According to analysis by Middle East experts, Mubarak has taken much of the gains overseas and deposited much of his wealth in secret bank accounts in British and Swiss banks, The Guardian reported on Friday.
Observers say the Mubaraks have also invested in real estate in Read more…
In an unprecedented move, apparently one that has never happened before, nearly all U.S. Ambassadors to all nations have been called back to Washington for a summit conference. This event, mostly unreported, concluded on 4-Feb-2011.
politico.com reports, “Ambassadors from almost all 260 U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts in more than 180 countries are expected to convene at the State Department for what’s being billed as the first meeting of its kind.”
huffingtonpost.com, “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is convening an unprecedented mass meeting of U.S. ambassadors.”
The first logical thought that comes to mind…
Looking back at all previous world crisis, what might now be so important, evidently more-so than anything ever in the past, to call all Ambassadors back to Washington? And why has the press not reported on such an unusual event involving every U.S. diplomatic ambassador in the world? Read more…
A commercial laboratory notified health officials on Friday that three New Yorkers had developed diarrhea and dehydration, classic symptoms of the disease, after returning from a wedding on Jan. 22 and 23 in the Dominican Republic, where the government has been trying to prevent the disease from spreading from neighboring Haiti.
The three who contracted cholera were adults who returned to the city within days of the wedding.
None were hospitalized. Dr. Sharon Balter, a medical epidemiologist for the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said on Saturday that the victims had all recovered.
Officials declined to release the names of the patients or where they lived.
City health officials are now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to determine what the New York victims ate and to see if the strain of the disease they contracted is linked to the cholera epidemic that has ravaged Haiti, killing thousands since October and infecting many more.
“We’re providing support to the state, with lab testing, in determining which strain” is at issue, said Candice Burns Hoffmann, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C. “And I know there is an Read more…
An armchair archaeologist has identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth, despite never having visited the country.
David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, used Google Earth satellite maps to pinpoint 1,977 potential archaeological sites, including 1,082 teardrop shaped stone tombs.
“I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia,” Dr Kennedy said. “It’s not the easiest country to break into.”
Dr Kennedy told New Scientist that he had verified the images showed actual archaeological sites by asking a friend working in the Kingdom to photograph the locations.
The use of aerial and satellite imaging has been used in Britain to locate Iron Age and Roman sites in Britain, as well as Nazca lines in Peru and Mayan ruins in Belize.
But few archaeologists have been given access to Saudi Arabia, which has long been hostile to the discipline. Hardline clerics in the kingdom fear that it might focus attention on the civilisations which flourished there before the rise of Islam – and thus, in the long term, undermine the state religion.
In 1994, a council of Saudi clerics was reported to have issued an edict asserting that preserving historical sites “could lead to polytheism and idolatry” – both punishable, under the Kingdom’s laws, by death.
Saudi Arabia’s rulers have, in recent years, allowed archaeologists to excavate some sites, including the spectacular but little-known ruins of Maidan Saleh, a 2,000 old city which marked the southern limits of the powerful Nabataean civilisation.
For the most part, though, access to ancient sites has been severely restricted.
Two severe Amazon droughts have sparked fears that the rainforest’s ability to absorb carbon emissions is being diminished – and, worse still, it may soon release almost as much CO2 as the US.
A rare drought in 2005 – billed as a once-in-a-hundred-years event – was then followed by another drought in 2010 that may have been even worse, according to a study by a team of British and Brazilians scientists in the journal Science.
With a huge number of trees dying as a result of the droughts, the scientists predict that the Amazon will not be able to absorb as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as usual in future.
This would remove an important global buffer against pollution.
Even worse, rotting trees may release into the atmosphere as much as five billion tons of C02 in the coming years.
That would be almost as much as the 5.4 billion tons emitted from fossil fuel use by the US in 2009.
Based on the impact of the dry spell on tree deaths in 2005, the team projected that Read more…