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Monday, 23 May 2011
10 Pakistani troops killed in gun battle at naval base - (Read Full Story)
At least 10 members of Pakistan's military were killed in a gun battle with Taliban militants at a naval base in the coastal city of Karachi, authorities said Monday.
The clashes raged for hours after attackers with guns and grenades stormed the compound Sunday night. By Monday afternoon, the base had "been cleared from the terrorists," a Pakistani navy spokesman said.
In addition to the 10 dead, at least 15 other Pakistani troops were wounded in the fighting, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Investigators have found the bodies of three attackers and believe a fourth is buried in debris, he said. They suspect two militants escaped, he said, citing witness reports.
Friday, 20 May 2011
Solar storms will peak in 2013 and wreak havoc on Earth's electrical communications, top scientist warns - (Read Full Story)
Solar storms could have 'devastating effects' on human technology when they hit a peak in two years' time, a leading scientist has warned.
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assistant secretary Kathryn Sullivan said the storms pose a growing threat to critical infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment.
Solar storms release particles that can temporarily disable or permanently destroy fragile computer circuits
Dr Sullivan, a former Nasa astronaut who in 1984 became the first woman to walk in space, yesterday told a UN weather conference in Geneva that 'it is not a question of if, but really a matter of when a major solar event could hit our planet'.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
The Associated Press's Case for Releasing the Bin Laden Photo - (Read Full Story)
President Obama's decision to withhold the visual evidence of Osama bin Laden's death has created a fundamental disagreement between the White House and one of the largest journalism organizations in the world. "This information is important for the historical record," said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor at The Associated Press. "That's our view."
Last Monday, the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the photographic and video evidence taken during the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The organization's FOIA request included a reminder of the president's campaign pledge and a plea to be more transparent than his predecessor. "The Obama White House 'pledged to be the most transparent government in U.S. history," wrote the AP, "and to comply much more closely with the Freedom of Information Act than the Bush administration did."
Two days later, the president told 60 Minutes he would not release any of the footage related to the raid, including video of bin Laden's deep sea burial and photographs of his slain corpse. Though Oreskes voices his disagreement diplomatically, there's no way around it: The AP believes the president is wrong to maintain exclusive ownership of the evidence. "We're asking to see it," said Oreskes in an interview with The Atlantic Wire. "It's about us saying we would like to make our own news judgements about news worthy material."
The president insists that releasing bin Laden's photograph violates common decency and puts U.S. troops in harm's ways. "We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," he told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. "I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk."
Tuesday, 03 May 2011
Paul Craig Roberts: Bin Laden “Assassination” Has Odor of Staged Event - (Read Full Story)
If today were April 1 and not May 2, we could dismiss as an April fool’s joke this morning’s headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea. As it is, we must take it as more evidence that the US government has unlimited belief in the gullibility of Americans.
Think about it. What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade? If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?
Consider also the claims, repeated by a triumphalism US media celebrating bin Laden’s death, that “bin Laden used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in Sudan, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, sending ‘holy warriors’ to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Bosnia.” That’s a lot of activity for mere millions to bankroll (perhaps the US should have put him in charge of the Pentagon), but the main question is: how was bin Laden able to move his money about? What banking system was helping him? The US government succeeds in seizing the assets of people and of entire countries, Libya being the most recent. Why not bin Laden’s? Was he carrying around with him $100 million dollars in gold coins and sending emissaries to distribute payments to his far-flung operations?
This morning’s headline has the odor of a staged event. The smell reeks from the triumphalism news reports loaded with exaggerations, from celebrants waving flags and chanting “USA USA.” Could something else be going on?
Monday, 02 May 2011
NASA's Voyager Probes to Leave Solar System by 2016 - (Full Story)
It may be decades before humanity sets foot on Mars, but we're only five years away from sampling the vast stretches of interstellar space beyond our solar system for the first time, researchers say.
NASA's twin unmanned Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977, are streaking toward the edge of the solar system at around 37,000 mph (60,000 kph). At that rate, they'll probably pop out of our sun's sphere of influence and into interstellar space by 2016 or so, according to mission scientists.
"They are about to break free of the solar system," Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., said during a media teleconference yesterday (April 28). "We are trying to get outside of our bubble, into interstellar space, to directly measure what is there."
Monday, 02 May 2011
Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake - (Full Story)
An image apparently showing a dead Osama bin Laden broadcast on Pakistani television and picked up by British newspaper websites is a fake.
The bloodied image of a man with matted hair and a blank, half-opened eye has been circulating on the internet for the past two years. It was used on the front pages of the Mail, Times, Telegraph, Sun and Mirror websites, though swiftly removed after the fake was exposed on Twitter.
It appears the fake picture was initially published by the Middle East online newspaper themedialine.org on 29 April 2009, with a warning from the editor that it was "unable to ascertain whether the photo is genuine or not".
Since then, however, the image has been claimed as genuine on a number of conspiracy forums and used to substantiate claims that the terrorist responsible for the 9/11 bombings had been killed.
The Guardian was one of the few sites to hold back from using the manipulated image on its front page, reporting the picture's existence in its live blog but questioning its legitimacy.
The image is based on a genuine photograph of Bin Laden taken in 1998 and used by the Reuters news agency.