An asteroid will come close to the earth on February 15, according to Birla Science Centre here.
“This is the first near-earth asteroid to pass so close to the earth”, said B M Birla Science Centre Director Dr B G Sidharth said in a release here.
The asteroid ‘2012 DA 14’ measures about 50 metres and would swoop to about 27,000 km near earth or roughly about one tenth the distance to moon, he said.
Although the flu is on everyone’s mind this season, the winter vomiting bug, or the norovirus, is making its rounds. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the norovirus causes about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year, mostly in young children and the elderly.
Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains. The CDC points out that the norovirus is often referred to as the stomach flu, but it is unrelated to influenza.
A new norovirus strain, GII.4 Sydney, was detected last year in Australia. The strain hit the U.K and sickened over a million people. It has now reached the United States and this new strain appears to be taking over. Of norovirus cases reported from September to December, 54 percent have been identified as GII.4 Sydney, according to recently released data.
The first norovirus outbreak was Read more…
At space conference, Amir Eshel says “Syria is falling apart, no one knows what future holds,” warns of Assad’s unconventional arms.
Israel’s need to deal with developing threats before they begin having an impact on the country’s security is growing, Israel Air Force Chief, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, told a Herzliya space conference on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Eight Annual Space Conference, hosted by the Fisher Institute, Eshel said that “most of the threats come to our borders from Iran through various ways.”
Turning his sights to Syria, Eshel said the country is “falling part.”
“Today, no one has an idea of what will be in Syria, and how the country will look. This is happening in a place with a vast arsenal of weapons, some of which is modern and advanced, and some of which is unconventional,” he added.
“This isn’t our backyard – it’s right on our borders. This is a very big challenge for us. Beyond that, we are dealing with a very Read more…
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is using an anti-terrorism device that indiscriminately sweeps up cellphone communications of innocent bystanders during burglary, drug and murder investigations.
LA Weekly wrote back in September that the police agency purchased Stingray technology in 2006 using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds, and is deploying the portable equipment for routine police operations. DHS grant documents said the device was intended for “regional terrorism investigations.”
Stingray pretends that it is a cell tower and fools wireless phones into establishing a connection. Once connected, it can establish cell location and download information of people who are not suspects in an investigation, raising all sorts of privacy issues.
Information obtained by the First Amendment Coalition under the California Public Records Act indicates that LAPD used Stingray 21 times in a four-month period last year. While carriers like AT&T and Sprint typically require a court order before granting law enforcement access to cellphone data, it is not clear that LAPD is asking the courts for a warrant.
Privacy advocates argue that accessing phones with Stingray constitutes a “search and seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and requires a warrant. The FBI has argued it doesn’t need a warrant because cellphone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The U.S.Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue.
The records viewed by LA Weekly seemed to indicate that judges were not fully apprised of Stingray’s scope; that it was sweeping a range of cellphones rather than a specific suspect’s phone.
LAPD refuses to comment on Stingray, which is reportedly also being used by local law enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas, Gilbert, Arizona, and Miami.
Residents flee to the roof of a house in the Chokwe district of southern Mozambique, to escape flooding on January 25, 2013. Intense flooding in southern Mozambique has displaced at least 150,000 people, the United Nations said on Monday, warning that figure could yet rise further. – Copyright : AFP/File
Mozambique’s military has been called in to help tackle severe flooding that has killed 48 people and is likely to spread to the country’s central and northern regions, officials said Tuesday.
The armed forces have begun helping with clean-up operations in the devastated southern town of Chokwe, which has borne the brunt of the flooding caused by heavy rains.
“We can confirm the army is helping support the affected people,” said Benjamim Chabualo, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence told AFP.
Soldiers have also been involved in rescue efforts and the navy has ferried people by boat to reach areas isolated by flooding.
According to UN figures around 250,000 people have been affected by the floods and 146,000 people are being housed in temporary shelters.
Water levels have begun to recede in the south of the country, but the situation remains critical, and the centre and north are expected to be hit by Read more…
China’s new jumbo air freighter, the Y-20, prepares to take off from an unidentified airport for a test run on Jan. 26. (Photo: People’s Daily)
BEIJING — China said it successfully tested a heavy air force freighter that could be a mostly home-grown substitute for the older Russian planes it now uses while substantially boosting the Chinese military’s global reach.
The Y-20 flew took off from its development base near the northwestern city of Xi’an on Saturday, the China Daily and other newspapers reported on Monday. The plane can fly 44,000 km with 66 tons of freight, and is designed to fill the need for a stronger, long-range heavy lift capacity.
China now uses Russian IL-76 freighters, including for communications roles, but those planes were first built in Read more…