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Showing posts from December, 2012

Rare Genetic Faults Identified in Families With Bowel Cancer

Dec. 30, 2012 — Rare DNA faults in two genes have been strongly linked to bowel cancer by Oxford University researchers, who sequenced the genomes of people from families with a strong history of developing the disease.



The researchers sequenced the entire DNA genomes of 20 people from families with a strong history of bowel cancer. Eight of the 20 people had developed bowel cancer, while the rest had a first-degree relative who had developed the disease. The findings are published in the journalNature Genetics.

They found that everyone who had a faulty POLE or POLD1 gene developed bowel cancer or had a precancerous growth in the bowel.

To confirm their findings they then looked for faults in these two genes in almost 4,000 people with bowel cancer, and 6,700 people without the disease.

Neither of the genetic faults was found in people without bowel cancer. However, 12 people with a fault in the POLE gene were found in the bowel cancer group, and one person had a POLD1 gene fault.

The POL…

RUSSIA: AMERICANS NEVER GIVE UP YOUR GUNS!

December 30, 2012 - These days, there are few few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bare arms and use deadly force to defend one's self and possessions.

This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point,Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth. This was, of course, when we were free under the Tsar. Weapons, from swords and spears to pistols, rifles and shotguns were everywhere, common items. People carried them concealed, they carried them holstered. Fighting knives were a prominent part of many traditional attires and those little tubes criss crossing on the costumes of Cossacks and various Caucasian peoples? Well those are bullet holders for rifles.


Various armies, such as the Poles, during the Смута (Times of Troubles), or Napoleon, or the Germans even as the Tsarist state collapsed under the weight of WW1 and Wall Street mo…

Casualties reported in explosions across Iraq

At least 10 people have been killed and 46 injured in a series of explosions across Iraq on Monday


At least 10 people have been killed in a series of attacks across Iraq.

According to police, the explosions on Monday also left 46 wounded, and killed seven members of an Iraqi family near their home in Mussayab, south of the capital Baghdad.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Mohammed, reporting from Baghdad, said that unknown gunmen assaulted the house of Kalid Luhaibi, National Reconciliation adviser near Baquba city, west of Baghdad killing a security guard and wounding two.

Three consecutive road side bombs were set off early on Monday targeting a police vehicle and the house of a prominent tribal sheikh leader in Balad Rouz town, east of Baquba city, killing one policeman and injuring four.

The head of the Babel provincial council’s convoy was also targeted with a car bomb parked in front of the provincial building killing one civilian and injuring five.

Al Qaeda Wants to Kill Another US Ambassador

Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen offer $160,000 in gold for killing the US ambassador, three months after the envoy to Libya was murdered.
Motorcycle hit in drone strike in Yemen

Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen offer $160,000 in gold for killing the US ambassador, three months after the US envoy to Libya was murdered.

The US State Dept. presumably will take the matter more seriously than it did when senior officials ignored events leading up to the brutal killing of Christopher Stevens on September 11.

The al-Malahem terrorist website also offered $23,000 to anyone who murders an American soldier, but the offer is valid for only six months.

The website posting followed a US drone strike in Yemen that killed three AQ terrorists, including a senior Al Qaeda member, Saleh Mohammed al-Ameri. The bounties were set to "inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad," the statement said.

A day earlier, five others were killed, and the US army carried our four drone strikes during the week, …

US Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing in Iran

A small U.S. commercial plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Iran earlier this month, Mehr news agency reported Sunday.

A small U.S. commercial plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Iran earlier this month, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Sunday.


Head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, announced that the plane landedapproximately three weeks ago in an airport located in the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure.


“The 3-member plane faced technical problems while passing over Iran's airspace and this is the reason that the airport permitted it to make a landing,” he said.


"After landing, the crew traveled on to countries around the Persian Gulf and the plane is currently being repaired," he added.

Rasoulinejad did not specify who owned the aircraft, where it was headed or the nationality of the crew members.


The aircraft will leave the country as soon as the repair work is completed, he said.

It was not …

Pakistani Taliban execute captured policemen

At least 21 men who belonged to a paramilitary force shot dead in Peshawar by their captors, say government officials.
Government officials say 21 out of 23 tribal policemen believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban have been executed by their captors in northwest Pakistan.

Naveed Akbar Khan, a local government official, told the AFP news agency on Sunday: "We found 21 bullet riddled bodies of security personnel a short while ago in an uninhabited area."

"One was found alive but wounded and admitted to hospital while another managed to escape unhurt," he added.

Khan said officials found the bodies shortly after midnight on Sunday after being notified by one policeman who had escaped.

The victims were from a paramilitary force recruited from members of ethnic Pashtun tribes in northwestern Pakistan, reported the Reuters news agency. The militias support the government in its efforts against fighters battling the state, it added.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporti…

US troops sent to aid CAR evacuation

The US has sent 50 troops to Chad to help evacuate US citizens and embassy staff in neighbouring Central African Republic where rebels have seized several cities and are advancing on the capital Bangui.

Barack Obama, the US president, informed congressional leaders of Thursday's deployment in a letter on Saturday citing a "deteriorating security situation" in the deeply impoverished nation.

The US has special forces in the country who are assisting in the hunt for Joseph Kony, a Ugandan fugitive rebel leader of the Lord's Resistance Army based in northern Uganda.



The planned evacuation of the US diplomats follows criticism of Washington's handling of diplomatic security before and during the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11.

The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in that attack.

The US deployment comes amid reports that a rebel coalition known as Seleka seized another town in their advance on the capital, forcing an army retrea…

Sunni protests continue in Iraqi cities

Sunni Muslims in Iraq are continuing their demonstrations against the Shia-led government which they accuse of marginalising them.

Thousands gathered on Sunday in Ramadi, 100km west of Baghdad, in Anbar Province, which has seen several days of protests.

The protests began on Friday with many demonstrators massing along a major highway near the city of Falujah in the country's north.

Al Jazeera's Omar el Saleh, reporting from Ramadia, said the protests had been triggered by the arrest 10 days ago of nine bodyguards of the finance minister, Rafie al-Issawi,in Baghdad.

"They're not only protesting against the arrest of the body guards; they're also now protesting against the imprisonment of Sunnis ... They say the Sunnis have been targeted by the Shia-led government. So they're demanding the release of female prisoners; they're demanding the release of male prisoners and also they want an end to what they say is marginalisation and discrimination against Sunni…

Nine foods you should never buy and eat again

December 27, 2012 - With so much misinformation out there about food and how it affects human health, making healthy food choices for you and your family can be difficult and confusing. There are a number of specific foods; however, that you will want to avoid in almost every circumstance because they provide virtually no health benefits while posing plenty of health risks. Here are nine foods you should never eat again if you care about preserving your long-term health:

1) White bread, refined flours. By definition, white bread and refined flours in general are toxic for your body because they have been stripped of virtually all vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. Because of this, the body does not know how to properly digest and assimilate these so-called foods, which can lead to health problems. Refined white flour has also been bleached with chlorine and brominated with bromide, two poisonous chemicals that have been linked to causing thyroid and organ damag…

Copenhagen Process Principles and Guidelines on the Handling of Detainees in International Military Operations

By Bruce “Ossie” Oswald and Thomas Winkler


ASIL Insights, international law behind the headlines, informing the press, policy makers, and the public.

Introduction

On October 19, 2012, the Copenhagen Process on the Handling of Detainees in International Military Operations (“the Process”) welcomed the adoption of the Copenhagen Process Principles and Guidelines (“Principles andGuidelines”).[1] This Insight provides a brief background to the Process and the Principles and Guidelines and explains the significance of this development.

Background

The Process was state-led, with Demark taking an “active role” in identifying “a solution to the challenges facing troop-contributing States in relation to the rights and treatment of detainees.”[2] Denmark maintained its active role, hosting and chairing three conferences in 2007, 2009, and 2012, and an expert meeting in 2008. Denmark also led ongoing consultations, negotiations, and briefings with states, international organizations, and civil socie…

The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle Read more: The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle | Stratfor

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

On Dec. 18, the U.S. State Department's Accountability Review Board released an unclassified version of its investigation into the Sept. 12 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, so the report was widely anticipated by the public and by government officials alike.

Four senior State Department officials have been reassigned to other duties since the report's release. Among them were the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; two of his deputy assistant secretaries, including the director of the Diplomatic Security Service, the department's most senior special agent; and the deputy assistant secretary responsible for Libya in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The highly critical report and the subsequent personnel reassignments are not simply a low watermark for the State Department; rathe…

'Brighter than a full moon': The biggest star of 2013... could be Ison - the comet of the century

A comet discovered by two Russian astronomers will be visible from Earth next year. Get ready for a once-in-a lifetime light show, says David Whitehouse

At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn't seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.


Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.

It was found as a blur on an electronic image of the night sky taken through a telescope at the Kislovodsk Observatory in Russia as part of a project to survey the sky looking for comets and asteroids – chunks of rock and ice that litter space. Astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok were expecting to u…

Just the ticket: World's longest high-speed rail route opens in China

The 1,428 mile-line halves travel time from Beijing to Guangzhou

China today opened the world's longest high-speed rail line that more than halves the time required to travel from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China.


Click here for a first class gallery from the opening of the new route

The opening of the 1,428 mile-line was marked by the 9am departure of a train from Beijing for Guangzhou. Another train left Guangzhou for Beijing an hour later.

China has massive resources and considerable prestige invested in its showcase high-speed railways programme.

But it has in recent months faced high-profile problems: part of a line collapsed in central China after heavy rains in March, while a bullet train crash in the summer of 2011 killed 40 people. The former railway minister, who spearheaded the bullet train's construction, and the ministry's chief engineer, were detained in an unrelated corruption investigation months before the c…

'Chemical weapons were used on Homs': Syria's military police defector tells of nerve gas attack

The head of Syria’s military police defected to the opposition, accusing the Assad regime of systematic “murder” and claiming that reports of chemical weapons being used against rebels in the restive city of Homs were true.


Maj-Gen Abdul-Aziz Jassim al-Shallal became one of the highest ranking Syrian military officers to throw their support behind the rebels, accusing forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of turning their weapons on innocent civilians in the now 22-month-long civil war.

“I declare my defection from the army because of its deviation from its fundamental mission to protect the nation and [its] transformation into gangs of murder and destruction,” he said in a video message posted online, reportedly from the Turkish border.

He accused the military of “destroying cities and villages and committing massacres against our innocent people who came out to demand freedom.” General Shallal suggested in his message that he had been working with the opposition for some time b…

Infants receiving vaccines are the most likely to be hospitalized and die

December 25, 2012 - A new study, published in Human and Experimental Toxicology, a peer-reviewed journal indexed by the National Library of Medicine, analyzed more than 38,000 reports of infant hospitalizations and deaths following vaccinations. Researchers found statistically significant correlations between the number of vaccine doses administered to infants and infant hospitalization and mortality rates: babies who receive the most vaccines tend to have higher (worse) hospitalization and death rates.

Infants who received 2 vaccines simultaneously were significantly less likely to be hospitalized than infants who received 3 or more vaccines at the same time. Infants who received 3 vaccines simultaneously were significantly less likely to be hospitalized than infants who received 4 or more vaccines at the same time. Babies who received 6, 7, or 8 vaccines during a single pediatric well-baby visit were the most likely to be hospitalized following their injections. In fact, the hospital…

Weather goes haywire over Europe: scientists baffled by erratic swings

December 26, 2012 - From deadly cold in Russia, floods in Britain and balmy conditions that have residents in southwest France rummaging for their bathing suits, the weather has gone haywire across Europe in the days leading up to Christmas.

The mercury in Moscow has fallen to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit) -- unseasonably cold in a country where such chills don't normally arrive until January or February.

The cold has claimed 90 lives in Russia since mid-December and 83 in Ukraine, with eastern Eurasia in the grips of an unusually icy month that has seen temperatures drop to as low as minus 50 degrees C in eastern Siberia.



Another 57 people have died from the cold in Poland this month, and officials say the icy front is probably "the most severe of the last 70 years," according to Regis Crepet, a forecaster with Meteo-Consult.

While the former Eastern bloc shivers and Britain fights severe flooding after heavy rains, holiday-makers and residents…

WHY DO WE BLINK SO FREQUENTLY?

December 26, 2012 - We all blink. A lot. The average person blinks some 15-20 times per minute—so frequently that our eyes are closed for roughly 10% of our waking hours overall.

Although some of this blinking has a clear purpose—mostly to lubricate the eyeballs, and occasionally protect them from dust or other debris—scientists say that we blink far more often than necessary for these functions alone. Thus, blinking is physiological riddle. Why do we do it so darn often? In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of scientists from Japan offers up a surprising new answer—that briefly closing our eyes might actually help us to gather our thoughts and focus attention on the world around us.

The researchers came to the hypothesis after noting an interesting fact revealed by previous research on blinking: that the exact moments when we blink aren’t actually random. Although seemingly spontaneous, studies have revealed that people tend to bl…

CIA Director issued secret directive denying President Kennedy access to UFO files

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President John F. Kennedy’s desire to cooperate with the Soviet Union in joint space and lunar missions led to him asking the CIA to release classified UFO information to the Soviets. On November 12, 1963, Kennedy issued two Presidential Memoranda and participated in a Hotline discussion with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to finalize details for future joint space missions. Most importantly, agreement was reached on the need for sharing both countries most sensitive UFO files. Both Kennedy and Khrushchev were concerned that a mistaken identification of UFOs could lead to nuclear war and jeopardize space cooperation. Kennedy’s Memorandum to the Director of the CIA to share UFO files was relayed on to the James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence, who controlled access to the nation’s most sensitive UFO files. In responding to Kennedy’s request, Angleton followed a secret directive from former CIA Director Allen W. Dulles to ensure that under no circu…

Meteor Smoke Makes Strange Clouds

Anyone who's ever seen a noctilucent cloud or “NLC” would agree: They look alien. The electric-blue ripples and pale tendrils of NLCs reaching across the night sky resemble something from another world.

Researchers say that's not far off. A key ingredient for the mysterious clouds comes from outer space.

"We've detected bits of 'meteor smoke' embedded in noctilucent clouds," reports James Russell of Hampton University, principal investigator of NASA's AIM mission to study the phenomenon. "This discovery supports the theory that meteor dust is the nucleating agent around which NLCs form."

A new ScienceCast video explains how "meteor smoke" seeds noctilucent clouds. Play it

Noctilucent clouds are a mystery dating back to the late 19th century. Northern sky watchers first noticed them in 1885 about two years after the eruption of Krakatoa. Ash from the Indonesian volcano caused such splendid sunsets that evening sky watching became a …

Getting Ready for the Next Big Solar Storm

In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren't sure how to categorize it. The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii.

This week, officials have gathered at the National Press Club in Washington DC to ask themselves a simple question: What if it happens again?

Modern power grids are vulnerable to solar storms. Photo credit: Martin Stojanovski

"A similar storm today might knock us for a loop," says Lika Guhathakurta, a solar physicist at NASA headquarters. "Modern society depends on high-tech systems such as smart power grids, GPS, and satellite communications--all of which are vulnerable to solar storms."

She and more than a hundred others are attending the fifth annual Space Weather…