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Archive for February 8, 2012

No way of stopping leak of deadly new flu, says terror chief

February 8, 2012 2 comments

independent

The bioterrorism expert responsible for censoring scientific research which could lead to the creation of a devastating pandemic has admitted the information “is going to get out” eventually.

Professor Paul Keim, chairman of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, controversially recommended that researchers be stopped from publishing the precise mutations needed to transform the H5N1 strain of birdflu virus into a human-transmissible version.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, he argued it had been necessary to limit the release of the scientific details because of fears that terrorists may use the information to create their own H5N1 virus that could be spread easily between people.

Professor Keim said that it was necessary to slow down the release of scientific information because it was clear that the world is not yet prepared for a strain of highly lethal H5N1 influenza that can be transmitted by coughs and sneezes.

“We recognised that, in the long term certainly, the information is going to get out, and maybe even in the mid term. But if we can restrict it in the short term and motivate governments to start getting busy in terms of Read more…

Unmanned drones to invade U.S. airspace in 2015

February 8, 2012 Comments off

dvice.com

Unmanned drones to invade U.S. airspace in 2015It’s been a long time coming, but the U.S. Congress just handed two orders to the Federal Aviation Administration: to upgrade its radar system to GPS and to open up manned airspace to unmanned drones. The latter is causing some concern, but both of these things, if done right, could mean some great things for aviation.
The concerns aren’t about whether or not heavily armed Predator drones (pictured above) will be flying around, but more about this kind of stuff, as reported by USA Today:

Commercial pilots have raised safety concerns. Although pilots are required to spend time flying planes and are tested on their abilities to hold licenses, no similar rules exist for the controllers of remote aircraft. Likewise, the FAA doesn’t certify drones like passenger planes against engine failure or wings falling off.

Drones operate with far fewer Read more…

The West’s First War with China

February 8, 2012 Comments off

the-diplomat.com

This month marks the 350th anniversary of the West’s first war with China. In February 1662, Generalissimo Zheng Chenggong swept the Dutch off of Taiwan, bringing the island under Chinese rule for the first time in history. The Dutch were Europe’s most dynamic colonial power, and the Taiwan colony was their largest holding in Asia, so the war is fascinating from the perspective of global history, touching on the question of the global balance of power in the pre-modern world.

But the war also has lessons for today, because among the factors that enabled the Chinese to win was a rich, effective, and, to Westerners, mysterious military tradition – a strategic culture that provided a discernable boost to Chinese warcraft. The Dutch, famous in Europe for their weapons, tactics, and logistics, found themselves hopelessly outclassed by the Chinese. Since military leaders in China today are Read more…

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Island nations want climate change in world court

February 8, 2012 Comments off

dawn.com

The small island nations who are highly vulnerable due to climate change are seeking to take the issue before International Court of Justice. – File Photo

UNITED NATIONS: Small island nations, whose very existence is threatened by the rising sea levels brought about by global warming, are seeking to take the issue of climate change before the International Court of Justice.

Johnson Toribiong, president of Palau, said Friday his country and other island nations had formed an expert advisory committee to bring the issue before the U.N. General Assembly. That would allow the world court in the Hague to determine the legal ramifications of Read more…

China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific Ocean

February 8, 2012 Comments off

 

Photo: EPA

China’s Navy ships moved to the Western part of the Pacific for military exercise. In response Tokyo expressed its concern about the growing naval activity of the Chinese Armed Forces in that region.

According to Japanese mass media, a group consisting of four battle ships (frigates) of the Chinese Navy passed through the waters between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako. The Chinese Defense Ministry already made a statement that the tour of the ships is connected to the preparation of the annual military exercise of routine nature. In response to the concern of the Japanese side, Beijing stated that China has a free right to pass in those waters. According to the Chinese authorities, that is completely Read more…

Philipines records an astounding 900 aftershocks in first 24 hours after 6.9 magnitude earthquake

February 8, 2012 Comments off

pia.gov

Residents walk along a damaged road caused by an earthquake in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental in central Philippines February 7, 2012. Philippine rescuers searched on Tuesday for 29 residents of a mountainside community feared dead after a landslide triggered by an earthquake engulfed their homes. A magnitude 6.7 quake struck near Tayasan town in the central Philippine island of Negros on Monday. Fifteen people are known to have been killed while several remote towns have been cut off because of damage to roads and bridges.

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Feb. 7 (PIA) — The local seismology monitors recorded as much as 900 mild aftershocks as of noontime today after the 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Central Visayas on Feb. 6.

According to the local Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), through Engineer Nolan Evangelista, aftershocks are just ordinary incidents after a major earth movement.

Evangelista also shared that the most noticeable aftershocks reached intensity 3 that was recorded at around 6:10 p.m. yesterday and another one at 7:32 p.m., which reached intensity 2.

“There have been numerous Read more…

More than hundred dolphins beached in Cape Cod baffle scientists

February 8, 2012 Comments off

digitaljournal.com

Animal rescuers are working to save more than a hundred common dolphins beached off Cape Cod, Mass., since January 12. Marine scientists have been unable to explain the recent pattern of dolphins being washed ashore.

The recent beachings have been described as the largest single-species stranding ever in that part of the U.S. According to Daily Mail, of 116 common dolphins that beached on Cape Cod since January 12, three died on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths to 84. CNN reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had reported that 81 dolphins died at Cape Cod in the series of strandings that began last month. According to ABC News, hundreds of volunteers are working to save the dolphins by releasing them into deep water. CNN says the animals are Read more…