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Archive for April 12, 2011

China blocks coastal waters, enlarges military

April 12, 2011 Comments off

washingtontimes

Pacific’s chief calls shadowy move ‘troubling’

**file photo **Chinese paramilitary police patrol in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

**file photo **Chinese paramilitary police patrol in Urumqi, western China’s Xinjiang province. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

China’s “troubling” military buildup coincides with new efforts by Beijing to block the Navy from international waters near its coasts and field new missiles, submarines and cyberweapons, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific told Congress on Tuesday.

NavyAdm. Robert F. Willard said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that China’s intentions behind its decades-long buildup remain hidden and are undermining stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The four-star admiral said the arms buildup is understandable because of China’s economic rise, but “the scope and pace of its modernization without clarity on China’s ultimate goals remains troubling.”

“For example, China continues to accelerate its offensive air and missile developments without corresponding public clarification about how these forces will be utilized,” he said.

Chinese officials, in meetings with their U.S. counterparts, have refused to explain the pace or goal of the arms buildup, defense Read more…

Supervolcano plume sized up

April 12, 2011 Comments off

msnbc

University of Utah

This image, based on variations in electrical conductivity of underground rock, shows the volcanic plume of partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano. Yellow and red indicate higher conductivity,green and blue indicate lower conductivity.

By John Roach

The volcanic plume beneath Yellowstone is larger than previously thought, according to a new study that measured the electrical conductivity of the hot and partly molten rock.

The findings say nothing about the chances of another cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone, but they give scientists another view of the vast and deep reservoir that feeds such eruptions.

“It’s a totally new and different way of imaging and looking at the volcanic roots of Yellowstone,” study co-author Robert Smith, an emeritus professor Read more…

Syria bars medical access for protesters: HRW

April 12, 2011 Comments off

reuters.com

(Reuters) – Syrian security forces prevented wounded protesters reaching hospitals and stopped medical teams from treating them in two towns during last Friday’s demonstrations, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

Pro-democracy protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-year rule have been shaking the country, known for its heavy-handed security apparatus, for more than three weeks.

Protests after mass Friday prayers have generally been the largest because emergency law, in force since the Baath Party took power in 1963, bans any gatherings and demonstrations not sponsored by the state.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said 27 people were killed in the southern city of Deraa and one other in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Friday.

“To deprive wounded people of critical and perhaps life-saving medical treatment is both inhumane and illegal,” said Sarah Leah Witson, HRW’s Middle East director.

“Syria’s leaders talk about political reform, but they meet their people’s legitimate demands for reform with bullets.”

Based on witness accounts, HRW said security forces set up a roadblock near a bridge in Deraa to prevent protesters crossing to the other part of town.

One witness said about 50 soldiers were in front, surrounded by several thousand uniformed and civilian-clothed members of security services as well as snipers.

When protesters ignored the army’s warnings to stop, security forces fired with Kalashnikovs and snipers opened fire at the same time. Read more…

RFID Chips And Soul Catcher 2025

April 12, 2011 1 comment

consciousape

From RFID chips to Soul Catcher 2025 - technology to capture your soul and implant it in somebody else...

News that the British government is planning to tag prisoners with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips was met last year with instant opposition from probation officers and civil rights lawyers.

And rightly so. Government plans to implant the RFID chips without prisoners’ consent would in any circumstance be deemed an illegal act. It would also, of course, create a major moral dilemma.

“If the Home Office doesn’t understand why implanting a chip in someone is worse than an ankle bracelet,” said Shami Chakrabarti of the civil rights group, Liberty, “they don’t need a human-rights lawyer—they need a common-sense bypass.”

And Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, had this to say about the no-brainer scheme:

“Knowing where offenders like paedophiles are does not mean you know what they are doing. Treating people like pieces of meat does not seem to represent an improvement Read more…

Iraq Grapples With Water Shortages, Pollution

April 12, 2011 Comments off

www.rferl.org

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” Revelation 16:12

The low level of water in the Euphrates river is cause for concern.
The low level of water in the Euphrates river is cause for concern.

 

United Nations officials say an inadequate supply of water and pollution in Iraq have led to severe health problems, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports. 

Salam Abdel Munim, the spokesman for UNICEF in Iraq, told RFI on March 22 that as a consequence of the water shortage “some 500,000 Iraqi children access their water from a river or stream, and another 500,000 access their water from open wells.” Read more…

Iran to build new nuclear research reactors-report

April 12, 2011 1 comment

reuters

 

TEHRAN, April 11 (Reuters) – Iran plans to build “four to five” nuclear research reactors and will continue to enrich uranium to provide their fuel, a nuclear official said on Monday despite Western pressure on Tehran to curb atomic work.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Fereydoon Abbasi, said Tehran would build the reactors “in the next few years” to produce medical radioisotopes, according to the students news agency ISNA.

“To provide the fuel for these (new) reactors, we need to continue with the 20 percent enrichment of uranium,” ISNA quoted him as saying.

Abbasi’s remarks are likely to deepen Western fears that Iran’s atomic work is aimed at Read more…

China Inflation Is `Somewhat Out of Control’ on Weak Currency, Soros Says

April 12, 2011 Comments off

China’s decision to keep its currency weak has caused the government to lose control of inflation and risks fuelling wage-price gains, billionaire investor George Soros said.

While the policy helped insulate China from the financial crisis in 2008, the world’s second-biggest economy has missed its chance to allow the yuan to appreciate to tame inflation, Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, said yesterday at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

“It would be very advantageous to allow the currency to appreciate as a way of controlling inflation,” Soros said. “The authorities missed that opportunity. You now have inflation somewhat out of control, and causing some serious danger of wage-price inflation.”

The yuan gained 4.6 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past two years, the second-smallest gain of 10 Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg, even as economic growth rebounded and foreign-exchange reserves jumped to a record. Inflation accelerated to Read more…