosions damage brain tissue and trigger the wasting disease, called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., by studying simulated explosions on mice. The animals developed evidence of the disease just two weeks after exposure to a single simulated blast, researchers found. Read article

More Than Half of Police Officers Voted For Neo-nazi Party

GreekReport – More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for pro-Nazi party Golden Dawn in the elections of May 6. This is the disconcerting result of an analysis carried out by authoritative newspaper To Vima in several constituencies in Athens, where 5,000 police officers in service in the Greek capital also cast their ballot. At some polling stations, Golden Dawn obtained 19 to 24% of votes. Read article

Asian Arms Race: China steps up surveillance of South China Sea islands

PTI – Amid maritime disputes with countries like the Philippines over the resource rich islands in the South China Sea, China has put them under active three-dimensional surveillance. China has adopted three-dimensional (3D) visual management over 4,000 islands, a report by the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday. Three-dimensional visual information of these islands is collected via ground vehicles, airplanes and satellites. Also 2,851 islands have been put under aviation monitoring and surveillance, and 45 islands along baseline points of China’s territorial waters are under ground watch, the report said. All the historical data of Chinese islands have been processed and put into a database to strengthen island management, the report said. The government last year also released its first list of uninhabited islands available for development in the country, the report said. Read Article

France Had Fifth-Wettest April Since 1959, Report Says

Bloomberg – France had its fifth-wettest month of April since 1959, after a dry March, weather forecaster Meteo- France said. Nationally, rain in April was 70 percent above normal, the Saint Mande, France-based forecaster wrote in a monthly report on its website today [May 8]. Read article

Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF (President, Prince Charles) – and the ESA!

Register – The WWF – endorsed by no less a body than the European Space Agency – has stated that economic growth should be abandoned, that citizens of the world’s wealthy nations should prepare for poverty and that all the human race’s energy should be produced as renewable electricity within 38 years from now.Most astonishingly of all, the green hardliners demand that the enormous numbers of wind farms, tidal barriers and solar powerplants required under their plans should somehow be built while at the same time severely rationing supplies of concrete, steel, copper and glass. The WWF presents these demands in its just-issued Living Planet Report for 2012. It’s a remarkable document, not least for the fact that it is formally endorsed for the first time by the European Space Agency (ESA) – an organisation which would cease to exist in any meaningful form if the document’s recommendations were to be carried out. Read Article

Editorial Note – The WWF’s President is Prince Charles, a man well known for his poverty stricken lifestyle, small houses and inexpensive “green” cars.

Daily News Archive In Focus – Iraq (1,038 articles)

Iraq may have fallen from the attention of most news outlet’s, but the war that commenced in 2003 is still very much ongoing. To read our archive of over 1,000 Iraq related stories CLICK HERE

Climate Fact Of The Day – Analysis of Speed of Greenland Glaciers

National Science Foundation – Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century could be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible. The finding comes from a paper funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA and published in today’s journal Science.

While the study indicates that a melting Greenland’s contributions to rising sea levels could be less than expected, researchers concede that more work needs to be done before any definitive trend can be identified. Studies like this one are designed to examine more closely and in greater detail what is actually happening with the ice sheets, often using newer and more precise tools and thereby better defining the parameters that scientists use to make predictions, such as the upper limits of sea-level rise. Read Article

Acupuncture may help some people with COPD: study

Reuters – Three months of acupuncture improved breathing problems in people with chronic lung disease, in a new study from Japan. According to one researcher, the benefits seen with the alternative treatment were on par with, or better than, what’s been shown for conventional drugs and exercises used to treat the disease. But the study was small, he added, and more research will be needed to convince doctors and policymakers of acupuncture’s usefulness. Read article

Greece to hold new election on 17 June

BBC – Council of State president Panagiotis Pikramenos will head the caretaker government until the election. The election date was announced after party leaders met Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday. Final talks to form a coalition failed on Tuesday, raising new concerns over Greece’s eurozone future. No party won a majority in the 6 May election. Read article

Radiation risks: Raiders of the lost archive

Nature – The town of Ozersk, deep in Russia’s remote southern Urals, hides the relics of a massive secret experiment. From the early 1950s to the end of the cold war, nearly 250,000 animals were systematically irradiated. Some were blasted with ?-, ?- or ?-radiation. Others were fed radioactive particles. Some of the doses were high enough to kill the animals outright; others were so low that they seemed harmless. After the animals — mice, rats, dogs, pigs and a few monkeys — died, scientists dissected out their tissues to see what damage the radioactivity had wrought. They fixed thin slices of lung, heart, liver, brain and other organs in paraffin blocks, to be sliced and examined under the microscope. Some organs, they pickled in jars of formalin. Read article

Kodak Had a Secret Nuclear Reactor Loaded With Enriched Uranium Hidden In a Basement

Gizmodo – Kodak may be going under, but apparently they could have started their own nuclear war if they wanted, just six years ago. Down in a basement in Rochester, NY, they had a nuclear reactor loaded with 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium—the same kind they use in atomic warheads. But why did Kodak have a hidden nuclear reactor loaded with weapons-grade uranium? Read Article

FAA To Ease Rules For Police Agencies To Fly Unmanned Drones

CBS — Surveillance aircraft used by the U.S. military overseas could soon be coming to the skies above Los Angeles County. KNX 1070?s Charles Feldman reports the Federal Aviation Administration is making it easier for local law enforcement agencies to fly unmanned drones. The FAA has streamlined the process that would allow agencies to fly smaller, unarmed versions of the drones that hunt down terrorists in places such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read Article

8,000 contractors said eligible for U.S. cyber guard

Reuters – Up to 8,000 companies doing business with the Pentagon may be qualified to join a newly expanded U.S. effort to guard sensitive information on private networks, a senior Defense Department official said Monday. The Pentagon on Friday invited all of its eligible contractors to join the voluntary pact aimed at fighting what U.S. officials have described as growing cyber threats that allegedly originate, above all, in Russia and China. Read Article

US: ER Visits Tied to Xanax, Similar Drugs Soar in NYC

NBC – A rise in prescription drug abuse involving Xanax and similar anti-anxiety pills in recent years has prompted some doctors in the U.S. to rethink the frequency with which they dole out the prescription. Between 2004 and 2009, New York City emergency room visits involving Xanax and other anti-anxiety prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines increased more than 50 percent. That’s up from 38 out of 100,000 New Yorkers in 2004 to 59 out of 100,000 New Yorkers. Read article

Related article: Americans consume EIGHTY percent of the world’s pain pills as prescription drug abuse epidemic explodes

China Successfully Launches New Spy Satellite Into Orbit

Space – China launched an optical military reconnaissance satellite Thursday (May 10) aboard a Long March 4B rocket, successfully orbiting another member in a fleet of spacecraft spying for Chinese intelligence agencies. Read article

UK: Record April showers end drought in 19 counties

The Independent – April’s record rainfall has brought much of England out of drought status, the Environment Agency announced today. The heaviest “April showers” since records began in 1910, combined with a similarly sodden beginning to May, have allowed official drought status to be lifted for 19 counties in the South-west, the Midlands and Yorkshire, the agency said. Read article

Goldman, Merrill E-Mails Show Naked Shorting, Filing Says

Bloomberg – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Merrill Lynch & Co. employees discussed helping naked short-sales by market-maker clients in e-mails the banks sought to keep secret, including one in which a Merrill official told another to ignore compliance rules, Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK) said in a court filing. The online retailer accused Merrill, now part of Bank of America Corp., and Goldman Sachs of manipulating its stock from 2005 to 2007, causing its shares to fall. Read Article

UK Unemployment falls unexpectedly but worse ‘still to come’

Telegraph – The number of people out of work fell by 45,000 between January and March to 2.63m, official figures show. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2pc over the period, down from 8.3pc the previous quarter and below analysts’ estimates that it would rise by 0.1pc. The number of people in work increased by 105,000 to almost 30m, but this was entirely due to a rise in part-time workers, prompting concerns of “underemployment” in Britain as workers are forced to accept shorter hours when they really want full-time jobs. Read Article