Tag Archives: Brazil

News in Science and Nature

A giant iceberg is on a collision course with Australia. Icebergs are not uncommon, but this one, created when a large block of ice broke off the Ross Ice Shelf in 2000, is very large and is the equivalent of 87 square miles in area. It will most likely break up into smaller ice bergs, but if the iceberg did hit the continental shelf at Australia, it would trigger a large earthquake,  Times Online.

Russia admitted that a failed test of its new intercontinental missile was responsible for brilliant light over Norway Wednesday night, Fox News. Computer simulation of how the mysterious giant spiral could have happened, Gizmodo.

Thousands of fish are dying as the Manaquiri River in Brazil dries up due to drought, Al Jazeera.

A new dinosaur that was related to the T. rex has been found in New Mexico, BBC News.

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Somali Pirates Release Spanish Ship Amid Ransom Rumors

Somali pirates have released a Spanish ship after holding it for 6 weeks. There are 36 crewmembers aboard. The pirates told reporters that they were promised a ransom of $3.5 million but the Spanish government would not confirm that a ransom was paid, BBC News. A report from last May follows the trail of ransoms paid to Somali pirates and finds that only a fraction goes to the pirates themselves, BBC News. Transparency International recently ranked Somalia as the world’s most corrupt country, AFP.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened a 3-day summit on Rome on the problem of world hunger. Ban said that 17,000 children die of hunger everyday and more than 1 billion people worldwide are hungry. One success story to come out of the summit is Brazil, which has decreased hunger by 73% in the past 6 years with its “Zero Hunger” program. The program also emphasizes education by giving families food if their children attend school and by feeding children at school, AFP.

New information is out about the motive behind the killing of 4 Iraqi men by 3 U.S. Army sergeants in March 2007. Army interrogation tapes show that the Iraqi men were killed because it was believed that instead of being detained or held in prison, they were would released due to strict Army detention policies. The Iraqis were found in a house with a small weapons cache but there was not enough evidence to hold them in detention for more than a few days. Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo, Sgt. Michael Leahy, and 1st Sgt. John Hatley were convicted of premeditated murder in a military court and are serving their sentences in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, CNN.

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Pakistani Troops Attack Taliban Strongholds

Colorado authorities say they expect criminal charges to be filed against the family of the six-year-old boy who was reported to be trapped in a runaway helium balloon on Thursday. The incident dominated media coverage and, after the boy was found safe inside his home, questions have been raised about whether the family made the story up, CNN.

Pakistan unveiled an anticipated new ground strategy today, using more than 30,000 troops to attack al-Qaeda and Taliban strongholds along the Afghan border. Early reports say that the troops are “meeting fierce resistance from Taliban fighters,” Guardian UK.

Israel is furious over the UN Human Rights Commission’s endorsement of the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of targeting civilians during the December-January conflict. The report also faulted Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, Jerusalem Post.

Violent clashes between drug gangs and police has killed at least 10 people in Rio de Janeiro. Two Brazilian policeman were killed after their helicopter was shot and crashed, bursting into flames, BBC News.

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Breaking: Air France Jet Disappears Off Brazil’s Coast

An Air France jet carring 228 passengers to Charles de Gaulle Airport in France disappeared off the coast of Brazil shortly after it took off from Rio de Janeiro last night. The Brazilian Air Force has sent planes out to took for wreckage or any sign of the jet but officials say nothing has been found so far, CNN.

More on the story as it develops.

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U.S. Afghanistan Attack Kills Dozens on Eve of DC Meeting

U.S. led strike in western Afghanistan kills dozens of civilians according to the Red Cross. 25 to 30 Taliban were also killed in Bula Balek. The fighting started after Taliban fighters attacked police checkpoints, killing three Afghan police. The Afghan army and U.S. trainers called in airstrikes after the fighting escalated. The strike comes just as Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai meet with President Obama in Washington DC, BBC News. President Obama’s schedule. Violence has increased as a peace agreement between Taliban militants and Pakistan collapsed in the Swat Valley near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving member of the group that carried out the Mumbai attacks has pled not guilty, Washington Post.

Two blasts in Iraq kill at least 11, Al Jazeera.

Eight charged in Turkey for the blood-feud fueled attack during a wedding, Belfast Telegraph. Nicholas Birch on how the feud is indicative of the destabilizing effects of the war in Kurds in Turkey, the Independent.

19 are dead and 180,000 homeless in heavy flooding in Brazil, Associated Press.

Jailed Iranian/American journalist Roxana Saberi has ended her hunger strike. Saberi was convicted in Iran of spying and is awaiting appeal. Iranian officials have said that, unlike at her original trial, Saberi’s lawyer will have time to prepare her case and independent lawyers will be able to observe the trial. The appeal will also be decided by a panel of three judges rather than just the judge who made the initial guilty ruling, CNN.

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