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Showing posts from February 1, 2013

Scientists decode secret of spider silk's strength

Scientists have cracked the secret of spider silk's strength and what makes the fibre at least five times as tough as piano wire, weight for weight.

Arizona State University researchers are studying the silk's molecular structure in a bid to produce materials ranging from bullet-proof vests to artificial tendons, using a sophisticated but non-invasive laser light scattering technique.

"Spider silk has a unique combination of mechanical strength and elasticity that make it one of the toughest materials we know," said Jeffery Yarger, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona, who led the research, the journal Nature Materials reported.

"This work represents the most complete understanding we have of the underlying mechanical properties of spider silk," said Yarger, according to an Arizona statement.

Spider silk is an exceptional biological polymer, related to collagen (the material found in skin and bones) but much more complex in its structure. The exte…

Iran crude oil exports rise to highest since EU sanctions

Iran's crude oil exports in December leapt to their highest level since European Union sanctions took effect last July, analysts and shipping sources said, as strong Chinese demand and tanker fleet expansion helped the OPEC member dodge sanctions.

Exports rose to around 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, according to two industry sources and shipping and customs data compiled by Reuters on a country-by-country basis and corroborated by other sources and consultants. The sources said they expected exports to dip in January from the December peak ahead of new U.S. sanctions. Western sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's disputed nuclear programme halved Iran's oil exports in 2012 from 2.2 million bpd in late 2011, leading to billions of dollars in lost revenue and a plunge in the Iranian currency. But continuous robust demand from top buyer China and others such as India and Japan, as well as the purchase of new tankers, allowed the Islamic Republic to unexpectedly bo…

Mali 'bloody atrocities': Video shows army's war crimes:

Video - Exclusive footage of what's believed to be the atrocities committed by the Malian army in a town liberated from the Islamist rebels with the help of French forces. Information on civilian casualties in Mali has been notably scarce.

Fierce clashes kill 47 in Syria’s Idlib: NGO

By AFP
Beirut


Fierce clashes have killed at least 21 rebel fighters and 26 regime troops in less than two days in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, a watchdog said on Thursday.

"Army troops and rebel fighters loyal to Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the Dawud brigade are fighting fierce battles" at two checkpoints seized by rebels on Wednesday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The fighting has killed at least 21 rebels, including 12 (non-Syrian) Arab fighters, among them an Al-Nusra Front commander," said the Britain-based monitoring group.
The violence also killed "at least 26 regime troops", it added.

Large swathes of Idlib province, near the border with Turkey, have slipped out of army control and into rebel hands.

Loyalists of Al-Nusra Front, which the United States lists as a "terrorist" organization, and which is not part of the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army, often fight some of the toughest battles in the area.

Elsew…

‘America's Nazi Scientists Fulfilling Dream Of Ruling The World’ - Bruce Gagnon

By John RoblesFebruary 01, 2013  -- In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, Bruce Gagnon shares little known facts about the militarization of space by the United States, the development of first strike space drones and the foundation of the US Military Industrial Complex by Nazi scientists bent on victory in World War III. If you thought missile defense and drones were bad, you haven't heard anything yet.Robles:According to your organization the US Space Command has publicly stated they intent to control space in order to protect US interests and investments. Is space now US territory? Gagnon: Well, indeed the United States likes to believe that it is its own space, and particularly the Space Command, who on their headquarters building in Colorado Springs, just above the doorway they have their logo that reads “Master of Space”. So, I think that it is quite evident that the Space Command does indeed view space as US territory that must be controlled because they clearl…

Chuck Hagel to Ensure Israel's Qualitative Military Edge

By Reuters, The Associated Press and Haaretz

February 01, 2013 "Haaretz" -- Chuck Hagel, expected to be President Barack Obama's defense chief, on Thursday told a skeptical Senate panel considering his nomination that he backs U.S. policy of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and supports a strong Israeli military.

"I will ensure our friend and ally Israel maintains its qualitative military edge in the region," Hagel said in his opening remarks.

Hagel said that if confirmed as the next defense secretary, he would ensure that the military is prepared to strike Iran if necessary but stressed the need to be "cautious and certain" when contemplating the use of force.

Hagel also said all options must be on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon language used to suggest the possibility of a nuclear strike. "My policy is one of prevention, and not one of containment," he said.

Hagel, in his opening remarks and respons…

Israeli Attack: Desperate Bid to Save Failed Syrian Campaign

By Tony Cartalucci

February 01, 2013 "
Information Clearing House" -  Israel has conducted airstrikes in Syria based on "suspicions" of chemical weapon transfers, in a flagrant violation of the UN Charter, international law, and in direct violation of Syria's sovereignty. The Guardian in its report titled, "Israel carries out air strike on Syria," claims:
"Israeli warplanes have attacked a target close to the Syrian-Lebanese border following several days of heightened warnings from government officials over Syria's stockpiles of weapons." It also stated: "Israel has publicly warned that it would take military action to prevent the Syrian regime's chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon or "global jihadists" fighting inside Syria. Israeli military intelligence is said to be monitoring the area round the clock via satellite for possible convoys carrying weapons." In reality, these "global ji…

Syria Warns Israel of 'Surprise' Retaliation

February 01, 2013 "Al Jazeera" -- Syria has threatened to retaliate for an Israeli air attack while its ally Iran says there will be repercussions for Israel over the attack.

Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, said in Damascus on Thursday that Syria "has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation".

Ali said he could not predict when Syria would retaliate. It was up to the relevant authorities to prepare the retaliation and choose the time and place, he told Al Ahad, a website of Hezbollah, the Lebanese group is closely allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.


It is unclear what the exact nature of the target of Wednesday's Israeli air raids was.

The Syrian military has denied the existence of any weapons shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit by the Israeli fighter jets.

Syrian state media said that the attacks targeted a military research centre near the Syrian capital, while regional secu…